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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ending 2013 by Nursing a Minor Concussion

How fitting that I find myself nursing a minor concussion at the end of such a traumatic year. ;) Definitely not how I was hoping to end 2013 or start 2014.

Late Saturday night I accidentally missed Sofia's rocker when sitting down to put her to sleep in her pitch dark room and wound up whacking the lower back of my head into her floating bookshelves. Tears, screams and curse words flowed. :( Since then I have pretty much been in bed other than going to Mass and lunch on Sunday and then again tonight for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, a holy day of obligation and dinner at "Celebration." Mass and hunger are driving forces in our household. ;) Now I am back in bed sipping hot chocolate since I can't drink all the expensive champagne I bought given the fact I am downing painkillers. lol What a year I have had!

Here's to 2014! 

I pray, actually I beg God to let it be easier and cheaper than 2013. I beg Him for a healthy year for my family. Our 2013 medical bills were unexpected and totally annoying between tons of testing and consultations as to why we  maybe lost our babies, Rick's broken rib, Rick's wart removals and my uterine polyp removal. :( I pray for a healthy fourth pregnancy and healthy second living baby in 2014. I pray my Dad will remain stable throughout 2014 and throughout my next pregnancy. I now have this new nagging fear of not only losing another baby at any point in my pregnancy but of losing my Dad at the same time/ during the same year. It is absolute torture. I can't believe he almost died in my home, in Dallas, at the hospital I gave birth to Sofia while he was here to take care of Sofia during my scheduled surgery on Friday, November 22nd at the same hospital. Ugh! The words "guilt" and "trauma" pretty much sum up what I feel about that horrible experience. :( I can't stop either possible loss of life from happening in 2014 but I beg God that He will not allow it. I pray for a reprieve from suffering for the Kane and Macias households. 2014 has got to be better than 2013, right?

I remember the days when New Year's Eve was fun! Lighthearted! Filled with booze, dancing, friends, kisses and lots of goals/ resolutions. Oh to be young! Maybe one day Rick and I will find ourselves celebrating like that again. One day, in a few years...

Here's to 2014! ;)

Oh and for those keeping track TTC is on hold/ off limits per my OB until February given my surgery. February, the month we heard and saw Christian's beautiful heartbeat...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thankful for this Photo

I am thankful for this photo.


It's so true when they say, "a picture is worth a thousand words." This photo was taken last November 2012 just a few days after we found out we were expecting our second child, angel baby Sam Frances. We were so happy, overjoyed, giddy and a bit cold on this chilly morning in Highland Park. We even told the photographer our good news and that our baby was due July 2013. We asked her if she had her small chalkboard to write a little message as we would have liked the photo to double as our Christmas Card and Expecting Announcement. She did not have her chalkboard at the time so we simply took casual family photos and thought we could just add text to the photo when it was time to make the big announcement. Well, that time never came. We lost baby Sam four days after our Christmas Card photo was taken.

Almost a year later from our loss I am grateful for this photo as it captures us truly happy and pregnant with baby Sam. It also shows us before we ever knew the loss of a child. It's us before we joined the "1 in 4" community, before we really knew grief.

I pray that we will one day soon have another family photo where we are happily expecting another baby, Baby Macias #4, hopefully our rainbow baby.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Three of My New Kitchen Favorites

1. All-Clad Stainless Steel Cookware
So in our quest for going green, natural, organic we returned our nonstick Calphalon cookware set we got for our wedding almost six years ago. Thank goodness Bed, Bath & Beyond has a no hassle return policy and an extremely helpful manager/ former chef at their Park Lane location. This manager taught us a whole lot about cookware and highly recommended All-Clad's Stainless Steel Collection made in the USA. So we traded our nonstick for a bright shiny stainless steel 10-piece. We are in love with our new cookware and this could just be in our heads but we think our food looks and tastes better than ever. ;)

2. USA PAN Cooking Sheets
After Sofia and I were baking with our girlfriends I was embarrassed by my very warn and a little rusty baking sheets that had all sorts of crusty stains on them so I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond in search of new baking sheets. Fortunately, for me I asked their very knowledgeable manager/ former chef for help and he told me all about USA PAN. What a company, what a product! For all my bakers out there go to their Web site, check out their products, buy their commercial quality bake-ware and thank me later. ;) You will be amazed by the cleanup. I use to scrub my baking sheets and now I just glide my sponge and some warm soapy water over them and they continue to look brand new! No stains, no rust, no nada! Amazing!

3. Sprouts Organic Spices
I've been organizing like crazy since May as a form of therapy and well it's been so good for me. Anyway, one of the things I recently organized was our spice shelf and boy did I find some horrible things. I discovered some unhealthy not really natural spices, many expired spices and lots of duplicate spices. I tossed several spice bottles and then went out in search of organic spices. My usual grocery stores are Central Market and Whole Foods both of which have organic spices but are a bit costly. On a quick run to Sprouts for their "Vitamin and Body Care Extravaganza" I thought to take a look at their spice section where to my surprise I found store brand organic spices for $1-$2+ cheaper than competitors. Cha-ching!

A Trifecta

A really shitty trifecta I have come to experience is, grief + trying to conceive after loss + PMS. Yeah those three things at once really suck! Thankfully Rick and I have each other, our faith and Sofia to get through such doodoo. ;)

Cried within Two Weeks

So I only made it to less than two weeks between tears, 12 days to be exact. I cried the morning of my birthday on October 10th and then again at the MEND Subsequent Pregnancy meeting on October 22nd. Those MEND meetings can be tear-jerkers but oh so supportive and healing. I think two weeks between tears is as good as it's going to get for a while and that's ok especially since I am a "feeler" according to my Myers Briggs and a "blue/ red" according to my color temperament. Crying every two weeks actually feels like huge progress. I remember the early days, weeks and months of grief where I don't think I got through a single day without at least a couple of tears.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Six Months Out

Tonight I am six months out from the day I delivered Christian on Friday, April 19, 2013. (On a side note Friday afternoons are hard on me, my body feels it even before my memory remembers it.) Six months is a significant milestone as I am now to the point where I do not cry or tear up every day or every week. Now that I count back I have actually gone nine whole days without tearing up. My last cry was on the morning of my birthday on October 10th. Healing/ mending is happening. It will take a lifetime/ the after life to completely heal but some of the healing is happening on earth. :)

Out of no where last night Sofia stumbled upon videos and photos of Christian for the first time and reviewed them closely and sweetly. She said things such as, "that's a baby!," "awe, baby has booboo," "baby Christian for Sofia?..." We cuddled and I listened as she so maturely looked at her baby brother's photos and watched videos of Rick and I saying bye to Christian the night before his burial. We then talked about how Christian is in heaven with Jesus and we will see him again when we go to heaven.

We will all see him again... Amen... :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Glimpses of Hope

So a few posts ago I was venting about how I don't like suffering. Well, last Sunday at Mass Father Alan McDonald talked about suffering in his homily. I must admit it was a timely homily for me. ;) He said a lot of things but from what I remember he said something to the effect that suffering is our cross and what it means to really be a disciple of Christ is to pick up that cross/ that suffering and still follow Him. I've heard this message before but the word still really stood out to me this time. I'm still following. :) I will always follow for that's how much I love Him, even if I am a little confused, upset and annoyed by my suffering I'm still following and am a disciple of Christ.

Okay, now for my list of things that are giving me glimpses of hope:

1. As part of my "pre-conception prep-work" I read the book, "Celebrating Pregnancy Again: Restoring the lost joys of pregnancy after the loss of a child" by Franchesca Cox and it was food for my soul. Franchesca was refreshingly open and honest about her relationship with God after the loss of her first baby, her state of mind and the emotions of her heart during her two subsequent pregnancies. Franchesca gave lots of good suggestions in her book in regards to grief and worry. One of her suggestions was to create a pregnancy motto.

2. Franchesha's pregnancy motto was, "I deserve this. It is okay to dream. It is okay to hope. Pregnancy can and will be beautiful - for as many days as that may be."

My next pregnancy motto will be, "God can give me a healthy pregnancy and a healthy living breathing baby. I pray that He will this fourth time around. I desire a rainbow baby. Sofia deserves a sibling on earth." Rick and I can say/ pray this motto together substituting "me" for "us" and "I" for "we." I am also going to ask God for, "the peace that surpasses all understanding," Philippians 4:7.

3. I decided to sit down and make a list of all the women I personally know who have lost two or more babies in two or more consecutive pregnancies and then went on to have a living baby also known as a rainbow baby. I was shocked to look at my list and see the names of ten moms. I have started referring to these women as "my dream team." They are sort of living my dream as these ten women have had their rainbow baby(ies) in spite of two+ consecutive losses. 

Seven of these women live in Dallas and are my mommy friends from various groups, interestingly enough mainly from the Dallas Moms Club. Three of these moms live elsewhere as they are friends from either high school, undergrad or my working years. When the stats don't seem to be in my favor, or if there is a wait during trying to conceive, or if I have worrisome pregnancy days I am going to stop and think about these ten mommies and their rainbow babies. :)




Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sofia from Two to Three Years Old

This was the year that...

1. Sofia finally grew some hair!! :)


2. Sofia began formal Spanish language instruction at the Spanish House.


3. Sofia got into the tradition of Trick or Treating.


4. Sofia enjoyed opening up Christmas and Three Kings Day/ Epiphany presents and driving around to look at "luces" aka Christmas lights.



5. Sofia became a fan of Uncle James' basketball games. "Go Uncle James!"


6. Sofia finally fell in love with Fort Lauderdale Beach!



7. Sofia became a fan of not only Dora and Diego but also Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Doc McStuffins. (Mommy had a rough year and gave into Disney Junior but uses the remote to translate into Spanish. ;))


8. Sofia mastered the art of Melissa & Doug puzzles.


9. Sofia prayed the Our Father at Mass in English and started praying our short abbreviated family grace, i.e. "En Nombre del Padre, del Hijo y del Espiritu Santo Amen. Gracias Dios Por Nuestra Comida. Amen!"

10. Sofia fell in love with dresses, tutus, sparkly shoes and princess regalia.





11. Sofia said, "I love you" in Spanish for the first time. "Te quiero." (It sounded even sweeter than "I love you" in English.)

12. Sofia became a Big Sister to two younger angel siblings. In the process she heard her brother's heartbeat, showed her parents love and compassion when the were grieving/ crying, brought flowers to her siblings grave, lit candles after Mass on Sundays for her siblings, prayed for them and learned a little something about heaven. ;) This reminds me of the meaning of her name Sofia = wisdom. :)


Happy 3rd Birthday to Our Sofia!! We love you!! :)



Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sofia is Turning 3 = Mixed Bag of Emotions for Me

Sofia is about to turn three years old and it tugs at my heart and brings tears to my eyes for so many different reasons. I am so grateful Sofia is alive, healthy and growing up with us on earth but I am so sad that her siblings are not here with us for her third birthday. Her real birthday gift was supposed to be a sibling on earth; first baby Sam and then baby Christian. Tears! My brother James was my Christmas gift when I was three years, two months, and 1 week old and he was such a gift. Sofia lost her "James," twice! More tears.

Instead of a sibling on earth Sofia is going to have a party at Little Gym. Seems so shallow sometimes. We are trying to make the most of it and focus on her and the things she likes i.e. pastel, globos, morado, etc.. But I can't help to think that baby Sam was supposed to be there and be about six weeks old. Then after baby Sam died Christian our son was supposed to be just about ready to make his appearance into our world three weeks after Sofia's birthday. We even thought that if Christian came exactly three weeks early like Sofia they might have the same birthday, September 4th. More tears.

Suffering sucks! I am no Saint when it comes to suffering and I don't want to be a Saint. I tell God that latter part all the time just so He's clear on me wanting my suffering to STOP. I think suffering just plain sucks.

And to top this all off we "get to" try to conceive again next week, just in time for Sofia's 3rd Birthday. Bittersweet September.




Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Chinese Herbal Tea

So I have started drinking Chinese Herbal Tea per my Acupuncturist, Dr. Zhou. The tea consists of 10 different herbs which I must drink in the morning after breakfast and in the evening after dinner. Once mixed together and boiled the cup of tea looks like dark brown almost black water. It tastes nasty, bitter but it's drinkable. I am allowed to add honey to it but haven't yet. I pray to God this tea works and that my preventative optimal preconception health efforts are not in vain this time. They've worked for two Dallas friends who like me lost multiple babies in the first and second trimesters for unknown reasons after their first born. The teas cost $5 per day and I will need to drink them until maybe half way into the first trimester once pregnant. Here's hoping we get pregnant on the first try in September so that I don't have to drink the tea for too long. ;)






Monday, August 5, 2013

My Adventures with Traditional Chinese Medicine & More...

So after losing baby Christian I've been feeling like I have got to change things up. I feel like I need to do things differently this time around for pre-conception, conception and pregnancy. I know that the death of my babies might not have had anything to do with my previous regimen but after what I've been through I've got to change things up even if just for peace of mind. I am currently changing all my vitamin brands, workouts, I've added more chiropractic adjustments to my routine and I am going out of my comfort zone by seeing a well known and highly recommended Acupuncturist/ Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Doctor, Dr. Zhou.

Vitamin Brands - Still in the works, looking for well known and inexpensive brands this time, also looking to take a whole lot less this time around

Exercise Regimen - No more Jazzercise and no more weights :(, now doing Pilates and walking, may add a prenatal swim class during pregnancy but it must be in warm water according to TCM

Chiropractic Adjustments - Every other week along with lots of warm baths with things such as apple cider vinegar and Epsom salt ;)

Acupuncture - Every week for 12 weeks preconception and then during early pregnancy for a few weeks

Traditional Chinese Medicine - No alcohol, caffeine or cold drinks (that includes anything with ice, out of the fridge or freezer i.e. ice cream, frozen yogurt, popsicles, etc.) during the "pre-mester" aka the three months before we Try To Conceive (TTC). I have not followed this to the T but the goal is more like 80/20 and as we get closer to TTC I'm getting closer to 100% of the time. Oh and I need to try and avoid plastic when it comes to eating and drinking. Easier said than done my friends. ;) I now pour filtered water from my fridge into a glass pitcher every night before bed and drink it at room temperature throughout the next day. I even have one of those hippie glass water bottles from Whole Foods that I carry with me everywhere!



Why am I doing Acupuncture/  Traditional Chinese Medicine? Well, because I have two friends in Dallas who have lost multiple babies (seven total between them) without an explanation. They then found Dr. Zhou, went to acupuncture, followed her Traditional Chinese Medicine recommendations and now have another living breathing baby on earth. :) So of course, I have got to give this a try and I pray to dear God that it will work for me too.

With my Acupuncture/  Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment came an assignment to read these two books: Making Babies (a fascinating read that introduced me to the "pre-mester") and The Infertility Cure (I dislike the title for my particular situation but the author does differentiate between infertility and repeat loss of a baby which I appreciated). I am still in the process of reading these two books but they are definitely teaching me things one does not usually hear about in traditional western medical care. For example, I've learned that my fertility type is "stuck" more to come on that later. ;)










Sunday, July 21, 2013

Today Was Sam's Due Date

Today, Sunday, July 21st 2013 is the day our second baby was due. Baby Sam Frances Macias we love and miss you!! In Baby Sam's memory we released four balloons with handwritten love notes one from Mommy, Daddy, Sofia & Angel Baby Christian.



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Questions I Am Often Asked

I originally wrote this entry back in May but never got around to posting. Here it is with some updates.

FAQs

1. How are you feeling?

I am feeling well physically. My body has healed. I bled for three weeks after delivering Christian, had painful uterine cramping for 7-10 days which is normal after delivery and then had an unbelievable amount of mucus, more than any other time in my life. TMI, I know! But my OBGYN says mucus is a sign of the body healing.

I am also feeling a little fat as I gained weight after delivering Christian. However, Pilates which I began in June and am falling in love with is helping! I just wish Pilates wasn't so expensive.

All the other feeling areas i.e. emotional, mental, psychological, spiritual take time. Lots of time. One needs to process, grieve, learn to live a new normal, get through what would have been due dates/ birthdays, Baptisms, etc.. Sam's due date was July 21st and Christian's was September 25th we plan to do a balloon release for our babies on their due dates.

2. Are you and Rick going to try again?

First off, I think this question was asked of us way too soon less than a month after delivering Christian. However, Rick and I are very open, very pro-life, Catholic and apparently healthy and fertile (after thousands of dollars worth of tests) so we've been prepared to answer this question as we have always been open to life. Please note another couple at a different place in their faith journey and under different circumstances may have really been hurt by this question as they would still be mourning the loss of their child. Please allow couples a significant amount of time to grieve before asking them this question if you must ask.

In our case, yes of course, we will try again. We practice Natural Family Planning and are relatively young (33 & 34 years old). Plus we would like for Sofia to grow up with at least one sibling on earth (she's got two in Heaven and she knows it :)). We are also rather strong, strong enough to God forbid go through this ordeal again. We obviously don't ever want to go through this again or experience something even worse but we now know this stuff happens, can happen to us, has happened to us.

Given the research that is out there, mainly from the UK and now making it's way to the US, the best, safest, most likely to carry-to-term time for us to try to conceive again is during the 3-6 month window after my cycle returned to normal at the end of May. So as of now that is looking like early September - early December 2013. Keep us in prayer during that time! And if we turn down your evening events you will know why... ;)

3. Do you guys know why this happened?

Nope! And it suxs not knowing why because now we don't have a designated prevention or treatment plan for pre-conception or pregnancy. Weird. Almost every woman I know with repeat baby loss was diagnosed with something physical or genetic and then was able to treat it with pills, injections, extra monitoring, etc.. We don't know what if anything to do differently but you know us we are taking it upon ourselves to be pro-active and are now doing acupuncture along with chiropractic care. More to come on my adventure with acupuncture/ Chinese Medicine.

4. Are you going to see a high risk OBGYN/ Perinatologist now?

I thought I might be refereed to one but apparently not, since we have not been diagnosed with anything physical or genetic. All tests have come back clear/ normal so we have no known risk factors and are apparently not "high-risk." Although if you ask me sex and pregnancy has become awfully risky for us. I feel high-risk. ;)

Now I've got a question for you. ;) Did you do any out-of-the-box pre-conception or pregnancy treatments? If so, please share I am all ears!!

My Favorite Puzzles for Sofia

I am way overdue for a short and sweet fun post. ;) 

So today I went to Home Goods for the first time! I know I am late to the party. ;) Anyway, I found Sofia's favorite puzzles for $6.99!! In comparison to the usual $11.99 that I pay. Cha-ching!! :) I love these Melissa & Doug Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles because, 1) Sofia loves them and will do them over and over again 2) they are educational, good for her mind and hands 3) they come in a durable keepsake box which makes cleaning them up and storing them a lot easier. 


Friday, June 14, 2013

8 Weeks Out Tonight & Fifth Disease/ Slapped Cheek

I had my eight "weeks out" checkup today with my OB. My charts look good as I have had my first postpartum period. Temperatures are on track and mucus signs are ridiculously strong which is typical after a loss. That's why you hear, "you are most fertile after a loss" it's called, "increased fertility." Maybe it's like a sympathy gift from God to bereaved moms. ;) It's nice to know I am fertile this week but also weird since it's because of our loss(es) and because we should wait to try to conceive again. Per my Doctors the latest research says in efforts to carry to term it's best to wait and try to conceive after a loss like ours after three months but no later than six months. So that's our window/ goal. You'll have to understand if we don't attend evening events or have out of town guests stay the night at our house during our window (approx. August/ September - November/December. ;)

My OB finally went over my tests results for Fifth Disease/ Slapped Cheek. It was the ONLY anything I tested positive for/ immune to a few weeks ago. It's a virus that can be dangerous to unborn babies. School children get it all the time. To be honest the fact that I tested immune to it drove us crazy as we did not know when I most likely contracted it. Did I have it as a kid? OR Did I have it while I pregnant with Christian?  This had been a nagging question on our minds for weeks! I cringed at the thought that I may have caught it from a child I came in contact with during my pregnancy.

If my OB had done a blood test on me that day he informed us that Christian's heartbeat stopped I would have known for sure and a whole heck of a lot sooner if the virus was currently alive in my body or something I had a long time ago as a child. I was pissed at my OB or his nurse, I don't know which, who forgot to test me immediately.

My parents could not remember if I had Fifth Disease as a kid so I contacted my Pediatrician's office and well my file was destroyed 10 years after my last visit. I had my brother who is three years younger than me contact his Pediatrician but his file was also destroyed. My brother promises to take a blood test for me at some point to see if he has immunity to Fifth Disease and if so then we probably had it together as kids.

Fortunately, today my OB looked at my immunity numbers in detail with us and explained that even-though we took the test six weeks late my numbers/ levels most likely indicate that I had Fifth Disease as a kid. Sigh of relief. It would have hurt even worse to know that I caught it while pregnant from a child. So my lingering cold symptoms and rosy red cheeks that we thought could have been Fifth Disease symptoms were most likely something else. Thank God for that and stretchy mucus! All my Natural Family Planning peeps know what I am talking about. ;)


Friday, May 17, 2013

It's Been Four Weeks...Thankfulness...Art Therapy

It's been four weeks since I delivered our sweet angel baby, Christian. I can't believe it. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and the very first thought I have is did I really deliver the body of our sweet son at 17 weeks and 2 days in my tub? Did that really happen? Or was all that a dream? Life! Life on earth!

Earlier today I went to see my Chiropractor, Dr. Autumn Gore, for the first time since everything happened. Upon arriving I had a very unexpected sweet warm welcome and embrace from her office manager, she gave me such compliments about the way my husband and I handled our situation and our baby. I was completely caught off guard and touched as I didn't know how much she knew but I am guessing she may have read our blog. :) Then I saw Autumn and we didn't really talk about what happened but I just kept telling her thank you. I feel like I need to tell her thank you for the rest of my life. She was such a force and encouragement to wait on God and deliver our son naturally.

Thank you God for Autumn.

I've done a bit of shopping lately, call it retail therapy. My girlfriend Erin and I actually talked about this as we've both been there, I'm still there. ;) Anyway, there is this artist, a mother, named Stephanie Dyer who experienced the still quiet birth of her sweet daughter, Amelia Rose, and was moved to create and help others in pain. Stephanie now has a company/ studio/ charity/ blog called Beyond Words Designs, to read her amazing story and browse her beautiful art click here. I purchased the painting pictured below for our bathroom to hang on the wall of our tub. The blues remind me of our baby boy and well the mother delivering her child in the water all by herself reminds me of the moments I had delivering Christian when Rick was in the kitchen. ;)




Friday, May 10, 2013

Healing May Be a Life Long Process...Grieving Made Me Lose a Contact!!

Grieving comes and goes... It is definitely not something you get over after the burial... It is not something that ceases days or weeks later... No, it may last a lifetime... It may sort of always be there until one is reunited with their loved one in Heaven...

I joined a group on Facebook called M.E.N.D. (Mommies Enduring Neonatal Death). I haven't been to their Dallas Fort Worth monthly meeting yet but plan to go in June. Tonight a mother of five children, 2 babies on earth and 3 angel babies posted a message that hit me. In her words, "It was 15 years ago this month that we suffered our second miscarriage (of our three miscarriages). Crazy how those "anniversary" dates hit you. I was just minding my own business today, then an overwhelming sadness hit me. I realized it was May 1998 and the loss of my baby that was what had hit." Wow! 15 years later and after having had a subsequent baby on earth "it"/ "grief" still hits her.

Reading her post made me realize that the pain may last a lifetime. There are lots of normal everyday moments during the grieving process and then there are those moments that hit you. I had one of those moments yesterday while sitting outside having a cup of coffee in the Bishop Arts District with my girlfriend Erin. We were talking about the grieving process, mourning a loved one and I suddenly teared up, turned my face to the side and my brand new contact fell out! That then made me laugh. I totally lost my right contact and could not see very far out of my right eye. Erin had to drive me home to get my glasses! ;) Oh this thing called life on earth. It's something else sometimes.




Sunday, May 5, 2013

Today is International Bereaved Mother's Day

This day, the Sunday before Mother's Day, is definitely new to me but I am grateful it exists. In the past two weeks I have found a great deal of support, understanding and inspiration from the online communities that exist for bereaved Moms.

I also learned a thing or two about Mother's Day that I did not know in the past. For example, a woman by the name of Anna Jarvis founded Mother's Day to honor her Mother Ann who experienced the death of seven of her children, she was a mother to 11 children. Ann was a social activist and organizer during the American Civil War. Ann often spoke of her dream of America having a day to honor Mothers. Two years after Ann's death, on Sunday, May 12, 1907, her daughter, Anna, passed out 500 white carnations at her Mother's church - one for each Mother in the congregation.

Thank God for Ann, her daughter Anna, and what they have done for Mothers around the world.

For more information on International Bereaved Mother's Day check out,
Still Standing Magazine.


Monday, April 29, 2013

On The Path Towards Healing

Carly Marie's Project Heal, based out of Australia, has become a wonderful resource for Rick and I. We have found some lovely ideas to implement on our own path towards healing. For example, we bought a beautiful little blue and white chevron pattern photo album to hold precious moments of our time with our son Christian. We also bought baby blue ocean scented candles to remind us of him. We even purchased a new blue and white baby blanket that we held him in which we will keep and cherish forever.

If you or a loved one has lost a child on earth I highly recommend checking out this amazing gift of information.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Part Two: What Do We Do With the Umbilical Cord?...My Father-in-Law Enters the Bathroom!

People have asked me about Part Two of our delivery story. Well, it's taken us a little while to write and we needed to focus on burial preparations the last few days. Sections of Part Two are a little bit of a blur to me as I sort of slightly passed out after seeing my whole placenta! Part Two is a bit humorous, gross and rated PG-13!

With tears, "Rick, the baby is here, the baby is out... I did it!"

This next two paragraph's are in Rick's Words...as he runs into the bathroom with Smart Water and Gatorade at around 6:20 pm...
[Rick] This part is also a bit of a blur for me, at least the first few minutes as I enter the bathroom and first see my baby.  I ran in screaming, "What? The baby is out? The baby is here?...Oh my gosh, Oh my gosh, Oh my gosh!" I saw a tiny baby, about 4 inches long dangling from the umbilical cord that was still attached to Nelly.  She was semi-standing up in about a foot and a half of water while hunched over with her legs apart. She told me her water broke and she realized she had delivered our baby.  I was in awe of our baby's tiny body. I was so anxious waiting for the baby to come out over the past 30 days and not knowing when it would happen that I never actually thought about how I might feel during the moment. My parents and a Catholic co-worker of mine, reminded me to try to pray for peace and acceptance of God's will and give Him that anxiety...easier said than done...I need to work on praying for that Grace and acceptance knowing He'll always be with me even during tribulation.  As tears were flowing my raw emotions were happy and sad...happy Nelly had delivered our baby and our baby was in one piece, happy Nelly had done it and seemed physically OK...but still I was sad at the same time because our baby was not alive on earth, even though I knew his soul was alive and well in heaven with God.

We looked and briefly admired our baby and thought it might be a boy as we squinted to see around his waist.  Nelly quickly started shouting orders...get me gloves, Google what to do next, empty the water from the tub, get me something to drink, call the Doctor!  I tried to act as fast as possible and do everything at once.  The next 10-15 minutes seemed like an eternity as I was searching the internet on one iPhone, texting a Doctor on another, and trying to reach the OB on the house phone.  I gave Nelly gloves and put some on myself...not sure why...but we thought having gloves on was more sanitary and might be better for handling our baby.  Nelly then cradled our baby in her hand as she continued to squat while bending over.  At the moment I didn't even realize that my father had delivered his share of babies during his residency (around 500 babies, albeit 30 years ago in Chicago at Cook County Hospital) and was probably the closest and most qualified person to quickly come help!

Back to Me...
[Nelly] "Rick the baby is out! What do I do? What do I do with the cord? I think the other end of the cord is still inside of me. Do I pull it? Do we cut it? From where do I pull it? Or where do we cut it? Call Dr. Naumes (our Naturopathic Doctor)!" No answer... "Text Dr. Naumes! Get me gloves to hold my baby. What did Dr. Naumes text back?" Don't pull the cord... "Call Nikki (our friend who is a newly certified Doula)!" I am not sure... "Um! Call your Dad (Dr. Macias, a Pediatric Geneticist)!"

Rick accidentally picks up my cell phone and calls, Mom's Cell from the recent call log. Well, that would be my Mom and he asks for his Dad. Then it hits him he called the wrong Mom and says the "baby is out! got to go, bye!" This sent my Mom into a frenzy as she wanted to know what was going on with me, her daughter. So my Mom called my Mother-in-law who did not have any details. My Mom got very concerned and understandably so as her sister hemorrhaged to death after childbirth decades ago in Colombia and my neighbor who had an earlier natural missed miscarriage in December (2012) hemorrhaged to the point where her husband had to call 911 and rush her to the hospital.

Rick grabs his phone and gets a hold of his Mom, who is in the car with Sofia, while his Dad is walking around the Shops at Preston Hollow with a fresh coffee from Starbucks. Luckily they did not go out to eat as we suggested, but simply to get a snack/ drink just a mile down the road.  My Mother-in-law gets his attention and tells Dr. Macias that they have to go NOW, back to the house, "Ricky" needs him.

In-Laws are Back at Our House

My in-laws arrive about 6:30 pm and my Father-in-law, Dr. Macias, comes into our bathroom while my Mother-in-law took Sofia outside to play...it was chilly but sunny and Sofia loves playing outside. Right before Rick's Dad came into the bathroom I told Rick to, "cover my boobs!" I had sat down on the ledge of the tub with my legs apart while still holding our baby.  I needed to have some sense of modesty around my Father-in-law. I already was a bit weird-ed out of him being around my "pee pee" area but we needed help so I quickly got over it! We didn't know exactly how to handle the umbilical cord as my OB definitely did not provide us with a plan even-though in prior weeks we specifically asked him about the umbilical cord! He actually told us it would probably just fall off. Fall off? My ass! Our baby's cord was so strong and totally attached to him and my placenta.

At this point, Rick and I were both teary eyed as we just saw our baby! Rick gave his Dad some of our blue medical gloves and then Dr. Macias slowly helped me hand over our baby to him. I didn't want to let go but I was following the Doctor's orders. He slowly pulled trying to get as much out as possible and disconnected the umbilical cord from my placenta which was still inside of me! Awkward but necessary. He then asked Rick for a white towel in which to lay our baby.

Dr. Macias examined our baby and said he looks like a BOY!  Rick and I thought he was a boy from when I was holding him in my hand...Dr. Macias confirmed. Rick started to cry. I cried. God added a little surprise and excitement to our situation by giving us a SON! Dr. Macias then examined our baby boy and his umbilical cord. He said everything looked "normal," his eyes were aligned, and he had 10 tiny little fingers and toes. Perhaps there was some sort of internal issue in our son's body, we still don't know the cause of death (even after having testing done on both of us during our 30 day wait).

I then told my Father-in-law a bunch of random thoughts like, "Thank God you are a Doctor. Did you ever think you'd be helping us with this when Rick and I got married five years ago? This is one heck of a story." My Father-in-law said, "well, you did it all...I really didn't do anything."  One thought I kept to myself at the time was I can't believe my Father-in-law just saw my "vajayjay" and that I am butt naked from the waste down right now in front of him (my upper body was still covered by a towel). LMAO! I wonder how many Daughter-in-laws have been in my position? LOL! I am rolling as I type this... I guess God added a touch of humor to this whole situation. ;) In all seriousness though, thank God he was there otherwise we would have been back to calling our OB (who actually had a back-up OB answering calls this particular weekend) and waiting for a call back and then Googling what to do with the cord. Plus I think Rick was comforted by his presence. We also needed Dr. Macias for this next part, brace yourself!

Rick and his Dad placed our son in a glass bowl (that Rick ran out to get from the kitchen) filled with lukewarm water and well, our son was just precious. My Father-in-law washed off his gloves a little and then you know me, I started asking a bunch of questions like, "where's all the blood I read about? where's my placenta? where's the sack? how come I am not really bleeding?" My Father-in-law said something to the effect of, yeah if that doesn't all come out we will have to go to the hospital. Well, there was no way I wanted to go to the hospital and have a D&C (Dilation & Curettage) after playing amazon jungle woman/ mama bear in my bathroom.

Another Push

So, I asked, "what should I do?" My Father-in-law said to push as he jokingly did a push move. I asked him if he was serious and he said to try. So I got into a squat/ pushing position and pushed out my whole entire placenta! Oh My Gosh! That thing was huge and nearly hit my foot as I was still sitting on the ledge of our jacuzzi tub, leaning against the wall, with my legs in the tub. I was so grossed out and unprepared for its size and for it being in one whole piece. Most the stories I read on natural missed miscarriages had the placenta coming out in pieces over time. I thought to myself that looks like an organ, that looks like the liver my Dad may need, that looks like a piece of steak, I look like a bloody cow. Ahahahah!

Seeing my placenta in whole next to my foot on the floor of the tub next to the drain was just too much for me. I start ordering Rick to get a bucket to place it in, clean up the blood, wash the tub, etc.  Then suddenly things starting getting blurry, I was hot, then cold, then sweating rain drops all over my body, especially my face. Rick was in the tub in front of me wiping up blood splatter. I started saying, "Rick I can't really see you. It's blurry. I am hot. I feel sleepy." My head tilted to the right and my Father-in-law grabbed my left arm and held me up as I felt like I was about to pass out. My Father-in-law, who was standing next to me outside of the tub, said something about taking it easy, relaxing, drink some Gatorade, breath, etc. etc...he told Rick to get another towel with cold water. I was in la la land and said a quick confession in my head as I didn't know if I was about to take a little nap or possibly die.

After a few seconds, I was back. I thought I had passed out a little but my Father-in-law explained to me that I had what they call a mini "anxiety attack." That is so not what I had thought an anxiety attack was but apparently there are different kinds. I had the kind that has blurry vision, head tilting to the right and left arm/ hand curling towards the body. Blah, but passing out is common after a natural missed miscarriage. After that I felt weak, drained and exhausted so I "rested" in the squatting position on the ledge of my tub with by bare butt sitting on the cold hard marble and leaning my naked back against the wall with my front still covered for about an hour. Rick and I talked to his Dad for a while as Rick continued to clean up the blood because I did not want to see it as it made me queasy. Rick then wiped down my legs and both him and his Dad checked to see if more was coming out.  At the moment, around 7:30 pm, it seemed there was a "break" in the action so Dr.Macias left the bathroom to let me rest...and then just Rick and I talked, and talked. My perineum later paid the price for all this "resting" on a hard marble surface in a semi-squatting position while talking.

High

After half an hour or so, I felt just enough strength to get up with Rick's help and go sit on the toilet for a little bit to pass small clots of blood and perhaps some tissue.  However, after some more water / Gatorade I felt awake and was now on this unbelievable high. I called my Mom and she couldn't believe our story. I called Nikki, our Doula friend, and some of what she said was, "You know what this means? You just had a natural home-birth. You can have a natural home-birth (referring to the future)." Wow! I did it! And aside from a couple of snags i.e. "What do we do with the umbilical cord?" and the 2-3 minute " blurry nap" it wasn't so bad. The oxytocin was really kicking in at this point. To the point where Rick and I got in the shower kissed and hugged. We did it! We gave our son a proper delivery! We so didn't kiss and hug in the shower after having Sofia at Dallas Presbyterian. No, for some reason after the epidural and painkillers with Sofia, I cried alone in the shower and ugh, it was just awful. This oxytocin high after delivering our son was like a gift from God to us for being patient during the storm and trusting His natural design.

Late Night Dinner

I finally got dressed and put a pad on to go lay down in bed around 9 pm. My in-laws had gotten us a late dinner from  Eatzi's. While eating my salmon caeser salad, fruit and creme brulee I was on the phone with my Maid-of-Honor, Monica, who is a new nurse, and well we talked for a long time. She couldn't believe our story and the emotional high I was on at the time. I think I sold her on a natural water-birth. ;)

Bed Time

Although Rick and I were in bed  later that night we could not fall asleep. Our adrenaline was so high and we were just too excited to sleep so we talked and prayed one really long prayer of gratitude. We were so grateful that everything happened naturally and without any major complications like hemorrhaging, fever or infection. We were also thankful that we had the most appropriate Grandparent in the bathroom when we got stuck. Now we realize that it was for the best that things didn't happen during Week 1 when my Mom was here, can you imagine how hard it would have been for her to see me go through what I went through? Or Week 2 when I had a cold or Week 3 when my body wasn't ready/ dilating...instead it was at the end of week 4 when Rick's Dad was at our house and he hadn't been to our house since September! Rick even initially said he didn't need to come if he was tired, but he said he wanted to come and Rick's mom insisted he come (Thank God!). This all happened totally in God's timing and not ours...

And oh yeah, if we are ever blessed to be pregnant again and carry another child to term we are so going to look into a natural water birth but at a hospital with an OB. ;)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

We Laid Our Son's Body to Rest

Today we laid our son's body to rest. We had a 10 am service at Calvary Hill Cemetery led by our Pastor, Father Bierschenk.

This morning was tough although not as hard as last night when we held, said goodbye and prepared our son's body for burial. His body was so fragile and we had to focus on being so careful with him. We both held his hand, touched his feet and kissed his forehead one last time.

Getting us all dressed in black was difficult, the tears were flowing. Getting in the car and having Rick hand me our son's coffin was even more difficult. His coffin rested on my lap as I held each end trying to keep everything level as his precious little body was inside and I did not want it disturbed. I cried as we drove to the cemetery. I turned and looked at Rick and he too was wearing his sunglasses even though it was quite grey, rainy and cold outside. Sofia even asked for her, "mis lentes."

Shortly after we parked the car at the cemetery my friend Erin pulled up beside us. It was originally just going to be the three of us as our parents are back at their respective homes. However, last night Erin text me and offered to join us. I was so grateful as I wanted someone to take photos and videos of the service. Erin knows loss and has buried her Father so her presence was very touching as this is the first time Rick or I have buried a loved one. Erin was a Godsend to us today.

The service was short and sweet. There was a small table with a linen tablecloth set before the crypt for unborn babies. On the table was a blue, green and white flower arrangement we made for baby Christian Valentine. Beside the flowers was his sweet little coffin from the Elizabeth Ministry with a name plate we had designed at Things Remembered. The name plate read as follows,

Our Angel Baby
Christian Valentine Macias
March 2013
We Love You!
Mom, Dad, & Sofia

Father led us in a Catholic rite/ blessing. Afterwards we played a couple minutes of a song my friend Jackie suggested, "With Hope" by Stephen Curtis Champman.


This Is Not At All How
We Thought It Was Supposed To Be
We Had So Many Plans For You
We Had So Many Dreams
And Now You've Gone Away
And Left Us With The Memories Of Your Smile
And Nothing We Can Say
And Nothing We Can Do
Can Take Away The Pain
The Pain Of Losing You But
We Can Cry With Hope
We Can Say Goodbye With Hope
'Cause We Know Our Goodbye Is Not The End Oh No
And We Can Grieve With Hope
'Cause We Believe With Hope
There's A Place By God's Grace
There's A Place Where We'll See Your Face Again
We'll See Your Face Again
And Never Have I Known
Anything So Hard To Understand
And Never Have I Questioned More
The Wisdom Of God's Plan
But Through The Cloud Of Tears
I See The Father's Smile And Say Well Done
And I Imagine You
Where You Wanted Most To Be
Seeing All Your Dreams Come True
'Cause Now You're Home
And Now You're Free And
We Have This Hope As An Anchor
'Cause We Believe That Everything
God Promised Us Is True So
We Wait With Hope
And We Ache With Hope
We Hold On With Hope
We Let Go With Hope

After the song played Rick & I placed our son's coffin in the crypt. I kissed my hand and touched Christian Valentine's coffin as tears just flowed. "Goodbye My Love!" We then stayed to take photos and watched as the staff closed the crypt. The plaque on the crypt says,

"Let The Children Come to Me. Do Not Keep Them Form Me." Mark 10:14

We hugged, said goodbye and thank you to Erin. We asked Father for a family blessing, hugged and said goodbye to him. Before leaving the cemetery we drove around so as to be a little more familiar with where the body of our son has been laid to rest. Calvary Hill is a big beautiful cemetery where you can't help but notice it's Catholic identity and all the families that have lost a loved one. We also noticed that loved ones have later gone on and joined their family members which is truly something beautiful and something to look forward to after our earthly life. "We can cry with hope."

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Our Son's Name is, Christian Valentine Macias

Well, since we so thought we were having a girl per our baby's high heart rate at the first sonogram, on Valentine's Day, we had been referring to our baby as Valentina Faith. Upon delivery and Dr. Macias' examination we realized we were mistaken and that we actually had a BOY!! Tears!! We have a SON!!

It took us almost 48 hours to finalize our son's name. We thought we were going to go with John Paul Valentine after Blessed John Paul II, but then we chose to name our son Christian Valentine. The name Christian actually came to us this morning as we searched feast days between March 18th and April 19th. None of the Saints/ Feast Days seemed fitting to us given the circumstances and then the name Christian came to our minds. Rick, the indecisive one, said, "let me think about it." Today's readings at Mass confirmed our thought...

The Gospel was as follows,

John 10:27-30

Jesus said:
"My sheep hear my voice; 
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father's hand.
The Father and I are one." 

After hearing this reading, I turned to Rick and said, "pretty appropriate for today." Rick agreed as he had seen the same passage at the Garden for the Unborn at Saint Rita Catholic Church in Dallas, Texas. Oh, how do I love that man Rick and that we share this wonderful Catholic faith.

As most of us know the name Christian means, "follower of Christ." Our baby upon his death and conditional Baptism (Using Holy Water we said, "If you are able of being baptized, I/ We baptize you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.") has followed Christ into Heaven. And from reading my blog you probably know by now why we chose Valentine, after Saint Valentine, the Saint for love and marriage and the day we first saw our baby and heard his heartbeat.

Christian Valentine Macias was a very special Valentine's Day gift from God to us (Nelly, Rick & Sofia) on 02/14/13. 

On Tuesday, April 23rd at 10 am our son's body will be laid to rest in a special crypt, for babies who die a natural death before birth, at Calvary Hill Cemetery in Dallas, Texas. Father Bierschenk from Saint Monica Catholic Church in Dallas will be conducting the blessing/ rite.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

To Our Surprise We Had a Baby BOY!!

To our surprise I delivered our baby BOY last night in our Jacuzzi tub. I guess the fetal heart rate gender prediction turned out to be an old wive's tale. ;)

Where to start?!?!

Friday, April 19th/ Day 30 of Waiting

I woke up around 8 am and went to the bathroom, but saw nothing on my pad. I felt a bit discouraged and started to think I may have to resort to Cytotec per my OB, if something didn't happen by night fall. Around 11:30 am my friend Melissa came over with her three kids and brought us lunch plus a play-date. I had a good time; Melissa is such a doll. We went outside to the backyard for a bit and talked as the kids played, it was nice. 

Shortly after Melissa left our house I went to the bathroom and saw a little bit of blood in my pad. I then started having contractions around 1:30 pm. They were about 5 minutes apart but I didn't think much of them as I have had some false alarms over the last 30 days. Nonetheless, I timed them as I was on the computer and watching TV while Sofia was napping. I had Rick make me a cup of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea to help move things along just in case it was indeed time. He put two tea bags for extra strength in one cup of tea. Can you tell we were ready? ;) We knew Rick's parents were on the way to our house from McAllen, TX and thought tonight really should be the night - Sofia's got her Grandparents, we've got medical gloves (our last supply that we bought on Thursday night). Anyway, I drank my tea and Rick's parents got to our house around 3:45 pm. 

My contractions then got to be 3 minutes apart so I made another cup of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea with two tea bags again and asked Rick when he would be done working because I needed him (Rick was working from home on his laptop). I went outside to sit in the sunshine around 5 pm and give a quick call to my Mom to tell her I was having contractions and Rick's parents had arrived. I then went back inside and told Rick, it's time for us to go to the bathroom and "FOCUS, I'm in pain!" I don't think Rick quite got it, but he stopped working and obliged. Painful contractions, contractions, contractions. In between all these contractions Sofia woke up to her Grandparents...surprise Sofia! Rick and I did a circuit around our bathroom from the toilet, to my Pilates ball, to my tailgate chair, to my yoga mat, to using Rick's handheld electric back-massager on my lower back...to finally just getting naked and in the shower. I turned on both the regular and rain shower heads and had hot water hit the small of my back and my belly. I squatted, sat on the shower floor, laid on the shower floor, did all sorts of weird stretches and positions to deal with the painful contractions. Oh, I think I was in the shower for what felt like an hour. Then I told Rick to go get a mirror to see if my cervix was even dilating; of course we couldn't tell a thing. We were clueless. ;)  Next, I told Rick to get me a towel to dry off and my robe. He asked me if I wanted to put my clothes on and put on a maxi pad. I think I said, "hell no" or something to that effect. I then laid on my yoga mat on my side. Rick started pushing pain killers on me, I think I was driving him crazy! ;) I told him, "respect my wishes!" "I am trying to do this naturally!" I think he then said, "why?" "are you sure?" "both OB and Natural Doc said you can use at anytime", etc.. And well, I think I told him to "shut-up!" 

We started texting our Doctors and friends to get their take on pain killers. Luckily my friend Ailer encouraged us not to take the pain killers since they would numb me and I might not be able to feel my progress. I was a woman after all and my body was built for this! Thank God I listened to Ailer because there is this great gift God gives women during childbirth...Oxytocin!!

"Rick, run me a bath already!" "Clean the tub! I can't believe you haven't gotten the tub ready!" "Come on already!" I got in the tub and peed! We emptied the tub water, re-cleaned the tub and started running the water again, ah nice warm water.

Rick texted to ask our Naturopathic Doctor how much longer we would be laboring as contractions were now 2 minutes apart and 1 minute long...she replied it could take 10 hours total! It was almost 6 pm, we were more than four hours into it and I thought to myself can I really do this another six hours? Rick said, "that would be MIDNIGHT!" I thought to myself, maybe I should take those painkillers? ;) I better get it together and pray and breath and stop cursing. ;) At some point, I even did what sounded like Indian chants. I felt close to my Mama Luisa, (maternal grandmother from Colombia with Indian background) who gave birth to her 11 biological children all by herself in her bedroom. I thought to myself come on Nelly, you are COLOMBIAN!! ;) "God help me do this."

Rick and I decided it was best if Sofia was not around to hear any possible screaming or try to come in the bathroom.  So, Rick stepped out of our bathroom and told his parents, "why don't you take Sofia out to eat to distract her so she doesn't hear anything." Thank God they only went to Starbucks one mile from the house. Rick came back into the room and hung out as I had more contractions. I grabbed him during one of them and told him to GET me some red Gatorade and Smart Water for the electrolytes. I think it had been hours since I drank anything and I thought to myself, oh no I am going to be dehydrated and that's a "no-no" per the Doctors. Rick took his sweet time in the kitchen, (for some reason he wasted his time trying to find an already opened bottle of Smart Water in the fridge instead of just grabbing a new one!) and leaving me to my lonesome for about 2 mins during one heck of a painful contraction.  It was so painful it had me rolling all over the tub trying to find a comfortable position. I think I blinked or closed my eyes for a second and then my WATER BROKE!! Oh what a feeling!! I don't know if this is normal but, I love the feeling of my water breaking. It's awesome! It feels like a champagne bottle popping and like this huge release of pressure, pain and water. POW! 

I started screaming out to Rick, "MY WATER BROKE, MY WATER BROKE!" "RICK!" "HELP!" "RICK!" I then looked down into the tub between my legs and saw like a smokey cloud of brown and yellow. The cloud slowly faded out and there was MY BABY!! I cried out, "MY BABY, MY BABY, I LOVE YOU, MY BABY, I LOVE YOU!" "RICK, RICK THE BABY IS HERE!! THE BABY IS OUT!! RICK!" Tears! Tears of joy and tears of love! Tears like none I have ever had before in my life. I did it! And for whatever reason, at that moment I technically did it alone with no one with me...just a moment between me and my baby. :) A moment between mother and child. Awe! It was beautiful! It was natural!! My prayers had been answered!! I gave my deceased baby a proper delivery!! Oh sweet Jesus, Thank You!! Thank you Jesus!!

To Be Continued... Preview: Rick runs into the bathroom and saw his SON! And then we called my Father-in-Law, Dr.Macias, for help!!! 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Photos of Happier Times Pregnant with Christian

The process has begun and has been like a slow drip faucet that gets turned on and off, and then on and off. In between these times it is quite boring, especially since it is cold outside and we can't go hang out in the backyard or go for a nice warm sunny walk. Oh how I am not a fan of Texas weather. Believe it or not a couple moments have been humorous... just picture Rick and I in the bathroom not having a clue to what exactly is going on with my body, lol. Autumn, our Chiropractor, told us how this is going to be an incredible bonding experience. We shall see. :)

Anyway, let's look at pics of happier times with Christian alive in my womb.

Photo #1: Rick, We're Pregnant Again!! :), 01/14/13
Story Behind the Photo: I had a feeling we were pregnant again because I got a pimple and just couldn't wait to know so as Rick was driving home for lunch I took a pregnancy test, quickly decorated the island to set the stage for the news since it was Monday, January 14th a month before Valentine's Day. Rick walked through the kitchen/ garage door and surprise! Yay! We then cried, prayed, hugged and kissed!

Photo #2: Date Night at Bolsa before Nausea, 01/19/13

Photos #3 & 4: Belly Shots Post Workout Training Sessions at 5 Weeks 1 Day Pregnant, 01/24/13


Photos #5, 6 & 7: The Day We First Saw & Heard Christian's Heartbeat on Valentine's Day at 8 Weeks 1 Day Pregnant; His heartbeat was so strong and beautiful it looked like a butterfly 02/14/13




Photos #8 & 9: A Saturday at the Park with Abuelita & Grandpa, 02/16/13


Photos #10, 11, & 12: Shopping for a Wedding Guest Dress at 12 Weeks & 3 Days Pregnant, 03/16/13
My favorite color but I was just too pale for this dress.
Sofia trying to find my feet in this Ralph Lauren gown which is the dress I chose.
This last photo is my favorite! 
I like to call it, "a moment with Christian."

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

17 Weeks Today and I Think This Will Be The Week

My body has carried Christian for 17 weeks today. It's crazy weird yet amazing. I have carried my baby's body for four weeks after her passing. These four weeks have been an interesting roller-coaster but also quiet healing in many ways. I think overall it has been a blessing for this process to have gone slowly even though I so wanted it to happen during Week 1 when my Mommy was in Dallas. ;)

Today Sofia and I had a busy day with ballet, Starbucks, the Gap, the Chiropractor and a visit with our neighbors. While adjusting me my Chiropractor, Autumn, giggled and said, "I wouldn't be surprised if it happens today." On the drive home I started spotting!! I had a false alarm earlier this week when I thought I was spotting but today I was unmistakably spotting. My body is doing its thing naturally just in time for when my menstrual period is normally due. I had read online that many women who allow their bodies to naturally release their babies oftentimes deliver them around the time they use to get their period. I wasn't sure if this would happen for me but it looks like it just might. I am so glad I've given my body time, trusted the "reason" and sought help from a prenatal Chiropractor/ Doula.

The following quote has been all over Facebook this week and I thought I would share as it really spoke to my mind, body and soul. "Your body's ability to heal is greater than anyone has permitted you to believe."  I also came across a comment on one of the many message boards I've read over the last four weeks that I truly believe, "women have put their trust in doctors and have stopped trusting their bodies." I think in general we women are also out of touch with our bodies and have so much to learn and we should learn more about since they are our bodies.

Please keep us in prayer as things may actually happen this week. Pray that we won't have any complications and that things will go as smoothly as possible. Thank you and May God Bless You.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Waiting Isn't Always Easy

Sunday, April 14th/ Day 25 of Waiting

Last night I started to get really anxious about waiting. It took me forever to fall asleep. I am now at the point where I keep wondering "is this going to happen naturally?" or "am I going to have to resort to Cytotec per my OB?" I really want this to happen naturally. If I have to resort to Cytotec I am so stressed out about what day to pick to take it. I feel this incredible pressure about picking the "right/ best/ most convenient day/ time" for Rick, Sofia and I. Ugh! This sucks! Especially since we don't have family in the area for Sofia.

In the meantime I am trying to find an Acupuncturist in Dallas who will help me release my baby's body. I have never been to an Acupuncturist before but have read online that they can help women in my situation. Hopefully I will be able to see one this week.

On a positive note we have been showered with prayers, food, flowers, fruit baskets, etc.. We can't say thank you enough to all those who have reached out to us.

We have also had a lot of friends open up to us about their pregnancy losses. Some haven't gone "public" with their friends or extended family about their losses, have a hard time talking about the babies they lost and are still trying to heal. All of which we totally understand.

I pray we can all help each other heal by sharing, exchanging ideas and information. Perhaps that is another reason why my wait has been so long, maybe it was to get me to open up and share via my blog and Facebook so that others could talk to me and I to them.

Friday, April 12, 2013

LOVE from the Saint Monica Moms Circle

Friday, April 12th/ Day 23 of Waiting




This is LOVE from the Saint Monica Moms Circle! Written in this card is a "Spiritual Bouquet." A Spiritual Bouquet are prayers or devotional acts that people offer for someone else. Rick and I are overwhelmed by the prayers and acts others are saying and doing for us, our family and baby Valentina. Thank You and May God Bless You!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

16 Weeks & A Healing Visit to the Chiropractor

We are "16 weeks" which means we have been waiting 21 days for my body to release our baby's body however today we are waiting with a different mindset.

Wednesday, April 10th/ Day 21 of Waiting
Rick and I went to the OB this morning and saw our baby in another sonogram. He was just precious, still measuring 12-13 weeks, we could see his little hands and feet. He is dropping down/ getting into position but my cervix has yet to dilate.

We then went to my old Chiropractor, Dr. Autumn Gore, who I saw when I was pregnant with Sofia. Seeing Autumn today was a blessing. She helped us realize that there is a reason my body has not released my baby, it's not chaos, there is a reason. Maybe it's because I am still battling this cold. ;) Autumn went through what we are going through a little over 10 years ago. Given her experience she spoke words of wisdom and faith to our souls. She basically told us to never say "miscarried" again as it implies one did something wrong, like a mistake. She also said, "your baby's heart stopped beating...In hospitals they call that a loss of life...you lost your baby...you are experiencing a loss on earth but your baby isn't even really lost because we know where your baby is...your baby is with her Creator. Your baby has transitioned to where you will be able to rejoin her." 

Autumn then adjusted me and I cried, that was a first at the Chiropractor! ;) Rick cried too! It was healing. We are now working  with Autumn on getting my nerves and pelvic area ready to release our baby. Autumn then gave us Evening Primrose Oil to gently ready my cervix. She said Cytotec, what most OBs prescribe to dilate one's cervix in a situation like ours, is like a "sledgehammer." So we are going to try a more gentler approach for now and see what happens.

Thank you again to all our family and friends who have been supporting us through this time. A special thank you to all the Saint Monica Mom Circle Moms who have been delivering us HUGE dinners this week. :)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Still Waiting, "Mama and Baby Love," Kimberly Hahn, Edible Arrangements :)

Many have asked me how I am doing. I am still waiting and still battling this cold which seems to be all in my nose and makes me sound like an 80 year old man who smoked for decades. ;)

Sunday, April 7th/ Day 18 of Waiting
My story is out as I blogged it and shared my blog on Facebook. The experience was therapeutic and I hope it helps other Moms who have been there or  may one day find themselves in a similar circumstance. We women need to openly talk about our bodies, miscarriages, "missed" miscarriages, stillbirths, SIDS, etc. so as to learn from each other and help each other. Thank you to the women who shared their stories with me. Especially a blogger by the name of Stephanie from Mama and Baby Love that I found out about through a friend. Stephanie like me is Catholic has only practiced Natural Family Planning since getting married, has one healthy beautiful little girl, had a natural "missed miscarriage," and has a bit of a potty mouth, all of which I can relate to, even the potty mouth part. ;) Stephanie's natural "missed miscarriage" has greatly prepared me for what's to come, http://www.mamaandbabylove.com/2012/01/31/my-natural-miscarriage-story/.

My dear friend from New York unexpectedly lost her baby a few weeks ago, 24 hours after giving birth. They posted beautiful happy family photos on Facebook after delivery, all seemed well. You hardly ever hear of such a thing happening but it does happen, even in 2013. Her story was on my mind the last few weeks of my first trimester and in a way has helped me cope. She is a woman of deep Catholic faith who shared the words of author Kimberly Hahn with me, "Though it is agony for those of us who remain, the truth is our children are better off with the Lord. They have been spared the pain, suffering and sin in this world." A little hard to swallow but in reality it is true.

Monday, April 8th/ Day 19 Waiting
I am still waiting. I slept in until 10:30 am or so after taking NyQuil late last night for this cold. This cold just won't quit. Thank God for Rick and BofA, they have been so supportive. Sofia insisted on wearing her ballet attire today and danced around the house, she is such a sweet girl who makes us smile.

My friend Ailer sent us not one but two Edible Arrangements this afternoon. Sofia is going to go nuts over her arrangement when she wakes up from her nap. Thank God she still takes a nap.

My OB wants to see me on Wednesday for a sonogram and check-up. On Wednesday I will be "16 weeks" pregnant with the body of my ~13 week deceased child. So weird to think that if I had gone to my regularly scheduled 12 week appointment (which I pushed back a week b/c of Sofia's Spring Break) I would not have known until my 16th week appointment/ this week that my baby had passed away.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Life Sure Isn't Fair, But God is Faithful...Diagnosed with a "Missed Miscarriage"

I've known that life isn't fair since I was about five years old, but am currently relearning this truth as I am awaiting a miscarriage. It has been two weeks and three days since my OB informed us that we had a “missed miscarriage” since my third baby's heartbeat had stopped probably somewhere between 12 weeks 5 days and 13 weeks 1 day and my body had yet to recognize our baby has passed away. My husband, Rick, just happened to be at our regularly scheduled 13 week checkup that day... thank God he was with me.

Since the sad news I have gone through a series of emotions and experiences I never imagined or even knew were physically possible. The first was that of a slow motion outer body experience where I felt my body go limp when I stood up and the sonogram room move (the room obviously didn't move). Rick had to hold me as we walked back to our original room at the OB's office. Later that same day, I had afternoon/ evening nausea just like I had experienced in the days and weeks prior. I learned that one's body may still produce pregnancy hormones even after one's baby has passed thus the ongoing nausea, exhaustion and baby bump. Right after that, my body went into shock much like it did over a year ago when I found out my Dad had been diagnosed with end-stage liver disease (Praise be to God that my Dad's health has greatly improved and he is alive and well). I vomited countless times to the point where I couldn't even keep a sip of water down and threw-up yellow stomach bile for hours. Every time I laid my head down to sleep that night I would hear my heartbeat loud and clear reminding me of the fact that my baby's heartbeat could no longer be heard on earth.  Fortunately, the nausea medicine the OB had just prescribed around midnight got me to sleep. 

Friday, March 22nd/ Day 2 of Waiting
My Mom hopped on a plane in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at 6 AM EST time and arrived at our house around 9 AM CST. Thanks be to God for her and her boss/ Firm for their understanding. My friends Paula and Kym both dropped off dinner without us even asking. Thank God for friends in times like these. Kym even brought me some Emetrol which worked wonders to settle my stomach so I could finally eat and get some much needed energy. 

Throughout the day we made phone-calls to our Doctors and doulas. We were guided by a wonderful Catholic doula to contact the Elizabeth Ministry at Saint Rita for a miscarried baby coffin and to call the Calvary Hill Cemetery as they have a special crypt/tomb for miscarried babies. We also called our friend, Monsignor Roberto Garza in Miami, Florida, who reminded us that it was Lent and encouraged us to try and use this as our Passion and try to grow closer to Christ. 

Saturday, March 23rd/ Day 3 of Waiting
My friend Erin mailed us flowers for our loss. We so needed the beauty of flowers to help cheer us and our house up, plus what a way to honor our baby. 

Sunday, March 24th/ Palm Sunday/ Day 4 of Waiting
I didn't go to Mass. For those that know me they know I always go to Mass on Sunday and the occasional times I haven't I felt sick to my stomach. My Latin Mass friend, Terry, recently reminded me that it's not a sin to not go to Mass when you are sick. I was sick in a sense and also didn't want to run the risk of running into anyone as I was still showing and the conversation could be really awkward not to mention I might just burst into tears. Rick took Sofia to Mass and to the Easter egg hunt afterward. Sofia was so excited to show me her basket of eggs when she got home. Thank God for Sofia, our first child. 

Monday, March 25th/ Day 5 of Waiting
Nausea.

Tuesday, March 26th/ Day 6 of Waiting
We all brought Sofia to school in efforts to keep her routine as normal as possible. We then went to my ND/ Naturopath to get her take on the whole situation. Why is it that the healthier, more “green,” organic, and natural I get the worse my pregnancies. She, like my OB, said this caught her off guard as she didn't see this coming at this stage of the pregnancy. Apparently a "missed miscarriage" happens in 1% of all pregnancies. Some odds! In efforts to give us something to do and be proactive, maybe get some answers she suggested to move forward with genetic testing ASAP. Lucky for us we just happen to know of a Pediatric Geneticist, Rick's Dad. 

Our friend Melissa brought over a yummy Mexican dinner, Sofia was all over it! ;)

Wednesday, March 27th/ Day 7 of Waiting
Made lots of phone calls to Rick's Dad, our Geneticist. My Mom and I took Sofia to ballet and went out to eat before grocery shopping. A somewhat "normal" day.

A friend and old co-worker, from my first job out of college, called me and shared her natural missed miscarriage story with me. She is a woman of strong faith and her story has greatly prepared me and Rick for what's to come physically and emotionally. My OB definitely did not go into such great detail. I took written notes, about 20 bullet points, as if I was preparing for an exam. She also spoke such beautiful complimentary words to me about me, my motherhood, and my babies. She spoke to my soul. 

Thursday, March 28th/ Holy Thursday/ Day 8 of Waiting
Follow-up appointment at OB to discuss how things are going or not really going and to have another sonogram so as to be 100% sure our baby has passed away. My Mom accompanied us to the OB and lost it when she saw her third grand baby's heart not beating and body listless in my womb via the sonogram monitor. She left the OB's office for several minutes to cry and try and regain her composure. The Sonographer said, "Every once in a while I take a couple home with me, you guys are one of those couples that I have taken home with me." Tears! 

After our OB appointment we went to the lab a few feet away to have our blood drawn for genetic testing. 17 vials of blood were drawn from my left arm and just one vial from Rick's. Women do get screwed in this department. 

I missed my favorite Mass/ Service of the year; my bridesmaids know what I am talking about as this is sort of my favorite "holiday/ holy day." ;)

Friday, March 29th/ Good Friday/ Day 9 of Waiting
Nausea. My child is dead. I thought a lot about Our Mother Mary/ the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady. Spoke to one of my cousins who also had a miscarriage and was comforted/ supported by her story, her words and her Catholic faith. Thank God for family in times like these.

Saturday, March 30th/ Day 10 of Waiting
Started a four day natural regime of herbal tonics, which per my ND, could help my body release our baby. This regime consisted of taking Ruta Graveolens (1/2 tsp 5x day) and Artemesia (1/2 tsp 3x day) along with a cup of Smooth Move Tea every other night. Major cramps while "sleeping."

Sunday, March 31st/ Easter Sunday/ Day 11 of Waiting
My Mom had to leave for Florida at the crack of dawn to get back to work, can't wait until she can retire but so incredibly grateful for the time she was here with us in Dallas. Fortunately I woke up really early and spent some time with her chatting in bed. I had her place her hands on my belly and say a symbolic bye to her grandchild as she left our house.

I had contraction like cramps every 20 minutes for two hours followed by explosive diarrhea after breakfast and after Easter brunch at Toulouse. "Smooth Move" isn’t so smooth. ;)

Showered and got dressed for Easter Sunday Mass. I was back to Mass! Back to Church! Wore a black maxi dress, not exactly Easter-ish or what I was planning to wear but I was trying to conceal my baby bump as much as possible in efforts to prevent awkward conversations. During Mass Father B said something that really touched my heart, "Christ wants to reunite us with our loved ones in heaven that we may have lost on earth." Tears! We lit our after-Mass candle with Sofia, just as Rick and I have been doing since we were engaged. This time we lit two candles, one for baby Sam, our second child, who went to heaven right before we were five weeks pregnant and one for baby Valentina, our third child. 

Baby Sam, Sam for Samuel or Samantha, means "God heard." God heard our prayers to get pregnant with a second child. Sam Frances Macias, angel baby, miscarried on 11/16/12.  Frances of Rome was a Saint who lost two children to the plague.

Baby Valentina, Valentina in honor of Saint Valentine/ the first day we saw/ heard our third baby's heart. The heart rate was high, more like that of a girl's, one point higher than Sofia's, so we are guessing she was a girl. We may know for sure when our baby passes from my body. Valentina Faith Macias, angel baby, missed miscarried in March 2013.  Faith, defined as confidence or trust in God. Faith, what Rick and I are holding on to and need to hold on to even if  just by a thread. 

Our angel babies are in heaven with the Risen Lord, Christ the King, Our Heavenly Father, Our Blessed Mother Mary and all the Saints and Angels.

Monday, April 1st/ April Fools/ Day 12 of Waiting
Rick worked from home. We brought Sofia to the dentist for her six-month checkup. She did great. She is an amazing little 2.5 year old. Sofia seems wise beyond her years, which is not surprising given that her name means wisdom in Latin. My Mom use to tell me to pray for wisdom when I was a young girl/ teenager and that's how Sofia got her name plus it's Spanglish. ;) Grace is her middle name which came to me after I completed a "Women of Grace" study/ right before we conceived Sofia. 

Day 3 of the natural regime. I feel like crap, I had a headache that feels almost like the hangover I had on my 30th birthday and I am weak, in bed.

Tuesday, April 2nd/ Day 13 of Waiting
Day 4 of natural regime. I was in bed all day, doubling up on doses per ND to see if we can get my body to budge.

Our friend Monica came over and brought two bouquets of bright flowers and sweet treats for Sofia. She has offered to be our emergency sitter when the miscarriage does happen. We want to try and shield Sofia from hearing/ seeing a natural miscarriage. 

Wednesday - Friday, April 3rd - 5th/ Days 14-16 of Waiting
I  hadn’t left the house since Monday. My hangover headache has since turned into a sore throat and cold. At least I can take some real meds and not just my usual natural stuff. ;) 

Allison brought over two huge dinners and dessert that fed us for four days!!

Thank God for TV/ General Hospital/ GH's 50th Anniversary/ "The Nurse's Ball"/ Jasper Jaxs and lots of bad TV like Scandal. ;)

Saturday, April 6th/ Day 17 of Waiting
Still got this damn cold but must get out of the house. To Bishop Arts we go to buy Sofia a cute dress from Cozy Cottage along with a custom "S" hair bow holder that we should have in a week. I ate a little bit of lunch from Hunky's and a slice of "Smooth Operator" pie from Emporium Pies. As lunch arrived to our table Sofia said, "vamos a resar" which means, we will pray/ let’s pray. Yes Sofia, let us pray.

Earlier this evening my Mom called and guess what?!?! She spoke, in person, to Johnnette Benkovic, an amazing Catholic apostolate for women and the author of that book I read right before Sofia was conceived, "Full of Grace." My Mom spoke to Johnnette in person because she happened to be at her retreat in Boca Raton, Florida. My Mom of course told Johnnette my story and well Johnnette told her I should read John 10:10 which says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full." Eternal life is what my babies have because of Jesus. :)

Johnnette also told my Mom something to the effect that I need to give/ hand over this situation to Jesus so that, my human body/ my human will, can comply to His will and release my baby's body over to Him. In Sofia's words for today, "let's pray" for that and patience too! ;)

THANK YOU to our numerous family and friends who were not all mentioned in this post, but have been there for us via text messages, phone calls, emails, meals, flowers, visits, cards and most of all PRAYERS. We love you and thank God for you during this time of WAITING. Please pray that the miscarriage will go as smoothly as possible, that I will be in good health/ cold-free when it happens and that there will be no complications i.e. fever, hemorrhaging, infection, etc.