Thursday, June 28, 2012

So close

In two weeks I will be full term. Someone please tell me how to slow this down! My due date is 5 weeks away, and of course he could come early or late. I'm just so not ready for this. I want to keep him in my belly forever, where he's safe and happy and healthy. I am not at peace with this anymore. I just want to slow down time and have more kicks and punches and ultrasounds. I should be happy and excited to meet him, but instead I find myself wanting to wait because hello will mean goodbye. I am not ready for goodbye.

We had our monthly ultrasound today. Peter is getting much bigger. He's still very small for his gestational age but has gained over a pound since my last visit, making him approximately 2lbs and 12 ounces. He could easily be under 6 pounds at birth. I guess it all depends on when he decides to make his appearance. I have a few hats for him but I want to start on a new one. I would love to make one with doggie ears (I got him a little brown and orange romper with a dog!) but that might be beyond my crocheting abilities.

Julie loves talking to Peter, feeling him move, hugging my belly. She is definitely attached to him. Prayers for her to have peace would be very appreciated. Actually I could use a big, fat dose of peace right now, too, if you could throw my name in on that prayer.

Blessings to you all,

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I have the greatest friends in the world! Many may be miles and miles away, scattered across the country. Some are new, having met them through this experience. They have all been my support, my shoulder to cry on, and my prayer warriors. Without these good Christian women praying for me and supporting me, I don't know how I would have gotten through the last 4 months with my sanity intact. There are dozens of people, maybe more, who I don't even know who are praying for us. A large group of friends got together to make me a prayer shawl, each contributing one handmade square. But it ended up that so many women wanted to participate that I got a beautiful quilt instead! It's been such a comfort on sad evenings. When I feel grieved and alone, I wrap myself in that quilt and pray and cry. The kind volunteers from Isaiah's promise have made me and Peter many beautiful, handmade items including his baptism gown, which I believe is also what we will bury him in. Friends have also been generous with their financial support, helping us with Peter's funeral expenses. And old childhood friend just wrote to let me know she is arranging a food tree for us, so we won't have to eat sandwiches and take out for days or weeks after the birth.  My oldest friend from childhood even insisted that I could call her home from the beach if I need her when I go into labor. And the quick notes to check in on me and CaringBridge guestbook comments still mean so much. It means people are thinking of us, remembering us in our time of need. Even knowing these wonderful women and their kind hearts, I am STILL overwhelmed at the amount of love and support that has flowed from all of them. 

I hope everyone in trying situations has the support of wonderful friends. You've all be so kind, caring, wonderful.....may God bless each and every one of you. Love, Steph

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A big thank you to Steve's boss

My husband's boss generously started a fundraising drive to help pay for funeral and burial expenses for the upcoming birth of Peter. Thank you to Noelle and Dewey, to everyone who donates, and also to everyone who has sent donations to me privately. It's so very appreciated, and definitely helps to remove some stress at this difficult time. Raise Money for Baby Peter Shock | YouCaring

Friday, June 22, 2012

Newest ultrasound appearance

We had a really wonderful experience this week going for an elective 3D ultrasound. We got to spend time with him and go home with a CD, DVD, and heartbeat recorder. He's gotten so chubby! He just looks like a cute little newborn now instead of the hairy, skinny look that they sport in the 2nd trimester. I know I will treasure these even more in the months to come.

33.5 weeks...

Wow, I can hardly believe it. I wish I had the ability to slow down time. It's going so fast. When I hot 30 weeks I started to feel..... panicked? I don't know if that's the right word. Like there's a clock ticking, counting down to one of the best and worst days of my life. I'll get to meet my first son face to face for the first time. And I'll have to say goodbye. There are just no words to describe how that feels. 

I went to a social event last night to meet with a group of moms who've also lost babies, some with anencephaly as well, others for seemingly no reason at all. It's so comforting to not feel alone, to see these other moms who value their children as much as I, whether here or in heaven, and to know that I will get over it. I will eventually heal. It just takes time and faith and prayer and support. 

Seeing Peter on 3d and 4d ultrasound at Precious Previews was amazing. I mean, sure we've gotten to see him every 4 weeks since I was 14 weeks, but this was different. She wasn't there to check the heart and measure the femur; we got to just look at his darling face (his cheeks are so chubby now!!!) and talk about him and listen to her describe what we were seeing and how the ultrasound was was really a wonderful gift. THIS is our time together. This is when we get to know him and enjoy him. So I am grateful that there are places like that where we can go and just feel a little closer to him. 

I won't lie. The last two weeks have been very trying. I'm generally a very upbeat person and I've dealt exceptionally well with this tragedy I think. But the last two weeks have been much more difficult, and I think it's only going to get harder as I get closer and closer to saying hello and saying goodbye. I still feel so blessed to know him, to have him be a part of our lives, and to have him make an impact on others' lives. But I sure am going to miss him. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Changing Plans

Many of us have had to change our idea of family through the years as visions and reality don't quite meet up. Perhaps a spouse died, or maybe a job was lost and a move across the country was necessary. Maybe a couple can't conceive or suffers from secondary infertility, the mother is ill and can't continue to carry babies, or other circumstances don't allow for them to grow their family as they had hoped. Or maybe a child was born with a birth defect, developed an illness, or even died. We don't just grieve the child or spouse that we lost, we grieve for the children that maybe never be, the family we'd envisioned, the life we thought we would make for ourselves and our family. 

I'm a planner. I am fully aware of the saying "when we make plans, God laughs". Is it ever true! Not to say that God purposely messes up our plans or takes pleasure in seeing them change. He knows all of this was going to happen anyway. I had envisioned my daughters being best friends. I was so excited to learn of having another girl when I was pregnant with Natalie! Best friends! I prayed for it, I was sure it would happen, even if not now, eventually. But then we found out Natalie wasn't your typical child. Sure, my girls love each other and are friends, but it's not the same. There won't be midnight calls to each other when one of their children is running a fever. They won't be writing college term papers together. I had to change my vision. I had to grieve that loss and move on to reality, which is my new idea of family. 

I thought we would have a medium or large sized family. We take our faith and the teachings of our church seriously. We are always open to new life. That won't change. But God doesn't call us to have as many babies as biology will allow. He asks us to use the gift of fertility prudently. I am still grieving that my family is going to be small. With the various factors in play with a hereditary condition that can result in a variety of outcomes, we've decided it's probably not prudent to continue to grow our family, at least not with biological children. That has been extremely difficult for me. Now I have to grieve that loss as well, and move on to reality, our new idea of family. And of course I also have to remember that it is ALL in God's control. It's all in his hands. If he so chooses he could send me another baby or two, healthy or not. WE are not in control. HIS plans are the only ones that count. His will be done. I am so blessed to have Peter in my life. I honestly wouldn't change any of this. I am so grateful for the opportunity to know him and to love him. I hope that his short time on earth will have true meaning beyond just my family. I hope that his memory lasts much longer. I hope people realize that ALL life matters. ALL LIFE IS SACRED

May my baby boy, my only son, have a lasting change on this world. I love you, Peter. 

Lastly I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart who have donated toward the funeral expenses. That has been a big stress for me for the past 4 months, and your generosity is easing that stress. I will get around to thanking you all individually but I didn't want to let that go any longer than necessary. 

Thank you again for all your prayers.