Finishing a nursery

When you have a loss, your world flips upside down. You have all these plans and then it’s gone in an instant. When you have a late loss, one where you’ve started making plans and buying things. Baby has a name and a bed. Clothes and maybe you’ve felt movement… that’s where it really fucks you up.

I’ve been through an early loss and a late loss, and I am by no means demeaning the grief and pain a mother feels with an early loss. I’m just saying, once you’ve felt your Baby move, and then delivered that baby alive knowing they are guaranteed to die, it really haunts every part of your being.

I never realized just how far that would go until today. Emma is 6 months and Ava has been gone for 18 months. Today, I finally finished the nursery. I finally made a permanent spot for our baby to be. A place for her clothes (they’ve been downstairs) and a place for her toys and books. I put decorations up and a picture of Emma and her daddy. There is always more to do, but she has a place.

Yes, I realize that some nurseries never get finished. I realize that many people forgo nurseries all together, and this may not seem monumental to many, but, it is. It is because I am constantly over thinking my every move and Emma’s every cough/sneeze/sniffle. I am always terrified that I will only get a short amount of time with Emma, and I vividly remember that pain with Ava, and I never got to see her grow this way.

Being a loss mom, I have a really hard time trusting even Eric with caring for Emma. I trust him with everything in my life, but I have really had to work at trusting that ANYONE is capable of keeping her alive, when some days I’m uncertain that I’m even qualified. Prior to losing Ava, I would have never thought twice about these things. I know Eric is a great Dad, uncle and cousin. He loves kids and although he doesn’t see it, he was meant to be a Daddy. But I have literally had to repeat to myself that he would NEVER allow anything to happen to Emma. That I don’t have to parent him also, because he is also her parent.

Now, I’m going to drink a glass of wine and relax while our little rainbow snoozes! This is the life I’ve imagined and having a finished nursery really is the cherry on the past 6 months 😍


The Birth of a New Beginning

Emma Kathleen Lemon

Born 9/10/17 at 9:58am

7lbs 4oz and 20″ long

My c section was scheduled for 9/23/17 but I was diagnosed with hypertension, causing my doctor to decide to move it up, before my hypertension turned into pre eclampsia. The night before I slept 5 1/2 hours and felt nauseous but ready. When we got to the hospital I felt more anxious. Once we were in the OR I just wanted to vomit. The epidural was painful but not as bad as expected, and finally it was go time!

Eric came in and they tried to get Emma out, but her head was stuck. My doctor thinks it was because of my cerclage, that she had less room. They used a “mighty vac” causing a bruise on her head

And there she was! Raising hell while I turned into a pile of tears. Eric was taking pictures and also couldn’t hold them back, the tears or the pictures. A nurse came in and said “do we have a boy or girl?” One of the doctors yells “boy” and I turn ghost white and then he says “oh I mean girl.” We would have been happy regardless, but Emma doesn’t sounds as good for a boy name.

She opened her eyes and daddy was right there. Happy to see him!!!!

In recovery we were asked about birth control… uhhhh no? Eric & I both did skin to skin and finally headed to our room. We had a lot of visitors that first day, and it scared me at first, but it was amazing to feel the love for our girl.

Emma had her blood sugar checked in recovery and it was low, at 36, so we had to supplement with formula from the start. I try not to feed her too many of the bottles because I want her to associate me with breast milk. I noticed early on that she has a severe tongue tie and heart shaped tongue. She is still breastfeeding when I use a nipple shield, but is only getting colostrum until my milk comes in.

After that, it’s just been adjusting. We came home 50 hours after Emma was born. I’m 99% sure I pulled a muscle in my back…. ouch!!!!

I am absolutely awe struck. This is our baby. Our living, take home, rainbow baby 😍 I have felt like Ava was part of the pregnancy since day one, and I still think that she is still very much part of why her sister is here. Today, our family is complete


Leading up to… and a name change!

I first want to address our name change. As we have now brought two children into the world, Ava, who only lived moments, and now Emma… I felt a name change was necessary.

I need to discuss the intense emotions that went along with knowing Emma would be born 2 days after Ava’s first birthday. I was anxious, sad, excited, terrified… there was really no emotion I didn’t experience in the past week. On Friday, Ava’s Birthday, Eric and I went on a date. We celebrated Ava, Emma and the last of our “married without children” life.

But it’s really difficult to celebrate our living child without mourning our first baby. Since Emma arrived I’ve been asked

“Is she worth everything you went through”

She’s worth every needle, every snow covered road we drove in PA, every terrifying trip to the ER! But, I can’t just say that she’s worth losing Ava. I know the two events are very directly related, but it just isn’t something a loss mom can say!

So without any further ramblings…. I’ll start drafting Emma’s birth story.


Is this reality?

Today is our baby shower, did I really say OUR? As in, a shower celebrating OUR Baby Bean, OUR pregnancy, never did I think this day would come. To be honest, I almost didn't allow it to happen. I kept telling everyone I didn't want a shower because I was scared I'd jinx myself or something would happen, but here I am, unable to sleep much last night, taking a break from washing dishes to write a blog about the emotions I'm feeling.

First and foremost, I feel unsure, like this is surreal and it's not actually for me. I feel so crazy for even thinking that way but how could this possibly be for a baby in my body?

I'm anxious, of course. I have dreamt every night that my water will break at the shower. You'd think that would make me pack my hospital bag, but not so much 😬 I just feel so many different forms of anxiety and I'm a mess because of it.

Mostly, I am unconditionally grateful! For our families and friends that have come together to show how loved Emma and Ava are and how excited they are for our baby to be born and for us to journey into parenthood.

I have made it to 33 weeks, 4 weeks from "term" and 6 weeks from the time frame my doctors want to deliver. I am in shock that we're here, we've made it!

Thanks for listening to me endlessly ramble. I haven't decided what comes next, so I continue a life as a mom blog? Follow our breastfeeding/cloth diapering life in the future? End it with a birth announcement? 🤷🏼‍♀️ I guess we'll see!


Nearing the end of life as we know it

For years I have pictured my life and played many scenarios in my head. I could never just say "when we're in our 50s and our kids are coming home for Christmas" without also thinking "when we're 50 and sitting on the beach alone for Christmas, because we never had kids." My life had been so in the air but in so many ways, still extremely stable, because of the man who chose to marry me, that I always considered all the options.

When we lost Ava, after finally beginning to grieve, I began to grieve the loss of my marriage also. I was so sure that Eric would leave and so would have to re think every life plan, without kids, and without my best friend. I cried to him often because I was terrified that it was bound to happen, and my heart couldn't take anymore loss. But, always the committed and stable man he is, he never wavered, and even pushed me forward when I was ready to quit.

I'm in the final stages of my pregnancy with Ava's little sister, Emma. It's funny how quickly Eric chooses names for our babies and how easily I agree to them, but I love our girls' names. I'm getting anxious about all of the normal things, like sleeping and feeding and germs… but I'm also anxious about the huge life change we're about to go through. When you lose a baby, you don't have time to think, you just act. You act in whatever way eases the pain for a moment, or sometimes, whatever way brings it all to the surface.

This time, we're bringing a baby home, and I worry about my marriage, still. I worry that we won't be on the same page, that the stress will get to us, that I pushed for babies and maybe Eric really didn't want them. I worry that I didn't play out the possible scenario of splitting time with our child(ren) and therefor missing things. I know we're strong and have made it through things many couples would never see the other side of, so I am hopeful, but being "just the two of us" for 8 years, adding another human is SCARY!

For now, I'm trying to focus on Emma. We have 8 weeks or less until she arrives, and my head is filled with her little face. I cannot wait to hold our baby and know she's coming home alive. It's funny, I have all these plans and different ideas for how I want to parent, but I feel like my brain will turn to mush the moment I'm holding OUR rainbow, and hearing her cry for me, for us, her PARENTS.

Thanks for listening to me babble all this time. I am in so many ways at a loss for coherent thoughts. I just can't believe this is our life. This is our life after beating infertility, after losing our baby… it hurts that this is life AFTER Ava, but in some ways, I feel like she has been here for every step of the process since she took her last breathe. 💜

Maybe I should consider a new blog title once Emma is home? 🤷🏼‍♀️


When loss is all you know

We’re 29 1/2 weeks into this pregnancy and I am LOSING MY DAMN MIND! Who knew, after everything we have been through, and every tear we have shed, that the reality of bringing a baby home would be so terrifying!?! 

Let me explain, because I know I sound like a nut case. 

When I had Ava, everything happened so quickly, we had no warnings, there was nothing that could stop what was happening, and there was no “correct” course of action to cope. I felt every raw emotion and handled every day, or sometimes every minute, to the best of my ability, but I was able to be selfish. Looking back I’m not sure how I pushed to the “other side” or how I kept myself from becoming a bitter, awful person. 

Now, with Emma coming in 7-9 weeks (holy shit single digits) my mind is racing! What if I’m really not cut out for this? What if we mess it all up? What if she feels one day that she was our “make up” baby? How do I juggle the overpowering joy I feel to being our baby home, while dealing with the pain that we already brought a baby home, just in an urn?! 

It’s very painful for me, when I realize I missed all of this with Ava. I never saw her movements, felt her hiccups or felt her roll in my stomach. I never saw an ultrasound image of her hair; because it didn’t get the chance to grow and she never had a take home outfit planned for her. The items that were purchased or given to Ava have so easily been passed on to her sister, which hurts in some ways, and heals in others. 

This week I will pack my hospital bag. I will write down my birth plan, which is pretty simple, and I will continue to work on the nursery. I’m sure I will continue having days where grief overcomes me and I feel guilty for loving Emma so much already, but I am trying to give myself grace, as I haven’t lost any love for Ava. 

Below, I posted pictures of both my girls’ feet. Ava at 21w1d gestation and Emma at 29w2d gestation. I’d love to do a picture that is similar for Emma and hang them both up, I love their little toes ❀️


When you look back at your lifeΒ 

It’s been a LONG LONG LONG 15-16 months! A miscarriage, the loss of our first daughter, a negative transfer and now 16 weeks pregnant with our second daughter! Baby girl is doing great so far! 

Now it’s time to start to clear out some of our clutter and move forward with life. Infertility is part of our story but not what defines us, and our journey to our 🌈 is such a dark but beautiful story! These pictures briefly sum up our journey… and the pain my body has been through physically for our babies. 

Now to get through at least 16 more weeks and bring our baby girl home 😍😍