Tuesday, January 26, 2010

18 Weeks

Today we went to see the specialist again for the anatomy scan and possible amniocentesis. The ultrasound looked great! All parts were there and where they were supposed to be. Everything measured normal! The nucheal fold (which is what it is called at this stage rather than nucheal translucency) measured just great. Basically had we never even had that ultrasound at 10 weeks we would have never known there was a possibility something could be wrong. With all of this information, with the screening at my 12 week appointment, and after talking to the doctor today we feel great about not having the amniocentesis.

It took us awhile to come to this decision. I was originally completely against it, then I decided I would wait and see what the ultrasound said, then I decided yes, and today was a no. I asked the doctor what percentage of abnormalities from Trisomy 13 and 21 could be seen on the ultrasound and she said about 80-90%could be detected. Those are the two I was concerned about - those of fatal nature. I know there are other chromosomal issues that could be out there, but that is fine - it's the fatal ones I personally needed to be most prepared for. So, after discussion with John and a short potty break we decided that we would not risk the chance of a miscarriage in having the procedure.

It was the bathroom break that made my decision. I took a long look at myself in the mirror and thought about the fact that we have SOOO many family, friends, strangers, SOOO many people praying for us and this baby that wouldn't it be testing my faith to have this done?Wouldn't it be saying that I don't believe that God has His hand on this child making sure that we are having a healthy baby? It may seem a little strange to think like that, but that's what made my final decision. I felt that by having the procedure would be me not believing in God's power. I know that the power of prayer is going to keep this baby alive and healthy. I cannot express my gratitude enough to each of you for keeping our family in your prayers.

Oh, and the news some of you are probably dying to know - it's a GIRL :) She was weighing in at 9 ounces. No names yet, and we probably will not have one until its time to sign the birth certificate. Plus, its more fun to keep everyone in suspense!!

Monday, January 25, 2010


Today I was looking up information in regards to what I should do after having amniocentesis - if elected. I am to go home and rest. I also happened to see right above that information was a section of things to do beforehand. I think this is so strange that I never came across this site before. Well, it listed to drink plenty of water - "check" doing it constantly. It also mentioned not to take any aspirin products 5 days of the procedure and heparin within 24 hours. Hmm...problem, I am on both of those. How was I not notified? Why? I already know who to blame. I called over to the hospital and the receptionist said she would connect me to a genetics counselor. I prayed as fast I could that it wouldn't be "her" and then the voice - her voice came on the line. It was Ashley.

Me: "Hi, I am having an anatomy scan and amniocentesis tomorrow and I ran across an article that said I should not take any aspirin products within 5 days and heparin within 24 hours and I am on both and I needed to know what to do."

Ashley: "Sweetie (in a belittling ton) why are you having this procedure?"

Me: (the niceness went away because of her ton) "Well, sweetie, because I was told I needed to."

Ashley: "How far along are you?"

Me: "18 weeks - and the only reason I am asking is because I am on both medicines and I have not been contacted with this information and I wanted to check if it was true or if it was just one of those things you find on the internet that has no truth."

Ashley: "You should not take the heparin, but I have not heard that about the aspirin."

Me: (blood boiling) "Well, then why was I not informed about the heparin? I have not been given any information of what to do or not to do before and after this procedure."

Ashley: "What is your name?"

Me: "Kimberly Henninger"

Ashley: "Well, from what I recall you were on the border of decision for the amnio."

Me: (blood boiling even more now) "Right, and that was the purpose of this anatomy scan to decide if I would be having it. Wouldn't it make sense to give me the information I would need in order to prepare my body in the event that I have the procedure?"

Ashley: "Well, I guess I dropped the ball."

Me: "Um, yeah, ya did."

At the end she told me she would call me back on the aspirin. Another lady called me back; apparently Ashley did not want to speak to me. - I am sure.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

You Don't Have to Tell Me...

....that it's worth it. Have you ever noticed when you are going through something difficult the people always say, "but it's so worth it". It really crawls my skin sometimes because some people have no idea what really worth it is. I know its worth it because I know what it feels like to have it all taken away. So the milk carton of shots (which is from one month) and the daily bruises? Yes, I know it is all worth it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

One year ago

One year ago I woke up on this very same day - as I do each day. Except one year ago I woke up having to perform the hardest task any mom or dad should be asked to do. I woke up to bury my son. You would think the hardest thing to do would have been the birthing process, but in reality how can that be hard? We were still in awe of seeing our child for the very first time; ready to hold our son and see the little boy we were anxiously anticipating the arrival of. So no, the birth was not the hard part.

It was a cold day. The day before John and I went shopping because I needed something to wear. I refused to wear black. I could not find anything - specifically winter white pants. That day I ran into a sorority sister and it was all she could do not to break down as she gave me a hug. We left the mall and the 100's of other stores and finally went home. I settled on light gray pants and a medium blue sweater - and a winter white coat. All arrangements had been made and all we had to do was show up.

John and I were there first and the site of that little baby blue casket...it was pure heartache. It was a very private ceremony with family and few friends - I personally cannot deal with public emotions of that nature. We sat and listened as Lyle spoke we listened as Deidre sang with her amazingly beautiful voice. It wasn't until days weeks and months later we found out about miscarriages and pregnancies that were active that very same day. What a strange moment it must have been for all in those situations.

It has been a year. It has only been a year. It seems so much shorter because it has all passed by in such a blur. One would think that I would be okay, that I would be over it and that I have moved on. That is so far from the truth. One would think that because I am expecting our second child I would be able to transfer my grief into happiness. Sometimes being pregnant, especially at the anniversary dates, makes it harder. I sit and watch as friends and families have healthy babies - making their families complete. That is something I will never have - a complete family. I will never have all of my children gathered in my bed for cuddle time or take a complete family picture. There will always be someone missing. How is that something you get over?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Our Nephew's Birthday

This weekend, as you know, we went to Atlanta. The family (and the friends of the birthday boy) headed to a local jumpy place called Jump 2 It. Kids under two were free and after that it was $5 a child. Parents jumped for free :) I did not do any jumping, just picture taking. After the jumping party we headed to Gavin's house for pizza, cake, and ice cream - and of course present time. Below are some pictures from the night.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Hudson

I am sure this post is a much anticipated post wondering what I felt, did, and thought about on during the birthday remembrance of Hudson. This weekend John and I traveled to Atlanta to visit family for our nephew's second birthday - which is on the 17th. We missed his birthday last year while we were having Hudson and starting our new path of grief. We did not visit the cemetery - I have written about the subject of cemeteries. Instead I speak the day with family and friends. I started off by going to see my niece at her ballet class and visiting with Tres and Tina. Next I went back to Brad and Rebekah's (our nephew's parents) to take the Henninger family pictures. We went to a professional photographer. Our next mission was dinner and then we went to a friend's house to see them. That was our day.

We spend each day remembering Hudson. I didn't have anything special to plan. I will go on to say that this past year has been a complete blur and I cannot believe that it has been an entire year since I have seen and held my son. An entire year. I have learned so much about myself, John, and life. Hudson has taught me so much - and shown me so many things that one could not even imagine.

I have learned how strong of a person I am.

I have learned that no matter what I will trust in God.

I have seen a change in others with their families.

I wanted to close with sharing a letter that was sent to me. I feel exactly the same way that is portrayed in this letter. It is from a friend of mine that has a son about the same age as Hudson. She has been a wonderful support person throughout this whole year and I thank God for her friendship and love. Thank you to everyone who remembered this special day in our life and remembering our son - the one who made us a mom and dad for the first time. Please to continue to pray for our second child who will make us parents.

January 16, 2010

Dear Hudson:

Happy Birthday! One year ago, you were born too early to your mom and dad. Do you know I just celebrated my 1st birthday a few weeks ago too? I sure wish you were around…I know my mommy would have loved to watch you grow on facebook, and talk with your mommy about all those crazy baby things. I would have loved to come on play-dates whenever I visited Richmond Hill, my grandpa still lives down there! But as I celebrated my birthday, I wondered something. Maybe you were my guardian angel. I know our mommies have only met a few times, and that was years ago, but my mommy always really liked yours, and she thinks and talks about her often. Back to the guardian angel thing. When you were no longer alive in your mommies belly, I was going through major surgery to save my life. I always felt someone there with me…was that you? Was it because you left too early that I got to stay? If so, thank you for watching over me. Because you left too early, and your parents miss you so bad, it makes my mommy love me even more. She was close to losing me, but through the grace of God (who I bet is cool by the way, since you’re hanging out with him!) she got to keep me here. It makes every moment she has with me special, even those trying ones, like when I kept getting mystery illnesses and didn’t sleep very well. None of that crying-it-out stuff for me (I’ve got her trained J) She’d probably tell you thank you too, for making her grateful, though I know she wishes she never knew someone like you that died. She would have rather been a little ungrateful.
Anyways, I just wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday. Did you know I have a cousin named Hudson? He’s 4, and pretty cool, and when I hear his name I think of you. You’re a lucky guy. So many people down here on stinky earth love you, miss you, and pray for you and your parents. Your mommy and daddy are excited to have your sibling arrive soon, but I know they still wish it was you. Though you didn’t get to breathe on earth, at least we know you’re perfect, just hanging out in heaven, waiting on all of us to come hang out there with you. We’re brothers, through God’s grace, and hopefully one day I can come up there and kick a soccer ball around with you.

Happy 1st Birthday!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The last kick

Today is just as significant as tomorrow will be and will always be for John, myself, and many others. It's the last day I felt a kick from Hudson and the day the world turned upside down for me. I remember knowing something was wrong for a few days, but still feeling movement. That night I prayed and prayed that everything would be okay - then felt the kick. I went to bed not knowing that it would be the last one I felt. All day I sat and counted and waited and ignored the "everything is fine" comments. You know when something is not right - and I knew it wasn't right.

I sat at my desk and started searching; searching for anything that would tell me what was going on. I found all sorts of things, but then a story from a woman stuck out to me. It was a woman from Australia that was pregnant and her baby did not have a heartbeat. I read what she went through, with learning the news and having to be talked into having a natural delivery over a c-section. I sat in tears knowing my fate. I left without a word to anyone and went straight to the hospital to my doctor's office. In most likely laughable hysterics I was taken to the back and sat on the heart monitor. The women tried and tried, they kept "losing" the heartbeat, I was made to drink something like Sprite and still nothing. I was taken to a room and the NP listened on a doppler - nothing. Maybe the batteries are dead she said. Then she took me into the ultrasound room. A room to this day when I walk in I feel as if I am being sucked into a black hole. I remember the screen being on and seeing my lifeless child on the monitor. I sat there waiting and waiting and waiting until those earth shattering words were spoken - "Beverly, I'm sorry I cannot find a heartbeat."

To this day I refuse to go to an appointment by myself. This day, one year ago I was alone with merely strangers while they gave me news that would change my life forever. I had to call my husband - I had to sit there in the darkness with an uncomfortable silence with the woman who spoke my fate - oddly enough the one that called me a nutcase a month ago.

I have been feeling movement for a few weeks - it is so true that you are able to feel your other children move faster than your first. It's not constant, but its movement. Today I am grateful that today was a day that the baby chose to move. It is the best birthday present Hudson could have given me. Today is a day that will stay etched on my brain forever because it is the day Hudson died. It is strange to think that we know tomorrow is his birthday and it is even stranger to think that he was born after he died - it's not something that easily sits on the logical mind.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Balancing the Scales

Things have been going really well lately - considering what this week is I am thankful for all the good coming my and John's way. The only problem is there is so much going on in the lives of a few others that needs some prayer. When all of the "bad" was happening to us I felt like I was the only person in the world going through so many trials and tests and "upsetness". We are still not in the clear, but I am so very thankful that things are finally starting to look up for John and I! I could handle when the bad was happening to me, but I do not like what is happening to those around me. Here are just a few people, if you would, to add to your prayer list. These are just three that I found out today.

My Grandmother - she is taking a turn for the worst. She has Alzheimer's and the past week or so it has been very difficult on my parents. Just to mention a few things - putting her pants on as a shirt, denture cream in her shoes...it is extremely sad to see a woman who was so independent to now fully rely upon others. Please pray for her as well as my parents who are her primary caregivers.

The next I cannot say the names, but a married couple that has been married for over 30 years. They are having stresses financially, with family, and a ton of other things. Please pray for them and their marriage as they struggle.

Lastly, one of my very best friends' significant other has found out she has cancer. We do not know the extent or too many details yet, but I will keep y'all updated after the MRI later this week. It is Ewing's sarcoma - which, I believe, is cancer of the bone and tissue. The cancer was found in her shoulder.

16-Week Update

As you can see I am now officially on monthly visits and I am no longer being spoiled with weekly visits - therefore no weekly updates for you! Today we had our 16 week appointment with Dr. Helmken and everything went great! The heartbeat ranged from 147-152 and was fast(er) to find this time. I am measuring appropriately and I have gained about 2-3 lbs. We went over the future appointments - mainly the one we have in two weeks (the 26th) with the specialist for the anatomy scan/amniocentesis. Today would have been the follow-up/2nd part of the screening, but since we are having the procedures done in two weeks we all felt it unnecessary to be pricked. I think this is the first time I have left an appointment without giving blood. Amazing! I did ask what the results were from the 1st trimester screening and they came back all normal - with 1 in 4400 and 1 in 10000 chances of having downs, trisomy 13 - which is a normal number. I thought that because we had administered the HcG shot that morning that my results would be skewed - but everything looked great!

We also went over some information for delivering - as most of you may know I am planning on having a completely natural childbirth, so we went over what all I could do in the hospital. John and I will be practicing techniques and exercises in order to prepare both mentally and physically. After talking to Dr. Helmken we have decided that I will probably go so fast anyways that by the end of it the pain will have passed and it will be over! Just to let you all know - yes I know there is pain in childbirth and I have experienced it. I also know that for me the anxiety and risks of not taking drugs is better for me in the long run. The thought of an epidural frightens me more than the pain of a natural birth. I did have one with Hudson, but the anxiety of that procedure (of the epidural) is not something I want to worry about.

Keep saying prayers for this little one! We keep getting great information, but until we have him/her here we need prayers :) Of course we will need prayer after the little one is here, but we really need them during this time!
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