Sunday, December 20, 2009

as strong as a moose!

20 weeks

23 weeks

i realized i hadn't posted any belly shots recently so here's a couple for you.

a little story for your laughing pleasure...

beginning at 20 weeks, i now see my doctor every 2 weeks. i get an ultrasound as well as a physical examination. this is to check my cervix to make sure it's not thinning or shortening, which are both signs of premature labor.

so at 20 weeks i went to my first one of these appointments. i was laying down on the table while my doctor was doing the physical exam. all of the sudden he said to me "your cervix is as strong as a moose!" i laid there thinking, what did he just say?? i thought he said, "your cervix is a little loose." so i said to my doctor, "what????" he then asked, "do you know what a moose is?" i realized what he said and told him yes. he then proceeded to tell me all about moose. how they are strong creatures and that wolf packs won't even approach them and blah, blah, blah. he went on for what seemed like 15 mintues about these moose! all the meanwhile i'm still on the table, exposed, and well, you know, my feet were still in the stirrups, people!!!! i politely entertained his story with obligatory "oh really's" and "wow's," but all i really wanted to do was to take my legs out of the stirrips, sit up, and put my clothes on!

i like my doctor a lot, but he IS a little quirky. i've heard from a few people that he tells wacky stories but as often as i've seen him, i haven't really been on the receiving end of one of these until now. i told my friend who delivered 2 children with him and she just kept saying, "oh my gosh. you must have wanted to die!"
yep, pretty much.

so, my cervix is as strong as a moose. good to know.
ken didn't go with me to with this appointment (oh how i wish he did so he could have been witness to this story!), so when i left the doctor's office, i made sure to call him right away.
i got his voicemail and left a message. "hi honey. everything went great. my cervix is as strong as a moose. call me when you get a chance. love you."

seriously though, i've had appointments now at 20 and 22 weeks and everything is going very well. actually this week he said my cervix looked better than average. so all good news here. my next appointment will be in my 25th week. my doctor wants to see me the day before we're supposed to fly to austin for matthew's birthday so he can give me the all clear to travel.

thank you to everyone who checks my blog for updates. i'll try to write more often! and thank you very much for keeping me and baby schwalbe in your prayers. please keep praying for us. i have a lot of anxiety as i approach 28 weeks, which is when i delivered matthew.
one last's a picture outside of our house where we're standing in the 2 feet of snow we got yesterday! we're still digging out! love to you all...merry christmas!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

an empty stocking

a couple of people have brought to my attention i have not posted anything for awhile. i've had many mixed emotions this holiday season. this christmas was supposed to be the first with our precious son, yet an empty stocking hangs on the mantle. while i'm out shopping for christmas gifts, i realize there is no need for me to head down the aisle that has toys for a 1-year-old. i walk by the display of "baby's first christmas" onesies and my heart breaks in a million pieces before i run out of the store. so maybe my blog silence has been part me sparing you from sad thoughts during christmas and part me not wanting to put my feelings out in the blogosphere.

i have been doing a lot of writing though, private journal writing to go along with a bible study i started with 2 other women who have lost infants. we are going through the book/study "grieving the child i never knew" by kathe wunnenberg. so far it has been really insightful and i enjoy diving into the questions at the end of each section. if you have lost a child through infant death, stillborn or miscarriage, i highly recommend it. each week contains 5 lessons that take between 15-30 minutes to do. i heard about this study through my counselor and after my study at church concluded i decided to dive right in so i could complete the 8-week study well in advance of our baby arriving. while many parents spend time preparing a nursery for the arrival of their child, i am focusing on God's word to help me further process the death of our son, so that i can be as prepared as i can be for this new sweet baby we will bring home.

speaking of a new baby, i wanted to address something here on this blog that has been on my mind since i got pregnant. a few months after losing matthew, someone at work told me the only thing that was going to make me "better" was to get pregnant again. in case anyone was thinking this same thing or wondering if it is true, i can 100% tell you that it is not. having 6 more babies isn't going to get me "better" or over losing our son. the fact is that we lost our first-born, precious son and no child will ever replace matthew phillip.

being pregnant will never make the ache and longing for matthew go away. i can still remember what it felt like to hold him for the first time ever at the funeral home. i remember his tiny lifeless body and wishing so much he would open his eyes and look at me. i can remember the tears we shed saying goodbye to him for the last time. the heartache you feel for a child you have buried will never go away.

please do not get my wrong, i am so thankful for this miracle baby that grows inside of me and cannot wait to meet our 'lil bug. i feel incredibly blessed that everything is going so smoothly during this pregnancy. and i can guarantee you we will love this child as much as we loved matthew phillip. but we're not looking for this child to replace matthew, nor did we ever think that being pregnant again would make us "better." what being pregnant has done, however, is to remind me that the Lord has not abandoned us in our desire to have more children. after we lost matthew, ken never really had doubts that we would have more children. however, i sometimes felt like God had decided that we would not be blessed with children and that in this category of life, i would just have heartbreak. i can't tell you that i am at 100% in believing that God will give us more children. i just pray for this desire every day. i probably won't fully believe this until i am holding that sweet baby in my arms.
there's no getting over the death of your child. there's nothing that will make it "better", not even other children. there is acceptance and moving forward, and that's what we're working towards.
ken and i have decided to stay in maryland for the holidays. we just weren't up for a big holiday celebration with family and wanted to stay close by my doctor. both of our families live in rural areas and we were not exactly comfortable with the medical care available if anything happened. assuming all continues to go well with my pregnancy, we will be traveling to austin on jan. 5 for matthew's first birthday celebration on jan. 6. i will do a separate post on this later to tell you all about it.
in case i don't get on here and write another post before christmas, we wish you all a very blessed christmas. hug those you love a little tighter this year. may you experience christ's birth in a new and refreshing way this year.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

please pray for baby henninger

hello prayer warriors:

please pray for baby henninger. kimberly is a woman i have "met" through the blog network of women who have lost children. her first son, hudson was born sleeping at 30 weeks. she is now 10 weeks pregnant with her second child and her doctor has recommended an appointment with a perinatal specialist that will take place today at 2PM for something he saw on the ultrasound. click on the link below to read the full story. and please get down on your knees and pray for this sweet little baby.