On my 25th birthday in June 2010 we found out we were pregnant with our first. We prepared everything for the arrival of our son Alexander Michael. On February 8, 2011 our hearts were broken when a week and a day before Alexander was due we were told that he had no heartbeat. Alexander was silently born on February 10, 2011 he weighed 6 lbs 10 oz, was 20 inches long, had sandy brown hair and really big feet. We love him and miss him dearly. This is my place for reflection on my life since his birth. We are currently expecting a rainbow baby named Oliver, a little brother due Sept 21, 2012. I love both my boys, the one who paints the clouds and my rainbow growing in my womb, tremendously and I thank God for blessing me with both of them everyday.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Contingency Plans

 I think about things differently during this pregnancy with Oliver after having Alexander stillborn. Its too be expected. I know about everything that can go wrong. While I try not to dwell on it, there they are sitting in the back of my mind, all those what ifs. With Alexander's the worst that could happen in my mind was having to have a c-section, or possibly having him in the NICU with jaundice for a day r two. Yes it was in the very back of my mind that we may not get to take Alexander home, but I didn't know what that really meant.

With Oliver I know what it means to not to get to take your baby home. And as morbid as it sounds I'm planning for it. Don't get me wrong I'm also planning to take Oliver home. I have two simultaneous plans going on in my mind. Plan A, the ideal plan of delivering a healthy baby boy, holding him in my arms and crying giant tears of joy because he is alive in my arms, of getting him home and not being able to believe it because I actually got to take him home. And then there is plan B, the contingency plan of delivering another baby boy, still and silent, because he joined his brother in heaven. I know what to do differently with another stillbirth. With Alexander I didn't know what to do, to take pictures, to hold him longer, to wrap him up in his blanket. I try to focus on plan A, taking a healthy Oliver home, but plan B is there and I can't seem to get rid of it.

I hate that I have plan B in my head at all but it makes me think of and rejoice for the little things, things I didn't even think about before. I rejoice every time I feel Oliver squirm, kick, and flip because I know it means he's in there alive and safe. I rejoice that I don't feel him move quite as much as I felt Alexander because maybe his cord won't get abnormally long for him to get tangled in. I rejoiced when Oliver hit the 20 week mark because if he dies now he'll be considered a stillbirth and not a miscarriage, which means be issued a death certificate. He'll be in CA state record as having existed. It doesn't seem like something I should be thinking about but it is. And this week I anticipate Friday because it will make Oliver 24 week gestation which means if he is born prematurely they will actually try and save him instead of telling me there is nothing they can do. These little things give me hope.

Anyone who has gone through a rainbow pregnancy can tell you that Hope is the most important thing. I praise God everyday for giving me two beautiful boys. One in heaven and one in my womb. I ask God every day to keep Oliver safe in my womb so I might meet his little self in Sept and to take all my fear and worry away.
23 week baby belly

I wait patiently (and not so patiently sometimes) and prepare to meet my silly little boy. I cherish every moment I have to spend with him. I love every wiggle and hiccup. I keep track of his growth and development on my phone app. Oliver should be about a foot long and 1.25 lbs right now. His senses have developed to the point that he can hear whats going on around him. This morning he was dancing to the music at church. He also likes to dance to Celtic music (but who doesn't). I love my ever growing belly and even every stretch mark. I love this little dude with all my heart, more than I thought I could after his big brother went to heaven. But each new child only makes your heart grow. No wonder God has so much love to give. So while worry and fear crop up more with this pregnancy my plan is to love both of my sons and trust God no matter what happens. That way contingency plans aren't needed.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day

Tomorrow is the second Mother's Day that I've been a Mother. It's so bitter sweet mourning that I'll never get to celebrate a mother's day with Alexander in my arms and rejoicing that I have Oliver growing in my belly. Yes, we found out that Alexander will have a little brother about two weeks ago. We are naming him Oliver Xander and I love him and his little wiggles in my belly so incredibly much already.
Oliver's "photo shoot" a couple weeks ago.

Mother's day makes me think now about all the moms who don't get to celebrate with their children and all the women who desperately want to become mother's but struggle with infertility or trying to adopt. God did an amazing thing when he created women because he also created mothers, those special people in our life who know just the right thing to say or do to take care of us just how we need it. Those women who make us chicken soup when we are sick or take us shopping to cheer us up or pray for us on a regular basis. So tomorrow please honor all the women in your life who mother, whether they have children to hold or not.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mother's Day Tutorial: Personalized Family Jewelry

Photo pendants, I used scanned ultrasound photos and bird's nest pendants

 This is actually two different tutorials that would make great Mother's Day gifts to yourself or another very special mother in your life.

 Photo Pendants


photo trays (I found them in the bead section of my local craft store for about $5 each)
tiny images that fit in photo trays
modge podge 

Measure your photo trays so you know what size of image you need. The trays I bought were 1 inch square, 1 1/4 inch x 3/4 inch rectangle and 1/2 inch square.

You will probably want to re-size and crop the image you are using. I scanned in images of ultrasound photo's of Alexander and my current womb resident, cropped them, re-sized them, and added their names. cut the image to fit the photo tray. You may consider photos of your children or graphics that were made for your children if you don't have ultrasound photos. Any image will work.

You are going to want to carefully trim the image so it fits perfectly inside the photo trays. It may take a bit.

Using a small brush, paint a thin layer of modge podge inside the photo tray and press down your image onto it.

Then use your brush to completely fill in the photo tray with modge podge. This will cover the image but don't worry Modge Podge dries clear. This will seal the photo and protect it.

Allow the photo pendant to dry someplace where it won't get bumped for about 24 hours.

Attach your pendant to a chain or bracelet, add beads and you are done.
My photo charms added to my charm bracelet, one for each baby.

Links to other tutorials for photo Jewelry:
photo bracelet
glass tile photo pendents
scrabble tile pendants
silhouette charms
another glass tile pendant

Bird's Nest Pendant
you can use the wire for this project as neatly or sloppy as you like for this project. I personally like sloppy nests as they look more natural.

small gauge wire (I used 24 gauge)
beads (as many as you want eggs)
a bird charm or bead
jewelry pliers (as long as you have something to cut the wire with these are optional, but useful)

cut a length of wire about 20 inches long (just eyeball it, it doesn't really matter too much).

String the beads onto the wire. I was making this one for my mom so I used 4 beads, one for each of my 3 brothers and myself, in the colors of our birthstones.

Slide the beads into the middle of the wire and bend the wire so the beads form a little loop. you should have 2 wires coming from the beads that are about the same length now.

Wrap one wire around the beads in a circle several times and secure it by twisting the end tightly around this wire circle.
Make a large loop with the second wire and secure it by tightly wrapping it around the wire circle. This is the loop at the top so you can put your finished nest on a necklace. Start wrapping the wire back and forth across the back looping it tightly around the wire circle to secure it at each side.
After you have used about 1/2 of your wire attach your bird by threading the wire through it and securing it to the side of the nest.

Continue filling out the back of your nest by wrapping the wire back and forth across the back and looping it around the sides.

If you run out if wire but would like a fuller nest attach another wire by twisting it tightly around the side of your nest and continue filling out the back of your nest.

Finish your nest by securing all sharp wire ends by tightly twisting them inside your nest.