July 23, 2014

16 weeks

Size:  An avocado, or a grenade. Your choice. My friend Heather always texts me asking me what fruit I am that week. Ha! So weird to compare a baby to a piece of fruit. But, since I love fruit so much these days I will take it. 

Speaking of Heather- quick shout out to the girl who was due end of August but texted us all at 1:45am on Monday letting us know her water broke.  Just a few hours later baby Graham was born.  Dear Baby H, please be like your friend Graham and come earlier rather than later. Thanks.

Weight gain:  After my appointment this AM I am looking at roughly a 6 pound weight gain so far. Not knowing where I started this could be really higher or lower than what it is.

Maternity clothes:   I definitely broke out one of the new pairs of jeans I got this week. Also, have officially popped and even had coworkers make comments this week. No holding it in anymore.

Stretch marks:  I noticed some of the boobs but Joe said those have always been there. He is probably the expert so going to go with “none”. Using my oil every day.

Sleep:  Sleep is still ok. I haven’t broken down and bought into the preggo pillow yet but have added a pillow between my legs and it makes such a difference. Still find myself on my back all the time which is weird because I never used to sleep on it. 

Gender:  Still a few weeks away from finding out. I have been on the girl train from the beginning but had my first dream where my baby was here and it was a beautiful boy! Not sure if that means anything or not but was so fun to see “him”. 

Movement:  None yet. Come on baby, let me know you are there!

Best moment this week:  Finally popping. I am loving my new bump accessory!  

Looking forward to: our 18 week appointment. This is being done at the maternal fetal specialists office so we will get a very in depth ultra sound. It will have been 6 weeks since my last one so am anxious to see how big baby is now.

Food Cravings: Still anything carby. If someone mentions a food to me I pretty much eat it at some point in that same week.  Glad I DVR everything so I don’t see any commercials enticing me! And lots of fruit.  Of course then all the fruits I am eating have been recalled, cue panic mode. 

Food Aversions:  Still not really into vegetables. I have eaten more than the first trimester but they don’t ever really sound appetizing.

Labor Signs:  Nada

What I miss:  Nothing, honestly. I don’t even miss booze, which I really thought I would. We had family in town and went to a local lake bar and I was quite content with my ice water.  Now I am sure in football season this will change.

Symptoms:. Nausea came back at 15 weeks. Not cool baby, not cool. Headaches started recently and a stuffy nose.  Overall not feeling great-bummer.

Nursery:  uh yeah, no progress.

Mood:  Still pretty darn happy. Although I do have to admit- having some of the symptoms go away at 14 weeks really had me nervous. Also, having 1 appointment a month has been torture. I need reassurance that everything is going ok so the fact that I have more symptoms now is A-ok with me.

July 17, 2014

July 13, 2014

4th Fun

Joe and I packed up the car and the pups and headed back to Cleveland for the 4th.  It is my favorite holiday so I was super excited to spend it with our family.  We woke up bright and early (3:15am to be exact) on 7/4 and made the 7.5 hour journey home.   While getting up that early sucks major you know what, having the whole day at home makes it worth it.

Joe dropped me off at my sister's so I could see her and the kids and spend the afternoon with my brother in law's family.  Since the 4th is my favorite holiday I love to dress in red, white and blue and I was so excited to see Nolan and Hollyn in their finest patriotic gear too.

How stinking cute are they? Only took about 15 tries to get everyone looking and smiling. 

Miss Hollyn was such a happy baby and Nolan spent the day with me blowing bubbles and looking for squirrels.  Later that day my sister took me to the most amazing thrift store that was having a 1/2 off everything on the 4th sale.  She showed me the ropes and we found some great finds.

Old Navy & Gap maternity jeans, Liz Lange maternity top and additional non-maternity tanks that I can wear through my pregnancy.

Less than $10 for these great fitting maternity pants AND they were 1/2 off! Score!!

I ended up getting everything for a total of $18.00.  Now some of you may not be into wearing thrifted clothes but I am a huge fan. I mean, why spend 100's of dollars on clothes you will only wear for such a short portion of your life?  And some of this stuff had it's original tags! Ok, off my soap box. 

After the thrift I spent the evening at my in-law's.  Joe bought a ton of fireworks and we watched him blow them off and ate lots of yummy food.  I was so pooped from being up since 3:15am that this preggo got in the car and drove to my parents house at 8pm. I spent a couple of hours chatting with my family and then put myself to bed. Never actually saw fireworks.  Amazing how my priorities are already changing and I don't even have the kid yet!

The next day I hung at my parents house and then went back to Joe's parents to see my nieces and nephew who were over. 

Joe introduced the kids to sparklers and had water gun fights with them. They love their Uncle Joey so much and I am so happy that my child will have such a hands on and fun Dad. 

Sunday was spent with more family time at my house.  My dad, step-mom and I took the dogs on an afternoon walk around town.  My little town is so charming and the view ain't too shabby either. 

Joe came over for dinner that night. We grilled out and sat for hours on the patio. The weather was in the low 70's and felt amazing. That is the reason people love living in Ohio.  Although, it is the same reason people love living in the Carolinas as we get that weather in March and October too. 

On Monday before we left town I went back to my sister's to see the kids for another few hours. I can't get enough time with them! Thankfully our family beach trip is a little over a month away and I will get a full week of play time. 

Hope your 4th was just as enjoyable!

July 3, 2014

First Trimester ReCap


The best day of my life

Size:  A peach! 13 weeks
Weight gain:  I am not someone who weighs myself so I am really going on gut feeling of what my starting weight was .  So anywhere from 3-5 pounds. 
Maternity clothes:   My sister gave me a ton of maternity clothes after she had Hollyn.  I can honestly say I have worn maternity jean shorts on more than one occasion and they are AMAZING.  I think since I was pregnant with twins I started bloating much more so my normal pants have become harder to wear. Belly band was broken out this week at work.
Stretch marks:  none yet. My sweet friend from high school, Jesse, sent me some Mama Teas and organic oil to use to avoid these. Breaking it out starting now.
Sleep:  Sleep is pretty good! There were a few weeks in the beginning where I would find myself wide awake in the middle of the night. But lately, only getting up to pee once and then back to slumber town I go.
Gender:  6 weeks until our anatomy scan but really about 8-9 more weeks until we will find out. We are going on vacation with my family and are going to have my sister shoot a gender reveal for us.  Going to be so hard to wait!!

Movement:  No “official” movement but I do feel little bubbles sometimes and people have said that that’s what the baby feels like. Probably gas, let’s be real.
Best moment this week:  Finally announcing to the world we are having a baby.  Also, having an impromptu ultrasound at our 12 week appointment. They couldn't find baby's heartbeat so they rushed us to ultrasound.  There s/he was! 169 beats strong and being smooched by the placenta on top. 
Looking forward to: EVERYTHING! I honestly am enjoying every minute of being pregnant. I don’t want to rush this time away.  There has been nausea, crying, scary bleeding and all other things in the first trimester but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Food Cravings: Sauerkraut, pickles, fruit.  They haven’t been true cravings where I “can’t live without it”  but things that sound good to me.  Pretty much salty or carbs is my jam.
Food Aversions:  I haven’t had an aversions per se, but more like NOTHING sounds good to me.  Sending me to the grocery store to get things for dinner turns into an hour long stroll, trying to think of anything that I might want to eat.  Truth be told, not much home cooking going on lately. Poor Joe.
Labor Signs:  uh none. Nope. Not even close.
What I miss:  I do not miss anything. I have allowed myself to eat what I want. I have had soft cheese, hot dogs, sushi, etc.  Am I cautious while doing it? Hell yeah. But with how little I want to eat these days, if something sounds good then I am eating a little.  I had a sip of my mom’s wine but it just did not even taste good.

Symptoms:. Bloating, afternoon nausea, tired
Nursery:  Still very much an office. We have a lot of things we need to sell before we can even start the nursery. I have pinned a bunch of ideas. Will come much more into focus once we find out what we are having.

Mood:  The happiest I have ever been.  Since finding out that we are pregnant (yes, I said “WE” Mila Kunis) the bond between Joe and I has gotten even closer. I didn’t think that was possible. He has been the sweetest, most attentive husband.
He loves going to all of my appointments and every time we have seen our baby (we are spoiled by having so many ultrasounds), he just holds me hand and stares at the ultrasound screen in wonder. Those moments are so special to me. I will never forget them.

Here are some pics from the first trimester.

11 weeks. And no, I didn't clean my bathroom mirror first. Story of my 1st trimester-zero cleaning

Twice daily heparin shots. 

Mmmmm pickles

Double date night with my boo

Side profile of our little bean. 

June 27, 2014

Vanishing Twin

First, I just want to thank you all so much for the sweet comments about our big announcement. When deciding to open up about our journey to get pregnant I never knew if people would really care to hear. I just knew I needed to write about it for healing purposes and to help myself remember. Knowing that so many of you were silently cheering us on just touches my heart so much.

As I mentioned in my last post, my initial blood work numbers were higher than normal. The first week after finding out I was pregnant I was required to have my HCG levels checked every 2 days to ensure they were doubling as they should be. Each time I went they were more than doubling.

During our first ultrasound at 6.5weeks we were told we were expecting twins. TWINS! We couldn't believe it. We knew there was a possibility with my blood levels super high and that I ovulated from both sides in April.

our babies- heartbeats 129 and 138

We told our family and friends who had been along for the journey. There were lots of tears, lots of laughs and a whole lot of "oh shits".  Joe and I were so excited.  "one and done" is what we would say of how we were having our kids. We even talked about Joe getting a vasectomy after the birth.

As the next two weeks went on and I started researching twins I started getting very anxious.  Twins are considered full term at 37 weeks, vs the normal 40 weeks for a single baby.  Many times the mother is put on bed rest and sometimes admitted to the hospital in a twin pregnancy.  Twins often come early, unplanned and then spend days, even weeks, in the NICU due to health issues after birth.  It was so much information to deal with.

Our 4 year anniversary and carrying twins. 8wks pregnant.

At our 8.5 week ultrasound I was nervous to see the babies. I even said to Joe that I was nervous as we were waiting.  As Dr. Katz started the ultrasound we quickly saw the two sacs and babies. To Joe and I they looked so much bigger and different. "Look how much they have grown!" we proclaimed . And when Dr. Katz didn't smile, I knew there was something wrong.

He got very sad and told us "I'm sorry but it looks like one is not going to make it".   Baby B was measuring 5 days behind Baby A and no heartbeat could be detected.  Joe grabbed my hand as Dr Katz went back to Baby A to see how they were doing . Strong heartbeat of 174, growing as they should, normal. 

He said that it likely was a genetic problem and nature was taking its course. It almost didn't feel real for a few minutes. I didn't cry, which was strange. These days I cry at just the thought of my babies and yet, no tears were shed. 

With Baby A healthy we were told that this was our last appointment at REACH.  We would be released to my regular obgyn but I will also be seeing a maternal fetal specialist due to the blood clotting history and the vanishing twin.   My nurse Melissa brought in a little bag with goodies for our graduation.  It didn't feel like the happy ending I was picturing.  I expected tears, hugs, and happy thoughts as I fled that reception area.

It is hard to feel happiness when you hear you have lost a baby. I can empathize now with women who have had miscarriages. And yet, it is totally different for me.   Here I am, still pregnant. I am sad for my baby and the twin sibling they will never meet. I am sad for Joe and I and this little family we had been picturing so vividly those few weeks.  And then there is the overwhelming sense of relief.  Relief that we still have one strong baby. Relief that there is a greater chance of this baby making it to full term.

I feel so guilty for feeling relief.  I have looked to God through this whole process and know he has been there with me through every step. And so I know that Baby B was not meant to be. 

They call this early twin loss a vanishing twin. It is very common and most women never know because they aren't monitored as much as fertility patients. I will not miscarry the twin. As Baby A gets bigger s/he will push the twin to the side and I will absorb some of them back. When I deliver A, I will deliver two placentas. My mom put it really sweetly, she said " Now you will always have the other baby with you".

June 25, 2014

Baby Baby Baby

It only seems appropriate to title this post with a Justin Bieber song.  I am over the moon excited to share that I'm PREGNANT!!

I have never in my life seen something so adorable. 

This has been a major secret to keep from the world and a big reason why my blogging has fallen to the way side.  The past 3 months have been a whirlwind of emotion and it is so crazy that I am finally able to share this with you all now too.

How It Happened:

Joe and I had our IUI scheduled for 4/16.  For those who are not familiar, IUI is Interuterine Insemination.  This is a procedure where they simply insert the sperm into the woman's body in order to bypass any swimming and obstacles the sperm would encounter in a normal conceiving way.  Our doctor believed that we were good candidates for this as we just had the endometriosis removed and we had no real concrete reasons that I was not getting pregnant naturally.  So the month of April leading up to the IUI, I prepared my body with hormones and lots of blood work and ultrasounds.  I was given a trigger shot to force ovulation on 4/14 and told to come back 4/16 for the IUI.  This was a quick procedure, similar to a pap smear, and was told to rest for 10 minutes.

I was overcome with emotion during these 10 minutes and knew God was there in that room with me. I started crying, praying, and picturing becoming pregnant. Positive thoughts are so powerful!  Once the 10 minutes were up I was sent back to work and was told to take an at home pregnancy test 14 days later.   Those next 2 weeks were hard to get through.  I am so sensitive to what my body does already that every twinge, pull, cramp made me question what was happening.

The weekend before I was to test, we were in Asheville visiting my Mom.  There were several moments during that weekend that I was brought to a halt, overcome with nausea or weird feelings. I was so tired.  My Mom and Joe knew. They told me I was pregnant. I couldn't allow myself to really go there because I had been let down so many times before.

The morning of the 30th, I was up early as I could barely sleep the night before. I got up to pee and took a test.  In the time it took me to set the test down and wipe, the two lines were already there. As if shouting to me, YOU ARE PREGNANT.   I fell to the bathroom floor and sobbed hysterically. I could not believe this. I am Pregnant!  It worked! We are finally going to be parents!  I pulled myself together and woke up Joe.  Joe was in such a deep sleep he was not really grasping what I was telling him. It wasn't until later that day he called me at work asking if he was dreaming.

That day was one of the best of my life.  My sister was the first person I called.  She answered pretty much on the first ring as she had been waiting.  She started crying as I told her my story.  I knew I wanted to tell my parents next but I had blood work that morning at the fertility clinic to confirm the pregnancy and so I decided to wait until after I got the results. I floated through work trying to concentrate until I got the call from my nurse Melissa.  The numbers were great, in fact they were higher than normal for this early.  More tears came as I finally called my Mom and Dad.

Having a scheduled IUI meant that all my friends were wondering if it worked. So where many keep the news quiet until the 12th week (NOW!), I spent the entire 1st day of pregnancy telling all of my closest friends.  Most of them cried which made me cry even more.  The love and support I have  had through all of this has been so amazing and my friends were there when it was bad and now they are here with the great!

Announcing it to the world, aka social media, is pretty damn cool too!  Never thought I would say it but  Winter can't come soon enough.

Baby Hawley - due Jan 7, 2015

June 19, 2014

Home Again

A few weekends ago I went home for my first visit since Christmas. Could this year be going any faster?  The 4 days were spent with family and friends and it of course came to an end way too soon.

My first order of business was to go right to my sister's house and see the kids. Hollyn was only 7ish weeks old when I saw her over Christmas and look how big she is now!  And my Nolan? Talking and walking up a storm. He's so funny, taking little words you say and repeating them. His vocabulary has really picked up since I last saw him.

We spent lots of cuddle time together. Love having all my sisters together, and adding in Miss Hollyn makes it that much better.  She will quickly learn to love girl time in our family.

A major reason for going home was to attend one of my very best friend's baby showers.  It was held in her parent's back yard and Baby D received so many amazing things.  How the parents to be will be it all back to Boston is another thing.   It was so fun to spend the day celebrating our friend but then we all got to go out to dinner and spend more time together that night.

Sare and I cruising in the convertible- just like high school days.

Not pictured from this trip- a night at my in-laws. Two long car rides with my Mom. A couch moving session.  My parents because apparently I never take pictures with them.

And since Joe could not go with me last time we have decided to make the drive again in a few weeks for 4th of July. It's my very favorite holiday and I can't wait to be able to spend it with our family.