Paisley’s Story

On Wednesday morning, March 22nd, I sat at the breakfast table sharing breakfast with Ron before he headed out the door for work and I casually mentioned to him that I hadn’t felt the baby move much this morning. Her gentle kicks normally woke me around the same time the boys would come prancing into our bedroom asking for breakfast. We just decided she must be sleeping in today as she had had other quiet mornings in the past and I didn’t think much else about it as we said our good byes and off he went to work. I then began hustling to get myself and the twins dressed and ready for playgroup at our church and it wasn’t long before we were headed out the door. I remember how frigidly cold it was that morning because we dressed for the warmer spring weather we had had the past couple days and didn’t realize until we stepped out the door how cold it was.
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We had such a great morning and I remember excitedly talking with friends about how my pregnancy was going and how the nursery plans were coming along. The boys and I went back for lunch and I put them down for their nap. The crazy thing is that I had an ultra sound scheduled for later that afternoon. They missed just a couple measurements at my last one because of the way she was situated so it was just supposed to be a quick one. I was so tired from our busy morning and decided I would lay down myself for a bit. I went to the bedroom, lay in bed, on my right side, one hand on my belly as I always did, feeling for her kicks. About 10 minutes went by and I felt nothing. I rolled back over to my back, both hands on belly now, waiting patiently for her to let me know she was ok. Just one little kick baby, thats all I needed. Still nothing. I started to worry a bit, changing positions every few minutes. I went to the kitchen and poured myself a glass of cold orange juice hopeful that it would wake her up. I went back and lay down again, now praying desperately for just some little sign that she was ok. I started to google as I lay there on my phone and the first things that came up were all positive. (baby might be facing towards my back and I wouldn’t be feeling any kicking or it’s not uncommon to not feel much movement some days) But I knew my baby girl. And in the past she would move when I asked her to. Something wasn’t right. I began to panic and called Ron at work. He tried to reassure me that everything was likely fine as there were no other signs that anything could be wrong and as I was getting an ultrasound within the hour anyway, she would be checked over thoroughly for a peace of mind. After I hung up, I put on the song “Good Good Father”  on my phone. One of my favourite worship songs. I needed to hear it to calm my soul but I also held it up to my belly in hopes that the music would wake up my baby girl. Tears ran down my face as I prayed that all was fine but deep inside I felt something wasn’t. I keep imagining that maybe it was that moment, her heart actually stopped and she was ushered into heaven, wrapped in the arms of her good, good Father. I got up a few minutes later, woke up the boys and we headed downtown for my ultrasound.
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As I waited in the waiting room with the twins for Ron to meet us, I had a mental battle with myself. Both hands still on my belly, I kept praying for just the tiniest little movement. I was dreading the ultrasound at this point but also kept trying to convince myself that I was over reacting and within a few minutes, I would be fully relieved. They called my name and in I went. I lay on the bed and as the tech immediately began to snap pictures of what she was looking for, I casually mentioned I was a bit worried because I hadn’t felt much movement today. She moved the probe to a different area on my belly and immediately turned the screen away from me. Thats when I knew something was very, very wrong. I started to cry and asked her if there was a heartbeat. She responded by asking me if I had had any cramping or bleeding. I was shaking and sobbing by this point and told her no. She moved the probe around a bit more, but I could see it all over her face. She told me she’d be back and went to get another tech. They both looked at the screen as she kept moving the probe around on my belly, obviously searching for something. The other tech shook his head and they exited the room again, saying they’d be right back. What was probably 5 minutes, felt like 3 hours. I wanted to scream and shout. I wanted to grab the probe myself and find my babies heartbeat. I tried my hardest to stay calm and begged God for there to be a mistake. I knew deep down what  was true but I was in denial. I guess the techs aren’t allowed to release such information so they had to get my midwife on the phone. They came back in to get me and I remember seeing Ron down the hall in the waiting room and bawling on the spot, motioning to him that things were not ok. My legs felt like jello as I tried to make it to the room where the phone was. My midwife confirmed to me in the most sensitive way she could  that they were unable to locate a heartbeat. I couldn’t process everything she was saying but all i knew was that my baby was not alive and I was broken. I was so so broken. They brought Ron into the room while the secretary kindly entertained the twins and I bawled on his shoulder while he spoke with my midwife. He tried to stay strong but it wasn’t long before he was crying too. We held each other and cried and cried but we had to compose ourselves to go out and get our boys who had no idea what was going on.
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What happened next is still a blur to me. After trying to explain what had happened in the best way possible to our precious boys who were so excited to meet their baby sister, we drove straight to the hospital to triage where my midwives met us and they would do another ultrasound to confirm what we already knew. I texted Britt who so kindly came to get the twins immediately. I remember laying on the bed in that room just praying there was a mistake. Praying that my baby girls heart would beat again, praying that it was just all a bad dream. How could this be? I had felt her kicking me so strongly just the day before. I was healthy, she was healthy. There were no signs or any reason to be concerned that anything could possibly be wrong leading up to that day. They did the ultrasound not long after and it was confirmed. They was no sign of movement, no beating heart. My baby girl had gone to be with Jesus, and no part of me was ready for this. Ron and I wept and wept together, hugging and holding each other. They did a ton of bloodwork and the doctor on call came in to discuss what the next steps would be and give us some options. I could either go home and allow my body to naturally go through labour when it was ready, I could stay in the hospital and be induced or they could preform an alternate surgical procedure so I didn’t have to go through the painfully emotional process of birthing her which to me personally, was not an option. But no part of me wanted to go home. There was no way I could lay in my bed and get any sort of rest with my lifeless baby inside of me. Ron and I both decided without any question that induction was the route we wanted to go.  There was quite a list of people ahead of me however, so they actually ended up sending us home anyway until a room became available. We made the long drive home across the city, completely broken, crying and asking God why. As soon as we got in the door however, we got a call that there was a room available and to come right back.
I was so flustered and an emotional mess while I tried to think of what I may need in my “hospital bag”. This is not how I imagined packing it. Packing your hospital bag was supposed to be a joyous activity with lots of happy anticipation. Not this. I couldn’t think clearly or see much through the tears and just grabbed whatever I could, while both Ron and my mom tried to help.
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I remember going into the twins room where they were fast asleep and just weeping over them, kissing them and holding them. I was devastated beyond belief yet had never been more thankful for these two beautiful blessings in my life . We left the house and made the trek back to the hospital. My midwife met me at the desk and after registering, we followed her to a room at the very end of the hall.  I got dressed in a hospital gown that was laid out for me, got as comfortable as I could in the bed and after speaking with the OB on call and hearing what the induction would entail, the process began. They started the oxytocin drip but I was also given an internal medication every four hours as they said I wasn’t far enough along to have enough receptors for the oxytocin. We were told it could take as long as 24-48 hours before I was fully dilated and ready to birth her. This was so hard to hear because I just wanted it all to be over. It was so painful lying in that hospital bed, waiting to give birth to my precious, lifeless baby. I never in a million years imagined I would have to do this. What mother ever does?
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We tried to get some sleep that night. Ron had a cot beside me in the room. But we both couldn’t stop crying. We just hugged and cried and hugged and cried some more. We just didn’t understand how this could have happened. Not this far along. My last miscarriage had happened at 8 weeks along and once I passed that point, I remember taking a big breath of relief, resting assured that our baby was going to be just fine.  And to think that that morning everything (as far as we knew) was perfect. Our entire world felt like it was flipped upside down in a matter of hours and we just didn’t know how to deal with it. We prayed together, and cried out to God asking for peace and clarity and comfort. We put on some worship music and that helped to calm our hearts a bit but I just couldn’t sleep a wink that night. I was shaking and feverish from the medication and my mind just wouldn’t shut off.
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At 7 am the nurses and OB’s switched shifts. I wasn’t prepared for all the questions that lay ahead in the hours leading up to her birth. So many questions. Questions I never imagined I’d ever have to answer about my own child. Painful questions that brought me to hysterical tears. Did I want to see/hold my lifeless baby when she was born? Did we have a name picked out? Did we want to go forward with an autopsy if there wasn’t any obvious signs as to what happened? Did we have a funeral home in mind? These are questions no mother should ever have to answer.  I was so thankful during this time for the support of my amazing midwife and the incredible nurses we had who made me feel as comfortable as possible and took the time to talk with me and just listen to me when I needed it most. I feel like God just placed all the right people in all the right places along the way.
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I started to feel some bad cramping around 8 am and we decided to move forward with an epidural so I could try and get a bit of rest having not slept through the night. I was a lot more comfortable after that and was able to sleep little bits on and off between hourly blood pressure and temperature checks. We asked our Pastor and his wife to come by that afternoon and as hard as it was to be so vulnerable and allow them to see me in the worst emotional state I’ve ever been in, it was exactly what we needed during that time. They listened to us tell share our broken and heavy hearts, they prayed with us and spoke words of truth into our lives. Truths we hung on to with everything we had in the hours to come. We are so thankful for them.
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Around 6 pm I started to feel very intense cramping on my left side. I had been laying on my right side for quite a while and I guess the epidural had worn off on the other. The cramping went from a pain level of 1 to a 10 in a matter of minutes and after checking me, the OB resident said she could feel the head. As they prepped for me to give birth and went to locate the OB on call, Ron held my hand and I remember weeping and telling him I couldn’t do this. He looked me in the eye and said “You Can, You are so strong, You can do this.” I asked him what we were going to name her. He said “what do you want to name her babe?” We had a running list of 4 names but hadn’t picked one yet.  I asked him if we could call her Paisley. He cried and nodded. The reason I said Paisley is because out of the 4 top names, I had a favourite, he had a favourite, we had one new one that we had found and loved but Paisley was one we both absolutely loved from the start and the one we had most recently talked of.
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They told me to push whenever I was ready and with one small push at 6:19 pm on March 23rd, Paisley Young was born. Our beautiful, baby girl with all her tiny fingers and all her tiny toes. She had the cutest little nose and perfect little lips. She was everything we dreamed of and more. Up until that very moment, I hadn’t known if I would be strong enough to hold her. Strong enough to even look at her. But the moment I laid eyes on her, I couldn’t take them off. She was perfect. So tiny yet so incredible perfect. Fearfully and wonderfully made by her heavenly Father. I wanted to hold her and hug her and kiss her and never stop. Ron and I were in awe of this beautiful babe that we would never get the chance to know, we would never get to look into her eyes or hear her little voice. But she was beautiful and the moment we met her, we were both forever changed..
They told us we could have her with us as long as we wanted. I expected to just see her and then say my goodbyes, but once we had her, we didn’t want to let her go.  I was staying one more night in the hospital and we both decided we wanted our families to meet her. How could they not? We had to share this beautiful blessing with them. We had our wonderful friend Sophie offer to come and do some photos for us which we were so incredibly blessed by. It’s all we have left to remember little Paisley and we’ll cherish those photos forever. It was the next morning at around 9:30 am when we said our final goodbyes to our sweet angel. We sobbed over her and prayed together. We sang her the song that we sing our boys every night before they go to sleep. Walking away and leaving her in that hospital room was the hardest thing I’ve done in my entire life. Leaving the hospital without my baby girl was so completely and utterly heart wrenching. But yet we still had this incredible and overwhelming peace. A peace that we knew where she was. And a peace that even though we don’t understand why, His plans are perfect and good and she is where she is supposed to be.

It really is hard to understand why these sorts of things happen. Why did my babies heart just suddenly stop beating at 22 weeks along? She was perfect, I was healthy, there is no clear explanation and no reason as to why. It’s been over a week and as autopsy results have started to come back, we still have no answers at all. That is one of the hardest parts for me. That we may never know why.
But God does. He knew what her life would entail before the was placed in my womb.  “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”  Psalm 139:13
He knows how and why and for whatever reason, He allowed it to happen. And even though, that’s hard to accept.  Even though it doesn’t make sense in the least bit right now and I’m an emotional, broken mess, I’m choosing to believe with everything in me that the way my baby girl’s life ended was not meaningless. While we may not be able to see what He’s doing right now, we will one day and until then, I will keep praising Him and blessing His name. God says in his word that He will give me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4). But His perfect timing isn’t necessarily my perfect timing. And while it’s so painful and hurts like hell not having my sweet baby girl with me to hug and to hold, to love and to raise, I will not lose heart. ( 2 Corinthians 4:16)
Our sweet daughter Paisley has taught us more about life and trusting in the Lord in the short time we knew her, then anything ever before. We have experienced the power of community and His faithfulness during this difficult time like never before. We found out after we named her, that “Paisley”  is a Scottish derivation of the Greek word “Basilica” meaning “church”. Our church family and so many others have gathered around us, cried with us, loved on us and supported us in ways we never could have imagined. There are no words to express how grateful we are for this powerful community standing behind us and the way we’ve been lifted up in our time of need. We only pray that we can be the same hands that have reached out to us, to others in the future.
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I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.  Psalm 139:14
A good friend of mine sent me this song the day after Paisley went to be with Jesus, and while I lay in my bed weeping over the loss of my sweet girl, it brought so much comfort to my hurting soul and I wanted to share it with you.
 
Thank you so much for taking the time to read.
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22 Weeks

Well. We’re past the halfway mark. July seems so far, yet so close. I’m just dying to meet our baby girl, to see what she looks like and to snuggle her close. Britt and I went out thrifting yesterday afternoon and we found some of the most adorable newborn outfits for summer. Hanging them up in her nursery closet just made things feel a whole lot more real.

How Far Along? I’m 22 weeks but I feel more like 30.

Weight Gain: The honest truth?! I’ve gained 16 lbs so far. Eek! I know it’s mostly in my thighs, bum and hips. haha. Thats where I always gain first.

Sleep: Sleep is fine! I normally wake up to pee a few times through the night but that’s about it.

Symptoms: So much better than before! The nausea has gone away and with the exception of the odd one, the headaches have mostly subsided as well. Thank goodness! I still experience extreme exhaustion from day to day but that’s pregnancy I guess! On Saturday it was a friend’s bridal shower and I was helping to host it. I woke up feeling great that morning but I had a few last minute errands to run for the shower so I headed out pretty early. After running in and out of about 3 stores, I came home feeling like I needed to take a 3 hour nap. Making a baby is tiring!

Movement: I swear little girl is gonna be a dancer. I feel her kicking all day long…mostly when I’m sitting or laying down. I was telling Ron yesterday that I almost feel like she moves more then BOTH the twins did around this time but maybe I just can’t remember. All that to say, she is very active in there! But I just love every minute of it.

Food Cravings: Carbs and sweets. Bagels, muffins, pasta, give me all the comfort food. And chocolate is just a given. I was so turned off of healthy foods all of first trimester…I couldn’t stomach a salad or any sort of raw vegetables and most meats made me nauseous. Thank goodness that’s gone away and I’m eating much more nutritious meals again. Now it’s just the extra snacking that’s the problem but what’s pregnancy for right?! In my first pregnancy, I had a thing for cheerios. I would go through a huge box of them weekly on my own so I’ve recently gone back to eating those and that’s typically my go-to evening snack. A big bowl of cheerios topped with strawberries and banana yum! And better then a bowl of ice-cream or chips right?

Stretch Marks: No new ones!

Names: Not any further along in the name department. In fact, we’ve added a few that we love which just makes the list we have to choose from longer. Names are so hard you guys!! Would love to hear any ideas you have!

So I think that’s all for updates. Thanks so much for reading!

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Nursery Inspiration

It’s finally starting to sink in that we’re having a little girl. I’ll soon be kissing my daughters sweet little toes and smelling her soft newborn skin. July can’t come soon enough. I was holding off on any nursery plans until we found out the gender and now that we know, it’s GO TIME! Even though we still have a good 4 months, I know time is just going to fly so reno’s are in full force. We’re currently using our third bedroom on the main floor as an office/art room for the boys. With our decision to homeschool them next year, we’ll be creating a functional school space downstairs and so the majority of the furniture/supplies in the office will be moved down there. Ron is currently replacing the floor, putting up new dry-wall etc., so once that space is complete which should be in the next week or so, we can officially get moving on the nursery!

The photos below are ones I’ve pinned to my nursery board and their sources can be found here! As you can see, there is a common theme of white walls (my entire house now ha!) lots of plants, lots of wood, and of course pops of PINK.

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To make the best use of space since the room is pretty small, I think we’re going to just have a make-shift change table on top of a dresser as pictured above. Ok, that oversized plant might be a bit much for the room but you get the idea. 😉

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How sweet is this print? a53649174da9c2b8665d3abec09b0ce5

More green and and white and pink! I have toyed with the idea of doing a super soft pink accent wall or something two-toned like this but I’ll likely just stick to white for the walls and pull color in elsewhere! abb7ced616f468356f5b86b2199d82690ec2cce9

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I want to find a similar rocking chair to the one above and I just love all the girly-ness of this room!

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Adore that huge wreath! Love the warm vibes in this photo and we’re getting that same crib from IKEA.

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Where can I find a cactus like that one?!?!?!

Can’t wait to start working this nursery! Thanks for reading.

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Baby Girl!

We are beyond ecstatic! We’ll be welcoming a baby GIRL into our family in July! Skyler and Bryson guessed right. Sky was convinced from day 1 it was a girl and he wants to name it “Hunny Bunny Bunny”. We’ll have to work on that one. Either way, we couldn’t be more thrilled and are super excited to share this news with you! gender-reveal-5-of-8

Thanks to our amazing and talented friend Sophie for capturing these precious memories for our family! And my bestie Britt for taking the video! Moments we will treasure forever. xoxo

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15 Weeks

How Far Along: I’m 15 and a half weeks and can’t believe how fast the time is going! I remember the weeks going by so slow before we announced and now it feels like our babe will be here before we know it! We heard babies heart beating loud and clear at our midwife appointment this morn. The twins were so excited to finally be able to hear it, and of course I was too!

Size: The baby is the size of an apple and definitely growing every day! My belly is pretty small when I first wake up in the morning but get a good breakfast in there, and I am SO pregnant.

Weight Gain: Ok guys. I feel really hesitant to post this here because I’m slightly embarrassed by it but I’ve already gained 12 lbs just in first trimester :S :S ugh. See I think I’m frustrated because I had worked so hard the past year to get in shape and was so ambitious and excited about having a fit and healthy pregnancy. I had planned to keep up with my workout routine and maintain a healthy balanced diet. Well that worked out well for the first 5 weeks? And then it went downhill from there. And Christmas didn’t help. As I mentioned in my last pregnancy post, I had aversions to most veggies, meat and even some fruits for the longest time. Things are starting to get better so I hope everything balances out (including my weight ha!) I’ve been slowly getting back into a workout routine a few times a week and trying to bring all the healthy greens back into my diet because I know that’s important for both me and baby. But it definitely hasn’t gone the way I planned and I just have to be ok with that.

Sleep: I’ve been sleeping fine (except when the twins still wake me up once and while). And then I sometimes have trouble getting back to sleep.

Symptoms: I get morning sickness the odd day here and there but I haven’t actually been sick yet. I’ll just feel super nauseous while putting on my makeup or making the twins breakfast and I’ll have to grab a glass of water and just lay down for a few minutes until it passes. Sometimes the smells of certain foods make me feel sick but again not the point of actually being sick. The biggest thing I’m still battling is the migraines. I seem to get about one a week that lasts around 3 days. 🙁 We think it’s mostly tension related as I have A LOT of tightness in my neck and shoulders. So I’ve gotten two massages this week in hopes that it will start to relieve some of that and Ron has me doing a daily stretch routine as well. Hoping they let up soon because it’s not fun caring for noisy two three year olds while your head is non-stop pounding. I think that’s it for symptoms except for being exhausted. I’ve made it past 8 pm a handful of times the past couple weeks though so I think I may be starting to get some of that second trimester energy back woot!

Movement: Yes I’ve already felt movement! I started to feel little flutters for the first time around 12.5 weeks but wasn’t sure if it was just gas bubbles or I was just imagining it. But the flutters have been pretty consistent since then and my midwife told me today it’s totally possible as you feel it much sooner in your second pregnancy. Ron even felt a little kick on the outside the other night when we both had our hands on my belly in silence for a while. So surreal and probably my favourite part of pregnancy…feeling that little life inside of me move and kick around.

Food Cravings: Mostly still sweet things. I was definitely having too much chocolate in first trimester so now I’ve started to replace it with a bowl of fruit or an apple and peanut butter. And ok total disclosure here: I went through a about 2 weeks of eating Mcdonalds. Like full out big macs and fries you guys…totally gross and not like me at all. I don’t even know what got into me but I literally couldn’t stop myself from driving through the drive through and ordering. Thank goodness that is over. Our family has actually been moving towards a plant based diet since then and I’ll be sharing more about that in another post!

Stretch Marks: Just the same old ones as last time, becoming more pronounced as my belly grows!

Names: We don’t have anything definite yet but we do have a running list which we will probably nail down as soon as we find out the gender…which is in just 3 WEEKS! EEEEK!!!

So I think that’s about it for 15 weeks. I’m so anxious to get working on the nursery and have been reluctantly resisting the urge to buy all the cute baby things. Can it just be July already?!?!

haha thanks so much for reading!!!

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