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The 200th: My Life in Numbers

I thought I would take a page from our friend Theresa‘s book and do a “my life in numbers” post as a way to celebrate. Celebrate what, you ask? Why, I’m celebrating that this is my 200th post! I can hardly believe that, somehow, I have had enough to say over this last year and a quarter to warrant 200 posts. I am eternally grateful for and humbled by all the support that each of you have given me every step of the way. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.

Now, on to the numbers….

200 is how many blog posts I have written, once this one is finished.

0 is how many blog posts the me from two years ago thought I’d ever write.

12 is the total number of posts that I’m really proud of. (Read them here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here.)

8 is my favorite number.

2 is the number of men I have loved.

1 is the number of men I have said “I love you” to, slept with, and married.

24 was my age when I married the one I love.

6 is how many houses and/or apartments I have lived in.

6 is how many cities I have lived in.

3 is the number of states I have lived in.

5 is the number of cars I have owned.

5 is also the number of car accidents I have been in.

0 of those accidents have been my fault.

3 is how many continents I have traveled to.

35 is how many states I have set foot in.

1 maternity bathing suit sits in my closet.

0 is how many times I have actually worn that bathing suit.

$500 is approximately how much I spent on maternity clothes this year.

10pm is the time I try to be in bed by, but

11 is the time I usually get to bed.

4 is the number of jobs outside of the home that I’ve had.

0 is the number of outside jobs I have now.

2 is:

  • the age of my oldest daughter
  • the number of daughters I have
  • how many times I have cried today
  • the minimum number of times I do kick counts each day
  • how many dollars I wish a gallon of gas cost
  • how many moles I had removed last week (both benign)
  • how many pounds I had to lose in order to reach my goal…before getting pregnant

30 is how many pounds I have gained since getting pregnant.

12 is the number of months I will give myself to lose it after Skittle is born.

0 is the number of minivans I swear I’d ever drive…or own.

1 is the number of minivans sitting in our driveway, with a registration listed in my name.

5 is how old I was when I lost my innocence to sexual abuse.

22 is how old I was when I told someone for the first time.

28 was my age when I finally told my mom.

6 is the total number of people who know what happened.

8 is the number of family members who have died.

60mph is the fastest I feel comfortable driving.

2013 may just be my best year yet, but

23 has been my favorite age.

2009 and 2012 were my hardest years.

1983 was the year I was born.

30 is how old I am.

15 is often how old, and immature, I feel.

126 is how many Facebook friends I have.

8 is the number of friends I feel close to.

26 is the total number of months I have spent trying to conceive a baby (so far).

13 is the total number of cycles I have taken Clomid.

3 is the number of pregnancies I have achieved.

1 is the number of pregnancies I have carried to term.

4 is approximately how many weeks I have until I can change that number to 2.

1 is how many times I have thought, “I am so ready to have this baby,” today….and how many times I have thought it in this whole pregnancy.

3 to 10 is how many times I pray for this baby’s well-being every day.

1 to 2 is how many times I pray daily for each of you.

And countless are the hopes and dreams and wishes I have for you, for me, and for everyone who is still on their family-building journey.

Bloggie Birthday

Today marks one years since I breathed life into this blog, birthing it into your life and mine.

I could say that, one year ago, I could not have imagined that when I arrived at this point, I would be  in the second trimester of my next pregnancy. I could say that, but I won’t, because it would be a lie. Because one year ago, I did more than imagine I would be expecting again, I believed it. In fact, I thought that by now, I would probably be holding my rainbow baby in my arms.

I was so very wrong and yet everything has turned out perfectly right.

And to you, my readers and friends, I say thank you. Because in all the ups and downs of the last year, you have helped me to feel like it — like I — would be okay. Each one of you has been a brick in my foundation of strength. You have taken the loneliness out of this journey. There are really no words that are big enough to express what this has meant to me, except to say this one thing again and again: Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

And happy birthday to you, little blog. How would I have ever survived without you?

100 & 6 Months

Well, I have my all-important RE appointment to tell all of you lovely ladies about, but that will wait for another day. Because today, I am writing my 100th post. And in just one week, on November 9, it will mark 6 months since the birth of this blog. Wow! I am amazed and humbled by that.

When I began this blog on May 9, just three weeks after my miscarriage, I did not know where it would take me. But I can tell you this: never did I think I would have enough to say that there would be, just six months later, one-hundred posts typed out and published for all of you to read. Never did I think I would have sixty WordPress followers (and how many on Blogspot?) who were actually interested in what I have to say. Never did I think that I would meet and make friends whom I truly care for, whom I pray for and hope for just as much as I do for myself. Never did I think this blog would be my saving grace over the course of the hardest six months of my life.

And certainly, never did I think that, a long six months later, I would still essentially be in the same place that I was on the day this blog was born.

Nope, never imagined that.

Life is full of (ugly) surprises, isn’t it?

One of my cousins, whom I will call Lily, has struggled with infertility herself. Over the course of ten years, she endured countless procedures and treatments, including two rounds of IVF. Everything failed and all she ever got from any of them was a BFN. She gave up trying, and she and her husband decided to live child-free. Do you know where this story is going? Well, a year or more down the road, she got the greatest of all surprises: a positive pregnancy test. Yes, she is one of those classic, annoying, miraculous cases of “Just relax and it will happen.” Her beautiful daughter was born just three weeks after mine and will turn two this December. And yet, I know Lily wants more and I know she lacks any great hope that it will ever happen again. Ten years of trying to get this one? Another ten years will give her nothing but the onset of menopause.

After my miscarriage, I posted a couple quotes about strength on Facebook and, somehow, Lily understood my cryptic message and sent me an e-mail to lend her support. She told me that, while she faces holidays and reunions with her three siblings and their brood of children (they have two, three, and four kiddos respectively), she is having to learn to be thankful for her one. “Being grateful for what I already have is the hardest thing I do,” she told me.

And she’s right. It is hard to be grateful for what you’ve got when there’s more that you want. You may live a charmed life, but if something is missing, nothing feels quite right. And yet…maybe it’s all about perspective. Maybe being thankful is the best thing we can each do for ourselves. And so with that in mind, and in honor of my cousin and all she’s taught me, and to celebrate this great 100-post milestone, I present to you a list of 100 things for which I am grateful:

LET’S START WITH THE OBVIOUS

1. My daughter, our Cupcake, my miracle

2. My Honey, who is also my best friend, and who is willing to go out to buy me a milkshake at 10:00 at night

3. Our small home and big, fenced yard

4. My husband’s job

5. More food in the cupboards and fridge than we can possibly eat

6. A (mostly) good car

7. Our little dog, Junebug, who has been with us from the beginning

8. My good health (excluding the pesky thing we call “infertility”)

9. The tiny little babe, our Teddy Graham, whom we loved and lost

10. God and my faith, one of the few things that enables me to go on

IRL FAMILY & FRIENDS

11. My mom and my fantastic relationship with her

12. My sister, who I never thought I’d know

13. My niece/nephew-to-be, who is hard to welcome but loved anyways

14. My cousin Jae, who is expecting her first child

15. My cousin Lily, who may never have more than one and who is, sadly, one of “us”

16. My new friend Lillian, who knows the pain of RPL and has held my hand through all of this

17. My new friend Leigh, who has given tremendous support even though she understands nothing of what I’m going through

18. My old friend Kat, who is another member of this club

19. My lifelong friend Linn, who forgave me for never asking her to join our wedding party

20. My mommy group, which has made me feel less lonely in a new hometown where I know no one

21. All other friends and family not mentioned here, for they have each changed me and made me in one way or another

LIFE EVENTS

22. A beautiful wedding that was almost everything I wanted it to be

23. Graduating from high school and college with good grades and good friends

24. A nearly perfect birthing experience that gave me a healthy baby girl

WORDLY THINGS

25. Being born into a First World country, where we have the gift of pooping in a place separate from where we bathe

26. The liberties we have here, like the right to vote, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion

27. Easy access to vaccines

28. Clean water

29. The World Wildlife Fund, who is working to protect and save so many endangered species

MONEY STUFF

30. No debt, other than a mortgage

31. A decent income that allows me to stay home with our daughter

32. Growing up comfortably in a middle-class family

33. My husband’s quarterly bonuses that are AWESOME

34. All the little “extras” that my mom gives to us, even when I tell her not to

35. The savings account my mom has started for her granddaughter

VACATIONS

36. All the times I have traveled to London, the place that feels like home to me

37. Our extraordinary Australian honeymoon

38. The many times that my parents took me to Walt Disney World

39. Our trip to New York City during the 10th anniversary of 9/11

40. Our unforgettable Alaskan cruise

41. Time spent with my late grandparents in Mexico, more than once

42. Spending my 8th birthday on a plane returning from Hawaii

43. Cross-country road trip from Florida to California, then up to Idaho

44. The memorable road trips in my grandparent’s motor home during my childhood

45. My class trip to Washington D.C.

46. Traveling around Europe with my mom for an entire month

47. All the other getaways I have taken, which are too numbered to mention here

GROWING UP

48. Holidays spent at the home of my maternal grandparents, where the house was full of family, noise, laughter, games, and food

49. A menagerie of kitty cats and puppy dogs, which surely cemented my love for animals

50. Going to the zoo every Memorial Day

51. A neighborhood full of kids to play with

52. Lots of friends, of both genders, and one best friend who was my sidekick and has remained so ever since

53. The big, impressive birthdays my parents used to throw for me

FOOD

54. Chocolate of every kind in every form

55. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream

56. Crispy French fries (because mushy = gross)

57. Pizza and the crusts that my husband doesn’t eat so that I can

58. Leftover Halloween candy

59. Cherry Coke Zero

60. The gingerbread cookie milkshake I am about to enjoy

61. Panera Bread and Starbucks, my favorite chains

62. Every other good, tasty thing in the whole world

SUPERFICIAL THINGS

63. A storage shed filled to the top with boxes of holiday decorations

64. My sparkly ballet flats that I bought while in NYC

65. My collection of Harry Potter books…and every other book on my bookshelves

66. Favorite TV shows like Friends, Brothers & Sisters, Parenthood, and Downton Abbey

67. Favorite movies like Titanic, Notting Hill, He’s Just Not That Into You, P.S. I Love You, and The Breakup

68. My wedding ring, which isn’t large but is perfect for me and my finger

69. All of my pretty lace tops hanging in my closet (because I do so, so love lace)

70. The new brown suede coat I bought for our recent trip to London

71. All the pretty jewelry neatly arranged in my armoire

72. My cameras, both the point-and-shoot and the fancy SLR

73. My breasts, about the only thing I like on my body

74. That my acne has cleared up over the last couple years

75. Dimples, on whoever has them

76. Handsome men to look at, like Gerard Butler and Robert Pattison

77. The Today show, which almost feels like family

BRIC A BRAC

78. That I have the willpower not to enjoy all the good things listed in the “Food” section above for every meal of every day

79. Our new hometown, which doesn’t feel quite like home yet but is still a perfect fit nonetheless

80. Scrapbooking, which keeps my mind busy when nothing else will

81. My talent for fiction writing, one of the few things I feel I’m really good at

82. Every critter on this good earth, big or small (even spiders — eek!), all of whom I think make this planet one worth protecting and saving

83. Being able to love and trust, even though I have been deeply hurt and betrayed in many ways before

84. Having the determination to get up each morning to work out on the treadmill

85. Having enough room in our house to own a treadmill, so that I don’t have to purchase a gym membership

86. The maternity photos I had taken when 8 months pregnant

87. The thousands of photos I took and had taken when Cupcake was a tiny baby because it was gone so fast

88. Getting my act together when I was 19 to lose 50 pounds…and never gaining it back

89. My husband’s hair (He made me write that.)

90. The internet and all the useless information it can provide

91. The two years that I studied nursing and my degree in English

92. Attending my freshman year of college at USF in Tampa

93. That I had the guts to walk away from a bad job six years ago, when it was doing nothing for my life

INFERTILITY

94. That I’m still ovulating while on Clomid

95. No Clomid side effects…at all

96. Finally having the courage to go see an RE

97. Living in a town where I actually have access to a fertility clinic

98. Finding an RE who I think is right for me

99. The strength, compassion, faith, and gratitude (for my daughter and all the other blessings that I do have in my life) that only infertility could have given me

100. And most importantly, you…every one of you…for you have saved me and supported me during my darkest days. I love you all very much. Thank you for walking beside me on this long and hard road.