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doesn’t look good. i’m sorry.

25 Mar


it doesn’t look good, im sorry.

those words. they hit me hard. it was one of many quick runs to labor & delivery with this sweet baby girl inside. but this time it seemed different. it seemed more casual. more just in case. the bleeding was not as bad as it had been. but we were close. we were so close to viability. that word. oh, that word. so when that group of words,  it doesn’t look good, i’m sorry,  filled the room, those awful words, it hurt deep. . .4 years of hope. and prayer. and then answered prayer. and then unanswered prayer. how. how. how. what happens now. never again. never again. im done. sam cari madeira. done.

questions. surgery i hoped. no delivery. delivery? i had wanted to experience “real” childbirth, but this was not exactly what i had meant. i had felt cheated and robbed with madeira because i had not been able to do what billions had done before me. have a baby the way it was intended. healthy, strong, nurturing, nourishing. but now i was going to do just that. with a baby i would hold for an instant and then for earthly ever would be out of my arms. so wrong.

tears and pain.

one hope. hope in a heartbeat and a friend. don’t give up. that little baby’s heart is beating for you. don’t give up. she told me. it was hard to believe but i did.

that nite was awful. we lied to madeira. we lied to ourselves. we waited. we waited we waited.

as the sun rose without us, we waited. she, dr. ramos, she came, with hope. things look better. go home. lay. drink and rest.

and we did. we did with so many. without whom we could not have.

we did for 17 weeks.

she moved, she kicked, she grew. i drank, i laid, i prayed.i knitted. i visited.  i hoped. i was grateful for each day. i loved.  i felt loved. more than ever.

and then i woke. and i knew. it was time. we got dressed and left. madeira was so brave and sam so strong. we hoped. madeira brought juice and snacks for her birthday at school. she was loved. and taken care of, we were so loved.

lola came into the world. she was strong and brave and pink and little. i was sleeping and loved and so very protected. lola cried and was wheeled away. her strong daddy followed her. i was saved. and fixed. and was THIRSTY. i woke up alone but not. my first thought was not about my baby, but about my pain. i did not even remember that i had had a baby. i was hurting and thirsty. minty sponges were shoved in my mouth, but the thirst did not stop.

and then my brain turned on. where is my baby? is she ok? is she really here? how?

but answers had to wait. replenishment came first. replenishment from others. strangers. for whom i owe it all. blood from strangers. you never know what it means until it means so much.

moving day, icu to ante partum. you go to ante instead of post when things aren’t smooth. thankfully. because i love those ladies. brynn, sydney . . .forever in my heart. someone told me, right now, while you are transported ask to see your baby. ask now. i seriously have no idea who said that to me (i also asked for someone to help me go to the bathroom while i still had a catheter (they did), so i am not to be trusted, but i am pretty sure this moment happened).

someone pushed me in to the nicu, corner room on the right. she got the corner office. blessed girl. i rolled up and reached my hand into the hole. we touched. i said aloud. we made it. we made it. and i cried. she was mine. and she was here. it was short. but oh so sweet.

a few days later i went home. she did not. she stayed, she needed more time. and maybe i did too. we hoped for her to come home on thanksgiving, but it was not time. still thankful. soon, though. one day, they said go get her car seat. it was time.

she came home. we were home. 4 as 1. unbelievable. how. blessed. grateful.

she is now 1 and so feisty. a feisty fighter. no is her favorite word. it doesn’t look good, NO, NO, NO. it does. it looks like a sweet baby girl, with a hole in her heart that will grow together.

oh lola capri.

so grateful. and changed.

so many do not get the same ending. why is that? i would love to know. i still follow the stories of many who were not so lucky. we went through the potential loss together, but my loss became a gain. why? i believe in god. i believe in a loving god. i do not ever pretend to know why. but i am so grateful that we got to become 4 and that we did not remain 3 or become 2. i feel great compassion for those who do. the rest of our lives we will be grateful. and hopeful.

it was time to share. for me to begin to feell this. to begin to understand.

thank you for giving. and hearing.and hoping

it does look good. and i am not sorry.

A Dinner in Fall

29 Oct


Seriously anytime you put a cactus in a pumpkin and spray paint other pumpkins gold, you know its gonna be a good nite.


It was a double oven kind of nite. Which meant my bangs were definitely curly. #hotcook

recipes below. IMG_6185

tic tac toe of puff pastry yumminess. cut your puff pastry into even squares, i may or may not have had to use a ruler and then add toppings. we did orange, sage, salt and honey, pear, honey and chevre and hot pepper jelly and chevre (inspired by martha, no link, it was in her mag)IMG_6205

chalkboard sign, chalkboard pen wouldn’t work, so i went old school with the dusty chalk.IMG_6178again, gold pumpkin. and rosemary wreaths on IRONED napkins with little name tags. just printed the names on kraft colored card stock and cut them into little flags and then used floral wire to form the rosemary into wreaths.


puff pastry appetizer

pear prosecco spritzers

recipe from so simpatico

roasted butter garlic sage chicken with pomegranate glaze on a bed of roasted veggies (i used apples, butternut squash and fingerling potatoes)

recipe from in sock monkey slippers

my favorite brussell sprout recipe of all time (i leave out the anchovies)

recipe from food & wine

chocolate cake and copious amounts of yummy wine




10 Months.

17 Sep


i super love my dad. like so much. my mom tries not to be jealous.IMG_5269



i am usually very sweet.IMG_5272

i like to point. it creates extra emphasis.IMG_5275

i like to wave. sometimes it means pick me up, sometimes it means i want more banana, sometimes it means hi, just depends.IMG_5284

this is my face i make when someone tries to mess with me. people messed with me a lot when i was first born and it makes me kinda get mad.IMG_5287

but i forgive pretty fast.IMG_5288

i love to stick my tongue out. i even know the word tongue. i don’t know the word mama, but i know the word tongue, so that is good.IMG_5290

i get naughty and stand up lots of places i am not supposed to.IMG_5294

i love cats. that is another word i can say. but i can’t say mama. did i tell you that? 

we love this girl. she is funny, feisty, happy, kinda crazy, has had more owies in her short life than the rest of her family put together (see fat lip in photos) and she fills our hearts to the brim. can’t believe its been 10 months. her heart is healthy, we have been no where near a hospital in at least 3 months and she is tipping the charts at about 3%, looking chubby and well fed. in fact she will eat anything.

 still thankful.

(oh and i’m totally ok with the fact that both girls first word was dada and that when they both see him, they swoon. cause he is a pretty great guy and kinda makes me swoon too)

5 months

15 Apr

time is going too fast! why can’t it go as slow as it did on bed rest?

we are so in crazy love with this baby.

she is so sweet and so funny.

IMG_1121some thoughts that lola wanted me to pass on about being 5 months.

do not try to make me sit up. it is too much work. i like to lay down. i don’t care what other babies do.

do not make me wait for my bottle. it gets me so fired up.

do not leave me on my stomach for longer than five minutes. see above about sitting up.

please beat box for me all day long. it is my favorite and makes me laugh hard.

tell sister to never stop reading to me in the mornings. i love that.

i do not like to baby babble. i prefer to scream. or spit. (my version of beat boxing)

when you put me in my swing for a nap, i can not help it that i would rather ninja kick.

most of the time i sleep all nite for you. when i want to party at 4am, please be entertaining, do not try to put me back in bed.

stop trying to figure out my personality. sometimes you are funny and sometimes you are not. simple.

i love my pink & white vintage dress that was auntie megan’s. tell her thank you.

ps. mommy, what happened to your “i will never talk in the voice of my baby rule”?


sweet baby lola



lola & maddie’s room

22 Mar

while i was on bed rest, friends and family helped me convert maddie’s bedroom into a room for her to share with lola. it was hard for me not to be up and doing it all myself because I LOVE that kind of stuff, but everyone was so sweet to help and they truly created the perfect room for the girls. i love it so much i wanted to share it with you!


I made Lola’s mobile from the sweet feather wishes that were at my baby shower (which I still need to post!) I just attached them to a wooden embroidery hoop and then put a trim of fringe around. She loves to stare at it and I love that she sleeps below wonderful words of hope and love.



Those beautiful vintage story books were my mom’s when she was little, I had them and now my girls have them.IMG_1563

Love these prints. “I am not afraid of storms, as I am learning how to sail my ship.” I purchased that one when lola was in the NICU. So perfect.IMG_1566

The Ikea bookshelf with baskets is just what we needed to save space. Each girl gets four cubbies for toys and four cubbies for books. IMG_1567

Lola’s shoe collection is amazing. I can’t wait for her feet to be big enough to fit in them!

Madeira decided she would share her special tree outside her window.IMG_1570

Vintage baskets hold Lola’s diapers and necessities and make them look so cute!IMG_1576

AM Photographer Daddy takes amazing photos on his runs at the beach. Instacanvas turned them into great prints for the room.IMG_1578

Madeira collects Shel Silverstein books. Love.IMG_1584

Every girl’s room needs a vintage pink globe and pink musical horse, right?


There are links to most everything on my Pinterest. (as well as links to the items that I could not find a way to stuff in the room!)IMG_1592



2 Mar

I have taken on two “projects” for the month of March. I am super excited about both of them.  Keep reading and join me, we will have fun together.  And sorry for the late notice.

First, “March into Organization” from KMD Organizing-31 10 minute tasks to organize your life. Seriously, at the end of March I am going to be so organized and I don’t want you to be jealy jeal, so do it with me!! It’s free and she sends you a few days at a time so you don’t freak out and quit. Yesterday was tupperware and today is the linen closet, two places in my house that were sadly neglected.

before, colorful but messy


after, tupperware heaven


Join Here

Second, Darling Magazine’s March Instagram Photo Challenge, see details below.


My first photo, “Rest”

(I may or may not have blurred out my forehead wrinkles, why does Botox have to be so scary to me? I did NOT blur out Lola’s mullet, don’t ever tell)


My instagram is carialina. Let’s be friends.

happy 3

13 Feb

Lola is 3 months and 10 pounds today. Growing fast.


birth day. 11.13.12IMG_8595

2 weeks, home from NICU

1 month


2 months (oops forgot the chair)IMG_9440today. 3 months.

in love.


Lola Capri

8 Dec


1 day old


3.5 weeks old

She is here! We made it. I have really put off writing this. Partly because I am way too busy snuggling with this sweet little girl and partly because it kind of gives me a knot in my stomach to think about putting the last few weeks into words. Lola Capri was born on November 13, I am not sure when, as I was taking a long winter’s nap during the process.  I do know she was 18 inches long and 5 pounds 4 ounces. And I do know she is an amazing, strong, sweet and peaceful baby who when I look in her eyes, I know she knows what we went through together and how very special it is that she is here. Every baby is a miracle and she is ours.  The story of her birth is below. I do not know how graphic I will get and I do not even know if I have all of the details right, as I was not really “there”. I want to write it not only for those that are interested, but for us, so that we never forget how much we wanted this baby and how much she wanted to be a part of our family and how much we believe God helped make that happen.

The beginning of our story is written about previously here, here, here, and here. To summarize, this baby was five years in the making. After some help we were so happy to be pregnant.  The pregnancy was normal for about five days and then got crazy and never stopped. At 19 weeks, we were told we were losing her. A sweet friend said, “there is a heart beat, do not give up on her”. And so we did not. I then laid on a couch for 5 months to try to keep her safe inside. I took weekly injections of hormones and only left the house for our numerous ultra sounds and doctor visits.  Every visit the news was never good, but it seemed to get a little better the closer we got to “viability”. Such a terrible word.  We had a calendar and celebrated every week. 24, 28, 32 were the big ones. We made it to week 35. We never thought we would. But we did. And we thought, we made it this far, everything is going to go great now. Our c section was scheduled for November 16 and the doctors were prepared for anything, but hoped for a normal delivery.

The morning of November 13, I woke up bleeding.  We knew that meant it was time. It was 4.30am and by 4.45am, Sam, Madeira and I were in the car on the way to the hospital. M was so brave and made me so proud. We got to the hospital and they said they were going to try to have us make it to deliver around 10am, so the hospital would be better staffed, just in case. Around 10.45, I was taken in for the epidural.  After numerous attempts at epidural and spinal, some strong shots to my nerves and emotional exhaustion of the anesthesiologist, me, the nurse holding me and my doctor, we all collectively decided to just put me under general.  That meant Sam could not be in the room and I would not meet my baby when she was born. After a few tears of disappointment and fear, I laid down and went to sleep for what I thought would be about an hour. 

Four and a half hours later I woke up to nurses and surgical recovery staff and heard scary words about my super low blood pressure and super high heart rate. I felt like I had not had anything to drink for days, my tummy felt like it had been ripped out of my body and I wanted to know where my baby was. Well, while I slept, my baby was born removed with a vacuum from my belly and sent to the NICU, my uterus, tubes and cervix were removed, I received 6 units of blood, 14 bags of fluid and gained 40 pounds from the fluids and my mom and friends sat in the waiting room, while Sam ran back and forth to the NICU and trying to get updates on me. My placenta had grown through everything and had grown so many veins that when they tried to remove it, I began to hemorrhage. My theory is that it had to do this in order to stay attached and continue to feed Lola while she was inside. I heard that someone said that no baby should have been able to survive on the conditions that were inside of me and I know by reading that many mommies do not survive births like mine. Grateful. And that epidural that did not work, grateful. I can not imagine if Sam and I had witnessed any of what happened.

Lola was sent to the NICU at birth because of respiratory problems and the risk of sepsis from all of the bleeding. I was sent to ICU to be monitored and given more blood and fluids. She and I finally met a day and a half after she was born. I reached through the hole of the incubator and touched her leg. And I could not say anything.  I just thought to myself we made it and sat looking at her with tears rolling down my face. I was given five minutes with her and then taken to my recovery room. We were so well taken care of by the amazing nurses and doctors. They made me feel like were going to be OK, which was what I really needed.

After five days, I was healthy enough to go home.  Which was wonderful, except for, I was leaving without Lola. Being wheeled out of the hospital that nite, leaving her behind broke my heart. Madeira softened the hurt a little by decorating the house with welcome home signs and her big smile. The next 8 days Sam spent his time taking care of me and spending time at the NICU with Lola. He was amazing. I felt so safe and taken care of and knew that Lola felt loved and nurtured by him as well. I do not know how he did it, but the love I have for him is so deep. Lola got to come home on Sunday, the 25th.  What a day to have all four of us under the same roof. We were complete.

This has been a life changing experience for so many reasons.  None of us will ever be the same.  The love we have felt and the prayers and good thoughts that have come our way from so many is what has made this dream come true and is overwhelming. I am trying these days to focus on what is and not what might have been. It is hard sometimes and there are moments when I just break down about what could have happened- the thought of Sam being a daddy to two girls without a mama or the thought of our family without Lola.  But thankfully that was not the plan for us. Sam, Cari, Madeira and Lola happy and healthy, that was the plan. I am forever grateful. Amazing love.

Project Baby

25 Oct


I knit that hat during week 19-When I thought we were losing our baby. It was all I could do.  I felt deep down in my heart that our baby would get to wear that hat one day even though my mind really wanted me to believe something else.  It can only be explained as miraculous that I am still pregnant with our healthy baby girl. I am 33 weeks.  That is crazy.  We will be having her in 3 weeks on November 16th (unless something happens prior). I definitely have fears and feel like I know too much about some of the obstacles that will face the doctors when they deliver Lola, but . . .

“There is a peace I’ve come to know, though my heart and flesh may fail. There’s an anchor for my soul. I can say, it is well.”

And it is well.

 I try to keep my mind focused on holding her and on both of us being healthy and happy. And getting to be a mommy and wife again and take care of my friends and family the way they have so sweetly taken care of our family the last few months.

Can’t wait to introduce you all to Lola Capri in a few weeks.


(lyrics from Chris Tomlin, “I Will Rise”)

Project Baby

28 Sep


Well we made it to goal 2. We have actually passed it and are at week 29 today.  So, we have moved out of the micro preemie world with Miss Lola Capri still inside of my belly.  I kind of think we can’t believe it.  It has been such a crazy few months and now it is time to switch our brains to we are going to have a baby soon mode.  Which is amazing. Every appointment things have looked better and better.  She has continued to grow properly.  Our chromosomal testing came back negative (which confirms that she just has my short legs).  And my insides have healed more than they thought they would.  We definitely still have some issues and some scary possibilities in the next few weeks, but the doctors are all aware and prepared and we know what we have to do if one of those were to arise.  If things continue to be mellow, we will most likely have an amnio in 7 weeks to check her lungs and if they are properly developed, deliver around november 15. Supposedly the problem that I have tends to show itself again (a crazy funky placenta that is also a previa) around 36 weeks, so if we deliver around then, we might be able to avoid said ugly “problem”.  My doctor said to prepare for a possible hysterectomy, which after all of this, is just fine with me. She also said that because my (placenta-sorry) is so ginormous and weird, that I will most likely have gestational diabetes. So, that will put an end to my pumpkin scone and lemon blueberry pancake addiction.  We do that test in a couple of weeks. So, I will load up until then (in case my dr. ever sees this, i am totally kidding). kind of.

So, I continue my bed rest until I deliver and continue to be amazed at the support and love we have received for so long.  There is not a day that goes by when someone does not offer some sort of help or a visit.  I can not wait to have my baby girl, heal and then be able to give back in some way for how much we have been given.  It is seriously nuts how wonderful people are and that in the midst of everyone’s own crazy lives, they take time out for us.  I truly believe that we would not have made it this far without the help we have gotten.  And we will make sure that Lola knows how many people loved her before she was even born.  And we also know that the pressure is on to raise this girl right, cause she definitely was supposed to be here with us.  Madeira is pretty awesome, we think, so hopefully we can just do all that again, even though we are a tad bit older and have a tad less energy these days.

So, that is where we are at today.  Lots of love and thanks.  So very grateful.


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