Friday, May 23, 2014

Trying to find the good

While the past couple of weeks have been hard on us, there has been some good sprinkled in there and that’s something I’m very grateful for.  I feel like all I’ve thought about and written about as of late has been TTC.  Thoughts of babies have filled my days and even my dreams and to be honest, I could use a break from it.  In a perfect world, Georgia and I would take a nice long break from TTC for the summer and reconvene in the fall.  And while that’s an ideal plan, it also feels like a step in the wrong direction.  Our goal has always been to have Grace and her little sib close in age and with each passing week my ovaries get a little bit older and so does our gal.  I know that sounds like a crazy way to view things but it’s honestly how I feel… Almost desperate to slow the passing of time, if only just a bit.

I’ve asked A LOT of people, gay moms mostly, what their thoughts are on waiting to try again following a miscarriage.  Most of the things I’ve read actually say that your chances of getting pregnant following a miscarriage are much higher when you try again sooner than later.  Then there are the two RE’s we’ve worked with, one of which says we should wait three full months while his partner in the practice says we don’t need to wait at all.  What to do, what to do?  These are the times when I’m so thankful for the LGBT social networks I belong to because these ladies are such great resources when you need advice.  I polled around 900 hundred gay mamas and the overwhelming response was to try again and soon!  Most were speaking from personal experience having miscarried themselves and then had successful pregnancies soon after.  I think there were only two moms who encouraged us to wait.  I’m still waiting for my numbers to go down to zero before moving forward but as of my last blood test (last week) my numbers were still in the thousands so it may still take a while.  It’s funny how on one hand I wish time would slow while on the other I’m wishing the days would pass quickly.  
Anyway, back to the good… That’s what this post is intended to be about after all, so here goes...

We’re selling our house and in the market to find something bigger, hopefully with a pool!  This has been something we’ve talked about for over a year and as the summer approached and we moved closer to adding another little one to our family, our plans started taking shape.  We met with a broker in early March who made suggestions on things we needed to do to get our home show ready and that list of things has since consumed our lives.  First, I must give SO MUCH credit to my wife who has been working her little tail off for almost two months preparing our casa to go on the market.  Her first task was to install a new air conditioner with her uncle and she did an amazing job turning the house into an icebox, which I love!  She was able to negotiate a wicked good deal for us on the unit and I’m still shocked that we didn’t have to hire someone to do the install!  It saved us some serious money and with all the TTC related expenses we’ve had this year, that was definitely a plus. :)


As if that wasn’t awesome enough, she then taught herself how to lay kitchen tile and filled the hole in our kitchen floor where there was once an island with a beautiful mosaic tile design.  Papa George jumped in to help at the end of the project after the wife taught herself how to prep cement and cut and lay tile.  The colors she picked matched perfectly, just look how pretty.  Oh and we must not forget to thank the amazing Papa George for helping!

The next big project was to repair stucco on the exterior of the back of the house and near our front kitchen window and it turned out great!  G was able to find a company that mixed us a custom stucco color to match our home and after a little research on how to make the repairs, she went for it DIY style.  It’s really added to the overall look of our backyard and I know this one was a big “to-do” that she was very happy to scratch off the list.  Thankfully my mom and her bf, Kevin volunteered to haul all our trash, excess wood and old air conditioner pieces off to the dump.  That was the best favor we could have asked for and totally helped get the yard looking as great as it does!

And the backyard, oh the backyard.  It’s been a mission in itself.  With 3 big dogs (one of which digs holes EVERYWHERE), our yard has taken a beating over the years.  I’m sad to admit that until this past month Grace spent zero time back there because it was just such a mess.  Getting the yard in shape has involved pulling a ton of weeds…


Moving and replacing rock on the side yard…


Cleaning, sweeping and planting flowers (my specialty!)…

Before:
After!

Repairing stucco and installing outdoor solar lighting!


Gracie’s even helped me prep the front yard.  We’ve pulled weeds, planted and nurtured flowers and power washed the driveway.  She’s such a good little helper and I’m so happy to report that since we got the back yard in shape we spend almost every evening back there.  We got Grace a water table to play with in her new space and she’s can’t seem to get enough of it. 


The bean has enjoyed tons of water play in the backyard as her mamas have worked.  She collects rocks that she pretends are seashells and piles them in her pool in-between visits to the water table.  She over waters all the flowers with her little watering can and is obsessed with spraying the hose.  It’s so nice to get stuff done while also keeping her entertained – a total win, win!


My biggest job in all of this has been to de-clutter the house so I’ve been a packing fool!  Almost all of our family photos are bubble wrapped and boxed and we’re still not quite used to how bare the walls and tables look without the pictures that are usually there.  I’ve emptied closets, rearranged furniture and G has taken loads and loads of stuff to the storage unit we rented.  I will admit that the de-cluttering has been nice, especially in the master bedroom.  I’ve always loved our room but it’s even lovelier the way it’s arranged now. :)


And that about wraps up what’s been going on around here.  I’m working on our family Summer Bucket List right now and will hopefully share it soon!  We also did the Zoo Run a few weeks ago, had so much fun and took some adorable pictures so those need to be shared as well.   I really want to get back into blogging because I miss it, so hopefully you’ll be hearing a bit more from me in the coming weeks.

Until then I’ll leave you with this video of pure cuteness!  Happy Friday. :) 



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

20/52: starting over


First appointment back at the fertility acupuncture clinic today. 
Starting over is hard, but so worth it.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Miscarriage.

Last week I was two months pregnant.  Today, I’m not.  I miscarried our little peanut on Friday at 8 weeks, 1 day, the weekend of Mother’s Day.  I’m honestly not sure how I’m doing because every day has been so different.  Friday was horrible and painful but then Saturday was better.  Sunday was Mother’s Day so that was tough and here we are on Monday.  So far Monday has sucked.  I still have our little ones ultrasound pictures hanging on the refrigerator because I can’t yet bring myself to take them down, and I still have a memory box Georgia got for the baby on the guestroom bed because I’m just not sure what to do with it right now.  My breasts are still sore and I’m still exhausted because it seems my body has not yet realized that it’s no longer growing a human.  I’m praying it will figure it out soon because being in a bad place emotionally and physically is breaking my spirit. 

This pregnancy started out wonderfully.  It’s something I’ve actually been journaling about since we started the two-week wait back in March with plans to share the posts in a few weeks when we would have announced to the world that Gracie was going to be a big sister.  I’m not sure what to do with those letters now.  Part of me wanted to still share them but felt that looking back on all of the excitement that filled the past two months would be too difficult.  Another part of me felt that I should just tuck them away with the few photos we have and move on.  For whatever reason the second option makes me much sadder then the first, probably because I feel like choosing to not talk about this pregnancy and to not share this part of our journey, would be like pretending it never happened.  That just feels wrong to me. 

I spent some time today reading through pages and pages of journal entries spanning the past 8+ weeks and picked a few to share, so here they are.  You all know how this story ends and while it is so heartbreaking that our baby wasn’t ready to join us and that these words and a few black and white photos are all we’ll ever have, I’m still trying desperately to have a thankful heart.  I’m trying to find the blessing in the fact that I CAN get pregnant.  I’m trying my best to focus on the gift of love that is my amazing wife and supportive family.  And more than anything I’m trying to find happiness in the perfect baby girl who calls me mama.  She decided to show us that she knows all the words to “You Are My Sunshine” this past weekend and sang me the song over and over again.  She’ll never truly know how much that helped her mommies.   

{March, 2014} Ready, Set, Go!  Insemination day video :)




{April 9, 2014} BFP!!!


As I type this I still can’t believe that it’s true, but IT IS!  We’re having a baby!  Gracie’s going to be a big sister!  I have lots to share about how we found out but lets begin at the start of the day because it was quite eventful. 

G had a work event early this AM so I took the Bean to her grandparents house on the way to work.  Our commute was just like any other.  We played I spy and sang songs, nothing out of the ordinary.  That was until we arrived at Gracie’s Gaga and Papa’s house… I pulled up and in the 30 seconds it took me to get out of the front seat, pick my keys up off the ground where I dropped them and open the rear drivers side door, Grace threw up ALL over her, the car seat and the Jeep floor, poor little babe.  I didn’t even know what to do for a good 10 seconds.  Lately she’s been teething and has had her hands and fingers in her mouth a lot.  She’s gagged herself on numerous occasions and on our morning ride she was doing it again, only this time she was trying to fit her entire hand in her mouth!  She must have figured out how to fit her little fist in there because as I was parking and before I even had a chance to notice anything was going on, she spilled her cookies.  It was no fun… no fun at all.  Getting her cleaned up while trying to keep myself vomit free was no easy task either.  I’m just glad that this time, the throwing up wasn’t because she was sick.  My Jeep still smells like baby barf but at least she doesn’t have a fever...  Just trying to see the positives, you know! ;) 


As I went in for today’s acupuncture session knowing it would be my last before we tested, I couldn’t help but think the entire time how awesome it would be if I were pregnant and didn’t need to keep coming for much longer.  When G got pregnant with Grace she stopped going once we got the BFP and now that we know I’m preggers, I’ll probably go to one or two more sessions and be done.  I still can’t believe it!

And now for the GOOD STUFF!!! 

The plan going into this TWW was that under no circumstance were we going to test before day 14.  As you’ve read thus far, we kept very busy and I was feeling really good about the wait.  That was until day 9.  Following my spotting on day 8, I became a Google searching fanatic and the desire to test early started to creep in.  I’m actually surprised that I made it to the evening of day 13 to be honest, lol.  When we got home from work tonight, I told G that I felt like testing and she was all for it so it was go time!

The next thing I knew I was in the bathroom peeing in a cup and seconds later G had the pee stick in hand, counting to 20.  When she finished and replaced the cap she stayed staring at the test.  I immediately yelled to her, “what are you doing?  We’re supposed to wait 3 minutes – stop staring at the test!” and before I could even finish my last sentence she looked at me in total shock and said, “I see a second line”.  I was still sitting on the toilet trying my best to get my pants up while also telling her that she better not be f-ing with me (true story… that was my initial response, ha!).  I felt like I wanted to scream for joy and cry simultaneously!  I ran up to her see the test and there it was, a very faint second line.  I looked at Georgia and she looked at me in just total disbelief.  The happy tears soon followed and lots of hugs.  The test started getting darker and darker within minutes, which prompted us to take a digital test… that too said PREGNANT!


{April 11, 2014} The REAL pregnancy test!


Following two rounds of blood work my numbers look great!  
It’s officially official – we’re having another baby!


{April 13, 2014} 4 week baby bump :)

When G was pregnant with the Bean she agreed to let me take a picture of her baby bump once a month.  Had I had it my way I would have taken a picture every week but she wasn’t having that, haha!  The first couple of pictures I took of her looked exactly the same but once she got to around 5-6 months, you could see a real baby belly and it was awesome!  I made a pregnancy journal (photo album) after Gracie was born and I often go through it with our gal showing her pictures of when she was growing in her mommy’s belly.  She loves it.

I wanted to do something similar with baby #2 and because we went with a once a month belly pic with G, we decided to do the same with me.  So here it is, my first of 10 baby bump pictures.  I love that Grace is going to be a part of this picture project and I’m thinking it will be extra special to see how much she grows as her little brother or sister grows.  The picture is totally silly and a very fitting reflection of the stage of life our wild one is in right now.  It’s impossible to get her to stand still for more than 3 seconds much less hold a chalkboard and smile on queue, so this is what we ended up with.  A perfectly imperfect picture of me, the bean and our little peanut being just as silly as we could be.  Have I mentioned how much I love this child lately?



{April 15, 2014}  5 weeks and already slacking!

By this point in G’s pregnancy I had already written around 6 journal entries about our growing little bean and here I am just getting around to journal entry #3.  I have several totally valid reasons for this and here they are (in order): 1.) I’m so flippin’ tired.  How is it even possible for a human to be this tired?!  I mean, seriously.  2.) We have a toddler and she’s a wild one. 3.) I still can't believe it. 

I told G about how I was feeling today and that I was nervous that according to my fertility app I would normally get my period tomorrow.  I told her, “what if my numbers have dropped and I wake up with my period tomorrow?”  I know this is me being paranoid but these first couple of weeks are always scary.  I think I spooked G too because she came home with more Clear Blue Easy test tonight and they were the ones that tell you not only if you’re pregnant but also how far along you are in your pregnancy based of your HCG levels.  We both breathed a sign of relief tonight when the results confirmed that not only am I still pregnant but right on track testing at 4-5 weeks along.  After reading the results G said that I need to just relax and once again, she’s probably right.

Anywho, it’s late and I’m pooped.  Special shout out to my beautiful wife on her birthday.  Love you baby cakes. 

Good night and sleep tight little peanut. 


{April 21, 2014} The word is OUT…

Umm, yeah… “Operation Keep Baby #2 a Secret” has officially failed, lol!  I don’t know who we were kidding thinking we could keep things under wraps for 3 months.  The mission to do this was doomed from the beginning because the reality is that we are way too close to our families and they see each other far too often to keep something like this covert.  As I wrote in an early journal entry, we told our parents, sibs and my best friend about our BFP the day it happened.  This was pretty much the plan all along.  Outside of that close circle of people we wanted to keep things hush, hush until we at least had the opportunity to see our babe on an ultrasound and make it to 8 weeks.

Fast-forward to Easter Sunday and plans kind of fell apart.  My mom hosted Easter at her house this year and most of my mom’s side of the family attended including G’s parents.  It was a lovely day and I felt great!  As our afternoon neared an end and G’s mom and dad made the rounds to say goodbye to my family, everyone slowly congregated in the middle of the yard.  As we were all chatting and hugging, G’s dad let the following slip, “It was fun seeing all the kids play today.  By this time next year we’ll have another baby joining the group.”  My mom immediately looked at me as did everyone else and that was it.  The cat was out of the bag.  I went on to confirm to everyone (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.)  who were all staring at me, that I was pregnant.  So much for keeping it a secret... ;)


{April 24, 2014} 6 weeks  - Little Peanut’s 1st Picture!

Behold, the first official photo of our beautiful little peanut!  According to our doc everything looks great!  Here’s a comparison picture of Grace and baby #2 at 6 weeks.   



{April 29, 2014} When all you can do is pray

The last 12 hours have been tough to say the least.  It started last night when I used the bathroom and noticed some spotting on the toilet paper after wiping.  It wasn’t a lot, no clots of blood and it was a light pinkish color but still I panicked.  I called G to take a look and we both agreed it would be a good idea to call our nurses line.  Surprisingly, I was patched right through to our previous doctor in the practice (the one we requested to switch from several months ago).  After describing the situation he said he felt everything was fine but thought it would be a good idea that we come in the following morning just to have a look.

Our appointment was at 8:45am and they called us back right away.  We expected to hear our peanut’s heartbeat and go home with a picture but were told that while there is a visible fetal pole, the yolk sac appeared to be larger than it should (measuring at 5.95mm) and that things didn’t look “normal”.  At 6 weeks, 4 days our old RE stated that he didn’t believe this would be a viable pregnancy.  He didn’t say that we are miscarrying and asked to see us again but also left us with little hope.

We were completely shocked, I immediately started crying and it didn’t help that the RE we were meeting with is the same person we requested to switch from several months ago.  He was an insensitive dick today just like he was a dick back then.  I felt like he wasn’t explaining things and I felt like we were rushing through everything.  I just couldn’t understand how it was possible that looking at my uterus for less than 3 minutes and taking one measurement, which neither me nor Georgia actually saw him take, would be enough to determine that we were likely miscarrying.  He kept telling us that my yolk sac was “too large” and “not a normal size” but he couldn’t tell us what normal was.  He couldn’t even give us a range of what normal would be considered.  He just said that 5.95mm was too big. 

After the appointment, once I had some time to clear my mind, I couldn’t help but wonder why he didn’t measure the baby?  Why didn’t he take more than 2 minutes to try and find or see the heartbeat?  Why didn’t he zoom in like our other doctor does to get a closer look and why didn’t he order stat blood work to check my levels following his “diagnosis”?  As I’ve blogged about before, I’ve always got negative vibes from this guy and when we asked to switch it was an uncomfortable process.  We had to follow up making several phone calls and even had to speak personally with the office manager before they would approve the switch so as you can imagine, things were awkward to begin with.  Fast-forward 20 minutes, the appointment was over and I felt like we were hit by a bus and the guy who just hit us sped out of the room like nothing happened.

I don’t know what to think and I don’t know how to feel other than sad.  Our doctor is out of town until the 6th so our options are to come back and meet with Dr. Dick Face again and likely receive the same rushed and sketchy treatment or to personally request to have blood work done and wait until our doc is back next week to take another look. 

As of tonight, we’re still not sure what to do but we’re praying that while we figure things out our little peanut continues to grow. 


{April 30, 2014} Faith

Thank God for my mom.  Really, I thank the dear Lord for her.  After yesterday’s appointment I drove straight to her house.  I needed to cry with her, I needed to voice all of my concerns and negativity with her because she always balances me in that way.  She’s so good at listening to me but also has faith for the both of us anytime I lose mine.  She is forever optimistic.  She is forever supportive and I definitely needed that yesterday.  After our appointment I didn’t know where to go and I didn’t know what to do.  I knew I couldn’t go to work because my face looked like a punching bag but I also didn’t want to go home because I knew G and Gracie weren’t there.  The only place I could think to go was my mom’s house where I grew up.  By the time I got there and rang the doorbell the shock of it all had worn off a bit and I was feeling angry.  I told her that the doctor said I was likely going to miscarry and I just didn’t understand.  She listened to me and spoke at all the right times.  I sometimes get bothered with her always-positive nature, but on days like this, I think that’s the magnet that pulls me to her.  I felt broken.  I had no hope and I think a piece of me was praying she had hope enough for the both of us. 

I was only there for a short while but she said something to me that gave me the strength to move forward and be strong.  As she was telling me to be positive and have faith that things weren’t finished yet, I said firmly that it was over and I just needed to face it.  She then told me something that has kept me going since.  She said, ‘until you know that baby has gone to heaven you have a job to do.  You need to have faith and you need to be strong for the baby that is growing inside of you.  You can’t give up on your baby’.  I hadn’t thought about it in that way but she was right.  I have no control over what my body does these next couple of days and I have no control over the news we get at our next appointment, but I can choose to believe. 

So for now, for today and until I’m shown otherwise, we still have a baby on the way. 
We’re choosing to have faith.


April 30th was my last journal entry.  It was confirmed on May 6th that I would miscarry and that it was only a matter of time.  It looks like our little peanut stopped growing at around 7 weeks but it’s hard to be sure when it happened.  Our RE gave us all the usual statistics like 2 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage but that did little to mend our broken hearts. 

Broken is exactly how I feel right now.  I’m having a hard time understanding how last week I was expecting a Christmas baby and this week there is no baby.  I don’t understand how in one ultrasound everything looked perfect and then it didn’t.  I feel like in the short 8 weeks and one day that I was pregnant; I somehow already began to build a dream of a future for this little one that will never happen.  I pictured myself pregnant with a big belly, I prayed every night and tried to do everything right but it just wasn’t meant to be.  For now, I’m praying to find my peace with that.    

Thanks for listening friends.    




Monday, May 5, 2014

2 Year Check-Up

I can still remember getting our little bean ready for her first check-up when she was just days old.  I can remember her pink flower pants and onesie that we had to roll up because even the smallest size was too big for our baby girl.  I remember her perfect baby smell and how good she did being measure and weighed on that day.  I remember the nurses ohh-ing and ahh-ing over her and how much we loved how great our pediatrician was with her from the first moment they met.  I can remember everything about that day and I feel like it was just yesterday even though I know it was over two years ago now.  Somehow between the check-ups, the bath times, the cuddles, the outings, the holidays and the days at home in our little nest, our baby went and became a toddler.

Our appointments are so very different now.  They are usually scheduled around naptime if possible because with a toddler, you don’t want to mess with naptime.  Our bird has definitely flown the nest and immediately runs off the minute we arrive at an appointment.  Much like in any other social setting, the confidence she has shines through and we often have to run interference as she tries to make friends with every sick kiddos in the room.  She knows where the fun magnets are and always rushes to look through her favorite colorful windows.  She can say “hi” back to our pediatrician when greeted and the two of them are still total buds.  She knows she gets a sticker when we leave and spends a good 10 minutes at the end of each appointment picking the absolutely perfect one.  It’s just amazing what a difference two years can make.


We were a bit late getting to this check-up because our only options were to bring Grace in 2 months early or a month following her second birthday.  We opted for the month following to get stats closer to her actual birthday.  She got two pokes and handled the first like a champ, the second not so much.  As a mama, it’s heartbreaking to watch your little one laying on the table smiling before shots because you know they have no idea what’s coming.  We prepped for such an occasion bringing the Bean a lollipop to ease the pain and it worked.  She cried for maybe two minutes but was soon smiling while she picked out her stickers.  She got TWO stickers this visit, lucky girl.

Me and my girl passing the time being silly. ;)

Here are the Bean’s 2-year stats:

- Weight: 27.9 lbs
- Height: 34.8 in
- Head Circumference: 19.3 in  

Overall feedback from our pediatrician was that Grace is in great health!  Growth stats are right on track, verbal skills are quite impressive and she said that based on Gracie's projected growth curve, she’ll likely grow to be around 5’6”.  Now if only I could figure out a way to get the growing to slow down a bit.

I heart them.





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