Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Shower and Tell

This weekend, I went to a shower for a fellow infertile. J is 28 weeks pregnant with a little girl, conceived via IVF at the same clinic where I went.

Before I say anymore, I should stop and say how lovely the shower was. Her sister and mother put in a lot of effort into making the party very nice. They did a spa theme, complete with candle and lotion giveaways. There was a yummy chicken salad, croissants, some amazing fruit tarts, and cheese and crackers. The cake was gorgeous. The shower was at her house, so we got to peek at the nursery, which is beautiful.

It wasn't too large of a group, so I didn't feel lost in the crowd. She got some really great gifts and was gracious during the opening. The shower game wasn't too cheesy (a purse scavenger hunt) and I knew several of her other friends. I got to hold a five week old little boy for about twenty minutes and I gobbled up every single second with him.

Okay, but you know this is going somewhere, and it is.

If one more person at that shower asked me if I was sure about my due date or if it is twins or not, I was going to scream. It started right off the bat, when I came in and the great-grandma-to-be asked me when I was due. I told her and her eyes bugged out of her head. She called J over, who is not showing very much at all, even at 28 weeks. Honestly, she doesn't even look pregnant. So, of course, Grandma starts exclaiming over how huge I am. She asks if the due date is wrong or if it's twins. She is gesturing for others to come over and compare my monstrousity of a belly with J's teeny tiny little bump. J was great, trying to get her grandma to talk about something else, but of course, she kept on going.

Finally, I managed to disengage myself from that lovely little conversation, only to have it repeated about ten times over the course of the shower. I just stuck to my usual responses:"My doctor says I am measuring just fine." "I have a forward tilting uterus." "I've been waiting for this for so long, I am glad to have a big bump so people know that I am pregnant."

I really tried not to let it get to me, but it was kind of an ego buster. My husband pointed out that they were talking about my stomach, but when I hear the word huge, I think about my chubby cheeks (north and south) and how my thighs rub together when I get out of the shower. I feel large and in charge, and I have a lot of growing left to do.

The icing on the cake was when another friend tried to take my picture. She took one shot, looked at it, shook her head, took another. Then another. I looked at the pictures on the viewfinder and my face looked so round and puffy. It probably didn't help that I was holding a plate piled with food. They were not flattering pictures. I made her delete them.

I cried on the way home. I did not want to obsess about my weight. I wanted to be happy with my healthy, growing baby. But I did not expect to hear all of these size comments. I did not know how they would affect me. I don't want to complain about something so trivial. I actually think that my belly is beautiful. When I look at it in the mirror, it looks like the pregnant belly that I have always wanted. But then people start commenting, and I lose that self-confidence.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I Will Carry You

For those that have lost a baby, this song honors another lost angel, but may also soothe your own grieving heart.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Karate Kid

It's really neat to learn about my son's personality before he even is born.

For example, he does not like to be crowded. If I lean over too far for something or bend over to tie an errant shoelace, I get a nice swift kick to an internal organ.

He is like me and likes to sleep in. I never feel any movement before 9 AM, unless I dare to affront his personal space, then see above.

He is most active between 7 and 8 at night and I mean crazy busy. I don't have any idea what he is doing in there, but I sense he is laughing as he does it. So far, his activities have not kept or woken me up during the night, so I can't be as sure of what he does during those hours.

One of my pregnant girlfriend's baby is most active at about 6 AM, so she has taken to calling her Early Bird. She is a few weeks ahead of me and the kicks are so strong, they wake her up every morning, at almost the exact same time. She doesn't even set her alarm clock anymore.

I have read in pregnancy books that the schedule a fetus keeps in the womb is very similar to the schedule that the newborn will have out of it. If I am lucky enough to have a baby that sleeps in until 9 AM, I will be a very happy camper indeed!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

In Which My Happy Side Returns

First of all, thank you, Dear Readers. Your comments yesterday helped to smooth my ruffled feathers. If I had a nickname lately, it would have to be Mrs. Oversensitive. I thought that I was doing pretty well with the rollercoaster ride of pregnancy, but I must confess, I think that the coaster might be off the tracks lately.

Not that I don't have a right to be a little hurt about my husband's belly aversion, but that is only the surface of the troubled waters that seem to be my pregnant emotions. I feel a little like Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde lately. I was so sad on Tuesday that I was crying on and off all day. Even Little Man's movements didn't bring the usual smile to my face.

Yesterday, however, my mood completely switched around. I met a girlfriend for lunch and afterward, we made a quick stop at Baby's R Us. I showed her some things that I had registered for, and while I was hemming and hawing over which high chair I wanted to add to the list, I saw it. . . the Highchair of My Dreams. I love that it is wood, matches our dining room furniture, and has a washable cover. I love that it reminds me so much of the high chair that my parents had for me when I was a baby. I went to scan in and found that it was on clearance - meaning that it can't be added to the registry. And I was disappointed. But then I saw the price tag - $99.00. I thought maybe I should just get it, even though we have decided not to make any major baby purchases until our garage has been cleaned out. I decided to think about it and went up to the register to return the scanner. While I was there, they gave me a 15% off coupon, for any purchase, including clearance. Now the high chair was down to $85.00, a really good deal in my book.

I still was hemming and hawing, until my girlfriend plucked the coupon out of my hand and told me that she wanted to buy the high chair for me as my baby gift. I was floored by her generousity and actually felt a bit guilty. I was in no way expecting her to buy it for me and was not hinting for her to do so, but she said that she had been planning on spending more than that for a gift anyway, and wanted to buy me something significant that I will always remember came from her. Mission accomplished. As a bonus, she is keeping the highchair in her garage until our shower in July, so I don't even have to kick it around until then. I was thrilled to pieces.

So, from the depths of despair, to the heights of happiness, all in a 24-hour period. No wonder my husband is avoiding me!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tummy Talk

Now that I can really feel this little guy moving, I enjoy talking to my belly more than ever. I have been talking to him for a long time now, but I am starting to feel less silly about it. I read a book to the baby every night before bed, I rub my stomach with cocoa butter lotion, and tell the baby about life outside and how much fun we are going to have. I really love it.

My husband, on the other hand, is not into the belly.

And it hurts my feelings.

A lot.

While most people from my parents, to friends, even to my boss, are really into the belly. They will pat it, rub it, and talk to it. My husband really seems to only interact with the belly when I "force" it, either by walking up to him and sticking my blossoming stomach into his face, or taking his hand and firmly placing it on my abdomen. He will grudingly say, "Hello, Baby." or leave his hand for a few seconds, before pulling it quickly away. The other night, he not-so-politely told me that I needing to stop "forcing" it and that he will do it when he is comfortable. Which seems to be never.

I have tried not to let this bother me, but it does, on several levels. One, I feel it is a rejection of the baby. Two, I feel it is a rejection of me and my changing form. I know, I know. Rampant, raging pregnant hormones do not a logical woman make. I was wondering for you ladies out there (and any gentleman that might stumble across this site): Are your husbands into the belly? Any suggestions for how to get him more involved?

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Doctor Is In

Today we had our fifth month appointment. For the first time that I can ever recall when it comes to OB appointments, I was not nervous going in. I think that the combination of a great anatomy scan plus daily movement makes me feel pretty confident. Not that I don't think that bad things could still happen, I know that they can, but I just really am trying to enjoy this pregnancy and try not to worry.

Everything is looking good. I am measuring a week ahead, but the doctor that is considered normal and not a reason for concern. It did take awhile to get the heartbeat on doppler, but only because the baby was kicking and moving so much that he couldn't get a good read. After a few minutes, however, he got a great heartbeat of 126 BPM, which was declared perfect.

My current weight gain is at 11 pounds, though I am feeling as if it certainly must be more than that! This weekend, I noticed that my thighs are rubbing together. I don't have the skinniest legs to begin with, but I've got a lot of friction down there that I haven't felt before. I also notice that my arms have a layer of upholstery that wasn't there before. But as long as my doctor says that it's normal, I am going to try and be okay and even happy with the new me!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Finally Friday!

What a week! My work meeting was absolutely exhausting, made far worse by the fact that my roommate has insomnia and was up before 4 AM both mornings. I have been complaining about how often I am on my feet for work, being in a sales position and not working in an office. After sitting for 12 hours straight, I realize that is far more challenging. My lower back was killing me by the end and my ankles were swollen for the first time.

Despite the discomfort, I was kept very much entertained during even the most boring parts of the meeting. I kept picturing our sweet Little Man and what having him in my arms will be like. His constant movement and even some pretty good kicks also had me suppressing a smile.

My districtmates surprised me with an early baby gift - lots of clothes from this store. I was not expecting the gift and it was really touching. I almost teared up, until I read the card, which one of my coworkers had signed "Heya, Fatty!"

Speaking of which, everyone had such fun telling me how HUGE I am and how HUGE I am going to be! I thought I would post the 20-week Belly Shots so that you can see for yourself.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

For the Bensons

Kathy, there are no words. My heart is with your family today.

Molly Marie Benson was born alive at 12:57 p.m.(4 lb., 4oz.; 15.5 inches) and was immediately baptized by Fr. Malloy. Molly left to go to heaven at 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

To Nicole . . .

My heart aches for you and I am so sorry for your loss*.

I remember the pain and hurt of my first miscarriage as if it happened yesterday. I did not go to the ER, because the doctor on call told me that there was nothing that they could do for me. I remember sobbing on my husband's lap, knowing in my heart of hearts that it was over, and yet that same heart did not want to let go.

I encourage you to find a way to memorialize this baby that you have lost. It was the best way for me to start to emotionally recover. I treasure the things in my "miscarriage basket" and go through them from time to time. I do want to look forward, but I never want to forget. Our little angels have made me who I am.

Again, I am so sorry and I wish you peace, healing, and comfort in the days and weeks ahead. E-mail me if there is anything else that I can do.

*Nicole left me a comment for the last post and had a miscarriage at 6 weeks, 2 days.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Random Monday

First off, thank you to everyone that read my (rather long) rant about my mother's reaction to our Baby Boy. I was feeling really down about it and wondering if I was expecting too much from her, but your comments helped to reinforce that I am not the one who is out of line. Even just writing all of that was really cathartic to me, so thanks again.

I am exhausted today. We had a busy weekend, with a friend and her two boys, 5 and 3, at our house. She is traveling from another state and was really tired by the time she got here on Friday. The end result? I ended up watching the boys for pretty much the entire time. I love these kids like they are my own and she has always been very supportive during our fertility struggles, so it's not a big deal that I ended up doing a lot of work this weekend. But boy, am I paying for it now with exhaustion that hearkens back to the days of first trimesters past.

To further add to the fatigue, I also am leaving early tomorrow morning for a three day work meeting. These meetings are always long, nerve-wracking, and not good for getting any rest. I will have a roommate. Hope she doesn't mind my multiple trip to the bathrooms and restlessness at night!

Baby Boy is moving a lot more this past week. I feel him at least once during the day, and usually a lot more than that. It is comforting to feel him moving about in there. My next OB apppointment is this coming Monday. I can't believe that I will have made it three weeks without any (major) freakouts! Here's hoping, anyway!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Mother, May I?

I haven't posted about this before, because I was really hoping that I would start to feel better about it. As time has passed, however, I find myself still upset about something that happened when I told my mother that we were expecting a boy.

Let me back up a minute.

My mom has been saying since the day the pee sticks turned positive that "it had better be a girl."

I did not have strong feelings one way or the other about the gender of our baby was, but I also knew that we would happily take whatever we were given. And when she would say things about how desperately she wanted a granddaughter, or how much cuter girl clothes are than boy clothes, or how much easier it was to raise us girls than my brother. . . well, a tiny part of me ached inside. I wanted to her to be excited about this baby, no matter what the gender.

As the date for the anatomy scan approached, my mother continued to make comments. Even the night before when we spoke on the phone, I was a bundle of nerves and worried about the health of the baby, and she was still talking about all the cute girl clothes that she would have to return if it was a boy (yes, that's right, she had already purchased girl clothes).

When we found out that it was a boy, and more importantly, that it was a healthy boy, one of my first thoughts was, "My mom is going to be disappointed."

I even said something of that effect to my husband, who said, "She wouldn't say anything now that she knows it's a boy."

I wasn't so sure. My mom is nothing if not opinionated and she delights in making her thoughts known - good or bad, usually the latter. She has always been this way and never seems to have a lot of positive things to say about the decisions that I make or the way that I live my life. And without bragging, I think I do okay. My husband and I are both gainfully employed, in fact, I have been very successful in my career. We own a home, we pay our bills on time, we even have some money in the bank. We don't have a lot of luxuries, but we have way more than what we need. We are honest citizens, we volunteer our time, we have lots of friends that we love and whom love us in return.

So, getting back to the story of Baby Boy. I called her that morning, after leaving the scan, and the first words out of her mouth were, "What is it?"

I replied, "It's a boy."

And her response? "That was the wrong answer."

And she meant it.

Of course, I continued on about how healthy the baby was, that he was measuring ahead, that we were pleased to know that we were having a son.

She didn't seem that excited and after a few minutes, I hung up, feeling as if I had let her down. Meanwhile, my husband was making calls to his family, who all had the more appropriate responses. My mother-in-law cried tears of happiness, my sister-in-law asked what we were going to name him. My husband's grin got wider as he made each call.

Now, to be fair, the rest of the reactions that I received as I made my own calls that morning were nothing short of perfection. But my mother has always had a huge impact on the way that I view things. I am a pleaser by nature and feel that I have disappointed her. So, I felt vaguely unsettled for the rest of the day, despite my joy at having a healthy baby. That feeling continues, even as I try to fight it.

I tried talking to her about how much she had hurt my feelings just the other day. She said that she couldn't hide the fact that she is (not was) disappointed and that once the baby is here, she will "get over it," but until then, she is going to remain disappointed.

I know it's just one person. And I know that one person shouldn't have this ability to cast a shadow on my happiness. But she does. And she has.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My New Best Friend

I have found some things that I cannot live without during this pregnancy.

Although I don't need it any more, this was my savior in the first trimester. It was the only thing that allowed me to keep food down for about a month.

This was my first pregnancy love. I absolutely adore this "accessory" and highly recommend it to anyone having problems getting comfortable at night. I like that it doesn't take up too much space in bed and I can still cuddle with the hubs at night and my little dog can still curl up against me, too.

But I think I have a new BFF.

The past few weeks, I have faced a new pregnancy foe. It started out as mild and has become more and more uncomfortable as time has passed. Heartburn has become my enemy. At first, I felt it only a bit and only at night. I noticed it with a smile and thought, "Oh, pregnancy heartburn." And went to sleep.

But then, things started to change. The heartburn would rear its ugly head after meals and I found that my stomach felt sour within minutes after eating. And then at night, there was no smiling as the fiery lump settled in my chest and kept me from falling asleep, or woke me from my crazy pregnancy dreams.

Three nights ago, I started vomiting from the heartburn, which I didn't even know was possible. And no, Zofran won't help this time, because I'm not nauseous, the contents of my stomach just won't stay put. It's very gross.

So, I called my OB (hey, it had been three weeks since my last call, that's gotta be a record) and spoke to the nurse. She recommended this. Last night, I had my first pain-free, vomit-free night in three days. Heavenly.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

I had heard the tales of pregnancy dreams. How vivid, how real, how. . . disturbing they could be.

I was a little disappointed that I hadn't had any out of the ordinary dreams. And I was really feeling badly that I hadn't dreamed about the baby at all.

Last night, I had my first dream about Baby Boy. In my dream, he was born and was healthy, but was very, very tiny. Like the size of my palm tiny. He was perfectly fine and needed no time in the NICU, but for some unknown reason, was just very small. It was a nice dream, but even in my dreams, I was worried and pestering the doctors for answers about his size. It just goes to show that even when I am sleeping, I can never relax!

I woke up after that dream to use the bathroom and then it was time for Dream Sequence: Part Two. This time, I dreamt that I was stuck in a camping trailer somewhere and was fighting off intruders to save my life. It was a very realistic and disturbing dream, which included me putting an umbrella through someone's eye. Ick. All I have to say about that is don't mess with me when I am pregnant and stuck in a a trailer!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Why Me?

This is a question that I have asked so many times in my infertility journey. As the blood and clots flowed from me after our first miscarriage, as the betas did not rise in our second and third losses, as I traced the ghostly final image of our sweet Gummy Bear, I begged and pleaded with God for answers.

I am not ashamed to admit that there were so many times that I wept openly, on my knees, asking God, "Why me? Why my husband? Why our babies? Why do other people get these blessings and we continue to face obstacle after obstacle, wrenching loss after wrenching loss?"

Certainly, I prayed. I also railed against God, knowing that He would rather have my anger than to have my back turned to him. I tried my best to believe that there was a why, but having it left unanswered was painful.

This weekend, my husband and I were given an amazing opportunity. My best friend's father is a minister and was in town to do the blessing for her nine-month-old son. She asked if we would also like to have our baby blessed during the same ceremony. We gratefully accepted. Her father performed a lovely blessing for their son and then turned to us. He blessed our baby, but he also asked for God's peace and grace for me, since he knows how much I have struggled with that during these many weeks. He spoke of Hannah, and how she prayed to God that He would end her barren struggle and give her a child. He did and Hannah was so thankful and raised her son to God. He asked me to remember Hannah's story when I was ill at ease, to remember the miracles that God creates each and every day.

His blessing was a comfort to me, but also brought me to ask the same question that I have asked so many times. This time, in a slightly different vein: "Why me, Lord? Why am I now being blessed with the miracle of my sweet baby boy, when others are still suffering so? I am not any better than these other people, in fact, I know I am not as good. Why me?"

In the post below, I called out just some of the many, many people that are going through such heartwrenching loss right now. Why me? Why them? I know it is not up to me to question His work, but it is so hard to see these people suffer. It makes me remember the times when I looked at others and wondered what they had done that I hadn't? The answer is simple: I have done nothing to truly deserve this. I have not suffered more or prayed harder. I have not been a better person or done some magic thing to wrought this miracle. I have not been patient, I have not been accepting, I have not been at peace with God's will, despite my very best efforts to be.

I am so thankful but still so sad. I hate that anyone has to ask this question. Because I don't think there is an answer.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

In Need of Prayer

There are so many wonderful things happening in the blogosphere right now. There is so much hope, love, and faith.

There are also some pretty sad and scary things happening, too. Although I try to focus on the positive, there are some women in our world that can really use your support and prayers right now.

Please take a moment, if you can, to visit their page and leave a comment, a prayer, simply a word or two. Thank you.

The Smith Family


Angie, Todd, Abby, Ellie, and Kate Smith welcomed sweet Baby Audrey into the world on Monday, April 7, 2008 at 4:31 PM. Due to many complications, Audrey Caroline Smith went to Heaven at 6:45 PM today.

The Bensons

Molly Marie Benson was diagnosed with a rare heart condition early in the second trimester. Kathy, Bob, and Sean are now hoping for a miracle for their baby girl, but also stand ready to commit her precious soul to heaven. The courage and love of this family inspires me and gives me more reasons to believe in the goodness and grace of God.

Brown Eyed Girl

She has been through so much in the past few weeks, and yet this wonderful and courageous woman still keeps fighting. I am humbled and in awe of her ability to see the good in things, even after life keeps throwing curveballs her way.

William Henry Johnson

Amy is a mother with a broken heart. Her beautiful son, William, was born still. Her request on what would have been his birthday was that people do small, beautiful things in honor of her son's memory. She herself performed random acts of kindness and bestowed the recepients with cards that read: "An act of kindness in memory of my son, William Henry Johnson Born Still December 13, 2007 Born still...but still born. Always loved...never forgotten."

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Gummy Bear's Garden

For those who haven't been reading since the beginning, Gummy Bear is my name for the baby that we lost in December of 2006. Gummy Bear lived in my body for less than 12 weeks, but that baby has never left my heart or soul.

On what-would-have-been Gummy's birthday (EDD), July 2, 2007, my husband and I planted a small garden in our yard. It is in the corner, the farthest spot away from the house. There is a rose bush, some lavendar, a stone that says "Believe," and a bench. The day we planted it, I stuck a taper candle in the freshly tilled soil, and sat there until the last flicker of the flame died away. I watered the new plants with my tears.

I loved having that garden for the rest of the summer. That rose bush had such lovely, creamy pink roses, that bloomed all the way through August, longer than the label said they would. I would cut them just as they were about to fully bloom, and place them in a small milk glass vase that sat on the windowsill in my kitchen. I wouldn't throw them out until long after they had drooped and turned brown around the edges. I cried in September when I had to prune the branches of the rose bush, preparing it for the silence of winter. I felt as if I was cutting away parts of Gummy Bear by shearing away the growth of the plant.

Winter in the Pacific Northwest is not harsh, but it is dreary, rainy, and cold. Going outside in our marshy backyard is hardly enticing. I did visit the garden on December 12, which was the anniversary of the D&C, but I hadn't been out there other than that since fall.

Today, I went out to prune the rose bush and cut back the lavendar. It is spring now and time to ready the garden for another growing season. As I snipped away, Baby Boy gave me a nice little tap from the inside and I realized that it is my own growing season as well.

I still miss my Gummy Bear. Time has buffered some of the sharper edges of my grief, but it is still there, and it still cuts me. Having this sweet baby does not replace what we have lost, but it does make it more bearable, in some ways. I am looking forward now, not stuck in place. And it feels good. I can't wait for the roses to bloom.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Oh My Achin' . . . You Name It

I don't know how those of you pregnant with multiples do it. I really don't. You have my sincere admiration.

The aches and pains of pregnancy have really caught me by surprise. I expected to be uncomfortable, but I thought that didn't start until much closer to delivery. I wasn't really prepared for how weighty my stomach already feels, how my hip bones would feel as if they were rubbing against bone in their sockets, how my legs would cramp at night. I am not complaining, really, I am just worried about how much worse this is going to get.

Any discomfort is worth it for the health of this baby and I mean that with every fiber of my being. That being said, it is the fear that comes with the aches and pains that gets to me. Shooting pain when I roll over in bed at night - round ligament pain or the placenta detaching from the wall? Cramps in my legs - lack of potassium or a clot in my vein that will cut off blood supply to the baby? Yes, yes, I know. Normal aches and pains are part of a healthy pregnancy and I can't worry about every single one. And I don't. But the stronger, sharper pains do worry me, even when I reason with myself that they are normal, too.

As I told my husband last night, I can't imagine being pregnant with multiples, as I imagine those feelings would be even more intense. And I fear for the near future - if I can barely bend to tie my shoes now, what will I be like when I am near term? Oh, well, too late to worry about that now. Slip on shoes, here I come.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Another Whiney Post

I think I am getting sick. It's a weird sick, though, in that I can "feel" it coming, but am not full-out sick yet. Perhaps I will get lucky and it will just stay a small cold, but each day, I seem to feel a little worse.

It started with the aches and pains that I wrote about yesterday. My whole body was achy, almost flu-like, especially my abdominal area and legs. Then, I developed this dry, unsatisfying cough.

Last night, the cough settled into a rattling in my chest and a heaviness that is lingering, but the rattly part of the cough has gone away this morning. I don't have a fever and I actually don't feel too sick yet, just under the weather. I am glad it is the weekend and I can stay home with a cup of tea and warm blankets for the next couple of days.

It's been beautiful this week, with lots of sun, almost as if the weather is trying to make up for the SNOW of last weekend. Now that it's Friday yet again, the clouds and drizzle have returned. Oh, well, at least I won't feel guilty for watching crappy tv and staying on the couch all day tomorrow!

Pregnant Post

Whew! Monday was certainly an exciting day. It still keeps hitting me that we are having a boy. And the anatomy scan was a turning point for me of sorts. I am really starting to B-E-L-I-E-V-E that this will actually happen, that this baby will be born, healthy and in one piece. I am sure that as the days pass, some fears will come again. However, our little man looked so healthy on that screen, and everything seems okay for now. So, for the time being, I am at peace, and loving every minute of it.

It's fun telling people the gender. One thing always surprises me, though, and that is that everyone assumes my HUSBAND is thrilled. They will say things like, "Oh, Daddy must be happy" or "How excited IS your husband?" Part of me gets it: Daddies and their little boys, and part of me wants to say, "Yes, he's happy, but I am excited, too." And the funny thing is, my husband truly had no preference. He IS happy that our baby is a boy, but I know he would have been just as happy with a girl. Yes, he is smiling right now, but I think that is more due to the fact that our little one is healthy, rather that what is between his little legs.

It's not a big deal, really, I just think it's funny that people just assume a man wants a boy and a woman wants a girl. Of course, pregnancy is funny like that, it brings out a lot of stereotypes.

Now that the business of health and gender is taken care of, it's really time to start planning the nursery. I have a long term love affair with Clas.sic P.ooh and have always thought about doing a baby's room in that theme. However, now that the time is here, there are so many cute options for a nursery. We have thought about this design, which I love, but looks hard to keep clean. Here is another one that I think is just too cute for words, and you know how much we love dogs around here. My husband really likes this one, and thinks that we could make this theme last a long time, thus being a little more economical. Finally, this one from Tar.get, the Clas.sic Pooh. I really like all of them, so it will be hard to choose.

And don't get me started on choosing a crib, stroller, car seat, etc. Clothes, books, pacifiers, little things like that are easy, so we have a lot of those things on our registry, and we have plenty of time to decide on the rest.

I was talking to a friend on the phone yesterday, who has been with me since day one of this infertility journey. She was the first person outside of my husband that knew about our first pregnancy and the first person I called after I had my blood drawn for the hcg beta that diagnosed the first miscarriage. We were talking about things other than Baby (can you imagine?) and she said, "You know what, Katie, you sound like your old self. I haven't heard you sound this good in years."

She's right, I can feel parts of my old happiness seeping through. This scares and delights me all at once. I don't think that I will ever be 100% who I was before. Infertility has changed me in so many ways, but I do think it's possible that elements of my pre-miscarriage personality will come back.