Thursday, October 31, 2019

1SE: October 2019

Welp friends, we are officially just TWO MONTHS AWAY from the end of 2019.  My oh my what a year (and quick one at that!!) it's been thus far!

I have a feeling November is going to be my favorite month this year and I am literally counting down the hours of October until we can flip that calendar page over to November. EEEEKKKKK!!

With that said, October was a pretty good one.  Lots of love, lots of sadness, and a little of everything in between.

And today is day 304 (!!!) of 2019 so naturally I have to bring you up to speed with my black and white project collage too!

I have no clue what 365 project I'm going to do next year (my FIFTH year for one!) but I have 2 months to come up with something. HAHA!

Alrighty friends, that's about all I've got...adios October!  November: we can't wait for you to get here like NOW!!  Baby day is in less than 4 days ahhhhh!!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Clark's 1st Birthday


One year since we said hello and see you later to our little Clark.  I cannot believe it.

Some days it feels like years ago, others merely seconds.  I've said this so many times before, but grief comes in the strongest and most subtle waves -- and just like the waves in the ocean, they are never-ending.  They come and go all of the time, sometimes really big, sometimes quite small.

I've learned so much this pas year since we had to say goodbye to Clark.  And a lot of it is difficult to put into words, but one thing he has taught me so much is thankfulness...which seems perfect as we are fast approaching the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons (something I should note that I dreaded last year and this year I am looking forward to SO VERY MUCH).  I am so thankful for our time with Clark -- however short it was.  That little boy has brought friends into my life that I otherwise would never have met -- and I am forever thankful for him for that.  This little rainbow babe in my belly, who is coming IN JUST 6 DAYS, wouldn't be coming without his/her big brother coming first.  I have reconnected with friends through sharing about Clark -- both in our commonalities with child loss, but also just with being open in sharing his story with others.  I have met countless families this year that unfortunately faced the same circumstances we did with Clark, saying goodbye far too soon and leaving the hospital empty-handed, and while my heart aches for them and anyone having to experience this kind of loss, I am grateful that I was able to provide lasting captures of their sweet little one before they had to say goodbye.  I would do anything to have Clark here with us today -- celebrating with us and blowing out his candle and smashing his cupcake -- but no amount of hoping and praying will make that happen.  So we'll continue to celebrate the heck out of our little boy -- today, his birthday, and every day to come -- share his story, and hopefully use his legacy to continue to be thankful for each and every thing he has brought us and taught us.

It's a bit surreal to think about the amount of people he's touched in his short time here with us -- my heart still flutters when someone mentions his story or says his name.  Because even though he's not here, doing these things makes his presence known and felt...and to anyone who's grieving the loss of a child, there is no better feeling than feeling them with you all the days they are gone.

Happy first heavenly birthday little Clark.  We know you're celebrating up there so big today!  We love you so so so much sweet boy.

Monday, October 28, 2019

36 Weeks 🌈


ONE WEEKKKKKKKK!!! Seriously guys.  I am borderline freaking out.  A week from now we will be enroute to the hospital to meet this little rainbow and I CANNOT FREAKING BELIEVE IT.

I posted on Saturday about how we just had 9 sleeps to go and all of the anxieties and excitements that come along with that.

I had an appointment last week (my second to last one with my OB) and she was asking how my anxiety was and movements and such.  And honestly, it's so crazy and out of control.  But I know it's in my head, even though I cannot shake this horrible anxiety that something is going to go wrong, but it's definitely there and revving up even more so with this week to go. GAHHHH!  I keep saying I hope it flies by and truly I'm sure it will...I have a crazy jam-packed last week before baby day with shoots and newborns and a million kid activities that I am sure hoping make it saillllllll by.  I'm sure a few weeks from now I'll be writing about how fast it's going and I want time to slow down to savor this last baby and gahhhh! So funny how back and forth things are with time and the movement of it, isn't it?!

Other than that, I am actually feeling pretty good.  I had my last prenatal massage this week (OMG heavenly.) and it was just WONDERFUL.  I don't really have any back or pain anywhere (like I know I complained about it prior pregnancies) and I haven't gained any weight in several weeks.  I truly think all of the movement and such from photoshoots is keeping me as 'active' as I possibly could be at 9 months pregnant!

Mike and I ventured out to my aunt's annual Halloween party and I got to wear my skeleton baby shirt for the fifth (and probably last!) a little nostalgic with that.  Heck I'll probably throw it on on Thursday for trick-or-treating too.

I will say tomorrow (Clark's birthday) is weighing heavily on my mind...trying to really focus on celebrating our boy tomorrow and the GOOD he's brought...because with stillbirth there is so much sadness and grief, but you can find good in it too and I've really been trying to find that.

Other than that, not much else to report for week 36!  Just a boring, busy post riddled with mirror selfies for ya!  But I've only got one more (spoiler: I'm gonna write it the night before and publish it enroute to my c-section!!) post for this pregnancy and then SO MUCH BABY SPAM coming your way!  GET READY MY FRIENDS!  And also hit the fast-forward button on the next week please :) Until week 37 (fulllll term!): adios!

Current Gender Prediction?BOY
Baby is the size of...Movie Popcorn
Cravings?Pizza rolls with ice cold chocolate milk
Rings on or off?OFF. boo hiss. see you in November.
Movement?Tons...a lot of little subtle movements here and there
Linea Nigra?(still) supppppper faint bellow and above belly button

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Nine Sleeps To Go...

I realized today that I posted something similar 10 days before Rosie was coming and 11 days before Annie was coming and we are just NINE sleeps away from meeting this little babe and I thought I'd dive in and write up a little of my thoughts as we are single digits away from meeting this little rainbow.

What's funny is that in reading my past posts there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that this babe was coming, healthy, and we'd be bringing her home.  I don't think the thought of losing a baby or a baby having any health issues even crossed my mind.  And gosh, what I'd give to have that naivety back.  Because right now, literally what is running through my mind 24/7 is making it to delivery day.  Hoping and praying that nothing happens to this babe, that he/she doesn't stop moving all of a sudden or my uterus ruptures or placenta ruptures or gets tangled in the cord or any of the awful horrors that come after having a stillborn baby.  It is truly ALL I THINK ABOUT.  I'm not sleeping great -- while I am SO SO SO excited for this baby, I cannot CANNOT shake the feeling that something is going to happen and we are going to leave the hospital empty handed again.  It truly is all-consuming and all I want is to hit fast-forward on the next 9 days and get 8am on November 4th here as fast as possible.

In the past I posted about anxieties of adding another kid, potential eating issues, remembering the baby basics, c-section recovery, etc... Right now all of those things are the last thing on my mind: all I care about is getting this kid here safe and sound and hearing him/her cry and sighing the biggest sigh of relief that we did it and this anxiety (well at least gestating anxiety) is OVER.

I've always loved being pregnant -- it's been pretty easy for me and I've never minded it and dare I say even enjoyed it.  Not this one.  While it's been overall easy (physically), the emotional rollercoaster has been borderline crippling...especially here at the end.  I always remember thinking of how I was a bit sad that my pregnancy was coming to an end when it was time to go deliver the older kiddos...and this time I am elated.  Heck, I am even planning on having my tubes taken out so THIS IS IT.  I cannot CANNOT do this again.  I want this babe here more than anything and to love on them and savor them as our little bookend and the soak up the wonderful baby goodness of all of my birth and newborn clients and capture their stories while our newborn story ends with this babe.  I honestly never thought I'd feel DONE and I cannot tell you how DONE I feel.  The anxiety I am feeling right now (and I hope am documenting well enough for myself to read if I ever get the baby fever itch in the future) is just not worth doing this again.  Too many potential problems and this just feels like it's the perfect way to complete our family.

Now along with my anxiety, I do have some amazing excited emotions mixed in too.  I don't want you reading this thinking, "Gosh she is depressing and she's just riddled with anxiety about this kid's arrival."  While yes, that is true, it's just not the only truth: I am also incredibly excited too.  Mike and I were just talking today about how we are SO CLOSE to meeting this kid -- very much remembering the mindset we were in last year at this time and how different this year is.  That we cannot wait to meet this kiddo, finally decide and agree on a name, and share him/her with our family and friends.  We are hoping and praying so much that these next days go smoothly and everything goes as textbook as possible on November 4th.  We cannot CANNOT wait for the big kids to meet their new sibling and fight over who gets to hold them first and all of that.  We are truly so excited and so anxious to meet this babe...but also a bit cautious too, especially so close to Clark's 1st birthday, because we know just how quickly that can get yanked away from us too.  The emotions and thoughts we are feeling are truly something that are so hard to accurately put into words...and until you've walked this path it's so hard to explain.

But, even with all of the anxieties, we are SO SO SO excited.  We don't care boy or girl -- all we want is a baby.  An alive, healthy, happy, screaming baby on November 4th.  Everything else -- all of the fears and anxieties that plagued us with Rosie and Annie will I'm sure come about again once we have this babe in our arms.  We truly CANNOT WAIT and we will take all of the good vibes, prayers, EVERYTHING our way this next week+ to get this babe here safely in our arms.  Oh little rainbow, we cannot wait to meet you more than anything!  We know Clark hand-picked you to join our family and we truly cannot wait to welcome you into it oh-so-soon!!!

Annie's Pants Troubles

I hope this makes you laugh as much as it did me.

The girls both are super into picking out their own outfits the night before school and laying them out.  It's quite cute.

Welp, Thursday night Annie picked out these donut pants (that Rosie wore A TON when she was her size) and a new sweatshirt.  Rosie picked out the same sweatshirt with a skirt and leggings.

Friday came, the girls got up and dressed and we dropped Annie off at school.  When Rosie and I went back to pick her up, we walked into her classroom and she was pulling her pants up from her ankles.  She then sprinted over to us and her pants fell down again and she did the same thing: pulled them back up!

Her teacher said this had been happening all day long.  Apparently the elastic waistband is stretched out and Annie's skinny little booty and waist just wasn't holding them up.

So, mom of the year here whips out her phone to record this just on our commute to the top of the school...

It barely phased her!  Meanwhile, I am DYING laughing that they just won't stay up and keep falling down! HAHAHA!!

Anyways, I'm still dying watching these videos.  Golly these girls are a hoot, aren't they?!  Hope you enjoyed the laugh! :)

Monday, October 21, 2019

35 Weeks 🌈


14 days. 336 hours.  That is IT until we meet this babe!! Officially just have one Monday left before the following one we are at the hospital at the crack of dawn to get checked in to meet this kiddo!!!

It feels so close and forever far away too...which I hate.  I do have a completely jam-packed next two weeks which will continue to help speed along the days and keep me and my mind occupied, but lately this baby is ALL I THINK ABOUT.  Well, this babe and Clark.  Because Timehop reminds me every single day what last year's October was like now and all of that swirling in my head coupled with the fact that we are hopefully having a healthy babe in two weeks and getting to bring him/her home -- unlike leaving empty handed last time -- is truly a complete mind whirl.  I've been even dreaming of my delivery lately (which I have NEVER done) and they are just weird, bizarre dreams intertwined with Clark's delivery.  Gah.  So yeah, anyone out there who wants to send fast-forwarding vibes me way: I'll take them!!!

I snapped my final birth of 2019 last week and boy did it feel good to get it done.  Gives me a little 'off call' time (aka not having to obsessively worry about rescheduling things if baby comes during something I had booked!) before this babe comes.  It was a super fast, easy delivery for mama so the perfect one to end 29 births captured in 2019 on!

More NSTs and my final 34 week ultrasound peek for this little bear with my high risk doc!  That little bear was measuring in the 50th percentile at 5.5lbs and even gave us over 30 seconds of breathing movements on the screen!!! I had my last appointment with my high risk doc and he guesstimates a 7.5lb babe at birth (OMG what will I do with a sub-9 pounder?!! 😅). He also recommended that since this little one is coming at 37 weeks to go ahead and do steroids to mature his/her lungs just cause he said so many peds are so NICU-admit happy for pre-39 weekers for even minor breathing issues, that doing these steroids would be a great idea to hopefully give this kid a good set of pipes (and bypass any breathing help) at birth.  I just finished taking those steroids late last week so I feel good that this kid's lungs are hopefully nice and mature when they are hatched in two weeks.  It does feel wild to think of having a sub-9 pound I did go buy some newborn clothes just to have too...cause I'm betting they are right and this kid will be in the 7 pound range.

Here's a fun little comparison snap of Patrick, Rosie, Annie and #5 at 35 weeks...a rare comparison pic this late in pregnancy cause I have like ZERO bump pics with Patrick! HAHA!

Other than that, not much else to report on this week other than just getting so excited and anxious and basically repeating that cycle over and over again!!!  What's wild is next week we'll celebrate 36 weeks and then just a day later celebrate Clark's 1st birthday in heaven.  Just surreal.  Gah.  Another thing to add on my plate to think about this week.  Anyways, until week 36 friends, adios!!

Current Gender Prediction?BOY
Baby is the size of...Coconut
Cravings?Pizza rolls with ice cold chocolate milk
Overall mood?Excitedly Anxious. Terrified. Repeat.
Rings on or off?OFF. boo hiss. see you in November.
Movement?Tons...a lot of little subtle movements here and there
Linea Nigra?(still) supppppper faint bellow and above belly button

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day 2019

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

A year ago I was just a day away from turning 20 weeks pregnant -- something that I very much remember at the time being a milestone -- a horrible milestone: our baby, whenever he would pass, would no longer be classified as a miscarriage but instead a stillbirth...because once you get to 20 weeks in the medical world a loss is then characterized as a stillbirth rather than a miscarriage (loss prior to 20 weeks).  Isn't that a grim think to think about?!  But I remember very much so last year that once I hit 20 weeks, when my child would pass he would be stillborn.  It was truly a devastating feeling...and I would be joining a club that no one wants to join.

Here we are a year later and I am 34 weeks pregnant with Clark's sweet little sibling and hoping and praying so much that we get to meet him or her in less than 3 weeks happy and healthy and screaming -- something that we never got to hear Clark do.  But today is very very at the forefront of my mind: because I am 1 in 4 -- I have lost a child to stillbirth, and I pray so hard for the baby in my belly that he/she doesn't meet that same fate and for all of the other babies that have gone up to heaven far too soon.  No one should have to bury their child -- or bring them home from the funeral home in a teeny tiny little urn -- but here we are.  A day dedicated to remembering just that.  And celebrating it too -- because as sad as today is, I am also celebrating the nearly 22 weeks I got to spend with Clark and the little signs I see of him everywhere I go.  Heck, that pic I snapped above I swear I see a little blue orb just to the left of his urn...I feel like he showed up to say hello to me.  I see him everywhere and as much as I want him here with me, I know I can't have that -- so I'll take the little signs of him I do come across anytime they show up.

Today I light this candle for our sweet little Clark -- I hope he's shining bright up there and keeps shining down and watching over us for all the days to come...until we meet him again.  We love you so much little C, and miss you more than you'd ever know!

Big hugs and love to everyone who is also lighting a candle today -- for their own babes, for someone else's, for anyone struggling with having lost a pregnancy or baby.  It sucks.  So much.  But I hope you find comfort in that you're not going through this alone...that you have worlds of support and love from others who are and have been in your shoes -- and that your little one(s) keep shining down bright on you from above too.  It's okay to keep quiet.  It's also okay to talk about your babe too.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Fall Family Pics, 2019

This past weekend I took a rare Saturday evening off from snapping and got on the other side of the camera!

My dear friend and fellow photog Victoria had us out for some fall family pics (and a few almost 34 week bump pics too!) and oh my gosh.  They are just PERFECT.

If you want to see alllllll of them, check them out here! 

But for now, I wanted to share with you a few of my favorites.

She did the most perfect job of capturing us and all of the kiddos' personalities!  I will cherish these pics forever...our 3 week anticipation of our little end cap #5 who is coming OH SO SOON!

Forever grateful for friends who do these things for us...I cannot wait for her to document this babe's birth in just 3 weeks! AHHHHH!! Come on November, get here sooooon!!!
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