Wow, it has been a while since I’ve updated the blog. I’ve been in school full time since 2016 and am in the final stages of data collection for my dissertation! Holy smoke, it seems like I’ve been working on it forever…but it also feels like the years have flown by. Phillip and I were blessed with a baby boy, Curtis Andrew, who turns 6 months (!) tomorrow. Brooklyn is thriving in her role as a big sister. I will post more about him and our story of becoming a family of four soon.
In the meantime, I’d love to share my research study with you all as you’ve been such an important part of this journey. I’m studying posttraumatic growth in parents after a miscarriage. Participants must be at least 18 years old and have experienced a miscarriage before January 1, 2018. The survey is brief (~10 minutes) and all responses are anonymous. You can take the survey from your phone or computer. I am hoping for a data-rich sample, so am hoping for responses from men and women. If you have a few minutes to participate in the study and share the link with others, I’d appreciate it immensely. Together we are working to reduce the stigma associated with miscarriage and helping counselors learn best practices for working with grieving parents.
After last week’s maternal fetal medicine appointment, I knew that my next OB appointment would end with scheduling our girl’s birthday. I had a funny feeling the weekend before the appointment and tried to tie up a few loose ends. My mom and I went shopping to find her “go home” outfit. The night before I had my mom help me arrange some furniture in the nursery and fold a few of the newborn size clothes. The night before my appointment my mom even snapped a few pictures of me and my belly. She commented on how cute I looked and insisted, despite my refusals. I’m so glad she did.
I haven’t kept up with this as frequently as I had hoped, so prepare yourself for a few “a year ago today…” posts over the next few weeks.
Let’s back up a little bit. Our first appointment with maternal fetal medicine was a year and two weeks ago. The ultrasound technician was incredible and even complimented the skill of the tech at our OB, as my vasa previa was not easy to spot. Unfortunately our meeting with the doctor was less than comforting. The doctor was almost dismissive of our concerns. He assured us that vasa previa and placenta previa resolve without intervention so often that we do not need to worry. He suggested we come back in a couple weeks to check things out. He said that if vasa previa was still apparent in a couple weeks my regular OB would begin performing non-stress tests twice a week until a c-section delivery. Phillip and I both walked out of that appointment a little bewildered, yet trying to trust in the process.
Fast forward to a year ago today. I hoped and prayed that we wouldn’t see the same doctor. Phillip and I had done some research and had several questions we knew we needed answers to. Thankfully none of that was needed. The ultrasound tech quickly confirmed that vasa previa was still present and a new doctor came to speak with us. This woman was so incredible that I still get tears in my eyes thinking about the conversation. She also confirmed vasa previa and told us she would suggest delivering at 36 weeks. I don’t even know how many questions I rattled off to her, between sobs, but she answered every single one of them. Our first relief came when she told us that our doctors would deliver based on her recommendation. The next came when she told us that our little girl already weighed 5 lbs 5 oz. She said that on average she should gain 1/2 lb each week until delivery and that she was very comfortable delivering a baby of her size early. Phillip and I walked out of the office in shock and disbelief, knowing our girl would be here in two weeks.
Beyond those feelings, I think this was the first time throughout the pregnancy that we felt like this might really be happening. We talked on the ride home about all the things we now had to rush to do. Put the crib together that I refused to take out of the box too soon. Get the changing table from my mom’s house. Wash all those clothes, unpack all those baby shower gifts. And I guess start packing our hospital bags. So, so many things that seemed so far off all of the sudden seemed so near.
A year ago I spent the evening on my couch participating in an online class. We took a short break for dinner and I grabbed a salad that Phillip had made earlier. I love salads and remember feeling really full after a few bites. I couldn’t think of a time ever that I couldn’t finish my salad. I even thought, “I hope I’m not getting sick.” Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Continue reading →
This year is different. Today, October 15, there is an ache in my heart as I remember our sweet angel babies. A tiny bit of the sting has been taken away though. Last Thursday, October 6, Phillip and I welcomed Brooklyn Elizabeth into the world. She has filled every moment since with absolute joy. Continue reading →