Wednesday, September 2, 2015

*fourteen months*

I can't believe how quickly time goes by. It is true when they say the days are long but the years are short.

Sam is delightful. It is seriously amazing that I have not been a headline on the news for gobbling him up. He is that delicious.

Right now he can say a few words: hi, bye, ball, hot. He waves and says hi to EVERYONE wherever we go. He is definately a charmer. He also can sign more and please. Adorable.

He isn't walking yet but crawls quickly from one place to another and cruises around on furniture. He has taken a couple steps but would rather not commit to changing his transportation style.

He gives kisses. Makes sure we know what he wants to eat by pointing and making an "MMMmmm" sound. He doesn't like to be snuggled to sleep which breaks my heart--just likes to be plopped into his crib. He loves me so much and I love him so much right back. He loves the FaceTime feature on my phone. He really is a happy, happy baby.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


I realized I miss blogging. I don't really keep a formal journal and I love that I had this outlet to remember the fun I have with my family. So I am going to try to get back into the swing of things.

And to enter back into the blogging world in grand fashion, I have a glorious announcement to make.

I had a baby.

He is absolutely perfect. And wonderful. And what I had been craving for so long.

After we lost Jacob, I was absolutely certain I was done having babies. My heart could not chance getting pregnant again and survive feeling this pain of losing another one. But, two months later in January, the night before Justin was scheduled to have his vasectomy, I freaked out. I told him to cancel his appointment and we would make a new plan. My plan was to throw caution to the wind and see what happened. Not the most brilliant plan but I didn't know what I wanted. Justin did not want to entertain the idea of getting pregnant but since we didn't talk about what we wanted to do for birth control, we didn't do anything about birth control. I also realized that I really, REALLY wanted another baby and would pray month after month that I would have the opportunity.

By November, I gave myself another month. If I wasn't pregnant by the beginning of the year, I would take that as my answer and be done.

I took a pregnancy test on December 7 and was expecting the result I had received each time I had tested before. When the two lines appeared, I cried. I was an emotional concoction of excitement, worry, relief that we would be able to try this again and extreme apprehension of what the future held. In short, I was a mess. I now wondered what I had gotten myself into and tried to not freak out about the unknown and take this journey one day at a time.

I tried not to get excited and called my doctor. She immediately scheduled an ultrasound for the 11th and with trepidation I headed to my appointment. I was relieved to see there was a darling little being in my uterus measuring 6.3 weeks. However, my hopes were dashed when I was told the heart rate was at 80 and I began to prepare for the worst. I tried to distance myself from this new life in me because I KNOW what happens when a heart rate is 80 in a baby. It is not good. I sheepishly admit that I consulted multiple google sites about early pregnancy and low heart rates even though I work in labor and delivery and my doctor was trying to reassure me that it was still early and things would most likely be fine. As with all internet searches, the results were mixed and I left my computer with more anxiety than before I started. I had another ultrasound scheduled the next week to confirm one way or the other what the ultimate outcome would be.

Thank goodness there was good news at the next ultrasound. The heart rate was 133 and I could breathe a bit easier. A month later they checked up on me and things were still going strong. I had a scare around 12 weeks at home when I was listening with my Doppler and couldn't find the heartbeat. This is how I found out we had lost Jacob and I freaked out for a minute and then went right up to labor and delivery. My friend plopped the ultrasound on my belly and there was my sweet baby, with a strong heartbeat. Justin grounded me from my Doppler for a while.

Here I am at 16 weeks. Terrible selfies in the bathroom with a filthy mirror. I never took pictures of my belly with ANY of my other pregnancies and I am so sad I didn't. You can never take too many pictures and I always wish I took more.

By 22 weeks I was feeling pretty confident that things were going well, so my mom and I painted what would become his nursery.

23 weeks along!

27 weeks and 4 days.

I saw this dresser on the internet a few years ago and fell in love with it. I was a little bummed because the boys already had their bedroom furniture and so I couldn't find an excuse to have one at my house. I was so excited to make this and have it be part of the nursery. I had so much fun refinishing this and in the end it cost me less than $100 and I only wanted to pull my hair out a couple times during the process.

29 weeks.

32 weeks and 6 days.

34 weeks.

Because of my previous cesearean section with Liam, I was extremely nervous the entire time about the location of my placenta with this pregnancy. I was sent to ultrasound after ultrasound to determine if my placenta had taken up residence on my previous scar, which indeed did happen. I want to say that my doctor knew of this for a while because any time I would ask about it, vague answers ensued and I was always left the office curious about the plan of delivery. We would talk about an accreta each time I went to my appointments, but I think they were trying to protect my sanity so I didn't obsess about every little detail and every possible adverse outcome that could happen. Every scenario I walked through in my brain ended up with me either dead or in the SICU. Lame, I know. I knew I was going to have another cesearean section pretty early on since this darling boy was breech and I did not want to attempt a version to try to have a vaginal delivery. I just wanted to know the severity of my condition. My doctor actually uttered the phrase: "you have an accreta" at my doctor's appointment on June 25. I started to get teary. One of my worst fears is being put under anesthesia and not waking up and this legitimately could happen due to the amount of blood one could lose with this type of delivery. This also meant I would deliver in the main OR, Justin wouldn't be able to be in with me, I would most likely be under general anesthesia, and I would possibly need a hysterectomy. My doctor and I discussed dates of delivery and we set it up for July 3. Although I was very nervous, I was glad my little one was healthy and that he would be arriving soon.

I started talking to the anestheia attending at work and asked if my darling friend and coworker Adrianne could be my support person while I was delivering. This way, I would not be alone and if I did end up having complications, she has a level head in emergencies and can stand up to the doctors if I can't talk for myself. He said that he couldn't see a problem with making that happen. That made me feel infinitely better. Another good friend of mine offered to come in on his weekend off to help deliver me. The anesthesiologist who is in charge of scheduling put one of the best anesthesiologists to my case. I felt like I was getting the best possible care and everything was lining up perfectly.

The big day at 35 weeks and 3 days.

I got to Labor and Delivery bright and early at 5:30 a.m. to prep me for my surgery. I love, love, love my coworkers. They were all so excited for me and I had nothing but the best care. Justin was super bummed that he wasn't able to come into the OR and we thought we would just ask the anesthesiologist when she came in to consent me if he could attend the delivery part because the worst she could say was no, right? There was no hesitation when the doctor said yes because of a mild scheduling error, I was put in a trauma room and "was big enough for a dance party". So I was able to have Justin, Adrianne for an extra support person, another good friend, Erin, as my delivery nurse, Dr. Draper, the best attending OB, my friend, Sean, who would also be assisting with the delivery, and one of my favorite anesthesia doctors doting on me.

I felt so very lucky.

We went up to the OR and I received my spinal and had bladder stents placed. Everything was going really well but at one point I remember looking up at the big, bright lights and observing the bustling going on around me and I got a little overwhelmed and became teary. It passed quickly and after that I was okay. I was so glad that Justin was able to be with me because Adrianne could take pictures of the delivery. Justin would never have been able to stay upright if I asked him to do that.

At 9:18 a.m. my darling boy entered the world.

It was such a relief to know that he was out. He was alive. He was here.

He ended up going to the NBICU for observation due to some bruising but was overall doing well. Justin went with the baby and Adrianne was able to stay with me. My placenta was not releasing from the scar and Dr. Draper said they were going to move forward with the hysterectomy. I was expecting to start feeling all funny as I would be put off to sleep but after a few minutes I finally asked the anesthesiologist if I was going under general and she just smiled and said no.

I was so, so grateful that I was able to stay awake for the procedure and even though I lost a couple liters of blood I did not need a blood transfusion. I had the best possible outcome for one of the most serious pregnancy related complications.

I came back down to Labor and Delivery to recover for a little while and just rested and let my drugs wear off so I could talk and act like a normal human being. The boys came up to see me and I was shown pictures of my sweet son. Finally, it was time to go and see him myself. We were hoping that we would be able to decide on a name at this point as well, but it took me a couple days to finally be able to make a decision.

I will forever be grateful for Erin for grabbing my camera and capturing the first moments I was able to really look at and hold my babe. I finally can make it through looking at these without tearing up. Sometimes. I had waited for this moment for such a long, long time.

Welcome to the world, little man. We love you so much already.

Friday, November 22, 2013

*a few things that made me happy this week*

Liam said he felt special when he wears his red windpants because they make a cool noise when he walks. He says he tries to walk carefully in them.

Andrew and Nick's rendition of "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas". I love that they can do goofy things together and laugh. It warms my heart as a mom.

An unexpected lunch with a friend this week.

I am thisclose to having my Christmas shopping done.

I will have time next week to write a real blog post. Yay!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

*august 1*

Corinne, sit down."

Justin was crying. It was about an hour into my shift at work and my mind started reeling. Justin never cries unless something really terrible is happening. He was with the boys at football practice and I braced myself for the worst. But the worst was not anything that I could even begin to imagine.

He took a deep breath and choked out "Chance...killed himself."

It took me a minute to process what he just told me.

Then it sunk in. Chance Slaymaker, one of Nick's best friends died by suicide at just fourteen years old.

I was the only charge nurse on that night and so I had to keep it together. I told my brain to not tell my heart what had happened because I couldn't afford to have it break right then. I was able to leave for a couple hours while a friend covered for me so I could be with my younger boys while Justin and Nick went out to be with Chance's family. Luke was sobbing and couldn't comprehend what had happened. None of us could. I never, ever thought this would be a topic I would need to discuss with my boys. Especially when it involved someone so close to us.

It must've been in a place so dark you couldn't feel the light
Reachin' for you through that stormy cloud
Now here we are gathered in our little hometown
This can't be the way you meant to draw a crowd
--Rascal Flatts, Why

Nick and Chance played on the same baseball team since they were about 8 years old. When they started, they were without a doubt the worst ones on the team which I think cultivated and nourished their friendship. They worked hard together, played hard together, and they improved significantly together over the six years they played. They sought each other out in the dugout. Nick was pretty hot headed especially when he had a bad game but Chance was always the one to buoy him up and have an encouraging word. They became more than friends, they became brothers.


Said goodbye, turned around
And you were gone, gone, gone...

Sometimes I feel my heart is breaking
But I stay strong and I hold on cause I know

I will see you again, whoa
This is not where it ends
I will carry you with me
--Carrie Underwood, I Will See You Again

We spent countless hours with our baseball family. We had a unique situation with our boys and parents that many of the other super league teams didn't have. We loved being with each other. We would have parties that had nothing to do with baseball and have them throughout the year. We traveled thousands of miles together to various tournaments and hung out after the games were over. We truly loved each other and cheered for each boy, not just our own.

Chance's dad, Troy, is our fearless coach and is amazing at it. He knows the game well and definitely knew how to wrangle a group of goofy boys and turn them into a well oiled machine. He would graciously take Nick with him and his family when we were unable to make it to some of the tournaments. Nick adored being with their family and says at times he felt like a Slaymaker himself. Some of his greatest memories of these trips are just simple ones. Like getting sausage egg Mcmuffins at McDonalds. Nick said that no matter where they ate, he and Chance would always order the same thing. He also said one of his favorite memories was a tournament down in Arizona and hanging out at Walmart and witnessing someone stealing a television. That is a story all in itself.

The next evening we set out to go see our dear friends and I just said silent prayer after prayer pleading that I could be of some comfort to them. I was at a loss of what to say. My heart was absolutely shattered and would forever be missing a piece once it started coming back together. I grew to love this boy like a son. He was goofy and loving and caring and had a temper as fiery as Hell itself. I loved watching him interact with his dad especially when he was being reprimanded at the plate. He would get this determined look on his face, narrow his eyes, set his jaw and purse out his lips as if to signify he was going to do everything in his power to prove his dad wrong. He had a beautiful smile but I loved his smirk smile the best. The left side of his mouth would go up just a bit and you wondered what was going on in that mind of his. When they were driving down to Arizona earlier this year, I received an unexpected Facebook message from Chance. It just said: "I love you mom." I am so glad I never erased it.

When we arrived at the Slaymakers I felt like I had the wind knocked out of me. This was real. Sweet Chance was gone. The grief was suffocating. Here are his parents, our dear friends, sitting together, holding hands on the couch with vacant eyes. They hadn't slept, they had hardly eaten. I felt so helpless because the thing they wanted so badly I couldn't give them. It felt so trite to say that I was sorry. I just hugged them close and sobbed with them.

Now in my mind I keep you frozen as a (four)teen year old
Roundin' third to score the winning run
You always played with passion no matter what the game
When you took the stage, you shined just like the sun
--Rascal Flatts, Why

As we were driving out to the viewing I just kept pinching myself trying desperately to wake myself up. This had to be a nightmare. But there he was, handsome and much too young, laying in his coffin. Wonderful memories surrounded him and countless loved ones. I could not comprehend what a dark place he was in to not realize how many people loved him and are so affected by his death. Mental illness is a devious enemy. It crushed me to realize I had no idea he was struggling and I felt so guilty that I wasn't there for him. I was kicking myself because I was thinking about him just a couple weeks prior and was going to text him but I just didn't. Got too busy and just didn't. I also didn't get a good picture of Chance and Nick from the last tournament because I was sure there would be another opportunity to have both of them smiling back at me. It is so fun to go through my photos to see how they have grown up over the years. I will cherish every. single. one.

Oh, why? That's what I keep askin'
Was there anything I could have said or done?
Oh, I had no clue you were masking
A troubled soul, God only knows what went wrong
And why you'd leave the stage in the middle of a song
--Rascal Flatts, Why

One of my most favorite baseball memories was the JUCO tournament in 2010. Our team had done pretty well but we had to win our first game of the morning in order to get into the playoff game for the championship. This game was pretty intense and it literally came down to the wire. We were home team and had battled well and were tied with the other team in the bottom of the ninth with two outs. Remember when I said that Chance and Nick were two of the worst players on the team at that point? Well, it was up to Chance to save the day. I hate to admit that I didn't have a ton of confidence but cheered my heart out and just hoped and hoped that a miracle would occur. You know what? He slammed that ball into center field and drove in a run to win the game. His little face was so proud and my heart almost burst with happiness for him. He had performed when it meant the most and I am sure he was confident he could do anything after that.

Ugh. I am going to miss this kid so much. I have been working on this post for over two months. My words are not coming out right and I just can't bring myself to finish it. It has been over three months since we have lost him. I don't pretend to grieve as much as his parents but this has been an incredibly hard pill to swallow. For the first month or so, I couldn't think about anything else. I was in a dark place and would cry everyday. I didn't want to go anywhere much of the time. The world doesn't end for every loss of life. At that time, I kind of wished it would. But I had my boys to get up for. I muddled through and now--yes, I still cry. I miss him terribly. But I have learned through the loss of my babies that grief is like the tide. It ebbs and flows and some days I want to curl up on the floor and not do anything but mourn and other days I can function with only little hints of sadness entering my psyche. Nick is also doing okay. He is very quiet and it is truly at the most random times that he will start talking about his dear friend. Especially when we are visiting his grave site.

Chance's funeral was amazing. I was curious to see if the topic of suicide would be tiptoed around to avoid any discomfort to those attending the service since it can be a touchy subject. But it was addressed in such a tender and meaningful way. There were so many young, impressionable teens in attendance--many of Chance's classmates, teammates, friends.

His bishop gave a beautiful talk that related life to the game of baseball. I wish I would have thought about taping the service because it was truly magnificent. He also blatantly stated that Chance is a good person but he made a bad choice. He is most likely wishing he returned home by living out his life rather than returning home early. I was praying that those young people would realize how much pain and devastation was left in the aftermath of Chance's death and that if they are struggling, they will seek out help.

Chance's teammates sang "If the Savior Stood Beside Me" and it was so heartwarming to see these teenage boys up in front of hundreds of people with no fear or embarassment. That song made me cry before and now I can't even sing more than one line before I lose it.

Nick brought one of his jerseys with him to put in the casket before the service. Once Troy tucked it onto Chance's arm, Nick simply stated: "There. Now Chance won't be alone." He hugged Troy and Kim and then came over to hug Justin. My heart was breaking for him but I am glad that he was able to feel like he could be there for his friend, even now. One day we will all rejoice when we are reunited and I can't wait to wrap my arms around this amazing young man again.

Oh, why? There's no comprehending
And who am I to try to judge or explain?
Oh, but I do have one burning question
Who told you life wasn't worth the fight?
They were wrong, they lied, and now you're gone, and we cried

'Cause it's not like you to walk away in the middle of a song
Your beautiful song, your absolutely beautiful song
--Rascal Flatts, Why

We love you Chance.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Ah, Lagoon.

The quintessential summertime activity. We missed out on the overpriced, prime people-watching, spine-jarring, headache-inducing fun last year so we made an extra special effort to visit this year. It was totally worth it.

This was Liam's first year he would be tall enough to ride the major roller coasters and he was stoked.

Our first stop was the white roller coaster. I sat right in front of Justin and Liam so I could turn back and watch him periodically. Justin filmed the whole thing. Liam was pretty excited until the first drop and then his expression was one of pure terror. He never cried and brightened up when I asked him if he was doing okay but I felt bad for him the entire time. Once we got off he wanted to go straight to the Colossus. He did fine on that one but once we exited the ride, he wanted a break from the roller coasters.

He wanted me to go on the Musical Express. I can tolerate this ride okay still even though my old lady genes are starting to kick in. I actually had a couple people tell me I was brave.

After riding those three right in a row, I was done for a while. Justin took a few of the kids on other rides that I can't tolerate. Like the Wild Mouse.

Oh, how I hate that ride.

It is funny because the boys were so excited that we allowed them to go off on their own with their friends if they wanted to. At the beginning, they were running all over the place and we would catch glimpses of them here and there, but as the day went on, they wanted to hang out with us. Well, except for Nick. We saw him at lunchtime. I snapped a quick picture to document that he was even there.

It was a perfect day. The weather was a little cooler, the lines weren't insane, and it is great that everyone is old enough to do whatever they wanted. Luke and Andrew even let Liam tag along with them on a couple rides and Liam thought he was pretty hot stuff.

It was the first year that they tried the Cliffhanger. They went on it over and over and over.

Liam lost his glasses on the Wicked. Justin realized he forgot to take them off of him as they were going up the hill and they flew off as they were going down. The workers looked for them a couple times but they are now a permanent fixture somewhere at Lagoon.

The men went on the Rocket to end the night and since I don't like that ride and Liam is too small to ride it, we opted to go on the Tilt-O-Whirl. I hadn't been on it since I was pretty young and I suspected that Liam would love it just like I did. It exceeded all of my expectations. I thought I was going to die and had to close my eyes at times to prevent nausea because we were spinning so fast but his giggle made everything worth it. I can't say that will be on the docket for next year but it was a slice of pure heaven being with that boy. Justin even won a cute stuffed animal for me for my sacrifice. It was a win-win.

Oh, Lagoon. Thank you for a wonderful day. You truly are what fun is.