Processing miscarriage

In the weeks since my miscarriage, my state of being has been up and down. I still am having a difficult time wrapping my mind around the purpose in all of this. I try to remember that so many have it worse, or are fighting bigger battles. I remember what a gift it is that we have our precious Eden. I remember just how truly blessed we are in this life and the absolute gift it is that we have such a strong, beautiful marriage. I remember, I give thanks, but the sting still hurts. From the very depths of my being, I grieve, I fight the longings and the ache of it all. Just tonight, a friend announced a pregnancy with a due date in the same week our precious little one would have been due. I thought I was good, but it brought back all the emotions, the hurt, the turmoil and confusion that surrounded those few weeks of my pregnancy given my emergent surgery and everything.

What’s been equally challenging is just how long this miscarriage is lasting. I thought it would all be over with the passing of the gestational sac, but now I wait for my hcg to drop. It has been 4 weeks. It went from 7700 to 95 to 31. In one and a half weeks I will go back in again for another hcg. I hope and pray that it will finally be less than 5, the magical number for which I wait. Once it is there, we will wait for a period to begin and then the whole process starts again. So potentially we are looking at another few months before we will be able to do an embryo transfer. I know what many may be thinking…”it’s just a few months, what’s the big deal?” And I know, it is easy to say such things…but I am telling you, it’s not that easy when you are living it, when daily you walk in the uncertainty of your future, when getting pregnant means injections, appointments, missing work, bed rest and so many thousands of dollars. It is all worth it, believe me and I know it completely but nonetheless it is taxing. And it becomes even more wearisome when it doesn’t work. And let me be honest in saying that I just felt so messed with with this whole last pregnancy. I just feel like the person Job in the bible and that God allowed everything to come crashing down in front of me…bit by bit. I know it is nothing compared to what Job lost, but it was a disheartening journey. The carrot would be dangled in front of me, and then hope would be dashed and then I would be asked to wait…and then the whole cycle would continue, hope…hope dashed…wait…hope…hope dashed…wait and then finally…complete LOSS and DEVASTATION.

Yet, as I have always said…faith endures, I will wait on God. I know that everything will be beautiful in time, that the waiting will be fruitful, that we will be blessed beyond measure…but it won’t be on our timeline. Right now I am in the refiner’s fire…getting worked over, molded. Day by day, my character grows stronger, my ability to persevere increasingly steadfast.

Get ready y’all…it’s going to be a beautiful story.

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Almost 38 weeks…BEYOND excited!

I think we are officially BABY READY!  I never thought I would say that…but here we are, as ready as I think a couple could possibly be.  This reminds me that I need to post some nursery pix (maybe later today)!  I still find myself sitting away endless amounts of time just soaking up our sweet little girl’s room.  I LOVE it!

It has been a VERY busy past week.  My friends threw a shower for me last Sunday which turned out just absolutely beautiful and WAS so incredibly special.  It was pretty emotional for me.  So many faces filled the room, faces who had endured with us and walked through so many months and years of our pain.  It was surreal to see all our hopes and dreams come to fruition in this sweet moment of us all celebrating this God-given BLESSING of a daughter to us.

I am continuing to work 30 hours a week.  I’m not sure how I would make it without my maternity cradle support band and ted hose, though often I feel like one big compression stocking.  It definitely has been wearing me out these past few weeks but has been a GREAT distraction and I hope to work through the end of next week.  I am trying to walk as much as possible too and keep climbing hills around our house.  I figure they maximize the bang for my buck.  I don’t have a whole lot of energy for LONG walks, so I crank it up those hills a few times and it sure feels GOOD!

Friday was my husband’s BIRTHday!  The Big 3-0.  We had a lovely little shindig for him at his parent’s house.  He has some southern roots on both sides of his family so we cooked up a southern feast, played some human sized jenga, and had a camp fire.  It was a so much fun to celebrate him.  I LOVE that guy!

Friday was also the day I got my upper braces put on…and let me tell you…I am feeling HOT!  Teen mom here I come.  I have patients all the time ask me if I am old enough to give anesthesia…well, now with these braces I am afraid it will be even harder to convince them that I am almost twice the age of most teenagers.  Between the braces and my rings not really fitting anymore, I feel like I am fitting the stereotype quite well.  : )  I say that all in jest and fun.

In pregnancy related things, the Braxton Hicks have come on STRONG this week.  I had not experienced them in this pregnancy until last Sunday after my shower.  A few times this week we wondered if I might be going into labor especially since we know we are already dilated and effaced a bit.  But laying down always seems to calm them down.  So, we keep marching on.  I don’t have another OB appointment until this coming Friday.  It will have been almost 2.5 weeks since my last one.  I though I would have weekly appointments at this point, but my clinic seems to be pretty laid back about things.  I can hardly wait to see if we have made any progress.

Have a GREAT Sunday!  I am off to church…gotta get my walk in while the weather is holding up.

Oh and HAPPY St. Patrick’s DAY!

Countdown to baby…36+ weeks

For these last few weeks of pregnancy, I am going to do my best to be super intentional about posting how things are going…more for my own sake so that I have some documentation to look back on.

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The countdown is officially on!

THE OB APPOINTMENT:    We had a GREAT OB appointment this morning.  We were able to confirm that the gender REALLY is a girl as we got a nice little picture of her lady parts.  We have been a tad nervous about this as we have heard many stories over the past few months about a couple being told one thing and then birthing something else.  The picture pretty much sealed the deal for us though.  Even better, we also found out I am dilated 1cm and 40% effaced!!!  I know this means NOTHING in terms of predicting labor or timing of everything, but I am just thankful that my body is getting ready. She also guesstimated the weight to be about 5.5lbs at this point and said that our baby will probably be in the 7lb range.  Sounds pretty perfect to me! : )   Lastly, we have been thinking about doing some perineal massage to help prevent tearing during delivery.  Today, our OB showed us the proper technique and boy did it HURT!!!!!   WOW, right then and there I understood the need for an epidural.  She did it for about 5 seconds to me…and told us we should aim for 4-5 x/day for 1 min.  OH MY HURTNESS!  I told my husband we would have to work up to that.  Tearing is one of my biggest fears with delivery and so we are willing to try anything that could help.  Who knows if it’ll really help, but my OB said it certainly couldn’t hurt things.

I also picked up my breast pump today.  Thankfully, since my insurance is going to cover most if not all of it, I was able to splurge and get the breast pump I really want.  The Medela Freestyle, which is a hands free, battery operated pump.  Key for a mom like me who will be pumping in the shower stalls at work on my breaks.  Not much access to power near the showers.  Before they came out with the battery operated pump, my colleagues who pumped had to bring in 15 foot power cords to plug in their pumps.  NO FUN!  Anyway, it’s just nice to check another thing off the list.

Overall, I am feeling great.  The hemorrhoids are in check and once again tolerable and it is nice to be able to walk and work in relative comfort. : )   I am hoping to work right up to a few days before I deliver as I find it a great distraction and a good opportunity to get some good exercise during the day.  So 3 weeks more weeks as of tomorrow!

Like I said, the countdown is officially on.  I am SOOO beyond excited I can hardly stand it!

28 weeks. 3rd Trimester!

Time is marching on!  I can hardly believe I am typing the words 3rd trimester and that those words are associated with me!  It is the BEST feeling in the world.

We have had a very busy few weeks.  We traveled to the East Coast for the holidays, landing in New York on Christmas Day.  The feeling was magical.  I have always wanted to see Rockefeller Center at Christmas and the BIG tree you always hear so much about.  We had a GREAT time walking the streets of New York, taking in the sights despite the FREEZING cold.  My entire face was chapped by day two.  We even got some tickets to see the Rockette’s Christmas Spectacular, definitely a highlight.  We were able to get the tickets after being escorted to the front of the line at the Times Square Discount Broadway ticket line.  Apparently, if you are pregnant, you are able to jump to the front.  A huge blessing considering it was 36 degrees and pouring rain along with a wind that was just piercing to every exposed inch of skin.

After New York, it was on to Virginia where we met up with my parents, older brother as well as my husband’s sister and brother in law.  We hung out for 4 days perusing the sights of Jamestown and Yorktown.  It was a lovely time and so wonderful to just be with family.  Made me realize how much I miss my family.  They really are such a blessing and I am so thankful for them!  The 7 of us spent each day all together.  My parents had flown out from Washington State and it just happened that my brother and sister in law/brother in law live within 15 minutes of each other out there.  The trip ended all too quickly!

We are finally getting the last little bits of our registry together.  I am sure there are so many things I have forgotten and maybe even a few things that aren’t really necessary.  It is so hard to know on this side of the game.  We also have just started our nursery.  I am excited to see if the mental image in my head comes out well in real life.  I will post pix soon!

Some of our friends have begun to pass down their baby items and clothes to us.  We now have 3 huge boxes of clothes!  We have been trying to keep things organized in the closet until we get our furniture in there.  So much fun though!  I love looking at all the little items and sweet pjs and onesies.  Such a gift, really!!!!  Hard to believe our little girl will be here in less then 3 months.

The uncomfortable huge belly thing is beginning to happen.  After a fairly easy and uneventful pregnancy the back pain started with a vengeance yesterday that left me tearful and slightly over emotional.  I just feel like it is too early to be feeling this way.  There is still SO much more I want to get done and I need a few more productive days to get our nursery done.  I am just hoping it was a fluke (wishful thinking) and that maybe I overdid it the day before.  We will see.  I met up with a friend for dinner later in the evening, which was absolutely WONDERFUL, but ended up having to cut it short as I could no longer sit down.  It was just too painful.  How do you go from feeling great one day to painful and can barely sit?

Anyway, it’ll all be worth it.  Less then 12 weeks and counting…

I am going to post a bump pic since it’s been well over 2 months since the last one.  This baby girl is a growin….

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19 weeks, ULTRASOUND day, and gender reveal party planning! Keeping busy!

This is a BIG week for us!

I can hardly believe I am a little less than one week away from being halfway through this pregnancy!  6 days and counting!

Today is our anatomy ultrasound.  I am trying to keep myself distracted by planning a little bit more of our gender reveal party next Friday.  So far, I have been able to settle on some cute ideas for decorations, cupcakes, the cake itself and some cookies shaped like onesies that will say boy or girl on them.  (Can you tell that I am very concerned about the food, particularly the sweets?  YUM!  A huge priority for me! : )) I am not much of a party planner and had a difficult time planning our wedding.  I ended up delegating most of that to family and friends, but with this party…obviously it is on a much smaller scale, but it is still a very special day for us.  We will ask the tech to seal our ultrasound results up in an envelope and then off it goes to the baker! : )  I’m hoping that neither our tech nor OB accidentally slip and spill the beans to us.

I have also been busy making a few lasagnas today for our party.  I figure I will freeze them.  Love a good homemade lasagna.  My family has been making this lasagna recipe for decades.  It’s a lot of work though, so I typically do it only once a year and then make plenty for the freezer as they keep very well.

This past weekend we had some announcement/holiday photos taken!  They are incredible!  We have only seen a few of the edited versions, but it was so fun to finally announce our pregnancy to the world!  It has been a really sweet time for us, full of thanksgiving and rejoicing!  We feel so very blessed!

Here are 3 of them:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17 weeks – picture!

Here’s my 17 weeks’ picture!  I can’t believe how all of a sudden I am just popping out.  That gray shirt used to be so long on me.  Not so much anymore. I am really enjoying watching my body change and grow.  I really didn’t think it was possible.  While TTC for so long, I often wondered if my body would even know what to do if we ever did become pregnant. Apparently, I underestimated myself quite a bit.

In my earlier post, I failed to mention that I have been feeling the baby move for just over 2 weeks.  It has been absolutely amazing and I just rejoice in this little life within me! : )  It’s kinda hit or miss, but it is obvious and something so very different from anything I have felt before.

Take care and thank you all for the support!

 

 

17 weeks! So much excitement in the air…

Hello all!

I have missed blogging. It has been a very eventful 3 weeks since my last post. From a trip to the mountains (picture to right) to attending a marriage retreat to a day trip to Seattle to all sorts of nesting projects and some intensive book writing…busy, busy, busy and I have loved each moment of it. Especially given that fall has finally settled into the northwest. Cozy sweaters, warm beverages and ALL things PUMPKIN have been in order.

My pregnancy continues on uneventfully. We had another OB appointment last week and I really think we could have accomplished most of it (minus the vital signs and weight measurement) via the phone. She listened to the heartbeat but couldn’t quantify a number and then went over with us the food dos and don’t of pregnancy (which I thought was a little late given we are in our second trimester). That’s it and sent us on our way. Oh well, I imagine our appointments will become more involved the further we get. One important thing did happen though and that was that the order was placed to schedule our big 20 week ultrasound! We are SO excited about that one. This will be our first ultrasound in over 10 weeks.

On a side note, we opted not to have an NT scan or do any genetic testing. We chose not to because I have always heard about the relatively high rate of false positives. This truth became a reality just over 2 years ago when a dear friend of mine received a false positive that sent her into a state of anxiety and depression for the remainder of her pregnancy. Of course, at the time, she didn’t know it was a false positive. Instead of enjoying her pregnancy, she prepared herself emotionally for a child with Down’s Syndrome and processed through long established expectations of what she had hoped this baby would mean for her. Bottom line for us is that no outcome of these tests would cause us to terminate a pregnancy. So rather than deal with the small chance of a false positive, we would rather just leave it all in God’s hands. What will be will be! Of course, this is just the right decision for us. I know myself and know that I would most likely respond in a similar manner as my friend. This is an area where I am choosing ignorance over knowledge. Perhaps, instead of ignorance I am just going to call it faith. I am learning that all parts of infertility, pregnancy (and very soon I will be adding parenting to that list) include releasing control and having increasingly more FAITH.

Other than that, things have been going pretty smoothly. I guess the biggest thing I have had to deal with is a whole lot of constipation. There have been moments throughout the last few weeks where I didn’t think my belly could stretch any more, the pain and discomfort close to unbearable. As a result, last weekend, our household initiated operation FIBER and that has really turned things around. My husband has been trying to help me eat 30 grams of fiber per day. He has been making all sort of fiber rich meals and breakfasts. Let me tell you, that is a LOT of fiber and my body is responding appropriately. Praise God though! I feel so much better.

We are busy planning our gender reveal party that will be coming up after our ultrasound…actually 9 days after. This was the earliest that we could find a free weekend night to plan it. Though it means a little more waiting, it will give the baker a chance to make our cake and for us to get all the last minute details together. SO FUN! I will definitely give you more details as it comes together.

Also, we are planning to finally announce our pregnancy to the world (aka facebook) sometime in the next week or 2. We are meeting up with a dear friend on Sunday to take some pregnancy announcement/holiday pictures. Another thing I am VERY excited about. I keep using that word over and over again, but there are just a lot of great things going on right now. I feel really blessed to be where we are at.

Here are a few more photos from our weekend in the mountains.

Tonight I will post a 17 week picture and a few more updates. Blessings to all!

2nd TRIMESTER!!! Woweeee! 14w1d

October 1st marked the first official day of my second trimester according to babycenter.com!!!  I am so excited to reach this point.  I have been feeling great.  I couldn’t have asked for a healthier, more feel good pregnancy thus far.  So, I decided to celebrate and post my first bump pic.  This was taken at 5:30am, before breakfast.  I get so bloated by the end of the day, so I wanted my bump pic to be tried and true – not the late evening bloat belly.

I feel that I have really settled into my pregnancy and don’t find myself anxiously anticipating my next change day as much as I used to.  It’s a real joy carrying our little “half pint” as my husband so affectionately refers to them as.

I look forward to writing more.  It has been a busy fall thus far.  Tomorrow we are headed to the mountains for our annual FALL get together with our dear friends.  It’s always a wonderful time for some R&R and a WHOLE lot of the great outdoors.  Last year they were pregnant during our trip.  How I remember dreaming that we would be on similar journey of our own this year and HERE WE ARE!  Such a blessing.

12 weeks and LOVING it!

We have made it to 12 weeks!  It is a BLESSED, HAPPY, SOLID number!!!  It felt so good to get that pregnancy update from baby center today!

Over the past few weeks we have really begun to embrace our pregnancy and my ever so slightly growing bump.  Last week, I even splurged and bought some maternity shirts.  Not that I need them, what I really need are some pants, though rubber bands are doing me wonders.  But, I have to tell you that I kinda hit the jackpot at ROSS of all places.  I bought 9 new maternity shirts for $76 total (The really nice kind with rouched sides!)  It felt great!  Ross, is the one place that I essentially have a free ticket to shop all I want!  My husband loves to save money and Ross fits nicely into the budget.  Typically little money is spent there though as I have never really enjoyed shopping and especially not at stores like Ross that require massive amounts of patience to sift through all the clothing.  But the maternity section was small and quite easy to maneuver.  Anyway, all the shirts are are super cute.  I should post a few pix.  The experience certainly beat the $24 I paid at Target for one shirt.  Anyway, there is always a compromise though.  I am going to splurge on one pair of fantastic maternity jeans.  I live in my jeans and have yet to find anything I like, so I am going to go for it, though I hope to purchase them through consignment…but if not…then I am just going to take the plunge.

Anyway, enough ramblings about clothes.  On to some God talk.

For some time, I have felt that I need to do more for women battling with infertility.  My heart is soooo heavy for women yet in the trenches and I want to help them find hope.  It was SO hard for me to cling to hope and not give up on my faith entirely at times during our long road to conceiving.  I have felt in my heart a real desire to write some sort of devotional or bible study to help encourage women through this season in their lives.  We’ll see what becomes of it, but I can’t seem to shake the idea.  Honestly, it seems so daunting to me. I am not a good writer and to put together some sort of booklet sounds like a huge undertaking, but at the same time, I want to be a voice of compassion and encouragement to women going through this.  Fortunately, for so many of us, we have found community and a voice through our blogs, but I know there are so many more out there that are feeling humiliated, isolated, and without support during one of the greatest challenges that life can bring.

Anyway, so that is a bit on that….

We have begun to tell family and friends about our pregnancy and it is just wonderful to hear their responses.  It is like a long awaited Christmas gift that we are just now beginning to unwrap. My husband and I cherish these moments together with our family and friends and find such joy in their responses.  I think we will wait to post it on facebook for some time just because I kinda like keeping it to our inner circle for now.  Maybe when I bust into those maternity clothes I will post a little pic or something, but for now, it has been so delightful just letting people know as we run into them or call them or however the connection may occur.

Praying for so many of you ladies and so thankful to be able to share in your stories!  This community is a tremendous blessing and source of encouragement for me!

10 weeks 3 days. Doppler Success!!!!!!

Well, we did it.  We gave in and bought a fetal doppler.  Honestly, I had no idea these existed and were available for home purchase until reading about them on people’s blogs over the past few months.  I never thought I would get one.  But since graduating from the RE after our first ultrasound at 6w6d, we have yet to see the OB.  Our first OB appointment is at 11w1d, which happens to be next Wednesday, but I’m not even sure they will do an ultrasound then.  It is supposedly an “intake” appointment.  This OB practice is very laid back or at least that is what I am telling myself as they weren’t in any hurry to get me in.

So, on to the good news.

We ordered a Sonoline B off a website called Clinical Guard and paid about $55 for it.  Not bad and I am SO happy we bought it.  It was worth every penny.

It took us about 5 minutes to locate the baby’s heartbeat.  During those 5 minutes, all we could hear was the placenta.  That, in and of itself, was quite reassuring to me.  I didn’t mind if we couldn’t find the heartbeat, knowing it was still early to get a good listen.  But I kept probing and then all of a sudden the pitch changed as well as the sound.  You could hear the valves close and I knew we had honed in on our baby.  The heart rate was 164bpm.

Yeah!!!  This was the best thing I have heard in weeks.  Music to my ears!