Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Weird and Real and Scary as Hell....and Thrilling, too.

Originally created: Tuesday August 6, 2013


 We spent most of the night in the clouds. Unsure if this was a pregnancy symptom or not, I was shuttling back and forth from the couch to the bathroom most of the night. Did I really drink THAT much water today? I think not. 

Chris insisted that I keep checking my email to see if the blood tests were in from the lab yet. I even called at 8:45 but the answer was the same as a few hours prior. Still pending.

I was sure I wouldn't be able to sleep but I drifted off and slept soundly, waking up to pee twice. My usual trip to the bathroom occurs once a night. It starts already.

For good measure, I took another HPT when I woke up. Still positive. I made myself a berry, OJ, spinach and kale smoothie and went back into bed to watch an episode of "Orange is the New Black" on my ipad. The smoothie was good but I had a very slight saliva build up in my mouth minutes after finishing it. The kind of build up you get before you throw up. It went away. I still felt hungry. I made myself a piece of peanut butter toast and got ready for the gym. 

I thought I would check on those lab results one more time. 20 hours seems like enough time to process the blood, in my not so expert opinion. I called. The advice nurse told me that she could just give me a number and asked if I was given a normal range. I should have said "I'll just google it" but I said no, that my doctor would be able to explain. 

She said my HCG result was 854 mIU/ml. From my many years on message boards about getting pregnant, I knew that this was a good thing. We got off the phone and I googled. I saw one graphic that stated that a "normal" range for Week 4 was between 5-426 mIU/ml. Another article said that anything above 25 mIU/ml is considered pregnant. 

I sent Chris a text (he was at work). I said this was a good thing but again, we are still so early in this process. I considered my feelings about being "cautiously optimistic" but "realistic" and wondered if I was going about this the wrong way. Shouldn't I be thrilled? Shouldn't I allow myself to be thrilled? I only cried twice when telling Chris about both positive tests I took Friday morning. Cried is an understatement-I was unable to speak. 

After an hour walk on the treadmill at the gym and a trip to the grocery store to buy some more spinach and kale, I found myself crying in my car on the way home. 

For 4 years, I have played out scenarios in my mind. How I would find out. How I would feel. How we would tell family. How we would tell friends. Who would know first. What clothes I would wear. So on and so on. And now, this is really happening and those scenarios are a part of my real life. 

It just feels so weird. And real. And scary. But also, it feels thrilling. And I have to allow myself to feel excited and thrilled and happy because it happened. I got pregnant. 

Today, I am pregnant. 









Saturday, August 2, 2014

Today, Life is Different

I'm not sure if anyone still has my blog on their radar since I officially retired it but today marks one year since I found out I was pregnant. I'm feeling emotional and nostalgic. I created many draft posts of those first 12 weeks that I never published but now that I've reached the year mark, I think I am going to make them public. 

This first post was created the day I got that positive test. It is short and sweet which is very unlike me because I'm wordy. More to follow!



Today (August 2, 2013), I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. In fact, I took 2. They were both positive. I have never seen a positive pregnancy test. I've taken them even when I knew they wouldn't be positive.

When I took the first one and saw those two lines, I cried. Hard. I called my husband in disbelief. We decided that I should take another test, a digital test, to make sure this was real.

I chugged a lot of water and waited. And waited. I casually strolled to the bathroom (yes, this was all at work) and took the test. I moved away from the stick. I didn't want to be near it. I leaned over it as if my horrible eyes could make out the answer. I had to get close.

I got close. And I saw a "yes+." I smiled. I grabbed the test, washed my hands and ran downstairs to call my husband. It was real. It was true.

I am pregnant.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

See Michelle Blog: The End

This is post 1,260 on this blog. This is the last post on this blog.

What started out as a place to record my wedding planning journey became a place to share the daily thoughts in my head, my emotional trek through infertility and my surprise, miracle pregnancy.

And now that I have entered a new phase in my life, I'm realizing that blogging just isn't in my heart anymore. I see my entrance into motherhood as a transition that has already changed my priorities. I've been on maternity leave for 2.5 weeks and have barely had time to sit down at this computer to type this post. Or do much else!

 I actually wrote a draft of this post on my phone back in January. That is when I started to consider the end of this blog. There are two main reasons why I'm making this decision:

1. Privacy. I didn't include a picture of my daughter in the last post. For me, there is something about exposing a tiny baby to the world wide web that just doesn't feel right. When I post on Facebook or Instagram, I have settings that are private although I know nothing is really ever 100% private online. I'm not sure how much I want to share about my baby, motherhood, parenting, etc. I don't want to become a mommy blogger but the truth is that motherhood is all consuming right now. It is all I have time to think about, worry about and talk about.

2. I want to end this blog on my terms. I don't want to go months without posting, reappear for 1-2 posts and then leave again. I want to say goodbye the right way. I owe that to the dedicated readers I have had for 6 years. Readers who have prayed for me, cried with me and celebrated every single exciting milestone in my life.

Words can't express how much it means to me to have a group of people reading this blog for so long. I have appreciated your comments and your sometimes silent support. I know you were out there reading!

As I type these final words, I have a sleeping 7 pound 6 ounce, 21 and 1/4 inch long baby on my chest. I still cry when I look at her and  I am in awe of the miracle of life that was created. Life is beautiful. It is filled with poop, spit up and crying but it is beautiful.

Thank you for taking this journey with me.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Julia Mary

Julia Mary was born Sunday April 13, 2014 at 9:11 am. She weighed 7 pounds, 1 ounce and measured 21 inches long. My water broke Saturday night at 7:30 while hanging out at my sisters house.
My labor was painful. I progressed quickly, without meds, which no doubt left people walking past my room fearful. I went from 1cm to 8 cm in about 90 minutes, maybe 2 hours. It was intense.

Julia's heart rate didn't respond well to my contractions. Oh those contractions. They were a bitch. It felt like my body was being ripped in half. One of my amazing nurses was pushing hard for me to get the epidural I requested while the medical team tried to decide what to do: check my cervix, monitor the baby or send me for a c-section. My previous cervical check just hours before left me screaming like a wild animal so I wasn't in favor of getting checked.

The staff decided to give me the epidural and then perform the check and apply a monitor to Julia's head to get a better read on her. Once the epidural was applied, the cervical check wasn't too bad. It took two attempts to get the monitor in place and once it was on, the doctor looked at the monitor for 30 seconds and said "csection." I was happy. I just wanted labor to end and knowing Julia was in distress, I wanted her out.

I had been shivering non stop for hours during labor which I was told was normal and that continued in the OR. They prepped everything and Chris finally came in and sat by my side. She was pulled out of me and I waited to hear her cry. It took a minute and I was so so worried. Finally I heard the cry and everyone assured me she was okay. She had the cord
Around her neck and swallowed some meconium which is why it took a while for her to cry. Chris brought her over to me and I cried my eyes out. I was looking at my daughter. Mine. All mine. I couldn't control my emotions. He gave her back to the nurse so they could take her to the nursery to be monitored. They held her to my face and told me to give her kisses. I instructed Chris to go with her. I had a staff of amazing people caring for me. I was in the OR for an hour and in a recovery bed for another hour. I saw the nurse walk towards me with my perfect baby and life seemed complete.

We finally were moved to our own room and settled in for 2 days of care. The nurses and staff at my hospital were incredible. I can't say enough good things about the care and support we recieved. I cried on Tuesday as I was wheeled out of my room and down the halls of labor and delivery. As much as I wanted to go home, I was sad to leave the supportive environment.

The good news is that being home has been amazing. It's been a week now and while this parenting thing is hard, emotional, taxing and exhausting, my husband has proven to be a natural at fatherhood and his husband skills have soared. He doesn't expect me to do a thing. I say I want an apple, he is cutting it up for me. He cares for our daughter with such love that it causes me to break down into crocodile tears. This man that I married 6 years ago is perfection.

And we have created this little person that has taken over our lives in the best way. We love our sweet Julia. This was the baby that was meant for us for all these years. And now she is ours.




*I typed this on my phone so please forgive for any grammatical or spelling errors.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

39 Weeks




We really need to get that one last piece of art work hung above the crib! 
 Also, I'm huge. I did crop out my huge feet and I don't know why I have a weird color splotch on my face.

Hey Baby, come on outta there! The birds are chirping, the weather is mild and your mom is just about ready to be done with this whole thing. It's been fun. It really has. I have taken immense pleasure in growing you. The biggest honor of my life, I'd say. But there comes a time when we all reach our breaking point. My feet (and my blood pressure) are saying it is time to go. So please, let me make you aware of some changes that will be happening the next few days:

1. I will be eating salsa more often. I think you like it so take it all in. And if you don't like it, consider exiting my body so you don't have to digest it anymore.

2. I will be doing squats every night. Feel free to continue dropping down (and out).

3. I might even resort to bouncing up and down on a ball. Don't be alarmed. Everything is okay.

4. When I'm done with work on Friday, take that as a sign.

5. I like to be punctual. It is my hallmark. Please consider not being late to bless the world with your presence.

6. Girl, you should see all the clothes awaiting you. You are going to rock your wardrobe!!!

I can hardly believe I am one week from my due date. Even if I go overdue, this whole experience of being pregnant is coming to an end. And that hurts a little. It has been incredible. In a flash, I'll go from waddling around to being in labor to holding my baby. Perhaps I should save the sentiment for next week, when I'm typing away on my actual due date but I can't help but want to get these feelings out just in case she arrives by then. 

In other news, I decided that I would start my maternity leave today instead of next Monday. So far, so good!



Thursday, April 3, 2014

38 Weeks

We went on a field trip last night. A field trip to Labor and Delivery.

No, this isn't a baby announcement. In fact, I'm grounding this baby the second she comes out. Mommy was tired and you and your lengthy nap caused me to miss my bedtime. I thought that only happened once you arrived!!!

As I do every night, I started my kick counts at about 7:30. I was on the couch watching tv and within minutes, I usually get something. Last night, it was operation silence in there. I counted a few small movements before seeing 30 minutes speed by. I needed a change of location so I moved upstairs and got into bed. After flipping from my left side to my right side to my back, repeat, repeat, I started to worry. Again, nothing. The clock was ticking, I was tired and I imagined a trip to the hospital was in order.

When the clock hit 9:30, I called L&D. They asked a few questions and said I should come in to get hooked up to the monitor and check things out. I appreciated the happiness in her voice but it didn't calm my nerves at all. I never have an issue with kick counts so this threw me for a loop.

I sat in a bed in the triage room and the nurse placed the doppler on my stomach. "Let's do a quick listen before I get you all set up so you'll know everything is okay." The strong heartbeat of my daughter echoed throughout the room and the nurse smiled. "See, she is fine." I laid back and had the doppler and a contraction monitor strapped to my belly. I had some water and waited for two significant jumps in her heart rate to please the doctor and nurse. It took a while. Girlfriend was not impressed. About 30 minutes in, I drank two juice boxes and 10 minutes later, my belly started to move, her heart rate increased and the doctor was happy. Just an extra long nap.

I had my fingers crossed, hoping for an ultrasound and was super excited when the doctor pulled the machine out. She was going to do a fluid check and I was super close to asking "how about a quick scan over her private parts to give me some confirmation?" Turns out I didn't have to ask. The first image on the screen led her to say "definitely a girl." SWEET RELIEF. I was so happy. What a silly fear but it has been on my mind for MONTHS.

The other news was that my amniotic fluid is on the low side of normal. Not in a dangerous range but something to be aware of. Luckily, I have a doctor appointment tomorrow so I can ask some questions about what that can mean for my delivery.

Two weeks until my due date but I will be surprised if I make it that far. I might eat those words later when I'm a week overdue and willing this baby out but you heard it here first. I think Julia will make an early entrance into our world.

I'm ready to meet her!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

37 Weeks

Still not close enough.

In the past week, I've started to transition from "x number of weeks left" to "x + 1 number of weeks left." This is mainly because a lady in the waiting room at my doctor appointment on Tuesday told the receptionist that her daughter was 11 days overdue with her first.

Hence my shift in thinking. My boss suggested counting down the days until I go on maternity leave and I like that idea. I'm hoping I don't spend too much of the beginning of my leave without a baby but I'm going to appreciate that time off and soak it all in.

Some other updates:

-Upon texting my sister yesterday, she replied "Please do not text me unless you are going to the hospital." The demands!!!

-Baby is head down! That explains a lot.

-I fell asleep on the couch at 6:15 last night and could have easily called it a night. I decided to wait until 7:00 to move into bed and didn't actually go to sleep until 8:00. This is like first trimester exhaustion all over again. Luckily, I can make it through the day with no problem.

-I'm said my first early goodbye to a group of wonderful 6th graders yesterday and got very emotional. I cried when I got into my car to leave the school. The next week will be quite emotional and I'm not sure why! I say goodbye to students each and every school year but there is something about leaving before the school year ends that feels out of place. I'll put some tissue in my car for sure!

-My doctor told me that I am having a textbook pregnancy and I didn't even get a lecture on my weight. Apparently, she has given up on me. I've gained 40 pounds and I can't wait to get it off.

Some images that rocked my world this morning:

Cuddles with Kitty before leaving for work. 

Yup, watermelon sounds/feels about right


Thanks. So the baby continues to grow but its house will not. POOR BABY!!!!

Here is hoping I make it to week 38.......