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Change is in the air.

And I’m not just talking about the changes that a new baby brings, which are many (though, I suspect, not as many changes as a first baby brings).

It also looks like my husband may be changing jobs. Or not changing jobs, exactly, but changing employers. He’ll still be doing very much what he is doing now, with the added component of Sales (which makes me a teeny weeny bit nervous), but with a company that will hopefully make him happier. He hasn’t been very satisfied at his current job for some time and has spent at least six months looking for a new one. He’s had a few interviews and one other offer (which we declined), but this new one is starting to feel like a perfect fit.

The good news is that, because the field my husband works in is rather new and because he started in the field soon after it was given birth to (and yes, I’m being vague on purpose), he is a bit of an expert at what he does. This puts us in a very good position to negotiate for what we want when it comes to accepting any job offers in this field. He got the official job offer for this new position last week and, because this company wants him so badly, they have met all our demands in negotiations. More pay? Check. A medical stipend to pay for COBRA as long as we are on it? Check. A car allowance instead of a company car? Check. Time off for our road trip later this month and for the birth of the baby? Check. A commission program that my husband creates? Check.

And so it seems as though, today, Honey will officially accept their offer and, in two weeks’ time, he’ll be on to another employment adventure.

I’m happy for him and I’m happy for our family. This will be good for all of us. I do have a couple concerns, though. Like, the fact that my husband will be responsible for sales of the product and he’s never actually worked in sales (though his best friend is the salesman — a really good one! — for his current employer and Honey has been able to observe his techniques for two years). And like the fact that this new company is not new, but the division that my husband will be working for is, and what if they flounder? I believe in Honey, and he is confident that he will be a success, but it’s still scary to ponder.

And there’s also the health insurance issue. We’ll have to change insurance companies. The insurance itself is very good (our deductible will change from $2000 to $250), but the monthly premiums are expensive. For a family of four, we will be spending nearly $2000 each month. That’s an increase of over $1000 above what we’re paying now. I was panicked and freaked out over this possibility, but Honey was able to once again negotiate his pay to cover the huge difference. Sigh of relief. But instead, what has me concerned, is that none of our doctors (not my OB, or Cupcake’s pediatrician, or our family practitioner, or the hospital I plan to deliver at) are in-network for this new insurance company. I have cried many tears over this, not only because I love our doctors (and only chose them as part of our medical team after extensive research into who is the best of the best), but also because the stress of finding a new OB and birth center in my last trimester is just too much for this pregnant, hormonal, emotional mama to handle.

It’s just too much.

There is a loophole that I’m hoping will apply to us that will allow me to have “continuation of care.” Basically, I will need to file a claim with the new insurance company to have them pay for all of my expenses at my current OB/hospital because I am about to enter my last trimester (next week!) and need and deserve to have a doctor who knows my medical history. I will still have to change OB/GYN’s eventually, but not until after the delivery and my postnatal checkup. It’s still not what I would want in an ideal world, but it’s something. It’s better than changing doctors mid-pregnancy with less than three months to go.

So I’m hopeful and nervous and stressed and scared. Change of any kind is not easy, especially when it seems that so much is already changing. I feel very lucky to have so many good changes happening to our family, but it’s still sometimes hard to swallow without having a small heart attack. In the end, though, I know that whatever happens, it will all be okay. We will all be okay. The four of us.

The four of us! I can’t believe, soon, there will be four of us. How incredible.

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Five Years

Today, Honey and I celebrate five years of marriage. Five years! This feels like a long time and no time at all. And I hate to admit it, but it seems that the last five years have been consumed by trying to make a baby, infertility, pregnancy, loss, and babyhood. These years have given me my deepest heartaches and my greatest joys. And I am so thankful to have someone I respect, love, and trust to hold my hand as we go through it together. He has held me together when I’ve started to fall apart, held me up when I was spiraling downwards, and held me close when I felt utterly alone. Today, as we celebrate this small marital milestone, I have never been happier or felt more blessed.

In celebration, we’re having a date night this evening. With my mom in town, she has agreed to stay with my daughter while Honey and I spend the night in the city. And I do mean spend the night. We have one of the best rooms at one of my favorite hotels reserved. It has a jacuzzi tub with a view over the water. After a nice dinner, we’ll spend a laid-back evening at the hotel and, tomorrow, we’ll do a few of the touristy things we’ve never done before in the big city to the north. It will be my first night away from Cupcake, and I’m very excited. Though slightly exhausted by the thought of all I have planned.

However, I also have to remember that today is a day of remembrance for our family. It was this day, last year, that our cherished Teddy Graham was conceived. I remember the excitement of seeing that super dark OPK and the hope that filled me as my husband and I enjoyed our date night. And two weeks later…just pure joy as I saw those two beautiful lines. It all went downhill from there, but I will never forget the great delight that Teddy brought to us for those few wonderful weeks. I remember, I remember, I remember.

With that, I’ll leave you with a few kinda-sorta-non-identifying photos from our Big Day. It wasn’t a perfect celebration and, in retrospect, there are so many things I would change if I could. But it was still one of the best days of my life and only the good memories have lasted…

My comfy ballet flats with a blue ribbon ("something blue" and the charm I picked out). Two garters...one to throw and one (the one with the light blue ribbon) as my "something old." My mom wore it on her big day!

My comfy ballet flats with a blue ribbon (“something blue”) and the charm I picked out. Plus, two garters…one to throw and one (the one with the light blue ribbon) as my “something old.” My mom wore it on her big day.

My bouquet...all roses, my favorite flower.

My bouquet…all roses, my favorite flower.

our wedding rings

our wedding rings

My mom gave me this bracelet on our wedding day...two months later, it was stolen from my suitcase on our Australian honeymoon. :(

My mom gave me this bracelet on our wedding day…two months later, it was stolen from my suitcase on our Australian honeymoon. 😦

Ignore the heads that have been chopped-off...just wanted to show my dress because I loved it so much. A 10-foot train...I really did feel like a princess!

Ignore the heads that have been chopped-off…just wanted to show my dress because I loved it so much. A 10-foot train…I really did feel like a princess!

Exiting after the ceremony, with our pages carrying my long train.

Exiting after the ceremony, with our pages carrying my long train.

The gorgeous ballroom where our reception was held.

The gorgeous ballroom where our reception was held.

Our wedding cake. I was so pleased with the end result. And it tasted good too!

Our wedding cake. I was so pleased with the end result. And it tasted good too!

The first dance.

The first dance.

Jinx?

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:

IMG_5168 IMG_5170

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.

I Am Lucky

Knowing yesterday was a hard day for me, my husband brought a couple small surprises home with him:

chocolate peppermint and pumpkin spice cupcakes from one of my favorite local bakeries

chocolate peppermint and pumpkin spice cupcakes from one of my favorite local bakeries

in memory of our Teddy Graham

in memory of our Teddy Graham

Isn’t that just the sweetest thing? For all that I don’t have, and for all I still want, there are a a thousand more things I have to be thankful for. Honey is at the top of the list. I am so very lucky to have him.

Photo Challenge: Honey

I love honey. Truth be told, I love all things sweet and sugary. But the thing I love about honey is that I can eat it without too much guilt. Natural source of sugar, right? I love to have it on toast (sometimes with ricotta) or drizzle it over vanilla ice cream.  I also love it in plain Greek yogurt. The best honey I ever tasted came from Kangaroo Island in Australia…my husband and I bought a dozen jars or so while on our honeymoon. And because I love honey as much as I do and eat it so frequently, I bought a little honey pot a long time ago (from where, I can’t recall):

However, there is a problem: this pot is so dang cute that I can’t bear to use it. I just can’t. And so it sits on a shelf collecting dust. But it does bring me a smile every time I see it, so that’s something, right?

And in the background there, is the man who makes my life so sweet. That’s my Honey. And if I’m being honest, this challenge is really all about him.

A Post-Birthday Post

Well, I am a horrible wife.

Because yesterday was my birthday and I’m ashamed to say that I acted like a spoiled rotten brat when I didn’t get what I wanted. Which is so rare for me because I usually don’t care what I get at all. Every year, my husband asks and every year I say something like, “Oh whatever. You know what I like.”  But this year, I did have a request. I wanted a necklace — simple, classic, something I can wear every day — that holds two birthstones. One for my daughter, our Cupcake. And for the baby who never got to be born, our Teddy Graham. I wanted something to represent that I’m a mother of two, something to commemorate our loss and honor the Baby Who Almost Was. Some people get tattoos. I wanted — want — a necklace.

And I knew I would get what I want and looked forward to unwrapping that small, pretty box all day. And then when I finally did and it was a necklace (yay!) but nothing at all like what I had pictured in my head (boo!), I just felt all color drain from my face and my husband knew with one look at me that I didn’t like it all. And then I started crying.

So here is one more flaw I will reveal to you: I am a horrible, horrible wife. I let my disappointment show. I didn’t even try to hide it. My Honey’s heart was in the right place and he tried so hard and I reacted with no thought to how it might hurt him. And it did. It hurt him. I’m not proud. I hate myself for it. But can I blame it on hormones? Or just on a tough life? Because I really am a mess right now. Such a mess.

But other than that, it was a good day for me. I spent most of it alone with my favorite little person and I indulged in a lot of good food. I talked to my mom five times throughout the day and, even though I carry my pain with me through every moment, I was mostly able to breathe through that and just experience the joy that my birthday always brings me. And I got a card from my sister, which brought a smile to my face. I was wondering if she’d even remember my special day and was pleasantly surprised when the mail arrived at noontime. It was a simple card and lacked her normal friendly, upbeat tone, but at this point I will take what I can get. At least she made the effort.

As yesterday was coming to a close though, I started to feel deflated and sad. Because now our road trip is over and my birthday is done and what else do I have to look forward to or to distract me through the weeks ahead? Nothing. Now it’s just all about waiting and that’s so depressing. Especially because, for whatever reason, I am starting to feel like this cycle is already a flop. A failure. It’s CD10 and I already have lost hope.

And I’m so scared for everything that is — and isn’t — around the corner.

Back Home

Well, it’s CD8 and we’re back home…or at least, the place we call “home” but that doesn’t yet actually feel like Home, two years after moving here.

It was a good trip, but not easy. Between the conversation with my sis, Trisha’s sad news, the Clomid I was taking, and my daughter being the Tantrum Queen, I was a bit of an emotional wreck. There were plenty of meltdowns and I’m not proud to say that they weren’t all from Cupcake. Really, I was ready to come home nearly as soon as we got there and, by the time we finally did return last night, I was spent. Physically and emotionally spent in every possible way.

Still, it was nice to spend time with my mama and let our little girl see so many people whom she hadn’t in a year or more. And we went to the wedding of a family friend. A boy whom I have known all his life (him being five years younger than me) finally married his sweetheart of ten years. Weddings always make me cry, not only because it is always so beautiful to see love at its truest, purest, and most innocent (for who knows what all the tough years ahead will bring?), but also because I am reminded of my own wedding, how lucky I am to have married my best friend, and how much harder I want to try to do and be even better for him. I think I love going to weddings exactly for that reason: it breathes new life into our relationship and devotion to each other.

There was one moment at the wedding, though, that really made me ache. As I watched the groom dance with his mother for the Mother/Son dance, and they laughed and looked so at ease, I thought to myself, I will never have that with my Teddy Graham. I have always believed that our TG was a boy and, while I will never really know, I feel a constant loss over losing all possible boyness in my life — even the possibility of ever having a[nother] boy. I will never get to dance with Teddy and I may never get a Mother/Son dance at all. This thought was enough to make the tears fall while I watched the Mother of the Groom dance with her son, and enough to make them continue to fall into the night.

Then yesterday, before hitting the road, we met a friend for lunch. She’s a rather new friend whom I’ve known less than two years and she is expecting her second child. In fact, she is due one week and one day before my own lost due date…an “accident baby” they hadn’t planned on so soon. Ugh. The only thing that gives me any solace is that I know she, too, understands the pain of miscarriage. She had one six months before conceiving her first living child. And when I went through my own loss, she was there through e-mail and text, encouraging, comforting and praying for me. When she asked if we could meet for lunch, I had mixed feelings. I purposely hadn‘t contacted her since arriving in Idaho so that I could avoid having lunch with a pregnant belly at the table. But I’m not good at saying no, and mercifully, it was easier than anticipated. I still knew, as I looked at her swollen tummy, that mine would probably have been around the same size. I still wish it was me, of course. But it didn’t cut me to my core. I didn’t have to escape to the bathroom for a good cry. It was okay. Which gives me hope that maybe, some day, I will be able to handle seeing my sister with such grace and calm as well. Or maybe it will always burn my heart. Maybe the unfairness of it all will never escape me. Maybe.

So that was our short trip. Which felt so long. It was a mix of bitter and sweet. I shed a lot of tears. But the first week of this cycle was gone in a flash and for that, I am grateful. Up next: my birthday. Tomorrow! And then wait-wait-waiting — all ending with a heavy dose of disappointment or a mix of unimaginable joy and fear. And then more waiting beyond that.

Ugh.

My whole life is a series of waits, I’m afraid.