Friday, April 4, 2014

Adding to Heaven

If you don't know me really well, then it's probably necessary I mention that I'm definitely an extrovert. So, when John and I experienced our first loss of a baby, I felt like keeping it in my heart wasn't good enough. How would the world know that Heaven gained a new member if I didn't tell them? How would they know the name of our baby? How would they know we had been blessed again, even if it was for a short time? I just wanted to share our experience. Everyone processes differently and this is my way. 

It all happened so quickly. We found out we were pregnant (surprise!) on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 around 2:00 in the afternoon. We talked about if it would be a girl or a boy. We wondered if the baby would have the same chubby cheeks as our other kids. We hoped for a smooth pregnancy. We calculated the due date, which would have been December 8, 2014. We even joked that I happen to be pregnant every time we move, and our move to Wyoming from Missouri was coming up this summer. It was going to be a blast driving to the hospital in the dead of winter in Wyoming! 

By 8:00 that night, I was in so much pain that I asked John to come home from work to take me to the hospital. I took my first ambulance ride. As much as I trust my husband's professional emergency driving, it hurt too much to sit up in the car and hold on as he flew through town. 

After a short while waiting in the ER and an ultrasound, we found out it was an ectopic pregnancy that had ruptured. I was bleeding internally. That means the baby attached to my fallopian tube instead of my uterus and instead of growing, it ruptured. An emergency surgery was set up to remove the tube and stop the bleeding. There was a complication, though. I have a rare blood condition and the blood bank did not have any blood for me. The anesthesiologist did not want to start the surgery until we had some blood from somewhere. He set up to have blood cleaned and transferred from St. Louis by a Missouri State Trooper escort. It was the only option if I lost too much blood, but it was still risky. My OB said they couldn't wait any longer because of the internal bleeding - they had to go and hope for the best with or without blood on hand. They put me to sleep as I was praying the Rosary (and my husband and friend were both praying one, too!). I was hoping for the best, but was scared as hell. I kept thinking of my two kids who were alive and well. How blessed were we to have two healthy normal pregnancies before this one? I was so thankful in that moment and also hoped I would wake up to see them again.

I woke up. My OB doctor is the Everything went as well as it could have gone. No blood transfusion necessary. She removed my fallopian tube, but left my ovary (I asked if it was just floating in my belly while they had me on some heavy pain meds...). 

We picked a name for baby about the time the hospital discharged me. We won't know if baby was a girl or boy, but we do know he or she was a part of our lives for just that short period of time. I have battle scars from this child just like the scars and stretch marks from my other two and this baby deserves a name just like my living babies. We still dreamt of the future with this child. The name we picked is Jamie Joselyn. Jamie, after a good friend of ours growing up and Joselyn is a family name, my maternal grandmother's maiden name. 

So, we found out we were expecting the same day we lost. We feel blessed to have been part of such an experience. We know Baby Jamie is in a good place, sharing eternity with Jesus. We can't wait to meet baby, but we also know Jamie is in good company up there. 

"An angel in the book of life wrote down my baby's birth. Then whispered as he closed the book, 'Too beautiful for earth.'" -unknown

Jamie Joselyn Williams - April 2, 2014 added to Heaven.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


I'll start by saying we SURVIVED the trip. I won't lead you on as if it were a horrible trip because it wasn't. It was a bit rocky to begin with though...

Wednesday morning:
3:05am - John gets home from work.
It's pouring rain. We have to load the car topper-thingy with all of our bags. We couldn't load it before he left for work - it was raining then too. And, as the thing claims, it's only weatherproof. Do not let yourself be confused with WATERPROOF.

3:49am - I hear cussing. Lots of cussing. John hates the car topper. It doesn't fit the Tahoe. WHO MAKES THIS? 

3:50am - John switches the topper from hamburger style to hot dog style on the luggage rack. It fits fine. It's still raining. 

3:55am - I wake Mom to get her in the car. We carry the kids to the car and successfully keep them asleep for the most part.

4:06am - WE'RE OFF. And, I'm already asleep along with the rest of the car. 

But really, I'm not going through the entire trip like that. I did wake up around 7:00 to see this beautiful sight:

We got there around 4:30pm, Mountain time. Long trip with these guys. It was only our first day. And, I noticed it was quite windy.

The Bison. Probably the coolest thing Noah has ever seen in his entire three and a half years. His new pup, Wyoming, stood watch most of the week right there on the window sill. 
Or as Noah called him, "Wy-GO-min"

Midwesterners don't get to see tumble weeds or bison or mountains every day, so yeah, it was an awesome site. I even got excited when we saw tumbleweeds. My mom tried to bring a tumbleweed back in the car with her on a bathroom stop as our first souvenir. Sorry, Mom.  

Oh, hey Bison. 

So, back to the trip. It was windy. I think it was blowing about 950 mph when we got there. And a good majority of our clothes were wet from the "weatherproof" car topper. Yeah. 

Let me just fill you in on what it's like taking a one and three year old halfway across the country staying in a cabin that doesn't smell or look like home. I was awake for about, ooh, 4 straight days. The one year old still fits in the pack-n-play. Perfect! No. I heard from her around 11pm, 2am, 3am, 4am, 5am, until finally getting up UP with her at 6am. Every night but the last. She slept like a "baby" Sunday night. The three-year-old loves to sleep with Nana with the exception of this trip. I hear him one night telling Nana to scoot over. He only wants Mommy to get his blanky from the floor. He needs his turtle light. He's hungry and needs cereal. He's scared (I can't blame him for this one. Nana sleeps with the sleep apnea machine. It makes Darth Vader-ish noises while it looks like a Hannibal Lector mask and she may have told him she was an alien. Didn't help, Nana). 

And then, there's this guy:

He just hung out in the brush just in front of our cabin taunting John. 

The questionable playground equipment stayed safe for my kids and my mother. I wouldn't go as far as saying it was structurally sound, though.

Finally, after searching for what seeming like an eternity without coffee (probably 30-45 minutes the first morning), we found a Starbucks in Cheyenne. It took a few more days to find any other coffee establishment in the town. John and my mom were both relieved when I was caffeinated. I was pleasant to be around again. Maybe even fun.

What. It's spot on!

We made a spontaneous trip to Denver one of the days we were there to check out my cousins' restaurant and bar - Freshcraft. It's in downtown Denver. It was totally worth stepping outside my comfort zone in downtown Denver where there are lots people and walking too close to cars (If you know me well enough, you'll know I'm afraid of it all). It was a really neat bar and we got to spend a little time chatting with one of my cousins. We stopped at the Denver Zoo. It apparently closes at 4. We were there around 4:15. We saw a little wild life at least - a peacock was wondering through the parking lot. 

Monday before we left we were able to see my lovely friend, Emily, and her three kids. Noah and her son are the same age and same size. Sounds reasonable until you've seen three year olds as giant as they are. 

The trip home answered a lingering question that John and I had before we left from Missouri - if the moisture level in the air is so low in the mountains, is there fog? YES. LOTS OF DARK FOG. Not like white fog coming up from the Mississippi, but dark fog stretching down from the dark clouds above. And WIND. Did I mention it was windy there? I drove through wind and fog all the way out of Wyoming. 

We had so much fun despite the sleeplessness and wind. We made great memories and learned that if we want to go anywhere with young children, we'll be better off locating that coffee shop before leaving Missouri. We wanted to have an adventure with our family. 

Oh, what an adventure we had.