Friday, April 30, 2010

What IF

It's National Infertility Awareness Week and a perfect time for Project IF that is being headed up by Mel from Lost and Found and Stirrup Queens.

This post should have gone up earlier in the week, but I have stopped and started it so many times that I have lost count. I want to word everything perfectly, I want my emotions and my convictions to come across as strongly as I feel them. After many false starts, I have come to realize that just getting the words out there is what is truly important. So many times, I want to do something in just the right way and it keeps me from doing what needs to be done. Like with infertility, the next step isn't always clear, but moving foward is what is important.

For those of you who aren't familiar with our story, my husband and I experienced a total of nine pregnancy losses in our quest to build our family. Eight of those losses were prior to my successful pregnancy with my son, Will. These losses occured over the course of a little less than two years. It was the most heartbreaking, frustrating, depressing, and awful time of my life. Most of our losses were termed chemical pregnancies, in that we never saw anything on ultrasound and I started bleeding very early on, in the fifth and sixth weeks. To me, it didn't matter. Once I saw that second line, my heart and hopes were set on that little baby. Once I saw the bright red blod, my heart and hopes were broken.

We did have one pregnancy make it almost out of the first trimester. That sweet baby was our precious Gummy Bear. By that point, we were seeing a RE and we saw Gummy Bear looking good and healthy three separate times on ultrasound. We were released from the RE and two weeks later, at our first regular OB appointment, we found out that our baby no longer had a heartbeat.

To say we were devastated would be a massive understatement. We were obliterated. I truly thought that we would never be parents to a living child and life was cold and bleak.

There were several things that kept me going during this terrible time. One was my husband who literally pulled me from my knees several times. Things weren't perfect, there were nights when we hugged lonely sides of the bed instead of each other, times when we sat, silently staring straight ahead in the car on our way to yet another test, consultation, or procedure, but he was there for me always and never let me give up.

I was also so blessed to find this community of women and men who have walked this lonely path before, with, and behind me. I found people that I had never "met," yet could suddenly know them more than anyone else I knew in my real life. The unconditional love and support that I received here truly kept me going on days when I didn't think I could.

I also made a promise to my sweet angels: None of their too-short lives would be in vain. I wanted their existence to have true purpose and meaning. If nothing else, I promised to never forget them, to live my life in a way that would make them proud, and to create their legacy by giving care and support to others facing infertility and loss.

During my own struggles with infertility, I had no trouble reaching out. I felt as if I could truly empathasize and offer comfort and a listening ear. Then, miracle of miracles, our battle with infertility was won. We were parents at long last! With the arrival of our son, my broken heart began to heal and my soul began to be restored.

I am now a mother to one living child, one baby on the way, and nine lost angels. Project IF comes at a time when I am questioning my place in this community. I still love blogging, I have made so many relationships here and I would never just want to walk away. I don't feel that my work here is done. I received so much here, and I have so much left to give. I read the LFCA and see all of the celebrations and people hurting and I know people need this community more than ever. I do fear that now that I am on the "other side," my words will hurt or miss the mark. People that read my blog or comments on their own will not be inspired or comforted, but instead will wonder, "Well, how can she understand? She has a baby. Two babies!"

There were many common threads in the What Ifs listed in the first phase of Project IF and several different categories were developed. One of those categories was how has infertility impacted my plans/current choices/future decisions. My original What If asked, "What IF I cannot live up to my promise to my lost babies? What IF I cannot help others?" As I read the list, I realized so many people are still hurting, and I am just not doing enough to help.

With that in mind, here is my What IF for today:

What if I finally let go of my fear that others still struggling won't accept or want my help, and reach out to those that do. What if I finally put together infertility and loss support packets, filled with information for people who have just been told their baby has died or that having children might be more of a challenge that their biology teacher led them to believe. What if I start making small steps every day to make sure that no one going through infertility and/or loss has to feel alone or helpless and knows there are resources, communities, and people that care that are here to help them. What IF I stop being afraid and start really trying to make a difference?

Want to learn more about infertility and how you can help? Check out RESOLVE for more information.

I'm not the only one with "what ifs." Check out the rest of them here.

Please remember, I am always happy to feature your story on Memorial Monday. Please feel free to contact me through my profile e-mail. You can include pictures, poetry, a story, or just the basic details. This is one small way that I can help you know that you are not alone.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Thanks for the virtual hugs yesterday. I have my first cortisone shot scheduled for tomorrow at 11 and I am hoping it brings some relief.

M and I will be celebrating our seventh wedding anniversary this weekend. Crazy how time has flown. I can remember the excitement of getting engaged, the magic of our wedding day, the bliss of our honeymoon, all as if it was just yesterday.

We are heading out of town this weekend and leaving Will with my MIL for two nights. This will be his first overnight since September. He spent the night at her house and had a great time. Then, separation anxiety reared its ugly head and my attempt to leave him at her house in October ended in disaster and hurt feelings on my MIL's part. He has been doing much better in the separation department lately. I can drop him off at my good friend's house with nary a tear. But for some reason, he still isn't as comfortable with his grandma and so I am expecting a teary good-bye on Saturday. But he also cries when we leave him in the church nursery, but according to all reports, he is fine two minutes later, so I am just keeping fingers crossed that the same is true this weekend.
M and I are heading to our old standby, the hotel where we stayed when we got engaged. It's a beautiful property that is just so relaxing. I can't wait to spend some serious time soaking in the tub, lounging on the window seat, and getting to nap!! We also have plans to go out to dinner at least once and the hotel serves a great breakfast. Gee, lots of eating and sleeping, a pregnant lady's two loves.

The best part is that the hotel is less than ten minutes away from my MIL's, so if there should be a situation where Will truly needs us, we can be there. It makes us all feel a bit better. Well, everyone but Will, who really can't understand that. But my MIL just bought a new swingset for her backyard with a baby swing and a slide. Playing outside is Will's absolute favorite thing to do do right now, so I think he'll be pretty happy and well entertained.

Hard as it will be to leave him, this will likely be our last trip prior to Emma's arrival. It's hard enough to leave one baby, so I can't imagine leaving two. It will probably be a long time before we can get away again... so even though we will probably both cry, I think it's a good thing.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Real Katie

I have discussed my shoulder pain on the ol' blog before. It is not getting better, despite many weeks of physical therapy and being very good about my exercises. In fact, I sometimes feel as if it is getting worse. Many nights, the pain wakes and keeps me up. Sleeping while pregnant isn't comfortable and this isn't helping.

My physical therapist was concerned about joint separation and possible nerve damage, so she didn't want to do too much with the shoulder until we could rule out nerve and tendon impingement. So, off I went to the orthpedic surgeon yesterday (it was a busy doctor day: two appointments for me, one for Will).

To say I was left feeling disappointed by the appointment at the orthopod would be an understatement. I went with two expectations: a diagnosis and a plan of action. I went away with neither.

I should have known I was in for a disappointment when the doctor walked in, noted my pregnant belly, and said, "You're pregnant?" (And he said it in the tone that someone might reserve for a leper.) After confirming that I was, indeed, in the family way, he proceeded to tell me that he was not sure why my OB would have sent me to him, since there isn't a lot he can do for a pregnant woman (he is an orthopedic surgeon after all).

I told him that my OB knew a lot of diagnostic tools and treatments would be out of the question right now, but he thought a MRI would be safe and possibly useful means of finding out what was going on. My PT and OB both want a diagnosis so we don't do further harm in the meantime and have a plan of action for after Emma's arrival.

The doctor did a very casual exam that took less than five minutes. He declared that I definitely have tendon impingement and possibly a partially torn tendon, but that he can't tell without both an x-ray and MRI exactly what the source and depth of injury is. The x-ray is out of the question because of Emma and the MRI would show swelling. . . which is a side effect of pregnancy, so he wouldn't know how much was pregnancy-related and how much was injury. He said we'd have to do a repeat MRI after Emma was born anyway, so he didn't see the point in doing it twice. I agree with him, but it was still frustrating.

He told me that I had three "options":

1) Take oral NSAIDs. Not an option while pregnant.

2) Physical therapy. Check. Much as I love my miracle worker, it doesn't seem to be helping. Also, she feels uncomfortable doing too much without pinpointing the exact issue.

3) Steroid injections to the shoulder. He didn't think this was a viable option while pregnant.

He then told me that it takes awhile for the body to "calm down" post-partum, so he advised I wait at least two months after Emma was born to assess my shoulder pain. He told me to follow up with my OB at my afternoon appointment to check on his opinion of the steroid injections and possibly some narcotic pain relievers to help me sleep better at night.

I left almost in tears (darn these pregnancy hormones). I realized that my expectations had been unrealistic. I guess I was just hoping for some magic beans. I also realized something else: I turned into sales rep Katie with this doctor.

When I was working outside of the home, I was an account manager for a pharmaceutical company. Yes, a drug rep, though I worked in hospitals and managed the antibiotic contracts for several large hospitals. I worked in the ICU, OR, ER, and pharmacy departments. My relationship with the medical community was pretty in depth. I was friends with many of my docs. But I also had to "switch on" my sales side with customers. By that, I mean that I was all smiles, sunshine, and rainbows. If something was wrong, I would force it down and just focus on the job at hand. I did this through 2 years of miscarriage and infertility. Most of my customers had no idea what I was going through. I could be in the car, sobbing after a negative beta, then fix my makeup and walk in and sell a contract change like my heart wasn't breaking into a million pieces. A coworker used to say there were two of me: Presentation Katie and Real Katie.

My husband also noticed this when I was pregnant with Will. He said I would be feeling really poopy, but then I would go into the doctor and act like I had not a care in the world. He said it was like watching a play. He knew I wasn't feeling well, knew I had been up all night choking on my stomach acid, but I would "switch on" and you'd think I'd just gotten back from a sunny vacation . . . only to wilt the second we were out the door. I think I did this for so long that it became natural and I didn't even know I was doing it. It has now been two years since I worked in the field, so yesterday with the orthopod, I actually realized I had done it. I downplayed the pain, acted as if I could take it for another four months, shook the good doc's hand and headed out the door. . . where I collapsed in a pile of "I can't do this for four more months" tears.

So, I decided to be more open with Dr. S and ask him if there was anything that could be done to help manage this for the forseeable future. No Presentation Katie. Real Can't Sleep At Night And Can't Lift Will Out Of His Crib Without Seeing Stars Katie.

It worked. Dr. S said that there was no need for me to suffer. He explained that certain steroids do not cross the placenta, and though they can be hard on the mom's body, they do not affect the baby at all. He said that localized injections also tend to be easier to tolerate. His one caveat: he doesn't think they work often or for very long. He said it was a "bandaid approach," but that I could certainly try it without concern for Miss Emma. So, I am calling into the orthopedic surgeon today to see about getting an injection.

He also wrote me a prescription for percocet. I have to be honest, I am not really enthusiastic about taking them. He explained that it will go to the baby (in very small doses), but that it has not been proven to cause any sort of defects. Also, unless I started the max dose every single day, the baby should not have any breathing or withdrawal issues. and that even the max dose would probably not cause that, but we can't be certain. I do trust Dr. S 100% and I fully believe he would not prescribe something that he didn't think was safe. I guess it just comes down to the question: is my comfort level worth sacrificing her health and well being in any way? And the answer is unequivocably no. I know there are many women who have unbearable pain and must be on pain medications during pregnancy. If my neck went out while pregnant, I would have no choice. In order to function, I would have to take a pain pill. . . or more than one. And if, someday, I just can't live with it, I will have those pills there if I need them.

So, there it is for now. I'm keeping fingers crossed that the injections work and I wont even need to fill the prescription and that after I have Emma, the swelling goes down, and is no longer an issue.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sweet and Sassy

When I was pregnant with Will, I failed my 1-hour glucose test. I had to take the 3-hour test, which I passed with flying colors. The 3-hour test is not fun and I was not eager to do it again, especially since I would have a difficult time finding someone to watch Will for that long (it's more like 4 hours by the time I would drive there and back) and I couldn't imagine entertaining him in the waiting room either.

So, I did a self-imposed fast today. I ate a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and didn't have lunch and the results. . . passed! Thank goodness!

I am celebrating with a Blizzard. Ah, sugar!

Kids Say the Darnedest Things

Things Will says that make me laugh:

1) There is a construction zone behind our house that you can see from our master bedroom. There are two diggers that you can also see, but they are often blocked by the homes going up in the neighborhood. Will always asks to stand on our bed so he can look at the window. If he cannot see any diggers, he will say, "Digger, where are you? Where'd he go?" If the diggers are in his view, he will say, "Two. Two diggers." If the diggers are working and coming in and out of his line of sight, he says, "Digger, where are you?" followed by, "There he is!" When he says digger, it sounds like deegaw, and the where are you is more like "wew are youuuuuuu." Ack, it's the cutest.

2) Most mornings he is awake when M leaves for work, so we will sit on the front couch and wave good-bye. He will say, "There he goes!" as M drives off.

3) He proudly announces his bodily functions, his two favorites being "I toot" and "I poop".

4) He has learned the word "mine." He calls me "mine Mama."

5) If you ask him how old he is, he will proudly tell you that he is two. But he now knows he is actually one, so as soon as you start shaking your head, he'll say, "I'm one!"

Monday, April 26, 2010

Just Another (not so) Manic Monday

I seem to have hit sort of an emotional wall these past couple of weeks. I have found myself extremely weepy over the littlest thing, which I know is a very common pregnancy side effect. I also just feel kind of sad in general, which is not my usual state of mind. I find myself upset over small things.

There is no one reason I can pinpoint for my sadness. I just seem to be extra sad and prone to tears. For example, this weekend we finally. . . drum roll, please. . . emptied out Emma's nursery. What a relief to get this major obstacle done! This was the only part of the project that I couldn't do myself and it was a huge stepping stone. Why, then, would I be sad about it?

Well, as M took the queen sized bed down, I remembered when we bought that bed. It was our first major purchase as a couple. We have had that mattress longer than our dogs. I spent a lot of time in that bed nursing Will, as there was a t.v. in that room, so I could comfortably lie there and nurse him, watch crappy 2 AM television, and let M rest in peace. So, I was in tears by the time he had hauled the mattress downstairs. My husband and my MIL were a little nonplussed by it, Will thinks it's funny when I cry and he laughs at me. This actually helps me to laugh at myself, too, since I know I am being silly.

I also know this weepy, overemotional, oversensitive stuff is just part and parcel of the whole pregnancy bag. I remember having these phases when I was pregnant with Will. I just can't wait until it passes!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Okay, I feel like an @sshole. Please go and read the comments from my last post. I'll wait.

You're back already? That was fast!

That right there? That's the problem with the written word. . . it's so hard to determine how someone means something. . . playful, snarky, joking, irritated, etc. Usually, I don't respond to anonymous comments that I think are snarky, but clearly, I was the grumpy pregnant lady yesterday. I obviously couldn't take a little teasing. Shame on me for being so sensitive!

So, to anonymous, I want to extend my condolences on your babies and sincerely apologize and send every hope and prayer that this pregnancy goes to term!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Well, here is Da Belly at 26.5 weeks. . . almost 7 months pregnant!
Though I definitely still feel as if I am carrying slightly smaller this time around, I am definitely catching up on my weight gain lately. By my scale, I am up 18 pounds at this time, which is about where I was this time last time, too. I figure I'll gain about 30 pounds (or so) altogether, which is what I gained with Will. One nice thing about my weight gain this time is I am not as bothered by it. I mean, sure, like all women, I don't love the scale climbing relentlessly upward, but I also know that it will go away, I will fit my old pants again someday (maybe not quite the same as I did before, but they will button), and that the outcome is so worth it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sick of the Sicks

I am so frustrated with constant sickness in my house.

Will and his Daddy seem to be on a "top each other" in sickness contest. They are tied for first place right now and I seem to be on the losing end.

In the past six weeks, M has had two colds (one I think was bronchitis but trying to get him to a doctor is next to impossible) and a really bad stomach flu. Will has had his usual perma-sinus infection, two ear infections, bronchitis (seems same as what M had, but we actually took him to the doctor), and the stomach flu. I worked in hospitals before I had Will and the first two years, I got sick will all sorts of nasties. It was rough. The long-term bonus of that, however, is that I have developed a really good immunity that protects me from getting most of these ailments. I am very grateful for this, because I honestly don't know what we'd do if I got sick, too.

So, it seems as if one of them gets better, the other one gets sick, lather-rinse-repeat. The good news is that Will seems to be sleeping better lately. We had a rough time with the 18-month sleep regression, which I think was exacerbated by all of the sickness. I know I don't sleep well when I am not feeling well, so it was only to be expected. Now, fingers crossed, he is back to sleeping through the night, and I am hoping that trend continues for awhile.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How Appropriate!

He may have a degree in pure Evil, but I have a not-so-secret-obsession with Dr. Google. When we were dodging the bullets of infertility, he may have been my best friend. He didn't seem to mind the odd question (or ten) at 2 AM. He didn't care if I searched the same thing repeatedly. He never tired of my fascination with anything baby-makin'.

I have leaned on the Good Doc in many times of health crisis. Newborn jaundice? The doctor was in. Toddler with enlarged adenoids? Dr. Google on duty.

Granted, my dalliances with Dr. G rarely ended well. For every good ending I found, a dozen of doomsday scenarios were just lurking around the corner. Really, I should just step away from the computer, but I can hear Google MD calling my name.

Someone with a good sense of humor sent me this link. I had to laugh when I clicked on it! At least I know I am not alone in my obsession!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mind Blowing

I have changed my ticker to a daily countdown. Something about crossing the threshold into double digits remaining has made me realize that she is really coming (you think?!?!) and that it's time to get ready!

Next weekend, M's cousin should be here by around 11 AM to get the furniture out of her room. That has been the major road block to getting the nursery moving. After the room has been emptied, my good friend will help me measure out where the chair rail will go, we can install the closet organizer, and then I can finally paint. I really feel (and perhaps this is just wishful thinking on my part, but let a girl dream!) that once the paint is up, it's going to go really fast. We can put up the chair rail and curtain rods. The furniture is just sitting in our friends' garage, waiting to be moved in and set up. The bedding is ready to go, the curtains are being sewn, so I feel as if a lot of it will just be little details after that. I still haven't figured out art work, but I have some ideas that are brewing. I just want to see how things look after the paint is up to get a better idea as far as which colors I want to accentuate.

I also have been so blessed to have been the recipient of a friend's absolutely adorable handmedowns. We are all set on 0 - 3 month clothing and she has promised me that as soon as her own little girl grows out of ther 3 - 6 month clothing, it is ours as well. We are talking all name brand, insanely cute stuff. Going through it brought tears to my eyes. I also have another girlfriend who has just entered the second trimester and will find out what she's having at the end of May. She had a little girl just a few weeks before Will was born, so if she is having a boy, we are hoping to do some trades, too. We'll really be set then!

I still have a lot to do before this little one arrives, but I think I will definitely start to feel better once the nursery is well underway! I do know that a lot of the details are just that. . . details. . . but I also know that once Emma is here, my time for details will be very limited, so I'd like to get as much of it out of the way beforehand as possible.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Zoo Also Good

A sunny spring day is a rare treat in the Pacific Northwest. It is true that we get a lot of rain here, especially in the spring and early summer. . . thus the lush green that you see everywhere, even throughout July and August! I think it also makes the rare days of sun even more special and you can almost taste the promise of summer in the air.

One of my girlfriends and I planned a trip to the zoo for yesterday. Like true Northwest Moms, we were prepared to go rain or shine (and really knowing rain was far more likely). How lovely that Mother Nature decided to send down some sun rays.

Will had a great time! Strangely enough, however, he didn't seem that interested in the animals this time. He liked the penguins (we were fortunate to be there during their morning feed) . . .

but he was way more interested in this boat that was right next to the penguin habitat. . .
He also liked the monkeys (always a favorite!) . . .
But he much preferred the tractor at the Family Farm. . .
However, the true winner of the day was when stopped to have a picnic lunch and he could run wild. . .

It's been a good week!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ice Cream Good

Will reached a huge milestone recently.

He had his very first ice cream cone. Now, I am not quite sure. . .
but I think. . .
he likes it!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Miracle of A Different Kind

People always comment on what a miracle Will is.

Indeed, he is a miracle. My sweet little boy is a miracle, a gift from God, and I am down-on-my-knees-grateful for him each and single every day (yes, even when is being all toddlerish).

I am equally grateful for the little girl that at this very second is pummeling my kidney. She is every bit as much of a miracle as her older brother, even if her conception took decidedly less medical routes to be achieved. She is simply a miracle of a different kind.

I get comments all the time about how getting pregnant this time was so "easy" (it was) and how we got so "lucky" (we did). People seriously love to tell me, "Oh, I just knew you didn't have any real problems." Or, "Well, look what happens when you 'just relaxed'." Now, to be honest, I would rather put up with these comments and not have to do IVF/FET again, even though these comments kind of grate a little.

Our problem was never identified, but that doesn't mean that we didn't have a problem. We lost a lot of babies, so we had some issue. Even after having Will, I had another chemical pregnancy, so a RLB didn't "fix" me as some other folks have enjoyed pointing out. I am thankful for this unassisted conception and the true miracle that it is, but I just wish that people would stop making comments about how if we'd just been "more patient," we would never have needed IVF in the first place.

To those people, I want to ask how many chemical pregnancies and miscarriages I was supposed to have? Most of these people haven't had one miscarriage, let alone suffered the agony of recurrent loss, so they have no idea how hard it is to keep losing babies. I want to ask those who said I should have been more patient or relaxed how many babies were supposed to die before intervention would have made sense? I wouldn't change a thing about how proactive I was in TTC with Will. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Trust me, he was so worth it.

And even with the thoughtless comments that get tossed my way today, I take them all with a grin and bear it attitude (though I do have sassy comments in my head). Because she is worth it, too!

What are some of your favorite "well-meaning" comments? What responses do you wish you could give (or even better, do you actually give)?

Edited: PamalaLauren asked if it was possible that my body has simply "reset" itself with the birth of Will. That certainly is a possibility. I did have one chemical pregnancy in May 2009 (after his birth), but chemical pregnancies are common, so that's not to say that I still had whatever problem was plaguing us as we attempting to conceive Will.

My RE did have a couple of theories for us. The first we discovered during my IVF cycle with Will. Even though I was on a pretty routine stim cycle and had good sized follicles at the time of retrieval, my egg maturity rate was extremely low (less than 50%). Now, this can be affected by many things, but she was surprised that for the size of the follicles, I had so few mature eggs. She said that could be why I miscarried so many times. My eggs were of fine quality (and why nothing would show up on a FSH screen as abnormal) but were being released too soon, when they were "immature" and therefore, even if they fertilized, they were doomed from the start. This would explain why conception was not an issue for us and why my losses were of the mostly very early nature.

Because there was always the possibility that a mature egg could make it down the chute, there was always the possibility that if that happened and that egg was fertilized, we'd be good to go. This is just a theory and she said it would be difficult to prove or disprove, since an IVF cycle is not necessarily a fair replication of what the body would naturally do. However, I have always kind of liked that theory, as it explains both the miscarriages and why we were finally able to conceive a healthy pregnancy on our own. I did ovulate later in our conception cycle than usual, so it also lends a bit of credibility to this theory.

Her second theory had to do with blood flow to the uterus, which is why she had me take Lovenox into the second trimester (when the placenta would compensate for lack of blood flow). Now, I did have tests done that showed a normal blood flow to the uterus while I was not pregnant, but she said that pregnancy can change blood flow, and I was never tested while pregnant. I have circulation issues (vericose veins and spider veins, as well as edema in my legs) so this would make sense. With Emma, I did not take any blood thinners, so that would kind of throw that theory out the window.

So, really, we just don't know. So this baby girl really is a different kind of miracle!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Moving Along

Things have been pretty quiet on the pregnancy front lately. Emma is growing, I am growing, she is moving and shaking. She makes my belly rock and roll. It's so fun to watch from the outside.

I am getting up at least once a night to go to the bathroom and I am starting to feel kind of uncomfortable in bed. I have noticed that my legs and arms are taking on the "padding" of pregnancy and I am about 10 pounds up from pre-pregnancy weight. My belly button, which stayed decidedly innie even at the bitter end with Will, is already looking like it might pop out. For some reason, this kind of gives me the heeby jeebies, but not a lot I can do about that. My c-section scar is kind of itching lately, too, and feels. . . tender is the best word. I don't usually notice it at all, so I guess the skin down there must be stretching, too.

I am getting to the place where I got last time as far as nursery preparations in that I am starting to get antsy and ready to get on with the show. We are at a bit of a standstill until M's cousin comes to take the furniture in that room. I honestly feel as if it will all go pretty quickly after that, but it's still a lot of work and I will feel better after it's done. I still have some time until my self-imposed May 15 deadline, but I am starting to fear that I won't make it. Sigh.

I have been very fortunate to get a bin filled with 0 -3 month size girl clothes from one friend as well as a couple of small bags from a different girlfriend. We have enough newborn clothes now, which is a relief. I have also been looking at girl clothes lots on craiglist and there are some good deals to be had.

My MIL is planning a family and close friend BBQ/coed "sprinkle" for the first week of June. Gosh, it really seems to be scooting along. She'll be here before we even know it.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Please go and send love to Katie. She is pregnant with IVF triplets and just found out that her son has passed away at 18 weeks.

On A Mission

I am going to make bread. Learning how to bake homemade bread has been on my "to do" list for some time. I am a little scared but I think I have found a recipe to get me started. I'll be sure to let you know how it turns out.

So, wish me luck! Any tips from pro-breadmakers out there?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Very Important Blog Update

Ladies (and the very rare gentlemen), I finally ended my dry spell and had. . .

wait for it. . .

one of my guiltiest pleasures. . .

a Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit sandwich [BECB].

It was everything a greasy-bad-for-you-totally-lacking-any-nutritional-value-breakfast sandwich should be. And more.

Oh, and in case you were about to say that Emma needs the protein from the egg, allow me to remind you that I peel the one essense of potential health (the egg) off of the sandwich and replace it with a slab of greasy hashbrown. That's right, I make it even more greasy and less healthy, because I don't like egg but I do like me some fried tater.

[Sighs with pleasure.]

This ends a nearly nine month drought of the BECB. This was not intentional, or as Manapan put it, any way virtuous on my part. First, I really do try to refrain from having these very often as they are not in any way good for me. Then, I got pregnant and first trimester all-day-sickness took away my desire for even a crumb of the biscuit. Just as I was feeling better and was thinking a MickeyD's run might be necessary, M and I gave up fast and convenient foods for Lent. So, that's how we ended up nine months later and no BECB. Like all good things that those that wait, however, it was worth it. I might have even licked the wrapper and my fingers afterward.

Wow, a whole post about a BECB. And it's not the first time, either.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Night Leftovers

It's Friday again and time for yet another edition of FNL. Danifred says this might be the last one for awhile, so if you've never participated, it's a good week to try it out.

1. Just typing the word leftovers made me hungry. People, my appetite? Out. of. control.

2. My shoulder has gone from occasionally hurting to always hurting, especially at night, so it is keeping me from sleeping. It is really bad.
3. Will had his first flu bug yesterday. That's probably a post of its own, but I will spare you the gory details. Oh, the laundry! Now fingers crossed that I don't get it next. Fortunately, it seems to have been a relatively short-lived bug and he is back to normal this morning.

4. Ever since I blogged my list of Guilty Pleasures, I have really been wanting a McDonald's breakfast sandwich. The last one I had was the morning of Will's 1st birthday party when my girlfriend and I stopped on the way to "power up" for the day ahead. That was August, so I think it's time I had another, don't you? The scale and my OB might not concur.
5. I watched the movie Julie & Julia yesterday while Will was napping and I was also doing mountains of laundry. It was just so-so, but there were a few scenes that I could definitely appreciate as a blogger. . . the scene where she gets her first comment and gets all excited. . . until she reads it. . . and it's from her mom (although my mom doesn't read my blog - I hope, but still, I remember getting my first comment and thinking - WOW! Someone is reading this!)! And the scene where she and her husband have a big fight about her blogging and then he tells her the fight better not end up on the blog! My husband and I have had that fight! Also, because I am just the kind of person to do so, I had to look up the original blog to see what it was like.
6. While I have written this, Will has been taking one piece of silverware from the drawer at a time and running it over to me. I now have a pile of spoons and forks. I'd better go before he gets to the knives (they are in a different, higher up drawer, so don't worry, I was only kidding).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Guilty Pleasures

I saw this on another blog (can't remember which one. . . if it's yours, please shout out so I can credit and link to you) and liked it. Consider yourself tagged to do the same on your blog if you want to reveal your own little indulgences.


10. Roy Rogers or Shirley Temples (I actually bought grenadine and cherries to have these at home whenever the mood strikes which is embarassingly often as of late).
9. Taking a nap. And by nap, I mean a real one, getting into comfy clothes, getting under all under the covers and snuggly, and sleeping for more than an hour of sleep. Yeah, that sounds really good right now.
8. Soft blankets. I have five throw blankets. Two upstairs in my bedroom and three downstairs. I like different types of blankets depending on how cold or warm I am (and yes, sometimes I still like a light blanket, even in the summer when I am warm - I'm weird like that). I am especially fond of throw blankets from Costco. The problem is that each year, they get softer and more wonderful and they aren't expensive, so it's difficult to say no to, but I don't want to throw out any of my old ones.
7. Pedicures. Need I say more?
6. Bath and Body Works fragrance oils. I love them, especially to light about fifteen minutes before guests arrive. Having three animals, I am phobic about their fur and smells. I obsessively vacuum (at least once a day) and use Febreeze likes it's my job. But I also like to light these oils when I want the house to smell extra good. They are kind of expensive, but worth every penny to me, and they go on sale fairly often.
5. Cheesy romance novels. They are like mind-candy for me. I like to read more serious literature, but every once in awhile, it's just nice to read something mindless. They are good to enjoy in the bath. . . see #3 below.
4. Chili cheese fries. They are soooo good. But I am picky. The chili cannot have beans in it (though I do like beans in my chili if I am eating it plain) and I do not like "fake" cheese on them. It has to be shredded cheddar.
3. Hot baths. I really like baths to be almost too hot, which is something I can't do in pregnancy. I still like a nice warm bath, however, complete with bubbles, candles, and a good book.
2. McDonald's Bacon Egg and Cheese Biscuit with hashbrowns. I limit these to a very rare indulgence, but manoman.
1. American Idol. I know. I know. But I am addicted and I get a little sad each year when it's over. I can't imagine that I will watch next year (what kind of show will it be without Simon - and I already miss Paula!) so this is it for me.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Facebook Strikes Again

Okay, first off, those brownies I posted about yesterday? Yeah, they are amazing. And not difficult to make. I highly recommend them.

Secondly, almost a week later, I got April Fooled. I was on my guard the day of, but wasn't expecting the sneak-five-days-later-attack. It was well-orchestrated, I'll give 'em that. And old friend of mine (actually, a guy I dated for 2.2 seconds and then stayed in contact with as friends) is one of my FB friends. Now, we didn't date long, and one of the reasons for this (among many, many reasons) is that he had no interest in marriage or any of what he referred to as the "White Picket Fence Trap."

Now, the day of April 1st, I had several friends who thought it was funny to announce a pregnancy. None of them were actually pregnant and I didn't fall for any of it. I was especially suspicious of any status updates that day.

Yesterday on my Live Feed, I noticed that he had changed his relationship status from "in a relationship" to "married." Of course, I was curious. I clicked over and saw that not only had he changed that, but he had also posted a small album of Wedding Pictures to his profile. The pictures showed him in a suit with a girl in a short white dress. The pictures were titled things like "Making It Official" and "Can't Wait For the Honeymoon" and were the usual garter-grabbing, cake-smashing, ring-exchanging wedding type pictures. I didn't even think twice before chiming into the other wall posts starting to call out their congratulations on the happy news.

Yeah, so it turns out that the entire thing was a hoax. They didn't get married, but they were at a friend's wedding and posed for the pictures after the ceremony. Today's status from him was: April Fools goes all month long! Gotcha!

You know what? I was actually a little disappointed for him. I kind of do think he'll stay a life-long bachelor and part of me thinks that it's kind of sad. I know that he came from a bad home situation (divorced parents, abusive, alcoholic dad) and doesn't have a good image of what a positive marriage can be like. I hoope that some day, he changes his status for real and gets to know the good side of the "White Picket Fence."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Apple Skillet Brownies

Oh my word.

Try these. Please.

Don't forget the vanilla ice cream.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Random Monday

Whew. What a busy few days. My parents came to visit, my mother-in-law then arrived to stay the night and watch Will for us while we went to the Michael Buble concert, and then Easter! It was a whirlwind of five days.

It was a lot of fun, but I am definitely feeling the effects of it today. Will is still having random wake ups some nights and sleeping through others, but his schedule has been off kilter with all of the excitement, so naps have been shorter, bedtime later, wakeups earlier, you get the idea! I am feeling very tired today and hoping that he decides to take a decent nap today so I can also rest.

I am also. . . drum roll, please. . .

24 weeks pregnant today. That's viability, folks. Yes, I realize that there would still be many hurdles to overcome and a lot of prayers needed if Emma was to arrive today or any time soon. I have a firm talk with her every morning, reminding her that Mommy's tummy is the best place to be for now and that she can come out in just a few months. She seems pretty content pummeling away at my bladder in there, so I think she'll be hanging out for awhile to come.

When you have a miscarriage(s), you feel so very helpless, because there is nothing that can be done. The body has to do its job and there is little to nothing that even the most modern of science can do to help. My body failed me so many times that getting to 24 weeks, where finally, medical professionals could take over if needed, is a very comforting thing.

I hope you have all been doing well. . . I am off to check on you and see what I have missed in your lives these past few days!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Setting the Bar

Wow, first off, isn't food/feeding our child(ren) an interesting topic? I was surprised by how many (and how diverse!) the responses were. I really appreciate everyones' input, though it still has me feeling about the same - confuse! I would read one comment and nod in agreement, only to find that I agreed with the next comment, too!

One comment that completely struck a chord for me was from one of my favorite bloggers, Tracy. She mentioned setting high standards for her toddlers and how surprising it is that they rise to the occasion.

I 100% agree with her in that setting high standards tends to result in better performance. Will surprises me on a daily basis with things that he understands/does/knows how to do. It actually shocks me sometimes how much this kid has retained. For example, we pulled up outside of Fred Meyer on Sunday, a store I usually don't go to. The last time we were there (three weeks ago), was for him to get his hair cut at the place next door. So, as we pulled into the parking lot, he started saying, "Hair cut! Hair cut!" Both M and I couldn't believe that he remembered that.

When I posted on family meal times, many people commented that making a toddler sit at the table was expecting too much, I started thinking about it and thought, "Yeah, that is a lot to expect a toddler to do." Strangely enough, 98% of the time, Will sits through an entire meal without incident, simply because those were my expectations of him. We started sitting him at the table with us before he could even sit up (in his bouncer) and moved him to the high chair when he was able to sit up on his own (even before he started solids). Meal times were something that were very important to me prior to even having a baby, so I guess my expectations were high. . . and, most of the times, he does just fine.

Conversely, I also realized that I need to recognize my standards might sometimes be too high and when that happens, I need to be flexible. I have now started giving him his color crayons and paper when he is "all done" with meals and it has made a world of difference on those times when he doesn't want to sit happily while M and I eat.

You see, my mom was a perfectionist mom, the type that always set the highest expectations. I clearly remember when I was in second grade, running home to tell her that I had scored the highest in the class on a spelling exam - 98%! Her response? "Why did you miss any? You knew all of those words?" Instantly, my excitement and pride were deflated. I no longer celebrated my victory in having an A grade, but rather started beating myself over missing the word (though I will never forget how to spell the word among again). While it did cause me to strive to excel, it also caused me to be over-anxious and very concerned about being perfect.

I know my mom meant well and just wanted me to do my best, but I just want to be very clear it the messages that I send to Will. I have very high expectations of him (and that will never change), but I want to make sure that they are reasonable and in tune with what he needs. I never want to deflate his ego or make him feel badly for doing his best.

Parenthood is such a fine line to walk. There are minefields and pitfalls at every step. One of the reasons that I am so thankful for my blog is that you and your wonderful advice are
all just a comment away. Thank you for taking the time to walk this journey with me.