Thursday, December 18, 2014

Happy Birthday Kyle.

To My Amazing Husband,

I know you don't like necessarily like cards but I couldn't let your birthday pass by without telling you how I feel. I know that I tell you I love you all the time, but sometimes I really don't think you understand how much I appreciate you and how glad I am that you are in my life. I don't think you understand that each and every day with you is an absolute gift and that I don't regret a single moment or day with you. You are hands down my favorite person in the entire world and I am so glad that you came into this world when you did. I am so glad that I happened to stumble upon meeting you when I probably wasn't supposed to and I'm so incredibly glad that I took a chance on me and you because it was the best chance I ever took... I truly believe you are my soul mate and I wouldn't want to be experiencing all the amazing things in my life if I couldn't experience them with you.

Honestly, one of my favorite memories with you to look back on is any time we have been to the ocean together. Every time we go, you are the first into the water and you don't even hesitate. You run straight in without any fear because you are so dang excited. And every single time.. I hesitate to get into the water. Not because I don't love the ocean; quite the opposite and you know that. But because it's cold. However, my favorite memories are when I choose to run in with you because it is so much fun and we have had some of the goofiest memories just playing in the waves together. That was one of the most healing and amazing parts of our cruise to Mexico. When we finally found that beach and just ran in.. I think that's when I realized that everything was going to be okay because I had you by my side. This is just one example of how you brighten and enrich my life. Your willingness to embrace life makes me a better person on a continual basis and I don't think my life would be this amazing if I didn't have you as a constant example of how to let go and just live in the moment.

I couldn't be more proud to call you my husband and to have you as a daddy to our daughter.  I know that you are going to teach her so many things and that you are going to love her just as much as you love me. So, my sweet husband, I love you.. but that is not all I wanted you to know today. I am so happy that you were born, but I wanted you to get a little glimpse of just why I am.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Due Date, Dates, and Mixed Feelings

Yesterday was a mixed feelings kind of day. It was the due date of the baby that we lost in early March this year. To be honest and hopefully without sounding like a jerk, I expected to be more sad and down. I wasn't though. I was happy because I had been sick all week and was finally feeling a little bit better. I was happy because work was busy and went by fast, happy because every little kick I feel now is a reminder of the life I have growing in me now.

I'm not sure what I believe about miscarriages or mine in particular when it comes to spirituality. I'm not sure if that baby is forever lost or if that baby came back. I'm not sure if I'm a mom to two children or just one. I'm not sure if Charli is the same spirit that didn't take in March due to having an imperfect body. I'm just not sure. Part of not having a belief in religion means that I have to come up with these answers for myself and it can make my head spin if I think about it too much.

I think, regardless of what the answer is, that I am doing okay. Sometimes I will get hit with waves of grief, but for the most part I am doing much better than I was back then. It is harder to avoid when I am currently pregnant because I think of what I missed out on with that baby.. but I also know that I wouldn't have Charli if it wasn't for the miscarriage and I couldn't imagine not having her either. See why this is complicated? I feel like I am cheating on my first child that died in a sense and that's certainly not my intent. I don't mean to forget about that first baby and I doubt I ever will, but I am happy with what is going on now.

I also feel like things happened when they did for a reason. I was very ill in May when I had to have my gallbladder removed and who knows what would have happened if I had still been pregnant then. Maybe I lost that first baby so early to spare the pain of losing it much later in the pregnancy. Maybe life is going exactly the way it should.

I decided I would like to work on a pregnancy book for Charli. Something to keep all her ultrasound pictures in and to talk about what we felt at each stage. I don't know if it's something I'll show her when she is super young or not, but I do know that when she gets older I want her to know how much we loved and worried for her from the very beginning. I don't necessarily feel worry now… at least not like I used to. Now, I am more just excited to meet her. Last night we went and saw the Maze Runner and it was such a stressful movie. It was hard enough because it was suspenseful so I would get stressed out and then right in the middle of it Charli would kick me out of nowhere and scare the crap out of me. I love when her kicks freak me out. I love every single one, but sometimes they catch me off guard. I can't wait to see how her personality is when she's born and if it's the same personality that I sense with her while pregnant.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Happy Updates

I really need to get better about blogging. I don't feel like I can write very well anymore and I think it is because I became a scientist. In middle school and high school I learned to write with fluff, to extend my sentences, to make them into poetry. Then, I got to college and every time I didn't get straight to the point I got docked on essays and lab write ups. So, I learned how to write very directly. Like this. I do want to have more practice though and I really do want to have at least some memories written down because I enjoy going back and seeing them. I also have had to learn to write when I am not depressed which also doesn't ever feel very poetic but it's not about being poetic. It's not about making a statement and being different (ego mindset). It's about being me and being real.. even if that means that life is going great.

I think that most people would know that my life is in full baby mode right now. I know that may seem annoying for some (especially with fertility struggles.. and I've been there) but it is hard to not have this baby be our priority already. This baby has yet to make her arrival and already the capacity of love I have for her is unreal. To me, I am already a mother. I already worry about her, constantly. I finally get why my parents were so crazy because it's a worry that will never go away as long as I am alive. 

This last week, baby girl was abnormally quiet. I would feel little jabs here and there, but compared to how I have felt her… she was very very quiet. The first few days I didn't worry because she has her active and lazy days.. but by day 5 I was losing it. I was so down and depressed and even though logically I knew that things were okay (I was still getting some movement), I was starting to lose it. Thursday morning I woke up and had pretty much decided I was going to go to the doctors that day and at least get a heartbeat and make sure she wasn't in distress. As soon as I sat down to eat breakfast, I got like 15 kicks in a row and realized that she was fine. Little stinker, waiting until the last minute. Since then she has been CRAZY active. I am pretty sure she was going through a growth spurt or something because it has been non stop and the kicks have been so strong since then. We actually caught one on video last night. :) and she was able to give her dad a good kick to his beak lol. The only downside to her activity is it makes me lazy because all I want to do is lay around and watch and feel her move.

My goal this weekend is to finish putting her nursery furniture together. We still need to restain the glider and bookshelf but after that I will just need to get accessories as we get closer. I feel like I need to find a to do list of all the things you are supposed to do before baby gets here. I know we have 4 months but I also know how quickly that is going to go by with the holidays. Speaking of holidays.. I couldn't be more excited for them. Kyle finally scheduled some days off of work around Christmas so I will get 5 solid days in a row with him. He works his ass off and is constantly doing overtime so I can't wait to have our little family all together. I may have to go into work on one of those days for a while, but for the most part it will be amazing. My family has a lot of fun, dorky stuff planned too (tubing, christmas show, wii competitions, etc). Plus, I know that this baby is going to be even BIGGER by then. :) I love watching my belly grow and knowing that she is getting stronger and stronger.

I am honestly just feeling incredibly blessed all the time right now. I have an amazing husband, family, a roof over my head, and I love my new job (same company but i just transferred departments again). Life is so good and I couldn't ask for more. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

20 Weeks

Today is 20 weeks. Half way through already and I can't believe it. I can't believe it because it feels like yesterday that I felt like I would never get the chance to be a mommy or that it would take years and years and possibly a ton of money to get here. As much as certain symptoms may get annoying, I am so excited to be pregnant especially since I get to feel our little girl move and kick everyday. 

Last week we had our anatomy scan at 19 weeks, 1 day. We were able to confirm that our little one is a girl (there was a lot of skepticism after how early our first gender ultrasound was.. I knew she was a she though.. lol) and the best part was we found out everything looks normal and healthy with her. Her heart, her spine, her kidneys, her brain, even her toes. Our perfectly healthy baby girl. Another blessing that I don't take for granted. Here are some pictures of her, I think she looks like her daddy already ha ha. 

I am just so excited for everything to come, including the next stages of pregnancy. I can't wait for our little girl to gain weight and for her kicks and movements to get stronger. As much as my back already hurts, I can't wait to get a bigger rounder belly. And I can't wait to meet her, but I am very happy to wait another 20 weeks at least. :)

Right now I am focusing on researching everything. I've started reading a hypnobirthing book and I am pretty sure I will do a self study course on it. I'm trying to figure out a birth plan that works for both my doctor and me and making sure that I understand everything that I am willing to fight for and what is more stress than it's worth.

20 weeks. Half way there and I know time is going to fly. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Our Crazy Blessed Life

Yes, I have been severely neglecting this blog. Shortly after my gall bladder surgery, we started seeing a fertility specialist. We quickly determined that I was probably having trouble ovulating, not ovulating quick enough, and that my hormones were unbalanced which was causing all of the cysts. I was put on metformin (supposed to help control blood sugar levels which lead to hormonal imbalances) as well as femara which is actually a breast cancer drug that forces a healthier, faster ovulation. The metformin was terrible to start on and I was constantly sick. The femara was easy though. I kept tracking my cycle and I was getting nervous but finally on day 18 I ovulated. So far that was the earliest it had ever happened for me. I did not expect to get pregnant, but was just happy to see that my body was responding.

Well.. 8 days later I took a test (being the patient person I am). The line was so faint I thought I was crazy… so I waited until the next day. The next day I couldn't deny it. The line was so light but it was there. I was so excited but immediately fear and anxiety crept back in because I had light lines before.. I never dark lines which signaled a healthy pregnancy. I tracked tests like a crazy person to make sure they were darkening and they did. I asked for blood work anyway to calm myself down. My first beta level at 12 DPO (days past ovulation) came back at 186. To put this into comparison, with my failed pregnancy my level at 14 DPO had been 24. HUGE difference. I went back one more time at 15 DPO and I only needed to have roughly 450 in order for it to look healthy. The number that came back was 598.

I didn't post on this blog because I still wanted to make it to 12 weeks first. I knew that there were still things that could go wrong. Every check box has been an amazing gift. From the healthy blood work to my first ultrasound that only showed me that the baby was in fact in my uterus to the first time I saw and heard the heartbeat. Last week we found out that we are having a baby girl! And so far she is looking extremely healthy and active. I will be 16 weeks pregnant on Wednesday and I think that it is finally sinking in that this baby is meant to be and that I am not going to lose her. It's scary because there will always be things that can go wrong… but I am starting to finally relax and enjoy being pregnant even when I feel like crap. Unfortunately, I am starting to have a lot of my old IBS symptoms back which I am sure is just from all the changes happening in my body and the fact that I am off all the medication that helped me with it. She is completely worth it though. I am willing to go through ANYTHING to get this baby here safe and healthy.

Here is a picture of our little girl:

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Emergency Room and Fertility Answers

Since my last post, I have been able to find out and discover more answers than I thought I would get for awhile. For that, I am extremely grateful. On May 12th, I left work thinking I had the flu. I had woken up that morning and was trying a new diet so I had eaten broccoli and eggs (I should know that broccoli is not my friend after multiple times of throwing it up over the years) and I wasn't feeling too well. I went to work thinking that it would pass but I noticed the nausea was just getting worse. I had a pretty important work meeting though so I stayed and went to it. In the middle of the meeting, I actually had to run out of the room to throw up in the bathroom. I never throw up.. It's not something that happens easily for me. I went back to the meeting and my body would not stop shaking. It was the type of body shakes that make your muscles ache. So, I decided to go home. I had to pull over multiple times to throw up and by the time I made it home I felt like death. I pretty much slept the whole day until Kyle came home that night with creamies and soup. Although I was starving, I couldn't eat that well. I'd have one bite and my appetite would just die.

I rested until Wednesday when I realized that it wasn't getting better. Usually the flu improves after the first day and turns to body aches and fatigue. I wasn't throwing up anymore but I honestly felt like my body was shutting down. So, I went to the emergency room (usually would go instacare but my family has hit our maximum out of pocket on our insurance ha ha). They tested me and found blood in my urine and assumed I had a kidney infection/UTI. They gave me fluids and sent me right back home. I still felt terrible so I was pretty unhappy going home. It was my typical experience with doctors. That night, Kyle brought me home food from panda express. Literally, again, two bites and I wasn't interested anymore. By this point, after being sick for only 3 days, I was already down five pounds. I ended up sleeping on the couch that night and was up all night because of a fever and my whole body hurting. I took an antibiotic and just hoped that it would stay down so I could start to feel better. I was pretty freaked out by this point because I knew it was getting to that point that I was dehydrating and starting to worsen. I told Kyle the next morning that I just wanted and IV again because I couldn't take care of myself haha.. so we went back to the emergency room at 4:30 in the morning and checked back in.

This time when they went to give me and IV it didn't go as well. I was not happy as they had to dig around quite a bit and I was pretty dehydrated and still feeling very ill. At this point they gave me morphine and the experience was much better for awhile. They were able to get all the blood they needed and once again collected a urine sample which did not look normal at all. My liver levels came back elevated so they immediately scheduled a CT scan. At this point they thought it was my appendix. The CT scan was pretty easy although it causes some pretty weird sensations if you have never had one. After the CT scan they found fluid in my abdomen so they decided to do an ultrasound. At this point, it was getting difficult because Kyle had to run to our house to accept a delivery from RC willey. My mom had just shown up though so that helped. The ultrasound ended up showing two things. The one that would have any impact that day was that they couldn't find my gallbladder. The one that would impact my life from that point forward was that my ovaries were covered in cysts. They figured that the fluid in my abdomen was from a cyst that had burst.

I knew something was wrong with my body and I've known for awhile, but I couldn't get any doctors to take it seriously because i'm young, healthy, and we hadn't been trying to have children for more than a year. I finally had what I needed to get help, but in that moment I was devastated. I've honestly felt like I am broken since I was 18. I have dealt with health issues that have affected my quality of life since then and I knew that this was going to be yet another one. The doctors did a physical to make sure there was nothing seriously wrong and I don't even think I was in my body. All I could think was that my body killed my baby, that it was my fault I miscarried. I know logically now that there was no way I could have known, but the emotional side of me didn't care.

I was still pretty sick so they decided to admit me until they could get me in for a hida scan that night. By this point I hadn't had anything to eat or drink since 4:30 that morning so I was dying to get everything figured out. I was so swollen from all the fluids they were putting through my body I had to take my ring off and my wrist was starting to ache from holding my hand up lol. Finally they took me for a HIDA scan and I literally slept through that whole entire thing. You are supposed to hold still for like an hour and a half in a machine so I just relaxed and tried to ignore my body. They were still not able to find my gallbladder then even when they tried to stimulate it with morphine.

I ended up going into surgery that night at 9:30 pm to remove it. Usually I get nervous before going under but at that point I just wanted it out. When I came out of surgery I was so happy because I already felt better and I could finally drink water. I slept and drank water all night until they brought me food the next morning. As hungry as I was, food wasn't that great still but I was able to eat a little bit. The worst part of after surgery was every time I would stand up my lungs would freak out and I felt like I had a huge wave of air being forced through them. It was extremely painful and unfortunately didn't go away for about a week. I think it was from laying in bed so long  and then having surgery and not taking deep breathes. I was pretty much having to open my lungs again.

So, I finally know why I've been struggling to have kids and why I miscarried. Maybe I will post later about how I am handling that and what steps we are taking. As bad as that experience was, it allowed me to finally get help and to have answers. So, I am happy. And I am grateful.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Standing up to Grief

I've debated posting this. Should I even bother hitting submit at the end? Do I really want to be possibly vulnerable in front of people that don't care about me or that I don't know? Honestly, at this point in my life.. I don't really have the fear of what people think. My goal is to live my life in a way that makes myself proud so that I don't have to provide justification to those around me. That might sound conceited, but it's more about keeping myself in check. You can't lie to yourself, truly. Try it. That feeling you get in your stomach when you know something isn't true? You can't avoid that. I give myself that test all the time and it's always accurate.

I've debated posting this because it's not socially correct. I'm supposed to pretend that it never happened and no one is supposed to find out save from my close friends. I'm supposed to pretend it never happened and just forget. I can't though and I don't want to. I truly believe I need this to move on and I encourage anyone reading that has gone through this to reach out to me so I don't feel so alone. Honestly, I welcome it (if you are in fact out there).

On February 24th, I found out I was pregnant. I was absolutely estatic. It's something we had been trying for since October and it felt like it was never going to happen. I was ecstatic, but I was also pretty cautious. The pregnancy test was extremely light, but I figured it was just early and that it would darken quickly and that everything would be fine. Nothing bad could happen to me and certainly not my baby.  So, we celebrated. I told my mom and she quickly told my side of the family. I even told some of my coworkers. I told my best friend.

Over the next few days, I kept taking tests. Surely, if the hormones were increasing as they should my tests would at least darken a little bit? And they did, but not by much. Something seemed off.. it didn't feel right. Finally, I called the doctor on thursday, February 27th and asked them to do a blood draw because my pregnancy tests were so light. First, they insisted that I take one of their pregnancy tests (less sensitive than what I was using). It was negative. The nurses looked at me like I was crazy and seeking attention.. until I pulled out my phone and showed her a picture of my positive pregnancy test on a first response test. So, they took a blood sample. I will tell you that I absolutely can't stand this clinic. At this point, I was so anxious and scared and I had to practically beg for my test results every time they took my blood. On Friday, I got the call and they told me that I was in fact pregnant. My HCG was only 24. The nurse didn't sound worried so for  a moment I wasn't either. I was excited that I wasn't crazy. Literally, as soon as the phone call ended I started spotting. Immediately, my confidence was shattered. It was very light so I convinced myself that it was implantation bleeding and since it went away I tried to ignore it. But I was anxious and scared that whole weekend.

On Monday, they had me do another blood draw to confirm the levels were doubling as they should. By this point, my HCG should have been 96. After another long day, I finally got a call on Tuesday and it wasn't good. My level was 51. I was at work at the time and I lost it. I couldn't believe (although I knew something was wrong the whole time) that I was going to miscarry. Miscarriages only happen to other people, not me. I had to leave work because I couldn't hold it together that day. I didn't even make it out the door gracefully. Part of me tried to hold on to hope but as soon as I made it home, Kyle and I tried to feel for the baby (spiritually) and we knew that he was gone. We both believed it was a boy all along.

 I didn't actually miscarry until Friday 07 Mar 2014. I had been miserable all week knowing that what should have been a living baby was no longer alive and that I was carrying it. It didn't seem right. We were getting ready to leave for a cruise on Saturday so I was just hoping that it would happen beforehand in case something went wrong. Finally, on Friday morning I woke up out of a dead sleep in excruciating pain. I won't go into gruesome details but as soon as it was gone I started to feel better. It happened so quickly and then it was over.

I have been pretty conflicted ever since this happened. I am sad for the future baby that I lost. I know it wasn't much at that point, but what it was supposed to be was ripped away from me. That will always hurt my heart. I'm happy that my body recognized something was wrong and knew what to do. I am terrified that if and when we do get pregnant again that I will have to live through this horrendous experience again. I feel broken when I see everyone around me getting pregnant and having what seems like flawless pregnancies without even trying. I feel broken when I am hassled about when Kyle and I are going to have kids because people have no idea of the hell we have gone through. Most importantly, I feel hope. I feel hope that our journey as parents has merely just begun. I feel hope and faith in the fact that we will have a healthy pregnancy and child. Every time I hear someone bitch about their pregnancy symptoms or even people that don't want to be pregnant, I have to swallow an ocean of bitterness. They have no idea how quick I would trade places with them if it meant I wouldn't have lost a child.

I am not afraid to speak out about our experience, our child, our loss. I wish more people would because it's actually quite common. This is the problem. I didn't know that it was common. I thought it was rare. That's not true. 1 in 5 pregnancies miscarries early. That is VERY common. Many times women don't know unless they are actively trying to have a child.

I don't want pity. I don't want people tip toeing around my feelings. I don't want to hear that it was meant to be or that it was for the better. I don't want to hear that if we just relax we will get pregnant. I don't want to hear these ignorant comments. I know that they are well meant, but they aren't helpful and all they do is make it worse. All I want to hear is "I'm sorry" and that my loss is acknowledged and not swept under the rug. That's it.

For now, we are trying to move forward. One day at a time and the emotions are constantly changing. It is getting easier, but the pain is a sneaky bastard that comes up again and will probably continue to do so.

We are hopeful and we know what follows a storm.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Update on Our Lives

I am feeling overwhelmed with a feeling of being grateful today. Life has had a few small bumps lately, but overall I am so happy to be where I am at right now. Our house closed (after being under contract 3 separate times!) on January 8th, 2014. We have been living with my grandparents since then and although it sucks to lose the independence it has been pretty awesome actually. I've enjoyed spending more time with them and we still have our own space since we pretty much have a basement to ourselves. We have been able to make a dent in our debt already and will be in a really good place when our house is finished being built. Currently, our house has had the foundation started on but they still need to finish pouring the floor. After that, they will start framing! We are excited, but we hope they take their time so we can pay off the most debt possible.

In just 3 weeks, we are going on our first cruise! Most of it was paid for with our tax return so it won't throw off our paying off debt plans too much. We weren't going to take a trip but we also want to make sure we travel as much as possible before starting a family. We will be going to Mexico (pacific side this time) for 7 days on the Carnival Miracle. I am super excited for that next adventure and just to spend so much needed and hard-earned time with my husband. He sure does work and I don't get to spend as much time with him as I would like to sometimes so I can't wait to just enjoy time together and to see the sun set and rise from our balcony on the ocean every day. :)

Since no one reads this and since I don't really feel the need to hide it, Kyle and I are trying to have a baby. It's crazy that I finally just typed that out. Close family and friends already know which at times I regret. I look back and sometimes it would be easier if we hadn't told anyone, but at the same time this is a big next step in our lives that we are just thrilled about. We have been trying since October been it has been a bit rough due to getting off of the pill. I think my body is finally starting to balance out so hopefully we get some good news in the next while or so. Either way, it will happen when it's supposed to and we will be beyond excited when it does. I have learned a lot of hard lessons already when it comes to trying to have a kid and that society really just doesn't get what women go through. I have reigned in who I talk to about this quite a bit, but it is difficult because every month we get our hopes up and then are dissapointed. Right now I'm just trying to enjoy life and let whatever is going to happen come our way. I have learned more about how a women's body works that I ever thought would be possible and I'm not even pregnant yet!

I love my family and can't wait for our next adventures!