Saturday, December 26, 2015

Blanket Apology

I'm going to apply a very sincere blanket apology for my blog in the event that the influx of 'baby' posts hurt anyone.   I'm sorry.  I realize that baby posts may be just as or more painful than pregnancy posts for you wonderful, struggling sisters of mine.  I don't mean to hurt you.

Also, I'd like to explain: I don't ever want my daughter to think that I'm ashamed of/am apologizing for her.  I'm so proud to be her mom.  She was 3 years in the making.  She was my constant dream.  I would both destroy the world and lay down my life for her without a second thought.   Thus, I can't and won't censor my posts about her.   The lack of her is the reason for this blog, really.   Thankfully, luckily, blessedly, I journeyed to something else and along the way I found her.  

Monday, December 14, 2015

Our Miracle Baby

I knew my pregnancy was high risk because of my short cervix.  I just didn't know there was more to it than fact, no one did until our babe was out of my body and safely in my arms.

K says that when my OB attempted to deliver my placenta, the cord snapped and came out alone.  He heard the OB mutter to herself that she "never does that" and watched as she intently studied the end of the cord to see what happened.  Suddenly, as he tells it, her face got serious and she told me I was about to hate her.  Cue a painful retrieval of my retained placenta.

About an hour later, once we were all cleaned and the shift had changed, the nurse informed us that our baby was a miracle.  We nodded and agreed.  "No, she really is", she insisted, and proceeded to tell us just how much someone "up there" had been watching out for us.  Unbeknownst to anyone, our baby had a really short umbilical cord and a condition called velamentous cord insertion (VCI).

A velamentous cord insertion is a dangerous condition for both mother and baby.  Our nurse told us that 50% of pregnancies with this condition don't carry to term.  If the problem is noticed, which is rare, and conditions are precarious enough, they will take the baby by c-section at 35 weeks.  A normal cord is attached safely and directly into the placenta.  With VCI, the cord is attached weakly and unprotected into the membrane.  You can google the rest of the details if you're interested.   I get emotional if I try to explain it more than that.

When my OB visited the next day she explained all about the short cord and VCI, providing a little more detailed information than the nurse from the previous day had.  She ended the conversation with a sweet, tight smile and said "she was meant to be here, that's all I can say".

Fertility treatments, a twin sac that didn't develop, high risk (and then some) pregnancy - our little girl arrived on 12/5/2015 after 38 weeks of my being pregnant. From start to finish, she's our miracle.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Another (almost) 12 weeks later

On Friday I will be 36 weeks into this pregnancy and trust me when I say that the blog post I intended to write that day was gonna be a gooooooood one. It was going to be all about how I was finally (!!!) off of bedrest, how great it felt to move to my hearts content, and my reunion with the poor elliptical at the gym that, surely, has been so lonely without me.   I probably would have quoted the greats about how life is a grand adventure to be seized. You might have cried tears of joy. I bet I would have won some sort of award.

Alas, my dear friends, that is not the case.  The groundhog saw its shadow and there will be 9 more days of winter - a.k.a my OB said, "nope, you're down until you hit 37 weeks".    Don't worry, though, this post is still going to be chock full of positivity (since I pretty much unloaded all of my complaining and cajoling on the car ride home).

For those that don't speak in weeks and because pregnancy doesn't really line up to the 9 month rule, I'll keep it simple and say this baby is estimated to make her grand arrival in 30 days, give or take some...such are the laws of nature, ya know.    

You've read about my baby showers and the incredibly graceful way I've handled bedrest so I'll skip right to the rest of this lovely pregnancy stuff:

1) That sugary drink to check for diabetes was fehking delicious!!!  I was nauseated from having to wake up early/not being allowed to eat anything and that cold, sweet drink hit the spot. At the time I'd wished I had another.  I'd like another now, actually.

2) My belly is big, y'all!  I stare at it all the time; I  slather it with lotion; I poke at my belly button that is nearly flush with the surrounding skin.  When I'm warm in the shower and it's covered with soap suds, I rub it and cry in thankfulness.   I talk to the little girl that's squished in there, wondering if she knows just how much I love her.  I could (and do) watch her contort my round belly into odd shapes for hours.

3) Nesting made me a crazy person.  Trying to keep me from freaking out about cleaning and sorting and preparing was probably like trying to stop a runaway train.  The intense urge to 'DO' was so overwhelming that I found myself out back scrubbing at the wooden siding on the house and wishing I had a power washer before my common sense kicked in and I sat my happy, bedrest butt back down. K calmly wrote out the lists of things that just had to be done to keep me from talking myself into hysterics about how "I can't bring her home to this!!!!!!!".  My mom hired a cleaning lady to help take the edge off my frayed nerves.  Now that most everything is finished (just need to clean out the car and scrub the baseboards) I feel almost back to normal.

4) We did a maternity photo shoot with one of our world's best friends.  It was everything I always thought I'd never get to do so of course I'm overly sentimental about it.  I'll cut this paragraph short (and thus end the blog post) with some of those pictures

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Take me to church

     I hadn't been to church since sometime, maybe, at the start of this year. I'm not confident in that.  It could very well have been at the end of last year.   It was after I finished up my night shift and before I had slept.  The only thing I remember is using every ounce of energy I had to keep my eyes open because I'd already lost the battle to keep my head off the back of the chair.  I don't remember the drive home at all but I know well enough that it was dangerously done (it may surprise you to learn that lack of sleep does not make me a good, alert, cautious driver).   I decided, then, to not ever do that again.  

     I've been on bedrest for 4 weeks now and it only recently occurred to me that I'm in a place to be able to go to church again. So it was - with great excitement you should know - that I decided to go to church this past Sunday.  I got up early, chugged my allotted one cup of coffee, devoured my breakfast, and dressed myself in jeans because it was FINALLY a little chilly around here.  A woman, a friend, that I've met not even a handful of times went out of her way to pick me up and get me there.

     As I'm not really allowed to stand or walk..."minimal" is the word my doctor likes to tell me...I sat during the entire service.  I've sat before during worship because sometimes it makes me feel closer to God to sit and be surrounded by people yet encased in my own small area of worship.   This time, though, it struck me that the choice to sit was not entirely mine and it wasn't entirely mine because of a very specific reason. There I sat because of a baby that I never thought would happen.  

     Many times had I lugged my burdened soul into church; many times had I stood in worship with a heart so shattered that I struggled to breathe; many times had I offered my mess of a life to the healing hands of Christ while words of praise sprang from my lips. But only once, in that very moment,  had I sat with a child living inside of me.   

My God. Thank You. 

Friday, October 16, 2015


Trigger warning for all you strong, beautiful one's that can't stomach another damn pregnant lady baby post.  Time to look away. I love you.

Well, well, well.   Guess who got showered with love and baby gifts this past weekend.  Put another tally in the "things I never thought would happen" column.  That column is getting quite full and if I think about it for too long I get overwhelmed with gratitude and cry like an idiot.

Saturday Shower - oh, folks, it was perfect...almost too good to be true.  The decor was literally picturesque, worthy of gracing the pages of Martha Stewart Living.  There were tons of flowers adorning a long, rectangular table upon which sprang up pops of gentle color in greenish blues, pinks, and wines. The refreshment table was decorated in white linen and displayed the classiest (and tastiest) array of tea sandwiches, fruity desserts, cheese, and crackers.  A floral smell permeated everything and, courtesy of some neighbor perhaps, mixed with the faintest smell of burning wood so that I would have paid serious money to have the scent in candle form.
      Better still, however, was the company.  I don't know how I got so lucky to be surrounded by such a mix of gentle, creative, hilarious, heart-on-their-sleeves souls but I'm very glad it's happened.  They mingled, ate, laughed, and probably fell into an awkward silence a time or two.  They sat around in a huge circle and watched me open baby gifts, seeming not to mind that I'm terrible at thank you's and being the center of attention.    I think I said very little during this time - a mixture of exhaustion and gratitude - willing myself to not cry in thankfulness.   I can't wait for my daughter to meet and know these women that have prayed for her existence even when it seemed fruitless, that love her now even before they have seen her.      

Sunday Shower - this one was nearly the exact opposite of the shower the day before.  Where Saturday's shower was gentle, quiet, and elegant, this one was boisterous and classic.  Everything was pink - from the booties on the cake to the sherbet punch.  A huge balloon in the shape of a bird, surrounded by a bouquet of smaller pink balloons, declared "IT'S A GIRL".  Split between two connecting rooms, there were 3 tables packed with chairs and still people had to stand for lack of space when it was time to eat.  The food was simple but wonderful - a mix of veggies, fruit, chips, and cold-cut meat sandwiches that hit the spot.
      My mom hosted and it was filled with her friends (all of whom I knew, of course) and more of my family.  I hadn't seen any of the women in years upon years, save for my grandmother and step-mother-in-law.  K's mom was there and she stuck by my side the entire time, sitting next to me no matter which room I ended up in (side note: except for a brief meeting in May at K's graduation we hadn't seen her since our wedding nearly 7 years ago). Aside from my mom, I've never seen a woman so excited to become a grandma and I'm glad she wants and is getting to share in these moments with us.
     Shower games were played, prizes were handed out, and I opened so many gifts I actually got sweaty and had to take a break.  At the end, everyone gathered around me and prayed for my daughter, thanking the Lord for the miracle of life that they had all been trusting in Him for over the last 3 years. It was not lost on me that these women had stood with my mom many Sunday mornings, praying on my behalf, and now they were here celebrating that answer to their prayers.

There will never be enough thank-you cards in the world to properly express what this past weekend meant to me.  It would better serve to crack open my metaphorical heart and lay it out for everyone to see.   As that's not possible, the best and only word the English language offers for how I feel is simple, and as

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Getting Paid

Starting November 2nd, I will officially be employed as a telehealth nurse.  I'm glad to be part of a career that offers so many diverse options.  I'm excited to get to continue to pursue my passion even from the confines of bedrest.  Mostly, I'm relieved to be able to ease the burden that is that loss of my previous salary.  

They sent me a packet to give me an idea of what a day looks like for a 'Nurse Advice Line' employee...and they made the hilarious and unfortunate decision to make the headline in all caps while also abbreviating things:


Oh. Um. Well, we need the money.

Seriously, though, I'm so pleased to have this new position and I'm looking forward to expanding my scope of practice by learning a new facet to caring for my community.  By the time it's all said and done, I'll be licensed in each of the 50 states and able to help patients on a national level!  That prospect is extremely appealing to me and I'm beyond blessed to get the opportunity to use my skills to the benefit of such a large group.

There is one small catch which remains entirely out of my control. The training is 6 weeks long and requires 100% attendance or will result in loss of the position.  That puts me training almost right up to my daughter's due date. Only time will tell how that turns out.  Here's to the unknown future. Cheers.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Permission Granted

A sweet friend told me last night that she thinks bedrest is sending me into a deep 'down' place and that I should talk to my OB about possible depression.  It means a lot to me that she was willing to speak up and tell me that what I'm feeling and saying doesn't altogether seem like normal pregnancy, hormonal emotions.  I admit that I've been feeling increasingly unlike the healthy self that I was so proud of several months ago.

K told me last night that it was okay to be sad because we did just have an unexpected, burdensome upheaval.  He asked if I noticed myself feeling this way before the bedrest news. It's hard to memory is so foggy.  Even still, I'm historically bad at coping with hardships (re: my life crisis over being infertile) and I know I'm not handling this well.  I'm mad at my body. I feel guilty that K got stuck with dumb ol' me without knowing how hard it would be to have a family with me.  It's nice to hear that it's okay to be sad, though. I get frustrated with myself for crying, which usually just makes it worse.

I cleaned our box fan today.  I started to get proud of myself for accomplishing that task and immediately gave myself a stern admonishment.  "All I did was clean a stupid fan", I told myself, "big deal. I've done nothing else lately". And I almost accepted that; except a spark of 'hold the fuck up' washed over me and I realized that just as much as it's okay to be sad, it's okay to be happy. I'm allowed to be proud of myself that I cleaned this fan.  It needed it and I did it.  I have a clean fan now because I took the time to unscrew some things and wipe them down.  It might be minute but it's something.

Maybe I can pull myself out of this funk. Maybe not.  Maybe I'm a normal amount of sad and anxious and frustrated. Maybe not. All I know is that I'm thankful for the three gifts of realizations that I got over the last 12 hours: it's okay to be happy, it's okay to be sad, it's okay to ask for help.  I already feel a little less overwhelmed.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


I completed my first week of bedrest with so much grace and class that I should teach a workshop on it.  Psych.    I'm almost ashamed at how poorly I handled being confined to home-couch-bed.   I whined, I cried, I got angry and irritable.  At one point, K had to load me up and drive me down the highway to keep me from losing it (and probably to shut me up. I've been more than a little annoying, I have a feeling).

If an enemy ever wants to effectively torture me for information, they can skip right over the more gruesome ways and go straight to locking me in a room with nothing to do.  I'll tell you anything...just please let me out of here.

Honestly, I was a little convinced that all it would take was one week and my cervix would miraculously get with the program so much that I would be allowed to get off bedrest and return to work.  No such luck.  I'm down for the count.  The bright side is that my cervix is unchanged - nothing is worse...and not worse is good.  Also, isn't it sort of beautiful that sometimes 'not worse' is worth celebrating? Just me? Eh, I'm sentimental and more than a little emotional.

I've been a nurse for 5 years. I like to work hard and fast, draining myself in all possible ways in service of someone that needs my help.  I'm very good at what I do. I find fulfillment in it. I couldn't really imagine doing anything else. It's odd to find myself without it, especially so suddenly and without any choice.

Now there will be those of you that say, "oh enjoy it. I would love to spend hours watching a show/playing a game/reading a book/being required to accomplish nothing". To you I say, please shush.  Perhaps, maybe, there is a possibility that I would enjoy this except that we just lost 75% of our household income and it's literally all my fault.  I have just shouldered K with so much undeserved stress. I have put our family in financial jeopardy.  I feel very guilty about it and I have nothing but unlimited time to dwell on it.

K appears to be unperturbed (thank God - because I'm perturbing it up more than enough for the both of us).  He's taken on the extra responsibility of the household without so much as a single complaint. He's patiently tried to talk me down from my self-loathing shouldering of the blame.  He tells me that we just take it one day at a time, we'll figure it out, and that in the end it'll all be okay.  He reminds me that there is no fault here, that my body is good, that nothing is going wrong.  I've repaid his kindness and steadfast patience by crying a lot. Lucky guy.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Body of mine

A common problem you'll discover among the infertile crowd (and I'm most specifically talking about the infertile individual of the couple) is this feeling as though their body has failed.  It's a theme I've noticed over and over whilst reading about the emotional effects of infertility and in talking to a great many infertile women and men.  An infert will express disappointment in their body, going so far as to feel their body is less than, useless, and/or betraying them.

I never felt this so acutely as I saw others did.  I was aware that my body ovulated improperly.  I realized that my body was incapable of getting pregnant on it's own accord. I was frustrated that I couldn't find a quick, easy fix. I just never out and out blamed my body. I felt spared in that, lucky nearly, that I could remain somewhat rational about it - afterall, we take our small victories were we can get them when it comes to the losing game of being infertile and one of mine was that I didn't hate my body.

Still, when I discovered yoga I began to respect my body again.  Yoga starts with this lovely mindset that you don't focus on what you cannot do. Instead, the focus is purely in what you're capable of.  You can hold a pose for 2 seconds? WONDERFUL! LOOK AT WHAT YOUR STRONG AND LOVELY BODY IS DOING!!  And slowly, in celebrating each little thing I was capable of, I started being capable of more and more in the land of yoga.  Before long I was not only accepting of my body but very proud of it.  I felt powerful and incredibly feminine again - two things that infertility had definitely taken away from me.

I stopped being able to do yoga like I was used to by late March.  Infertility treatments really take a toll on my body by adding weight, increasing fatigue, and decreasing stamina.  Hyperemesis knocked me out of the game completely and by the time I found a way to cope with it, I had lost a lot of energy and muscle. Pregnancy led me to feeling overly fatigued and incredibly activity intolerant.  Still, I managed a few yoga sessions here and there.  Getting back into the mindset was nice - the refocus on beauty and capability.  I was reminded of how wonderful my body is.

And, I was very proud of the fact that, though my body couldn't get pregnant easily, it seemed to be doing a bang up job of staying pregnant this time around. I gave accolades to this little body of mine for that, incredibly thankful especially knowing that there are too many infertile women that cannot say the same. I felt I owed it to my body on the behalf of so many people and things to specifically celebrate it for that victory.

Yesterday it was discovered that my cervix is much too short and already funneling, an indicator of pre-term birth.  A decent measurement for a cervix at my stage of the game (27 weeks) would be at least 3 cm, 2.5 cm on the low end, with good being 4cm.  Mine is an unfortunate 1.97 cm. I was ushered into a room to discuss this with the OB, swabbed for a test called fFN (it's a test based on it's negative predictive value.  Mine was negative meaning it is 99% likely that I will NOT go into labor during the next 7-14 days), and then sent to the perinatologist for further evaluation.  He confirmed the findings and after a short stay in L&D, I was shot up with steroids and sent home on strict bedrest.

I had a hard time last night with being down on myself in a way I hadn't been in a while and mad at my body in a way I'd never been before.  It's a bit difficult for me knowing my body isn't doing the bang up job I had been celebrating. It's very difficult for me to be undeniably reminded of the fact that I cannot do well what comes easily and naturally to the majority of women.  I admit it's a loss of some identity, a loss of that feminine quality I had come to embrace.  I'm not normal and there's just no way around that.

Today I'm going to try to focus on my victories:
   -we discovered my short cervix in time to do something about it
   -as far as anyone knows, this babe is staying put for at least a couple of weeks
   -she's growing strong and well

and I'm going to try to convince myself that this set back and reminder needn't rob me of my beauty, my womanhood, or my femininity.  I am still powerful and lovely. We'll see how I do with that.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Sharing the Rain

     When I was in elementary school my mom had an in-home daycare.  I'll bypass telling you about all the loads of fun we had surrounding every holiday and during the summers because neither of us have that kind of time (although let me quickly tell you about the time a kid made himself puke up grape juice on our wall to try to get out of time out - didn't work, my mom meant business).  Instead, I'm going to focus on the rain.  On those lucky days when it would rain while we were on some sort of school break, we would throw on our bathing suits...a good daycare kid always has a bathing suit handy...and run out into the backyard. We'd pretend we'd been stranded in some deserted place and had to fend for ourselves, foraging the ground for fruit that we'd snuck from the kitchen and strewn about.  Eventually we'd make our way into the alley, opening up a whole new world of roughing it. When the sun finally shone, or parents showed, we were soaking wet and completely entranced in our world of make believe.

     By the time I was in middle school my mom had traded the daycare for helping my dad run their own air conditioning company and I no longer thought to head outside in my bathing suit every time it rained.  Still, rainy days were special for me.  I got into the habit of stashing away sugar daddy's for just such a time as a rainy weekend with nothing to do.  Having opened my bedroom blinds and thrown back the curtains so that I could see the rain more clearly from my spot on the bed, I'd grab one of my dad's old Nancy Drew or Hardy Boy books, pop the end of a sugar daddy in my mouth, and let the combination off nature, books, and candy soothe me into the most wonderful sense of security a girl could hope for.

     High school, well, let's just say I mixed my independent nature with a hormonal streak of rebellion that wouldn't be tamed by sugary treats and mystery novels but I still loved the rain.  In between getting into too much trouble entirely too often and discovering the majesty that is interest in the opposite sex, I still managed to find a way to celebrate the rainy days.  In a gesture that suited my rebellion just fine, on those rainy, gloomy, dark days I'd put on one of the cutest dresses in my closet and head to school.  While everyone else was bundled up, comfy style, in oversized shirts and jeans wet around the ankles, there I'd be in stark contrast (or so I assumed). I firmly believed the sunny days didn't deserve all the pomp, anyway.

     Now if you know me at all you know my favorite days are still the ones where it rains.  I got married in a November because I acutely remembered how much it rained the November I'd met K and I hoped for rain on my wedding day.  To mix a couple of my favorite things, I've made K kiss me in the rain a few times and stand with me in it a few others.  I've sat on the porch of our home, steaming hot tea in hand, and let the rain be my companion more times than I can count.  On the rainy days when I don't have to work I wake up early just to be able to see the rain for longer.  I'll open the windows wide, light a cinnamon apple candle, and let the quiet, rainy morning ease my entire being the way nothing else has ever been able to do.  For me there is peace in the rain; there is comfort, there is joy, there is something to be loved and celebrated.  I'm never happier than on the days it rains.

     And I can't wait to share that with my daughter.  I hope she loves it, too.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Bad days

     I don't know what it is. I've never been able to describe it properly.  At it's worst, I drowned in it - choking on it, feeling it thick in my lungs.  I used to keep it a secret because I barely understood it myself but I've learned that it happens more often and lasts longer if I keep quiet.  Now I call it 'my bad day' and reach out to whomever is willing to help keep me from going under.

     I've started to recognize when it comes sneaking around. At first, I can't exactly pinpoint what is wrong but I know something isn't right.  I feel too my edges are sandpaper catching on cotton.  It feels tangly and messy.  The roughness turns into a raw, overexposed feeling.  The noises are too noisy, the silence is too silent, everything is just too much of whatever it is. The world is in hyperdrive and I can't find a good spot to jump in and join.  Then comes the sneakiest part of all, the overcompensation of the rawness - I am muted.  I can laugh, smile, and participate as well as ever but it's forced from beneath what feels like layers of glue.  The muted feeling quickly becomes my bad day.

     I guess if I'm going to be completely honest and transparent here (because if not here then where) my bad days are characterized by an overwhelming sense of sadness.  I will sob rolling, hot tears and mourn for things I can't articulate.  It's no use reminding myself that nothing is actually wrong; I'll just cry all the more thinking I must be really messed up to feel so sad when everything is okay.

     Luckily, mercifully, thankfully I manage to put away my pride and reach out to those I trust the most.  Some of them show up in person, physically guiding me out of the sadness until it sheds completely and I can walk without feeling it's heavy weight.  Some of them send texts of encouragement, assuring me that I'm not alone or broken.  Each of them remind me that if I hang on just a little longer the bad day will pass, as it always does.

Friday, August 28, 2015

12 weeks later

It's been a quiet 12 weeks for me on the blog front.   I've tried several times to make a new post but couldn't figure out how to make sense of all the ways I was feeling enough to put it into coherent sentences.   I'm going to give it my best shot now.

Survivor's Guilt: Once, at the tender age of pre-k, I stood in a crowded movie theater and shouted "quit laughing, you're making my shoulder nervous" because Milo (of Milo and Otis) was stuck in a hole.  It's been ever since then, and several more incidences, that the long running joke in my family revolves around my extreme sensitivity - especially to the plight of others.  It comes as no surprise to me, then, that I have Infertility Survivor's Guilt.
    This means that for the first few weeks of being pregnant I wanted to apologize. It's why I won't ever post pregnant belly pictures. It's the reason I still feel racked with uncertainty about the few instagram posts I have made about my pregnancy.  How do you celebrate when another is mourning?  How do you forget the many, many times you felt left behind and alone?  I don't want, not for a single second, to add to the pain or brokenness of another.

With that said, to whomever my pregnancy might hurt: the rest of this post will be a trigger. I love you and remember you every day. You are important and wonderful and valued. Please look away now.

Celebration: Every morning I wake up I remember that I'm pregnant. Each new day is a wonderful celebration of that singular fact.  It wasn't a dream.  It's really, really, really real.  I cannot, with any words created on this earth, express the unending, abounding, all consuming joy of knowing my daughter rests safe within me and I'll get to meet her in a few short months.
     She started tapping on me at a tiny 14 weeks. Now, at 24 weeks, she gives me such an abundance of hard thumps that often I can't sleep until she settles down.  Sometimes K places his hand on my belly and she kicks at him, too.  Every single time he asks, in disbelief, if I did that. Every time I get to tell him that it's our daughter.
     And 24 weeks, folks, that's a biggie in pregnancy land.  It's viability which means that she's got a 50-50 chance of making it outside of my body should fate decide to bring her too early. It means that there shouldn't be a single doctor or hospital who wouldn't do everything to save her tiny little life. Each day from here only increases her odds.  In two weeks, her chances without me go up to 90%.
     We've started to get semi-serious about baby prepping. Her nursery is nearly half painted in a spectacular shade of aqua teal. The dino decor is half made.  My dreams of the finished product are abundant. I'm anxious that we won't get it all done, won't have everything she needs, and at the same time calm knowing that it will all take care of itself the way this sort of stuff usually does. She has clothes galore.  I would say it's too many clothes except there is no such thing when it comes to pretty little outfits.  I need to wash and sort them at some point. I've not felt the urge yet so I'm waiting on that.   The baby shower dates are booked and the registry is a mess. K had free reign of the scanner which means our list has at least 15 wubba nubs and some candy on it.

The things: When I gave up hope that I'd ever get, let alone stay, pregnant I'd also given up on getting to experience the things that go along with it.  Warning - this will likely be very annoying to all those that dreaded the things I'm about to wax poetically thankful over.
     Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG): this isn't just the regular morning sickness.  This is the 'end up in the ER from vomiting your life up' sort of sickness.  I am intimately familiar with the toilets at my house, my work, my in-laws, my neighbors, and establishments spread around DFW. Some foods I fear I'll never be able to eat again and my diet currently revolves around things that I think would hold up in flavor should I need to puke them back up soon. HG, for me, came with a lovely friend called migraine.  Together, they left me a curled up useless mess on the couch.  Thanks to a couple of wonderful medications I've been able to go about life fairly normal but without the medicines I turn right back into a shriveled wreck.   And still, I GET TO SAY I HAVE HG! What! What sort of amazing nonsense is that. I have HG because I'm pregnant. Holy crap! Hallelujah!
     Glucose Test: the horror stories I've heard about having to consume the sickly-sweet punch flavored glucose drink are common fodder for a get together of child-bearing aged women.  It made them shaky, gave them headaches, left them feeling terrible for hours after.  They were hungry and grumpy and uncomfortable. The tech was so bad at blood draws. They passed it no problem or failed it and had to go on to the next dreadful round of testings. And still, I CAN'T FREAKING WAIT.  I have the drink sitting in my fridge door and I get a thrill of excitement each time I see it. I never thought I'd get the privilege of adding my part to the horror story.  Bring it on. Holy crap! Hallelujah!
     Maternity Shorts: They are so ugly and don't fit right.  Everything is somehow too big and too small. Plus, they're very expensive. Unless you go cheap (ahem - my middle name) in which case I think you end up with even uglier, ill fitting garments.  And still, I've been waiting a long time for this. Now that I'm finally showing and uncomfortable in my regular clothes, I hopped on the maternity shorts train even while complaining about it.  Maybe I wasn't listening because I was too busy talking crap but these things are so comfortable. Give me all the ugly maternity gear. Let me be a hot mess. Heck yeah. Hallelujah!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

It's hard for me to write this post

I had loooooong ago given up true hope that I would be a mama.  The thought of cuddling, of raising, of loving a little one that looked to K and I for all its needs had become too much of a burden to bear and so I had let it go.  Even as we inched closer to figuring out how to start the adoption process, I was extremely careful to keep myself in check. I had given my heart, with all its hopes and dreams and joy and pain, over to the Lord and I was finally in a place that I could breathe again. Now, to be clear, it would be a stretch to say that I was over it - this whole never being a mama thing - but I was ready (really, really, really ready) to move on to something that didn't hold so much hurt for me.

On the other hand, K hadn't reached the end of his wishful, hopeful thinking.  He asked that, when I was emotionally ready, we give it two more tries.  I agreed to his request because I was sure I had nothing to gain or lose except the couple of months worth of treatment it would take to be in the exact spot we always were when it came to this baby making business. Plus, if all it took to give him peace of mind so that we could move on was just two more cycles then sign me up.

We met with our new fertility specialist (thank you new insurance for offering infertility treatment coverage) and were able to start treatments that day.  I was ready to throw the kitchen sink at the issue but K wanted to ease into things so we opted for oral medication, injections, and a lovely, romantic thing called timed intercourse, where a doctor tells you the exact times you should be getting it on.   It is, actually, more romantic than the alternative I was ready to try where they just inject K's swimmers into my uterus and we call it a day.  

And this is the part of the story where we come full circle.  It's hard for me to write this post because, in perfect honesty, I'd given up the hope that I'd ever have the pleasure.

K and I actually, finally made a baby. We eagerly anticipate the arrival of our sweet, little girl in December.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Confession: I'm a love junkie.  I'm unashamedly addicted to loving as fiercely and fully as possible.

"You there! Hi, nice to meet you. Let's fall in love."   That's what its like for me.  That's what my brain and heart and soul play on repeat.

Why?  If you ask me in person I'd talk in breathless circles about it, getting more excited and making less sense by the second.   Luckily, though, I have the benefit of the written word here and I plan to make the most of it.

At the beginning and end of it is God.  I'm sure a lot of you can list off the many, many times the bible mentions love:  we love because He loves us; the greatest of these is love; love others as you love yourself; love is the fulfillment of the law; above all else love each other deeply; and, of course, God is love.      What else do I need to say for all of us that believe the bible as the Word of God? Boom. Done.

Beyond that, more personally, is that God healed me by loving me.  When I couldn't, or wouldn't, hear Him, He filled every corner of my life with His undeniable love for me in the form of friends and K.  The friends abounded, one after the other of the most inspiring, beautiful, encouraging people this whole world has to offer. They spent time sitting with me in darkness, walking slowly into the light of what was true.  These friends showed me love that was renewing down to the marrow of my tired bones.  With K, it was a lesson of enduring love, as he showed patience, kindness, and forgiveness.  He embraced the good ways I was changing and held firm against the bad, guarding our marriage with the true love and heart of a husband.

Truthfully, I had been reluctant, at the very first, to accept love but before I knew it I was seeking it out, soaking it in, and throwing it around by the handfuls.   As my heart healed by love so I became ridiculously compelled to help heal the hearts of others.  I learned quickly that there is no end to love and no need to be stingy with it.  Guys, love never runs out.  I find the more I give, the more I somehow have. The whole world blossoms under love, people are worthy of love just for existing, and they are willing to love you the same way you love them.

There need be no fear of love, no earning of love, no rationing.  Love, quite literally, doesn't work that way.

I call it my Love Revolution and I'm on a mission to recruit as many people as possible.


Many of us spend our whole lives running from feeling with the mistaken belief that you can not bear the pain. But you have already borne the pain. What you have not done is feel you are beyond that pain.” Kahlil Gabrin

I'm terrible at recalling dates. I can't even be counted on to get my wedding anniversary right on the first try so it comes to me as no surprise that I can't remember exactly when I stopped fighting against sorrow. All I know is that it was a conscious effort to call sorrow 'friend' and see where it took me.

What I've found is that sorrow, however painful, has given me so much in the way of life. Sorrow has made me more gentle. Sorrow has opened my eyes to the suffering of those around me. It taught me to listen first and judge last, if ever. I learned to look at, less and less, the actions of a person, and more and more what those actions say about what's going on in the deep places we can't see.

Sorrow made me capable of joining others in their own suffering without tiring of the mess we find there.  I can sit with anyone in the trash heap, never mind the smell, and tell them all the ways they are still beautiful. I can hold their hand, or their head, or their entire body, for as long as they need and give them all the comfort I've got to offer. I can love them when they are covered in grime and convinced they aren't worthy of much.

Sorrow has even led me to real, healing joy.  I'm convinced that they work hand in hand, actually. The moments when sorrow ebbs there is joy ready to burst forth, ever more vibrant for having had to wait its turn.  As sorrow is the weight of my soul that makes me stop and take notice of the world, joy is the healing salve that lightens the bruises sorrow leaves, putting into perspective the deep and dark shades of pain.

I love more because I know sorrow. I forgive more because I know sorrow. I am more because I know sorrow.

Friday, March 20, 2015

When I felt invisible: part two


Prior to March 2014 I had no idea what I was passionate about or liked to do.  Sure, when someone asked, I would list off all the things that K enjoyed - for which I tagged along - because they were pleasant enough and I had very little else to offer up.  My birthday cake that year had literally been decorated with an icing replica of his face, "because", he'd said, "I thought about what you liked and it was either me or tea".  If we want to get honest about what it's like to feel absolutely invisible there is no better example than when your own birthday cake is some other person's face.

Don't get me wrong - I loved that cake, we all got a hearty laugh out of it, but it exposed the matter pretty clearly. There was nothing much that could be distinctly pointed out as "me". I had nothing of my own and I was quickly, deeply dissatisfied with that.

Thus, I threw myself into anything that I ever had even the faintest desire to try:
 - I bought a beautiful black guitar (a la Johnny Cash) and slowly taught myself to play, the pressure of the guitar strings burning my sweet, virgin fingertips into numbness;
 - I began to paint, draw, and generally just create art (for better or for worse...and it's usually for worse);
 - I committed to a yoga practice.  Yoga is a lifeline for me, a sure cure for anytime my mood threatens to cloud over, and is so well suited to my disposition that I feel like it's always been in my life;
 - I tried my hand at decorating, cooking, paddle boarding, and hiking. I dyed my hair purple and got a huge tattoo on my ribs. I swam underneath a waterfall. I stood in the ocean. I danced.

It is no exaggeration to say that I fell deeply, madly, no-holds-barred in love with everything.

Where, once, I had stood feeling alone and invisible, I now have an ever-growing array of friends reaching out to me, both to support and be supported. I can't put into words the way my heart swells when I think of the generous, kind-hearted, flawed, devoted, honest, and wickedly talented friends that I've made.  Each of them, in their own perfectly unique way, teaches me everyday about the transformative nature of unconditional love. How one woman can be so lucky is beyond me.

My marriage to K is both more fragile and more resilient that I ever imagined it would be. I discovered that marriage love really does equal commitment (a lesson K probably wishes he didn't have to teach me). He stood by my side as I begged to leave, refusing to let either of us walk away and loving me whilst I broke his heart - I can't repay that and can only hope that I will be his unshakable anchor should he ever ask the same impossible question of me.  I learned not to take our vows to each other for granted - they aren't a guarantee and must be renewed with each day, sometimes with each hour.  He doesn't have to stay in this, nor do I, but our friendship and love for one another transcends whatever imperfections of character might tear us apart.

I pray again.

From March to October, I discovered that all around me was life, freedom, and invigorating energy.  A year later, I still find that to be true.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

When I felt invisible: part one


I began my journey of self discovery in March 2014. I had spent the entire year before that feeling incapable, forgotten, and, frankly, invisible.   I had absolutely no idea who I was or what I wanted out of life anymore.   I was confused, desperately sad, and I had given up hope that God would or could actually help me.

Honestly, I was shocked that my prayers fell heavily in the silence of an empty room. Wasn't I favored by God? Isn't that what people had told me and what I had believed for so long?  Where, then, was this favor now?  I had prayed in every which way I knew: hours-long conversational prayer; tearful, pleading prayer; angry, exasperated prayer.   I begged for a baby, I begged for an answer, I begged to not feel that deep, painful, I-can't-breathe knot that had grown too large in the pit of my stomach.  Oh, the silence of the Lord is an unpleasant thing. 

Having spent the better part of 2 years getting dragged and bruised by life, I was now on auto-pilot.  I found nothing truly enjoyable. I sobbed multiple times every single day, hiding myself away in bathrooms and closets so that no one would know.  I gained 15 pounds.  I wandered around my house all day, from room to room, in between binge watching television and sleeping far too often. Lonely and alone, isolating myself, I was convinced no one would really even notice if I disappeared. 

But then, quite suddenly, I couldn't do it for a second longer. I couldn't be sad, be invisible, be empty, for one more moment.  I don't know how to describe it except that I felt such an urgency to live, to truly live, that I couldn't sit still.  I shed off everything about myself.  Or, more to the point, it was as though my 'self' was a shattered mess of glass on the floor and I was in charge of going through and picking out the pieces I wanted to keep - putting myself back together in an entirely new shape. 

Without a doubt I made decisions that hurt quite a few people and behaved in ways that are deserving of no ones forgiveness (although they've all given it to me).  I stopped hanging out with most of the people I relied on before, going so far as to avoid my family and to tell K that I didn't want to be a wife anymore.   It was too much to be needed by anyone, especially if what they needed was for me to behave like the woman they knew - the woman I was trying to escape. I felt I was fighting for my life and, somehow, everyone that knew me before became the embodiment of what I was fighting against.

They say that the Lord refines us as though gold placed in fire. I always assumed the process was passive and mild...that He just slowly made me a better person day by day while I merrily went about my life.  I learned quickly that the description of going through fire is, indeed, an apt one.  I spent painfully long days and nights confronted with my own lacking, my own impurities, my own broken and dark heart.

I learned what it is to cry out in the deep of the night asking the empty space of a God you aren't sure of if He is even there, to be huddled in the corner of a bathroom at work cradling yourself through a panic attack, and to sit across from your husband on the couch of a marriage counselor.

Those were very unpleasant times and, to my sorrow, I dragged K through them with me.   

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The day I realized I was selfish

Two days ago.   That's how long it's been since I realized I am a selfish person.   K has pointed it out before but I never believed him.  "Selfish!", I'd state incredulously, "ask anyone. They'd never describe me that way" (that's a direct quote from these lovely and humble lips of mine).

As we are prone to do, from time to time, we got into one of our arguments...the kind where he shakes his head at me while I cross my arms at him and we wonder if the other person will ever understand us.  Lying on our bed, hours after we'd begun, he admitted that I made him feel as though I value other relationships more than I value our marriage.  It was in attempting to explain to him why this wasn't the case that my selfishness was undeniable.

I didn't feel that he was asking me to realize and act like the value of my marriage is beyond that of any outside entity.  I was sure he was telling me to choose between what he wanted versus what I wanted, to decide between him or me.  And if those were my options, I choose me. I choose to protect myself, to do whatever I need to make sure I feel okay, to do what makes me happy.

I choose me.

Has there ever been a more selfish sentence uttered or written?

There's a whole list of reasons why I choose me, none of them pretty, but it all comes down to my lack of trust, especially in God.  How clever of a design that my marriage relationship reflects my spiritual one. 

Here's to being less selfish, more trusting, and strengthening the two relationships that matter the most to me. Cheers. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I'm a writer

I'm not a talker.

I could sit with you for hours, listening to you speak, offering small words here and there if you need them.   I'll joke with you, laughing readily and heartily because I enjoy you and the way it feels when we laugh together.  I'll offer advice when you're confused and need a fresh perspective.  And forever I will encourage you because I think you're great and worthy of all the things you desire.   

There are a hundred thousand things in my life that are cause for celebration.  I have a loyal husband. One of those types that always forgives and always loves, even if I make it a bit more difficult than either of us expected.  There's a tried and true best friend that has taught me it's safe to be vulnerable and honest, even if it's a little messy.  Beyond that, there are a handful of people I call my favorite in all the world.  My group, my net, the upholding hands of love and trust and faith that I've been blessed to call friends. Some live so far away we haven't seen each other in years. Some live so close I see them almost every day.  A few I've never had the pleasure of meeting face to face...pen pals, but blessings nonetheless.   Finally, and a thing I realize is quite rare, our families. Both his and mine.  They are wonderfully diverse and always accepting, a safe place no matter what. 

I am happy.  We have a beautiful home, in a handpicked neighborhood, literally right across the street from some of my worlds favorites. We travel, hand in hand, learning more about each other as we discover the world together. We discuss adoption like it's a sure thing, a desire of our hearts since we were young...a child that is both ours and someone else's, made and grown with a love big enough to fill multiple hearts and families. 

But I'm not a talker.  Sometimes what I'll want to say is that everything is beautiful and I'm excited about all the prospects of what this world and our Lord has to offer. Sometimes what I'll need to say is that I'm hurt, bruised by the realities of a life not gone according to plan.  That's the point of this blog: a place to write down all of the things I don't know how to say. 

Living life in measured time

Days and weeks: I realized I was infertile by the time April 2013 rolled around. I hadn't yet been trying for a year at that point so I couldn't officially get the diagnosis attached to my chart, but I knew it was coming.  It didn't really matter, either, that it hadn't been a year. I was already deeply entrenched in the heartache of infertility. I now lived life slowly counting away cycle days, marking away weekly increments on the calendar to explain my life in terms of before and after ovulation.

Months: On to the next cycle.  That's what we, the inferts, say to ourselves and one another when our period arrives to prove to us what we already know.   Another cycle, another chance, another month (after month, after month, after month).   Each month is its own odd little torture.  It progresses so slowly as I try to fill my time with anything that might keep my mind off of the thing we're working to achieve.   And then it moves on suddenly without me. Boom, another month, another cycle. These things add up before I know it.  Which brings me to my next point....

Years: There have been nearly three of them so far. Oh, folks, those three years. There won't ever be enough time to tell you what they've done to me, to my marriage, to every relationship I have with every person I know.  Things have been good and things have been bad, as life goes, but infertility has been my constant companion.  I either fight against it, to ignore it and live joyously in spite of it, or else it clobbers and overwhelms me, leaving me feeling confused, longing, and irritated.