Friday, September 21, 2012

15 Weeks To Go

It has been a whirlwind summer to say the least!  We've been blessed to attend several weddings and engagement parties along with birthdays (Scott turned 33!) and BBQs.  What a fun and packed summer!

I'm happy to say we've finally gotten our baby furniture into the nursery, which used to be my office.  We found the entire bedroom set, including glider, on Craig's list for $600!  The family we bought it from had used it for three years, so it's been "loved" a bit by their son, but they know they are done having kids so it worked out great for us.  I'm surprised at how hard it's been to find nursery decor that I like.  It seems that when you have a little girl everything is pepto-bismal pink or fairy-tale themed - definitely NOT my taste.  I think we settled on something feminine that will work at least until she's 3 or 4 years old.

I have to say, we were really hoping for a boy first, so I was disappointed to find out we were having a girl.  But I've really warmed up to the idea, and when I'm running errands I notice mothers with their daughters and I just get so excited to meet this little girl and get to know her.  She's already so loved by us :-)  We decided before we had kids that we wanted to find out the gender and share it with everyone but we're keeping the name to ourselves until she's born.  Mostly it's because I don't think we'll decide until we see her what she should be named, but also because we don't really want people's opinions on what we choose.  After all, it's hard to speak negatively about a name when you're holding a cute little baby!

This week I had my 24-25 week appointment.  I've gained about 26 pounds so far - YIKES!  At my 20 week ultrasound she was measuring small - head was 18 1/2 weeks, torso was 19 1/2 weeks - so I was a little nervous my doctor would want me to do another ultrasound.  Well, it turns out she's just small - which is totally fine with me!  My sister and I were both small babies, less than 20 inches and less than seven pounds.  Scott was big with a huge head so I'm glad to (at least at this point) be growing a baby that looks to be more my size.  Her heart rate was 141 bpm, and her heart looked awesome!  Since that's my one area of (a little) expertise, it's nice to see four chambers pumping away.  It's still so amazing the detail we can see on ultrasounds when babies are so tiny.

I've got 15 weeks to go to get our house and us ready for this little one.  And some where in there we are going to four weddings (two out of state by plane), we have to get through Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas (and possibly New Year's), and our basement housemate is moving out... Oh, and we have to keep working until the last minute so we can provide for this little girl.... Whew!  But whenever I get overwhelmed, I think about all the babies that have come before, and all the technology that wasn't available and some how we are all still here and thriving.

Here is a picture and a video of my most recent ultrasound.  She's getting big now so all you can see in the picture is her head, but she's moving a little in the video and of course we get a shot of that little heart!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Jumping Bean!

I haven't posted since my birthday because we found out I was pregnant again and I knew if I wrote a post I wouldn't be able to keep the news a secret.  Plus, I was exhausted for the first part of my pregnancy and quite honestly didn't feel like doing much of anything.

But back to the news - I'm expecting!  After the miscarriage, I was a little worried to get back on the horse, so to speak.  I just didn't want to go through that valley again.  But after I had a normal month in March and everything stabilized with my body, Scott and I decided to "remove the goalies" (a hockey reference - so you know Scott came up with that one!).  Also, since we knew we wanted to have kids soon, we figured, why not?

Well, one month of that did the trick and pretty much as soon as my OCD let me, I started taking those pregnancy tests again.  I think I have a graduate degree in peeing on a stick!  And over the course of a few days, this is what I got:

Definitely a good sign!  Since I had so many more symptoms this time around, we pretty much assured ourselves that this little bean was going to stick.  During this time I went to Texas twice - the first time for my sister's bridal shower and the second for her wedding three weeks later.  Since I was abstaining from adult beverages, clearly unusual for me, people knew something was up.  By the time her reception was going most of my family had figured it out and let's be honest, it's SO hard to keep that secret when you're so excited about it!  The next day we were back in Virginia and we went to the first appointment.  I was almost 8 weeks at this point.  And there it was!  The little blob - it really doesn't look like a baby until later.  But the heart beat was good at 141 and we were thrilled!

We started telling some close friends and family and asked everyone to pray that the baby and I stay healthy.  I was pretty tired from about weeks 5 to 10, and just in the last couple of weeks have a started to get my energy back.  I haven't had any morning sickness, thank goodness.  Because I was so tired at the beginning, my appetite was out of control!  I've already gained 7 lbs, yikes!!  But I spoke with my doctor yesterday and she said that a lot of her patients who gain weight in the first trimester slow down a lot in the second and then pick it back up again in the third.  I'm really hoping I follow this trend, because I already started this pregnancy heavier than I wanted to be.  I'm starting to work out again and that's really helped me feel more healthy.  Here's a picture from yesterday's ultrasound:

Definitely more baby-like, and the heart rate was 154!  I think the baby is about the size of a plum now.  And he (or she!) was moving yesterday too!  Here's a video of a little jump:

It goes all dark at the end because I couldn't stop laughing when I saw the baby move.  And just an FYI, my due date is January 4, 2013 (hoping for late 2012 though - yay tax deduction!), and we are finding out the gender, which we will tell but we aren't telling the name until after the birth, so don't ask :-)  My lips are sealed!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

31 Years

Scott and me at a wedding the weekend before my birthday

I turned 31 last week. It's very cliched, but I really don't feel like I'm in my thirties, much less a year into my thirties. It all goes by so fast. Especially since this last year has been a year of extreme highs (getting married to my best friend!) and lows (losing the baby in February). I know that God has a plan for me and I look forward to discovering what that is. I'm so excited for the future!

Heather, Jeff, Bethany, Rob, Shar, Chris, and me

Eric and Scott

Last year, Scott and I rented a limo with 12 of our closest friends and toured three vineyards. It was a blast! Our friend, Shar, has amazing connections in northern Virginia and through these we were able to get a great deal on a limo this year. We only visited two vineyards this time but it was nice because we could spend a little more time at each instead of rushing off to the next vineyard. I think we'll make this a tradition :-)

Rachel, Heather, Jeff, Bethany, Rob, Shar, and Chris

Me and Scott - sleepy after the wine tasting ;-)

Special thanks to the people who came out to celebrate my birthday: Scott, Sharmane, Chris, Paul, Roz, Eric, Ruth, Adam, Jeff, Heather, Bethany, Rob, and Rachel... It was awesome and made even more enjoyable by having everyone together!

Everyone hanging in our backyard - we even had bocce ball!

After the vineyard tour we came back to our house for dinner and pasta with another group of our friends. It was so nice having everyone at our place. I even got my favorite cake - Costco birthday cake, lol!


The pictures were taken by Scott's dad, Paul. I didn't take any so thank you for sending them over!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hillwood Museum

A while back Scott and I visiting the Hillwood Museum & Gardens in DC with his parents. I think I had a Groupon that was expiring so we had to use it that weekend. I was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful everything was. There was so much history and so many beautiful pieces of art. It was spectacular and we really enjoyed our time there. I got some pictures this morning from Scott's dad.

Beautiful table setting
So much detail - literally encrusted in gems
Hollywood picture under the mistletoe!

If you're visiting DC in the future and have a free afternoon, I definitely recommend going there. It's relatively inexpensive and definitely worth the trip. Check out their website:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Running Forward

First, I'd like to say a BIG thank you for all your love and support through this difficult time. It is a great comfort to us to know that so many of our friends have been through the same situation and went on to have healthy kids. I've always thought of myself as very business minded and unattached to the drama of life but this whole experience makes me feel SO emotional. It's like you can't even stop it, it's just suddenly upon you and you have to deal with it. Fortunately, I'm getting back to good and feeling more like myself everyday.

We got the chromosome analysis back from my OB and it turns out the baby had a mutation in his chromosomes that did not support life. That's right - it was a boy :-) It's funny, but I called it a "him" the whole time I was pregnant, like I just knew it was a boy instinctively. In a way this is good; knowing that I did nothing wrong, it's just one of those things that happens when the fabric of life isn't woven together properly. The flip side is that my OB wants Scott and I to go for some genetic testing to make sure we're good to go with our genes. I could go into a lot of detail here (I majored in Genetics) but I won't bore you with that. Let's pray everything turns out ok!

In other news, Scott and I ran a half marathon this past weekend with our friends, Chris and Shar. They were in our wedding last year and they are getting married in October. We can't wait! My half marathon time wasn't that good - 2 hours, 32 minutes... But considering I'd only run once in the month leading up to the race, I feel like I did pretty good. I've also put on some weight (story of my life!) and I know that slowed me down. Here's to dropping some pounds before summer begins!

Here's a picture of us at the starting line :-)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Special Valentine's Day

The following story ends at Valentine's Day but it actually started January 17th. I actually wrote this blog last week but pondered over posting such a personal journey. I decided that maybe it might help someone if they are going through a similar situation. You aren't alone!

It was 6 AM on a Tuesday morning in January and I was getting ready for work. I realized that even though I'd had cramps for four days, I still hadn't gotten my period. On a whim I took a pregnancy test. Sure enough, there was a faint pink line. I thought that the line had to be dark pink to indicate pregnancy so I texted my best friend a picture of the test with the line "does this mean I'm pregnant?! Lol!" She called me back and said YES!

I started to panic and I woke Scott up by saying that I was having a heart attack. He quickly woke up and then I told him it was a metaphorical heart attack - I just took a pregnancy test and it was positive. He told me that was ok and calmly laid back down. He's always good in a crisis! We hadn't planned on having kids this soon in our marriage but we trusted that God had a plan for us and if it included a baby we were happy about that.

Over the next several weeks we started to tell family and close friends. We asked everyone to pray for us; for my health and the health of the baby. We really started to get excited about what a child meant for us and how it would add to our family!

According to my calendar, my due date was September 17th, which put me around 9 weeks at my first ultrasound. Because I have a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), I don't ovulate regularly. According to my last positive ovulation test, I was probably more like 6-8 weeks along. Also, I'd been having lots of symptoms of pregnancy. No morning sickness, thank goodness, but I'd been tired, having implantation cramps, hungry, and going to the restroom all the time.

On Monday, February 13th I had my first ultrasound. The OB/Gyn was delivering a baby so we waited anxiously in her office for our appointment. We went into the exam room and they got me up on the table for the ultrasound. As we watched on the monitor, we saw the sack where the baby was supposed to be. But ... no baby. She said they would draw blood to see what my hormone levels were but it looked like I'd had a miscarriage and my body hadn't caught up to it yet, since I'd had no signs of a miscarriage.

To be honest, my first reaction was relief. Since this pregnancy was unplanned, we hadn't prepared completely for adding a baby to our house/life. Later it hit me that we'd really started to look forward to becoming parents and now we wouldn't become mommy and daddy this fall. It only got worse as we told people we had miscarried and the logistical and practical silver lining of the miscarriage slipped away as the sadness crept in.

The doctor's office informed me that my HCG was 16000 - still high and indicates a healthy pregnancy. My progesterone was 7.2, which is low. They like it to be around 10 or higher. Although, because of the PCOS, I might have lower progesterone to begin with. I went to have more blood drawn to see how my HCG level has changed, they like to see it double every 48 hours. The HCG level went up but only by 1000 points. A few days later the doctor took it again and it had started to come down - definitely a sign of a failing pregnancy.

There was a lot of back and forth between me and my doctor as to how to proceed. Basically you can either wait for everything to miscarry naturally or speed up the process by having a D&C. I opted for the D&C since that can help my body get back to normal quicker. There are some things we discovered about my health through this difficult time that are beneficial for me to know that I wouldn't have learned otherwise.

Valentine's Day was a special day for Scott and me, our first as a married couple. We went to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants - La Sandia. We enjoyed some mojitos and good food and talked about our future. Scott let me talk about the baby and be sad about the lost possibilities. He was sad too, but miscarriage affects men differently and I think he was being strong so I could have my moment of weakness. He held my hand and told me God has a plan and every life, however brief, has a purpose.

Even though up to 40% of first pregnancies end in miscarriage, it affects each woman and couple differently. There is an unavoidable sense of guilt, like maybe I did something wrong. There's fear that we might have trouble getting pregnant when we want to start a family. Scott and I already discussed how we would handle not being able to conceive on our own and it's awesome to be on the same page with such a heavy topic.

If any of you readers have been through this heartbreaking circumstance, my heart goes out to you. It is always sad when a child dies, no matter what age. I encourage you to talk about it and seek help if you feel yourself not being able to come out of the grief. You aren't alone! It's ok to cry! Don't let anyone tell you how to get over it - but also don't expect everyone to understand. It might sound corny but there's a lot of online forums that can help with the grief process anonymously. Acknowledge it, go through it, and hope in the future.

Keep on and carry on.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Eight Months In

Marriage is such a fun experience. It isn't always easy, but more often than not, I find myself laughing hysterically at something Scott says or does and thanking Jesus that He let Scott come into my life. I can honestly say I love him more today than ever.

But back to that laughing hysterically ... it's no secret that Scott has, shall we say, a very "healthy" digestive system. (Don't worry folks - it doesn't embarrass him to talk about it, he's actually quite proud.) Many friends of ours recount with gusto the times they've been crop dusted by Scott at the most inopportune times. This aspect of my husband has led to many funny moments in our marriage. And if you can't laugh at farting, well, what can you laugh at?

Scott found this cartoon on The Oatmeal and I think it encompasses a few of these moments perfectly. It still makes me giggle looking at it :-)