Sunday, June 28, 2009

Splish Splash

June 2009 - Channahon pool

Mommy Blogs - For your information

In case anyone is actually reading any of this (haha) i'm mostly doing this for me. I want to compile all the blogs I wrote about Sadie's illness, my surgeries and how all that added up over the past year. I still have a ton of emails to go thru and post - and then there's MY journal.

I don't think any of that's going on here, probably best used for a little something I'm writing about Sadie's stay at the hospital after birth.

Woops, there goes the buzzer for my zuchinni. I'm never getting anything done!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michelle's Mommy Blogs - Coping with the Pain (Part 2)

Friday, April 25, 2008
vacuum - day one

IT SUCKS! literally! haha god i'm funny.

no seriously, the vacuum is on and attached and it's going okay. i'm in a lot of pain from the thing, but every day will get better.

my wound is healing really well. it's starting to "tunnel" - meaning heal from the inside out. the nurse said it looks like a side of beef - which is very good!

i have only two pieces of foam inside instead of three, so it's shrinking slow but sure.

i'm hoping to have this thing off in less than 10 days, but we'll see.

i'm so grateful to my mom. she has stayed here every day since monday to take care of sadie. i dont know what i'd do without her. thanks mom!

Sunday, April 27, 2008
ooooh happy day

i can't wait for the following:

- getting wound vac taken off

- having my c-section HEAL completely!

- being able to walk without pain

- looking at my stomach without that big, ugly lump on it

- finally being able to fully enjoy sadie to the fullest extent

- going on our first "vacation" as a family

- brookfield zoo with my sister or karlene!

- swimming!

- warmer weather

- finding out what ever happened to dan

- telling my EX-doctor what i REALLY think of him

- ending my run of the worst luck ever

- taking sadie to disney world

- planting my flowers

- tomatoes from the garden

- a big ol' thunderstorm (the kind with sirens but no actual tornado)

- finding time to pursue my interests (photography, urbex, etc)

- losing 20 more lbs (when i'm finally able to work out!)

- being good, ol' regular, non-sick ME

Tuesday, April 29, 2008
flipping out

so i completely lost it today.

sadie is so constipated and the poor thing screamed for a few hours straight. my mom tried everything she could and all i can do is just sit there and try to hold her.

i feel like sadie is so confused - like she doesn't know who her mom is because so much has been going on. everytime she wakes up, it's someone else other than me, picking her up from the crib. i know she misses the routine we used to have.

i love her so much and to be back at square one after you were finally getting into the groove of things is disheartening.

i don't feel like a good mom. i feel like i failed her, it's my fault she got sick. i left her alone all those nights at children's. i should have followed my gut when i KNEW something was wrong with the c-section.

i need to vent. thank god for my mom. and for erik.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008
dear god: end my shitty luck. amen.

i really have a good feeling i might get this thing off tomorrow. i'm hardly having any drainage at all.

please let this thing come off me tomorrow. so i can pick up my baby, drive a car, walk without pain, snuggle with my hubby - you know, the usual.

please please please come off me soon herbie (yeah, i named my wound vac, so would you if you were attached to one forEVER).

well, even if it doesn't come off tomorrow, i get to take, dum dum daaaah - A SHOWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

it's been waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long. and i feel funky. and probably smell that way too.

i changed my profile song. for whatever reason and for whatever crappy mood i'm in, that song makes me get a goofy grin on my face. because the words are true.

i need a drink. a stiff one.

Thursday, May 01, 2008
please please please please

i know it's bad to want things from god. or blasphemous or whatever - but please pray i get this thing out of me tomorrow - it's been waaaaay too long.


Friday, May 02, 2008
looks like it’s me and herbie

by the time it's all said and done, it'll be over two weeks since i got a wound vac.

looks like i'll continue to annoy everyone for a few more days. especially erik. i think he hates me right about now.

sorry i've been bothering everyone.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michelle's Mommy Blogs - Coping

Thursday, March 13, 2008
Sadie’s home!

Yay and joy!

Been so busy I forgot to post a blog up here about it.

She’s doing so well at home. Mostly, Sadie sleeps all day and night and is up for about 2 hours at the most to eat and enjoy her surroundings.

Lucy is doing really well with her too - which I knew she would.

I still can’t believe she is here. When we went to pick her up yesterday, it felt like I was going to the hospital all over again to have her. I guess that’s what a traumatic c-section does to a woman.

I had a horrible experience at Silver Cross. My nurses were great, but that’s about it. I feel like my doctor just took the baby out and left. Like, he did his job and figured that’s all he needed to do. Besides the c-section, he spent a total of about 10 mintues with me over 28 hours. Nice huh?

Then when I went to see him last week - and he asked about the baby, I told him the story - which is a sad one. I was crying a lot because it is a sad what does he do? Write me a prescription for anti-depresants. Don’t worry, I’m not taking them.

When we got home yesterday - Erik gets the mail and get this: our insurance company denied our claim for Sadie. they covered her for 5 of the 11 days she was at Childrens. WTF? i guess she wasn’t sick enough or something. i hate insurance. even if you have it - it can bite you in the ass.

well, off to write some interesting tales in sadie’s baby book. thank you to everyone for all your love and prayers.

Friday, March 21, 2008
finally - the end?

okay - i am hoping this is the last "pregnancy" complication i ever have to write about.

went to the doctor (not my stupid, ignorant OB) and had her check out the incision from the c-section. i’ve been having horrible stinging/burning pain for about two weeks now. it’s just to the point where i can’t take it anymore.

then i started having chills/fever and figured the stupid fucking thing was infected - and i was right.

it just pisses me off that my OB who literally glanced at the incision didn’t catch this two weeks ago.

the doctor i saw today was more in-depth and thourough than my OB was when i was in labor.

anyway - i’m on antibiotics now so it should take care of everything. the craptacular side-effect is that i can’t nurse the baby and have to go back to the pump - which i fear will deplete the little milk i have. but, you know what?

i tried harder than any woman could have tried. for the insane amount of stress/fatigue/pain i was in and the PCOS factor - i think i did the best job i could have done. i sacrificed spending time with my sick baby in the hospital to sit in a lactation room for 30-45 minutes at a time. i tried different drugs to no avail. i tried every suggestion from every person who had an idea to offer me.

i can’t keep beating myself up about it either. i just can’t. i have been hard enough on myself about everything that happened to sadie - so i don’t think this would help me get over anything any quicker.

it’s getting better to sleep at night. i have good days and bad days. i still can’t help thinking that there was something i could have done to prevent sadie from catching that virus. i still think about all the nights she had to spend alone in a cold, metal hospital crib surrounded by other crying, sick babies. it breaks my heart to think of it.

i don’t think about it as much - but i know i will never forget what happened to sadie. i sometimes feel like erik and i have been through 20 years of parenting in two weeks.

i’m mad that i missed out on two weeks of her life. i’m hurt and sad that i never had the chance to hold her after she was born. it’s all these little moments that i missed that hurt so bad. i’ll never get those moments back.

but, for every complication, every bit of bad news, every minute i missed with my baby - i’m grateful. i’m so happy erik had the time off that he did. i don’t know how we could have gone through everything without each other. i feel so blessed that sadie is home now.

the nice thing about everything is, is that we can try again for another baby - and hopefully, things will work out a lot better next time. i’m pretty sure they will.

Friday, March 28, 2008
our kit kat bar of a situation

i was going to write about this, but my husband wrote an extremely fitting blog on the topic and thought i’d just repost it here for all to see:

Give me a break of that Kit-Kat Bar
Current mood: frustrated
Category: Life

So we took Sadie to the doctor today for her one month check up and quess what we got ourselves, a sandwich. Well not the kinda sandwich that you would eat but a good, bad, good sandwich, (so it could be worse, so her it is).

Bread (whole grain with honey): So she has gained about 14 oz in two weeks that is very good, however, turns out that she has a heart murmer (not too sure if I spelled that one write?).

Meat (rancid bologna): It could be a functionable heart murmer which lots of people have and it’s no big deal, you can function without a health risk or it could be the other type of murmer which is indicative of a flap on the heart that has not closed post-congential (a little mayo that has been left out). The flap is used to directly the blood from the heart to the organs thus by-passing the O2 rich air of the lungs, which is fine when in utero, however post birth, the flap is supposed to close and allow the blood to go from the heart to the lungs and then to the rest of her body. So now we have to take Sadie to a cardiologist and find out why her second "skin flap" is not closed (wilted lettuce and rotton tomato (YUMMY)).

Bread(Texas Toast): To finish off this sandwich, Sadie grew one inch to 21 inches and her head has grown a centermenter, which is getting closer to the size of Daddy’s fat head.

Hey all I know is that I hope this sandwich can be followed by a Kit-Kat Bar of a break. But keep her in your prayers cuz lately that Kit-Kat bar has fallen between the cushions in your car that you had in highschool, and has gathered some crunchy mcdonald french fries that are from 6 months ago, some long strains of hairs, and has partly morphed into the fabrics of your seat.

Well, at the end of the day I’m getting tired of all this shit happening to Michelle and Sadie. The good thing is that I have my health, our strength, faith in God and positve thinking.

I’ll keep ya’ll updated on what we find out in the next weeks, but as of right now, I have made myself quite hungry and I’m gonna grab something to eat. Maybe I will wash it down with a Kit-Kat bar that doesnt scare small children, and doesn’t perfusely persiper and doesn’t pop whiteheads with a compass they used in highschool, and doesn’t leave dry cakes of deoderant underneath there arms. But the powers that may be, keep signing my paycheck of faith and fortune and this is just one bridge to cross and leave in the back distance.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

i am so mad and i just need to vent. i’m really ticked off at my OB for ignoring me when I knew something was wrong with my c-section. i’m pissed that he wrote me off by givng me a prescription for anti-depressants.

i dont understand why i ended up having this stupid thing growing on my stomach that is insanely painful and isn’t supposed to go away for months. i just have to deal with it.

even though i know she’ll be okay - she just has to be - i’m can’t help but worry about sadie and her little heart. i’m sure it’s nothing, but i just would like a break for once. just one break.

one week without going to the doctor, one week where i don’t have to worry about anything.

at the same time, i’m just glad i have erik and sadie. they’re the greatest things that have ever happened to me. and a lot of the times, when things suck - they make it all better.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008
get out of my brain. please.

i can't stop thinking about everything that happened with sadie.

knowing she was so lonely for so long. not being able to hold my newborn baby - not being able to give her the ONE thing that would make her so much better, my milk.

i was talking to erik in bed last night and i realized something.

something is missing. something in my heart - some connection - just SOMETHING that we should have had together but we don't. i'm sorry sadie that i wasn't there for you more. i would do things so different.

i'm also tired of people telling me things like "oh she's home now, be happy."

easier said than done. i can't make shit in my head dissapear. trust me, if i could, i would.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Hey Michelle - why don’t you get some weird, funky health problem again? OKAY I WIlL!

Hey guess what?

You won't guess. So i will tell you.

Okay. Last week, i thought i had the flu. i had fevers, chills, vomiting - the usual.

Sooo, i just took it easy and pretty much ignored it. that's what you do when you have a newborn to take care of.

Anyway - so Sunday, Sadie got baptized, so i kinda put the pukey, flu-like feelings aside for the day so we could get things done. After a LONG day, we come home and i go to the bathroom.

(warning, kinda wierd, gross stuff ahead)

After i pee, i am pulling up my underwear and notice the entire front is covered in this yellowish, sticky stuff. I was like, no. this is not happening.

I stand up and look in the mirror, and my c-section (which has been giving me problems since DAY ONE) looked like someone had been chewing on it.

It was all red and disfigured - and PAINFUL. (keep in mind, i had seen my doctor 3 different times to get this fixed - and he said that everything was fine and healing well).

So, i put the baby down and rush over to mary's to have her look at it. i pull up my shirt, show her and ask, "what do you think?"

she says "ummm. yeah you really should go in. right now"

so my mom drives out to mary's and picks me up and off we head to St. Joes because i'll be DAMNED if i EVER go to silver cross ever again.

long story short - they did a CAT scan in the ER and it shows that the incision is completely infected - so a surgeon comes straight in and does surgery right there in the ER.

he re-opens the wound so it will drain out and admits me.

so. i finally got home today - but it's like i had the c-section all over again.

bascially, they keep the wound open and stuff it with stuff to help it heal from the inside out. then, i'm hooked up to a "wound vac" that sucks all the bad stuff out.

sounds fun huh?

so everytime they have to change the wound dressing, they have to re-open it and shove gauze in there and foam stuff and this silver thing.

i can't even begin to convey the pure anger and hatred i have for my doctor that completely ignored me. i'd go into more detail about this person, but we plan on seeking legal counsel over the matter - because i was hospitalized and had surgery for no reason at all. it never should have gotten to this point.

i couldn't even leave my room because i was in isolation for infection. turns out, the cultures they took showed infectious disease growing in my tissue and my skin. nice huh?

thanks doctor for telling me i was fine after all those times i went to you - a person who had the resources to care and cure, but who didn't give a shit at all.

Thursday, April 24, 2008
vacuum in my stomach

tomorrow i get a "wound vac" put in my stomach. it sucks - i had it in the hospital, but now i'm going to be attached to it constantly.

i just have to remind myself that every day is one step closer to the end of all of this.

i got to see my "wound" today when the nurse came. it seriously looks like a dog or something took a giant bite out of me. it's the sickest thing i've ever seen.

just thought i'd share that!

on the other hand, my nurse is kick ass and she has my doctor as her doctor too - so it's nice to relate.

thanks for all the comments from everyone! fuck silver cross!

Thursday, April 24, 2008
something i found...

This really sums up how it feels after having a c-section:

The birth is much more that the arrival of a child. It is also a crucial moment in the life of many women. Ever since our first menstruation, we have been told about our innate ability to conceive and birth children. That the woman needs to birth by cesarean may give rise to feelings that her body has failed her or even a sense of guilt to not have taken good care of the baby she has been carrying. These thoughts can become obsessive: the woman can constantly dwell on this theme thinking of what she could have done so that the birth would have occurred differently. One way to alleviate these feelings is to discuss the birth with the professionals who attended the birth or with other doctors or midwives who can help the mother better understand what occurred. Many times the father of the baby has also suffered great fear and may be concerned about his wife's recuperation or her future pregnancies. Alternatively, he might not understand her sadness if the child is perfectly healthy. Sharing these feelings intimately may relieve the feelings of guilt and blame.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Michelle's Mommy Blogs - Sadie in the NICU

Monday, March 03, 2008
The tube is out!!!

I don't have much time, but the doctor took out Sadie's ventilator this morning and she is doing great with her breathing!

This is a HUGE turning point for her. Please keep praying and praying. We hope to have her home in 10 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Monday update for Sadie

Hello everyone. This will be a quick email because we are exhausted tonight.
Sadie is doing very well today. She slept A LOT but she's been working really hard lately so she needed a break. The ventilator came out this morning and she's been breathing on her own ever since.

Sadie had to have her oxygen increased a little bit after a rough afternoon. Her breathing became heavy after she had to have a "pick line" (i might have spelled that wrong) inserted into her arm. They could not get an IV started in her at all, so this is the best alternative to sticking her little arms and legs all day with no luck.

Erik and I got to hold her for the first time today. We just sat there gazing at her little body, touching and exploring as much as we could. It's hard to see her fully because she has about a dozen tubes and wires coming out of her everywhere.

On a plus note, they removed the central line that they had inserted thru her belly button. One less tube for Sadie!

She was sleeping gently when we left and was breathing pretty well. We gave her lots of kisses today and she knows she is loved by all of you. Please keep praying for her to come home to us soon.

Love - Michelle and Erik.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008
my sadie

i held her for almost three hours today.

i just sat there and rocked her back and forth all afternoon while she slept. she has beautiful, long fingers that are so delicate and soft. she has my ears and erik's hair. she sneezes like me and hiccups like erik.

she just loves to be held and snuggled by mom and dad. we could sit there for hours and play with each little finger.

before we left tonight, erik and i stood by her crib and stared at her for almost an hour straight. it seemed like ten minutes.

we are so blessed to have her. i can't wait until we see her again tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008
beautiful girl

today was really wonderful.

erik and i shared our beautiful girl - took turns holding her. you can't really do too much else because she's hooked up to so many things. but, i really don't think i want to do anything but hold her and love her.

she opened her eyes for me for the first time. it was like a dance when she looked into mine and i looked into hers. they are such dark eyes that give off the feeling of an old soul.

she is a really good baby. her cry is the most wonderful thing in the world to us. it takes little effort at all to calm her down. she just loves to be held and have her fingers gently stroked.

we actually left today without tears. the nurses have to issue reports at 7 p.m., and the parents can't be in the room. so just before seven, i wrapped her up and layed sadie in her crib. she fell asleep so quietly for us. she knew it was time for us to go.

she has to stay in the hospital for at least 7 more days to finish out her antibiotics. we can't wait to bring our little angel home.

Friday, March 07, 2008
Sadie is doing so well!

Sadie is doing so well! They are hoping to take the tubies out of her nose today and start breast feeds and bottle feeds at night!

I'm so proud of Sadie! She keeps on taking the tubes out on her own - so maybe this is her own way of saying "I'm ready to breathe guys!"

The time we spend with our baby is precious - but not quite the same as being home. We can't wait to get her here and be alone with her for once. It will be such a wonderful feeling. I can't wait.

She's doing very well with her breathing treatments and the antibiotics seem to be doing their job too.

I just can't believe how far she has come in ONE week. She was so extremely ill, and I can't believe how fast she went from a critical baby to a normal baby.

On another note, Children's Memorial Hospital is one of the most wonderful places I've ever stepped foot in. The support from ALL staff is amazing. We've spoken with the chaplain, a social worker, nurses and Sadie's team of doctors - and it's always been a great experience. We never feel out of the loop with knowing what's going on with her from one minute to the next.

Please keep praying for Sadie!

Sunday, March 09, 2008
sunday morning

i have so much to write about but no time.

sadie is doing better every day. she's feeding from me (what i can give) and we're supplementing her the rest. she's lost about half a pound, but she's tolerating feedings very well.

it's hard for me because i'm making so little milk and it hasn't come in yet. i make just under 1/3 of an ounce per pumping. it's very disheartening. but, i can't say i didn't try right?

i think my milk issue has to do with two things: stress and PCOS. more stress than anything.

i can't begin to explain what this journey has been like for erik and me. it's full of ups and downs. we cry every night...yell every night...question why this ever had to happen to us.

but, when we get up to see sadie, we forget everything else. she is our world.

taking her home will be so good for all of us.

leaving her at night is harder and harder every time.

but, erik and i are holding up as well as we can. we hope to have her home by next weekend. she changes so much overnight. i feel like we're missing so much.

keep praying for her.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Michelle's Mommy Blogs - Sadie's Birth

I'm trying to organize all my old blogs from Sadie's NICU stay and the aftermath. Originally this was all posted on Myspace and Caring Bridge - so I'm attemping to organize them all here. Here is the first installment...

Friday, February 29, 2008
Michelle & Erik’s New Baby Girl

Hi everyone - this is Michelle's friend Karlene. Michelle unfortunately can't blog like she had originally wanted to because the hospital blocked the site, so she asked me to pass along some details and information for all of you that are anxiously awaiting.

Michelle and Erik went in on Wednesday night to get things going...after nearly 24 hours of pitocin and other methods to get her to progress faster with the labor, she ended up having a C-section.

Sadie Michelle Williams was born at 8:06 PM last night, weighing in at 6lbs, 15 oz and 20 inches long. She's a cutie...she looks just like her daddy with mommy's ears and lips, and the chubbiest little cheeks. Sadie does have a few complications - they found out that she has a couple of breathing problems and a heart murmer. There is a doctor that is on call from Children's Memorial at the hospital, so Sadie is getting the best care possible. She is going to be in the hospital for awhile. I'm not sure how long they will be staying, but when i find out, i'll let you know.

Everyone, PLEASE keep the Williams family in your thoughts and prayers. This is a very hard time for them and they need all the support and love that they can get.

If anyone has any questions, you can contact me at or email

On a happier note - check out baby sadie's pictures...she's beautiful!!! :-)

Friday, February 29, 2008
Baby Sadie update

Some updates on how baby Sadie is right now...

The good news is she doesn't have a heart murmer. The bad news is that she still has fluid in her lungs and her breathing is getting worse - she may have to be transferred out to another hospital for more intensive care.

Michelle and Erik are asking everyone to pray for little Sadie - I'm sure everything is going to be ok, but she needs everyone's love and support right now. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, March 01, 2008
Today’s Sadie update

Hi all - Karlene again - more updates on Sadie...

She just had to be transferred to Children's Memorial. While her breathing isn't getting worse (which is good), it's not getting any better, either. She's currently on a ventilator to help her breath, but she's on her way to the best possible pediatric care that she can receive right now. I know she's going to pull out of this and I think everyone's prayers and support are really helping to pull her through this. She is a hell of a fighter!!!

On a positive note, Michelle is doing really well w/ her recovery from her C-Section. She is recovering so fast, up walking around and taking care of herself , and I think it's because of her natural mommy instinct to be strong for Sadie. Both she and Erik are holding up amazingly well.

Keep up with the prayers - Michelle, Erik and especially little Sadie need them more then ever right now.

Sunday, March 02, 2008
From Sadie’s mom - Update and information on her condition

One there lives whose guardian eye - Guides our earthly destiny;

One there lives, who Lord of all, Keeps His children lest they fall;

Pass we, then, in love and praise, Trusting Him through all our days,

Free from doubt and faithless sorrow, - God provideth for the morrow.

I never in a million years thought I would have left the hospital without my baby. But, last night, Erik and I had to do the hardest task of our lives and go home without our little girl.

I am doing fine from my c-section. We are staying with my mom and dad indefinitely.

Erik and I would first like to thank from the bottom of our hearts every little prayer, wish and thought that has come from each one of you for our Sadie. I have never been so overwhelmed with kindness from people in my entire life. I really don't think I could have made it this far without all the love from all of you.

Mentally, this has been the most trying experience of our entire lives. I won't be able to hold her for weeks. The most contact I've had with Sadie was from her holding my finger and yesterday - for the first time - I got to kiss her little cheek.

Sadie is a fighter - not just since Thursday - but since last June when she was created. Every doctor told us that it would be next to impossible to have a baby and then we got pregnant. Then the doctors told us that the chance of a miscarraige was extremely high until the 16th week - and Sadie just trucked right along. This baby has done nothing but prove everyone wrong and I know in my heart that she will get better at Children's Memorial.

Having to make the decision to send her so far away was heart-wrenching and sickening. But we knew that there was no other way for her to get the care she needed. So we followed our mind instead of our heart and allowed a NICU transport team from Children's to take her to Chicago.

About her condition:

At first it was believed that she had fluid in her lungs from the way she was delivered. But, as the doctors have gone on to discover - they think she has one of two conditions: pneumonia or RDS (Respiratory Distress Syndrome caused by some sort of virus).

After she was born, she was grunting heavily and her breathing only got worse each day. By Saturday morning, she was working so hard to breathe that the pediatrician from Children's made the decision to put a tube down her throat and ventilate her. This intibation process is helping Sadie to breathe without her having to do all the work. She needed to rest and hopefully this is the cure that will help her to get strong enough to breathe on her own.

Since arriving at Children's, Sadie had numerous tests done to see what action the doctors take from here. She was given a drug called Intrasurf, which is a surfectant to help her lift the oxygen exchange in her lungs. She has a central line (a tube) that they inserted thru her belly button to help give her the medication she needs without having to constantly stick her with needles.

She is receiving fluids and calcium thru her IV's to help maintain her sugars. So far, the Intrasurf has helped to lower some of the vent settings - which is just one step closer to getting her off the machine and breathing on her own. She is taking antibiotics to fight off any infection because her chest x-rays show that her lungs are very hazy all over.

As of 7 a.m. this morning, Sadie is stable and doing good. They were able to switch the ventilator settings from 50 to 35 and her blood gas levels came back normal.

She has a very strong heart and an ultrasound of her heart showed no problems at all. She had a poop and a pee last night which is great news as well.

Minimum, Sadie will be at Children's Memorial for at least two weeks. Then, she will be transfered back to Silver Cross where she will learn how to be held, eat and all those little things that come natural to full-term babies.

For a premature baby - she was a very healthy weight and she has that going for her. I really believe that if she was smaller, this fight would be much more difficult for her little body.

Erik is going up with my sister today to see my baby girl. I can't go because I have been in extreme pain from the c-section since yesterday. I can't even begin to explain how it makes a mother feel to not be able to see her baby. It feels like someone kicked me in the stomach at times. But, I know I have to get better because I can't be of any help to Sadie if I'm not well.

Erik and I are hoping to get into the Ronald McDonald house for a few nights to be close to her. Please wish us luck with getting a reservation!

Please pray for Sadie. I just know she's going to be okay but all these prayers help her - and her mommy and daddy - very much.

We love all of you and will update as her condition changes.

Love - Michelle and Erik

(I am posting new pictures and a video of Sadie. I will let everyone know when they're up and where on youtube to see the video)

The pool, the weather and Daddy Day.

We went there for the first time yesterday with the baby and was it FUN! They have a waterslide (which I actually went on) zero-depth pool, fountains and all sorts of fun for babies and kids.

Sadie loved playing around in the water with Daddy and Mommy - although I think the sight of so many kids was a little overwhelming at first...She got over it pretty fast.

It's finally starting to feel like summer around here which is a good thing. It's been cool and rainy for months. Go figure, we're under a haze of clouds this morning with a storm watch. Can we just get a few days in a row with some sun please?

Father's day this weekend and it should be fun. Erik got a bike trailer to pull Sadie along while we go riding. We had a great time trying out the big I&M Canal last weekend.

From the mouths of babes

Sadie is saying so much all of a sudden. It seems anything we try to get her to say, she at least gives it the old college try. Here's a list of what's being talked about by Mammers lately:

"Ooooh Gee"

She also can give kissies, hugs and wave hi and bye. I'm very proud of my baby.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Had our house appraised yesterday. I don't think it went well at all. Goooooo short sales!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

NICU Stories - A Mother's "Guilt"

This is an excerpt from a monthly email I receive from the March of Dimes "Share Your Story" campaign. It says a lot of how I felt and how I still feel, read on:

Getting Through Guilt
Liza Cooper, LMSW, Director, March of Dimes NICU Family Support

"Guilt is the very nerve of sorrow" – Horace Bushnell

Recently a mother told me she absolutely knew what caused the traumatic, premature birth of her baby girl. "It was," the mom stated candidly, waiting it seemed for my judgment and confirmation, "it was because I had a Coca Cola during my pregnancy." She had been replaying this moment over and over in her mind, wishing she could go back and have an opportunity to make a different choice.

In my nearly 15 years as a social worker serving families in the perinatal field, I have heard stories from hundreds, maybe thousands of mothers who blame themselves for a birth gone awry. And whether it was the mom who said her premature 24-week twins were born because of an itch she had in the shower that she ignored or the mom that told me that she had insisted on putting up the Christmas decorations that year and that's why her son came so early, all moms focus on some small detail, or set of details, that they are certain they had done that brought this painful experience upon their family.

In all likelihood, most doctors would say that none of the above things could on their own cause a baby to be born sick or born early, but even with the reassurance of their physicians, mothers feel profound guilt. So, why do so many women and mothers feel guilt because of infertility, miscarriage, pregnancy loss, the birth of a sick or premature baby?

Guilt, as Grief

First, and perhaps most important for all mothers to know, is that these painful, isolating feelings of guilt are normal. They are also incredibly common. It is one of the most acute (and unspoken) emotions of grief.

Women may think "What did I do wrong to deserve this?" or focus on how they think they have disappointed their partners, families and themselves.

When something goes contrary to what we expect — especially something we place so much importance on, like the birth of a child — we grieve. We grieve for what could have been, we grieve for what we have lost. And grief has a number of common feelings and stages including shock and denial; sorrow and depression; anger and rage; guilt and blame; and ultimately, for many — not closure, as it was once called (who can have "closure" on the loss of a child?), but instead integration or the weaving of a loss — the tenderness, the pain — into a person’s heart, into their very being, into how they live their lives and how they move forward. And so guilt comes as part of this powerful and very natural process.

A Strange Medicine

Something else happens when things go wrong, when a baby arrives too sick or too soon. We feel out of control and helpless. In a desperate effort to regain a sense of control over the world around them, people often feel guilt or self-blame. It serves as a painful way to place order back in the universe when everything seems so arbitrary, senseless and chaotic. If I blame myself for my baby’s premature birth, if I can identify the reason I believe this happened, then at some very profound level, I can make sure that nothing like this ever happens again. In this way, guilt is a strange medicine we give ourselves.

“It’s not your fault”

One mother I met told the story that when her baby was first hospitalized in the NICU, a nurse found her crying by her daughter’s bedside, and told her “You did not do this”. For her, this was the beginning of healing. Many mothers talk about someone who helped relieve their guilt – an obstetrician, a neonatologist, a trusted nurse, spouse, or dear friend – who reassured them “it’s not your fault”. It doesn’t usually take all the feelings of guilt away, but it is comforting when someone you respect tells you it’s not your fault. Let these important people in your life know what you need. Tell your doctor what you blame yourself for. Tell your spouse, your mother, your best friend what words would be helpful. Even those that love us don’t always know.

Guilt, When It’s Confirmed

There is a lot we do not yet know about what causes premature birth and birth defects – what risk factors cause some women to give birth early, and not others. March of Dimes dedicates itself to finding the causes and ways to prevent pre-term birth. There are things we do know about however. For example, we know that there are risks of smoking, illegal drugs, alcohol, and folic acid deficiency during pregnancy. And this information can be found in books and on the internet. So what do you do if these are the behaviors that you feel guilty for? You can share these feelings too, know that you are not alone, acknowledge these concerns to a friend, family member or healthcare provider who is trusted and compassionate. Remind yourself that no matter what happened before, you never intended for your baby to be born early or sick. And remember that what you do now, how you love, nourish and protect your baby, your children and/or future pregnancies is most critical.

Moving Through Guilt

So when does the guilt end? How does one move through this heart-breaking emotion? Healing begins with revealing this feeling – sharing it with others who understand in the NICU, with a caring therapist, in a support group, on Speak about it, write about it. Allow others to normalize this feeling for you, as you can normalize it for them. And then get informed – discuss with your doctor what you think caused things to go wrong to get clarification and to develop a forum to process these difficult thoughts. Rather than retracing your steps, stay present. Learn and explore what meaningful things you can do for your baby now – whether its kangaroo care, reading to your baby, keeping your child away from cigarette smoke, integrating his or her life or memory into your heart and your future. And finally, most importantly, allow yourself to move forward, to smile, to laugh, to forgive, and to find light and hope again.

Liza Gene Cooper, LMSW
Director, March of Dimes NICU Family Support

The Great Toilet Paper Caper

Should I start potty training yet?

Insurance - Hooray

Now that we'll have our insurance kicking in July 1st, I made a few doctor's appts today for Mammers and me.

I'm combining her 15 and 18 month well-baby and am headed downtown to figure out my problem. All in all. Good times.

Another rainy day. Was hoping to hit the splash park in Minooka with Mammers, so far - no dice.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I started writing a book...nothing creative - more for me than anyone I think. It's going to be a book about the pregnancy and Sadie's stay in the hospital. Neither of them were terrible, but it was definitely life-changing for all of us.

Even if it takes me a million years, I want to do it. Maybe Mammers will be the only one who ever reads it. And that's fine with me.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I'm happy doing this, thank you.

Lately, there's been a firestorm of inquiries as to whether or not I'll be going back to work, writing - pretty much anything but being a "stay-at-home" mom.

Most are surprised when I say, "No plans for that, I'm happy doing this."

I haven't had a chance to do what I've wanted to do as a mom yet. There's always been some sort of an obstacle - and I know that life is full of obstacles - but it seems that mine stacked up right in front of my eyes within a matter of months instead of the usual decades.

So here I am. Doing laundry, cooking dinner, learning about the world with my beautiful daughter. I love it.

Do I miss working? Of course - when I became a parent, I started questioning just about everything about life...I think it comes with the territory.

But for now, no more questions about what I'm doing, what someone things I want to be doing and certainly none about what people think I should be doing.

Thank you.

And now a word from Sadie...