Saturday, May 31, 2014

Three Years Out

Two days ago was May 29, the day my daughter died.

Three years ago I spent the day rotating between the couch and the bed, watching episodes of Glee (there was an entire season available on Hulu and it provided just a smidge of distraction), fading in and out of sleep, waking over and over to a reality that seemed a nightmare instead.

We haven't watched a single episode of Glee since.

May 29 has become a day to remember the life of our girl and spend time as a family. We make a trek to the Lincoln Children's Zoo every year, a place we intended to take Ryann on May 29, 2011 and a place we visited with close friends and family after her burial.

This year, Jared and I also made time for the two of us. After we put Clifton to bed, we bundled up the littlest dude (who kindly stayed asleep the entire outing) and went out for a leisurely, late dinner at Blue Orchid, the restaurant we took a small group to after our zoo outing three years ago.

This year brought a new freshness to our grief, as a friend had just lost her youngest son a couple days before. And in light of these losses, I would like to share a list of things that helped Jared and me in the aftermath of losing Ryann and things that might help your own family and friends if you're at a loss.
  • being inundated with Facebook messages, especially with no expectation of a response. Just a virtual hug to let us know how many people had been touched by her in her short life and how many people were grieving with us. 
  • sharing memories. Memories are the most cherished and most fleeting things, such a frustrating thing to know that we don't remember everything. Any little memory that can be shared is the most wonderful thing, even just a memory of seeing her walk down the street. 
  • anything that might help to check out from the present for a few moments - movie tickets, gift certificates to restaurants, invitations to visit friends out of town.
  • helping to pay expenses. The expenses after something like this is astronomical, even with good insurance. And then the real indignity is having to pay for a funeral on top of it all. Friends helping to cover these things is such a meaningful, needed, and tangible way to support.
  • creating a memory book, memory Facebook page, etc. where everyone is free to contribute and all the memories are consolidated in one place.
  • checking in down the road. Even just a quick note of 'how are you doing these days?' in the weeks, months, and years to come. That means a lot.
  • flowers. I had never really understood how meaningful sending flowers to a funeral could be. We were so buoyed by the flowers that were sent to the funeral by different families, groups, and churches. So amazing.
Also, a good rule of thumb is this. We have had our fair share of hurtful and inappropriate comments, and although we know that they are well meaning, they stung (or sometimes sucker punched) just the same.

Do not add to the hurt. Be a support.

My darling girl and me, just shy of three months.
Photos of the two of us aren't that common, since I was often the one behind the camera.

Walden Elder Hiscock

Behold! A very delayed and very brief announcement that Walden has arrived!

I will be popping in soon in order to tell an actual birth story (as well as finally tell Clifton's birth story). But until then, let these stats and all this adorableness bridge the gap.

Weight - 6lb 7oz. He dropped down to 5lb 14oz, but is now up to a hefty 6lb 13oz. As of yesterday we wanted to see him hit his birth weight again. He well surpassed that. (These 'current' stats are as of his two week appointment. He's now over 8lb!)

Length - 19.5in

Time - 9:22am

He has dark blue eyes, dark brown hair, and seems to resemble the Hiscock side of the family. So far we're all thinking he favors Grandpa Hiscock and Uncle Vincent. He definitely has a look distinct from the other two kiddos.

A few teeny weeny newbie pictures.

And a more recent picture with more alert eyeballs eyeballing the world.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Goal 1 Down!

We have made it past the 32 week mark! This has been our first goal to reach and it feels so good to have made it. The next goal Jared and I have made for ourselves is to keep Walden cooking past Jared's Master's recital on April 10, that will put us at 34.5 weeks and will make life just a bit more sane.

Look Ma! No more IV!
I was discharged from the hospital on March 9 and have been cleared for minimal activity. I'm working from my office in the mornings and from bed in the afternoons. I'm not allowed to do any housework or 'heavy' lifting (over 10lbs). I've also limited my own walking as I've found that I can feel Walden pushing down way too quickly and tend to get contractions from very minimal activity.

The housework ban is a mixed blessing as I get to rest guilt-free, but then I'm stuck on the couch thinking about the sink of dishes, grimy bathroom, and un-vacuumed floors. With Jared in the last quarter of his Master's program, it's all he can do to keep up with schoolwork, practice, and Clif. The housework will just have to wait. This too shall pass.

I am loving this rare chance to have daily smoothies.
Working from home in the afternoons has made lunchtime a bit more flexible.
Yum. My fruity pregnancy craving is happy.

By far the hardest thing to deal with is the lifting restrictions. With Clif pushing 30lbs, he's well over my limit. And though I'm so thankful to be feeling quite well, it does make it difficult to remember that all is not actually well and to ask for help when needed. We've been spending a lot of time playing on the floor, reading, and doing puzzles. We've also had a definite uptick in the amount of Sesame Street and Muppets viewed, but I suppose that's not the end of the world. The most frustrating thing is that I'm completely unable to take Clif on outings on my own. Although he generally does well climbing in and out of his carseat and will sometimes hold my hand as we're walking, he is only 18-months-old and I'm completely unable to contain him if he decides he wants to go in another direction. Thus park visits are out, we nearly had to miss the circus (but we didn't! hooray!), I can't take him to Sabbath School. Luckily we had just made the switch to a toddler bed a few days before my last bleed, so I'm occasionally able to do the whole bedtime routine, since there's no lifting absolutely necessary (as long as he's being relatively cooperative).

 This little dude cracks me up. He's making a ducky face with Ernie's ducky.

And that's that. We could be meeting Walden any day, but hope that he bakes for at least two more weeks. Life's in a bit of limbo at the moment. I'm no longer contained to a bed (hooray!) but I'm definitely not 100%. My next checkup is on Monday along with another ultrasound. We should be able to get a good estimate on Wally's current size (I'm guessing 4.5lbs) as well as check again to see if this stubborn placenta might have budged. Not putting a whole lot of hope on that, but wouldn't it be nice?!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Uterine Updates

As many of you have seen from Facebook and Instagram, I am currently hanging out in Labor and Delivery. Fun times.

For those of you who do not enjoy hearing the nitty-gritty of things concerning birth and such, just a warning.
The post below will contain such things.

At our twenty week ultrasound we found out that we had a low-lying placenta. Which was later re-identified as being a marginal placenta previa. Which has since been re-re-identified as a complete placenta previa. As I assume that most of you are unfamiliar with the term, let me give you a brief explanation. The placenta is supposed to be attached towards the top of the uterus. A previa has attached very low, in our case, completely covering the cervix. This causes several problems. First of all, baby's escape hatch is blocked. Not a good thing. Secondly, baby is constantly resting on, bouncing on, and pinching the placenta. Also not good. The placenta is a very blood-rich organ and is baby's life-support while they're still inside, so it's generally a good idea to keep it in good health. Previa commonly causes bleeding, anywhere from spotting to straight up hemorrhaging. As the baby gets bigger, the risk goes up. Heavier weight on the placenta, unhappier the placenta gets. Once the risk is judged too great, a c-section done. Most previa babies are premature.

I had our first episode of spotting at 27 weeks. (For those of you less well versed in this world, full-term is 38-42 weeks, 40 weeks being standard.) It was very minor. I got off my feet for the night and took the next day relatively easy. I started again at 29 weeks. A bit more, still not severe, but followed by 3 days of clots. Not good. Thus the decision to send me to the hospital in order to get a round of steroids in me that will help to develop Walden's lungs just a little faster. Things seem to have calmed down now, but the plan is to keep me in the hospital until Sunday afternoon. At that point I'll head home and take things easy - no lifting, no housework, etc. We will be seeing more bleeding and we will be seeing more of the hospital. No one can say when that might be. Hopefully we'll be able to keep Walden in until closer to 36 weeks, but he's already a big guy. The goal is to get past 32 and then as far past as possible. We will most likely be looking at a NICU stay, but do not expect to see any severe complications. Walden will just need some more time of special care in order to mature enough on all fronts to come home.

This was all a pretty hard pill to swallow when it all really became real this week. We had been hoping that the placenta would migrate up, that we wouldn't have issues with bleeding, that things would be normal. It was a jolt to realize that we need to change our expectations. There were tears and fears, still are here and there, but overall we've really gotten to a good place. We have an amazing support system (all of you!!!) filled with people who actually mean it when they ask how they can help. Thank you. We truly are pretty good at the moment, but we may be calling on a few of you in the coming weeks, so ready the casseroles and prepare for some babysitting.

The most frustrating thing about all of this is knowing that we won't be able to have Walden to ourselves until he's weeks or maybe even months old. Who doesn't love that squishable newborn phase when they're just a little mewing lump? Even though the NICU nurses are amazing and we are so beyond thankful for them and their ilk, it's hard knowing that it's going to be someone other than yourself there to help your kiddo in the middle of the night.

The scariest thing about this is the flashbacks. We're going to have a baby who's covered in wires and tubes and connected to beeping machines. We're going to walk in to the hospital with Walden and leave without him. We've done this before. Of course we realize that these are very different circumstances, but it doesn't change the fear. No one expected Ryann to die that night. We know first hand how quickly things can go from fine to dire. And this time it won't be just our kiddo in the hospital, it will be me too. This is probably one of the hardest things for Jared. He has to sit by my side while across the curtain the doctors are slicing into me, hoping to avoid a hemorrhage, and pulling out our preterm babe. We know in our minds that every should/will be fine. But it's scary.

So in conclusion - thank you, prayers and good thoughts appreciated, and we are so excited/scared/on pins and needles to be meeting our new son.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Links I've Enjoyed that You May Too

These shadow sculptures are pretty amazing.

It's good to remember that most of us are doing better than we think.

I thoroughly enjoyed these ballet webisodes.

Breathtaking.

Yes. This. Thank you.

Loved this genius idea.

Sometimes it's the little things that touch the deepest need.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Treat Yo' Self!

It's that time of year to start placing your Valentines orders for french macarons! Please have all orders in by February 11 in order for pick-up or delivery in the Lincoln area on February 14. Most flavors and variety boxes available upon request.

dozen - $20
half dozen - $12

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Discoveries

Last night during a fun father-son bath time, Clif discovered with great delight that Daddy also has a 'pee-pee'. He's now a bit confused about Mommy.

No photo to illustrate.