Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Week Ahead

I hope to be doing several posts this week because we have a lot going on... Paige's 7 month birthday, a doctor visit to check in on Mr. Landon and Paige's autopsy report meeting at the hospital.  And on top of that, it's that time of year again.... Back to School.... not with kids quite yet, but Pat and I will both be preparing our rooms this week and attending meetings for beginning of the school year. 

Tuesday Pat and I along with our parents will be meeting with Paige's team of doctors to go over ALL of her autopsy reports.  We've seen nothing so far, all the information we have received has been by word of mouth.  You may wonder why it has taken 7 months for us to get these results... well for one Ms. Paige had a lot going on inside of that little body.  Not only was she fighting AML leukimia, she was paralyzed on one side, had bleeding on the brain and multiple other diagnosis... are they all related?  Well, I guess we'll find out Tuesday.  Second, when you're working with the world's best doctors it takes time to get them all together with their very busy schedules.  And third, apparently the neuro reports took a lot longer than the other results.  So... with all that combined..Tuesday is the day.  I have mixed feelings about it all.  The meeting is in the NICU, the same NICU that my precious baby girl lived her three days here on earth.  I'm nevous about the flood of emotions coming back.  I'm sure they will, but only because we love her so much.  I'm hopeful that this meeting will bring Pat and I some much needed answers and closure to this whole nightmare.  I know that nobody here on earth can tell me why this all happened to Paige.  Only Jesus himself can tell me that.  But I'm hoping that these meetings will shine some light on the whole thing and bring some peace to both our families.  Lastly, I'm feeling some joy about being back at the NICU.  From the moment our Paige was rushed onto that floor to the second her sweet little body was taken away by the funeral home... she was loved!  The staff of that hospital loved my little girl so much!  They fought hard to make her better and their hearts broke during her last breath.  They loved my Paige and they showed Pat and I so much love.  It will be nice to see them again because they are among very few who truly knew Paige here on earth. 

I will meet with you there...I will speak with you...

Exodus 25:22

Friday, July 29, 2011

20 Weeks!

We made it HALF WAY!   Our little Landon has been growing now for 20 weeks!  It's been an eventful 20 weeks, but we'll take it.  Anything to bring this little boy into our world.  This week has been great.  I'm feeling good and little by little my energy is coming back.  Last night was by far the best night of the week... earlier in the day I was telling a friend and Pat how I hadn't felt the baby kick in a few days.  His kicks and punches have been very sporadic and just one or two at a time.  I may feel one here and there, but there has never been much consistency.  I wasn't too concerned because the doctor told me that my placenta is on the outer wall and it may take longer for me to feel the baby move.  So last night while Pat was at the Cardinal game I decided that Landon and I deserved some ice cream.  I sat on the couch devouring eating it and about twenty minutes later my sweet little boy was moving around like I couldn't believe.  I don't know if he was running basketball plays or taking batting practice, but he kept it up for a good half hour.  He was all over the place!  I'm sure it was his way of telling me "mom, settle down I'm doing just fine!"  or "keep the ice cream coming!"  :)  Ha!  It was such a sweet moment.  If anyone walked into the house during that time they would of thought I was crazy.  I was cheering him on the whole time with "that was a good one buddy" and "wow, you are getting so strong".   Weird?  Maybe!  But I just love this little man to pieces already and I can't wait for him to be here...  in 20 weeks or less! 

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 20 weeks
Size of baby:  6 1/2 inches long and 9 1/2 ounces
Maternity Clothes: Maternity pants and shorts are a must and even some shirts.
Gender: It's a BOY!!!!!
Movement: I've felt him a little bit here and there. Last night he was showing off!
Symptoms: I'm feeling great!
What I miss: No complaints!
Cravings: Ice cream! I can't get enough of it and Landon likes it too!
What I am looking forward to: Feeling him more and more!

But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord, I say, "You are my GOD." My times are in Your hands...

Psalm 31:14-15

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Not Easy

Last night was hard.  The first night in a long time with an empty nursery... no clothes, no cute little shoes, no baby toys, nothing.  Just an empty crib, empty dresser, empty closet and a rocking chair left unused.  No, it wasn't easy but with the love and support of my mom and sisters... I did it!  I cleaned out Paige's room.  Only one break down and a heart that felt trampled we accomplished the impossible task.  Since Paige went to heaven the door to her nursery has remained closed.  It was too painful to see all of her sweet things in that room.  Now, the door is opened and the room is bare.  I'm so very hopeful for the joy and love that our precious Landon will bring to that room.  Although Paige never got to see her nursery or lay in her crib or wear her clothes I know she loved it.  I know she knows how much love that her daddy and I put into it as we prepared it for her.  And I know she knows how much love was in that room last night as we took it all out.  It was painful and my body physically hurt but it had to be done.  I couldn't of done it myself.  It probably would of taken me hours maybe days.  Luckily, my mom and sisters had it done in no time.  As soon as I said I was ready, they swept in like fairy godmothers.  They worked quickly but with such care of my sweet little girl's belongings.  The belongings she never got to see.  Today I'm left with a sad heart, but with hope and faith for a bright future.  Last night was just another step toward the arrival of Landon.  A step that Paige helped me take.  I feel at peace and even the guilt has subsided.  We will now begin preparing Paige's room for her little brother... I can't wait to hold him in my arms, rock him to sleep, and tell him all about his amazing sister.  What a day that will be!

A peek at Paige's nursery

Our reality...  an empty room...

an empty closet.....

and an unused rocking chair.

but yet we have hope for what will one day fill this room again.  Think green ;)

You will be delivered by returning and resting; your strength will lie in quiet confidence.

Isaiah 30:15

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tomorrow's the Day

Tomorrow is the day.  With the help and support of my mom and sisters I will take the huge step of disassembling Paige's room.  It's making it so real... my baby girl is gone forever and she's not coming back.  I know, I know obviously she's not coming back but somewhere in my little head it's always a wish.  Maybe this is all still a nightmare and I'm going to wake up.  Unfortunately, reality sets in and I know that my Paige is in heaven and I will reunite with her there someday.  (Deep breath, fighting back tears)  How blessed I am that although I am taking out the pink, girly things I get to replace them with fun, blue boy things.  Paige's room will always be Paige' room... her brothers and sisters will just be borrowing it. :)  The hardest part will be painting over those pink walls.  Ugh!  Pat says that Landon's nursery will not have pink walls... believe me I tried to negotiate with him... he still said no!  Ha!  Don't worry there will always be a touch of pink in that room for Paige.  I will share more in a later post about how we will keep Paige forever in our lives and our home... we do have a plan.

I don't know what kind of emotions to excpect tomorrow.  In a sense it's going to be very hard to put Paige's things away, but yet as we prepare that room for Landon it gives me hope of a bright future with even more chidlren.  I also feel a sense of guilt.  I guess I feel guilty because this is part of moving on.  Now anyone who knows us knows that moving on without Paige has been the hardest thing we've had to do.  Everyday is a struggle.  With Landon on the way it makes getting out of bed a little easier, but we will always have that missing piece.  I know in my heart just because the nursery will no longer be decorated for Paige does not mean she is forgotten.  Paige took a piece of both mine and Pat's hearts to heaven with her... we could never forget our little girl. 

Jesus, give me strength and peace tomorrow!

For this is what the LORD says: "I will extend peace to her like a river..."

Isaiah 66:12

Friday, July 22, 2011

19 Weeks

I am now 19 weeks with my HEALTHY baby BOY!  It's so great to type those two words.  What a rollercoaster this past week has been, but I am so thankful for the good ending.  Pat and I know how blessed we are with this happy news.  All of your prayers really came through for us this week and we are so grateful.  I can't believe that next week this time I will be halfway through this pregnancy!  Time is flying by (and that is ok with me, I can't wait for this little guy to get here)! 

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 19 weeks
Size of baby:  6 inches long and 9 ounces
Maternity Clothes: Maternity pants and shorts are a must and even some shirts.
Gender: It's a BOY!!!!!
Movement: I'm feeling him more and more at night.  I love those little kicks.
Symptoms: After this week's news... I'm feeling great!
What I miss: No complaints!
Cravings: Ice cream! Can't get enough of it!
What I am looking forward to: Meeting our little boy!

Here I am at 19 weeks!
And now introducing our sweet....

Landon Jordan Steinhoff!

He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.

Psalm 147:4

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Praise Jesus!

We had our visit with the perinatal doctor this morning... he was confident in reporting that we have a very healthy baby boy growing inside of me.  He couldn't find the EIF and said that it is nothing for us to be concerned about.  He said our precious boy is measuring perfect and growing just as he needs to be.  Praise Jesus!  Pat and I are so relieved and so thankful that our little man is just fine.  We can't thank you all enough for your endless prayers, love and support the past few days.  Our world literally stopped with the devastating news on Monday and our faith is renewed with today's blessing.  I know my sweet Paige played an important part in all of this.  She will always watch out for her little brother.  Tomorrow's weekly pregnancy post will be extra special for me to write knowing that my little man is healthy.  Thank you Jesus!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Brief Update

Just a quick update.. we will be meeting with the perinatal doctor on Wednesday morning.  So thankful we got in so quickly!  Thank you for all the sweet thoughts and prayers today... please keep them coming!  Our sweet boy needs them.  I'm feeling better and optimistic.  We're going to take this curve ball head on and I know my God will carry us through.  I will update after our appointment on Wednesday. 

Baby #2 is a...


Pat and I are just absolutely thrilled and so in love with our little man.  Unfortunately, our worst nightmare came true while at the doctors office.  During the ultrasound they found a spot on the baby's heart in which they call EIF (echogenic intracardiac foci).  What does this mean?  Well we don't know yet.  It could mean several things, but to determine that we have to see a perinatal doctor for a level two ultrasound.  Apparently, a level two ultrasound can detect more and take a closer look at our baby.  We don't want to get ahead of ourselves here, so we are taking this one step at a time.  This morning we felt our wold crashing down on us and my body is just aching.  Our doctor seemed pretty optimistic that our baby boy would be healthy.  We hope to get into the perinatal doctor this week.  We will keep you updated.  Pat and I are trying to stay positive and begging our Paige to take care of her little brother.  Thankfully, everything else looked very good in the ultrasound and he is weighing in at a healthy 9 ounces.  Please don't let the prayers stop.  We need them now more than ever.  We specifically are asking God to let this EIF be absolutely nothing at all (that is a posibility).  We are also asking that he gives Pat and I the wisdom to make the right decisions as we are faced with them.  And as always, we are asking for our strength.  We are feeling so weak right now and we need to be strong for our little boy.  Please Jesus, be with us and take care of our precious baby boy.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Just a little longer

Only a few more hours of waiting before the big ultrasound.  I can't sleep.  I couldn't sleep most of the night.  I woke up very early this morning with the biggest knots in my stomach.  I feel so ill.  Sick like that turning feeling in my stomach.  With my sweet Paige, going into this ultrasound I had nothing but complete excitement.  I wish I could say the same today.  How naive I was just a year ago.  Yes, I'm so excited to see my little sweetness inside of me but so much fear and anxiety feel me now.  It's strange, prior to losing a child my awareness of problems that could occur during pregnancy was non-existent.  Now, after the loss of a child... I feel like I know so much more.... more than I care to know.  The amount of people who have lost a child at birth is astounding!  Many of the issues arose during pregnancy and were revealed at the big ultrasound.  Things like heart defects, brain problems, spinal chord issues and so much more...  The awareness I have of all these problems makes it so difficult to stay calm.  Nearly impossible.  My mind is racing right now... I am mentally preparing myself for something to be wrong.  How messed up is that?  Mentally preparing myself for something to be wrong with my baby!?!?  What's wrong with me?  Nothing is wrong with me....this is my life now  Unless you have buried a newborn child, please don't judge me.  Preparing myself is a defense mechanism... I can't stand the thought of losing another baby.  It's scary and it makes my heart hurt just thinking about it.  I know this is pretty raw...but it's my true feelings.  I'm only human and I'm doing the best I can.  I ask for your prayers this morning!  Please pray for this precious life inside of me!  Pray that his or her heart has four chambers, pray that all of his or her organs are working and growing properly, pray that Pat and I have strength to handle any news we may receive and pray that we may accept God's plan for us.  Thank you for all of your love and support!  Updates will follow this afternoon....

Friday, July 15, 2011

18 Weeks

I am now 18 weeks with Baby #2!  These weeks are going by pretty quickly (I hope this continues).  In just three short days we will know if our baby is a boy or a girl!!!  Can you feel our excitement?  Many have asked what my feeling is.... honest trurth... I don't have a feeling!  I feel like an awful mother, but I honestly don't feel one way or the other.  I was the same way with Paige.  I had no idea.  Pat was positive that Paige was a girl going into the big ultrasound.  This time around he is pretty confident this baby is a boy... but he promises he won't be disappointed if it's a girl ;)  How could either of us be disappointed?  We are just so thrilled that God gave us a second miracle.... no matter if it's a boy or girl.  We will love him or her just the same!  Although our excitement is through the roof for Monday's big ultrasound we also have much anxiety that comes along with it.  At this ultrasound we will see our baby's major organs (especially the heart) and we will hear if everything is developing correctly.  Please Jesus, let our baby be healthy!  Please keep us in your prayers on Monday and ask God to give us strength to accept whatever news we may hear. 
Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 18 weeks
Size of baby: Almost 6 inches long and about 7 ounces
Maternity Clothes: Maternity pants and shorts are a must!
Gender: We'll find out on Monday!!!!  Only 2 days left to vote:)
Movement: The little flutters and pokes continue, nothing major yet.
Symptoms: I'm feeling pretty darn good:)
What I miss: Good sleep... still not sleeping for long periods of time. 
Cravings: Ice cream! Can't get enough of it!
What I am looking forward to: MONDAY!

Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens,
Your faithfulness to the skies.

Psalm 36:5

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Closed Door

For a little over six months now there is a door in our home that has not been opened.  Paige's door.  It's too much for us to take.  We have had to go in a few times especially early on to get things for the funeral and such.  Mostly the door has remained shut.  It's too painful and heart wrenching to go in there knowing it was to be Paige's room.  A room she never got to see.  We've been discussing opening the door because in a few months there will be a baby who will need the nursery.  We know that we will one day (sooner than later) have to open that door.  We have to go in there.  We have to prepare the nursery for Baby #2, but that day is not today.  The room has been untouched.  Her clothes are still in the drawers and hanging in the closet.  The rocking chair sits in the corner never been used.  The empty crib remains empty.  It's hard to stomach, but it's our reality.  We have hope for the future that Baby #2 will fill that room with love and happiness and I know Paige's presence will always be there.  For now the door remains closed.  We're praying for strength to open it up and to be at peace with what's inside.

If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.
John 8:36

Monday, July 11, 2011

I Miss Her

Yesterday was a very normal day.  Pat and I went to church in the morning and then out to breakfast.  I met with some girlfriends in the afternoon and got a pedicure.  In the evening we went to my parents house for dinner.  Pat and I had a quiet Sunday night at home.  Then it hit me.  Like a ton. of. bricks.  I just cried and cried.  I miss my little girl.  I should have a baby girl.  I shouldn't be able to drop everything and go get a pedicure.  We shouldn't have a quiet evening at home.  We should have a six month old filling our house with giggles, crying, cooing and so much more.  It just hurts... unfortunately I woke up in the same funk I went to bed with.  I try so hard to think positively and keep myself busy.  I try to be thankful for what I do have and what is wonderful in my life.  Yet, through all of that I can't help but to miss her.  I miss holding her, I miss kissing her, I miss smelling her, I miss rocking her, I miss everything about her.  I just feel like screaming and shouting about how life isn't fair.  I get angry and bitter and so very jealous of mom's with healthy babies.  I want my baby and I want her to be healthy.  Grief hits you even when you don't want it to.  Last night I wasn't asking to feel this way.  I wasn't trying to have a pity party for myself... it just comes and happens and takes me over.  Luckily, I have an amazing husband who stands by my through all of these crazy emotions.  He feels them too.  Then just as fast as the emotions take us over, we have to stand up, get out of bed, and start our day.  Why?  Because that is what our Paige would want us to do.  Life continues to happen all around us even when we are feeling that it can't go on.  I miss Paige so very much I can hardly stand it.  Days like this my bones ache I hurt so bad.  When I fall into these emotional holes it is Paige who pulls me out.  She reminds me I have to go on.  I have to continue going on for her daddy.  I have to continue going on for her baby brother or sister on the way.  I have to continue going on because that is what she wants me to do. 

I miss you sweet Paige!  Mommy loves you so much!
I can't wait to hold you in my arms again!

...Your word is my source of hope.

Psalm 119:114

Friday, July 8, 2011

17 Weeks

Yesterday I had a doctor appointment to check in on Baby #2.  Everything looked great!  Nice, strong heartbeat!  I will never get tired of hearing that sweet sound.  It's music to my ears.  I did not get an ultrasound yesterday, however, we will have our big ultrasound and find out the gender on July 18!  Only 10 more days!  That seems like an eternity right now, but I'm hoping it goes by quickly!  I can't wait to see our little wiggle worm and find out if it is a boy or girl:)  I am now 17 weeks pregnant with this precious baby.  Just a few weeks shy of being half way.

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 17 weeks
Size of baby: 5 inches long and about 5 ounces
Maternity Clothes: Mostly I wear sundresses, so those are fitting over the baby bump. If I wear pants that button, maternity are a must, but I can still squeeze into my own shirts and comfy pants.
Gender: We'll find out July 18!!!!  Don't forget to vote on our baby poll:)
Movement: I'm feeling lots of little flutters, usually at least one a night.  Twice this week I felt big thumps, I think the baby was doing flips.
Symptoms: The back ache begins, but I'll take it!
What I miss: A good night's sleep.  Between bathroom breaks and not being able to get comfortable... I can't sleep for a long period of time.  
Cravings: Ice cream! Love love love it!
What I am looking forward to: July 18th!!!!!!
Here I am at 17 weeks! 
You will fill me with joy in Your presence...
Psalm 16:11

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I didn't forget!

Yesterday marked my baby's 6th month "Glory Day".  The day she went to Heaven to be with Jesus.  I did not forget.  I know I didn't post yesterday...that was by choice.  The fourth of every month will always be very difficult for Pat and I, however, we are choosing to concentrate on Paige's birth and not her death.  The birth of our daughter was the most miraculous event I have ever been so blessed to be a part of.  It is something I never want to forget.  When Paige went to Heaven she was in my arms and I never felt so useless or helpless in my life.  There was nothing anyone could do to save my daughter and I couldn't do anything to help her.  I can't keep dwelling on that day... my heart breaks all over again and I feel like I have to start back at square one of my healing process.  Paige knows how much her dad and I love her and we want to celebrate her life and be thankful for our sweet little girl.  No, I didn't forget Paige's glory day.. we're just choosing to celebrate Paige's coming into our lives and not when she had to leave. We Love you Paige!

The Cord
Author Unknown

We are connected my child and I
by an invisible cord
Not seen by the eye.
It's not like the cord
That connects us til birth
This cord can't be seen
By any on earth.
This cord does it's work
Right from the start
It binds us together
Attached to my heart.
I know that it's there
Though no one can see
The invisible cord
From my child to me.
The strength of this cord
 It's hard to describe
It can't be destroyed
It can't be denied.
It's stronger than any cord
Man could create
It withstands the test
Can hold any weight.
And though you are gone
Though you're not here with me
The cord is still there
But no one can see
 It pulls at my heart
I am bruised... I am sore...
But this cord is my lifeline
As never before.
I am thankful that God
Connects us this way.
A mother and child
Death can't take that away!

On Thursday I have an appointment to check in on Baby #2!  Please keep us in your prayers and pray specifically for our little one to be healthy with a nice strong heartbeat.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed for an ultrasound so that we can maybe find out if it is a boy or girl! 

The LORD will work out His plans for my life--for Your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don't abandon me, for You made me.

Psalm 138:8

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy 6 Months Paige!

I am almost in shock as I type those words... 6 months... how can that be?  Six months since I last held my precious baby.  It stills seems like yesterday to me.  I guess that's good and bad.  Good, because I have such clear and vivid memories of Paige's three days on this earth and I don't want to lose those memories.  Bad, because the wounds are still fresh and they hurt so bad.  Many people tell me that the pain lessens as time goes on.  Granted it's only been six months since Paige went to be with Jesus, but it still hurts just as bad as it did when it happened.  I've learned to deal with my sadness and I'm getting used to this "ugly" new normal, but the pain is not getting any less.  The thing that hurts the worse is that I can't even imagine myself with a six month old right now.  Maybe because we never brought Paige home to our house, we never got to put her to bed in her own nursery, we never sat up late at night feeding her and changing endless diapers.  We never got to be normal new parents.  Don't get me wrong I would do ANYTHING to have Paige here today, seriously ANYTHING!  I'd give my own life for my little girl to be ok.  Although I want her here with me, it's still hard to imagine because I never got to do normal "mommy" things.  You know the saying "time flies when your having fun".... well I got news for you...  time flies even when you're heart hurts, life sucks, and you have hit rock bottom.  Life still flies.  It goes so quickly and Paige has taught her daddy and I to not take a single second for granted.  Each new day is a gift and nothing is gauranteed.  We treasure eachother, we treasure our familes, we treasure our friends and we treasure this new baby inside of me so much more than we ever dreamed possible.  Paige did not get to stay on earth for very long, but the lessons my baby girl taught us are endless, priceless and the kind of lessons that will last a lifetime.  Paige has forever changed us and for that we are grateful.  Today my baby girl is celebrating her 6 month birthday in Heaven with Jesus.  I bet they have the best birthday parties there.  I wish I could have a free day pass to Heaven to be with her today. 

Dear Jesus,
    Today is my baby girl's 6 month birthday.  Please hold her extra tight today, give her lots of love, shower her with presents, and tell her over and over again how much her mommy and daddy love her.  I know Paige is so very special otherwise you wouldn't of needed her in Heaven so quickly.  Her life has given us great joy and she has taught us so much about You.  Please take good care of our angel on her special day and always!


My Sweet Paige,

    Happy 6 month birthday sweetheart!  I bet you're growing so quickly and learning to do new many new things in Heaven.  I'm sorry we can't be there with you, but please know you are always in our hearts.  Not a second goes by that we don't think about you.  We talk about you everyday and we can't wait for your brother or sister to arrive so we can tell him/her all about you and how very special you are.  Paige, you have blessed us more than you can imagine and have given us so much joy.  We are so proud of you and so thankful that we were chosen to be your mommy and daddy.  We think it's such an honor.  You will always be our precious first child and you will never be replaced.  We love you with all our hearts and miss you so much! 

All our love,
Mommy & Daddy