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! ๐Ÿ˜‚

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! ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿฆ„๐ŸŒˆ

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!!!

TTC

Darling, youโ€™re a shooting star!

I’ve been sitting out here for about a hour now. In my very own piece of the world… my quiet backyard. Feeling the wind ruffle through my hair and hands. Listening to the soundtrack of my life as played by the rustling trees….. I do this often.

I spend my time gazing up at the stars. Watching them, following them… and of course wishing on them. Light years away, I wonder if they’re looking down on me as I struggle and as I conquer…

A tear gleans down my cheek…. for almost no reason at all. It’s just so beautiful, and tragic … I plead up at them for a sign, any sign … close my eyes take a long deep breath with the current and feel a full stream of tears fall.

I open my eyes to bid them goodnight, as I always do … and just then… the perfect moment for the universe to acknowledge me…. a shooting star! I mean, what are the chances anyone else was watching at that exact moment in space time…. no, I have no doubt– it was for me. A wink and a smile from the kind and generous universe to keep going. Keep looking up, keep making wishes darling….

Please let this be a sign that my miracle is on its way, spinning all the star stuff together to send a precious miracle my way.

Goodnight planet Earth….

Weight Loss

If things are tough…. keep GROWING!

Today’s random rant is sponsored by a crippling diet plateau!! For the record, my last Weigh-In SUCKED!!! As did the one before that! Normally I weigh in every two weeks and the expected number is between minus 2-4lbs per week… I lost a grand total of 1b in 3 weeks and it is just the pits!!!

Here’s the thing… please hold all your “oh, but 1lbs is great!” – “at least you didn’t gain” comments cause they’re rubbish right now. Just don’t! Damnit shit is hard at this stage of the game!! I’m so near the end and truly, it’s my own fault the weight hasn’t been coming off. Truth be told I have stolen “bites” of forbidden food from my finished-with-the-diet-husband thinking a bite couldn’t possibly matter… well I’m here to tell you- IT DOES!!! It does matter, because I’m not just casually trying to lose weight! This program is brutal – brutal to be on for a stretch this long and the longer I allow forbidden food in my face -even at nominal amounts the longer it’s gonna take!!

It’s a vicious cycle, and goes something like this:

Me: Gets frustrated and/or jealous of [husband’s] non diet food contraband, steals a bite.

    Bite throws me out of Ketosis – yes even A BITE!!!!
    Ketosis takes up to 4 days to achieve
    After bite of contraband I play by the rules for several days — we’ll say 4 of them….
    Gets back into Ketosis – yay!
    Steals a bite of forbidden food
    DAMNIT!!!!!!!!!!!

And so it goes…. and yet even with all the frustration– I’m so proud of how far I’ve come!! Which makes it even harder!! I’m told by at least one person every single day how great I look or some other such raving about my changing figure! It feels great – but with each compliment it seems less and less dire for me to continue losing weight!! Ain’t that a bitch!!! ๐Ÿ˜‚

The positive take away from my weigh in, was that I was according to the doc I’m in the largest Ketosis there is… and I intend to keep it that way!!!! I do feel suddenly more motivated to push away from off-program food, just knowing I AM in full Ketosis and I do know how to get and keep it. I just have to be more disciplined.

Today my Facebook reminded me of this old memory, from about 10 years ago. This is my lowest of the low before photo. I don’t ever remember looking this way, and I sure don’t ever want to again. I’ve come so far, and I didn’t come THIS far just to come this far!!!

This journey is one of transformation in every sense of the word. I’m healing, my body and my soul too! Learning how to process feelings in a more constructive way, not translating my feelings into food is a big part of that. I’m learning how to speak, finding my voice and the volume of that voice too! I’m learning to protect my energy, and what it takes to do that. I’ve had to let go of a lot of things to live in the skin I have now– including people that no longer serve a positive purpose. Growth is HARD, exhausting, painful and wonderful…..

And lastly, finding out that YES… I can do this. All of it.

For anyone struggling, for anyone fighting, for anyone hustling to grow into their new future self … I see you. Keep going.

TTC

My Love/Hate Relationship with the Universe

Sometimes I have a very complicated relationship with the universe.

I’m not terribly religious. I grew up Christian, but I have issues balancing the math when I see how some Christians behave. I just scratch my head and I can’t quite get all the way on board. I subscribe to a more universal spirituality always trying to shift my own energy to a positive place, be nice to people and let the universe sort out the judgement part. I believe, that the universe understands what I need and is making a way to provide it to me…. most days.

But days like today, it’s hard. Day 13 of 14 in the very first two week wait as we start trying to get pregnant again…. I’ve felt very certain that everything had finally aligned (not unlike every other time we do this mind you) and there were symptoms and signs pointing toward finally attaining this miracle only to wake today and have all signs pointing the other way.

I don’t know.

There’s a lot to be thankful for.

There’s so much good here, and luckily we have the opportunity to keep at it. It was certainly the most “fun” I’ve had while TTC in a really long time! Felt less like a “job” or a chore than it had during all the months of treatments we’ve done in the past….

But damnit. Again with the hard math. Sometimes I just really wanna FIGHT with the universe and shake it!!! Screaming and crying and asking WHYYYYYY!??? But the it doesn’t work like that. That’s not the energy I want flowing, I don’t want to feel robbed or mislead… or like the universe keeps breaking their promise to me! How does one keep the negative thoughts at bay??? My daily struggle.

For now… I just ask for peace and calm in light of more waiting which I am lousy at. Bring patience and faith because I seem to be running low all of a sudden. Help me let go…..

TTC

Youโ€™re Doing It Wrong

Sometimes I learn things so obvious and simple that I don’t know how I’ve managed to survive this long as a human without knowing them!!!! This thing I’ve learned, seems common knowledge-yet I feel like there are many that don’t know it so I’m spreading the word!

Here’s the thing about weight loss and fitness and all the conflicting information that exists in the world!! There are so many ways to exercise all will get you to a different goal, and without realizing it you could jump in a lane headed to a goal that is not aligned with your own!! I’ve spent most of my life trying to figure it out! How to lose weight, how to exercise and the whole time… I’ve been doing it wrong!!

Now, I’m not a personal trainer. I’m not an expert- but I AM someone who has lost over 100lbs in less than a year and quite recently I feel like I’ve cracked the code on the thing and I’m obligated to share my findings for anyone else out there struggling like I have been!!

Up til now the program I am on has been strictly dietary. It’s medically monitored and I’m not permitted to give it out because it’s copy-written and dangerous to be on without being monitored. But I can tell you that my whole life… I have been exercising WRONG [for fat loss]!

You see it, in movies, tv shows, trainers, friends maybe “PUSH HARDER! You can do it! Push push push!!!!!” It’s always about more, more more!! You work out, and tell yourself to push harder, do more than last time, faster, farther than last time! I look back on workouts I’ve posted about in the past, and it seems like I was always so disappointed in them. Saying something like “points for showing up” or some other negative comment about it not being enough. So negative!!! Never satisfied with myself and what I was able to accomplish. Meanwhile, those same “not good enough” workouts would destroy my body! I was constantly sore, injuring myself, and for all the trouble… the weight loss never felt like it matched my efforts.

Here’s the thing that I’ve discovered that no one talks about!! It’s a simple concept but very effective!! Instead of gauging your workout by effort – measure it by heart rate! Target/Fat Burning Heart Rate to be exact!!

Now, in order to find YOUR specific actual max, resting and fat burning heart rate you’d need to visit a cardiologist but there are charts and tools available online to get you in the ballpark. From what I’ve read your own personal target rate can differ 10-20 beats but it seems to me at least if you can pinpoint a target and try for it you’ll see way better bang for your buck when it comes to your workouts!!

Here is a chart I found, your fat burning heart rate is in the 70% of max column.

Interval training still works, but you have to make sure your rest interval brings you all the way back down to at or below your target! Before, I would do 1 min intervals of work/rest and my heart rate wouldn’t have time to recover so my avg heart rate in my Feb work outs was 160-170 when it should have been more like 130!!!

This also makes so much sense when it comes to weight lifting- that particular exercise is not a high pumping heart rate activity! No wonder why it’s so effective!!

It’s so nice that NOW, I find that my fat burn zone is a comfortable jog/walk! I no longer have to completely exhaust myself to feel like I’ve done enough!! I’m not constantly sore, and I am completing more and better workouts, sometimes even more than one workout a day!!! I am still sweaty, I still improve my distance and time but not only do I feel more satisfied with my efforts–they’re actually making a difference on the scale!!!

Who would have guessed – if your workouts aren’t yielding the number you want to see on the scale the natural reaction isn’t to DO LESS… but for fat burning efficiency that’s exactly what I am doing!

Just by making these adjustments and being diligent about diet I’ve more than doubled my scale loss in the last month!!

February: total loss for the month was 5lbs – I worked out every day, and honestly was pretty miserable for most of that!

March: it’s the 10th and I’m already down 9lbs for the month!!! And I feel fantastic!

I dunno…. here’s the thing, I’m not telling you to do what I do, but based on my own experience and research it’s worth a try if you’re up for a challenge of your own!!!

I’m still 20-30lbs from finishing my program so we can start trying for baby, but man I tell you my head, heart and body finally all feel in sync and I’m no longer swimming against the tide!! All of this hard work is so much easier when it’s WORKING!!!!

That’s all I got for ya for now! Had to share what I’ve learned!!! All I can do is hope this information helps someone else that may be struggling because it’s just the worst to think you’re doing all the right things, to only be fighting yourself in the end!!!

Feeling like my very own superhero lately! Down 119lbs!

Then vs Now