Thursday, March 29, 2012

Halfway There!

20 Week Pregnancy Update For Our Rainbow Jack

Gender: BOY!

Jack Alan Johnson

His size:
Cantaloupe, Carrot or Banana depending on what app you look at. He is about ten inches long from head to feet and weighs about ten ounces this week.

How far along:
20 WEEKS!!!! Officially half way! Trying to be positive and look at the glass half full....I have already come five months instead of I still have five months left!

Total weight gain:
I’m at about 202 lbs as of two minutes ago. I was 150 when I got pregnant with Marc and gained about 65 pounds with him I was 215 when I weighed myself the day before he was born. I lost 30, any weight I lost after Marc can be attributed to fluid and baby and also not eating from grief. I gained some back when I started eating again to try and get pregnant. of that before I got pregnant with Jack and I think I was about 189. So coming around again my weight gain has been about 13 lbs in the last five months. The doctor says I am doing well with weight gain so that is good. Trying not to gain another 65 this time.

Sleep is good. The first hour after laying down for bed consists of about 5 trips to the bathroom before I fall asleep but that is my partly fault because I am so thirsty that I always drink water before bed.

Maternity Clothes:
Dresses, yoga pants and fitted maternity shirts is what I’m most comfy in. Now that is has been 80+ degrees I am getting to the point of only wanting to wear maxi dresses and around the house my bra and panties. Marc saw me sprawled on the couch wearing nothing but underwear and bra and asked if this is how he should expect me to be for the rest of the pregnancy and I told him YES!

Food cravings:
Not so many food cravings as drink cravings. I have to have a Sonic drink at least a few times a week if not more. I love their ice and like to chew on it so I get a route 44 ice water and a route 44 strawberry lemonade or cherry limeade. I need to find a snow cone place because wedding cake snow cone is still my number one pregnancy craving!
I also crave chocolate cake all the time. Marc told me someone asked him if he was pregnant at work....he said "what are you calling me fat? Wait until your wife makes a cake every three days."
Oops! Nothing wrong with a little sympathy weight gain Marc. You can work it off with me at the end of the year carrying Jack around.
With Marc I craved sweets a lot more though. Jack usually wants healthy food like veggies and homemade dinners.

Food aversions:
Not too many. My nausea has been gone for several weeks now.

Symptoms I HAVE:

Heartburn-but only when I drink too much OJ or eat bad junk food.
Dizzy Spells-at least one a day no matter how much I eat or drink.
Swollen feet-because I have been trying to do to much now that I finally feel better and less tired. The occasional unreasonable irritability :)

No new ones.

Doctor’s Appointment:
Everything looked great at our 20 week anatomy scan which they actually did at 18 weeks. Love that we got to see him in 4D and very happy my doctor is so understanding about our circumstance. We will be getting extra sonograms to check on Jack and put my mind at ease about his cord.

I just felt him move this week and each day it is kind of random. I cannot tell his wake a sleep patterns too much now because I cannot always feel him but when I am sitting or laying down I feel him moving and giving small little jabs. I think he is most active at night but that could be just because I am less active and paying more attention to his movements.

Belly Button:
I have always had an in between belly button but this week it definitely popped out more!

Best moment of the week:
Feeling Jack move for the first time brought a lot of emotions. I was having a bad night but when I felt him move I started crying. I was overwhelmed with love and fear. Finally feeling him was just another reinforcement of the fact that he is real and not some imaginary hope I have. He is alive right now and I am going to try and be happy for whatever time I have with him. I just really hope it is much longer than I had with Marc.

What I’m looking forward to:
Feeling Jack move more and more and Marc getting to feel his kicks too.
The moment of relief I think I will feel when he is safe in my arms and away from him umbilical cord. Unlike when I was pregnant with Marc, I am not looking forward to his birth. I want more than anything to have him in my arms but I am afraid of the emotions and extreme fear and flashbacks that I think are going to happen when I go into labor. Right now I try not to think about that too much. I don't read anything about birthing and I don't want to create a birth plan. Other than knowing that we have a birth photographer and that Marc and I will most likely be the only ones in the room that's all I know.

What I miss:
I miss wine. I know it sounds bad but a few glasses of wine really helped me to relax after Marc died and now I don't have that.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

When I seem fine...

I can tell my grief is changing. It has become a little easier to bear and the truly dark moments are more spread out and are usually brief when they come. Mainly now I find myself thinking or remembering sad moments, thoughts, or questions that I have relived many times at random moments. I don't really cry when I think about these things and honestly you might never know they were going through my head. I look fine. I may even look happy. Sometimes these thoughts have triggers, like when I saw a baby about how old Marc would be with his mom who was asking him if he wanted to go home and make cookies but sometimes they just push their way into my mind at the oddest of moments. Maybe at work making coffee, grocery shopping or cleaning the house, I never know when they are going to spring up and try to take over.

I thought maybe if I write these down and get them off my chest and out into the open it may make them stop or at least come less frequently. Also I am hoping that those that have forgotten that I am still grieving heavily for my sweet Marcus might realize what goes through my head on a daily basis and maybe have some inkling of understanding about how hard this is. Being pregnant with our Jack is definitely healing but it does not mean I am cured of my grief and it does not make me miss my Marcus any less. So here they are:

I remember the moment I delivered him, still not very concerned about hearing that the cord was wrapped around his neck. We had talked about that being common and that she would just unwrap it and it would be fine if that were to happen. He was placed on my chest for the briefest of moments before being taken away for resuscitation. He did not move, he did not cry, I remember touching him and saying "my baby, my baby" I think about turning to Marc who was holding me through labor and telling him this was my fault what if he dies?

I think about the drive to the hospital, Marc and baby Marc had gone in the ambulance before me. I delivered the placenta and left with my mom. The car ride over I was hopeful, not allowing myself to believe that the worst could happen. Marc walking toward me in the NICU. The doctor saying "Marcus is brain dead, he is not responding."

I sang to him, remember him making gasping noises as he was having seizures. I watch the video I have of these moments from time to time to remind myself that it really happened.

I think about waking the next day and wailing into Marc's chest. The memorial...I don't even remember who was there. I remember flashes...hugs....just wanting to go home.

I remember him kicking me through labor. He was alive and healthy just moments before I delivered him. I think about how awful it was to have all this milk come in for a baby that was not there to use it. How much I was looking forward to feeding him. How much I dreamed about the moment I would see him open his eyes.

I wonder why I did not think to take pictures of his feet. Or get one of his outfits from home to dress him in before I gave him to the nurse.

I think that after experiencing something like this you should get a pass for the rest of your life. Like this horrible thing happened to you and you should be safe from another horrible thing happening. Then I see news stories like the guy who lost his wife in car accident, she was 8 months pregnant and it left him a widow and a single parent to their little boy who was 2. He just got hit by a drunk driver while riding his bike and now his 7 year old son has no mother, father or siblings. Just because one tragedy happens to you doesn't mean you are safe from another. I guess that just means we need to remember to never take any moment with our loved ones for granted but I hate knowing that slight as it may be something could happen to Jack. Maybe when he is a baby or older, anyone I love could be gone tomorrow. It really pushes that reality in your face and the fear is hard to work through at times.

I wonder why we have to be such emotional beings. Why can't we be more logical in our grief. I loved deeply and now that person is gone. Then maybe it would not be so excruciatingly painful.

I am not religious and so I am sorry if I offend anyone who is with the next statement but I had a woman tell me God is great after I told her that Marc died and I was now pregnant with his baby brother. All I could think is well if he is so great why did he not let me keep my perfect baby boy.

I think how much work and love it took create baby Marc. To grow him inside of me for 10 months only to lose him before I got a chance to do anything I had dreamed of with him. I think what a waste of a life that I worked so hard to create...then I feel bad. I know his life was not a waste, he has made us better people, parents, and friends. He has done so much for us with such a short life, it just is not fair he could not do more.

I could probably go on but this has become too emotionally draining. I wanted to get this off my chest but I can only take so much right now as I try to keep my stress down for baby Jack. I know he needs me to be as happy as I can right now. These thoughts just circle in my head and I have been having a hard time shaking them so I thought maybe it would help to put it out there and let it go for a while so I can get a little rest.

How great would it be to be able to take a vacation from your grief? Writing and burdening you with these thoughts is the closest I can get.