Friday, December 27, 2013

8 weeks to go

Countdown to Due Date: 55 days

I am officially (as of yesterday) 32 weeks pregnant. I'm in the 8th month. I cannot believe it. Everyone told me to enjoy the 2nd trimester (which ended at 27 weeks) because the third would likely kick my ass. They were right. I don't think I ever understood the word tired until now. I know those of you that have had babies are giggling to yourselves right now thinking "she has no idea." And, you're right. I am sure this level of tired is minimal compared to what I am going to experience when this baby actually comes out. But, for now, this level of tired is the most I have ever known, and it's legit.

I am normally a shop-it-up kinda girl. If we go out to hit Costco, I like to do Target, maybe browse some stuff at Best Buy, grab a little lunch, maybe cruise through the mall. Yesterday my husband got grandma to watch the girls so we could do the above without kids and enjoy a good lunch. I made it through one store at the mall, then had to eat cause I was starving. After lunch we hit Costco, and then I had to come home and put my feet up.

Other than that, some indigestion, stress incontinence, and 2-4am insomnia things are going quite well. We cannot wait to meet this little girl. Her nursery is coming along. My husband painted her room, cleaned the carpet, and assembled the crib. I know, he's a good man once he puts his mind to it. There is a lot to do, but my maternity leave is on the horizon and I am planning to get her room together once I'm off work.

For now, I'm just enjoying some lazy days on the couch feeling her move, which is now more like a wave across my entire belly. I will feel little jabs on the left of my belly button at the same time as kicks on the right side near my ribs, so she is getting big. Almost 4 pounds now! Two surgeons I work with have told me that there is no way I'll make it to my due date because she is sitting so low. They are not OB's so I'm hoping they're wrong, but plan to ask my doctor when I see him next week.

I have begun to get a lot of little tidbits of advice from other moms (which I love) and my favorite so far has been: "if it's been three days, you haven't showered, cannot remember if you brushed your teeth, and have spit up all over your shirt, you are normal. We've all been there." I totally love this. It's likely very true and something I'll remember in my dark moments as a mom to a newborn. I think I am going to start writing these things down.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Time Heals All Wounds

I just finished up a three day stay cation with my family. They flew in from the midwest to be with us for an early Christmas. My grandparents are in their 80's, my mom, my aunt and uncle, and then the four (and a half) of us. Usually we always go to "gram and pops" house but my OB grounded me, apparently you cannot fly in your third trimester. It was fun. I cooked, we opened presents, we laughed,  played cards, watched movies. My heart is full. I love my family.

During their stay December 13th came and went without a thought for the first time since 12/13/09 happened. For those of you that haven't followed this blog from the beginning, 12/13/09 was the day I lost my first pregnancy. I had surgery that day for an ectopic pregnancy. Up until that day I was happily though wearily pregnant (I just had the feeling something wasn't right). On that day, my life fell apart. A lot. And it took me a long time to move past that day, to overcome infertility, and make peace with my path to motherhood.

It's been four years. I can honestly say that I am at peace with my journey. For had it not began with such a loss, I would not have realized how much I truly wanted to be a mother. I would not have tried so hard to become one. I would not have opened my heart to the idea of adoption. I would not have my daughters. As I'm writing this, daughter #3 is moving around in my belly, and 1 and 2 are downstairs giggling and coloring. My heart is full. I am a mother.

In reflection over the past few years I realize that things got really bad for me before they started to get good again. I lost my sister in a car accident in September of 2010. For the first time this Christmas, we talked about her without it feeling awkward and empty. I brought up memories without getting that sick feeling in my gut that someone was going to get upset over it. As a family I think we're beginning to realize that her life and its sudden end is a part of us forever. We have an obligation to keep her memories alive by talking about her short, amazing life, even though it tears at our heart strings a little.

One of my daughters (ironically the one who's middle name is after my sisters) reminds me a lot of my sister at her four year-old age. Her facial expressions, the words she uses, the way she says things with her little attitude. I love this. It's made me realize two things: 1) she's likely picking up her mannerisms from me which means that my sister and I were a lot more alike than I realized, and 2) my sister is around me. She is my angel and she lights my way even in the most trivial of moments. For this, I am grateful.

Over the past four years I have learned a lot about myself, and life in general. I have learned to be selfless, humble, and I can say for certain that I believe in God, and miracles. My husband and I were watching some show a few months back and we came across this quote, I think I've written it here before, but here it is again, as I say it to myself so many times when I begin to fret about something:

"I lost the worry along the way, and God was good to me everyday."

As for the baby, she is getting bigger, I can tell because she actually moves my entire belly. She still enjoys her 4am tae bo sessions which are always followed by my scavenging downstairs for a snack. My blood sugars haven't been great but I've been off on my eating schedule because of family here. I have gotten back on track today. My aunt took some maternity photo's while she was here, and I'm glad she did. They turned out good and it will be a nice keepsake for me to have.

We have 66 days until our due date. Holy Shit.

Friday, December 6, 2013

29 weeks

Countdown to due date: 76 days.

Belly Button: Out

Wedding ring: Off (fingers too fat)

Work Clogs: stored away due to swollen feet.

Weight gain: sigh. 35 pounds. I'm just gonna be honest people.

Blood sugars: doing fine 90% of the time. I have given up bagels and cream cheese, and have switched up almost all my snacking to include a protein. I have to get the most bang for my buck. Until we bake sugar cookies and fudge, then I am screwed. I am starving all the time though. I just ate a leftover hamburger from last night (hubby bought me dinner cause he forgot I was going out with a friend) at 1030am. Don't judge.

Brain cells: minimal. I forget everything. It's honestly getting embarrassing. I was in the elevator leaving work after a crazy day yesterday and I stepped into it, and then stood there for a good minute. Then, I began to panic because it wasn't moving. Well, preggo brain, you need to select a floor. Yep, that. Actually. Happened.

Baby Name: I have decided we aren't going to decide until we see her. It's just too hard. It's too much pressure. We have a short list of possibles but will not choose until she's here….I don't think.

What else?

I have decided that I need to stop obsessively looking at baby gear on the internet. I have researched the crap out of everything, and have changed my registry a few times already. The baby will have what she needs I am sure, and more, knowing me.

I have the craziest labor dreams. I can't get her out, she gets stuck, my heart stops, on and on. I actually asked my Dr. this past week at my appointment if he thinks I can physically get her out. He looked at me like I was nuts. He was very sweet and reassuring. But, I still worry. Last night in my dream she was kicking me so hard that she kicked though my uterus and stomach and her leg was just sticking out, so she had to be delivered. She was fine, and she was beautiful. Dreams are so weird.

I do have to make one more trip to the lab because my platelets (sticky part of your blood that helps you not bleed to death) are a little low. Of course, I'm right on the line of concern, the "concern" mark is 120, mine were 116. So that will get re-checked before I deliver to make sure they don't fall more. Why do we care? If they get too low and I want an epidural I cannot have one. Also, I will have a lot more bleeding during and post delivery. What's the solution? Give me platelets, which I would be ok with if necessary. I guess thrombocytopenia (low platelets) can happen in pregnancy and just have to be monitored.

I think that's all for now. Family gets here in 5 days for an early Christmas, and I have a million things to do! Fun, fun.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Finger Prick

Well, I failed the effing glucose tolerance test…by 28 points. Dammit. They gave me two options, try to pass the 4 hour test, or start checking my glucose levels 4 times a day. I knew I would not be able to survive the 4 hour test. I know that sounds dramatic, but I wasn't feel so red hot at the two hour mark, and I really, really don't want to be the girl that passes out and goes to the ER, so I opted for my very own accucheck machine. I check my sugars 4x a day: when I first wake up (this has to be a fasting sugar meaning no food for at least 6 hours before), and one hour after breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The early morning check ruined my 2-3am snack. As I usually wake up pretty hungry about that time and either eat peanut butter and crackers that I leave by my bed, or a bowl of cereal. The after breakfast check is always higher than it's supposed to be because my go to breakfast has been a bagel and cream cheese, and chai tea with soy milk, which totals about 80gm of carbs, when I am now only allotted 30gms. The rest of the day has been fine. So I am likely right on the cusp of having "Gestational Diabetes." Super.

Gestational diabetes is one of the more common side effects of pregnancy. Basically, the placenta makes cells in the mothers body more resistant to insulin, so therefore glucose cannot get into the cells (you need insulin to get glucose in, its the gatekeeper) and your blood concentration of glucose goes up =hyperglycemia = gestational diabetes. Why do we care? Uncontrolled gestational diabetes leads to big babies, lots of sugar, lots of fat on baby, big baby to get out. It also leads to high blood pressure in mom, excessive weight gain, and can then progress to pre eclampsia where mom spills protein in the urine and it becomes dangerous for mom and baby if pregnancy continues. Sigh. So, the goal: keep the fasting glucose level (early morning one) less than 90, and the after meals glucose less than 130. I am 5 days in, and have only had 4 out of range levels. That's not bad considering I haven't completely changed my diet yet, first I wanted to experiment to see how what I was currently eating was effecting my glucose. I see my doctor Tuesday, he will review my data and from there we will see what's in store.

In other news, yesterday we spent the afternoon putting up Christmas decorations. I got my bellyuptous self up and down the step stool a couple times, and did clean the hardwood floor and do some other chores around the house. Never again. Holy mother I am in so much pain today. My low back and hips are throbbing. I barely slept last night. I also took a 20min walk yesterday, something super important now that I'm worried about blood sugars, and that didn't help the situation. Thank goodness I got the day off work today (not many patients in my unit gave me a requested low census day) because I wouldn't of made it running around at work. Today I am a couch potato. I have a feeling these next weeks are going to get very interesting in the discomfort department. Thank goodness for prenatal massages, which I get monthly, and have one tomorrow. Bless my massage therapist.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Glucose, Citrus, and a Whole Lot of Thankfulness

Countdown to due date: 86 days

I have officially reached the third trimester. (Picture me fist bumping and shaking my booty here-I'd say jumping up and down but that would cause incontinence so I skipped it). I cannot believe in less than three months my little miss will be here. Time is flying by.

First I have to reflect that this time four years ago I was pregnant. I had found out just days ago, and was elated but scared. I was such a different person then than I am now. And even though it took quite a storm for me to be where I am today, I am thankful that I went through all that I did. Everything I went through lead me to this moment, where I am happily married with two beautiful daughters and another kicking around in my tummy. I never would have imagined I'd be in this place. I am so very humbled. This thanksgiving, when we gather around for our family prayer before we eat our meal, my heart will be bursting with thanks. I almost can't even describe the wholeness I feel right now.

I survived the dreaded "Glucose Tolerance Test" yesterday. This test can be done a few different ways and all pregnant women do it. But, the basic outline is: you have to fast (no food or drink for at least 8hrs), go to the lab in the morning, STARVING, and then get your fasting glucose level checked. After they confirm your hypoglycemic state, they give you this drink called "Glucola" which has either 50, 75, or 100 grams of glucose in it. Straight sugar liquid. I thought it tasted like sugary tang. You have to drink this drink (it's about two 8 ounce glasses) in 5 minutes. Then that sugary goodness hits your empty stomach and you feel like crap. You have to then sit in the lab (so they make sure you don't pass out) for an hour, and then they check your blood sugar again to make sure you tolerated the glucose. Some people then have to sit for ANOTHER hour and get a second check. I got the "low risk" version of the test so I only had to do 1 hour- thank God! I was starving. The only caveat is if I fail the short test I have to go back and do the long one. I didn't really get sick to my stomach, and a friend who works at the hospital sat and entertained me for the hour I had to sit there, so it wasn't horrible. But I was spaced out and starving by the end so I booked it to the coffee shop across the street and got breakfast. I then had a monster head ache so I headed home and took a nap. All in all it was pretty uneventful. And I will find out my result at my appointment next week.

Why they hell does the title of this say citrus? I feel like people are always asking me what I'm eating. what I'm craving. And for the past month its been anything citrus. I have been eating entire grapefruits for a snack, mandarins, drinking orange juice. It is all very good. My mouth gets sore though. Other than that I am addicted to anything pumpkin. This isn't that uncommon for me this time of year. I love pumpkin chai lattes from Starbucks, pumpkin pie, pumpkin creamer in my tea. Mmmm. Other than a significant want for nachos the other day that's been it. And yes, I held back on the nachos. You can't have everything.

As for baby girls room, haven't done a darn thing. I have bought a few items for it, but it needs painted, carpet cleaned, crib put together, etc. We will get there, I have faith. I have family flying in two weeks from now for an early Christmas, perhaps after that I'll have time to get going on it. It's not like she's going to come home from the hospital and demand to see her suite, after all.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Baby Registry Etiquette

Countdown to due date: 102 days

Now that I'm in the 25th week baby shower talk has begun. I am very lucky that I have people who have wanted to throw my shower since day one, and now that thought has materialized into needing a guest list, picking a venue, etc. It's very exciting. At the same time, it was just shy of two years ago when friends came together and threw me a "Shower for Sisters" when the girls came home. There were probably 35 people in attendance and the girls (and I) got tons of nice things from room decor, to toys, clothes and dishes to welcome them home. With this in mind, I initially declined a shower saying that I had already had my day in the spotlight. Some good friends who know how many things a tiny baby requires insisted I have a baby shower for this little miss.

Since about 12 weeks I have researched countless baby items to find the safest, most practical, and well reviewed baby gear so that when this time came I could make the best selections. This past week, armed with my research, a list, and a dear friend who has had two baby's we created the beginnings of my baby registry. It is a daunting task. I really tried to stick to things that I needed for the baby's first year. I didn't want to put too many things on the registry, but didn't want to skimp either. The hardest thing for me was registering for things that I know I'll need, but that are also expensive. Let me tell you, I am a bargain shopper, but there aren't many bargains with baby stuff.

So what do I do? Load up my registry with expensive items and hope for the best? I am finally realizing why in my years (and years) of going to baby showers people always end up with a mother load of blankets, towels, bath stuff, and clothes. This is the less expensive faire that everyone buys. I know that people cannot throw down 50-100 bucks on baby stuff for me. People have their own bills to pay and kids to clothe. The baby gear business is ridiculous. And they are making a killing.

Nonetheless I registered. I registered for all the things I feel like I need to have for baby girl. And I realize, that I will likely foot the bill for many of these items once the showers have finished and I am at home, off work, nesting and online shopping like crazy while I wait for her big debut. Again, I am very fortunate to have the people in my life that I do, and I know she will get plenty of what she needs from them and their generous hearts. I am just shocked at how pricey some items are. For example, I am very passionate about breast feeding. Because I will be returning to work when she is three months old, and only get three 10 minute breaks and one 30 minute break in my 12 hour day I need a good breast pump to drain the ol knockers at work. That pump, the one that seemed most practical, and came most highly recommended, is about 300.00 bucks. And that is not including the accessory pack I am going to need.

The car seat and stroller saga was another big fish to swallow. I wanted the infant car seat that would snap into a stroller so I could let her stay in her seat and sleep while I run errands, or cart her sisters around to t-ball or dance this spring. I really liked the BOB but was astonished by its almost 500.00 price tag just for the stroller. Britax makes a combo system for a bit cheaper that still felt easy to move and has very high safety ratings. I found it cheapest on for 299.00. I did put it on my registry and its about 350.00. These are the types of things that either my family, or myself will have to buy.

I did find the famous bumbo seat on this online yard sale site I use for the girls clothes and other things for 10.00. This awesome seat sells for 50.00 usually, but I got it, cleaned it, and its good to go for little girl. This is how I plan to acquire some items. There is nothing wrong with pre-used in good condition so long as the item(s) can be cleaned.

As for the etiquette….I didn't really find any. Everything says to go ahead and register for what you want as long as you'll use it in the baby's 1st year of life. I don't know who these writers are, but they must have some rich friends. I still blush when I review my registry and look at the prices on some of those baby items. Oh well. I figure all she really needs initially is jammies, diapers, wipes, my boob, and some baby wash. The rest is just frosting.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Oxymoron: Viability on the Day of Ghouls and Dead

I am posting two days early knowing that I have two children who both have Halloween parties at school Thursday, then I plan to come home, nap, and then get them ready for a night of trick-o-treating. We will likely get home from trick-o-treating and watch a Halloween movie (last year was Hocus Pocus) while the girls wind down. Kindergarten is off on Friday (smart teachers) and my preschooler always stays home with me on Fridays so they can stay up late, get cracked out on candy, and then (let mommy) sleep in Friday morning. Whew. Now you see why I am posting early.

I always thought it would be fun to dress up my bump if I were lucky enough to be pregnant, and far enough along to have a bump on Halloween. I actually planned to dress up, I had bought a doll and small pumpkin from a yard sale and was going to make this (without the the blood) on a black maternity t-shirt:

But, it's now the evening of the 29th, and I work tomorrow, so I don't think my costume is going to happen after all. I lack energy these days, majorly lack it. 

One of my favorite blogs, "The Pregnant Chicken" posted some hilarious maternity costume ideas. I seriously think the boob is my favorite. Check them out here: Pregnancy Halloween Costumes

Have a safe and happy Halloween!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

23 weeks (1 more week til viability)

I get that the title of this post is a little bit morbid. But, when you try, and try to have a baby, and your only prior experience with pregnancy is loss, you do pay attention to dates, and at what dates your baby could actually come out and survive. 24 weeks is the mark of viability for a fetus (fetus= baby in your uterus). If baby girl comes out a week from today, God forbid, she has a 50/50 chance of surviving. This is because in the 23rd week lungs start the beginnings of being able to function. 24 weeks has been a secret goal of mine because of that. Granted, I have no reason for concern, my cervix is long and closed according to my doc at my last appointment, and I have not had any contractions to speak of (knock on wood). I hope she stays in there and cooks quite a while longer!

At 23 weeks I am visibly pregnant. I am over 20 pounds heavier than my pre-pregnancy weight. I am done weighing myself. So, we are just going to stay with "over 20 lbs." LOL. There are some not so sexy or exciting things that go on when you are pregnant that I would like to post here. I am doing this because no one told me, and I wish someone would have. It would have saved some terrified googling, and reading my "mayo clinic pregnancy guide book" under pressure. So, if you don't know me and my TMI abilities, read on with caution.

1. You will be constipated. And I'm talking not going every day, pushing til you think you will deliver your baby constipated. Take the damn stool softener every day. Don't forget. I eat plenty of fiber and drink plenty of water, or at least plenty of fluid and it still wasn't enough. Colace is my life saver. Use it.

2. Constipation = hemorrhoids. I'm not going to say more. Just know that one thing leads to another.

3. Buy stock in pantyliners. Your reproductive parts are busy growing a human. And part of that is protecting said human by making acidic discharge that will come out of you. Plentifully. Also, you will start to(in about the 5th month) leak urine. Maybe you'll laugh too hard, maybe you will wipe to get on with life after peeing for the 100th time that day and you weren't quite done. Buy pantyliners.

4. Your nipples will get bigger, darker and puffy. The word bigger is not a word I would use to describe what your boobs will do. Your boobs will take over your chest. I have a friend who literally stares at my boobs and comments on them every time I see her. She has had a BOOB JOB and they look big to her. Another friend who has had two kids calls hers "national geographic boobs" and I get it.

5. Do not, for any reason, look at your southerns with a mirror. There is a lot of blood flow happening down there and things will get swollen and change colors. This may scare you and make you think you have labial cancer. You don't, but just don't look. No one needs to see that. Except your OB, s/he gets paid for this stuff.

I am going to stop there because some of you don't have kids yet and I don't want to be the reason you reached for that second bottle of wine, or whisky tonight. Just know that I am here, I am honest, and I am willing to answer all your questions when your time comes. And I will warn you about this not so pleasant stuff so you don't get the crap scared out of you too.

Hands down, my favorite thing is still feeling her move :) And I actually really like it that friends and people at work rub my belly. I feel so special and loved....and blessed, always blessed.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

22 Weeks Tomorrow!

I can finally say that time is starting to fly by in regard to this pregnancy. Let's face it, in regard to life.

Saturday, the 19th marks a year since we finalized the girls' adoption. My four and a half year old who came to me not being able to talk (all the kid did was babble) is now not only a talker, but quite smart and complete with her sentences. My five and a half year old is striving in kindergarten, and actually read me her 1st book last night. Granted the book only had two words in it (I see) followed by a picture but she got the concept of reading and did well. I am so proud of my girls!

Little miss is apparently as big as a spaghetti squash now. I am done with those fruit and vegetable measurements though, honestly. It told me 20 weeks was a banana and 21 weeks was a carrot. I have to disagree with this progression. A carrot is smaller than a banana. I mean, c'mon. Nonetheless, she is moving around like crazy. This morning my husband actually felt like she karate chopped him. He has made a habit out of putting his hand on my belly in the morning before he gets up, today she was like, "good morning pops here's a kick to the hand." Her movements are so strong now. The girls have felt her move too and they think its both the coolest and weirdest thing ever.

I am starting to think about what I am going to buy for this baby, or register for as the case may be. It's a tough decision. I started with reading the ever popular "Baby Bargains" book which reviews brands and price points, and narrowed things down there. Now I'm looking to make the choice for a carseat/stroller combo, and have chosen the pack and play I want. Jury is still out on the following, so if any moms are reading and want to give me an opinion I'm all ears:

1. High chair- I'm thinking the Graco slim fit one because our dining room is small and it folds up.
2. Moby wrap or Ergo? For those of you who are going "wtf" right now, these are baby carriers. The Moby is the popular one but I don't know that I'm skilled enough to wrap it right so the baby will stay in.
3. Swing vs. Bouncer. I'm coming to the conclusion that I'll need both. But what swing is best? Or do I want one of those glider things?

So. Many. Decisions.

So I keep researching. I am going to to make my registry at BabiesRUs by November 15th because if I do that then I get 10% back in a gift card for what my registry purchases total 2 months after the baby is born. Can you say, free money for diapers?? I can! So even though it'll be a little early I want to get it done for the deal! Plus its fun :)

In the grand scheme of things the rest of this pregnancy is going to fly, we've got Halloween, then I am taking a class for work that I have to study for the first couple weeks of November, the class is the 14-15th of November, then Thanksgiving, my family is coming out for an early Christmas visit December 11th, so my shopping will need to be done early, then of course actual Christmas, New Years, both girls birthdays, my husbands birthday and our birthing class in January....and boom February is here.

Holy crap I think I just had a heart palpitation. LOL.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Here I am, the evening of my 19th week, 5th day of being pregnant. Less than 48 hours away from 1/2 way. I cannot believe this experience is half over.

I know from seeing it first hand that birth is one of the most amazing, precious experiences in this lifetime. I also know that death is much the same. I work in an ICU and have watched many people pass on. It too is a beautiful experience. My current hormonal state makes me ponder life a lot. I think about my life, my kids lives, the lives of people I love, and how they twist and turn endlessly.

The other day someone shared this video with us at work, and I was so moved by it that I wanted to post it here. Please watch, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It even made Simon Cowell cry....

Friday, September 20, 2013

Shit just got real, pregnancy edition

(this is a sweet potato, not some hairy piece of nastiness)

When your husband looks at you undressing to get into the shower one night he is looking both terrified and amazed. He blurts out "babe you are getting f***ing huuuuge."

Shit just got real.

When you go to buy ANOTHER bra because your chesticles are growing at an unnatural pace and you find yourself SQUEEZING into an E cup in the dressing room, and then buy it because anything involving boobs and the letter "F" is too much to bear.

Shit just got real.

When you're walking through the mall after a 30 min drive to said mall desperate to pee and the bathroom is at least 400 yards away so you are waddling toward it while trying to keep your legs together so you don't pee everywhere, and then you have a bladder spasm and lean sideways trying to hold it in....

Shit just got real.

When you fart at the dinner table and it's not quiet and you don't care because holding it in would mean terrible pain.....

Shit just got real.

When your husband (yea he is batting a hundred) puts on a shirt that you likely took too long to fold up and comments on the wrinkles in a sarcastic way and you tell him with a straight face to shove it up his ass, and then burst into tears.

Shit just got real.

But best of all, when you are lying in bed and cannot fall asleep because you can finally feel your little girl moving around inside of you and you wouldn't miss this for anything (even sleep).

Shit. Just. Got. Real.
And it's amazing.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Week 17... and we have a...

A Girl! We had an elective ultrasound yesterday because my mom was in town, the girls were allowed to come, and most of all, because I am damn impatient and I wanted to know! Ha. It was an amazing experience. We got some great pictures of her in 2D and 4D. The 4D's were a little creepy because little miss doesn't have any fat yet, it's still really early, but over all she really did look quite feminine and cute. She had a little attitude, putting her hand in front of her face, and shying away when the ultrasound tech tapped my belly to make her move. Already she is a stubborn one! Like mother like daughter.

In other news the scale is now in the 140 range. That's 15 pounds up. It's really all belly at this point. The rest of me still looks, well, like me, but I do have quite an impressive baby bump for a 17 week first timer. I'm good with it though. I'd rather look pregnant than oddly fat. I am trying to eat well, because I eat often. Lately fruits and cereal are favorites. I'm trying to limit my fro-yo consumption to once or twice a week. I am also walking 30 minutes 3-4 times a week. I'm doing the best I can.

I am really tired a lot though. I almost feel like my midday nap does more harm than damage, I just cannot come out of it. So, I've taken to putting my feet up in the afternoon and watching an hour of TV or reading a book while the kids rest.

The biggest thing this week: I'm quite certain I am feeling her move. It's like little pops and flutters that I only ever notice if I'm laying down. When I'm resting, I try to really focus on her. I talk to her, I rub my belly, I pray for her health. Seeing my little girl yesterday was one of the most amazing experiences I've had. She is such a miracle, and I am so in love with her it makes me emotional. Having her inside me makes my love for all my girls grow. They are all mine. I don't see how anyone could think that they would love one more than the other. I feel like my heart grew to include my new little bundle. Honestly, I'm so full of love and gratitude that tears fall from my eyes when I think about the topic. I have daughters. Daughter who will grow up and be good women because of me. It's so much responsibility, but moreover, it's such a privilege.

I realize the precious course that life truly is because I have lost. Monday will mark three years since I lost my 18 year old sister in a car accident. Accident. Accident. Accident. I repeat that to myself because it reminds me that it was nothing more than that: an accident. I think of her all the time (of course) but since I've become a mother the devastation I have for my own mother has increased exponentially. As mothers, we are given our children and we do everything in our power to love and protect them. My mother was no different. And she lost her baby girl. Because I lived through this, I realize how careful we must be with our lives. Our children are gifts and we never know how long they are meant to be in our lives. This week I will remember to let the small stuff go.

And I will lay still every day so I can feel those tiny little kicks. You are a miracle my little one. Thank you for coming in to my life. And to my big girls. God gave me you. He picked you for me and me for you. There isn't any more special way to be "born" into a family then that.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

4 months! (16 weeks)

I am going to say it again. I really think an orange is bigger than and avocado. My husband agrees with me. But, here we are.

My 16 week appointment went well. We were just supposed to be there for a quick check and then sent on our way, since the big "anatomy scan" is done at 20 weeks. At that time, you get an in depth ultrasound of the baby and this is usually when the doctor will tell you whether you're team pink or blue. BUT, I hormonally begged my doctor to try and see what I called "the money shot" so he agreed. We got in there, started looking around and the baby was sitting Indian style in my uterus. (I think the PC term is now "criss cross applesauce). So, it's feet were covering the clear shot of its junk. That is so my kid. Make it more difficult for mommy to plan and buy things! We did get about a 4 second shot and didn't see anything between the legs, so baby looks like a girl, but we really cannot be sure. But, baby had grown so much since our last peek at 12 weeks it was amazing. Baby had visible, ribs, spinal cord, and baby was sucking their thumb. My doctor asked if I'd felt the baby move yet, I haven't (I don't think) but he said anytime. I so look forward to that.

This will not shock you....I am not waiting til the 20 week anatomy scan to find out the sex. My mom is coming into town this next week and my husband and I are taking her, and the girls with us up to an elective ultrasound place to find out next Thursday. I am so excited. I think this will be a lot of fun, and am excited to get to include the girls in finding out. They take their time pointing out parts and give you a 3D DVD and some pictures, plus there is a nice big screen to watch it on. It'll be fun. Our oldest "A" may be in for a shock because she now only refers to the baby as her brother. I kinda think she's wrong.

I am not doing a gender reveal party or anything, in my opinion it all seems like too much. I mean there's the baby shower, the birth where everyone comes to visit, sometimes a maternity photo shoot by a professional photographer near the end and now people have added a gender reveal party and pregnancy announcement professional photo shoots. It's just too much! Who honestly has the time between throwing up, eating a shit load of food, trying to poop, chasing kids around, working, feeding dogs, and going pee every five minutes? Really it's a lot to get done.

In other news I did something really stupid a little over a year ago and now it's biting me the arse big time. So, the girls came home, and we cramped into my Jetta for a few months, and by summer it got old. So, I went out in search of a new car. I bought the VW SUV that I fell in love with despite my dear husband saying "we're having more kids, I just know we are, get a van." In my defense, I didn't want an effing van. I wanted a soccer mom mobile. So I bought the Tiguan which is like a Ford Escape, or Honda CRV. It's more roomy, but when we rented a van for a road trip I knew I'd messed up. The van was so convenient and everything fit in there, on and on. Well now here I am....I am either going to have to cram a newborn car seat between the girls two booster seats in the back of my Tiguan, or I am going to take a big upside down on the Tiguan and buy a van.....that is, if the car dealer people will do that for me. I've poked around and it seems they will, but it's going to cost me. Dammit. One of the few times my husband was just outright, right.

I have been doing my research and the two best vans in my opinion are the Toyota Sienna and the Honda Oddysey. I think we'll wait til after the new year to make a purchase, but of course today I found one that I really like and its a good deal. I am going to try and hold back but you never know with me....I'm impulsive like that. LOL...I wish I could blame it on the hormones.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Week 15

Wow, 15 weeks. In the next two weeks (assuming my baby cooperates) we will learn the sex of the baby. I am really excited to find out, as I've mentioned before. The baby bump is becoming more plentiful as the days go on. Some of my more fitted scrub tops are getting kinda snug but luckily some ladies at work are lending me larger tops so that will be great.

So, my daily pregnancy update today was about weight gain. It started like this: "you've probably gained about 5 pounds (or a little more or less by now)." Eff you pregnancy update, eff you. I weighed myself two days ago, as I embarked into the fifteenth week and the result was shocking. I have decided to be honest about my weight gain in this blog. So here it is: the day I found out I was pregnant I weight 125 lbs. According to my OB I was marginally underweight so he told me I should gain about 35 pounds this pregnancy. At my 12 week appointment I had gained 5 pounds. I was also constipated and had eaten carbs constantly to ward off nausea. As of two days ago, the scale read 136 lbs. Shit.

From here on out I am supposed to gain 4 lbs a month, or 1 lb a week. Obviously this is going to be non-issue for me. If I am 136 lbs at 15 weeks and have 25 weeks to go I am going to end this at 161 lbs which is a gain of 36 lbs. Thats pretty much right on but I think we all know with the fall and winter months ahead I am going to do some eating. I mean, we all put on a 5 lb (some of us 10) winter coat, right? The thing is, I really don't care that much, it's just a lot of weight. And lets face it, I'm getting older and I am a curvy girl, the weight isn't going to come off easily. BUT- again, I'm going to eat what I want in moderation. Right now the issue is the AMOUNT of food I eat in a day. I got up at 3am last night/this morning and ate because I was starving. But, I am trying to make good choices. I try to snack on fruits and veggies, do salad with a protein at lunch, only indulge in my frozen yogurt love three times a week, etc.

I do exercise still. I walk 3-4 times a week and have been getting back into my yoga now that I am feeling better. I am really trying to trade my afternoon nap for yoga while my kids take their rest on my days off. It's tough but I always feel better after doing it. Prenatal yoga is kind of a joke compared to my usual routine, but it is enough for me. Now that I'm further along I definitely get dizzy and lightheaded much easier. So, I don't want to overdo it.

Lastly, I have to mention. I have really been struggling to sleep at night. I wake up to pee about midnight, and then again about 3am and after the 3am pee I cannot go back to sleep. It's so frustrating. These are my last months of full nights of sleep, soon there will be a newborn to feed, but I am not sleeping. I usually get up, have a snack, zone out to the TV for about 30 min and then head back to bed. Again, oh well, it is what it is I guess. As long as the baby is happy and growing I will deal.

Time to make dinner....

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Crossing Over

Along the road of infertility, I joined some online support groups. I didn't have really any friends who were stuck on infertility island with me, so I sought out support on the internet. If you are thinking to yourself "wow, I should do that, where do I start?" There are forums on sites like,, and where women band together and go through the months of trying to conceive leaning on each other for support. Its a great venue to vent frustrations, ask questions, and make some great connects.

I met a girl on my site that had been TTC for almost as long as I had and had never been pregnant. She and I were the last women standing in two different groups we were a part of. So, she made us our own group, and we are now both pregnant, due two days apart. It's been really amazing having her along the way. Her journey is different than mine, she did IVF to get pregnant with her miracle. She writes for an online magazine and recently posted this article. I couldn't have said anything she wrote better, and it's a topic I've been wanting to write about. Please read (and enjoy):

An Infertile Woman Stuck in a Pregnant Woman's Body

"No one feels completely happy after fighting a war, even if you’ve won because in war, something is always lost. I fought a war to get here and I feel exhausted, although exhilarated, and every day extremely grateful to be on the other side."
The end of this quote makes me tear up every time. I. Am. On. The. Other. Side. Almost 15 weeks along and I'm still in awe of the fact that I made it here. After everything I went through, all the tears, and the hopelessness, all the anger, jealousy, after the surrender to God on my knees over and over again. I prevailed. This war is over. But, I am not unscarred. I am a different person because my path to motherhood was more like a whirlwind road trip with detours at every turn. I know what its like to hurt, to feel hopeless and angry. I know what its like to dream over and over again for something and wake up everyday knowing that it may not ever happen. I know. 
But I have made it to pregnancy a humble, thankful woman who can identify with those who have pain in the midst of my happiness. And I know that their journey, their story will find its happy ending in time. We just have to keep on believing. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

14 weeks

First off, am I the only one that thinks peaches are bigger than lemons? Maybe its because I buy these huge peaches from Costco, or is my baby shrinking? Hmmm

So I started having this dream....I'm in bed at night and my husband is asleep next to me, and my lower abdomen has a zipper. So I take our baby out, hold it, and play with it and there is literally blood EVERYWHERE, and then as the sun comes up, I put the baby away and zip my belly up. So weird. And I've had it like three times.

Yesterday a good friend of mine went with me to the maternity store. This can be a daunting place. The one we went to was "Destination Maternity" which has both "Pea in a Pod" and "Motherhood Maternity" products inside it which gives lots more choices. She has never been pregnant, but bless her heart she looked through the racks of things and helped me pick out some cute stuff. Then it was time to head to the dressing room. The sales chick gave me to the low down: there is a belly pillow in the dressing room and if you put it on it adds three months to where you are at now. That way you can plan ahead. I myself am a planner and I appreciated this. Until I put it on. Holy eff. If I am going to be that big in three months I am going to be a whale when I deliver. I mean, you know how they say if Barbie were life sized she would have to walk on all fours because of her big boobs? Well that will be me, but there will be a belly too. A big one. I walked out with a pair of capris and three tops. It was great. I already have a stash of maternity wear from friends who swore up and down my day would come....and they were right, so I am off to a great start on the bump wardrobe. When I got home, I washed my items, and went through my closet and dresser knowing it was time to put away things I can no longer wear. My bump "popped" about a week ago and now I definitely look pregnant, not just oddly fat. I like it though. I find myself rubbing my belly without even realizing it.

I feel pretty good tummy wise these days. Still some bouts of nausea in the afternoon and evening, but no throwing up.

My recent obsession is the gender of this baby. Truthfully, I really do not care if baby is a boy or girl. I just want to know which it is. I have several friends who are pregnant right now and all of them are ahead of me. So, I asked them all to do the home baking soda gender test. It works like this: by about 11 weeks of pregnancy your body starts producing the baby's sex hormones. So, if you have a boy testosterone will start secreting into your blood stream, or for a girl estrogen to add to your plentiful supply. So, you take baking soda and put a couple table spoons into a disposable cup or dish. Then pee in a cup. Take the pee, and pour it over the baking soda. If the baking soda bubbles of fizzes (like beer kinda) its a boy, if it stays flat, then girl. Four people I know have done this and their baking soda test result has been accurate. Tonight I did it, and it fizzed which would mean boy. We will officially find out the second week of September and I cannot wait.

My oldest daughter and my husband are convinced we are having a boy. We had an ultrasound at 12 weeks and the baby was laying in a hammock called my uterus with its legs cross and hands behind its head. This is literally how my husband lays on the couch every night. He said no girl would lay like that. My daughter tells people I have her baby brother in my belly. That's it. This lady from her school came up to me and congratulated me on the boy, after I looked really confused she explained that "A" had told her a brother was on the way. Maybe the kids psychic, I don't know. My other daughter, "J" says girl. She really wants a little sister. Regardless of how this turns out someone will be disappointed I suppose.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bye Bye 1st Trimester

13 weeks along today. According to about 1/2 my sources it means I can say good bye to the first trimester (and one of these sources is the mayo clinic guide so it's legit). All of the baby's organs are developed and are beginning to work together. If I am having a girl she already has made a couple thousand eggs for her own baby's one day. If a boy, testes are moving down into their location. The baby has fingerprints, moves around like crazy (though I cannot feel it yet), and is looking more and more human every day.

So here we are. I no longer throw up daily, I just have periods of nausea that are often relieved by either a nap or food and drink. I only get up to pee once a night (apparently in week 12 your uterus moves upward relieving some pressure on your bladder - for now!).

I'm in a place where I really, really love food. Like a lot. And of course my "cravings" are not things that I should have. I crave turkey and avocado sandwiches and lunch meat is supposed to be avoided, but oh well, I buy good lunch meat from the deli that is probably safe. I should get points for the avocado, it's on the top 10 power foods for pregnant women. I have been wanting sushi so dang bad that I caved and had a California roll and tempura shrimp roll for lunch today. It was so good. These items are fine, but you're supposed to use caution when buying at a restaurant cause they "could" come in contact with raw items. Screw it, my mom smoked when she was pregnant with me and I'm fine. I took the risk and satisfied the craving. I had miso soup too, and should get points for this because tofu is high in protein and now that I'm in the 2nd trimester I am supposed to eat 70 grams a day. Lastly, and this is my biggest love: FRO YO. Mmmm fro yo, I love it. I had been going to the yogurt shop a few nights a week and getting either chocolate or vanilla with peanut butter cups but then I went to the store and found something:

If loving this bit of heaven is wrong I don't wanna be right. I only have a little bit every night....almost every night. I try to hold back some nights but the fro yo talks to me from the fridge. And who am I to neglect what my baby obviously wants. That would make me a bad mommy. Right?

My baby "bump" is coming along. I still just look like I have a belly to most, but the lady at the maternity store said I have a good bump for where I'm at in my pregnancy. She could see it, I mean, obviously since I was shopping at the store trying stuff on she could deduce that I was pregnant but you get what I am saying. LOL. It's definitely there, and rounding more by the day. I can no longer button my pants, so have started wearing the belly band, and am starting to move into some maternity capris and shorts also. Because, this just in: it's not just your belly that grows, your butt widens...mmm hmm, I'm not gonna lie to you, and this momma had "back" before she was pregnant, so I have tissue to spread. So the thigh/butt region of my pre pregnancy pants is also becoming an issue. Oh well. I am really trying not to focus on my body changing as a negative thing. I am actually looking forward to thanksgiving and Christmas, because my pregnant ass is going to EAT SOME FOOD without worrying about a pound or two. Apparently in the second trimester I'm likely to gain.....I have to take a deep breathe before I write this.......a pound a week. Oh well, it's worth it. I'll worry about loosing it when baby comes out. For now, I will continue to eat what I want (in moderation), do my exercise, and not worry about it unless the doc tells me different. So, bring on the FRO YO!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Pee Club

Back when I was trying very hard to get pregnant, I visited my OB/GYN's office regularly so he could monitor my medicated cycles (I was using Clomid). When I was there, many pregnant women were coming in for their appointments and when they arrived they were always told to go ahead and go leave their sample now. Pregnant women pee in a cup with every Dr. visit. During pregnancy they dipstick the urine to check for glucose, protein, and bacteria, as UTI's, gestational diabetes (which causes glucose to spill into urine), and high blood pressure (which can cause protein in the urine) are all common in pregnancy and need to be treated.

Yesterday I joined the "Pee Club." It was a good moment for me, though I'm sure it sounds ridiculous.

So now I'm going to write about the 1st three months of pregnancy. Yep, I'm 12 weeks now (baby is the size of a plum) and I am going to write to you how it went for me. I am not going to sugar coat it. But I want you to know that despite EVERYTHING I'm about to write about here (and it will seem like I'm whining at times I'm sure) I would NOT TRADE THIS FOR ANYTHING. There is a healthy baby growing inside of me right now. If a daily barf session is what gets this kid into my arms then so be it.

First off. Everyone has asked me how I knew I was pregnant. I didn't really "know." I had gone to a pool party on a 113 degree day and when I got home I passed out for two hours, and woke up with what I likely thought was heat stroke. But then, I was due for my period and it hadn't started yet, which was no biggie since I'm kind of an irregular gal. The only weird thing was that my boobs didn't hurt and they always hurt before aunt Flow arrived. Anyway, I decided to take a test. I mean, who knows when I ovulated (nope, I wasn't paying a bit of attention) and...lets be honest....had we even had sex? So, I peed on a stick for a kazillionth time and....there was a faint second line. Now let me tell you that I have torn tests apart to FIND a second line, and taken pictures of tests to play with the saturation and brightness on the computer and see if a second line was hiding but this time, there just was one. It was very faint. But it was there. My husband was down in the garage and every plan or idea that I'd ever had to tell him I was pregnant ran out the window I HAD to know, did he see it too? So I ran downstairs, shoved the pee stick in his face and said, "do you fucking see that?" Classy, I know. He saw it. 48 hours later I tested again, and the line was clearly there. Holy shit we're pregnant. I'm pregnant. I actually got pregnant.

So here they are, the pregnancy symptoms for months 1-3....

1. Huge boobs. Yep, the knockers knock. They knock against each other, they even rest on my starting to pop belly. They got sore for a couple weeks around week 6, but it was nothing to write home about. I'm so used to soreness before my period it didn't seems worse than that, but they are HUGE.

2. I have the worst taste in my mouth. All. The. Time. It's like metal, but sometimes it's like green beans. It's just not good. And it NEVER goes away unless I'm eating something or sucking on something (stop it you sick minded readers). I will discuss this more in the nausea section because I attribute a good portion of the nausea to my bad tasting mouth. You may think....well why don't you just brush your teeth? Great idea, except brushing my teeth makes me dry heave every time. And I mean, every time. And cleaning vomit out of the sink when your nauseous is no bueno.

3. Ok lets go there: nausea. Here is how it went for me: 6 weeks- on and off queasiness. If I didn't wanna eat something I really didn't wanna eat it. I would get flushed, nauseous, and then it would go away. Those were the good ol' days. 8 weeks- nausea. It was there but I could manage it by keeping something in my stomach, munching on crackers, chewing mint gum, and hydrating. 10 weeks- holy effing nausea, and this is when I started throwing up almost every day. By this point I HATED saltines, ginger ale, and preggie pops. These things used to be my BFF's but we broke up at week 10. Now it was graham crackers, gatorade or any type of berry flavored water (plain water was no good), and mint gum. 12 weeks- for the past couple days I have been sicker than EVER. I have gone and thrown up once while writing this. Mint gum is no longer a friend, I've switched to cinnamon. I can do graham crackers but have switched to honey nut cheerios. My saving grace is eating carbs: bagels, waffles with just butter, I keep cereal in my car, in my locker at work, I love cereal. The nausea is the toughest part. I  have missed a few days of work, which I hate both because I don't like to be "that girl that calls in sick" and I want to save my time off for when the baby comes. And, I am the super cool person who got a prescription for Zofran (the save all anti nausea medicine) and it doesn't work, not even a little bit.

3 1/2. But then there is the other side of nausea: hunger. I literally can go from dry heaving to starving in seconds. It's really weird. And if my tummy starts to growl, I need to eat, like 5 minutes ago, or the nausea will set in. I have a love affair with food because when I actually want something, I will do anything I can to get it. Sometimes I get so excited about my morning bagel that I dream about it. Ridiculous I know.

4. I look oddly fat. Like I drink a lot of beer and eat a lot of cheeseburgers. This is thanks to my growing uterus, constipation, and probably because I eat carbs like an addict.

5. Constipation. Holy frick. Jenny McCarthy describes it as "passing stonehenge" and I am going to leave it at that. But if you are pregnant, or plan on being pregnant, I would highly recommend her book "Belly Laughs." It's hilarious and true.

6. The Pee Club. Not just the club at the Dr's office, I pee constantly. I get up at least 3-4 times a night to pee. And I can not really have to go, then change my position and need to go right now. It's great.

7. Psycho emotional chick. Yes, she comes out to play. Let me just give you an example: There was about a 10 day period where I really liked McDonald's hamburger and fries. I ate one every few days, not gonna lie. My husband I had gone out of town for a wedding, and I was reaching a point of hunger that was going to lead to nausea very soon, so I asked him to please find me a McDonalds and get me some food. He decided to order a quarter pounder meal for himself, and a two hamburger meal for me, and he would eat the other hamburger. Well my husband doesn't like onions. So he decides to make it less confusing for the McDonald's people and he orders no onions ON EVERYTHING. Ok, here's the deal. There aren't many things that I really enjoy eating at this point in my pregnancy, so if you change something on my order without clearing it with me, there will be blood. I screamed at him about it IN the drive through, and then when I bit into my onionless hamburger I cried. Yep....I'm not too proud to tell you all the truth. I cried. I wanted my sandwich my way and he messed it up. This is what I am talking about when I say "Psycho emotional chick." My poor husband.

That's pretty much all there is. Oh, I did leave out, I had a lot of cramping and pulling those first few weeks. It was scary. I felt like my period was starting constantly. I would run into the bathroom to check and there'd be nothing. I called my Dr's office twice to ask about it and the reassured me both times but the cramping was really scary for me.

I am almost out of the first trimester. I hope when it leaves the nausea will too. Time will tell, and every day I thank God over and over again for this little one. I am blessed.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Oooh Hiiiii

Wow. It's been 5 months since I've last written and a lot has happened.

1st off: the girls are doing amazing. Both of them have graduated from speech therapy, and they are growing like weeds. One is short and curvy, the other tiny, long, and skinny. This should be fun as they get older. LOL. A starts kindergarten in two weeks, and J will stay at preschool.

We bought a bigger house in May. It is twice the size of our old house, has 3 bathrooms (praise God), and huge backyard. The kids have a sandbox, trampoline, play house, and tons of running space. It's a family home for sure.

Just after our 10 year wedding anniversary in June a miracle happened: we found out that we are pregnant. Yep. If you've followed this blog since it began your jaw is on the ground right now. Mine was too. Some of my closest friends cried when I told them. I did too. Because, after 4 years of trying to become parents that involved one ectopic pregnancy, two years of infertility despite treatment, one failed newborn adoption, one successful fos-adoption of two amazing little girls, and 18 months of figuring out how to be a parent, HERE. WE. ARE. I waiting a long time to write this, shoot, I actually made it 10 weeks without even telling all of my closest friends (some were mad to say the least). But, I did what felt right. As of today, I am 11 weeks pregnant. The baby, which apparently I can now officially call a "fetus" is the size of a fig. I am not even quite sure the size of a fig, but I know it's bigger than a prune, because the baby was as big as a prune last week.

I am so grateful and humbled by the way my life has twisted, turned, and got me here. It simply was meant to be in its own time. In Gods time I believe.

At some point soon I will post my entertaining pregnancy thoughts, symptoms, and random stories. I have some good ones I've been saving up.

For now.... grow baby grow....

Friday, February 22, 2013

What a Difference a Year Makes

On this day, at this time last year, I was at work. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, I was still waiting  for our homestudy to get the final approval, which I had been waiting on since before Christmas. It was never-ending.

Let's recap the day of February 22nd, 2012.

12:00 I went to lunch with a fellow adoptive mother at a Chinese place near work. We talked, well I talked about my struggles with waiting for our child. Was it ever  going to end? How long would I wait before we got "the call." She prayed with me, and we asked God to bring me a child that was meant for me. My friend adopted a 19 month old a couple years before, and was in the waiting game for a second child at this point.

12:45 I walked back to work, and saw on my phone that I had gotten an email from our adoption agency. It was saying that our homestudy had been approved and was now on the state site for social workers throughout the state to view. I was a mother in waiting.

1:15 pm My phone rang. It was our social worker, I figured she was calling to tell me that our homestudy was now live, just a follow up call to the email. She told me, "Actually, I'm calling because I have a potential placement." Me: "Huh?!"

I listened and learned that two little girls were looking for a family. They were 3 and 4. My immediate response in my mind was that I couldn't do this. I wanted a baby, or a child less than two, which is what we put in our profile. We also had only signed up for ONE child. But I listened. I shut up, I prayed, and listened.

Not even an hour later the girls social worker was calling me to give me a phone disclosure. Normally, when you go to a disclosure about a child you go to the social workers office, and go through their file over and over, you get to ask a lot of questions, see pictures, etc. I got none of that. I got a 30 minute crash course on the phone, in an empty office, at work, on these two little girls. I knew their race, but didn't know what they looked like. I learned of their sad story. Their journey for a mom and dad that was taking far longer than any child deserved. They were healthy, they were vibrant, they were cute, she assured me.

At this point she put the pressure on. The girls were arriving at her office Friday morning (it was a Wednesday afternoon). They needed a place to go. I hadn't even spoken to my husband yet. Holy shit. She said she knew she was putting me in a difficult spot. She could try to find a foster home to take them for the weekend, we could meet them there, and then decide. I thought of these poor little girls, moving again, and then potentially ending up at our home anyway, I couldn't do. I knew in my heart I had to give this a try.

So I called my husband, who didn't have his cell phone. We went over and over the importance of him always having his cell phone during the process. On this day he left it at home. So I called someone who coached with him, and found him. I told my husband the situation while he was in the middle of coaching practice, in the middle of field. I'm lucky he didn't collapse. He was actually calmer than I was. He said, well we can take them this weekend and then see how it goes.

The decision was made. We would pick the girls up at 11am Friday morning. By now it was Wednesday at 4:30pm. 3 and 4 years-old, mostly potty trained, healthy, cute, I got a height and weight from a Dr's appt a few months earlier. They didn't know if the girls would come with any clothes or anything. All I had was a kid room with a crib and a few blankets, and a ton of baby clothes. What the frick was I going to do.

I made some calls, and by the end of the night that night (thanks to many generous friends and a trip to Target with a friend who had a four year-old) I had acquired most of what I would need.

I was excited, nervous, terrified and exhausted. Sounds like a mom to me!

On Thursday I went into work for a few hours. I hadn't planned on any of this, and now I was potentially initiating a maternity leave with no notice, which everyone was great about. I tied up some loose ends and planned to take at least the next week off, because if it didn't work I needed to give the social workers time to find another place for the girls. I got the rest of what I needed to have, another bed, car seats, toys and books friends brought, and came home to get the girls room ready.

I didn't sleep at all the night before we picked them up. I couldn't wait to meet them.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Aftermath (of Adoption)

So, when you sign adoption papers, and are getting ready for the finalization date, the social workesr ask some difficult questions, and not only were we not expecting them, we didn't know what to answer. They asked us whether 1) we'd be open to more children that came into the system from the girls birth mom 2) would we be open to sibling contact if the girls had siblings that wanted to be in touch with them. After some discussion with our social workers, we said they could contact us for both, and then we would decide. Because the situation was hypothetical we didn't want to close the door.

A week or so ago, I got a call. One of my kids has 2 birth brothers. They have the same sperm donor (or birth dad). So, apparently the mother of these boys went to the county office and asked to contact us, this lead to a phone call by a social worker to me, which lead to pictures in the mail and a consent if I was interested, which lead to a big decision.

I felt a little lost. Almost like it wasn't my decision to make. Of course it is. But, this is HER past. If I say no, and she asks me one day about her birth family, how will I tell her that they tried to contact her and I sent them away? Will she hate me for that? So after much discussion between me and my husband, we decided to give the birth siblings an email address for her that they can mail pictures/write to. The email is anonymous and doesn't use our names at all. I also sent a picture of her.

The pictures I got from the boys mom were interesting. Her brothers look just like her. She looks like her sperm donor. Almost a spitting image really.

I think sibling contact hits close to home for me because I miss my sister everyday. And, if it were me, I'd want to know about siblings. Maybe when they get older they can meet if my daughter wants that. At least for now I have a few pictures and know their names. Their mom wanted us to meet and be a part of each other's lives, but I don't think thats in my daughters best interest. She is just too young to understand.

These complicated things were definitely NOT covered in all the required adoption classes. Honestly, I wanted to shut the whole thing down because, in a selfish way, it hurt me that these "strangers" looks so much like my daughter and I don't. My kids don't look like me. But, I suppose it doesn't matter because our hearts are the same <3

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sick and Tired (of being sick and tired)

Wow it has been a week.

I've been puked next to, puked at, puked on, cleaned up puke, disinfected the bathroom a kagillion times, made more cup-a-noodles than I've ever made before, and had very little sleep.

The stomach flu came home Saturday night, courtesy of my husband. At first I believed he had food poisoning, but on Monday night at around 11pm my 5 year-old woke up vomiting in her bed. The top bunk. (Insert thumbs down here). So I stripped her bed, threw sheets in the garage, little sister in the spare room, and it continued. All night.

By Tuesday night little sister was throwing up, but big sister recovered, thank goodness I only had one of them acting like a fountain at a time. Whew.

By yesterday afternoon little sister had a fever, cough, and stuffy nose. Son of a bitch. Who goes from throwing up to having a cold with a fever (ok, I am trying to avoid the terminology but I know it's just another form of the flu) in 12 hours? Son. Of. A. Nutcracker.

Then, to make matters more complex. Despite little misses sneezy self, we went to the grocery store. I didn't let her touch anything. I locked her sick booty in the seat of the cart. But, we were out of food. Like all the way. So we prevailed. While we were at the store, we went to the banking counter (PS bank branches in grocery stores were MADE for women with kids, one stop shopping and banking, thank you bank people). The banking lady gave the girls suckers. Thank you bank lady, now they will have something to do while I shop. But, as I'm taking care of business, I hear the non-stuffy-nosed child say to the stuffy-nosed child "mmmmm your sucker is good." Yep. The healthy one took the sick ones lollipop and tasted it. Dumb-ass.

I feel the need to let you know that I talk to my kids about germs, and handwashing CONSTANTLY.

Today is day four of illness. Day three of me being home with kids. And, though I haven't woken them yet (still hoping they'll make a miraculous recovery), judging by the amount of coughing I heard through the night they are going to have to stay home again today. Plus, I'm sure the older one will wake up sick due to her lollipop tasting yesterday.

Dammit. Today is mommys day off. I'm supposed to go out to breakfast with a friend followed by a long walk in the park. I'm going to have to cancel.

Please children, be better by tomorrow. Mommy's going stir crazy. Ooooh, and by the way, I didn't catch the stomach bug OR the cold. Here's to good handwashing. Or, who am I kidding, long incubation periods.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Moon Will Rise, The Sun Will Set, But I Won't Forget

It's been 862 days since my sister died. I don't actually know that number by memory, but I looked it up today out of curiosity. I'm not really sure why I had to put a concrete number to something that time has no bearing over. Some days I wake up and still, after all this time, find myself thinking "I need to talk to my sister, it's been a while." Some days I don't really think of her much at all. It hurts me to write that, but it's the truth. But some days I wake up and miss her so much that I cannot breathe. So much that there is a physical ache in my chest from the empty space her death has left.

My sister was a ray of sunshine. She was nearly 10 years younger than me, but she grounded me. Her free spirit and my controlling nature clashed on more than one occassion, but overall we brought out the best in each other. She, my vivacious, spontaneous side, and me her astute, responsible side. We both envied the other for our qualities. Two complete opposites, but complementary and loving....most days.

She was taken away quickly. It was a Thursday morning, and I was mulling around on trying to find some amazing way to knock myself up (we'd been trying for a baby for just over a year at that point) while waiting for a friend to pick me up for lunch and pedicures. It was a warm September day. The phone rang, and it was my grandma. When I answered, she asked me if I was at work. I laughed at her saying, "um, you called me at home." Then she told me. I immediately accused her of making a horrific joke, but she assured me it wasn't a joke, my 18 year-old sister had been killed in a car accident. I needed to get to my moms house (2200 miles away) as soon as possible.

The hours and weeks that follow that moment blend together. I got to my moms house, and saw the strongest woman I'd ever known in pieces. Pieces that I would later, to this day, help pick up, one by one. I planned her funeral, because as everyone else was frozen with grief, I was pushing it down doing what needed to be done. It wasn't real. To this day, sometimes, it. still. isn't. real.

Today I woke up missing her. My sister. My angel. My love. When she died, a part of me came alive. I realized that I couldn't live everyday planning for what may or may not happen next. I didn't absolutely have to go to bed by nine o'clock to get up for work at five. I could enjoy my evening, and be tired. I learned to laugh at myself. I learned to live every moment, because it could be my last.
I swear that movie, "In Her Shoes" would have been a mirror image of us as adults. Clashing our way along in this crazy world, but loving each other to pieces.

The reality of it all though, the essence of this day that I'm having where I miss her so much it's almost intolerable, is that it's never going to be OK. My life has gone on, I have kids, a husband, a job, many, many blessings. But that day, the day I lost her, the fact that I lost her will never be OK. It's not OK. And no matter how much time passes between that day, and the current one, I will always miss her. The empty place in my life because of her passing is real. So today, I shed a few tears, looked at some pictures, prayed, spent some time alone, and will watch her memorial DVD tonight after the girls go to bed. I am so lucky because my sister changed my life. I got to watch her grow up. She was amazing.

Her spirit, her heart, her love is with me. That much I know is true. I carry it in my heart. It's like that E.E. Cummings poem they recite in the movie:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
-E.E. Cummings

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Top 6

I've been meeting a lot of new people lately, and have been talking about my girls a lot. There are two things that always lead me to share that they joined our family by adoption, the first is that I wear a necklace every day that says "Grew in my heart" and has the girls names on it. The second, is when I tell people their ages. The conversation almost always goes like this:

Them: How old are your kids?
Me: 4 and 5
Them: Wow, they're really close in age, it's like having twins.
Me: Yes, they're a year and a week apart.
Them: Wow, you're brave.
Me: Well, I didn't have them as babies, they came home at ages 3 and 4 so I got lucky.
Them: Confused look
Me: My husband and I brought them into our family by adoption.

And then the questions start.....
I'm open about the fact that my children were adopted, I don't see it as "private" or something we don't talk about. Adoption is an amazing thing, I wouldn't be a mom today if it weren't for adoption. I don't share the girls past, just our journey to becoming a family. And, some of the questions I get asked, are asked over and over again. Here they are.

1. Aren't you afraid their real parents will take them back? Or, Can their real parents come back and take them? The "real parent" statement used to really bother me, but it doesn't anymore. I know what people mean. They mean to say "biological" they just say "real" instead. But seriously, I'm these girls "real" mom. My blood doesn't run through them but they have my spirit. And no, they cannot go back to their egg and sperm donor because our adoption is final. My husband and I are on their birth certificate.

2. Do they ask for their birth family/real parents? No, they don't. They no longer (for the past 6 months or so) ask for anyone who was in their life before us. And it makes me both happy and sad at the same time. (I will have to approach this in another post).

3. & 4. What's the adoption process like? How much does it cost? I always answer these questions honestly. It's a long process, and it's invasive, but for good cause of keeping kids safe. Fos-adopt doesn't cost much, domestic newborn adoption (private adoption) does.

5. Are they adjusting well? Are they healthy? This is always a fun one because I get to say "yes." But, it's sad to me that the stigma is that these kids aren't healthy or able to adjust. In some cases it is tough. And, let me tell you, they scare the crap out of you in the pre-adoption classes. I heard scary stories, but honestly, even though I know my home wouldn't be the best for a troubled child it's not their fault. The adults that kids love and trust hurt them in one way or anther in these situations, and it breaks their heart. Kids don't know how to handle a broken heart, so many adoptive parents have to work heart to mend a childs broken heart, broken spirit, and lack of trust. God bless these people.

We were presented with information on a 1 year-old but she had a lot of medical problems, and so much of them were unknown for the future. We declined because we didn't feel we could be the best parents for her. It was sad, but we were scared. That little girl deserved a family who could embrace her challenges and work hard to help her. If I were a stay-at-home mom I would have considered it, but she was just too delicate for daycare, which I knew was in my kids future.

6. Are you going to have "your own" children? First off, my girls are MINE. But again, I know people mean "biological" children. The real answer is, I don't know. I hope so. So I usually say with a smile, "I hope so!" But, time will tell. And, that is the truth. But, I can say for sure, I will have another child, one way or another, our family is not complete yet!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Dance

Before kids, my morning would start out slowly, alarm would go off, and I (being the planner I am) would take my time doing hair, make up, making my lunch, and heading off for my day.

My husband generally slept in, because his schedule allowed him to begin his day around 9am, which worked great because he is in no way, shape, or form a morning person.

So, why do you care about this? Why am I mentioning it?

Well, because my mornings these days are quite a bit different. This morning was a perfect example. I am currently taking a critical care class two days a week and then working my 12 hour shifts two days a week. My husband is student teaching five days a week. He also tries to work a couple days a week for a few hours. The girls have daycare three days a week, and go to gramma's on a fourth day if we need it.

Got all that?

No? Don't worry, me either. In the morning, my house is batshit crazy. To top off all of us getting ready at the same time most mornings, we also only have one bathroom. Yep. I'm not complaining, I mean, we're lucky to have a warm house to wake up in everyday, but one bathroom for four people is a bit like trying to nail jell-o to a tree = difficult and sometimes impossible. Luckily, I'm the only girl in the house straightening her hair and wearing make up. Note to self, we will need another bathroom before the girls hit puberty.

Last but not least, remember how I told you that my husband is not a morning person? I would like to mention that again. This is how my morning went today:
Up at 5:40 to get myself ready for an early morning meeting and class starting at 7:30, which means I have to leave my house by about 6:50 to get there on time without having road rage.
Husband gets up at same time, sits on couch, drinks protein shake and coffee.
6:10 I'm almost ready, husband goes out to garage to work out.
6:30 husband comes in and grumbles to me "If I'm taking them to grammas can you at least get them ready." I smile and say "yes" while visualizing punching him in the face.
6:35 girls get up, go to bathroom
6:40 girls found laying on couch, lay out kid clothes, put toothpaste on toothbrushes, tell them to get dressed and brush teeth. Make my breakfast and snack to-go.
6:45 dinner into crock pot, coffee brewing, husband comes in, barks at kids to get ready (and they pretty much already are)
6:50 put kids hair up in ponytails, get reprimanded by 3 year-old because "it's bumpy." Remind her grandma can fix it, coax them to put shoes and coats on, put on my coat, pour to-go coffees for hubby and me
6:55 girls leave house with dad, as they're walking out, I realize I didn't give the dog her insulin (yes our damn dog is diabetic), and our little dog her antibiotics (absessed tooth)
7:00 ten minutes late, I'm out the door, clocked in for my meeting at 7:30, the minute it starts.

Whew. It was exhausting recapping that. As I was driving to work I was thinking to myself "what an amazing, crazy, awful, beautiful life."

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Sunscreen Song

The sunscreen song was a song that came out back in high school (actual year was 1999) when a guy named Baz Luhrman decided to put his essay to song. It's actually titled "Everyone's free (to wear sunscreen)." Within some humor there is some REALLY good advice in this song. Lot's of times when I'm feeling lost, overwhelmed, or as of late: anxious, I will listen to the song and try to hold on to some piece of it for the day. Today is:

"Worry, but know that worrying is about as effective as solving an algebra equasion by chewing bubble gum."

We have to take risks in our life. We have to bring ourselves to the end of our comfort blanketed rope and branch out. We have to get up and try. If we don't exit our comfort zones, we will never really live.

Anyway, I'm obviously feeling a little "deep" on this foggy cold morning, as the girls sit next to me working on letter tracing. Here's the video, I hope it gives you some insight today.

Watch it here: and have a great day.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


What a holiday season it has been. We had our first Christmas with the girls, which included a preschool party on Christmas eve, followed by dinner at my husbands cousins house. Then Christmas morning we opened presents as a family of four. It was amazing! Santa left bikes, sparkly shoes, and umbrella's. Mom and dad bought waaay too many other things (shoes, toys, books, dresses). Then we went to my husbands grandma's house for breakfast. In the evening, I cooked a ham for four family and my husbands brothers family.

Then, on the 27th we left to fly to the midwest for Christmas with my side of the family. We were there until yesterday, and we got home last night (new years eve) at 7:30pm.

And you were all wondering where the anxiety was coming from!

On that note, I've been much better. I know much of my anxiety is because of my .... ok, I'm going to say it: controlling personality. Let me give you an example: We flew southwest, and they don't assign seats. I was having heart palpitations boarding the plane because I was worried we wouldn't get enough seats together. I actually worried about this an hour before the flight. Not normal. My mom, and my grandma are the same way. We stress over every little thing.

After writing the last post, I got some great feedback and pointers from friends. I have found ways to work through the moments when I feel anxious. Honestly, the hardest thing at this point is worrying I'll have another moment. It was very scary.

Anyway, I'm working through it. I really nervous to start my new job Thursday, but that goes in stride too. I feel like some anxiety is good, it makes us alert, and makes us work hard. But I refuse to let it prevent me from doing anything.

As for my reflection on 2012: What. A. Ride. I (finally) became mother, in a way I never thought I would. This year has been about flexibility, outsourcing, taking advice I don't always ask for (all new moms get this), being patient, maintaining "awesome wife" status despite my busy schedule, being humble about my blessings, and overall, attempting to judge less, love more, and smile. Lastly, being grateful for every moment I get in this crazy world.

A good friend of mine and her husband moved across the globe because they wanted to. I mean it. They wanted to live in this place, this far away paradise (from what I can see), and they made it happen. My quote for 2013 comes from her. As I start a job in critical care, which is something I know little about, as I continue to parent two preschoolers and consider another child, as I lead and follow in the dance of marriage, I will remember this:

"If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough" - unknown