AngelMom, pregnancy

A dream within a dream

The other night I woke from a dead sleep. Bolted awake by the strangest and most heart wrenching dream. I have nightmares quite a bit, always have… sometimes hubby wakes me yelling and crying in my sleep, but this one my eyes just snapped open and I laid there frozen, trying to catch my breath.

In this dream… it had all been a dream.

Let me explain.

It was a very strange web of make believe. It started with a very pregnant me, being in a fatal car accident. When the impact struck, instead of waking up like I normally would during a car accident dream, it only lead me into another dream. Still peering in as it all played out, I watched myself wake up horrified to discover that thought of me being killed in a car accident wasn’t even the worst part. In the first layer I was pregnant, and the second I was not. Watching myself realize that and that gut punch feeling … it had all just been a dream…..

I woke unable to breathe and grabbed my big pregnant belly and immediately felt her, kicking and squirming as if to say “it’s ok Mom, I’m still here”… thank god. Thank god for her!

I laid in bed clutching on to my belly, feeling relieved and grateful and also sad for the old me. The me that had to wake up to dreams like that. Wondering what the heck my life would even look like if it wasn’t for her!?? She’s not even here yet and my whole universe already revolves around her. Waiting, and anticipating whatever the world will look like once she’s here!!!

Today, I am 28 weeks pregnant and entering my 3rd trimester!! The anxiety I felt in the early stages of pregnancy is shifting. Still there a bit but it’s muffled by excitement, and also by the list of things I need to accomplish in the next three months. Moments like this jolt me back into it and I’m forced to spend a lot of quiet time with my meditation app. Time for quiet. Time for deep breaths and gratefulness.

Countdown to HER continues. It’s more than a dream, it’s my dream and this time it’s real. She’s real.

pregnancy, TTC, Weight Loss

Sliding into a New Year

It usually takes me about a week to really figure out any New Year… between the last of the holiday commitments, chores, cleaning and resetting plus all the work holidays thrown in I literally can’t even find my feet until that first week of January is over.

This year is no exception, and it seems more scattered and chaotic than it normally is- perhaps cause there’s two of us here now trying to figure out the New Years grove??

I’ve felt very chemically edgy lately, which is new. I’ve seen some emotional spurts and a few random mood swings with pregnancy but honestly it’s been a pretty smooth road so far. Lately though, it’s been building…. Very small things, and even some unexpected large things have really thrown me emotionally and I’ve had quite a time sliding into the new year with all of that gurgling inside.

I’ve amped my meditation time up, at the urging of my heath advocate and like it always does (and I’m always skeptical somehow) it helped tremendously. I don’t know why I resist that tactic so much, maybe because it seems like something so simple like ones breathing and inner monologue shouldn’t be so powerful… but it totally is.

Today I woke with a clear head, and laced up my shoes for a treadmill session. I haven’t been completely absent with my fitness since I got pregnant, but between the holidays, feeling physically trained and now emotionally drained I just haven’t had it in me. It felt great. A little annoying how all that lovely stamina you build up when you’re in it goes away if you “fall off the wagon” but it was more about taking that time to reboot and just get a check mark on the day for me.

I don’t typically care for New Years Resolutions – usually because they’ve been the same for me for years! Lose Weight, and Get Pregnant…. And this year… well?? I did it right!? I’m probably always going to be one of those people who has to think about and constantly work toward keeping their weight in check, but at least I know how to do it now.

My main goal is just to be a good human. Be a good example of what I want my daughter to see in the world, and be better. Be better than I was the day before.

So far, today I’ve done that.

Typically in my life I care too much and devote too much energy into stuff that DOES NOT MATTER or serve me…. I’d like to do less of that…

While searching for an inspiring quote… I found this and it made me laugh out loud!! I mean aren’t most of us???? I relate to this so hard!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

TTC

The WHY I write…

Three years ago…. I wrote from a hospital bed. I wrote because I was broken. I wrote because I didn’t know what else to do. I couldn’t bare to keep it in anymore. I decided that to suffer silently wasn’t only too much for me to carry, but it’s not fair to every other woman, man, couple that struggles with infertility who feels like their voice doesn’t matter. That their struggle should be kept silent.

The first time I ever opened up about our struggle:

I truly don’t know why it feels like we should keep our struggles to ourselves. Maybe because a lot of it deals with sex? Your personal life? Being vulnerable? Expressing feelings, feelings of failure?? Not wanting to bring down the mood??

So many of us who have walked a difficult road- whether it’s infertility, cancer, depression, anxiety, whatever the case may be — I bet you know this feeling. We keep quiet for a variety of reasons — some real, some imposed upon us by society. I didn’t know then the impact my writing would have, I just knew I needed to get it out. These feelings, this fight was a toxin in my system and I needed it OUT!!!

I began to write publicly about our struggles with conception, and loss and have for the last 3 years. It is hard. Just going through it is hard. There is so much you just have to figure out by trial and error, by failure, and by hoping others are sharing their experiences so that you can learn from their pain and failure without having to put yourself through that too!!! That’s why. That’s why I write.

A lot of it is self serving, the whole getting the icky thoughts out thing is real. But, for me every time I read something relatable I feel less crazy and I wanted to be able to give a little bit of that back to others that may need that level of comfort too!

Today, the life I’m living seems more like a dream than a nightmare. I mean, don’t get me wrong, even in infertility there’s a lot to be proud of, thankful and excited about in my life – I designed it that way! Spending a whole year with a Disneyland Annual pass sure made that particular year of healing palatable! But it doesn’t negate the fact that a lot of those years were spent struggling, worrying, crying and just generally being frustrated that I was locked in a phase I couldn’t seem to escape. Sound familiar??? So many struggle with some THING that makes you feel like you can’t move forward!! It’s a horrible feeling.

Looking back on it all now, where the view is sweet… it just takes my breath away. All those times I hoped and prayed that it really would all be worth it … not knowing if it truly would…. that, that is the real nightmare. I feel lucky to have survived it all, and to be able to provide any kind of comfort, insight or hope to anyone else is the real service.

For anyone fighting.

I see you. I hear you, even if your voice is quiet. I say keep fighting!! And if you can– turn that volume up. Whatever you’re fighting, you’re not alone. Someone else is clawing against the same demons, and sees themselves in YOU I guarantee it….

TTC

Retraining My Brain….

Sometimes it’s weird, like I live in this weird alternate space where I FORGET that all my dreams are in the process of coming true!!

A day like today probably would have CRUSHED MY SPIRIT HARD in my past life! Let me explain, after work I came home and I’m scrolling through the old internet (Facebook) and in the space of about 10 posts I swiped past 3 separate pregnancy announcements!!! Damn! Poor past me had MANY days like that… and they HURT. I’m still getting used to having a positive emotion when I see that in my feed instead of the preloaded one that used to happen!!

The other day, I walked into the ladies room and there were two women in line – both pregnant… one leaving the stall… pregnant and one washing her hands with her daughter — also PREGNANT. OH!! And me??? “OMG ME TOO – I’M PREGNANT” I thought!!!! How weird, that the first thing I thought of was how a moment like that might have destroyed me in the past. It’s so weird.

The last little story I’ll share, was on Halloween. I was dressed as Chewbacca handing out candy in the front of the house so my poor doggy didn’t go bizzerk every time the doorbell went off, and the neighbor lady came over to introduce herself. I’d never spoken to her before, she’s the mother in law of the gent that lives there. We’ve met him once, and always politely wave to him… even if he’s not wearing a shirt and letting his belly roam free for all the world to see…. 😳 In general though, we are not the “get to know your neighbors- neighbors…. ” so when she came over I was surprised, but friendly. She asked if we had kids, and as I felt the usual response start to come up I realized this was the first time I would actually get to answer this question differently — in over a decade!!!! I get to say YES!!! “Oh! I’m actually pregnant!” I exclaimed and no sooner did the words come out did this complete stranger start coming at my bump with her massagers! “Be cool” I thought, I mean she was old… and nice enough but it was a little odd having a stranger rubbing my belly in pure daylight on a Thursday…. just part of the gig I suppose and I’m here for it!!!

These things, these little moments are exactly what I’ve been waiting for- even if I didn’t know it!! It’s all just a crazy dream to me sometimes, one I better never wake up from!!! So many wonderful moments to hang on to in this, the most wonderful time of my life… that is until April. When it all gets exponentially more awesome-er!!!!!

I feel like I’ve been locked in the same chapter of a book for so long. Stuck in a bad dream… and all of a sudden everything has opened up and feels so much better! This chapter, of this life feels pretty great!

pregnancy, TTC

Somebody Pinch Me

Lately life seems way too good to be true. I catch myself just looking around in wonderment, just stunned that this gets to be my life.

For so long, I split my time wishing, hoping and praying that this fate was possible… and trying to convince myself that I would be ok if it wasn’t. It’s a funny thing when your dreams come true.

Pregnancy is not easy, by any means – but mine??? I really don’t know how I got so lucky. The inconveniences I’ve experienced really don’t measure against the pain and discomfort I experienced getting here. Currently I’m 17 weeks, nearly half way and it’s a mix of excitement, fear, joy and amazement.

I’m constantly researching, asking questions, and wondering to myself how does anyone not just mess it all up!! I want so badly to be a good mom. I just hope that whatever preparation I take now will be enough to get me through all the things you CAN’T prepare for….. I’m sure it won’t, but a girl can dream, it’s worked before! πŸ˜‚

My first child, my dog Leo…. seems to be finally adjusting to all of this. It’s been a rough month for him and this bump and all the change it’s brought. Animals are very intuitive. When I first got pregnant, even before I knew he became extremely clingy. Then, right around the time we found out we were having a girl his entire demeanor changed!! (Guess he was hoping for a brother!!) He started acting out, being distant and just not really himself. As I said, a lot of change and who knows some sort of pheromone change maybe set him off. Lately though he’s starting to act a little more like himself. He’s even started this thing where he comes up to me, bonks my bump a few times then walks away… as if to say, “hi sis….just checking on you”. Melts my heart.

And this is life. Little moments like this. Moments I’ve only dreamt of. Every bump rub…. every time I see the faces of my husband, and our parents light up with absolute joy as they think about our little one…. every time I pause life and look up, and remember “I’m pregnant!!” …. it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced.

I’m somehow grateful, grateful for those years of struggle and pain. Grateful for having lost something so precious that my eyes are fully opened and able to accept and appreciate the beautiful gift that I’ve been given. I’d never choose that life if I had seen it in a lineup, but I’m grateful to have lived through it so that I could experience this one…. be grateful friends!

pregnancy, TTC

Shock and Awwww!

Hey people!!!! Sorry it’s been a while- In truth I’ve written a lot of passages that aren’t ready to share (they may never be), but I knew it was time to share some of this amazing journey!!!!

Currently I am 14 weeks 2 days pregnant!!! Yaaaas!!!! So many super important and awesome things have happened in recent weeks!!

  1. I made it out of the first trimester! YAS!!!
  2. I completed the genetic testing which all came back negative!
  3. And we found out we are having a little girl!!!!! Squeeeee!!!!

The first big milestone, to have completed my first trimester. HUGE!!! I find that I am able to do more things now that I didn’t allow myself in the first several weeks – like breathe! I swear I held my breath for 3 months and I feel just a little bit lighter and more calm with each day that goes by. I’ve been careful not to worry away this pregnancy – as much as possible, but getting through those early weeks was tough! I’m sure it’s something like that for every mom, especially the ones who’ve known loss — it’s a really scary thing. One I wasn’t expecting. I never factored in all the anxiety and worry I would encounter once I finally got what I’d been wanting all this time!! It is lifting, and I truly am reveling in this beautiful experience and for me it really is that!!! I have been so lucky!!! Baby girl has been so sweet to me! No morning sickness, and I’ve even had some energy back and have started going for jogs again which is something I sort of halted immediately when I became pregnant only partly because I was tired AF — but mostly I just couldn’t bring myself to move or do anything that might “shake the baby loose” or something. It’s nice to feel a little more like me again and not be so scared to just BE for fear this would all end! All in all…. I just feel thankful and wonderful to even BE HERE!!

The 2nd milestone, completing genetic testing was one I had been dreading to an extent. We decided to just do the basic level of testing and as long as it came back clear we would forego the more invasive testing. I had a really hard time even agreeing to that. What if something came up??? What would that mean??? Well, to me…. not much. Some parents would chose to end a pregnancy if something unfavorable is shown on these results, but as long as the condition wasn’t life threatening we are in this no matter what!! Or what if they DID discover the baby wouldn’t survive outside the womb…. ugh! Just breathe and know that the universe has you!!! That’s all I could tell myself while going through it and waiting for results! Happily we got the all clear and it’s just one more step toward this wonderful dream we get to live out!!

And lastly… finally the drum roll of waiting to find out our baby’s gender!!!!!! The week before this was the NT Ultrasound and we got a sneak peek at everything… including what Dawson and I both thought was a little boy part!!! Admittedly, we aren’t professionals and the ultrasound tech wasn’t looking for that or outspoken about her suspicions so we just kind of made our predictions and went along our way!! I thought FOR SURE it was a boy!!!!

Fast forward one week to the big ALL Grandparents on deck 3D gender reveal scan! We found a place that does elective only scans with viewing room for up to 8 and were so excited to be able to share the moment with all our parents that we even booked a limo!!! Cause why not!!!? We’ve waited a decade – why not really blow it out!!! The tech was really amazing, gave a brief tour and within 5 minutes she had us looking right up my daughters skirt and I knew instantly.

“Can anyone tell what it is” she asked….

“It’s definitely a GIRL!” I said in shock and nearly out of breath.

“YES! It’s a GIRL!!” She exclaimed and the room erupted with cheers and tears.

Turns out what we thought we saw was probably the cord tucked between her little legs and there’s really no doubt I have a daughter on the way!!!! A daughter!!!! Up to this point I always thought I would have a son. I’m familiar with that, having helped raise my brother. I felt like boys were less scary, you know not having to deal with the whole period and boys factor…. but I tell you…. as soon as I saw those little neon words “it’s a girl” pop up on the screen I felt all those fears just melt away! Dawson clenched my hand and looked so happy! News to me, he had been HOPING for a girl all along!!!

I think I’m still in a bit of shock, but I am ecstatic to be making myself a tiny best friend to share this life with and I can not wait to meet her come spring!! I’m so lucky, and grateful… and happy. I couldn’t have asked for a better pregnancy so far and I only hope it continues on this path!! One day at a time, and thank you to all who’ve strapped in and come along for this journey thus far! It’s been a wild ride and I just can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me, my love, and my tiny princess! πŸ’–πŸ¦„πŸŒˆ

TTC

100 Questions

So….. *trumpet fanfare* the news has recently dropped. I. AM. PREGNANT!!!! After a decade of trying, 8 fertility cycles, one failed/lost pregnancy, losing a fallopian tube, and after tearing down and rebuilding whole pieces of myself … I get to be pregnant.

For my current fertility warrior followers I know this may feel like a betrayal or abandonment and for that I am so very sorry. I know the feeling too well. The isolation and depression of any pregnancy announcement no matter how deserving still feels like a gut punch.

The only thing I can hope for is that as I unfold my story, that anyone who needs to will find hope and comfort that miracles DO HAPPEN, and if they can happen to someone like me your miracle may just be one cycle away!!

Since announcing our news I’ve gotten no less than 100 questions and I’m going to try to answer a few of them here!

1.) How far along are you?

I’m early. I’m a mere 8 weeks 3 days – and I’ve KNOWN for 5 weeks of that!!! Being someone who has been trying to become pregnant for 10 years I’m very aware of what’s going on in my body so I had not even officially missed my period before I got my positive pregnancy test!

Part B of this question, is more an immediate reaction to part A. I answer the question and I immediately feel people cringing at the fact that I’m letting the news out so “early”… my first response is defense – like I get it it’s early but understand me – I can’t jinx this!?! If bad stuff is gonna happen it’s going to happen regardless of whether I tell people or not! Traditionally, or shall I say it’s “customary” to wait until 12 weeks (or after the first trimester) to tell people you are pregnant. The main reason is the miscarriage rates during this time are quite high. It’s astounding to me how many healthy babies are born, each one is truly a miracle considering the enormous risk every pregnancy starts out with!!!!

I have made a choice to share our pregnancy now. Because I’ve suffered loss. I know that pain, and one thing that sucks about it is having to only ever deliver awful news. I’m overjoyed to be pregnant!!! I’ve shared the good, the bad and the ugly of this journey. As supporters I feel like you should be able to enjoy this wonderful news as well – no matter what happens!

Plus, should something go wrong – I’m gonna need support. I’m going to need you to understand how I got here, and I’m not going to want to unpack the story a 100 times. I’ll need people to just be there…. filling in the space or quiet…. that, and I just don’t do well with secrets!??!

2.) What Do We Know? (Aka do we know the sex!???) Good lord!! It’s shocking to me that people think you find out you’re pregnant and instantly know the baby’s sex. No. I don’t know the baby’s sex yet, and it’s gonna be a minute. Usually around 14 weeks you get to find out so just HANG IN THERE!! We will be finding that out and of course I’ll share! What I do know is, I’m pregnant. It’s real. It’s in the right spot, and it has a strong heartbeat!! That’s about all I know for now!!

3.) How do you feel?

Terrified. I feel terrified.

No seriously I wish there was more. I’m living in a world now where I know exactly what I have to lose, what it feels like to lose it and I’m just scared as hell that like it did before it’s all going to come crashing down on me.

I’m doing my very best to keep the scary thoughts at bay- but I sure was not prepared for how scary pregnancy after loss can be. From what I’ve heard … this is just parenthood. Constant, crippling worry— awesome!

Other than extreme terror I feel great. I haven’t had too many unpleasant pregnancy symptoms other than fatigue and boob soreness and for that I’m so grateful and lucky!!

4.) How did this happen??

Well you see when a mommy loves a daddy VERY MUCH…… no no. Not that. Most people KNOW how it happens but wanna know how WE DID THIS!!!??? This happened because we made a choice to change. We did the same thing for years… just tried and then tried some more never really changing the WAY we were going about it. Sure every cycle is different, but we finally made a choice to CHANGE! We took a whole year off trying to get pregnant and lost 300lbs between us! We changed our lives regardless of whether or not pregnancy would happen. After I reached a weight my doctor felt comfortable with we started naturally trying and after the 3rd month…. just THREE months we did it!??? It truly is a miracle.

I fought against this for a long time now wanting to believe my weight was the problem. Feeling fat shamed, and not good enough for a baby, crying myself to sleep many nights wondering if this would EVER happen for me… and here I am. We still have so far to go, there are far many more perils out there I haven’t even learned of yet but I’m here… and here is beautiful.

Like I said up top…. if you’re like I was fighting against a skinny gals fertility world maybe it’s time? Maybe it’s not but either way if I can make this miracle happen I know others can too!!!!

For now, those are the questions and answers I have…. goodnight all keep wishing on stars and making your own dreams come true!!!

And who could live without our baby’s first selfie!??? Just a little peanut…. but also my whole world!!!