Monday, May 31, 2010

Meant to Be?

Shortly after the doctor first told us that she was 70% sure that we were having a baby girl, I had an inspiration for the nursery.  Before I go any further, I should first mention that I'm a "blue girl"--half of my wardrobe is blue, I had blue hydrangeas for our wedding, my car is blue, our bathroom towels are blue, I painted the accent walls in our house blue...I just typically gravitate towards blue.  I'm thrilled that our baby girl is healthy...but I just don't feel like I can claim that I am "Team Pink".  When our doctor told us she was 70% sure, her words were actually, "I'm 70% sure you're having a girl...but don't rush out and paint the nursery pink quite yet", and my immediate thought was "oh don't worry--I don't plan on painting the nursery pink even when you're 100% sure!".

So my inspiration:  Butterflies.

I figure that I can use all kinds of beautiful colors--including some blue, and yes, some pink as well.  This way, I figured that I could get away from the stereotypical girlie pinks and purples, and yet still create a nursery theme that is sweetly feminine.  So I started with simply googling "butterfly nursery theme"...and got goosebumps at one of the first results to pop up.  For starters, the color theme of the bedding setting was predominantly made up of a soft yellow, a light blue, and a rusty red.  I loved the color scheme, and I loved the design--not super girlie, and yet clearly feminine.  But more importantly--the name of the set stood out to me.  It was the name of my dog!  She was an amazing Boxer and a faithful companion for sixteen years until my parents had to put her down just over a year ago.  That sealed the deal for me--it just felt like it was meant to be. 

A week or so later, I attended a bridal shower for one of my former colleagues, and won a prize for one of the games.  When I pulled out a butterfly-inspired candle, I once again felt like my butterfly concept was meant to be (though I promise to never light the candle in the nursery and remove it for safe keeping when our baby girl gets old enough to be curious about fire).

I think I pretty much have my heart set on this design.  I've had the idea of painting large butterflies on the walls of the nursery to add some color to the room.  I really do want to make it a beautiful space for our baby girl, and I pray that she will love it--whether she turns out to be a "pink girl" or a "blue girl" like her mom.

Today's blessing was an amazing seven-page list of suggested baby items from a former colleague and friend who I really admire.  Her daughter will be three on Halloween, and she is now pregnant with her second, and I think that she is an amazing mom.  When I asked her for some recommendations on baby products, I was imagining that he she would share a list of four or five of her favorite things.  Instead, she sent seven pages of links and descriptions and feedback and suggestions!  I admit that it's a tad-bit overwhelming to start thinking of all of the products that are out there for babies right now, but it's such a blessing to have someone who has gone through it (and will be going through it again) and can share some honest feedback.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Out of curiosity, when did you (or when will you):

  • Buy maternity clothes?
  • Start your baby registry?
  • Purchase furniture for the nursery?
  • Decide on a name?
  • Schedule your baby shower?
  • Make your first "personal purchase" for your baby?
  • Begin to decorate the nursery? 
  • Plan your Lamaze/breastfeeding/parenting classes?
I'm 22 weeks...I feel her kicking all the time...every ultrasound has looked great...and yet it's still scary to take the plunge.  We're starting to tackle these items listed above--slowly but surely--and yet I can't help but feel that we're getting ahead of ourselves.

I think a lot of it comes down to recognizing that my sister-in-law lost her son at 30 weeks.  She and I talked about her experience recently, which I think was good for both of us.  After her experience, she is a bit cautious.  After my own experience and witnessing her late loss, I too am a bit cautious.  When I first looked (just looked...did not purchase or even order a sample) at bedding, her gut reaction was "Wow!  That's so soon!".  And I can't help but agree with her--it was scary to give my heart the chance to fall in love with the design (which is why I still haven't purchased it and continue to put off ordering a $3 sample).  And yet, the various websites seem to suggest that you should at least order your furniture by 22 weeks, if nothing else.

And so we did.  Yesterday.  We looked on Wednesday after our appointment while my husband was in town with me, and it turns out that there was a 20% off sale through Thursday.  So he went back on Thursday and made the purchase.  (Eek!)  I'm mostly excited.  I want this to happen!  I'm ready for this to happen!  I hope that he'll spend the long weekend moving furniture for me so as to prepare the room that will serve as our nursery.  But I have to admit that part of me is still afraid of losing our baby girl and then being stuck with a room full of beautiful nursery furniture.  I know that I shouldn't think this way.  I know that my sister-in-law's late loss was a freak accident that does not typically happen, and I shouldn't let that hold us back.  I should move forward as if this really is if we truly will bring a beautiful baby girl home with us in September.  All I can do is take it one day at a time...which still leaves me wondering...when?  Which day (or week or month) is the "right" time to take these steps?  I really am curious to hear what sort of timeline others have followed.

Although I admit that I was anxious about buying the furniture, I still recognize that it was a blessing that my husband felt ready to make the purchase.  He is wonderful about how he manages our money, so he didn't have any qualms about the price.  Yes, I'm still rather frugal (it's okay--you can call me "cheap"--I don't mind), but I am also very blessed that he is so careful with where our money goes.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Beautiful Eyes and Long Legs

I had my first dream in which I saw "details" of our baby girl.  In the dream, she has beautiful blue eyes, just like my husband (I, too, have blue eyes, so genetically speaking, there's a pretty good chance she will too...but I think that his are prettier than mine, so I was pleased that hers resembled his).  Of course, in the dream, she was talking to me (as a newborn) and telling me that I'm not a good mom.  That hurt a bit, but I attributed it to a) crazy pregnancy hormone-induced dreams, b) a legitimate desire to be a good mom, and c) the fact that I had just watched Glee (now that LOST is no longer) and the final scene involved a dysfunctional mother/daughter dynamic. 

So I woke up in a good mood, with the image of her beautiful blue eyes tattooed on my brain, and then had a very nice and slow day at work.  I was "On Call" this morning, but somehow miraculously was not needed at all, which meant that I was able to sit calmly at my desk.  And while I saw calmly, she was bouncing all over the place for extended periods of time.  Yesterday was one of those "go-go-go" types of days, and I didn't get to simply enjoy her as much as I would have liked, but today made up for it. 

We then had our appointment, and I shared my "funky discharge" concern with my doctor, and she was not concerned at all.  She attributed it to hormones, and said that it was so minimal and without smell, so it was probably fine.  I'm relieved to know that it was probably nothing.  I figure that doctors have seen and heard it all, so while I may be embarrassed a bit, I have to remember that this is what she is here for.  Looking back, I think that it was worth it to mention it to her today...but it probably didn't warrant the worry I felt on Saturday.  It didn't even last 24 hours...but I didn't know that it would be so short-lived when it initially happened.  I think I handled it all pretty well...but I don't know if I'll be able to simply drop the toilet paper instead of inspecting it each time (oh come on, you know that you do it too).  So after chatting with her, it was on to see the baby.  The thing that stood out to us the most is her long legs.  I realize that in normal fetal development, the legs grow a bit later than the rest of the body, proportionally speaking.  It seems like our baby girl's legs have definitely caught up with the rest of her growth!  No wonder I feel her kicking so much throughout the day!  Yes, I realize that this is totally normal...but it still amazes me.

Today's blessing was being asked to serve on the selection committee when we fill a vacancy at work in the next few weeks.  I'm very honored that my supervisor recognizes my abilities and appreciates my perspective and thought of me for this opportunity.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Just When I Thought I Could Relax

For the most part, things have been going really well.  Our baby girl kicks and punches and moves around a lot at various times throughout the day, and I absolutely love it!  I feel like I'm starting to pick up on her "schedule" a bit, so I kind of know when to anticipate her workouts.  Her movement has helped make these three weeks between appointments feel so much more manageable (we go in again on Wednesday).

I went shopping on Saturday like I promised I would...and I think I did pretty well.  I spent $111 and got two pairs of pants and six shirts.  That's pretty good, right?  The shirts were "buy one, get one free", which totally helped.  I know that I said that I was afraid of the maternity pants, but they were on clearance for less than $20 each, so I took the risk.  I consider them "almost normal"--they have a zipper and all, but they fit low below my belly, and have elastic on the side that I can take-in/let-out as needed.  I was surprised that I actually still fit into a (maternity) size 4...but I gave myself some room and went with a 6 in one pair and an 8 in the others (they didn't have a 6 in that I gave myself plenty of room in those).

So there I was with all of these new clothes...and then I had a bit of a freak-out.  Just when I thought I could relax...something happened to raise my concern levels again.  I'll spare the details, but let's just say that I had some "funky discharge".  It was so extremely minimal, and I would have never noticed it if I weren't such a great toilet paper inspector.  But I did notice it...and it did worry me a bit.  Since we have an appointment on Wednesday, I told myself that if noticed it at all today, that I would call my doctor--if not, then I would just mention it in our appointment on Wednesday.  So far, everything seems totally normal today, so perhaps it was nothing (but I'll shave on Wednesday...just in case). 

Even through this little ordeal, I could feel our baby girl kicking I trusted that everything was fine with her.  But I just want to make sure that I am doing everything that I can to provide a safe environment for her in which she can continue to grow and develop for the next 18 weeks.  And yet, there is only so much that I can control--and I just have to leave the rest up to God and trust in Him.  But I sure wouldn't mind a few extra prayers that everything is okay with both our baby girl and me.

Today's blessing was the chance to head home early and relax.  I ended up working late on Friday to get ready for our first New Student Orientation today, and then rushed (and worried) throughout the weekend, so this really is my first chance to catch my breath and unwind.  Let's just hope that tomorrow goes okay with the second day of Orientation.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

He's a Good Husband...

...but something tells me that he's going to be a great "Daddy". 

I just wanted to share a couple of the sweet things that my husband has done lately in preparation for our baby girl:
  • When I brought up the childbirth classes, not only was he more-than-willing to go, but he created a document that organized all of the various dates (highlighting our preferred and alternate dates), locations, costs, and additional notes. 
  • When I suggested that we start thinking about the nursery (and how to move his "man cave" into the office to make room for the guest room, so that we can make room for the nursery), he created a Visio document to map out all four rooms and where the various pieces of furniture can go.
  • After initially balking at the list of things that we "need to have", "should get", and "would be nice", he had an "ah-ha moment" and realized that it's perfectly fine to register for all of the above...and then fill in the gaps bit by bit.
  • He started a new IRA about a month ago to save money for our baby girl's future (and then freaked out just a little bit yesterday when he couldn't figure out what the charge was going towards).
  • He found a quarter on the ground yesterday and brought it home for me, thus indulging me in my quests to keep an eye out for pennies and other coins.
  • Being the (lovable and sexy) computer nerd that he is, he priced out night-vision cameras that he can install in the nursery that will be able to stream live video to the computer in our bedroom so that we can watch her on the TV screen.
  • He started the important conversations with his supervisor to lay the groundwork for a promotion (he's due for one anyway...but I was impressed with how he took the initiative to get things started).
  • He listens to my crazy pregnancy dreams every morning after morning after morning without thinking that I'm crazy.
  • Although he works 1-1/2 hours away from my doctor's office, he makes it a priority to attend my appointments with me (and has only missed two so far--one when he was out of town, and the other when there were two scheduled in the same week).
  • As a drummer, he softly plays little drumbeats on my belly and teaches her the name and significance of the beats...and yet he also suggested that perhaps it is time to sell his drum set to make room for her arrival (which breaks my heart and makes me so proud of his sacrifice, all at the same time).
He may never be the other-the-top romantic type, but yet he's so sweet and accommodating in his own unique way.  Like I said--he's a good husband to me...but something tells me he's going to be a great "Daddy" to our baby girl.  There is no one else with whom I would want to share this experience.

Aside from my husband, today's blessing is my brother, who is wise beyond his years and helped me through a difficult morning in dealing with family drama.  It's days like today that make me wish that I lived closer to home so that I could hang out with him (and the rest of my family, despite the drama) more often, but it's a blessing to know that he's only a phone call away...and he's always there for me.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Crazy Dreams

I've been having the craziest dreams lately.  When I wasn't pregnant, I feel like I had a fairly "normal" dream cycle (if there is such thing).  I'd have a memorable dream about once a week or so, give or take.  I would have the occasional "nightmare", but for the most part, they were just your standard "neutral" dreams...nothing too exciting.

But throughout this pregnancy (and previous pregnancies), I've had some crazy dreams.  And I seem to have them every night...for the entire night!  I may wake up (typically to pee), but then I dream again.  (I admit that I had two more dreams that may-or-may-not have included losing the baby, but feeling her move the next morning sufficiently puts those fears to rest.)

So as an example, last night's crazy dream involved two of our student workers, who apparently also worked at a bank (at least in the dream), where they each decided it would be a good idea to steal $5,000 out of the drawer, and then confide in me.  We were apparently in a small town, because we ended up all having a friendly lunch with the town sheriff...of course hiding the fact that they had just pocketed the money.  Then we walked around the downtown district, where I saw a former high school friend across the street.  Later, the sheriff came to my house (which I did not recognize as my current home or any other home in which I've lived) to investigate the missing money.  But instead of asking about our two student workers, he asked about the high school friend, and got me to admit that yes, she did party a little bit in college.  Apparently that was the evidence that he needed to pin the theft on her!  Meanwhile, at the house (which was apparently my parents', though I didn't recognize it), my parents were raising the roof by pulling the house really tight with ratchet straps so that they could put up bunk beds.  It somehow all made sense in the dream--in fact I somehow explained the physics behind it to a different friend from high school who stopped by (who, now that I think about it, has an engineering degree).  And then I somehow woke up.

I can't help but wonder what Freud would say about these dreams (or the one in which I was water skiing on dolphins with the Queen of joke).  I typically don't try to "decipher" what they mean--rather, I just can't help but laugh at their absurdity.  I previously read that our dreams tend to get wackier and more vivid during pregnancy due to hormones (it seems as though they blame everything on hormones).  Are any other pregnant women out there experiencing these crazy dreams?  Or am I just crazy?

Today's blessing was finally feeling the slow and relaxing pace of summer.  Yes, I realize that summer officially started yesterday (at least on the academic schedule), but I had a busy day wrapping up the Spring semester.  It was a blessing today to get to work and realize that I only had one appointment scheduled for the entire day.  I easily found things to occupy the rest of my day, but it was really nice to not feel a sense of urgency as I tackled the tasks.  It was also amazing to recognize that I was pregnant for the entire semester!  When you work in education, your world revolves around the academic calendar, so this was a huge milestone for us.  Now I just need to make it through Summer and the start of Fall...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Good Old Rubber Band Trick

I've invested in two belly bands--one black and one white--and they seem to be doing the trick splendidly for when I wear pants.  But I shaved for church yesterday, and wanted to take advantage of the situation, so I opted to wear a skirt to work today (which I rarely do...I admit that it's affiliated with the shaving-legs thing...I blame my Berkeley-hippy mother). 

Anyway, the skirt has five buttons on the side, and while they all buttoned perfectly fine this morning, I found that the middle button was the tightest  I found that I could just leave that one unbuttoned, and my shirt would easily cover the gap.  But by buttoning the top two buttons, it essentially gave the skirt a high-waisted appearance.  But it seamed to work least this morning. 

But I've found that my belly seems to expand during the day.  Yes, I realize that it's constantly growing--but this is more of a "settling" throughout the day sort of phenomenon.  I discovered that what looked "fashionable enough" this morning...did not look so this afternoon.  So I resorted to the good old rubber band trick--where you loop the end of the rubber band through the button hole and then attach it to the button.

Am I being cheap?  Perhaps.  But it also felt somewhat like a "rite of passage" to invoke this old trick.  I know that I've been saying it for a couple of weeks now, but I really am going to go shopping this weekend.  No seriously--I am!  My husband has drill this weekend, so to save money, we'll drive up first thing Saturday morning so he can start PT at 6:00 am, and then I'll have to find a way to entertain myself until after noon when we can check into the hotel.  So really--I plan to shop this weekend.  In terms of pants, I think that I'll be able to survive with the belly bands for a couple more weeks (and I admit that the maternity pants scare me just a bit).  But I think that I'm ready--both physically and emotionally--for some cute maternity tops.  I plan to get some "basics" (ie, tank-tops and long t-shirts), but I'm also looking forward to purchasing some really "cute" tops that really accentuate my bump.  Until then, I'll leave it up to my belly bands and rubber bands.

Today's blessing was the chance to "browse" for baby gear with my very-dear friend.  I think that my husband is just a tiny bit overwhelmed at all of the things that we need to get and all of the things that we should get and all of the things that I want to get.  I want to get make it as painless on him as possible, so it was really nice to be able to go with another pregnant friend and play around with all of the strollers, car seats, swings, bouncers, gliders...etc., etc.  We had a lot of fun, and I've got a better idea of what I like and what I can live without.  She leaves for five weeks in Europe on Thursday, so it was a really nice blessing to be able to spend some quality time with her before she leaves. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wanna Feel?

A couple of weeks ago I was lamenting over how I wasn't quite sure if what I was experiencing was the baby moving.  I admit that these questions came in that rough week when I was feeling off and had some lingering fears as I anxiously anticipated our appointment.  Well, I'm happy to share that any of those doubts are totally erased at this point, and I feel confident that I can now fully recognize our baby girl's movements.

I'm still not sure if I was indeed feeling her previously.  If I had to describe what I was feeling in those "maybe I'm feeling her...?" moments, it was more along the lines of a "flutter", perhaps with the occasional "light tap".  But on May 4th, the night before our big anatomy scan, I most definitely felt her "kicking" (or perhaps "punching" or "head-butting").  It was a totally different sensation, and it left no doubt in my mind that the movement was truly her (though I didn't know that she was actually a "she" at the time...and for my LOST friends, I should mention that it all happened during the show that night).  Those first distinguishable kicks really helped to move my worries to rest.  I still looked first for a beating heart on the anatomy scan, but somehow I knew from the kicks that she really was okay.

I absolutely love feeling her kick!  It is such an amazing feeling!  Perhaps my view will change when she gets bigger and her movements are more pronounced...but I sure hope not.  I hope that I always appreciate and smile in wonder at her movements.  She seems pretty active, and moves around at various times throughout the day.  Most of the time, I assume that her movements are "kicks" and "punches"...but every once in a while it seems like she does a "somersault" or "back-flip".  It seems to happen about once a day--usually sometime in the morning after I get up and get started going about my day--as if she is saying "Okay! Okay!  I'm up too!".  Those sensations are so intense that it feels like my whole stomach is lurching with her movements.  I can't help by exclaim "Hi Baby Girl!" whenever it happens.

So ever since I first started feeling her, whenever it seems like she's really active, I invite my husband over to feel with me.  I recognize that I can feel her from the inside, but it sure seems like I can feel her movements from the outside as well.  I love my husband dearly--but one of his drawbacks is his lack of motivation once he gets comfortable on the couch.  So even though he may only be three feet away from me, he'd rather stay comfortably situated than rush to my side to try to feel her.  I'm not going to lie--I was a bit disappointed at his lack of interest.  But I get it--I was comfy too, and didn't want to move either (and I am usually afraid that if I move...then she will too, and I'd rather selfishly enjoy her all to myself than take the risk of trying to share her with him and missing out on the moment).  But today, as we sat side by side, I felt her move.  In response to the "wanna feel?" question, this time he reached out his hand (like I said, we were side by side...not on opposite couches).  It took a moment, but then I felt her kick.  I pointed it out the first couple of times, but then he started to pick up on her movements without my prompting.  His response:  an awestruck "that's pretty cool!".  If only he knew what it was like to feel her from the inside as well.

Today's blessing is wonderful news for my dear friend (yes, I know her in real life) Kate from Busted Plumbing.  I'll let you hear it in her own words (though actually, it was her husband who posted today).  Let's just say that God truly answers prayers, and it's a blessing to experience and share in her joy.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Halfway There

It's been an eventful three days of notable milestones (at least for me).  Saturday marked the one-year anniversary of creating this blog.  Sunday was Mother's Day, and my opportunity to celebrate not only this baby girl growing inside of me, but my three babies in heaven as well.  And now today marks 20 weeks...which means that we're halfway there!

At this point, I feel like I'm savoring the experience.  I'm not feeling overwhelmed with things to do...yet.  I know that we need to accomplish a lot between now and late September, but I'm not feeling a sense of urgency...yet. 

Looking back, the last big thing that required planning and preparations was our wedding.  We got engaged in April and decided to get married the following March, leaving just just shy of eleven  months to plan the wedding.  I remember feeling a sudden sense of panic when we hit the six month mark.  Anything more than that felt like ample time...anything less seemed rushed.  The moment of panic only lasted a few days, and I was able to adjust my schedule and finish up all of the arrangements in plenty of time.  But I do vividly remember the feeling when I realized that the wedding was six months out.

I realize that the six-months-left point in the pregnancy is long past...but I don't think we were even out of the first trimester at that point.  So I'm working on a totally different timeline here.  Perhaps I'll eventually start to feel overwhelmed and hit a moment of panic, but I think I'm mostly really looking forward to everything that's left.  I admit that I'm still constantly waiting on one more confirmation.  For example, even though I found the nursery set I like, we decided to wait and purchase it after our next appointment on May 26th.  Who knows?  Perhaps we'll wait a bit longer at that point as well.  All I know is that I'm excited, and although I may be acting cautiously, my heart and my mind are dreaming of the future.

Today's blessing was a really sweet note that was left in my office by two of my amazing student leaders.  Through working with them in various organizations, I know both of these students better than the average student, so I wasn't too surprised when they dropped by to ask if I had any snacks.  I was stuck at our Front Desk at the time, so I explained where they could find my snack drawer in my office.  When I returned to my office, they had left a note thanking me for being so "motherly", and proclaiming that they knew that I would be a great mom when our baby arrives.  I adore my students, and I'm so blessed to have them in my life.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

I think I said it pretty good last year:

"Most of the world wouldn't recognize me as a mother. I don't push a stroller around, I don't have drawings on the refrigerator, and I don't drive a mini-van. I've never decorated a nursery in our extra bedroom, I've never settled on a name, and I've never designed a birth announcement. And yet, I consider myself a mother."

As I shared yesterday in my reflection on the anniversary of this blog, so much has changed over the course of the year.  As my belly continues to grow, the world is beginning to recognize me as a mother...but I've known my special status since July 2008 when I found out that I was pregnant for the first time.  I believe that life begins at conception--therefore, I believe that motherhood also begins at conception.  Today, I choose to quietly celebrate my role as "Mother"--not only to this little baby girl that is growing (and kicking) inside of me, but to my other three babies who I will someday meet in heaven.

I know that Mother's Day is so hard for so many of us who have struggled with in/fertility and survived loss.  We "deserve" to be celebrated, and yet it's also hard for those who love us to celebrate something that brings us so much pain at the memory of loss and desire.  To my knowledge, Hallmark doesn't make a Mother's Day card for those of us who are missing our babies on days like today (or any other day, for that matter).  All I can do is reach out and share that I recognize and acknowledge that today is difficult, and pray that God bring you peace.

Yes, I know it's cliche to choose my mom as my blessing on Mother's Day, but it's kind of the obvious choice.  I know that I was sharing yesterday that my mom and I went through some rough patches in my teenage years.  Though we worked through (most of) them at the time, my turning point in appreciating my mom and her selflessness is when she dropped everything to fly down and care for me after my first loss.  Something in our relationship changed that day, and I recognized a new glimpse of a mother's love.  In honor of my mom on Mother's Day, I wanted to share that we have selected to use her name as our daughter's middle name (first name is still yet to be decided).  I love you Mom!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

An Anniversary

On a quiet Saturday morning in May 2009--not much unlike today--I started this blog.  Okay, so the anniversary of my first blog posting is actually May 9th, which is tomorrow...which is also Mother's Day, so I wanted to focus on that element, and instead chose to celebrate this last year of my blog today.

In some ways, so many things are similar to where I was last year...and in other ways, so many things are so entirely different.  Like today, my husband was still asleep when I creeped to the computer.  Like today, the ocotillo were still blooming in the backyard.  Like today, I was pregnant a year ago as well.  I remember playing trial and error as I searched for a fitting name for the blog.  I wanted something along the lines of "third time's a charm", since it was our third pregnancy, and I was certain that it would last.  We were finally working with an RE, so it had to work, right?  Looking back, I'm so glad that anything related to the "third time" was taken (I kind of avoid that saying now, as clearly the third time is not always the charm).  Instead, I settled on "Blessed in Arizona", and used it as an opportunity to reflect on my blessings.  On that day a year ago, my blessing of the day was "a lazy Saturday when I had the chance to crawl back into bed with my amazing husband" (perhaps I'll do so again today).  Thus started a year of recognizing how God has blessed me abundantly--even in the midst of loss.

But I digress...unlike today, that pregnancy did not progress.  Unlike today, I was really struggling to understand and handle my emotions.  Unlike today, I didn't know what it meant to feel a sense of peace or a sense of hope.  I have changed so much in the last year, and I believe that I owe a lot of that to the venue that this blog has provided to me to not only share my own struggles, but to connect with other women who have walked the same path.  I have been so inspired by so many of you.  There are those of you have shared your stories of raw pain and how you are working through it, and have provided me with the safety I, too, needed to be vulnerable and honest in my struggles.  There are those of you who have wondered aloud about everything from bodily changes to "why would God do this?", and made me realize that it's okay that I, too, have unanswered questions.  There are those of you who demonstrated your faith day after day and how God is working in your lives, and caused me to look at my own faith-life and recognize that I, too, needed to rebuild and sustain an intimate relationship with Him.  There are those of you who find a way to laugh in the face of infertility struggles and loss, and helped me to realize that I, too, needed some joy and laughter in my life to balance out my tears and heartache.  And there are those of you who have shared your stories of successful pregnancies after loss, and helped me believe that I, too, can carry a baby to full-term after a loss. 

So, on this anniversary, I want to acknowledge and thank everyone who has been a part of this journey.  Every comment that is left for me, and every blog posting that I read, has contributed to shaping me into the person that I am today (and into the mother that I hope to be).  It's so reassuring to recognize that I'm not alone on this journey, and I hope that I have been able to be a good travelling companion for you on your journey as well.

So aside from the blessing of a lazy Saturday in which I can climb back in bed with my amazing husband, my blessing for today truly is this blog and the women that I have met through it.  Although I may not "know" you, please know that you are a significant part of my life, and I'm overwhelming blessed to have your kindness and support.

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Confession

I've got to get this out there right away.  And I hope that no one reads this and considers me ungrateful--because that's not why I share this.  But this is where I share my honest, gut reactions to this journey we've been on.

That all being said, I'm scared of having a little girl.

There--I said it.  Please, please, please don't think that I'm being ungrateful for this precious gift and a healthy baby girl!  But it does scare me--not a lot...but enough to mention it here.

For starters, there's that saying (and I apologize in advance if this offends anyone):  "With a boy, you only have to worry about one dick...and with a girl, you have to worry about every other dick in the world".  But that's a long time from now...and I trust that my husband and I can take the necessary time and energy to properly educate her on how to respect her body and make wise decisions when that time comes.

Second, girls can be mean!  I know, because I was one!  And I've had my share of being the mean girl, and being the victim of the mean girl(s).  Boys fight--physically--and then get over it.  But girls can say and do things that leave emotional scars that last longer than any bruises that physical fights can cause.

Getting more serious--I worry about fighting with my daughter when she's a teenager.  Okay, so I realize that this is fairly normal, but my mom and I had some really tense moments.  I always loved her, and I always knew that she loved me...but it didn't stop me from choosing a college 800 miles away so that I could get away from her (that, and San Diego was pretty enticing).  I learned so much from my mom in the process, and she was a fabulous mom most of the time.  But the fights were pretty bad at times.  Things just seem different between mothers and sons.  I realize that there are plenty of mother/daughters with perfectly healthy relationships, so I can only pray that God grant me with the patience and wisdom that I'll need to be a good mom.

And then there are the concerns about her own in/fertility.  I realize that in/fertility is not necessarily hereditary...but at 19 weeks, she has already developed 6 million eggs!  All of her reproductive dreams are already present, and we're not even halfway through this pregnancy!  What if she runs into the "bad run of eggs" that we experienced?  It was hard enough to lose my own baby, but how would I ever survive watching my (grown-up) baby lose her own baby?  I realize that this is years and years from now, and I'm worrying about something that may never happen.  But I have to be honest and share that the thought scares me.

All of that being said...I'm thrilled beyond belief that our baby girl is healthy!  Before this journey, I always knew that I wanted to have children, and I don't believe that I had ever given much preference to the gender.  It was just at the appointment three weeks ago when my doctor gave us her 70% guess that I started realizing these fears.  But I know that God loves me, and will help me through these fears--just as He has helped me through all of the other fears along this journey.  And let's be honest--the baby girl clothes are so much more cuter than baby boy clothes!  (That...and I won't have to worry about vertical pee.)

Today's blessing is the chance to take a day off.  I've been at my university for seven years now, so I've raked in enough hours to take a day off here and there...and will still have plenty left over for a generous maternity leave.  On lazy days like today, I'm fully aware of just how much of a blessing this is.  I had shared previously that I was going to go shopping today...but I decided that with the belly band, I can easily make it a few more weeks.  I did, however, spend the whole morning looking at nursery furniture sets online and getting excited about our future purchases...and that's enough for me for now.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice...

...that's what little girls are made of.

We're having a girl!  And everything--from her brain to her heart to her kidneys to her femur--looks great!  When our doctor had made her 70% guess three weeks ago, she thought that the baby was a girl...but it's nice to have the confirmation.

I finally convinced myself this morning, long before going into the appointment, that everything was going to be fine.  I got the worries out of me in plenty of time to enjoy the show (which didn't last nearly as long as I would have liked, but even just the shortest glimpse of our baby girl is fabulous for me).  Unlike our Ultrascreen when she was totally asleep (thus resulting in a long viewing), it's as if she was a perfect model this time, and was super accommodating to the ultrasound technician.  She was showing off everything, as if on cue.

We had a quick appointment with my doctor afterward, and she confirmed that the fainting was "normal" at this stage, and confirmed that I was doing the right thing in guzzling water.  She also agreed that the shooting pains I experienced were probably round ligament pain--again, totally normal at this stage.  She is impressed with all of the measurements from the ultrasound, and says that we're right on track.  So I'll see her (and our baby girl) again in three weeks.  Yeah...three weeks instead of two.  I kind of figured that I was setting myself up for a three-week rotation when I agreed to it last time.  But I got through these last three weeks, and now that the baby is moving more noticeably (I feel very confident that I felt her totally kicking away last night during LOST), I know I can make it another three weeks again.

After the appointment, we did a little bit of shopping.  I finally bought a belly band, and am impressed with it so far (I slipped it on in the car in the parking lot).  Then I bought some clothes for my niece for her birthday...and I admit that I admired and dreamed of purchasing some of the items for our own little girl in a couple of years.  We also looked at baby furniture--just to get ideas and price things out.

And for anyone who has followed our journey and remembers my story about the pennies, how cool is this?  Throughout the afternoon, I found $0.23!  I know that seems so insignificant (and it's certainly not going to pay for the furniture I liked), but if you think about it...that's five coins!  Ever since my mom told me about finding pennies, I've been keeping my eyes peeled for them (or any form of money).  I'm lucky if I find one per week...but I found five today--three pennies, and two dimes.  Like I cool is that?

Today's blessing was seeing our baby girl, and being able to share the experience with my husband.  I'm overwhelmed by God's goodness in blessing us with a healthy pregnancy and baby girl.  I truly am blessed.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Back on Schedule

This week is already off to a better start than last week when I was feeling off, and I feel like I'm back on schedule.  For starters, LOST is new tonight.  By the time I finish the new episode, it will be bedtime...and then it will be tomorrow...which means that I finally get to see the baby again.  I admit that I woke up this morning with the "Tomorrow" song from Little Orphan Annie in my head...can you tell that I'm anxious?

As I write this, I think I'm continuing to feel (what could be) the baby moving around, so I'm hoping that everything will go wonderfully tomorrow.  But I admit that part of me is still a bit nervous.  As I've shared plenty of times before, I'm acutely aware of the fragility of life.  I realize that anything can happen, and I have to accept that it is beyond my control, and have faith that God has an amazing plan for me.  I just pray that His plan includes bringing this child home with us in September.

I really appreciate everyone's supportive comments from yesterday, and all of the prayers that are being said for us as we look forward to the anatomy scan tomorrow.  Our appointment is at 2:30 pm (Arizona time), and the plan is to stay in town to go out to dinner afterwards to celebrate.  So bear with me, and trust that it's a "good thing" if I'm not able to post right away...but will as soon as I get a chance.

Today's blessing was the chance to reconnect with a friend and former colleague who I haven't seen in about five years.  In fact, many of you may know her as well--at least through her Busted Plumbing blog.  Yes, I know the fabulous Kate (like, in real life), and I can attest to the fact that she really is as genuine, determined, hilarious, and strong as she comes across to be in her blog (perhaps even more so).  I am very proud of Kate for all that she has done to bring attention to the infertility struggles that so many of us face.  If you haven't checked out her blog yet, I strongly encourage you to do so.  It's always great for a good laugh (yes, she has found ways to continue to find humor, even while struggling with loss and infertility) and a valuable perspective on life (and all that comes with it).  I'm blessed to call Kate a friend, and I am so appreciative of the work that she does through sharing her story.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Last night, I mentioned to my husband that we were getting close to being halfway through this pregnancy.  His response:  "Already?!?!".  It just goes to show that things are so different for the guys.  For me, each day/week/month/milestone seems like it takes an eternity--but I'm not necessarily saying that in a bad way.  I want to cherish every single moment of ths pregnancy.  I feel like I've worked hard to get to this point, and I want to enjoy it to the max.

But yes, we're almost halfway there.  I'm 19 weeks today (unless the big anatomy scan ultrasound reveals otherwise on Wednesday).  Although my OB was seeing me every two weeks, she wasn't measuring each time.  I guess you could call them "peace of mind" appointments, just to make sure that everything looks normal each time (and for me to confirm that yes, the heart is still beating beautifully).  Again, I'm not complaining--I am totally aware that she's going out of her way for me with these in-between appointments, but I admit that I am curious to see where our baby is measuring (and yes, I'm anxious to confirm that the heart is still beating beautifully--hopefully with four visible chambers).

Please pray for us on Wednesday (2:30 pm, Arizona time).  I don't feel like I have anything legitimate to worry about...and yet I still do.  I've been putting off buying anything for the baby (or me), and I admit that I even hold myself back from looking online.  But I'm very hopeful for Wednesday, and I've blocked off Friday as a major shopping (or at least "looking") day, and plan to take a much-deserved day off of work (we've made it past the busy time--hurray!).  My husband ended up working some extra hours in April (it was a busy time for him as well), so he has given me the green light to buy whatever I think is necessary (which isn't a hard thing for him to say when he knows how cheap I usually am).

Today's blessing was a very kind card from one of my students.  I was really touched that she would take the time to acknowledge the impact I had on her first year of college.  I'm blessed to have the chance to "practice" the art of teaching, patience, and support for all of these "kids", and I hope that I can do the same (in a motherly way, of course) to my own child(ren).