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! 😂

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!

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

You’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

AngelMom, TTC, Weight Loss

Fight the good fight!

If someone would have told me, that I would have to go through the most devastating heartbreak in order to end up on the path that leads to my best life… I don’t know that I would agree to that??? Would any of us?? Really?? I mean, especially not if we actually knew the depths of that devastation– who would be on board for that kind of turmoil!?? Certainly not me….

Yet, here I am about two years after that most terrible event thinking to myself … is it possible to be grateful for that?? Never would I ever imagined that ANYTHING good or positive could come from all of that pain!?!? So much has changed, so much unexpected joy and accomplishment has come from that one event that tore my whole world apart…so that I could have the chance to build a better one. And make no mistake, if that loss had never occurred the life I have now could NEVER have been realized.

    I am over 100lbs lighter, husband is 170lbs lighter!!!
    I have a stronger bond with my husband having gone through, loss (emotional and physical)
    We have learned how to eat- so we can teach our kid(s) the things it took us a lifetime to learn!
    We’ve both accepted therapy and gotten emotional support with handling loss and anxiety – we are stronger for this!
    We’ve had to fight for the life we want. I tend to think we will be more appreciative of it when it gets here.

So it’s true what they say, “sometimes things have to fall apart, so better things can fall together.” It’s never easy to accept, and it’s gonna hurt like hell all the way there, but it is a beautiful thing once you realize you’re on the right path.

I long for the life I had to give up. However, I’m learning to use that longing to my benefit. I use it as fuel for the fire that I need to get to the finish line, instead of letting it burn down my spirit and consume me.

I’ve fought too hard, risked and lost too much to give up any ground now!!!!

For those that are fighting for your best life — keep fighting. Keep notes, for every micro victory rejoice and be proud. For that’s the best and hardest advice to follow!