Monday, February 22, 2016

One week....

Its been one week almost to the minute that Jordan arrived at my 19 week doctors appointment. During Vincent's pregnancy he darn near almost attended every single check up, but being that this was baby #5, he didn't attend unless I asked him to specifically. We had already scheduled the 20+ week ultrasound to get a good peek at Henry in the coming weeks, we already knew he was a boy, our fifth, finding out around 11 weeks with the cool Panorama blood test that gives a chromosomal diagnosis and also a gender. Part of me now wishes I had never taken that test because it gave me a sense of false hope but I am grateful on the other hand because it let me know that our baby was indeed our son, Henry Jordan.

Last week was just a quick routine check up, my 15 week appointment was legit maybe 4 minutes total and I was on my way, so I had my day scheduled and wasn't expecting to be there more than a half hour. We got through the normal small talk and moved on to the fetal doppler. For weeks I had been a tad anxious because my belly wasn't growing at the rate it did in the other boys pregnancies, and I chalked it up to me being healthier because I started 10lbs lower than normal so it kind of made sense, I even bought a fetal doppler for at home and found a heartbeat in the 140's which I assumed was Henrys. Well it was like a horrible dream when she couldn't find it after a minute, and then she kept searching and searching and NOTHING. I was watching her eyes as she traced by belly with the doppler, she remained calm but I knew she was scared. She told me we were going to need to do a ultrasound and she needed to see if the room was open. Of course she told me not to worry which in my mind means PANIC, I texted Jordan asap and started praying, sending your husband the text "They cant find his heartbeat" is heart-wrenching in itself. I was in a trance when my midwife and I walked to the ultrasound room, the silent room was dim and I wanted to crawl out of my skin. She applied the jelly and up popped Henry. He looked perfect and I started bawling because there was no movement. I was wearing a hat so I pulled it down over my eyes and started losing it. My midwife was holding my hand so tightly and they were both saying "Im so sorry" over and over. They wanted to check measurements and see if they could find maybe a sign of what went wrong, so I allowed, it felt like 5 hours sitting there crying and having them look at him via ultrasound. They spotted a cystic hygroma which indicates chromosomal abnormalities. We walked back to my original room and I felt like someone had taken all my insides out and I was just a walking zombie. Everything was in slow motion, I called Jordan to confirm that he needed to come there NOW, it felt like hours until he walked in the door, we both cried and were so confused. Shocked this was happening to us this far into the pregnancy. We miscarried at 6-7 weeks a few years ago and always assumed that once we passed that 12 week mark we were in the clear. We discussed the next step and rallied to figure out how we would function with me being in the hospital for 2-3 days with 4 kids at home who needed someone to watch, feed, and get them to school. We decided we would start the labor at 8am on Tuesday and we left the doctors, with that plan in mind. We walked out like zombies, confused, and feeling like we were sucker punched. I kept feeling as if maybe it was a bad awful dream and I would just wake up. Knowing that Henry was inside me was comforting but also at the same time terrible, knowing he had passed away. The thought of delivering him the next day was by far the biggest fear on my mind.

This week I will explain more about the labor process and us finally getting to meet Henry and say hello and goodbye. This experience is something I always dreaded and feared would happen to me, you read about these stories sadly all the time and thank your lucky stars that it isn't you and then in one instance it is YOU and there is nothing you can do about it, you cant run, you cant hide, you have to deal with it. In the weeks before this when I was worried about Henry and my stomach not growing fast I looked up all these stories of moms miscarrying at 17-19 weeks and it was awful, I told my best friend I was so scared that would be me and that I would NEVER be able to do that, of course I voiced my worries and friends also said they had those fears but to keep my chin up and that Henry would be fine, the at home doppler also reassured me to everything being fine.

To put it lightly at the end of the day, what this boils down to is that IT SUCKS. It sucks so bad. I have so many thoughts and emotions rolling around and each day I am trying to dig deep and figure them out. I went into this pregnancy terrified and so tightly wound over having another baby, I was adamant after Sam and my postpartum depression that having another baby wasn't going to happen, but in the world of NFP, anything can happen. I was trying so hard to control something because I was so scared of the what ifs. I was using my past weakness as a crutch, I was guarding my heart and soul to never go through it again. I was terrified the day I found out I was pregnant, could I handle the post partum again? Would it come back? Would I really be able to handle 5 kids? but as the days and weeks went on Henry showed me how strong I really was, that I could and would be able to handle anything that came my way. I was so excited to welcome this little man into our family, the boys were so excited for Henry and sweet Luke asked daily while rubbing my belly when we could get Henry out. He was a part of our family, we had the calendar planned around his due date and were just waiting for the weeks to pass. We were HALFWAY there. We had so much planned and it hurts to see his personalized coming home outfits, his carseat still in the box in the dining room, and working through all the things that were supposed to be. Its a battle in my mind over what was supposed to happen and what DID happen.

I am not mad as of yet, I have seen babies upon babies in the past week and my heart is not at all upset with those families, I have 4 amazing beautiful boys and I know the joy that each child brings to a family so I could and would never be upset over that, because each life is a blessing and a gift. I am also not mad at God, not by a long shot. I know He is the reason I am coping so well. Its surreal, you envision how you will react to something like this, like I said earlier and you can never imagine you being in that situation and surviving. I really envisioned me crying the entire labor and when I saw him but I just marveled at him. Every inch of him was a miracle. He was small but he was a complete tiny human. I keep searching for an answer to why, and I really think that cystic hygroma, which was clear as can be when we saw him was the cause, I think he lived longer than he was supposed to but those extra weeks I think were needed for me and he stuck around to show me how much of a blessing a new baby and life was. That I didn't need to be scared of the future, that I could tackle and handle anything that stood in my way, even if I didn't think that was true. I wanted him so badly, so badly, I wanted to squeeze him, snuggle him, nurse him and love him. It was so easy to kind of brush off the idea that Sam was our last baby when we found out I was pregnant, so I wasn't letting all Sam's last moments dig as bad because I knew we were getting another full blown baby stage this summer and now we are back at square one. And square one is not bad, we are extremely blessed, its just resetting my heart and mind to our new reality.

Off to visit my counselor, which came at the perfect timing. He day after I delivered they called me to give me a reminder of my appointment on Monday, couldn't have been timed better.....

If you are going through this please listen to this song. It has helped me insanely. I listened to it through the whole labor.

If you have no idea what the hell is going on, here it is.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Stuffed Peppers that will ROCK your WORLD!

These little babies are packed full of flavor and goodness, my 4 boys are obsessed with them, as well as my husband and they are pretty darn simple to make. I would call this one of my more advanced recipes since we are hard core crockpotters 75% of the time!

Like I said this is PROBABLY the longest recipe of mine. I cannot stand long recipes, they kill my soul. Plus cooking with 4 kids is not the funnest thing in the world. I need things to be quick and easy. This one takes a decent amount of time. I searched high and low for the perfect stuffed pepper recipe and ended up making my own. I usually wing it on most things and make it taste how I want vs what the typical recipes call for. Also most stuffed peppers call for rice and I try to cut that stuff out so no rice in these babies.
 You will need:
4-6 peppers 
32oz jar of diced organic tomatoes 
2-3 TBS Garlic (I buy it already minced because I'm lazy haha)
Worcestershire Sauce 
1 large onion
2 lbs of sausage
Cheese (I used some shredded Parmesan and Feta)

Directions: Start cooking your sausage in a sauce pan. Meanwhile start dicing. Preheat oven to 350.
Dice up your onion.
 Add everything to the cooked sausage and let simmer together! 
Cut the tops off your peppers. 
Boil the peppers in a large pot of water. Boil til they are stab-able with a fork. 

 I add a few random spices to the sauce. Then I also do a few circles of the woschesthire sauce in the pan of sausage while it's simmering together. Taste to your liking. I would say I do about 1/4 cup. I also grate the cheese in the meantime while the peppers are boiling.
 Once they are done, get the peppers out and place in a dish, fill them up with all the meaty goodness. I use a 1/4 cup to help lessen my mess and it helps to pack them in! 
 Plop a heaping mound of cheese on top! 
 Place those babies in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is all melted! 
 Take them out and enjoy!