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What a busy week!! Haven't had a lot of time to blog. But today was another big day. I had an ultrasound this afternoon and it went really well. The tech was sensitive to my desire not to know the sex of the baby, told me to turn away when I risked seeing something. She explained everything she was looking at and loved doing it. At the end she needed to measure my cervical length, the main reason for the ultrasound. She said it was of good length.
Like last time she needed to apply pressure to my abdomen to see if any fluid seeped through the cervix. I ended up telling her it freaked me out a little, the act of pushing on it. Just the idea of pushing and watching for the fluid on the screen wigs me out. She assured me it would not bust open, and maybe that was the source of mental discomfort for me, the worry that my cervix would burst and out would come Baby. Still, it bothered me. But it had to be done.
She didn't observe any fluid, which would look like a black line moving from the top of the screen to the bottom, around my cervix and out. To distract me from the creepiness, I watched little Baby move around and bump into the walls of its tight quarters. I could feel all the movements. How cool to get all live. Oh good, she was done. But wait..she saw a tiny black spot move, at least she thought she did, when she released pressure. She applied pressure again but didn't observe it again so she said it could be nothing. But the midwives would have the footage and would be able to assess any possible issues...hopefully no issues. I'm not sure what will happen if they find seepage, but I'm praying that won't happen. I feel great, that nothing it wrong, so I'm clinging to that instinct. A mother's intuition still has to stand for something. For now...we await analysis.
Side note...baby looks JUST LIKE MIKE! Again. I should've known. I do most of the work and they still come out looking like daddy. C'est la vie. He's got good genes though, so I'm not complaining.
SATURDAY AUGUST 6
I started a photo contest/project today that will likely take up a lot of my weekend. I have take 48 photos in 48 hours, one for each of 48 themes sent to me yesterday evening. I'm looking forward to the challenge! Gotta keep my passion alive!
Mike, Landon, Kiley, Baby Banana and I hung out at a local fun fest today. The kids got to enjoy some bouncy things and I got to take some fun photos for my contest. Baby was very active at the fest. Me thinks s/he wanted to come out and bounce with his/her siblings. And who wouldn't?! I've noticed Baby pushing a lot on my lower abdomen, not for very long, just long enough for me to put my hand there and feel some bumps. It doesn't hurt, just feels like pressure. Then Baby backs off. Now there's a change that what i'm actually feeling are Braxtin Hicks pressure waves, seen as I'm basically at mid-pregnancy when these "practice waves" tend to become more noticeable. I'm starting to think that's what I'm feeling. Regardless, I use each pressure moment to practice my relaxation techniques and within seconds the sudden pressure either lessens or disappears altogether. I never feel it as pain, just pressure. That's all. Practice!
SUNDAY AUGUST 7
More photos today! Not quite done with my contest so I'll be spending most of today doing that.
We went to Chipotle for lunch because I needed a photo of tacos for my photo contest. Gee darn, that sucks. I've been craving Chipotle for weeks and needed a good fix. A steak burrito bowl did the trick. And i managed to get the photo I needed. Back at home I glued myself to the computer and raced through all the post-processing. I barely submitted them on time! But i did. And now...its back to being a mom.
TUESDAY AUGUST 9
I warn you, this entry is emotional, dramatic and trails into many thoughts, hence the one long paragraph. Forgive the craziness of the writing, its not what's important...
I received an email earlier today from our head boss requiring the entire staff to attend a short meeting. Understandably we were all asking questions of each other to see if anyone had the skinny on what this was all about. We figured it was about some changes floating about. A coworker (and dear friend) warned me that this meeting could be about our newest coworker having to leave yesterday for a family emergency involving her 6 month old baby. I thought no way would a staff meeting be about that, but I appreciated her heads up. She knows me well enough to know i might react emotionally to a child being hurt, seen as my pregnancy hormones are in full ignition and i tend to take things hard in general. To my, and everyone's dismay, the meeting was about our coworker. Her baby was in a daycare accident and rushed to the hospital. By the time our coworker arrived, her baby girl had passed. The room fell silent. We were in shock. The sudden heartbreak could be felt throughout and the air became increasingly thick. I thought no way was this happening, no way did we just hear this. I could see tears building in some of my coworkers' eyes, and several tissues being handed around. I could feel eyes on me, feeling as if people expected me to be tearing up as well. But i held back, I'm not comfortable showing such vulnerability in front of others. A man started talking, a man that worked with a grief counseling agency that was asked to come to our meeting for support, to help us understand our own emotions and work through them, and how we might help our coworker through such a tragic event. He talked about how its normal to think of ourselves in an attempt to connect with how the mother was feeling. He said we might feel guilty about that but feeling the guilt and needing to think of our own personal situations is an act of caring. "We grieve because we care" he explained, "and everyone grieves in their own way." I listened to him with my head lowered, picturing my coworker's face as she cried over her loss, what she might've said or done when she saw her baby. Then i pictured my own face in that hospital room, and my little ones lying in the bed motionless. I was in it and i could feel the agony...and the tears. No...stop....don't! I pictured the ultrasound I'd just had the past Friday and my unborn child's face. What would happen if something went wrong, if at the next ultrasound my baby was lifeless...just as I'd seen before with my miscarriages. Oh God...the miscarriages. Suddenly i was overwhelmed by my past. All the emotions of my three losses rushed over me, through me and i found myself welding up with tears, my heart beating faster and faster. I turned to my grieving coworker for a kleenex, then felt the gentle touch of my other coworker, the one that warned me before the meeting. She placed her hand on my shoulder as if to say "its ok". I sat there still, listening intermittently to the counselor...wanting to help...grieve in our own way...you may need to stay or go home...do not fear saying the wrong or right thing to the mother whenever she returns...accept your reaction. I felt my breathing shorten and I was about ready to leave the room, fearing i would start bawling embarrassingly. I just couldn't sit there any longer. I was on the verge of breaking down in front of everyone. I felt so much pain for the mother, and guilt for feeling a repeat of my own personal pains. But i made myself stay, I did not want to draw any attention to myself and standing would definitely put all eyes on me. I tried crying internally so no one would see. After the meeting had ended, I walked out and my coworker, my friend, the one who'd tried preparing me asked if i was ok. I said "no" and broke down. I was overcome with darkness for all the losses, for our coworker's unbelievable tragedy. She comforted me, saying to let it out, to feel it if I needed to, and to breathe. She told me to go back into the room and grab a contact card from the counselor. I did. He was very concerned about me, even admitted that when I entered the meeting he immediately thought "oh no", thinking I might take it hard being that I was pregnant. I told him that it was just so devastating to hear that this had happened to her. He asked me about my pregnancy, due date and all that. He insisted that I call him if I needed to talk about it. I thanked him and left. My coworker was there waiting for me. She put her hand on my back and said how hot i was. Then our boss walked up and did the same, saying "wow you feel warm, are you ok?". As the next minutes went on, I felt i couldn't stop tearing up. I tried to keep from crying. The images of my coworker walking into that hospital, finding out her baby has passed, i couldn't shake it. I had to leave. I had to go home, be with my children, focus on them and my unborn baby. I needed to hug them and attempt to grieve my coworker's loss the way i needed to. All I can do now is pray that they find strength, that her and her husband stay strong together and help each other, that they talk this through, that their son understands and can grieve, that they find any ounce of peace in all this. I cannot get them out of my mind, so I pray for them...
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 10
Feeling a bit run down today. I didn't eat breakfast, not until I arrived at work. I wasn't hungry. I think I'm drained from trying to determine what to feel or think about my coworker's tragic circumstances. I almost feel like i shouldn't be happy, that its not fair to her, but i have to be happy. I have too much to be thankful for, and i have an unborn baby to take care of...s/he needs me to be calm and happy and positive. So i'm working on it. Going home right away yesterday really helped. Writing in my blog really helped, as its helping now. I'm the type that has to get everything out and many times that's done on my own. When i got home, it wasn't long before Mike went to work and that was ok. I wanted him there but I was ok with the alone time, time for reflection, space to move my mind around a bit. Once the kids were in bed it was just me for a few minutes and i was able to really breathe and take it all in. I was up late trying to wind down from the day, but i at least slept well despite the lack of hours. I will continue to pray for my coworker because i still cannot stop thinking about her and what has happened. She can't escape it, she never will. The least I can do from a distance is pray for her and her family, and thank God for what i have.