Skip to content

country vanilla ice cream

4 eggs

2 1/4 c sugar

4 c milks (5 if you have a bigger churn)

4 c heavy cream

4 1/2 tsp vanilla  (1 tblspn 1/2)

1/2 tsp salt

add sugar grad to beaten eggs, continue to beat until mixture is stiff

add remaining ingreds. Mix thouroughly. Add the whipping cream, put that in the canister and then add the milk and stir in.

Pour into the gallon freezer unit and freeze as direction.

Put a pint of water in the bottom, later of ice, then 1/3 cup rock salt. continue with the layers of ice and rock salt until it’s filled to the top.

churn until frozen.

It’s been a month but who other than me is counting

its officially one month post DNC and I wish that I could say I was fully at ease. I’ve gotten better at crying over the loss and I think I might have made it almost a business week without crying at some point isn’t the day. I’ll take the little wins right now.

I think it hit me the hardest last night when doing the final edits on a work related slide deck. I had a slide that I had prepared in early March that referencd my bump and I lost it in the hotel room. The great news is that I’ve gotten good with makeup so I’m 99%certain that no one other than me knew that cried for hours on end last night.

I’m struggling because I don’t want the hurt to go away and pretend the last month wasn’t real, but between work and coping I haven’t figured it all out yet. I just want that perfectly healthy baby that all the genetic testing told me we had. 

My Miscarriage Memorial Garden

Remember My Lost Babies

On Saturday, March 21st I had one mission and it was that I wanted to find a beautiful and perfect little pot to use as a memorial garden. Since Overlake Hospital wouldn’t allow us the ashes or remains of the baby, I wanted something to use as a memorial — gone but in our hearts and not forgotten. Now that we’ve lost a second little one I wanted to acknowledge both the unknown gender first baby lost and our little girl from this last weekend.
I walked around Molbacks looking at the entire selection of pots and found a beautiful pot that was light blue with traces of pink and purple in the ribbed edges. It was exactly what I was looking for — not overly girly and something not too big and monstrous that we can take it with us wherever we move to. 🙂 So here it is:

WP_20150327_18_23_13_Pro
Light purple tulips in the middle, surrounded by voilets, and button daisies. After the tulips bloom and fade we’re going to put a light pink begonia in the center of the pot. 🙂

What’s in a Name?

Last weekend one of the things I was struggling with was do we name our lost baby and what name do we give it. For 8 weeks I rotated between talking to the baby in my belly by calling it Peanut, Roy and Hazel. Do we stick with the names that we had been calling the baby ourselves and save them for our hopeful next surviving baby? Is it horrible of me to even think that? I know that its not a “lost” name, but its a name that we won’t get to call out and talk about on a regular basis.
Jason has always said that if we have a little boy he wants to name him Roy to honor his Grandfather who was a pivotal male figure for him growing up. I’ve had a long long long list of girl names over the years everything from a good strong German name like Wiebke or Elke, to Tabitha, Madeleine, Franziska, Elsa… I could go on and on for little girls. Right around the time we moved back to Washington in 2013, we lost my Grandma Hazel Louise. While my grandma never fell in love with the name Hazel, I’ve liked it and thought it would be a cute name for a spunky little girl full of sugar and spice. So with that in mind I’d been calling my little bump Hazel just in case it was a girl and not a little boy like Jason was thinking it was. The biggest question for me was do we stick with the original chosen names?
The answer I kept on coming back to was Yes. I’ve been calling her Hazel for the last 8 weeks and it seems odd to write a different name down on the memorial board that I was creating just so I could use Hazel for another daughter at a later point in time. We had been searching middle names for names that meant something specific and I fell in love with MAE as a derivation of Mary which means “WISHED FOR CHILD”. I couldn’t have choose a better name since we have been praying and wishing for a little baby for the last 5 years. MAE or MARY or MOIRA a wished for child.
Then the question came up as what do we call the little one that we lost in May of 2013? We didn’t know if it was a boy or girl. Jason liked the idea of Angel because in Spanish it can be a boy or in English is it is a little girl and so Angel it is.

Does this help with grieving? For me it has. I don’t know if we should or should not do a “blessing” but giving her a name and putting something I can see together to remember her is a start. I’ll never be happy that we lost her. I’m struggling with praying for thanks right now because I’m not thankful at this moment in time. I know that will change. I’m ready to hear from the geneticist if they can figure out what went wrong or why her heart stopped. God wanted her to be with him, and someday I’ll get to meet her. For now I’m accepting the change and trying to smile and remember to be greatful for what we do have, which is a lot. I am accepting that the changes that I was ready for will not be happening YET, but with luck and prayer I’m hoping that they will happen. I’m ready for that next phase of life. Was I sad that I couldn’t have beer, wine or coffee? No. I had a glass of wine with dinner last night and it tasted like sweet syrup after not having any for such a long time. It’s been hard to go back and think of what we’ll be doing now this summer since I had already started to prepare for everything we’d need to do to prepare for the baby. This summer was going to be full of birthing classes, baby showers, getting the baby room ready, the mind numbing task of choosing baby seats and baby strollers, preparing the pups for the new arrival… I had already decided to not sign up for any races other than a few 5K’s which I would decide day of race if I would run. But now, plans have changed and I dont’ know what I’ll be doing other than trying to get pregnant again, hoping and praying that this time it doesn’t take another 19 months for the opportunity to be parents again.

Post D&C Follow-Up

It’s been a week since my D&C and the loss of my (our) baby girl. I’m doing slightly better than I would have expected a week ago. It’s still tough and it’s still hard for me to acknowledge the sense of loss. I’m doing my best to get back to “normal” and moving forward — life moves on — By Tuesday and Wednesday I was smiling again.

The Weekend

Day 1 & 2: I took it fairly easy and rested. My body felt fine — little-to-no pain, no cramping, no soreness. I followed doctors orders and mainly rested and refrained from much physical activity. After reading dozens of posts about what to expect post D&C I was expecting a decent amount of bleeding and spotting, but I experienced almost none. I had very minimal spotting Friday night as I left the hospital and went home, but over the weekend there was none. I’m not sure if that’s normal or not.

What I did do over the weekend was took a trip to Molbacks to buy a planter to make a memorial garden for our lost babies. Since I won’t receive the cremated body back for any sort of service I wanted something to have as my own little memorial for them. We found a nice light blue with purple and pink planter that looks great with the purple tulips and pink begonias we’ve received from friends and family. I added some light purople violets, and pink and white british button daisies into the flower pot and once we decide on names I’m going to put up a little angels sign in the pot. 🙂 It was more therapeutic than I imagined it would be. Now I just have to decide on the name! Another hard decision. We’d been rotating calling the baby Peanut, Roy or Hazel depending on the day and our guess if it was a little he or she.

Unfortunatly I had to make a decision between taking Monday off as a PTO day (which means fewer vacation days later in the year when I know that I’ll want a break) or going into the office and working. I made the decision to go back to work on Monday instead of staying at home and resting. I sit all day anyways– it’s not like I have a physical job.

Monday

Day 3: I gave myself the goal of trying to make 2-3 hours without crying once I made it into the office, and I did, however lose it while we were praying on the way into the office. I’m having a hard time attempting to be grateful in prayer when my heart is angry and crying out “WHY?!?!?!” I am thankful for all of the other blessings in my life and there are so many blessing; but it’s something I’m going to be struggling with for a while.
It was a struggle to try to smile with birthday well wishes and answering questions about how my weekend was when I did just want to cry. I think I did an okay job of holding back tears and just smiling and nodding through discussions.
For some odd reason cramps decided to make their first appearance about half way through the day. No spotting, no bleeding. Just mind numbing cramps coming and going every 10-15 minutes lasting anywhere from 15-45 seconds. Lucky me, since I hadn’t needed the extra strength Ibuprofen all weekend, I just left it at home. *DURGH* *HEAD SLAP* The afternoon lasted forever while waiting to leave to get my Ibuprofen. Lesson learned — take a pill with you that way if you don’t need it you still have it, and if you need it… it’s there!
Things I recommend for others post D&C: As soon as the cramps start take the Ibuprofen. It helps! Second, if you can, have a very hot hot water bottle handy. Setting it directly on the belly helped alleviate the cramps.

Tuesday – Friday

The rest of the week was more of the same. The cramps got worse and worse each day lasting longer throughout the day. Again I’m not sure if this is normal or not. I found that by Wednesday it’s easier to just take the Ibuprofen every 6 hours as directed on the label — because I could identify within 20 minutes when it had worn off due to the cramps intensifying. Hot water bottles for the belly and the back are currently standard as soon as I get home and when I go to bed. On Thursday night the cramps intesified to the point of me waiting up at 2 am with very severe pain and not being able to get back to sleep until 5 am due to the frequency and intensity of the cramps. Yay, fun stuff. I’ve still not had any spotting or bleeding. I would expect with the cramps that I should have something, but instead it’s been nada.
I guess one thing to call out: On Wednesday I decided to give a workout a try. I was working from home and decided to run to Crossfit to meet up with Jason. I can tell that my abdominal region is sore — when I started running it took a few hundred yards for each step to not feel tender. Once a I made it to the bottom of the power trail hill and onto the Sammamish River Trail the tenderness subsided and I stuck to a constant 9 minute mile for the 2 mile jog into ACUO Crossfit. I decided not to do the WOD with the group, but did some light weight Kettlebell squats to cool down. It felt good to workout, and the cramps subsided while I was working out, which was a nice distraction. 🙂

I’ve got my post-op visit next Monday. Maybe then I’ll find out if the fact I’ve had no bleeding or spotting since Friday night is normal. I’m not sure when the cramping will subside — but I’m looking forward to them going away. I’ve still got a swollen / bloated belly, so I’m interested to know when the swelling will go down. I’ve been wearing skirts all week because it’s hurting to wear jeans tight against the belly.

***Follow-Up 4/13/2015***

So it’s been a month and I had my final doctor visit a few weeks back. The cramping coming later after the DNC was evidently normal, and it lasted a little over a week and then magically overnight it went away. The swollen/bloated belly also went away a little over 8-9 days after the surgery.
What did the doctors have to say with the Keryotyping? Well, we had a pefectly healthy little baby who for some reason they will never be able to answer had her heart stop. It saddens me to not know why or have an answer.

Week 14: The D&C; the day I accepted the loss of my baby

My miracle didn’t happen, and I’m okay with that. I had such a huge outpouring of love and prayers from family and friends over the last 24 hours and I am so grateful and blessed.

My experience with getting a dilation and curettage – a D&C

I would be lying if I didn’t say that today was not an emotional roller coaster. In the morning while waiting for my OBGYN to call back and confirm appointment times I was up and down with the emotions of “will this or won’t this happen” and when. Dr Copeland confirmed what she said yesterday that there was still no heartbeat… and my body started to confirm the prognosis as well with cramping around 8 am and then cramps were coming and going fairly strong throughout the morning. Dr Copeland was going to schedule the procedure for Monday, but she realized it was my birthday she re-adjusted the afternoon schedule and Overlake Hospital was able to squeeze me in at 3 pm, but I had to be at the hospital by 1 pm.

I’m going to take a quick break… for an educational update for future reference and for potential other mom’s who have found my blog.

A quick aside/advice if you are going to have a D&C

Instead of me explaining what the process is read about it from the MayoClinic here: What is a D&C.
A quick aside for other Mom’s out there who might have found my blog and are reading about others experiences. If you believe that you are going to have a D&C or surgery — NOTHING can pass your lips (food, water, vitamins, NOTHING) for 8 hours before the surgery. They might reschedule if you’ve even just had water. What they will do for you as they did for me is I was dehydrated from all of the crying from the past day that they automatically started an IV to get me hydrated.

Another aside… The scary thing I learned today about D&C:

Part of the hardest thing about going in for a D&C is the terminology that is used at the hospital. I was horrified as I read the paperwork calling the D&C an abortion. My OBGYN, Dr Copeland, held my hand as she read through and explained the paperwork and the process. Anything removing fetal or embryonic tissue from the uterus is medically considered an abortion — and something I didn’t know is that I discovered in my charts was that they had written I had a spontaneous abortion in May 2013. The fact that my body did the work instead of a D&C is considered a “spontaneous abortion.” If in 2014 any embryonic elements had remained then it would have been a partial spontaneous abortion, performed by my body. At Week 14 you are far enough along that they don’t recommend that you wait for your body to do the work due to risk of infection and potential for the body to not dilate enough. If you’re a Mom whose had a miscarriage and has to go through the process of a D&C, keep strong. The terminology is sad and scary.

The other saddest part to a D&C

I think my medical team was completely shocked by two questions I asked.

  1. Can I see my baby after the D&C… I know she is tiny and it doesn’t look like a baby but she is mine.
  2. I know that we’re doign the D&C so they can do genetic and chromosome testing. What do they do with the remains afterwared and may I have them back.

I wasn’t a fan to either response. Multiple doctors my beloved OBGYN as well strongly recommend against seeing the baby post D&C. Because she stopped developing somehwere between late week 9 and 10, they kept on telling me that she doesn’t look like an actual baby yet. That she is tiny, tiny, tiny. That even though she made it past embryo phase, that she just looks like a tiny mass of tissue. I understand this, but my heart aches and longs to see her. I am assuming that based off of their adamant disagreement to let me see her, that the D&C actually does a ton of damange during the scraping out process so it makes it even worse. That is the only thing I can think of.
The second question and call me crazy, but for me some of the closure I want is through a church blessing or something to bury. I spent the awake hours of last night wondering if I should call my minister for a blessing since they destroy the tissue as soon as the genetic testing has been done. It hurts my heart just as much to know that the medical disposal of “sample tissue” as they put it is that it will be burned with all other sample tissue the day that they take the sample. I know that she wasn’t born, but for my closure I’m so envious of the parents who get to have something a memorial or a burial or just anything. A couple from our previous Small Group stopped by while I was still in the hospital and dropped off a tulip plant last night and that is the closest i’m going to get for a remembrance or memorial. That tulip is getting one heck of a nice pot and it’s coming with me for a very very long time. I don’t know about you, but this is also a really hard part of this process for me.

Getting back to my D&C experience

The nurses and hospital staff at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue were amazing. And by amazing, I mean compassionate, empathetic, and willing to take time to say words of comfort me about how they knew I didn’t want to be in the outpatient surgery ward today, but that they would try to make it the best experience possible. I had quite a few ups and downs and despite attempting not to cry while at the hospital– I’ll admit to having tears coming down unchecked as they walked me from the admittance table to the outpatient surgery ward. (As well as when they put the IV in — because it got real, that it was really happening and that my journey toward being a mother, again, is over for now.) What got me the most is that this is the hospital I expected to deliver at. My girlfriend, Kelly, (who introduced me to my OBGYN Dr Copeland at the Bellevue Womens Center and who I love to death and will never see another OBGYN while I live in Seattle), had delivered here and I was in the same building as deliveries, just two floors down. I had envisioned coming here and being admitted to the Maternity Ward that it was a double edge sword to come to this building for them to remove my baby who was still inside me, but passed away.

I had asked to be put fully under. In May of last year I was having some bleeding issues and my OBGYN did a biopsy of my uterian tissue and all I can say politely is that it hurt like a MoFo — and they didn’t have dilate me for that procedure — it was just a tiny instrument that went into the uterus.
I remember being wheeled into the surgery room. I could feel being knocked out, and then I woke up about an hour and a half later in the recovery room. I’m not sure why it was so much later. I was told it would be a 15-30 minute procedure and I’ll have to ask my doctor in the follow up appointment next week, but it was over. I had minor cramping and they gave me a little more pain killers before moving me back to my original room. By 6 pm I had been checked out of Overlake and Jason was driving me home.

I’ve had some minor cramping and light bleeding since the procedure, but I’m not in pain and other than being sad it’s not as bad as I was expecting.

I was starving and wanted to eat right away. So we stopped and got soup and breadsticks… and I had no issues eating.

I’m a bit sore in my mid-section. Especially sore if my puppies attempt to sit on my belly. I’ve been home for the last several hours and am not in pain as I stand up or sit down. Maybe this isn’t normal — but it isn’t as bad as some of the stories I’ve read online.

I’ll update the post with how I progress over the next several days. I’ve got my post-op check up toward the end of the week next week and I’ll let ya’ll know how I’m feeling. I’m expecting there to be ups and downs and to be a hormonal mess for the next week. So if you are my co-workers reading this, I’m sorry in advanced if I break down in tears for no reason. If you’re a member of ACUO I’m going to be out for a few days or a week or so. My community and friends and family, thank you in advanced for your love and hugs and acceptance. I might not be ready to talk yet, so please be patient.

Week 14: The Worst News Expected

I have been waiting for Thursday for the last two weeks. Everyday has been a countdown to Thursday at 4 pm, because it is when we finally get the chance to see our little boy/girl through the belly ultrasound. It’s all I could think about to see the cute 10 little fingers, 10 little toes, little and tiny, perfect.
Unfortunately that’s not how the ultra sound went.
As I laid on the table the ultra sound tech was struggling to get the baby into view on the machine. She was pushing and pushing and the views didn’t look right. The baby was so so small and what made my heart sink the most. The baby wasn’t moving. She did her best to remain professional and mention that she just needed another angle with the cross-vaginal ultrasound wand to get the measurements but as soon as I saw the size measurements under week 10 during the initial ultra sound my heart dropped. Something isn’t and wasn’t right. She tried to remain up beat and asked me to wait while she went and got my doctor.
Jason did amazing standing there holding my hand trying to reassure me that it didn’t mean anything and to not cry — but our fears were confirmed 5 minutes later during the cross vaginal ultrasound.

There was no heartbeat.

The chromosome and genetic testing from earlier in the month confirmed that it was a little girl. No abnormalities from the tests they had run. Perfect with little hands and feet. Just oh so tiny and much smaller than she should have been. No heart beat. She’s already in heaven with her little brother or sister from 2 years ago.

The conversation changed dramatically from hope to next steps and options. The rest of the evening is just a crying blur as is much of last night and early this morning.

We are going back into the doctor this morning. While I’m hoping and praying for a miracle, that the ultrasounds were wrong and the measurements are off.. that my little girl is still with us…

I don’t want to end this on such a sad note. My heart is aching and crying out for comfort, but I know that God is with us. I don’t know his plan, and I’m very sad that we aren’t going to get the chance to meet our little girl. In a way I wish I were angry and that I had something to blame, but I’m not. I’m filled with grief for the daughter I won’t get the opportunity to raise and watch grow. BUT I’m hopeful for another chance and opportunity in the future.

I’ve been lying in bed with tears in my eyes and my heart keeps on coming back to a sermon that pastor mike taught several years back talking about blessing. I remember chuckling along with the crowd as he made a reference to individuals singing along to Matt Redmond’s Blessed Be Your Name and when people get to the lyrics “You Give and Take Away” that people don’t want to sing you take away.

While she is gone. I do want sing blessings. In December the doctors told us that we couldn’t get pregnant — 4 weeks later I was pregnant. While we won’t get to meet her in this life it was a blessing. I’m hoping and praying that someday I can come to full term with a pregnancy so that Jason and I get the opportunity to be parents. We have been so blessed in many other ways. I want to leave with that word of encouragement. Count your blessings. While one blessing is gone, God has blessed us all in so many ways…. and if you see me, and my eyes are red and swollen just give me a hug.

Week 12: Pregnancy Journals

Well, the first trimester is over. I’ve heard that morning sickness should be on the way out but unfortunately it’s still in full swing. The good news is that I’ve started to figure out how to manage the sick feelings. Once I start to feel like I’m going to throw up I’ll eat some almonds, cheddar cheese, or ginger chews and the feelings typically subside for at least a few more hours. I just have to keep nuts cheese and ginger handy. 🙂

The biggest change this week is that I’ve developed food aversions to red meat. This makes me sad. I like red meat. We eat red meat 2-3x per week. On Wednesday I cooked up some flank iron steaks that had been marinating in my hatch chile and tomatillo salsa and I couldn’t stomach the taste of the meat. Meat just tasted horrible and made me start to feel sick to my stomach. Then again on Friday I attempted to eat some little steak appetizers and I had the same reaction. Noooo. It looks like I’ll be steering clear of red meat for a little while.

We’re so excited for our next doctors appointment to see our little peanut on the ultrasound again. 🙂 It’s been 2 weeks since our last ultrasound, seen above, and it feels like forever!