Nothing ordinary about it...

(I knew we were having this baby from the moment she was conceived. I thought this to be the last time that I would ever be pregnant so I set out to enjoy every moment... Or at least feel every moment because I am a realist and do not believe that every moment in life needs to be enjoyed. I began writing this journal immediately in Google Docs under the same title that you see up there now. I kept it off and on whenever I felt/saw/thought something I wanted to remember. At the time, I didn't know what type of story I was writing but I knew it was important.)

01/20/17 - We may or may not have just conceived our 6* child.
*I have 5 living children - my 3rd son had an identical twin that was stillborn at 33 weeks. It complicates numbers in my life. This is my 6 pregnancy although I have already delivered 6 children but only have 5 here with me. My hopes of all hopes is that this will be our 6th living child - 7th overall.

1/26/17 - I think we did.

2/1/17 - We must have - today I took a non-Sunday nap. I haven’t taken a non-Sunday nap in years.

2/2/17 - Another nap - two days in a row… this is getting real.

2/4/17 - Today my period is supposed to start.  I can not wait any longer so I scrounge through the bathroom cabinet until I find a pregnancy test. After 5 pregnancies, pregnancy tests are just one of those things you have lying around, like hemorrhoid cream and bras that for the time being do not fit. It comes back negative - I know it is wrong and would take another just to prove it so but it is the last of my stockpile.

2/5/17 - I am supposed to fast because it is the first Sunday of the month and my religion encourages that we abstain from food for two meals on this day. I make it to 9am before I start feeling light headed. I don’t want my husband, Blake to catch on to the fact that I am not fasting so I sneak toast while he is playing Legos with the kids and later steal bites of the kid’s quesadillas at lunch when no one is looking. Pregnant and nursing women have a free pass on fasting which means that the majority of my adult life I have not fasted - something that drives Blake batty. So I feel justified in my deception, let him think that I put in my time for one more month and besides I am not quite ready for my secret to be our secret. There is nothing like those first few days of pregnancy when you are the sole owner of the knowledge that you are carrying a new creation within you. It is something that I will surely miss about pregnancy, the I-have-the-best-secret-ever of it all.

2/6/17 - I go to the gym. I can already see my tummy begin to poke. How is this possible - we are only a few divided cells into this thing but my abs must have surrendered defeat on day one. I don’t blame them, after five pregnancies they know there is no reason to stay and fight. I bid them farewell for the time being.

2/8/17 - Finally make it to the dollar store for another pregnancy test. I don’t need it to know because I am already 100% sure but I want one to present to Blake on Valentine’s Day next week. Because nothing says, “Be mine” like a heart-shaped candy box that’s contents have been emptied (into my pregnant belly self) and replaced by a plastic stick contaminated with urine. Throughout my pregnancies, I have gone from one extreme to another - waiting weeks for the perfect moment to surprise Blake with the big news to texting him a cell phone photo at work immediately, “Here we go again.” This time - the final time - I went back to sentimental Cyndi and decided that I needed to present the news in some fun way. Luckily, Valentine’s Day is coming soon because my instant pregnancy pop of a tummy would not have allowed the secret to stay secret for long. And besides I think he already knows - sex is always good between us but pregnancy agrees with me and makes it, for the lack of a better word, ummmmm… WOW! We are both aware of this but won’t point to the obvious.

2/10/17 - Nausea, food aversions, smell hyper-awareness, exhaustion… I have felt them all over the course of the years. Each one of my pregnancies have been different in their negative side effects but obviously none of them crippling enough that I decide to never to do it again. This time it is the smell of my own children that is making me sick. The weather has changed and we are outside for a bit each day - my children come in smelling like wet dogs and raw onions. I am bathing them more frequently and trying to discreetly stay as far as possible away from them.

2/13/17 - I woke at 3:30am to pee and never was able to fall back to sleep. Pregnancy insomnia is the worst.

2/14/17 - Valentine’s Day has been overrun as a kid holiday. Blake and I barely see each other on this day of love until 7pm. We pull together a salmon dinner and send the kids off to bed where they giggle and avoid sleep, delirious with candy overload. We settle in for a movie and coconut cream pie. Halfway through the movie, I present Blake with the heart-shaped box. He expresses appreciation and begins to set it aside. I tell him that he needs to open it and he gives me knowing eyes, “Oh - I think I know what is in here.” I respond with, “I know that you know but I had to try and be cute.” He obediently opens it and we laugh and hug at our sheer craziness. The only thing better than having it be my secret is having it be our secret - having babies is just something that makes Blake and I happy - like ice cream, movies with lasers/aliens, and warm days at the beach.

2/19/17 - I have to teach at church today. I don’t announce anything but the sheer volume of tears should leave people feeling suspicious. Why does growing a baby have to affect my tear ducts? I mean how farther away from my uterus could you get then tear ducts!

2/25/17 - We told our first friends today… and Blake’s parents. Telling people you are having a baby never gets old - the laughs, the squeals, the look of are-you-sure-you-want-to-do-this? It is all good fun.

2/27/17 - Had to deliver pigs out to Emmett so we made it family event. On the way home, we stopped for milkshakes and Blake announced that we had a surprise for them. After a few guesses. My favorite being, “We are getting a kitty?!?” - Blake lets them all know they get to be big brothers and sisters again. Paisley starts sobbing. When I ask if she is ok, she replies, “I have never been so happy in my life.” Her reaction warms my heart - I am happy that the kids are happy… for the most part… maybe not Perry.

3/6/17 - Dentist for Perry and me today. I swear that the hygienist believes I am getting pregnant over and over again to avoid the uncomfortable procedure of dental x-rays. There might be some truth in that.

3/7/17 - My sister, Kara, called today. I have been holding off on telling family but she kept wondering why I hadn’t committed to a race in August so I decide I need to lay it out for her. “I am pregnant.” Followed by 5 solid minutes of screaming. Her reaction is priceless and I wish every baby ever conceived received such a welcomed reaction to the news. She called me later to tell me that she had been smiling for 8 hours straight and has told no less than 10 perfect strangers that I am having a baby.

3/9/17 - Mom and Dad are driving through - I let the kids do the honor of sharing our big news. This baby makes grandchild #33 yet they seem just as excited as if it was their first.

3/14/17 - First doctor appointment with the CNP - I consider skipping it but am trying to be good so I go. She does an internal ultrasound and I can see our little bean. Everything checks out well and I learn that my due date is October 12th. This is the same nurse who removed my IUD so she does the math for me. “I took out your IUD on January 4th, you started your period the 5th, and you conceived the 20th - some women would kill for that kind of fertility.”

3/19/17 - I blogged about it - I guess that makes it official!

3/22/17 - Why?!? Why do people feel it necessary to ask “Is there two in there?” If there were I would tell you... since there isn’t and never will be again… please don’t ask. It just brings up a thousand awful sad thoughts of how I desperately wish I was raising twins but tragically am not. I know people don’t mean it this way and they are completely unaware of the hurt it causes but please if you ever on the off chance find yourself talking to a lady who once delivered twins where one was stillborn and is now pregnant again… DO NOT ASK IF THERE IS TWO! Dozens of people have asked me this over the course of my last 3 pregnancies and every time I stare back dumbfounded… do I really have to respond?

3/27/17  - Why in the world did I schedule my 12 week appointment on the first day of Spring Break?!? After some amazing babysitting juggling acrobats, I get all 5 kids cared for and am on my way… only 10 minutes late. I try to justify it by thinking of all the hours OBGYN’s have made me wait - it isn’t like they are doing anything important…  like delivering a baby or something. I arrive and we get down to business. After heartbeat and measurements, we start checking the placenta. At this point, I say, “Ummm… isn’t it over my cervix? That isn’t good is it?” And at this point, the doctor crazy-whips his head around and looks at me then back at the screen and then back at me, “You can see that? Wow! Ummm, yeah - it is.” Not my first ultrasound buddy - not my first rodeo. He says it is early and things can move so we are now on a watch and see schedule. I try not to be super alarmed but then he says, “No sex.” Whhhhaaaahhhh… did I mention that pregnant Cyndi really likes sex.

3/31/17 - Survived Spring Break… woo hoo! And now I need a nap… desperately.

4/4/17 - Find an awesome pair of stretchy jeans for $2 at the thrift store - I hate maternity clothes and have switched from actually buying maternity clothes to just buying slightly too big of things and leggings… leggings are the best invention ever when it comes to growing another child in your belly.

4/7/17 - Friends scheduled for treat and to come play games. I make a layered chocolate cake from scratch because that is what baby wants to eat. While I am putting the last finishing touches on the frosting, Blake is working alongside me in the kitchen. He takes one whiff of me and says, “I mean this as nice as possible but you might want to put on some deodorant before they come.” I take no offense - okay, maybe a little. But I am totally aware that whatever chemical compound has exploded in my body these last few weeks - it totally reeks. I am usually an every other day showerer but a side effect of pregnancy is I smell like an unwashed teenager even with a shower every 2.5 hours.

4/11/17 - Drove to Washington to drop off kids at Kara’s for a week. Baby gets to come along as one of my carry-ons on our awesome East Coast vacation to New York and then to Boston. This is a trip 3 years in the making as Blake has worked his tail off to get into the Boston Marathon. I like to think that my majority-of-the-time-supportive-attitude may have contributed in some small way. It feels like something we accomplished together - even though Blake did most of the heavy lifting. We have decided if this baby is a girl - her name will be Boston.

4/13/17 - Arrive in New York City. Baby makes hunger an all-day occurrence so our first hunt is for food. We repeat this about every two hours… but we are in New York and food is an abundance. I feel like a kid in a candy store and want to eat EVERYTHING!

4/15/17 - We are walking so much. I read somewhere that walking during pregnancy shortens labor time considerably… at this rate this baby will slip out with not so much of a push. (I actually don't believe this because I walked halfway to the moon during my final two weeks of pregnancy with Paisley and she still took a solid two hours of pushing.) The weather has been glorious and I am grateful that Blake and I are both healthy enough to make touring a fun adventure of “Let’s go see this too!” even if it is a mile away.

4/17/17 - Just witnessed Blake run the Boston Marathon. It was a highlight of not only our trip but of my lifetime. I really hope this baby is “Boston.” Or Bos for short because what would be cuter than the littlest towhead of them all running around with everyone calling her "Boss."

4/20/17 - Made it home and attempt to adjust to real life. The kids are wild and Luna is not sleeping well - makes me wonder exactly how we will handle another. This parenting gig is not for the faint of heart. My number one goal at the moment is to get Luna back to her old wonderfully sleeping self... that we unfortunately haven’t seen in months. I can’t do a 2-year-old that doesn’t sleep and a newborn. I have only one conclusion - whatever it takes I need this girl to sleep... in her own bed - not in my mine where she deems it necessary to sleep with her fingers up my left nostril.

4/24/17 - 15 week doctor appointment. Ultrasound to check the placenta. The doctor scans for about 20 seconds and I know. I say it - not him. “There’s no heartbeat.” He gives me that look from my previous appointment weeks ago. Not my first tragic ultrasound buddy - not my first rodeo. He confirms and the only coherent thought I can form is, “Oh crap.” Over the course of two minutes, the doctor’s words go from “baby,” to “fetus,” to “the contents of your uterus”  I hate this downgrade in terminology. I have grieved this grief before and I am startled by my mind not registering this as shock. Sadness yes but no shock. My mind already knows that babies die and I find this the saddest aspect of it all.

4/25/17 - I don’t want to do this. I don’t want what is next. I don’t want the sympathy. I don’t want to tell another soul. I can’t form the words - it takes over 24 hours before I tell my parents. This is startlingly different than our previous experience where telling felt like breathing and it was the only part of grief that felt like healing. Blake notes this change and takes it upon himself to tell family/friends - he knows the expressions of sympathy will come and hopes that they will help me through my grief. But for the time being I feel content with being stagnant in my grief. A part of Cyndi likes grief - is comfortable with grief - and doesn't want people interrupting it with their own uncomfortableness of grief. Someday I want to write a book - it will be called, "It is OK to be Sad."

4/26/17 - D and C today. It was miserable - it took forever - my mind is not made to go under anesthesia. I am trying to forget the details but I would like to remember Debbie - the no-nonsense nurse that gave us one last act of charity on behalf of our baby. The surgery center we were at buries unborn babies at Dry Creek Cemetery - about 30 minutes from our home. Our old hospital buries them at Cloverdale Memorial Park in the very Angel Garden that lies about 5 steps from the headstone of Talmage, our stillborn son. I didn't think it could be done - that we could transfer the remains from one hospital to another - but Blake asked and Debbie made it possible and I will have a lifetime of gratitude towards both of them for this. Our baby - a girl - will have her tiny broken body laid to rest by her brother.

I think we will call her Boston.


Jana Weaver said...

I'm so heartbroken for you Cyndi, and your whole family. And now having to recover from a D and C on top of it all. I'm so sorry. I love that you documented your baby so well; you are amazing at writing.

Britt said...

Oh Cyndi! I can't believe it. I am so sorry. It's very incredible that you had the insight to keep this journal. What an amazing way to memorialize her. Even though she won't know mortality outside of the womb, you have given her life through writing. Hugs!!!

Micah Taylor said...

love you

Chadwick and Julie said...

You carry so much love in your heart for your children - ALL of them. Thank you for being willing to share these thoughts. Sending a big hug

The Woods said...

I'm so sorry Blake and Cyndi. Prayers for all your family now and in the months to come.

Saramarie said...

You are the most amazing person I know. You have so much love, goodness and strength. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You are in our prayers.

Trisha said...

So sorry this happened. I think it's so neat that you thought to document a long the way.

HowellAZ said...

I got on to your blog today and just scanned your recent two posts. Then later as I was procrastinating my own blog, I decided to go back and see what else has been going on with you guys since the big marathon. I was so sad to hear that you lost this baby. It feels empty to say that I felt sad, but I am not great with words, so there you go. My heart is with you, and even though it's already been a month, I'm sure many emotions still feel fresh. Like you said about the book you're going to write someday, it's ok to be sad. It really is and I think you know about as much about that as anyone I know.