Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The One With Not Knowing Where to Begin

I've thought about updating this a billion times, but there's so much to say that I just couldn't bring myself to actually form all the thoughts into complete sentences. And you gotta cut me some slack...cuz I'm a mommy now :)

I went to my routine 32 week appointment and we found out I have high blood pressure and protein in my urine, indicating preeclampsia. Two weeks, 6 trips to Labor & Delivery, one 4 day hospital stay, one close call with a c-section, over 20 blood draws, and one visit to a high risk specialist later, we induced my labor at 35 weeks and I had my little baby boy! Samuel Brandon was born on December 9th, 2009 at 9:52p. He weighed 5 pounds, 10 ounces and was 18.5 inches long. Came out screaming and doing just great, 9/9 apgars, and came home with us less than 2 days later. Unfortunately, once we got home, our little man got very very sick and we had to take him back to the hospital, where we stayed for nearly 2 weeks. Thankfully, our little family got to come home on Christmas Eve together!!

So far being a mom has been the greatest, scariest, most exhausting, most wonderful thing in my entire life. Sam is doing much better now that we're home again, and is up to 6 pounds! He is doing pretty well with sleeping at night, at least sometimes, and is basically just our favorite thing ever! At some point, I'll have to get my birth story written down just so I don't forget it. But for now, I gotta sleep because he's sleeping! :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The One With...Um, I don't know

So, much has happened in the past month, plus we've been internet-less, so pardon my absence. I'm feeling super tired, and a little blah, so I'm just runnin through the highlights...

--We closed on our house on October 30th. It is beautiful and amazing and wonderful and my family, especially my mom, has helped us unpack and get things organized. It's been wonderful.

--We still have a billion things to do before Sammy is born. We need to put up a wall so I can do his nursery, organize our basement, decorate the living room, and various other unpacking things. If I think of all this for too long, I cry. So we don't do that much. I just pretend he isn't due in 8 weeks.

--I have selected a new birthplace...we're going to Special Beginnings in Arnold and are planning on a delivery at the birth center (provided Sam makes his entrance between 37 and 42 weeks and doesn't try to be breech.) Both Geoff and I are VERY comfortable with the idea of the center and are thrilled to be (hopefully) avoiding a hospital birth. For us it's a great option and so far we are loving the experience.

--My assistant at work got stolen. My boss decided he needed to "borrow" him until Christmas, basically, so I'm a little bummed at this turn of events. Running a Starbucks Holiday while being hugely pregnant is not on my list of fun things to do. But, the 12 weeks I'll have off snuggling my baby boy should make up for it.

--I'm getting uncomfortable. Please don't tell me how much worse it gets. I am aware that Sam will most likely be doubling his weight between now and birth, and that I'm going to get a lot bigger and more uncomfortable, but that's also on my list of things not to think about. Most of the time I do ok, but certain positions that Sam likes to find himself in are NOT conducive to his mommy's extremely short torso. The boy does not know what the fetal position is. We've got superman down pretty good though. He also doesn't know what head down position is, so hopefully he'll find that this month. He's still got plenty of time to figure out where he belongs.

Nothing much else to report at the time being. Life is good. I love my house, my family, my husband, my baby, and occasionally even my job. I also love that I'm about to go to bed.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The One With My Lack of Packing

Soo, if you were due to have a baby in about 12 weeks, and you knew you were moving in about 3 weeks, would you be packing like crazy and and cleaning, getting ready for the big day? If you answered yes, please come over to my apartment. Right now. Because I'm watching a Friends DVD, tearing store bought biscuit dough into pieces and throwing it into my crock pot so I can call them "dumplings" and researching places to give birth.

Wait, what? I'm about into my third trimester. Shouldn't I know where I'm giving birth? Why, yes. I should. Let's talk about that.

I love my doctor. I really, really, really love him. He's wonderful. But he works in a gross hospital. Maybe it's not actually gross, but it feels gross. And the people aren't that nice. And it's in the city, and so are rats. I don't like cities, or rats, or family waiting rooms where the lampshades have been hacked up with pocket knives. So I was willing to sacrifice all of my own comfort (as well as the money it costs to PARK. when you're a patient. I won't ever not be bitter about that. Do you understand what I'm going in there to do? And you're going to CHARGE me to leave my car here?) because I love my doctor so much. Then, I started hearing about what doctors actually do in labor...that is, catch the baby on his way out. I'm tellin you what, by the time I'm dilated, and pushing, I couldn't care less who is on the other end of the bed to catch him. Whoever, whatever. So, I would like to not be in that gross hospital. This means, though, that I have to change doctors. At this point, that's ok with me...I feel very nervous and uncomfortable when I think about giving birth at Mercy, and I feel not scared and anxious when I think about giving birth somewhere else. That, to me, says more than enough.

So, now I need to figure out what I'm doing. I think my first choice right now is going through a birth center midwife at the hospital in Annapolis. I'm going to take a tour there soon. Second choice is the new maternity ward at Baltimore Washington and we're taking a tour there this weekend. So, we'll see. Nothing like making decisions last minute!! Also, my glucose test is next week...ohhhh joy.

In other news, house things are progressing. We don't actually close the 7th...we have to close BY the 7th. And we close as soon as our paperwork goes through. Like, potentially by the end of this month. Yikes!

I for real should be packing.

Other things to do this month: paint something cool on my belly for Halloween.

The end.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The One with The House. Part 2.

Soo. It feels like it's been forever since Part One of our house story. But 5 weeks later, we are happy to report that on November 7th, we will be homeowners!!!

We are SO stinking excited! Our baby boy is going to have a house and a crib that will not be in our dining room. And I get to set up things, and get ready for him, and not have to move him as a 6 month old to a new apartment. We have a yard! And a driveway for him to learn to ride his little bike in. I can't wait to watch our little man grow up in the home we're going to make for him!

But uh, in case anyone was keeping track, November 7th is NOT very far away!! We have so much to do between now and then--packing, cleaning, painting our apartment AND new house, getting everything ready for settlement. We cannot wait to be in the house and settled--but the time before that is going to be crazy!!!

We also have one other thing we're looking for--we'd like to rent out 2 rooms in our house on the upper level (there is a bathroom up there, and we'd share the kitchen.) This will help us out a lot, especially since my maternity leave is only a few weeks paid, and I'd like to take more time at home with Sam (I'm hoping for the full 12 weeks) and a little extra income would make that happen. Does anyone know someone who is looking for a fairly priced room in Glen Burnie to rent out??

Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers--we can't wait to show pictures of our new house!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

The One With Things NOT to Say to Your Pregnant Wife

First, let me assure you--my husband is wonderful, amazing, supportive, and I love him dearly. He has been phenomenal to go through pregnancy with, and I fall more in love and am more thankful for him every single day.


Actual conversation in our home yesterday.

"Hey, Ashley. Did you use two different machines today at the gym, or just the one?"
"I was just on the one treadmill the whole time. Why?"
"Oh. Well. From downstairs, I thought I saw you, but then I looked over at another machine, and that looked like you too. But then I realized I think it was actually just this fat old lady."
::Jaw Drop:: " WHY on EARTH would you tell me that story?? If you mistake me for a fat old lady, you keep it to yourself!!"

At this point, he realizes how ridiculous what he is saying is, both of us are laughing hysterically, and he says. "Look, you're my best friend. Can't you just be happy I tell you everything??" More laughing...and such is my life.

All this from a man who one night accidently called me "fat head." (I may or may not have referred to our unborn child as fat head first. But that's completely beside the point....)

I hope you all get to live with someone as funny as I do :D

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The One With a Weekend Thought on Motherhood

I love my mom, a lot. She's really an amazing lady. She is generous, kind, funny, hardworking, and a lot of other things that I hope I picked up a little bit of from her (she's also slightly OCD and a clean freak--which, unfortunately and MUCH to her dismay, I did not inherit at all.) But mostly, she loves me. A lot. Not in a "my child can do no wrong" sort of way (my mom is also very honest!) but in a, "you're mine, so never forget how special you are" kind of way. When I was growing up, it was just me and her for the most part, and I never felt like I was missing out (luckily, I did get to see my dad on weekends, so I still had the father figure. Not saying he was absent. Just that the majority of my life growing up was the 2 of us.) My mom worked a full time job--I have no idea what hours she worked. The reason for this is that I have absolutely no recollection of her ever being gone. I cannot recall a single soccer game, tee-ball game, softball game, gymnastics practice, school concert, school field trip, or any other significant event that she wasn't there for. I don't remember ever remember going to bed being tucked in by anyone besides my mom. I remember playing Barbies on the floor (actually playing together. Not me playing and her watching.) I remember sitting in the sandbox together. I remember playing with my dollhouse, singing our Steve Green bible verse songs, dancing to Wee Wing videos, having popcorn with Full House, back when it was a new and exciting show. I remember a home cooked meal nearly every night, and I remember having fish, hamsters, and kittens all during my growing up years. I'm sure there were things she had to miss; I know there were lots of friends and family who pitched in and made my life a wonderful thing. I know that I always had the same clothes all my friends did (and that I was proud my mom knew how to find the same clothes at yard sales instead of department stores!) and I never missed an after school event, summer camp, or youth group trip no matter what the cost was. I didn't notice then that my mom never bought herself new clothes. I probably didn't pay attention to all the things I had, and all the things she did without--probably because she has never brought attention to them. She has never grumbled about the sacrifice it was to put me through an expensive private school because she wanted me to have the best education possible. She's never once reminded me, or even mentioned a single time, the hard times she must have had as a single mother. Rather, she has told me every single day for my entire existence, how loved I am.

My mom told me once that one of the trademarks of people who are truly happy is that every truly happy person knows that they are someone's favorite. The morning of my wedding, she told me I should be the happiest person in the world, because all my life I had been her favorite, and now I was someone else's as well. And how right she is. I never even thought I'd understand how much my mom loves me. But the closer I get to meeting this sweet baby boy thats growing inside me, the more it inspires me to love this child with everything I have.

This week when I was on vacation, I thought I might have a lot of those "this is the last time I'll get to do ::fill in the blank:: before Sam comes!" since it was most likely my last trip without a baby in tow for awhile. Instead, I found myself anxiously awaiting his arrival so I can show him the world. A seagull walked up to my chair and I thought "Wow, Sam would LOVE if a bird came this close to him!" We walked the boardwalk and I thought "Look at that boy playing the arcade games! In a few years, I will get to play them with Sam!" When I was wiggling my toes in the sand I thought, "I wonder what Sam will think of the sand? I guess he will eat it..." Everything I experience now I want to share with him, and I get more excited by the day to meet him and love him in person.

I thought the other day "Man, I should try to think of SOMETHING besides pregnancy to write about on my blog or facebook" but then I realized--for 24 years, my mom has been my mom. I wonder how many times she's been referred to as "Ashley's Mom" instead of by her name. And it makes me smile to think that now, I am "Sam's Mom." My husband is "Sam's Dad." We are beginning a whole new phase of life, and I am thrilled to have been loved so well so that I can pass that onto my son.

And maybe somewhere along the way I'll pick up a little of the cleaning skills, too :)

(For more Weekend Thoughts, check out Life at the Circus)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The One With the Vacation

First off, lest I forget to tell anyone, let's just talk about how My Sister's Keeper is a terrible, terrible book. The ONLY reason I might consider seeing the movie is because I heard they changed the ridiculous ending that the book had. Like for real, I feel like the author invested so much time and energy in the entire novel, and then at the end said "Aw, screw it. I'm tired of writing. I'm just gonna come up with a quick, stupid ending and get on with the next book." I am not impressed. I am also not pleased I wasted so many hours reading the book to begin with. So, that's my book review for the day. I'm more than willing to ruin the ending for anyone who wishes to ask me what happened, in the hopes that you will decide it's not worth reading.

I am tired. Which is weird, since I JUST got home from vacation. But I slept horribly while I was gone, which has made me sleepy and a little grumpy today. Sam has a new favorite game. He curls himself up into a little ball, and then he scoots over to whichever side I happen to be laying on, and presses himself as hard as his little body can muster against the side of my uterus. Result? Mom feels like she is laying on a softball. It's really cute at first. It's not as cute after like, an hour. Or two. Silly boy. (it actually IS still cute. i just don't want him to know....)

Vacation was super, though! My friend Kat had free access to a house a few miles away from Ocean City so we headed out for a little girls getaway. We had an amazing time soaking up the sun, walking the boardwalk, trying an INCREDIBLE donut shop (You must, must, must, find a Fractured Prune. Go order a dozen donuts. You will want to eat them all) watching all 3 of the Anne of Green Gables movies, a whole bunch of Friends DVDs, and mostly just sitting around being pregnant :) It was delightful. However, I've not been married long enough to appreciate ANY time away from my husband, and I missed him like crazy!! I think Sam did, too. I'm so happy to be home with him again. Now I have a few more days off to enjoy before it's back to work. Luckily only a few months til my much longer "break!" I can't wait for 12 weeks of my little guy and I being snuggle buddies at home! (Yes, I am fully aware that being snuggle buddies mostly means changing diapers, cleaning up baby puke, and not sleeping at all....but I don't care. I just wanna meet my son!)

And now I'm supposed to be preparing my information for our store meeting tonight, so I shall be going. Until next time...

Oh, PS, we still haven't heard about the house. Waiting, waiting, waiting. Hoping to hear this week or next week, after the bank has sent out some people to evaluate the house and property. We'll see!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The One With all the Moms

This week, I did something really cool. Actually, I did the same thing that about 60 0ther people also did, and to them it might not have been that significant. But to me, however dramatic this may be, it was a symbol of the changes that are coming, and already happening, in my life.

I went to a MOPS (mothers of pre schoolers) Meeting.

And I loved it. And I think I most of all loved it because it made me feel something that I've known since March, but made me feel it more concretely: I am a mom. I am not a mom-to-be. I am not going to be a mom. I AM a mom. I loved at the meeting when people would ask how many children I had. I always said one (and then pointed to the nametag on my protruding stomach that read "Sam".) Because even if I haven't met him, and I haven't held him, or chased after him, or had him puke on me, or had sleepless nights because of his crying, or gotten his poop all over me, or yelled at him, or laughed with him, or tickled him...he's still my son. Right now. Every time he wiggles and dances and moves and squirms, I get to know him a little bit more and I love him a little bit more. I do understand (or rather, don't understand) that something amazing happens when I DO get to meet him, and see him, and that that moment will be something I cannot comprehend. But for now, I'm just so happy to be his mom.

And I'm so excited about the community of women that I get to be a part of. I am inspired and encouraged and humbled at the opportunity I am getting the join these women (and countless others that I am equally inspired by) on the journey of motherhood.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The One With the House

So. Our househunting story. Many of you know we decided to try to buy a house a few months back, and got an agent and spent many a day and night pouring over internet listings, going out looking, etc. After a little while, we were discouraged at not finding anything nice in our price range (neither of us has any fixer-upper skills...thus making a lot of houses out of option for us, since most of the houses in our range were more "as is" properties.) We recognized the benefits of the tax credit, buyers market, etc....but we just decided for us, with the baby coming, etc, maybe it wasn't the time to buy a house.

Flash forward 3 months.

I got a call from a friend of my families--her mom and my mom are best friends and we've known their family for years. Basic story, she owns two houses. She can't afford both and is facing foreclosure on one, so she asked what the price we could pay for a house was. I told her the top of our budget (which is 150 THOUSAND LESS than what she owes on the house) and she said "Great. Put in an offer. As long as the bank agrees, I'll sell it for that." Ummm. Holy cow.

I can't explain how much we are in love with this house. She gutted the entire thing and has rebuilt everything and it's all custom--crown molding, lighting, custom blinds, new appliances, paint, jacuzzi tub, big backyard, nice neighborhood, finished basement, 3 (possibly 4 bedrooms), 2's so much more than we were ever thinking we could get.

So. We're putting in an offer. And then we have to wait and see if the bank takes it. We're super nervous. The house is at the absolute top of our price range, so it will make our budget a little bit tight, though doable. And there's a lot of details to work out if it does happen--so for now, we're just waiting! Basically we feel like the chances of the bank approving the offer are pretty slim, so if we get it, we want to make it happen. We feel like this opportunity is incredible, and we feel like it coming at this point in time is totally a God thing. We'd completely given up on the idea of buying a house, and this just came out of nowhere.

We're anxious to see what happens and where the coming months take us!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The One Where I Finally Give Ultrasound Details

So, Cape Cod trip came and went; days of work came and went...what I thought would surely be the longest 2 weeks of my life waiting for our ultrasound actually flew by pretty quickly. So on Thursday the 20th, we woke up early for our 8am appointment, I drank my orange juice to wake Nugget up, and we went to the office. Unfortunately, due to a mixup with their office and my doctor and my referral, they told us we couldn't be scanned until my doctor faxed over a new form. Um, it's 8am, and his office doesn't open til 9am, so that meant a new appointment. It also meant that I had a complete and total meltdown (you know, the kind ONLY a pregnant woman can have) in the middle of Advanced Radiology. Not a fun way to start the morning, to say the least. Luckily, they had an appointment that same day later in the afternoon, so I came home and went back to bed until it was time to leave.

When we finally got into the room, our tech was SOOO much nicer! First, she had a little stool for Geoff to sit on (our last tech shrugged and said, "Um, you stand in the corner.") She asked us a few questions about our last appointment, and then we got going! She put the thing on my stomach, and lo and behold, we had a set of spread eagle legs!!! Haha, our tech laughed and said "Well....there's definitely a baby in there--and he is DEFINITELY a boy!!!" Literally, he showed off his goods in the first 3 seconds of our appointment. We've not been shy about our preference for a boy, so needless to say, we were THRILLED! Geoff lept off his stool and pumped his fists in the air, and also yelled "WE WIN!!!" It was SO funny. The thing is, we both thought it was a boy. And we both wanted a boy. So we kinda figured there was no way it would actually be a boy, haha!

Turns out though, Nugget really wanted to be stubborn again. Right after showing us his legs, he wiggled down to the bottom of my uterus and proceeded to press himself as tightly as possible against the uterine wall. My uterus is about even with my belly button right now. Nugget camped out behind my pubic bone for the rest of the ultrasound. There was NOTHING we could do to make him wiggle back up. Our tech was cracking up, because at one point, he just sat down on my cervix and was completely still. Fortunately, she was great at working with him, and got all but one of the measurements we needed.

His name is Samuel Brandon. Mostly we just love the name Sam--we didn't choose it for a particular meaning. However, there are several meanings floating about--the one I love for our baby boy is "God has heard" or "God has answered." His middle name is after my cousin Brandon, who died almost 4 years ago at 20 years of age. I can't wait to be able to share his name with my son.

Sam STILL favors the very bottom half of my uterus. Like, he hasn't ventured anywhere near the top of it. At least not that I can feel. It was really funny the other day at work I was feeling him kick like crazy, so I told one of the girls that I work with. She came right over, stuck her hand on my belly and said, "Maybe I can feel!" I looked back and said "Sure you can. Just move your hand about 8 inches south...." Haha, needless to say, she lost interest at that point! Geoff's gotten to feel though--right in the middle of church! When I sit for too long, Sam gets peeved that I'm invading his space and wiggles up as if to announce that he's still in there. He said hi to Dad, then wiggled back down. And down he remains. Silly kid. I just love him :)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The One With Another Weekend Thought: Heaven

I definitely am overdue for an update post. Our ultrasound story is pretty fun (like, for real--Sam is NOT a cooperative child. He actually made our tech crack up laughing several times because of his complete stubborness. She wished us luck with the rest of his life at the end, haha. Also, he's not just stubborn, he's a complete weirdo. Which makes me, another complete weirdo, love him all the more) so I'll have to share it. There's been all sorts of other excitement--the guy who backed into my car and caused $1200 worth of damage to the back of it (mom & baby were fine. and insurance is covering the whole thing); 23 of my peers and superiors coming in to have a huge meeting and "observation" at my store (one of my least favorite days EVER) and now, this weekend, all of a sudden a HUGE thing popped up--the possibility of buying a house. Like, in the next few weeks. Gah. Too long of a story to type now....since what I actually want to do is a weekend thought for the day. I had planned to do it every week, and I have been remiss :) But here goes.

I hope it's fine if my weekend thought is also a shameless plug for one of my most favorite people in the entire world--Steven Curtis Chapman. My mom and I had the cassette tape of "For the Sake of the Call" and "Heaven in the Real World" was one of my very first CDs. I grew up LOVING him. I feel as though his music has done nothing but improve over the years, and his recent albums to me have been inspiring, encouraging, and convicting. He has a faith that is amazing. I think this was most clearly seen in the days and months following the tragedy in his family, and I remember reading interview after interview and speculations from his friends, family, and the music world in general wondering if he'd ever perform and write again.

I had the distinct privilege of seeing him perform a year after that--the absolute best concert experience of my entire life. And now, the man people questioned if he'd ever write again, has released a new single--Heaven is the Face. And I LOVE this song. I think that obviously, the idea of losing a child has become so much more real to me since actually having lost a child through miscarriage, and now as I think every second of the day how much I love Sam. The pain that he has come through astounds me. His new album, releasing November 3, is very appropriately titled "Beauty Will Rise." I love that, because beauty truly has risen from among the ashes of his pain. You should learn about Maria's Big House of Hope, the orphanage opened in Maria's name...just one of the many amazing things that has come out of his tragedy.

But I've been so struck by the lyrics of his newest song. I find that heaven is an incredibly difficult concept to grasp. It is our greatest hope as Christians--eternal fellowship and worship; perfected bodies; perfected earth...but really, what is it? I don't know. I have no idea what it will be like.

Some of the lyrics of his new songs are as follows: Heaven is the face of a little girl/With dark brown eyes that disappear when she smiles/Heaven is the place where she calls my name/Says "Daddy, please come play with me for awhile"/And God, I know, it's all of this and so much more/But God, this is all I'm aching for/God, you know, I can't see beyond the door/So right now, Heaven is a sweet maple syrup kiss/And a thousand other little things I miss with her gone/But in my minds eye, I can see a place/Where your glory fills all the empty space/And the cancer is gone/Every mouth is fed/And there's no one left in the orphan's bed/Every lonely heart finds their one true love/And there's no more goodbye/No more not enough/And there's no more enemy/And God, I know it's so much more than I can dream/It's far beyond anything that I can conceive/So God, you know, I'm trusting you until I see/Heaven in the face of my little girl.

I think this song is so beautiful. And so honest. He KNOWS that heaven is a thousand things. But right now, he cares that heaven is the place where he sees his little girl again. And so yeah, Heaven is the demise of cancer and sickness....and a sweet, messy, syrupy kiss from the daughter he hasn't seen in a year and a half and never got to say goodbye to. Loss gives heaven an entirely new meaning.

So for me--heaven is a blond headed boy named Brandon who will probably want to play some sort of practical joke on me as soon as I see him, and who probably hasn't stopped laughing since he got there. It's a tall boy named Dave who I'm sure is dressed in orange pants and will probably ask me first thing if I watched the movie he gave me that's in all subtitles even though I kept telling him I hate that. (And no, Dave...I still haven't watched it. And I still don't think Edward Scissorhands is a good movie....) It's my grandmother, being able to jump and walk and go crabbing again. And it's a little baby that I don't even know was a boy or a girl--with a personality and a face and a body and who I will finally get to know.

So. What is heaven for you?

(For more Weekend Thoughts, head over to Life At the Circus)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The One With All the Boy Parts

No time for anything other than this:
Our baby is healthy, and super stubborn, and is a BOY!!! We're so thrilled!! His name is Samuel Brandon :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The One With the Thankfulness

So, I'm attempting to join the Weekly Thought linkup over at Crystal's blog every week. And I'm sorta in a funk today. So I'm not sure if my thought will be....well, thoughtful, but I guess we'll find out :)

I'm pretty much a mess. I am worried, angry, scared, tired, impatient, and every other emotion in the book. There were a lot of details I left out of my summary of our ultrasound appointment, and overall I'm becoming increasingly convinced that our tech not only was rude and gave up on us far too easily, she also neglected other important aspects of her job.

However, the MOST unhelpful thing I've heard in this situation is "You should have demanded another tech!!" or "I would have spoken with a manager!!! I wouldn't have walked out!" Um, thanks. When YOU have an ultrasound and your tech scares the crap of you and makes you think YOUR baby is dying, feel free to handle the situation "properly." Are they right? Absolutely. I have already placed a call to the manager of the lab we went to, and will be addressing the issues. No one wishes more than me that we had realized how wrong things were before we left. And no one wishes more than me that this would all be resolved before waiting 2 more weeks. But for real--I didn't know. I've never had a mid-pregnancy ultrasound. I knew things didn't feel right, but I didn't realize enough to speak to someone. Next time I will. People can stop telling me now.

Being convinced of our tech's mishandling of the situation is rather encouraging, in some ways, as it leads us to believe everything with the baby IS normal, and she simply did a poor job. The "what if" still feels very real, though. And I truly believe THAT is where all my emotion is coming from. I'm not trying to be overdramatic. I do realize that the chances are very good that my baby is healthy and normal and that in 22 weeks, I will get to meet Nugget and we will have a happy life.

But I'm not gonna lie--I'm tired. I'm tired of not having a happy, fun, exciting pregnancy like so many people I know. And I get angry about it. Yesterday, I finally put voice to my feelings and cried, "I just want ONE freaking part of this pregnancy to feel normal!" And I realized that my problem is different than the one I'm saying it is. I'm very worried for Nugget. It's a big part of my funk. But it's also that I'm a little bitter about the way this has gone, and that I can't fix it.

I peed on a stick, and cried. I was scared for the next few weeks. Like, I went to the bathroom every ten minutes. And I sat on the toilet a little longer, waiting for the miscarriage to start. When I actually DID start spotting, I completely melted, and spent 4 days certain we were going to lose our baby. I got excited, but always it was dampened by fear. I didn't just get normal pregnant sick, I got pregnant sick from hell. When everyone told me I'd feel "better than ever" once I hit 14 weeks, here I sit at 18 weeks, still occasionally puking, still exhausted, still not sleeping. When we got our first ultrasound picture at 6 weeks, we sat in the car and cried because we were still so scared of spreading the news. And now, what should have been one of, if not the MOST, exciting moment of our pregnancy (excluding the actual birth!) was ruined. And I'm tired of it. I want to pee on a stick and run around and tell everyone and be happy and excited, I want to feel great and amazing, and I want to be looking of pictures of my little gender-known Nugget and dreaming of the future.

And now I realize...that's not ok. This situation isn't mine to control. And I am commanded to be thankful. I am not commanded to be thankful because everything went like I planned, or like I wanted. I am not commanded to be thankful because God did things my way instead of his way. I am not commanded to be thankful because of my circumstances; I am simply required to be thankful for ALL THINGS. And tonight, I have much to be thankful for. For now, I have a Nugget kicking around inside of me, and each little movement is a reminder that for now, my baby thrives. I have a husband who has been amazing through this entire situation; has handled meltdowns; helped me through this; been my constant support and laughter; made me smile; and loved our little baby as much as I do. I have an amazing family, friends, coworkers...I am so amazingly blessed. And tonight, I am thinking on these things. Not the things that could have been, or would have been, or things that I want to be different. I am simply thankful for what is. And I am thankful that I have been chosen to carry this life. Every moment.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Seriously, Nugget??

So. I really shouldn't be surprised. Here's what we learned at our ultrasound today:

Nugget has a head. Nugget has 2 arms and 2 legs, 2 eye sockets. We briefly saw kidneys, spinal cord, bladder, and stomach. We did get a heartbeat reading, 145 bpm, which is good. We also got a very long glimpse of the brain. One time, Nugget looked straight at us. Also waved a little bit.

Here's what we DIDN'T learn:

Are any of Nugget's body parts doing what they're supposed to be doing? WHY did we zoom in on the brain for ten minutes (when our whole ultrasound was twenty minutes...)? Are the kidneys functioning? Is the heart pumping blood? Is Nugget a boy or a girl?

So. kinda frustrating. It was kinda weird. Our tech wouldn't tell us much. Like, I was in there for about 15 minutes, she poked and prodded, pointed out a few things. Then mostly just stopped at the brain and wouldn't talk. Then she had me go to the bathroom, she tried again for about 5 minutes and said, "Nope. I thought maybe if you relieved your bladder it would help. But it didn't. I can't get anything I need." I asked if, based off of what she DID see, everything looked ok so far. She said, "I couldn't see much." Um. Thanks. That's very helpful. I'm not worried at all.

I realize this is very common. I know tons of women are unable to see certain body parts, etc. It's just sort of unnerving to have no confirmation or indication that Nugget is alright. I just want to know if my baby is ok. I already spoke with my doctor; he'll call if the report he gets shows anything until then we wait. Our next ultrasound is in two weeks, and hopefully we'll have more news.

Funny how much more appropriate my last post now seems...

In the waiting, in the waiting, I learned to hold on to the Heart of God.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The One With My Weekend Thought

Pregnancy is so weird. Sometimes I'm like "Man. I never talk about ANYTHING besides Nugget!!" And then I realize it's because so few of my thoughts are Nugget-less. It's the most all-consuming experience of my life. I thought I was bad the weeks before my wedding, but it was nothing compared to this. Especially the past 2 weeks, as we've had our appointment made and are counting down the days to our ultrasound. As I've said before, I think pregnancy-after-miscarriage comes with its own set of rules and its own pile of fears. I kept thinking I'd hit milestones that would make it better, and while getting out the first trimester was huge, I'm finding myself anxious as the ultrasound approaches. And I have wondered much exactly what I am to pray for during this time. Out of fear, I want to ONLY pray that my baby is healthy. I want to pray that I get to meet Nugget, and hold Nugget, and play with Nugget, and take Nugget to kindergarten, and watch Nugget graduate and get married and live a long happy life. The very strongest desire of my heart is to really get to know this little baby I have come to love tremendously in the past 4 months. However, I am fully aware that this is not MY baby. This is God's baby, and as I have already learned, I have no control over this child. This is sometimes a frustrating thought to me--I'm avoiding all the foods I'm supposed to; I'm taking care of my body the way I'm supposed to...I've got all the bases covered. I wish that came with the assurance that as long as I do what I'm supposed to do, my baby will be fine. But it doesn't. And I can do everything I can, knowing that in the end, I will humbly accept the sovereignty of a God who sees the future, controls the universe, and loves my baby more than I will ever be able to.

I feel like what I need to do is absolutely pray my desires to God. But I also need to daily rededicate my child to his care, and relinquish the control I pretend I have but really don't. While I was thinking through all this stuff, I found a song that basically says what I feel like pregnancy (and, while I don't know from experience, I imagine parenting in general will be like.) It's called Prayers for This Child by Sara Groves, and I love it.

"I do not know how I am to pray for this child,
As his mother I don't want my baby denied,
But in the waiting, in the waiting,
I learned to hold on to the heart of God.

Every instinct in me wants to shield him from pain,
Take the arrows of misery, heartache, and shame,
But in the sorrow, in the sorrow,
I learned to hold on to the heart of God.

I only have 2 eyes--be all seeing
I only have 2 hands--be everywhere
I do not know enough--be all knowing
I give this baby up to your care

I do not know how I am to pray for this child
I want to guard him from everything wicked and wild,
But in the trial, in the trial,
I learned to hold on to the heart of God."

Such a wonderfully neat thought. This lack of control, this fear of never knowing this child, this desire to protect my baby and the knowledge that it's not my job...these are the very things teaching me to hold on to the heart of God. So I will hold tightly, knowing that he cares for me and Nugget more than I could ever dream of. And I will pray for this sweet baby, both the desires of my heart as well as for my heart to prepared to walk whatever journey we will face.

Our appointment is on Thursday morning, and I can't wait to hopefully share all the fun details and the gender of our little Nugget! If you think of it, prayers are greatly appreciated! Thanks :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The One With the Anniversary!

(Alternately titled: The One Post NOT Written About My Ever Expanding Uterus.)

That's right, folks, today, I shall not be discussing my pregnancy, nor my Nugget, as per my previous 876 entries. Not that it's not pretty exciting, and not that I didn't FEEL MY BABY MOVE today, but still. There's more important things to discuss. (We all caught that, though, right? My baby moved. Inside me. And I felt it. Ok.) Like I said, we aren't discussing that today.

Tonight I'm super excited because sitting on my table is a big ol' box all wrapped up and in my hubby's handwriting says, "Happy Anniversary!!" (Also, the reason he had to write on it is because there is currently one roll of wrapping paper in our house, along with about 14 gift bags. The roll of wrapping paper has snowmen all over it and says "Winter Wonderland" and the gift bags all have pictures of brides and grooms or wedding rings. He opted for the Winter Wonderland, turned backwards. I'm so proud.) Tomorrow, I'll wrap up his little box and we get to have a special day!

This is our first Anniversary and I think it's so cool. Like, it's sort of like a birthday, because it's a special day that isn't shared by everyone, but MORE special because I get to share it with Geoff! I don't know if that makes sense. But I really like knowing that tomorrow doesn't mean a whole lot to everyone else, but for us, July 26 will always mark one of the most monumental days in our lives. This year has been amazing. And I'm completely baffled by all the people who tried to tell me the first year is the hardest. If that's true, then I am going to have the best life EVER because this has already been the best year of my life. I have loved learning how to be a good wife for Geoff; loved getting to know him better. I love waking up next to him, going to sleep with him, hearing the door open when he comes home from work, cooking dinner for him, cooking dinner with him, and all the other little tiny things that make our life so happy. Has it been a perfect year? 'Course not. Have there been ways we've both screwed up, and a thousand times we could have loved each other better? 'Course. But we have kept on turning to each other, and have grown this year in ways we never thought possible. I'm so thankful for this wonderful man I have been so blessed with. He makes me feel beautiful, cherished, special and safe every day. He takes care of me, makes me smile, and makes me laugh like no one else in the world. He loves me, and he loves me well.

I'm so looking forward to setting tomorrow aside as a celebration of US, a moment to stop and look at each other and think, "How did we get so blessed?" So here's to our first anniversary! May there be many more to come :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The One With My Funny Baby

I love my baby so much. Like seriously, because Nugget is my child and it's one of those natural things, but beyond that, I have a funny child. Nugget likes to play tricks. The making me think I'm better and then making me puke again isn't as funny as the trick this week.

Our 15 week appointment was Tuesday. For those who haven't had babies, these pre-natal appointments are booorrrrriiinnnnggg. Literally, they last 15 minutes. We sit in the office where my doctor makes comments (or jokes) about my weight. He made serious comments when I lost for the first trimester, but when I'd gained 5 pounds this time he made jokes. (Also, note to self: don't schedule weigh ins right after a vacation in which you devoured fried seafood, ice cream, AND Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake your wonderful hosts brought you home in exchange for playing with their angelic child. Let me tell you, not even close to a fair trade. We win, all around.) Then he discusses my health, asks if I have any questions, and asks if Geoff has any questions. After that, we go to listen to the heartbeat. Usually, it takes about twenty seconds. Doppler goes on my belly, we hear a loud heartbeat which is mine, scoot the doppler down, and then there it is!! Very quick, which is good for a wussy mom and dad who get really nervous during this part.

Tuesday, all is well. I lay down, he puts the doppler on. Nothing. Moves it around...nothing. Presses harder. Nothing. Up, down, left, right, jabbing my entire abdomen and below. Nothing. This goes on for 2 minutes, and we are sufficiently FREAKED OUT. Then, the doctor moves the doppler down, presses as hard as he can and says, "Oh! Found it! Right behind the pubic bone!" We listen to the semi-faint but fast beat, and he tries to get Nugget to move, but Nugget absolutely refused to budge. Which is odd, because usually he is wiggly. I thought this was funny. My kid has already found the only place at this age that he can hide and freak us out. I can't wait til August 6--that is Baby Sex Day!! Also, I'm nervous, since it's Baby, Are You Growing Normally? Day. But I'm hoping the excitement will take over and leave me no time for anxiousness.

Until next time, I'm off to eat a giant bowl of rice. Mmmm.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The One With the Baby I Miss

I'm back from an AMAZING vacation. I was perfect. A delightful combination of time with friends, and time with hubby, plus a little beach and a little city. Loved it. Sometime soon, I shall give some fun details, maybe even pictures, of the wonderfulness we had in Florida. But for today, I'm a bit pensive. I've been thinking lots about our first little baby.

I dunno, it's weird. Sometimes when I am counting Nugget's weeks and excitedly telling everyone how big he is, or what new milestones he's learning (last week, Nugget got facial expressions and begins to pee. Nice, Nugget.) But sometimes I can't help skipping ahead to see how big Baby Ward would be now; what I'd be experiencing. For some reason in my mind, Baby Ward is ALWAYS a boy. And I wonder what color hair he would have had, and if he would have been tall or short. I kind of thought that once I got pregnant again, these thoughts would subside, because now I can wonder all those same questions about a baby it looks as though I likely WILL meet. But the two are very, very separate in my mind. Getting pregnant again HAS made it much, much easier and I am so blessed to have been given this gift so soon. But...the pain of the miscarriage is still there. More than I would have expected, sometimes. It's very weird to think there was a little person that Geoff and I made, and we (on this side of eternity) will never know anything about.

One cool thing, though, was pointed out to me a few months ago by one of my blog readers (Thanks, Meredith :)) and has provided me with much encouragement. Nugget is a child created only because of the miscarriage. If we had Baby Ward, then this little person that I can't wait to meet would never exist. And I'm so excited to see this little personality come alive; to see if he will have my frizzy hair or Geoff's freckles...and all the while knowing this little one we get to meet would never have been possible without the pain we experienced first. Sometimes it's very difficult for me to look at this pregnancy with the same excitement that I know other first time pregnancy mom's are having. I still get super nervous, even though things are going great. In a few weeks at our sonogram, I already know I'm going to be freaking out. And yeah, there's no point in worrying. It doesn't change anything. Plus, things are (statistically speaking) most likely going to go wonderfully. And we definitely trust God with this baby, as we did with our first. There are just still days when it hurts, and days when I am still sad. Sometimes I wonder if I'm being overdramatic--plenty of people have miscarriages...plenty of people have had several! But then I come back to the fact that the world is broken, and that it's ok to be sad about brokenness, and death and pain. As long as there is hope...which there is, in abundance. It's just a strange journey to travel.

Anyways, I'm off to enjoy my last 2 days of vacation. Happy Saturday :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The One With all the Hydration

Well, friends, I come to you tonight as a fully hydrated preggo. I know this because I spent the better half of my day in the hospital connected to an IV. While not the most pleasant experience of my life, I can safely say I am feeling a thousand times better than I have since getting pregnant. It's amazing the difference that it made.

I called my doctor this morning to discuss my recent sickness, and he immediately agreed that I needed a new medicine. However, he didn't want to prescribe it until I'd gone to the hospital to get checked out at Labor and Delivery and most likely get some IV fluids due to dehydration. Ok. No worries. I call my hubby and wake him up, we leave to go to Mercy Hospital. I've never been to Mercy Hospital. It. Is. Not. Fun. First off, it's in Baltimore. I don't like the city. I don't like the one way streets. I don't like honking. I don't like parking garages. But whatevs. I love my doctor. So we'll do it. Plus, I've heard wonderful things about the hospital. I get there, we go up to Labor and Delivery, and things are a little....chaotic. Some of the nurses are running around talking about someone's placenta; some are figuring out who needs epidurals; some are doing paperwork. NO ONE is helping the poor women in room 11 who has to go to the bathroom; NO ONE is putting an epidural into the woman who is 7 centimeters dilated in room 5, and for pete's sake, will someone PLEASE find Dr. Mac so they will stop asking for him on the intercom??? Anyways. My doctor had already called ahead to inform them I was coming and what to do. I get there. I get registered and the nurse says, "Oh. You're only 13 weeks. Just go down to the ER." (I'm sorry. WHAT? No, lady. Last time I went to an ER it took them 4 hours to tell me I was having a miscarriage and there's no way I'm going back unless I'm dying, or bleeding, or unconscious.) So, I, in my oh-so-pleasant-non-hydrated-vomiting state say firmly, "No. I'm not going. You can examine me here." She, equally firmly, says, "No. You have to go to the ER. Go talk to the midwife. But she's gonna tell you the same thing." So, I go to the midwife, and she says that they're dealing with a lot in labor and delivery, so if I want to be seen, I need to go to the ER. I said no, I'm going to go home if you won't see me here. She said, "You're probably dehydrated. You can't leave." I turned around, said, "Watch me." and then I left. I called my doctor on my way back to the car; he was really ticked off they tried to send me away, and called them back and apparently MUCH more firmly than me told them to see me right away. So they did. Hoorah! Turns out I was pretty severely dehydrated, and so two hours and a bag and a half of sugar water and a shot of Zofran later, I was on my way home, VERY happily hydrated and feeling a thousand times better.

Overall, though, the experience concerns me. I asked one nurse if they were understaffed today, and she said, "Oh no. It's always like this. Crazy place!" (Thanks. Big help. Can't wait til it's my turn. I'll try to use the bathroom BEFORE I come so I don't have to bother the staff with silly things like that....) But, this experience also made me appreciate my doctor even more. I think my idea might be to get a doula or a midwife to be part of my labor experience (you know, help me pee and stuff) that way I get to have the comfort of my doctor, but also the comfort of someone there looking out for the medical stuff before it's the doctor's turn and I push and stuff. Who knows. It was also interesting how much nicer everyone got after my IV. I said to Geoff, "Wow! These people are WAY nicer now!" He paused, and then as kindly as he could, but also laughing said, "Sweetie. YOU are way nicer now." So I believe perhaps my opinion at the beginning was slightly skewed. But just slightly.

For now, I'm off to drink some water. 80 ounces a day from now on! Gah.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The One With the Jokester

As my sister-in-law pointed out to me, with a combo of the silliness of me and the even more silliness of my husband, our child has little chance of being "normal." Which, to me, is super exciting. But, Nugget's first round of jokes is not something his mommy finds funny.

See, I was pretty sick for a few weeks. And then, right before 12 weeks, I started throwing up a lot less, and I embraced the 2nd trimester wonderfulness. Then, a few days later, I got sick. Well. Maybe it was just a fluke. Started to feel better....and a few days later, got sick. This time, I waited longer before I thought, "Wow, now the sickness is really over." So this time, I waited even longer. But I'm not gonna lie, Saturday morning, I said "Wow. I'm SO glad the sickness is finally done."

Good joke, Nugget.

Today, I woke up. And threw up. Then, I tried to eat some breakfast. And threw up. Prenatal vitamin? Threw up. Cup of water? Threw up. I finally had to go into work to process payroll, and ate a half a cup of ice cubes...and threw up. So I came home to sleep. This is the worst day I've had since getting pregnant. And really, I shouldn't complain, since I know at least one of my readers who was this sick (and sicker) for nearly her entire pregnancy. One day won't kill me. But I am tellin ya--I'm not doin this for long. If it's like this tomorrow, I'm calling my dr. He already gave me some anti-nausea medicine, but it makes me SO sleepy I can't even take it if I have to go to work, or do anything that requires me to move from my couch. So Ima need a nice anti-nausea AND anti-drowsiness medication. 

This is especially important since a week from today I'll be flying to Florida with my hubby! We are so freaking excited about this vacation and adventure. Back in January, we had signed up for a cruise in January 2010. However, being due in January 2010, we realized we had to cancel it. So, we decided to do the responsible thing--not plan any vacation and save our money for the little one. Then about 2 weeks ago, I started to get really sad about this plan. First, because this is the last summer we have to carelessly make vacation plans without a child to consider. It's also HOPEFULLY the last summer we will have two incomes so vacations in the future might not happen for awhile. Geoff is super sweet--even though its WAY more important to me, and he's ok with just hanging out here, he agreed we could go somewhere. With only a week to plan, my mind quickly jumped to huge ideas that would be impossible on such short notice. Then, that same day, one of my most favorite people, Heather of the Clement Crew, posted pictures of her newly designed (and beautifully done) guest room with an invitation for visitors. I'm SO excited about this for so many reasons--first, she has the cutest child I've ever seen. And I mean that. There really is no other child that is as cute as him. (I'm very much hoping I think mine is cuter when it pops out. But Liam is SO cute that it's going to be debatable.) Also, I have never gotten to meet Heather's husband, nor has Geoff, and it's going to be so fun for all of us to hang out. Also, they live really close to St. Augustine, so after a few days with them, Geoff and I are going to spend 2 nights in a romantic hotel at the beach before we come home.

The suddness of this trip did bring with it some bathing suit crisis tears (don't try on last years suits after you're pregnant. it won't work.) So we have a bunch of last minute shopping to do. But it's all worth it! Now, I just have to feel better, find something to cover me up at the ocean, and we will be good to go!

In Nugget news, he is the size of a medium shrimp. And less than 5 weeks til our sonogram, where we absolutely want to know if we are having a boy or girl! I hope Nugget cooperates so we can get a good look at some healthy organs and know for sure what gender to expect!!

Ok. Time for more napping. The end.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The One With the Lime

So....12 weeks is way more fun than all the other weeks. I'm *almost* like a real person again. I say *almost* because pregnancy makes me sort of mean and grouchy. Must be something with all the hormones. Also, it's mostly when I'm at work and people are driving me nuts (by doing completely normal things, mind you. It just irritates me more than usual.) Sometimes I don't even realize it. Yesterday, one of my employees went to the bathroom, but I didn't know where he went. After 10 minutes (yeah. it was a #2 break, apparently) I asked my assistant if he knew where said employee had gone. He very innocently asked, "Did you ask him to go do something?" The beast within me rose up and snarled, "If I had ASKED him to do something, don't you think I might KNOW where he was and not be asking YOU about it? I'm NOT retarded, ok??" I also may have freaked out one morning about a misplaced broom. I don't think anyone knows quite what to do with me.

Despite my grumpiness at work, though, I am so so so much happier this week than the previous months have been. I am finally keeping down all my food, and am feeling way more energy and just feeling more like ME. I'm starting to show, which is pretty nifty. I've actually been asked by a stranger if I'm pregnant (which was dangerous. But I'm glad she asked...) so that was my official confirmation that it actually looks like a baby bump! Nugget is lime sized right now and has reflexes and is squirming--but of course I can't feel it yet. Only 6 more weeks til our sonogram!! For now though, I am out of words and I am off to eat 12 freezy pops. So long :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The One With the Quote from the Pop Song

I don't tend to have great taste in music. Basically, if it's popular and on the radio, I've heard it. That's about where it ends. I also have a deep appreciation for teen girl pop stars. The first one was Hilary has progressed into the likes of Kelly Clarkson and Taylor Swift. One pop star, however, drives me NUTS: Miley Cyrus. Like for real, this girl is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. So the fact that she sings a song I LOOOVVVVEEE is sort of throwing me off a bit. I wish someone, anyone else had recorded it so that I could hear it without listening to her "singing." But in any case...I love "The Climb."

When I was in college, I HATED being in school. At first I was homesick, then got dumped and was heartbroken, then I remembered how much I hate classes and homework. All around, not the greatest years of my life. During this time, my dear friend Joy said something I have never forgotten. You can live your life as a series of "Point A to Point B situations"...or, you can slow down and enjoy the journey to wherever you are headed. Not that we should have goals, and dreams, and be working toward those...but if life is nothing more than a series of countdowns, are we really living? This convicted me so much, because it's something I do on SUCH a regular basis. Sometimes it's little ways--"Only 6 more hours of work. Only 4 more hours of work. Only ten more minutes of work." Sometimes it's a little bigger--"Only 2 1/2 more weeks til our summer break!" And sometimes it's even bigger--"Only 29 more weeks til we meet this baby!" I'm a huge fan of countdowns. Love 'em. But sometimes, I think I'm too caught up in the countdowns to enjoy the moments.

I was thinking about this today after our doctors appointment where we heard Nugget's heartbeat for the first time. I was realizing how very REAL it is that there is a little person that I helped make growing inside me. And I still don't like being pregnant, even though I'm starting to feel a little better. But I want to cherish it. I don't want to waste the next 29 weeks counting down and missing the time NOW that I have with this baby. I have already learned that in pregnancy and in life, there are no guarantees. Most pregnancies at this stage go on to full term, healthy babies. But this is NOT something that I can count on. I have no assurance of the number of days I have to enjoy the little heart beating away inside of me. Cuz....
There's always gonna be another mountain/I'm always gonna wanna make it move/Always gonna be an uphill battle/And sometimes I'm gonna have to lose/It ain't about how fast I get there/It ain't about what's waitin' on the other side/It's the climb

So here's to a healthy baby, and a climb that's worth savoring. Gonna be a crazy adventure.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The One With the Whining

I've gone to update this thing a buncha times, but haven't, because I'm a little whiney during this particular phase of my life. And I realize that I shouldn't be. Having had the miscarriage, I will be the first one to jump up and tell you that I'm thankful for the symptoms of pregnancy, as I love knowing Nugget is growing and is healthy in there. I'm also aware that infertility is a huge issue right now, and I'm truly thankful for the opportunity to carry and grow a life. I really am. It's a wonderful thing, and I love knowing that I'm carrying something that Geoff and I made. It's truly a gift. All that being said....

I do not enjoy being pregnant.

I feel like the worst mom EVER by saying that, since I feel like I should be writing a post about how special this time is, or how wonderful it is, or something pleasant about it. And it is special and wonderful and amazing--in theory. I love the IDEA of growing my child and I am growing more excited by the second about meeting this little person. I am thrilled beyond belief to be becoming a mother. But I'm very, very tired of puking several times a day, and being exhausted, and being grumpy, and not fitting in any clothes made in the US (too big for normal clothes, too small for maternity clothes...) and crying for no reason, and forgetting all the words that I used to know (this weeks examples of words I have forgotten: paper clip, cilantro, and turkey.)

I can't wait to be in 2nd trimester when hopefully things will get much better and I'll be a little bit back to my usual self. We're at 10 weeks now, and Nugget has grown to about the size of a kumquat. Super cute. Next week we will get to hear his heartbeat, hurrah! I can't wait. My mom has already begun yard-saling for the little one and I'm super excited to start picking out fun baby stuff. We decided that we're staying in our apartment until next July, so we're going to have to be creative with our space and where we're putting all this baby stuff. I'm actually very excited we're not moving, since the idea of packing and moving while I'm so, I LOVE my apartment and its amazing green wall and front door and all the little things. And the baby will only be 6 months old when our lease is up, so I figure it would have been sharing a room with us for a lot of that time anyways. It won't be bad at all. We're getting very excited to open our lives to this change!

Well, I've been sicker than usual today, so Ima go to bed before I get up for work tomorrow. Happy Monday :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The One With All the Carnivores

That title might be slightly misleading. I am mainly writing about one carnivore. And...that is me. Horror of all horrors, that is correct. I've broken a 4 year dedication to being red-meat free. What did I break it with? A big, juicy steak? A burger, piled high with all the fixins? Nope. Dear friends, I ate boloney and hot dogs. AH! (Today at work, it was decided my baby is certainly a boy, since all he wants me to eat is gross meat...and also he's affecting my bodily sounds and smells in a very adverse way. Also, it's my blog, and I can say stuff like that if I want!) It was all delicious though. It's quite fun to be eating food AND keeping it down. I need to gain about 2 more pounds to get back up to my pregnancy starting weight, and that should only take about 2 more days at the rate I'm going. 

Work is nuts this week. Tomorrow, the Regional VP of 'Bux is coming to my store to check us out...gah! So nervewracking. I haven't had too many of these big visits since getting promoted to manager, and I still get really nervous each time. There's tons of pressure and nitpicking and butt kissing...sigh. Luckily, I made a cheesecake to pair with some coffee for a delicious tasting, and if it tastes as good as it looks, I'm going to be earning some brownie points! 

Also, I'm attempting to be a better wife this week. With being so sick, I took a brief hiatus from all the duties of our house--granted, we split the duties since we're both working a lot, but I try to do the majority just because I'm a big fan of the whole wife-taking-care-of-the-hubby thing. Geoff has been amazing in my lack of accomplishment. He's done laundry, dishes...all sorts of stuff to make me a happy wife. He's takin such good care of me! Tonight, though, he's coming home to a (turkey) meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans. MMM. And, he's going to be home any minute, so off I go. 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The One With All the Shopping

So, on a typical day, if I went to the grocery store, this is what you'd see on my receipt:

Green Beans
Carrot Sticks
Whole Wheat Bread
Chicken Breasts

After finding out that I'm pregnant, I'd like to share with you today's shopping purchases:

Easy Mac (that's right. not even the actual box mix. EASY MAC)
Instant Mashed Potatoes
Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
Cream Cheese
Soft Pretzels

Wow. It's like I'm a bachelor! I've been having some trouble with that Nugget doesn't like much of what I like. Sometimes, I get crazy weird ideas about what I'd like to eat (ie, crabcakes, chinese, panera cream cheese...) and sometimes it's just super bland carbs that do the trick. I never know. Most of it doesn't stay down anyways, so eh. Luckily, I had a doctors appointment today and since I've been losing weight he gave me some anti-puking medicine that I can start taking. Hurrah! I love my doctor a lot. So much so, that I've made a big decision. I've been all about going natural and doing this through a midwifery and even considered a home birth. But today, I realized how lucky I am to have a doctor that I trust. It's such a huge blessing that I decided it'd be silly to go somewhere else. I'm going to deliver at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore under the care of my dr, who fully supports the idea of going natural. Hurrah! I'm glad to have that decision made. I thought about still going to look at Special Beginnings, etc...but the one thing I love is knowing that my doctor will deliver my baby. Not whichever midwife is on duty. So, I've gotta research a lot and figure out what I definitely do/don't want out of my experience. 

I'm 8 weeks along (welllll 8 weeks tomorrow.) And I find it hilarious that I've lost weight, since my hips and stomach have grown and my boobs are absolutely enormous. I bought a new dress at Wal-mart 2 weeks ago. I put it on Sunday morning, looked in the mirror, and realized it wasn't fit to be seen in public anymore, thanks to my chest. Pregnancy is so weird! 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The One With The Weirdness

I have no idea if any of my thoughts and feelings thus far this pregnancy are normal or not. I'm sure at least some of them are. But in any case, here's our journey through the past month or so.

After my miscarriage, we knew we wanted to get pregnant again quickly. Timing, finances, everything aside, losing the baby made us parents, and wanting to continue that. I went for my followup appointment and my doctor said because everything was progressing so well physically, we could begin "trying" again as soon as we wanted. I knew the cycle after a miscarriage could be iffy, so I didn't get my hopes up for being pregnant right away...well. I tried not to get my hopes up. Then, toward the end of April, I began to feel a little...weird. I kept thinking it was signs of pregnancy and at one point was SURE I was pregnant. Then, a few days later, nothing. So, I prepared myself to just focus on the coming months. Then, Saturday night, April 25, I took a pregnancy test. Not gonna lie, I'd already taken one 2 days prior which was negative, and Geoff and I had discussed not taking anymore. Plus, I knew I'd still be early and that night was the worst time to take the test. However, about 2 minutes later.....there was a faint 2nd line. I immediately ran and showed Geoff, and because it was so faint, we both pretty much just went to bed not really processing it. Sunday morning, though, brought more lines and more confirmation--I'm Pregnant. And that's where things got weird.

There was no ecstatic jumping up and down; no celebratory dinners. Were we thrilled? Yes. We prayed and prayed for another pregnancy; this was something we desperately wanted. However, we were very unprepared for the fear that we faced. I literally went through the enst 2 weeks certain I was going to lose it. I was able to hope a little, but mostly just was waiting for it to happen. Geoff was much the same. All our conversations were "So...if we actually do get to have this one..." Never once did we allow ourselves to believe that we could meet this one. I don't think this is because we didn't have faith or trust or whatever, I simply think it's because we were scared to face the pain again.

Nearly 4 weeks later, I am still very scared. Luckily, we've seen our baby, we know the heart is beating, my hormone levels are great--all signs, so far, are pointing toward a healthy pregnancy. I'm still finding it hard to really embrace the joy of this time, but I'm trying to start a little bit each day. 

Thanks to everyone who has prayed for us--please, if you think of it, pray for us, and Nugget, and for the strength to face whatever comes our way. This is a wonderful time for us...and I plan on beginning to enjoy it more.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The One With Our Little Nugget

We're pregnant again! 

I'm much too tired to actually write any of the story, but, I would like to say that we're super excited about Nugget's heartbeat of 100 beats per minute at 6weeks, 3 days. We also are SURE there is lots of hormone in there, as I am experiencing all the delights of morning sickness. (Although I think the "morning" part of that is a cruel joke.) We're very nervous, but also so thankful for the way things are going so far. Our next appointment is Thursday the 28th. Hurrah!

Monday, May 4, 2009

The One With Dying

I've lost a pretty fair number of people that I love in my life--more than most people my age. This isn't something I'm a particularly huge fan of; however, it is a huge part of who I am today. I thought I had a pretty good grip on my thoughts of death and dying, but this week I am experiencing something new--actually being part of the process. See, the people closest to me that I've lost, I wasn't really there. I dealt with the aftermath more than the dying. With my friend Dave it was a little bit of a process, since it was a roller coaster ride as we waited to see what would happen--but it all happened hours away from me. I never got to see him, or say goodbye, or anything. Brandon died super suddenly...grandparents I guess I was a little more aware of things going on, but I was younger and thus not as much a part of what was happening.

My grandmother (mom's mom) is very, very sick. She is dying. And she knows. I went to see her tonight, and we know it may be one of the last times we get to see her and actually have 2 way communication. She knows her time is limited, and she's scared. She also can still tell little jokes, open her eyes a bit, and knows who we all are. We don't know how long this will last, but it's very sad to watch. And it made me think--sometimes, I think death, especially in elderly people, seems...natural. I mean, everyone dies. You get old, body stops working, end of story. It's sad, and painful, and all that stuff....but man. It's so NOT natural. It's so opposite of the way God intended life to happen. And it's SUCH a picture of how incredibly broken world is. Doesn't matter if you're an unborn child, a 20 year old boy, a 29 year old man, a 64 year old woman, or a 92 year old man...death is awful.

Also, it got me thinking. I've wondered before about a few things. Would I want tubes and machines to help keep me alive? No. Definitely not. When it's time to go, it's time to go. I am not interested in artificially prolonging that. But more than that, I wondered...would I want the chance to say goodbye? Would I want this in between time, when I know I'm dying, but not dead? I know many people would. But I don't. I don't want to know I'm going, don't want to sit while people cry around me, don't even want to say goodbye. I'd rather live my life knowing I don't NEED to say goodbye because things have already been said. And I sort of wonder how well I do that. In some ways, I think I do. I'm pretty confident that if I die tomorrow, my husband will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that he is my hero, my strength, my joy, my best friend, and the love of my life. I am sure that Trip and Joy know that they are some of the most influential and important people in my life and without their friendship I do not know where I'd be. But in other ways, I wonder. Does my mom know how much I admire and respect her? Do my little sisters know how much I love them? Do my co-workers know how much they make me look forward to coming into my job? Does my sis-in-law Kristen know that every single time we talk, I'm grinning because of how happy she always is? Do Tim, Bethany, Kat, Jill, Holly, Becky, and Brian know how closely I hold them to my heart?

Sometimes, I'm not sure. But I know that at the end of my life, if I could choose just ONE thing to have people say about me, it would be this: She loved well. That's what I want. Looks like I've got some living, and loving to do!

(Also, people should say that I'm funny. Good thing my gravestone can say whatever I want. It could even say, "Ross Geller, Good at Marriage.")

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The One With the Reflection

A few years ago, I went through a tough time, spiritually and emotionally. After a series of losses, culminating in a tragedy that struck me quite hard, I sort of detatched myself emotionally from life, and from the people in it. I was under the opinion that as long as people couldn't get to me, they couldn't hurt me. Loss, death, pain, betrayal--none of them hold any power if you aren't invested in someone. This plan, however, is severely flawed, since life without investing in people is really And your heart might be safe, but it's also cold, and empty, and leaves you feeling sort of hollow. It's safe, but miserable. This time in my life is when I read my favorite C.S. Lewis quote of all time:

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”

I can say with great confidence that my heart, though it has been wrung and broken at times, has been penetrated with beauty, love, life, joy, happiness, laughter, and thousands of moments that have been nothing less than glimpses into a life of eternal communion with One who will never hurt my heart. But sometimes I wonder what I missed in those times when my heart was indeed locked in my casket of selfishness. I know the people I hurt, I know the relationships I needed to mend, and the restoration that needed to happen. But how many moments of laughter did I miss? How many beautiful days? How many people did I miss the chance to love? And how many of those chances will I never get back?

I'm thinking through this tonight as I am allowing my heart to once again be wrung. And I am preparing for it to be broken again. But I refuse to lock my heart up again. I refuse to choose the easy path of fear and control. I will be vulnerable. And I will love with reckless abandon, for however long I am given the chance.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The One With Nothing to Say

Hi :)

I have not a lot of coherent or useful things to throw out into cyber world right now.

Just wanted to say I'm doing much better, and am out of the little puddle of muck and back into normal functioning mode. Hoorah!

I have amazing friends.

The End.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The One With Not So Much Handling It

Since I've blogged so much about my experience so far, and most of it has been handled really positively by both me and Geoff, I feel it only fair to post in the times when I'm not handling it so well. Not because I feel as though I owe it to my readers, since I do feel this sort of grief is very acceptably handled privately, but more because I feel like if I don't, I haven't been honest about the road that I'm walking. Facing it this way is a good way for me to able to look back and see the truth of my emotions in this and not just the easy times of it.

I'm terribly, terribly sad today. It actually started last night after the Good Friday service, and my poor husband had to watch me sob myself to sleep. In grief, there's so many different stages. I feel I've successfully passed through stage where I know my baby is gone. However, the permanence of that is still hitting me. I understand the pain of, there is no baby right now. The thought of the spring...summer...fall...and winter, when he would have been due....that keeps hitting me in little ways. I'm NOT pregnant. This baby isn't going to be here in November, he won't have a birthday, he won't go off to school. The pain of the future is becoming a little more real to me. I miss being pregnant, and I miss the little baby I won't get to meet.

That's all I have for today. God is still good. Still in control. He's convinced me of that, strongly enough that even on days like today, I still know it's true. And as I was so wonderfully reminded last night, I am NOT God. I would make a terrible, terrible God and I rest in the true God alone for my strength in the midst of the darkness. I'm tremendously thankful for the people he's placed on this road with me to love me and push me along through the bad days.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The One With All the Redemption

A few years ago, I went through a pretty difficult time. During that, there were few people I allowed close enough to give me any sort of helpful words or prayers or anything. The ones that did get through, however, were incredible. I remember reading an e-mail from my friend Bethany and at the end, she said that she was looking forward to seeing the person that emerged from this; seeing the ways that God would grow me and change me, and that she trusted that God loved me too much to waste my pain. At that point in time, I was pretty convinced that God didn't love me that much at all, and that every moment of pain was indeed wasted, so I don't recall being especially touched by those words.

Flash forward.

I was rethinking these words this week, and how powerful the love of God truly is. I was thinking about the fact that we experience pain, loss, death, many broken dreams, broken relationships. What's the point? Why? 

I don't think we'll ever understand the answers to those questions, this side of eternity. I don't think we're meant to understand the mind and ways of a God is infinitely higher than ours. I think he provides us with glimpses of his character, however, and THAT is what pulls us through. The thing that has encouraged me most in the past week and half is this simple truth: my God loves redemption.

I believe that God, at any moment, could step in and right the path of destruction we see around us. He could cure the disease, heal the sick, raise the dead. Any of it; all of it. But he doesn't. He allows us to experience heartache and the harrowing effects of our own personal sin. But I believe that goodness is coming. I don't believe that all of this will come on this side of heaven. Much of the true goodness and true redemption that is to come we must wait for. But I know that every tear will be redeemed.

And that makes it easier to experience the hard times. It's painful yes--but the true pain comes in not knowing if there will be an end. If there's really a point to it. But if God loves redemption more than our pain, we have nothing to fear. That doesn't make it easier, and it doesn't make it hurt less. But it makes it worth it. It makes us able to hold on, for just a second longer...and then another second...for however many seconds it takes for Him to redeem the pain. WE have already been redeemed. How, then, can we think our heartache would not be?

I was already thinking through many of these thoughts, and processing through what it really means to give over my heartache. Then, I went over to one of my favorite blogs ( and found this song. It is amazing. It also was posted by a woman who today is celebrating/mourning the death of her baby who was born, and died, on this day last year. The faith I see in people around me astounds me. Again, not because they are faithful. But because HE is faithful.

the cruelest word, the coldest heart
the deepest wound, the endless dark
the lonely ache, the burning tears
the bitter night, the wasted years
life breaks and falls apart
but we know these are places
where grace is soon to be so amazing
they may be unfulfilled
they may unrestored
but when anything that's shattered
is laid before the Lord
just watch and see--
it will not be unredeemed

what amazing hope. in the midst of all of the trials of life, there is grace. grace for the moments now, and a grace beyond anything we can imagine. 

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The One With the 4 Day Weekend

This weekend, we were supposed to be chasing after a bunch of middle and high schoolers at the annual AACS Spring Fling. I've been wanting to go back and be a counselor pretty much since I graduated, so I wish things would have turned out differently. However, both Geoff and I going meant we would have been counseling different cabins, obviously, thus not sleeping together or really being able to spend time together during the day, as our cabins would be demanding our attention. While I'm doing well, I was not prepared for a weekend of sleeping alone in a bunk, and not having my husband to hug me and make me giggle when I need it. The downside is that, obviously, we aren't there. The upside is that now we have 4 days off in a row to enjoy each other.

First, I'd like to complain just a tad. When in the world did carnivals become the most expensive activity ever?? We tried to go last night, and ended up leaving because it would have cost TEN DOLLARS for us to ride the Ferris Wheel. I'm sorry, but ten dollars? If I'm paying ten dollars, it better taste really good, or last a long time. So, no carnival. Luckily, Geoff took my to my FAVORITE dessert place, Cate's Creamy Custard...and since I'm like a 5 year old sometimes, the rainbow sprinkles made me forget all about the carnival.

Also, I'd like to confess something. I love Twilight. I watched the movie last week, and did not enjoy it. Then, Geoff bought the book, and I made fun of him. Then I "borrowed" the book, and Geoff hasn't seen it since. I've now seen the movie two more times, and have already set up borrowing book 2 (certainly NOT from my little sister. She's 17. And I'm 24. My reading preferences are far too advanced and mature to be borrowing books from her. After my 13 year old sister reads them too. that would just be ridiculous.) In any case, it is truly one of the more addicting series I've ever read. I actually can't remember the last time I cared so much about what would happen in a book (I think it was back in college when I was reading the O'Malley series. Also, I just said "back in college" like it was so long ago. ha.)

So today I believe we are going to go see the Cherry Blossoms in DC. I've never been before, and neither has Geoff, so we decided we should take advantage of the awesome weather and enjoy some outside time. We haven't really planned too many more fun activities for ourselves, as I also have been very, very tired and slightly more sad the past 2 days. I think God knew exactly how much strength and grace I'd need to get through my work week, and I got it. And now I need rest. So I'm gettin it :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

The One With All the Faith

In one of the best experiences of my life, Hubby and I went with my parents to the Steven Curtis Chapman/Michael W. Smith United Tour. We actually were supposed to go to this concert back in October, but there was a  mixup with getting the tickets, and so we missed it. I'm now so very, very thankful that we did, because this was a much more opportune time for me to be in the presence of God in such an amazing way.

You can hear all sorts of people talk about the goodness of God. You can sit in church and learn about his grace, mercy, sovereignty, and love. You can know all the verses, all the lyrics and have everything wrapped up in the neat little boxes of "Christianity." But then, you can hear it from a man who less than a year past burying his 5 year old daughter, who not only has had to wrestle with God and what his goodness really means, but who has chosen to do so in the eyes of countless other believers. I was so blessed. I knew as we walked in the doors to the sound of him leading the audience in "Blessed Be" that this concert would be like any other I had attended. As we lifted our voices to sing "You give and take away/You give and take away/My heart will choose to say/Lord, blessed be your name" I felt the tears streaming down my face as I reflected on my own loss, and my own glimpses of God's grace in the past 6 days. There were so many moments where he gave us a glimpse of his brokenness, a peak into the pain he has experienced in the past 10 months. But deeper than that was an incredible hope and faith; a certainty that won over confusion and emptiness. My favorite song of the evening was "Yours." It's an amazing song to begin with, one he recorded before Maria died. After she went to heaven, he was processing through some of his grief and realized that he hadn't completed his song. The fourth verse, now added on the re-released version goes like this: "I've walked the valley of Death's shadow/So deep and dark I could barely breathe/I've had to let go of more than I can bear/And questioned everything that I believe/but still even here/in this great darkness/a comfort and hope come breaking through/and I can say in life or death/God, we belong to you/It's all yours, God." To be able to write those words so soon after such a tragedy is astounding to me. And while I appreciate his faith and openness, I also know that ALL of the glory of his story belongs to God. There is nothing about him that makes him able to speak those words--it is ALL by the grace of God.

I can say that firmly because I know that every moment of happiness and peace and even laughter that I've experienced this week (and there have been MANY!) have been nothing to do with my strong faith, or my wonderful handling of this situation--but have been the direct result of God's grace. I am in awe that he has protected my heart so well from anger and confusion; that he has given me the strength to handle each day of this. It is 100% for the glory of God and 0% anything I've done. I'm not typically a great handler of tough times--just ask anyone who talked to me the year after my cousin died. I'm a dweller, a despair-er, a wallower. God, and God alone, has lifted me from this pit and is keeping me from the valley this time. I do not know why. But I am so incredibly thankful. I owe much to all of you as well--you have loved my husband and I tremendously well. We have had wonderful week, growing together and being blessed. 

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts :)

Monday, March 30, 2009

The One With Handling It

It's been a long few days for us, and I'd like to thank everyone for their kind words. Each facebook wall posting, message, chat, text message, voicemail and visit has been cherished. I have gotten more hugs in the past 3 days than I have in the past month...and I love me some hugs.

We, overall, are handling our loss quite well. What I mean by that is that I am not struggling with believing lies or giving into asking questions I should not be asking. I do not think that this was my fault, or that there was anything I could do to change it. I'm not scared that this is some sign I am incapable of carrying children. I believe that these things happen, that they are outside of our control, and that this side of heaven I will never understand why I will not hold the child I was growing. I'm not going to try. One of my favorite lines from a MercyMe song is a line in "Homesick" where he says, "Help me, Lord, cuz I don't understand your ways/And the reasons why, I wonder if I'll ever know/But even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same." And I think that's a very profound point. Understanding why would not help me miss my baby any less. The sadness is coming from a loss, and I believe I am supposed to mourn that loss. I am not supposed to wallow, or sink into depression, or give into anger, despair, or any of that--but mourn, yes. I don't need to understand why this happened. I need to understand that my baby is with Jesus, and that I have completed the job I was called to do.

Geoff is doing well, too. He has been a wonderful support for me. It's funny, because SO many women say they deal with this on their own because they physical aspect of it adds so much more to deal with. In some ways, I agree. But I also think that because it happened so early in my pregnancy, we are dealing with some of the same emotions. What I mean is that, because I was so early (and I don't know if what I'm about to say is completely normal or not) I bonded much more with the IDEA of my child than actually physically WITH my child. I mean, yes, my body began to change, and I was aware of what was happening, but I wouldn't say I really felt like I bonded with the physical part of things. So I think both of us are extremely broken over the idea of losing our child, and he can grasp that just as well as me.

The harder part about dealing with the physical part of things for me is that it's such a continuing process. Without going into way too much detail that no one needs or wants to know, my biggest prayer right now is simply for the bleeding to stop. It's very hard to accept the "loss" when it's more of an ongoing "losing." I feel as though I will be able to more effectively move on and become actively involved in life again when that side of things is complete. I have a doctors appointment tomorrow to see how everything is going and making sure everything is ok. I'm very thankful that this appointment worked out at a time where Geoff will be able to come with me.

I do feel as though we're handling it well in the sense that we firmly believe God's graciousness and goodness are not absent from us and our current situation. This does not mean we are ok. Our hearts are hurting and broken, and there are many, many tears that have been shed and will continue to pour out. We miss our baby, and the excitement all the planning and talking of being parents was bringing us. Our days are long, and my nights have been longer. I have had a lot of trouble sleeping, and I'm very tired.

But again, God is good. Above all, he is working for HIS glory, not mine. Some have asked if we regret telling so many people--Absolutely not. I'm very proud and feel blessed to have carried that life for as long as I got to, and I'm thankful for everyone who shared our joy. And now we have just as many people to share our sorrow. That is what the body of Christ is for! Is it going to be hard to answer the question, "How's the baby?" Sure. Does that pain negate the sheer joy we felt for 11 days that we got to be his parents? Not at all. 

Thank you for your continued prayers. Our pain is sharp at times, and our trust in God does not diminish our sadness. We are fully confident that His glory is already being revealed in this situation, and while this is not what I would have chosen for myself, I am trusting that he will give me exactly the strength I need to get through each moment. I love you all.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The One With the Longest Day of My Life.

Baby Ward is no longer being grown in me. Now, he's being grown in heaven. It has been a long, and tremendously sad day.

Perhaps I should be sleeping. But I want to remember the details of the day as they happened. And I know many of those that love us will want to hear the story as well. Sorry if there's too much info about anything. But it's my's how I roll.

Yesterday, I had some mild cramping in the afternoon. I didn't worry too much about it, and decided just to relax, drink some tea, and take it easy for the evening. I began to feel better and didn't think anything else of it. This morning I woke up feeling pretty horrible, and was thinking this must be the day I began feeling morning sickness (until this point, I'd had no symptoms other than extreme exhaustion.) I went in for my shift at work, but was convinced by my dear friend and assistant Tim that I should go back home, rest for a little bit, and come back in the afternoon to finish out my shift. We debated for awhile (I didn't want to be a wuss) but I finally agreed and came home. I decided to try and get some food in my system, as I also needed to take my pre-natal vitamin and knew it might make me more nauseous. I cooked some eggs, and then went to use the bathroom before I sat down with my plate. I sat on the toilet, looked at my underwear and saw a big, bright red circle. Instant sobbing. I called my mom and asked her to pick me up; she immediately hung up the phone and hopped in the car. I then called my husband, who was in Lynchburg, VA and told him what was going on and asked him to come home right away. He too, hopped in his car and began the trip. I also called my dear friend Joy, who has been through this experience and was able to calm me down a little bit. Then my mom arrived, and the longest 4 hours of my life began.

As I was still not sure I was miscarrying (there was nothing so far that convinced me. just things that scared me) the ER was the place to go. However, they were having a bit of an...unprofessional day it seemed. Every step of the way took FOREVER and they didn't properly pass my charts around, so every single person I saw (which totaled 7) had to ask my name and "Why are you here?" Super fun question to answer. The lady who did my ultrasound was a nutcase. She barely spoke English, and asked me if I was pregnant. (If you don't know that, stop touching me and find someone who's at least GLANCED at my chart.) Also, in the middle of the transvaginal sonogram (ps. NOT comfortable) someone busted in while I was spread eagle. Most embarrassing thing ever. People need to knock. Always. End of story. 

(Luckily, my mom stayed by my side every step of the way today. I can't explain how thankful I am for that.)

About an hour into this experience, I went to the bathroom and knew for sure that I had miscarried, as much more evidence greeted me in the toilet. However, once you start, you can't very well diagnose yourself and leave, so you're stuck in the twilight zone of complete stupidity. I FINALLY was diagnosed with a miscarriage and got to leave. It's a very weird feeling. They tell you that you "had" a miscarriage. I called people to tell them I "lost" the baby. All this makes it sound so...past tense. It's not. I'm still bleeding as I type this. It's a pretty horrible feeling, because it's like it's happening again every time I go to the bathroom. I want it to be over.

Physically, the pain is not nearly what it could be. I was only about 6 weeks, thus my body is having a relatively easy time of doing everything it needs to. I'm still cramping, but it's nothing worse than period cramps. I'm tired and have a headache, but that's more due to all he crying I've done. Strictly physically speaking, I'm very blessed that things are going the way they are.

Emotionally, we're having a rough time of it, but holding up. I was extremely glad to get a visit from my friend Joy and even more happy to finally see my sweet, sweet husband. This sounds horrible, but I'm going to say it anyway. Geoff is very, very sad about this and it's making it much easier for me. I know many women who have said they feel lonely because their husbands don't "get" what a terrible loss it is. Geoff is grasping the pain of all of this and basically handling it as badly as me. (Not that we're doing horribly. Just that he is feeling the same pain.) As hard as it is to see him hurting so much, it's also a comfort to have his sweet tears mixing with mine instead of crying alone. I know he would comfort me either way, but to share it together is so much better.

Those who know me know that I do NOT spout off happy, Christian, bible-college things to say unless I firmly believe them. There have been times in my life when I have been so bold as to admit that I lacked the belief that God was good, or in control; times when I've openly questioned his sovereignty. If I did not believe this to the depths of my being, I would NOT say it: God is good. God is deeply good, and he has us in the palm of his hand. This world is broken. Our bodies are broken. Our lives are broken. I do not believe God "took" our baby. I believe God is mourning our loss, because this is not how life and pregnancy were intended to go. This is brokenness being displayed. I believe that God allowed us this pain, that he is above our pain, and that he is in control of every aspect of our lives. I believe that our sweet baby is now with him, and that we were his parents exactly as long as we were meant to be. 

My heart is deeply broken tonight as I type these words. I thought that I was out of tears--I was wrong. But I'm so thankful for God's grace and mercy, which will be new again in the morning, and are covering us tonight. I'm thankful for the amazing man I have been blessed to walk this road with. I will be leaning on his strength more than ever. He has been my joy, my laughter, my rock. I will need him more, and I know I can trust him to hold me. I'm so thankful for the body of Christ, which has reached out and covered us today. Our familes, friends, loved ones...each word has touched our hearts. We love you all, and are thankful for the love you've shown us. Thank you for your continued support, encouragement and prayers. Many have asked for tangible ways to help--honestly, I have no answer for you. Prayers and love are enough right now. We'll get through it. It's a long road to walk. But we will walk it with grace and strength. 

We remain,
Mommy and Daddy of Baby Ward :)