Sunday, December 29, 2013

I got the itch!

I hate that I haven't updated this the way that I wanted to, especially since I have been off work now for three weeks, but there are a ton of things I haven't been able to get around to and I am working hard to just be flexible and let the small stuff slide these days. This will be long, but there have been a lot of things to happen!

I've had some itching for the past couple of weeks, but didn't think anything about it until last week when I was literally clawing sores into my skin. The on call doc sent me to L&D for blood work which came back elevated and pointed to Cholestasis, a problem where my liver does not break down bile. It is very scary for the baby with an increased risk of still birth, jaundice, meconium aspiration, and breathing complications at birth. 

I had an NST on Christmas Eve and the on call doctor had me come in to see him as soon as the office opened after the holiday because my doctor who happens to be his partner is out of town. At the appointment we discussed additional blood work that we had been waiting on. It came back normal. Still, my symptoms were severe and I did have elevated labs already with a family history. The doctor was certain I had cholestasis and that further tests would show the normal readings climbing, but the risk in waiting for them wasn't worth it. 

He did an in depth ultrasound on the baby to determine how ready he seemed to be. We saw him practicing breathing on the screen which made the doctor very happy. I was dilated to a 2, more than 50% effaced, still dealing with contractions, and the baby was in position. He went to call my doctor to discuss what to do. They decided it would be best to go on and induce Monday morning at 38 weeks as soon as my doctor returned. In the meantime I was to go for another NST and I was to report straight to L&D if I noticed any further decrease in movement. The baby didn't want to move again for the NST, so I was told at the hospital to eat sugary snacks or drink soda often to try and wake him up. 

I was admitted in the middle of everything on Christmas Eve for contractions that got out of control. They were a minute apart, lasted a minute, and were very strong. The doctor that night was concerned about uterine rupture and after two doses of terbutaline sent my heart rate and baby's through the roof, they knocked me out with Stadol to try and calm things down. Thankfully it worked and we were sent home Christmas morning, although I've been pretty miserable since. 

I feel nauseous most of the time, and I'm fatigued like I have the flu almost. The itching is relentless although I do think the medication is starting to help a little with that. I cannot sleep more than an hour at a time and even then hubs says I toss and turn and scratch a lot. I have no appetite and I can't take antacids with the medication I am on, so I spend most of my time piled up on the couch just waiting for the next stretch of sleep. 

I really want to get the house back in order before we leave Monday morning, but just loading the dishwasher had me throwing up earlier today. I guess the baby won't notice if the house is a mess right? I'm excited about finally getting to hold my baby boy, but I am very anxious about possible complications. My ideal birth has changed drastically over the past few days. I originally was adamant about a natural birth with very little intervention, but now I just want him here safely. I plan on doing whatever it takes to get him out. Hopefully I will have an amazing update next week for you with our little miracle safe and sound in our arms! 

Thursday, December 12, 2013


It's been a while. We've been in a whirlwind of baby prep. We got all new furniture for our living room and had to move hubs out of his office and turn it into a suitable nursery. Our parents were amazing, helping us set things, move things out, paint, and buy furniture. I never imagined we would have such a wonderful setup to bring our little fella home to!

In addition to all the moving and setting up, I have been working and trying to get ready for the holidays, which has been hard to focus on with my one track mind lately. This past weekend, we were finally completely set up minus the car seat which my parents decided to take care of. My dad took it upon himself as "grandpa" to research and pick out the car seat in a very serious manner; something we just put in his hands.

I've been having a lot of braxton hicks contractions. They were rarely painful, just annoying mostly, but they were almost daily. My doctor assured me that even in regular intervals, they were normal and not to worry. Monday I had a regular appointment after work and I had scheduled an appointment for my grandmother that day too to save an extra trip. My mom came with me to help get us both where we needed to be on time.

Monday morning I felt bad and left work half an hour after I got there. I was having contractions, but they were intense and I had a hard time standing through them. I waited for my appointment, but on the half hour drive there the contractions got much worse. I managed to make it to the office in tears and lots of pain. My doc checked me quickly, announced I was only a fingertip dilated, but extremely soft and obviously having regular contractions. He sent me to be monitored at L&D with a shot of terbutaline to stop the contractions since I was only 35 weeks. They stopped by the time hubs got to the hospital and we decided to take advantage of the lull on the way home to grab some last minute things at the store.

On the way home the contractions hit me like a truck once again and became very strong and regular at three minutes apart and lasting a minute. We waited three hours with lots of water and rest, but ice was moving in and we decided it would be safer to head on back to the hospital. Again I was hooked up to monitors and given terbutaline to stop the contractions, but this time it didn't work. I was given a second dose, but my heart rate wouldn't regulate enough for a third dose. They decided to try fluids and pain meds instead, which finally lowered the intensity although they were coming every minute or so and lasting 40 seconds. They decided since I wasn't dilated, that I could go on home and just wait it out. I was warned that the contractions probably would not stop until delivery, but that until I reached 37 weeks, there was nothing anyone would do anymore to stop or speed them up.

I have been at home since. I am on my fourth day of prodromal labor, although my contractions are not the typical type with irregular patterns. I go through bouts of 5-8 hours with extremely intense and painful contractions that always last two to three minutes apart and a minute long. I rest or sleep in the few hours without contractions, but my body is very sore and tired already and I almost always wake up from a new stretch of contractions starting. Last night things changed. The baby is very very low now and there is tons of pressure and pain in my back and pelvis. The contractions feel different now too. There is a lot more pain with them, but they feel like they are actually doing something. I haven't had any timeable contractions today though. I feel like once they start up in a regular pattern again, we will have a baby. I don't want to wish him here too early, but the pain and stress on my body is really starting to take its toll. It's worth every single moment though. For now, we just wait and pray.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


I haven't posted in a couple of weeks. The days are counting down way too fast for me, yet time seems to be creeping by so slowly. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the reality of life right now. I am 31 weeks pregnant. Honestly, it scares me to death. There is so much to do. I'm not ready for this new little person to be here yet, but at the same time I want desperately for this wait to be over and to finally hold his little hand in mine and start our life together.

I really thought that once I reached that magic 24 week milestone, I talked so wistfully about with hubs and my doctor, that the fear and doubt would magically disappear and we would both embrace this idea that we will really bring home a tiny little person of our own. At 22 weeks, hubs rubbed my belly, felt a little jab, and I watched his eyes glass over with amazement. He looked up and said "Wow! We really are going to get to keep him." My heart ached for him. The fear I had been keeping at bay for so long was churning in his heart just as strongly and I hate that I didn't acknowledge it as much as I should have. I cherish those moments now. I love watching his face now when he talks about our little guy. He has so much love for him and every day that goes by, chips away more and more fear.

I on the other hand have started struggling again. I have this very irrational fear that someone will take our baby. I have exasperated several family members including my mom with this, but I can't stop it. Hubs thankfully understands where it is coming from and I work hard to shield him from my feelings, but they are so overwhelming sometimes!

I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop or to wake up from this dream. We have waited 11 years. 11 heartbreaking, gut-wrenching years for this to happen to us, and although I always held a tiny sliver of hope that it would someday be us they would play the lullaby for on the hospital speaker, I'm not sure if I ever really believed it. In the beginning I took every moment for what it was; a moment. I savored it and loved him deeply. I bonded with him early on and refused to consider anything other than a happy ending because he deserved that. I wanted to be happy and excited about his arrival. When the first gift came, that first trimester terror popped right back into place though and it has never left. I keep thinking "How will we return this stuff?" When the shower invites went out, I had a hard time wondering how we would cancel it if we had to. It was fine for a while when it felt like just hubs and I were completely committed, but now there are all these people that love him too and are looking forward to his arrival as if nothing bad might happen. I struggle with those Christmas countdowns people are posting everywhere and I have a hard time talking about Christmas and the coming weeks.

No one warns you about that part of pregnancy. It's the worst part for me. It is the number one part of this whole process that I will gladly hand over and it will be the first thing I dread if we ever get the chance to do it again.

I'm trying hard to once again live moment by moment. I sit and talk to him and play with him. I watch my belly roll and twitch for hours. I made him some things, spent hours (and I'm still spending hours) searching for just the right thing to bring him home in. I know that half hour car ride home doesn't seem so important to some, but to me, that is one way I can hold tight to the idea that he will be coming home with us. I love this little person so much!

As far as he is concerned everything looks wonderful. He is measuring exactly on target, his second scan was great, my GD test came back negative, and he's a very active little guy. He adores his daddy. Hubs can call me on speaker now and the little monkey always wakes up at the sound of Daddy's voice which I love!

I have had some contractions. I've had two episodes that we have had to time, but they never got stronger, so we waited them out and they thankfully subsided. I have been very tired lately. I have a lot of what I assume are typical pregnancy aches and pains and sleep is a struggle, but for the most part I feel pretty good considering. I'm just very ready to meet this little person finally!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


A person's a person no matter how small.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Yesterday was a special day. I intended to make it special, to mark it with some sort of meaningful event or gesture, but I couldn't. For months I have wondered how the passing of October 12th would affect me. I anticipated grief and pain. I waited for a flood of it, then wallowed in guilt when it did not come. I ended up passing the day in avoidance. I went to a wedding and then tagged along with my parents for dinner and a little shopping. I pretended it was just another day. To everyone else in the world it was. Even hubs didn't realize until I mentioned it to him. I feel bad that I dredged that up for him.

Yesterday was Espe's due date.

Yet, it wasn't...

I'm not really sure how to feel about it all. It's confusing and frustrating. I feel so conflicted inside about it all. It seems unfair to both of my babies to remember Espe right now. I feel like I would be shadowing my joy for this precious wriggling little monkey inside of me and at the same time I do not feel like I could give Espe the full remembrance he deserves.

No one remembered Espe yesterday. There were no balloons, candles, or cards. On his birthday, no one brought us a casserole or a pack of diapers. His life here on Earth was unremarkable, undocumented, and unknown to most of the world, but to me.... His short life saved mine. It saved his brother's life. No one will ever know the tiny little hero I carried with me, but my family owes him so much. A simple balloon or a candle just doesn't seem to be enough to convey the monumental impact he had on my life. He literally saved me. I was spiraling so quickly down a dark hole. I was not okay. He helped me see that. He showed me what hope was again and gave me everything I needed to try one more time for my dreams. When I felt myself falling once more, I remembered him and the gift he had given me - possibility.

Hubs I'm sure remembered in his own way yesterday. He is working so hard to embrace the idea that our Sea Monkey will actually be with us soon though, that I'm sure he has tucked Espe away for a while and I completely understand that. I have to do it too.

How do you say good-bye and hello at the same time? I don't want to let Espe go, if I do, who will remember him? Am I a horrible mother for not taking the time to mark his life yesterday? Am I ungrateful for the miracle I do have if I stop to remember him?

Espe's life was exactly as it was meant to be. I feel this in the very core of my being. He was sent here to prepare us for this tiny little person I still carry inside of me. His birthday, while far too soon for us to have any time together, was the day it was supposed to be. I loved Espe and I still do. He will always have a very special place in my heart as my first baby, but to say that his due date was unfulfilled seems wrong. His life was full of love, joy, wonder, all the things it should have been. I want to remember him for what he was and not what he wasn't. I most certainly do not love him any less for that and I love Sea Monkey just as much.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


We are in for so much trouble! I had my follow up u/s yesterday. We had to go back because little stinker would turn and moon the screen every time doc tried to see the heart or anything else of importance. Hubs had to work and we were assured this would be a quick peek with no excitement, so my mom went with me.

Monkey was absurdly active from the start. Doc managed to chase down the pictures he wanted though with a lot of prodding, jiggling, and laughing from all three of us. It turned into much more than a sneak peek! The doc jotted some things down and then without looking at me asked the magic question....

"So, what did we say this was last time?"

My heart leaped into my throat and I firmly said "Ummm girl...."

Doc jiggled me again and after a few seconds he looked up at me with a funny grin and said, "I don't think that's right. Let me try a different angle."

My mom said nothing. She just stood and leaned across the table to see the screen. The room went silent and all eyes were glued to the screen. Seconds later, there it was and I burst out laughing. My mom simply uttered an "Oh dear!"

Doc tried about five different angles and every single time, you could tell that our little stinker had played a big prank on us all!

                                                   Our little She is most definitely a He!

He is currently in a breech position which just confirms what I thought. My belly resembles a bowl of mexican jumping beans most nights now, which I find hilarious! Everything looked wonderful on the u/s this time and hubs and I are over the moon! We did a small bit of shopping last night for a few items of the bluer variety and made plans to store all the pink stuff for the future.

I really am excited. I did consider this scenario a couple of times and worried that I might be disappointed, but I only love him more. This prank matches what I feel his personality already is, and reminded me a lot of hubs and his sense of humor. Every time I say his name now (we quickly switched channels!) I just giggle.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Performing live....

My belly has become my new favorite pastime. Television, books, chores, the hundred and one projects I should be doing: they all take a back seat to the belly channel! She really has moved from a transverse position to a vertical position which has made her movement very visible and funny.

This morning I was testing two kiddos and had to sit quietly until they finished. I pulled up a comfy chair and of course the show began! There was this little bump just above my belly button on my left side. I rubbed it lightly and it moved. I had to work hard not to giggle out loud. I was sitting there playing with the baby and suddenly felt her jump, only I felt it at the top and the bottom of my belly at the exact same time. It was such a strange feeling! About five or six seconds later it happened again and I could physically see my belly bounce. Sea Monkey had the hiccups! I almost had to leave the room because I got so cracked up watching her!

I feel like a scene from a science fiction movie. Her movements are so much stronger and visible now. I can even see her sometimes move from one side to the other like a tiny underwater wave. As I type this she is in there poking around and insisting I remove my phone from my belly. I should be working on stuff or in the bed, but she is just way too much fun!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Today I am 24 weeks pregnant! I know there are millions of things that could go wrong. I know that there are never any guarantees, but... The knowledge that there is a fighting chance for her if something were to go wrong and she came early gives me a great deal of peace.

When I first found out I was pregnant I was so selfish and overprotective of "my" baby, but I'm starting to let that go a lot more than I ever dreamed! I feel so overwhelmed with how many people have taken a sincere and active interest in our little one. I don't think I ever really stopped to consider how many people have been supporting us and praying for us through this journey, and every single one of them are overjoyed. I feel like all three of us are so loved and blessed. I can't help but share her. I let people rub my belly and I am quick to tell all her funny stories or entertain kind words and questions from people.

I feel great right now and I truly enjoy pregnancy. I'm sure people get tired of my giggling and my lack of focus. I spend a great deal of time with my hands on my belly or just watching it. This kiddo has a personality already and it is so much fun to experience. She loves her daddy. She always kicks and responds to him the moment he walks in the door and talks. She's also a sugar nut it seems. Anything sweet sends her into circus mode. She is also decidedly stubborn! She absolutely refuses to wiggle or kick for my mom which just cracks us all up. The moment my mom comes near, she freezes and will not move! She loves music and church too which makes me very happy. I am astounded by how much I already love her.

Due to my PCOS I had to have my one hour glucose test earlier than my doc normally does it. Unfortunately, I bombed it and had to go in for the three hour. I had eaten terribly the day before my one hour, so I worked hard to eat right and behave myself the week before the three hour test. Apparently I studied too hard because the test results came back and I was actually on the low low side of things. Just before my last blood draw I got really icky feeling and had a hard time walking to the room for the final draw. They made me eat and drink before I could get up. I finally got up, walked to the car and tested my sugar on my mom's unit. It was in the low 60s. Thank goodness I don't have to do that again!

I go next week for another ultrasound. She was a little stubborn stinker at our anatomy scan and there were a lot of things he couldn't see. I'm excited about even a tiny little peek at her again!

She has finally moved up out of my nether regions it seems and I have far too much fun watching her perform tricks for me. If I set something on my belly now, she will kick it and sometimes even bump it off (unless my mom is in the room). She also responds sometimes to me talking to her or resting my hand on my belly. She will squirm over and sort of push up against my hand sometimes which I love.

I know this post is a bit all over the place. I apologize for that. I just had a lot to tell you! If you can't tell, I'm a bit biased and head over heels with our little monkey!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

In Awe

I've been so anxious this week. I didn't think today would ever come! We finally had our anatomy scan today at 22 weeks exactly. I also had to have an early GD test due to my pcos which made me anxious too. I didn't sleep well at all last night! It was all completely worth it!

It's a girl! ..... We're mostly sure...

The screen lit up and there was our little sea monkey! The last time we saw the baby was at 9 weeks when tiny little arm and leg buds were just poking out. This was a real wriggling little baby! It was everything I've ever dreamed of. The doctor shared a big laugh with us over the stubborn position she insisted on staying in. I warned him, and when he realized I was right, he thought it was hilarious. She was stretched out like she was in a lazy boy with one arm crooked and her hand behind her head just like hubs sits! It was so funny to see her already acting out one of hubs's quirks.

She refused to move into a decent position, so the doc couldn't get good measurements on several things even though he spent a long while with us trying (bought us more viewing time!). In addition, the little stinker had the cord directly between her legs, so while he got a great shot, the cord made it hard to be certain. After a long while he finally said "I'm pretty sure this is a little girl. I don't see boy parts and at this point even with the cord, I should be able to see them if they were there. He gave us a 95% sure vote for girl, told us to buy pink, but save the receipts, and scheduled another scan three weeks from now (We get to see her again!).

I know anything can happen. We are no strangers to the "anythings" of life, but I think both of us are finally entertaining the thought that we really might get to meet our rainbow baby!

Here's a sneak peek....

Monday, August 19, 2013

Another comical milestone

Tomorrow sea monkey will be 20 weeks and halfway there! For the most part I love being pregnant. I feel full on kicks and movements now. That is the one part of pregnancy I anticipated more than anything and it's better than I hoped. I am hopelessly in love with this tiny person! Hubs and I have a lot of fun feeling the baby together at night. I think it has really helped hubs feel better about things too. He still has a lot of fear.

We also bought an app for my phone called BabyScope. It isn't as good as a doppler, but I do get to hear sea monkey's heartbeat for brief moments with it which is just another level of peace for us. Sea monkey hates the thing which is even funnier because we are always rewarded with a huge kicking circus too as she/he tries to kick the mic away.

We are only 14 days away from the big appointment. I am so ready for this appointment. The suspense is killing me (and the rest of the family)!

Yesterday, as the title suggests, I reached another milestone that I found embarrassing but rather funny. My mother seemed to think it was absolutely hilarious...

It was just the two of us after church yesterday, so we went to lunch together. As I sat in the driver's seat after lunch, I dropped my phone. I didn't hesitate and just started to reach over and pick it up.... It wasn't happening! Bucket seats, belly, baby, I couldn't do it. My mom started laughing hysterically. I hung my head in shame and proceeded to get out of the car. It was at that moment that I realized I had started modifying my bend over technique too. I spread my legs a bit farther apart so I can bend over much less gracefully than before. My mom laughed at me the whole way home.

I was horrified that it was too early for this, but Mom assured me it was okay and perfectly normal about this time. I'm going to go with that for now.

Friday, August 9, 2013

He felt it!

So this is a story for the ages, but I will warn you, there might be a little tmi here for some. I promise to keep as PG as I can though.

Hubs and I have both been leery of "relations" with this pregnancy. Early on I had some spotting and that was the end of our regular romps. The doctor told us that it would get better in the second trimester, but we're still cautious and fun time is rare.

Last night hubs came home and we were both a bit desperate (those hormones are crazy!), so we decided to "enjoy one another's company". It was one of those you scratch my back then I'll scratch yours sort of nights. I was first. I had my hands on my belly to support it and right in the middle of the moment, I felt it. A kick! A real full on kick to my hand!

I immediately burst out laughing because it sort of tickled and startled me. Hubs looked at me funny and said "Seriously? Could you focus on the task at hand?" He had no idea this was the first real kick I had ever felt on the outside. I saved my news until after and I reluctantly moved my hands from my belly.

All of the movement I have felt until now had been inside. I felt the baby shift from one side to another once, but I really think it was more an internal thing and I just realized what it was. I tried to get hubs to hang out and feel it again last night, but he didn't have the patience to do it.

I thought that would be an isolated incident, but at work this morning I finally took a minute to sit down even though I had to pee. I could feel the baby wiggling around, so I put my hands on my belly like I normally do and I was rewarded several minutes later with a tiny boink. It was so much fun. I could actually feel the baby move from time to time.

My friend came in the office and looked at me funny and then immediately put her hand on my belly. She knew what I was doing. We both suddenly looked up with surprised faces when she got her very own tiny tap.

I was determined hubs would feel a kick tonight. When he got home I drank some ice water and at a couple of spoonfuls of ice cream to get the sea monkey dancing. Then I went back to his office and stretched out on the spare bed. The first time he was just too impatient, but I finally got him to come back and he put his ear on my belly. We waited a couple of minutes and suddenly he said "Was that it? Oh my gosh! That was so weird!" He was hooked and sat there for a couple minutes more grinning from ear to ear. Sea monkey kicked him in the head twice tonight!

I am completely addicted to my belly now! That was definitely one of those lifetime milestones. I also think the story of my first kick will have us laughing for many years!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

4 more weeks!

I have been terrible at not posting, and for that I apologize. Life is sort of crazy right now. The past few weeks I have been consumed with this long to do list I needed to finish before school started back. I still did not get finished with everything I wanted, but most of the things I have left can wait a little while, so I'm not too worried.

Monday was appointment day. Everyone had to go to their doctor's appointments while I could squeeze them all in. Apparently I decided Monday was going to be a really good day because I scheduled all our appointments for the same day without meaning to. It worked out well though. My mom had an appointment for her eyes which have improved thankfully. She still can't drive yet, but she's very close! My grandmother has been giving us an increasingly difficult time. Thankfully, the doctor had a chance to witness her on an out of sorts day which proved to be rather comical. I was so relieved. He has referred her to a geriatric psychiatrist to help us assess where she is with the dementia and work out a better situation for her.

She quit taking all of her meds back around Christmas and didn't tell anyone for several months. She quit her thyroid medicine, her breathing treatments, her dementia meds, her anxiety meds, all of it! It caused a rapid decline in her mental abilities we think. I hope this specialist can help us get things under control a little better before the baby comes. I'm terrified about her behavior when the baby comes.

Of course you know I had to have an appointment too! It was my 18w appt according to my dates, but the doc has me down a few days behind. I had gained 10 pounds since the last visit. He wasn't too pleased with that (oops!). I'm working on doing better with some of that and I am walking every afternoon I can, plus I go back to work this week so I won't be such a couch potato. He also told me he wants me to do the glucose test twice due to my PCOS. I will do one next appointment and then another at around 28 weeks. He is making me wait until my next appointment for the anatomy scan which is so frustrating! I will be 22 weeks! I have to wait 4 more weeks to see this little person and to find out what it is! 4 Weeks!!!!!

My mom got to go with me to this appointment and hear the baby's heartbeat which measured at 150 this time. That is the most beautiful sound in the world right now!

I also feel a lot of movement now. This morning at work I realized I've been missing out by sleeping late. She was all over the place early this morning which was so much fun and actually helped me coast through the first day easier.

I am also keeping our neighbor's little boy now. He will stay with me after school is over until his parents or his grandmother get off work between 9 and midnight every night. He's six and alllll boy! It's fun though, he just has a lot more energy than I could ever hope to have right now and my television choices have dramatically changed!

Hopefully, I can keep up with all of the changes and the new schedule!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Embarrassing Confessions

This week, for whatever reason I have felt miserable. I haven't really gotten out of bed very much all week except to cook something for hubs to take to work and clean up the kitchen. Between the nausea, the bathroom trips, the constant naps, and the teenager skin, I feel like I'm right back in the first trimester all over again.

I haven't really fought against it too much. If the first trimester taught me anything, it was that fighting against that mind-numbing fatigue would only bring on more fatigue and frustration, so I napped.... and napped..... and peed.... and napped. I put on some of my mid weight loss clothes, basically big comfy pj bottoms and oversized t-shirts, and proceeded to grow roots on the couch.

Last night around two in the morning a very sudden and urgent need for pizza came over me. I was ravenous and it could only be pizza. I went to plead my case with hubs and he just laughed at me. He found the whole thing hilarious. He finally told me that if I wanted pizza so badly, he would call in a pizza at this 24/7 convenience store we have in town that happens to make pizzas. I just had to go pick it up. He called. They were out of pizza crusts. I was devastated! Again he laughed at me.

He told me if I wanted pizza that badly, I should just go pick up some pizzas at the grocery store and cook them at home. I was desperate and he was offering me money, so I agreed.

I refuse to go to the store in my pjs, ever, so for the first time since church on Sunday, I donned some real clothes. I got ready quickly and went to the office to get the keys from hubs. He turned around, in his chair, just above eye level with my belly. His eyes got really wide, he put a hand on my belly, and said "Where did that come from!?!?"

I looked down and just giggled. Apparently, sea monkey has been going through a growth spurt all week. Perhaps that is why I have felt so tired? My belly has grown! I already had a bump, but this was just funny!  I'm going to have to start wearing real clothes more often.

Monday, July 22, 2013


The past few weeks have been so challenging. I started branching out a bit once my sickness and fatigue eased up, but lately I know I've been pushing pretty hard. Mom and I have been frequenting the Amish auction to buy up as much produce as we can for canning and freezing. The auction is outside in the heat and usually takes several hours. After the auction, we have the task of preparing and canning all of the food as well. Right now I'm in the midst of a crazy, overwhelming pickle-fest.

My grandmother has been really pushing my patience and causing me a lot of stress as well. She's fighting us all really hard right now and unfortunately, her mental capacities are slipping from what we think is a lack of oxygen, even though she refuses to wear her oxygen in the stifling humid 100 weather we've been having.

Money is a huge, huge stressor right now. Hubs has worried incessantly about the baby and our very tight finances. There are so many uncertainties that will only be answered when sea monkey is finally here. It's wearing us both down right now though. He's not sleeping well, and he comes home most often frustrated and grumpy. Usually that's not an issue, but lately, I cry at the drop of a hat and his biggest freak out is when I cry, so our lives at home are very emotionally charged.

There are so many changes happening in our family. My sister moved out of my parents' home to a large city several hours away for the first time in her life. I have chosen to leave the church my family attends, and that I have worked at for several years, in order to attend church as a family with hubs. The upheaval with all of the canning and such has left my house in a shamble, and most of the heavy duty things like the fish tanks and the pet care (mainly the cat), all things I usually do on my own, are out of my hands now. I have to rely on other people to get things done which really stresses me out.

Today, I got up with the intention of making pickles, a huge pot of chicken and dumplings from scratch, a major house clean up, and a bit of work on my flower beds. I realized before ever even getting out of bed, that this just wasn't possible today. I stayed in bed till nearly noon, reading on and off between cat naps and bathroom breaks. When I did finally get up, I had let my hunger go unchecked. I started to fix hubs' supper for him to take to work and within minutes felt very ill. This heart pounding nausea that makes it almost hard to breathe, overtook me and I had to sit. It took almost two hours to make a meal.

I finally managed to get something on my stomach substantial enough to ease the nausea and hubs went to work. I thought finally I could work on pickles. I really wanted to get them done, but I fell asleep sitting straight up only minutes later. My head ached and I felt sort of "off". I went back to bed and stayed there until around 9 pm. Once again, hunger drove me to the kitchen, and that severe nausea, drove me back to the couch. I incinerated the bacon I was cooking because I was too sick to stand up and go take it out of the oven. Needless to say, nothing got done today.

My frustration is so high. There is so much to do. My house seems to be falling apart around me and I can't seem to catch up. I have no idea how I'm going to manage to go back to work in a couple of weeks. I think this is simply a case of pushing too hard. I hope it is anyway. Right now, I really want a long shower, but I am too tired to get up and do that. I've got to start paying more attention to the limitations my body has right now. The bigger my belly grows, the harder shopping trips and all day excursions seem to get and I'm not even halfway there yet!

There was one highlight to my unproductive day. I spent a long time in bed this afternoon feeling sea monkey wriggle around. At one point she curled up on one side of my belly and it felt sort of odd, so I prodded my belly a bit. I was rewarded with the funniest little poke back and shortly thereafter, she found a new spot to curl up. I love that I can feel her now. Sometimes I wish I could just stay in bed all day and hang out with her.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

15 weeks and I'm a wreck!

Today marks 15 weeks! Things are pretty good right now. I did feel the teeniest little kick yesterday morning. It was the most surreal feeling. The first time I wasn't sure if I was really feeling it or not, but the second one was aimed right at my bladder and there was absolutely no doubt. It was so tiny, but it made me jump. Other than that, it's mostly just wiggles, but the timing is pretty predictable now, so I know when to pay attention to them. I spend about an hour each morning lingering in the bed and giggling from time to time. It has become the highlight of my day.

I have also started to notice my balance getting a bit awkward. I haven't had any falls or real scares, but there have been several instances of my feet going one way and my body trying to go another. I also get lightheaded or sort of disoriented type feelings that make me feel like I'm going to lose my balance and fall. I can tell my center of gravity is changing and my belly tends to lead the way now. I also feel a lot of stretching and some sharp pains that I assume are round ligament pains if I move too fast or cough suddenly.

The most marked thing of late has to be my emotional state though. I've been pretty weepy from the start, but lately, I can melt into a puddle of tears over the smallest things. Television is a challenge for me. I have been sticking to realistic shows like police type shows where I can be happy they got the bad guys or I can laugh at the idiocy of some of the drunk people. Yesterday one of my shows took an unexpected turn though. An officer rushed to meet an old hunter he had known for years to help him save his dog. The dog was bitten by a rattlesnake and the officer ran with full lights and sirens with the owner behind him to get the dog to the vet in time. By the commercial break I was a sobbing mess.

It isn't just television either. There are some days that I guess I push too hard and I might get tired, hungry, overwhelmed, or all of the above and the waterworks flood. My grandmother has been giving us some troubles lately too and she seems to be lashing out at me a lot lately. I'm usually pretty patient with her, or I can at least let her silliness roll off my shoulders, but today she pulled a stunt that sent me over the edge. I tried to call my mom to update her on the new mess we were in, and before I could get the number dialed I put my face in my hands and wept.

Hubs goes out of his way to avoid arguments with me now too. It doesn't take much to set me off crying. Even if I'm mad, I just cry. Puppies, children, babies, weddings (I don't even like weddings), injuries (even the funny ones), stress, kind words, a perfectly timed hug or smile - doesn't really matter - I'm gonna cry.

Tonight my belly feels like it is in one of those taffy machines, being pulled from the inside out, and I'm really tired. I hope everyone has a lovely week. I'm going to go attempt a four hour stretch of sleep without any tears!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Mean People

I have an acquaintance from high school that has an adorable six month old daughter. I remember enviously watching her posts while she was pregnant. One afternoon near the end of her pregnancy I was appalled to see a post she made about how horrible and hurtful people were towards her all the time. I couldn't understand it at all. She was tiny and had one of those adorable baby bumps you see on television.

Fast forward a few months....

I had already started to poke out a little, but the day after my doctor's appointment I suddenly just sort of popped out there. I was overjoyed. I have waited years for that moment. I will admit, due to my dietary issues before I got pregnant, I gained a little more than I probably should have in the first trimester, but my doctor hasn't said a word about it, and I've balanced out a lot now that I can eat a healthier variety of foods again. I suppose to someone that has never met me they might consider my belly to be a front heavy bulge, but when I look down, it seems huge already because I know it isn't my normal belly.

Even before I started to show, I had a few people that loved to give me some unappreciated jabs about how much I was eating or how huge I was going to get. Everyone close to me was so used to my minimal eating I guess, that once I started really eating, it seemed I was eating a ton. I have a few people that just cannot seem to see me without comment and I'm barely showing right now.

My grandmother is the number one ring leader in this. Granted, she's 80 years old and has absolutely no filter on what she says. She frequently says very hurtful things to the people around her, and she doesn't realize how horrible they are. She once lectured me for days about how wrong adoption was and how "God would make me regret it" if I did it. She felt that if God had told me no, he meant no.
She had a hard time conceiving and ended up having only my dad, although she wanted many more. She lost at least one in miscarriage. She has always taken our mission to have a child personally.

Recently, she came over to the house and watched intently as I made a s'more for a snack. She pointed to my belly and said "Don't you think you wouldn't show so much if you wouldn't eat so much. You are going to be as big as a house!" She also questioned me about what I was going to have for dinner one night last week and said "You are just dying to have that belly whether it's really all baby or not aren't you?"

She isn't the only person that has done this. There are several people, most of them very close to me, that cannot seem to find anything kind or positive to say. I wish they understood how self conscious I am already. I am looking forward to my belly. I adore it. It's a reminder that things are okay. I'm trying to push back all of the worry about weight and extra pounds right now. I have a hard time working out because I get sick when I get hot, and I do feel hungry ALL the time! With our budget what it is, it isn't easy to always make super healthy food choices. Sometimes I just go for filling.

I never considered this when I thought about being pregnant. I heard people fuss about people touching their bellies, or asking over and over why they hadn't had the baby yet. I never dreamed of having to defend myself and my growing belly, especially at such an early stage! I'm pregnant! I'm supposed to get a belly!

I ranted to a few people and made a strategic post about it, just to get my point across to some of the offenders, but I'm sure I haven't heard the end of it. How did you handle those comments?

Thursday, July 11, 2013


I'm sorry it's been a couple of days. I have so many wonderful things I have wanted to share. I have learned a valuable lesson to pass along to future mommy hopefuls out there. Are you ready? Pay very close attention...

**Never ever clean up your computer cookies, history, etc, while pregnant brain is in full swing!

I did a clean up on my comp a few days ago which resulted in clearing the auto-fill for everything. That's normally not a big deal for me. I just go in, re-type them, click remember, and resume life. I don't know if it was true prego brain or just an overwhelming obsession with my belly, but I could not remember email addresses or passwords to anything, including my blog. It's all better now though, a rare moment of clarity and a lot of guessing helped me unlock the door and we're all set.

So, onto the goodness!

Monday I went to the doctor. It was supposed to be a simple appointment. We were going to hear the heartbeat, chat for a bit, and head to breakfast. Both of us were so nervous though. Hubs had even announced the night before that he wasn't going to go with me. He said he was too afraid of bad news. I  pointed out that if he didn't go I would have to face it alone and he quickly decided we should both go.

Everything turned out just fine. After a bit of searching and prodding, the doc found little sea monkey and the heart rate was 158. I'm telling ya, there is nothing more beautiful right now than that sound. Hubs' eyes lit up like a kid at Christmas and we left grinning from ear to ear. Everything seems perfectly fine. Doc told me to get ready for some aches and pains as I started to grow and we headed to a much needed breakfast. No one even said anything about my weight gain which I was surprised at!

Tuesday marked a huge milestone. Tuesday we hit 14 weeks which officially means I'm in the second trimester! Apparently sea monkey wanted to celebrate the day with a bang, because suddenly at some point during the day my belly popped out and hasn't popped back in. I have been showing a little for a couple of weeks, but now it really looks and feels like a pregnant belly, which I adore.

I've also started feeling real flutters from time to time. Now before any flags start waving and people start getting all upset about this, I don't care what the books or the doctors say. I've been feeling a tiny little flutter for a couple of weeks now. It was very sporadic and would only last a second or two. It only happened when I was really still and quiet, and didn't happen very often, but regardless of the true origin, it made me feel immensely better and I went with it.

This week, those tiny moments have turned into what feels like full on acrobatics sometimes. I can be sitting at my computer or even walking and suddenly I'll feel it. Yesterday morning I stayed in bed for almost an hour giggling. If it stopped, I could turn over or change position and there it would be again and there is no doubt as to what it is now. It has caused me to fall hopelessly in love with this little person (As if I weren't already)!

I also seem to have finally found that feel good spot. I do still need to nap from time to time, and if I let myself get too hungry, hot, or tired, I will get nauseous or start to feel bad, but for the most part I feel wonderful. I cry even more than before, but it's simply because I'm so happy all the time. Hubs laughs at me because he can just hug me sometimes and start the waterworks.

It doesn't matter to me. I have waited my entire marriage for this. We both have. We have lived the pain and agony of disappointment for ten very long years. We have been stashing up our joy and love for all of those years and I plan to make the most out of every smile!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


This week has been a whirlwind of crazy! Wednesday night hubs came into the living room and woke me up to tell me his great-grandmother had passed away. We debated our options for a while and I went back to bed with everything left hanging for the night. We had no idea about the arrangements or what hubs' work would let him do as far as time off went.

We were anxious about me making a seven hour trip after a minor spotting issue Thursday, and his dad suddenly changed his tune and seemed to think we should just stay home, but we really wanted to see them, and we knew in the coming months travel would only get more challenging. With the doctor's okay, we headed out around 4 am on Friday morning.

I'm so glad we chose to go. The circumstances were not the best, but it was wonderful to see everyone and it was great to celebrate the life of an amazing woman. We saw family that I have never met before. Right away, we realized everyone knew about our news and we were both overwhelmed by the love and the joy people had for us. There were people hubs had not seen since he was a little boy that would come up and hug us and congratulate us, saying they had prayed for us for so long and couldn't wait to meet our little one.

We didn't realize how much hubs' great grandmother knew about the past few months, but she knew it all. Hubs' grandmother told us she had cried and mourned deeply when we lost Espe. She prayed daily for us and was overjoyed when they told her we were expecting again. She made quick work to inform the whole family and instructed them all to pray for this tiny little person.

The drive to the funeral home and the church was an hour and a half from the in laws' house, so by the end of the funeral on Saturday, everyone was exhausted. In fact, Friday night on the way back from the visitation, I cried the entire way home. There were so many people, we had been going on very little sleep, I was hungry, and exhausted, and all I could do was cry. I worried hubs a bit at first, but I assured him I was just overwhelmed and tired.

Sunday morning we slept in and then hubs' dad decided to cook breakfast. I love his breakfast! While eating, my brother called. We had split the pups up, leaving our older dog Zina with my grandmother and Parker with my brother at my parents' house. Parker had slipped out that morning and my brother was frantic. He couldn't find him anywhere. I surprisingly didn't panic. I told him just to keep calling him and he would come back and to call us when he did. I didn't start to worry that much until later that afternoon when I woke from a two hour nap and still had not gotten a phone call.

Mom and Dad had been out of town and got back earlier than we did, so a search party ensued. My brother's girlfriend went through the wooded areas behind their house and they all drove around calling and searching. When we got there around midnight, there was still no sign of him. Parker was my first Christmas present from hubs and he has never wandered away that long. When he still didn't pop up Monday morning, I was certain we had lost him for good.

I called animal control and left a message early that morning with my number just in case they got any calls and mom and I left to run some errands. Around lunch time I got a phone call. The man that runs our tiny animal control center started asking me questions about when and where he was lost. Then he said "Does he happen to be a small, furry, apricot colored, pup?" Tears instantly poured down my face. He told me they had gotten a call about a small dog under a car in a field that was very scared and wouldn't come out. It happened to be across the street from my parents' home. I called hubs and he rushed down to scoop up a very dirty and very traumatized Parker.

This morning I woke up with all of my furry babies surrounding me in the bed and this amazing feeling of being loved and cared about. I feel so blessed. Hubs family put aside their feelings for a while this weekend to show us how much they cared for our little one while my family spent hours searching for our pup back home.

God answered many prayers this week for us, some tiny and some rather large, but everyone just as meaningful and wonderful to me.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

12 weeks!

Sea monkey is 12 weeks today! My doctor insisted with both Espe and this one that nine weeks was our "safe marker", but I have always heard that it was 12 weeks we should look to. I realize that anything can happen at any time, and this most certainly doesn't eliminate all of my fears, but I have to admit, it does help me feel better that sea monkey has finally crossed this milestone.

I think it also helps that I am starting to really get a little belly going on down there. I spend more and more time with my hand on my belly and a smile on my face. I have frequent moments every single day where the love I have for this tiny person becomes overwhelming and a few tears usually follow.

Fear is still a struggle for me. I worry about every day things like car accidents or falls. I get nervous sometimes going down our steps even though I'm certainly not big enough to have any balance issues yet. I get nervous about sleeping wrong, moving wrong, breathing wrong.... sometimes my anxiety can be a bit irrational.

Then, I have some fears that really get me at my core. I still watch the toilet paper very closely. I'm just now starting to relax a little with the increased "dampness" down there. This week my nausea has really appeared to subside for the most part. I know that is normal, but it still makes me anxious. I also get really scared sometimes that the baby is not okay and I just don't know it. This is probably the most profound fear and it is the one that affects me most often. I'm so scared of my doctor's appointment. I feel like it is years away (July 8th) and I worry that he won't find the heartbeat, or something will be wrong. I am planning to buy a Doppler this weekend, just to help me with that. I know I won't need it so much once I can feel the baby move, but I really think the peace of mind hubs and I will get from this far outweighs any practicality.

I keep trying to convince myself that my growing belly, the bathroom breaks every two hours at night, the constant hunger, and just as constant gas, are all signs that this baby is just fine. Everything seems to be happening just like the books say which suggests it's going to be okay. It's just so hard to believe after everything we have been through that this will turn out the way it should.

I hope this little person already knows how incredibly loved, adored, and wanted she (or he) is. I'm going to work really hard this week to relax and truly enjoy being pregnant. I might even start saying that word out loud more often.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


I knew it had been a while, but I didn't realize it had been almost a month. I'm very sorry for leaving everyone hanging for so long. I'll save everyone a little suspense from the start. Everything seems to be just fine right now. I'm still a bit anxious about things, but I'm working really hard to obey doctor's orders and enjoy the ride ahead.

We went to the doctor a couple of weeks ago and everything was lovely! We saw a beautiful little sea monkey with tiny hands and feet. We heard a spectacular heartbeat at 179 which blows my mind! The doctor said the baby was measuring 8 weeks 4 days, which isn't what my dates say at all. I remember though that with Espe his dates were off according to the more sophisticated ultrasound we had at the hospital, so for now I'm sticking to my dates. I know there is a little give on the dates in early u/s anyway.

That puts us at just past 11 weeks today people!

The doctor told us at our last appointment that we could relax and enjoy this one. There were instances of people miscarrying beyond that point, but by seeing a heartbeat and a wiggly little one at 9 weeks, he was confident our odds of miscarriage were tiny. I have been clinging to that reassurance for two weeks now and I am starting to breathe a little.

I did have one incident last week where I felt just miserable sick and could not get out of bed for two days without intense heart pounding nausea. I had no energy, no appetite, and I felt like there was a lot of pressure on my bladder. I did go to the doctor, but aside from a urine check for a UTI and a lecture on dehydration, he didn't check anything. He just sat down and talked to me, reassuring me that everything was okay and again that we were in his opinion as in the clear as anyone could be.

The past couple of days, my nausea has been very minimal. I'm trying to take that as a good sign that maybe the second trimester really is on it's way and nausea will soon be a thing of the past. I still need a nap most days, or at least some down time, and I do get horribly bloated and gassy at least once a day, but I feel pretty good.

I do have a confession. People have started poking me a bit about my tummy. I had to work really hard to ignore my urge to restrict my diet the first few weeks. My appetite thank goodness was insatiable. Unfortunately, carbs are about the only thing that help with the nausea I get. My usual raw diet is horrid for gas and bloating, so I did gain quickly. It's really starting to bother me now. I can't wear any of my clothes at all. I actually went yesterday and bought some maternity clothes at a thrift store. I figured I may as well go on and invest in a few items rather than buying regular clothes I couldn't wear very long. I'm just scared I'm going to gain too much. I'm also a bit embarrassed that my belly is already starting to poke out. I could use any reassurance out there that this is okay.

I'm hoping that the nausea will ease up even more and I can return to some of my more healthy food options in the next couple of weeks. I'm also hoping to get back to working out a little. The moment I found out I was pregnant, I just stopped working out or doing anything strenuous. I was so scared and hubs was too. We agreed it would be better for us if I stopped until the second trimester. It's hot outside right now, so I think my stationary bike will be a safe option for now.

This turned out to be a bit longer than I intended. I suppose a picture would be a nice end to the day right?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Thursday's Looming

We're supposed to have our first appointment in two days. We made it to 8 weeks and so far things are going well. Despite my caution and fear, I am really starting to feel hopeful that things will turn out okay this time. It's so scary. I try to only count moments and to remind myself that every moment is a blessing I didn't have moments before. I want so much to embrace the peace I feel about the whole thing sometimes, but then just as my guard drops, I remember Espe. I remember the journey we have had to follow to get here.

So far, aside from the fear and caution things are good. I thought I would feel the same way that I did last time, especially since there was so little time between the two of them. Truth is, it's completely different. For one, I never got this far with Espe, so everything I'm experiencing now is new.

Morning sickness is different. It's more intense and it's really random. It can happen at any time, mostly if I let myself get hungry. I haven't actually gotten sick, but the nausea gets really intense to the point that I just have to stop and sit for a few minutes until it passes.

I sleep all the time. I have to have naps. There isn't really a choice. If I skip a nap I start to feel really icky and I have fallen asleep in the middle of things. Last week I dozed off during a card game with friends. I'm trying to just let my body do what it wants to do. School is out for the summer, so I am very fortunate I don't have to work for a few weeks and I can rest when I need to, or eat when I need to. It's nice to have that flexibility.

My mom did buy something for the baby last week. It terrified me at first, but I consider it a "faith purchase". She bought it because she's convinced this one is going to be okay. She got the sweetest little blanket with a monkey on the bottom of it. Hubs loved it. We tucked it away in the baby stash for now. I haven't allowed myself to shop or look at any baby stuff yet, but I really want to. I want to be excited and enjoy this as much as I can. For now I'm just going to keep counting moments.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Today, according to the dates I have down, I am seven weeks. I know to most people that doesn't seem like much of a milestone, but we never quite made it to seven weeks with Espe. The last u/s they did of him showed him at 6 wks 4 days. It is hopefully the first of many wonderful milestones we will get to experience in the next few months.

This weekend was really scary for us. Saturday I woke up to some cramping and a bright red smear on the toilet paper. My heart broke in two and I just lost it. Thursday and Friday I had seen just the teeniest bit of brown. I took it really easy at work and it subsided. I thought it was fine. Then Saturday happened. I was so afraid that we were going to experience a repeat. I called the ob on call and he reassured me that everything was most likely fine. He told us that there was no real need to go to the ER if it did get worse, but to take it easy and go in for a visit with my regular ob on Monday. I planted myself on the couch and we waited.

It stopped Saturday night. I was still cramping some, so I opted not to go to church on Sunday (translation: Hubs practically glued me to the couch and refused to let me go anywhere). Still I had no issues Sunday. It never went beyond just a slight discoloration on the toilet paper, but the fear and dread was overwhelming. I was so afraid. Thankfully, it's almost Wednesday and things seem to be okay for now. I know that can change at any second though and I hate that I'm so fearful.

I did call my doc. I talked to the nurse and we both agreed that since things had stopped, it wasn't really necessary for me to come in. She scheduled me an appointment for the 30th of May. I told her we were really planning on waiting and she just repeated the May 30th appointment when I would be 8 weeks and giggled. Hubs and I are both terrified to go to the doctor though. I'm not sure why. I think part of it is fear that we will fall in love with something we might lose again. Seeing that first picture of Espe was unbelievable. We are both scared this time to connect as strongly right now with this one, although I already love her with just as much passion as I had with Espe.

I think for now, I am just going to be thankful for and enjoy each second as it passes, knowing the next could change our lives forever.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Henny Penny

Even as a kid I remember wondering how in this world a chicken, or any other bird for that matter could just sit all day and wait on her eggs to hatch. I considered that a horrible insight on God's part to force her to sit patiently and quietly waiting for what must seem like eternity. I think I realized this morning that there was no mistake at all.

I am smitten with this little sea monkey. It was the same way with Espe. I want to know everything there is to know about what is going on in there. This early in the game, there isn't a lot to report though. I recognized that urge to constantly wonder as this huge desire to be with my sea monkey. I am perfectly content to sit all day and dream and visit with her (her for now). I think about her 24/7. I would love nothing more than to hold her in my hands and watch anxiously for the next 8 months. I guess that love is what keeps a hen on her nest and a robin sitting still.

I am struggling with fear over my little one lately. I am only a few short days from when we lost Espe last time and I get this icky feeling in the pit of my stomach if I think about it. Sometimes I get a bit neurotic. Every cramp, twinge, or ache sends me running to the bathroom to check for bleeding. I almost wish that I could go to sleep and stay that way until at least our first appointment in June.

That appointment is four weeks away. I'm not sure how I'll manage to wait that long. The doctor told us 8 weeks, but 10 weeks feels so much safer to me. Our odds of something happening drop significantly and there are tiny arms and legs, and she will be moving. If I can hold out that long I think I will feel better seeing her at 10 weeks than I would at 8. I just can't imagine waiting so long! I don't know how in this world I will manage to make it for the next 8 months!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

I have to tell someone....

So, the past couple of weeks have been interesting!

It started with an incident at dinner while I was out with my sister and future sister-in-law for a girls' night. Then there was an issue with half a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast one morning. That same week I went through four bras to find one that I could wear to work and I cried through an episode of Deadliest Catch. I warned hubs....

Poor guy. We had agreed to test on Friday. I told him I didn't even need to test. He assured me that it was just me obsessing. I wanted it too badly. Thursday, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I figured if it turned out negative I could spend the night alone crying and dealing if that was necessary. If it was positive, I would have one heck of a surprise for hubs.

Turns out... I floored him at his dinner break!

It didn't take long for both those beautiful pink lines to pop up on the test. I cried, called my mom, cried, called his mom, then planned my surprise.

I packed his lunch and stuck the test in a baggie on top of his lunch. It was almost more than I could bear, waiting for him to come to supper. He threw the test down and sat silently for about ten minutes. It was hilarious.

He's taking this very quietly. We both are. We're very nervous I think about this one. I'm not as stressed about it this time though. I'm pretty laid back. There isn't any urgency. I'm just taking it one day at a time. We're planning on waiting till about ten weeks to go to the doctor.

This time I know when and how far along. We didn't really try. I was still reeling from Espe and it slipped by. I knew there was a chance but I wasn't really hopeful about it.

Please send all your good thoughts and prayers and wishes our way. I really want this sea monkey to stick around.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Just Sayin

The warm weather is absolutely contagious. If there is a time of the year that I am happiest, it's usually now. I can't say I'm happy exactly. Waking up every day is a difficult struggle for me, but there are wonderful windows of time when I can just embrace the sunshine, leave the nightmares of home behind, and tuck away the pain for a little peace.

I will have to be honest here, what to many is a healthy desire for some needed fresh air and activity, isn't such a healthy desire for me. It may seem that way, but deep down, my need to exercise goes beyond healthy. I'm a work in progress though and activity is a good thing regardless of my intentions. I would much rather be too active than not active enough.

With school and work and spring rains I am limited on the amount of days I get to get out and enjoy a long walk, jog, or otherwise, but to my delight I am loving every moment I get. This time last year, I had just started losing weight. I was still over 200 lbs. I was just starting to feel the effects of losing weight and the gradual increase in my ability to do things, but truth is, I still couldn't do a lot of things like I wanted.

Fast forward a year. I am at a normal weight now. I am still unhappy with my body and I still struggle with the idea that I am still heavy. I didn't think that I would struggle with that, but I do. My identity has been plus sized for so long, that it's hard to shake that and embrace the person I am now. I am just now starting to realize and appreciate some of the changes in my body's ability to move.

Today I rode a bicycle for the first time since I was a kid. I have had that bike for a year, but last year it was uncomfortable and physically I wasn't quite up to snuff yet. This year, I have been so fearful of trying again and failing. I finally took a chance today, got the bike in working order and pedaled off for about twenty minutes before I had to come back in to take care of dinner. It felt so great!

After dinner I went to church and took my kids outside. I chased them around for the better part of an hour, running, jumping, climbing. It took me by surprise. I love being able to keep up with the kids and interact with them on a different level. I love that I jog to my car now, or sprint up the stairs. I used to trudge up the stairs, winded at the top.

I am telling you all this, because I remember. I remember that conversation with my doctor. He looked at me very seriously after a couple of years of devastating attempts to have a child and said, "I think we need to talk about your weight." My doctor was wonderfully sensitive and kind. In fact he didn't even discuss weight with me until my health took a very precarious turn. I look back now and realize he probably should have talked to me sooner. The feelings I had were horrible. I was embarrassed and angry. I knew he was right, but I couldn't admit to myself that I was one of the primary reasons for my childlessness. When I started losing weight I was a bit spiteful even, saying frequently that I would prove everyone wrong. Then Espe came...

I know how hard it is. Hormones fight against any weight loss like a strong current against a spawning salmon. It's slow, frustrating, and uncomfortable. For every success, there seem to be a dozen failures. There are tears, pain, and fear. Still, I would do it all over again. I have some tendencies that made this journey more challenging than some. It doesn't matter. I would still do it again. I realize that you have to find a place within yourself to finally commit to it, but I just wanted to throw this out there. There are other's out there in my situation. I want you to know, if you ever grasp even a tiny corner of the things you need to motivate you, hold on tightly and take the chance.

I'm not sure that my body will ever work properly again. Espe could have just been a chance miracle. I will never see him as anything less than a miracle. Still, I find so much peace in my situation knowing that I have done everything possible. Even more than that, I love what I have given myself in the meantime. I have a new life. For so long all I could focus on was making it from one test to another. Rarely was anything I did about myself and my own health and happiness. I can say, this one thing is for me and it's something I don't have to feel guilty or selfish about.

**** I want to make it understood. I realize that weight loss isn't the answer for everyone. I know there are tons of overweight women out there having babies every day. This is about me and my journey. We are all different.

Friday, April 19, 2013

No Class

The semester is finally almost over for me. I have really struggled to keep up the motivation to finish out the semester. I only took two classes, but it has still proven difficult. I have a class on Monday night that has become my worst nightmare. The class is easy and would even be fun under normal circumstances. It's a tiny class. We have five people in the class, all girls. One of the girls just happens to be very pregnant.

I made the mistake of telling the girls in the class that I was pregnant. I was just so excited. I finally felt like a real person. The pregnant girl and another girl in class talked constantly about their kids. It was great to share my news with them, but it was so hard going back to class after I lost him. I felt ashamed. I know there isn't any reason for me to feel that way, but my heart seems to run on guilt and shame.

At first everyone was ok. No one said anything, which is what I needed. I work best when I can separate painful things from everyday life. The first day I went back, the pregnant girl was not there. She was sick. The second class, there she was. She was about 6 and a half months pregnant with number 3 and she was miserable.

She is like so many people that I have met over the years that take the mere act of getting pregnant for granted. I don't fault them for it. If I had been able to get pregnant easily and quickly, I may have been that way too. It doesn't make it any less painful.

We started a unit on classroom drama. We acted out a story over several weeks involving the Oregon Trail. One of the activities was a "campfire time". We would sit around and tell stories about how we came to be on the trail and about some of our treasures we brought with us. It was all made up, but there was a baby blanket from a lost child and stories of families and babies lost. I now leave that class every week crying.

Last week the pregnant girl came in hobbling, barely able to walk. She was 8 months pregnant and far beyond miserable. She complained the entire class about how awful she felt, how painful it was, how much the baby moved. I almost decided not to go back to class after that night. Her imminent labor was the only thing that helped me continue. This past Monday she wasn't back. I'm pretty sure she won't be back for the last two classes either.

I never said a word, but it really bothered me to hear everyone babble on about babies and such every week as if I wasn't in the room. I could understand maybe if it was a full class, but honestly, shouldn't the teacher elicit a bit of sensitivity?

I feel so horrible. I hate that I had such anger towards that girl from class. I really did though. I had to leave the room several times to avoid a confrontation. I just wanted to scream at her - at the whole lot of them. I wanted to tell her what I would give to feel my baby kick my ribs. I wanted her to understand to what lengths I would go to have Braxton hicks contractions or any of the other things she experienced. It hurt so much to see her so unhappy about something I would sacrifice everything to have.

I know it isn't her fault. We were taken down different paths in life. I don't know how I will feel in the 8th month of pregnancy if I ever get there, so I have no right to be angry with her. I simply miss my baby to the very deepest parts of my soul and I hate the unfairness of it all.

This isn't the only situation I've been in. I'm pretty sensitive to a lot of things still. It frustrates me how insensitive people can be. They aren't intentionally that way. They are wrapped up head to toe in their families and their lives. I hope I can be just as wrapped up in my child's life someday, but I pray that I will never ever forget that there may be people silently hurting around me. I hope I am forever cognizant of other people's situations.

Friday, March 22, 2013


As a kid, one of my favorite stories was Peter Pan. I don't think I was a normal kid. I didn't ever want to be a grown up. It seemed horrible to me. I fantasized about being swept away by a kid in green to a place where I never had to grow up. I loved Peter. In terms of super heroes, he was magical and magnificent to me. There was one thing I never understood about him though. I never could figure out why in this world he wanted so badly for that stupid shadow to be sewn back onto his foot. It used to frustrate me and I would often fast forward past it on the video.

Lately, I feel as if I have my own shadow. It has brought back memories of Peter and his refusal to let go of that silly shadow. Failure seems tethered to every aspect of my life lately. Rationally, I know that many of the things I count as failures are things far beyond my control, but it doesn't stop the darkness from creeping closer and closer to my heart. This is one shadow I have always had. I never felt even at a very early age that my best always fell short of the mark. I never manage to get enough done for enough people and I never seem to do any of it the way it should be done.

In my teens this eventually triggered my eating disorder. It was one way that I could be good enough. It was also a perfect breeding ground for the abuse I inflicted on myself when I felt I had failed once again. I could almost always find something I had failed at in my eyes. A missed quiz question, a botched scale in music, a misguided comment to a friend; anything no matter how trivial, resulted in restriction and punishment back then.

Fast forward 15 years and not much has changed. For years I let my food intake run rampant, but it never stopped the feelings of failure and punishment. For the past year however, I am right back in high school, every calorie awarded on a scale of failures and successes. I attributed a lot of that to the meds I was on, the emotional nightmare I entered when my student got sick, the insanely unhealthy schedule I was keeping, and the lack of sleep that ensued. I thought once I worked through all those things, the demons would dissolve.

Since the baby, I have been off my meds. My schedule is much easier to manage and I have opportunities to sleep. While not at peace completely, I am in a better place with the loss of my student, and I'm healthier thanks to my improved diet while pregnant and the introduction of vitamins. I also had a drive and determination to keep myself healthy in anticipation for our next pregnancy. There was hope.

Something happened. I don't know what set it off. I feel as if I am spiraling downward into a bottomless hole again. I have no desire to eat or take care of myself. I cry a lot. I put most of my energy into painting on a mask of okay for everyone, but on the inside and when I'm alone, I am a shattered fragment of what I pretend to be. My food demons are raging right now and the shadow of failure is suffocating me. I don't know what to do.

This experience has really brought to light how much infertility weighs on my heart. I tell myself over and over - I know - conception is something beyond my control. Still, I feel so much guilt, failure, inadequacy, and pain over it. I think it did play at least a part in the reappearance of my food issues. I feel like I have failed my husband, my family, myself, our future, and most of all God. I feel like maybe I have done something wrong, or I never live up to His expectations. I feel like He is punishing me or just ignoring my pleas.

Sometimes in those really dark moments of grief, I wonder if maybe God decided that my being a mother was just a bad idea. Perhaps he decided that it was better if I didn't parent Espe after all. Maybe I angered him to the point that He took him from me. My food demons like to tell me that I was too gluttonous and self-indulgent. My moral demons like to point out some of the poor choices I made like drinking at a party a week before I finally tested or the smoking, or even the thoughts I had about certain people and things going on. I know I internalize my pain and grief. I always have. This is beyond anything I've ever experienced though. There are days I wake up and cry, wishing I had never opened my eyes. There are nights I go to sleep praying I won't open them the next morning. I don't want to be the person I am now. If I can't have Espe here with me, then I want to be with him there.

I know these are horrible thoughts to most. I realize they make most people squirm uncomfortably, but I can't stop them. I can't make myself un-think them. I don't want them there anymore than anyone else would. I would never act on these thoughts, but they still linger in the darkness, just another shadow sewn to my foot. It makes me wonder what shadow Peter was clinging so tightly to.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

And down again

The rate at which I can fall catches me by surprise most of the time. I will be okay. I will be coping and smiling through the day. I will cling to hope and feel a tiny bit of peace settle in my heart. Then without warning Wham! Something out of the blue blindsides me and I fall hard and fast. I feel so sorry for all the yo-yos I've played with in my life. Up and down and up again. At least for them it was predictable most of the time.

I feel detached most of the time from the reality of what happened. It's like a dream or something that happened far away from where I am. It is my coping mechanism. I shut things out when they are too tough for me to deal with. I guess this is no different. Today, I've felt reality lurking on the surface. I'm struggling with the desire to stay healthy. My weight and food are becoming an issue again. I've been okay. Things are just simmering.

I was doing okay. I finished work, took hubs to work, and stopped at the grocery store. I was in a quiet mood, mulling things over and the time alone was good for me. I decided I should stop and pick up the mail. The bills came. Two bills. Two bills that sum up the life of our Espe. It ruined my afternoon. It felt so wrong to have to pay for the most heartbreaking moments of my life.

I've held my heart at arm's length for a while, and I've gotten out of bed, gone to work, loved my kiddos, smiled at people as they passed by. Today though, I can't do it. I miss Espe. I miss my happy. I don't want to be this person. I don't want to be "trying" again. I don't want to endure this two week wait which I am trying to blow off as an unlikely possibility. My heart keeps whispering "maybe it worked". I don't want a maybe. I want it all to be okay.

This is one roller coaster ride I wish I could end. The good news is, today I'm at the bottom of the hill, which means I'll eventually be on my way back up for a little while.

Monday, March 11, 2013

In working order

I don't enjoy being back in the "trying" realm again. It not only brings up the pain of what has happened every single time we surpass third base, but it also brings in this flood of fear, uncertainty, pain, and dread. It also makes me feel like such a failure. The intensity of all of those feelings at once is exactly why I quit trying. I couldn't live like that anymore. Yet, here I am right back in the maze hoping for some cheese.

My body has let me down so many times. My first instinct was to expect failure. I have a hard time believing that my body is really doing what it is supposed to do now. It is unbelievable that I managed to get pregnant, especially with what I was doing to my body. When I lost Espe, I was so scared that I had lost my one chance. It's hard to wrap my head around the idea that it could happen again.

We decided it would be good for both of us to start trying immediately. We aren't going to wait for a normal cycle. We were told that was okay, and we're going with it. I wish I weren't as hopeful as I am. I know that it might not work. I'm trying to prepare for that, but I also know that right now I need that hope to get me through the day. I'm working on balance. I don't want charts and crazy, but I do need to feel like I am doing all I can do. I know what days I should ovulate and what signs to look for to suggest that it's happening. I remember anxiously waiting for signs before. I would convince myself that things were close enough, or that maybe I just worked differently.

This weekend, I have seen signs. I have felt signs. I know that my body is doing what it is supposed to. There is no guessing or convincing. It's mind boggling. Before I wasn't paying attention. I had no reason to think things were working, but it really is. It helps with the failure and fear. I know it may take a little while, but knowing that for the first time in my adult life, my body is working with me makes this a little easier to manage.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

In Limbo

I feel like I have multiple personalities right now. I can manage to make it through a day without dissolving into a puddle of tears. If I ever find myself home alone and quiet, I become a big mess very quickly. I try to at least appear as if I'm functioning on the outside, but on the inside I'm not and parts of me don't want to. I'm trying to stay positive about the future, but the future is so uncertain and scary. Sometimes I just sit and stare off into space, unsure of how I feel or how I should feel.

The functional side of me is usually pretty numb. I ignore what's going on in the back of my mind and spend a lot of time convincing everyone around me that I am okay. I absolutely hate the occasional run in with someone I've not seen lately. Twice today I had someone ask me how "the little mommy" was feeling. Each time I took a deep breath and told them we lost the baby. It's getting easier to detach from that statement, but watching the horror cross their face is awful. I feel so guilty. I feel like I have single handedly ruined their day. I don't like being that person.

The messy side of me usually waits till I get home. I will run myself ragged for as long as I can, avoiding home and any quiet alone time I might have. The quiet is usually inevitable though and when it comes, so does the flood of tears. Sometimes I fight the tears and sometimes I just let the overtake me for a while. I will pull the covers tight over my entire body like a cocoon and the grief consumes me. It is here that I acknowledge the empty ache. I miss him most in this place. I have my darkest thoughts just after this too. Sometimes I cry so hard my muscles ache the next day. I hate that place and I will fight to the very end of my strength to avoid being alone with myself.

I am not sleeping well. I fight sleep a lot too. I have these nightmares. I keep dreaming that I am running frantically around searching for something. Sometimes it is clear what I'm searching for and other times I just know I'm searching for something. The panic is always there though and when I wake up I know what I've been searching for. I'm always searching for Espe. I will hunt for him for hours in my dreams terrified that I have lost my precious baby. It makes waking up in the mornings a gut wrenching experience. I've been managing about three or four hours of sleep each night, but even that sleep isn't good. I wake up exhausted and heartbroken. The circles under my eyes make me look like I've been in a nasty fight. I've considered taking something, but that brings up a whole new personality...

We're trying. I hate it. I hate saying it, I hate thinking it, I simply hate it. I bled for 8 days. I decided it was important to claim my body again and we started back up the first night I had stopped. I cried the whole time. I didn't want to be in that situation. I didn't want my body back as my own. I wanted Espe back. I'm glad we did what we did, but it was still hard.

I did some reading and heard a lot of stories about people ovulating and successfully conceiving just two weeks after a loss. I held on to that hope for a couple of days to get me through the hardest parts of my grief, but I'm trying to be realistic now. It took us ten years for the first. I'm not a patient person either. I am preparing for another long haul with this. Still, we have consulted a calendar and we'll see where it leads. We're trying to have fun with it and we started early so we could hold on to at least a little spontaneity. I think it will be okay, but I cry every single time. It will get better I'm sure. Consulting the calendar is the only thing we have done so far, and it's all we plan on doing for a while. I just want a loose idea of when we need to be busiest. If I've learned one thing from this, it's that whatever is meant to be will be no matter what I do. I'm trying to embrace that philosophy.

The only thing we can do is wait. I'm so tired of waiting.

Friday, March 1, 2013


More than anything right now, I miss my baby. I desperately miss him. I ache with every cell. I know so many people have experienced miscarriage. I get that. I have heard loads of stories this week. I feel like a wretched human being for getting so frustrated with those people. They are simply linking the chain. They found someone they could share their pain with, and I in no way want to minimize the pain they experienced. Everyone's situation is different and this is a painful experience no matter the circumstances.

However, as unexpected as this miracle was, Espe was carefully planned and considered. We weren't like so many people that weren't ready or weren't planning on expanding their family only to be surprised. This little person has been in our hearts for a decade. We have gone through hell and back and would gladly do it again. Our hearts have been shattered time and time and time again 122 times to be exact.

We have known Espe through our hopes and dreams for ten years. We have anxiously waited for him to finally join our family. Hope has come and gone. That place that becomes your heart once hope has disappeared - I wish that on  no one. It is the darkest, loneliest place I have ever been and I am terrified at the thoughts of returning there.

Hubs actually reassured me last week in the middle of a particularly nasty meltdown with the notion that we had experienced so much heartache. We had already been through so much grief and we had been clinging to a thin line of faith for so long that surely God would not expect us to endure more. Surely this was finally the happy ending we had prayed so fervently and wholly for. The realization that He did indeed intend for us to walk this road, has been one of the hardest things thus far.

I'm trying. I'm trying to be positive and strong. I'm trying to look to the future. I try to tell myself just like the doctor and countless friends and family, that we have finally climbed the hardest hurdle. We know we can get pregnant now. Our past has jaded me though. I dread "trying". The only point of reference for me is so horribly disappointing and I don't know if I can go through that again.

We've tried to address that. For now we are going with a very short plan. We are going to set our sights for the next couple of months. There will be no doctors or medical intervention. There will be no thermometers or charts by the bedside, and we are both vehemently against scheduling bedroom sessions. I have a general idea of when things theoretically should happen. I kept hubs in the dark and he's happy with that. Even my idea is only an idea. I have no idea what my body will do or if it will even work again. We just decided that the moment the bleeding stopped, we would return to our new normal since my weight loss and perhaps amp that up a bit. I don't want any stress or tension again. We're just going to act like teenagers. Teenagers that pray fervently and ceaselessly for another chance at a miracle.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Wings for Espe

We joined a new club today. I think we both knew yesterday, but we tried to stay positive for each other. Our precious angel is gone. There are just no words for how hard this is. I know he was so small and early, but he was so incredibly loved by both of us and we have prayed and tried for so long. The ache is almost unbearable.

I was afraid we would regret telling everyone and living it up, but now I am so, so thankful. We cherished every single second. We loved this baby from the first moment and I know he left us loved and cared for. He was no less a part of my life than anyone I have had with me here on Earth.

The world seems so cruel right now. Thankfully, the process itself is almost over. I had a lot of pain yesterday. I tried to keep that from hubs until we knew. Today there is no pain and very little bleeding. There is this overwhelming emptiness. It goes beyond an emotional emptiness. There is a physical emptiness too. I still have morning sickness and all of the other symptoms, which is one of the cruelest things so far. I automatically took up placing my hand on my belly within days of knowing. It gave me joy and peace of mind. Now touching my belly which I still unconsciously do is heartbreaking. I don't think I will ever be able to erase the image of the empty ultrasound from my mind. He didn't even have to tell us. The baby was just gone.

God gave us a precious gift though. Hubs snuck his phone in Saturday at the hospital and recorded our ultrasound. We have the heartbeat and five minutes of video showing our beautiful little baby. It is a priceless treasure and I hope hubs knows how precious his gift is for me. Within an hour of that video, our baby was gone. I thank God for that blessing too. I can't look at it now, but I know I will always have it.

I decided that even though our baby was so early and we have no physical evidence of him save some medical paperwork and the ultrasounds we needed a name for this baby. I need him to have a place here. We decided on "Espe". This is short for Esperanza which means hope which this baby most certainly gave us. We had honestly lost all hope and this baby gave that back to us. Esperanza is normally a girl's name, but Espe will serve just fine for a boy which is what we felt it was.

We loved him so much.

Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers. Thank you for being there since the beginning of this too. The support and knowledge I have found here with this community has already helped us so much and I know it will help us through this hurdle and on to the next.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hope and feathers

Yesterday was such a hard day. I did decide to go to work yesterday but I made sure to take it really easy and put the kids in front of a movie. I took a bathroom break once I got them set up and the bleeding had amped up a little. It was now showing on a pad. I panicked. I called hubs at work, took the kids to their parents and off to the ER we went.

We decided to go to our local hospital because hubs had left work and needed to get back if possible. The doctor there was wonderful and took care to check everything from my blood levels, to my cervix, to an in depth u/s. Everything came back wonderful. The u/s tech was so kind. She immediately went to the baby's heartbeat for us before doing her measurements, just for peace of mind, then returned at the end of the scan to let us spend some time watching the baby and hearing him. There are simply not words in any human language that could come close to describing the feeling I get when I hear that sound. The baby measured 6w 4d, which is right on target with what I thought. The cervix was closed up tight, and my hcg was 5 or 6 thousand, which they said was right in line with what they wanted it to be.

The doc came back later to tell us that I had placenta previa and that I was to be on strict bedrest until a follow up hcg and exam with my ob on Wednesday. I questioned the previa dx, but we went with it and left with a smile on our faces. We stopped to get something to eat before heading home. I only walked from the car to a chair. The nurse had told me as long as the bleeding was light I could even go to church the next day, so we didn't see any harm.

**** This might be a bit graphic for some, sorry, just a warning****

We got up to leave and I felt a large clot. I took off to the bathroom and sure enough, there was a large clot. I cleaned up, took a deep breath and headed back to hubs. I had no idea what to do. We decided to see if we could stop by and just ask them if things were okay. There was a shift change though and they insisted on seeing me again. I had no cramping to speak of, but I was petrified. The doc talked to us, basically said there's nothing we can do, bump your appointment up to Monday, just go home and wait. Before being discharged I had another large clot almost the size of my palm. I was devastated. The nurse that discharged me just shook her head and said unfortunately, nature can be cruel sometimes, and they sent us home shattered and in tears. We were certain we were going home to miscarry.

Hubs got angry and insisted I call my ob who was on call at a much larger hospital (the one we will deliver at) for the weekend. He called back very quickly and I am so blessed to have him. He was so kind and reassuring. He told me it was impossible for me to have a previa diagnosis so early and that he was still confident that our baby was okay. He agreed that I should remain on complete bedrest until Monday but that he would see me as soon as he opened Monday morning and he promised us another u/s to make sure things were okay.

I came home and passed another large clot, this one smaller than the first two, but still large. After that, I haven't passed any more though and the bleeding has slowed significantly. In fact the only time I have really had any bleeding is when I had the clots. I am resting and per the advice of both ER docs and my doc, keeping things really calm and quiet. I am trying to stay positive and hopeful.

I am overwhelmed by my love for this little person. It really floors me how I feel about him or her. I know without a shadow of doubt that I would go to the ends of the Earth for this baby if that's what it took and I know that hubs feels the same way. It is an amazing, and very powerful feeling. I hope no matter what happens, this little person knows how unconditionally and completely he or she is loved and wanted by both of us.