Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Story: Trisomy 18 (Re-Post)

My Story: Trisomy 18
*editors note* I am re-posting this as it seems to be very popular site that many followers or newcomers go too. If you are someone that is going through a possible or definite diagnosis of Trisomy 18 or have a friend or family member going through this. Please, I encourage you to talk about it with your community, family, friends, and if not. I am happy to help.

Christmas Photo 2004 (This was taken the day before she passed away)

Her story began like all new pregnancies do. With the announcement of "I am pregnant". I was excited, shocked, nervous. This pregnancy was nothing like finding out about my first. I knew in my gut the moment I took that test that something wasn't right. The severity of how badly things were to become were to unfold in ways you only see on soaps.

The first ultrasound appointment would marked the roller coaster ride of our journey. A missed heartbeat at my 8 week appointment would only show a tiny little thing measuring 5 weeks gestation. I knew how far along I was. I fought with the doctors, waited 3 hours to be see. The whole situation was a nightmare. Only to get worse.

I had horrible care from the Doctors. Many who just didn't seem to care that I was carrying a living, breathing baby. They would not let my husband in with me at any of the appointments. At my 19 week growth scan I was excited to confirm my suspicions that we were indeed having another little girl. A little girl we would name Anabelle. After loosing my mother-in-law only a few short months before, Anabelle would be the start of something happy to finally look forward too. A happy welcome to the dreaded start of the new year. She was to be named after Ana, her Vovo.

I went into the appointment alone. Scared. Worried. The ultrasound tech was cruel, cold, and had no heart. She would scream at me to move a certain way, to stop talking. I asked to see the monitor and she refused. Another doctor came in, and I knew that moment something wasn't right. I saw a glimpse on the screen. She didn't look like a healthy 19 week little one. Her face was shaped differently and her belly just seemed small to me. I left the appointment feeling confused, worried and needing answers. My husband chalked it up to the office staff and their unwillingness to have a heart.

The following day after my appointment I left to visit family in Maine. Its then I got that call that would change my life FOREVER. I can still recall the words of the nurse on the other line, calling from the Rhode Island prenatal diagnosis center. "Miss. Martin, I am calling to let you know that we received your blood work and your daughter's (congratulations by the way on your little girl) recent ultrasound pictures and your blood AFP test. I just want to let you know that we have noticed that she has some chorid plexis cysts on her brain. This could possibly be the result of a chromosomal defect, but in 90% of the cases, they go away on their own and its nothing to worry about." This is when I asked her what kind of defects could it be. and she told me "Trisomy 18 is one of them, but please don't put yourself in a panic and by all means, don't go on the internet to look it up, it will only worry you more." The rest of the conversation was a blur. I remember making a new appointment with her for the end of the week. Jason wasn't with me visiting family, so I called him on the phone and told him the news. Immediately I went searching on the internet. What I found was devastating. Death and "Failure to Thrive" were pretty much the theme of any articles I read. I told myself I would wait until further testing, but still continued to find out all I could on this subject. Calling, researching, talking with anyone who would listen.

I finally returned back from Maine and barely had anytime to really grasp what was going on. We were immediately seen by a high risk doctor and prenatal genetic counselor. Both whom I immediately disliked. I found myself growing a *VERY* thick skin and immediately spoke up and said that I wanted someone different. Thankfully, they were accommodating and I had very little issue getting both a new doctor and new counselor. To this day, I am so grateful I made that switch. Our genetic counselor Caroline was amazing. We fell right in love and she really listened to everything I had to say. She never once made me feel like I was crazy for trying so hard. She did everything she could to look into all the current information I had for Trisomy 18 and was always available anytime I called. I just loved her.
She of course went over the statistics, let us know what "COULD" be the outcome, but because of my age and testing numbers, it just didn't all add up. Many of the Doctors begged us for an amnio but I refused. I knew that if the outcome wasn't good, and she was born alive, they would not do any life saving measures even if we requested it. I did NOT want this for my daughter. So we said no. The risk of the amino far outweighed our options to find out her genetic makeup.

We went through our pregnancy as "normal" as possible. Normal for us was now coupled with NST's (Non Stress Tests) Ultrasounds, and growth checks three times a week. Depending on how Anabelle was feeling on a particular day, we could be anywhere from 20 minutes in the office to 3 hours. So it made the last 12 weeks very long. Babies with Trisomy 18 typically don't move around a lot in utero, and if they do, because of their small size would make it harder for you to feel them moving. I spend many evenings worrying and wondering if she would still be alive. I think it was the hardest time for me. I just couldn't come to terms if she was to pass away before she even had a moment to live. I accepted the fact that there was a 99.9% chance she was not going to be with us, I just wasn't willing to accept the fact that she could pass away before being born. And I didn't.

Her arrival was a stressful one. Not even a happy joyful one. I spend a good 2 hours in the Delivery Triage of the hospital. My first time at Woman and Infants (as I had my first child in Boston) I was expecting a warm atmosphere, with nurses and doctors their to help you anyway they can. That didn't happen. Instead, I found myself arguing with a doctor that wanted me to have an amnio. I was only 37 weeks at the time, and he felt that it was just too early to deliver her, not knowing if her lungs were mature. I flat out told him, under no circumstances would I have an amnio. She had stopped growing 2 weeks ago, and it was time to deliver her that day. I told him if he wanted an amnio done so badly, go do it on himself. I was angry, livid and tired of doctors thinking that they always new best because they had the piece of paper hanging on some dingy wall saying they did. He wasn't happy with me and spoke to my husband saying "Are you going to let her speak to me like that." My husband, looked him right in the eye and said, YES I AM. Your on your own buddy. He left the room and didn't return. About 30 minutes later, a nurse came in the room, in a very rude tone and said I got my wish. Looked right at me and said that my husband and then 22 month old daughter had to leave, that they weren't allowed upstairs. I was livid by then. Jason quickly made arrangements for our daughter to stay with a friend until my mom and sister arrived later that night/early morning. They brought me upstairs at 8pm and things began pretty quickly.

I told them that if she came out breathing, I wanted to see her before they whisked her away, that they were to help her based on her being a child, not a child with possibly having Trisomy 18, and that my husband was to go with her after delivery to the NICU.

From the moment I was hooked up to the monitors and settled in with the nurse, its the last thing I remember before Anabelle was born. After she was delivered I remember them working on her, bringing her downstairs, and Jason going with them. That's all. I struggle everyday with this, because I don't have the memories I want to have. Only the ones people tell me, or I see in small video segments that Jason was able to capture.

Anabelle Eileen Martin Rodrigues was born on November 11, 2004 at 6:19am. Weighing in at 4lbs 6 oz and was 17 inches long. She was beautiful, she was tiny, she was ALIVE!

The next few days were an emotional roller coaster. From hearing doctors and nurses tell you she would not survive the night to others telling you that I had to just let her go and stop dreaming a life that she would never have. I knew the outcome, and I knew the statistics. The difference between myself and all those people around me, was that I had hope. Hope for her, hope for myself. Hope for other parents dealing with this now and in the future. I didn't want Anabelle to be just a number in a book. I wanted her to do as well as SHE could do. And that was the most important to me. I would fight for her and with her as much as she needed me too. She was my child, my daughter. I didn't see her disability, I saw her as a beautiful baby who just needed the extra love and support to get through each day.

Yes Anabelle had Trisomy 18, later confirmed by blood work two days after her birth. Yes she showed all the signs of a baby with Trisomy 18. Small weight, strawberry shaped head, fingers that were crossed and wouldn't open up, small eyes, nose and mouth. Ears that were shaped as if she were a little elf. I loved her just the same.

We spend the first 19 days of her life in the NICU at WOMAN AND INFANTS HOSPITAL. I loved her nurses. They were caring, warm and friendly. They took their job very seriously and loved the babies as if they were there own. We found out one of Anabelle's nurses had gone to school with two of my classmates from high school. Which was very comforting. She called all the time, took pictures when she could and kept up with Anabelle's day to day health. She truly did fantastic. She was on a breathing machine, but was only on room air, she was being fed by a tube through her nose and overall was very healthy.

When the day arrived for her to come home. My heart must have been beating out of my chest. I was worried she wouldn't make it off the machine. That she would pass away minutes or hours after they took the tubes out. I was a wreck, but didn't show it. I wanted her to prove to the doctors that Trisomy 18 isn't a text book case. Its something you have to handle based upon your understanding of that particular child. Not as a whole, but individually. I remember her doctor from the NICU wanting to be there. A mean souled man who I truly found myself hating more and more with each passing day. After she came off the machine, he wanted to hold her before we left. I reluctantly gave him the ok. The minute he picked her up, she not only threw up all over him, but had a very large accident as well. I told him it served him right speaking ill about her next to her bed. Putting her in the grave before she was even there. I didn't know how long she would have with us. But that moment made me feel like my choice of carrying her to term and helping her live was truly the best one.

Anabelle left the hospital on November 29th 2004 weighing in at 3 lbs 15 oz.

When we took her home, we wanted it to just be the family. Myself, Jason and Olivia. A family of four. We spend that day enjoying each other. Watching movies, eating lots of take out. Making memories. The next two weeks before her passing was a whirlwind. We took trips to the mall, saw Santa, visited family. Tried to make as many memories as possible.

The last day of her life was hard but beautiful. She passed away peacefully in my arms at exactly one month of age on December 11, 2004. She was the sweetest little girl. She taught me to fight for what I believe in, that no one person knows all the answers, and that I can do anything that I put my mind too. I learned so much that year carrying her, giving birth to her, watching her here on earth and then loosing her. It's never easy to loose a child, but I don't look at it as loosing her, I look at it as though I gained much more then her passing.

Anabelle Eileen Martin Rodrigues

If you or someone you know has had or is currently going through a diagnosis of Trisomy 18 please feel free to contact me at or visit my blog at I am happy to help anyway possible. Any and all questions can be asked and nothing is too personal.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


With our newest addition set to make a debut in the next 15 weeks or less. I thought it would be fun to change things up a bit here on my website. Seeing how we can no longer be the "Courageous Seven" I need to come up with a new name that fits us yet sparks appeal. So what are your ideas? Be as creative as you want. You never know....I might just keep it. So bring on the ideas everyone. What could be the newest name for our blog.

So far the suggestions are:

*The Crazy Eights
*Eight IS Enough

Keep Them Coming!!!

My take on Breastfeeding

The picture above represents what I am sure every new mom or even an experienced mom dreams about. Breastfeeding your child without any cares in the world. No one screaming or crying. No one in tears. This picture says it all. However, this post is about my struggles with breastfeeding and what I hope will be a solution for me. And maybe help another mom out there as well.

This is my feelings on breastfeeding.

 After going through every twist and turn. Reading every book and magazine article about this subject I could get my hands on. Talking with nurses and lactation consultants in the hospital or on the phone. Doing everything humanly possible. Breastfeeding is not always for every woman. Its not "natural" or "easy."  Its frustrating and hurtful and completely debilitates you as a mom. The guilt that people give you makes you feel like a failure. It puts you in a deep depression. It makes you ask "WHY ME." You beat yourself up. Question your parenting skills after only 2 days. The nurses tell you your not relaxed enough. Your not trying enough. Your not doing it enough. The say "don't worry, your supply will come in. Eat this, drink that. Do this. Do that." Its enough to make you insane.  Its everywhere. The constant reminder of how inadequate you are as a mom. You stop and think, "If I cannot do this one simple thing that millions of moms have done for millions of years. How in the world am I going to be a good parent for the rest of my life." The guilt makes you feel that useless.

At least. It did for me.

I had my first daughter 9 1/2 years ago. I was excited and ready to start nursing. I took every birthing class I could get my hands on. I was lucky enough to still be taking college courses so I was able to get my hands on some of the latest breastfeeding material. I read everything. I was prepared. When Olivia was born. She was a natural nurser. Latched on with ease. Never had issues. The first week was so promising. I was excited. We were doing it. It was really working. SUCCESS!! Then the ball dropped. At her first week appointment I was giving the bad news. She hadn't gained a single ounce. In fact, she had lost almost 9 oz. I started crying. I was a failure. I sat in the office after hours with her doctor. She watched as Olivia nursed. She was doing great. Nursing like a champ. But my milk just was not coming in. She suggested drinking more. Eating more. Eliminating all the stress around me. So I did. At her one month check up. Nothing. She barely made back her birth weight. It was time to move onto formula. I was devastated. I felt like a horrible mom at that very moment.I tried for a few more weeks but she was so frustrated by my lack of supply, that she just wanted to use the bottle. So there it was. One month, and we already had to stop.

I can say that the above really sums up the rest for babies 2-6. Though with Anabelle it was slightly different. During her stay in the NICU I was pumping. Sadly though, because of her continuous feed 24/7 my supply clearly was not meeting her demand and I dried up within a week after delivery. Though I can say that with one of my kiddos, I believe it was Ezme. I managed to manually express almost 4 oz. in one sitting. I was so proud of myself. I couldn't believe it. I think it was the most I had ever had in one sitting.

I found a great doctor after the birth of Owen. She was fantastic. She gave me every idea in the book to try. Beer, blessed thistle, fenagreek, teas. I tried them all.  I was hoping that one of them would be a miracle drug. That by taking just one of these things my milk supply would be overflowing so much that I could be one of those moms that had to donate breast milk. I knew it was possible. I have seen friends that had so much milk they actually had to stop storing it and ended up pumping and dumping. I wanted to die. The heartbreak of hearing those stories just about put me over the edge.

Here I am once again though. Back in the same boat. This time with baby #7. At 25 weeks I am already feeling that the failure is there, and I am just fooling myself that its going to work this time around. I have discussed with my doctor my desire to give it one last "college try." We have discussed what to do and what medications she can put me on. So starting at 35 weeks (10 weeks from now) I will be working on building up my milk supply before baby arrives. This way I can get things going earlier and hopefully the extra few weeks will give me an advantage. Couldn't hurt right?

I also have been thinking back and forth since Oliver to try this:

Yes the contraption looks a bit funny, and its not always ideal to be carrying this around while your nursing. But I think its genius!!! I have seen it a few times here and there and always thought about the idea. This time around though I am seriously thinking of going for it. Its a bit pricey. But its totally worth it in my opinion. If you can't figure out what it is. Its a container that holds infant formula. You can wear it around your neck while nursing baby. Just as long as its elevated so the milk can flow out. At the end is small tubes that carry baby formula from the bottle to babies mouth. You attach this to your breast so while baby sucks during breastfeeding they are getting both the nutrition they need from the breast milk, but also to supplement there need for food with the formula. The idea around this is for parents who are adoptive breastfeeding to help establish a bond between mother and child. But to also help in lactation in mom's who have not had a child. The constant sucking on the breast helps establish a good breastfeeding schedule but also is to help bring on more milk. The supply of milk will happen the more baby nurses. Therefore is there to help with the demand. Some woman have great success that they are off this completely within a few weeks. Others use it continuously for the entire first 1-2 years. Sometimes even longer. In that aspect, I am all for it. And the best part, since I am having a winter baby, I can probably make this hidden a bit better with clothes or jackets. That will allow me to still nurse outside the house.

Our Dream Home!

This is the house. Our dream house. Our forever house. After 3 years of searching, watching, seeing what the market has to offer. This house suddenly came up on the market. Or at least came on the market in a price we could entertain if it was something we really wanted to go after. It all happened back in February when I was so discouraged with our current home, I started to do what I always do when I am upset. Start house searching. We had lost a house we were working on purchasing in Cumberland and I was heart broken. Though I just had a feeling in the long run that house just wasn't for us. And boy am I glad how things worked out.

The last 7 years I have made a list of things that we absolutely need in the next house we move into. Things I will not budge or compromise on. Then on the same list I would make a "wish list".  Things that I would love if the new house had. But if push comes to shove, it wasn't necessary, just as long as it was something we could do on our own in the space provided. My list was simple but straight forward:

* 4-5 bedrooms
* 2-3 bathrooms
* Separate dining room
* Space for a small eat in kitchen are for the kids
* Fenced in backyard
* Front yard (our current house sits on the street)
* Attic or Cellar space
* Location (Close to Jason's job)
* Good school system
* 2,000 sq. feet of living space
 * Fireplace

* Family Room
* Separate Entertaining room
* Space for a family closet/laundry room/master bathroom
* Room to have for visitors
* Food Pantry
 I showed my "WISH LIST" to Jason and he would laugh. Saying "where in the world are you going to find a house that has all that for a family as big as ours." He was right. Homes this big just didn't exist anymore. And if they did, you were going to be spending the money to get what you want. Money which we really didn't have. Unless a miracle happened, we were really going to have to look at homes that we could add onto later down the road.

 I started doing the leg work to find who I needed to talk to in regards to the house. After 3 phone calls, I managed to find the listing agent. He was sweet. He gave me all the information I needed and told me how to get into the house. He gave me far warning that it wasn't exactly show room ready. But said walk in with an open mind. So the next day while the girls were at school and a day I knew I wasn't working. I made arrangements to meet Jason at the house during his lunch break. The best part, the house was only a mile away from his office.

We walked around the house. Looking things over before we went in. After opening the front door, we saw what the realtor was trying to explain to us. The house was a disaster. Boxes, beds, wood, dirt, papers, furniture, toys, clothes, EVERYWHERE. The last owners had just up and left the house never to look back. I kept an open mind. The first room was very large with a fireplace that went from wall to ceiling and was just about the length of the entire wall. If you haven't figured out by now looking at the picture. The house is a 300 year old Salt box colonial. With all original features to the home inside. With some modern updates of course. Including plumbing, heating, central air.

As it was stated in the listing, there was no kitchen. It was completely ripped out by the previous owners. Just the way I like it. I wouldn't be responsible for having to take it apart. And what is better then starting from scratch. To me it was perfect. We continued to walk through the house and were really impressed with what we saw. A separate dining room with an adjoining room. An easy fix to double our size by knocking a wall down. Adding french doors or roller doors will give it the appeal of two separate rooms. But also give us the oppertunity during holidays, family gatherings and birthdays to open both rooms up and make the dining area bigger. A total plus. Especially with our family as they get older.

We then continued to walk around the first floor of the house and found a half bath that can easily be remodeled on a small budget and add in a shower. We also like that its on the back of the house so we can add a door so the kids can come directly from the outside into the bathroom to shower and clean before walking through the house. A major plus. With soon to be 6 kiddos. Imagine the amount of dirt and mud that gets tracked through the house from backyard to bathroom. IT'S INSANE!! Add in Girl Scouts, 2 extra boys, parties and family entertaining. Its just a disaster I would like to avoid if I can.

Off of the half bath is another room that we talked about using as a family/kid room. Couch, tv. books, games. A basket or two of toys. Since its off the main front door and kitchen. Its a nice little area to use for everyday. Especially when the kids have friends over.

As we made our way to the 2nd floor we found 2 full bathrooms and 5 bedrooms. And the best part. I would have a room that we can turn into a master bedroom/bathroom/family closet/laundry room. I was in heaven. The girls would all share one large double master room while the boys would have the smaller of the bedrooms but would be off a bathroom. Together they have a joining room that they could use as a playroom, reading area, etc.

Last but not least. And what sold me and Jason on this house was A FULL SIZE ATTIC!! Yes folks. It has an attic. That we have talked about at length and have decided it will become the main family area. Jason's office. And a small sewing room for me with a bed for visitors. Talk about luck.

This house has it all. Everything we want and more. Room to grow as a family. For the kids. Grandkids. And extended family our kids bring home in the future. Room for parties and holidays and gatherings. Room to play in the backyard. Close to Jason's office. The kids pediatrician, there dentist. Close to there school. The complete package. We knew upon seeing it up close it needs work. Lots of work. Painting, scrubbing, throwing out stuff left and right.

We went right to work on seeing how things would work financially. Our house has now been approved to short sale. We are waiting for the go ahead with our realtor. As soon as we find out if we have been accepted for our offer on the new house. We will sign the papers for this house. We are hoping for a quick sale to a good family. In the meantime we have secured a loan and put in an offer on the new house. It took 5 months from the first time we saw it. But it really gave us the chance to really discuss about this house. Look at it from every angle. Work wise, price wise. We made phone calls to make sure that because of his historic nature we were not bound by rules of how or what we could do as far as historical construction. We got the go from the President of the historical society. We were good to go. We had an inspection, twice. Both said the same thing in regards to what they were most concerned about. Fixes that were a bit costly but doable. Things were really falling into place.

Our offer went in. We heard back within the week. It was a no. They said if we put in an offer of this price the bank would look at it. We talked about it. Could we afford the extra $15,000. We decided it was worth the shot. So last week we put the second offer in. Now we wait.....Wait to see if this house is our forever home. Waiting.....Its a hard thing to do. Pray.

Monday, July 23, 2012

25 Weeks!!

25 weeks today! Which means that in one more week I will officially be in the 3rd Trimester!! I now realize that time will be working against me from here on out. Realistically I can no longer tell myself that I have plenty of time.  There are so many variables that are unknown right now. Our biggest yet, is where will we be living come November.  I am enjoying being pregnant this time around. I have been feeling EXCELLENT! Not a smidgen of morning sickness. For which I am very, very grateful. I remember so vividly how sick I was when I was pregnant with Owen and Ezme and how debilitating it felt. I hated asking Jason to stay home from work to be with me. But the headaches and the constant throwing up was more then I could take. With two and then three small children at home. I just wasn't able to be the Mom I needed to be. I was lucky (and still am) that Jason has a job that gives him the flexibility to work from home. Otherwise it would have been a tough situation for me to handle everything by myself without him. I remember some days I would just lay on the kitchen floor and cry. My head would be pounding so badly I could hear it through my ears. My stomach in knots from anything and everything that was around me. It was horrible.

It feels good to feel good this time. I haven't needed to rely on Jason at all since the beginning. Unless of course its in regards to the kids. I have been able to maintain a steady job working 52 hours a week. Watching 7 kids ranging from 9-1 1/2 can take a toll on anyone. But I seem to have more energy some days then the kids have combined. I do everything from taking the kids grocery shopping, swimming at the lake, trips to the zoo and water park. Trips to the library, even free movies at the local movie theater. I keep the kids busy and by the end of the day, they are all exhausted. Though I am still going, going, going and really don't drop until about 8pm or when my head hits the pillow. Though the heat sometimes keeps as at home in the cooler house just to be safe, we try to get out to do something at least 3 out of the 5 days. Then come the weekend we are out doing fun things with Daddy. This summer is surely one of my favorites in a very long time.

Last week I had my 24 week visit to my doctor. After 6 pregnancies I am now feeling the effects of swelling and pretty bad spider veins. My doctor is amazed that I haven't had a single issue with any other pregnancy up until now. She said that is pretty impressive and I should be proud. So compression socks are my new norm this summer. And let me say this. ITS TOO HOT TO WEAR THOSE THINGS! So right now its just at bedtime and if I know I am going to be inside all day. I think when the weather gets cooler I will start wearing them more often. They might not be the sexiest thing in the world, but if it means keeping the swelling down and the spider veins from getting worse. Hook me up!!

I also got to hear Miss E's heartbeat. Still takes a good 5 minutes to find her, but so far so good. Heartbeat is still strong at 157. I was then measured and found what I had already suspected. At 24 weeks I was measuring just about 22 weeks along. And now at 25 weeks I am measuring just shy of 23 weeks. So give or take a few days I am about 2 weeks behind. Nothing pressing to worry about. But she is concerned enough to start sending me for growth scans every 2-3 weeks now. Usually I start going right around 30 weeks and have one or two before delivery. This time though she wants to make sure nothing is slowing down little miss. Along with my current swelling. My doctor (and I) rather be safe then sorry. Thankfully where I go for my ultrasounds they all know my past history so they are very honest and up front with me if something shows up on any scans. It makes me feel better going to a place like that.

Despite how crazy busy I am. The constant running around, house cleaning, chasing after kids. I am still gaining weight weekly. At the start of my pregnancy I was 184. I am now 202. After hitting the 200 mark I just felt it was completely down hill. With a possible 15 weeks left, I am hoping that my weight gain and stay under control and I am not finding over my goal weight for this pregnancy. My doctor isn't concerned, but I guess seeing the 200 number again makes me a bit sad. I worked so hard after Oliver was born to loose the weight and get down to the low 180's. It feels discouraging to be back to where I was. Though less then when I was pregnant with both Ezme and Oliver.

I am hoping that the 3rd trimester will be just as good to me as the 1st and 2nd was. I have a lot of things coming up that will need my full attention. So the better I feel, the more I can accomplish before little miss comes.

Monday, July 16, 2012

24 Weeks with Miss "E"

Hard to believe that today marks 24 weeks with Miss "E". How is it possible that the time is just flying by so quickly. Faster then normal really. I thought that when I was pregnant with my last baby I would do all these wonderful things to relish in the moment. I had this grandiose idea that I would mark every milestone with a blog post. Capturing everything with words, videos and photos. I wanted to remember every moment. Every thought I had running through my head. But sadly, that really hasn't been the case at all. I keep thinking "maybe this isn't our last one. Maybe I just haven't felt the need to capture all the "lasts" when I still have "firsts" left to go.

I will say this though. Normally, throughout my other pregnancies. I would wish the time away. Wanting it to hurry by so I could meet this new little person. And of course, not be pregnant anymore. I was more then ready and prepared. I had it all figured out. Clothes, toys, crib would be all set up months in advance. Diaper bag would be packed, unpacked, and packed again about 3,000 times. Hospital bag would always be sitting by the door or tucked away in the back of the van. Time was always on my side and because of that, time would go by as slow as humanly possible. Seriously, days turned into weeks, which turned into months. It never seemed to end. Especially being pregnant through the entire hot summer weather. It was torture.

This time though I am less then ready. Less then less then ready. Our crib that we have used for all of our kiddos has finally come to an end. Though we tried many times with the help of a friend who works at Babies R Us to find the replacement part. It just wasn't meant to be. We then found ourselves shopping for a new crib. 10 years, 6 kids and we had to hunt for a new crib for what could be our last baby. It was quiet surreal actually. When I went shopping for the first one. It was really quick and not much thought went into it. I went into the store, looked around. Shopped for prices. Found something that caught my eye. That was in our price range. And then purchased it. This time around. I did the same exact thing. However, I was able to choose from about a dozen cribs and I found one that I really loved with a budget that I loved even more. It was a win win for me!! So now we have a new crib!! Ready to be put together. Though for now, until we find out if we are moving or not. It will be sitting happily in the box in our shed. Ugh. I also tossed the infant car seat. After 4 kiddos using the same one. It was just time to go. Plus we had no intentions of having a new baby join our family anytime soon. So out it went with the trash at Christmas time. Little did I know.

I will say I have spend a bit more time shopping around for just the right car seat and have finally come to one that I really love. It fits great in the car. And once I get the new car seats for Ezme and Oliver, everything will fit perfectly for everyone to sit comfortably without feeling squished or crowded. I will post more about the car seats I have chosen in another post.

Anyways. Baby is looking good so far. I go in a few days for my 24 week check up. I have a lot of questions this time around including my second glucose test. They are always amazed at how quickly I can drink the sugary drink. They give you 5 minutes from the time you start, but I can do it easily in 30 seconds. Doesn't seem to bother me at all. Just as long as its ice cold!

Baby so far is measuring great. Though I am thinking I am measuring small for 24 weeks. After 7 babies and looking pretty big for all but Olivia (she was my first) and Anabelle (small because of her condition) I am really struggling with how small I am looking now. For now though, I am enjoying being pregnant and not at all wishing the time to fly by. So much going on right now that every week is another week I can get things accomplished. :-)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

When the Spoken Word Means more then you Think

**Disclosure. This is not meant for any of my blog readers to feel bad about who they are. I just felt that it was time to pull the covers up off my head and let others know how I am feeling inside. I cannot always let things not bother me and at 32 years old. I shouldn't have to hide it either. So this is the real me. Thanks for reading and most importantly, if you want to talk more about anything read. I am ready and willing to listen. The last thing I want to do is go through life without those whom I care about it my life.

My husband said to me a few months back in the heat of the moment (you know, when both of you are so frustrated and angry that you will say or do just about anything to make the situation just go away) “DID YOU EVER STOP TO THINK THE REASON IS YOU” He tried to take it back, still to this day he tries, but words hurt. More then the physical pain sometimes. Bruises and bumps eventually go away, but words, they stick with you forever. You know, the kind that sticks in your brain like a piece of kernel that has made a home in the back of your teeth. You know, the one that you pick at, and pick at and pick at for days. Except, instead of it being a piece of stubborn popcorn kernel, its a simple sentence that too him might have just been words. But too you, it has opened up a entirely new can of worms. I have sat and pondered this small sentence over and over and over again for months. “THE REASON IS YOU” I have looked at it from every possible angle. Sliced and diced. Blamed it on others, tried to find another meaning behind it. In the end though, it has to be me. I cannot at any point in the last 20 years find any other reason for it NOT to be me.

 Reason 1

Friendships growing up was tough. I was picked on physically and verbally. I tried hard to make friends, but never quit fit in. I blamed it on the school, the environment, the lack of education on most of my towns older generation. Blamed it on the school system itself. Peer pressure, the kids I grew up with. Small community, you name it. Once though did I stop and think “THE REASON IS YOU”

 Reason 2

I was 19, young, impressionable. Most of all, excited as hell to leave my small community. To leave behind the same group of kids I spend nearly half my life trying to run away from. I moved away. 35O miles to be exact. Left for the big city. Boston. I was Excited. Nervous. Though never scared. I needed, wanted, craved the change. I finally had it. FREEDOM. Freedom to be me, to speak my mind, to make friends that didn't know a single thing about me. And the best part, I did. I met some wonderful friends. People who loved me for me. Who walked with me, talked with me, invited me places to go. Then it stopped. I met a guy. Fell in love. Bam. It was gone!. Just like that. I didn't know how to be “FRIENDS” with other people. Mostly girls. I grew up hanging out with boys. Spending my days with boys. It was easier, comfortable. I fit in. Girls though. I just didn't know where I belonged. So when I found the guy (whom I am married too now) it felt right. Comfortable. Settled. It took me years and the loss of some very close friends. One being my daughter's Godmother. I was picked over. Washed away. It didn't matter. Parties would happen. I was chosen over others. To my face. It hurt. I never once said “THE REASON IS YOU” I wish I had. Maybe things would be different.

 Reason 3

I was 22. Pregnant. Unmarried. Though with the same gentleman I laid my eyes on when I first moved to Boston. We were in love. Though it was rough. Hardest time of my life. His family despised me. They called me trailer trash and slut. They felt I got pregnant to keep the boy. Of course, NONE OF THIS WAS TRUE. Words hurt. Hurt me. I had little support, little hope and very little friends. They tried, I tried. But I caused a lot of anger and hostility toward a lot of people. I tried to make peace. I wanted too. I was desperate for “what was” but just didn't know how. My husbands family worked hard, I thought I was. In the end, I should have asked myself the question “THE REASON IS YOU”

Reason 4

My oldest was 4 months. I was kicked out of the house. Husband's family didn't want me there anymore. I was hurt. Angry. Frustrated. What did I do wrong? What didn't I do? What more could I have done? Did I say the wrong thing? Did I do too little? Too Much? It was a hopeless cause really. I fell into a deep depression. The pain hurt. I was a new Mom to a new baby with no one to turn too and felt very alone. Again I should have said “THE REASON IS YOU”

Reason 5

Husband's mom was in the hospital. On her last breath. She wanted to see me. ME! I kept saying this over and over again to Hubby. “SHE WANTS TO SEE ME?” I wanted to make sure I heard this right. I walked in. She asked me about my family. I told her they were fine. I gave her a hug, told her I loved her son more then anything. She knew. She saw. She understood. She forgave. It felt good. It felt wonderful. I miss her. Father-in-Law was angry. Family was angry. The blamed me for her death. I wonder sometimes. “THE REASON IS YOU”

 Reason 6

 I was blessed. A new baby. So soon after Husband's passing. I was in awe. Though scared. Months later testing confirmed my worse fears. Trisomy 18. I could not believe it. I was loosing a baby. 24 years old. In less then a year from losing Husband's mother. WHY!! What did I do? What did I say? Was GOD punishing me? Husband's family blamed me. She died because of me. “THE REASON IS YOU”

Reason 7

 Eight years later, things have seemed to get worse then better. I imagined myself with friendships and special friends for my kiddos. People I can love and lean on. Friends that will be there no matter what. Friends have come and gone. Both for myself and for my children. Dreams have come and gone. I have had the greatest of UP's and the lowest of LOW's. I try hard to be friendly, honest, there for anyone who needs a helping hand. Yet, I am left out. I watch friends inviting friends to events and sleepovers. To parties and get together. It hurts. My kids are forgotten about for sleepovers, birthday parties, and family events. I talk and annualized over everything I did or say. I wonder and question. I look for inner meaning. I want answers but never get them. What did I do? Say? Could I have changed the siltation? Could I have made things different? I come home from events and spend the next 2 hours wondering and worrying I did, said, or acting the wrong way. Were my kids behaved? What could have been different? Said different? “THE REASON IS YOU”

Reason 8

 and beyond I am 32 years old. I am a mom of 6 soon to be 7. I have feelings just like you. I hate to be left out, brushed aside. Made to feel like you can stomp on me, hurt, me leave me left hanging. I wish sometimes others would tell me what I did that was wrong, rather then leaving me behind. My kids ask me all the time why they don't see their friends. I hurt for them. I am sad for them. I am sad for me. I ask myself this question all the time. I am not perfect. I am me. I am Kiley.