Being a mom was hard well before the pandemic but being a mom now is even harder. I can only speak from a stay at home mom perspective because that’s my life right now. I can’t imagine trying to also teach during this past year. Being a pregnant stay at home mom with sever anxiety has made this past year very hard!
When I was pregnant with Caelan I was sick and exhausted for 34 weeks out of my 39 weeks of pregnancy. Dan was gone and I stayed in bed most of the 9 months I was pregnant. I delivered Cae in March right when the States began shutting everything down. After having him we were stuck at home for months until we left for Germany. Finn left school and never returned before we left. We arrive in Germany and had to quarantine for two weeks. Finally, get a house and our things arrive and I begin to get excited to get out and meet other moms and begin socializing. Then boom! Shutdown again! Oh and surprise we are expecting again. Finn home from school for the foreseeable future. Pregnancy hormones. Caelan having skull surgery and still not sleeping. Cold and snowy. Home alone with the kids every day. Can’t go anywhere. Can’t see anyone. We go get groceries once a week and that all the time we get out of the house. Dan goes to work every other week and honestly I’m jealous. He gets to interact with people. Adult people.
My days have begun to blur together. Same thing everyday for months. I’m mentally and physically exhausted. I know I’m not the only one! This shutdown has taken its toll on everyone. Anyone who says they have made it almost a year without being affected is lying! The isolation alone is killer. For someone like me the anxiety drives me crazy. I can’t be the only one ready to absolutely lose their mind!
My days consist of no sleep, having one kid talk nonstop for hours while trying to complete school work, one that cannot be away from me for a second, laundry (because the washer is so small and never ending), make dinner, get kids to bed, go to bed, up constantly with the baby or peeing because pregnancy! The only adults I talk to are my husband, parents and in-laws. We didn’t get the opportunity to make many friends here so there is no one to talk to. Do you know how lonely it is to have no one to talk to? I have my kids yes but that’s not a conversation. I have my husband when he gets home. But no one to call and chat with while I drink my coffee. I can’t meet up with woman I walked with when I arrived because families aren’t allowed to get together and the kids have school all day. It’s just me and my thoughts. I don’t even want to imagine what the elderly must feel like. I have small children so I have a reason to get up and function everyday. But not everyone has a reason to get up. Yesterday I couldn’t stop crying because I was so alone and exhausted. My husband asked what he could do to help but…there is nothing much he can do when we can’t leave the house. We can’t even go to the bigger villages to walk around. Everything is closed and only one person from a family is allowed out and now must have a medical mask on or you will me fined. I feel like a caged bird locked in a dark room. Everyone keeps saying it will all pass now that there is a vaccine out but right now I’m not seeing an end. I’m seeing myself slowly lose my sanity one sleepless night at a time. I spent hours crying last night because I feel so lonely. Normally I pretend I’m fine and have it together for my family and cry when no one else is around. But everyone saw me cry multiple times yesterday. This year has been tough on me as well as everyone else I’m sure. I know I’m not alone in this but I feel very alone as I’m sure many other people do.
I’ve had my anxiety under control for the past few months. But this week has been one panic attack after another. I can’t sleep even when Cae gets a good hour or two. I can’t shut my brain off to every thought or concern. I worry what the next few months will be like. What it will be like with another baby in the house. Delivering once again during this pandemic but this time in a forgin country with nurses who don’t speak English. Will our families be able to visit us at all? Is this going to last another year? Is Finn going to miss another year of school? How will this affect him in the long run? How can we socialize without socializing? Can we even go to parks in the summer? Will I have a breakdown if this continues? How do I get me time when I’m stuck inside with 3 other people?
Pray for your friends and family with mental disorders. Depression. Anxiety. PTSD. OCD. Bipolar. I can tell you they are struggling right now during this pandemic. Breakdowns and suicide are at an all time high. Pray for your stay at home moms. They are feeling isolated and alone. I know some states are still open and not shutdown like we are over here. If you’re a SAHM make sure you get out and about. **If you can of course.** Go to your favorite stores. Treat yourself to lunch. Get your hair or nails done. Taking a shower is not gonna do it. Drinking a cup of coffee while the kids run around and scream is not you time. If you can read a book. Watch a favorite show.
Get. Your. You. Time. Momma!
I’m going to spend this weekend figuring out what I can do each day to get some peace in my mind. I encourage you to do the same. We can do this together.
If you’re struggling make sure you reach out to someone. Talk to a friend or a parent. Reach out to me if you need! I don’t sleep so it’s very likely I’ll respond. We can talk about how this year has sucked but also what we hope for the future.
I have no doubt things will get easier but right now it sucks. And it’s okay to say it all sucks. Don’t let others tell you to always be positive because sometimes things suck and pretending they don’t doesn’t help. Pretending everything is fine for the sake of my family is what has brought me to my peak. I couldn’t hold in all my fears, stresses and worries any longer. I had to acknowledge it. But also don’t dwell on it all.
Parents look forward to having their kids go back to school after the holidays. But once again we are back to distance learning.
Distance learning was easier when we didn’t have a loud 10 month old crawling around making pterodactyl sounds. Mix in the husband working from home every other week. Add in a pregnant, sleep deprived momma and we have quiet the interesting environment. Germany had extended their lockdown until the end of the month which sucks but we just heard that they are considering another 8-10 weeks after the end of the month.
So let’s talk about this momma going stir crazy! I enjoyed when Dan went to work and Finn was at school. It left me and Cae to do our own thing and mostly I could get quiet me time while Cae napped. But now I’m playing entertainer with Finn while Cae naps and trying to keep one or both kids somewhat quiet while video conferences or meeting are happening. Someone is always needing me when I try to get a moment to myself. On the rare occasion someone doesn’t need me I’m extremely exhausted or throwing up because pregnancy is a thrill ride. We are also still unpacking. 🤦🏼♀️ We are just about done and honestly it’s just those last few random boxes we can’t do much with because we have nowhere to put it’s contents. Oh, I’m doing this all without…coffee. No coffee because apparently my pregnant body has decided coffee taste just like burnt dirt. I still enjoy the smell of it just can’t drink more than a sip or two.
It’s been awhile since my last post so let’s start with the kids.
Finn is home full time doing school. Every morning is a fight because he feels if he’s not at school he doesn’t need to do school work. I’m sure he’s not the only kid thinking this! Luckily, he doesn’t have an overwhelming amount to do. He does a bit, takes a break, does a bit more, takes a break then finishes for the day. We are able to time his breaks when Cae naps so he and I can play board games during the first nap and the second nap he gets to play on a device. I will admit he almost failed music because well here they still so specials online (we didn’t in Erie) and I got the email about it while at the hospital with Caelan so I forgot he had to actually logon somewhere and do assignments. Talk about a massive Mom Fail! They also don’t email the parents they email any issues to the students email account. Which makes no sense for 2nd graders. Kids can’t remember to brush their teeth but you want them to check their email?! Then I’m emailing teachers saying this is Finns mom…could you just email me if something is wrong? I mean seriously. I got two kids at home and I can barely remember to shower let alone add into my crazy life checking an email that really should be sent to me anyway! As a teacher I’d NEVER email a kid about an issue. Why? Because the parent should be made aware! I know parents with 3 or more kids and I can’t imagine trying to keep up with all of their stuff! A friend with a kid in Finns class did miss the Music assignments too so it wasn’t just us! But his music class requires me to sit with him and navigate through YouTube and other sites with him. Try doing that while holding a wiggly baby!! Like what are some of these teachers thinking. I’m sorry but not all parents can just sit on a computer assisting all day. It is nice that Finn is old enough to go outside in the back yard alone. Most of our driveway is on the side of the house and fenced in(and locked). So when he’s getting a little crazy I just send him out to play in the snow or to play on his scooter he got for Christmas. The windows here either open fully or can be pulled inward at an angle. So all I have to do is angle the doors or windows so I can hear him (he’s not quiet) and let him have at it while Cae and I chill inside and watch him.
Next up, Caelan. Cae has been healing so well! The glue from his surgery is completely off and his incision is all healed up. You can definitely feel that soft spot now and no ridge down his face! He is his same curious crazy self. He is into everything. Seriously. Everything! We can no longer leave him alone in a room for 10 seconds. He is always trying to get something he shouldn’t. The transformers, Christmas tree, climb the baby gates, anything plugged in, the TV and of course anything left in reach he thinks is his to eat. He’s trying to stand and walk. He will stand alone when he gets super into playing or when he thinks no one is looking. He has walked once but since then he will take a step then just sit down and laugh. Why walk when someone can carry him. We are working on saying more than just Mama, Dad and Daddy. Cae is also starting to try more food. Since he stands and cries at my feet if I eat and don’t share it with him. Yet when I give him his own food in his high chair he throws it or gags. So slowly working on that! He also loves having a bath in the big bath with his new toys he got for Christmas. He had mixed feelings about his first snow but loves bundling up and going for a walk in the woods. At least I think he loves it. He laughs a bunch then falls asleep.
Newest baby is growing well! At our last sono we were told again we are having a baby Girl! We are all so excited to have a little girl joining our crazy little family! But after this one we are done. Three is enough. I got my little girl and pregnancy has sucked. Finns pregnancy was so easy and enjoyable but everyone after has been rough! First trimester was super rough. Just like with Cae I was super sick every single day multiple times a day. Luckily since the second trimester that has eased off quite a bit. My doctor keeps telling me to eat and stop losing weight but I lost weight with Cae and it wasn’t an issue so I’m really not worried about it this time. I am 18 weeks already and honestly I still don’t fully feel pregnant even though I’m definitely looking pregnant!
I believe that’s about it. We are stuck inside and can’t really go anywhere or do anything. Parenting during all of this craziness is tough. Moving to a different country, I think, makes it tougher. If we were stateside we’d be able to see family easier, especially while school is online. Our goal when getting here was to make friends we could enjoy our time with while so far from home but because of lock down we can’t meet anyone. I love my family but I’d also love others to chat with. It’s very isolating right now. Add in no sun, icy weather, and the same thing every day. It’s been very tough for all of us.
We do enjoy our walks outside when we can. It’s been pretty ice this past week and a lot of massive trees are down blocking the trails. Hopefully those get cleared soon so we can Get back to walking more. We are one of the few spots that get snow that sticks but we are on top of a mountain so that’s expected.
Well that’s all I got for now. Not much because everyday is the same right now!
Merry Christmas all! I know I’ve been pretty absent since Caelan’s surgery. I had originally planned to do a post on our experience at the hospital with the surgery but things changed. I joked in the hospital that I was going to be traumatizing after all that happened but I didn’t realize until I sat down to type it all out how traumatizing it all actually was. So I will probably not be writing it all out any time soon. I have a panic attack every time I go to write or talk about it. It was not a horrible experience but was rough enough to seriously affect me.
Surgery with Cae went great with no issues! Which is wonderful and doctors were able to preform the endo surgery which was way less invasive and was a much smaller surgery. The whole experience was traumatizing for Caelan as well. The week after we got home he would not sleep on his own and wanted held most of the day. Dan and I would have to hold him all night which was exhausting. This past Wednesday we saw his pediatrician on base and he said we are good to start sleep training again. So last Friday we started that and you know what? Cae hasn’t had any issues! For the past 9 months if we laid him down in his bed already asleep he’d wake up and scream. Now? We lay him down and he wakes, looks at us, and then falls right back asleep! He’s even been putting himself back to sleep when he wakes up at night. Most nights we don’t even have to give him a bottle in the middle of the night. So that’s been wonderful.
We will have a follow up appointment at the end of January then again this summer. Just to make sure his skull is growing properly and doesn’t need a helmet in the future.
We are so thankful for all the prayers and love sent to us while we went through this! I pray we don’t ever have to do this again! We are so glad to be home and have Caelan recovering and healing. We pray everyone had a wonderful Christmas and 2021 is a great year for all our friends and family!
Another positive note…we are expecting! We are very excited/terrified. It’s been very hard keep this a secret for so long but we wanted to make it the second trimester before sharing our news. We have had our share of losses before and didn’t want to share too soon. But all is good and we will know gender in two weeks! At our last sono at 13 weeks the doctor gave us an 80/20 on gender but we want a 100% before sharing. So get to guessing what we are having! Another boy to drive me wild or a little girl who will drive Dan crazy! 💗💙❤️
Our appointments for Cae earlier this week were to be as follows. Sunday- Covid testing. Monday- blood work and meeting with the team. Tuesday- surgery. Well if it all went as plan then it wouldn’t be our family. So here is the newest update. And by update I mean massive ball of confusion.
Sunday we went to the hospital for Covid testing. Pediatric was super confused why we were there. They looked at the paperwork we had and began running around trying to find someone who knew why we were there. **Remember no one speaks English. ** Eventually they tell a security guard (who speaks little English) to tell us to go to Neurology. We asked why because they told us to get it done at pediatric. It’s so hard getting information when you can’t listen to them talk to each other and help explain what’s going on. We headed to neurology and they were even more confused why we were there. Again we explained the doctor told us to come Sunday for Covid testing because it had to be 48 hours before surgery. The head nurse kept asking why because they always do it with the blood work on Monday. We kept saying I don’t know why they said to do it Sunday when they usually do it Monday but that’s what the doctor and the paperwork says to do. She eventually said we had to wait for the Neurosurgeon on call to get out of surgery. Surgery last minutes to hours and they had no idea how long he’d be. So we all sat for 2 hours. Eventually the doctor came out and looked at our paperwork the nurse gave him and he turned around and went into another room for awhile. After a few minutes he came back and told us he has no idea who told us to come in Sunday or why we were scheduled for surgery. He had just called the head doctor and he said we are not to be seen by another surgeon and that he was doing the surgery but couldn’t until next week. My heart sank. Dan and I stood there baffled. What did he mean Caelan wasn’t having surgery this week. It was all planned. We sat in the office when they scheduled it. We had the paperwork with when you arrive. Tuesday, December 8, at 7 a.m.. We kept asking why we were told to come in when the doctor who we met with wasn’t even suppose to do the surgery. Why did he take over? Why was the head doctor just now being told about this. The doctor we spoke to said was he didn’t know but the head doctor was who we wanted preforming this surgery and if it were him he’d wait until the head doctor could do it. Which I’m fine with. We want the best. I just wanted to know where the flip this other doctor, who scheduled the surgery for this week, came from?! Did he just see that Cae was a baby and decide since he was pediatric that he should do it? Was the head doctor ever told we came for our last appointment? What the hell was going on! And I couldn’t yell at anyone because no one would understand me!
Now it all just gets better. So hang on to your butts!
The doctor proceeds to apologize for the inconvenience. Yep. Huge inconvenience. We have a car pack for the week. A hotel booked and just drove two hours here! No groceries at home because we were suppose to be gone all week. He then said someone would call us tomorrow (Monday) and officially schedule his surgery but plan on being there Monday for testing.
Well here comes Monday and no call. So Dan calls. He’s then told ohh someone was suppose to contact you last week that your surgery was moved because the pediatric department had to close off an entire wing of 20 beds due to something Covid related. He was then told that all the calls to reschedule surgery would be done within the next two hours and we’d get a call back. Did we get a call back? NOPE!!
Dan got ahold of them Tuesday and scheduled Cae to come in Monday. Monday he will have all the blood work done, meet with the team and then he and I will be admitted into the hospital. Surgery will be done first thing Tuesday morning.
So once again we ask for prayers. Dan and I have been waiting for months now and surgery keeps getting pushed. We mentally prepare to have surgery then it’s canceled. All this back and forth is taking its toll on us. Cae has also been sick almost a week. So we aren’t sleeping and he’s not sleeping. We are all exhausted. Physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. We wanted to be home by now having Cae recovering in time for Christmas.
Once again if anything changes (which at this point I’m sure they will) we will keep y’all posted. We love all the text of love and prayers. If we do not respond it’s not because we are ignoring you we just don’t always get text so feel free to message us on Facebook. ❤️
You ever wake up in the morning in the worst possible mood? Then proceed to become more angry because you’re in a bad mood for no reason? Then quickly more annoyed you’re annoyed and mad. Then you realize your spiraling in annoyance, frustration and eventually anger. But knowing all this won’t stop you from yelling at your kids, snapping at your husband and becoming irate at the dirty dishes covering the kitchen. So after everyone’s left for school and work you cry because well you’re a ranging lunatic who in the moment couldn’t control her emotions. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this.
If you read that and are are thinking “ wow this woman is insane. She needs her head examined. What kind of mother is she!?” Then I’m not sure what magic mushroom you’re on but please share because if your a mom, heck a woman you’ve more that likely had moments like this. Bonus point if your husband asked if you were on your period and he’s now missing.
Now there are three types of people reading this. The ones who relate and are breathing a sigh of relief they aren’t alone. The men (I know I have men who read this). And lastly the liars, who have everyone convinced (even themselves) that they have and would never act this way. If your the lier then there is no reason to keep reading. Carry on in your mythical world. Pet a unicorn for me.
Well, I was that mom yesterday. I was up all night with Caelan and when I did get to bed I couldn’t fall asleep. I had another migraine starting and my back had been in constant pain for over a month. I had Cae in bed with me hoping he’d fall back asleep like he sometimes will do but Finn had other plans. He decided after being woken up he’d play…. loudly. I yelled (great at helping babies fall back asleep) at him to get dress to which he said “oh right. I need pants on!” Yes, pants would be a good thing kiddo. Then Cae wouldn’t go back to sleep (can’t imagine why) and I wasn’t feeling well. I then walked downstairs and saw Finn watching tv while he was suppose to be eating breakfast. I snapped at him again. Then noticed he had homework to do but forgot to do it. So I yelled again. All while Cae is whining to be held. He cried and whined all night and I was at my limit with it. I yelled at him to knock it off and then at Finn to get done. He and Dan had to leave early because we had snow and ice that night. Dan asks if I was alright and what was wrong. I promptly told him. Loudly. Okay I yelled it at him. He didn’t do anything wrong I was just a raging psycho. Finn then proceeded to act like he was blind knucklehead who couldn’t see anything in front of him and had no clue what a normal school morning consisted of. They all finally left and I just cried. What a horrible mom and wife I was. I yelled at the baby for crying which is what they do. I yelled at Finn for well being a 7 year old boy who didn’t want go to school. And I yelled at my husband who did absolutely nothing wrong at all. What was bothering me? Not a single thing. Nothing of significance triggered my rampage. I was just mentally and physically exhausted. I’m also very sensitive to noise so Cae crying and whining is physically draining. As I cried I kept asking why can’t I be the perfect mom. The moms who seem to always have a smile on. Who never raises their voice. Who’s kitchen is always perfect. Floors clean. Toys all in their place. Only one load of laundry waiting to be done. Why? Well I’ve never been good at lying and I’ve always been a bit of a mess that’s why. I can’t fake a perfect home when we are all a mess here. My kitchen is a mess because we are busy spending time as a family and I’m exhausted by the time the kids are in bed. I have a million loads of laundry because my washer and dryer are the same as the ones the come in Barbies dream house and it’s in German and for some reason my three boys wear a crap ton of clothes.
We all have days like this. Well woman do. Not sure about the men. They weren’t blessed with the joy that is female hormones. I’m not gonna lie by 6 p.m. I was done. Dan had to take the kids so I could take a long bath with my stress away bath bomb. And honestly I was sitting there rocking Caelan, who was asleep, and I was still annoyed. And annoyed that I was annoyed for no reason. Which made me more angry and frustrated. No reason. Somedays are just like that.
So to all you lunatic mommas out there…hang in there. It gets better, at least that’s what I’m told. I think it was getting better when Finn turned 5 and now we are starting all over again. So maybe in 5 years it’ll get easier. 5 is when kids go to kindergarten so I guess that’s why it gets easier. 🤣 That’s also when the mouth starts running more often. There are no perfect mommas out there. Social media helps the lier mommas lie a bit better. But ignore those pages and find some mommas that tell it how it is! You don’t need to have a perfect house ready for the president to visit. You don’t need to follow your kids around cleaning up toys. Yelling once and a while is normal. We all lose it and that’s okay. It’s okay to let your kids watch tv so you can take a break and just sit for a moment. Being a mom is hard! I don’t want to be a mom that people say “you make motherhood look so easy!” Why? Because it tells all the soon to be mothers that motherhood really can be easy if you just follow all these steps to perfection. When a new mom asks me what it’s like I tell them straight. It’s great somedays. Other days it’s hard as hell and you want to ship your kids to their grandparents and sail off in the night. Somedays you feel like a super mom, accomplishing so much. Other days you feel like your beating your head against a brick wall. I love my kids but somedays they are exhausting and honestly sometimes irritating. Ever been woken up by someone strumming a guitar and yodeling at the top of their lungs at 5:30 a.m.? It’s not enjoyable. It’s annoying! Ever been head butted and had your nose broken? It’s a bit irritating. Ever trip over dirty clothes to then step on Legos to then fall onto a pile of books? Not fun. Ever have a baby grab a poppy diaper and chuck it at you to have it explode everywhere!? Kinda makes you wanna lose it. But despite all of that we love our kids. The good the bad and the dirty/stinky. Being a good mom doesn’t mean being perfect. What a boring world it would be if everything was perfect. What would us mommas do if we couldn’t get together with our screaming kids while drinking wine and vent about how annoying our kids and sometimes husbands are! Sit and crochet and talk about the weather I suppose. Sounds boring to me.
I fail daily as a mom and wife. But my kids and husband still love me. Just as I love them. Annoying habits and all.
❤️ Here is to a better tomorrow morning that starts with a bit less insanity and yelling.
Yesterday, Dan and I took Caelan to get an ultrasound done on his head. And by Dan and I, I mean Dan drove and was quickly asked to leave the hospital because only one parent was allowed in the building. So unfortunately he had to wait outside in the freezing cold. Cae and I waited two hours past our appointment to be seen. We were sent to the wrong waiting area despite me asking several people where I needed to be. Eventually, after me pointing out that they sent me in the wrong direction and we needed to leave soon, they got a doctor to so the ultra sound. Caelan was not happy to have gel all over his head so he promptly freaked out. The doctor said he was hoping he’d be asleep to which I kindly said “well he was asleep when we arrived for our appointment at 9:30. It’s now almost noon so that’s on y’all”.
After all the waiting and of course Caes crying the doctor told us pretty much the same thing the neurosurgeon told us. His frontal plate are completely closed. Which you can see because of the very visible ridge. But the soft spot is still open. Once we finished there we went to see the neurosurgeons. They said they should be able to do the surgery endoscopically but it’s possible when they get in and they may not be able to do it and will have to switch to the more intense surgery. We are anticipating the more intense surgery but hoping for the endo. The endo will just be a small incision right at his hair line. If it’s more invasive then the incision will go from one ear to the other.
We also met with a new surgeon. He is a pediatric neurosurgeon and will be doing Caelans surgery. Unfortunately that means he is not having surgery today. He is now having surgery December 8th at 7 in the morning. Onto the days before surgery. Now remember it’s a 2 hour drive there and a 2 hour drive back home.
December 6th the four of us need to drive to the hospital to get rapid Covid test done. Then go home. Caelan and I will go back again December 7th for bloodwork and meeting with the entire surgery team. That will be the doctors, nurses, anesthesiologist and so many more. Then Dan, Caelan, possibly Finn and I will go back December 8th for the surgery. This new doctor said the recovery in the hospital will be 4-7 days. As long as Dan and Finn have a negative Covid test they will be allowed to visit after surgery. I will check into the hospital with Caelan and technically be considered a patient along with Caelan. The doctor also said that Caelan will not need a helmet. Which makes me a bit nervous because in the states after this surgery kids need a helmet but he kept saying they just don’t do helmets very often here.
So lots of prayers for us all. Waiting two weeks in not ideal. I’d rather just start the surgery and get it done with. I hate anxiously waiting.
Yesterday we met with Caelan’s neurosurgeon. By looking at Caes head he determined his frontal suture is completely closed and where his soft spot is suppose it be is just about completely closed. He said Cae has Mild Metopic Craniosynostosis which means it has to be fix soon but Caes skull isn’t bulging anywhere which is good. He is having Cae get a sono next Tuesday to see if the frontal suture is soft enough to fix endoscopically but doctor is not optimistic for that. He’s pretty sure he’ll have to do the more invasive procedure and Cae will be in the hospital for 4 days. Usually to have the head fixed endoscopically it needs to be done by 6 months and Cae is 8.5 months. So we shall see Tuesday. The doctor then said Caelan will be having surgery Wednesday no mater what the Sono determines. He and I will then be admitted Wednesday while he has surgery and recovers.
It’s all moving so fast which is good in a sense because I don’t think I could sit for another month waiting to see what will happen next. But on the other hand I feel like a train is rushing at my full speed and I’m frozen in one spot. I have lots of questions for our next appointment. This past appointment I was just trying to hold it together I couldn’t even think of questions to ask after I heard surgery was needed.
So please continue prayer for our family. This has been very hard on all of us and of course Caelan is clueless. Pray for steady hands by the doctors and caring nurses. Also prayers for some nurses that will speak English. It makes it ten times harder to remain calm when you can’t understand what is being said. Prayers for Finn as well because he’s worried as well and having to miss school to travel to all these appointments. Prayers for safe travels back and forth. Lastly prayers that there is somewhere for us to stay close to the hospital so Dan and Finn do not have to drive back and forth everyday because thats 4 hours a day.
As I stated in my last post Caelan had a doctors appointment Friday. At his 7th month check up the doctor noticed his head was measuring small and he had no soft spot. We were told to come back in a month to have it reexamined and see if his head is growing at all. It is growing a tiny bit but there was a bigger problem.
Friday the doctor confirmed that Caelan has Craniosynostosis. Which is a fancy way of saying the plates in his skull have began to close and fuse together. That’s not suppose to happen for a long time. Over the last month we have noticed he has a large intent where his front plate fused but also he has a pointed ridge going from his nose to the top of his head. Had it just been the front plate the doctors would have just continued to observer him over then next few years and see how it develops. But because he has the ridge there is more concern. This is not something monitored or fixed at our base because the base is so small. So we have to be sent 2 hours away to a Germany University Hospital. His appointment was made for Mid December but after talking to the neurosurgeon they want us to come in Monday. The neurosurgeon said he wants to see Caelan as soon as possible so that he can evaluate him and get moving on different test that need to be done.
We will know more Monday, I hope! It is all very overwhelming, scary and emotional for both Dan and I. Craniosynostosis apparently is very common. Sometimes requiring surgery sometimes not. With Caelan they are leaning more towards needing to do a surgery then having him in a helmet for a bit. Common or not it’s terrifying for us.
I’ve been crying on and off since the appointment. The thought of my little baby needing surgery on his head scares me to death. I know God has it all in control but this momma is still scared.
Finn is having a very hard time here. He hates Germany, his teacher and his class. A lot of kids are picking on him on a fairly regular basis and his teacher is not doing much to help. Finn is very emotional and upset on a daily basis. We are working on getting him a counselor and having him meet with the school counselor. Finns been to 4 schools in 4 years, had Dan gone for a year, a new sibling and a massive move away from family! Then to not feel welcome at school, a place he’s always loved, is extremely hard on him.
So PLEASE continue to pray for us! It’s been a rough week on all of us. 2020 hasn’t been kind (we know we aren’t alone in feeling this way). I’ve held it together all week but I think tonight might be my breaking point and lots more tears shall be arriving soon.
Being a mom is so hard…but when people are picking on your kid and he’s miserable and your other kid has a big medical issue you reach a breaking point. I want to protect and shield my kids from all the hurt and pain in the world as I’m sure every mom does.
Y’all!! We are FINALLY in our house! It was crazy moving in. Of course we soon realized we had nothing and our stuff was still nowhere to be found. No pots. No utensils. No trash can. No dishes. This time we had what we pack in the 8 suitcases. It was tough living for a few weeks. But our stuff was found and dropped off this past Monday! We are living in a sea of boxes but that’s okay. We haven’t seen any of this stuff in a year and a half!!! It’s been like Christmas unpacking. Speaking of Christmas our tree is going up next week because I need some happy things to look at.
We did lose several things in the process. Our packers in Virginia were absolutely terrible! A lot of what has been broken is very sentimental to me. My piano from my parents is destroyed. There is no way to fix it and honestly that was the hardest thing to see broken. I know it’s just a thing and I can’t take it with me in the end but to me it has so much meaning. My childhood desk is also ruined. They broke the leges right off and they can’t be fix. Not to the point where the desk could be used again. A butcher block cart from my grandfather. It’s honestly not much to anyone but me. It’s nothing fancy or expensive. It’s just the only thing I have from my grandfather and him giving it to me because he no longer needed it meant so much to me.
So if anyone still thinks military life is glamorous welcome to the lovely military move and terrible American packers.
We did get through a bunch of boxes this weekend which has been great! We have the kitchen just about unpacked and set up and the living room coming along. We do need to buy a couch and kitchen table so hopefully we can next weekend. The county is on a partial lock down so we can’t be traveling more than an hour from base and a lot of places are closed for now. Hopefully we can get a table before Thanksgiving!
The drive to the house is just beautiful with all the leaves changing and falling. I think we are on our last few warm days because I smell winter coming.
Gorgeous drive isn’t it?! Once the house it out together I’ll show y’all that. I’ve had several people asking!
Finns been doing great at school. All As on his report card. His teacher said he and another student are the top readers in the class. She is very impressed by how much and how well he reads. Which is great news! He just needs to work on not making random noises throughout the day. He makes noises all day at home too so I know how annoying that must get in the classroom.
Cae is sleeping better. At first when we moved in I was having to hold him all night. After a week I said no more and we started sleep training. The first two nights were rough. Then it got easier. He still fights it most nights. But he only last 5-10 minutes max. He’s cutting more teeth and not feeling so well so that has made it harder again. He’s so close to walking it’s stressing me out. That’s why we bought this gem!
Yay for “Baby Jail”. He’s not a fan sometimes but this momma has too much to get done to stop him from tearing the tv down or sticking a finger in a wall socket every few seconds. He’s fast and cannot be unsupervised. Cae has also started saying Dada which is adorable and I know Dan loves it. Now if I can only get him to yell Dada at night we would be golden! Cae is also obsessed with his brother. He gets so excited when he sees Finn.
Continues payers for us as we get settled into our house and village. Sadly we can’t explore and all the Christmas markets have been canceled so we are mostly stuck at home. We are all still adjusting to being together under the same roof. Prayers also for getting Mosa over here. Right now it’s looking like a few thousand dollars to ship her and not many airlines are shipping pets right now because of Covid. Cae has a pretty important doctors appointment coming up Friday. We will know more after the appointment and will better know what to ask for more specific prayers but for now just cover him and Dan and I in prayers. Also prayers for Finn. He is on new meds and we are figuring out dosages. He grows so fast it’s hard to find the right amount that best fits him.
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. I’ve had several woman in my life recently lose children due to miscarriages. Most of them saying how they didn’t know other woman went though similar things so often. So as much as this post breaks my heart to relive our experiences of loss I want to bring awareness to people that pregnancy loss may be considered “common” it doesn’t make it an easier to go through. I want other couple to know they are not alone in their grief and pain. I want people who have never experienced a loss to understand that pregnancy loss is extremely painful and the grief doesn’t just go away.
Dan and I got pregnant the first time at the end of May 2018 and we were so overjoyed! We told our parents at 8 weeks and unfortunately lost the baby the day after. I went to the base emergency room knowing that I was probably having a miscarriage. The doctors didn’t seem to think I was having an emergency so it took them several hours to check me. When the doctor finally did check he said I was fine and overreacting but it was possible I was having a miscarriage and I should go home and see what happens. Dan and I were both in shock at the lack of care we received. On our way home the nurse from the OB-GYN office called me to see how I was doing since she was the one who said to go immediately in to be seen. I told her what happened and she as very angry at how we were treated. She checked by bloodwork results (that the doctor said was fine) and told me “hun you are most definitely having a miscarriage. I’m so sorry the doctor told you otherwise. Go home and rest and come in tomorrow to be seen.” Until that moment I had never felt the wind knocked out of me without actually doing something to knock the wind out of me. We got home and I just collapsed on the couch and cried for who knows how long. I cried like I had never cried before. The tiny baby we were so excited about. The tiny baby that we started planning life for. The tiny baby that made my husband jump up and down for when he saw the positive test. The tiny baby we’d never hold, was gone. I felt like my soul and heart was ripped out and just obliterated in front of me. I cried for days and I was completely numb after the doctors appointment. I barely ate. I hardly slept. I wanted both to crawl in bed and not be looked at or touched but also wanted Dan to just hold me as I continued to break.
My wedding shower was a few weeks later. (We got married in April but were having the big celebration in September) I drove back home to Pennsylvania with Finley for it and I honestly don’t really remember the drive. I remember just getting in the car and getting there. I was in so much pain. Pain only a mom who has lost a child can understand. Once there I just sat at my parents a shell of a person. A few days before my shower I was still just sitting and staring. Not talking or interacting with anyone. Not even Finn.
I was lucky enough to have an amazing support system. My mom was the one who really helped me come back to myself. My shower was absolutely perfection and beautiful. I am so glad I was able to work through my emotions enough so that I could enjoy my day.
Come a few weeks later we had another positive pregnancy test. Well we were pregnant again and this time we weren’t telling anyone for awhile. We eventually told our immediate families and that was about it. As we moved along and had sonograms done where we saw our little ones heartbeat and we breathed a bit easier. I had coffee cups made to announce our pregnancy that October and I couldn’t wait to share our good news. Our wedding was fast approaching and I was starting to show. My perfect wedding dress didn’t fit exactly how I wanted it too but it was okay. I was pregnant with our rainbow baby! I wasn’t “glowing” like some pregnant women. I was actually so sick all day everyday I was having a her time enjoying getting ready because I was so sick feeling. But I told myself it was worth it. September 15th came and went and our wedding was beautiful! We went back home to Va and continued life. October came and we decided we were ready to share our happy news with everyone! We decided to wait until the weekend to post our little announcement.
But God had other plans. I started spotting at work a bit. I went home to rest and the next morning my doctor said to have a Sono done. She said she wasn’t too worried because the bleeding had stopped and I was still having nausea and my normal pregnancy sickness. Dan couldn’t come with me because of work so I went alone. Telling myself it was all fine. The Sono techs were so sweet and kind. Chatting and reassuring me the whole sono. But as they chatted with me I caught them give each other a quick glance and stutter as they kept talking. I went back to my room and the doctor came in to tell me what I already knew. I sat crying alone in the hospital room. I was told to go home and rest while “everything processed”. I went to base and told Dan and we went home. We both just held each other and cried. We weren’t a few weeks along this time. We were about 14/15weeks. I couldn’t understand what had just happened. Just a few weeks prior I watched my little baby on the screen and watched and heard their heartbeat! I stayed home the following day and still nothing happened. My doctor said if the pregnancy didn’t pass in a week he would have to have me come in a remove it for my safety. Yep. That’s exactly what he said. Remove it. Like it was just a freckle that needed taken off. I was in shock. I went to work Monday where, excuse my language, all hell broke lose. A massive fight broke out and as I tried protecting a student from another attacking her I was struck several times in the chest and stomach. Not a few little punches. But many repeated hits. That’s all another story but it plays a part in this story. I went home and rested. I was over the top stressed and in pain. I went to bed early and planned on staying home a few more days because I wasn’t ready to be back at work quite yet. The next morning I woke up with very serious cramps. Dan went to work ask I got Finn ready to take to school. I was home so I figured I’d let him sleep in and I’d drop him off. Well after an hour I could barely move. I was having full on contractions that went from 10 minutes apart to 5 minutes to 1 minute apart. I had to rush Finn off to his before school program early and drive myself to the hospital. Dan wanted to come get me but I couldn’t wait 25 min for him to get there then another 25 minutes to drive there. I drove myself and I wouldn’t recommend doing that! I was doubled over and barely looking over the steering wheel. I got to the ER and as I checked in I couldn’t stand. As they came to get me back to a room something happened. I had a massive contraction and the best way to describe it was that it felt like my water broke. I had to be wheeled back where they eventually check me and did another Sono. They told me I had “passed my pregnancy” and the hits to my stomach had cause me to start contracting. I had lost the baby over a week ago and was just now starting to show physical signs of the pregnancy terminating itself. I was sent home saying everything had passed and I’d be seen again in a few days.
Well I did not pass everything at the hospital I did at home. Losing a pregnancy at 14 weeks at home is not something you can unsee. It is beyond traumatizing and all I got from the doctors when I called was “well that happens sometimes. We will check you again in a month.” Ive never really hated people until that moment.
Along with losing two pregnancies I was very much traumatized by my last loss. I once again just cried for days on end. I felt as if my body was failing me and I was failing my husband. We wanted another child but it seemed like it wasn’t in the cards for us at that time. I was devastated! Dan and I were heartbroken.
By doing the next year we were packing to move. Finn and I to Pennsylvania and Dan to South Korea for a year. We would then move together to Germany.
We found out the day Dan was leaving for a year that I was pregnant again. I was terrified we’d lose another baby and I didn’t know if I could emotionally handle that with Dan being gone. But I had an absolutely amazing Midwife, Heather, who did everything possible to make sure we had a healthy pregnancy. And we did! On March 6, 2020 we had Baby Caelan! I just held him and cried after delivery. I couldn’t believe I was finally holding my healthy baby boy!
It has taken me two years to finally look through all of our wedding photos. For me our wedding day being so much joy and so much sadness. At our wedding we were so overjoyed knowing we were expecting again! When we got our wedding photos back all I could see was the baby bump and the child we had lost.
This was the photo I most looked forward to seeing and hanging on our wall but when I saw it the first time I broke down crying. I put our photos on a shelf for two years. There during our vows this photo was taken. One of the only photo was our little baby. Safe and health at that point. We had just heard the heartbeat a few days prior to this photo. When I see it I see the baby we so badly wanted. So loved. I see the baby we never got to hold or meet.
Through all of this I have had so many things said to me. Such as; well at least you finally had a baby so that’s good. And, I’m not sure why you’re still upset over your losses it’s not like you were that far along? Also, you didn’t even get full term so why does it upset you so much? Why do you post so much about miscarriages. It’s annoying you know.
Umm yeah don’t say that’s to people!!!! Every pregnancy loss is still a loss of a child. If you have never been through this you honestly have no clue the pain. So please don’t pretend to understand. The grief doesn’t just go away. It doesn’t disappear if you eventually have another child. The pain lesses, yes. But it doesn’t go away. There are days I still get emotional and cry. My babies would have been two years old by now. Somedays I can’t help but watch my kids and think of the two we lost. I think about what they would have looked like and how their personalities would have been.
The pain of loosing a pregnancy or a child doesn’t go away. You don’t just get over it. You don’t move on. The pain lessens over time but it’s still there. The days of sadness become further apart but I don’t think it’ll ever go away. I have two beautiful children yet somedays are just hard and emotional. I miss the children I never got to meet or hold.
Until I had my miscarriages I didn’t know a single person who had one. I thought it was not a common thing and I somehow must have messed up my pregnancy. I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone what happened. I was embarrass and ashamed. I later found out that 15% of pregnancies ended in miscarriage. I was shocked. That meant there had to be people I knew that had experienced this. Sure enough when I spoke up about our losses others came and told me their stories of loss as well. I had so many amazing woman share with me and hold me in their arms. They helped me understand and process all my emotions. Without them I would have really struggled with this so much longer.
If you’ve had a miscarriage you know the fears of getting pregnant again. We waited to tell people until I was into my second trimester with Caelan. Every change in symptom would set my anxiety and stress into over drive. Every appointment I feared they would tell me there was no heartbeat. It wasn’t until I held Caelan in my arms after delivery that I felt like I could breathe again.
As he sits and play on the floor as I write this I know he has no idea how very special he is and how his life brings us such joy!
October 15th is the official Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. If you have experienced a loss consider sharing your story. I can’t tell you how much it would mean to another mom out there struggling and thinking she is the only one. I want to flood social media with as many stories as we can. Woman I have spoken to and opens up to have thank me for sharing becaue it has helped them. As much as it hurt to think back on it all I know it is helping other woman. People need to understand that telling woman just because their didn’t deliver their child at full term doesn’t mean they didn’t lose a child and they shouldn’t grieve. A baby is a baby no matter how small. Born or unborn. 6 weeks or 40 weeks. As soon as a woman hears she is expecting we naturally start planning in our minds. We form pictures in our mind on how life will be after we have our baby in our arms. What they will be like. Who they will look most like. What little outfit to get them. How the nursery will look. When that is suddenly gone it’s like someone came in and shattered your world. Ripped your heart out and threw it on the ground
So please pray for all the families that have lost children. It’s not just the moms that are affected. Dads struggle too. Our losses hurt us all, including Finn. He still asks where the babies in my belly went and if he’ll see them in heaven and why did they have to die.
Be mindful of what you say to a woman after loss. I as well as a few close friends have had some terrible things said to us. Here is a list of things NOT to say. (I’ve had every single of of these said to me.)
“It wasn’t a real baby.” …
“At least you weren’t further along.” …
“It wasn’t meant to be.” …
“Well, at least you can get pregnant.” …
“This happens to everyone; it’s not a big deal.” …
“Maybe you should have/shouldn’t have…” …
“You’ll be fine in a few days.” …
“Be grateful for what you have.”
Now here is a list of what you can and should say…
“I’m so sorry for your loss.”
“I’m sorry to hear the news.”
“I’m thinking of you.”
“I’m not sure what to say or do but I am here and I am so sorry.”
“Please let me know if there’s anything you need.”
I can’t imagine what you’re going though.
I’m sure you are struggling please let me drop off dinner this week for you and your family.
Pregnancy After Loss Support is a great organization. They speak honestly and support families who have lost children to miscarriages, stillborn, SIDS and infant deaths. They bring support and awareness to what woman are going through and support them in not being ashamed or quiet about their losses. They recently posted 25 reasons why we post remembrances and share photos of the children we have lost. So for those who keep questioning me and other here you go!
Why do you share photos of your babies who died?”
1. They are our children, and we love them. We share our living children, and we love our babies who died just as much.
2. They are beautiful and perfect and deserve to be shared.
3. So they can be remembered. One of our greatest fears is that our babies who died will be forgotten. Photos are a reminder to those around us that they were here. They existed. And we love and miss them.
4. We are proud of these children and we want the world to know about them.
5. We want people to understand that they were real and perfect babies, not just a pregnancy that didn’t work out.
6. We need support and love through our grief.
7. Many of our loved ones never got to meet these precious children, so sharing photos is a way for them to get to know our babies who died.
8. To spread awareness that pregnancy, infant, and child loss still happens.
9. It is our job as their parents to keep their memory alive and share their legacy.
10. It is a way to parent our children, even after their death.
11. They are unique children who deserve to be celebrated.
12. To educate on the experience of grief and loss.
13. They matter.
14. These are the only photos and memories we will ever have of our children who died, and we treasure them.
15. They bring us joy. We want the world to know our babies.
16. So others know they are not alone.
17. They are woven deeply into the fabric of our family’s story and deserve to be shared and spoken about.
18. We shared our pregnancies, so we will also share their arrival.
19. So others know the signs so they may not have to experience loss as well.
20. We think of them every day, even as the world marches on.
21. They lived. They existed. Death can’t take that away.
22. So others know that their losses were not their fault.
23. They made an immense impact on our lives.
24. They made us parents, and we want to celebrate that.
And last but also my favorite
25. Their existence isn’t a secret, and we don’t want to hold their memory alone.