December 25, 2006

My sweet boy . . .

We had our appointment on Friday and found out that we're having a boy (so much for my feeling that it was a girl)! I've uploaded photos . . . he's looking healthy and perfect! I didn't realize how worried I was about the appointment until I let it all out and cried all the way home. I just felt so relieved to know that everything was looking ok.

I do have to admit that I was a little saddened by the fact that when we went shopping there were about three racks of super cute girls' clothes for every one rack of mediocre boys' clothes. I guess since we can't afford much anyway, this works out for the best. :)

His beautiful profile . . .

Looking down at the soles of his feet and his belly . . .

Most definitely a boy . . . and not shy about it at all!

Waving for the camera . . .

December 19, 2006

2nd Mortgage

When we were trying to get pregnant, I read a book called "The Conception Chronicles." It was very uninformative but wildly entertaining! I found a quote I had written down from it today and I wanted to put it on here before I deleted it from my computer forever:

"Today I noticed a couple who were there for a prenatal checkup. The woman was heavily pregnant, sheathed in bicycle shorts that probably fit like a glove — a latex surgical glove — several months ago. Now they were stretched so tightly that the tensile strength of the Lycra was severely compromised; you could practically hear the twists of space-age polymer pinging under the strain as she settled into her chair.

She was also wearing a T-shirt that fit snugly across her abdomen. It was emblazoned with a flaky-looking iron-on that read, "FUTURE BIKER."

I think I will make myself a maternity T-shirt that reads, "SECOND MORTGAGE." With glitter. And perhaps, if I'm feeling kicky, fringe."

December 18, 2006

12:24 AM

It's 12:24 AM and I cannot sleep. I've been tossing and turning and I'm surprised the the light from my laptop and the sound of me hitting the keys on the keyboard hasn't woken Kyle up yet!

We celebrated our 4th anniversary on Thursday. In some ways it feels like it's been a lot longer than four years . . . but in other ways I can't believe that it's ALREADY four years. We had a portion of a gift certificate to Darrel's so we used that for dinner and used a portion of a movie gift certificate to go see the Nativity Story. It was a decent movie . . . not as lame as I was worried it might be. It held a little more true to the nativity "stories" we've always been told than it did to historical accuracy, but I was impressed at how well-made it was. It was a nice addition to the Christmas season.

I've got some more Christmas shopping to do and stores are running out of the things I'm looking for. Kyle and I went to four stores looking for one gift in particular today.

Kyle and I decided just to do stockings for each other for Christmas again this year. I think I might like to make that a "family tradition." When I was growing up, Christmas was all about what gifts and how many gifts I would get. I'm a little embarrassed now to think about how I acted if I got something I didn't like. I'd like to keep getting Christmas gifts low-key and place the emphasis on what we give. Maybe I'll read this five years ago and think, "yeah, right."

December 12, 2006

Tis the Season . . .

Is it just me, or does everyone have about triple the Christmas parties this year that there have been in past years? It's a good thing I love Christmas!

We had our second Dr. appointment last Wednesday and everything's looking good. She listened for the heartbeat externally and it took her a while to find it. I was terrified when she couldn't find it at first, but I thought I was playing it pretty cool. Kyle told me that I looked horrified and I think the doctor noticed too because she kept reassuring me that this was perfectly normal. It only took a couple of minutes, but it seemed like an hour!

When she did finally find the heart beat, she couldn't keep it for more than two seconds at a time because the baby kept moving. She was amazed at how much and how quickly the baby was moving. I hope that's not an early indication of hyperactivity. I already have a puppy I can't catch . . . I'm hoping that my baby won't be faster than I am!

I had my blood drawn to test for chromosomal abnormalities, so hopefully those test results will be back soon. I'm not sure why I want to know, because it's not like I'll love the baby less if there are problems. I guess I just want time to prepare myself if it's the case. I pray daily for a healthy baby.

A couple of times now I think I've felt the baby move. I haven't been 100% sure though. The doctor said it was unlikely this early until she saw how much the kid was moving when she was trying to find the heartbeat. After that, she said it might be a possibility. I never really feel a "kick" as much as a I do feel a "shifting" feeling.

We have an appointment on December 22 for our formal ultrasound. They'll check the brain, liver, heart, spine and other major organs for problems. If the baby cooperates, we'll also get to find out the sex . . . which is thrilling to me! I can't wait!

November 28, 2006

Popping out.

I'm starting to pop out a little. Before now, my clothes were just tight, but now when I look at my bare belly I can definitely see the bulge . . . well, more of a bulge than usual. Clothes still disguise it a little, but it's only a matter of time . . .

My books tell me that the baby is the size of a softball at this point (which I know is bigger than a baseball thanks to my embarassing talk with the guy at Dunham's a few years back . . . who knew there was a difference?). And when I lay on my stomach, it definitely feels like I'm laying on a softball, so no more laying on my stomach for me. I've also read that I'm not supposed to lay on my back if possible, so I'm doing my best to stay on my side at night.

I have to admit that while I'm very, very excited about this baby, I'm not really that fond of being pregnant. I've heard of women who love being pregnant . . . you know the ones that have the "glow." I might look a little like I have a glow, but it's actually a combination of acne and facial hair. I never would have guessed that something as feminine as being pregnant would cause facial hair, but it's in all of my books. The weight gain and feeling super fat isn't really that exciting either. I keep trying to think of good things about being pregnant and the only one I can come up with is the precious little baby that comes from it. I'll try to keep my mind focused on that.

My mom got me two books on pregnancy and I've been reading them nonstop. There's a lot to know. I also just bought a book on baby sleep which also seems pretty good. I'm a little worried about messing something up though. It's so hard to read all of my sources for my thesis when I have these other things I'm way more interested in.

Pray for me and my thesis. I was pretty sure that this week I was going to call and drop out of the program. I'm frustrated with writing this stupid paper, I'm not sure how we'll pay for next semester without taking out any more loans and I just don't want to do it anymore. But I also don't want to not have my master's after all of this work because I don't want to write a paper and take one more class. I think the pregnancy hormones are playing a little bit of a part in my frustration, because I end up crying at least once every time I sit down to work on it.

We had a great Thanksgiving with my parents and family at my Aunt Patti's house. Karina, Mary Jean and I went shipping early Friday morning and found some great deals. I'm not sure it was worth the early morning rise at this point, but the deals we saw were amazing for people who have kids. I'll have to keep that in mind. Having a baby really does open up a whole new world of shopping. I guess another way to say it is that having a baby really does open up a whole new world of expenses.

Nostalgia . . .

My parents are on a cruise this week and I'm staying at their house with my brother. I'm using it as a week to work on my thesis and hopefully make some decent progress (seriously, pray for me because I'm about ready to quit). I really miss Kyle and miss being at home, but this afternoon I just had a wave of nostalgia sweep over me.

I have my laptop set up at the dining room table. I didn't have a laptop in high school (much to my dismay) but I did do my homework here for much of my growing up years. This room looks a little different than when I did my originaly studying, but it just started to bring back memories. Around 3:15, I heard the first bus drive by and that brought even more memories of the days before I could drive.

I'm just overwhelmed right now by the thought that this house is where I lived for 13 years before I went to college and where I did all of my pre-college growing up. I haven't lived here for 10 years, now and the combination of foreign and familiar are both tugging at me.

And now, I'm about to have a child of my own . . . Who will grow up in my house and might come back one day and have this same feeling of foreign and familiar. I feel like at this point some sort of background singers should start playing "The Circle of Life" or something.

I've just been struck by that and wanted to get it down before I forgot.

November 25, 2006

The divine error of Crossings Book Club

When I was in college, I read A LOT more than I do now. I was a much better person then.

During my sophomore year, I found one of those mail-in cards for Crossings Book Club. It was one of those deals where you get 6 books for $.99 and then you have to buy 4 more within 3 years to fulfill your membership requirements. So, I signed up. The books were certainly cheaper than the bookstore and I got a "stylish book tote" as a free gift. For the record, the person who labeled the tote "stylish" should have been fired.

I wrote my check for $.99 plus shipping and handling and sent it in. 4 - 6 weeks later, I was so excited to get my books! I was about 83% pleased with my order because only 5 of my books were the ones I ordered. The sixth was one I had never even heard of. I didn't know if it was my mistake or theirs but didn't really want to complain . . . the books only cost about 17 cents each.

All of that to say, the incorrect book has become one of my favorites and I have treasured it ever since. The dust jacket is ragged and some of the pages are about to fall out, but I will never get rid of it. I really do feel like the book club error was divine. The book is called "The Complete Book of Christian Prayer." There has never been a time in my life where I have not been able to find a prayer in this book that says what I want to say but couldn't find the words. The prayers are the prayers of people who have experienced all of the things we all experience in life and it's been priceless.

Why am I telling you this? Because tonight I had my weekly dive into the prayer book and found a prayer that I had NEVER noticed before. It's by a women named Rita Snowden. It goes like this:

"O God, it might seem odd to some to pray for someone not yet born - but not to you and not to me. In these nine months of womanly patience, I have learned more than ever to marvel at your creative plans - and our part in them. I rejoice that the fashioning of a baby, and the founding of a family, requires the gifts of body, mind and spirit you have given to each of us. Bless these days of waiting, of preparation, of tender hope.

"Let only things and thoughts that are clean and strong and glad be about us. I give you thanks that from childhood till this experience of maturity, you have made it both beautiful and natural for me to give love and to receive it. In this newest experience, hold us each safe, relaxed and full of eager hope - even as you count each life in your presence, precious."

The Book of Christian Prayer comes through again.

November 12, 2006

My own personal drama

So, it's confession time. I had a little bit of a breakdown this morning.

It kind of started last week when I got my hair cut. And when I say "cut," I'm being gracious because it looks more like the lady (who did not speak English) put my hair on a chopping block and swung and axe. I didn't go to the place I usually go, because with our budget crunch I know we couldn't really afford it. So, I went to a cheaper place in the Briarwood mall. That was a mistake.

Prior to the haircut, I was already feeling self-conscious about every other unattractive thing that has been happening to my body over the last two years that we were trying to conceive (acne, facial hair, weight gain, etc.). These things have only gotten worse over the last 12 weeks. So, my hair was the last thing that I could still feel good about. It was a simple cut, but Lin managed to screw it up. The cut is a shorter version of Jennifer Aniston's, circa 1994.

My hair was kind of the last straw. And I've been holding it together pretty well up until today.

I got up and started getting ready for church. My eyes started to well up when I was in the bathroom getting ready, but when I got into the closet and started searching for something remotely attractive that fits I lost it. I was crying harder than I have in a REALLY long time. Kyle came in to tell me it was time to leave and I was sitting on the floor of the closet, half-dressed, sobbing. It was at that point that he made the call that we were going to miss church today. And I spent most of the day avoiding mirrors as much as possible.

A lot contributed to the breakdown: stress over my stupid thesis, hormones, nervousness over having a baby, total disgust with my appearance, fatigue, etc. I just am realizing that I still have 28 weeks of pregnancy to go and it's going to feel like 50.

So, I'm thinking a little more clearly now but am still a little down. I'm just thankful that most days will be better than this one.

November 8, 2006

A clean house is a happy house.

So, I've found that the people who say that with pregnancy comes an increased sense of smell are correct . . . and ever since September 15, I feel like our house smells awful. Like a combination of rotten food and dog pee. I've put in about 7 Wallflowers (smelly plug-in things from Bath and Body Works) but it doensn't seem to be able to mask the scent. Our carpet Kyle doesn't smell it as strong as I do, but it has been driving me crazy.

So, we broke down and rented a carpet shampooer last night. We could only have it for 24 hours or we'd have to pay another $21 so we (and by we, I mean Kyle) were up until after mindnight last night shampooing the living room and hallway. Before we used it, we had to completely clean it out because it was moldy and the filter was clogged . . . that was kind of annoying. It seems to make a difference, though Murphy has left her mark in a few places and they will not go away. THis morning while Kyle was at work, I worked on the stairs, downstairs carpet and furniture.

The carpet at the bottom of our stairs was pretty much ruined when we painted the ceiling of the basement and didn't seal off the rest of the house properly. But it actually looks a little bit better after being cleaned.

Unfortunately, I did something stupid and tried to carry the shampooer up the stairs when it was completely full. About half way up the stairs I knew I was being dumb when I started having really painful cramps. I went and laid down and waited for Kyle to come home and do the rest. I don't think I've ever felt as scolded by my husband as I did when he got home . . . I guess I can't blame him. The cramps have subsided and I've learned my lesson: No more heavy lifting.

I do have to say that best part is when Kyle took the machine back to Home Depot, he mentioned that it was in pretty bad shape when we got it so they didn't charge us the rental fee . . . no questions asked! That was awesome! We can put that toward replacing the coffee table from IKEA in our living room that Murphy chewed all of the corners off of this week. :(

Anyway, I feel much better now that I'm in a clean house. It'll never be the same as it was pre-dog, but it's a lot better. I swear that if I see that dog even begin squat anywhere on my carpet, she'll be gone before she finishes peeing.

November 4, 2006

Feeling pregnant . . .

Tonight for the first time, I felt like I was pregnant.

I was at our SBC Fellowship Dinner and we were cleaning up. I bent over to pick up some trash and I felt a stiffness in my abdomen. It was like when I bent over, there was something in there that was making it more difficult to bend over. Something that was causing some resistance.

I know it shouldn't be a surprise, but it was weird to have even MORE confirmation that there is something growing inside of me. It's possible that I've felt this before, but just haven't realized what is was, but it was kind of cool. It made me excited for what it will be like to feel the baby kick for the first time!

November 2, 2006

Another successful trip to Ann Arbor!

I had my firt OB appointment today and all in all, it went pretty well. Let me start by saying I was VERY nervous. I've been very emotional over the last week and I don't know why I was nervous but on our way to Ann Arbor I was questioning everything!

When we got there, we had to find the right parking garage and figure out which floor we were on (which Kyle was great about because he had maps printed and directions ready). We found the OB department and it was a little intimidating at first. It was really, really big and had a huge round desk that you checked in at. We checked in and the receptionist told us we could have a seat while we waited and also told us that the left half of the waiting room was the women's health center. When I thought of the women's health center, I was thinking "wall of brochures" but it was that and much more. They have an entire library of books on women's health, parenting, childbirth, pregnancy, breast feeding and so much more! You can even check the books out and keep them for a month. That has the potential of saving me a lot of money! All of the titles were pretty new (a.k.a. weren't around back when I was born).

We didn't have to wait long before we were called in. The whole department is so huge that I was surprised at how tiny our room was. The medical assistant was very friendly and asked us all of the questions that we had already been asked by the nurse who called us for our phone interview a month and a half ago. But, I smiled and answered them anyway. She left us with a huge packet of information to look over while we waited for the doctor. That's about the time that my panic attack started.

In the packet, there's a pretty comprehensive notebook that takes you all the way from conception to post-delivery. The manual walks you through pregnancy month by month and includes what's happening to the baby, to me and gives suggestions for what we should be doing/buying/deciding each month. It also covers what will happen at each appointment that I'll have between now and several months after delivery. It's very impressive.

However, between this notebook, the stack of pamphlets and the video I started thinking about how much there is to know about having a baby. As I read pages of what to do and what not to do and what to do in this case, but not do in another case I could feel my chest start to tighten and my eyes start to well up.

Luckily, when the doctor came in I seemed to forget those fears. She came in and introduced herself to us by her first name (which I thought was nice) and spent a lot of time with us asking questions and explaining things. I know there were a ton of patients out there but she made me feel like we were the only patients at the office. She wasn't the doctor I was assigned to, nor was she the doctor I was supposed to see that day but when she left the room, I told Kyle that I wished she could be my doctor. A few minutes later, the nurse poked her head and and said, "Dr. Shah would like to be your doctor from this poing on, if you guys are ok with that." Awesome. That worked out perfectly.

So, we got to have another ultrasound which was mildly disappointing because the equipment wasn't nearly as advanced as the stuff at the clinic. Nonetheless, it was good to see the little guy/girl and see that the heartbeat was still strong.

We go back December 6. 40 weeks is a long time.

October 29, 2006

A whole new world . . .

I've begun to realize that having a child will open up a whole new world of shopping for me . . . for better or for worse. I absolutely CANNOT believe how many random products there are out there for babies. All of which I want, of course. I'm in awe of the whole segment of buyers that I didn't realize was out there, even when I was studying marketing.

My heartburn has been BAD this week. I'm so excited for my first trimester to be DONE. Only two more weeks. We have our first prenatal appointment this week. I'm a little nervous, because my interaction with the office in Ann Arbor so far has been less than professional. My "welcome packet" with orders for blood work, prescriptions for prenatal vitamins and descriptions of what each appointment would be like came over a month late (after I called about it twice) and didn't include any information. Only the prescription, an appointment reminder (I kinda feel like I need to call and remind THEM about the appointment) and the blood work form. No information at all on the appointments, which is what I'm most curious about. We'll see how it goes. I guess we don't have to stick with this doctor if we don't like her.

I finally got my new ipod this week. And by new, I mean the old used one I got off of ebay. But it works, which is one step up from my old one. It was also dirt cheap . . . which is the only kind I could afford to replace my original. It came just in time because this is usually the time of year I begin listening to Christmas music.

Now before all of you strict "no Christmas until after THanksgiving people" begin cursing me in your heads, hear me out. First, there is A LOT of Christmas music for such a short period of time. I need to spread it out a little so I can enjoy it all. Second, when Kyle and I were planning our December 14 wedding four years ago, I started listening to Christmas in October in order to gain inspiration for the planning. Ever since then, listening to Christmas music at this time of year has sentimental value.

October 24, 2006

A vitamin enhanced water beverage . . .

So, one of my newest heroes is Lissa Strodtbeck. Who is Lissa? Among other roles that she plays in my life, she's the genius who told me to drink propel to help keep my pregnancy ailments at a minimum. I stocked up on Peach, Black Cherry, & Mango Propel and I've been feeling great! On top of helping me feel better, Propel is a self-proclaimed "fitness drink." Based on that fact, Joy and I decided today that drinking a bottle is surely the equivalent of running a mile and a half.

All of that to say, I'm feeling so much better than I was last week. I actually feel like I"m back to normal. I can actually get things done at work, as opposed to staring at the computer screen trying to remember what it is that I do at camp. I haven't made tons of progress on my thesis, but I have gotten a significant amount of research done. All in all, it's been a good week so far.

Unfortunately, Wednesday and Thursday I have to help lead group building for 65 junior high students. This means I'll be standing in the freezing cold for 5 hours. I try to use the excuse "But the baby doesn't want to do that," as much as possible, but somehow it just didn't work on this assignment. Oh well . . . only two days. I can handle it.

So, how bad is it that I'm only 9 1/2 weeks pregnant and I'm ready to break out the maternity clothes? My pants are so uncomfortable. Can I still call them "maternity pants" if I'm only using them because I'm chubby? I bought something today called a "Bella Band." It's supposed to allow you to wear your normal non-maternity pants well into your pregnancy. I'll be the judge of that.

Well, we're studying the book of Mark in my small group and a lot of the questions in our workbook last night left me puzzled, so I'm going to go and try to find answers. Wish me luck!

October 21, 2006

Peanut buster parfaits

Have you ever had a peanut buster parfait from Dairy Queen? It's a heavenly combination of alternating layers of soft-serve vanilla ice cream, hot fudge and spanish peanuts. I don't think I've had one since I was in college which was about 6 years ago. But for some reason, this week, I've been craving one. So, I went to Freddie's tonight and they were able recreate one that was just as good as the original.

All of that to say, this has been a weird week. I think I'm paying for the pregnancy-symptom-free weeks that I've had thus far. I've had a horrible headache right above my left eye all week. Three nights in a row, I woke up at 2 AM and couldn't get back to sleep. I've been a combination of nauseus (I really need to learn how to spell that word) and hungry constantly . . . which has been frustrating and confusing.

On a happier note, I went shopping for some maternity clothes this week and got three pair of pants and a top. I really think that all women should be allowed to wear stretch panels . . . not just pregnant women. I think the female population would be happier in general. I hate being in the "in between" regular clothes and maternity clothes stage. Luckily I have a pair of khakis that has a lot of stretch to them . . . they're getting worn quite a bit.

I'm offially nine weeks pregnant. When I said that out loud yesterday, Kyle said, "Wow, you've been pregnant for an entire grading period." Spoken like a true education major.

I broke down and bought a humidifier today . . . to hopefully reduce some of my headache/sinus pain. I was lucky enough to find one for $20, but it's $20 I really would have rather spent on something else. This thing had better work well!

We're still working on figuring out how to pay all of bills and have money to actually have a baby. It stinks that we worked so hard to become financially stable enough to have kids, only to drain all of that stability to actually conceive. If God is trying to teach us to totally depend on him, he has our attention and our dependance! I've worried about finances a lot less this week than in previous weeks . . . thanks to ebay, we were able to put enough money into savings to actually be able to keep the account open!

On the days when I don't think we'll make it, something always happens to show us that we will. Though I'd like to be comfortable, be able to provide only the best for this kid, be able to take a vacation, be able to afford anything I want . . . I guess I'm thankful to God for using this to teach us to depend on him.

I'm not going to lie to you though . . . I still hope this kid comes out holding a bag of money.

October 14, 2006

Setting goals . . .

I can't remember a time in my life where I've been as lazy as I have over the last few days. I'm so tired that I've fallen asleep sitting in front of my computer . . . mid-IM! Still no nausea (knock on wood) . . . just a lot of sleepiness. My goal for this week is to get a good amount done on my thesis (the first draft is due in mid-November)and to get the summer camp video done. I'm supposed to present my thesis in Indiana two weeks before I'm due . . . I'm hoping they'll make an exception and let me do it earlier. Fingers crossed!

A lot more people found out about my "condition" over the weekend with the camp garage sale . . . it's been a lot of fun! I'm amazed at how excited people that I barely know get for us. I think there are some people more excited than we are. I'm still having trouble getting super excited . . . I think I still want to keep my guard up in case something goes wrong. My mom's and Kyle's mom's excitement makes up for what I lack!

Kyle's ready to cut me off from the internet because of all of the "worst-case scenarios" I keep finding. I was reminded today by Joyce Monoghan of all of the people we have praying for us and that was really comforting. I guess I just need to learn to trust more . . . if for no other reason than that it's all that I CAN do.

Kyle's parents dropped off a "congratulations" gift on Monday. It had a couple of maternity tops, spaghettios (which I've been craving) and a pack of newborn onesies. WHen I look at how tiny they are, it's amazing to me. But when I think of delivering something that fits into one of them, it seems huge. I'm not going to think about that part yet.

My clothing is fitting really tight . . . unfortunately, I think it has little to do with being pregnant and a lot to do with weight gain from injecting outrageous amounts of hormones into my system all summer. I probably could go up a clothing size, but I don't want to buy a whole new set of clothes that won't fit again in a month or two. But, it's not quite time for maternity clothes yet. I'm wearing sweatpants A LOT.

Speaking of injecting hormones . . . I just realized that it's been A MONTH since I've had my blood drawn and all of my injection bruises on my arm and belly are gone! It's been a while since I could say that.

Ok, I'm starting to ramble, so I'm done.

October 9, 2006


Ironically enough, we heard the song "Blessed Be the Name" on our way to the RE clinic today (if you're wondering why that's ironic, see yesterday's post). It was super fuzzy because it was a Lansing station and we were approaching Ann Arbor, but I didn't think it was a coincidence that it was on. We waited for about 30 minutes to get in (the place was packed) and though I was nervous, I felt a peace about being able to accept whatever happened.

We found, however, that all is good. Our ultrasound today was PERFECT and the baby is right on schedule! They couldn't tell me why I had the trouble I did this weekend and said it wasn't normal, but they said that there is no reason to be worried! What a huge relief!

We got to SEE and HEAR the heartbeat, which I know every parent has experienced, but we've never heard such a wonderful sound. Now that they've heard the heartbeat, there's a 95% chance that we'll have a health pregnancy with no more complications. When the doctor said that, there was such a huge weight
lifted. We also got to take home some pictures, which I've included below. There's not much to see, but we're still excited.

You can see the heartbeat reading on the bottom picture. The heart rate is 143 BPM and it measures at 7weeks, 2 days which is perfect because I'm 7 weeks, 3 days! It amazing how every care and worry I have about anything just disappeared when I heard that heartbeat . . . I wish I could post that sound on my blog!

We've started telling people today and it's a lot of fun! We're so grateful to have so many people rejoicing with us.

October 7, 2006

You give and take away . . .

I'm 7 weeks, 1 day and I think I might be losing this kid. I started spotting this morning. More than last time. Not a lot, but the cramps and lower back pain kind of scare me more. I just keep praying for it to go away and for everything to be ok. Our first ultrasound is scheduled for Monday. It's been so hard to wait during the last few weeks, but the last two days are going to be torture with this spotting (unless it turns to bleeding . . . then I guess we'll know how it all turns out). It's so gross to be talking about all of this stuff so casually, but it's really upsetting.

So, I'm feeling down. My mom and Kyle keep telling me to be optimistic, but I feel like I need to be prepared just in case. I know that there are usually no causes of miscarriage other than chromosomal abnormalities, but I keep going over things in my head like the tylenol I took last week and the corn dogs I ate a couple of weeks ago (pregnant ladies in their first trimester aren't supposed to eat hot dogs), the strain I put on myself bending over to do ebay stuff and the shivering I've done this week because I'm too cheap/broke to turn the heat on yet.

Last Sunday we sang the song "Blessed Be Your Name". It was the same song I heard on the way home from my first doctor's appointment a little more than two years ago when the doctor first told me we'd have a lot of trouble conceiving. THe part of the song that got me then was when it says:

"Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name"

"Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name"

I just remember crying in my car and thinking, "I know that I can still say 'blessed be Your name' even though this sucks." And that has stuck with me over the last two years.

When we sang it in church last week, I got choked up when we got to the bridge that says:

"You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name"

I know that God gave us this child . . . this hope for a family. . . and I know that he can take it away. And, I know that if we lose this baby, he'll mourn with us.

Every time we had some round of failed fertility treatments, we always had a mourning period. It might sound strange to mourn something that we never had in the first place, but it seemed so natural. I remember thinking that mourning after failed fertility treatments would be harder than mourning a miscarriage. I think I was right. I feel like even if I miscarry tomorrow, at least I had a chance to carry this tiny embryo for 7 weeks. At least I know that I have a chance of getting pregnant again . . . finances pending.

I know this all sounds random, but these are the thoughts going through my head. I'm going to try and get some sleep. Emphasis on "try."

October 1, 2006

The wonder of it all . . .

I have been overwhelmed by thinking about the miracle of life today . . . cheesy, i know. I've been looking at ultrasound pictures and illustrations of embryos at 6 weeks and am floored when I think that I was once that size and in that condition. How is it possible that the little 4 mm being inside of me could possibly grow up to be adult-sized? Incredible.

8 days until the first ultrasound . . . I'm still worried about there not being a heartbeat, but I'm realizing that my worry will do absolutely nothing. So, I'm trying to remain a little more positive.

My heartburn has escalated over the weekend and I'm popping Tums like I eat candy during the summer. I have really congested sinuses, but I'm afraid to take anything until my second trimester. I am constantly hungry. Ahhh . . . the joy of pregnancy.

We told our small group today and they were all really excited. It's fun to have people share in our excitement!

Alright, I'm going to get a snack. And some Tums.

September 28, 2006

Scary stuff . . . and it's not even halloween yet.

I'm almost to my 6th week and I'm irrationally scared. Somehow tonight, I stumbled on an entire page of "reasons for miscarriage" and you'd better believe that I'm now convinced that every one of them will happen to me (even though that's impossible). Chemical pregnancies, blighted ovums, molar pregnancies . . . there really is so much to be scared of. And every description includes a line such as, "Most women have all of the symptoms of pregnancy and have no reason to think they're not pregnant when they have one of these conditions."

My mom tried to convince me last week that I'm under a lot of stress . . . even though I don't feel like it. Tonight, I'm beginning to think she's right. I've been so excited about my October 9 appointment when we'll have our first ultrasound, but now I'm downright dreading it. I feel like I need to be preparing myself for the worst. I had such a positive week last week . . . I don't know where all of this is coming from. I have just as good of a chance at delivering this baby as anyone else does.

I know that most of you who read this will be reading it weeks, maybe even months, after all of this takes place and you'll already know the outcome but pray for me anyway. I believe that God transcends everything . . . including time and that your prayers as you read this can influence me right now.

September 19, 2006

No doubt about it.

It's official. Two years and thousands of dollars(and counting) later, we're pregnant. I had my blood draw yesterday and my beta level was 211 which is right smack in the middle of where it should be for being a little more than four weeks pregnant. It's still irritating for me to know that couples who could afford these treatments way more than we could can get pregnant on their first try with having to spend little more than what it costs to buy lingerie, a nice dinner and a bottle of wine, but that shouldn't matter to me anymore.

It is completely surreal. Joy found out last night because I'm a bad liar. And we told our parents, who all seemed to be as excited as we are. I talked to the Reproductive Endocrinology (RE) office today and I go in for my first unltrasound on October 9. THey want to monitor me for the first couple of months. And I have to find an obstetrician. DeLynn (the LPN from the RE office) told me that my due date is May 27. Only we would get pregnant exactly 40 weeks before staff training at camp . . . but what can we do?

This child is a true miracle. I know that EVERY baby is a miracle . . . but there was so little chance that we could conceive this baby, it just seems like even more of a miracle. I get the sense that this baby has been chosen for something special. I realized that I've always seen expectant moms be more excited for themselves about the thought of being a mom, but I'm just excited about this life and what it will end up becoming. I'm still scared of miscarriage, of birth defect, or disease . . . but I'm trying not to think about those things. I'm just trying to enjoy the moment.

September 17, 2006

Yawn . . .

I've read that you are the most tired in your first trimester of pregnancy, especially in the first few weeks . . . but this is ridiculous! I can barely keep my eyes opened long enough to type this and I've yawned 3 or 4 times already. If I didn't know I was pregnant, I'd think I had mono. I'm super irritable too (well, I guess more than normal). I don't know if that's a result of being pregnant or being tired.

I didn't realize how hard it was going to be not to tell anyone. In church this morning, someone asked us how our treatments were going and we just didn't answer so they assumed things hadn't worked out on this try. It was so hard not to cry "It worked! It worked! It worked!"

I've surfed the web and seen a lot of pages on pregnancy. I've seen every page on infertility, gonal-f, polycycstic ovarian syndrome and more so it was nice to go to more positive sites. I found a due date calculator and found that my due date will be around May 25, and that the first heartbeat would be as early as September 29! That's 12 days away! According to the calculator, I'm 4 weeks, 1 day along . . . and I'm not sure how that works because I know for a fact (thanks to modern science and Dr. Aimee) that I ovulated on the 31st of August and conceived on September 1. I have to go back to my RE's office for a while before I see an OB/GYN. Hopefully they'll explain all of this to me.

It's still so crazy to think that this is actually happening. I'm VERY nervous that I'll miscarry especially today since I've had a lot of cramping. Odds aren't really in my favor, but I know more impossible things have happened.

I'm going to go take a nap.

September 16, 2006

Two years of trying . . .

I've wanted to start this blog for so, so long. I've seen other women do it and have read their blogs with both tears and laughter and wished that I could articulate the feelings and events associated with our struggle over the past two years (almost to the date). So I'll start here.

It seems that along every step of the way, we always found out about the pregnancies of our friends during the most trying times. When we first found out that we were going to have difficulty conceiving we had about three or four friends tell us that they were trying. And we knew they would be pregnant before us. When our doctor told us there was nothing more she could do for us, we found out that there were about 11 couples we know were pregnant. No exaggeration. When we had to clean out our savings to pay our bills to the U of M reproductive endocrinologist, when we had to pay thousands for our first round of injectables, when our first round of injectables FAILED . . . At all of these times, things seemed to happen to discourage us even more.

I knew I'd find out this weekend whether or not my second round of injectables worked our not. At the beginning of last week, there were FOUR babies born to friends. FOUR. As I was choosing gifts and packaging them to send out, I realized that this was probably the "thing" that would happen to make failing this round of injectables even harder. I began to prepare myself emotionally. Kyle and I took a camping trip to get my mind off of things while we waited, but I was convinced because of the babies our friends were having right now that results would not be positive. We had already decided not to try another month (against our doctor's advice) and take a year to try and rebuild a little bit of our savings and recover emotionally and physcially.

When we got back from the camping trip, it was still more than a week before a pregnancy test technically would be accurate, but I took one anyway. And even though I knew there was no possibility that it could be positive, seeing the negative result was devestating. Then, instead of waiting until September 20, like I was supposed to, I decided to take one on Friday, the 15th (why do I do that to myself). I took the test, saw nothing within the first 30 seconds and just left it on the counter. We had company coming and Kyle and I were getting things ready.

That night, Kyle had to take tickets at an Addison football game and JJ came over and we went to eat dinner with Debbie in the office. WHen we got back, Kyle, JJ and I were chatting in the living room. I needed to use the bathroom, and when I walked in, I glanced at the test still sitting on the shelf. And there it was. It was faint, but there was a line in the "pregnant" box. I did one of those double takes that you see people do in the movies where they close their eyes, rub them, shake their head and look again. I called for Kyle in a way that made him think that something was wrong. In retrospect, he told me that he thought I was going to tell him that I started my period. But instead I was saying in a quiet voice so that JJ wouldn't hear, "It worked. It worked. It worked." as if I were the inventor of a time machine and we had been transported to November 15, 1955. Indeed, I was pregnant (at least chemically).

Of course, I took another test this morning and the line was there AGAIN, but darker this time! I'm going to go out today and buy one of those digital tests that says "Pregnant" or "Not Pregnant." I really feel like I need to take as many positive ones as I have negative (which is a lot) in order to balance them out. :) But we can't afford that, so I'll hold off.

We're obviously going to be choosy about who we tell and really careful about when. There's still only a 6% chance that I'll make it through the first trimester (typing that just caused me to gulp and get teary). So, anyone we'd tell we'd want to lie to anyone who asked . . . so we just need to be careful. It's going to be hard not to tell anyone . . . especially the people who knew we were going through this stuff.

So, I guess my next step is to call the RE office to see what I do next . . . I'll be under their care for a little while then go to my OB/GYN . . . who has moved to Chicago since she referred me to U of M so I guess that I'll be looking for a new doctor. I'll kind of miss my trips to the U of M RE clinic. I've been there 3 - 4 times a week since May and the staff never ceases to amaze me. From the receptionists to the nurses, from the LNPs to the doctors . . . everyone has been kind, helpful, encouraging and has made all of my not-so-comfortable appointements enjoyable.

There have been some amusing parts of this whole process. There is the doctor who would do voice-overs for my ovaries and tell me what they were saying back and forth to each other . . . that was entertaining. And U of M is a teaching hospital . . . which means teams of medical students in many of my not-so-modest appointments. One of my favorites was when my pharmacist told me that my set of injectibles was $60 . . . to which my response was "plus $1200?" He informed that that I had reached my insurance deductbile and it was covered now. I told him that he was my new favorite pharmacist and if that counter hadn't been there, he would've gotten a hug.

There are so many stories . . . funny and sad. I wish I had been blogging the whole time because God has revealed himself to me throughout this process in new ways. But I'll start blogging now . . . whether this pregnancy is viable or we have to start over.