Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lost for Words

I have been so lost for words lately.  That is so unlike me, I always have something to say.  I can't seem to wrap my finger around it or get a good grasp on my feelings and emotions right now.  I am feeling a lot of anxiety right now.  I am feeling so overwhelmed and scared about these last two months until Landon's arrival.  I'm so scared that something could go wrong.  I would love to believe that just because we had one horrible experience meant that we would be given a "free pass" this time around.  I know that's not the case.  Life happens and I can't control the outcome.  That' hard for me... to give away control of this little life growing inside of me.  I want to protect this precious boy so bad, but reality is that there are no guarantees.  We could feel heartache all over again.  I try not to think that way.  I want to be positive, but once hit with tragedy it's hard to believe that good will come again.  This weekend will be Paige's nine month birthday.  Nine months?  How is that possible?  I lost my sweet girl nine months ago.  As we approach the coming of her first birthday... I have this gut wrenching feeling inside.  I want it to be a celebration of our precious first born, but I am feeling so much pain right now.  It's random times when the grief train hits you.  It just lingers over me and eats away at my spirit.  Last night I sat looking at all of Paige's pictures and belongings.  It still doesn't seem real that we lost a child.   It's so hard to swallow that fact.  I keep thinking back to one year ago.  It was this same time of year that we were preparing for Paige's arrival.  We were painting the nursery pink and buying lots of cute girly clothes.  How much your life can change in a year!!!  That same nursery is now blue and in place of the little hair bows are little sneakers and ball caps.  We now are preparing for this little man to enter our world.  We are so thrilled and excited and blessed beyond belief, but that does not take away the pain of missing my daughter.  I want Paige to be here when her baby brother is born.  I would love to be that crazy mom running after two kids under one... they're my Irish twins!  I also realize that if Paige was here, there is a good chance that we wouldn't be blessed with Landon.  Paige made life possible for this sweet boy.  I know she had a hand in his creation.  So when my days start to fall part and the tears start flowing, I just remember that I continue to push forward, to hold my head high and to keep on going for my boys.  I know this is a lot of rambling, but like I said I'm sort of lost for words lately so tonight you just get a whole bunch of randomness.  I came across this poem and it truly sums up my feelings.  I love you sweet Paige, to the moon and back and as far as my arms can reach!

A heart of gold stopped beating,
Two shining eyes at rest.
God broke our hearts to prove,
He only takes the best.

God knows you had to leave us,
But you did not go alone.
For part of us went with you
The day He took you home.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dad Update

This week has proved to be a it challenging for dad.  With round two of chemo behind him dad is feeling the wrath of those heavy drugs.  Unfortunately, dad is very weak and tired.  He gets worn out very easily.  He has experienced a little nausea, but he has some good medicine to take care of that.  Dad has pretty much lost his appetite.  He said nothing tastes good to him.  He has lost a little weight due to the fact he jut doesn't feel like eating.  Last night he told me that even water has a bad taste.  Poor guy!  He remains a trooper and is fighting through it.  I know it is the love, support and prayers from all of you that will continue to carry dad through this challenging time and I bet the big man upstairs is helping out a bit too!  Please continue to pray for dad's strength and faith throughout the next few months.  We are praying for a complete recovery and to rid dad's body of cancer!  Dad's third round of chemotherapy is scheduled to start on October 7.  Keep praying!

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God..."

Psalm 46:10

Friday, September 23, 2011

28 Weeks

Where did this week go?  I feel as if I just typed my 27 week update last night.  I hope the next 11 weeks continue to go by just as quick!  Although this week has gone by pretty quickly I can honestly say that I am feeling the "aches and pains" of third trimester.  My tummy feels like it is being pulled in every which way and stretching like a rubber band.  I don't remember this pain with Paige, however, I carried Paige much differently.  With Paige I was carrying across my entire stomach and with Landon he is just popping straight out.  My tummy continues to grow quite a bit each week.  I told Pat last night that I think we have a big boy on our hands.  Only time will tell.  We already love this little boy so so so so MUCH.... big or small!   Come on December!!!

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 28 weeks
Size of baby: 14.8 inches and 2.9 pounds
Gender: A BOY!!! Landon Jordan Steinhoff
Maternity Clothes: Oh yeah! :)
Movement: He is moving quite a bit lately!  He's a pretty strong little man.
Sleep: Once I fall asleep, I'm golden.
Symptoms: Just a few aches and pains... I know he will be worth ever pain and symptom! :)
Cravings: If I see it, smell it, hear about it.... I want it!  It's pathetic!
Best moment this week: Feeling my little man!   

28 weeks!

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God..."

Psalm 46:10

Thursday, September 22, 2011

So Sweet!

I have to share the sweetest story about my niece Tatum who is 4 years old....

Once every six months I have to go clear off Paige's grave sight because the cemetery cleans out all the old stuff.  I do like that they keep the cemetery looking clean and they don't just let things pile up.  Anyways, last week was one of the cleaning weeks and so the Sunday before I went and took all of Paige's "things" off her site and have been hauling them around in the back of my car.  On Tuesday after work I went by the cemetery to put her things back and for a little visit.  I know that Paige is not really there, but for some reason being there makes me feel closer to her.  It's like she can hear me better if I talk to her there verses to talking to her anywhere else.  I'm weird, I know.  It's just how I feel.  So as I walked up to her site I noticed a little American flag in the ground right by her headstone.  Also, laying on the headstone was a sticker of Minnie Mouse with a rock on it so it wouldn't blow away.  I got a huge grin on my face and I just knew this had Tatum written all over it.  When I was through with my "visit" I got back in the car and immediately called my sis-in-law, Nickie (Tatum's mom), to see if by chance they had been to the cemetery.  She told me that they had.  She apologized for the American flag, she said she tried talking Tatum into leaving flowers but she insisted on the flag because she just recently learned the Pledge of Allegiance at school.  Ha!  So Tatum stuck the flag in the ground, put her hand over her heart and taught her baby cousin Paige the Pledge of Allegiance.  How stinkin' cute is that!  This next part just baffles me and the kindness of complete strangers is to be admired.  Earlier in the day Tatum received a Minnie Mouse sticker from the bank.  She had told her mom that she wanted to give it to Paige.  When they arrived at the cemetery there was a crew of men digging a hole next to Paige's site.  Yes, this means that another sweet baby has gone to heaven.  Breaks my heart that another mother and father have to feel the pain that I feel everyday.  Obviously, with an open hole they couldn't get too close.  They went into the gift shop for a bit (where Tatum picked out the American flag).  When they came back out the men had moved on and now a board was laying over the hole.  Tatum walked over slid the sticker under the board and told her mom.... "Paige should be able to crawl over and get it!"  :)  I just love how little minds think... so innocent!  Nickie said that the men who dug the hole saw her do this, but said nothing.  I'm assuming after they left they got the sticker out of the hole and placed it on Paige's headstone.  They must of put the rock on it so that it wouldn't fly away.  Now, this may seem so insignificant to many but to me it's the kindest, sweetest thing someone could do for my baby.  Those men knew that Tatum wanted Paige to have that sticker and so they took time out of their work day to make sure that happened.  Makes my heart smile!  Thank you Tatum for loving your baby Paige so much!

I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be restrained.

Job 42:2

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Round 2 Chemo - Complete

I just talked with my dad and he finished his second round of chemotherapy today.  He spent the afternoon at Siteman and had blood drawn, a small (but powerful) dosage of more chemotherapy and then they took off his small bag of chemotherapy that he has had since Friday.  Fortunately, he is feeling pretty well.  Keeping our fingers crossed, but no nausea yet!  The last dose of chemo that he received today must of been some powerful stuff because he said he has no sense of taste.. he said his taste buds are gone and when he eats everything is just bland... even spicy soup that he was having for dinner.  These medicines just amaze me!  Thanks to my Uncle Tom for spending the day with dad and taking him to Siteman... we all truly appreciate it! Now dad will start his 10 days of shots.  It's an ever going process... but if this process makes dad well and rids his body of cancer... then proceed on!  Thanks for your continued prayers!  Dad's next chemotherapy treatment is scheduled for October 7th.  He will get a PET scan before that treatment to see if the chemo is working.... please pray specifically for this!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

27 Weeks

Hello third trimester!!!!!!!!!   Two down, one to go!  Woo hoo!  Getting closer to my little handsome guys  debut!  Can. Not. Wait.  I seriously can't wait until that little man is in my arms, well, I can wait and I will because he still has some growing to do!  I went to the doctor this week, I am now going every two weeks, and Landon's heartbeat was good and strong.  Yay!  I also had my glucose test... yuck!  Hopefully, the results will be good and I won't have gestational diabetes.  I did not have it with Paige so I'm hoping just a year later I'm still in the clear.  I do like that I get to go to the doctor every two weeks now... a month between visits was just too long and I need more reassurance than that.  My doc probably thinks I'm a bit nuts, but he is wonderful and completely patient with my craziness.  Another week down.. what a blessing.. only 12 weeks to go! 

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 27 weeks--- Entering the 3rd trimester this week! :)
Size of baby: 14.4 inches and 2.3 pounds
Gender: A BOY!!! Landon Jordan Steinhoff
Maternity Clothes: Yes for all bottoms and still wearing a few non-maternity shirts if they are long enough!
Movement: His movements have been so much stronger and more frequent! I feel him moving positions all the time. Pat has felt him a lot lately as well.  It's getting to the point now where you can see my stomach move when he kicks real hard! 
 Love it!
Symptoms: It's getting hard to bend over and get up off the floor (I only have to sit on the floor at school during carpet time)  :)
Cravings: Just eating a lot of everything!
Best moment this week: Making it to the 3rd trimester! I hope it goes by real fast!

27 Weeks!
Please excuse the angle... my 7 year old niece took this picture :)

He will perfect that which concerns me.

Psalm 138:8

Friday, September 16, 2011

Round 2

Thank you so much for your prayers!  Dads's platelet levels jumped 12,000 over night and were at 111,000 today!  He was able to start his second chemotherpay treatment today and will come home with his little pack of chemo for the weekend.  We are so happy that he is still on the original treatment plan and chemotherapy could proceed as planned.  Please continue to pray for dad's strength and high spirits throughout this second round.  We never know what's to come with each treatment.....

“Because he loves Me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him..." 

Psalm 91:14

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Night Before Treatment (hopefully)

My dad is scheduled to begin his second round of chemotherapy tomorrow, hopefully this will take place.  While at the doctor today they discovered that his counts are at 99,000 and they need to be at 100,000 before treatment can begin.  Please say some prayers that his numbers rise before tomorrow... I know dad really wants to keep things rolling and stick to the plan.  The doctor is hopeful that his numbers will rise by tomorrow because on Tuesday his counts were at 95,000 and then today at 99,000.  Hopefully they just keep on rising to 100,000 by tomorrow morning.  (keeping our fingers crossed)  If they are not up that just means that chemo can't start tomorrow and will be pushed back to next week.  All we can do is pray and wait until tomorrow morning so we are asking that you pray right along with us.... Please Jesus bring those counts up to 100,000! 

I will update tomorrow afternoon!  Thanks for the prayers!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Knife to the Heart

I have a nightly ritual of checking my e-mail before I go to bed... I check my work e-mail, my personal e-mail and my "Paige's" e-mail for Paige's Pretties.  I do this every night!  Last night was no different... right before I went to bed I logged on to my computer and started the nightly routine.  Little did I know this would be a big mistake and cause me pretty much my entire nights sleep.  I was on my personal e-mail and of course like many I get a lot of junk e-mail.  Usually, I just erase most of it without even opening it, but last night one particular subject caught my eye.  Actually it caught my heart... it pulled and pulled on my heart... I had to open it even though I knew it would crumble me.  It did just that.  The subject read "Your 8 Month Old".  By this point the tip of the knife was in my heart.  Why is it that we dive in for more even though we know it's going to hurt so bad?  I opened the e-mail and it proceeded to describe what my 8 month old should be doing and what milestones she should be reaching.  I read every last word!  Why?  Not real sure, but the best I can say is that I was curious.  For some reason I wanted to know exactly what Paige would be doing if she were here.  The knife just got deeper and deeper.  Funny thing is...  I started to worry if she has reached these milestones in heaven or not.  Then I thought to myself... my little girl has gone way beyond these milestones.  I think back to how much I have relied on her over the past 8 months and she has come through for her mommy.  So no, I don't get to watch my baby girl reach all the important milestones but I do get to have the great comfort of knowing that she is doing wonderful things!  My heart just ached and once again my whole body just shook of pure desire to hold my baby girl.  It's a feeling I can't describe.  It's a horrible knot in my stomach, it's barely being able to breath, it's my heart pounding so hard that I can't stand it.  I cried myself to sleep and yet when I woke up my little girl worked her magic once more... she pulled me out of bed, reminded me of all the good in my life, she talked her baby brother into kicking real hard to remind me of the life inside of me, and she helped me put a smile on so that I could face the new day.  I did just that.  I faced the new day.  I faced it with a smile on my face because that is what Paige wants me to do.  Paige wants me to be happy... I feel that in my heart!

Dad update:  Dad will start his second round of chemotherapy this week on Friday.  He will have to go to the hospital tomorrow, Thursday and Friday for prep and blood draws.  Please keep him in your prayers this week! 

Happy are the people whose strength is in You...

Psalm 84:5

Sunday, September 11, 2011

H is for Hudson

This afternoon I helped give a baby shower for my good friend Tara and Landon's buddy Hudson!  Hudson is due 3 weeks before Landon!  It is a lot of fun being pregnant with such a great friend and I'm sure it will be even better to raise our little boys together.  Tara and I met in college.  We had all of our eduction classes together and pretty much became inseparable.  I can actually remember one day being in class where our conversation had pretty much everything to do with our futures... would we ever get married?  would we have babies?  what would our futures hold?  Funny thing is... Tara and her husband, Adam, got married two months before Pat and I and now only a few weeks a part we will both be having baby boys.  Crazy how life works out!  Here are a few pictures from Tara and Hudson's shower today...

This cute H hung on the front door.
The shower was at Tara's sis-in-law, Lyndsay's house!

This cute sign hung on the fireplace.
These fun tissue paper balls hung from the ceiling .
This is the adorable centerpiece Lyndsay put together!
Here are the 2 baby bumps!

Friday, September 9, 2011

26 Weeks

Another week down!  I am now 26 weeks with our sweet baby boy!  I can't believe that in 13 weeks Landon will be here!  (I will have a c-section at 39 weeks... don't worry I didn't forget how to count).  I can tell the third trimester is right around the corner because the days of feeling oh-so-good are behind me.  I feel like such a complainer but boy do my feet and back ache!  You all know that I gladly accept these pains and I'm not trying to be a whiner... I'm just simply stating the facts.  :)  There are some definite challenges that come along with pregnancy... all of which are TOTALLY worth it!  The nursery is coming along quite well, in fact tonight Pat put a second coat of blue paint on the walls and I painted the baseboards.  I hope to have the room all put back together and mostly decorated in a week or two (this may be wishful thinking because college football has started and my husband is a bit glued to the tv, but we'll see!) 

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 26 weeks
Size of baby: 14.2 inches and just about 2 pounds this week!
Gender: A BOY!!! Landon Jordan Steinhoff
Maternity Clothes: Just about everything I wear now is maternity.
Movement: I feel my sweet boy everyday.  Actually, he's kicking me as I type right now!  Feeling him move never gets old! Pat gets to feel him move quite a bit as well!
Sleep: As long as I have my pillows in the right spot, I am sleeping pretty well.
Symptoms: Feet and back pains.  Bending over is becoming an issue:)
Cravings: Nothing specific.  I'm kind of on a fruit smoothie kick. 
Best moment this week: Seeing the nursery coming together.... I just can't wait for it to be all finished!
26 Weeks!
...being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

100 +

This is my 104th post since I started this blog.  I planned on doing this post for my 100th post last week, but with life being a little crazy and updates on dad and Landon taking precedent, here I am now writing my 104th post.  Wow!  How my life has changed since I started this blog only a few short days after losing my sweet baby girl.  It had been suggested to me that I should journal through my grief and record my journey of healing.  I took it upon myself to take that journal and to go somewhat public with it on this blog.  This blog was definitely meant for me.  It was meant to be therapeutic.  It was meant to be a release of much pain, anger and sadness.  It was meant to be a way for me to heal after the loss of my daughter.  It's just an added plus if others can find comfort or strength from what I write.  I write the truth, I write my raw feelings and emotions, and I write what is on my heart.  As I sit and write tonight I can't help but think back to the past 8 months.  Before I sat down to write this post I went back through and reread every single post... all 103 of them.  I can't believe how my life has changed over this year. We were given a beautiful baby girl and then so quickly she was taken away.  We then struggled for months to get back on our feet and to have faith that God's plan was in action.  That plan came to light on April 10th when Pat and I found out we were pregnant with baby #2.  We still had heavy hearts grieving the loss of Paige, but getting out of bed was a little easier that day knowing that a new life was growing inside of me.  Since that day in April we have felt an enormous amount of anxiety as we prepare for the arrival of our son.  We've thought of every "what if" and "what could go wrong" and yet we know that it's out of our hands.  Our Lord has already wrote the life book of Landon and his little life is now in His hands.  Pat and I are just blessed enough to be Landon's parents.  Then came the devastating news most recently that my dad is battling lymphoma.  Another challenge, another bump in the road.... yet we will overcome this and somehow in the end it will only make us stronger.  As I reread through my posts that was the common thread... we will conquer, we will be stronger, we will have faith.  Life will throw us curve balls and yet we will overcome.  Together as a family, as friends, as one in Christ we will overcome.  Here's to 100 more posts about life, love and faith....  Thanks for taking this journey with me!

"The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD."

Job 1:21    

Friday, September 2, 2011

25 Weeks

I am now 25 weeks with this sweet baby boy!  Another week closer to his arrival! I went to the doctor this week to check in on our little guy and his heart sounded great and my belly is measuring just right.  Thank you Jesus!  Landon and I are both very excited because tomorrow his nursery will be painted thanks to daddy and Uncle Mike.  The green I had imagined did not quite work out.  It was too bold for out little nursery and our black furniture, so instead a nice calming light blue will be going on the walls tomorrow.  I will post pictures once we get it all finished. 

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 25 weeks
Size of baby: 13.6 inches and 1.10 lbs
Gender: A BOY!!! Landon Jordan Steinhoff
Maternity Clothes: Yes for the most part!
Movement: Landon kicks and moves quite a bit.  There is no rhyme or reason for his movement.  Some days he'll go nonstop and others he'll just give me a few taps here and there.  I love feeling him move around, it just warms my heart.
Sleep: Once I get to sleep, I'm good!
Symptoms: Achy feet and back, but thats to be expected.
What I miss: Being able to bend over with ease.  It's tough tying my students shoes.
Cravings: Nothing in-particular but the appetite is growing daily!
Best moment this week: Hearing that precious heartbeat.. it's always so reassuring! 
My ever growing belly at 25 weeks!

The LORD make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you...

Numbers 6:25

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Happy 8 Months Paige

Today would be my baby girl's 8 month birthday.  How is that possible?  How has 8 months passed by?  It's so hard to imagine what our life would be like with our precious baby... and that breaks my heart.  We look back at the past eight months and we are in awe of everything that has happened.  We've had highs and we've had lows, we've had days that I didn't think I would get through, we've had days of pure bliss (the day we found out we were expecting Paige's little brother), and we've had days that I just sit and think about my little girl.  It's become natural to talk about her and it just brightens my day when others bring her up.  Yes, I still have my moments when I just crawl into bed and weep and ache for my sweet Paige.  I don't think those moments will ever go away even after Landon is here.  Paige will always be our first child, our first love, and she has taken a large part of our hearts to heaven with her.  We will always long to have her here with us.  Today, on her eight month birthday we will remember our little girl and all the happiness she has brought to our lives! 

Sweet Paige, we love you with all our hearts!  You have brought so much love and joy to our lives.  We miss you so much and would do anything to have you here with us even if only for a day.  We haven't quite figured out how life has continued without you, but we know that you have helped us so much!  Jesus is awfully lucky to have you in heaven with him.  We are so proud of you and we are so thankful that we have you watching over our family.  We hope you have a wonderful eight month birthday in heaven... be sure to share the cake and ice cream with your friends. 

Love you sweet girl,
Mommy & Daddy