Tuesday, August 21, 2012

16 Weeks and Going strong...

Today I feel as though the time is creeping by ever so slowly but I am sure that once February gets here I won't be saying that at all.  Anyway, a lot has happened this week and I have lots to say but I'm not sure if I will remember it all (Baby Brain Perhaps?).

If you have been keeping up with my stories you will know that my first official craving was the well known Krispy Kreme Donuts and you will also know that this craving was not fulfilled at the time.  I must brag about my wonderful husband as he presented me with a small box of the delightful donuts last night.  Oh so yummy.  He really does take note and love me in multiple ways.  I couldn't be more thankful for the blessing he is to me.
To be continued...

Yesterday, Brock was fortunately given a half day off of work and was able to be home with me all afternoon.  It was beautiful to have him here.  I felt like it was a Saturday instead of a Monday.  Because of this gift, we were visited by our dear friend Larry and his two older children Felicity and Noah.  The visit was mainly due to Noah's specially requesting to see Brock and of course Dexter.  What a sweet request we were happy to oblige.      When they arrived we set out to take the kids and Dex to the park for some fun outside.  The kids played while the three adults enjoyed a bench and caught up.  And then the inevitable occurred... "I have to go to the bathroom."  Since Brock knew the route off he went with the kids and took care of them like a champ; even inspecting to see if Felicity was hurt after she tripped and distracted her from her minor scrap.  Brock also played with them on the equipment for a few minutes and seemed to be enjoying himself.  

I couldn't have been more please with the events.  It just proves to me how excited and ready my wonderful husband is to be a Papa and that he will be fantastic at this new role.

We returned to the apartment and served the kiddos some ice cream andd relaxed for a few more minutes.  And then it was time to go.  I am so thankful for Noah's desire to see Brock as it allowed all of us to fellowship and enjoy one another.

And one of the best compliments from Larry to me... "You are not even showing yet!"  It made me feel good. 
Brock and I continued our afternoon with a Trip to Jungle Jim's Eastgate to be a part of a photo shoot for the opening of Col. De's Gourmet Herbs and Spices second location.  It was so fun.  We all wore fake white mustaches and got to see some bits and pieces of the new Jungle.  Unfortunately, I can't post any pics until after it opens as we could get in big trouble. 
16 weeks/date night outfit
We then returned home for Brock to change and headed out for our DATE NIGHT!  It was overdue and extremely welcomed.  We headed for Newport to enjoy some Haufbrauhaus (sp?) and a walk by the river.  I had chosen to wear a dress and some leggings as I just desired to look cute, to be comfortable, and avoid mosquito bites.  

BEST OUTFIT EVER... Leggings and a Dress.  I was able to move around and now feel like my pants were uncomfortable.  I was warm enough but not too hot and I didn't have to constantly pull my pants up/into place because I wasn't wearing a belt (cuz they cause more discomfort).  

I am going to have to invest in some more leggings as this adventure continues since I only have the one pair and I cannot wait to get into some of the cute fall/winter maternity clothes.  I'm excited. 
And the last topic that I can remember that I wanted to bring up...

Today, I have officially sent, faxed, requested, printed, passed, and paid for everything that the board requires for me to get my Professional Counselor license. Now it is out of my hands and I will have to wait to hear back from the board to know if they granted me the license or not.  It should go through without any problems but then you never know.  I cannot wait to have that paper in my hands.  Throughout this entire process Brock has supported me beyond what I could have asked for.  I am grateful for all he does for me.  I am also extremely thankful that he is the type of man who wants to attend every possible doc appointment with me, no matter how seemingly insignificant the appointment might be. 

I love that he is so involved in the pregnancy and the process.  If any of you Wives/Mothers have any ideas on ways I can continue to encourage my dearly beloved please send me a text/email/facebook message.

Thanks for listening.  I hope you are enjoying your day and find the blessings that surround you. 
Until next time...
Momma Lusch

PS - 2nd craving - funnel cake, 3rd craving - a glass of red wine.  I don't think I will be getting either of those anytime soon. Oh well.  

Monday, August 20, 2012

Parents Must Read...

Some important events happened this week four years ago that I am connected to in a few different ways that I wanted to share with all the Parents and expectant Parents out there.  This wonderful woman explains her and her daughters story and what happened during the events of Jenna's passing.  Her Mother Jodie, is spreading the story so that more Parents can be aware of ways to Protect their children from even themselves.  

I thank You Jodie, for being courageous in honoring your daughter and sharing this heart breaking and informative experience.  My prayer is that more people will learn from this event and take more precautions.  So with that being said, here is the article that Jodie wrote. 
Many Blessings to you and your family Jodie.

If you feel compelled to share this article please do so.  Here is the link.



Jenna EdwardsSeptember 2007 – August 2008
Jenna EdwardsSince my daughter’s death in 2008, not a day (or maybe even an hour) has gone by that I haven’t thought of her or her death. The pain of missing Jenna is always there, and it’s taken me a long time to feel like I could write a public account of what happened. My hope in sharing our story is that you will realize the only way to prevent this type of tragic loss is to believe it could also happen to you.
My husband and I had been married for 10 years before we decided to have children. We waited until I was nearly finished with my doctorate so we could focus on parenthood. Before my son was born, I read as many pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting books as I could get my hands on. I saw being a mother as the most important responsibility I had, and even though I worked outside of the home I strived to make my family my top priority. I am a conscientious, organized person in every area of my life. And, because I am a worrier by nature, I took child safety seriously. Mini-blind cords wrapped up high out of reach – check. Baby gates at every doorway – check. Medicines and cleaners locked away – check. Heavy furniture secured to the wall – check. Used a co-sleeper next to my bed so I could check on my babies all night long – check. Breastfed my babies to boost their immune systems – check. If I heard about a safety precaution, I embraced it. I was not a perfect mother by any means, but definitely a devoted, loving mother. When my son was a baby, I made sure I learned every verse to The Wheels on the Bus so I could sing it to him when he got fussy in the car. I researched the safest car seats for days before settling on one with good ratings. I interviewed pediatricians before our son was born because I wanted to feel good about who would be caring for our children. And, I was careful to NEVER leave my kids in the car alone, not even for a minute. I can remember forgetting my cell phone on the kitchen counter once…even though it was pouring down rain I got my kids out of their car seats to take them in from the driveway while I grabbed it.
I knew it was my job as a mom to protect my child from dangerous things in the world. Never in a million years would I have thought I needed to protect my child from me. In fact, when I was still pregnant with Jenna, I walked through my living room as the news covered a story about a mom who unknowingly left her child in her car while she worked and her child died from heatstroke. This mother was portrayed as a horrible person and many expressed very judgmental attitudes towards her. I felt sadness about her situation, but not once did I think this was an issue I should pay attention to. I didn’t even stop to really listen to the story or to think how this might happen. After all, my children were my top priority. I loved them more than anything. I would give my life for them in a heartbeat. Love made me immune from such a horrible tragedy…or so I believed.
Jenna EdwardsIn 2007, when my son was two years old, we welcomed Jenna into our family. She was born just a couple of months after starting my new job as a professor of counseling at a small Christian university. We were so happy and satisfied. Jenna was a beautiful, happy baby. She had a tiny bit of dark hair with a fair complexion, which made her big, blue eyes really stand out. Almost every time I was out with her someone would stop to comment about her eyes. I loved, loved being a mom. One of the reasons I wanted a job in academics was because it allowed me the flexibility to be with my kids more and not keep 8-5 hours. In fact, I was able to bring Jenna with me to work often and then walk her down the block to the babysitter’s when it was time for me to teach a class. And, I would often walk over to the babysitter’s between meetings to nurse her or check on her.
The summer before Jenna died, I was fortunate to only have to work two days a week so I could spend a lot of time with both of the kids. We loved playing outside, in the wading pool, and going to the park for picnics. She began to crawl that summer and it was fun to watch her expression while she explored the strange texture of the grass outside. She loved touching flowers and pointing at butterflies. I couldn’t have asked for a better life. I felt full of joy and happiness. Little did I know that those normal, fun times with her would come to an end because I would unknowingly leave her in my car on a hot summer day.
Jenna Edwards
About two weeks before Jenna died, I heard something on the news about the death of child. I distinctly remember thinking to myself that I could never survive the death of one of my children. Life without them seemed unfathomable so I quickly pushed the thought from my mind. I was sure that if I ever had to face something so awful I would not be able to go on living. So, how could a loving mother like myself make such a huge mistake and be responsible for the death of one of her children?
The week that Jenna died was the first week of a new routine for us. All summer long, I had been taking my son and Jenna to the same babysitter. The day she died I needed to drop my son off at his new preschool/daycare (where Jenna was scheduled to start in just a few weeks) and then take Jenna to the babysitter’s house, which was directly across the parking lot from my work.
It was Wednesday, August 20th, 2008, and Jenna was almost 11 months old. Jenna and I took her brother into school and played with him for about 20 minutes. He cried on Monday and Tuesday when we left, but that morning he did great. I can still vividly see Jenna playing with us that morning. We had a very happy, relaxed time together. I got Jenna back in the van and headed toward work and the babysitter’s. I made a very brief call to my husband to share the good news that our son didn’t cry at drop-off and then didn’t use my cell phone the rest of the drive. I didn’t even listen to the radio that day.
Jenna EdwardsI kept my eye on Jenna in the baby safety mirror and sang and talked to her until she fell asleep about five minutes later. My goal had been to get Jenna to the babysitter’s before she fell asleep so she could get her morning nap. She had been getting sleepy early in the evenings. I wanted her to get that morning nap so she would be awake longer with us at home. When I saw in my rearview mirror that she had fallen asleep, I started to think about that morning nap. I came up with a plan for how to get her into the babysitter’s house without waking her up so she could continue her nap. I am a very visual person, and one of the reasons I believe I’m successful in the things I do is because I think things through very thoroughly, paying attention to details. Over the course of a few minutes, I visualized myself carefully and quietly getting Jenna out of the van when we arrived at the sitter’s. I pictured myself undoing the straps of the car seat, gently lifting her out to cradle her in my arms. I saw myself cover her ear so the sound of the babysitter’s door would not wake her and I whispered to the babysitter, who I visualized wearing a black and white floral shirt, “Jenna is asleep. Can I put her in the crib so she can finish her nap?”
Somehow, and I know it is hard to understand, my brain flipped a switch as I continued my drive toward work. As the remaining 15 minutes passed, I went from knowing she was in the backseat to firmly believing she was safely at the babysitter’s. After I thought through dropping her off, I began thinking about what I needed to accomplish at work once I got there. My university’s email had crashed and I lost an important document I needed for a 10am meeting. I started thinking about how I could get another copy of the document and retrieve some of my lost emails.
I’m not an expert in how the brain works, but since Jenna died I’ve learned a little bit about how the brain processes routine behaviors and memories. I’ve learned that the part of your brain that controls routine behaviors (in my case the usual routine was to just make one daycare stop, taking both of my children to the same place) can override the part of the brain that controls newer behaviors (which, in my case, was taking the kids to different places). The change in routine plus the detailed visualization was enough to convince my brain I had done something I really had not done. This processing error allowed me to leave her in the van without realizing I had done so.
Jenna Edwards
It was not unusual for me to approach the parking lot at my work without my children in the car as I often dropped them off at the babysitter’s before heading to off campus meetings and then returning to campus alone later in the day. Instead of going just a half of a block further, I pulled into the parking lot at my work confident that my valued mother responsibilities had been taken care of that morning. I took my bags out of the front seat of my car and walked into my office. It breaks my heart to think that I had a normal, productive day at work not knowing Jenna was in danger. I still wish I could turn back the clock and give my life to save hers.
One of the more painful things I heard strangers say about me once the news carried stories of Jenna’s death was, “How could you not think of your child all day? How could you forget your child?” In my mind I hadn’t forgotten her. I had misremembered. I thought she was dropped off safely. Just 20 minutes after I got to work, I emailed a friend and included a paragraph about Jenna and how big she was getting. I cleaned my office that day and hung up a new picture of Jenna and her big brother on my bulletin board. Because the babysitter would occasionally call me when Jenna wasn’t feeling well from chronic ear infections, I carried my phone with me all day. I even took it to the bathroom with me just in case I would get that rare call that one of my children needed me. I was eager to leave work at the end of the day to go get her and then my son. I thought of both the kids throughout the day. I even talked on the phone a few times during the day with my husband, never thinking that anything was amiss.
Around 4:00, feeling happy and carefree, I walked to my van, got in and started to back out of my parking space. Only then did I see by looking in the rearview mirror and the child safety mirror that Jenna was in the van. I felt horror and panic as I raced around to her door as I called 911. I knew immediately when I saw her that she had already died. I was so confused. I didn’t know who put her there so I looked further into the van to see if someone also put my son in the van. As I tried to understand what happened, I frantically searched my brain for that memory of dropping her off. When I couldn’t recall what the babysitter said to me during drop-off, it only took a moment for me to realize that I had made a horrible mistake. It is impossible to convey the depth of pain I felt. I wanted to die and felt as if I might. I barely had the ability to talk and had to lie on the ground because all of the strength had left my body. I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me. I felt like my life was over. I couldn’t scream or cry out, but was tormented beyond words on the inside.
My happy, peaceful life had suddenly become a nightmare worse than I could have ever imagined. Even though the media spotlight and public hatred were fierce, nothing I experienced that night or since is more painful than the actual loss of my child. I miss my baby with an intensity that only a grieving parent can understand. I have been able to go on even when I felt I couldn’t bear the pain any longer because of God’s grace, because of the amazing support of my family and friends, and because I know that Jenna is safely in Heaven.
Kidsandcars.org has great safety tips for people who transport young children. Please don’t make the mistake I made. Realize that this can happen to you. The only way to prevent unknowingly leaving a child in a car is to check the back seat EVERY time you exit your vehicle. Look before you lock. Better yet, put something you need regardless of routine changes (like a purse, cell phone, wallet, or briefcase) in the backseat so you are forced to check the backseat for sleeping children. And, have an ironclad agreement with your babysitter that she will call until she reaches you if your child is not dropped off by the agreed upon time. I go a step further and put a brightly colored bracelet on my child’s car seat. When I put my baby in the car seat, I put the bracelet on. I do not take the bracelet off until my baby is safely dropped off at the babysitter’s. I have talked to dozens of families who have lost children to vehicular heatstroke. This happens to good, loving families. The only thing we all have in common is that none of us realized our love wasn’t enough to protect our children from our imperfect brains

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Unexpected...

15 weeks... still not much there.
Monday August 13

Today I went to the doctor unexpectedly. I am experiencing some symptoms of an infection and the doc wanted to double check that I don't have a UTI. I have also had a migraine for the past 2 days now and wanted to know what was safe for me to take to get rid of it. So off to the doc I went. Thankfully they were able to see me today. I was originally scheduled to see the doc on thursday anyway so we wrapped it all into one.

I arrived on time but the doc was 30 minutes behind. It happens not a big deal. I went in and the doc put the machine on my tummy so I got to hear the heartbeat of my little babe. Wow, what an amazing sound. It was so encouraging but it was hard to enjoy it completely as Brock was not with me and I'm battling this stupid migraine. I was told that the heartbeat sounded healthy and strong by the doc. She also was able to give me some meds for the infection as well as for my migraine. According to their records I have lost another pound. The doc said she wasn't terribly concerned by this as I have not been throwing up, I'm eating regularly, I'm exercising on a regular basis as well, and I started out at a higher weight anyway. Another blessing that I did not think possible during pregnancy, weight loss.

I scheduled our next appointment for September 13 during which we will have another ultra sound and hopefully find out the gender of our little Lusch. We are excited and cannot wait.

-----Continued on August 16...

In other news... I PASSED MY NATIONAL COUNSELOR EXAMINATION! I am now one step closer to my actual license. I have a lot of paper work to get organized and another background check to complete/pay for. I should have it soon but we will have to wait and see.

Brock and I are also very excited to be heading to Manmouth Cave and Cumberland falls next month as well. This is the normal fall field trip that we participate in and enjoy very much. And the weekend following the trip we get to celebrate with our friends as the join in the covenant of marriage. September is going to be a great month to say the least! I can't wait for it to get here. 

In other aspects of life; I am passing the knowledge that my Aunt Connie taught me so long ago with the basic stitches of crochet onto others around me. It is great fun and I love seeing their progress. This is a hat that I just completed and I asked Brock to model for me. He was sweet and obliged my request. Then he proceeded to ask for one for himself to match his Scarlet and Grey work outfits. :-D He makes me so happy. 

Well, I think that's all folks.
Blessings from Momma Lusch. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I thought it was time for some tummy pics...

I'm almost 14 weeks (which means 2nd trimester :-D) and I just have not had the desire to take any belly pictures as of yet.  I actually lost some weight during the first trimester but I figured that it was time to get a couple shots as my baby bump should start to pop soon.  So here are a couple pictures that my sweet hubby took for me.  Believe it or not this really isn't more than my normal belly posture.  Pre-Pregnancy, I typically attempted to dress so that my stomach is not accentuated as I am aware that some toning could be done, however, it is going to be unavoidable soon as baby will be evident.  I'm not sure how I am feeling about that just yet.

I know without a doubt I am NOT looking forward to people (known, strangers, and yes this includes family) who desire to touch MY tummy and attempt to feel the baby.  The stomach is a very intimate place on my body and the only person who EVER touches me there is my Husband, rightfully so.  I don't understand what compels other to believe they are welcome to do so....

Ok, so that was a bit of my soap box... And I obviously feel strongly about it and I am sure this will not be the last time I post about it...

In other news, I started this post before the 14 week mark and just didn't finish it.  I am now at 14.5 and still doing well.  I still have nausea which is more intense on some days than others.  I definitely lose my breath more easily and feel my heart race after just climbing the stares to our apartment.  The emotions are a bit more ridiculous as well.  I was watching a documentary about the National Parks, listening to a man talk about taking a picture of his daughter in the same place he had taken a picture of his wife several years before and I just wanted to bawl....  Same thing happened with the Olympics.  Ugh...

I have also officially had my first craving.  Previous to yesterday, I didn't really crave food but when someone mentioned different foods they all usually sounded so good.  Last night I was in the room by myself and I desired some Krispy Cream Donuts, normal glazed melt in your mouth addicting goodness (AKA - Christian Crack - YUM!).  I have not had these in years.  It was 10:45pm.  I asked Brock to get some for me and he denied my request.  Let's be honest.  I really didn't need them and it was probably for the best that he did not buy them as I am sure I would have finished an entire box by myself.  My entire body after all is a giant sweet tooth.

I am also sharing a few pictures of the two onesies that Brock and I have been given for our babe.  The first was given to use during our first pregnancy by Brock's parents and we decided that we were going to use it for this baby.  Once the little one is old enough to understand we are also going to explain how it had actually belong to it's older sibling.  Oh it's going to be so good.  The second is from my sister Jessie who has been in the Navy for many years and recently sent this gem.  I had had a very long day and when I saw this I shed a few tears.  Both of these have inspired an event that I want to do at any baby showers that are given to me and that is to have a "Cutest Onesies Contest."  Of course the winner will be completely dependent upon what Brock and I think but that is part of the fun. ;-D

In some non-baby related news I have been studying for my National Counselors Exam which is the exam I must pass to become a Professional Counselor with a license.  I am feeling confident at this point in the process and everything that I have studied previously is coming back.  Thank You Jesus for Retention and Recall!  I am also being supported and prayed for by my church community, family and wonderful husband.  They are amazing people and I am thankful they are a part of my life.

Stay tuned to see if I pass or not, what if any new jobs are on the horizon for me, and next month's adventures which promise to be extremely exciting.
I'm so ready for September!

Blessings and Love
Momma Lusch