Thursday, September 9, 2010

World Travels at 21 Weeks! not necessarily the world, but Luke was in international waters, traveled to a place for which his mommy and daddy needed passports stamped and enjoyed every bit of the non-stop food opportunities that accompany a cruise. In fact, he quite enjoyed eating about every hour and a half!

I didn't write much on the trip...really only the first day because we were busy enjoying ourselves. Which of course means that I have a million things in my head that I want to get out for Luke to know and will just have to probably do in stages. This was what I wrote from our first full day:

In these last few months, I *thought* I had been out and about--dealing with 'those' questions and fairly effectively, at that.

Ummm, no.

Nothing like a cruise ship full of strangers who come to be new BFFs with all their shipmates to give me some perspective.

"When are you due?"

"Is this your first?"

"Oh, I'm so sorry."

Peppered with the appropriate consolation looks, of course, and then depending on where you are or with whom you're speaking, awkward silence or continued conversation. Awkward silence in the elevator; continued (and kind and compassionate) conversation at breakfast or dinner.

Sometimes, it's as easy as, "You look really nice pregnant. Some people these days look so..." and the words are mumbled by the little old ladies making the statement but not wanting to essentially say they think there are some pregnant ladies wearing things they find inappropriate.

Or, my reply of, "No, he's our second," followed by, "Oh, how wonderful! Congratulations!"

Others--more difficult. "No, he's our second," followed by, "Oh, how wonderful! How old's your first?" or "Oh, but look at you look great and you'll have a healthy baby this time." (One of these days, I'll have the courage to say, "My son WAS healthy. Perfectly beautiful and healthy. Which makes it all the more tragic, doesn't it?" Or, when someone tells me, "Everything happens for a reason," I will be able to respond with, "So...what do you think the reason my baby died was?")

Of course, their comments are well-intentioned, but so indicative of most people's inclination to see a smile and believe all is well. I don't blame them. I'd like to look in the mirror and smile and believe I have the perfect life...great husband, family, friends, home, comforts, new baby on the way and celebrating with a lovely cruise.

But as I told John yesterday, as nice as this vacation is--and it IS NICE!--I'd rather be at home trying a new food with Matthew or trying to get a stain out of his cloth diaper.

John said, "That's a given."

So, when it's a given that your reality is not what you thought it would be, you adjust.

I'm reading Pete Wilson's Plan B: What to Do When God Doesn't Show Up the Way You Think He Should.

Great title. Very appropriate. And, I have to say, even just starting the book, I hope at some point he notes that when it's too late for God to show up the way you think He should (like your child is dead and not coming back), it's never too late to realize He's always showing up the way He's going to show up and there are blessings in that.

It takes some time to see them (and will probably continue to take the rest of my life), but that's where people get the idea that time heals. Time doesn't heal. Time is just God's way of helping you acclimate to the way it will be, the Plan B, if you will. (My apologies to Pete Wilson if that's what he says somewhere in his book. If he does, I concur.)

We really had a lovely time, and I have lots of pictures for Luke to have. I'll post them soon. For now, the update on Luke is pretty benign. We didn't see any doctors this week. This was the first week since April (save our 2ww) that I have gone without seeing a doctor for Luke. Weird. He's doing well, though, and loving his food. He wiggles a lot when I am hungry and he wiggles a lot right after I've eaten. I measured my waist before we left and I was 35 inches (so a gain of 5 inches since 8 weeks) and I weighed myself when we got home today and was 109.2! So...that's a net gain of 9.2 pounds. Not too bad for 21 weeks, and pretty funny how quickly it is adding on! I'm going to have to pull my pillow out because those places in my back that were so uncomfortable with Matthew are rearing their heads again. I'm also going to talk to Dr. Polko on Monday about my breathing and what I am calling stomach shocks. I am having a really, really difficult time getting full breaths (and it's not my asthma) and there are times when I move (not even really doing anything special) and it feels like someone is electrocuting my stomach. My guess is that it's just nerves that I am hitting the wrong way, but I never, ever, ever felt anything like that with Matthew, so I'd rather be safe than sorry. My scar is also getting bigger and puffier and tougher, so Dr. Shonekan told me to rub bio-oil in it often because there's really not much to do...for that or for the rib/ab muscle pain. Every time I see her, she always looks so sweetly at me and reminds me that getting pregnant as quickly as we did after what happened was bound to bring these things on, and we're so grateful for Luke that we of course will deal with anything, but it's nice to have your doctor feel sorry for you because she understands that though you are carrying a miraculous little blessing, it's still hard.

Sometimes I think people forget that...pregnancy is hard. It doesn't mean I am not grateful or would trade it for anything; it means that I'm human and no one enjoys being in pain, so having compassionate doctors that let you know that even though there's nothing really they can do but to tell you that you'll have to suck it up, at least they feel sorry for you in telling you that.

Here are two 21 weeks pictures:

Luke Enjoying a Fruity Drink...

...And More Food!! Hooray!

Here's the update on Luke's growth:

Week Twenty One: Nourishment evolves

You are 21 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 19 weeks)
  • Length is now measured crown to heel.
  • The fetus has grown to 10.5 inches (27 cm) - 12.7 ounces (360 grams).
  • It is now gaining weight steadily, with fat being added to the body.
  • Bone marrow has started making blood cells.
  • Their small intestine is starting to absorb sugars.
21 weeks
Your baby's bone marrow has started making blood cells, a job done by the liver and spleen until this point. The placenta has provided nearly all of your baby's nourishment, now your baby will begin to absorb small amounts of sugar from swallowed amniotic fluid.

Based on the size of baby's head, which is about 2 inches (5cm), the date of birth can be determined to within one week. The fetus is steadily gaining fat and has grown a whitish coat of a slick, fatty substance to protect skin in amniotic fluid and to ease delivery.

In girls, the vagina is formed and the ovaries already contain over six million eggs which will be reduced to about 400 by the time of puberty. For boys, the testes begin to descend from the abdomen this week. (Boys don't produce sperm until puberty).

The baby can hear and recognize the mother's voice, and may respond to some types of music.


  1. Welcome back Lori!!!

    You look gorgeous as always, and your bump is just adorable!!

    Ugh, i can imagine all the 'questions'....comes with our territory I think. Along with a rule book on how to grieve, I would also request a book distributed to the world on WHAT not to say to preggos when they see them. Sad part is, I may have done the same thing and I wonder if I ever asked a BLM and made them uncomfortable.

    Luke is such a good eater!!! Loved the pics!!

  2. Lori - I am glad you were able to take some time to yourself and have a trip. While, of course, you would rather be here with Matthew and enjoying his babyhood, I am glad you were able to take a detour before Luke's arrival and enjoy some lovely scenery, good food, and fruity drinks. I am also glad you have caring doctors and that things seem to be on track and well with Luke. I am also glad you do not look like a hoochie while pregnant so as not to upset the older cruise ladies. I am also glad you are back (selfishly!). I've missed your posts, my friend.

    Sending you hugs, J

  3. I am glad you had a great trip.
    You look so beautiful!!!

  4. PS My word verification word was "bilize" -- think that means "Belize" should be next on your travel list ( : Tell John I said so.

  5. So glad you had a good time!! I love the picture of you dressed for dinner. It is very classy! The stomach shocks are very common. I did not have them with my first but have for the others. The have tended to get worse with every pregnancy. I know what you mean though. They will stop you cold. That is the one thing that is most uncomfortable about being pregnant. You just hold your breath and hope you do not move wrong. Glad you are back safely!

  6. It sounds like you had a wonderful time, and those awkward moments are going to happen. I know people find it hard to know what to say.
    As far as the tummy pain, could you see a chiropractor? I had weird stomach/muscle pain and really bad leg pain with my second. After one session, I was back on my feet.

  7. First, you look amazing!

    I know what you mean about the questions and the comments. People have made me want to scream so may times. I know that they don't mean any harm, but really, "everything happens for a reason"??? I get that one a lot, I think it's so inappropriate.

    I'm glad Luke's eating up a storm! XOXO

  8. Sorry I've also been MIA for a few days .. things got a little crazy around here and tomorrow is sissy's birthday. BUT I promise to finally get those recipes to you ASAP! Otherwise, I am so glad you did get to go and have a great time and make some lovely memories for Luke. I guess the questions are just a continued part of Matthew's story and how much grace you have in answering them sweetly, even though your heart is breaking from the answers. I was so anxious awaiting this post, to know you were all home safe and sound and to hear how things went. I'm totally jealous! I've always wanted to go on a cruise, although I'm not sure I could handle all the motion while pregnant. Kuddo's to you! And, of course, you look so beautiful. Welcome home, friend.

  9. lori - WOW! you look positively RADIANT. just fabulous. I am so glad you went, had a good time, and enjoyed the time with John.. and yes, most definitely, you would def rather be home with Matthew for all the reasons listed and more -- home in your heart and home with god he is, home in physical embodiment we all wish was... I am sure you were incredibly kind and supported the questioners with your thoughtful responses...
    21 weeks.. yahoo!! go go go grow lil luke :)

  10. Lori, you look stunning!! I think one of the hardest things for me to deal with as a blm besides living without Gracie is being treated differently after I tell someone that we lost her. It makes me want to stay home and never meet anybody new. I had the experience of meeting 15 new people at my Bible study today and I came home crying and overwhelmed it was too much.

    I had the stomach shocks when I was pregnant with Gavin and my doctor said it's totally normal. I didn't have them when I was pregnant with Gracie. I would still double check with your doctor about them but I think it's probably fine just painful.

  11. you look great!!! it sounds like you had a wonderful trip with luke and john. welcome home!

  12. Oh no!! My comment is gone!!! Wah!!!!

    I was just saying I'm so glad you had a great time. When we went to Maui 3 months after Madelyn died I struggled with those same thoughts of thinking I should be home with HER, not on some exotic island. But it was hard not to find peace and healing when surrounded by the quiet beauty of Maui. I hope you were able to find a similar experience on your cruise! I'm glad you had a nice time!

  13. So happy you were able to take this trip! You look absolutely amazing!

    As for the comments, I suppose they never get easier :(

    Hope that you have a restful weekend. You and Luke indulge in some Sugar Babies for me!

    Much Love

  14. You look so beautiful! The questions are hard, but it sounds like you passed them with flying colors. Wow 21 weeks is amazing! I can't wait till I get there. On;y 11 more weeks...LOL

  15. missed you and your updates!!!! you are one beautiful glowing preggo! absolutely stunning in your evening gown!

    pregnancy IS hard, and yes, people forget that it is also an emotional roller coaster and that doing it again so close after a loss that you haven't healed from makes it monumentally harder..... plan b is really a great way to put it. sometimes god just doesn't do what we think He will and that doesn't mean that He's not God or that we don't believe/have faith or whatever..... it means that we simply do not understand because we're human and He's not! but He's always there and when we look and ask..... He shows us where he is!

    by the way, i HATE those questions too... even though i sometimes ask them (all the while hoping to find someone to relate to!)

    welcome back, waiting on pins and needles for the next picture of luke!!!!

  16. Pretty sure you are the cutest pregnant lady EVAR.
    I'm so glad you're gaining weight on a good level and all things are going well (minus the weird stomach shocks???).
    I wanted to lock myself in my house while I was pregnant with my rainbow because of the questions. I got better as I went along.
    I really want you to say the "what reason did my baby die?" next time. I really want you to and then tell me about it :)
    So glad you're back and had a great time!

  17. Glad you had a great time, aside from the annoying questions and comments (I HATE "everything happens for a reason"!)

  18. You look amazing! So happy that you had a wonderful time with your hubby. That book sound great--keep us updated on it. I may need to add it my stash:)

  19. I'm so glad you had a good time and hope John is feeling relaxed and recharged. But I'm sorry that your vacation didn't mean a "vacation" from reality...not like it ever could. A few days of blissful ignorance, 100% focus on Luke, and not having to struggle to answer questions or have awkward small talk would've been nice. Impossible, but nice.

    Hope the motion of the ship didn't aggravate (or trigger) any of the current aches-and-pains. No matter what may or may not have come before, every pregnancy has stages that are physically more difficult or painful than others...acknowledging them doesn't equal any ungratefulness. You never know, posting about them may bring feedback and suggestions from others that could help.

    Looking forward to seeing more photos of your boy's inaugural travels. My cousin got back the same day from a cruise to Bermuda. Wonder if you were on the same ship...I'll have to look for you in the background of her pictures :)

  20. You look just beautiful. So happy that your trip was restful...and sorry that you had to answer so many questions...

    Wanted to tell you that the breathing issues you described I also had with my first pregnancy. (I am a bit taller than you but have very little carriage room for babies...not much space at all between my breasts and my lower abdomen.) I think with us "Short waisted" gals there just isn't enough room, period! This is one of the things that made my first pregnancy so hard. I could not get full breaths and then I would get a little panicky which would cause me to hyper ventillate. I also had episodes of syncopy. I never passed completely out but had issues where one or both babies were lying on my vegas nerve and would cause me to all of the sudden get dizzy and have the sensation that I couldn't breathe. (I think this is the same thing that happens and why they tell you not to sleep on your back or why some women have episodes during their ultrasounds. Only I had these all the time!)

    Anyway, those episodes made me so fearful...and I don't look forward to having them again...but like you, would gladly take all of them on in a second for my baby, no matter what. But they are uncomfortable and scary so it's ok for you to complain. They are not fun.

    I just pray that this time for me I am more prepared for them, or maybe somehow this time they won't be as bad, or come as early in my pregnancy as they did with my twins.

    Oh, the curse of being a cute petite little thing...not much room for little Luke. I know how uncomfortable you are probably already becoming...and just want to tell you, I understand girl.


  21. Bound to encounter those questions when strangers are around! Of course, they're just trying to make small talk and be happy. Sucks to sink their boat but I kinda have gotten used to it.

    You look great in your swimsuit with a yummy drink! :)

    I use Bio-Oil on my stomach. Although this time I think I was destined for stretch marks. But little miss Lainey is worth it!

  22. you are so beautiful, inside and out. i'm glad you were able to get away for a while and have some time with your hubby.