Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The End.

I will no longer be blogging on The Newly Mormon Idalifornian. I decided to start fresh on a new blog. Here it is:

Monday, July 21, 2014

Brynnie is 18 months!

Brynleigh turned 18 months a couple weeks ago, on the 4th. I can't believe she's so old already. She's not a baby anymore, and it makes me so sad. She's incredibly smart though, Sterling and I are impressed everyday! She always surprises us by what she understands. Here's some updates:

-She knows lots of words. Some of her best/favorite ones are: no, easy, eat, bites, more, milk, juice, night-night, apple, shoes, ball, snack, boots (this is what she calls Dora the Explorer, because of the monkey), duck, bird, bee, meat, pee, poo, wipes, diaper (all the potty words, yes), baby, and teeth. We're working on phrases--she's working on repeating "Love you", though it sounds more like "shuhs su". Not sure why she makes an 's' sound instead of 'l'. But it's cute regardless.
-She can point to and say ears, eyes, nose, hair, mouth, teeth, feet, and belly (belly button).
-She calls pillows 'marsh', as in marshmallows. It's still a mystery how she knows the word marshmallow and why she thinks pillows are marshmallows. She calls real marshmallows by name, too.
-She loves smelling flowers.
-She LOVES dogs. At a bridal shower in CA last month, she had 3 big dogs pretty much mauling her with licks and she thought it was fantastic. 
-She dances when music comes on. Her best dance move is twisting her torso and shaking her arms. It's pretty funny.
-She loves pointing out other babies. Sometimes she'll point to a kid who is like 8 and calls them a baby, but close enough.
-She loves brushing her teeth. Whenever she sees me or Sterling brushing ours, she yells "Teeth! Teeth!" until we hand over her toothbrush. It's more just chewing on her toothbrush right now, but I figure it's still good.
-She can point out and make the noises of: dogs, cats, sheep, horses, cows, and bees.
-She's a pretty picky eater. And she refuses to sit down for meals, so I usually just put a plate of finger food on the coffee table in the living room so she can grab some bites as she walks around doing whatever it is that she does. Some foods she'll usually eat without a fight are fruit snacks, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, pickles, meat, cheese, pretzels, bananas, plain whole wheat pasta shells, and frozen peas.
-Seems to go through phases of sleeping good then bad, but we've been in a good sleeping phase for awhile now! She goes to bed around 8pm and wakes up between 6-7:30am, and doesn't usually wake at all during the night. Then she'll take a nap after lunch that's between 2-3 hours long.
-She is SUCH a daddy's girl. She loves waving to him out the window when he leaves for work. Everyday when I get her up after her nap, the first thing she says is "Dadda? Dadda?", asking if he's home. Those two are the best of friends. 

That's all I can think of right now. But the bottom line is, she's growing and learning so fast and is the best little girl ever! We love her so so much.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Due date.

Today was supposed to be my due date. It's been close to 4 months since Brooklyn left us. How did that happen? Some days it still feels so fresh.

It's summer now. The snow is melted, the grass is green. The perpetual frost of this valley has finally let up for a few short months. It would have been such a beautiful time to have a new baby in the house. I should have Brooklyn in my arms now, at least that was the plan. I planned on quiet summer days with my two girls. I planned on having a crazy 17 month old and a newborn.

 Life goes on, whether you're ready for it or not. I feel like much of February, March, and April were a blur. Brynleigh has suddenly morphed into a toddler who talks and understands what we say, and responds to us. I've been trying to absorb as much of her as I can, time is so precious.

I've been settling into my role as a bereaved mom, who shares sad smiles with women who confide in me that they know all too well what I've been going through. It's a club that I wish I wasn't in, yet take comfort in knowing there are other members.

All this time, I've still felt pregnant in a way, since I knew I should have been. I guess that can be over now.  I've been dreading this day (month, really) as it's the last real mark Brooklyn has left. She was supposed to join our family around this time, and even though she's gone now, it still belongs to her. It's the last thing I've been holding onto.

Some days, I think I'm doing great. I think I'm so strong and resilient, that I've overcome such a trial. Other days, I'm a mess still. I'm sad and searching for answers I know I can't have. I think about how I could have changed something and I get hopeful, then have to remind myself that there are no do-overs--Brooklyn is gone. I think about how much my life changed so quickly and how stunned I am to be where I am now. I marvel at how naive I was before this all happened, I had no clue any of this was coming. But who would?

This is life now, this sad chapter of our life and these struggles that are still ahead of us. I know I'm still blessed through it all, and I see that everyday, too. As much as I don't want to be written into this story, I am. I know there's a lot of happiness to come, as well, and I know we'll get there someday.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What's next.

I met a (pretty young) woman the other day who's pregnant with her sixth child. Six. How can some women just keep popping out babies like it's nothing? I get pretty jealous. I'd love to have six kids. But I'm pretty sure having more than one, maybe two, more is pretty much impossible.

I think we've ruled out adoption, for now. It might be in our future still, but for this next time around, I think we're trying the old-fashioned way one more time. We've fasted, we've prayed, I got my Patriarchal blessing, we've seen multiple specialists down at the University of Utah, and I've read more studies, articles, and forums online than I probably did my entire college career.

We know we're just about guaranteed to have one (most likely quite a few) miscarriages. One part of me wants to say that I hope they're early miscarriages, because losing another baby further along would be so so hard, and because putting my body through more c-sections gets riskier every time. But the other part doesn't totally mean that, because the little time I had with Brooklyn was so very precious. It's just about all I have. Though I'd imagine losing her was much harder than an early miscarriage would be, I'm still grateful she didn't leave me earlier. An earlier miscarriage would be hard because I wouldn't get time to know the little life growing inside of me.

Anyway, we know we have a hard road ahead of us still. We don't know when exactly we'll be beginning on that road yet. I know I need to be responsible and let my body heal from this c-section so that we don't have even more risks posed to us. We're scared but we have faith, somehow.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


There is so much information to process about all this chromosome stuff. Seriously, I read so much about it and it is all so utterly confusing. Like today, I was finally thinking I was understanding it and I found out that if we decided to conceive naturally, our baby could have an entirely different disorder, Trisomy 14 (also known as a million different confusing names....yeah, that sure helps) other than just the prospective Down Syndrome.

And don't even get me started on this IVF-PGD junk. I tried tackling some of that yesterday and called Sterling bawling because I kept getting transferred around in a circle of departments at the Utah Center for Reproductive Medicine and everyone was asking me questions I didn't understand. Do they really expect someone who is calling for a consultation to be an expert?

Oh, and health insurance sucks. Even when you think you have a great plan, you don't. Your out-of-pocket expenses and deductible doubles without notice.

I wish someone could just tell me what to do from here. I sure don't know what decision to make. And I'm reeeeally tired of trying to figure it out. Just put a healthy, happy baby in my arms for me to love, please.

Oh, and Dear Jenelle from Teen Mom 2: You seem to have this inexplicable problem of purposely getting yourself knocked up then contemplating abortion. How about you just give me all these babies you can't decide if you want? I'd drive to South Carolina in a heartbeat, I promise.

.....okay, maybe watching dumb girls on MTV isn't the best thing for me to do in my current situation. But, seriously. Come on.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Test results, answers, and lots of decisions.

Yesterday we had an appointment with a high-risk obstetrician from the University of Utah. He gave us the results of our genetic testing--I'm a carrier for Robertsonian Translocation Down Syndrome. We discussed what this means for future pregnancies. Basically, we have a 50/50 chance of RT Downs in each pregnancy. Out of the 50% chance of not having it, the baby has an equal chance of being a carrier, like me, or being perfectly healthy and chromosomally normal. We don't know which category Brynleigh falls into, she'll have to be tested sometime in the future. Hopefully she isn't a carrier so she never has to go through this and face these hard choices.

Out of the 50% chance that a future baby would have Down Syndrome, there's a 15% chance the baby would just be born with it and  a 35% chance that we'd lose the baby sometime during the pregnancy (or I'd go into labor very early and lose the baby after birth, like Brooklyn). With that being said, this doctor thinks the RT Downs is why Brooklyn didn't make it, so we are thankful to have that answer now.

So essentially, there's only a 25% chance of us having a perfectly healthy baby with no negative consequences. Not the best odds.

Getting pregnant naturally just doesn't seem to be something that is in the cards for us at this point in our lives. We can't handle losing another sweet baby, and 35% is far too high. Even if we fell into that 15% of having a baby with RT Down Syndrome, the baby would be at a high risk for heart defects, leukemia, and other disorders/diseases that I don't want to see my child go through.

We'll be meeting with both a genetics counselor and an infertility specialist down in Salt Lake City soon. The infertility specialist will talk to us about our options of using IVF PGD (invitro fertilization preimplantation genetic diagnosis) to conceive. This is where we'd do IVF and they'd be able to look through our fertilized embryos and choose ones that are chromosomally normal to implant. We don't know exact details and rates of success yet, but the doctor said he believes the U of U fertility center has about a 65% success rate. IVF is not a fun process, and it is pretty dang expensive.

Our other option is adoption. We plan on meeting with LDS Family Services soon to discuss the ins and outs of adoption through them. Adoption is, of course, a difficult, emotional process to go through and it really intimidates me. But none of our options are easy in the least, and we know our family isn't complete yet. For now, we're learning all we can about our options and putting a lot of thought and prayer into determining what the best route is for us.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Brooklyn May Stoddard

On February 14th, 2014, we lost our sweet baby girl, Brooklyn May, to preterm labor caused by placental abruption at 24 weeks gestation. I started a blog to aid in my healing process.