We had my appointment with the OB who delivered Jillian today. I really like her, and was a fan of the idea of having her deliver this baby, but I was still confused about the nurse who said that the peri didn’t want to “steal” me from another OB. She said I would only need to see the peri on a consultative basis, and this doctor would see me for my appointments and could do the cerclage. We were not okay with that and cleared it up with the nurse practitioner a couple of weeks ago, but I was still under the impression that I would be seeing this OB and the peri, which I was fine with.

When she came in, she was very apologetic and said that as much as she’d like to be a part of this pregnancy, I’m high risk and need to be seen by the peri, and she doesn’t want us to feel like she’s dumping us, but it’s better if I only see one doctor. We were very happy about this because it’s what we’ve wanted the entire time, even though I like her and would love to keep seeing her. The fact that she was so apologetic and seemed to be letting us down easily makes me think that the dumbass nurse told her that I want to only see her. Totally untrue, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the nurse was just making crap up to get things to go her way. Bottom line: she sucks.

As for the rest of the appointment, it was pretty routine. She brought in a doppler to try to find the baby’s heartbeat. I was surprised, just because it’s pretty early, but I also know that if she looked in the right spot, she’d probably find it because we have a doppler and found the heartbeat on Friday. She was looking in the totally wrong spot, and instead of telling her to move two inches to the left and half an inch up, Dave and I kept our lips sealed in the hope that she’d bring the ultrasound machine from 1982 (give or take a few years) in. She gave up on the doppler and brought in the ultrasound. We got to see our little blob, who didn’t appear to be moving much, although it’s hard to tell on a machine that’s probably almost as old as me. The heart was flickering though, and that was the only movement I cared about.

Our first appointment with the peri is next week. She has a machine from the 21st century, and I’m hoping we’ll get to take a look. It’s my pre-op appointment, so I think it’s a pretty safe bet that we will. I can’t wait to see the little dude(tte) again.


I had my initial OB appointment yesterday. I didn’t have an ultrasound, but it was a good appointment. My cervix is firm and closed, and my uterus seems perfect. I have another appointment in about two weeks, and hopefully we’ll have a quick ultrasound then.

The appointment was with the nurse practitioner who I saw regularly during my pregnancy with Jillian. She’s lovely and so supportive. She admitted to us that she is scared, too, which is actually wonderful to hear. It affirms for me that she will do whatever she can to help us have a successful pregnancy.

We’ve had some concerns with one of the nurses (the same one who told me my pregnancy with Jillian wasn’t viable). She has been very nice this time around, but Dave and I both felt like we weren’t getting what we wanted. She didn’t seem to think it was that important for me to be under the care of a perinatologist, and also suggested that we not do a cerclage until 15 weeks or so. Dave and I were not comfortable with this at all. We know that nothing changed with my cervix until after 18 weeks, but we still want it in as soon as possible. It was a little confusing because when we met with the peri, she said we would do the procedure between 11 and 13 weeks. My first appointment with her isn’t until I’m 11 weeks, and we were concerned that if we didn’t even see her until then, the cerclage wouldn’t be placed until after we’d planned, and we were obviously concerned that it would have to be an emergent cerclage if we waited too long.

We discussed these concerns with the NP yesterday, and she agreed to scheduling the surgery now, and worst case scenario, we’ll have to cancel the procedure if it turns out that this pregnancy is not viable. It is now scheduled for August 12 – exactly 4 weeks from today. I feel much better having this scheduled, and we’re obviously hoping with all that we have that we won’t need to cancel it. My NT scan has also been scheduled for August 9. It will be a very big week for us and hopefully everything will go perfectly.

So that’s it for now. I still have some old blood around my cervix, so I’m still spotting, but there hasn’t been anything bright red in about a week. I’m feeling a little more confident about things, but the tendency has been for my confidence to disappear as soon as I start feeling it. One day at a time…

One year ago

On July 13, 2009, my life changed forever. That afternoon, out of sheer boredom, not suspicion that I was actually pregnant, I took a pregnancy test. I fell in love as soon as I realized there really were two lines.

In my imagination, I had always pictured that Dave and I would be hovering over the bathroom counter together, waiting to see if the second line would appear. Then we’d hug, kiss, and laugh, then get back in bed and daydream together about our baby. Instead, I spent the rest of the day trying and failing miserably to concentrate on work. I called Dave at one point to see when he was coming home. He didn’t seem to think anything of the call and didn’t notice that I was crying or had become abnormally clingy and wanting him to come home as soon as possible.

In an effort to carry on our little family’s tradition, I taped the positive test to a can of beer and put it in the fridge before he came home. The night we got engaged, he tied my engagement ring around the neck of a beer. It took me ages to notice because if my drink is not in my hand, I forget to drink it. He was tortured the entire time and his odd behavior made me think there was something wrong with him. He unknowingly paid me back for it that night. I kept trying to get him to have a beer, but he kept putting it off. We had already decided to go out to dinner, and at one point he suggested just waiting until we got to dinner to have a beer. Somehow I finally convinced him to have one before we left, and I had to turn around and pretend to do something in the kitchen because I started crying as soon as he opened the fridge.

When he finally noticed the test, he asked if that meant what he thought it did. Then we hugged, kissed, and cried the way I’d imagined we would. He later admitted that he was absolutely terrified when he saw the positive test, which is fine, because my first thought before falling in love with the baby was “oh, shit, what have we done?” It was what we both wanted more than anything, but even when you’re trying for months and hoping for that exact result, it’s still scary.

The next several months, fewer than five, were a mix of elation and fear, but that fear was nothing compared to the terror that would soon arrive. Despite being as sick as a dog for about seven or eight weeks, I loved every second of that pregnancy. There was nothing like feeling my sweet girl moving around inside me or watching my belly pulsate in the same spot every night as she had her regular hiccups. Even when I was traveling very frequently for work, I was never lonely because I had one of the loves of my life with me at all times. Even before she was born, I loved her more than I had ever known was possible. I still do, and I’m so thankful for the time that we had.

Visiting the NICU

I went to the NICU today for a visit. When we left there for the last time after Jillian died, I said I was never stepping foot in there again (if I could help it, of course). Over the past few months, I have found myself wanting to go there. It’s where our sweet girl spent her entire life, so the thought of going in there became a soothing one. Dave did not want to go with me, and just the thought of me going in there upset him, but he was obviously supportive of my choice. I went with my grief counselor.

I had been feeling a little nervous about it, but by last night, I was so excited to go that I had trouble falling asleep. Once I did fall asleep, I had a dream that I walked up to what was Jillian’s isolette and found her in there. It was heartbreaking to wake up and realize it was only a dream. It made me nervous that going back there was a bad idea, but I knew I needed to do it.

We went up to the floor and Jillian’s primary nurse came out to greet us. I was so thrilled to see her and we hugged and hugged. She took me back to Jillian’s nursery and straight to where Jillian’s isolette was. There is not a baby currently in that spot, so I was able to stand there for quite a while as we talked. She urged me to put my hands inside the isolette, which was nice, but like I told her, it’s not as much fun without Jillian there. That said, it was strangely comforting. We spent so many hours with our hands in there, and it was so warm that sweat would drip down my back, but it didn’t matter. I would have stood in a fire if that’s what it took to be able to touch her.

We were able to share some laughs, and her memory of everything about us and our families was amazing. I don’t remember talking to her as much as I clearly did, and it was obvious that she was truly listening as she did whatever she could to help our baby.

At one point, I took a peek at the baby in the isolette next to Jillian’s, and I was floored by how much she looked like Jillian. She looked like she was exactly her size, and she had the same tiny, perfect features and a head full of dark hair. A few minutes later, the nurse said it would be okay if I wanted to see another 24-weeker, and when I said yes, she pointed to that baby next to us. She was exactly Jillian’s length and weight. I told her to hang in there and just kept thinking that I hope her parents don’t have to face the same outcome. I can’t stop thinking about her and sending all the good thoughts for her that I can.

We went back to the room where Jillian passed away. I thought that it would be a lovely moment of feeling connected to Jillian and remembering how peaceful it was, but it wasn’t. The room was bright and full of unused isolettes, so it didn’t even seem like the same room. While we stood there, I mentioned to the nurse how Jillian dying was the most peaceful thing I’ve ever experienced, and even though no parent should ever have to lose a child, it was such a gift and honor to be able to have her in my arms as she died.

We then went out to a garden on the floor that was built in memory of another baby who passed away. I didn’t even know it existed, and it’s such a nice spot. The nurse made me promise that I would call her when I have another baby so she can come visit us in the regular maternity ward and see our giant baby. We hugged goodbye, and I thanked her for everything she did for Jillian. She said she wished she could have done more, but we both know that there was nothing more that could have been done. She is an amazing nurse, and I hope we never need her again, but I’m so glad that Jillian was under her care.

As difficult as the visit was, it was wonderful. That nurse was one of two people who really knew Jillian, aside from Dave and me. It was clear when we were in the hospital that she truly cared, but today affirmed that Jillian was more than just a patient for her, and I am so thankful for everything she does.

Seven months

Dear Jillian,

I don’t know how this day is here already. I guess we’ve been busier than I thought. Looking through my posts here, I obviously haven’t been posting as much. I think it’s partially due to healing, but I also don’t have much to say that I haven’t already written. That doesn’t mean I don’t think about you constantly.

My birthday was on Saturday, and I had been dreading it. I couldn’t have the only thing I wanted, and it was a reminder that you’ll never have a birthday. It ended up being a lot like my due date – the anticipation was much worse than the actual day.

On the other hand, I hadn’t really considered how difficult yesterday would be. We came to the Cape to spend the holiday with friends. These are the same friends whose Christmas party we were getting ready for when my water broke. Fortunately, we’re at a different house. I haven’t been to their home since then, and I don’t know when I’ll be able to go there. Anyway, just seeing them is a reminder of the Christmas party we never made it to, and everything that happened afterwards.

The hardest part has been watching the mommy with her two daughters. Her love is obviously fierce and they clearly adore her. All I can think about when watching them interact is the relationship we missed out on, and it hurts. Watching the younger daughter is more difficult. She’s hilarious and sweet, and she always has a look in her eye like she’s up to something. It’s how I imagined you would be and it makes me miss you like nothing else. I kept picturing you in the white dress with red and blue anchors that is hanging in your closet and imagined how big you would be and how proud I would have been to show off my sweet girl.

There were so many times yesterday when I wanted to jump into the car and drive home. I wanted to escape, but I knew that leaving here wouldn’t help me escape anything. If we had gone home, I’d still be in the same hell I’ve been in since we lost you. There is no escape. Time has made it easier, but I will never stop wishing I could change everything.

We love you and miss you so much, Monkey. You are my heart and i don’t know how I’m surviving without you.