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.