Deanna's 2nd Pregnancy Journal
Women who face another pregnancy after losing their first baby are in a unique position. We worry more, and we have cause. We know firsthand that not every pregnancy ends in a miracle. I have put my journal here to let other women learn that the paranoia, indifference, and emotional upheaval they feel is not theirs alone.
Today we found out that I am pregnant again. We weren't blissfully happy like last time; I'm not even sure I know how I feel. We are starting over when we should have been delivering our baby five weeks from now.
Naturally we are relieved that we won't be spending month upon month trying, like before. But there are so many things to worry about. The migraines. The due date being so close to the anniversary of Casey's death. And death itself.
We are going to hide this pregnancy for a long time. We've told a very small number of supportive friends. But not our family. It seems unfair, I suppose, to leave them out of this, but making those phone calls, telling them their precious first grandbaby had died, was the worst thing I ever had to do. I cannot do it again. I cannot face it again. Maybe I'll feel better later. But right now I live with stark fear. I want to protect them.
We are calling the baby Faith. If she turns out to be a boy, we'll change it. But by then we'll be past the scary part. If she is a girl, Faith will probably be her middle name. Right now she is just Faith. And she will always have a story to go with her name, a story of her big brother, Casey, whose death allowed her to be born.
Well, little Faith, we confirmed today that you were real. But I already knew. I had known for days. You are our proud little secret. Let's hope God and Casey will watch over you. I'll do everything I can.
August 17, 1998
We've known about the baby for over a week. A few people know. Linda, Mindy. I've written Janel but she is on holiday and won't get the message for a while. I feel fine, mostly. I am tired and sleeping a lot, but no nausea. According to Casey's journal, I have another week before that hits.
I can't explain exactly how I feel. Somber. Passive. As if grief will come again, only this time expected. I got a terrible headache today and waited with the patience of the downtrodden for it to become a migraine. It didn't. In fact, I was fine after I ate. It's too early for that anyway. 12 weeks. That's when they started. And I know I will panic if they come again. I feel certain those ferocious headaches were part of the baby's death.
I think we've decided on a first name for Faith. Emily. Emily Faith Chauffe. Emily Chauffe. I like it. I don't think John is too keen on Faith but I am determined. Maybe it's hokey. I don't care. It is more true than any name for a child could ever be. We have nothing left but raw faith to carry us through this. I hope it's enough.
I see the doctor in a week. I don't worry about it. Maybe we'll see our grain-of-rice sized baby. But it's too early to hear the heartbeat. Her little heart should have begun pumping today. I'm sure it did. We will love you while we have you, Faith, five months or a lifetime.
August 25, 1998
Today we saw your heartbeat! We didn't expect it, you are only 29 days old! Usually you must be 35 days or so for the sonogram to pick it up. Even Dr. Uribe was impressed by your strength. He thinks it's a good sign.
I also have not spotted or bled at all during the pregnancy. Not at implantation, not after exams, or any other time. I am eating more than I should be though. I almost expected the sonogram to show twins, my appetite has been so large! But it was just you, little Faith, thumping heart and all 4 mm of you.
I haven't been nauseous hardly at all. Casey's journal said it should have shown up yesterday, but maybe you're giving me a reprieve. I can't tell you how relieved your dad and I were to see that little heart go. Now if you can just stay that way.
An odd coincidence took place. The nurse gave us a due date of April 15, based on my last menstrual cycle. But I kept telling Dr. Uribe that you would come later, since I ovulated so late. He refigured your due date based on that, and based on the measurement he took of you on the sonogram. The new due date was April 20. Dr. Uribe said that was a good date, because he had an aunt with that birthday. Then he sort of looked oddly at me and asked, "What did you say you were naming the baby?"
We told him, "Faith." He nodded and said, "That's right. It's my Aunt Faith who has that birthday." We all knew it was too big a coincidence to be meaningless. We are just taking it to be a sign that you will be just fine. We need all the signs like that that we can get.
It was hard not telling people about you. We were so encouraged and happy. But we refrained. Sometimes I think it's not fair to you, that we should celebrate you with the blissful optimism with which we treated your big brother. I think that if something should happen to you, that you won't get the same treatment, all the cards and flowers and prayers. But it's so hard, Faith. We are so very afraid. Dr. Uribe has put me on daily baby aspirin to make sure my blood runs more smoothly. He think it might also head off the migraines. I bought them but I am afraid to take them. Your little brain is developing so fast right now. I don't want to harm it. I wish God could tell me what to do. I will pray about it.
We have the little video to add to your box. I'm sure you're doing fine down there. The odds are better now that we've seen your heartbeat. Let's hope we meet, face to face, eight months from now.
August 31, 1998
I started bleeding heavily last night. I panicked, of course. I called the emergency number at the doctor's office and got Dr. Phillips' nurse. She was reassuring, but soon after I got off the phone, I started feeling mild cramps. I panicked harder and called Dr. Uribe at home. He wasn't there, but his wife tracked him down and he called. He said to stay flat on my back unless I got heavy cramps, then go straight to ER. Otherwise come in at 8 a.m.
I didn't sleep well, but no cramps, so I went in at 8. I felt sure the baby was dead. I had had a terrible sick day Saturday, then no symptoms at all, just like last time. And while we waited in the examining room, I felt "skinnier" just like last time. We had to wait almost two hours for my doctor; he had two deliveries that morning.
I was pretty calm by then. I sort of accepted that Faith was gone. When Dr. Uribe came in, he went straight to the ultrasound. John was the first to see her heart beating. And she was even bigger than she was supposed to be at this point.
Naturally we felt much better, but the bleeding keeps on. I have to stay flat on my back until it stops. I had to tell my boss, which is okay on one hand; she's pregnant too. She said she was "delighted" that I was pregnant and not to worry about my deadline Thursday. If it comes between my job and the baby, there's clearly no contest. But I don't want to give up yet another job and a good career over a baby that won't make it. It's all so scary. This didn't happen last time. How much can we take?
I've been up too long. Even sitting up makes me bleed, although now it's brown and thick instead of red and thin. I'll just have to wait it out.
I hope God watches over Faith. I'm sorry I gave up on her. A defense mechanism, I guess.
September 5, 1998
The week went slowly. The bleeding stopped Tuesday, but the whole experience made us very shaky. We ended up telling everyone about the baby, even our parents. I don't know what the right thing to do is. It's done now.
I looked into buying a Doppler so we could monitor the baby's heartbeat from home. It costs $700. So I don't guess that will happen. I still plan to check hospitals to see if they will rent one. I've heard some places do that.
The nausea has hit pretty hard and I am feeling terrible, but a normal kind of terrible. I think it's going to be okay, now, for a while. Overall I am not convinced this baby will ever come. But we go on, anyway.
September 13, 1998
What an awful day. I knew it would be a bad one, but I didn’t know how bad, exactly. Today was Casey’s due date. And it made me so sad, so grief-stricken, that I wondered what I thought I was doing, being pregnant again.
The church was supposed to dedicate flowers to the baby, but I guess they forgot, because it wasn’t mentioned. It seems so unfair, that he could just be forgotten like that. I had called, sent a note, and paid for the flowers. Someone just slipped up. But it upsets me.
We had another ugly scare Thursday night. I went to the gym, but before I did anything, I got these terrible cramps. They started out like normal "round ligament stretching" cramps, small and quick. Then they multiplied, spreading all over my abdomen and around to my back. I had to lie down, but couldn’t find a comfortable spot (I was on a bench press cushion, no wonder.) This went on and on and I couldn’t even sit up. It wasn’t exactly painful, but it was frightening, little lightening bolts of cramps shooting all over my midsection. We went home, finally, when I was able to sit up. Standing made it go away, and sitting made it horribly worse. I figured I was going through some stage of growth, maybe my intestines or other organs were giving way to the uterus or something. I tried to laugh about it. I wasn’t bleeding, so I wasn’t frantic.
I checked my pregnancy journal for Casey when I got home. Sure enough, on that very day, at 8.5 weeks, I reported having tiny pains "shoot through my abs" when I tried to sit on a stationary bike. This calmed me considerably and I went to bed, sure that they’d be gone in the morning. They weren’t.
I wasn’t sure if I should go to work the next day. I still wasn’t bleeding, but I couldn’t sit up very well. I slept late, and went to work late, and it eased some in that hour. I had a lot of trouble at work. The small darting cramps were gone, but I felt heavy and couldn’t bend in the middle. Fortunately my chair leaned back, so I could stretch out. I called the nurse at my doctor’s office and we talked about the pain. She agreed that it might just be stretching. I asked her if it might be a bladder infection. She said that it could cause spasms like that. The weather was terrible; we were in a flash flood, so I didn’t really want to drive all the way to the office. I told her I’d drink a lot of cranberry juice and see if it settled down. If it got worse, I’d go to a clinic for a urine test. She thought that was okay. I drank the juice, but about mid afternoon I decided I was crazy to stay at work, so I left. I took a nap and when I awoke, the pain was completely gone.
I hate the feeling that every little thing that happens in this pregnancy escalates so quickly to the crisis level. I want myself to buck up, to quit being so negative...
There was a baptism today. I nearly came unglued. But the day is over. Finally, this day is over.
October 9, 1998
It has been a while since I have written. I have been so tired and sleepy that very little has been done. And overall, things have gone quite well, so there wasn't much to report.
I visited the doctor again two weeks ago. The nurse struggled to find the heartbeat. I was amazingly calm throughout this, although my heart rate was high (the nurse kept confusing it with the baby's). But eventually she found it, very low and a little to the right of the center. It was not where she expected it to be, but it was okay.
I think the worst thing that has happened since I last wrote was that one of the women in my 2nd pregnancy support group, Lori, lost her baby. I was terribly upset. I cried half the night, both for her, and out of my own fear. As I enter my 14th week, I know tough days are ahead for me. Casey died sometime between the 16th and 20th weeks, most likely during the 17th. I know those dates, and I fear them. When I visit the doctor again next week, I am sure we will discuss what we will do next.
I have been going through a phase these last few days, a terrible one. I am completely pessimistic. I don't believe this baby will make it. I can't picture myself in labor, holding a crying baby. I can only envision the scene where, once again, my doctor tells me there is no heartbeat and that he is sorry. Meanwhile, the media surrounds me with messages that "Faith can heal" (Reader's Digest, this week) and the "Power of Positive Thinking." So I feel guilty, like I can help it, since it could be harming the baby to be negative. The spiral continues down. I have begun to try to separate myself from this whole process, the pregnancy, like I do a football game when UT is losing. I just walk away, then come back in later, ready to cheer again. I guess I should be handling this better, but I'm not sure how. People keep telling me to get counseling, the professional kind. When they say that, I cross them off my confession list. We don't discuss anything but surface, small-talk stuff after that. Once someone thinks you need counseling, they won't let go of that idea until you've done it. And I've tried counseling before. I didn't like it. And it costs a fortune.
It's obvious now that I'm pregnant. The belly is round. I'm not in maternity clothes yet; I'm trying to tough it out one more week. Maybe after my doctor visit on Tuesday, if all is well, I'll put some on.
If you read this, say a prayer for Lori. I do.
Today was a very good day. We convinced our doctor to do an unscheduled sonogram. I couldn't believe how developed the baby was. And moving! The doctor laughed and said, "Look, he's doing the Macarena!" Sure enough, he was moving his arms, and rolling over, and kicking his legs. He didn't stop for a moment.
You may have noticed I have changed my sex references to "he." It's really too early to tell for sure, but it looks like the baby just might be a boy after all. The doctor pointed out his extra "part" right away. But these things usually aren't called until after the 20th week and this is only the 14th. It's hard to say. We'll go with the "he," based on current evidence, until further proof is provided. As hyper as the little guy is, it's no surprise he would thwart our attempt to agree on a name and be a boy. So it's back to the old drawing board on the name.
I am still struggling within myself to avoid containing my happiness. It happens sort of spontaneously, this reining in of my emotions. Yes, the baby looks good, and yes, it is far more active than the first one. But still. We have a way to go yet. And the headaches began again, right on cue, last Saturday. The nurses are setting up some oxygen therapy for me so I have it next time one strikes.
At least I know I am feeling this baby move. I'd had the sensation of something rolling around down there, something about the size of sausage, and I had wondered if it was the baby. After seeing the sonogram and feeling it while we also watched, I knew for sure. It's a nice feeling, being able to monitor the baby that way. I don't need a $700 Doppler.
Well, I'm leaning toward Matthew, but John won't hear of it, so we'll let you know how the name battle plays out as well. A good gamble would be whether or not we come up with one before I go into labor. And there's always the long shot that she's an Emily Faith after all! But I wouldn't put much money on it.
October 28, 1998
These have been some bad days. The baby no longer moves for me, so I can't check his progress anymore. We made an emergency visit to the doctor this morning. I had been sort of panicky since last Thursday, but I was really, really sick last night and the headaches came back with a vengeance. I just knew something was wrong. John and I were up almost the whole night; I cried pretty much nonstop. We got up and went to the doctor's office very early.
As soon as the nurse saw me, she got all concerned. I knew I looked terrible. Our doctor was about to go into a surgery, but when he saw us, he immediately had them bring in the ultrasound. Everyone was crowding in the room, peering at the screen, but when the baby showed up, he was contentedly sucking his thumb and swimming about, as if wondering what all the fuss was about.
So I suppose things are okay. We have a regular visit on Tuesday, where we'll run a bunch of new tests. They are delivering the oxygen tanks tomorrow for my headaches. The health insurance has held it up for two weeks, so now we're just paying for it. $330 a month. Pretty steep.
The first baby died (we think) 14 days from today. It will be a long and terrible few weeks.
Another Internet friend of mine, Alli, lost her baby. It all seems so terribly unfair.
November 9, 1998
Things are not going well. We are in the thick of the anxiety; the first baby most likely died within days of today. I can be okay for patches of time, but if I feel a gurgle or a thump in my belly, I immediately launch a long debate. Is it the baby, and he's alive? Is it like last time, when I felt "movement" even after I had been TOLD the baby was dead? Inevitably it all breaks down and I lose it, no matter where I am or how I had been feeling only moments before. Take your normal pregnancy mood swings and multiply times 10, and that's me.
Now to add to the anxiety, my doctor called me today to tell me the AFP test came out abnormal. This test looks for spinal disorders and Down's Syndrome. The false-positive result on this test is crazily high; that's why I didn't take it last time. But it is there. A possible answer. A possible reason. And a possible repeat. Do I carry a problem gene? Does John? What are our odds? Do odds matter?
I told Dr. Uribe that there are far worse things he could tell me than a positive AFP test. He was silent. He knows. And I know I will check for a heartbeat before going in for a Level II sonogram. I don't want some random person noticing that the baby is dead.
The possibility that the baby will be fine and our lives will move on like normal people has become so remote. The small hope I harbored is so far away. I wonder if I am Job, and my faith is being tested. But it's not like that really. I don't consider this a test because I don't expect God to grant me every wish. He will let happen whatever He believes should happen, regardless of my desires or everyone's prayers. I can only expect He'll be there when I am distressed, nothing more. I am getting so very tired of everyone telling me to be positive, to have faith, to give my troubles to God. If I could possibly do it, I would. This well intentioned advice is only compounding my guilt. Let it rest.
John and I adopted a little girl named Savannah for Christmas. Her father is in prison, so we are buying her gifts. Savannah was the name we had chosen for our first baby, were she a girl. I am sure the ladies who gave us the paperwork were puzzled why I could break down so hard, so desperately, over a little girl's wish for Christmas. I did not enlighten them.
I hope to have better news soon.
We have had some eventful days. We think we now know why Casey died. And although this baby may be in some danger for early delivery, she should not just suddenly die in utero.
Oh, yeah. She is a she. After we did all the debating and decided on Ryan Matthew as the boy's name, it turns out she is an Emily Faith after all. With the Level II sonograms by two professionals and a prenatal specialist, I'd say we're pretty sure now.
The AFP test ended up being the least of our concerns. The cutoff for a normal score was 2.5 and we were only 2.61. The baby measured out just fine and showed no signs at all for spina bifida or a brain problem. Since bleeding can falsely elevate AFP, we've decided to just accept that as the reason and turned down the amnio. We think she's just fine.
The problem, however, is that my uterus is malformed. I have a septum that runs almost all the way through. Right now the baby is in one half of the uterus, and the amniotic sac squeezes under the septum and balloons out on the other side. Depending on how this septum behaves as my uterus expands, it could move to the side, causing few problems, or put more pressure on the amnion, causing it to rupture prematurely. I have a lot of reading up on this to do, but I understand that once your water breaks, it is only a matter of time before they must deliver the baby.
My two doctors had two different takes on the situation. The specialist spoke more about the worst-case scenarios. Early membrane rupture, early cesarean. He hopes I can make it to 32 weeks. He didn't see me going to term. My regular OB/GYN played down the risks. Yes, I had a higher chance of preterm delivery. Yes, there was an increased possibility that the baby will have growth problems later on and have low birth weight. It was also likely she would be unable to turn and would end up breech. But he emphasized how common septums were. He did say, though, that I should prepare myself to have to leave work before term. I am sure I will end up on bed rest when the big squeeze begins, in a couple of months.
It's hard to know how to feel exactly. We are glad she did not implant on the septum, as they think Casey did. She would not still be with us. But watching her on the sonogram, kicking at the septum with all her might, I have this sense of dread, that she will come far too early and spend her first months in an incubator. All the landmarks for her weight are marked on our calendar. She should reach 1 pound, which is needed to survive, on December 8. By mid-January, she should be 2 pounds, which is plenty old enough to lower the risks.
We got two little preemie outfits for her so that she has something in case she is early and her hospital stay is not overlong. It is very comforting to have them, to let myself hold things that will be hers. We will now hope the weeks fly by and let her develop as much as possible. I will learn more about cesarean and preterm labor. But I do think she will get here. It may not be perfect or as we planned, but she will make it.
November 24, 1998
We had another doctor visit today. Everything was fine. The doctor was glad Emily had implanted a good distance from the septum, although he admitted that he couldn't see it very well. We talked a little about the risks. He thinks I'll go pretty close to term, although breech presentation and C-section were definitely strong possibilities.
I am still a little concerned about the difference in my two doctor's opinions. I am anxious to see the specialist again, to get a better clarification about what he thinks will happen. I actually signed up for a birthing class, finally. We're taking it a month earlier than normal, just to be sure we get it in. But I don't worry so much now. If she was okay today, she is going to be okay.
I get a little sad thinking about these holidays. I wonder how they would have been different if Casey had been here. I picture these scenes of cold weather, a bundled baby, and walking into a room of admiring relatives. I guess I'll just have to wait until next year.
December 13, 1998
I didn't realize it had been so long since I updated this. Everyone's been writing, sure something had happened. But we're doing okay.
The perinatologist looked at Emily again. We had hoped the septum would lift up as my uterus grew and she would fit under it, creating the "heart shape" that is often associated with septums. But it looks like my septum is what the doctor called the "worst kind," a thick muscular wall that won't budge (although Emily kicks it as if it will.) The good news, though, is that she will have 2/3 of the space instead of 1/2. Everyone is relieved that she ended up on the "big" side.
But once I hit week 28, which will be the last week of January, we aren't allowed to travel anymore. The doctor believes home bed rest is pretty ineffective (statistically), so I can still go to work. There is no predicting what might happen, if anything. There will definitely be a big squeeze and my uterus will contract down between weeks 28 and 32. The odds are fairly high that I will have preterm labor, but only 1 in 4 that she will actually be born early. They have many effective treatments for early labor, but I don't worry so much about that. I just want her out safely. The odds are also somewhat higher that she will have growth problems. She has measured slightly small at our last two sonograms, but not enough yet to worry about (yeah, right). So even if I don't go into labor, they might take her if her growth gets impaired.
That's the update. I think I am okay with everything going on with Emily. But the holidays have been pretty rough without Casey. Why did I never notice before the seemingly millions of "Baby's First Christmas" ornaments, stockings, bibs, sleepers, etc? We did buy an ornament with Casey's name on it for our tree. But it hasn't been easy. I didn't really expect this to happen, I 'm supposed to be happy and expecting, right? It doesn't work that way. I'm sure lots of you out there know that.
Only 7 days to viability for Emily. And in 7 days, it will have been exactly a year since our first baby was conceived. I feel I have been pregnant, a long, long time.
Happy Holidays, everyone. Stay strong.
January 8, 1999
I didn't think I could be happier to see 1998 go away. What a terrible year. We celebrated at home; I was too petrified of getting hit by a drunk driver and losing everything we've worked so hard to gain with our baby. So we watched the neighborhood kids shooting fireworks. It was nice, not too cold on our upstairs deck.
Things are steadily improving with Emily. We saw her again on Tuesday. She had caught up in her growth and slightly exceeded her benchmarks. She is sticking her legs under the septum, giving her more room to grow. But she doesn't turn around anymore, and she is in the breech position. It is funny to poke beside my belly button and feel her head.
She moves around a lot, though. She weighs about a pound and a half. We have fourteen weeks to go. But if she were born now, she would make it. We know that. It is a great load off our shoulders. We are ready to actually buy some things for her now and be prepared.
Thanks to all of you out there for your letters of support. I think this web site is getting some word-of-mouth promotion (since Excite and Yahoo don't find it worthy of listing) because so many of you are finding it and writing me. I hope our story helps you. And I know you are pulling for us and for Emily.
Things are going well. Emily is still breech, and she is now frank breech with her little feet right by her head. We watched her on the sonogram yesterday. She was sucking her thumb, but when she pulled it out, it took several tries and a number of bonks on the head before she managed to get it back in again. It was a funny moment.
She has not tried to turn in weeks now, so I think she will probably remain in this position until the end. So it looks like c-section for us.
John and I finished our birthing class tonight. I'm a little upset about it. Early in the class, the teacher gave us stern warnings about calling the doctor if we noticed the baby was moving less. She told us a story about a woman who waited until her next visit to tell the doctor that the baby was not moving much, and "needless to say, that pregnancy did not have a good outcome."
I was so upset when she said that, I almost walked out. Her story suggests that it is somehow the mother's fault that her baby died. While it may be mildly possible that they could have detected fetal distress and taken the baby out early, most likely the end result would have been the same no matter what that mother did. I deeply resented that story and was surprised that someone who had been a nurse as long as this teacher would be so insensitive. I am glad the class is over. Two of our members had their babies this week.
Hang in there, everybody. We're doing fine, and you will too.
March 15, 1999
Things are still going okay. I am still pregnant, and Emily is doing all right. We've had some more tense moments. At our last Level II sonogram, her head measured two weeks behind schedule, her body one week behind, and her legs right on time. Her head had always been bigger than her age, so for it to suddenly be too small was quite a jolt.
My regular OB/Gyn doesn't want us to worry about it. We are now doing weekly non-stress tests and bio-physical profiles. If she continues to fall behind, we will deliver her early. This would not be any great hardship to me; I am so uncomfortable and weary of being pregnant that a few weeks reprieve would be a blessing. I am having a difficult time, but trying to hold it together and endure until the end. I hope the memory-erasing effect of birth and holding our baby is as good as they say it is, or I will not be doing this again any time soon. And if one more person says, "Aren't you due yet? You're so big!" I might just have to resort to physical violence.
Some good news is that she is no longer breech. She managed to turn herself around sometime during week 32 or so. So maybe we won't have to do the c-section. I had mixed feelings about this; it is nice to know when you are going to have the baby. Now I have to sit around and wait like everyone else.
But these are normal pregnant woman woes, and I am tremendously glad to have them. Only five weeks to go!
I had my last regular OB/Gyn visit today. How do I know this is my last one? I am having a c-section in 8 days!
At our last visit, the one with the biophysical profile, we discovered Emily was breech again. She passed her non-stress test with flying colors and the BPP showed she was using her lungs to breathe amniotic fluid, which the doctor said was the best possible sign. Because of her position and my messed up uterus, they will not try to turn her. We are just getting her out of there.
Unfortunately, my blood pressure has shot up and my swelling is above normal. Because of these things, my doctor advised me to quit working and stay on my left side as much as possible. It's interesting how my blood pressure drops as much as 20 points the minute I lie on my side. So I gave a few days notice at work and tried not to stress too much about it. It's hard because I am not going back there; I will be staying at home with the baby as a full-time mom. This is something we decided to do after Casey died. The baby became the number one priority.
I am having a very, very difficult time. I'm not sure how I would be coping if I were going to 40 weeks. I get very little sleep and am in constant pain in my arms. I often cannot feel my fingers at all. I can't write with a pen, cut my own meat, or lift anything over a few ounces. I think I understand what it may be like to have arthritis. I cannot even make a fist. Because of the pain and numbness, I spend half my nights awake in a rocking chair. All this makes me quite irritable and whiney, which is probably coming across the lines of cyberspace to you. But we are nearly there. We can't wait.
Looking back on everything that has happened—the months of trying, the headaches and pain of the first pregnancy, Casey's death, the fear and anxiety of this pregnancy, the never-ending doctor visits—I am anxious to get on with the good stuff. I will still be here for you families. Still feel free to write me and ask me your questions. All you out there keep Casey very alive for me. And I know that it helps you to know about Emily. If we can get through this, still married, still sane, still wanting children, and finally, successful, then YOU CAN TOO. Never, ever, give up.
Deanna and John