My husband is the King of Creative Gifts. Many times, he will make them himself. I have received handmade earrings, necklaces, bracelets, Christmas ornaments, shadow boxes, even flip-flops. And more.

At other times, Honey will come up with a clever idea and have someone else make it for him.

For Valentine’s Day last week, I received a heart-shaped box made out of chocolate by some local students from the city. It was filled with some fantastic truffles that I am trying not to eat all in one sitting. Pure deliciousness.

And I also received two maternity T-shirts that Honey designed himself:

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My belly obviously isn’t big enough to fill them up right now, but I love them. I love that they are unique and that Honey has the confidence in this pregnancy that I lack.

But, the moment I saw them, all I could think was Good God, I hope this baby doesn’t die.

Please don’t let this have jinxed it. Please, please, please.


All is Well in the Dash Home

This morning, as I drove to the fertility clinic, I somehow convinced myself that Skittle was probably dead. I had not felt any pregnancy symptoms for the day yet and there was dread in the pit of my stomach. As I waited for my favorite sonographer (yay!) to come into the room, I felt sick. And no, I don’t think it was morning sickness. I’m fairly certain it was nerves. I was scared to death, perhaps more than I’d ever been so far. Which is saying something. I just knew they were going to tell me my baby was gone.

Thankfully, I was wrong. Completely. There was a heartbeat — a strong, beautiful heartbeat — with a heart rate of 153. Over 120 is normal at 7 weeks, but according to my sources on Google Scholar, 146+ is ideal. So I’m very pleased with 153. Today I am 7w1d and Skittle is now measuring 7w5d, which is a relief. We have officially passed the point where we lost Teddy Graham, which is one more small step forward. I am beginning to think maybe, just maybe, this baby will actually come to be. I know there is still so far yet to go, and anything can happen at any time, but for now we are planning on an early October due date.

Holy crap.

I return next Friday for one last ultrasound (my request, not their suggestion) before “graduation.” My RE has been urging me to make an appointment with my OB, so I finally bit the bullet and did that today after my successful u/s. I will be seeing him for the first time on March 5, when I will be almost 10 weeks.

If next week’s u/s is as successful as this one, I have three goals:

  • Start shopping for an at-home doppler in the hopes that it may help my sanity in between the monthly OB appointments.
  • Deliver the news to my sister. You all know there will be a post to come about that!
  • Make a “Skittle” page on this blog, where I will post the photos I’m collecting. And maybe start bumpdates. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

None of this feels quite real yet. Especially because Skittle seems to have come out of nowhere, when I least expected it. But every day, I fall in love with this baby, and the idea of this baby, a little more. And if next week’s u/s doesn’t go well? I do think that will be the end of the world.

Here We Go Again….

This is another “one more sleep” post.

One more sleep until my second ultrasound.

One more sleep until I am at 7w1d, the exact point where I started bleeding in my last pregnancy.

One more sleep until I find out if my baby is still alive, or dead.

I have managed to remain pretty serene over the last week. Much more so than I ever was while pregnant with Teddy Graham. Is that because, somehow, I instinctively knew that Teddy would not survive? Or have I only learned that meltdowns, freakouts, and nonstop worry will not get me anywhere? It will not save my baby; it will not kill my baby.

The times when I start to feel like I’m spiraling a little out of control with my fear and anxiety is when I spend too much time analyzing my symptoms. I am 7 weeks today and have I experienced a lot of cravings, a few aversions, and some nausea, some exhaustion, some breast sensitivity. Some. I always think “some” is not enough. “Some” is often barely worth noting. What I hold onto, long for, and obsess over the most is the “morning” sickness. My biggest wave of nausea was over last weekend, which is too long ago for my comfort. Today, I have felt pretty decent, maybe just a little extra tired and hungry. This does not leave me feeling overly warm and fuzzy about my ultrasound tomorrow.

And I know this really means nothing. You can have a thousand pregnancy symptoms and still have a dead baby in your womb. You can be asymptomatic and Baby can be thriving. It probably doesn’t matter. Maybe it’s still too early for the worst of my symptoms. Maybe this is just a “good” day. I had plenty of them amongst all the bad days while carrying Cupcake. Maybe this pregnancy is just going to be totally different, which so many of my friends have assured me is perfectly normal. I don’t know, but I sure would love to go to sleep tonight and wake up tomorrow knowing that Skittle is all right. But I won’t. All I have is hope.

What I do know is that I certainly feel more pregnant than I ever did with Teddy Graham. I know that I fell asleep at 10:30 a.m. on the sofa today while Cupcake played with her new Cookie Monster toy that she got for Valentine’s Day. I know that, while I often don’t feel nauseous, I also don’t often feel my best; I feel “off” and unlike me. I know that it was only two nights ago when I felt a wave (albeit, a brief wave) of nausea.

Please, someone, tell me these are signs that Skittle is fine. That we are all fine. That everything will be fine.

Happy Tears

I have not cried over this pregnancy or baby yet, not from fear or joy, but today — when I saw the heartbeat — I did. Tears fell from my eyes before I even knew they were there.

So far, everything looks fantastic. I am much earlier in this pregnancy than I had thought, with baby only measuring at 6w1d today, but there was a strong heartbeat of 120bpm, which the nurse practitioner (who did my u/s) was very happy with. She says, at six weeks, they look for anything over 80 (online research says 100), so 120 is excellent by all accounts. The gestational sac is measuring at 6w6d, which I was assured is nothing to worry about. I didn’t ask about the size of the yolk sac because I didn’t want one more thing to obsess over, but both the NP and my doctor (who came in to talk with me after) said several times that everything looks perfect. They gave me a picture afterwards, one in which the baby really does look like a delicious white Skittle, and it is hard to believe they can see anything when the baby is that small, but I am trusting they know what they’re talking about.

Of course, being this early, it still means we have a long way to go. The next two weeks will be the highest risk of a miscarriage and then it improves from there. I still have a week before I reach the 7w1d mark when I started bleeding in my last pregnancy, but thankfully I do have my next ultrasound scheduled for exactly that day. Hopefully, it will bring nothing but more good news.

In the time since walking out of the clinic, though, I have had plenty of time to worry myself over lots of little things:

  • If I really am only 6w1d, that means my beta was tested when I was 4w6d. At that time, my level was over 10,000, which is extraordinarily high for being so early. What does this mean??? I questioned my doc about it and she said once the beta levels get to be over 1000, they fail to really provide accurate information for dating the pregnancy and everyone metabolizes the hormone differently, so it’s nothing to worry about. “Please don’t google it,” she told me because she knows me so well. But what if it means that something is chromosomally wrong with the baby? Or that I’m actually farther along than they think and the baby is measuring behind? That’s a scary thought.
  • Along the same lines of thinking…the gestational sac is measuring 6w6d while baby is only measuring 6w1d. What if Baby is, again, measuring too small?
  • If I ovulated on January 8, like they think I did based on the size of the little Skittle, that was CD32. But the last time Honey and I had sexy time was CD29. I know it’s possible for his little swimmers to hang around that long, but is it likely? In case you can’t tell, I’m just worried that we have the conception date wrong and Baby isn’t measuring on track.

I don’t know…what do you guys think? Do I need to worry? Or do I just need to take a deep breath and trust the professionals? I’m trying so hard to avoid Google because it brings so many doubts, questions, and worries into my life, but I don’t want to go to next Friday’s ultrasound thinking everything is fine if it’s not.

It’s hard because, with both of my last pregnancies, I never had blood work done and I never saw a heartbeat this early. I never saw one at all with Teddy Graham, but since he was measuring exactly seven weeks when I started bleeding, there probably had been one at some point. Maybe it was slow, maybe not. The problem is…I have nothing to compare this pregnancy to. Maybe that’s good. Maybe it will lead to less obsessing, but I sure would like some reassurance right about now.

But today, I am just trying to enjoy the sense of relief, joy, and hope that seeing that tiny flicker of a heartbeat has brought. I’m trying to focus on the fact that the heart is beating at a fantastic 120 that shows no indication of impending doom. I’m trying to believe that this is all only good news and I am worrying for nothing as I so often d0 and that this year is going to be more beautiful than I could ever have predicted. Please oh please, let that be true.