Saturday, March 29, 2014


This pregnancy has rendered me mostly useless. The morning sickness is a far cry different than with Elden but I basically don't ever want to eat because nothing sounds good. As soon as I eat something I'm craving I start gagging. It's been a struggle. I've also been insanely tired. Most nights I've been going to bed as soon as we lay Elden down for the night. This is no bueno for housework because I always did the bulk of my cleaning and organizing once he was down for the night. Today is the day I decided to try and change all of that. Since I actually had energy (thanks to going to bed at 7:30 last night and sleeping until 6:30 this morning...) this morning, I:
-vacuumed the living room rug, foyer rugs and the stair runner
-swept and mopped the stairs, foyer, living room, dining room & kitchen
-put away all the junk that accrued in the foyer and on the coffee/kitchen tables
-wiped down the coffee/kitchen tables
-hung up some coats that had taken over our stair railing
-did 2 loads of laundry
-loaded/ran/unloaded the dishwasher
-paid 2 really awesome friends of ours to clean the laundry half of our basement because it had turned into a sanctuary for dust bunnies and spiders bigger than your face
I know it doesn't look like much but I was too overwhelmed by the need to clean to take before pictures. I feel like I can breathe a little easier in this house now. You're just going to have to trust that these rooms are in far better condition than when I started.
I also mentioned in Elden's last monthly update that we bit the bullet and bought a minivan. Neither Jon nor I care much about being minivan owners--we never cared if they are considered uncool. In fact, both of us adored our childhood minivans and were actually pretty excited. The plan was to wait until the end of the year when we applied for one ginormo dependent care expense reimbursement for 2014 and just use that. Then we had to put another $400 into Jon's car and decided to start looking now. On Tuesday we made the trek to Homer City, PA, to buy one that seemed like a great fit. It's a 2007 Kia Sedona EX--power doors, locks, windows, etc. We didn't realize until we got home that the windshield fluid sprayer didn't work but Jon took care of it with a simple $5 fuse replacement. My husband the handyman :)
In other news, I think we have narrowed down the themes for Elden's "big boy" room and the new nursery. I'll share an inspiration board for the nursery soon, but I'll give you Elden's room now: cars. Not the movie. Just cars. They are his favorite thing in the whole world and all he can talk about and we figured if we do regular ole cars and not the movie it will hopefully grow with him for at least a number of years. Now that I'm starting to feel a little better (no matter how brief it may be) I'm really excited about getting the house ready for another little person...

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Since Elden will be twenty months in exactly one week I figured now is probably a good time to post his 19-month update. We've been dealing with some big time separation anxiety at night--but just with me. Elden will scream and hold on for dear life as soon as he feels me laying him down. I will leave him in tears and then Jon will come in to comfort him and as soon as Jon lays him down.. not a peep. This is great except for the nights that Jon has class or closes at work and I'm left to fend for myself. Last night Elden only screamed for a few minutes and Jon didn't have to go in at all so I'm hoping we're outgrowing this phase. Two of Elden's second molars have popped in so just two more and we are DONE with the teeth! His vocabulary is still growing like crazy, he still loves to eat, and his current favorite book is Little Blue Truck Leads the Way. We read it at least three times per day. He also thinks all cars are blue and we think this book is why. Speaking of cars, they are Elden's absolute favorite topic of conversation and he loves pointing out cars, especially "BIG car!" to you. We bit the bullet and bought our first ever minivan this week and Elden is absolutely crazy about his new big car. In addition to telling us, "NO!" all the time, Elden has added a head nod to his body language which is a nice change of pace. He loves giving you kisses on your nose and cheek, saying "hi!" over and over, and helping me in the kitchen. Even though this age certainly has its challenges, I'm pretty wild about all the cuddles and love my big-little guy bestows upon me.

Monday, March 17, 2014

pregnancy after loss

It's not been easy. The worry can consume me. I'm still unclear on how I feel about whether I truly believe the whole life begins at conception argument if the life in question never experiences a heartbeat or develops a brain (ultra-conservative Christians, feel free to verbally burn me at the stake). Why would God create a life that is destined to fail before a conventional/scientific understanding of "life" (brain and cardiac activity) comes to fruition? The reality is there is no obvious answer and that's for me to grapple with. Since I miscarried so early into the pregnancy I had no ultrasound and therefore no indication of what may have gone wrong--chemical pregnancy, blighted ovum, or other factors. I guess this is all just to say that I'm still murky on how I feel and while I feel like I've healed quite a bit I know I will never be perfectly okay. I'm specifically avoiding saying this is our second because the reality is it's not. This is our third pregnancy, one living child. Pregnancy loss is complicated and I'll deal with it how I need to.

In any case, I find myself (ironically) more at peace at times than I experienced even with Elden. I've seen my share of heartbreaking threads on the baby boards about loss and bleeding and rushing to the ER to get answers and I have resolved myself from the beginning not to rush to the ER if I experience any sort of spotting, with the exception of being instructed by my OB to go due to my Rh negative factor. I know there's nothing that could be done to salvage this pregnancy if it will end prematurely. That's not to say I won't be a total wreck if something does happen, especially after seeing the little pumpkin twice, hearing the heartbeat thrice, and being in a general state of nausea every waking second of the day to serve as a constant reminder of the life within. But I am more or less forced to be much more reliant on God. There have been several nights where I woke up and had a bad feeling and just prayed and prayed and prayed for redemption and for this little life to hold tight. My gut says it's a girl (although I'm sure that will change throughout the pregnancy) and I've found myself mindlessly referring to this baby as our daughter (sorry in October if you turn out to be a little boy). We have a girl name (spoiler: it's not Maisie anymore) and a contender for a boy name and oh my word how I long for this child. But the days that the nausea relents or I feel more energized than normal my mind creeps to those dark, scary corners of doubt, fear and insecurity. It's an uphill battle but one that God has been good to me in. The moments of despair are far outweighed by those of hope. I have no explanation other than it being divine because I am very much a glass half empty kind of gal.

Then there's the guilt. The guilt for my dear friends who long for a child but are struggling to fill their arms--due to infertility or general life situations. The reality is, we got pregnant after two months with Elden, a single time with the miscarriage, and the second month with this one. I can't comprehend how that's fair. It's not fair. My heart is broken for those in my life who struggle to fulfill their visions of a family. I'm so sorry if my own pregnancy is causing you any sort of hurt.

So to summarize, I'm not sure how I feel all the time, the scary can be really scary but the unknown can be positive, and I am empathetic for those around me who may be struggling with our news. Pregnancy after loss is messy. Not really knowing who to talk to besides Jon about these feelings--someone who is equally fudged up on the inside about all of this--isn't always helpful. But we're managing. We're hopeful. We're processing through each day as it comes. And that's just going to have to be good enough.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

timeline of events

I decided to just publish this even though I totally slacked in the update department, so it's really a pretty incomplete record. TMI warning - early pregnancy weird/bodily things ahead. Menfolk may want to divert their gaze. I'd also like to point out I will not be doing the weekly belly updates this go around, at least not publicly. I may start a little pregnancy scrapbook for this kiddo but I had been thus far hesitant for fear of growing too attached to the little one and then losing it. I had a follow-up appointment at my OB yesterday afternoon and she couldn't find the heartbeat on the Doppler so she did a quick ultrasound. Heartbeat was going strong in the 170s so maybe I will start the book after all... :)


How we got here:
We started trying for our next family member in mid-December. I falsely assumed it would happen immediately since I got pregnant due to one time when I had the miscarriage. I was wrong and pretty worried (natch) that something was horribly wrong with me since the miscarriage. We pushed on.

Tonight when I went to the bathroom I had some very scarce spotting. I grew frustrated and assumed it was a sign of an impending period about a week and a half early. Jon suggested implantation bleeding. I didn't think that was possible because I seem to ovulate later (around day 16... basing this off the night in question for the last pregnancy) and it just seemed too late to have bleeding. After some Googling I decided this may have actually been implantation bleeding.

I noticed my boobs seemed perkier than usual. I immediately got suspicious because this was the first (and only) thing I noticed with Elden before I found out I was pregnant. I didn't say anything to Jon because I tend to imagine things that aren't there when I am hopeful. Later that night, completely unprompted, Jon remarks, "your boobs look really perky right now!" Operation pee on a stick (POAS) every morning commences.

I woke up at 4 and had to pee. I quickly did my trusty Dollar Tree test, saw nothing, went back to bed. A few hours later Jon noticed a faint faint test line (i.e., pregnant). However, outside of the 10-minute window it is likely a false positive due to an evaporation line. Took a ClearBlue digital test with weeks pregnant predictor. Comes out "Not Pregnant." Continue Operation POAS tomorrow.

I woke up at 5 and had to pee. Once again donned the trusty Dollar Tree stick. Within 5 minutes, these are my results:
I go back into our dark bedroom, test in hand. Jon sleepily asks, "still negative?" I respond, "not exactly..." and he shot out of bed and asked to see it. He saw it. We smiled, hugged. Truthfully, I am still very much in disbelief. I've been on and off crampy, particularly on my left side, the last 3 days. I've also been a tidbit more tired than usual. I'm taking all of these as good signs because they were absent with my last pregnancy. That being said, my positive was incredibly faint and I wouldn't even anticipate my period until the 11th or 12th (my cycles are still jacked from the miscarriage) so there is a lot of room for things to go wrong. I'm going to take a cheapy dollar test (sadly the Dollar Tree was out so they aren't the same brand) tomorrow and Monday to see if my test line is getting darker. Either way, I will call my OB on Monday to schedule my bloodwork because either way (healthy pregnancy or miscarriage) they will need to know. I'm trying not to be hopeful--remnants of the miscarriage--but I have an unusual sense of peace about all of it. I'm praying this little pumpkin sticks. Based solely on my last period, my due date is October 21st. Once we [hopefully] see healthy hcg numbers in my bloodwork we will tell our families. Not planning on telling the rest of the world til we at least see the heartbeat on an ultrasound, though.

I did more home pregnancy tests and they all came back with a resounding positive. We told our parents over the weekend--they were excited. My first beta came back at 81/progesterone 25 which are great numbers, but they needed to retest today. I didn't expect my results til tomorrow so lo and behold my shock when I saw them on the portal today. My beta increased to 1360 which is fantastic! I call in the morning to setup my first ultrasound and prenatal visit. We also told our siblings today.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

we're growing... two feet this fall!

Lots of emotions over in casa de flip right now. I'm only 8 weeks right now so there is still a 4-5 week window where a lot can go wrong, but we decided to share the news as we welcome as many prayers as we can get.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

guest blog

I have a guest blog up at Cleveland+ about the Akron Zoo today, so click on over to check it out. It's perfect timing since Elden and I actually headed to the zoo on Saturday in our glorious 40-degree heat wave. We spent a solid two hours there and this time I let him walk the majority of it. About five minutes in he found a little stick and I'll be darned if he didn't hold onto it the entire visit. Most of our time there was consumed by *step step step, pause, hit ground with stick, step, pause, hit ground with stick* with the occasional obsession (OBSESSION.) with the hand dryer in the petting zoo area, but he was nice and tired by bedtime and it did us wonders to escape our cabin fever for the afternoon so no complaints here!