In Loving Memory of Jesse Gabriel Kammerzell

Your precious feet left tiny footprints in our hearts...

Friday, April 30, 2010


This week when I went to pick Sami up at the sitter's, I walked in to find my friend's 19 year old and very pregnant daughter sitting on the couch. I found it very difficult not to stare at her belly, a belly like I should've been hauling around about now. She's due 2 weeks after I was. As that date comes closer I'm feeling more and more anxious. And let's not even start on Mother's Day! Billy asked me what I want to do for that day, since I am a mother, and really, I don't know. Ignore it completely? I don't want to. But what on Earth would be a suitable way to spend that day? I can't even imagine.

I called to make an appointment with the Perinatologist this week and he's already booked through May. The sweet receptionist told me the dates he'd be in in June, but that she didn't have the official calendar yet. She told me to call right away on Monday to get an appointment in June. In the meantime, I'm having terrible headaches since I started taking birth control pills again. Billy suggested I just stop taking them. And I'm tempted. It's so hard because I feel like we're wasting time. You know they say third time's the charm. And in a way I'm terrified to GO to the doctor for fear he'll tell me that I'll never carry a child. And then what? Then what??

Check out the poem I posted at right, "Don't Tell Me." It was shared with a friend from the Mondays in March group. How I'd like to send it to everyone I know!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The March

The March for Babies was last weekend. There were 4-8 inches of snow predicted, so imagine my relief when I peeked out the window to see a grey and windy, but dry day. Our team, Jesse's Honor, consisted of Billy and me and our cousin Carly, plus my colleague, Diane, and her husband, Tim. Our Mondays in March group was there and it was really nice to walk with all of them. And it turns out, when you have great people to talk with, five miles isn't so bad! I was so proud of our fundraising efforts...we came in at $635~not bad considering our original goal was $100! I posted a few photos on the right.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Friendship & Generosity

Last weekend, we went to a comedy club and dinner with some friends we met through our support group. After the first week of group, Billy and I wondered if it was weird to find couple friends through an infant loss support group. Turns out, not so weird after all. How strange to anticipate getting together with the group and think that it will be nice to be around "normal" people! Because this is now our normal, where people we deal with on a daily basis are usually sympathetic but beginning to forget, often supportive, but don't really get it. Because you really can't get it if you haven't been there. To be with people who are walking in these very same shoes is a comfort. It stinks to have been brought together by such crappy circumstances, but I feel blessed to have met these people, who in such a short time, I feel that I can call friend.

The March for Babies is only a few days away. I've been blown away by the support we've gotten from so many people. I set our original fundraising goal at $100, and quickly bumped it up to $250. As of today, we've raised almost double that. I am working on t-shirts for us to wear in the race, thanks to the inspiration of a friend. Hope they turn out decent! I'll post pictures after this weekend. I hear it's going to be cold and possibly a rain/snow mix that morning. Swell!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Marching on...

Today I feel like I'm starting to get things back together. Maybe it's the fact that I got a solid night's sleep last night...what a difference that makes! I've decided that I'm going to focus on getting myself healthier again, so maybe the changes I've made in diet are kicking in and I feel good about that. School was easier today; I only teared up once or twice.

I've just set up a walking team for the March of Dimes March for Babies on April 24th. Our team will be called Jesse's Honor, and I'm hoping that we can recruit some friends and family to walk with us. The website is: . I think it will be a powerful, emotional experience, and it's something I feel driven to do, some action we can take to help in the fight for healthy babies. It's been a long time since I've walked five miles though!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Another hurdle cleared

Well, I'm still feeling a bit icky, but I think the worst of it has passed. Today I got myself out of bed and took a shower and dressed. Seems like this time around seeing references to babies and pregnancy (which are EVERYWHERE) are a little more disturbing to me than before. I just wasn't allowing myself to think that it could happen AGAIN. So I'm pretty angry!

Tonight when we picked Sami up, she asked how many months until the baby gets here. When I didn't answer she said..."Ummm...I was just kidding." I told her that there was nothing wrong with her question, but that something went wrong again. Her response was a big sigh and, "That's IT. NO MORE things going wrong with our babies!" Hear, hear, sista!

Friday, April 9, 2010


I used to think of pregnancy with some kind of permanence. Even though I know, you're only pregnant for 9 months, it's a given, a definite, that said pregnancy will result in a child, who, obviously, will be a permanent fixture in the lives of the parents. Right? Evidently not. I have grown to think of pregnancy as more of a slight possibility that it might result in an actual child. How is it that so many women actually are able to carry it to fruition, when I cannot?

Yesterday I had another bleeding episode. The doctor said to watch it and come to the ER if it got worse, and I could come in for another viability check tomorrow (today) if I wanted. I woke up this morning not feeling right. But I couldn't just not go to school, not after leaving in the middle of the day and leaving my mess of a classroom to a saint of a friend who was able to take my class for the rest of the day. I called for a sub this morning, but nobody picked it up. So my friend covered again for me this morning and the principal said they'd figure it out for the afternoon. And off I went to the doctor, expecting the result to be the same as last week. Because certainly it can't happen again.

But right away I knew it wasn't the same. The first thing the doctor noted was that the sac was no longer round, which isn't usually a good sign. And then she searched and searched for a heartbeat. There was none. The little flicker we'd seen only 3 days ago has been extinguished.

My mind is reeling again. Why does this keep happening to us? Am I really not cut out to be a mother? Did we try again too soon? Did we wait too long and now we're too old? Where do we go from here, with the little faith we had left after Jesse's death now diminished even more? Do I dare continue to try to bring a child into the world, or is that just wishing certain death on one after another? There is no certainty, no permanence to pregnancy. More like a shot in the dark and some people get lucky. Maybe I'm just not one of those people.

Don't count your chickens before they hatch.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

We have a heartbeat!

I had my "viability check" yesterday. At first it was a little iffy, because the doctor wasn't able to locate anything in my uterus at first, but after what seemed like an eternity of probing with the ultrasound, she suddenly shouted, "I SEE A HEARTBEAT!" So, for now it seems like we're okay. I am going to have bi-weekly appointments, at least for a while, and my doctor said that I can come in every week if I want just to do the Dopplar and make sure we still hear a heartbeat if I want to do that. So I'm still thinking that the reason for this scare was to get my docs to take me seriously when I said I wanted to be seen, because now they want to see me all the time!

I made my next three appointments. The 12 week appointment falls on Jesse's due date, May 13. At first I wasn't sure how I felt about that, but I decided to leave it as is because I didn't want to be at work that day anyway. Maybe in an odd way taking care of the new baby will be like a tribute to Jesse on that day.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Another New Day

I had blood drawn for the 3rd time today...people are going to think I've started using intravenous drugs or something by the looks of my arms! Anyway, it appears that my hormone levels are increasing appropriately, so we're hopeful that things are okay. I have a follow up appointment on Tuesday, at which point we should be able to see something on an ultrasound...maybe even a heartbeat already! Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

When it rains, it pours!

This week is spring break! It's been so nice to be able to sleep in, and the weather's been basically agreeable. Yesterday was a day though.

Sami and I drop the dog off at Petco for grooming and head to the park to meet my friend, Ann Marie, and her kids for a playdate. It's a little chilly, but the kids are having a ball, bopping around between the 3 play areas (We sit in the middle trying to keep track of the three of them). There are a bunch of kids there and ours join in with another group to play. We're doing a headcount when suddenly we realize that Sami's nowhere to be found. We start to search in, around, behind all the equipment (surely she's just in the fort or behind the slide, right?) and she's nowhere to be found. Then Ann Marie's son says, "I saw her going that way with a lady in a green jacket." He's pointing toward the rec center building...and the parking lot. I think maybe she went in the rec to go to the bathroom we'd used earlier, so I start to run toward it...and as I'm running I feel a warm gush. No, no, not again, not now! I realize I must be bleeding. In the bathroom there are no children, but my fear is confirmed. No time to worry about that now. I run back outside and Ann Marie's coming toward me as I head back in the direction of the park. She starts waving her arms and pointing behind me, where Sami has come out another door and is coming up behind me. I don't know whether to spank her or hug her to death...I opt for hysterical screaming and rambling about how a stranger could've taken her, and too-tight hugging. She'd decided to go with the girls she was playing with to the bathroom (a different bathroom)without telling us where she was going.

That crisis averted, I turn my attention back to the other problem. I must be miscarrying. It's the only possibility. So we get in the car and I call my doctor, who says to come right to the office rather than going home first. Somewhere in there Petco calls and says that the dog is ready too. So Billy is going to get the dog and meet us at the doctor's. Hopefully before anything too awkward takes place with Sami in the room! (I do end up having to explain to her how babies get out of the mommy's tummy as an answer to why I have to take my pants off for them to check on the baby. Awkward!) He does get there before the exam though, thankfully.

They do an ultrasound and really can't see anything (at 5 1/2 weeks, they wouldn't be able to anyway) so they ask me to have blood drawn to check my pregnancy hormones. Then we'll have to wait 2 days and check it again to see what the hormone levels are doing before we'll know if this was a miscarriage or just some normal first trimester spotting. So I have blood drawn (twice...the nurse takes one vial and then chases me into the waiting room after realizing it's supposed to be two). So two blood draws and a blown vein later, we head home. A couple hours later the phone rings and it's the OB office. My hormone levels came back crazy high so they are scheduling a formal ultrasound at the hospital for me. Don't go to the bathroom, start chugging water, and get over here! So back to the hospital I go for an ultrasound. After the test I have to wait for a radiologist to review it, call the OB department and tell them what it showed, and then wait for the on-call (the office is closed by this time) doc to call and tell me what it showed. The good news, there IS an embryonic sac in the uterus, so it's not ectopic. The bad news, I'm still only 5 1/2 weeks so a fetus still isn't visible. So, it MIGHT be okay, and then again it might not. I have to go back tomorrow to draw blood again to see what's happening to my hormone levels. Then a viability check on Tuesday, and then another regular OB appointment the following week. I guess if it all turns out all right, then the reason this happened was to get my doctors on the ball and make them see me more often! So we're praying and hoping that this little one will still make it.

Ann Marie said that while we were searching for Sami, her six-year-old son decided we needed a prayer and sat down at a picnic table and prayed, Dear Heavenly Father, Keep Sami safe and help us to find her! and just then was when she came running out of the building. Somebody was watching out for us, I'm sure! Maybe our angel, Jesse, didn't want to see us lose any more babies and was with his big sister Sami and his little brother or sister in my womb that day.