One year ago, at 9:42am, Noah was silently born. Not a day has gone by where we don’t feel his absence.
Tomorrow is one year from the day we got Noah’s fatal diagnosis. Tomorrow I will be 19w4d – the same gestation Noah was when he was stillborn. Everything is hitting hard right now.
I feel Sam move all the time now. I never felt Noah move this much. I hardly felt him move at all. Part of it was his anterior placenta. Was another part because he had so much brain damage, it was hard for him to move?
I am 18w1d. That’s how far we were when we got Noah’s diagnosis. Tomorrow we have another ultrasound to look at Sam’s brain.
This picture was taken when I was exactly 18w pregnant with Noah. Exactly where I am now with Sam. It’s the last pregnancy picture where I was smiling. The next day we got Noah’s fatal diagnosis.
The next picture was taken in the hospital, the morning of my induction.
I didn’t think this picture would bring up so much emotion.
Shanah Tovah to all my Jewish friends out there. I wish you all a sweet new year. May this year bring hope, love, and (for those of you wishing it) a baby.
The first time, I was in the hospital. I was 33w5d and they were desperately trying to give me medicine to stop the contractions, and to help mature his lungs. But the medicine that was supposed to keep him in, put him into distress, and we started the new year by having an urgent cesarean and a baby in the NICU. And exciting, if traumatic start to the year.
But the next year was sweet. We spent the first 18 days in the NICU, before we finally got to come home. There was a lot of change that year. Having a baby, going back to work, going down to part time, and then finally deciding to stay home.
The second time I was pregnant on Rosh Hashanah, I was 13 weeks pregnant with Noah. Not in the hospital, but home hooked up to a zofran pump and IV fluids, we still didn’t make it to services. Rosh Hashanah was early last year, early September. We still had a whole month before we found out there was a problem with Noah’s brain. The last year has been some of the darkest times of my life. Severe HG. Noah’s diagnosis. Delivering him knowing he was dying. Getting through those first few months without him. The pain of TTC again. All of our infertility testing and bad news, after bad news. Early losses. And then finally, Sam. Being terrified of another early loss. And then of losing him like we did Noah. We spent the final days of 5774 afraid again.
On Sunday we went to town to celebrate my birthday (hello there thirty). We did a lot of walking. The HG has subsided a bit, and it’s the first trip to town I’ve had in months. Towards the end I started having contractions. Three pretty close together. I’ve been having 5-10 Braxton hicks contractions a day for about a week, but these were much closer together. I sat down for most of the rest of our trip. But they started up again the next morning before I even got out of bed. By the time I had been awake 3 hours, I had had close to 10. I started timing them and for awhile they were 10 minutes apart. Not good when you are 17w. I played a lot of phone tag with my doctors before they finally brought me in for a cervical length check around 3:30. At that point I had lost count at 30. But thankfully my cervix was still nice and long. 3.74cm to be precise. While I was there I got my first P17 shot, and since then, my uterus has been much calmer.
But still, this is my 3rd time being pregnant on Rosh Hashanah, and yet, I have never been pregnant by Halloween. Hopefully this will be the first time.
And I am starting to have hope. I have been taking out maternity clothes, and today, I started packing away clothes that were too small. And despite my scare this week. And my 18w ultrasound on Tuesday, it wasn’t until later that I thought of what a leap of faith that is. Faith that Sam won’t be coming out in the next month. So that hope and faith thing? Maybe I have it after all. I figure it’s a good way to ring in the new year. To believe that 5775 will be different. That it won’t have a terrifying pregnancy complication like 5574 and 5572.
We still didn’t go to services tonight. Apparently that just doesn’t happen when I’m pregnant. But this time, it’s not because I’m pregnant. Nope, this to me it is because our almost 3 year old woke up last night with a fever of 101. And at it’ s high today it was up to 102.5. But at least this year, there are no IVs.
342 days ago I was 17 weeks with Noah. Today I am 17 weeks with Sam. 342 days ago, the ultrasound tech said everything that she could see looked fine and to come back in 3 weeks. The next day we got a call from the specialist who reviewed the pictures saying he wasn’t so sure. Three weeks later we got a call that we could pick up Noah’s ashes the next day.
There is nothing I can do but wait. Our next ultrasound is at 18w2d on September 30th.
We got Noah’s diagnosis at an ultrasound at 18w1d on October 1st. I realized those dates don’t make sense. October 1st was when I was 17w and we first found out there was a problem. We got Noah’s diagnosis at 18w2d on October 9th.
I am reliving every step of the worst time in my life. And trying to have hope that this time, the ending will be different.
I am exhausted, but just wanted to update.
Thankfully, there was no sign of the cyst that Noah had! and the ventricles in the brain were within the normal range. The doctor told us that there is still a lot of brain development going on at this stage. They feel that if a problem like Noah’s will develop, it will be 20w. So we have another ultrasound in 2 weeks at 18w (the point at which we got Noah’s fatal diagnosis) and again at 20w.
We left the house for the appointment a little after 9, and didn’t get home until 2. A really long day, particularly with HG and the emotional stress. So I’m just exhausted. Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers.
My bi-weekly ultrasounds to check the brain and see if this baby will live start a week from today. I am terrified. I am grieving. I am still paralyzed anytime anyone asks me to hold a baby. Anytime I look at a baby. But I am trying. I am trying to not be the paralyzed, broken person I have been for the last 11 months.
I am trying. Trying looks like ….
- Actually looking at a March 14 mom when she talks (some of the time)
- Actually conversing with her (some of the time)
- Going to a blessing ceremony for a newborn (even though I may ignore the baby.)
- Making hats for friends’ newborns
- Allowing myself to sometimes imagine that this baby will live.
I still can’t…
- Hold a baby
- Take more than a fleeting glance at a newborn
- Not prepare for the worst
- Plan birthday party for my almost 3 year old in the midst of these ultrasounds
- Not remember that 3 days after his last birthday we had the ultrasound that changed everything.
- Not feel like this is déjà vu all over again.
But I’m trying.
You have a little brother. He’s little, with a lot of fight ahead. Be for now, he is growing in the space that a year ago you occupied. Our hope for him are everything we hoped for you, but didn’t get. Mainly, a long, happy life.
I wonder what he looks like. So tiny, but we met you tiny too. You had 2 months of growing on him, but you were still so small. So much smaller than we ever wanted to see you. I wonder if he looks like you.
I see kids your age. The ones due within days of you. They are so big now. It seems impossible that they are so big. That they grow while you do not, It breaks my heart that you never got to grow any bigger than your 10.3oz. Never got to look around this big world and take part in it. That all you ever knew was your little space inside me. The space where Owen was before you, and your little brother is now. The space where we lost you. And lost the tiniest babies after you.
I miss you. More than you could ever know. You have been gone for so long. More than twice the time you were here. It will be your birthday soon. Just over 2 short months away. I think of you always.
Everything is so tangled. If we make it there this baby will be 21w that day. Barely older than you were. We will have just found out if you share the same brain defect. Whether or not we will ever be able to bring him home. If things go badly, your birthdays will be at most a few weeks apart. Possibly days. I love you, and I feel guilty that the time leading up to your birthday will be consumed with this baby. I worry that he will get all the attention.
Though I suppose maybe that’s normal. Aren’t parents supposed to worry about new babies taking attention away from their older siblings? Please watch out for him if you can. Be with him those weeks, whatever comes. O too. I worry about what will happen if he loses another little brother. Take care of each other. My three boys.