Monday, November 21, 2011

Still Thankful...

Geez i am bad at this!  I thought posting every day would be easy, but its not!  So here is what i am thankful for, days 13-21:

  • Our church & lilly's preschool, Carmel Lutheran.  This church has made us feel so at home there!
  • Lilly's imaginative personality.  She makes up the cutest songs and stories & has named her baby Jesus Mary Wong.  I just love listening to her play....
  • the food we have to eat every day whenever we are hungry
  • books...i love to read! 
  • my bathtub.  Nothing better than a relaxing bath with a great book!
  • that my family is healthy.  One of the things we are most thankful for!
  • Kyle's job.  He supports our family and has a company car.  Very blessed.
  • that i had 22 years with my Meme.  She was an amazing grandma and i miss her every day.  She was my second mom :)
  • my education.  loved every second at Purdue, including getting my bachelors degree! hehe...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thankful days 4-12

Since I posted last, here is what i've been thankful for (i've been putting my thankful posts of facebook):

  • my warm, cozy bed :)
  • my parents, Bob & Julie Marchese--love them so much!  I think my mother is a super-mom who can and does do everything (cook, clean, work, and still have plenty of quality time with her children).  She is amazing!
  • my house!
  • my job at market day--this job gives me the opportunity to work when i want & stay home with Lilly.  there are so many benefits of working for market day!
  • my brother, Brad, and sister-in-law having a new best friend & coupon buddy!
  • great friends!
  • the Veterans who have & are still helping and working for our country!
Today i am thankful for coupons :)  Seems like a silly thing to be thankful for, but i love them.   They provide an awesome hobby for me while allowing me to save massive amounts of money for our family, which in turn has allowed me to stay at home a lot more with Lilly!  I remember before I couponed going to the grocery and spending like $150 on groceries every 1-2 weeks!  Now i spend around $50 every 2 weeks, buying fresh milk when needed.  We no longer have to make a monthly Walmart trip buying $50-$75 in toiletries.  We are completely stocked up on shampoo, conditioner, razors, shaving cream, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deoderant, body wash, lotion, etc.....  So anyway...yes, i am thankful for coupons.  :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November 3rd

Today I so thankful for my 2nd daughter, Valerie Wong.  Miss her so much...i wonder what life would be like right now with a 6 month old & a 3 year old?!

I like to imagine what Valerie would have been like as a child, teenager, & adult.  I like to think that Lilly takes after her daddy.  Lilly is outgoing, spunky, always on the go, etc...  I think Valerie would have been just the opposite.  And the name Valerie Ann Wong sounds so professional.  She would have been something great, i just know it!

                                          Lilly                                                   Valerie
                                     Doesn't she look so much like Lilly??
We miss her!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November 2nd

Today i am thankful for my beautiful daughter Lilly.  She is incredibly sweet, loving, outgoing, and funny.  I am so blessed that she is my girl.  I love her more than anything.  Lilly has the best personality.  I am so, so lucky :)

This is Lilly's model pose :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November 1

I have decided to post every day in November about something I am thankful for. 

Today I am especially thankful for my husband, Kyle.  Kyle & I have been through so much together--both good & bad.  Mostly good, but the bad has helped bring us closer together and have a stronger relationship.  He is the best daddy to Lilly and I love watching them together.  He is so hard working and strives every day to make our lives better!  I love you Kyle Wong.  Thank you for being an amazing husband!

Since I blogged last:

  • Lilly started preschool!  She loves it!  She has lots of friends and is learning a lot!
I have no idea what is up with her closed mouth smiles....she is silly. :)
  • Lilly turned 3!  She had a Minnie Mouse birthday party.
  • Lilly was Snow White for Halloween.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bummer of a CVS trip tonight

Okay fellow couponers...i can't stop thinking about my trip to CVS tonight.  I did not do so good, and i keep thinking of ways it could have been better.  I did 2 transactions and I should have done 3!  Here is what I got:

Transaction #1
Renu Contact Solution $7.89
Lipton Iced Tea $1.00
After coupons=
Spent .62 out of pocket, received 6.00 in extra bucks

Transaction #2
Twin pack Opti Free Contact Solution $14.99
2 Garnier Shampoo $3.99 each (7.98)
1 Garnier Conditioner $3.99
1 Garnier Hair Spray $3.79
Water Wings (for vacation) $2.99
U by Kotex $3.49
After coupons=
Spent $18 out of pocket, received 12.00 in extra bucks

I spent $18 out of pocket!!!!!!!  That totally sucks.  Before I started couponing, that would have been nothing.  But now that I do, that seeems like soooooo much.  These aren't even things I need.  I already have sooo many shampoos & conditioners.  I have so many boxes of pads & tampons, I would probably be good for a year!  The only thing we will use soon is the opti-free (which alone only cost $14.99!)  How in the world did I spend $18??!!  If I could go back, i would have made the opti free another transaction....what a bummer. 

It felt good to vent...i guess with so many AWESOME trips to CVS spending almost nothing, I was bound to have a bad trip sometime!  And on the bright side, I now have $12 in ecbs....  Thank goodness we are leaving for vacation soon, i think i may need a very small break in couponing...although I may have to hit up Target while I'm down there and you know I'll be taking my coupons :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Goals for Today is one of my favorite blogs.  Not only are there deal postings, she also posts: recipes, ideas, living frugally, etc...  On her facebook page, she has been posting her top 5 goals to get done that day.  I think this is something I need to start doing.  While it is nice to have no agenda and to go about the day as we please, I feel I need something to hold me accountable.  So on days that I can, I will post my goals for the day either on my blog or facebook, or maybe just make a list when I wake up every morning.  Today my goals are:
  • Finish my menu plan for next week and half
  • Vacuum entire downstairs
  • Unload dishwasher and reload
  • Take ironing board back upstairs (it has been sitting in our entryway for a week) oops
  • Clean kitchen floor (sweep & mop)
I have started making & selling diaper cakes.  It is so much fun!  Please let me know if you are interested in purchasing one.  With all of the materials that go into it I have to charge $65.  If that is a little too expensive, let me know and we can scale it down and make it for less.  Please let me know if you are interested!  They are perfect for baby showers as a gift or a centerpiece.  If you are hosting a shower~this makes a perfect gift!  I can also make cakes for bridal showers using towels instead of diapers.  My email is if you are interested.
 Boy diaper cake
 Lilly looking so cute!
 New deck!

 First night in her big girl bed!
Girl diaper cake-I can't rotate it...sorry!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Update

So i went to buy my coupons (newspapers) yesterday at a gas station and they were completely out!  I asked if they had any left, and the man said that there is a lady in the area who is a big couponer and she buys every single paper they have on Sundays plus he orders her an extra 35 newpapers.  Every Sunday.  35+ newspapers.  Ridiculous.  All i wanted was 2 little papers :)

I am LOVING this summer.  Our new deck has made it so perfect.  I love sitting on the deck while Lilly plays in her pool & new swingset!  We are looking forward to vacation in SC again!

Lilly is 2 and 9 months old and is getting so big.  Can't believe I will have a 3 year old in a few months!  Lilly loves:
  • Watching movies...favorites right now are Despicable Me and Gnomeo & Juliet (they are my favorite too!)  Despicable Me=hilarious
  • Reading her books....favorites right now are ALL Berenstein Bear books.  She loves them!  Thank goodness my mom saved all of mine from when i was a kid.
  • Playing, playing, and more playing.  Loves to play with her kitchen, making "food", going to the "store"....very into pretend playing.  Also loves building with blocks.
  • Loves to play outside.  She is definitely an outside kind of girl. 
  • her big girl bed! 
Love my Lilly girl!!  Still missing my Valerie.  Knowing she is waiting on us in Heaven makes everything a little easier :)  Can't wait to see her again!!  If you haven't read Heaven is For Real...please do.  GREAT book! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Addiction to Couponing

So I think I may have an addiction--to couponing.  Every week, I can't wait for Sunday.  I love getting the new coupon inserts in the newspaper!  I buy about 3 papers every Sunday just for the coupons.  I am constantly online checking my favorite deal sites:,, and  I am also constantly planning another trip to either CVS, target, or walmart.  Did you know that walmart price matches any other ad you bring in?!  Our Marsh had triple coupons 2 weekends ago, and I went crazy!  It was so fun...I went to marsh 7 times in the 4 days this was taking place.  And my most favorite place is CVS!  This was what my trip looked like yesterday:
5 count Zyrtec 5.99  (had a $4 coupon)
1 colgate toothpaste 2.99  (had a $1 coupon)
2 crest toothpaste 2.49 each  (had 2 $1 coupons)
1 colgate toothbrush 2.79  (had a .75 coupon)
Schick Hydro 5 razor 8.00  (had a $4 coupon)
Total: about $25
I used extrabucks (i already had) to pay my $12 balance after using coupons. 

Paid $1.50 out of pocket
Received $16 ecb to use on my next trip!

I love CVS!  Is anyone else CVSing every week? 

Honestly for me couponing is so much fun--the thrill of getting things for almost free is SO exciting.  Even if I don't exactly need the things I'll be getting for free-someone will.   I am constantly getting colgate toothpaste for free--which i hand right over to my parents because they use colgate and we don't.  Same with deoderant, while Kyle is dead set on Pure Sport Old Spice deoderant, my dad doesn't care what he uses.   If I get too much of something, i can always donate it.  So anyways...couponing is my thing.  Everyone needs a "thing".  Kyle is into hockey, and I am so into couponing.  If i was working, I would probably not be so into this, but since i'm not--i have a lot of extra time on my hands!

If anyone is just throwing their coupon inserts away, feel free to send them my way :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pictures of Valerie

“Lord make me a rainbow, I’ll shine down on my mother
She’ll know I’m safe with you when she stands under my colors…”
Oh, and life ain’t always what you think it ought to be, no
Ain’t even gray, but she buries her baby…”
-The Band Perry

My beautiful baby Valerie

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Missing her...

"There are mothers who give birth to babies, too good for this world of men. They touch our lives for a moment, then travel Home again." ~Unknown

Missing my sweet babe.
Can't wait to show you all a picture of Valerie.  Just waiting to get the photos back.  Today we got her molds from the hospital and they are perfect!  Can't believe how teeny tiny her feet were.  Wish i could hold her just one more time. 
We have some other exciting news.  Kyle got accepted into law school!  He will be starting at IUPUI in August.  It will be a long 4 years as he tries to balance his family, full time job, school, and hockey :)  But hopefully in the end it will all be worth it.  I am so thrilled that Kyle got accepted and think he will make an amazing lawyer!  I love my handsome, sweet, & smart husband.  We are looking forward to this summer.  Kyle & his friends have been busy building a deck and a play set in our backyard!  We are so excited to be able to go outside and relax on our deck and watch Lilly play :) (And do lots of laying out!!) 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thank You

Just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone for all of the thoughts, prayers, meals, cards, & flowers we have received.  We are so blessed to have a wonderful family and great friends!  I am still missing Valerie every single day.  I truly just feel like something is missing.  I carried Valerie for 9 months and all of sudden-she was gone.  I did have plenty of time to prepare, but I didn't think about how empty I would suddenly feel.   I'm sure there will always be a feeling that something is missing-no matter how much times passes.  

The wonderful nurse who took care of me at the hospital called me today.  When Valerie was born, they took molds of her hands & feet, and the nurse was calling to inform me that they were done and just beautiful.  She also asked permission to see if she could show off the molds at a bereavement nursing conference this week.  I am so happy that Valerie is already helping others!  Her molds will be at a conference to teach other nurses about how to handle bereavement situations.  I feel so proud of her :)

Lilly has done so well.  She occasionally asks where Valerie is or if i have another baby in my tummy.  She understands that Valerie lives in Heaven with Jesus.  The last few nights she has wanted to sleep with her baby Jesus from her Little People Nativity set, so I'm not sure if it has anything to do with Valerie or not. 

I will post a picture of Valerie soon :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Valerie's Birth Story

Valerie Ann Wong was born still on May 10, 2011 at 5:00 pm.  She weighed 3 lbs, 8 oz and was 16 3/4 in. long. 

Last weekend I just felt something was wrong.  I hadn't felt Valerie move in a couple of days, and since she is normally pretty active I knew something was wrong.  I was also very emotional all weekend, so I think inside I knew she was gone.  I woke up Monday morning and immediately asked my doctor to do a heartbeat check.  I went in, and unfortunately I was right.  They couldn't find a heartbeat.  She had passed away probably on the previous thursday or friday.  The last time I really felt her move was last wed. night. 

We decided to start my induction around 7am yesterday.  It went ok, but it was very different and much more painful than giving birth to Lilly.  I think I went too long without getting an epidural.  I finally got one, and I was only numb on my right side.  I felt EVERYTHING on my left side.  Every single contraction, the catheter, the pressure, etc...  After the epidural, I was immediately ready to push, so by the time the epidural kicked in on my left side I had already given birth.  If you read my birth story with Lilly, I felt absolutely nothing because of the epidural.  Once Dr. Rasbach came in, Valerie was born within minutes.  Even though she was breech, she came out fairly easy because she was small. 

I didn't know how I would feel after Valerie was born.  When we found out she had passed, we were of course very upset, but we had always known it was a possibility.  It was a little surprising to think she had made it so far, just to pass away at 36 weeks.  Honestly I think she knew that I needed to have her.  She knew I didn't want to make the decision between a regular birth & csection with her being breech.  She knew I needed to deliver at Riverview with my normal doctor instead of St. Vincents.  She just knew.  After she was born, I felt immediately at peace.  And I've felt peaceful every since it happened.  She is in Heaven and I just know my Meme is taking the best care of our baby. 

Valerie was absolutely beautiful.  Honestly, before she was born, I felt nervous to see her and what she might look like.  But she truly was a beautiful baby.  She had dark hair in the back, but blond eyebrows and tiny blond hair around her face.  Her lips and nose and little ears were so cute.  She ended up having six toes on each foot and six fingers on each hand.  But they were so perfect.  Just an extra tiny toe & finger with tiny nails.  The outfit we had for her was absolutely perfect.  We chose to have Valerie cremated since we really have no idea where we would all like to be buried.  And we want her to be buried with us in our plot eventually. 

I am feeling sad of course, but also very at peace knowing Valerie is in a better place.  We can't wait to see her again in Heaven!  It was a little disheartening going home with a memory box instead of a baby today, but we are ok.  For now we are ok, and hopefully we will stay ok :)  I'm sure i will have my moments, just like i did when i was carrying her, when all i want to do is cry for the amazing baby i lost.  Thanks so much for all of your thoughts and prayers during this difficult journey in our lives.

Monday, April 25, 2011

1 Month

My doctor's appointment on Friday went well.  Valerie is getting bigger (thank goodness!) and is weighing in around 3 lbs, 5 oz.  She still has a strong heartbeat!  She is also in a breech position.  Her butt is down and her head is up around my belly button.  There is a chance she could still flip around, but the doc says at this point she is probably in this position to stay.  The bigger she gets, the less she moves around (except for her kicking & head butting me :)).  So we are praying she flips, because if not we may not have the easy & peaceful delivery we are hoping for.  If I deliver her breech, there is even less of a chance that she will be born alive.  She will be put under even more stress going butt-first.  As of right now, we are sticking with our plan--regular delivery, no monitors on.  Hopefully a c-section will not be required, although a tiny part of me wants one, so that there is a greater chance of us meeting Valerie alive! 

We have decided to be induced so our family will be able to schedule off work to be there with us.  We have a tentative date of May 25th--so 1 month from today.  If I am not ready (cervix has to be soft), I will just push back my date until I am ready.   Can't believe that 1 month from today, I could be working on delivering Valerie.  Words cannot even begin to describe how I am feeling, so I won't even try.  I am trying to be be strong on the outside, but am completely crumbling on the inside.  I spent all of church yesterday in the bathroom crying because I just lost it.   I can write about it, but just can't talk about it.  That is why this blog is so helpful to me.  If someone even mentions it, tears just fill my eyes.  This is the hardest experience I've ever had. 

Lilly had a wonderful Easter weekend!  She got to color eggs, hunt for eggs, and even got 2 Easter baskets!  She also got to see her cousins (Nicole, Olivia, & Logan) who kept her entertained and played outside with her for hours!  Love them!!  Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Well I'm about 32.5 weeks now, which just seems crazy!  I have another appointment at St. V's this coming Friday.  Apparently they wanted to make sure the baby made it this far before seeing me again.  So we will go in for a growth scan and to make sure everyone is on the same page for a birth plan.  Please pray that Valerie is still growing.  I feel like I am big everywhere except my belly.  In fact, we went out to dinner the other night and our waitress was 6 months pregnant.  When she found out I was 8 months pregnant, she was very surprised.   She said, "you are so tiny!"  And yes, we looked about the same.  I said that she is very small.  Kyle wondered why I didn't tell her that Valerie was sick.  I never tell anyone that Valerie is sick.  Even at all my market day sales, i pretend that nothing is wrong.  I answer everyone's questions (how far along, due date, name, etc...) with very positive answers and insist that we are so excited.  Should I be doing that?  I don't know, but I feel like I can't get into it all the time and it is nice pretending for a short while that everything is really fine and we are super excited.  

Speaking of out to dinner, Kyle & I tried the restaurant Perkins the other night.  Has anyone ever been there?  It is kind of a restaurant where older people frequent quite often :)  But we tried it, basically because Applebees & Chilis had a 20 minute wait and it was already 8:00!  Anyway...we liked it a lot.  On Wednesday's they have free kids meals & .99 pie slices!!  Their pie is SO GOOD!  We are going to start going every Wed.!  For under $20, we got 2 adult meals, 1 kids meal, and 3 slices of pie (the waitress gave us an extra to take home).  

I will update after our appointment on Friday!  Please keep praying that Valerie hangs in there for another 7 weeks!   

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Target Trip

So I thought I would take a different turn today with my blog post.  Don't worry, I have a doctor's appt. on Monday, so I'm sure I will update on the baby situation then.  Still crazy to believe I am almost 32 weeks.  It is going way too fast!  Today I wanted to write about my Target trip.  Remember, I am getting back into my deal shopping :)  I started slow today and only got a few things, but I got a few great things for only a few dollars! 

Here is what I purchased:

Dove Men Body Wash-on clearance for $1.98
used $1 Target coupon + $1 Manufacturer coupon

Dove Deep Clean Body Wash- $3.79
used $1.50 Target coupon + $1 Manufacturer coupon

Rimmel Mascara- $2.99
used $2.00 Manufacturer coupon

Special Promotion:
2 Diet Pepsi skinny cans (pack of 4) $1.99 each
2 People Magazines $4.49 each
automatically took $6 off my total since I purchased 2 diet pepsis
used Buy 1, Get 1 free Diet Pepsi coupons
used 2 $2.00 People magazine coupons
=0.97 for 2 packs of Pepsi & 2 People magazines (will give one to my mom :))

Total purchase=$3.25 (not including tax)

Awesome price for 7 items, including: 2 body washes, mascara, 2 magazines, & 2 packs of Pepsi!!!  Needless to say I will be continuing my deal shopping!  Did anyone watch Extreme Couponing the other night?  Awesome, but crazy!  Who needs 75 boxes of pasta!!  They did inspire me to start couponing at grocery stores, just not to such extremes...

Monday, April 4, 2011

What's happening at 30.5 weeks?!

This is something I saw on another blog and thought it was cute! 

How far along: 30.5 weeks
What's up with baby: Valerie is probably just over 2 lbs and is doing well inside my belly!  If only she could stay in here forever.... 
How I am feeling: I am pretty much feeling huge!  For example, getting out of bed and out of the car make me feel like a whale.  I have also started swelling! Thank goodness I had maternity pictures taken already :)  My blood pressure has been high (147/?, 137/81) the past couple of nights, but today at the dr. it was very normal at 120/81. 
Latest cravings: Cereal (but only at night), chocolate, Chinese food, frozen yogurt.  With lilly I craved fruit constantly!!  Valerie likes the yummy stuff :)
Other pregnancy symptoms I've been experiencing: Heartburn, morning sickness (at this point it is here to stay), sleepiness-i'm so tired, yet can't sleep through the night because i wake up at least 4 times a night to go to the bathroom.
Emotions: I am feeling more and more sad as this pregnancy goes on. I have good days and bad and sometimes just can't stop crying.  I know my emotions are all out of whack because I am pregnant, and it doesn't help being in my situation. 
Preparations: I have had maternity pictures taken and have Valerie's outfit.  We have also decided what to do if Valerie passes: arrangements, etc...Still need to:
  • make appointment with our pastor to talk about baptizing Valerie as soon as she is born. 
  • call Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep to schedule a photographer for her birth.
  • pack hospital bags.
Doctors Appointments: Still going to the doctor once a week for heartbeat checks.  In a week or two, will start having full checkups weekly.  I can't believe it is alreay time for that!!!

Please continue to pray for baby Valerie!!!  We know her diagnosis--Trisomy 13, Tetralogy of Fallot, other heart problems, and single umbilical artery--is not good, but we are still praying for a miracle!!  We know that the majority of miscarriages are because of a trisomy early on in pregnancy, which is why we know that Valerie is SO strong and wants to live!!!  She has made it through 30 weeks so far.  There is a reason Valerie was not a miscarriage early on, she was supposed to make it this far and we are supposed to meet her!!!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

30 Weeks

Well I am 30 weeks pregnant today!  My official due date is June 9, and i have a feeling the next 2 months will fly by.  It doesn't get any easier the closer my due date gets, I would have to say it gets worse.  Every week when we go in for a heartbeat check, I get so nervous and worrried.  What if they don't find it?  When i don't feel her for a few hours, I really get worried.  Every move she makes is such a joy.  I was talking to Kyle last night, and asked What if Valerie is born alive, breathes on her own, and is doing well?  I guess with all the odds stacked against her and everything the doctors tell us, it is hard to think differently.  But there are cases where a child with Trisomy 13 lives.  They are severely handicapped, but living.  I think we need to prepare ourselves for what life will be like if Valerie does live, and comes home with us :)  We've been so busy preparing ourselves for what happens if she doesn't live, we've forgotten to think about what happens if she does.  We know that if she is meant to born alive and breathe on her own, God will make sure that is what will happen.  We are putting all our trust in Him and know that whatever happens is the right thing and what is supposed to happen.  Everything, including ours and Valeries futures, are in His hands.

So no new news here...just waiting and trying to think positively and praying for that miracle that we know is still a possibility.  I think the only things left to do are our weekly heartbeat checks/dr. visits and a visit to the NICU at St. V's.  I would love to have at least one more ultrasound in hopes of getting some good pictures of our little girl.  Although in less than 10 weeks, we will meet Valerie and see her beautiful little face! 

We have to move Lilly to her big girl bed soon.  But I am sooooooo dreading it!  She may surprise me, but i have a feeling she will be up multiple times during the night.  I like her safe & confined to her crib :)  We also still need to get rid of the stinking paci!  She actually does really well and only has it when she is in her crib.  She is really good about taking it out of her mouth and putting it down when I come and get her in the mornings.   Maybe we will make that transition after the bed?  Will it make her switch to the bed easier??  Any suggestions?  I am still SO happy she was never a thumb-sucker.  Much easier to throw away a paci instead of the thumb ;) 

We love both of our girls so much!!!! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

29 Weeks!

So this weekend my mom helped me cross two things off my list!  My amazingly talented mother took my maternity pictures.  She has her own business called Mar-K-Z Photography and even a studio!  The pictures turned out so well and i had so much fun being her model for the day!  I will post a few at the end of the post.  You can see the rest on my facebook page or you can "like" her business page: Julie Markz Photography.  I  also ordered Valerie's outfit.  We decided to order from a preemie website knowing she will probably weigh around 4-5 lbs. when she is born.  We ordered the sweetest little white dress, onsie, socks, and slippers.  Can't wait to get it!  I will also post a picture of it. 

Valerie weighs 2 pounds now!  We had an ultrasound yesterday and it was good to see her again.  She was moving around so much, it was hard to get a good face picture.  I am happy she has gained some weight; right now she is measuring about 3 weeks behind.  This was to be expected though.  She is not getting as many nutrients and oxygen as she should be getting because of the single umbilical artery.  Instead of 2 arteries and 1 vein, she has only 1 artery and 1 vein.  I hope that can gain at least 2 more pounds before she is born.  Only 10 weeks to go! 

I was reading a facebook status yesterday announcing a pregnancy, and caught myself thinking- oh man!  i wish i were pregnant!  Then i realized that oh yeah, i am pregnant.  I know i am, i am reminded every day by this sweet little girl kicking me constantly!  But, it doesn't feel the same.  Knowing our baby will not be born alive or will be very, very sick makes it not as real to me.  Just a feeling I had. 
Valerie's Dress
 29 Weeks! 
Taken by Mar-K-Z Photography.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Random Thoughts :)

So i've decided to get back into my deal shopping.  When i found out about Valerie, clipping coupons and planning out trips to the store was totally the last thing on my mind.  But, we are running out of our stockpile of toiletries.  Kyle is down to only 2 deodorants!  It's funny, i only shop the good deals for toiletries.  I think doing that to buy groceries would be way too time consuming.  Anyway, I started clipping the coupons again this weekend and it feels good.  Good that I'm doing something to take my mind off of our situation and the upcoming couple of months, and good that I'm saving money and doing something good for our family.  It really is amazing how much you save by using coupons!  Although we are very brand-loyal which makes it a little difficult since we won't use just anything. 

Last Saturday night, we were in the guest room (was supposed to be Valerie's room) cleaning.  Lilly was in there with us and said, 'this is Valerie's room!', and i just started crying.  Hearing her say things like that is just so heartbreaking.  She understands that there is supposed to be a little sister coming to live with us soon.  Sometimes I wish she didn't understand. 

I am still feeling Valerie move around like crazy!  I love it!!  I hardly ever felt Lilly move at all because her placenta was in the front acting like a pillow between me & her.  So feeling all of these movements are amazing, and I know it is her way of letting me know she is in there and she is a fighter!  Last night we were laying in bed, and you could just see my belly cool.  We get to have another ultrasound next tuesday to see how big she is and how she is doing so i can't wait for that!  All of these ultrasounds are ways for us to see our daughter as much as we can before she is not with us anymore so we loooooove them.  We also love all the pictures.  I need to work on getting her an album to put her many ultrasound pictures. 

Please pray for Lisa, who just lost her son to Trisomy 18.  Her blog is  I know they did everything they could for their baby boy, but after 2 weeks, discovered he wouldn't be able to live without the ventilator.  Please add the Husmann family to your prayer list.  I am back to praying for a miracle for Valerie.  I don't want to be unrealistic, but if Valerie could just be born perfectly healthy with only 10 toes, a healthy heart, and no signs of trisomy 13, I will be absolutely thrilled :) 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I feel like I am stalling and putting off all of the inevitable things that I need to do fairly soon.  I am 27 weeks tomorrow with our little Valerie, and while it doesn't seem like i need to hurry to get these things done, i know i do.  We have no idea how long Valerie will be with us.  I know I could lose her at any time, either now, in a few weeks, at her birth, a week after her birth, etc....  Our main prayer right now is that she is born alive so that we can meet her.  I would love for Lilly to meet her little sister and for the grandparents to meet her as well.  Here are the things I need to do to prepare for Valerie's birth:
  • Get maternity pictures taken
  • Order her special outfits
  • Make burial arrangements (how?, where?, etc....)
  • Pack our hospital bags, one for us & one for sweet Valerie
  • Get molds to take with us so that we can have her footprints and handprints
  • Call Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep to arrange for a photographer to be at the hospital when she is born
  • Mentally prepare to lose our baby (working on this one daily...)
  • Prepare Lilly in case Valerie does not come home with us
  • Solidify birth plan
I am the queen of procrastination.  Always have been.  I tend to put things off until the last second.  Even when Lilly was born, I did not even think about giving birth until the time came.  I was struggling to wash & put away all of her new baby clothes while having contractions the day before she was born.  Hospital bags packed?  No way...Kyle threw things in a bag right before we left.  Car seat secured in car?  Not until we were on our way to the hospital!  So this is especially hard for me.  I know I do not have the luxury of waiting on Valerie to arrive to get these things done.  All of these things need to be done in advance, and i realize that, but i am just dreading doing every single one of those things.  It makes our time with her seem like so much less.  When we first found out the diagnosis, i still had like 4 1/2 months left until my due date.  I now have probably 2 months, 2 1/2 at the most.  I know if I asked, I could have help.  My mom & Kyle's mom would do any of these things the second I asked, but I don't want help.  I want to be able to do these things for Valerie myself, I just wish I didn't have to. 

I don't want to do any of these things.  I want to be buying adorable baby clothes, decorating her room, cleaning all of the baby things (carseat, toys, swing, pump, etc...), and getting so excited about her birth.

It's not fair.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


3 Reasons Why I Don't Want Lilly to Grow Up:

Keep in mind all of these things happened yesterday and she was at school and Grandma Robin's house all day!  Also keep in mind Lilly is only 2 years and 5 months old.

1. Getting in trouble at school:  Apparently Lilly was a "handful" at her bible school yesterday.  We don't know specific details (grandma will find out later), but on her way out the door, her teacher mentioned her being a handful.  I asked lilly what happened at school and she claims she hit a little girl named Nemo??? because she hit her first.  I highly doubt this is true because.....

2. Not telling the truth:  As i was putting Lilly to bed last night she casually mentioned that she ate dog food.  I responded with "WHAT?????" and basically freaked out.  I asked how she got the dog food.  She said Anna, her cousin who is 9 months older, gave it to her.  I even asked her where Anna got it, and she said 'the box.'  Now I believed her because her grandparents do have a dog and she spent the day there with Anna.  I also have a feeling Lilly & Anna are going to get in a lot of trouble together as they get older :)  Anyway, I called her grandma and she insisted that Lilly did NOT eat dog food.  They were never alone together all day long. 

3.  Scared of the dark:  Lilly has never been scared the dark, actually she has never been scared of anything.  So when she woke up at 2:30 this morning saying she was scared because it was dark, I was surprised.  Is it time for a nightlight? 

So, basically Lilly is just growing up way too fast and I want her to stop now!  I feel like just months ago we were worried about potty training, changing to a big girl bed, and getting rid of the paci and now we are worried about getting in trouble at school, lying, and being scared of the dark!!!  Slow down Lilly girl, you are still my baby!!!  I just looooooooove her so much.  She is truly the best thing that has happened to Kyle & I, and we have no idea what we even did before her!   Lilly is 2 going on 10.  She is so funny and says the cutest stuff all day long.  I love that I get to be home with her all day and if she is away she is at one of her grandma's houses or school. 

She loves:
  • Disney movies, especially 101 Dalmations, Snow White, & Toy Story  (I can't wait to give her Bambi on Easter!)
  • Coloring and Stickers
  • Helping mommy do 'work'-she loves vacumming, doing dishes, folding laundry, etc...  I wonder if she will still love it when I actually want her to help me!
  • Her Valerie Bear
  • Anything princess related
  • Her babies
  • Cheese....seriously this girl lives on cheese, milk, and noodles
  • Going to school- She goes every Wednesday morning to a Bible school and next year I have her enrolled in preschool Tues. & Thurs. mornings from 9-11:15!!
  • Stalling a bedtime: She has to go potty, poopy, have a drink, get her paci washed over & over again!

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Plan and a 25 Week Picture

Hello Blogger Friends :)

Just got back from the doctor to hear Valerie's heartbeat.  It is SO strong and such a beautiful sound to hear!  We are now going to the doctor weekly for these heartbeat checks.  Please pray that Valerie's heartbeat remains strong!!

After our hard appointment last week, we have discussed all of our options and seem to have settled on a plan for Valerie's birth.  We are going to have a regular vaginal delivery with no monitors on.  This may change at any second....but right now, this is what we feel is right.  We do want Valerie born alive, but we don't feel like the risk of a c-section is something we want.  If it is in God's will that she will be born alive, she will.  With or without monitors.  We have decided that we want her birth to be as peaceful and easy as possible.  I want to spend time with her as soon as she is born without worrying about not being able to hold her or stand up or rip stitches, etc...  This is something I am having a hard time with though.  If we go this route, are we not even giving her a chance???  That is why i say our decision could change at any time.  The inant loss coordinator, who has helped us tremendously, said something last week that I will always remember.  She said, 'these people (pointing to my stomach) will know nothing but love their entire lives.'  This is SO true.  She will never know anger or hurt or sadness.  She will only know love.  And that makes me so happy. 

25 Weeks with baby Valerie

At church yesterday, which was appropriately about Worry, a 2-3 month old baby boy sat right in front of us.  The baby was propped up against his mama's shoulder and stared at kyle and i the entire time.  We would move back and forth, stand up and sit down, and sure enough this baby watched us constantly.  Of course, this made me tear up.  It always hurts seeing a newborn baby for obvious reasons.  But kyle said something that brought even more tears to my eyes.  He said, 'God is speaking to us through that baby.  He is telling us do not give up. That baby is a sign'.  A sign of what exactly?  That we will get to hold our baby like that in a few months?  That we will have other healthy children in our future?  God only knows, and we will find out when the time is right. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tough Appointment

On Monday we had a super hard appointment at St. V's.  I would say it has been the hardest one yet (besides when we found out there was a problem).  I started off with an ultrasound.  It was so good to see our little Valerie!  She was still moving around so much and at one point was laying on her tummy!  She is now 1 lb, 3 she is definitely growing!!  During the ultrasound, i asked a question I wish i would have never asked.  I asked how many toes she had on one of her feet.  Polydactyly (meaning extra digits) is a very common indicator of Trisomy 13 babies.  The ultrasound technician confirmed that Valerie does have 6 toes on one foot.  I completely broke down and lost it.  Sobbing.  I guess all along I had been holding out this hope that the amnio was wrong and that her only real problem would be her heart because they haven't found anything else indicating Trisomy 13.  Seeing an actual indicator just killed me.  I know that it is now real.  Valerie really does have the chromosomal abnormality Trisomy 13.  Seeing those six toes brought everything into reality.  I WISH I wouldn't have asked so I could have held onto that hope for the next 3 months.

After that, the appointment only got worse.  We met with the doctor and the Infant Loss Coordinator.  I pretty much cried throughout the whole meeting.  We have a lot of things to think about.  We were told that they have never seen a Trisomy 13 baby make it through a vaginal delivery.  If we want her born alive, we will need to schedule a c-section.  Do we want her monitors on or off during delivery?  Do we want to do everything we can to keep her alive if only for a few days?  So many things to think about.  They talked to us about after she passes and burial options.  Needless to say, it was a long, tiring day and now we have so much to process and think about.  I did ask that if she is born alive, what will most likely be her cause of death?  I have been thinking it would be her heart, but they told me it would most likely be a respiratory problem.  Since Trisomy 13 affects every single cell in her body, it is likely her brain won't tell her body to breathe. 

Please continue to pray that I will be able to carry our little girl to term and that she is born alive!  25 weeks down, 15 to go!!!  We can't wait to meet her and her extra toe :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

On Being Strong...

Valerie is moving around and kicking as i type this!  Love it!  She has made it to week 23.  Go baby go!  I pray that i have many more weeks with her.  We met with my doctor on Monday.  It went well, especially since we got to hear her heartbeat.  As hard as i tried not to, I cried there.  All the nurses know, and I even think the receptionists know.  They knew my name before I even signed in, and that is not usual.  My nurse said she thinks about us and prays for us every night.  Very sweet of her.  On Tuesday we met with the heart doctor at St. V's.  He gave us some hope.  He said after she is born, she will not be whisked away for heart surgery.  He said usually babies can go a few months or more without any surgeries.  So we will have some time once she is born to determine if that is the route we want to go.  But on the other hand, he said he had only done heart surgery on 1 trisomy 13 baby in like the last 10 years.  So it is basically up to us if we get to that point. 

Everyone tells me how strong I am (thank you to everyone who does), but the truth is--I have to be.  I have no choice.  If you would find yourself in the same position, you would know how true this is.  All we can do is enjoy our time with our little Valerie and put complete faith in God.  We have to trust that this is ok and that this is all happening for a reason.  It is hard, believe me, so hard sometimes.  On bad days, all I can think of is: Why us??  Why can't our baby live?  Why are we 1 in 10,000 families that this happens to?  Why isn't she healthy? and of course.....IT'S NOT FAIR!  Luckily, I have more good days than bad.  Also, we have a 2 year old to raise!  We can't act like our lives are over, because they aren't!  We have to be positive for Lilly and for Valerie. 

Pictures:  Lilly had a great time at her grandparents house over the weekend!!  We watched our awesome Packers and played in the snow!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Valerie & Lilly

Valerie has been kicking so much lately and I love it!!  Every little kick is such a blessing!  I am now 22 weeks pregnant.  We go back to our regular ob on Monday and then back to the heart doc on Tuesday for another ultrasound.  I can't wait to see how much she has grown and developed!   The heart doc. will also be able to give us some much needed information.

I have been reading some pretty disheartening things on the internet lately, and i know i shouldn't be reading anything but I can't help it!  I NEED to know what her problems are going to be if she can make it through multiple heart surgeries, which we still don't know if she will be able to survive through any of them.   I can't stand not knowing everything about her...I just spoke to the genetic counselor and she did confirm that babies with Trisomy 13 only live a few days, and with her heart condition, it could be much less for Valerie.

I have to say it stings a little bit knowing all of the pregnant women I know will have healthy babies and i won't.  I seriously know about 15 friends of mine who are pregnant, and while I am so happy for all of them, it does sting just a little bit.  I had such big plans for our new little lady, she would have had so many friends and playdates :)  It makes me especially thankful that Lilly is so healthy and happy. 

Speaking of Lilly, she is just amazing.  And if anyone is getting me through this (besides Kyle), it is my girl Lilly.  When I am sad, she gives me hugs, kisses, and lots of cuddles.  She is also SO hilarious and makes me laugh constantly.  She loves her baby sister tremendously.  Just this morning we were cuddling and talking to Valerie and Lilly took out her paci, put it on my stomach and said, "You want this Valerie?  You can have it."  Anyone willing to give up her paci is a GREAT big sister!!  We have told her a little about Valerie, just that she is sick and when she is born she may have to live up in heaven with Jesus and her Meme (my grandma whom both Lilly & I were named after).  She understands and and said 'No! Want her to live here.  I want to hold her like this.' and she shows me how she will hold the baby.   This is something that hurts the most.  Lilly being so excited about her new baby sister and not knowing how long Valerie will be here with us. 

To end on a good note:  Lilly has been potty trained now since early November!  We are so proud of her!  :)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Valerie's Name & a Dream

Things are still pretty much the same.  A genetic counselor called us last Friday and confirmed the Trisomy 13 results.  She also said it probably wasn't necessary to come back to St. Vincents to meet with the Pediatric Heart Specialist anymore for Valerie's heart.  This made me SO mad!  I basically said why in the world would we STOP coming to keep up with her heart??  She said because Trisomy 13 babies are usually so weak, they don't like to perform surgeries on them. was like they are giving up all hope on our baby.  We are not giving up hope, and will continue to meet with the heart doctor as often as we can.  Never know when we might see a miracle :)

Valerie's daddy thought of her name.  There is a speech that Kyle loves given by Jimmy Valvano at the ESPY awards in 1993.  Valvano had cancer, and passed away a couple months after he gave the speech.  In the speech he says, "Don't give up, don't ever give up."  He also says to love, smile, and laugh every day.  This is the attitude we are taking with Valerie.  We will never, ever give up on her.  We will love Valerie and Lilly with everything we have.  Besides loving the name Valerie, we named her bacause of this speech that Jimmy Valvano gave.  Ann comes from my mother's middle name.  My mom has been so loving and supportive from the beginning, and it is only fitting that she should be named after her grandma.  

I had a dream the other night about Valerie, and I can't stop thinking about it.  In my dream, I carried her full term and then had her.  She was so beautiful and perfect when she was born.  I held her for a long time, and a nurse came in to take her from me.  I kept saying, 'I don't want to let her go' and 'I can't let her go' over and over again.  Makes me so sad every time I think about it.

Please keep praying for Valerie.  It means so much to us that everyone is so supportive and loving.  Thank you all so much!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Valerie Ann Wong

Well I thought I should give a little update on what is going on with us.  Last Monday, Jan. 10, we found out our new baby is a girl!  We were so thrilled....until the doctor came in the room.  She told us that our baby girl had a heart problem and a single umbilical artery (meaning most umbilical cords have two arteries and a vein, our baby only has one artery and one vein.)  She said if these things were acting alone, that there was nothing to worry about, but since our baby has both of these problems, there could be a chromosomal abnormality.  We were crushed.  We went home and waited 2 long days for another appointment at St Vincent to meet with a pediatric heart specialist and another doctor.  The heart problem the Dr. found is called Tetralogy of Fallot and also atrioventricular septal defect.  Her heart has 2 holes, and is basically hooked up wrong.  Surgery after birth can fix the problem.  He said usually the combination of these two problems could mean Down Syndrome and recommended we have an amnio.  I had the amnio the same day. 

We waited another very long 2 days to find out the results.  While we waited, we prayed and researched and essentially made peace with the fact we would have a down syndrome baby.  We were totally expecting to hear this news.  When we got the phone call Friday afternoon, we were once again completely blown out of the water.  Our baby girl does not have Down Syndrome, yet another more serious chromosomal abnormaility.  Our baby was diagnosed with Trisomy 13, or Patau Syndrome.  This syndrome is very rare, occuring 1 in every 10,000.  It is completely random (meaning Kyle & I are most likely not carriers), and happened at conception.  It is also fatal.  80% of these pregnancies are miscarried, and of the 20% who are born alive:
"Approximately 45 percent of trisomy 13 babies die within their first month of life; up to 70 percent in the first six months; and over 70 percent by one year of age. Survival to adulthood is very rare. Only one adult is known to have survived to age 33."

We have heard that the average life span for these babies is 5-7 days.

We have no idea what to expect now.  Usually with Trisomy 13, babies have severe brain defects, cleft lip, extra fingers or toes, orgrans protruding from their body, and many more problems.  As of right now, our baby only has the heart defect (which we know can be fixed with surgery).  I don't know if they will find more problems as we go on in the pregnancy.  Everything is very up in the air. 

We have named our baby Valerie Ann Wong, and we are still thrilled to be parents to this baby girl.  We know that we are pretty special since God chose us to be her parents.  We have made peace with the fact that God may take her at any time, but we will cherish every single second we have with her.  She has already done so much in her time here and from my belly!  She has helped Kyle & I to have a better, stronger relationship.  She has helped us have more appreciation for each other and Lilly and any other children we may have in the future.  She has helped us be more patient and live for every single second we have.  And most of all, she has helped strengthen our relationship with God.  We pray all the time, for the diagnosis to be wrong, for Valerie to feel no pain, to bring our baby home with us or to let her go peacefully....

I will continue to update as I know more.  Please pray for our family, and most of all for our baby Valerie.