Please visit Initial Feelings and Reactions/Feelings... "FOR MY REMEMBERING"...a beautiful poem by Tiffany about her son, Paul.
This last July 4th our fourth son came to us. Paul was stillborn at 18 weeks. He got his tiny little self all tangled in his cord and around his neck. He is forever a part of me.
We are now blessed with some hope as I am expecting again-the exact same day Paul was born, July 4th. The struggles are soo hard lately..Next Monday will be the exact time gestationally that Paul was born. He was probably already gone by this time. The day our ultrasound was scheduled is the day we buried him. Next Monday is our ultrasound and, though I'm excited, I'm also scared. Dread and hope mixed together....
I also struggle with the joy of the new one making his memory disappear in the minds of family members. I say I'm carrying two babies-one in my tummy and one in my heart. There he will always be until that day we meet again....
Marcia's thoughts: You have shared so many of the concerns that many of our moms experience as they move through a subsequent pregnancy. Our innocence is gone and our next pregnancy is usually very difficult. As you said, the hope is mixed with the fear. Also, you are approaching the year anniversary for Paul's birth and loss. As I have shared in my workshop about Anniversaries...this is a difficult time. If you haven't already done so, reading through some of the workshops around grief and future pregnancies might help with some of the feelings you are dealing with right now. We have a subsequent pregnancy group because we know that this time can be difficult.
Entry #2: Update is that I had a doctors appt. yesterday. The baby looks good with a heart rate of 144 bpm.Our ultrasound will be Monday, which, coincidentally, is the same gestational day I gave birth to Paul. I'm a little scared but trying to just look forward to it w/ anticipation. I'm thinking it could be Brady boy #5! Monday will tell. Maybe if everything looks good I will be able to breathe as little easier...
Entry #3 ~ 2/99: For those of you who have not already heard..we are thrilled to announce that our new baby is...another boy!We are getting excited and thank God for another Brady boy.
A matter for prayer though......On Monday we had an ultrasound. Everything looked fine as far as we could tell. Last night my doctor called after reading the radiologist's report.There are two abnormalities which we hope will resolve themselves over the next few weeks.
The first one is that the placenta is very low. This could cause bleeding. If so,I would have to go to the hospital to be checked and then probably bed rest. If it does not correct itself before time for the baby to come,I would have to have a C-Section. This is a fairly common occurence and often resolves itself as the uterus grows.
The second thing is that the baby has a choroid plexus cyst.The choroid plexus is an area of the brain where soinal fluid forms and/or collects.It is a highly vascular region of the brain. My doctor has seen this several times during her years as a doctor and it has corrected itself within a few weeks. In some cases it may still be present at birth and not go away for a couple of months. The main concern about this cyst is that it has shown a weak link to Trisomy 21 which is Down's Syndrome. My doctor has never seen this outcome.
We are trying to think positively but because of our loss the last time we are somewhat anxious. I will have another ultrasound in about four weeks. We would like to see that the cyst is gone and that the placenta is moving upward.
Thanks for your continued prayers for us and for our little boy as we continue this looonnnggg pregnancy.
Entry #4 ~ 2/99: ...today he didn't move much and I felt pretty nervous.He has finally moved a little this evening. My grief support group expects to have a doppler available for me to use this week. Seems like it will be a great relief to have one for days like today! We're starting to try to decide on names,though it feels kind of scary and presumptuous. Also,I feel pressure from other people to give him a really outstanding name because of what we've been through. It's hard to name five boys! I continue to be hopeful. I am still praying that the ultrasound on March
1 will show our "abnormalities" clearing up.
Entry #5 ~ 3/1/99: We are so thankful for this new little boy we have grown to love so dearly! Today at our ultrasound he was in his best form, putting on a show fit for a waiting family! Before the lady came in to do the ultrasound, he started kicking and moving around so much that his brothers got to feel him with their hands for the first time. They were thrilled to FINALLY get a kick out of him (so to speak!). He continued the show by doing all sorts of baby antics. He started by showing us a perfect full on look at his face. Then he opened his mouth- another little singer! We got to see a perfect little profile where we could see his little nose and even his lips. Then he started opening and closing his mouth, swallowing amniotic fluid, then putting his thumb in and out of his mouth, moving his arms all around. He even pressed his hand up against the side so we could see every bone in his little fingers.
We are thrilled to tell you ( though we aren't suprised as we know the power of prayer!) that the cyst in the Choroid Plexus of his brain is totally gone. We were so happy to have this confirmation of what we knew in our hearts. We will have to wait to hear back from our doctor to have the whole ultrasound confirmed and to hear from her that everything is fine.
The placenta is still low and they have to compare the pictures from today to the ones they took last month to see if there has been any change. We are believing that it will continue to grow upwards and I won't have a C-Section but, even if it doesn't.... hey, I can be tough! If a C-Section is the worst I have to endure then I consider myself blessed! It will be nice to hear back from my doctor tomorrow though. The last time we came away thrilled that everything was perfect then my doctor called and told us about these two "abnormalities". So it will be nice to get the word from our doctor that everything IS as perfect as it seemed today.
We continue to rejoice in this new gift we have been given and are falling in love with him more and more each day! Every day he is with us is a gift we hold dear!
I will update you all after we hear back from our doctor. Thanks for your love and support as we all look forward to this tiny new Brady boy!
Entry #6 ~ 3/2/99:Just a heads up..the doctor called and said everything looked great. The baby is doing well. Though the placenta is borderline it seems to have improved.Will check again at 28 weeks. We are glad to hear this news from the doctor herself! Now we are REALLY feeling good! Just a heads up..the doctor called and said everything looked great. The babyis doing well. Though the placenta is borderline it seems to have improved. Will check again at 28 weeks. We are glad to hear this news from the doctor herself! Now we are REALLY feeling good
I did want to update you regarding my latest ultrasound though. PTL!! The placenta is now considered a low placenta and should not cause me to have a C-Section! I am thrilled and relieved not to have that hanging over our heads! The baby looks fine so far as we can tell and sure looks cute from the ultrasound- plus I can tell by the way he moves that he is a cutie! I can't wait to hold him...seems like the next 11 weeks will take forever!
I will admit that the fear has been returning again to a degree. The baby usually moves alot at night and he went about 6 days w/o hardly moving at all. I knew he was alive because I have a doppler at home, but I kept thinking maybe he has the cord around his neck and is slowing down because he is getting weak or something. Even at the ultrasound he wasn't moving as much as he had at previous ones. I had a new lady I haven't seen before and she wouldn't even tell me if the cord looked OK or not. All she would say is "It doesn't matter what we see today anyway". Maybe not to her! But I would have appreciated the extra effort for her to at least look! Of course, then after the ultrasound I kept obsessing that maybe the cord was around his neck and that's why she wouldn't say. Finally, Thursday night he started moving quite a bit again and I was so relieved.
Not to say I have totally stopped worrying..I still feel the old fears creeping up and have to push them away. I cannot imagine that I really will have this little boy and he will be safe and healthy! Sometimes I feel like even if he is born alive that something will be wrong with him. Or what if he almost dies and they have to resuscitate or something because the cord is around his neck? My mind is filled with all these fears and more.
I am thankful that I am pregnant at all and I should know within the next 11 weeks. My doctor has already said she will induce me a week or so early if I want her to and everything looks OK. I figure I will wait and see how paranoid I am feeling then instead of deciding right now. Who knows? Maybe he will be early on his own. Of course, that leads me to another fear...what if he's born too early because they induced me early with Paul since he was gone?
I noticed this morning I already have colostrum. I didn't last week. I am going to mention it to my doctor on Monday and make sure it's not some sign of impending delivery or something.
On the bright side, I did finally feel him hiccup! I kept thinking he should start that soon. I have heard that it's a sign of lung development so was getting worried that there could be something wrong with his lungs. Then, Easter morning in the middle of church, I felt that telltale, rhythmic bump! Now I have felt him do it several times including today. They seem so fast but are definitely hiccups! Then I feel sorry for the little guy, such a tiny person to have those! But I am glad anyway!
We still haven't decided on a name. It is hard when you want just the right one! But that is the least of my worries I guess. The Bible tells us that God knew us each by name even before we were formed. I just pray He lets us in on it soon too! That's about all I have time for for now! Continuing to hope and trust! Tiffany
Marcia's thoughts: You sound so normal! The highs and lows...the fears and wonders...the CONFUSION!! I was there and so many of our parents are there! I think I poked, poor Aaron over and over to make sure he moved enough...he slept soundly after birth!!
I am getting by these days. I have still been dealing with fears on a daily basis. Sometimes I feel like a wreck and have to hold on to the Promises of the Bible over and over again. Other days I feel just plain old tired and sore and READY to have this little boy.
Almost two weeks ago now I had to go in to the doctor because I was having alot of contractions that were getting harder and somewhat uncomfortable. All the old standbys such as drinking lots of fluid and laying down weren't helping. I even tried a warm bath. So they decided I should come in and get checked to be on the safe side. Everything appeared to be fine, no changes to the cervix etc. That Monday I felt like the baby was head up and the doctor confirmed that. She surmised that possibly all the kicking right at the cervix may have caused the contractions. Also, this is kind of my routine...lots of contractions, often bedrest and terbutaline.
This baby needs to stay in at least several more weeks. I do take joy in knowing that if he came now his chances at living a normal life are increasing by the day.
Last week I had one really bad day. I woke up so tired that I felt like I would throw up. I was absolutely bone tired. It didn't seem to matter if I slept or didn't sleep, I was just exhausted. I think something was up with my hormones because, starting that Sunday, I felt like crying at the least little thing. I tried to nap when I could throughout the day, but with homeschooling my boys, even if we take a day off, there are still three boys who need supervision!Scary Dreams...
In the afternoon, I took Nathan, my littlest boy, now 4 years old, and we laid down for awhile. I was drifting in and out for awhile. I suddenly woke up, gripped by an overwhelming terror. It wasn't just the conscious thoughts but the overall feeling of fear that gripped me. It was like death itself had me in it's hold. I thought things like,"I can not have this baby. I will die." And also that if I could live through the birth, there was no way I could care for him, I was too tired. Much of this was accompanied by the same feelings I had as I was in labor with and giving birth to Paul. I think the terror was maybe some kind of flashback to that time. I had many of the same feelings and felt like I was literally suffocating and there was no escape, much how I felt during parts of my labor with Paul. Between the peace I was given and the knowing that God was still in control -the times when I wanted to walk away from it but couldn't escape no matter how I tried. I was not in control of my situation at that point and it was scary!Some thoughts as to how to cope
Also, as a Christian, I believe the Bible and it says in Ephesians 6:12, "We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." And that is followed by a set of instructions about how to build ourselves up so that we are able to stand against those forces. I was too tired to even try to think of anything positive so I lay there feeling scared and overwhelmed and like I just was not going to make it. The rest of the day went by and I coped the best I could. My hubby brought dinner home so I didn't have to worry about that and he put the boys to bed and prayed with them as he does every night.
The next day I didn't feel so tired and have been doing better since. But that "episode" makes me wonder what will happen when I am actually giving birth. I am trying to think the best but I do have fear that the same feeling will return and I do not want that to ruin the precious moments my new sweet son is making his appearance. Does that happen to people that you know of? Is it common? Or is just the fear of it common? I personally have never heard of it but I can't imagine that it hasn't happened. Thankfully I trust in Someone greater than myself. Through my weakness, His strength shows so it is opportunity for someone else to gain some hope right?!!!!!!
He is due in nine more weeks. I am, of course, hoping he is a little early...so maybe even in seven weeks..if I am wishfully thinking! I rejoice everytime I feel him moving inside of me. It is so cute now to be able to feel little feet and knees. He sure is active! I don't remember my others being this active. My husband says he thinks it is because the baby knows I need to feel him moving to be reassured. I think he may be right!
This week I am going to get the baby things out of the attic and get them washed and put in the drawers. I am hoping it's not too soon to do this but I don't know if I will have the energy to do it at all if I wait much longer! Plus, I have been looking forward to it for awhile and also should look to see what I still need. After all, it's been almost four and a half years since I had a new baby around the house! I already have his bassinette sitting here in our bedroom, a sweet reminder of the warm little person to soon occupy it!
I hope all of you ladies that read about us can see the positive things happening through the sometimes scary times. I think back and it was exactly ten months from tomorrow that we lost Paul. Now here I am with a new hope inside and glimpses of a stronger me beginning to emerge. It has not been just the pregnancy, but a whole lot of hard and painful WORK that has brought me to this point. And a faith that I thought was lost now beginning to seem more real than ever (I will write more on this later).
The Bible says that our weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. I read a really good book based on that promise and it helped me so much. Eugenia Price wrote about how neither God nor our loved ones who have gone before are trapped in time as we are. So they see us where we are and they know the pain we feel. But they also see us in our morning time, that day that sometimes seems so far away and impossible to ever reach. But God PROMISES that joy of the morning. If I could tell you anything, it would be to hold on to that promise. Although the days now may be nights of weeping and it doesn't feel like you will even be able to face tomorrow, let alone with joy- KNOW that God does not go back on His promises. You will never get over the loss of your sweet ones but you will be able to someday find joy again. Hold on to that hope and I am holding onto it for you too! I pray for you hurting hearts out there who may read this and are feeling lost and without purpose or hope and I pray that for you the night will pass by soon and you will see hope restored to you.
Cliff and Tiffany and the Brady Boys three would like to announce the safe arrival of Evan Matthew on Monday June 14th at 2:34 pm. He is the picture of health and absolutely beautiful.He was born three weeks early thank you Evan!) and weighed six pounds and fifteen ounces, measuring twenty inches long.
Thank you to all of you who have kept us in your prayers through the pregnancy. We are so thankful, relieved and truly blessed. We are humbled by the priviledge given to us to raise this sweet little bundle.
Click on balloons for picture of Evan
I now have some pics to download of sweet boy. (My neice, who is 4, thought his name was Heaven so we've been calling him that!) As soon as I have time to go to the site and finish downloading I will send one or some to you! He is still a dolly. is two week checkup is tomorrow. Of course now I worry that the doctor will say he hasn't gained enough...I guess the worrying never really does stop does it?!
I hope to write you soon with more details and a pic or two! Love, Tiffany
I just wanted to let you all know how baby Evan is doing and try to send a picture or pictures, depending on what works!
Evan weighed six pounds and fifteen ounces at birth and was twenty inches long. Before we brought him home he had lost some weight and was six pounds and nine ounces. Well...he must be getting enough to eat because at his two week checkup he weighed seven pounds and fourteen ounces and was twenty one inches long!
He is a good baby and has mostly been waking up only once per night. For a couple days he was a little gassy and uncomfortable so he wasn't resting well during the night, but he seems to be better now.
All of us are totally in love with him. No one seems to be a bit jealous. In fact, the boys hold him, rub his head and give him as much attention as possible. They can't seem to get enough of him most of the time as he seems to eat alot!
His baby shower was Tuesday and I felt very loved and blessed. There was pretty good attendance and lots of neat gifts. Evan slept through the whole thing. I wanted him to be awake as he does have alot of time awake most days. But I guess sleeping is better than fussy! Lots of people held and cuddled him and just loved up on him!
That's about it for now. I need to try to get those pictures through before Evan wants to eat again! We plan to go to the beach for the weekend. The weather here is supposed to be in the high 80's so it should be nice beach weather. (If you don't know, we live only a little over an hour from the beach). Hopefully, it won't be tooo windy to take Evan out on the beach. I would like to get some good black and white pics of the boys. Love to you all! Tiffany for BoysRUs
Evan had his 6 month checkup yesterday and it went well. He is 50% in everything except his head which is about 60%- normal for my kids! He is a sweet , sunny child, he brings joy and delight to everyone who sees him. Looking at him helps my heart to heal.
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