Monday, January 26, 2009

Do We Smell??!!

Do I smell? Do I have bad breath? Am I malodorous in any way? People seem to be running for the exit like someone set off a stink bomb. --- Richard from 13 Going On 30

Lately Chris and I have felt exactly like that quote. People see us and run in the other direction. We understand that people don't know what to say to us, and that it may be awkward for them. We were the same way a year ago when we saw a couple we knew who had lost a baby, we didn't know what to say. How saddened we feel now that we never said anything to them.

Lately I have just felt like I have some kindof a disease or virus or something, and if someone gets too close they will catch it. It's been so difficult going to church where people who use to talk to me, turn in the other direction. There have been so many times these past few months, where I feel like I shouldn't even go. Then I have this guilt that I should go, and I go and just end up crying the rest of the week.

I guess what we are trying to say is, it's okay to talk to us. The most beneficial thing people could do for us, is just treat us normal. We aren't baby snatchers, or crazy weirdos, we are just a family trying to survive a devastating and life changing loss.

We still love to talk about our baby girl, and we are so grateful for all the love and support from friends and family.

Chewy Chewy Chewy Chewy

We have had Chewy for 3 weeks now, and it has been so fun. When we picked him up he was very underweight, but that is not the case anymore. He has gained much needed weight, and loves to try to eat whatever we are eating. I felt guilty bringing him home and just starting up school, so we bought him a little play pen thing. He uses it often, and our friend Faith brought him another one on Saturday. Faith's has mice hanging down, and he goes nuts grabbing them.

It has been nice to be able to come home knowing I am not entirely alone. It has been such a difficult week/weekend/week, and it's comforting to have a small kitty to snuggle with me.

Miss Indiana!

I decided to do the Miss America party again this year, and it was great. Last year I decided to go all out and make individual cakes for everyone, and this year I tried to do something a little easier. I made chocolate shells and filled them with chocolate mousse. Kara helped make them and, they turned out really yummy. I panicked about 4pm when I realized I had not started any of the food, but luckily my awesome husband stepped up to the plate.

We did a bracket again this year and Jade won first place, Kara and Erika tied for
2nd, and Natalie placed 3rd.

Thanks for a fun night ladies!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Story

3 months ago today was the last day I felt Preslie move. I remember like it was yesterday. Chris and I decided to carve our pumpkins a little bit early, so we wouldn't have to worry about it when she arrived. I remember being so excited to carve pumpkins with Chris, since we had never done it before. I took on the big one for Chris and I, and he carved the baby one for Preslie. We thought that it looked like Jack Skeleton from "The Nightmare Before Christmas".

After carving pumpkins we went over to the Hogges for a while, and then came home. While Chris was studying I decided to go take a shower. As I was in there I had this feeling of deep intense emotion come over me. I had never felt that way before ever. I held my stomach and told Preslie that she could stay in me as long as she wanted, and that I loved her so much. I kept getting thoughts in my head like "What if I were to lose her?" "What if something bad happens?" I remember feeling prompted to have Chris join me in the shower, but I thought he'd say no. I just remember standing there for several minutes just feeling her. After showering I remember laying on the bed just sobbing, explaining to Chris how sad I was going to be when I didn't get to feel her move, or have her inside of me. I told him how much I was going to miss her, and how it would never be the same again. We went to bed that night watching "Return to Neverland."

I woke up in the middle of the night to go the bathroom, and I had this incredible side pain. I thought for a split second to wake Chris up, that maybe I was having an appendicitis. I quickly threw out that thought and fell back asleep.

I woke up at 11:00am, and I knew instantly that something was wrong with Preslie. I laid there for about 5 minutes just wanting for her to move. I kept poking her, and moving a lot and still nothing. I got up, called my mom and she suggested to eat some sugar and relax and just wait for her to move. I then called Chris at work, and then called the dr. The nurse told me that sometimes babies go into deep sleeps and to not worry but to eat a lot of sugar, lie down and count her kicks. I knew my baby and my baby moved... a lot. I went upstairs after eating 3 snickers bars, turned on America's Next Top Model, and laid there and waited. 5 minutes later Chris ran home just sobbing, and panicky. He kept telling me we needed to go to the Emergency room, and that we might be able to save her. I think at the time I knew something was not right, and that I would not be coming home with Preslie again. I slowly took a shower and got dressed, then sat on the couch and ate a bowl of Rice Krispies. Chris was laying on the floor pleading with me to stop and go the ER. I think I was in denial. We soon left after I finished eating.

We arrived at the hospital and went to the triage. There they hooked me up to the monitor and searched...and searched...and searched. I laid there knowing that she was gone, pleading that somehow the heart would just start beating. The nurse kept saying "Come on baby. Please come on baby." She also kept reassuring me that she was probably asleep and just in a weird position. She then called in a woman to do an ultrasound. Right when the ultrasound machine hit my stomach, there was Preslie's chest with a heart not beating.

I remember laying on the table, Chris kneeling at my side screaming and sobbing. I remember just laying there in a daze of no emotion saying to myself "This can't be happening. This isn't real." I don't remember what everyone was saying to me, I only remember their mouths moving. I was so determined to have a C-section, so I wouldn't have to wait knowing my baby was going to come out not alive. Of course they weren't keen on that option.

I remember calling my mom, and then Chris' dad Chad and then my own dad. I remember the sounds of their voices as I cried that Preslie was gone. I remember telling the doctor that we needed to start getting me set up to be induced ASAP, and that I could not carry around my dead child.

At 4:00pm they started some suppositories to thin my cervix, they did I think 3 of those. We had outstanding nurses, and Erika came to the hospital the minute I called her. I remember Chris and Chris Finley giving me a blessing, and then Ejay and Ann coming to see us, and then shortly Kara. Brian came later that night, and I remember all sitting around talking for hours and hours just waiting for Preslie to come out. I was having contractions, but I didn't really feel them. I think the prayers of everyone helped me out so much. I had an epidural around midnight, and shortly after that they gave me a sleeping pill and told me to rest. Not even 2 hours later my water broke, and 2 hours after that I was pushing. I remember asking for a mirror to watch, but I think I closed my eyes most of the time. Preslie was born into heaven at 4:55am. She was 22 inches long and weighed 7 pounds 14 ounces.

I remember a lot before the sleeping pill, but not so much after. I don't remember holding Preslie for the first time, which just KILLS me. I have pictures to prove I did, which is comforting. She was SO beautiful, with curly brown hair, long legs, cute little boobies, big feet, little cheeks, and she was just perfect. There was not a single imperfection at all. Although she was my baby, she was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. EVER!

Chris' parents arrived a few hours before Preslie was born, and was with us the whole time. This was such a comfort for Chris and me. My parents arrived the next morning after Preslie had been delivered. I remember having to make tough decisions on what was to be done as far as the funeral, etc. Right when my parents came, Preslie was given a name and a blessing. My Dad, Chad (Chris' dad) and Brian Hogge, were in the circle. Preslie's blessing was so powerful and strong it was un-believable. My mom’s friend Leeann made her dress, and added extra beading and sequins to it because it needed to be the most beautiful dress, and it was. An old friend of mine Andra made the headband that matched. She looked just like a princess, and all I could do is just hold her and wait for her to squeeze my finger. I held her for a long time, my finger in her hand just waiting and waiting and waiting.

After I had some time alone with her, Chris came in and we said goodbye. That was probably one of the hardest things, even harder than giving birth to her. Knowing that in a few days I was going to be leaving without her. I decided to stay one more night, and then go home the next day.

Going through the hospital in the wheelchair holding my coat, was another one of the hardest moments of my life. I remember in a baby story when they would wheel the moms out to the car holding their babies, and I would just cry. And now here I was crying because I did not get to leave with my baby. It was the longest ride through the hospital, and I will NEVER forget it. Every time I pass the hospital, I remember those exact feelings.

We later found out that week that there was a hemorrhage in the umbilical cord. There was nothing wrong with Preslie; it was just a fluke thing. We know that she was here just to get a little body, but the pain is still so real. It doesn't hurt less knowing that she fulfilled her purpose. I miss her more and more every passing day and knowing that I am the mother of an angel is what helps get me through.

Thank you for taking the time to listen to my story, and I hope that Preslie has touched your lives as she has mine.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cherish Each Moment

Recently my wife and I have noticed a lot of people around us complaining about parenting and children. We have also heard of sad incidences in the news media recently as well. It breaks our heart that parents don’t realize how special these little ones are. How great of a blessing to be able to raise them here on earth. My wife and I would do anything to have that experience with our angel Preslie.

You should cherish being able to change their diapers, listen to their sweet cries, wake up in the wee hours of the morning to feed them, and for getting the chance to hold them close to you. How can you sit there and complain when there are so many others that would do all that in a heartbeat? So many parents don’t realize that anything can happen, and how grateful you should be for your children.

So many parents out there won’t get to experience the things you get to here on earth. Many parents don’t get to walk out of the hospital with a baby in their arms. Many mothers don’t get the chance to breastfeed their babies; they just get to suffer through when the milk comes in. Many fathers don’t get to spend time with their children when their wife goes out with her girlfriends.

A few of the many things Rylie and I have learned through this experience is that you cannot take one moment for granted, life can be turned upside down in a flash, and that we are going to cherish every second we will get with our family.

If we could impress anything from this on you, it is to cherish every single second you have with your precious babes. Be grateful for the role you are playing in their lives, and always express to them your love.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Proud Owners

To add to our year of change, we have adopted a 3 month old kitty Chewbacca (Chewy). We went to the Lansing Humane society Friday, and I fell in love instantly with the little furball. He let me hold him for thirty minutes, and I felt like I just couldn't leave him.

We weren't able to bring him home yet.Chewy will be neutered on Monday,and then we get to pick him up Monday night. We found out after we adopted him, that he was just put up for adoption that day. It was meant to be. :)

Goodbye 2008

We started off our Christmas vacation by going to California (Coronado Island) and Vegas. There we:

*Walked along the beach
*Played games
*Watched the BYU vs Arizona game
*Visited with the Sessions
*Chris golfed
*Ate at Claim Jumper
*Hit a few golf balls in the Ocean
*Late night star gazing
*Drive to Vegas
*Outlet Malls
*Bellagio Water Show
*Ate at Macaroni Grill
*Played Tennis
*All you can eat buffet
*Circ de sole show

We had a very nice and relaxing time with the Martin family. We had many laughs as well as tears. We are grateful we were able to spend a little bit of the holiday with them.

After we went to California we flew to Idaho on Christmas Eve. We got there just in time for dinner, and it was great to have my entire family there with us. Our Christmas Eve and Christmas was difficult, but it was nice to be with my family. It was hard to be sitting there thinking and knowing that Preslie would have been there with us. That this would have been her first Christmas.

(Our New PJS)

All my sister Mikelle wanted for Christmas was a kitty, and because of the difficult year my family has had my parents got her one. She was near tears as all of the presents had been opened and she didn't have a kitty. Soon my mom came downstairs with little Lucifee, and we all broke into tears. I have never seen Mikelle more excited over a gift before. Lucifee was just the sweetest kitty, and I really enjoyed being able to hold and pet her.

(My Mom, Mikelle and Lucifee)

Chris and I didn't get much sleep in Idaho, as we would stay up partying every night. We went to the church and played volleyball almost everynight, watched movies, went to see HSM3 TWICE!, played a lot of games, shopped, played WII,caught up with old friends, took Abby to get a few cones,and just had a very relaxing time.
(After Church)

(Chris and Merrick playing the WII)

(Abby and I)

My last week in Idaho was really rough, and I am glad I was able to have the love and support of my parents as well as Christopher. We took family pictures, and Chris and I noticed that we just don't look happy in any of them. We are hoping that a few turned out. The night before we came back to MI we were able to go the temple, and feel some peace. I am really anxious to go back real soon. I am so grateful for my family and parents, and for the love they showed to us while we were there. It was so hard for me to come back to Michigan, but I know it's what I needed to do.

Our little Martin family is having numerous changes this next semester. I am going to be taking 3 classes at LCC, and 2 Institute classes. We were also able to get a membership to the YMCA, so we can both get back into shape. I think that going to school will be a good transitional change for me, and to keep me pretty occupied this next year.

We are calling 2009 a year of change, and we hope that this year will bring a lot of joy and happiness to us. :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

4 Generations

Today Chris and I had the opportunity to go to the temple with my parents and Grandmother Fern. Many months ago I could not wait to have a 4 generation photo taken during Christmas, with Preslie and my Grandma. Although Preslie was not physically there we felt her in the picture with us. I am so grateful we were able to go while here. I hope that we will be able to make it more often.