“I love you, you are safe, and you are mine”

February 11, 2015

21 Weeks the ultrasound and appt with Dr. F.

My doctor and the ultrasound tech said everything looks great! We feel so blessed!!! Thank God!!!!

She weighs about 1 pound, we have due date of June 24, and her heartbeat was strong and fast! MD said we had a wild child in there, which is A-okay!

Its a much different experience with our appointments this time around, obviously! One might believe we feel great relief and can rest assured but given our past its a conscious effort to feel the joy, excitement, and wonder. The next step in my therapeutic journey is to allow myself to more openly feel those emotions. We are starting to talk about preparing a nursery, a friend throwing us a “sprinkle”(in case you don’t know its a baby shower when its not your first baby), envisioning what the trips to the zoo will be like, all those hopes and dreams you may have when carrying your babies.

I remember with Eleanor we were so focused on planning for her delivery, finding ways to cherish anytime we had with her, honoring and respecting her life, and ultimately planning a funeral for our baby queen. I did a craniosacral session last week and it was powerful! The goal w CST is for the mother to get in touch with her baby and rebalance the energy, and relieve body-memories of the past emotional and physical trauma. It includes deep breathing and visualization. The therapist felt this strong vision of Eleanor above us but at a distance telling me its okay, she is okay and now my focus can be on the baby! The baby wanted me to tell her “I love you, you are safe and you are mine” Through the tears I was able to muddle out those words to my baby. How loving and sweet is that?!!

Those words are the dialogue I’ve started with baby. This baby, I tell ya, is and will be well “watched.” A heavenly big sister and an earthly big sister! If she thinks she will be getting away with anything she better think again! Speaking of “thinking” here is a picture from the ultrasound of sweet cheeks herself thinking or praying as my neighbor described.

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“Things are looking up”
Kate

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Things are looking up!

February 4 2015

Hello all! I always wondered and dreamed how I would open up the next blog post or IF I ever would. Grief as I know it is a strange roller coaster. With ups and downs, times when I feel in total control and others when I cannot stop crying. I started seeing a therapist(Julie) about six weeks after Eleanor was born, also coinciding with returning to work. I do continue to see her but not as frequently. She has been instrumental in offering me insight, tools, opened ears and heart during my grief journey. I continue to learn a lot of myself and my family. I continue to be overwhelmingly grateful to Jesus and all my support system for carrying me when I couldn’t carry myself. The insight and perspective I have gained is immeasurable. One question I would often struggle with was am I ever going to be healthy enough mentally, spiritually and emotionally to try and get pregnant again? In the first 6 months after Eleanor passed I knew I was NOT! But I had a nagging strange feeling of pressure to be ready. I can’t identify where that pressure was coming from, myself I suppose? It certainly was not my loving husband, who knew I needed time and lots more healing. A friend once told me “you’ll know when you are ready, take it day by day.” As the one year mark started to creep closer I thought I would try to come off some medications and see how that would feel, believing that if possible my body would be more healthy if I was not on mood stabilizing medication while becoming pregnant. I did that and seemed to be hangin tough! (although never a NKOTB fan) yet still able to hang tough!

Sometime in late summer I was walking on my lunch break alone and talking to God with gorgeous sunny skies above me. I distinctly recall saying “God if having more children is in your plan for our family I believe I’m healthy and ready for that next step” I felt spiritually strong and knew He would carry me through.  Sometime in September our third baby girl was made with love.  I remember “knowing” I was pregnant, feeling those nauseous feelings, declining an afternoon glass of chardonnay and making more trips to the bathroom during the night. I was so nervous yet so certain! I barely blinked an eye when I took the at home test. For Ryan though, I think he started to take me serious with the cold hard evidence of the pee stick!

The first several weeks I was numb…when the numbness subsided the scary feelings came in with a vengeance, and they are still here yet more manageable. In the beginning, I really didn’t want to talk about being pregnant I just wanted to keep on keeping on life as “normal” and for that came a great amount of guilt! Was it unhealthy? Will I have trouble bonding with this baby? How will I ever make it through this pregnancy in one piece? What have we done?! and as soon as I verbalized that last question, I stopped myself and realized this baby is not the work of solely Ryan and I. God created this child! This realization was partly inspirational and relieving. He believes in us as a family, as a couple, me as a woman called to carry a third precious life.

Fast Forward a bit to current day….sparing you all the many difficult weeks leading up this point. Today marks 20 wks gestation! Half way point with exactly 20 more wks to go!!!! Physically I’m feeling better not nauseous anymore, less tired (unless on days I work) sleeping is improving with my new body pillow (Thx G!) a new memory foam topper for the bed, and for the most part the nightmares are giving way to dreams. I’m relishing any bit of sunshine (like a dog basking in the sun), counting down the weeks to Spring! Juliana is over the moon excited to become a big sister once more! She often asks “is the baby out?” She kisses my belly and talks to her. I have a feeling this baby will be “mothered” more by Juliana than me. Juliana is my lifeline! She is becoming an amazingly empathetic kid and keeps Eleanors’ memory so alive in our daily life!

As some of you are aware music lyrics and songwriters are quite a spiritual experience for Ryan and I. We find a great amount of comfort and healing listening to songs that “speak” to us. I found a new Jason Mraz song called “3 Things” to be my anthem during this journey of our third baby.  I will attempt to place a link for your listening enjoyment. I said I would “try.” Ryan might have to remedy my mistake because I’m sure it won’t work.

“things are looking up”

Kate

Praying for Nora Rose!

Hello all! This post is dedicated to a near and dear family, the Yusko’s! They have a little girl fighting for her life tonight. I am struggling with my anger and that a blip in the chromosomal development means families and children have to suffer and miss out on quality time with loved ones on earth!
Nora Rose is the face of compatible life despite trisomy 18!💗
Nora Rose is hope!💗
Nora Rose is love!💗
Nora Rose is undeniable faith!💗
Nora Rose is a child of God!💗
Nora Rose and her family need all the prayers of strength, perseverance, courage and trust tonight more than ever!
All my love and support Yuskos!💗
-Ellie’s mom

“Keep your head up and your heart strong”

Eleanor’s funeral

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For those who were not able to attend we sent Eleanor off to heaven with a funeral on August 5th 2013. We asked guests to wear the color purple to honor and ritualize her life. Funerals are typically not a ceremony that anybody chooses to plan. This was no different in our case, however we did plan every detail of her funeral with the help of our priest, Fr. Don and Ronald B. Jones funeral home. Not a stone unturned for this little angel! Fr. Don gave an amazingly touching, and loving homily. We had chosen the readings and music months ahead which really spoke to us and many others on this day. This was God working through us. We had something close to 200 people show up at the mass, unbelievable in itself. I do hope 200 people come to my funeral! Have you ever thought who might be at your own funeral? Ryan carried Eleanor from the church to the hurst and from the hurst to her burial site. He would not have it any other way. We had a butterfly release at her burial which was awe inspiring and spiritual! Julie Doran was able to take pictures of the entire day for us. Thankfully! You can only imagine the beauty, raw emotion, and faith she was able to capture behind her camera lens. We so appreciate her talent tenfold, there is absolutely no way we could recall the details otherwise. Everyone gathered at the church undercroft for a reception, not complete without my Dad’s Irish poem blessing accompanied with some Jameson Irish whiskey…You know what they say about the Irish?? (only the good stuff is true)

Eleanor is buried on top of my Dad’s mother, Edna. Edna herself had a little angel, Mary Ann, which they buried above her great grandmother as well. Eleanor’s stone is now complete and set. We of course had a butterfly engraved on it as well as “Daughter of Ryan and Kate Wehner” Eleanor is our daughter and always will be! It brings tears to my eyes just thinking that people will forget about her short life…I don’t quite know what I want people to say about her but please don’t forget her! She has a beautiful name, a cute button nose, a proud sister named Juliana, a head of dark hair, long fingers and toes, lots of cousins, loving parents and now a spot in heaven…

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Eleanor’s funeral

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For those who were not able to attend we sent Eleanor off to heaven with a funeral on August 5th 2013. We asked guests to wear the color purple to honor and ritualize her life. Funerals are typically not a ceremony that anybody chooses to plan. This was no different in our case, however we did plan every detail of her funeral with the help of our priest, Fr. Don and Ronald B. Jones funeral home. Not a stone unturned for this little angel! Fr. Don gave an amazingly touching, and loving homily. We had chosen the readings and music months ahead which really spoke to us and many others on this day. This was God working through us. We had something close to 200 people show up at the mass, unbelievable in itself. I do hope 200 people come to my funeral! Have you ever thought who might be at your own funeral? Ryan carried Eleanor from the church to the hurst and from the hurst to her burial site. He would not have it any other way. We had a butterfly release at her burial which was awe inspiring and spiritual! Julie Doran was able to take pictures of the entire day for us. Thankfully! You can only imagine the beauty, raw emotion, and faith she was able to capture behind her camera lens. We so appreciate her talent tenfold, there is absolutely no way we could recall the details otherwise. Everyone gathered at the church undercroft for a reception, not complete without my Dad’s Irish poem blessing accompanied with some Jameson Irish whiskey…You know what they say about the Irish?? (only the good stuff is true)

Eleanor is buried on top of my Dad’s mother, Edna. Edna herself had a little angel, Mary Ann, which they buried above her great grandmother as well. Eleanor’s stone is now complete and set. We of course had a butterfly engraved on it as well as “Daughter of Ryan and Kate Wehner” Eleanor is our daughter and always will be! It brings tears to my eyes just thinking that people will forget about her short life…I don’t quite know what I want people to say about her but please don’t forget her! She has a beautiful name, a cute button nose, a proud sister named Juliana, a head of dark hair, long fingers and toes, lots of cousins, loving parents and now a spot in heaven…

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Happy Birthday Ellie! Birthing an Angel

July 31, 2013

Wednesday

7:30 am

Our priest did come shortly after the last post. He sat with us until my sister,mom, dad, Juliana, Grayson, and Maddie got there to give me the sacrament of the anointing of the sick. It was very nice to visit with my family and especially see Jules, I missed her so very much overnight. I just kept imaging her waking up without Ryan and I there for her. I knew she was in good hands with my family but still it made me sad.

10:45am

The cervadil came out and I was allowed some breakfast!  Yahoo! Savoring the sweet crunch of granola and yogurt knowing it would be “my last supper” for awhile.  Angie, my daytime nurse started the pitocin, which is supposed to stimulate contractions.  Over the next several hours we walked the halls, visited with the McElheney’s, and started watching “Hunger Games.” Picture this… me standing most of the movie dancing around the room! You may think I’m kidding, NO! I was seriously doing lunges, squats, and trying to jog in place. Just before Angie was telling me its not uncommon for women to have several rounds of cervadil (at 12 hours a piece) and there was even slight mention that going home was not out of the question! I was determined!!! I came to play! Which explains the dancing…If you know “dancing Kate” it either involves an air guitar or the pointing of the fingers in the air-I feel pretty sure those did not occur but I can’t make any promises.

3:25pm

Dr. W comes in for a check and asks if I’m feeling more contractions. I simply reply “I don’t know but I’ve been doing this!” As I demonstrate my moves…He chuckles and says he doesn’t think I look too uncomfortable.  Low and behold after the worst examination of my entire life, he reports “well your a good 1 cm dilated, we will be able to break your water” For this I rejoice! The dancing has paid off.  Angie tells me I can get something prior to him breaking my water, Thank you God!

4:45pm

Angie gives me “nu bain” (I’m sure I spelled it wrong) IV and Dr. W breaks my water and reports now 2 cm dilated! For the next hour and half or so I literally had never felt so good! Angie says that drug is like having a couple margaritas. Honestly, I was able to really chill out and relax! However I could not taste the salt…hmmm.

7:00pm

My friend Gretchen came for a visit. At this point we are thinking we are hours and hours away from delivery. We’ve sent the priest home, told the photographer, Julie, and our families it would likely be in the middle of the night.  Gretchen offers a foot massage and I accept! My nurses come in to check on me and switch shifts so bye to Angie for the day and Hello! to Lisa. One the first things I say to Lisa is “well looks like you will be the delivering nurse!” She acknowledges and is ready! Lisa asks if I’m doing okay and anything she can get me…nope doing fine thanks!

7:30pm

The contractions are getting much more intense and I say to Gretchen if the next one is this bad I will need to call the nurse in.  So the doing fine was very short lived…maybe only 15 mins. Ryan hits the button to call the nurse and I yell into it “I need Lisa now!”

Lisa comes in and quite frankly seems a little confused…15 mins ago you were okay? “yea and I’m not now, its bad!” She checks me and we discover I’m 5 cm dilated! Lisa recommends I get the epidural…Yes please! In the next 30 mins I really cannot account accurately what goes on, because all I’m thinking is that they will have to kill me, there is no way I can get relief. The contractions were coming fast and Ryan says only 30 sec rest in between with 2 contractions coming at the same time.  In the back ground I can hear Lisa saying “I called Dr. W…Dr. W is on his way…get a cart in here…” I remember thinking wow whats going on? it sounds serious.

8:00-8:30pm

The epidural man arrives and he is no joke! He is ordering the group into position. Ryan here. Lisa there. Table up higher. relax my shoulders. scoot to the right more. (yea right I wasn’t scooting anywhere) breathe. little stick. he gave a play by play of the epidural being administered- I vaguely recall. I start to hyperventilate and the group has to lay me down. Again, I sorta hear all the background words…She’s gonna pass out. lay her down quick. get a cuff on her. get a pulse ox. Kate slow your breathing. (I remember thinking that poor woman, she sounds like she is really not doing well. and man would I hate to be the therapist working with her, hope she doesn’t pass out or fall) I guess your “job brain” is always unconsciously with you?

Somehow…with God’s hand I stabilize and become comfortable enough to want to just hold off on any pushing just yet. My team wasn’t there yet (my priest, photographer, Dr. W, and my family. ) One of the nurses made the calls that Ryan couldn’t because I had to be holding one of his hands constantly.  I was sorta “high maintenance” requiring Ryan and either Lisa or Harley(OB tech, who was great at her job) to hold the other. So let’s take a 20 sec time out…to define “hand holding” this night hand holding was more of a finger nail piercing grip as opposed to a gentle hand in hand manner. Okay times up!

My team arrives… I’m decently comfortable…

Dr. W was at dinner so I feel the need to know what he had for dessert, he says key lime pie! Pretty much my favorite dessert out there. And he didn’t save me a piece! Can you believe that? He says there were none left, likely story.  As much as I wanted to relax and hang out   Dr. W insists we need to start pushing…boo:(

9:30pm approx

I do a trial push, Lisa walks me through the breathing, pulling my legs to chest and when to relax. At this time Dr. W calmly tells me Ellie is breach! She flipped again!!! I literally say “are you kidding me?” He replies simply, “No”. I say, “what does that mean?”  He says “we deliver the baby breach, more pushing at the end than in the beginning.”  That sounds easy enough, right? This girl just threw it in reverse, butt first!

After the first round of pushing I can actually see her body, at which time Ryan tells me to keep my eyes closed. What I didn’t know was Ryan had just seen Dr. W and Kathleen shaking their heads to each other “no.” Dr. W could tell by feeling the umbilical cord that Ellie was not alive. This is a true testimony of my loving husband that he was able to continue to count my breaths, offer encouragement, and support to me all the while knowing Ellie had passed. He knew I didn’t want to know that during delivery.

9:49pm

Ellie was born and

Ellie’s heart had stopped…

5 pounds, 21 inches long

not sure when she passed because I elected not to have fetal monitors during labor. Kathleen also reports that Ellie’s jaw/chin was very difficult to open and Kathleen couldn’t get her finger in Ellie’s mouth. Therefore even if her heart had continue to beat its very likely that breathing and eating would have been extremely difficult for her to sustain life. She went peacefully, no pain, just love.

Julie took pictures constantly, 468 she said! Fr. Don came to my bedside to baptized Ellie, my sister, then mom, then Jules and my dad came in to meet Ellie. We got some beautiful pictures of our family of four. Juliana was a gem! Could not have asked for a better performance from her (especially after she had only been asleep for an hour) It seemed as though Juliana was being coached, she was so loving to her little sister. She was touching her button nose, and forehead, inspecting her spindly long fingers and toes. She told Ryan when she left to keep holding Ellie….and that he did! Ryan stayed up till 2:30 am holding, caressing, loving, and talking to Ellie. Ellie stayed in our room overnight and in the morning. The three of us cuddled in bed…I sang her “my” bedtime song “Hush little baby don’t say a word” and Ryan told her “his” bedtime story of  “The Three Bears” These are our routines when putting Juliana to bed. Then we knew it was time to hand her to the caring arms of our nurse, Angie.

We left the hospital and were home within fourteen hours of delivery.

We are extremely thankful for the support we received from the employees of Christ Hospital. Ryan described one of the most profound moments was after Ellie was handed to me. He looked up and saw the staff lined up at the end of the bed with tears in their eyes. While they displayed superhero- like patience and professionalism, they were still mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers who can relate to the sadness of the moment.

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Admitted to hospital

July 30 2013
We were admitted to the hospital last night at 9 pm. The cervadil was placed by a resident about 11 pm and it is supposed to stay in for 12 hours. Still very emotional for me… Thoughts like “I don’t know I can do this” there are so many steps even just to get to delivery it seems! I told Ryan I just want to cuddle in our bed tonight. So he jumped his 6, 4′ frame into this tiny little cot if you will. Helped me relax and encourage me. So far I’ve had couple nurses, Emily started the IV and sat bedside as tears rolls down my cheeks. She was a very compassionate soul.
I did manage some rest overnight on and off. Hopefully Ryan did too however he looks rather uncomfortable on the ” pull out” board I mean ” bed”.
We have a long day ahead of us…
Out priest Fr. Don is supposed to come soon to give me the sacrament of anointing of the sick.
That’s it for now….
I have appreciated all the texts, emails and comments for you prayer warriors! Keep it up!
– Ellie’s momma

Trying to “keep my head up and heart strong”

Induction!

July 29, 2013

This afternoon was my last office appointment. We have scheduled an induction tomorrow(Tues) night at 9pm. They will administer a medication (Cervadel) for 12 hours, then on Wed morning (July 31) will initiate the actual induction. Dr. W was pleased with this afternoon’s appointment and how my body is starting to change. We heard Ellie’s heart beat and it was clearly slower and the arrhythmia was obvious even to me!

I’m worn out!

I have had a summer cold for almost a week now. Who gets a summer cold? My body aches all over from pregnancy, coughing, crying, and trying to be a “mom” to Juliana.  AND YET…. its scary as hell to know that we are approaching the next leap of faith in this journey of Ellie’s life.

I desperately ask for all you prayer warriors to get to work! It’s hard to know what to pray for, but I usually ask for strength, perseverance, peace and trust in God’s plan.

Love,

Ellie’s Momma and Daddy

36.5 wk appt and ultrasound

July 24 1013

“Her head is down!” is the first thing the ultrasound tech says. So I repeat “her head is down? Really?” Unbelievable! This was my strongest tightest God hug I did not imagine to get that day.  I had been thinking and praying long and hard about the possible need for that cephalic version ever since Friday. This is the perfect answer for mine and Ellie’s health! We also learned in the ultrasound that her weight could be over FIVE pounds! Again, we were shocked! However, its not completely accurate since her head (87%) and legs (76%) are measuring big, her belly is very tiny less than 2% on the growth chart. Which for babies with T18 their growth is significantly decreased in the the third trimester. The cysts in her brain have nearly disappeared too. An arrhythmia was noted with her heart rate. She was really beautiful on the screen, she has a cute little button nose one you’d like to squeeze! On a profile view was the imagine of her little chest ever so slightly rising and falling, it will forever be ingrained in my memory. The tech said those are her practice breaths. Honestly, for a split moment in time, it felt like maybe these last 4 months had all been a misdiagnosis…

Dr. W was very pleased that Ellie had made the big flip on her own. He really didn’t want to do the version but it was an option in his back-up game plan. After the exam he says was truly convinced she was breech last week. He says she is lower but not fully engaged in the birth canal. Once a baby is engaged they really don’t have a lot of room to flip around. 

Now the discussion is that we shall wait until my body starts showing signs of preparing for labor. Dr. W strongly does not want to induce me until then. He is very much trying to avoid the c-section route. Ryan says I asked the same question 7 times over in hopes to getting a different answer. Can you blame a girl for trying? Again, the lesson of trusting God’s plan is at work on me! The human brain makes trusting God very hard work. Something like a good marriage, if you put the work into the relationship you will be rewarded.  

On Monday we will see the good doctor again…until then we focus one day at a time, trust in God, and enjoy this gorgeous weather! (I’ve been known to be sarcastic at times;), but truly its a dreamy summer day in NKY with low humidity and a slight breeze)

“keep your head up and your heart strong”

36 wk appt w Dr. W and mtg w Kathleen

July 19 2013

Well, well, well…whats the saying, be careful what you wish for? Yea, so I was hoping for some more information and hopeful my body would be showing some signs that it is preparing for labor. We definitely learned some more information but NOT exactly what I was planning on.

After the examination Dr. W asked me where I was feeling kicks, I explained I really don’t feel kicks as such more pressure up high. Its been totally different with feeling movement with this sweet Ellie as opposed to what I felt with Juliana. Dr. W says he is not convinced that her head is down. Which if you remember? I was bragging about after last appointment, that her head was down and how key that was for labor. I suppose she went flipping around on us. That might explain all the movement I had couple weeks ago. So…we have an ultrasound scheduled on Wednesday, followed by appt w Dr. W. The ultrasound will tell us what Ellie’s position is, check her weight and the amount of fluid she is floating around with in there. The next step is,if  in fact she is breech, would be to try an external cephalic version at the end of the week. This procedure is intended to manually turn her around so she will be head down. I will be up on the labor and delivery suite for the procedure to monitor things. I think I may want to go ahead and pack that proverbially “bag” at this point. Dr. W says my body literally has NO changes at this point! That being because her head is not likely down to give pressure and make changes happen.

I tearfully brought up the issue that of course I want him there and what is the plan if he is out of town? He confidently says he will be there.  🙂 that makes me happy!

IF Miss Ellie does not turn for us, then we will scheduling a C-section! Curve ball after curve ball…wasn’t planning on this since Juliana was not a c-section. My brother told me “if you want to make God laugh tell him your plans” isn’t that the truth? Eleanor really wants to make this entrance memorable!

Meeting with Kathleen

Kathleen is a nurse practitioner with the hospital’s neonatal group. Her group is always involved in a delivery at the hospital. It was recommended that we meet with them to outline our birth plan. Kathleen was just as Dr. W described her, very experienced, compassionate and good! She sat down with Ryan and I and went through the birth plan and made some additions. She did say she has been in on several deliveries like ours. The first several minutes go something like this, we will suction as normal at delivery and if she is making an attempt to breathe then we will offer her some oxygen to help her out to try and get her to turn pink. Kathleen did explain the gray area could come if Ellie doesn’t wean from that O2. Meaning we take the O2 away and she turns blue, unable to maintain proper oxygenation for her body. She said we will just make that decision by talking to Ryan and I at that time as far as how long do we want to offer the O2. We will wipe her down and wrap her up to try to maintain warmth. Again, we are not going to worry about vaccines, screenings, or that sort of thing at this point. We want any time we have with her to be in our arms.

I told Ryan on the drive home that I was happy Kathleen asked about our plans if we are able to bring her home. Almost as if she  gave Ellie that chance which does in fact happen, rarely. But as a mother its heart warming that someone give your child that chance. Kathleen even said if she was not working to call her and she would try to make an effort to come in to be on hand for the delivery. She wants to make sure we get any and all memories we want with Ellie.  Ryan and I both agreed that we are happy to have had the opportunity to meet Kathleen in person. Now they have our paperwork on file for D Day.

Burial clothing

I had found a website that specialized in premie burial clothing, it was on my to-do to order Ellie a gown, but just never had the strength to do it. My mom had found a couple sweet smocked dresses with bonnets. I chose a pretty very light lavender (Juliana agreed because she loves purple) with the smocking around the neck and little flowers sewn in. The flowers look like little butterflies. We thought a butterfly would be our symbol for Ellie, flying free around the world! It is very fitting that the gown has butterfly looking flowers on it.

“keep your head up and heart strong”