Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mama's Favorite Things



One of my favorite things has always been morning snuggles.  This pregnancy I love my bed.  Maybe it is because it is so cold I don't know.  Most mornings the kids come and snuggle with me.  This is when we do our morning pray and sing praise and worship songs. 

I love that during snuggle time Thomas wants to rub, kiss and talk to Mama's belly.  He loves the baby.  He makes me laugh when he says "your baby is cute" as if he can see the baby.  The other children also love to rug my belly but they don't get to do as much rubbing because Thomas doesn't share Mama well.  Snuggle time is the best! 

What are some of your favorite things?

Please continue to pray for me as I continue to pray for you.  God Bless. 

My Joy-Filled Life

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Being Postitive

Loosing Peter was without a doubt the most difficult and tragic event to ever happen in my life.  This pregnancy is also difficult, but I am trying to just be positive.  I am not one of those people who believe life has to be perfect.  Life is not perfect, right.  If life were perfect Peter would  be running around me.  Life is not perfect but instead of letting it get me down or take over my life I accept God's will for me accept His perfection for me!  My life is His design.   

What I am saying is this blog is meant to help families, especially Catholic families, move forward after they loss a child at any point in life stillbirth baby, infant, toddler, preschooler, and right on up to adult.  We are trying to move forward, not forget our lost family members.  We want to help people take the memory of their loved ones into their journey forward. 

I shared singing a joyful noise as a positive way keep us going.  We also have a Peter garden in the spring/summer.  I will say I have more things I need to work on daily.  One being getting up when my alarm clock goes off in the morning. 

What does your family do to stay positive?  Is there any thing your family is working on to be positive? 

We remember our Peter Francis now and always. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Fun First~ 18 weeks

Thanks you Lord that I have made it another week closer to meeting baby Niall

Little belly that you can hardly see. 
Wait 18 more weeks then I'll show
The children and I were talking about the baby after morning prayer the other day.  We were talking about who wants a girl and who wants a boy.  I think everyone is hoping for a girl (mostly for Adriana.)  We discussed baby maybe names.  Thomas was kissing Mama's belly and so sweetly talking to Baby.  Then I started to feel the baby move!  Yes, I have been feeling the baby move for a few weeks now, so comforting!  It is usually at night but lately it happens all the time.

While we were snuggling in the bed Baby started to move.  They all put their hands on Mama's belly and they all felt the baby move. " Daddy hasn't even felt the baby move yet," I said.   This week they got to feel the baby move and hear the baby's heart beat for the first time, fun firsts.

Mango the size of an 18 week baby in utero.
We also talked about how big the baby is now and how the baby is developing.  They love having a solid image of the size of the baby so we looked up the comparison.  Our 18 week baby (in utero) is the size of a mango (5 to 5 1/2 inches) and weighs as much as 1 small to medium banana (5 1/4 ounces).  When we were at the grocery story we weighed a banana and took a picture of a mango! Teaching them about baby week to week is a lot of fun and so homeschool! 

What do you (have you) do with your children to teach them about the baby your are (were) growing? 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

{Prayer Shawl and More}

{Pretty Special}
 

This prayer shawl is pretty in so many ways.  The color of blue chosen for this shawl is perfect with a dark and light mix.  A great Marian blue.  I love that it was knitted with love and prayers just for me.  This prayer shawl was made for me by one of Adriana's friends.  The fact that she though of me and prayed for me is beautiful and very special.  Thanks Kaleigh for making this prayer shawl for me. 
{Choosing Happy}
This week I wrote about choosing happiness.  I have reason not to be happy but I am happy (we all do right), truly happy.  I am choosing to be happy.  I am working on smiling as much as I can because this makes me happy.  Smiling at everyone also makes me less likely to be grouchy and grumpy when I don't like the way someone is doing something, usually making my coffee!


{Unintended Family Freak Show}

Earlier this week I had a doctors appointment and our family became the family of freaks.  In our 2 children culture walking in a doctors office with 3 children is out of the ordinary.  Walk in the doctors office with 3 children and 1 on the way well you are crazy.  For some reason you add dad to that picture and I just see people pointing and laughing.  We were on stage entertaining even though that was not our intent.  Yes, we are the funny freak show family with 3 children and 1 on the way.  I can't imagine bringing more into a doctors office and I know that there are many of you out there in that exact situation. 
 
{Emotions are super real}

My emotions are super real.  Being pregnant and hormonal is super real.  I am still trying to figure out what all my emotions mean and why I am behaving the way that I am in some situation.  I am going to have to do more soul searching on these emotions and write more about my real emotions. 

Why do we have pregnancy hormonal emotions?  Isn't it enough that we grow this baby inside of us?  I guess this is one of the designs God made that I will never understand and the suffering I receive will get me to heaven. 

Today's post is linked-up to: 
round button chicken


Thank you for reading.   Please pray for me as I will be praying for you.  God Bless. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

It Is Real

Yesterday we had our first appointment with our new/old doctor (obgyn).  It was a family trip because Michael  wanted to be there to ask the doctor some questions he had.  I usually feel like the crazy lady bringing three children to my appointment but then add dad.  Now I feel like people are pointing and laughing.  I know three children seems small but in our two children culture going to my doctor's office with three in tow and one on the way makes me feel like the freak show.  Then add dad and for some reason I feel like we are just over doing it.



The visit was quick.  We were seen with minutes of arriving (lets get the crazy people out of here) and the doctor was shortly behind. 

It was confirmed that I chose the correct doctor, Dr. B.  I am, apparently, unforgettable because six years later she remembers me well.  She remembers the good, the bad, and the ugly.  So do I.  As I shared before, in Doctor Dilemma, the good outweighs the bad and the ugly. 

What do I like about Dr. B.  She has a great bed side manner but at the same time is straight forward.  The fact that she remembers me (really remembers me) and she is still willing to work with me is helpful.  She said, I know you had wanted to go as far as you could (without interventions with my other pregnancies) in past pregnancies and a natural birth but that is not an option now.  We will have to be sure to take precautions, not to say that we did not with the other pregnancies.  Now that I am at advance maternal age, diabetic, have had 4 previous pregnancies (not sure what this has to do with the price of beans) and have had a baby with fatal demise we need to deliver this baby when his/her lungs are  fully developed.  Guess what she didn't say?  We will have to deliver this baby at 36 weeks.  In fact she said the opposite, we will need to start increase ultrasounds in the third trimester and watch all the signs that this baby is ready.  In the end, I walked out feeling like she was going to be respectful to me and cautious at the same time.  This along with the vision I have in mind for delivery and holding my baby after birth are all I ask.  Dr. B is meeting both of those needs. 

The most difficult part of this, and every, appointment I have will be when they try to find babies heart beat.  My fear that she won't hear it will always be there.  This time we were all there waiting to hear the baby's heartbeat.  Everyone's reaction was different.  Adriana smiled with joy, James said "what was that noise, and Thomas was excited to hear the baby moving.  Finally Michael said "Now it is real!"  Really, now it is real. I guess that's what it took for his reality to set in. 


Well now it is real and next week we have our 18 week ultrasound.  Please pray for us as we continue to pray for you!  God Bless. 

This post is linked up to:
My Joy-Filled Life

Choosing Happiest


I could choose to be miserable in the loss of Peter but  God gives us freedom.  He gives us freedom to love, freedom to trust and the freedom to be happy.  I choose to love Peter while still living and loving others in my life. 

How do I love?  How do I choose to be happy?  I love by being the best wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter, niece, cousin, and friend.  I love so imperfectly.  I need to work on showing love and happiness.  A simple smile can go a long way.  I show happiness by being positive and really just smiling.  Saying "hi" to a neighbor or a stranger. 

How do you choose happiness? 

Please pray for me and my journey to love and be happy.  I need your prayers and the guidance of God to be the best person I can be.  I will continue to pray for you.  God Bless. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Thomas' Baby Name



It is so funny, Thomas has named this baby.  I have no idea where the name came from but my guess is it is from Peter. 

What is the name you ask?  The name Thomas has decided on is Frances(is).  Good thing it can be used for either a boy or girl. Too bad it is already used and we won't be using it again.  I hope he isn't sad when the baby comes and has a different name.  Maybe we should start talking about that now. 

Do your kids have names they want to name your baby?   

This post is linked- up
http://www.kathewithane.com/2014/03/youre-gonna-love-it-tuesday_24.html

Monday, March 24, 2014

Feed Yourself Health

 

I wrote this blog post for the Circle of Life Network.  Circle of Life Network is committed to providing parents with the knowledge they need to become empowered self-advocates.  Our community is a safe, reliable place that offers credible evidence-based information, resources, and support from like-minded peers and birth and child professionals. 
 
Lisa and Amy, founders of Circle of Life Network, asked me to write for the blog, what and honor.  Thank you Lisa and Amy. 

I needed to remind myself what I said about health eating before I got pregnant with Baby Niall #6.  I hope this healthy piece inspires you and me to recommit to eating healthy!  I sure did forget the tips. I know I will be reinstituting them into my shopping and menu planning. 
 
I remember when my husband and I got married and started thinking about having a baby.  I have type II Diabetes, so we were not sure what it would take to get pregnant.  Once we decided to try, we started to eat healthy.  Little did I know, this was very important (I know – how can you not know eating healthy is important, but I didn’t)  and it was going to be a continued work!
Pregnant and nursing moms lose so many nutrients to their babies.  I have been pregnant 4 times and have nursed 3 babies.  After every pregnancy I wondered why I forgot more and had less energy.  Since the loss of our last baby I have been researching and learned about what our bodies do when we’re pregnant and/or nursing.
 
It is important to take care of your body with good nutrition, no matter how hard it is.  It’s easy to say “I’m having a pregnancy craving so I am just going to eat what I want,” regardless of it’s nutritional value.  I know it can be hard to take care of yourself when you are pregnant, especially when you have other children in your care.  Sometimes it’s just easier to eat the children’s leftovers.  It is like the oxygen mask on an airplane – the flight attendant always says you must put your oxygen mask on before you can help others.  You can’t take care of your children or husband’s health and nutrition if you are depleted.
heart raw fruits and veggies
 
Your diet should consist of 80% raw vegetables and fruits (60% vegetable and 20% fruit).  Some tricks you can try to eat healthy through pregnancy and nursing include:
  • have vegetable and fruits you enjoy on hand all the time
  • take 30 – 40 minutes 2 days a week to cut up vegetables and fruits to have on hand
  • menu-plan with meals that are vegetable-heavy
  • keep trail mix heavy in nuts and dried fruits in your car
  • only drink water or kefir water
  • when cooking vegetables, make 2-3 times more than you need and immediately store the extra away to eat later
  • add fruit and vegetables to your breakfast
  • start your day off with a good portion of vegetables…add them to your eggs and/or add fresh fruit to your yogurt or oatmeal
  • have a salad with lunch or dinner every day
I want to address menu planning.  I know this can be daunting to many people.  I actually take the easy way out.  I plan my menus months at a time.  It does take a little time when I sit down to plan, but I repeat many of our family favorites each week.  Does your family like spaghetti squash?  We love it!  You could have spaghetti squash with tomato sauce once a week,  leftovers at least twice a week, and salad with meat at least once a week.  I know every family is different, but if I can get four days of dinners done, then I only have to be creative 3 days a week.  Be flexible! Things come up, and if there is food on sale that you can’t pass up, adjust your menu as needed.
 
Eating vegetables and fruits while pregnant and nursing will help you to stay healthy.
 
Do you eat enough vegetable and fruits while you are pregnant? 

Linked up to Wellness Wednesday.
 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

High/Low


A few nights ago, Michael and I were talking about my blood sugars.  Honestly, I feel like it will never be under control.  I eat exactly what I am suppose to, workout, take the right amount of insulin, send my food diaries to my dietician every three days (honestly written) and still my blood sugars are higher than they should be.  I went to an appointment this week and hopefully this appointment will help me to make improvements and figure out what needs to change.

When I went to my appointment, I was happily surprised by the reaction of both my dietician and endocrinologist.  They were both impressed by how much my blood sugars have decreased and how hard I am working.  The proof was in the numbers.  I went down 3 total pointed in my HbA1c.  Oh yes the insulin was a big help but it does not work by alone. 

I am glad that my hard work is paying off.  I continue the battling eating right, working out and writing down what I eat.  God willing at he next appointment my number will be even better. 

Thank you for your continued prayers. I will be praying for you.  God Bless!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Be Not Afraid


In my last post, about the people and groups that really helped and supported us, I left out one important person and group.  Tracy and her team at Be Not Afraid really helped and support us in our time of need. 

What is Be Not Afraid?   Be Not Afraid (BNA) is a private non-profit corporation whose mission is to provide comprehensive, practical, and peer-based support to parents experiencing a prenatal diagnosis and carrying to term.  In addition, BNA encourages development of new services so more parents find support at diagnosis by offering training, consulting and technical assistance as well as materials to other organizations and individuals committed to service development. 

Tracy took a personal interest in our family.  Thank you, Tracy, for listening to me when I need someone to listen. 

This beautiful video called, Be Not Afraid Couples 2013, was done by a friend of Be Not Afraid.  There are a few pictures of Michael in I in the video below: 

http://animoto.com/play/LirHqwH9Xh0F9R0iOaevqw

Please tell us what support groups helped you or what people listened to you when you needed someone to hear your grief?

Please pray for me as we continue to pray for you.  God bless! 



Friday, March 21, 2014

Our Love Story part II

  
While Daddy was gone Mama needed to call family members that had not heard.  Some friends know because Rebecca was on top of everything asking for prayer requests before the loss and then lovingly and caringly letting people know about our loss.  By this time many of our friends were finding out about our loss at the morning Mass at St. Benedict Abbey said by Fr. Peter.  Many tears and prayer were shed for us at that Mass.  What would be my family’s reaction?  I called my mother and I was strong, she cried and said she would call the rest of the family and come to see me as soon as she could.  I wasn't as strong when I called my brother.  I could barely say anything.  We cried together.  He didn't know what to say, but who does!  He was sad and so was I.  The announcement could now go on Facebook.

While everyone was gone I was able to do my prayer.  Lord why?  I cried.  I realized that it was His will and nothing I would have done could have changed His will.  It didn't hurt less but it was a little comfort to know it was His will for our family. 

The children were now here with another amazing friend, Peg Murphy.  James my sweet sensitive little boy
did not really know what to think.  If we as adults don't know how to respond how is this little boy supposed to know how to respond?  I'm sure he was wondering how this little baby that was not moving or crying could be his baby brother.  Adriana was so sad also.  She sat and just held her baby brother; James did not really want to hold him.  Thomas really didn't know what was happening and why everyone was so sad.  He was climbing around and acting like everything was normal—if only we could all respond this way.  They stayed for about an hour and we were able to get some nice family pictures.  We also had a chance talk to the children about Peter being with Our Lord in Heaven and allow them to ask us questions.  They were grieving and trying to make sense of all that had happened. 
 




 Ma Murph (Peg) took the children back to her house.  This gave me more time to mourn on my own.  I cried as much as I could between doctors and nurses come into the room.  We also got lots of phone calls and Michael spent much of his energy making funeral arrangements. 

Midday Nana came to visit and Daddy went to pick Adriana up to spend more time with Peter.  Adriana sat in Nana's lap and they both held Peter.



 I needed to rest.  All these emotions were exhausting.  Just as I was ready to fall asleep the grief counselor was here.  Some of what she said was silly like don't have a baby shower but much of what she said was good.  The most memorable words were "People say stupid things!"  People don't know what to say so don't be offend when they say stupid things.  I am not a sensitive person generally but being postpartum and grieving this was exactly what I needed to here. 

The outpouring of supporting was positively overwhelming.  We had many good friends call and visit.  My midwife and one of her assistants came to visit.  They were both very sad.  She, as mentioned earlier, had, only a few days earlier, had another family lose their first born baby girl.  She was so supportive through all this.  I was so blessed to work with such a wonderful midwife.  I honestly could not image having a different support team. 

Later this evening my dearest friends Anne and Michelle (godmother of Peter) came to visit.  They came bearing coffee!  They prayed with us, laughed with us and of course cried with us.  What a beautiful visit.  At this point I was feeling more at peace with God's will.
  



Michelle holding her godson (top left) Anne singing to Peter (top right)
Michelle, Anne and Michael praying over Peter! (bottom center)


Everyone was gone.  It was just Michael, Peter's body, and me left in the hospital room.  We could see his body deteriorating.  It was very sad.  We were going to have to let his body go.  He was already gone but letting his body go was going to be hard.  Michael decided he wanted to get Adriana one more time so she could say one last "good-bye" to Peter.  Michael and Adriana held Peter and they cried.  I hadn't yet had my big cry.  I had accepted God's will and cried some but not much.  Michael told the nurses they could take Peter's body now and he took Adriana back to the Murphy house. 

 

By the time Michael returned I wanted Peter back.  I wanted to say my last "good-bye."  I cried and held him.  I prayed and held him.  I just wanted to be able to bring him home!  Why?  Please Lord let me take him home.  I knew I couldn't take him home and I knew I was going to have to let him go.  I said one more prayer and gave him one last kiss.  "Good-bye Peter, Mama will work extremely hard to meet you in heaven."



I don't remember the days that followed they are all a big blur.  I don't remember exactly what day we left the hospital but I am pretty sure it was Wednesday.  By the loving support of all of our friends and family we did not have to cook dinner for many nights.  Actually if I remember correctly I don't think I had to cook dinner, other that Christmas dinner, until after New Year’s!  We were so blessed by all of our amazingly supportive friends!  Between dinners and prayers we were so blessed and could physically feel the love.  I can honestly say I never knew what people meant when they said they could feel the prayers but I knew that all the prayers are what kept me going!  Thank you if you were one of those people praying for us, we are still truly grateful!

It was nice to be out of the hospital and home.  I was also hard to be home and not pregnant or having a newborn baby with us.  I wasn't nursing.  How could I be postpartum but not have a little person with me?  How could I be in so much pain but still not have a baby?  I had so many questions going through my head and the one thing that kept me going more than anything was my prayer.  Knowing it was God's will.  God never said life was going to be easy and yes, bad things happen to good people. 


I started to put my energy into something I could control, Peter's funeral.  This kept my mind occupied.  Honestly, Michael and Rebecca did most of the work preparing for the funeral but the children and I were working on a poster to bring to and display at the funeral.  I uploaded and ordered the pictures.  The children decorate the poster with family pictures of us and our little saint. 

Funeral Day


Again I don't remember much.  I was in pain, walking as slow as molasses.  When we got to the Abbey I was completely overwhelmed by the number of people we saw as we drove in.  Even though we told everyone about the funeral we also said there would be a private gathering after the funeral.  The thought of facing so many people was overwhelming and here I was face-to-face with all these people.  I didn't think so many people would come to the funeral.  There were so many!  It really did bring great joy to be surrounded by so many!  We were surrounded by my family, Michael’s family, homeschool friends, Nursing Mother Council friends, VBOA friends, young adult friends and community members.  Some of the students from a local high school took time off of school to be there and husbands took time off of work to be with us.  Wow. Again I was completely overwhelmed by the love and support so many people showed us in the time of sorrow.

I am still grateful for the outpouring of love and support we received during our time of sorrow and grief. 


This is video from the funeral that Michael shares some amazing words. 

 

 

Over the Next Couple of Month and Year


We were supported in so many ways including dinners, cards and prayers.  The cards came for people all over the country.  They came from friends and friends of friends.  We even had some young Christmas carolers come to our house.  These prayers and supports have carried us all the way to today. 

I was able to take my mind off of the loss by putting all my effort into Advent and Christmas.  Of course there were still and still are challenging days.  I was blessed by a retreat in February and I have so many beautiful women to pray with and talk to about my recent lost.

Thanks you all for the continued prayers that continue to carry our family through our rough days. 

Please continue to pray for us and know I am praying for you!  God Bless.


 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Peter's Connected



Last year on March 13th the new Pope was elected.  I remember the day well.  We were watching the election on our computer.  The white smoke went up.  One of the children had an appointment but I could not leave the house.  I had to see the new Pope.  I am sure many of you can relate to this scenario. 

Finally after what felt like hours of waiting to see him and know who he was they announced Pope Francis.  My heart melted, Pope Francis!  The first Pope was Pope Peter and now a few short months after we lost our Peter Francis we have a new Pope, the first Pope Francis.  What an honor!  We surely feel connected to Pope Francis and love how our little saint has the name of two popes.  Now we will wait for a saint Niall. 

This would never have gone much farther than my mind except we had so many people called, e-mailed and texted that they also thought of our little Peter when they announced Pope Francis.  Yes, he certainly is connected. 

Does your family have any connections to the any of the Popes? 



Sad, Bad New

I know I have said this before but I am going to say it again.  We have an amazing community.  We have a prayer warrior community.  When bad things happen we often hear of them in the form of  prayer requests. 

A few day ago we received really sad, bad news.  The first message was to pray for two little girls who were in a car accident.  Then next message was that the two little girls had died in the hospital in their parents arms. 

Wow!  This message jolted me.  I can't even imagine being the mother of these two girls.  As a mother who lost a baby the emotions come back all over again.  I feel the hurt for this mom.  I guess it is not so bad to carry some of her pain.  Lord help me to shoulder some of Rebecca's cross. 

The beautiful Lewis Family

Please pray for Sean, Rebecca, and Vivian Lewis.  If you can please make a financial contribution to the Sean and Becca Lewis Fund any amount is helpful. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Fast Foward

"I wish we could fast forward." 


After Michael and I had a conversation the other evening he said "I wish we could fast forward."  It is funny we are only 16 and half weeks into this pregnancy and already we want it to be over.  We just want this baby here safe and sound.  It was comforting for me to hear his words.  I am not the only one who is ready for this baby to be here.  I know we have a long walk and we will walk the walk, but now I know I am not walking the walk by myself.  No matter how challenging the walk will be for us we will take it one step at a time, together. 

Please pray for us as we pray for you.  God Bless.   

 

Our Story part I

Our Peter Francis was born asleep on November 26th, 2012


This is our journey

Thanksgiving was the Thursday before Peter died.  We had an appointment with my midwife the week before on Tuesday and we heard Peter's heartbeat.  That was the last time I heard his heart beating. 

The weekend after Thanksgiving was long and tiring.  I remember feeling very pregnant and tired.  Thanksgiving was beautiful.  We went on an amazing traditional Thanksgiving hike.  Nothing bad happened—unless you count Michael falling from a tree.  We ate a wonderful Turkey dinner and then Mama started the flyer shopping
for the big day on Friday.  I didn't stop much those couple days, getting up early to cook Thanksgiving dinner and then getting up even earlier to go Black Friday shopping (I had to finish all my Christmas shopping.) I was able to take a short nap while the babysitter was still here. 

I am not sure when I stopped feeling him move.  I am so busy I never really thought much about it.  I didn't think about kick-counts for any of my pregnancies.  It that crazy?  Yes, it probably is crazy but I seriously didn't think my baby would stop moving.  (You know I will be doing kick-count compulsively this time).  It is my guess I stopped feeling him some time Saturday.  I felt really weird starting on Saturday.  I remember feeling uncomfortable.

I remember Saturday evening clearly because we went to a friend’s house for a pre-Christmas party.  Anyone who know me knows I am a social person.  I love parties.  I really didn't want to go to this party.  I was feeling so uncomfortable.  I told a number of people at the party I was tired and feeling weird.  Sunday was not bad I was just still tired.

On Monday I had my appointment with my midwife.  The appointment was great until I lay down.

She started to feel around.  Then she put her doptone fetal stethoscope to my belly.  She couldn't hear anything.  She changed over to the fetal Doppler.  She still could not hear anything.  She was so calm.  I was there with all three of my children.  She still could not hear anything after checking many times.  She sent me home saying to drink some juice and keep trying to feel kicks.  I wasn't feeling much but I wasn’t totally worried.  I remembered a tech not getting Adriana’s heartbeat but eventually getting it.  I know Nancy was way more experienced than the tech was but she had just lost a baby a few days before so maybe it was nervousness. 

I stopped to get a latte at Dunkin Donuts and continued the long drive home.  I waited to feel my baby kick.  There was nothing.  It was an hour drive and the longer I drove the more I worried.  On Mondays they have confessions at St. Francis Xavier church in Bolton.  I decided I had to stop.  I let Adriana go in first and then I went to confession.  At this point, I was really scared.  I went to see Fr. Dave, confessed, and then asked him to pray for me.  I went back to the car then called my friend Rebecca.  She said she would to meet me at my house to watch my children while Michael and I went to the hospital.   I had not decided to go to the hospital yet but she insisted, Michael was also worried and he agreed with Rebecca.  By this time Nancy was calling me.  She too insisted I go to the hospital.  She said she was more concerned than she let on.  She didn't want me to worry the whole drive home. 

I was still hopeful, with God all things are possible, right. 

Michael and I went to the hospital.  We checked in at the labor and delivery ward.  They hooked me up to the fetal monitor.  Again there was not a heartbeat.

We called Fr. Peter.  I still had hope.  I guess I could not believe this was happening to me.  Fr. Peter came to the hospital right away.  He prayed with us, laughed with us and told us stories.   

Because the nurses could not get anything on the fetal monitor the doctor decided to bring up the ultrasound machine.  In what seemed like hours the ultrasound machine finally got here.  Fr. Peter left the room and I prayed and prayed, still no movement and no heartbeat.  How was I still holding out hope?  I don't know but still I wanted everything to be okay.  It had to be okay!  God loves me doesn't He?  He makes miracles happen. 

Fr. Peter came back and prayed with us more.  He gave ups a relic and started to talk to us about names.  For the first time we still hadn't decided on names.  He suggested we name a boy baby Peter.  He said all the Peter's he has known were trouble and maybe God was sparing us the trouble-making.  He made us laugh.  He was saving us from a Simon Peter.  We prayed and Father Peter left.  I think all I could do was pray and continue to hope.  I didn't want to give up the possibility this baby could be alive.  I prayed for a miracle a million times.  Michael was praying for a miracle.  I was in shock. 

The doctor came into talk to us about our options.  (We had three babies at home, all had been delivered by caesarean but we hoped this baby would be born naturally at home.  They told us we could go to Worcester to attempt a vaginal birth or we could stay there and have caesarean.  To me it was a no-brainer, I was not going to attempt a possible uterine rupture with the chance of not having a baby.  Michael agreed.  By this time Rebecca had gotten another good friend Erin to come watch the children so she could come to the hospital.  Let me add Rebecca is not only on of my dearest friends she was also my doula.  

We prepared for the surgery.  I hate all the questions they ask you in the hospital.  Again I know it is their job but the questions annoy me.  We did all the prep stuff and I just prayed.  Michael was with me and we prayed.  I was calm.  I was the first time I was calm through a delivery.  They got to Peter but there were no cries.  I kept hoping but no sound came out of him. 

It's a boy.  November 26th, 2012 at 9:50 p.m. our baby Peter was born asleep. 


Michael named him.  We had both decided if we had a boy we would name him Peter after talking with Fr. Peter but Michael had been praying to St. Francis so he had the connection to him so our son was named Peter Francis.


We brought him back to the room with us.  Michael performed a conditional baptism.  Rebecca was the first of our friends to hold him.
 
   Now that we knew the outcome, I had lots of things running through my head.   Why didn't I notice he wasn't' moving.  Why if I felt so funny on Saturday did I not call someone?  Could I have avoided this outcome?

All these thoughts were running through my head.

After an exhausting evening I lied in bed holding my baby while I cried and tried to sleep. 

In the night one of the nurses kindly took Peter down and took some beautiful pictures of him.  She also took his foot and hand prints for us.  These prints have been such a comfort and beautiful memory for our family.  

Michael went home early the next morning to talk to the children.  They were going to be heartbroken.  How would they take this loss?  Oh my Adriana was going to be so sad.
 
to be continued........

Monday, March 17, 2014

Unconditional

Yesterday I was talking to a good friend about how amazing it is that God loves us unconditionally.  We say we love so many unconditionally but do we really love the way Our Lord loves?



I love God but sometimes I am too busy to spend time with Him.  Sadly, I know he is always here with me.  Gladly I know I can always call on Him. 


I, too, love many husband but boy does he sometimes make me crazy.  Sometimes it is hard to like him but do love him unconditionally?  Yes, I do love him unconditionally because God gave him to me to sanctify me and get me to heaven. 


I love my children unconditionally.  It is hardto love them unconditionally because of their lack of perfection.  How silly that is for me to say because I am so imperfect and God love's me perfectly or unconditionally.  Yes, I love them unconditionally however difficult it is sometimes. 
 
Oh extended family can be such a challenge to love unconditionally.  They often believe so differently than we believe but I love them because I know their challenge and obstacles.  Sometimes it is easier to love those we can see have a lack of faith and love for Our Lord.  Sometimes it is just as hard to love them unconditionally.  Yes, I still love them unconditionally faith or no faith! 
 
 
Finally friends, Christian friends, the best of friends are the hardest to love unconditionally.  It is hardest to love them in their adult imperfections.  They should know when to be charitable but I too choose, because love is a choose, to love them unconditionally.  
 
Lord I am so grateful for your example of unconditional love.  Thank you so much for loving me and allowing me to love my family and friends. . 
 
Please pray for me as I continue to pray for you. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Sixteen Weeks

Today I am 16 weeks. 
 

 
 
Praise God!!  I am one week further in my pregnancy.  I am thankful for every week closer to having this baby.  We everyday more I get to spend with Baby Niall #6.
 
Continue to pray for me as I pray for you.  God Bless. 

Peter Bear

There are so many support systems out there for families who have lost babies.  One friend often reminds people of two that help when you have lost a child.  The Seashore of Remembrance and The Church of Holy Innocents.

The Seashore of Remembrance sends you hand drawn pictures of your child's name beautifully written in the sand at the beach. 

The Shrine of the Holy Innocents will send you a certificate of Life in honor of your child.  Nancy had both of these done for us when Peter died. They are in our Peter box. 



Another treasure which was ordered shortly after Peter died but we just received last week on Monday just between my birthday and James was Peter Bear. 


What is our Peter Bear?  Our Peter Bear is a teddy bear made with love by a volunteer from Molly Bear.  The bear weighs the exact weight as your child, in our case 11 lbs 3.3 oz.  Molly Bears are created by a family who  lost their daughter at 34 weeks.  The family was givien the idea of a bear that weighed the same weight as their baby.  They decided they wanted to do the same for other families.  What a beautiful story and a wonderful addition to our family.   

 
Finally I'm going to tell you about one more family close to my heart.  They had their fourth baby on Peter's due date which was also the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Sadly, the year before they lost their third baby Melody.  During their grieving process, while working to teach their children that Melody was in heaven with the saints, they started a wonderful saint company called Tiny Saints.  Colleen kindly sent us our patron saints on Peter's birthday.  I am ever more excited because they are coming out this month with four new tiny saints, one being St. Peter. Awesome!!! 


I am planning to share some blogs soon. 

Please pray for me as I continue to pray for your family.  God Bless.   

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Letter to Peter

Dear Peter,

There are no words that I can ever say to express how much I love and miss you. 

My love for you is never ending just like my love for your sisters Amanda and Adriana, your brothers James and Thomas, you nephews Henry and Joseph and baby Niall # 6 are never ending. 

We were all so excited waiting for you to come home and join our family.  Would you be a boy or girl?  Who would you look like?  We all already loved you but sadly you never came home.  I am sure I had many dreams about who you would one day become but I mostly looked forward to seeing the young boy and then man God would help us form you to become.  But again those dreams left us because you never came home. 

Our goal for all of our children is to get them to heaven so clearly God's ways are not our ways.  I can never say I am happy He choose to take you from us but I trust Him and accept His will for our family.  We are blessed to have you our little Saint Peter in heaven.

Please, Peter, intercede for Mama and Daddy, all your siblings, and nephews.  We love you and I am working really hard to be with you and Our Lord in heaven one day.   

I love you with my whole heart always!! 

Mama

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Baby Thomas or Not

I foresee a bit of a problem in August.  Thomas does not like to share Mama! 

My little St Joseph with baby Jesus - Thomas
The other day, on James' birthday, Thomas was getting mad because James was snuggling with Mama. 

I guess we are really going to have to talk to him.  When I asked if he was going to share Mama with the baby he said "No, I'm going to share the baby with Briana W."  Briana is a 4-H friend, Thomas usually calls her Katelyn her sister but he got her name right this time.

He is no longer a baby even though he thinks he is a baby, my baby.  Oh boy, he is going to be in for a big shock in August!!  Luckily I know he loves babies.  He is just a little to touchy.  We will work on that too.      

Please pray for Thomas and our family as I am praying for you and your family.  God Bless!   

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Joy of Song

Last weekend was my birthday weekend.  We had some friends over on Sunday to celebrate! 


While on retreat Anne and I started singing while in the chapel.  Anne and I meet through a community of brothers call The Brotherhood of Hope.  They are a great charismatic community of brothers out of Somerville, MA, although they started in New Jersey.  Their work is campus ministry and they work at many college around the country not just in Boston.  When we met them they also had a young adult group.  Our young adult group sang great praise and worships songs so Anne and I were trying to remember some of their songs.  When they came on Sunday she brought two of the Brotherhood song books.  (A side not Br. John McCabe was coming to visit also.)  Anne and I sang many of the praise and worship songs together.


Singing with Anne reminded me how much I loved singing praise and worship songs!  I want to sing them with the children. 

The other day when  I was feeling overwhelmed with my thoughts of doctors I called the children up for a jam sessions.  It made me feel so much better.  My hope is to sing a few songs with the children everyday.  They want to add Latin songs. 

Praise and worship songs make me feel loved!  They make me love.  They will be a part of our Lent journey and hopefully more. 

This is one of their favorite songs. 


Please prayer for me as I am praying for you.  God Bless.