Sunday, November 18, 2012
Monday, November 5, 2012
We're still on baby watch. So far, I am dilated 1-2 cm and I am 70% effaced (this is as of last week's appt so who knows what tomorrow will hold for us) at a -2 station! The doctor said I could have Easton at any point, and honestly, I wish she hadn't said that. What I've managed to convince myself she said was, "Easton will be born today and you will be holding him by the end of the afternoon!"....NOT the case at all, but when you're excited, well, you're just excited. I've been doing my level best not to put too much pressure on the situation because I really do want him to come whenever he is most ready but the last week has been one of those crazy weeks where all we do is walk around the house cleaning things up, moving things from one place to another, stocking diapers in every corner of the house and looking rather expectantly at each other all day long. I am assuming everyone that makes it "full term" goes through this and so far, we've done really well. Hurry up and wait.
Everyone is so excited for us that we're getting texts all day that say things like, "You need to hurry up!" or "You need to tell that baby to get a move on! I'm excited to meet him!" or "Tell him not to come until XYZ day!" and so...I am feeling the stress a bit more. Silly, huh? :) It's nerves, obviously. It's not like I can control his arrival so I might as well not feel the pressure, but I do. I had a friend who would literally CRY daily after she hit 35 weeks because she felt like she was failing everyone for not having her daughter sooner. I remember thinking she was NUTS b/c after all, she has no control over any part of it! I chalked it up to her age b/c she was "young". I sort of understand her now, though. I don't feel like a failure by any means, but I definitely feel like people are sitting around waiting on me to have this baby and are just as antsy as we are about it (which is pretty freakin' antsy). I know they aren't but you know how it is when you're excited and nervous about something so huge....Which leads me to my next point!
The labor and delivery portion of the show. Oh what a topic! We have chosen a birthing location here in town that is less hospital, more birthing center. It's a women's center that caters more to the birthing experience than your standard hospital does. The accommodations are awesome, they supply you with birthing balls, squatting bars, more freedom to move about, etc. My biggest disappointment was finding out they recently have gotten rid of their birthing tubs which I was extremely excited to use. Argh. Anyway, because I have decided to go as natural as possible for as long as I can handle it (I know, I know) I don't want any "extra" distractions, visitors, pressures, etc. I know me and I know I need to be able to focus 100% of my concentration on every part of my L&D just so I give us the best chance of success. It's so important to me. Obviously, if I'm feeling pressure from text messages about having this little guy, knowing there are 13 people in the waiting room WAITING on us to get the job done so they can meet our son, well, that's a huge distraction for me.
Originally, we were going to labor as long as possible at home, head to the center whenever we felt ready and send out a baby alert when we were about 7-8 cm dilated. That way, family could come out then and would not be out there for hours and hours just pacing the halls and waiting on us to deliver. There is also the fact that we plan on having an hour or more with just us and the baby after he is born and cleaned up and returned to us to bond, try our hand at breastfeeding, enjoy meeting our son, rest a bit and then have visitors. We neither one wanted to feel rushed through this special time. We've waited a long time for this and we really do want to enjoy those first moments as a family so that we don't "forget" what it was like before the room was filled up with people and he was passed from one eager, loving person to another for a while.
This information (our plan) was handled pretty well by most people, but there were a few family members and friends who protested and have been so adamant about being in the waiting room while we labor that we've finally relented b/c it's just too exhausting trying to explain my heart and to continue arguing about it is not how I want to spend my last week or two. My mom's argument is that she wants to be there in case something goes wrong or we have an emergency. She says she'd never be able to live with NOT being there if something horrible happened to me. (Let's hope and pray THAT isn't an issue, shall we?) She just keeps saying I don't understand and one day, if I have a daughter I will understand. Maybe I will, but I also would like to think that I'd try to understand where she's coming from, who she is as a person and why her wishes are so important to her. It's not that I'm being selfish or overly independent - it's that a natural birth is important to me and if I know something is going to jeopardize that (b/c I know me), then I want to try and prevent that from happening.
I may not make it three hours naturally, but dangit, I wanna give myself the best chance possible. I want to limit the chance for a c-section, I want L&D to go as quickly as possible, and I want to do it the way we've hoped for. I know I have NO control over what happens to an extent, but some of it, I can. (Side note-Don't you love when people say, "I can't wait to see how long it takes you to ask for an epidural!" - Some folks just don't get it! Support, not hope for failure is what is needed here!)
Anyway, we've heard it from several folks and honestly, it's not about everyone else's interpretation of the situation or their intentions, it's about cause and effect for ME. It doesn't matter how or why from everyone else's perspective, it matters how it impacts me at that very important time in my life. I just wish I could convey that without being interrupted with the "Just wait, you'll see one day" or, "You're being ridiculous, no one is pressuring you by being there!" and so forth. Oh well...some things are just too hard to explain to everyone. Especially if they don't really understand the reasons behind your wishes.
We've decided we'll just address the situation in another way. We'll let our family and close friends know when we're headed to the hospital and then once there, Rik is managing the phones/texts and the nurses will be instructed NOT to mention who is in the waiting room or what they are doing. I don't want to know if Rik's dad is pacing the halls or trying to get in to see us. I don't want to know if my mom is a nervous wreck (she will be - she is just so excited). I don't want to know if there are 6 people there or 16. I don't want to know if the British are coming! We're just gonna pretend no one is there and I'll focus all my energy on getting this little boy here safe and sound with as little medical assistance as possible. :) Problem solved. Rik won't go out and visit or update, I won't be checking my phone for texts, etc. I won't have to worry about people wanting to come in for a visit. If we change our minds, that's our choice to make then. No pressure, no distractions. Everyone's happy!
There is only one exception to all this. My best friend, Keesha, is a nurse and we have a very special relationship. We've been best friends since we were 15 years old. She's been one of the only people I have ever depended on for emotional support and she's never let me down or disappointed me. When I didn't have anyone else during those tough, late teenage years, she was there for me in all her brutal honesty. :) When I went through rough times in my early twenties, she helped me through them like a sister would. She always understands where I'm coming from and if she doesn't, she tries her best to. That girl is the most supportive person I've ever met. She's also very practical and level-headed about these types of things - she's a nurse. Our sons very well may be born on the same day and if her baby boy isn't here yet, I have a feeling she'll be there for me if I need her support or her guidance - in house or otherwise. It's funny how some people just have a calming effect on you - that's my Kiki. If we have any medical questions, she'll be our go-to for sure.
Well, this post turned out to be a long post about L&D, not really an update of any kind. I guess that means I will just have to post again tomorrow assuming Baby E isn't here by then. I hope this doesn't come across like I'm being unreasonable or anything. I love all the support I've gotten from my closest buddies and our family. They are amazing and have never done anything to make me think they'll be banging the door down to get into our room, it's just ME and my anxiety. HA! I wish I could explain it better, but I guess I can't. I'm usually pretty good with words but I guess this time, I am struggling. What are your thoughts on the subject? Am I being unreasonable? Selfish? I really don't want to hurt anyone - especially people I love so very much! Who knows, I may go into labor and beg 8 different people to meet me at the entrance to the hospital to hold my hand. :) That's how unpredictable I feel labor and delivery might be! I just want to be IN the moment.
Until next time,
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Monday, October 1, 2012
Weight Gain: 17 lbs. I actually lost a lb this week, which I find strange considering the amount of food we had at the baby shower this weekend but Rik thinks it's because we've been going nonstop. (In other words, fatty got some exercise!)
Cravings: Still none. I'm disappointed here. I was actually hoping for some weird cravings but so far, nothing. I have wanted to eat hot wings more frequently but that could be just b/c we found some we really like at a restaurant downtown.
Stretch marks: Tiny on my butt. Nothing on the tummy so far. Let's hope this skin of mine holds up a few more weeks! I still can't imagine my skin stretching any further, but I know it's going to. I feel MASSIVE.
Heartburn? Nope, none. Doc put me on an antacid in the first trimester and it's been wonderful. I even eat Indian food and have ZERO problems.
How do I feel? HUGE. I think I've lost FAT weight while gaining a steady amount of BABY weight so I am not tiny by any means. I went from not showing at all in July to looking like I swallowed a pumpkin. There was no gradual growth here. :)
Sleep: What's that? Between the hip pain, the cramps in my legs (not as bad as my BFF's though!), being hungry, having to pee, pre-pregnancy sleep issues that are still present and having SO much on my mind now, I'm up several hours a night. On weekends, I'm up by 7 at least every morning. We were at Wal.mart by 8 am on Saturday. I managed to wake Rik up to spend some early morning time w/ me. ha!
What do I miss most? Being able to bend over comfortably and being able to move quickly. I never realized how fast I do things until now. It's brutal. I may also miss Ambien. (See above)
What am I most concerned about? Lately, pre-term labor. I don't know why, but I am scared of going into early labor. Each week has me breathing a little easier, though not comfortably yet. I had several people tell me they don't think I'll make it full-term over the weekend. I'm guessing it's b/c they think I look about ready to pop. Let's hope he stays put at least till 38-39 weeks.
What am I most looking forward to? Holding him and kissing his little face. There are so many reasons I have these days to be grateful for my healthy boy and thankful that God has allowed us this blessing. I just want to hold him and kiss him and let him know how precious he is to us. I know we aren't guaranteed that everything will be a-ok but I'm going to keep believing it will be.
Showers? I had two! My best friend on the planet hosted one for me with my mom (pics to come). Keesha did an AMAZING job with the decorations and the hand-made gifts for Easton. I can't even tell you how blown away I was by her creativity and how well she obviously knows my taste. There are few times in life when you really KNOW how much you are loved and cared for by another person and this was one of those times. I don't know that I'll ever be able to properly thank her for her generosity and thoughtfulness. My mom was the cook/financier of the event and I'd be completely remiss if I didn't mention that she has spoiled me absolutely rotten since I've been pregnant. I've always been her kiddo that never needed anything from her and have always been very self-sufficient. She has taken this opportunity to give and give and give some more b/c she knows I won't turn it away if it's for the baby boy. ;) I think she may need some rules put in place for when Easton gets here. haha....He'll be ROTTEN otherwise. Our other shower was this weekend and it was an awesome couples shower thrown for me by my buddy Ashley and her husband, Easton's namesake (Andrew), Drew and my other friend April. We reused most of Keesha's awesome decorations and ideas and had an awesome spread of food. My step-dad made pork tenderloin and jalepeno popper thingys and then we had baked beans, cole slaw and mac n cheese catered in. It was awesome! I was concerned b/c many of the invitees couldn't make it but since it rained and we moved it indoors, the crowd was just the right size and it was a blast. I can't believe how blessed we are to have such wonderful friends. Drew gave an amazing toast that made us all cry and pledged to help us raise and love Easton as much as we have loved his children. It was precious and I will never forget it.
Nursery: Almost done! I'm having commitment issues when it comes to wall art and furniture locations. Ergh. We finally got our glider! It's amazing and I can't wait to spend LOTS of time in it.
Ok, that's all I can come up with right now. I go to the doc tomorrow and will see how the little fella is doing. He was measuring right on target again two weeks ago after having a few ultrasounds where he was measuring ahead of schedule. Thank goodness, that was apparently just a growth spurt and not anything that needs to be a cause for concern at this point. My gestational diabetes is under control and I'm doing well with the diet. It's not a tough diet to stick to at all since I don't crave sweets or anything. The biggest thing that bothers me is pricking my finger so often (four times per day). I only prick three fingers on each hand so every other day, I'm pricking those fingers again. Ring fingers and pinky fingers are free-bleeders and they friggin hurt! :)
I hope you all are doing well. We've been so busy lately, I have some catching up to do on my blog reading. Forgive me for all the late comments I'll be throwing your way!
from the couch,
Friday, September 7, 2012
A lady at work may or may not have/had whooping cough for the past three weeks at work. Conflicting stories from her about whether or not she had the test done has every one in panic mode. As does her coughing fits in the staircase, breakroom and bathrooms with an uncovered mouth. We've all complained to our manager about her coughing fits and how horrible it is and to his credit, he sent her home twice in the past three weeks. I felt awful for her b/c she sounds like she is dying, I kid you not. Yesterday though, it got bad. She was so sick, she was coughing up blood in one of the downstairs bathrooms and the right people got together and it created the perfect storm of drama, panic and gossip. Before the poor girl could blink, one of the other managers (who is terrified of germs) sent her home indefinitely and had called a serious meeting w/ all the managers to decide how to proceed. This turned into upper management contacting the health department, researching information on the CDC's website, etc.
I got a call late last night from the CEO asking me how I felt, if I had any symptoms and if I would be willing to work from home for a few days to keep me and the baby safe. They realize, I think, that it's a little too late to be keeping me home since my coworker has been spewing germs all over the place for three weeks (did your mother teach you to cover your mouth? MINE DID!) but it was a nice sentiment nonetheless. So, I'm working from home the next few days while they work out what to do.
They sent her back to the doctor and made her get the test today, because apparently, she never had it due to something that happened with the lab and the doc told her she wasn't contagious anymore anyway b/c she'd been on antibiotics for five days. Blah, blah, blah. My boss's want to know if we've all been exposed because the incubation period is apparently 14-21 days and they want everyone to be prepared for a possible "outbreak". Let's hope that she didn't have it and we don't have to worry about it.
Pertussis Gate 2012
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Anyway, they called me the other day to give me the wonderful news that I failed and have gestational diabetes or "diabeetus" as I've been calling it because it reminds me of my great grandma and it makes me laugh when I want to cry. I'm really NOT happy about having this. I find it insanely difficult to believe considering I've always had low blood sugar and several low blood sugar attacks since I've been pregnant. I also have none of the "risk" factors that typically fit people with gestational diabetes. I'm not overweight, I eat a healthy diet, I don't have anyone in my family who's ever had gestational diabetes, etc. The only thing I do have against me is that I'm over 25 years of age and pregnant. Who knew?
Everyone I've spoken to about this gives me the "you'll be fine, people deal with this everyday" speech and it's honestly, a little grating at this point. I know people are thinking I'm worried about keeping it under control or worried about having diabetes, but I'm not. I'm not concerned with controlling my sugar levels. I'll follow the diet, I'll do what I'm supposed to and it will be kept under control. I have self control and I love my little guy. What I'm upset about is the possible side effects that may affect Easton in the future.
He has more increased risks than I do. He could have macrosomia (which literally means "fat baby") at birth and be a large baby due to the fact that he can't convert the sugar in his body to energy so it's then stored as fat. He could have hypoglycemia at birth and have to be given a glucose supplement to help regulate his sugar levels (which could interfere with breastfeeding as well). He could have respiratory issues. He could struggle with obesity his whole life. He could develop diabetes himself at any time, including childhood. I'll not even mention the other things b/c they aren't going to happen because I'm going to keep this mess under control for the next 10 weeks. I know these are all RISKS....but they are increased risks because of this issue. If I get Type II diabetes in 5-10 years because of this, fine. I'll deal with that. I just can't stand the thought of him having to deal with something like this because my body didn't handle being pregnant properly.
You can probably tell I'm a little down about this. I know it's NOTHING that I did wrong and I had no control over this. It's just one of those fluke things that happens with some pregnancies b/c of the hormones in your body and yada yada yada. It doesn't mean I'm not still pissed off about it. I grew up so healthy. Never sick, always in great shape, super athletic/active, never abused my body w/ drugs/alcohol, took care of myself, etc. Why is it that now, when I want my body to do what God intended it to do, it won't cooperate? It took us this long to get pregnant and we had to trick my body into getting pregnant in the first place. Then it was touch and go for a while because of my partial placenta previa issue. I'm deficient in Vit D, Iron and now I have gestational diabetes and could potentially be a harm to my son. It's very frustrating when your body just doesn't seem to want to do what it should be doing. I just keep reminding myself that I'm blessed to be able to experience this because I couldn't have gestational diabetes unless I was pregnant and that's all that matters. So, I'm trying to stop feeling sorry for myself and baby E, suck it up and just be thankful I'm going to have a son in a few weeks. That makes it ALL better because I know what a blessing that is.
Easton is already a little bigger than average, but not abnormally so. He is in the 77th percentile. At first, they said it could be because of genetics (Rik is 6'4" tall) but now it could be because of genetics OR gestational diabetes. We had a huge growth spurt around 26-29 weeks but he has since leveled off a little bit. At my 27 week appt, they said he measured 29 weeks. On Tuesday, our 30 week appt, he was measuring 31w3d. The doctor said we may come back in two weeks and he'll be right on target again and that the 27 wk measurement could have just been due to a rapid growth spurt we were catching at it's end. Who knows... I expect him to be long, I just hope he's not a big baby. I don't want to worry about him getting stuck in the canal or hurting his shoulders because he's too big or me having to have an emergency c-section b/c he won't fit through through my pelvis. These are all new worries I wasn't previously concerned about b/c I've done great on my weight gain and had no reason to think I couldn't deliver him vaginally. Now, we wait and see.
We met with the high risk doctor yesterday. I didn't even catch his name b/c all he did was walk in, do a little work on the ultrasound machine and tell me that he doesn't need to see me again unless I can't control my sugar. The dietician/diabetic counsellor was amazing though. Her name was Linda and oddly enough, Rik and I both know her son from work. She explained everything to me and showed me how to prick my finger and check my blood. I have to check it four times per day. When I wake up, aka my fasting level, and then two hours after breakfast, lunch and dinner. So far, not a single test has been over the limit they gave me. It's actually been way under. The diet isn't really that different from what I was already eating other than not having any milk until dinner or later and not eating fruit except for afternoon snacks or later and even then, sparingly. I'm a fruit eater so this is a little different for me. I can pass up a cake or doughnut any day of the week but you put some fresh pineapple in front of me and it's ON. :) The only other real sacrifice will be my every-other-day glass of sweet tea. I love sweet tea. Anyway, so far so good. No blood sugar issues.
My best friend is a nurse and she still thinks the only reason I failed those tests is because I'm NOT a sweet/carb eater (except for bread and potatoes now and then) and they overloaded my system with 100 grams of straight glucose and my body flipped out b/c it never has to process that much glucose. haha.... My other friend is a dietician and she was a lifesaver that week between the test results and the high risk appointment. She gave me a lesson in diabetic eating and I was able to get through that week without panicking too much. It's awful to get your results and then hear you have to wait a week to know what to do and how to handle it. I was afraid to eat ANYTHING!
So, that's what's new in our world. My fingers are sore from the pricking and ya'll know how much I hate needles, right? I mean, really. Childbirth freaks me out less! Say a prayer for us. I'm doing what I need to do to make sure Easton and I are healthy as we can be and the rest is up to the big man upstairs. The doctor said hopefully, this diet will help slow Easton's growth down a little bit so that he gets back on track by the time he's born. He weighed a chunky 3 lbs 12 oz on Tuesday. :) So far, I've gained a total of 16-17 lbs.
Next post will be more upbeat, I promise. We're almost finished w/ the nursery and I have photos to share. :) If any of you dealt with gestational diabetes, I would love to hear how you handled it and how your baby handled it at birth and later on.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Friday, August 24, 2012
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Things are going pretty great around here as we get ready to meet our little fellow. I know I still have all but a week of my third trimester left to go, but this is the point where it all gets real. Like, really real. There's a crib upstairs for goodness sake. A CRIB. Amazing.
I haven't had that many symptoms to complain about the past few months. The back pain finally eased up and I thoroughly enjoyed being pregnant my whole second trimester. I had my energy back, no pain to speak of, no moodiness or anything like that...It was rather nice! I mean, I'm a pretty pleasant person naturally, so what else did you expect? Ha!
I haven't had any cravings other than wanting hot wings a few times. I've gained a total of 14 lbs at the last dr's visit (last Tues) but I think I've gained 2 more lbs since then. I have only gotten one little stretch mark and that's on my tushy which I find kind of odd since that's not the part of me that's stretching or expanding that much (YET). I've always had a bigger bum though so I can't say I'm shocked really. I'm expecting that I'll end up with a few on my stomach for no other reason than I can't IMAGINE my skin stretching any further without tearing and yet, I know it will. My belly button is almost flat now, which I find very peculiar looking. The inside of a belly button is not attractive. I know you grow up with your parents telling you your perfect in every way and all that jazz, but they never looked in your belly button. Seriously, yuck. ((And what's up with these websites making jokes about "look on the bright side, you can finally clean out all that lint"? Ga-ross! If you've been harboring that much lint in your belly button for that long, I find it highly doubtful you're going to be excited to part with it now!))
The baby is super active and I could honestly sit and watch him wiggle and move and kick 24/7 and never get tired of it. I always wondered if it'd freak me out or if I'd be all into it....Me? Totally into it. I love it and I'll miss it when he's here. Sure, I'll be thrilled he is here to hug and kiss but just in case this is the only time I get to experience this, I'm going to relish in every bump and nudge I can. So far, I have carried him pretty low but also very out....He hasn't once gotten up in my ribs or anything like that. I am sure he will soon, but so far, he's stayed more to the right side (if I'm looking down) and pretty low. I don't know what he's got against my left side, but the kid rarely makes it all the way over there for a visit...ha, he just kicked or punched over there just now so apparently, he's letting me know what's up. I've gone up a bit in the booby contraptions. That was a n awesome day too b/c it was like going from feeling imprisoned in a straight jacket to running free in the warm sunshine after a long winter! I haven't had any serious swelling other than my rings getting a little tight the other night.
Scrip Scrap's room is adorable so far. Of course, all we have is paint on the walls, a crib and a dresser, but hey, it's a start. I love just going in there and looking around at his little space. I have a few ideas of what I would like it to look like eventually but I'm not in a huge hurry to finish it since he'll probably be in our room for a while. Our bedroom is on the main floor and his is up about 20 stairs on the opposite side of the house. I don't think we'll be leaving him up there alone for quite a while. We're converting our front room into a playroom and I think that will be much better for him since it's just around the corner from our bedroom.
I will say that our boy is going to have serious swag. I mean, that's my goal anyway. (I've been obsessing over little boys clothing lately. Not in an unhealthy way, but still....it may need to be addressed.) Rik was a ballplayer (still is) and a coach, we are obsessed with the Atlanta Braves, I was a ballroom dance instructor and a hip hop dancer for years and love dressing up little boys. Recipe for disaster. This means he will definitely have sports swag and just the regular ol' super awesome swag. Case in point? This sweatshirt on the right:
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Saturday, August 18, 2012
I decided the best and fastest way to update everyone on what we've been doing is to post a ton of pics out here and show you. :) Sorry I've been missing in action lately, we've had a lot going on not related to the pregnancy that's kept us pretty busy and distracted. However, no excuse.... I'll do better!
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
I asked my husband to guest post a while back because honestly, I love his writing and it always sticks with me regardless of what he writes about. This post is no different. I hope you enjoy.
1,000 Needle Sticks
Shot of what? Inject it where? Mix it how? Give this why? Is it time? Hold your legs up? How long has it been?How long do we wait? One day two days three days four days one week two weeks two weeks and two days two weeks and four days now your’re late we’re late really we’re late how do you feel I feel nauseous a bit you do yep I do man man man oh man do you think we got it right this time yes I feel like we finally got it right this time holy cow I think we got it right this time how late are you we are late baby baby baby –STOP – I STARTED TODAY….blank expression…watery eyes…turn around, turn away, walk away, stay away for two more weeks of avoiding the topic and wondering how on Earth we’ll ever get pregnant…
Infertility kills. Infertility hurts. It will –and yes it will – beat you down. It will be the elephant on your shoulders, weighing down your every step. Making every movement slow, deliberate, burdened, unnatural. You lose the flow of life. Lose the simple joys of a mockingbird on your brick wall somehow mocking the sound of a red tailed hawk. Normally, that would be fascinating – absolutely fascinating. But you just shrug that off and put your hand on the car door, open the door, sit down, close the door, sit in your silence for a few seconds, then put the key in the ignition and spiral your way back down into your own private hell. Every. Single. Cursed. Day.
The mechanism of infertility. The steady, methodical demolition of the self. The brutal machine that quite quickly condemns one of life’s greatest joys into one of life’s greatest failures. That “BFN”. Big. Fat. Negative…Big. Flaying. Nife.
You may never feel this alone. You may never feel as alone as you will as you endure this arduous process. But it is a process. But you are not alone, unfortunately. There is no solace in that, however – because who gives a rat’s rip that other folks are in your unique position. It doesn’t help. There is no help when there is nothing to help you. Either you get pregnant, or you don’t. If you try to look much beyond that, well… then I wish you the best of luck, friend.
Luck. Faith. Work ethic. Talent. Humor. Perhaps we’re not as solid as we thought? Perhaps we aren’t the strongest person we know? Perhaps we will never, ever get pregnant? Perhaps. I mean, it’s been over 2 years (I quit counting the months when I realized it’d been two years) so why should it change now?
And then I came home from Dick’s Sporting Goods around 8:00 one night. Had to get a new team catcher’s mitt and new BBCore approved bat. I walked in from the garage. I took two steps into the kitchen. And then I saw her emerge from the hallway. Her hand outstretched. Her face a beautiful display of one thousand raw emotions at once. In her hand a white stick. But I already knew because I had already connected with her eyes – her beautiful, oceanic eyes. She was shaking, barely able to speak, barely able to stand, barely able to barley be able to. Her body, like a life-sized tuning fork, hummed and sung with limitless energy. The test said we were pregnant…
So did the next test. So did the third test. And the fourth. And the fifth. And the sixth. So did the bloodwork. So did the next round of bloodwork. So did the ultrasound. So did the world-changing sound of the “thwump-thwump-thwump-thwump-thwump” sound of a beating heart – the beating heart – of our baby. Yes, yes – it finally worked. It finally, finally, finally, finally, finally actually worked.
Look. You may be down in that deep, dark, dank emotionless cave that only you can reach. You may be as cold as a mountain stone. You may be one step away from either retreating for good, or taking your first step towards the mouth that leads out of this damned cave. I wish I could take your hand, look you in the eye, and tell you that it’s going to be perfect. I wish that would make a difference. At some point, you’ll either get pregnant or you won’t. At some point, you’ll either keep trying for one that is of your own blood, or you won’t. Just don’t ever quit trying to fight your way out of this. Fight your way through it. Fight your way to your own unique sense of peace with your path –whatever that path may be. It isn’t easy. It was never meant to be easy.
I wish for you that which you need most right now. - Rik
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Infertility hung around. Dragging me under. I couldn't get my head back above water. I was drowning more and more every day. To be so down and have so many disappointments and just want a child of your own to love with every part of your soul, to ground you, center you, firmly and decisively establish you as someone meaningful in this world and then not be able to have it month after month with no real idea as to why....it just does something to you mentally. It leaves you feeling like you've been stuck on a Tilt-A-Whirl. Going around and around, dizzy, sick, scared. I thought things and felt things that I would NEVER admit to anyone these past few years. There were times I thought my marriage couldn't last through another week. Thank GOD it did. There were times I thought I would go insane from the hurt and confusion of it all. Thank GOD I didn't (completely). There were days I couldn't even speak to people because it felt like uttering one word would take every ounce of strength I had and I needed my strength just to get one foot in front of the other. And I thought I was a strong person before. You find out just how much you can handle (or not) when you're dealing with being infertile. I hit the lowest point of my life last year before finally, slowly, I began to claw my way back. Back to life, back to Rik, back to myself. But I still wasn't ok. I still wasn't ME. I felt unsteady. A bad case of vertigo. No real sense of which was up. I was trying....I just wasn't getting very far. The sadness was always there.
Until March. Out of the clear blue my life did a complete 180. When I had finally stopped expecting it, I received the biggest gift of my entire life. I went from wanting a glass of wine to peeing on a stick and then being completely face down in my bathroom floor crying and shaking and freezing and saying the only two things I could say: "Oh my gosh" and "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you." I think I spent two hours saying ONLY those two phrases... I was pregnant. After years and months and weeks and days of never getting anywhere but further down, I was suddenly present. VERY, very present. Those first few days were such a blur. Terrifyingly happy and just plain terrified. Loss does a number on your faith. It's true. People say you've gotta have faith....it's hard when you have gone through a loss. I was beyond scared.
I've heard people say their lives changed in an instant when something specific happened to them. That night changed my life. Just the knowing. The beginning of something beautiful I thought I would never get to experience. It took weeks to sink in. It took months to finally feel that fear of loss start to slip slowly away. It took even longer before I realized I am REALLY going to be a mother. I will have a son. In a few months, my house will be filled with tiny things. Tiny clothes, tiny shoes, tiny toys, tiny diapers. We will be exhausted and stressed and 100% in love with our baby. We will go from a couple to a family. Just reading that puts tears in my eyes. My husband will finally get to hold our past and our future in his hands and let all that love in his heart pour all over our little boy. Six months ago, I never would have believed we'd be here now. This place is so.....content. Six months and I am so me again. The new me, but me all the same, only different. I no longer feel like I'm hanging on to my sanity by a thread. I'm no longer feel like every breath I take is through a tiny straw. I'm functional. I'm happy. I found my smile. I am at peace again. I finally see my husband again. Not the soldier beside me fighting his way through, but my soul mate. It's so unbelievable to feel this way after so long in the dark. And it all started to change that night in March. I haven't spent one day since then living in sorrow or pain or anger. I didn't even realize it until recently. The rubberbands around my chest are gone. The weights on my shoulders have been lifted. The blinders I was wearing have been removed. It's like I hopped on a speeding train back to LIFE and never looked back. I hadn't expected that, I guess. Not so quickly or so completely. Our lives are changed.
There are so many people out there still dealing, dragging themselves through every day, trying to breathe in and out, hurting, aching and longing for all these same things. It seems wrong sometimes that I stand on the other side of infertility now when so many people I know are still in the throes of battle, chest deep in the hurt. I don't understand why the timing of things has happened this way, but I know that anyone I've met, talked to or followed out here who has gone through the valley of infertility and come out on the other side with their dream, regardless of if it's a child of their heart or a child of their body, they all say the same....The timing was perfect. The child that was meant for them is theirs and they wouldn't trade a single moment of what they went through to get there. That's so easy to say from "the other side" but I keep telling myself it is true and God's timing is perfect....if not painful at times.
I don't know what's got me thinking about all of this other than I had this amazing feeling of being present and completely content today. It's been so long since I felt truly at peace that it was almost a surprise to realize that's what I was feeling. I am so incredibly grateful. I'm amazed at God's trust in us and amazed that He has given me the opportunity to build my life around my husband and our little boy. I know I'll make mistakes and I know there will be days when I do hurt and suffer and struggle again...but for now, I am relishing in this light and soaking up every possible ray of peace and happiness that I can. I've waited a long time for this.