Looking back at the last week & looking ahead at the next

I found myself this morning desperately hoping to pass time by catching up on editing over a week’s worth of 365 photos. I’ve somehow managed to keep up with this project for this long that I haven’t let this hurdle of this pregnancy, and now it’s loss, to keep me from allowing 365 be something to help me remember so many little moments with my family. I looked back at this past week’s photos and was thankful that despite how tired, sick and dizzy I felt that all those pregnancy symptoms I’ve been struggling with didn’t keep me from capturing some very special moments. So as I get ready to move forward through such challenging moments ahead, I look back and share some special moments that have reminded me how special this family of mine is and just how loved they remind me that I am.


If you haven’t heard Jason recently began umpiring little league. Saturday while I was feel very fatigued and sick Jason and Hope went to the little league field for most of the afternoon. Hope returned so excited and with an interest in playing softball in the future. Jason took the kids out front shortly after they got home and had a little fun playing ball with them both.

269/365: playing ball

I remember admiring seeing Jason’s happiness Saturday thinking he was so thrilled to have so much going his way – being a little league umpire, spending time with his kids and playing ball, and yes, knowing another little one was on the way.

269/365: playing ball with the kids

Jaylen loves to play ball but he was equally as thrilled to wear his big sister’s helmet, even if it was pink.

269/365: wearing his sis' helmet

I remember Saturday night asking Jason to stand beside me to take my picture for the day, so it could help me remember how much I adored how supportive he had been the few weeks since finding out I was pregnant, and more to remember how much I just adored how he held our family together as I was struggling so hard to just keep the energy to make it through the weeks ahead.

269/365: Me & Jason

Sunday we were invited to visit at Connie’s to have dinner with both Grandma Bristow and Connie. Hope loves every moment she gets to spend with them and seeing her and Grandma Bristow together was just too cute.

270/365: Hope & Grandma Bristow

There aren’t many times I see them together that I’m not somehow reminded how much Hope reminds Grandma of Jason’s mother. As I took this photo that’s all I could think. Now a week later I find myself trying to comfort myself in knowing that this time tomorrow angels will be above, like Jason’s mother, ready to greet this little one I’ve been expecting.

having a talk with grandma

Grandma usually finds away to make me smile. This photo still makes me smile knowing I was just eager to put the camera down and rest thinking if I just stole a quick shot it would work for the day. As grandma saw me taking pictures she said “honey, are you taking a picture with me”. My response, “yes” and I laugh – because I’m known to just take the pictures giving others no options in whether or not their in the photo just so I can take my picture for the day.

270/365: sneaking a picture with grandma Bristow

The first few hours we were there we were reluctant to tell them the news of the baby, still fearing what would inevitably happen. Looking back, it was soooo obvious. I began feeling so many of the symptoms that evening from feeling sick, cold, and fatigued. One of the worst symptoms I’ve had during this pregnancy is that I’ve been so cold I’d get chills, goose bumps and feel as though I was living in the arctic. I felt that way most of the time at Connie’s and they both at first thought I was beginning to come down with some illness. It was only a matter of time before we broke the news. But before we did I thought it was so cute seeing them bundle me up with a blanket next to Grandma and the kids joined us a moment later for a few photos.

my loves and I with Granda Bristow

my loves and I with Granda Bristow

my loves and I with Granda Bristow

Monday’s have definitely been tough for me this semester. Typically they wouldn’t phase me but on an average week I go from doing homework all weekend for SCAD to teaching all Monday afternoon and evening. I always arrive home greeted with smiles by the kids and to see how much they’ve enjoyed their time with Jason while I was away. The kids definitely have the best daddy ever. We took our 365 photos for the day in less than a minute during those first few moments I was home. Here’s Jason and Jaylen as cute as ever.

271/365: he has the best daddy ever

I tell you all I have been feeling awful these last few weeks, and it’s only fitting that my photo capture that. Honestly, after I first arrived home I laid right down and curled up freezing and so tired and remembered I still had photos to take for the day. So I asked Hope to take my photo for the day. A day where I was soooo cold. This evening I went from being so cold with chills to running a low grade fever which has happened several times over the last few weeks. It brings me to a screeching halt and makes me rest and usually afterwards I do feel better.

271/365: chills & fevers

Just before I fell asleep I remember telling Hope to hand the camera to me after she had taken my photo and I snapped this quick shot, one of the last things I remember from the evening was seeing my baby girl’s beautiful smile.


Sunday and Monday Jason began telling many of his closest family the news of the baby. Though we did fear we might miscarry, we were so optimistic, especially after how awful I have been feeling. In all five times I’ve been pregnant, this has been by far the worst. Those closest to me that had learned of the news who knew how nervous I was just kept reminding me that being so sick, tired, and more was a good sign. So Tuesday I decided we’d tell my own mother. I’ve always felt guilty because I’ve never enjoyed telling anyone in person or over the phone myself after miscarrying the first time. I have always been so fearful of hurting the ones I love most and would much rather write than call or talk about news like this. When I was pregnant with Jaylen I told everyone by email and through my blog and I know it was hard for some of my own family to accept that I couldn’t even find it within myself to call. So I promised myself we would, somehow. Thanks to Hope’s help we were able to do that. Here’s Hope on the phone with my mother telling her I was pregnant.

272/365: telling Grandma the news

By Tuesday evening time had escaped us and we still had errands to run. With being so busy, tired, and sick these last few weeks I found myself Tuesday night out of so many of the essential things our household needed to function on a daily basis so I took the kids out after eight at night to get what we needed. Jaylen was very cranky for some reason and insisted on standing and holding onto me the first few minutes in the store.

272/365: late evening errands

Wednesday left me feeling so sick and tired, like many days before. So much so that I only took photos with my iPhone. Yes, there’s a surprise – that’s only happened a few times this year that I haven’t taken out my nikon for photos. Wednesday Hope has piano lessons so beforehand we found ourselves taking care of a few errands and stopping by Panera for a snack before piano lessons. Jaylen was doing what I had wished I was doing (if it isn’t obvious from my expression), napping. He napped the entire time we were at Panera.

273/365: A nap at panera

Before piano lessons we also stopped by Orlando Metro Gymnastics and signed Hope up for gymnastics lessons. It’s been over a year since she was last in gymnastics so I enjoyed seeing her excitement. She was a little more excited though to pick out a gymnastics outfit.

273/365: signing up for gymnastics

Hope began gymnastics lessons on Thursday evening. Because she will be turning eight next month they let us sign her up for the eight and up group. On the way to lessons she told me, “I hope I’m the biggest in my class”. I told Hope that I highly doubted it, she’s never the biggest kid in any class, even for her age group. She’s usually the smallest. And knowing she was starting in an older age group I knew she’d be the smallest. Her instructor met her for the first time before lessons said how “tiny” she was. I had to remind Hope a few times that the best gymnasts are actually very small and petite. She had so much fun and seemed to smile through just about every thing she did during lessons.

My little gymnast

My little gymnast

My little gymnast

Jaylen was especially cute part of the time we were at lessons.

274/365: a few moments with Jaylen waiting at gymnastics

But really, half of our time there this is what he was doing.

a few moments with Jaylen waiting at gymnastics

To be honest, Jaylen just really wanted to play with Hope. He saw all the gymnastics mats, balls, and more and got so excited and wanted to go back and play with his sister. At his age it’s tough to explain that he must wait. I’m sure in a year we’ll likely sign him up for something like gymnastics too, but for now he and I must wait while his sister is in lessons. During his little tantrums I admit they leave me feeling very helpless, especially knowing there was another little one on the way. Thursday night I felt that way, wondering how I’d juggle all three through moments like this. Now I just try to remind myself that God has reasons for everything and maybe that time is needed. More time to give my little boy all the love I can give.

a few moments with Jaylen waiting at gymnastics

Hope has always enjoyed doing routines on the balance beam. Thursday night they were learning to do jumps on the beam.

My little gymnast

My little gymnast

And they learned cartwheels on the balance beam.

My little gymnast

274/365: My little gymnast

She certainly had fun and received a lot of attention. I won’t be surprised if they ask her in the next year to join the competitive team. But for now, we’ve decided we’d do our best to fit it into our schedule through the end of the year because it’s something she enjoys thoroughly.

My little gymnast

We took one more photo that evening, just so I would have mine out of the way.

274/365: a quick photo of me and my baby girl

I have to admit this weekend has seemed as though it’d never end. Though I’ve enjoyed looking back at the last week and sharing these moments, when we were still so hopeful that this pregnancy would have more positive news to share, I realize many of you are left wondering so much. So I thought I’d share a little update to hopefully help reassure you all that this family of mine is going to make it through these moments, somehow.

I thank you all for your kind comments, emails, and messages. I can’t tell you how much your sincerity and care have meant during these moments of uncertainty and loss. I have found myself resting as much as possible this weekend, though at times visiting my blog, facebook, twitter, and email to discover so many thoughtful messages that have all brought me to tears knowing how much everyone cares. Even last night I managed to get rest early and woke up in the middle of the night to find that Hope had made such a special artistic note for me on a paper plate. Every time I begin to regather these emotions and build my composure I see something special like this or all the messages you all have left online. I can’t help but feel so loved despite how empty hearted I feel at the moment.

Hope's special art for me

Other than being understandably emotional the last few days, I have continued to experience all the typical pregnancy symptoms that still make me feel very pregnant. In fact, if I hadn’t been told the doctor that there was no heartbeat I’d still truly believe I was carrying a perfectly healthy baby by how awful I have been feeling. I’ve had some of you ask how I’ve been feeling physically and really other than those inconvenient symptoms I am okay. I’m really not in any physical pain from miscarrying, though I know surgery tomorrow may bring on more discomfort than I’m ready for.

I know I have many of you wondering why I’ve elected to write and share so many personal moments when really at the moment I would much rather disappear and hide from the world until the worst has passed. I have come to realize how many friends, family, colleagues, co-workers, students, teachers and classmates we all have who do truly care and are sincerely interested in knowing how our family is. I did elect to keep this pregnancy a secret the first few weeks because I didn’t want the constant reminders as everyone congratulated us of how worried I can get during the first trimester. But now that the worst has happened I realize this will affect my entire family so much. I will be out of work. I will fall behind with homework and grading. Jason will likely miss some work to help keep our family together as I recover. We all will be coping emotionally in our own ways. So for me to keep this a secret any longer and not share the news of our loss would only make it harder for me because I know somehow everyone would find out. I would much rather the world hear this news directly from me rather than through rumors which I know spread rapidly. To be absolutely honest, writing helps me cope through so many things in life.

So I am unsure how much you all will hear from me these next few days. I have been known to bounce back from things quickly, though at the same time, this is so much tougher for me than many of you might realize. I assure you all that if I am unable to update you all that Jason will find a way to share the news of how surgery has went so that you all aren’t left worrying. I do ask that you please not call or text message us, unless you are asked to call. One of the toughest things for me Friday and Saturday was that as everyone began to discover the news of our loss that my phone never stopped ringing. It was so tough for me to get rest that first night and I slept maybe a total of 3 hours those first 24 hours after learning the news and even the following day all of our phones rang and rang and text messages went off continuously. So I went from feeling so helpless emotionally because of our loss to feeling so helpless emotionally because I was so fatigued and could not sleep as our phones continued to wake me up every time I fell asleep. We know you all care but please out of respect for me and my recovery these next few days I ask that you please leave any of your sincere thoughts and messages by email, facebook. or our blog. I promise will receive them in time.

Thank you all again for all your warm wishes. We certainly feel all the love and support you all have for this amazing family of mine.

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October 5, 2009 - 9:50 am

Ann LaPietra - I am in tears right now as I reply to you…I can’t begin to write even half of what you have put together in … wow a wonderful self expression of feelings. I can say I have been where you are now, but without the courage to tell anyone. Just know even thought we are not super close if you need a shoulder I am here for you.

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