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Thursday, December 30, 2010

12 week

Well... the doppler might not be the best idea right now. I had a little scare last week. Britney and I were able to find the heartbeat just fine until Sunday night. I kept myself calm and decided I would try again Monday morning. As soon as I opened my eyes I ran and grabbed the doppler. I searched and searched but couldn't find our baby Olives heartbeat. I was a wreck. I kept telling myself it was going to be okay. But I didn't feel that way. I really had it in my head that we had lost yet another baby and if this was true I was done. No more babies I had decided. We would just have dogs and that was it. I sent Jyl a text to see if I could come in for an ultrasound. She told me I could see one of her friends at 1:30 that afternoon. I can't even begin to tell you how slow the hours went by that morning. I walked into Brit's house and sunk down into the couch I couldn't keep myself from bursting into tears. I was so scared! Taylor was out of town for work that day so mom went with me to the clinic. As soon as we got there and she rubbed that wand across my belly she said, "There's the heartbeat!" The tension in my body completely went away. We stayed for a while and watched our little acrobat. This baby is an active little booger. Little Olive was flipping all over the place and punching his/her arms and kicking the uterine wall. I can't believe I couldn't feel it. We figured since Olive is so active that is why I couldn't catch the heartbeat on my doppler. I decided to put that thing up for a while. Baby Olive has grown so much. It's little profile was so cute and I thought for a second it was a boy but she informed me that was the umbilical cord ;)
I was so relieved. I really thought this baby had gone to join our sweet Mamie in heaven.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The birth of Abe

My adorable nephew came into this world on December 19th. He and mommy are healthy and happy. I put together a slideshow that I hope you all enjoy. - Sarah

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Christmas Story

This is the cutest video! Check it out when you have time. It will bring a smile to your face.
- Sarah

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Update from Sellers

I got a call and my liver enzymes are normal!!! HOORAY!!!!!!!!!! They are testing for a few more things and we should hear back this week.
My parents rented Taylor and I a doppler from Stork Radio. It really puts my mind at ease being able to hear baby Olive's heart beat any time of the day. If you are interested be sure to go check out the website.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

This holiday season has been filled with hope, joy, and happiness. I just feel better this year. God has calmed my heart and given me strength to go on. We all miss Mamie so very much. I think about what little presents we would be putting under the tree and how half of the ornaments wouldn't even be up because she would have already pulled them off. But again this year I think of what an amazing place to be spending her second Christmas. In heaven with Jesus. I bet it is amazing!
I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. We have so much to be thankful for and what a sweet, sweet day. It is Jesus' birthday.
- Sarah
We want to thank our awesome friends Sarah and Jon Stringer. Every year they light a tree at UAMS in memory of Mamie. Thanks for never forgetting! We love you.

Friday, December 24, 2010

12 weeks!

Well we have made it to 12 weeks and are doing great. Yesterday Taylor and I went in to see Dr. Sellers and got to hear baby Olives heart beat for the first time. What a sweet sweet sound and it was 165 beats per minute! We discussed everything that happened with Brit and the cholestasis (post to come). When Taylor and I were trying to get life insurance about a year ago through 2 different companies my liver enzymes were elevated both times. Sellers is going to keep a close eye on this and they drew blood yesterday. Once we hear back I might be sent to our G.I. doctor for further testing.
Seller was excited to tell us that he and his wife are due a few weeks before us. Crazy since last time they were due a few weeks behind us. We are so happy for them.
I go back in 4 weeks for another check up. Jyl, is going to do an ultra sound on Jan 11 and hopefully we will find out the sex of our little Olive. Be sure to cast your vote on the blog of what you think the sex might be.
- Sarah

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A hidden journal

Sunday October 31st, 2010
Today was one of the happiest days of mine and Taylor lives. Our prayers were answered, we are pregnant! The excitement is totally different from that of when we found out we were pregnant with our little Mamie. There is a bit of nervousness and fright. But I am leaving it in Gods hands. He will take care of me and this baby I know it!
So here is what happened.... Taylor and I went away that weekend to the river with some friends from our Sunday school class. We had such a fun weekend but I was feeling a little off. I really didn't look too deep into it since it has been month after month of waiting and trying. I really just thought, I didn't feel good and I was close to the end of my cycle. On our way home from the river I told Taylor we might want to stop and get a test. I was suppose to start fasting the very next day for my colonoscopy on Wednesday. YUCK:( We ran by Walgreens and I ran in and bought the very same test that I took with Mamie. The simple 2 lines if you are positive one. I was so tired of the digital ones that kept answering back NOT PREGNANT! Those things are depressing. As soon as we walked in the door I headed back to the bathroom. As I sat there looking at the stick I really thought I might be seeing things. But there was a faint second line showing up. Could this be for real?......... Am I seeing this right?........I slowly walked to the kitchen still staring at the stick as the line grew darker. I said "Taylor.........". He could tell by my face that there was something there. "There are 2 lines. Babe we are pregnant." I cried. Taylor being the cautious person that he is grabbed the stick and stared at it for a minute. "Are you sure these things are accurate?" he asked. I had already begun crying and Taylor grabbed me and hugged me so tight. "We are having another baby!" he said.
Taylor and I decided to call our family to tell them the news. Well this was after I peed on one more stick :) The reaction on the other line from everyone was SO perfect. There were so many tears of joy shed that day. All we could say was thank you thank you God.
We decided to get out in the yard and clean up the garden. It was a beautiful day and I wanted to spend the afternoon in Mamie's garden. Before I went outside we light her candle. I had her on my heart more than ever then. I know she is clapping up in heaven about having a brother or sister. I wish so badly that she was here with us but I this new baby will know all about their big sis and how she has touched so many lives here on earth.
It was a good day.
- Sarah
Monday Nov. 1, 2010:
I called Dr. Sellers to tell him the good news and he was thrilled. We decided to head to the clinic today to have some labs run. First they wanted to check my numbers and make sure everything looks good there but also he wanted to check my homocystine levels. When Taylor and I walked into the clinic it was PACKED! I saw Barbara standing by the sign in desk and I walked quickly over to here. She grabbed me and gave me a huge hug. Everyone at the clinic looked at Taylor and I with big smiles. They all remembered us and our sweet baby girl. It was so comforting to walk back into a place where I entered my nightmare and feel at peace. Dr. Sellers was suppose to be studying at home but he came in just to see us. He was smiling ear to ear and kept tearing up as he visited with us. I know I have said this before but he is the most kind and compassionate man and doctor. He has checked in on us these past 16mths and has continued to pray with everyone else. We didn't even hesitate when we found out to call him and let him know. We want him to be our doctor again for sure!
As of right now my due date is July 6, 2011. I can't believe it. That is SO close to Mamie's due day of July 13, 2009. I won't go into that right now. I will post later all the crazy signs I received this past month. ;)
I decided to stop taking my lexapro. I feel like I can do it but we will see. It is safe to take this while you are pregnant but there are a few risk. I just don't want to take any chances.
Tonight was the Candle Memorial at St. Vincent. They have it every year for families that have lost their baby's. We all met for dinner before hand and then headed over. It was such a lovely ceremony. The music was beautiful and Lynette did an amazing job telling her story and how she became involved with St. Vincent and the bereavement program. Taylor and I lite a candle for Mamie and picked an ornament off the tree. I also picked the same clear ball for Whit and Mitzi. I think I am going to put a picture of Mamie in ours and a picture of Weston in their ball. That will be so nice to see on the tree this year.
Tuesday Nov. 2, 2010:
Dr. Sellers called first thing this morning and said that my numbers look great. I called Taylor and said, "Babe, Sellers called and we are for sure pregnant." He was still not totally trusting those home test :) It has been a pretty good day. I have been feeling pretty adjudicative which could be me coming off of the lexapro.
Today is our work day in the office. After lunch Brit started feeling really bad. She said she was having really bad pains on her left side all the way to her back. She rested on the couch for a while but the pain grew stronger. I was not going to play around with this. Amanda and I helped her to the car and we headed to UAMS labor & delivery. The closer we got the more pain she started having. I was trying so hard to stay calm. Baby Spees did not need to come today. She is only 30 weeks. I thought I was going to have to make her get in the wheel chair but she sat down pretty fast. By the time we got her signed in and Jason and she went back to a room she was in so much pain she was throwing up. I am so glad that didn't all happen at the house. Dr. Wendel was there and said she was having contractions but was not in labor. Thank you Lord! They gave her some pain meds and fluids and stopped the contractions.
Wednesday Nov. 3, 2010:
I went back into the clinic today to check my numbers again. My homocystine levels came back normal which is very good. I still don't know what I think about it all. I have heard of some people that have the MTHFR enzyme mutation taking a baby aspirin a day. I feel like that might make me feel a little better if I do that but Dr. Sellers and I will discuss this more when I go in for my first ob appointment on Nov. 23.
Thursday Nov. 4, 2010:
The clinic called and my numbers have over doubled. YAHOO!!!!! Baby is growing in there. I feel so bloated and thick already. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I pop out really soon ;)
Sunday Nov. 14, 2010:
It has been a nice and relaxing weekend here. Taylor left Thursday to meet Dustin in the deer woods. Ashley and Alivia
to came down and spend the weekend with me. It was so good to see both of them. Alivia has grown so much since the last time
I saw her in August. I haven't been feeling totally great today. I took a long nap after church and now I have been sitting here
feeling totally sick to my stomach. I guess the nausea is setting in. I remember it so well with Mamie. Taylor and I had planned
a long weekend in New York and the whole weekend was pretty miserable for me and probably for Taylor as well. I guess I
would rather have these symptoms. It makes me feel like things are okay in there.
Sunday Nov.21, 2010:
We decided to tell our Sunday school class today and were thrilled that there were so many people there. Everyone was so
excited and many tears were shed. We are so blessed to have such an amazing group of people in our lives.
Baby Ike was baptised that morning as well. He looked so beautiful in his gown.
Tuesday Nov. 23, 2010:
Today was a really big day. Thankfully I am swamped at work so I didn't have time to think about our
first ultrasound we would be having. Taylor and I met Jyl at Freeway close to 5 and I was a nervous wreck.
All I wanted to know what that our little baby was growing and doing well. I was so anxious to see the heartbeat
and to be told everything was okay. Jyl rubbed the wand over my belly and we watched the screen in silence.
All of a sudden she said. "See right there...that's your baby. And right there is your baby's heartbeat." That
sickness in my stomach went away. Everything looked great and it was amazing to see our baby Olive in there.
Wednesday Nov. 24, 2010
Taylor and I headed to Cornerstone first thing this morning. We were so excited to see Dr. Sellers and Barbara.
We brought our ultrasound so he could take a look. Baby Olive's heart rate looked great at 138 beats
per minute. I asked him to look back in our charts at Mamie's stats. She was at around 168 beats per minute.
I wonder if that means this baby Olive could be a boy :) We don't care either way but it is so fun to discuss and make
bets with each other on the sex. We have decided since all looks well we would tell the world that we have a new baby
on the way. YEA!!!!!!!!

Monday Nov. 29, 2010
Thanksgiving was so wonderful. Taylor and I woke up early and had coffee and slowly got ready. The day started at my
parents house. When we got there mom was in the kitchen, dad was getting the turkey off the big green egg and Brit, Jason
and Silas were in the den watching the Macy's Day Parade. I was in the best mood and was so happy to be spending the day with
family. Taylor and I brought Mamie's candle over. It is crazy how her month always falls on Thanksgiving and
Christmas but I think it is also really special too. She would have been 17 months and I imagine she would be following
Silas around everywhere and busy trying to keep up. I think about the cute little dress we would have her in and a big
bow in that beautiful dark curly hair. Cosy, Maddie, Aunt Sandy and Uncle Stevie came over and we all gathered around
the table and stuffed ourselves with yummy food. Taylor and I headed out a few hours after lunch for Hot Springs to have
a second Thanksgiving with his family. I told myself I wasn't going to eat much but by the time 5 o'clock rolled
around my plate was full and I was happy :) It was a lovely day and I am so thankful for such a wonderful families Taylor and I
both have. We are truly blessed.
December 9th, 2010
Britney has been on bed rest for almost 4 weeks now. Crazy right! Baby Abe has been trying to come since she was around
30 weeks and we just can't have that. I told her I would take her in to her appointment today so Jason didn't have to take off work
and plus Jyl said that she would give her an ultrasound and I wanted to see that little guy. I was cracking up when Brit got out of the
car and started waddling into the the building. The sweet sister that I am started singing, "Umpa, dopa, dupadi do"
She looks so cute. She hasn't gained a pound anywhere but that belly and it looks like she has stretched her shirt over
an extra large basketball. Dr. Wendel was very sweet and gave me a huge hug and said what a great Christmas present
you have received. Britney was dilated to a 2 possible a 3 and he told her to go home and lay on her back. She was not
very excited to hear that news but she knew what she had to do. Jyl came in to take her in for her ultrasound and I was surprised when
she asked me if I wanted to be scanned. Of course I do! I hopped right up on that table and pulled my shirt up. Baby Olive has grown so
much and he/she was waving its little arms and kicking its legs. Pretty awesome! The heartbeat was up to 168 beats per
minute and Jyl said everything looks great. I was so releaved. Next up was Britney and Jyl did a 4D on baby Abe. He was in the best
position to see his sweet little face. He looked a little smashed in there which didn't surprise us at all. He was opening an closing
his eyes and his little mouth was moving. At one point he started sucking his thumb. Just like his Aunt Kiki use to do. Britney
and I felt much better getting to see our little babies and we went home happy.

Here is our baby Olive at 10 weeks :)

Baby Abe is here!

We had a pretty crazy weekend. Saturday while I was out and about getting stuff for holiday parties and doing some last minute shopping I got a call from mom saying that I needed to come over and help her with Silas. Jason was taking Brit to labor and delivery because she was itching like crazy from head to toe. Even the palms of her hands and bottoms of her feet were itching. While we were all waiting at the house Brit and I began texting back an forth. They thought her liver enzymes might be elevated. Come to find out they were and she had formed cholestasis. You can click on the word to read more about it.

Some women experience a very severe itching in late pregnancy. The most common cause of this is cholestasis, a common liver disease that only happens in pregnancy. Cholestasis of pregnancy is a condition in which the normal flow of bile in the gallbladder is affected by the high amounts of pregnancy hormones. Cholestasis is more common in the last trimester of pregnancy when hormones are at their peak, but it usually goes away within a few days after delivery. According to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cholestasis occurs in about 1 out of 1,000 pregnancies but is more common in Swedish and Chilean ethnic groups. Cholestasis is sometimes referred to as extrahepatic cholestasis which occurs outside the liver, intrahepatic cholestasis which occurs inside the liver, or obstetric cholestasis.

What causes Cholestasis of pregnancy?

Pregnancy hormones affect gallbladder function, resulting in slowing or stopping the flow of bile. The gallbladder holds bile that is produced in the liver, which is necessary in the breakdown of fats in digestion. When the bile flow is stopped or slowed down, this causes a build up of bile acids in the liver which can spill into the bloodstream.

They decided they would go ahead and take the baby, which made us all happy. I just didn't want to jack around with this anymore. We needed baby Abe to get here safe and sound. After waiting and waiting for her c-section Britney was taken into the O.R. early the next morning. Jason and I sat in the hall waiting for the okay to join her. I was there to cheer on my sis and take the first picture of baby Abe entering the world. It was pretty intense. There were 2 nurses at her feet, three doctors around her, then behind at her head was Jason, 2 anaesthesiologist, me and then 3 pediatricians to the left of me. We were crammed in there. As the time quickly passed and they were still trying to get little Abe out my anxiety level started going up and I mean very fast. I tried to not let Britney see it on my face but I thought something was wrong. Everyone started peaking around the curtain and I felt that I was seeing a look of concern. My heart was racing and I was having a really hard time breathing. All of a sudden they raised this beautiful baby above the curtain for us all to see. He was perfect and I snapped away. I was spinning by this time. The anxiety had totally gotten to me. I was scared out of my mind and was about to slide down the wall and pass out. One of the nurses rushed me out and stripped my scrubs off. I was as white as a ghost. I kept asking if he was okay. I could hear him crying and that made me feel so much better. I just needed to know he and Brit were both okay.
Once they came back to the recovery room I sat there taking pictures of Abe having his feet stamped and getting his first bath. I couldn't take my eyes off of him. He was perfect!
Since December 19th both baby Abe and Britney are doing great and are home for Christmas. Silas is being a wonderful big brother. He loves Abe so much and has held him a couple of times. He told me last night while I was holding Abe, "Kiki when he gets big we can plaaaaaay." They are going to have so much fun together.
Below is a little slide show that I put together. Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pennsylvania Trip

December 2-6 I went to visit one of my sweet and talented friends Tania Lezak. We had such a fun weekend. She and her husband adopted little Annika last January and I have been dying to meet her. She is precious and has such a cute personality. We played, watched movies, drank lot of hot tea and I can't even tell you how many M&M's we ate. Saturday morning Tania and I headed to Philly to photograph a wedding. I haven't second shot in years so I was pumped. The couple was lovely and Tania and I had a blast shooting together. I haven't laughed that much in a really long time. Since I have been home we have been skyping with our other good friend Kate from California trying to get a girls trip together for Feb. I CAN NOT wait.

- Sarah

Friday, December 17, 2010

Catering To You

I was filled with joy and tears a few months back when Judy Adams from Catering To You called me. She had heard about Mamie's Poppy Plates and wanted to discuss some things with me. She was so touched by the idea of what I was doing and wanted to help in any way. While we were talking she said, "Sarah, I want to fund all the plates for UAMS and for Little Rock Childrens Hospital." Ya'll I almost went to my knees. I began shaking and tears of joy streamed down my face. Since then Judy has done so much for us. She has put us in touch with an amazing law firm that has taken us on probono so we can achieve non-profit status. There is way more exciting news coming soon. To say thank you to our sweet Judy Adams we had two plates painted for her to say thank you for adopting both hospitals. We hope that more businesses will adopt hospitals and we can be state wide soon.

Thank you thank you thank you Judy. You are such a special person that I believe God brought into my life since my painful loss of Mamie.


Thanks Beth at Firefly Studio for these beautiful plates. We love them!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Arkansas Hospital Association Trade show

The Arkansas Hospital Association trade show back in October was a true hit. The interest and enthusiasm we received was both heart warming and proved that what we are doing is going to go so far. Thanks to everyone that came to help. We would like to give a special thanks to one of our biggest supporters, Judy Adams from Catering To You who helped us get our booth and made the yummy and beautiful petite fours for everyone that stopped by our booth.

Me and Britney

Me and sweet sweet Crystal.

The two Sarah's :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Update on Brit and baby

A few weeks back Amanda and I had to rush Brit to labor and delivery because she was having serious contractions. Being only 30 weeks at the time made it very scary. Baby Abe needs to say put for a while so he can keep cooking. They hooked her up and monitored her while they gave her fluids and pain meds to stop the contractions. Thankfully she had not dilated and it all turned out to be okay and she got to go home after a couple of hours.
Everyone has been taking turns with Silas to get him out so she can rest. Dr. Wendel said she needs to take it easy and rest as much as she can. I picked him up for the park the other day. I took him to the old park that Britney and I grew up playing in. We had so much fun running around and hiking the trails. I love that little guy.
- Sarah

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The loss of another baby

Last week was another really hard week. We were super busy in the office when I got a text from my sweet sweet friend Mitzi saying they had gone in for their 20 week ultrasound and there was no heartbeat. I wanted to start screaming. WHY! Why is this happening to so many people that I love? Why does it happen to anyone at all. It just isn't fair. The pain you feel..... I can't even describe it. No one should have to join this horrible club. I immediately picked up the phone and called her back. As soon as I heard her sweet voice on the other end my eyes welled up with tears. She told me she didn't know what happened. I could tell she was in total shock. We closed down shop here and Britney and Amanda got out with me to go gather some very important things for Mitzi. Touch has been so important to me. Anything that Mamie touched is so precious to me. I headed to Target and found a soft cream blanket that we could wrap the baby in, I also found 2 books that really helped me through this past year. Gone but Not Lost: Grieving the Death of a Child and Grieving the Child I Never Knew. I really was wanting to find this other book called Naming the Child: Hope-Filled Reflections on Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Death but I couldn't find it anywhere. I was kind of overwhelmed and angry at the book selection at Barnes and Noble. There was NOTHING. How could that be? I mean this is reality for so many families and there should be books on hand out there. Anyway enough on that.... :) I also included in her bag a wooden holding cross and I loaned her my beautiful prayer shawl that my minister gave me at the hospital before I had Mamie. I also talked to a friend that wanted to do something special for Mitzi and Whit. I told her to call Roberson's and get her a baby ring. She did just that. :)

Mitzi and Whit had a day to process everything before they went in to be induced. I was so relieved to hear that Dr. Sellers was on call and would be her doctor through out the day and night. I kept my phone by my ear the whole night. I don't think I slept a all. Thursday morning rolled around I rushed to get ready and sent Whit a text. So after I did the nurse from Baptist called and said Mitzi would be delivering any minute. I had all of my camera gear in the car and I rushed up to the hospital. I sat in the waiting room with family as we waited to hear. Suddenly the doors open and Whit came walking through. The pain and hurt on his face was all too familiar. The tears streamed down his face as he hugged family and told us that we could go back and see Mitzi and their precious baby boy. When I saw Mitzi in the bed holding her sleeping angel I don't even know what to say. It hurt so badly to see her right there where I had been, holding her lifeless baby. Isn't this suppose to be the happiest moment of your life?Having a baby? It was far from happy. Mitzi did have such a peace about her. She was so calm as she introduced her sweet baby to me. She held him close as she and Whit looked him over and compared him to their other two children. He was perfect.... just perfect! I began taking pictures and ended up staying at the hospital for about 5 hours. We placed him on the blanket that I brought and took pictures. I placed his baby ring around his tiny little hand. It was so beautiful. After weighing him and getting his length the nurse brought out a familiar box. It was a Mamie's Poppy Plates box. Never in a million years did I think I would be where I am or what I have been through. But having two friends within a month receive a MPP just seemed crazy. The nurse stamped his perfect little feet as I took pictures. Tears streamed down my face behind the camera. Why and this is not fair, kept running through my head. We finished up by putting his footprints in both Mitzi and Whit's bible next to Psalm 139:14 . What a beautiful verse. It says, "I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made." How perfect is that. Mitzi and Whit decided to name their sweet boy, Weston George Penick. They had a family ceremony and buried Weston at Roselawn cemetery the next morning on one of the most beautiful days of the year. Mitzi and Whit are doing okay. I told them the pain will never go away. You just learn to live with it. Weston will be forever missed.
- Sarah