Monday, September 30, 2013

40w2d overdue

The purpose of this blog was to record things I didn't want to forget and to help work out problems taking up too much space in my brain, like Dumbledore's pensieve. I'm not sure where this falls, probably somewhere between.

Of all the normal problems of pregnancy (and babies, for that matter), the reality of the not-sleeping cliche has to be the worst -- the way every time I get into bed, it's just a thin mockery of real sleep that keeps me there until 2 or 3 am when I give up. The thought that giving birth will do nothing to fix this doesn't comfort.

I will probably never be pregnant again. I wanted to enjoy what was left of my pregnancy, to focus on the magic of it. Sometimes I still do. The foot sticking out of my right side, the hard butt pushing out of the left side of the bump. The strangers stopping me in the middle of a K-Mart to offer unsolicited advice or bizarre stories. People telling me to "go for a long walk" to get labor started, because they don't realize how much walking and yoga and everything else I've been doing for weeks. The excitement of the unknown. The smell of the newborn diapers and tiny laundered clothes just poised and waiting for the sweet little boy to wear them. The way thinking about anything like this almost overwhelms me with emotion.

But god in heaven I am tired. I don't know the difference between the sun and the moon, and just holding my head on top of my body requires the strength of Hercules.

Friday, August 30, 2013

35w6d getting ready and wallowing

The edible comparison for baby is now a honeydew. Depending on where you look, he could be 5 pounds and 18 inches long, or 6 pounds and 20 inches long already.

Doctor says his head is quite low -- she was poking it. I'm one centimeter dilated and 50 percent effaced.

Baby's liver, kidneys, circulation, and immune system should be in working order. He's very close to being able to breathe on his own (that should be a week from now, when I'm considered full term).

I kept thinking that September would be a big month where everything in my life changed, but that turned out to be August. Andy had to switch to first shift, and I'm working some insane combination of first and second shift plus my second job. Fletcher is in daycare three days a week, and when baby joins him there, we'll be spending so much money on it that I won't know how to pay our mortgage.

I have only two emotional states. Complete lethargy where I'm only semi-conscious, and panicked mania where I'm convinced that I have to work - have to clean - have to accomplish every goal I've ever set for myself because when baby comes it's all over. The fear of losing our house adds nicely into that.

How much can one brain think about at once? A lot. Every minute is focused on baby, in addition to everything else in my life. The mental exhaustion is really something when combined with the worst insomnia I've ever had.

I won't even get into the physical exhaustion and pain. Suffice it to say that if Andy "jokes" any more about how he knows all about it (and has it worse) because he's heavier than I am, I'm going to punch him in the face.

I run through my list of blessings often. I haven't forgotten how lucky I am, how good things are, how sad I will be when my last pregnancy is over forever.

But I need permission to sit and wallow in how hard this all is. I have to give myself that.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Hold my hand

Every Tuesday and Thursday when I waddle into Fletcher's daycare center, I wonder about how this routine will change when there are two children to be picked up and taken home. I think about when Fletcher was an infant and how hard it was for me to take a step back from the cradle, then another step back, then another, until I was several miles away at work. How much harder will it be to leave my next infant with strangers? How relieved will I feel every Tuesday and Thursday when I get that baby back into my arms?

Daycare has been very good for Fletch. It was hard at first for him to be somewhere without any of the people that he loves, but now that he's used to it, I have to come up with reasons why he should put away that toy and come home with me. Are you thirsty? There's ice water in the car. Are you hungry? We can go eat whatever you want for dinner. Do you want to go shopping? Do you want to play at the new home?

Eventually he catches on and runs to the front door of the building. "Hold my hand," I say every time when we get outside. "Green car! Green car!" he'll say. Then we'll get to the curb and "Jump!" into the parking lot.

I get myself through the day so that I can feel his soft, dirty little hand in mine.

He's good about holding hands in parking lots, but the closer we get to the car, the harder he pulls to tug his hand free. Every day, there are fewer things that I can force; so much relies on his compliance now that he's growing up.

These years of holding my child's hand are so small, so short in my lifetime. How can I slow this down? How can I keep him from racing off like the runaway train that he is?

I can barely remember what he was like as a baby. It's been years since I've really held a baby. And look at my baby now, running so fast I can't catch him.

The unfortunate contradiction is that the school system would have me believe he's behind. He should be wearing underwear by now (without the frequent accidents). He should be sitting at the table through every meal and eating his fruits and vegetables. He should be speaking in complete sentences and communicating his thoughts and answering questions and should be... should be.

Of course I want him to progress and reach the great potential that he so clearly has. Why else would I stress and wear myself out trying to push my rising sun to high noon? But. It seems obscene to try to hurry him forward, hurling him up into the sky, knowing how that will take us that much closer to sunset.

To the time when he won't hold my hand at all.

Then I worry and wonder if I'm somehow holding him back, holding him too tight, too close, like the baby he'll never be again.

Monday, July 29, 2013

31w2d coconut

We've agreed on a name, so unless a miraculous new name comes along (or he turns out to be a she), this jumpy baby is officially labeled.

This week's food analogy: baby is like a big coconut with arms and legs -- around 16 inches long and 3-4 pounds. He'll be doubling his weight in the next eight weeks.

His bones are fully developed. His wide-open eyes are getting ready for birth, gaining the bluish color he'll probably be born with. His constant kicking, somersaulting, and hiccuping is the driving force for my nausea, insomnia, and heartburn. Have I mentioned heartburn? HEARTBURN. In the all-star wrestling match between my lungs, uterus, and bladder, it isn't a surprise that the uterus is by far the victor. 

Although he's getting long, he has some plumping up to do before delivery. He may be practicing breathing with amniotic fluid. His brain is online -- processing information, tracking light, and perceiving signals from all five senses. His central nervous system can probably control his body temperature now.

For my 32-week appointment on Wednesday, I need to alert the doctor to the frequent Braxton Hicks contractions I've been having, along with some sharp abdominal pain, so that we keep an eye out for pre-term labor. I'm all for delivering before the due date, just not this far before it.

I'm eager for the appointment in a few weeks that will determine the baby's exact position and whether or not I'm dilated already. At the same time, I wish pregnancy wasn't going so fast. This is probably the last time I will ever be 31 weeks and 2 days pregnant. These are the last months of my life that I might feel this big alien movement under my skin. It's the last time Fletcher will be an only child.

The baby stuff we have is pretty much unpacked and ready, which means I have to unpack for myself now. And next on the list is to get my hospital bag ready.

Nesting in a new house when I have to spend all my time working is an insane endeavor. Similarly, I contacted the school district to get Fletcher's therapy set up, and now I'm basically telling them that I can't fit it into our schedule. Unless we win the money or grandparent lottery, Andy and I are going to raise our children by not sleeping. Apparently. Something has to give by wintertime.

Friday, July 12, 2013


All hail

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day: Soul mates are chosen

When I met Andy, I was a teenager with no experience with long-term relationships and very limited observations of marriage. I had even less experience with children; there were not and had never been children younger than me in my life.

So when I finally got Andy to take me to a dance and ask me to be his girlfriend, I wasn't thinking about what kind of husband and father he would be. I wasn't asking myself if this was a guy who could sacrifice when sacrifice is needed, who could emotionally support me when I so often need it, who could be the kind of father I would want for my children.

I just liked his face and how his legs looked when he ran down a soccer field. He made me laugh. All the guys in his close-knit group of friends had hearts of gold--all fun and nice without being uptight or too cool. Andy stood out because he didn't try to stand out; he had the confidence to be himself and to be a little crazy, but no desire to take actions that would have negative consequences.

Still, I doubt either of us gave much thought to how responsible he would be as a grown man, husband, and father. We were just hanging out... together... which is an exciting status at that age.

We never had or accepted a reason to break up. That sounds a lot less romantic than it actually is.

So time went on, and we kept hanging out together, even when it meant a lot of long drives. There was a big time commitment to keep our little relationship going, and year after year I learned more about Andy's ability to sacrifice for what he wants, to do the right thing, to not take any crap from me (as hard as that is for me) yet be there for me when that's what I need.

It's never been perfect. We don't use words like "soul mate" in the fateful sense when we talk to each other, but I hope it's understood that when I agreed to marry him I was "mating" my soul. I think of "soul mates" more as a permanent choice than as Plato's magical splitting/rejoining of one original being.

Even when I married him, I couldn't have known for sure what type of father he would be. I knew a few of the cards he had in his poker hand, but some information just wasn't on the table. I was never worried, though, because I knew his heart.

Then we became parents.

Like every woman married to a great man, I was forever affected by the way my husband loves our child. The look on Andy's face when he held his baby (and now the way our "baby" shows his obvious love for his father) are some of the greatest blessings in my life.

But life got hard. And then really hard. And then even harder.

Parenthood is scary, stressful, emotional, exhausting, frustrating, infuriating, sleepless, guilt-inducing, and just so hard. Love, it turns out, is the easy part. Wanting to meet your child's needs is as natural as breathing. Actually finding the means to meet them is taxing. Everything that a good parent is "supposed to" provide--money, quality time, healthy food, lessons in everything from counting to manners to using the potty--is enough to kill a person.

And my husband pulls it off. Every day seems harder than the one before it, but we pull it off together. We aren't perfect parents any more than we're perfect spouses or perfect people, but there is no one else in the world that I would want to be the father of my children. No one. When I see him with his son, it's like getting a glimpse of one strangely perfect thread that God wove into the imperfect fabric of our life.

From the moment our son was born, if anyone asked me what one wish I would want--what one thing I would ask for before anything else--I would answer the genuine happiness of my child. And I had already chosen the man who could deliver it. How lucky am I?

Monday, June 10, 2013

24w 2d this close

Babies are most active between 24 and 28 weeks, since after that they run out of room for all the acrobatics. Little brother is just as energetic as big brother. My uterus is the size of a soccer ball, squishing all my other organs.

He's at least a foot tall, probably more, and weighs about a pound and a half. He's practicing breathing and really starting to gain the fat that will make him look like a baby. At this point there's about a fifty percent chance of (complicated) survival if he's born. His hands are developed, hearing is more acute, and he has taste buds, so he can probably taste anything strong that I eat or drink.

Just before we move to our new house, I have my 28 week appointment, which will feature the glucose blood draw with the gross drink. Then I'll start seeing the doctor every two weeks rather than every four.

My first pregnancy went so slowly, so full of anticipation I couldn't stand it. This pregnancy just won't slow down for a second. How can we be this close to being a family of four already?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Note from the Management

It's hard, it's so hard, trying to be the conductor, the director, the manager of every detail of our complicated lives, down to the minutes. Down to the seconds. It's the manager who is responsible, the manager who shoulders the weight of this heavy, heavy house of cards I'm balancing. And I'm just not stable enough, not tough and firm and sticky enough right now, to be the glue that keeps this card house from collapsing. If I can never voluntarily rest, the day will come when I involuntarily do. I don't know how my fall will manifest--add it to the very long list of things I just don't know.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Just another week for us.

We accepted an offer on our condo and are now in the process of getting approved and finding our next home.

Fletcher is about to turn three.

He just got enrolled in school. (This milestone came awfully fast, didn't it?)

It took two hours for a group of experts to tell me my son should talk more. Oh, and he needs to learn "compliance." Um, he's two years old. So now he's going to start taking speech lessons through the school district, and uh, he better COMPLY.

He still hates daycare, more than they were letting on to me. When he's there, they have to have an extra teacher in the room and he spends half his time in fits of hysterics. Hooray! New this week is screaming "mommy" from the moment daddy starts walking away.

Andy's about to leave for five days for his friend's destination wedding and I can't afford to take time off work, so instead I'm throwing Fletcher around his grandparents like a ping pong ball. I'll also mess up his routine in order to go house hunting.

Oh, and we're having a baby in four months.

So in the game of How Much Can We Screw Up Fletcher By Changing His Life, I'm totally winning.

Monday, April 22, 2013

17w2d I'm never alone

What a pleasure it is, in the middle of a stress hurricane, to remember that a baby is with me every moment of the day and night. I am never alone, not even for a second. What a beautiful miracle it is having baby with me, a part of me, for these months.

Last night was a first -- baby was particularly kicky so I placed my hand over the spot where I know he is. Thump! Against my hand, he kicked twice. No matter how ugly or crabby I am, that little greeting wipes everything out.

It's fantastic that I didn't have to wait until 20w3d, like I had to with Fletcher. Everything's happening fast with this one.

I felt another kick against my hand this morning, another just now, and like an addict I can't wait for the next.

Feeling nostalgic, I'm listening to Mariah Carey circa early 1990s. I listened to this a hundred times on my cassette tape...

Lying beside you, this joy is so deep
I reach out and touch you tenderly
Looking inside you, my world is complete
I struggled to find you, now I'm free
Precious love, burning so deeply
Shining completely for you

So blessed, amazingly
Touching you now awakens me
You are my heart, my everything
Feeling you now is all I need

Adrift in the moment, so sacred and pure
Alive for you only, I am yours
As you touch me so sweetly
And you whisper my name
I feel how you love me, we are the same
Precious one, don't ever leave me
Forever need me this way

Stay with me beyond the end
I'll treasure you 'cause you made me whole again

So Blessed by Mariah Carey

Friday, April 19, 2013

16w6d this week's food analogy

At least five inches from head to butt, baby is now the size of a red onion. Between this week and next week, baby will start to hear muffled sounds like my heart beating and stomach rumbling but probably won't discern voices. He's working hard on the basic reflexes of sucking and swallowing. Skinny baby is taking on some baby fat now, so this is a time of tremendous growth (he could quickly reach six or seven inches). A handful of people have suggested that my bump has really "popped." His boy or lady bits have taken shape, so we look forward to sneaking a peak in three weeks.

Baby's kicks never fail to brighten my mood.

Seventeen weeks down already. It's going lightning fast.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Trying to sell our condo and buy a house has been a long, painful process, full of high highs and low lows. A lot of it is waiting. Now we're waiting to hear back from a potential buyer who is teasing us with his interest in our place.

Part of me doesn't want to leave, not only because of memories but also because of conveniences. I'm close to work. Fletcher loves his home. When the weather behaves, we can step out our door and walk down to a fun jungle gym, a set of basketball hoops, and even a pool. We can walk to the grocery store, the gas station, the dollar store, the park, and a few fast food restaurants. We have a lovely view of a pond, which is what attracted me here to begin with.

But something about a condo says "impermanence." It's a step up from renting, but it's not where I want to be...

This condo isn't the place where I want to lay in the grass with my children and look at the clouds.

It isn't the right place for us to wake up every Christmas morning.

It isn't where my kids will bring groups of friends over to hang out.

It isn't where my son will sleep the night before his wedding day.

It isn't where my children and grandchildren will come to feast every Christmas Eve and Easter Sunday.

This isn't the place where we want to make the greatest memories, the memories that will make Fletcher and his little brother or sister nostalgic when they think of us someday.

I want a home with enough space for homemade living room tents and pajama parties, enough space for teenage movie nights and sleepovers. I want a backyard that's only ours for playing football, so I can watch as Andy slowly begins to lose speed against his ever-growing son. I want a kitchen where we can together make the birthday cakes and Christmas cookies and Thanksgiving turkeys. I want my home to be a part of why my family's memories will be big, warm, cozy, funny, heartbreaking and complete. I want my home to be loved as a cornerstone of our family rather than a resting place.

From the beginning we knew our condo wasn't where we would spend the rest of our lives. And maybe the next won't be either, because no one seems to stay in one place anymore. But I'd like it to be. I'd like my children to search the attic one day when I'm gone and find the memories that we're just starting to make now. I want to paint the kitchen the color it will always be and buy the flower-print plates that we'll still be using in fifty years.

I want to start building the rest of my life.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

15w5d punch in

Baby is a 4.5-inch avocado now. (Why do they always compare to food?) Very soon baby could be able to hear me, and bones and facial features are all straightening out and firming up. A big growth spurt is on the way.

I heard baby's heartbeat yesterday, but I'm at the point in the pregnancy now where these appointments are rushed through. No ultrasound, no conversation, just "yup, that's the heartbeat, see you next month." The clinic becomes a pregnant woman's assembly line. Punch in, punch out.

I know I've read that things are different with the second pregnancy as far as how much you think or focus on the baby-to-come because you're already focused on the kid that's here. I haven't really found that. I guess my brain has the Cullen-clan capacity to multitask because most of the time at least part of my concentration is centered on this little person. It will probably be more so when kicks become a regular thing rather than a quiet-time-only surprise.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

An interesting time

I'm licking the frosting off my doughnut wrapper and thinking this is what desperation tastes like. Pregnancy has turned me into Homer Simpson. I would do nearly anything to obtain my daily doughnut, because it seems to be what gets me through the day.

In the process of trying to make life better I keep making life worse, at least for myself. Is this what parenting is? Is this what living is?

There's no time for anything. In fact, I don't have time to make this blog post, but I am, because I'm a stupid twat. That's the essence of the problem--every time I take something for myself, it's a bad idea because it's at the expense of something important, like one of my jobs, or my family members, or my home, etc.

It's rough when the guilt you feel for "me time" is justifiable. It's not just the "I'm being too hard on myself" guilt. I've worked myself into a tiny corner, and now I have to figure out how to live here. The word "sacrifice" bounces regularly through my head, and my opinion on it varies.

Our home finally goes up for sale today. Fletcher is starting daycare next week. This week, I need to get to the doctor to pick up his daycare paperwork, to the pharmacy to get his epi pen, and to the clinic for his allergy blood draw (fun). I need to coordinate around Andy's work training. I'm completely out of personal time at work, so every minute off the clock takes away from my maternity leave. I have a huge editing project due in two weeks that I've barely started. I have another prenatal doctor appointment tomorrow. And every other fricking day there's another therapy session, evaluation, or meeting regarding Fletcher's speech delay.

So, yeah. The good news is that Fletcher is starting to talk a little. He remains the bright shining light that illuminates my tiny corner. His favorite thing to say lately is "fell down." So he (and all his toys) regularly fall down. It's like living with a drunk.

His favorite foods right now are ice cream (cream!), cookies (coo-kie!), poptarts (tart!) and golden crisp/honey smacks (cereal!). Mac 'n cheese (noodle!) and apples are also popular. He says open (owen), mommy, daddy, blankie, play, sock, shoes, coat, in, out, no no no, no way, milk, up up up, toot, burp, car, tractor, plane, flower, ball, run, water, tree, stick, lion king, and several animals--his favorites being turtle, cow, bunny, monkey, sheep, horse, pig, duck, and kitty. Other words we've heard include "thank you" (although he says it when he expects you to say it to him), farm, grandma, movie, sweep, orange, apple, arm, ear, nose, hair, eyes, teeth, belly, toes, foot, sand, home, push, pull, santa, baby, diaper, pretzel, toast, corn, fries, sit, guitar, roar, light, stool, clean, dirty, wipe, where are you, remote (ote), mine, turn, set go (won't say "ready" though), icky, ni-night, sky, pillow, uh-oh, sun, spoon, refill, kick, high-ya!, happy, sad, ow, cord, meow, moo, bzzzz....sting, and I can't think of the rest but there's a lot. He might say "I'll get it" or "I got it," I'm not sure.

My goal is to get him to the point, soon, where I can ask him a question that isn't "yes or no" and he answers. Right now, if you ask him if he wants this or that, he just whines.

We're on the edge of many changes. With no cover on his doorknob anymore (for potty training purposes), Fletcher has the most freedom he's ever had. Next week, he will for the first time in his life spend a few hours without any family members. Andy's work hours are changing. We may have showings coming up soon and if we're lucky, we'll be moving. And oh yeah, there's a squirmy baby inside me that we have no clue how we're going to fit into our schedule.

It's an interesting time.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

13w5d hello to you too

Baby is around three and a half inches long from head to butt -- the size of a lemon. Half of that is his head.

They say that feeling/noticing fetal movement happens earlier with subsequent pregnancies and I'm happy to say they were right, so neener-neener to you naysayers. I know a kick when I feel one. It turns out it's a sensation you don't forget. I can feel the subtle differences already -- the surprising thump of a stretching/turning over baby versus the tickling flutter of a wiggling baby deep inside. I don't feel it often, only a couple times at night, but it's like an unexpected "hello" from the great unknown.

Baby already has fingerprints and could be sucking his thumb. He squints and frowns. And since he's our kid, he is probably starting to grow his full head of hair.

I think I yawned four times while writing this. Holy CRAP growing a person is exhausting and constant.

Friday, March 15, 2013

11w6d you're not a day too soon

And then we heard your heart beating.

Honey, I will stitch you
Darling, I will feel you in my heart
Honey, I will meet you
Darling, I will keep you in my heart
I've been running all my life
I ran away, I ran away from good
Yeah, I've been waiting all my life
You're not a day, you're not a day too soon

from "Day Too Soon" by Sia

Thursday, March 14, 2013

11w5d amazed

"Look at you."

"Just look at you."

Maybe the ultrasound tech thought I was crazy, but I talked to the baby all during the ultrasound. I just couldn't believe what I was seeing. He was turning, kicking, bouncing, dancing, twisting, and ricocheting like a pinball. He looked so much like a grown baby as he showed off his moves and various body parts... hands, feet, legs, arms, and perfect baby head. He also showed off a part that, if the "nub theory" is to be believed, indicates he's a boy.

I'm going to be outnumbered.

Amazement. Sure, pictures are nice, but a movie is so much more. And to know that what you're watching is live action? It awed me. He was so... alive.

And for the first time in a long time, despite sleepless nights and stress to the breaking point, I feel alive too.

Upturned face. You can see the round glow of the heart and a faint hand.

I know he can't "see," but it looks like he's studying his perfect little hand.

He measures big--12 weeks 4 days, almost a week ahead. The results of the screening will come in a week. For now, I'm trying to hold onto the glow of this tiny, active miracle as long as I can.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

9w4d random updates

I added the typical pregnancy tickers to the blog.

I fell down the stairs this week, which if you remember my last pregnancy means I'm a little freaked out.

I still get super unbelievably nauseated, but I haven't thrown up in a couple weeks.

When I first got up this morning, I walked into several walls because someone is messing with my balance.

This is the tenth week, which means baby is finally looking less amphibious and more like a baby, with a head half the size of its body, bending limbs, and all the important organs. Baby is an inch big and weighs less than a penny.

Fletcher is taking a little too much liberty with his new toddler bed freedom, getting up mid-morning when Andy has only had a few hours of sleep. I'm not sure how we're going to adjust to this.

Fletcher had his first of two evaluations to determine if he has a speech problem worthy of therapy (or any other problems). The woman stayed for a good hour and a half and got treated to every aspect of Fletcher's personality, including a tantrum so epic that, well, it just figures. The good news is that everything about Fletcher, even his tantrum, was fine and healthy, and Andy and I got the stamp of approval for how we handled it (which is always nice to hear). He's a typical active almost-three-year-old boy who just doesn't see a need to use many words.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A big brother in the making

Fletcher doesn't know he's going to be a big brother. For a kid who's never around other kids and has no concept of what siblings are, there's no way to explain what's coming, even if he did have a vast vocabulary (we really aren't sure what he does and doesn't understand of what we say to him).

But we're preparing now for changes ahead anyway. Still intending to sell our condo in favor of a house with room to grow, we bought new carpeting for all of the bedrooms. In the process, we discovered/remembered that Fletcher's crib doesn't fit through our doorways. So, since we had no choice but to disassemble/reassemble, we made a decision to set up a nursery in another room.

It's strange looking at these little bedrooms now that their purposes have changed. For years, Fletcher's room has been the nursery. Now it's just Fletcher's room, complete with toddler bed and a kind of freedom--the potential of which Fletch hasn't realized yet. When he does begin roaming the condo at any and all hours, we're in trouble.

And the spare room, once a catch-all office with our extra bed and furniture, is becoming a nursery. Two rooms, two children.

Fletcher embodies how I feel about it all. At 11:30 last night he was still running around from room to room, too excited and confused to sleep. When I finally turned off the hallway light and walked him to his brand new bed, he willingly crawled in and lay on his back looking up at the ceiling--higher above him than it used to be. I studied his face for a long moment and saw a mixture of emotions. He liked his new bed, I could see that. But he was uncertain, as well. I could hear all the questions he couldn't say: why am I sleeping here? Is this for good or just one night? Do I want to sleep here for good? What else is going to change in my room?

I kissed him on the cheek, something I couldn't do when he was in his crib. Another change. As I turned off his light, I told him that I loved him, something I always did when he was in his crib. I hope he knows that, of everything, that will never change.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

7w4d? lima bean

Andy said our jelly bean looks more like a lima bean. I'm not even sure if lima beans are bigger than jelly beans, but let's just decide that they are.

Once again this time around, I'm confused by the doctor's timing, but I'll just go with it. She says baby is due September 28, and that today I'm 7 weeks and 4 days pregnant. Baby measures 7 weeks and 6 days, though, which is what I thought I was...

So whatever. I'll count Saturdays as the first day of every new week from here on out.

Next appointment will be a month from now, though I may be doing the early screening at the hospital in a few weeks if I feel like it.

Right now I don't feel like doing much of anything. Even eating, my one joy lately, has taken a wrong turn into vomit-land. Too much work, painful nausea, and a night-owl toddler mean I don't nap and barely sleep at night. I feel like a zombie, if zombies were prone to throwing up.

Hello, bean.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

7w2d Jelly Bean

What was a tiny sesame seed last week is a big jelly bean this week. Baby measured two days ahead of where she actually is. The doctor decided on a due date of September 28. And on Tuesday I decided, for no particular reason, that I think it's a girl, though I'm kind of hoping for a boy because I've really loved being a boy's mom so far.

The bright white dot in the center of my jelly bean is the beating heart.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Time has brought your heart to me

6 weeks 1 day

Today I saw your tiny heart beating, and it felt like I was meeting you for the first time. It was like shaking your hand, and learning that all the time I waited for you, you were waiting tootwo stars moving toward each other across galaxies and finally getting our chance to collide.

Yes, just one baby in there.

  • This week, arms and legs are budding, the organs are forming, the umbilical cord has formed, and the facial features are becoming more defined. The little heart beats more than 100 times per minute.
  • March 22 is the start of the second trimester (or March 15, depending on who you ask)
  • May 10 is the middle of the pregnancy, when we would most likely learn blue or pink
  • June 28 is the start of the third trimester (or June 21)
  • September 27 baby is due (as of right now)

I had a number of songs while pregnant with Fletcher that felt like they belonged to usInnocence by Avril Lavigne, These Are The Days by Van Morrison, In My Arms by Plumb, Sea Of Love by Cat Power, The Very Thought of You by Billie Holiday, Stay Awake from Mary Poppins, and I'm With You by Avril Lavigne (which I sang to him on the day he was born).

And now this is my song with you, tiny one.

A Thousand Years by Christina Perri

Heart beats fast
Colors and promises
How to be brave
How can I love when I'm afraid to fall
But watching you stand alone
All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow

One step closer

I have died every day waiting for you
Darling, don't be afraid
I have loved you
For a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything take away
What's standing in front of me

Every breath, every hour has come to this

One step closer

I have died every day waiting for you
Darling, don't be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

And all along I believed I would find you 
Time has brought your heart to me 
I have loved you for a thousand years 
I'll love you for a thousand more 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

5 weeks pyrotechnics

Can you freak out from happiness? I feel so completely pregnant, and it's the happiest I've felt to the core in a long time. I'm a perpetually exploding firework, and I'm sure everyone must see my pyrotechnics.

With this kind of happiness comes complete vulnerability to the universe and what it could do. I'm at the mercy of a baby that's the size of a sesame seed, whose miniature heart is just beginning to beat. I'm at the mercy of my body, and my environment, and everything in my world. Just let me be happy, please, just let me have this.

Under your spell again.
I can't say no to you.
Crave my heart and it's bleeding in your hand.
I can't say no to you.

Shouldn't let you torture me so sweetly.
Now I can't let go of this dream.
I can't breathe but I feel...

Good enough,
I feel good enough for you.

Drink up sweet decadence.
I can't say no to you,
And I've completely lost myself,
and I don't mind.
I can't say no to you.

Shouldn't let you conquer me completely.
Now I can't let go of this dream.
Can't believe that I feel...

Good enough,
I feel good enough.
It's been such a long time coming,
but I feel good.

And I'm still waiting for the rain to fall.
Pour real life down on me.
'Cause I can't hold on to anything this good enough.

Am I good enough for you to love me too?

So take care what you ask of me, 'cause I can't say no.

Good Enough by Evanescence

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

4w5d (18dpo) symptoms

It would appear that I am four weeks and five days pregnant, 18 days post ovulation. Backing this up are a number of strong symptoms. I've already begun unbuttoning my pants (ahhhhhh) to accommodate the bloating. There's round ligament pain all over, breast tenderness, exhaustion, and the nausea is strong enough to make functioning a little difficult, but not so bad that I'm throwing up. (I haven't done that since 12dpo during the cyst rupture adventure.)

Probably the funniest thing to me, though, was last night about 30 seconds after polishing off a plate of pancakes, when I thought to myself how good a big bowl of spaghetti would be. Knowing I'd feel awful afterward, I exercised a little self-control. But I did torture myself by simmering some spaghetti sauce for use at breakfast lunch today. I better stick with my crackers for breakfast. And cookies. And cheez-its. And maybe a Snickers.

On today's pregnancy test, the test line is dark enough to match the control line, which is right on schedule. Getting my first fairly dark positive on 10dpo was kind of early and had me worrying about twins. (Other strikes against me are obviously having Clomid in my system and being 30 years old.) Fletcher is my first priority, and it's going to be hard enough for him to adjust to one more person in our family, let alone two. Hopefully the beta on Friday will show a normal, average increase in hCG.

The doc is taking things one blood test at a time. Currently, my first glimpse of the baby is scheduled for February 13, unless the doc decides to take a peek sooner. As a crazy, anxious pregnant woman who's had more miscarriages than babies, I hope it's sooner.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What a way to start a pregnancy

3 weeks 6 days pregnant

I started the new year by giving up on fertility drugs and letting my bonfire of hope fizzle down to a tiny flame of light, like a candle in an already lit room, easily ignored. Hope was there, but not really. I'd said my goodbyes to the possibility.

Monday, January 14 was 10 DPO. I took a pregnancy test on autopilot, knowing that even if I were pregnant, it would probably be too early for it to show on a test, especially one of these cheapies that I bought 25 for $8. I didn't even look at the test, just carried it back to my desk at work and went about my business.

Five minutes later I remembered that I needed to throw away that test. I glanced down at it and saw two lines. A very obvious positive. I don't think I smiled. I think I was confused.

When the confusion finally turned to acceptance, that little candle of hope set the room on fire. My first month off fertility drugs, and we finally did it! Twenty-two cycles. Twenty-two failures. And we finally did it.

Tuesday, January 15. 11 DPO. Nausea, hunger, and cramping. The cramps covered my entire abdomen, twisting and squeezing my stomach. (Hooray, pregnancy symptoms!) It gradually got worse. And worse.

And worse.

There was no bleeding, so for the time being I ruled out miscarriage. This was something entirely other, destroying me from the inside out, an alien planted near my stomach readying itself to burst out of my body and tear me apart.

By 7:00 pm I was scared. I was alone with Fletcher and crying and vomiting and not sure what to do. By 8:00 pm I was in the ER in the worst pain of my life, wondering if I were dying.

Part of me was scared of leaving Fletcher without his mother. Part of me was worrying about project deadlines at work. Make it stop make it stop make it stop.

The morphine brought me back to sanity. Then they ran a hundred tests, I had a hundred pelvic exams, and the results came back inconclusive. Story of my life.

The ER doctor guessed that an ovarian cyst had filled with nasty fluid and burst, the fluid inflaming everything inside me. The possibility of an ectopic pregnancy was suggested, but it's too early to see where the baby is. There's no bleeding so, for the time being, I'm still pregnant.

But once again, I find myself saying my goodbyes to the possibility. If the little one can survive all of this, I will be impressed. Baby Deuce will have to be Iron Man.

Today I tried eating and vomited again. The Vicodin has made me shaky and probably even more nauseated. There will be several follow up appointments with my doctor, monitoring my hormone levels and searching for the tiny ball of cells that would change everything.

Iridescent by Linkin Park. It is a song that grows, building up and building up, until we hover at the top wondering how it's all going to end.

You were standing in the wake of devastation
And you were waiting on the edge of the unknown
And with the cataclysm raining down
Insides crying "Save me now"
You were there, impossibly alone

Do you feel cold and lost in desperation?
You build up hope, but failure’s all you’ve known
Remember all the sadness and frustration
And let it go. Let it go

And in a burst of light that blinded every angel
As if the sky had blown the heavens into stars
You felt the gravity of tempered grace
Falling into empty space
No one there to catch you in their arms

Do you feel cold and lost in desperation?
You build up hope, but failure’s all you’ve known
Remember all the sadness and frustration
And let it go. Let it go.