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Blue

I’ve never really liked the color blue. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a big ol’ girly-girl or if it’s just something about the color itself that rubs me the wrong way, but I’m just not a fan and I never have been. In fact, of all the colors in the world, I’d say it’s my very least favorite.

Which is sort of a problem since we’re about to have a lot more of it hanging around this house.

Any guesses why???

It’s because Poppy is a boy.

After two girls, I am pregnant with a boy.

We are having a baby boy!

It’s a thought that’s taking some getting used to and I hope to write more about that later, but for now, I’ll just say we’re excited. And we’re scared. We’re nervous. We’re curious. We’re hopeful.

Most of all, it just feels like, of course this is the way it should be. This is what was always intended for us. This baby boy has always been ours, from the very beginning of time when none of us existed.

This little one, this boy, is our boy. And that just makes this mama very, very happy.

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Clarity

Thank you so much for all the love and support you showed after I published my last post. I should have known all along that I could count on you to lift me up. I don’t know how often I’ll be posting from here on out — probably much less than I did in my last pregnancy — but I do know I want to be able to come here from time to time as needed. Thank you all for following along.

The start of this week was rough. With daily headaches and barfing three times in the span of 48 hours (I can’t believe I’m STILL dealing with “morning” sickness at 15 weeks pregnant!), I was feeling really crapping. Also, my head and heart weren’t in a good place because a good friend of mine had broken up with me. Seriously. I don’t know any other way to say it. It would be almost laughable — to be dumped at the age of 31 by one of my best friends (I thought this drama only happened in high school?) — if it didn’t hurt so damn much. I’ve lost a lot of sleep and cried a lot of tears over this and may write about it in my next post since the friend in question is one I have talked a lot about on this blog, but for now I’ll just say…it’s been a sad week here. It’s messed with my head. It sucks.

People talk about moments of clarity. Like when you nearly lose your life and, afterwards, take stock of everything that you are grateful for or need to change. I find that my moments come to me on a much smaller scale, but they have the same effect. Earlier this week, I was feeling normal pregnancy worries. I hadn’t felt the baby (we’ll call him/her Poppy…as in poppyseed…as in, my baby was the size of a poppyseed when I first learned s/he existed) move in days and, though I know this is very normal since it’s still super early to be feeling any fetal movement, I let it get to me every time.

I brought out the doppler as I always do when I start to feel the anxiety creep in, almost-but-not-quite expecting to hear just silence and my own slow heartbeat and the gurgle of whatever is going on inside of me. I always feel just on the edge of believing my baby will die at any given moment…probably a form of infertility and miscarriage PTSD. But then there it was instantly…that fast and beautiful thumpity-thump-thump and, simultaneously, the sweetest, smallest baby wiggle or kick or whatever it was and I breathed out, “Thank you, God,” and then I knew.

I knew that nothing else really mattered besides that baby. That heartbeat and that kick. And the two other squealing, bouncy little ones in the next room. And the husband who has done my normal household chores — dishes and making dinner and picking up toys and on and on — without a word of complaint, even though I know he’s tired after a long day of work, because he knows my pregnancy sleepies and queasies trump that. And nothing matters more than the others in my life who choose to love me. And nurturing my relationships with them. And showing them and telling them what they mean to me.

That is what’s important.

Not a friend who has decided she finds no more value in my friendship. Not a friend who tells me all the things I need to change about myself, but can’t handle the truth when I meet her with brutal honesty and refuse to be bullied. And not the words I say to myself about what must be wrong with me. About why I don’t deserve to be loved.

Because there are people who love me. People who want to love me. People who can’t help but love me. At my best. At my worst. No makeup. Unshowered. Raw. They see me and they love me anyways.

Clarity.

We all need some of it from time to time.

Unexpected

There’s no other word for it.

Well, that’s not entirely true, is it? There are other words for it really…surprising, unplanned for, accidental, unforeseen. There are more surely, but “unexpected” seems to perfectly describe the course my life has taken. The path most of us infertiles face. The pregnancies that come when we’ve hit rock bottom. The losses that occur just when we start to feel “safe.”

And it’s unexpected that I’m coming here now, under much different circumstances than I predicted in my last post. I’m here because I need to say this, because I need to tell you, though I don’t have the right words to say or know how it will be received. But let’s not beat around the bush.

I’m pregnant.

Unexpectedly expecting, so to speak.

In fact, today I am thirteen weeks pregnant. Entering my second trimester. I have had three ultrasounds. Baby has a good heartbeat and is measuring a couple days ahead. When I start to feel anxious, I bring out the doppler and search for that heartbeat while muttering prayer after prayer. It all still feels unreal.

This is my first natural pregnancy. No Clomid, or RE, or monitoring. No endless cycles of hope and then failure. My body is a funny thing. Since puberty, it has not cycled regularly. It did not know how to put all the pieces together to make it all function so that a mature egg would be released on a monthly basis. By my college days, it hardly happened at all. And yet, there is something about the weaning process that just works for my body. My menstrual cycles don’t start until after I wean my babies, but always within thirty days of the time when I have officially stopped breastfeeding, I ovulate. And this time, I was prepared for it. Watching and waiting and having a bit more sex than is usual for us. They say it only takes once and I’m proof that it does.

I’ve been wanting to come here for a while now to share my news. But I didn’t know what to say. And I was scared. Scared that putting my news out into the world would be an irreversible curse. But if I’m being completely honest, even more scared that the easy road I have walked to achieve this pregnancy would mean I was no longer wanted or welcomed here. I didn’t want to face the rejection.

The day I learned I was pregnant, I told two of my good friends. One of them said to me, “See! You’re not really infertile at all!” I didn’t say much to that (well, I did actually — I argued with her over it, but she didn’t want to hear me or believe me, so I let it go), but she just clearly has no idea. If I hadn’t caught that one lucky, post-weaning egg, we would be right back where we were two or three years ago as we were trying to conceive Skittle…smack dab in the middle of Clomid and uncertainty. One ovulation doesn’t mean anything. I will always be infertile. Who else prays so fervently countless times each day for a healthy baby? Who else has high blood pressure only when at the OB’s office? Who else lives from one doppler listening to the next, just hoping her baby will still be alive? There was once a time when I wanted nothing more than to be as fertile as the next gal. But infertility is part of my identity now, a part I am not ashamed to own anymore. And if I don’t belong here, in this community, then I don’t know where I belong at all.

With that said, I don’t know if I’ll be posting here again in this pregnancy. That’s not to say that I definitely won’t…I just really don’t know. Maybe it will depend on the feedback I get to this post. Maybe it will depend on how anxious I become over the next few days or weeks or months. Maybe it will depend on something completely unexpected. I think when it’s time to post again, I’ll know. I’ve known this post needed to be written for weeks now and I will trust my heart to tell me when there is more to say.

Until then…may life’s unexpected twists and turns be kind to you, friends. Thinking of you all. xo

Big. Fat. FAIL.

On Sunday, I took the 1-hour GTT to screen for gestational diabetes. Last night, the results arrived in my e-mail inbox.

FAIL.

Well, that’s not what the e-mail actually said, but that’s essentially what it meant. My blood sugar should have been under 140 one hour post-sugar drink. It was 151. That’s not a horrific number, but it’s high enough to mean I’ll have to return for the 3-hour test this weekend.

Of course. This pregnancy has been textbook so far. Everything has been going so smoothly. Life has been perfect. Of course something has to go wrong.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I cried my eyes out last night over this, and again twice this morning. I mean, I sobbed. Until my face was swollen like a puffer fish. Until my head ached. Until my eyes were the bloodshot peepers of a drug addict. Until, perhaps, my brain and heart bled. I think I may have even said, “I’m going to kill my baaaabeee!” More than once. Yes, I’m being melodramatic. I know this isn’t the end of the world, as my mom kept reminding me while I cried into the phone. I know that, if I do indeed have GD, it’s manageable. I know Skittle can, and probably will, be okay.

But.

I’m just so disappointed. Disappointed that my perfect pregnancy has to throw me a curve ball. Disappointed that I have something new to worry and obsess over. Mostly, disappointed in my body and myself. My stupid body, that does so little right. And my stupid self, because I have had a much stronger sweet tooth in this pregnancy and because I have let myself indulge at times. I now regret every damn bite. And I feel such guilt. This is all my fault.

I wish I had prepared myself for this possibility, but I never saw it coming. With my first pregnancy, I passed the 1-hour test with flying colors. (One hour after downing the sugary drink, my blood sugar was a fantastic 96.) I’ve also taken the three-hour test before, in screening for PCOS, and I failed the two-hour blood draw, but never the one-hour. Now, I’m scared I’ll fail the one-hour and two-hour, which would then give me the GD diagnosis. And what could this mean? Why is there such a huge difference in my body’s response this time??? Is it the Metformin I’m taking? Is the test wrong? Is it the sugary treats I’ve had? Or is it that, just as in everything else, this pregnancy is turning out to be truly, truly different from my first?

I don’t know, but I’m sad. I’m scared. I’m embarrassed. I’m ashamed. I feel like all enthusiasm about this pregnancy has drained out of me and now I just feel dread at the weeks that lie ahead. I know I’m overreacting. Please don’t mistake this as my wishing I wasn’t pregnant at all. I am so, so happy and thankful to be here. I am totally in love with our Skittle. But I’m feeling horribly worried and fearful once again. And I’m realizing just how much is still out of my control. And how far we yet have to go.

And in other news, apparently I was also tested for anemia. And yes, my iron levels are a little low. Which would maybe explain why I needed three naps yesterday. Luckily, this one is easy to fix (in theory). But still…  Throughout this whole pregnancy, I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop. And now, I guess it has. I hope it has. I hope this is it. I hope the bad news stops here.

The Never-Ending ‘To Do’ List

** pregnancy post **

I started preparing for Skittle’s arrival when I was 10-12 weeks pregnant, not because I yet had the courage to believe that she would actually be joining our family this fall, but out of necessity. My mom was in town and I needed her extra pair of hands to get stuff done that, otherwise, might have to wait for a very long time. In the time since, I have accomplished a lot. And still, I feel like there is so much to do.

As this second trimester winds down, I feel as though time is speeding up. This whole pregnancy has really disappeared in a flash, but every day seems to pass faster than the last. And with less than three months until my due date of October 3rd, I’m starting to feel like the items left on my To Do List are weighing me down more now than ever. And so for the sake of fully documenting this journey, and so that I can see clearly how far I’ve come and how far I still have to go, I’m putting my list right here for all of you to see.

First, what I have accomplished so far, in no particular order:

  • Cleaned out our Great Room to turn it into my new craft room/office
  • Moved Cupcake out of the nursery and into her new room
  • Found a photographer and scheduled our maternity and newborn photo sessions
  • Planned and threw a Gender Reveal Party
  • Shopped for maternity clothes
  • Began two baby registries
  • Told our close friends and family the news and went Facebook public
  • Sorted through all of my daughter’s old baby clothes and toys
  • Registered with our birth center
  • Shopped for a few baby items at a fancy baby boutique
  • Purchased all the essential items I need for the collage I’m creating on the nursery wall

And all the things still on the horizon (with a few non-Skittle items thrown in), once again in no particular order:

  • Road trip to Idaho for a cousin’s wedding
  • Research finding a new OB and hospital to deliver at…maybe???
  • Family photos in the city this Saturday, July 13
  • Buy some nursing tops because I have just two
  • Buy a new car!!! (my PT Cruiser just isn’t going to cut it anymore)
  • Maternity photos on August 24
  • Pack our hospital bags
  • Research having a natural childbirth in a hospital setting
  • Make a ton of freezer meals — I think my friends Lillian and Leigh will help with this
  • Attend my baby shower this Sunday, July 14 🙂
  • Ask Lillian and Leigh if they might like to be present for Skittle’s birth
  • Arrange childcare for Cupcake during labor and delivery and our hospital stay — I think my sis will do this
  • Celebrate my 30th birthday!
  • Start planning Lillian’s baby shower…because I like to plan ahead and have no idea how I’ll do it all after Skittle arrives
  • Find out what my in-laws’ plans are for Skittle’s arrival
  • Shop for the rest of the items I need for our new baby
  • Finish crocheting Skittle’s blanket (I only have the border left)
  • Shop for Halloween costumes for Cupcake and Skittle because I have no desire to do it in the postpartum period
  • Finish the nursery
  • Refresh my memory on breastfeeding
  • Schedule Skittle’s baptism for the first month after her birth
  • Choose godparents???
  • Have my OB sign FMLA paperwork so my mom can get the time off of work to spend with us after delivery
  • Take a deep, deep breath and know that, somehow, everything will come together and I will complete all of this

Now that I look at it, that is still a LOT to do in about twelve weeks’ time. Maybe I shouldn’t have listed it out after all… But as overwhelming as it is to look at and think about, I know this is what I have waited for so long. It’s so much better than a to do list that includes monitoring ultrasounds and bloodwork and googling myself senseless and two week waits and obsessing over symptoms (or lack thereof) and researching herbs and vitamins and buying more OPKs (and more and more) and worrying about all the things I can’t control. I haven’t forgotten those days, or those of you still in the trenches. My heart is with you all, and I can only hope and pray that, one day, each of you will have a to do list of another kind.

So this list is long, but I’m lucky. I’m blessed. I’m tired, too, so I guess it’s time for a little rest. And then on to making dinner and having a shower and all those things that didn’t even make it onto the list!

Odds ‘n’ Ends: Symptoms and Friend Updates

** pregnancy post **

I find I’m doing a lot more of these kind of posts lately because I have so many little things that I want tell all of you, but nothing that requires a post of its own. I guess that’s good? But maybe it’s utterly boring to all of you. Sorry if that’s so!

Anyways, on to the bullet points:

  • I’ve had some symptoms weirdly resurface over the last week or two. Like, I’m tired. All the time. I was doing well with one nap a day, but now I’m back to two most days. Also, I’ve had 3-4 periods of nausea and one morning of vomiting recently. Um, I thought my 1st trimester was over??? And I’ve been surprised to find that I am breathless after a short walk down the street and can no longer comfortably tie my shoes or get up after sitting on the floor without a significant struggle. This is all par for the course, I suppose, but I never had any of this discomfort so soon while preggers with Cupcake. I was lucky to get to about 38 weeks then before I felt hugely pregnant. Now? Not so much.
  • I also think my pregnancy hormones are in full swing. I’ve been so irritable lately. Everything makes me cranky. And I’ve been terribly weepy. I’ve cried five times over the last week or so, all for pretty silly reasons. Yesterday, it was because my husband couldn’t meet me for lunch. On Sunday, it was because my coupon at JoAnn’s Fabrics had expired the day before. I am a bit of a mess. And poor, poor Honey. I pity that man for having to put up with me.
  • Remember my friend Lillian? Her little babe has a heartbeat! She is due Feb 6, about four months after Skittle should arrive. Yay!
  • I also learned another close friend, Linn, is pregnant. Supposedly. I say that because, while I love her to death and her intentions are always good, I cannot always trust what she says. She has a long history of embellishing the truth and telling stories for attention. For example, six months after my miscarriage last year, she miscarried. And six months after I was diagnosed with PCOS, she was too. And now here we are, almost six months since I got pregnant, and she just learned she’s pregnant too. And the way in which she learned she’s pregnant? By the doctor just feeling her cervix, and no urine or blood tests to follow? Um…yeah. That is super believable. So only time will tell if she’s really pregnant. I kind of believe she is (maybe because I’m just an idiot myself), but I just cannot believe everything that has led up to it. Call me a bad friend if you must.
  • I still haven’t heard from Kat. Maybe I never will, after all. But even if I do, I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes her another week or two to get back to me.
  • Sometimes my sis says things that irritate the heck out of me. To be fair, she never says them to my face, but her recent Facebook posts have really gotten under my skin. A month or two ago, she posted something like, “Just spilled a day’s worth of pumped breast milk all over. Worst. Feeling. Ever.” And last week: “Have to return to work in a few days after a long maternity leave. Leaving my daughter will be the hardest day of my life.” I get her point and I do know being a new mom is tough, but really, sis? I mean, seriously??? Worst feeling ever?  Hardest day of her life? Good grief. I think she’s had it way too easy if that’s the worst she’s ever experienced. Maybe she should try walking in one of our shoes for a time. Know what I mean, friends?

Okay, that’s it. Sorry for the complaining. I’m in that kind of mood lately. Hope all of you are well and good. Wishing you a pleasant end to your week and a fantabulous weekend to follow! xo

Odds ‘n’ Ends: Showers, Anxiety, and Friends

More bits and pieces to chat about (nearly all of which are baby-related — sorry!)…

HONEY & SKITTLE

Honey finally got to feel Skittle move, after many attempts, last Sunday (June 9) while we were at church. I wish there had been a camera there to capture his priceless smile. (Does anyone else besides me ever wish that they could have their own live-in professional photographer to document all of those brief, beautiful life moments that we so often fail to record on our own?) And maybe I shouldn’t admit to this, but I think we may have missed part of the sermon because we were so busy whispering and giggling in the back row.

BABY SHOWER

A shower date has been set — though, yes, I had to eventually ask about it (in an uber-tactful way, because that’s what I excel in!) because my mom needed to purchase plane tickets and get the time off of work. The big day is July 14 and I’m feeling a little nervous about it. Not only will it be held outside during the most miserable allergy month for me, but there are also several women being invited whom I hardly know. It’s a joint shower and the guest list includes only our moms and members of our mom’s group — but still, some of those ladies I’ve only spoken with once or twice. Seriously. And in case I haven’t mentioned it here before, I’m…uh…kinda shy.

REVELATIONS ON ANXIETY

I’ve had a revelation in the last week. And that is: embrace the anxiety. While I am feeling extraordinarily happy these days, I also still get scared. A lot. It’s primarily based on how active Skittle is being at the moment. And while I used to feel guilty about bringing out the doppler, especially when I had no apparent reason to do so, I am now cutting myself some slack.  I’ve been through a lot. And I’ve heard more stories about miscarriage, loss, and neonatal death than most non-infertile, non-blogging women ever have. I have a right to feel nervous, anxious, and/or worried every now and then (or every day). And while I don’t constantly use the doppler anymore, when I do use it, and even if it’s several times a day, that’s okay, you know? Whatever I need to do to get me through.

MAKING PROGRESS

My parents came over the weekend to drop off the dresser that we will be going into Cupcake’s new room. The dresser is part of a 3-piece bedroom set that my grandfather made for my mother when she was a kid and I then used as a child and now Cupcake, as my firstborn, will get to enjoy. We’re still on track for getting Cupcake into her new room by the end of the month and pictures will be posted once it’s complete. I get emotional just thinking of that moment when we first do the Big Reveal and Cupcake gets to see all the hard work we’ve been putting in. She’s too young to appreciate the time or money we’ve spent in creating her little haven, but she will love the colors, the theme (ladybugs), the big girl bed, and all the new toys. And once this room is complete, I can officially move on to preparing the nursery for Skittle.

MY FRIEND, KAT

After a whole lot of thought, I sent a long and heartfelt e-mail to my friend Kat today. (You can read about the history of our friendship here and here.) I know I said that I wouldn’t — that it would do no one any good — but then our friend over at The Stork Diaries said this in her comments: “Sometimes the hardest thing in the world is sharing our feelings with those we were once closest to.” And then my devotional just a couple days later talked about not living a life of “unspoken words.” And so I composed an e-mail that has been sitting in my Drafts folder for nearly three weeks…and after having it read and approved by both Honey and my mom, I hit “Send” today. I don’t mind publishing it here if anyone is interested, but otherwise, I don’t want to say too much. I’m starting to feel like I’m beating a dead horse by talking about it so frequently on this blog. And for the record, I don’t expect a response to my e-mail. I will still be hurt if I don’t get one, but I’m prepared for that. I just felt like I had to say something, to express the sadness over the end of our friendship, so I could find some resolution. A sense of closure. And besides, did I really have any more to lose???

THE BUMP

A new bump photo has been posted on the Skittle page!