Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dear Baby

Dear Baby,

You'll have to excuse me, but you don't yet have a name. Or a sex for that matter. I just wanted to write and tell you how much I love you already. No, you aren't technically conceived. A little part of me isn't sure you ever will be. It doesn't matter though. I need to tell you how much love I have for you already.

I dream of the day that I will hold you and rock you to sleep. I will sing you (off-key) lullabies and even when I wish you would sleep through the night, I will cherish the 3 a.m. feedings.

I imagine taking you to the cemetery every October 2nd so we can send balloons to your big brother in heaven. You are still with him right now, but when the time is right I hope you will join me down here. We will go to the pumpkin patch and drink apple cider slushies and pick out the perfect family of pumpkins. One for each of us- daddy, mommy, Caleb, you, and the puppies. This year there are only 5, but maybe next year it will be 6?

And Christmas-time with you will be amazing. I can't wait to experience things through your eyes and create traditions the way my Nana and Uncle did with me. I tell your daddy otherwise, but the truth is I know I will spoil you. I'm sure I will go overboard with the gifts. But know that my love doesn't come in the form of toys. My love for you comes from the bottom of my heart. It's here now...even though you aren't. You are loved and wanted so much. That will never change.

You're probably wondering why I am writing this letter to you so far in advance. Maybe it's a little crazy, but then again your mommy is a little weird. The fact is that I never, ever want you to doubt how much you were wanted. I spent a lot of time when I was younger wondering why my parents didn't want me. I never want you to feel that way. I pray for you every single night. I want you more than money or success or any other worldly thing. Everything I do in my life is so that things can be perfect when you finally get here. Not that I'm promising perfection. I will screw up. I will make mistakes, I will lose my patience and I will burn dinner sometimes. I'm not really good at sports or video games or doing make-up. I probably won't be the cool mom and you may go through some years when you think I am the enemy. I will still love you and will still want you in my life just as much then as I do now.

So, when you do finally join your dad and I and you are old enough to read this, I hope you will see how precious you are to me. Life is hard. You will get hurt and there will be plenty of things that happen that make you question who you are and what you are doing in this world. I can't prevent that. One thing I never want you to question, though, is how I feel about you.


Your Mom

Saturday, September 17, 2011


It has been SO long since I've posted here. Life has been crazy and hectic and everything that life is. Anyway, here are some updates on the more "important" happenings from the past few months.


I had my first surgery on July 1st. My vaginal septum was completely resected. My doctor was only able to get a small part of the uterine septum removed, so a second surgery had to be scheduled. I was pretty disappointed when I found out I would need another surgery. First of all, I was looking forward to being able to start trying to conceive right away. The worst part of needing a second surgery, however, is the hormone medications I have to be on leading up to and following the procedure. At any rate I went back for my second surgery on August 18th. Due to some equipment malfunctions, the surgery ended early and my doctor wasn't able to get the rest of the septum. So right now I'm waiting to schedule my third (and hopefully final) surgery. As with everything related to infertility, these surgeries have put me on an emotional rollercoaster for the past 4 months. I will be elated when they are done, but a part of me is scared that even after all of this I still won't be able to get pregnant again. But I'm trying to adopt the glass-half-full mentality and try to envision myself pregnant in front of the Christmas tree this year. We'll see...


This Monday (the 19th) marks one year since my Nana passed away. I definitely wasn't prepared for the wave of grief that has overtaken me the past week. Holidays are hard without her and her birthday was rough, but this milestone seems to be the worst so far. Something about the one-year mark makes things seem so final. Before she died, I used to imagine what I would feel like having to live my life without her. It seemed like the impossible, but then one day I woke up and she was gone. At first I was busy with the things you HAVE to do when someone dies...pick out clothes, plan the funeral, go through her things...that my mind didn't really process her not being around. After all of those things were done, I focused on getting back to life. I didn't want to sit around and sulk because for one, she would have kicked my butt for doing that and for two, that's not really my M.O. I don't like people feeling sorry for me and I hate sitting around feeling sorry for myself. I get that from her. So now, I'm sitting here at this one-year anniversary and I realize how long it's really been since we last spoke or since she told me she loved me or since we laughed together. I realize that it's been more than a year since her and I last went shopping or had lunch or did laundry together. I realize that living without her hasn't been impossible. The world *didn't* stop, even though, before she got sick I was so sure it would. I have a year full of memories that don't include her and I guess that's what hurts the most. This has just been one out of who knows how many years that I will live without her. It's hard and it's sad, but at the same time I am SO thankful for my time with her, because even though she isn't here physically any more I can still hear her and feel her within me every single day. 


September 29th marks 3 years since we found out Caleb was going to be stillborn. Yes, September has been a crappy month the past few years! Anyway, we celebrate his birthday on October 2nd by making a donation to Touching Little Lives. It's a local non-profit that makes clothing and keepsakes for babies born premature or stillborn. If you are interested in donating yarn, fabric or any other baby clothes making supplies, please contact me. We will be dropping everything off on October 2nd. 

Lots of Love...Me

Sunday, May 15, 2011


I got the bill for my surgery. Now I know what those doctors were wearing masks for.~James H. Boren
First of all I'd like to start out by wishing everyone a happy belated Mother's Day. I had a very low-key day, which was nice. As a Babylost Mother, the day usually causes a lot of anxiety. I was especially anxious this year as it marked the first Mother's Day since my Nana has passed. But it turned out to be a good day and I was able to keep the emotional outbursts at bay with a lot of prayer and surrounding myself with friends and family.

Late last summer, Brandon and I met with a new fertility doctor. We both really liked him and felt excited about some of the options he discussed. For a myriad of reasons, we didn't meet with him again. I guess the best way it can be summed up is that, well, life happens.

Anyway, fast forward to April 23rd of this year. Brandon had been over helping his step-dad with a project and called me on the way home. The news he shared caught me off guard and almost caused me to spill my O.P.I. (At home pedicures...don't judge...we're in a recession!). Brandon's mom and step-dad had generously offered us a financial gift to assist us with future fertility treatments! Yup...I was speechless, too. I've always considered myself VERY lucky on the in-law front. While friends complain about over-bearing mother-in-laws, I just sit back, smile and thank God for the amazing second family He has brought into my life.

The unexpected gift was just what we needed to push ourselves back into the roller coaster ride that is all things infertility. I scheduled an appointment right away. The doctor we met with at the new practice last summer wasn't available, so we decided to meet with another doctor at the practice. Guess what?!? Her first name is Summer! How awesome/random/cool is that? She asked me to have some blood work done prior to our consultation. Something our previous RE never insisted on.

We had our consultation on May 2nd. Dr. Summer said my labs were all normal. She brought up a new possibility for my funky uterus. Originally diagnosed a bicornuate uterus when I was 19, the "doctors" decided it was actually a didelphic uterus with a partial vaginal septum and two cervices when I delivered Caleb. Dr. Summer brought up a third option, one that made a lot more sense and explained a lot more of our issues. She theorized that I may have a uterine septum with a partial vaginal septum and two cervices. Uterine septum's can cause many problems including recurrent miscarriages and intrauterine growth restriction (something Caleb suffered from). As the doctor explained, the placenta can only grow so much before eventually being suffocated (for a lack of a better work) by the septum. Additionally, the septum is not a hospitable environment for embryos to attach. Meaning that even when conception occurs (which it could be doing for us), if the embryo implants on the muscular tissue of the septum a miscarriage will almost always ensue. Often times before I would even know I was pregnant.

The question we have always struggled with is "why the infertility?" Neither bicornuate nor a didelphic uterus's cause infertility. My cycles are normal and there doesn't appear to be any other problems that would cause us to be infertile. Dr. Summer's theory of a uterine septum certainly answered this question and also explained why I was able to conceive before.

But since theories are a dime a dozen, Dr. Summer did a sonohystogram in her office and was able to confirm the uterine septum. She wants me to have it removed as soon as possible and then she wants Brandon and I to try to conceive naturally for a while. The surgery seems easy enough- laparoscopy and hysteroscopy. She did warn us that she may not be able to remove the entire septum with one surgery, though. She said she wanted to do a little more research and see us back in a few weeks to finalize everything. If things go right, hopefully I will have the surgery in the next month or so and ideally we can start trying soon after that. We meet with Dr. Summer again this Friday.

Please pray for us and positive news at this appointment.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Marching for Caleb

Gratitude is the memory of the heart. ~Jean Baptiste Massieu

The Central Ohio March for Babies was held this past weekend. Thanks to so many amazing people, we had 23 walkers sign-up for Caleb's team and raised $1,295.00! I can't even begin to tell you how humbled I am by that. People who never knew about Caleb until this year's walk reached took time out of their day and/or money from their pockets to honor him. All I can say is "Praise God!"

The rain held off for the most part and we were able to enjoy the 5 mile walk without getting too soggy. My personal goal was to 1) finish the walk and 2) not be the last person to cross the finish line! We ended up finishing in about 90 minutes, which means we walked an average 18 minute mile. We won't be in the Boston Marathon anytime soon, but we did manage to stay somewhere in the middle of the pack.

Brandon & I wore our For the Love of Caleb shirts. Personalized with his birthday on the back.

Both of Caleb's grandma's made it for the walk and all of Caleb's aunts. We took this picture in front of Caleb's star in the Field of Hope. Purple stars honor living babies and silver stars remember those who have passed.

Thank you to everyone who came out, everyone who donated, everyone who bought a team shirt and to everyone who prayed for us. Your love and support is amazing.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A to Z

I stole this off of Bev's blog. Seemed like something fun to do while I wait on my corned beef and cabbage to finish cooking!

A. Age: twenty-five

B. Bed size: queen

C. Chore you dislike: all of them?

D. Dogs: a jack russell/yorkie mix named Lacy and a chihuahua/shih tzu mix named Brody

E. Essential start to your day: i feel gross unless i've had a shower

F. Favorite color: it changes as often as i change my underwear

G. Gold or silver: silver

H. Height: 5' 5"

I. Instruments you play(ed): i played the recorder in 4th grade and i tried to learn how to play the piano. i'm not so musically inclined.

J. Job title: legal secretary

K. Kids: my precious caleb. who i will see in heaven one day

L. Live: da 'burg or technically, i guess, c-bus

M. Mom’s name: vanya

N. Nicknames: does summer count as a nickname? my best friend calls me dill. brandon calls me summey. people from my old job call me nettie. i call myself supa-fly.

O. Overnight hospital stays: the only hospital stay i've ever had is when caleb was born still.

P. Pet peeves: liars, thieves, bullies, pants with words on the butt, people who don't know me but insist on calling me "hun", "sweetie" or "darling", and when brandon leaves the kitchen cabinet doors open after he gets something out of one.

Q. Quote from a movie: "i'm gonna paint my door red and change my name to elizabeth arden."

S. Siblings: three younger sisters and one younger brother.

T. Time you wake up: the first time? 4:30 a.m.

U. Underwear: yes. clean ones at that.

V. Vegetables you don’t like: i can't think of one. i think i like all veggies.

W. What makes you run late: my husband. :-o

X. X-rays you’ve had: a lot...and even more if you count ct scans, mri's and ultrasounds

Y. Yummy food you make: guacamole

Z. Zoo animal favorites: flamingos

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! Erin Go Bragh!

Friday, March 11, 2011

For the Love of Caleb Personalized Team T-Shirts & March for Babies Update

First of all, I want to thank everyone who has donated to team For the Love of Caleb. We have passed our goal and have raised over $1,100 for March of Dimes! If you haven't donated yet, but were considering it please don't let the fact that we have reached our goal stop you! Every dollar donated is a dollar that WILL help save babies and spare families from the heartache that Brandon and I lived through. $1,000 was our goal, but we would LOVE to raise much more in honor of our precious baby boy. If you can't donate please consider walking with us on May 1st. To donate or register to walk with our team please visit our family team's website at

Brandon and I have finished designing the team t-shirts for our family team, For the Love of Caleb. If you are interested in purchasing one please email me (adavenport85 at aol dot com). The prices range from $10-$15 depending on the color and size. There are also children's sizes available. :-)

Lot's of Love!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. - John 3:5

On January 9, 2011, I was baptised for the first time. It was an amazing experience and I was so grateful for the opportunity to share my testimony with all those present that day. I had amazing support from family and friends who came to share this special day with me. Some of them are believers and some are not. It was so amazing to be able to share with them what God has done in my life. I have been beyond blessed in my life to have the chance to know Christ and to understand what He has done and continues to do for each of us.

Mark 4:1-20 The Parable of the Sower

1 Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. 2 He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” 9 Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” 10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that, “‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’[a]” 13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

My Testimony

At various times in my life I have been in the positions Jesus describes in the Parable of the Sower. I have been cynical and openly allowed Satan to take the word away from my heart. I have received the word and delighted in it, but since my life was not rooted in Christ I quickly fell away. Later on, my habit was to seek out God during the challenging times of life…the deep depression that haunted me during my teenage years, relationship problems, the loss of my son and my subsequent struggle with infertility. God was there, providing me with comfort, but I never really knew what it meant to live in the word of Christ. I wondered how I could be a believer, but still feel like a piece of me was missing. The answer was that I had not fully committed myself to Christ.

I have known about Jesus since I was a little girl. My best friend’s grandmother, Mary Love, would take me to church on Sunday mornings and to youth group every Tuesday night. I remember reading John 3:16 at Ms. Mary’s house, and, though I didn’t understand the meaning, the words provided me with a source of comfort.

Eventually, I stopped going to church with Ms. Mary and I became a typical teenager with a cynical mind and a smart mouth. I battled with severe depression and questioned the existence of God. I tried worldly methods to cope with my problems, but nothing worked. I was desperate and broken. Finally, I decided something had to change and on my 19th birthday I prayed that the Lord would come into my heart. I’m not sure why I turned to God, maybe it was divine intervention or maybe it was the words I had heard so many years before about God’s love for this world. Personally, I believe it was the seed Ms. Mary planted years before that was beginning to grow.

Asking the Lord into my heart wasn’t the end. In fact, it was just the beginning for me. Since then I have been tempted and have succumbed to worldly desires. I have struggled with questions about my salvation and my beliefs. I have found myself ignoring God when things are good, but turning to Him again when I trip and stumble. When I lost my baby in October 2008 I realized my desire to work on my personal relationship with Christ. I sought out strong Christians, like my former co-worker and now dear friend Joy. She helped nourish the seed of Christ that was planted in my heart, always encouraging me to seek Him and His word when I struggled with doubts, worries or fears.

In early 2010, I made the decision to join a church and surround myself with people who would encourage my Christian growth. Little did I know how desperately I would need that support as I faced the struggles before me in the coming months. But I guess that is one of the most glorious things about God…we don’t know, but He always does and if we listen and believe faithfully He will always show us the way. His grace is amazing.

I have been blessed throughout my life in that God has continued to place people in my path who have joyfully and lovingly shared the good news with me time and time again. Because of that, I stand before you today committing myself to Christ and celebrating the mercy and grace He has shown me during good times and bad. I celebrate the beautiful relationship I now have with Him and the void in my heart that has been filled by His love.

Thank you so much to my brothers and sisters in Christ at New Life Community Church, Pastor Toole and his wife, Aimee.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

March for Babies Giveaway

Our March for Babies team, For the Love of Caleb, is almost halfway to our goal! Thank you to everyone who has donated and signed up to walk with us.

Beginning today through 8 p.m. EST Friday night, for every $10.00 you donate your name will be entered into a drawing for a $50.00 Macy's giftcard. If you sign-up to walk AND donate $10.00 your name will be entered twice. I will e-mail the winner on Saturday morning.

To make a donation please visit our team page at

Thank you again for your support!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

March for Babies 2011

This year Brandon and I created a family team in memory of Caleb. Team For the Love of Caleb will be walking in the Central Ohio March of Babies Walk on May 1st, 2011. If you are local I would love to see you on walk day. You can click the link above to join our team or visit our team page at

If you can't make it to the walk, I ask that you please consider making a donation to sponsor our team. For more information on the March of Dimes please visit

I posted this last year, but for those who missed it, here is a little bit about my experience with the MoD:

A life without cause is a life without effect. ~Barbarella

Each year the law firm I work for holds a March of Dimes campaign to coincide with the national March of Dimes March for Babies campaign. Last year's campaign was hard for me. It was 5 months after we lost Caleb and I was still in a very dark place. I didn't want to support the campaign. I had visited the MoD webstite everyday during my pregnancy, I did everything I was supposed to, but yet my baby was still gone.

Looking back I can see how twisted my mindset was last March. MoD was there for me during my pregnancy, when Caleb's oligohydramnios was diagnosed, and after Caleb was gone. They did provide me with support...even if it wasn't the support I wanted. I knew I had to speak up this year. I lost my baby and that hurts so bad, but I don't want anyone else to experience that pain.

This year, the partner in charge of the campaign for our firm asked me if I would be willing to share my experience with MoD in order to drum up support.. I jumped at the opportunity. I went into my pregnancy thinking the worst thing that could happen was hemorrhoids. Birth defects, placental problems, and stillbirth were the furthest things from my mind. If even just one expecting mom chooses to educate herself a little bit more regarding her child's health, even if it's just out of the fear of ending up like me, then my Caleb's life was not in vain. So I will now share with you my MoD story...
When I found out I was pregnant, I’d like to think I had the normal reaction…fear! I was worried about everything from learning how to change diapers to paying for college. They say men become fathers when they hold their baby in their arms for the first time, but women become mothers the minute they learn they are pregnant. I couldn’t agree more with this observation. From the second I knew I had a tiny life growing inside of me, my maternal instinct kicked in along with all the worries that come with it.

That’s why I first visited the March of Dimes website. A parenting magazine I read told me they had a great section on keeping healthy during your pregnancy. I checked that site probably 20 times a day. I used it to find information on proper nutrition, pregnancy symptoms, and to look up all those big words that doctors like to use.

The website became an even more useful research tool during my sixth month of pregnancy when the doctors told me that my son, Caleb, was suffering from oligohydramnios, a lack of amniotic fluid. This can be a sign of birth defects in some babies. The doctors told me there wasn’t much I could do. They would continue to monitor Caleb and send me for some additional tests and screenings. I remember feeling so helpless. As a parent, you feel a responsibility to always care for your children in the best way you can, but here I was stuck, unable to do anything.

Immediately, I went to the MoD website to investigate. They had an entire section dedicated to pregnancy complications and a ton of useful information about oligohydramnios. It was such a sense of empowerment. I understood the condition more thoroughly and felt that I could have educated conversations with my doctors and other care providers.

Sadly, the diagnosis came too late for me. My little Caleb died in utero at 26 weeks gestation. His beautiful body was born into this world on October 2, 2008. Losing my baby is without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever gone through. The pain, anger, and sadness are overwhelming. I remember the first few days at home after I left the hospital were devastating. I felt so alone and so lost. But yet again, MoD came to my rescue. Through their website, I was able to find a great deal of resources and information on dealing with a stillbirth. They connected me with several support groups filled with mothers feeling the same way I did. MoD even helped me after we received Caleb’s autopsy report. The cause of his oligohydramnios was due to a placental defect. MoD’s website gave me information on this and treatment options for future pregnancies.

Through my journey of healing, I have met with so many families that the March of Dimes organization has helped. From their work with premature babies to their research into birth defects, MoD is saving lives every day. I share my story not for sympathy, but because I want every expecting mother to be educated and empowered with the knowledge to understand their unborn child’s health. It’s easy to assume that all pregnancies end with healthy babies, but the fact is right now they don’t. There is hope, however. The research, education, and outreach that the March of Dimes provides are essential to changing that disturbing fact. There was nothing that could be done to save my baby, but I know that because of the March of Dimes, each day parents are spared from the pain that my family had to go through. And for that, I am so very thankful.