Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Baby Brother

I know I haven't been keeping up with the blog lately. I've been so busy between baby appointments, helping kids with homework, and of course football practices and games. But now, I find myself with a few minutes to spare. I almost feel like a "visitor" to Sophia's blog. Here's to hoping I can come in at least once a week to update.

I'm sure you are all wondering what's up with the title of this post. And I'm here to share that news with you all!

As some of you may already know, one day after Sophia's 1st Heavenly Birthday, we received a positive home pregnancy test. This was not something we were trying for, but we weren't exactly preventing it either. While I stared at the test window, my emotions got the best of me. Within just a few short minutes, there was a faint positive. I must admit, I bawled like a baby. It was a mix of happy tears, sad tears, excited tears, etc. Most of all, I was afraid of what people might think. I really need to learn that it doesn't matter what other people think. This is OUR life to live, not theirs. I was afraid that people may think we were trying to replace Sophia. I was afraid that Sophia may feel as if she's being replaced. There were so many things running through my head at full speed.

The first 10 weeks were the hardest. I couldn't wait for that 10 week scan so we could hear that baby was developing perfectly. We had our first appointment at 8 weeks. It was a struggle to pull myself through the doors of the Women's Pavilion at Geisinger Medical Center. This place held many memories for me. The most recent memories were those where I was told that my unborn baby girl had a fatal birth defect (Anencephaly). I replayed the memory through my head, along with the memory of leaving that same hospital with empty arms. I sucked it up and walked in (but not before having an anxiety attack). During our appointment, I had asked for an ultrasound. Thankfully they planned on doing one, just to find out how far along I was. My dates matched! Baby Bean (as we nicknamed him during that ultrasound) was measuring just 1 day ahead. I was overcome with joy while laying there watching a little heart beating. So many women take that for granted. In previous pregnancies (before Sophia), I was one of those women. But now I knew what it was like to look at an ultrasound and see nothing but a lifeless body on the screen, no heartbeat in sight.

Our next appointment was scheduled for 2 weeks later. This appointment would be the one to tell us if Baby Bean's neural tube closed. Those 2 weeks seem to have gone by so slow. Before we knew it, it was time to go. Baby Bean was no longer just a "bean", but a miniature baby. The tech told us everything looked perfect. Bean was measuring a few days ahead and everything looked great. We met with one of our doctors afterward and he gave us the same reassuring news. I couldn't wait to get home and show the kids the pictures!

Next appointment was a couple weeks later. We had the blood drawn for the Quad Screen. I figured that we had nothing to worry about because we had the First Trimester Screen done and everything came back fine. Well, little did I know, the Quad Screen results came back as positive for an ONTD. I felt my world crashing down around me all over again. How could this happen? I had myself so worked up and scared that I started breaking out in hives all over my hands and feet. Angel decided to call MFM and see if they could get me in sooner. The secretary passed a message on from the doctor saying we might as well wait until our scheduled scan so they can see things more clearly. These few weeks went by so slow. I wanted to know things right away. Over those few weeks I had prepared myself to expect some bad news.

The big day was here. September 19th! Time for our scan. According to the paper I received in the mail, we were to be in the same room as we were in when we received Sophia's diagnosis. I was relieved to find out that room was already taken. Soon after, the scan was underway. I couldn't believe how much Baby Bean had grown since our last scan. First things first, the tech checked out Baby Bean's head. She measured everything and it came back right where it should be. Everything intact! I couldn't be happier. But this wasn't the only thing that had to be checked out. We were able to see little hands and feet, legs and arms, and an adorable little face. We were also able to hear the heart beat. I love this sound! She measured it and it came in at 159bpm.

After just a few minutes, she was asking if we wanted to know the sex of our baby. This is one of the moments we had been waiting for. I said yes and immediately turned my head to look at the monitor that was hanging from the wall. Before she could say anything, I looked over at Angel and said, "It's a boy!" and she agreed. We were expecting our 4th baby boy! From there she went on to look at a few other things. After that, she was trying to get a good shot of his spine. He just wasn't having it! She had me roll over onto my left side to see if that would make him move. And boy did he move! He started rolling around. As soon as she was able to get the shot she was looking for, he decided to hide his little hiney in my ribs. His spine looked perfect but we were unable to see the tail bone area. Soon after, the doctor came in the room to explain to us why our Quad Screen results came back positive. He mentioned about not being able to see the tail bone area but that he wasn't overly concerned. I couldn't be any happier. Our results were a false positive. All that worrying for nothing. Preparing myself for the worst news imaginable just to be given the best possible news.

I couldn't wait to leave the hospital and get home to tell my family, my kids especially. My boys were so excited. My daughter a little less so. It took some talking to get her to be a bit excited about our newest addition. I explained to her that now she doesn't have to share the title of Princess with anyone other than Sophia. Mercedes is our earthly princess and Sophia being our Heavenly Princess. Now she says she is pretty happy about expecting another baby brother, as long as she can help take care of him.

Now our countdown is on. We are officially 21 weeks today. Only 19 weeks to go. I sit here and look back at the last 21 weeks. Some of those weeks drug by, while others seem to have flown by. I'm excited and overjoyed to meet our precious Mateo Alexander. I'm finally at a comfortable stage in my pregnancy. No more morning sickness. I'm finally at a position where I'm enjoying this pregnancy. I'm loving the feeling of Mateo moving and kicking around. I love watching my belly grow as the weeks continue to slip by. Some days I wish it were February. Other days I wish I could stay pregnant forever.

Our family is nearly complete. Our family of 8, one of those 8 watching over us from Heaven. God, how I wish Sophia was still here with us. But I know that just because she isn't here in a physical way doesn't mean she isn't with us in a spiritual way. She watches over us daily. I miss her so very much....

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Our Rainbow After The Storm

The days leading up to July 30th were some of the most nerve-wracking days I've ever been through. Our ultrasound was scheduled for July 30th. We left early, like we normally do. I've been waiting for a very special gift to come in the mail. Before leaving, I checked the mailbox. Nothing. I let out a sigh and walked my way to the car. Just as we were pulling out, there was the mailman loading up his bag to deliver in our neighborhood. Angel stopped next to him and asked if we had any mail. Without hesitation, he handed me the special package I had been waiting for. We thanked him and drove off. Boy, had this Angel mommy really taped it shut. Before we made it out of town, I was able to get it opened. First thing I pulled out was a set of tea candles. I LOVE candles! I quickly smelled them. They smelled absolutely beautiful. Next, I notice something big wrapped up in tissue paper. By the time we reached Sheetz, I was sitting there, reading what was inside. Such a beautiful poem lying inside an absolutely adorable picture frame. After reading this poem, I was in tears! This poem has touched me deeply. And knowing she wrote it herself makes it that much more special to me. It reads:

This candle's flame may flicker,
but its fire will never die.
Though you miss her dearly,
In your heart she'll always lie.
This candle's made for you,
To represent your love,
For the daughter you lost too quickly,
Now watching from above.
This candle's warmth
Is meant to ease your weary heart,
To help you through the days
That you and she are apart.
This candle's whispered promise
Is solely meant for you,
A mother so precious,
For her child,
There isn't anything
She wouldn't do.
This candle signifies a love so pure and deep,
And though she isn't here on Earth,
She's always yours to keep

Sophia Grace Velazquez
Forever Loved

I couldn't thank her enough for he kindness and love she has shown me. I thank our angels daily for bringing us to one another. As I sat there reading this poem, my eyes were filled with tears. After reading it, I looked up to the Heavens and whispered a heartfelt "thank you". This special gift couldn't have come at a better time. I had prepared myself to hear bad news on this day. This gift reminded me of all I have to be thankful for. And that I really need to stay in a positive state of mind.

We continued our journey to Geisinger Medical Center. Along the way, I spotted hundreds (literally) of butterflies. I imagined this as being Sophia and all her angel friends telling me, "You are not alone. We're watching out for you." And I truly believe they were. I said a silent prayer, asking God to allow my daughter to be at my side. I also asked for Him to allow all her friends to be right there with her. I believe He answered that prayer! I remember telling myself, "Everyone else is getting their rainbows. Or they have recently had their's. Can I please have mine? Can you please ease my heart, just a little bit? This heaviness becomes so much to bear at times. I need a little joy."

In no time, we made it to the hospital. At exactly 1:09pm, we were parked and ready to walk through those doors. These doors hold many memories for us. Memories of walking in to deliver 2 of my sons. Memories of walking out with 2 gorgeous boys in my arms. Memories of walking in, receiving heartbreaking news that our daughter would not survive. Memories of walking out with a white bunny in my arms, tears flowing freely from my eyes. Memories of walking in, not knowing I was in labor. Memories of walking out with empty arms, a heavy heart, and tears stinging my eyes. Memories of walking in to be told our baby has a beautiful heart beat. Walking out with a small smile on my face. Memories of walking in, not sure what we'd be told. 

We checked in. There was no place to sit! The waiting room was exploding with people. I remember looking around and seeing a priest sitting in one of the chairs. I secretly prayed and hoped he wasn't there to support a family going through a loss journey of their own. After a few minutes, I found a place to sit. I began praying again. We NEEDED good news this time around. After a few more minutes, we were called in. Blood pressure was great. I put on an extra 4 pounds since our last visit (1 pound a week). Shortly after, the doc was in the room. We spoke for a few minutes, I explained how scared I was. She tried to ease my worries. She told me to hop up on the bed, it was time to listen to baby's heart beat. I was getting nervous as it took her a little bit to find Bean's heart beat. She kept it there for a good 2 minutes or longer. Such a beautiful sound. I laid there smiling from ear to ear. I knew what it was like to have a monitor on my belly and not hear anything coming out. She even said that baby sounds like a girl. We'll find out soon enough. At that time, baby's heart beat was in the 150s.

Next, we had appointments with a nutritionist, and a social worker. Easy! We'd been through this before. It went by rather quickly. Then it was time to check out and check in to MFM. Now is when the fun begins. I could feel my heart beating through my chest. In no time, we had our first MFM appointment with a Genetic Counselor. She reviewed our family history (or what we know of it). Nothing has changed since last year. She explained to me about having a First Trimester Screening done. I was all for it. After talking for awhile, she went off to find one of the nurses from MFM. It felt like we were waiting forever! Angel actually fell asleep on the couch waiting for the nurse to come. We went in, she checked my weight and blood pressure. Everything was the same as it was earlier. We were taken to Exam Room 4. 

As soon as we walked in, Angel said "Oh no, not this room!" and I wasn't quite sure what he meant. I started looking around,. I knew what he meant. This was the room we were in when we were having the prenatal echo done to find out exactly what heart defect Sophia had. I felt my body tense up. I was starting to worry. Within about 10 minutes, the ultrasound tech walked in. She introduced herself and we got things under way. I laid there on the bed, holding my head up, just waiting to see Bean's head. I knew what I was looking for this time. As soon as she made her way towards the head, I noticed a beautiful round head. I said nothing, in case my eyes were playing tricks on me. Angel didn't hesitate. He said, "This is the head right?" and the tech responded with, "Yes, that is the baby's head." He starred for a few minutes and then asked, "Everything looks good right? No openings? No Anencephaly?" and her response was, "You're right! The baby looks perfect. Baby is measuring a few days ahead but that's just fine." After she spoke those words, I put my head down on the pillow with a whisper of, "Thank you, God!" Every time she said that baby looks perfect (it had to be about 3 times) I said the same thing over again. We listened to baby's heart beat. An amazing 178bpm!  She took some pictures for us and just went around looking at everything. At one time, Bean was hanging upside down. Another time, baby rolled and tried to hide in my back. I think he/she was getting tired of the pictures. She wanted to take just one more picture for us. A 4D picture. She switched probes and pushed a button. The screen changed! I noticed this itty bitty baby laying in there shaking his/her head up and down as if saying yes along with moving his/her arm up and down, as if asking a passing truck to blow their horn. She finished up and allowed me to use the restroom. 

About 10 minutes later, Doc Maslow came in. I missed seeing him. He sat down next to me with a smile on his face. He rubbed my arm as he said, "Baby looks perfect! I see no defects and no Anencephaly. I'm so happy to give you this news. It's much better news than we've had to give you in the past." He was so right! I felt like crying! I held myself together. He walked us over to check out and told the receptionist to schedule me for 7 weeks. In 7 weeks, we will know if Bean is a Boy or a Girl. I was so happy. The happiest I have been in a long time. We scheduled our scan... set for September 19th. No more super long appointments. 

Now I sit back, I'm finally enjoying this pregnancy. I haven't been able to wipe this smile from my face. I owe all the thanks to God and my own special Guardian Angel. I've held on to my faith as if I were dying. I prayed more yesterday than I have in my entire life. I do believe that God hears our prayers... and answers them. Sometimes we do not always like the answer. Sometimes there is a lesson to be learned. And so I have. I've learned to love on a much larger scale. I've learned to forgive because holding a grudge will not get me anywhere. I've learned to hold on to my faith, no matter what. I've learned to appreciate life, for life is truly too short and precious. I've learned to let the small things slide. Most of all, I've learned to dance in the rain! After every storm, there lies a rainbow. You just have to open your eyes to find it.

Our rainbow is brewing! Time to enjoy every little thing about this pregnancy. This will be my last baby. And my last baby is my RAINBOW!

Please keep our family in your prayers while we wait for test results for Downs, Trisomy 13, and Trisomy 18. Prayers would also be nice for an uneventful pregnancy, an easy surgery, and a great recovery. Thank you all so much for joining us on this ride of grief and journey to joy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

10 weeks

We're officially out of the single digits. This means that I could simply find out right now if Baby Bean has Anencephaly or not. But, I have to wait another couple weeks for that appointment. I'm very scared and nervous, but I have faith that God will do whatever He can to prevent that from happening again. Like a friend said, rarely ever does lightning strike the same place twice. I sure hope she is right!

Had someone told me at this time last year, that'd I'd be 10 weeks pregnant, I never would have believed them. At this time last year, a new baby was the last thing on my mind. All I wanted was to hold my precious Sophia in my arms and rock her to sleep. Tell her how much we all loved her. Sit back and watch her grow. And I still want that, even now! Unfortunately, that was not to be. God had other plans for her. I just wish I knew what those plans are! Now here we are, on yet another new journey. Every journey has it's own frightening moments I suppose. Now that the sickness has basically disappeared, I worry that something may  be wrong. When I felt sick all the time, I felt that something just wasn't right. After being in a situation like ours, you get freaked out over every little thing. I just want to make it to my appointment, be told that everything is perfectly fine, and enjoy the rest of my pregnancy since this will be my last.

I picture myself visiting Sophia's resting place with Baby Bean and "introducing" the two of them. I imagine myself sitting back over the next 20 years explaining to Bean that he/she has an older sister who could not be with us. Reminding him/her that just because he/she didn't get to meet her physically, doesn't mean she never existed. I will be sure to fill Bean in on all of our memories with Sophia and I hope to make many more over the years to come.

So now I sit here waiting for my next appointment. It seems like such a long ways to go. If I had it my way, I'd be at the hospital right now having an ultrasound done. And in a perfect world, I'd be told, "You have a healthy baby!". But this world is not perfect. Like many other parents, I know the pain & heartache of being told otherwise. I'm trying to stay as positive as possible, but it's not always that easy. Sophia continues to give us signs. While Angel was out with the kids yesterday, he saw not one but three rainbows in the sky. That has to mean something good, right? Especially since there was no rain in sight!! Thank you for the beautiful signs, baby girl!

We received an invite yesterday to attend the 4th Annual Perinatal & Early Infant Loss Parent Conference. I believe we were also invited to this last year but we were unable to attend. I'd really like to go this year but we have to figure everything out first. The kids have school that day and they don't catch the bus until close to 8am and the conference starts at 7am. I'd really love to go though and meet other parents who know the pain we feel. Another Anen Mom is supposed to be attending as well and we've been trying to make plans to meet. I think this would be a perfect time to do so.

On another note, this Friday is Miss Katie's 1st Birthday! I cannot believe it has been one year already. We plan on having our own little celebration for her. I know cake & ice cream will be on our menu. I'm going to be on a search for THE perfect balloon for her so we can leave our messages and release it for her. Angel says he already has the perfect balloon in mind. I can't wait to see it! I'm so happy to have been able to know her. I thank her Mommy for sharing her with the world. Katie has left such a deep impression in my heart and the hearts of others across the world.

We miss and love you both, Sophia & Katie! I can just imagine the party that will be taking place in Heaven this Friday. I wish we could peek in and see what's going on. Happy (Early) Birthday, Katie!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Beginning of a New Journey

It looks like we've started a new journey. I hope this path is a little less bumpy than others we have traveled on. Yesterday was our first appointment for Baby Bean. That nickname doesn't come easy. I'll get to that a little later in this post.

Appointment time: 1:30pm. Travel time: 29 minutes

We left the house around 12:45 yesterday afternoon. We had to stop and make sure we had enough gas in the truck. Not to mention, this momma needed a bottle of water for the trip! After our brief visit at the gas station, we were on our way! From the minute we left the house, I was scared. I wasn't sure what this appointment was going to lead to. The closer and closer we got to Geisinger Medical Center Women's Pavilion, the more I started to panic. Sophia was sure to make her presence known. All along the way, we kept seeing butterflies flying right towards the truck. First a white one, the ones that remind me of Sophia the most. Followed by an orange and black one (monarch). A few feet later, another white one came in our direction. I remember thinking, "This must be Sophia's way of telling us that everything will be okay". As we kept going on this country road, another butterfly came along. This one was yellow. I couldn't help but to stare out the window looking for butterflies as we passed. And just before getting off this road, another white butterfly flew to the front windshield. I kept taking deep breaths. I knew Sophia would be by my side.

Once we made it to the hospital, we had a hard time finding a parking spot. Anyone who has been to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville knows exactly what I mean. After nearly getting clipped by a young female driver, we finally found a spot to park. I was in full panic mode by then. I just wanted to turn around and leave. This hospital held a lot of painful memories, but also some good memories. My 2 youngest sons were both born in this hospital. One in 2005 and another in 2007. In 2011 is when everything changed for me. This was the hospital I was in when Sophia was diagnosed with Anencephaly. This is the hospital where Sophia was born. This was the hospital that changed my life forever. I was afraid that if I walked back into this hospital, that I'd be given another devastating blow. 

We finally checked in at 1:25pm. 5 minutes early! So of course I had to ask for our social worker. God knows I needed her yesterday. Unfortunately, she was off so we couldn't speak with her while we waited for our turn. So we sat in the waiting room making small conversation with another woman who was waiting for her friend to come out from her appointment. After awhile the nurse came out for us. She checked my weight & blood pressure, along with other things. After that was done, she put us in a patient education room while we waited for an open exam room. As we sat in this room, I felt myself becoming more nervous. That's when I realized I had been in this room before. This was one of the rooms we sat in last year, talking with our social worker about our birth plan for Sophia. I felt like getting up and running away. Instead, I decided to just sit on my hands. This is when Angel noticed that something wasn't right. I refreshed his memory. The nurse apologized. No big deal, she didn't really know what we went through last year. All she knew is what is in my records. After going through my medical history, it was time to head to an open exam room. 

We waited for a bit for her to come into the room. She was very nice. This was the first time we had ever met with this midwife. She shook our hands and introduced herself. After introductions, she asked how I was feeling. And I told her honestly that I was scared and very nervous. That part of me just wanted to run right out of the hospital. I asked her if there was any way she could do an ultrasound to ease my worry, even just a little bit. She told me she understood why I was so scared and that she would definitely do an ultrasound for us. She also told us that she wouldn't be able to rule out any defects because it was too early. I knew that. I just wanted to see if I could notice anything. After doing "the exam", she wheeled in the ultrasound equipment. Just as I expected, I could feel myself being pushed over the edge. I was afraid of what I might see. While I laid there, I couldn't help but think of my 4 living babies waiting for me to come home. I couldn't help but to think of Sophia. All of a sudden, this little "baby bean" shows on the monitor. This tiny little bean will become a full sized newborn baby? I couldn't believe it! I nearly missed it, but I did a double take and seen this slight flickering on the baby. The midwife went on to tell us that this was our baby's heart beat. OUR BABY!!! I was full of smiles! Some people take that for granted, seeing their babies heart beats on an ultrasound monitor. But I knew what it was like to see a baby WITHOUT a heart beat on an ultrasound. I knew what it was like to be given a fatal prenatal diagnosis.... at this very hospital! She went on to tell us that baby is looking very good right now and is measuring at 8 weeks & 1 day. I was off on my due date by 1 day. Looks like our due date is February 6, 2013 instead of February 7th.

After this was done, we had to go over to the lab to have some blood drawn. I couldn't wait to leave! I just wanted to get home and tell my kids the good news. It was around 6pm when I got to see them again. My mom decided to take the kids to the community pool while they waited for us to come back. And what does Javier say to me? "Mommy, where's the baby?!" I told him that the baby was still in my tummy. And his response was "But you were going to the doctors today for your baby!" He made me laugh quite a bit with that one. Too bad it doesn't happen that fast. I would do nearly anything to hold my baby in my arms again. I would do anything to be able to hold Sophia in my arms just one more time.

Thank you princess for watching over us yesterday. I miss you with every single fiber of my being. I love you to the moon & back <3

Friday, June 1, 2012

Butterflies Butterflies Everywhere!

We have made it to the one year mark. I wish I knew how we made it this far. I believe that it's Sophia who gave us the strength to stand tall and keep moving forward. For that, I thank her. I know that she is always nearby. I asked that she give us "butterflies butterflies everywhere" and she has done just that. I've heard several stories about butterflies being spotted on her birthday. They're such beautiful stories. Thank you for giving us your signs princess!

I wanted to do so much for her first birthday. Unfortunately we didn't get to do everything. But we did get to do the most important thing. We released several balloons for our baby girl and an extra special balloon for some extra special babies.

Before we released the balloons, I stopped in front of her headstone to wish her a Happy 1st Heavenly Birthday. Our secret friend left a special gift especially for Sophia. This one is protected so we were able to leave it there with her. It's the most precious thing I have ever laid my eyes on.

Look close enough and you see her name on the sides.
The little angel is also holding an angel feather <3
Attached to the gift was a little letter to us from Sophia that reads:

I'm sorry Mommy I left you so soon
I was there when the angels woke you
I know I was gone like a light right from the start
Mommy, remember
I'll always be in your heart
I listen to you dearly,
when you visit my grave. Please don't cry,
continue to be brave.
I didn't mean to leave you and Daddy so soon.
I was looking down from Heaven
when you all released the balloons.
Take care of my big brothers, my big sister,
and Daddy too.
There will always be a part of me living in all of you.
I will be waiting for you here, at the golden gate. No matter when you get
here it will never be too late.
I long to embrace you in my arms.
Don't worry Mommy, I am at a place where there is no harm.
I've earned my wings, I live in the sky.
I'm watching everyday so please don't cry.

The soft breeze you feel on your cheek, Daddy, is my kiss.
And the dreams you have, Mommy, are when I am visiting you.
To my brothers and sister, thank you for keeping my memory
alive in all you do.


I wish I knew who our secret friend was but I completely understand that they want to be kept anonymous. To our special friend, if you're reading this.... THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts! You never cease to amaze me. You have such a big loving heart. You have left a big imprint on my heart. I wish there were more people like you!

I sat there choking back the tears as I read this beautiful letter and gazed upon this precious gift. God, how I wish Sophia could've been sitting there with us... although I'm sure she was there in a way I cannot phathom. I miss her so very much.

Everyone left a special message on their balloon and sent them to the Heavens for Sophia and all of her beautiful friends. There were so many other angels that I wanted to add to this balloon but I didn't have enough time. We're planning on another balloon release very soon so I'll be able to add ALL of them then. I pulled my kiddos aside and whispered in their ears: "As soon as we release the balloons, let's start singing Happy Birthday, then everyone else will follow". And sure enough, that is what happened! It was beautiful. I wish we could've recorded it.

Now let's rewind to a few days ago-

I received an e-mail from a woman who has read every post I've made. I love that! This woman is an extra special one. She sort of stumbled across this blog accidently. She typed into Google search: Sophia Grace Anencephaly. And of course this very blogged popped up at the top. The reason for her search: Sophia Grace is her baby's name! She is currently pregnant with her Anencephaly Angel. I've sent my deepest condolences to her & her family. But it amazes me simply because she choose her baby's name before ever coming across this blog. I believe both of our girls were hard at work to point us into each others' direction. She has created a blog for her Sophia (Sophia Grace X2). I asked her if I could share the link to her blog with my readers. If you're interested in reading on this precious gift from God, hop on over to visit Sophia. I will continue to pray for this family & all families affected by (or who will be affected by) Anencephaly.

Fast forward to today-

As some of my Facebook friends already know, I took a home pregnancy test early this afternoon. I wasn't expecting much out of it. If anything, a negative result. Not today. Exactly one day after Sophia's 1st Heavenly Birthday we're given a positive result. Some have messaged and asked how I handled the result. And to be honest with everyone, I wasn't sure if I was reading it right so I had to have a friend double check and once she confirmed it, I broke. I cried for awhile. Of course I had to sneak outside because I'm not big on crying in front of people. My mom was here right after I took the test and she was estatic. I wish I could feel the way she does. Everyone seems to be so positive. But here I sat, crying like a baby. I cried because I'm scared of the "what-ifs". I cried because I'm afraid God will take this baby too. I cried because I don't want anyone to think I rushed into this and am trying to replace Sophia because that is totally not the case. I could have 1,000 babies and not one of them would ever replace her. I told myself months ago that if I were to end up pregnant, I would take it as a positive sign. That it would be God & Sophia's way of telling me, "Now is the time". We weren't exactly trying to get pregnant just yet, but we also weren't doing anything to prevent it from happening. So, here we are. I really want to be happy. I really need to be happy. But I can't seem to shake the fright. It just won't go away no matter how hard I try. I know that I will not be able to be excited or happy until I'm at home & snuggling with a newborn baby of my own. So for now, I will leave everything in God's hands.

I ask all of you to please say a quick prayer for us. Prayers couldn't hurt. I pray that God will give me the strength to get through this pregnancy & delivery in one piece. I pray that He will make this baby perfect in every way.

Baby Girl, I miss you with every ounce of my being. I wish you could be here in my arms right now. But you will forever be in my heart, where noone can ever take you away. I love you to the moon and back times infinity! Watch over your baby brother/sister. Floaty kisses coming your way always.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Team Sophia's Angels!

I'm at it again. Completely forgetting to blog. I've been so wrapped up in planning different fundraisers for Team Sophia's Angels. But I've taken a break from that because we've hit our team goal. Unfortunately, some teammates are having a hard time reaching their personal goals. I wish some of them lived a little closer so I could help them. We're just 9 days away from walk day. I'm very excited. I'm sure it's going to be a very emotional day. I'm hoping to be able to donate some baby hats to labor & delivery on the day of the walk as well. It's going to be such a special day. Where the walk is located it also the same place where Sophia was diagnosed & delivered. The staff was amazing. I figure that making hats for these babies is the least I can do to help other families faced with the same diagnosis.

Our team t-shirts are finally here! We received our sample today. I was very surprised with how similar they look to Katie's Fighters t-shirts (which is not what we're trying to do). We left the design up to the guy who is making them. Angel went over last week and ok'd the design. He walked in today with this:

Navy blue t-shirt with silver lettering

I loved it! I know we're pushing it pretty close here so I would love to be able to put an order in by Monday so we can have our t-shirts by walk day. I'd love to have a sea of blue and silver! If you're interested in a t-shirt, please let me know. If you're unable to make it to our walk and would still like to support Team Sophia's Angels, please let me know. As of right now, I believe there is no deadline for our supporters. But for our team, we'd like to have an order in right away. I want our team to look organized. I can't wait to see just how many people show up. I'm excited for so many reasons. I can't even begin to explain how much this means to us.

We'll also have a special guest with us on walk day. My little nephew, Isaiah (aka Zah), will be with us! He's our little fighter. As of right now, he's on his trip with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Just hearing that brings many different emotions. Happiness, because his wish is being granted. Sadness because well, we all know what the Make-A-Wish Foundation is set up for. Isaiah will be accompanied by his Mommy, older sister, and twin baby brother & sister. I cannot wait to see them! We also have a special angel mommy coming in for the walk. I can't wait to finally meet her. I'm sure we'll have plenty of laughs and probably many tears shed. It's going to be a roller coaster ride of emotions next weekend.

I'll be back to my regular blogging soon enough. I have lots of catch up on.

Much love and many hugs to our readers and supporters of TSA!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

First Easter

I knew right away Easter wasn't going to be an easy day. Last year I was still carrying Sophia, all snug inside my womb. Watched the kids as they dyed their eggs and showed me which ones they made for Sophia. This year, I sat here... empty. Both in the arms and in my womb. They each made their own special eggs for Sophia. Some were green and pink, just like last year. And some were purple. All I could do was smile. At least they haven't forgotten about their baby sister.

When the Easter Bunny finally made his way here, I couldn't help but choke back tears the entire time. I watched as the kids baskets were being filled and couldn't help but think, "There's a basket missing. There is a child no longer with us." I kept taking in deep breaths. Angel looked over at me and asked what was wrong. I didn't have to answer him after he seen my face. He knew. At this point, I just wanted to run away and cry. Peter Cottontail did not stay long. He knew how upset I was so he made it a quick visit.

I tried to get myself back into better spirits. But nothing seemed to work. I didn't want to wake up on Easter Sunday. I'd rather just sleep the day away. I knew I wasn't going to get out of this so I woke up and watched my kids as they searched through their Easter baskets. Once again, I was stuck choking back tears. I didn't want to let them loose. If I get all upset, the kids follow suit and I didn't want to upset them.

Dinner time came. We invited my parents over. We didn't have a whole lot of company. I wasn't really in the mood to see anyone. I just wanted to be left alone. But, we had them come over and spend the day with us. While I was eating dinner, I found myself daydreaming. I was sitting there eating my mashed potatoes and just zoned out. Thinking about how I would be giving Sophia tastes of mashed potatoes from my plate, along with mashed peas. She wasn't here for me to do this. Several times my eyes filled up with tears. But I couldn't allow myself to break. The day was almost over and I had to keep strong... at least until the kids were in bed that night. I snapped out of it and finished my dinner.

Shortly after dinner, we went for our visit with Sophia. We had a couple gifts to bring to her. Angel decided he wanted to give her his chocolate bunny. We also had a solar light for her. This isn't your ordinary solar light. It caught my eye immediately at the store. It looks like a sunflower, and has a small purple butterfly sitting on one of the petals. When we got there, we noticed someone had been there before us. Whoever this person is, left Sophia her own personal Easter basket. The moment I saw it, my eyes filled with tears and a smile spread across my face. Inside the basket sat a stuffed lamb, with a heart plaque that reads, "Love never falters nor gives up". It was wrapped up in yellow plastic. On the outside, there is a clear ornament with "angel feathers" inside of it. Right next to it sits a poem. The cutest poem I have ever read:

Feathers From An Angel
Are Hardly Ever Seen
But These Are Quite Different
There Special As Can Be.

These Feathers Are A Reminder
Of A Special Person's Love
Who Is Now Your Guardian Angel
Watching And Protecting
From Above.
We have yet to find the person responsible for leaving this for her. I completely understand if they don't want us to know. By the time we made it home, I had to have Angel run back to retrieve her basket. It was starting to look like rain and I'd hate to see her first Easter basket get ruined. Now, it sits on our kitchen table for all to see.
Sophia's lamb
Sophia's Angel Feathers
It is so nice to know that there are other people out there who care about and love our precious girl as much as we do. To see that someone took time out of their day to drop off a little something that means so much to us, is amazing! If you're reading this post, THANK YOU! Truly from the bottom of our hearts!

Seeing this gift helped me make it through the rest of my day. It has yet to get easier since Easter. But I'm throwing myself back into planning. We have a bake sale coming up this weekend for Team Sophia's Angels. All money raised will be going directly towards our goal for March of Dimes! I'm very excited about this walk and really need to get my head in the game. I also have to start planning birthday parties that are coming up next month, along with a memorial party for Sophia. I can't believe she'll be one in just a little over a month from now.

We hope that all of our readers have had a wonderful and blessed Easter season.

Sophia Grace, Happy 45 weeks! We miss and love you so very much. Not a day goes by that we don't think of you. Please continue to show us your signs that you're always around. We love you baby girl <3

Easter Sunday!
(Chocolate bunny off to the left, solar light directly in the middle, basket to the right)