Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Moving Forward, Minivans and Months....

...rather the lack thereof in the months department. We are probably looking at January 4-6 for Luke's birthday and friends...that's 34 days or so from now. I don't have to go through the whole figuring out/conversion of weeks-to-months in gestational terms for people when they ask when I am due. Now, I just can say, "Next Month." Hard to believe. REALLY hard to believe.

And that's where moving forward ties in...whether we like it or not, it happens. I guess more so, whether we are READY or not, it happens. Some days, I feel like I'm doing pretty well, all things considered, and even give myself a tiny pat on the back for how 'healthy' my 'grieving process' has been. Of course, this is usually following a counseling session where I've been told this and somehow, hearing it from someone else makes it more believable, right?

Other days...and I guess if I am honest, I'd even say most days to some degree...I just feel like I'm going through motions to keep my head above water. Don't get me wrong, I think that honestly, this is pretty much the only way to function sometimes--just continue to push yourself through the motions of things and the authenticity eventually will come (or you'll realize that it is not something of which you want to experience the authenticity and you just stop!) it 'fake it 'til you make it' or what you will, but I call it survival.

And really, isn't that what most of us do most days anyway? Whether it's because we've lost a job or a friend hurts our feelings or we are frustrated by the insurance company or we try and contemplate a lifetime without a loved one...we just do what we can do to best survive the day.

What an added blessing so many days are when I realize that I've not just survived, I've had such grace extended that I am able to enjoy and immerse myself in that authenticity that I prayed would come.

But it all starts with the going through of the motions...and those motions have to have the goal of moving forward. I'm on board, I guess.

John, in his efforts to do the same, does things differently. Of course...John has a way of needing what we'd call 'retail therapy' when his heart hurts. I'm not talking about a new book or sweater or fish for his tank. I'm talking about outrageously expensive bedroom furniture or basement renovation or a new car.

Yes, a new car. We bought a minivan yesterday. Last May, on the 31st to be exact, we bought a new Honda CRV. My beloved Accord had been totaled and that just broke my heart. But....we had two dogs and a baby on the way, so it was time to upsize a bit anyway. And Wally was bought. I really loved that car. We got a great deal on it and more, it just was proof that we were going to need more space because we had a real, live baby on the way!!!! FINALLY...after over 10 years....I would *need* a little SUV!

Driving a few weeks ago to mom's house, with two dogs and stuff for ONE night....John and I realized that when Luke came, we might be a tad bit cramped. The quest for the minivan was on. Of course, all those responsibilities were mine--(in defense of John, the responsibility of paying for it is his, so I think I got the good end of the deal!) and actually that's a good thing because when John and I play good cop/bad cop, I am SOOOOO the bad cop. And I'm pretty good at it too. I have NO problem saying, rather firmly I might add, "Well. That's a deal breaker. Let's go, John."

Which is met with John's pleading eyes..."But I LIKE it!" (Pensacola girls, can't you just HEAR him?)

Luckily for John, we got not only the deal I was looking for, but a bit better and the exact color we wanted, so Homer became part of our family. Yes, Homer. Named by John. For Homer's epic Odyssey.

Because it's a 2011 Odyssey:

We traded the CRV in and let me tell you, I cried. A LOT. Wally was the car we bought for Matthew. John didn't officially know it was for Matthew yet, but I did. I drove that car around and turned the music up and sang and sang to him. He responded heartily with kick after kick after kick. Like his Great-grandma, Grandma and mommy, that boy LOVED his music. We drove to appointments and baby registering and baby showers and baby birthing classes and baby feeding classes in that car. That was Matthew's car.

And as is happening so much more and more these more thing that was Matthew's has disappeared.

It's like a knife over and over. I know it's dumb, because it's just a car...but it was HIS car. The new car is Luke's and I'm so thrilled to have it...but there are so few things that were Matthew's. Ours. They just keep dropping off and my heart hurts.

One of my most vivid memories--a narrative that just keeps playing over and over in my head--is getting into that car the morning we left the hospital. The car seat was there and huge and obviously, empty. Bad enough we were driving home without our son...but with the empty car seat as a cruel reminder. There may be pictures and memories I'll forget...but I doubt that will be one of them.


Luke has tons of hair! He looked fabulous yesterday and Katie, the sono tech said, "Wow...that's a lotta hair!" Matthew had a lot of hair also, but his was fine and long. Bless his little heart, John and I daresay even mullet-like. John said that he wonders if Luke will come out looking like a mon-chi-chi. I would love that--I think babies with all that fluffy hair are freaking adorable! We got the famous, "Lori, this kid looks like a million," from Dr. Sweeney and discussed dates for the surgery. He's going to see what day during the week of the 3rd works best for Dr. Morris at the hospital, and let us know next Monday. I asked about how often he'd like to see us that last week or two and bless his heart, again, he said, "As much as you need to so you don't worry!" grateful that he gets how much I'm worried. I knew it would be like this, and for that reason, I am at least a bit prepared and can try and keep things under control...but the closer we get, the less and less I actually believe we will be dressing a little boy in the things I am washing and folding.

The more and more I fear I'll have another nursery that will be unused.

A bigger car with no need.

Another grave to visit.

It didn't really seem very real with Matthew...and I had NO reason to worry. I'm having a hard time believing this time will be different. I know that 6.3 in 1000 infants die in the US. I know that in Maryland, 8 in 1000 die. I know those are very, very low odds.

I've said it before though...when you are one of those very, very low numbers...the odds could be 1 in 1,000,000 and you can't completely rule out that you won't be that one. And just because you've already been that one, you don't feel like you've hit your quota or anything. It could just as easily be you...again.

As we get closer...I just continue to pray that this time, it won't be.

Here's a picture of Luke's hair floating around in the amniotic fluid!

I made it over 120 this week, but just barely, and now I'm back to about 118. Of course, for the past day or so, I've also had a touch of the stomach bug that's been going around, I think, so it's still probably about a net gain of 18ish pounds, but he's doing just fine, and growing beautifully, so I'm not worried about my weight. It's fine. STILL NO SWELLING!!! HOORAY!

32w5d...beautiful weather for Thanksgiving but WINDY!

Here's a bit of what he's up to this week:

Week Thirty Three: Lanugo is disappearing

You are 33 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 31 weeks)
  • The baby inside you is now about 4.4 pounds (2 kg) and around 17.5 inches (44cm) in length.
  • The diameter of the head is about 8.5cm.
  • The baby fuzz, lanugo, is disappearing.
  • Your baby drinks about a pint of amniotic fluid a day.
  • You may gain a pound a week (500g) for the rest of your pregnancy.
  • Half of your weight gain will go directly to your baby.
33 weeksThe baby is using it's lungs to practice breathing by inhaling amniotic fluid. Your baby is drinking about a pint of amniotic fluid a day now and urinating the same amount. The early baby fuzz, lanugo, is disappearing now and being replaced by actual hair. The nails of your baby are now long enough to reach to the tip of the fingers or beyond and may need trimming as soon as they are born. They may scratch their face even before birth.

You may gain a pound a week for the rest of your pregnancy. Do not stop eating or start skipping meals as your weight increases. Both you and your baby need the calories and nutrition you receive from a healthy diet.

Calcium intake is extremely important during pregnancy because the baby will draw calcium from the mother to make and harden bone. This can greatly weaken her own bones and teeth because the developing fetus will take minerals from the mother's skeletal structure as and when needed.


  1. Oh Lori. :( I'm so sorry that you had to part with "Wally". I'm glad that I'm not the only one that has attachments that *seem* silly to those on the outside looking in.
    I'm also sorry that you've started to worry about the upcoming birth of Luke. I know that God's will WILL be done...and I just know in my heart that there is a live, healthy baby boy in that! :) I'll be praying for you, and praying that the anxiety stays low. And I'm also praying that you'll get what you SO deserve... a living,breathing baby to take home.
    Much love to you!


  2. {{{Lori}}}
    I remember when Joshua was born. As his head was crowing I simply froze. I stopped pushing, stopped breathing, and my world stood still at the shock that we were actually, finally, truly delivering a live, bring-home baby! Rick had to remind me to breath and push again and then he was out, healthy, and soon in my arms. Until that moment, though I had prepared a nursery and done the showers and all of that, I had only been able to say "if" not "when". I guess I had actually anticipated driving home with an empty car seat and it was delightfully stunning to discover that God ordained life in our home for this child! Praying the same joyful delight for you, my friend!

  3. I get it. My kids are here and I can't let go of so many things because they reminded me of a specific memory. First time to dinner, meeting someone new, etc. The car may have been the thing taking you around when you had those precious moments with Matthew, but it was because you loved him and cherished those tiny events that make them special. To me it feels like having all the stuff around makes it easier to relive those exact sweet & perfect moments. There were so many places in the springs that remind me of Kyle. Everywhere really. I'll say, "there's the Walgreens where Kyle and I went looking for Christmas decorations." "There's the train tracks where we had those pictures taken." "There's Jose Muldoons, the last place I saw him alive." But it also means there are memories, and I'm so thankful for that. Luke is coming, and since I'm not the mom who lost her baby boy in a one in a million chance, I'll speak it with no hesitance. I'll say anything for you that is too hard for you to do yourself in this anxious time - He IS coming home. This time the back seat will be filled with gifts, balloons, flowers and a PERFECT baby boy with beautiful hair.

  4. You are still one of the cutest pregnant people ever! I can't imagine what giving up that CRV was like for you, but I understand. Sean has mentioned upgrading my Tahoe, the one I bought with a DVD player and 3rd row seats for kids, I'm not getting rid of it until I put a baby in it! I'm holding my ground! Sending you tons of hugs as you miss Matthew.

    I can't imagine how you feel right now nearing the end, but I'm praying for your peace and calm and reassurances from God to let you know that it's all going to be ok!

    LOVE and more LOVE!

  5. "And just because you've already been that one, you don't feel like you've hit your quota or anything. It could just as easily be you...again." Such a scary thought and I know exactly how you feel right now, but I'm praying and believing that in just 34 days from now you'll hardly remember this fear because you'll be so, so happy instead!!

  6. WooHoo ! Another Odyssey mom ! :)

    I SO get what you are saying about the odds. I remember laying in the hospital, mere minutes before Riley was due to be born (scheduled c/section). My dear friend said "you don't look very excited". I replied " I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that this is happening". Why should I actually get 'my turn'? What made that pregnancy different? Just because I made it to term? Being an L & D RN, I knew what could happen. So even though I was delivering at 38 weeks instead of 22...I couldn't believe it was going to be ok. I refused to set up his nursery. It was done for me AFTER he was born. I only washed the absolute necessities. I was scared to death.

    So, I get it.

    ((hugs)) to you.
    Now go rock that MV!!!

  7. You look great!

    And I can totally imagine how hard it must've been to depart with Wally. I get it. 100%. But congrats on Homer!!

    And I get the increasing fear as we get closer and closer. I was going through the things we have for Liam last night, and I had to keep pushing the "what ifs" out of my head. To people like us who have had pregnancies result in tragedy, and it's hard to imagine it any other way. But we WILL have our happy ending this time. We WILL! We MUST!! Right?!?!

    Yeah. I only half convince myself, too. *sigh*

    Sending love!

  8. Big hugs, Lori!!! I have been thinking about and praying for you and your boys this past week.

  9. (((Lori)))
    You don't sound silly at all for appointing "Wally" Matthew's vehicle. I get that. I still struggle looking in my back seat and seeing the missing car seat beside Evan where Zac SHOULD be.
    And the agony of packing up one of everything, and the twin stroller, and matching outfits...ya...I understand putting memories in to things, vehicles, etc.
    But I'm praying that you will feel the peace of God as you move forward to the day you will hold your precious Luke in your arms...and going home with him in your new van. I can only imagine how frightening the fears are as the day approaches...but we pray that those fears will be put to rest and that you will enjoy your final days/weeks with Luke inside...and then seeing his face and his eyes looking in to yours.
    I know how hard it will be to feel such unbelievable joy in that moment...and undeniable pain as you are washed over with joy and sorrow all in one moment.
    I'm praying for you!!!!!!
    Praying for peace. Praying for health. Praying for comfort.
    Praying praying praying!

    Love you sweet gal.

    By the guys look GORGEOUS in your picture!!


    Heather (heathershope - HP)

  10. Love the minivan but sorry you had to part with Wally. Lori, you are going to be anxious everyday until sweet little Luke makes his miraculous appearance in this world and you are kissing his sweet forehead while he has his little hand wrapped around your finger. That is normal. I'm gong to keep praying that you have some peace for the next month and that God watches over that precious miracle you are carrying. <3

  11. Congrats on Homer ("D'OH!")! Sorry, that's just the Homer that comes to mind. Did i just ruin the car for you?
    By the way, my friend has an Odysexxy and loves it.

    And darn, you two are just too stinkin' cute!

  12. Cars are hard enough to give up under the best of circumstances...many memories are created in them, and they often represent a specific time or event (car taken to college, first one bought with your own money, first one bought for kids, etc.). And "Wally" = a physical, present reminder of Matthew that you described so well. I'm sorry it was so hard to give "him" up :( But I hope Homer brings you much joy (and no maintenance issues!) and Luke loves his new wheels. I have a Pilot, and after 3.5 years with it, I'm convinced mini-vans are the way to go. If only my husband agreed. While you can't fully give yourself over to the idea of Luke coming home, I'm excited at the thought of all the adventures you'll have in your "swagger wagon." 34 (now less) days!!! Continuing to wish you that elusive peace of spirit.

    And...reading "flowing locks" almost made me choke on my coffee...too funny. All I could think of was Fabio. Here's hoping Luke has some impressive hair but not anything that should be gracing the cover of a romance novel. At least not until he's a teenager and rebelling against the buzz cuts John may be itching to give him

  13. Praying for you as Luke's birth nears; asking Him to give you peace. He's coming to stay, Lori.
    And I vote for the 5th as his birthday; it's my anniversary. :)
    Also, I canNOT wait to see that little man in all his adorableness!!!!

  14. I'm sorry you had to get rid of Wally. I think you'll really like Homer. We have an 05 Odyssey and love it!!

    And it is really hard not to feel like you're gonna be another statistic. It becomes much more real once you've already been there.

  15. its so hard to not feel like another stat, I didnt really have Brooklyn's room read in fear that she wouldn't come home with us either. Sending you lots of prayers