Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bad Dream

The mind does funny things.  The mind does some especially funny things when you sleep.  The mind does some pretty crazy things when you sleep when you're pregnant.

In one of my earlier pregnancies, I once dreamed that I was water skiing with the Queen of England on dolphins behind a huge ship.  That's the kind of dream that is fun to wake from, fun to remember, and fun to share the next day.

And then there are dreams like I had last night, of loss.

I'll spare you the details, but I was proud of myself for how I handled it, in the dream.  Even in the moment of loss, I sang--in my dream--"I will praise You in the storm", and asked my dad to bring me my cell phone so that I could text my very-dear friend and ask for prayers.

The dream of loss happened--twice--when I was pregnant with Ella.  I know enough to know that they aren't signs of impending doom, but rather, just my subconscious tapping in to legitimate fears. Even so, it doesn't make it any easier to shake the images or the feelings.  I've lived that nightmare before; I'm so relieved that I got to wake up this time to realize it was all just a bad dream.

Yesterday's blessing--before the dream--occurred during Ella's bathtime.  Out of no where, she turned to me and said, "I like you.  You're pretty."  I have never heard such sweet and genuine words.  What is the kindest acknowledgement that your child has shared with you?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Uncooperative, But I Don't Mind

We had our First Trimester/NT Scan yesterday, and I think that the doctor was a little bit frustrated that the baby was lying in the umbilical cord, thus making it hard to get the necessary measurements.  But my husband and I sure didn't mind--it meant that we got an extra long viewing session of our baby! 

It amazes me how over such a short period of time, the baby can go from looking like a gummy bear to an actual human being.  Since this is our second pregnancy (or fifth, to be honest), it's nice to be able to identify body parts.  I know to relax when I see the little blinking heart, and to smile when I see hands and feet with distinguishable fingers and toes.  But it's still too early to identify gender anatomy--I tried, and I asked.  Perhaps at our next regular appointment in two weeks--I'll be fifteen weeks, which is still a little early, but maybe we'll get lucky.

It took me laying on both my right and left sides to get the baby to finally somersault into place so that the doctor could take the necessary measurements, but she finally got the shot she needed, and the preliminary measurements look good.  I still have to wait for bloodwork to come back in a week or so, but things are looking good and normal so far.  The baby was measuring two days ahead--which would actually give me an August 6th due date.  I trust the baby will come when he or she is ready.

On Sunday we found out that a couple from church is one week behind us.  It will be fun to have a friend to share this pregnancy with again, much like I did with my very-dear friend when I was pregnant with Ella.  We're not nearly as close, but I still really appreciate and enjoy her and the husband.  Since this is their first, it's weird to be the "experienced" one, this time time around.  And yet, in a way, being pregnant just feels natural.

Yesterday's blessing was sharing the pictures from our ultrasound with Ella, and explaining all the images to her.  In one picture, the baby appeared to be giving us a "high five", and Ella wanted all of us to reciprocate the gesture to the picture.  It's amazing to think of her as a big sister. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013


I was so shocked by the news two weeks ago that we were farther along than we thought, measuring just fine, with a solid heartbeat that I don't think that the reality that we are indeed having another baby truly sank in until I saw our baby again yesterday.  Now that we've seen our growing baby twice, I feel like this pregnancy is finally feeling like a reality.

I was feeling super confident after our appointment two weeks ago...but then as the days passed, the fears and worries of the past crept in.  I started feeling better, physically; which was a relief, but left me feeling concerned, emotionally.  I remember this cycle of emotions when I was pregnant with Ella as well--at least until I started feeling her move around daily.  I get such a euphoric high from seeing and confirming and believing that my child is alive and growing...but it wears off after a couple of days, and I find myself preparing for the worst.  I confess that I hung up on my husband when he told me, the day before my second appointment, that he wouldn't be able to be there with me.  Not one of my best moments as a wife; I know.

But God provided me with peace that passes understanding; even when the nurse brought me back to a room without an ultrasound machine.  I saw a different doctor yesterday, and she gave me a little bit of a scare when she couldn't initially find the baby's heartbeat with the Doppler, but then we heard the beautiful thump-thumps, measuring in the 170s.  Although we heard and saw the heartbeat at our last appointment, our doctor hadn't given us a number--which was one of the reasons that I had started to wonder and worry.  She was also more than happy to bring me across the hall to another room that had an ultrasound machine, and let me experience the joy of seeing my child again.  It wasn't until after I left that I realized that she hadn't actually taken measurements to make sure that we're still measuring on track, but she did say that the baby looked exactly like what she was expecting for 11 weeks.

We still have a long way to go; but I'm feeling more confident and calm about the reality of this pregnancy.  I'm acutely aware that anything can happen; and yes, I realize that we still have another week or so before the "safety" of the second trimester; but for now, reality is sinking in.

Today's blessing is my colleague who I really appreciate and enjoy.  Her daughter was born in September, and she's now back to work.  She knows our struggles, and our triumphs, and has been such a wonderful friend, supporter, and confidant.  Although I'm sure that she misses her daughter during the day, I selfishly think that it's wonderful to have her back at work.  Her friendship is such a blessing. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

What I'm Feeling

I was asked how I was feeling, and I can't answer it with simply one emotion.

Yucky.  I never had any sort of morning sickness with Ella.  But ever since I took the test, I've been feeling yucky every day from around 9:30 am to noon.  At first, when I thought I was only four weeks pregnant at the time, I assumed it had to be all in my head.  But since I was apparently seven weeks by the time I found out I was pregnant, I feel more justified in feeling yucky.  No puking, as of yet, and I do seem to feel better in the afternoon.  But definitely yucky in the mid-morning.

Silly.  I feel so silly that I didn't know I was pregnant.  You know me--I'm so careful about watching for fertility signs and tracking my cycle.  How could I, of all people, miss this?  In my defense, I legitimately thought that the bleeding that I experienced during Thanksgiving must have been a cycle.  My doctor also agreed that it sounded like more bleeding than normal implantation bleeding.  And also in my defense, they did a test at my doctor's office days after that; pretty much two weeks after I must have ovulated.  I just peed in the cup and let them analyze the results.  I assure you that had I been the one to dip the test, I would have been holding it up to the light to get a better look.

Relieved.  On the other side of feeling silly for not knowing I was pregnant for three weeks, I feel so relieve that God got me through the hardest weeks of waiting!  He clearly knew what He was doing, and I believe that He orchestrated the whole discovery flawlessly--from the timing, right down to tenderly speaking through my daughter.  I had about two weeks of wondering from the time I called my doctor to the time of my appointment, but like I said, I started feeling yucky nearly right away, which was a nice reassurance.  So when we did discover that we were so much farther ahead than we thought with a solid heartbeat, I was so relieved to have gotten past that first major milestone.

Guilty.  Since I thought I wasn't pregnant, and was told by my doctor's office that I was not, I acted as if I was not.  I had a glass of wine with my very-dear friend in Florida, and again the next weekend at my husband's holiday party.  I ordered that cup of coffee the morning before I found out.  I also ate "princess sized" bowls of ice cream with my very-dear friend (in their household, the serving sizes go "medium", "large", "princess").  I helped myself to holiday sweets, including raw cookie dough, as we got ready for Christmas.  If I thought that there was any chance that I would be pregnant, I would never had indulged in any of these items, so I'm left feeling guilty for doing so without knowing.

Tired.  Like with the morning sickness, I don't remember feeling quite this tired when I was pregnant with Ella.  Then again, I didn't have a two year old to chase after, and I had the luxury of taking a lot of naps.  But aside from the sleepiness, my body itself is often tired.  It takes effort to simply wash my hair in the morning, and then I can't hardly stay standing up when it's time to comb it.  Once I'm up and going, I can make it through the day.  But by the time Ella goes down, that's all I want to do as well.  However, I am proud to report that I got three good runs in this week, which seems to help boost my energy.

Shock.  I continue to tell my husband, in wonder, "we're having a baby!".  I think that my shock is a close relative to feeling silly.  With Ella, I just knew it and felt it and believed it.  I was scared to death of another loss, but I just had a quiet peace and a sense that we had finally gotten it right.  This time, I guess I must have been running low on faith, because it all just didn't seem possible, which is why I'm still feeling shocked that it all came together, according to God's plan.

Hope.  All other mental thoughts and physical ailments aside, I feel hopeful.  This is the chance I've been hoping for and wishing for and praying for, and it's finally here.  God is good; He knows what He's doing, even when I apparently don't know what I'm doing.  We're off to a good start, and I am hopeful that I will indeed meet this miraculous surprise in August. 

Today's blessing is that Ella has been doing great with potty training.  She had one little accident this week at school, but overall, she really seems to have grasped the concept.  And more importantly, she also understands just how happy and proud we are of her and all of her abilities. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I Don't Know What To Think

Everything went fine at the appointment today.  We have a heartbeat, though she didn't give me a specific number.  But she says that everything looks good for 8 weeks, 6 days.


Based on what I thought was my last cycle, I was expecting six weeks exactly.  I was expecting her not to be able to see anything definite with an external scan, and assuming that she would send me across the hall for an internal scan or schedule one for another week from now (oh how I was dreading the thought of waiting a week for confirmation, one way or the other).  But sure enough, there on the screen, through my little belly, was a perfect little "jelly bean". 

Except, it didn't look so little, measuring at 8 weeks, 6 days.  My doctor cleared out the history of the machine, thinking that perhaps it was averaging my baby's measurements with those of a previous patient.  Again, 8 weeks, 6 days.

My mind is still racing.  I don't know what to think.  I don't easily get flustered, but I'm still--two hours later--trying to do the mental conception calculations.  What I thought was a light cycle around Thanksgiving may have been--must have been--implantation bleeding.  The test that they ran on November 28th at my annual exam must have been simply one day too early.  It still doesn't quite add up perfectly in my brain, but as my very-dear friend said, "God defies all natural laws". 

I'm still stunned.  I'm hopefully optimistic, but still stunned.  Given my history, I don't feel like we're totally in the clear quite yet.  My doctor graciously agreed to see us again in two weeks, and then I'll have the big screening another two weeks or so after that.  Perhaps this will all start to sink in by then.

Thank you for your prayers and support.  This community is so special to me, and I am so grateful for everyone who is rooting for us and praying for us.  You truly are an amazing blessing to me.