Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sammy's First Christmas

As you can imagine, this Christmas was such a blessing to us having Sam in our lives. We have spent so many holidays childless and it was sometimes very difficult to deal with. We have now been more than blessed to say the least.

Even though Sammy is too young to understand Christmas, the birth of Jesus, Santa Claus and all that is connected to the holiday, we went all out! Every night in December myself or Glen would read Sammy a Christmas book. We had a Christian version of the "Elf on a Shelf" that we moved around on a nightly basis and we would show Sammy what "Monte" the elf would do around the house every night. He smiled at Monte every morning once we found him! We had St. Nick show up and put gifts in Sammy's stocking on December 6th. We went to see Santa 2 times and 2 times Sammy cried when he sat on his lap!!! We went to Christmas Mass on Christmas Eve and then Santa came to visit on Christmas Eve. It was such an amazing holiday with Sammy that we will never forget. Unfortunately Sammy was a little under the weather (running a fever) so we didn't get to go to all of the family activities as we had hoped. This year we were planning to get all the new cousins (Greta & Ava) together for their first Christmas together but we didn't get to go. We went to my mom & Rich's house for Christmas Eve & Christmas Day and then we left for Sioux Falls the day after Christmas. It was a fun-filled time and Sammy received lots of new toys! Also, on Christmas Day Sammy started crawling for the first time! He has now in just a few short weeks, mastered crawling up the 2 stairs in our living room. He thinks he is such a big boy now. He is very motivated to try walking now as well! All in all, we had an amazing first Christmas with Sammy and thank God for truly bringing us such a blessing into our lives.

Christmas at Grandma Shirley's in Sioux Falls

Sammy liked climbing in daddy's new cooler

Sammy loved his train that Santa brought him!

Surrounded by all the toys he received from Santa.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Difficult Week

This week has been a very difficult and emotional week. As most of you know, I have been seeing a natural family planning doctor for about six months to help figure out why I cannot get pregnant again. Well, after many tests we found out my estrogen was high and my progesterone was low. So we fixed that with oral medication and monthly shots and low and behold, I got pregnant again! We were shocked to say the least as it happened the first month that we tried the shots along with the oral medication. I had to take a blood test to find out I was pregnant as the shots I was giving myself were HCG which would have shown a postitive pregnancy on a urine pregnancy test whether I was or wasn't pregnant. I had all the preliminary bloodwork done and everything came back great! That was good news. Then I had my first ultrasound and we got to see the tiny baby and what we thought was a beating heart but it was a little too early to tell (5weeks6days). A few days after my first ultrasound I started spotting so I called my doctor. He had me come in and do bloodwork and do another ultrasound. By the time I got to the ultrasound I was bleeding, not just spotting so I thought for sure I had miscarried. The ultrasound technician looked at me immediately and said, "there is still a heartbeat and it is good." This completely shocked me as with all the bleeding I just knew I had miscarried. I cried all the way home I was so happy! I knew this was going to work this time. The following day my doctor wanted me to have an office visit with him to go over why I am bleeding and try to fix the problem. We found out my progesterone had dropped from 48 down to 5 even with giving myself progesterone shots twice a week. Then he did an exam and began to see things that lead him to issue another order for an ultrasound. He told me he thought I might have miscarried between that day and the day before. I thought he was crazy, I just saw the heartbeat yesterday. I headed back over to the ultrasound facility and the tech didn't talk to me at all. I knew from her actions that it wasn't good. After looking at what she needed to see, she left the room and said that my doctor would be calling me on the phone in the room. At that point, I knew it was over. The phone rang and I could tell just by his voice it was bad news. He said that there was no longer a heartbeat and that I had miscarried the baby. Everything he said after that was a blurr. I can't tell you how hard it is for me to hear those words, "there is no longer a heartbeat." This is now the 3rd time I have heard those exact words and they ring in my head all the time.

To say the least, this has been a very difficult week. From the high of hearing the heartbeat of the baby you are carrying to the low of not hearing a heartbeat of the baby you are carrying is devastating.


You are wondering what plagiocephaly means right? Plagiocephaly is the asymmetrical distortion or "flattening" of the skull. Mr. Sam was diagnosed with plagiocephaly over the past few months. It has been something that we have noticed since he was about 3 months old but thought that the right back portion of his skull would fill out once he started sitting up and not laying on his head so much. After several months of monitoring and repositioning, the doctor thought it would be best that we see a specialist to have him fitted for a DOC-band helmet. We took him to a facility to have his head scanned to find out just how much difference the right side was from the left. Most people didn't even notice the difference unless we pointed it out. We really noticed it when he was taking a bath and his hair was wet. His poor little head was completely flat! After doing the scan, they found that the difference was about 12mm, therefore, a helmet was recommended for us to see any future change. We thought long and hard whether to go through with it or not as it was considered cosmetic so insurance didn't pay for the helmet. And let me tell you, the helmet is not cheap!! After much consideration, and thinking of Sammy going bald and having to deal with a flat head, we decided to go ahead and proceed. He was fitted for the helmet and it arrived about 2 weeks later. We took baby steps introducing the helmet to him. The first day he wore it 1 hour and had it of for 1 hour. This proceeded for about 6 days until he was finally wearing it full time (23 hours/day). I think this introduction is more for the parents, Sammy didn't seem to mind it at all but it made me cry seeing him in it the first week!!! He has now been wearing it for about 3 weeks and he doesn't even notice it at all. It has grown on me as well. We doctored it up with construction stickers and painted a "under construction" sign on the back. It is super cute and he looks great in it. We had our first appointment with the orthotic specialist last week and he has already improved to a 8mm difference. They are hoping to get him down to 3-4mm difference so we are half way there! We are hoping that he won't have to wear the helmet more than 3-4 months. I am really glad we decided to go ahead with it and I know Sammy will appreciate it one day when it is cool to shave his head (or he goes bald!)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

3 Years Ago Today

3 years ago today our sweet, precious baby girl was born into heaven. We miss her dearly and think about her every day. I try to picture what she would look like as a 3 year old running around the house. I can just imagine her and Sammy playing on the floor together.

Tonight we took Sammy out to the cemetary to have our "angelversary" visit with Annabelle. We took a red flower and put it in the vase by her name plate. Sammy put his little hand on the name plate and patted it like he was saying "it's okay." Her space was already decorated with trinkets that other family members had placed. It makes me feel so good to know that others (my mom espeicially) visit on a regular basis. I don't want Annabelle to ever be forgotten.

I have had a lot of people ask me if it is easier this year now that we have Sammy in our family. The answer is no, and it will never get easier, it just gets different. We met a lady through church who lost a child to still birth 50 years ago and when she heard our story she cried remembering the loss of her child. I know I will be the same way 50 years from now.

Today, we celebrate the 8 months that we did have with Annabelle and know that she is in good hands with the Lord. We will one day meet again and hold each other tightly. We love you baby girl!

September 23, 2011

September 23rd will be a day we celebrate every year in the Stach household. September 23rd is the day that we became a "Forever Family" or also considered Adoption Day! Our adoption of Sammy was finalized on Friday, September 23rd. Glen and I had been waiting for this day to arrive and we finally received the email on September 16th that we would be finalizing with the judge and attorney over the phone.

We went to Glen's work in the morning as we were having one of his secretaries be our notary on the conference call. I was a bit nervous with lots of anxiety as usual! There was no need for me to be anxious, I just over think everything. We had a list of questions the attorney gave us to be prepared to answer. When the phone rang, my palms were sweaty and my voice was shaky! The judge introduced himself and the attorney (which we know very well), had the notary swear us in and then went down the questions, one by one. They were all yes or no answers. It took about 5 minutes and it was over. The judge congratulated us on our adoption and that was it. I was so nervous for nothing! Glen's secretary congratulated us and we took a family picture. We spent the rest of day hanging out together and celebrated being officially official.

We will receive Sammy's revised (new) birth certificate in the mail within 6 weeks. That is another moment I am excited for - the birth certificate. I never thought how exciting these things would be!

As for contact with the BM, we will send pictures/updates 2 times per year for the next 2 years. I am in the process of making a book for her right now on snapfish. It is super cute and I hope that she is at a place in her life she is able to enjoy seeing what Sammy is doing these days.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bennett Springs

September 11th of this year was the 6th anniversary of my Dad passing away. So we packed up the car, picked up Nana Nancy and headed to Bennett Springs to spend the weekend remembering my Dad, Cooper the dog and spend time at their favorite spot in the world, Bennett Springs! We met Aunt Ann & Uncle Gary at Sand Springs resort on Saturday afternoon and spent the day walking around the State park where my Dad and Cooper would always come to fish. They absolutely loved spending time together in Bennett Springs. It was such a beautiful weekend. Sammy was so good the entire trip and even got to swing in a big boy swing for the very first time!

While we were there, we spread some of my Dad's and Cooper's ashes along the bank so they could always remain a part of their favorite spot together. Here is a picture of the area where we laid the ashes. Isn't it so beautiful and peaceful?

Nancy wrote a neat poem to go along:

A Man......and a Dog
There was a man....and a dog,
Who had a special bond.
They could be seen together most days,
By a river or a pond.

The dog...he was a hunter,
But he didn't seem to care
If he hunted for birds or fish,
He hunted everywhere.

You could see the man... and the dog,
Riding around town in a van,
Being together was what was important.
It was part of the plan.

So it seems only right,
That we should bring
The man... and the dog to Bennett Spring.

At a place they both loved to be
Together - a man...and a dog...finally free.

The weekend was one of the best weekends we have had in along time just sitting around reminising about days past. We will definitely make Bennett Springs a family trip to take for years to come.

Labor Day Weekend

Grandma Shirley came to visit for Labor Day weekend. She arrived Friday afternoon so we grilled out for dinner at the house. Sammy and I were both under the weather due to allergies/colds so we did a lot of hanging out at the house the entire weekend. Sammy loved taking naps on his Grandma; she is great at getting him soothed! Sammy & Glen watched the first Nebraska Huskers game of the year. Glen commentated the entire game to Sammy and I am just sure he knew what he was talking about!!!!