Monday, November 15, 2010

Important dates in November

In less than one week, the 2 most important dates in my life happen.

November 9th, 2010.
Olivia Marie Patrick Blessing was born at 2:50am at 7lbs 13oz and 19.5" in Fond du Lac, WI.  Notice the time she was born at?  2:50am? It was a perfect day.  I had the support of my mom and sister-in-law Shauna in the delivery room and family ready to help.

On Monday at 1pm, Dad stopped by for his almost daily "check in" on me.  I was laying on the couch, because I wasn't feeling the best after lunch.  I sat up and that's when my water started to break.  I called Shauna to ask her if it was really happening and then called my doctor.  They advised me to come right on up to Labor and Delivery to check in.  My Dad was calmly freaking out at this time, hoping nothing was going to happen until we got to the hospital.  I then proceeded to finish packing last minute items, doing my hair and make up...and of course shaving.  (You moms out there know why)  There was no way I was going into delivery not looking decent.  You always see awesome pictures of moms after delivery looking so good like nothing happened.  I wanted to be that mom, too.

So, around 2pm, we packed the truck up and headed over to St. Agnes.  I was also praying that nothing would "happen" on my walk up there.  As we checked in, I got the room ready and they got me ready.  I was only able to walk around for a short time before I was hooked up to Pitocin.  It was a slow labor at that time.  I started getting stronger contractions around 5 or so.  The whole time before that, it was just stronger Braxton Hicks contractions. My parents, sister, brother and family were there for support. I got the epidural at 6:15pm.  Shawn and Christine stopped by a short time later to visit.  I told them I'd call them before work or so, because the doctors didn't expect me to deliver until morning or late morning.

From 6pm until 9pm, they kept increasing the Pitocin doses, as nothing was happening.  I was still at 3cm.  They upped it around 10, when I was 4cm.  Then an hour later I was at 6, an hour after that I was at 9+.  At 1:25am they started getting everything ready for delivery.  Now it actually started to seem real that I was finally about to meet my daughter.  I started pushing at 1:35am and delivered Olivia at 2:50am.  The only complication was that the umbilical cord was wrapped tightly around her neck and several times around her body.  The doctor was concerned, but played it cool.  She had to cut the umbilical cord twice to get her untangled!  As soon as she came out, she let out a big cry.  I was relieved.  She was here.  I was so happy to see her.  A wave of emotion came across me.  I was hoping that Patrick was there with me the whole time and he got to see her.  He would be so proud. 

Moments after she was born.

She was then cleaned up, dressed and put in my arms.  They put a hat on her to keep warm.  Someone knit them and donated the hats to Labor and Delivery.  There were so many colors that were made.  Guess what color Olivia's hat was?  Purple.  Yup, that's right...Purple.

Olivia Marie Patrick Blessing
November 9th, 2010 forever changed my life.  And my sleeping patterns.

November 15th, 2008.
The next date that forever changed my life was November 15, 2008.  My wedding day.

I loved how he looked at me that day. 

Today would have been our 2 year anniversary.  I was lucky enough to have Patrick as my partner for 8 years and as a husband for 1 year and 8 months.  He was the best thing that has ever happened to my life, along with Olivia.  We were perfect for each other.  We loved each other so much.  He treated me like a queen from the day I met him.  He was a gentleman. He was a comedian.  He was my husband.

Today was a tough day.  I only got to celebrate one wedding anniversary with my husband. 
Picture from our 1 year anniversary photo shoot at Holy Hill.

I was thankful  today to have my daughter in my arms.  I was thankful today to have my mom and dad help around the house and with Olivia.  I was thankful today to have my sister-in-law by my side most of the day helping with my appointments.  I was thankful  to have friends and family checking in with me with phone calls, texts, emails and messages.  There are a lot of things I'm thankful for.  I just wish I could be thankful to have Patrick healthy and in my life.  But I guess I am thankful that he is not in pain anymore and is watching over us.  He is our angel.  He is our Blessing from above.  He is still my husband.  He is finally a dad.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The waiting game.

Well, this week I am 39 weeks.  Less than 1 week to go before our baby girl joins this world.  It's going to be one of the best things that has ever happened to me, next to having Patrick in my life.  It will be a bittersweet moment.  I'll be overjoyed to meet her, but her daddy won't be there.  I'm so looking forward to this big event, but so sad about it, too.  Just wish he could be here for it.  He would have been the best dad ever.

As many of you know, I'm sometimes an impatient person.  Especially when it comes to vacations, big events, shopping, giving presents, etc.  Well, I consider the birth of our daughter a HUGE event and I can't wait until she arrives.  I thought for sure I would have her by now, but she's also being stubborn, like her mother.  She already has her dad's patience.  I can't wait to see what she looks like.   Until then, I'm just "patiently" waiting.

A couple of weeks ago, my dad and I met the Sibleys at the Ripon game.  I was surprised when the announcer said, "In memory of a former Ripon football player, PB will be on the back of the team helmets."  I had no idea that they did this for him.  We were very touched.

Baby showers.  
My friends at work gave me one on my last day in the office.  It was so thoughtful of them to think of me.
I also had some Merriman wives give me a shower in Fond du Lac on the 16th.  They did a wonderful job and it was absolutely perfect.  I thank them for a job well done.  It was so great to see everyone as well.
My cake!
My large self opening a gift, with Melissa the organizer:)
This past month, we lost 2 more great women to cancer.  My French teacher/FDL HS Principal and family friend, Mary Fran Merwin and Melissa's mother, Sue Hilke.  They will forever be missed.

Recently I finished my 8 week Grief support group.  I recommend it for anyone that has to go through something like this.  I formed great relationships with the people in the group.  I was obviously the youngest, by 30 years.  But we all had something in common to discuss.  Losing a spouse.

Grief is the price we pay for love. Queen Elizabeth II.
I truly believe that.

The poem that we read in our last session.

The Dash
by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end.

He noted that frist came her date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years.

For that dash respresents all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend that dash.

So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what's true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more,
And love the people in our lives
Like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respoect,
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy's being read
With you life's actions to rehash
Would ou be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

I'd like you all to think about this poem.  It's very true.  I believe Patrick lived his life to the fullest and that's what he left us with here on earth.  He spent his dash the best he could every day.  He didn't sweat the small stuff.  He didn't care about "things".  He cared about people and how they felt.  He cared about family, friends and building relationships.  He never gave up and never quit.  For someone to go through what he has in a short lifetime is amazing.  It's something we should all learn from. 

So next time you complain it's a crappy day at work, bicker with your spouse about nothing, not do something to your fullest, worry about little things...think of Patrick.  He would say, "Really? Is that something to complain or worry about?"  That's the biggest thing he ever taught me.  He always brought be back to reality when I needed it.

If you think you're having a bad day, think hard again.  Are you really having a bad day or a bad moment in a good day. 

I had a bad day on July 22nd.  I lost the love of my life.  Was your day that bad?  Not to be rude, but we all need to put things into perspective these days. 

I'm hoping in my next blog that I will be sharing pictures of our new baby girl.  And yes, you'll finally find out her name.  I've been keeping it a secret this whole time.  You already know it's a girl.  This is the last thing Patrick and I have to share.  We liked her name from the beginning and then came across more names.  Days before he passed, we decided on this one.  Only him and I know and it will always be something I treasure.  He and I named our baby.  Together.  It was the last secret we shared.

Thank you all for your support during my pregnancy.  Everyone has been very generous and thoughtful.  I can't wait for you to meet our angel.

Stay tuned...