Heavy Heart

With loss there is almost an unspoken order of events that should happen. Someone that lost a baby before me should have their rainbow baby before me.  This is how I have felt ever since meeting so many amazing women that have also had heart breaking losses.  For some reason this order of events just doesn’t play out all the time.  There is this one girl that I have become close with- we text a lot. She lost her baby girl in August 2013. It was a full term pregnancy & freak thing that happened during delivery that caused her baby to live for a week after she was born. I connected with her instantly because she had also held her child…spent time with her and made the heartbreaking decision to take her daughter off oxygen and held her as she passed. Just like we did with Cade.  It all may have gone down in the same room at the same hospital actually.

Since meeting her I have wanted her to have a healthy baby as badly as I wanted my own healthy baby.  Sadly, she has had 3 losses since (one all the way at 14 weeks of pregnancy).  Her and her husband have started to go to CCRM for help and answers.  She had started her meds and things were actually moving forward for an IVF cycle this month.  Anyways, I got another heart breaking text this afternoon. A cyst was detected in her ovary so they are canceling her cycle this month.   I am just sick about it.

I remember being stuck in that place. I too had random things happen that delayed my first IVF cycle. But then it happened and we had Cade.  And then 4.5 months later I got pregnant with Berkley who is just about 7 months.  And here is this amazing women- who is STILL stuck in the same place as when I met with her the first time over a year and half ago.  Women struggling with infertility, I know you know the pain of waiting and waiting.  Time passes so slowly.  A simple 1 month set back feels like being punched in the gut.  It’s really the worst.

So my ask for all of you is to say a prayer for her.  There HAS to be light at the end of the tunnel for her soon.  I have gotten fairly blunt with God since losing Cade and for this friend my prayer has turned into something like “give her a healthy baby… as soon as possible.”

October Run Down

Well HELLO there!  October came and went and I had little to no time to write and keep up on here.  Sorry, Y’all 🙂  Here is my quick October run-down and a glimpse into what is going on with our lives .

MOVING! Still… kitchen cabinets got painted (white, of course). Walls are being painted, things are slowing coming together. I’ll put up some house pictures soon!!

WORKING! Not as exciting, but equally-if not more- exhausting. I have been SO busy. By the time I get home at night I am just brain fried.

ROYALS! World Series champs… NBD.  KC is buzzing and I am so excited but SO tired from those late-night games.  The last time we won in 1985 (my birth year).

Berkley 10/31/2015 & me (about 8 months) in 1985.

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BERKLEY!!!! My funny, adorable, snuggly, expressive 6 (almost 7) month old.  She was sick, sick, sick 2 weeks ago (fever, puking, etc.). It. was. terrible. And Adam and I didn’t get any sleep for pretty much a week straight.  She is all better now, but wow- being a parent was pretty tough there for a few days.

Honestly, I love writing and I love this blog. I am just having a really tough time finding my voice on here. It’s a very strange place to be after going through so much heart ache and now having so much joy.   October 15 was Infant & Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day.  I was supposed to go to a group that night but Adam was traveling and we were staying with my in-laws while the cabinets were getting painted. It was just one of those days that was crazy and I couldn’t make it.  A very awesome gal (who has also gone through a lot- and is still very much in it) lit a candle for Cade.  It was so thoughtful.

“Celebrating the lives of our children who reign in glory”

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Remembering Cade

Between the move to Kansas City, working, getting the house set up, etc. life has been busy busy (and this blog has not been a top priority).  I want to take a moment to reflect and level-set.  A year ago I was about 8 weeks pregnant, still extremely upset and sad about losing Cade and just out of my mind with grief.  I remember days at the office where I could feel the tears welling up and rushing to the bathroom before people noticed me.

I felt so honored to be asked by DenverMetroMoms to write a post about Cade and our story.  It went live today.  In every moment of extreme joy and happiness there is an opposite emotion being experienced by families around the globe.  Today, there are babies being lost and families experiencing what we went through March 13-15, 2014.   They are literally always on my mind.

My first product review: Snuza Hero

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No this is not an official product review. Like no one asked me to do this.  🙂

One of my best purchases while I was pregnant was the Snuza Hero. What is that you may ask?  Well, in a nutshell it is a movement monitor, but it clips onto their diaper vs. being under a mattress like some of the other options. It’s portable.

How it works:  No movements sensed in 15 seconds, it vibrates to try and arouse the baby. If another so many seconds passes without movement detected, a really annoying/loud alarm goes off.  I know this sound because we have gotten a few false alarms which are typically caused if it falls off her diaper or she is laying on her side (which she loves to do).  It went off like the 5th night we had Berkley home and Adam and I were like bats out of hell until we got to her.

Why I love it:  Well, its portable and it’s small. I take it with us when we travel. It doesn’t matter if she is in her crib, pack n play or bassinet. It’s on her.  I actually can’t sleep at night unless I know its on her.

If you are a worrier like me & stress about things like SIDS… this product is for you.

 

4 months and loving life!

Berkley is just over 4 months old!  We are having so much fun with her.  Give me a 4 month old any day- this is definitely my favorite age so far.

Berkley loves to smile, gasp, be outside and put everything in her mouth.  At her 4 month appointment she was the 29th percentile for weight (whoop!) and 70th for height. I am trying to soak it all in – thank you Lord for this precious baby girl.

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Berkley’s Newborn Shoot

Just about 3 months late & long overdue… but I am obsessed with how Berkley’s newborn pics turned out and thought it was past time I shared them!  I think they capture our little family perfectly. Thank you to Rachael Wooten Photography!

**My newborn with a full head of hair has quickly turned into an almost bald soon-to-be 4 month old**

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Emotions

On Friday I was sitting at the coffee shop with my youngest sister and Berkley.  Of course we were playing with Berkley, sipping on coffee and chatting.   There were 2 women sitting at a table close by and my ears perked up when I heard the word “IVF”.    I continued to eavesdrop (I know, classy) and this women was telling her story of multiple IUIs and failed IVF cycles. I literally could barely breathe because I started feeling so awkward and so bad about having Berkley right there in front of her.   I remember being in that place and feeling jealousy when I saw other moms with their babies. I HATE that having Berkley out and about with me can sometimes cause those same sort of feeling in other women.

There are so many couples that have been in my thoughts and prayers recently.  Lots of heart breaking stories. It’s just so crazy how many couples struggle with infertility these days.    I think one thing that got me through infertility and losing Cade was completely trying to change my mindset and not letting those things define me as a person.  I remembering brainstorming what I was good at and really trying to make a difference in those areas- just put the focus elsewhere for awhile.   Infertility and loss doesn’t define someone, they just add to the overall story.

To the woman at the coffee shop- I’m so sorry you are going through this. I so badly wanted to come up to you and let you know that although I probably looked happy and stress-free with my little baby that it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies….

 

On infant formula

Sadly, my milk supply still hasn’t increased even though I have been working my a** off.  I have been supplementing with formula or pumped milk since her 2 month doctor’s appointment and overall we have a very happy little girl that is gaining weight and finally has a thigh roll 🙂  This post is to share some knowledge over formula, what I give Berkley and our experience with it so far.

Prior to any milk supply problems I had read up on formula by chance. More out of curiosity than anything… but I am a researcher and I like to be informed.    To give you some background, my husband and I are pretty health-conscience.  We really care about what we eat & where it is sourced from.  We care about animal treatment and will pay more for food that we know is higher quality.  And we don’t trust the US food system all of the time. You can only watch so many documentaries to know that we have major issues in the US when it comes to our food.  So I am a skeptic to begin with.

The first article I read was a Food Babe article over formula.  The thing that bothered me about what I read was that it only compared organic US brands and there were still so many things “wrong” with the formula.  Synthetic preservatives, palm oil, etc.

From the Food Babe article:

“I will only cover organic formula, and I hope that readers will understand that while there are many problems in this segment of the organic industry, organic formula is still a far better choice than conventional formula, with its genetically engineered ingredients (GMOs), milk from cows that were likely treated with antibiotics or artificial growth hormones, and oils that were processed with the use of neurotoxic solvents like hexane.  Major ingredients in conventional formula are derived from crops that were sprayed with harmful pesticides and herbicides in the field and likely fumigated in storage.”

My head was spinning after going through this article.  But at this point, it didn’t even cross my mind that I would need to start giving Berkley formula sooner than later.  Fast forward to her 2 month appointment and the #milksupplyprobs that I shared and all of the sudden I needed to give B formula.  The first thing I did was order some Honest Company Organic Formula. Using the Food Babe article, I went through every single ingredient and decided it looked pretty good, all things considered.  I liked the fact that the first ingredient was actual organic milk vs. some sort of sugar product- which is the first ingredient on most formulas, sadly.

After ordering and trying this formula (Berkley took it just fine. I didn’t notice any tummy issues) I did even more research and came across this article on Gimmethegoodstuff which lead me to the discovery of Holle Infant formula out of Germany… which is pretty much as good as it gets when it comes to formula in regards to quality & safety.  By this point, it was clear that I would be giving Berkley much more formula then planned, therefore, I have since then been ordering Holle through Little World Organics– Berkley loves it.  The biggest difference I have noticed in this formula is actually in her poos which are now very close to breastmilk poos even though she gets a good amount of formula per day (sorry Berkley for publicly blogging about your bowel movements).

I think as consumers often times we assume that the food we eat is safe if it is sold in the grocery stores. And you would assume that infant formula is especially safe & has the highest of quality standards.  Sadly that isn’t always true.  I know every mom just does they best they can do with the information they are given and it is overwhelming to literally put in the time and energy to research every-little-thing (and try to get some sleep!).    I felt compelled to spread the word, especially if you are using formula.  I know up until 2 months ago I was completely in the dark and it was just by-chance that I stumbled across these above articles.  Sharing is caring and I care a lot about you and your babies.  Maybe I will start a formula company one day 🙂

I promise my next post will be more fun!

xoxo,

Emily

KC here we come!

We are moving to Kansas City!  There I said it.  It is sooooo bittersweet, but things are in motion – our relator put the “coming soon” sign in our yard today.  I really can’t believe it and it doesn’t seem real yet.  A year ago I swore I would never live in KC again and here I am… moving back.  Never say never!

I went back to work part time last week and will be working remote (T, W, Th). Adam’s job is what set this wheel in motion. He manages a remote team, so he can really work from anywhere.  We are so excited to be closer to family.  After what we have been through, family really trumps everything else and we want Berkley to be around family all the time.

We are so excited to try something new.  Thinking of this like an adventure although I am very nervous because we LOVE Denver.  But we can always move back, right?

All about how Berkley came to be: Part 2 Birth!

This won’t be the most exciting birth story you have ever heard- exactly what I had hoped for! As mentioned in my previous post, my amazing doctor set up an induction date for me of April 7th (if I made it there!). I know induction, especially before 40 weeks, can be controversial. All I can say, is don’t judge until you have been through what I have. I really really needed this.

We checked into the hospital the night of April 6th to get things started.  Unfortunately I was only dilated to a 1 when we got there.  After a suppository to “ripen my cervix” (I know.. barf) I was maybe a 1.5.  We were in a for long process!  Pitocin was started around 8am on April 7th and literally the day went like this: still nothing.. up pitocin…still nothing…up pitocin…still nothing… up pitocin.   They finally came and broke my water around lunch and things started to somewhat progress, but I think I was maybe a 4 at 4pm. Ha. At this point we all started thinking maybe this was going to be an April 8th baby vs. April 7th.  The many texts asking for updates started slowing at this point as well.   I did decide to get an epidural at some point in the afternoon. Contractions were finally starting to pick up and they were about 2 mins apart.  You always hear stories about it being too late and I didn’t want to take any chances.  I had decided before going in to get induced that I was OK with having an easier birth experience. I would LOVE to try naturally if there is a next time, but for this round I needed to be in a very controlled environment & I was OK with NOT being in a ton of pain. 🙂

Finally about 7pm, I think I was still somewhere between a 5-6 and my doctor said she was going to head to the other hospital where she had some patients and they were going to keep monitoring baby and just to let them know if I felt any strange pressure.  I felt so numb from the epidural, I started thinking how I wouldn’t even be able to feel any pressure at all so I asked the anesthesiologist to come back in and lower my dose.  I wanted to be able to feel things.

FINALLY, about 9pm I had 2 super strong contractions and I thought to myself that maybe, just maybe those did feel a little different.  I asked my nurse to check me and sure enough she looked up at me and said “you are going to have a baby”.  And I lost it.  If you know me well, you know I am not an emotional person. And actually that’s not even that true.  I am very emotional but I don’t show it in front of other people.  Waterworks galore- was this really happening?? Finally?? Of course, my mom caught my tears on camera.  Good work, Mom.

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Everyone except for Adam left the room, my nurse called my doctor and had me try a few practice pushes while we were waiting for the doctor.  During the second push she actually had me stop because baby girl was right there and the doctor wasn’t in the room yet.    My doctor got there.  Again had me do a push – and then stopped me – because she wasn’t scrubbed in and baby girl was right there.  Once she was scrubbed in,  it was game time.  Have I mentioned how much I LOVE giving birth? Like, if you told me I had to go have a baby today I would jump for joy. It is the most amazing experience.  The fact that our body’s can even do that is baffling.

It took me just a few pushes to deliver Berkley.   As they pulled her out- she let out a loud cry and I was finally able to relax a little.  My little girl was here, alive.  Adam and I were literally in awe of her.  She was laid on my chest immediately and they started wiping her off.   So was so beautiful, adorable, the most cute thing I had ever seen. Truly.

Berkley Ann Griffin

April 7, 2015 at 9:55pm

6lb 12 oz, 20.5in

 

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