Sunday, January 28, 2018

Pregnancy Update

I gave this post a simple title so that those who do not wish to or can not handle reading a pregnancy update can skip this post.

Ok so I am still pregnant. I am 17 weeks along now and in the 2nd trimester which is wild! Baby is growing nicely and still has a good heart beat. The 1st trimester was definitely a challenge but in the very beginning I just surrendered to whatever is going to happen to my body. That really helped me not to be too hard on myself when I could not make dinner for most of the 1st trimester or eat much due to the overwhelming nausea. I also could not do laundry on my own or vacuum because I was ordered by my NaPro doc to not lift anything over 10 lbs or carry full laundry baskets up and down the stairs due to the fact I had a couple days of bleeding. Fun times! It turned out that the bleeding was due to some bleeding around the yolk sack of the baby but it was not in a dangerous spot. Also, it resolved itself (really with God's healing hand) about a week later but I was still to be on light duty only.

I have to say my husband has been a complete rockstar through all of this but I am not surprised. I am very blessed to have JJ and he is going to be a wonderful papa. He was taken aback a few times when I ordered him to not eat near me because I could not stand the smell of his food. I don't think either of us realized just how strongly I could react to food smells and textures. Now I am back to making dinner most every night and the nausea is gone. It seriously is magical to be able to eat my normal food again instead of just crackers, chip, toast, salad and protein smoothies.

My clothes are starting to get snug around the belly area and there is a bump forming more and more each day. I am waiting as long as possible before I go buy any maternity clothes. A friend gave me a couple maternity shirts for Christmas that I have been alternating wearing with my other shirts that still fit.

All in all this feels so unreal most of the time. It has been hard to make plans because part of my thoughts are "well what if we lose the baby?" or "I don't care about x,y or z because I just want this baby to stay alive at this point." I think that is what took me so long to decide if we were going with a midwife at a birth center or an OB. We went with the midwife which I am very comfortable with.

Now we are looking into baby registry items, having a baby shower and parenting?! Again, this feels unreal. Each time my bloodwork comes out great or the midwife says I am measuring right on target and we hear baby's heartbeat I am surprised. I always want to ask her "are you sure?" I guess I am still in shock that this is all happening. There is an element of wonder and awe that I have at the marvel of human life and how God as creator designed it to be. It is pretty amazing! In a couple weeks we will find out if baby is a boy or girl and do all the 20 week u/s measurement scans. We have not had an u/s since 11 weeks since we wanted to keep the u/s exposure to a minimum for me and baby.

 I have been experiencing feelings of guilt for not being super into all of the baby stuff because it feels like I am being ungrateful, which I am not, it is just overwhelming at times. The guilt of having this blessing while others still suffer is a whole other subject and post. JJ reminded me that we can only live day by day and moment by moment with what we know and that is that baby and I are healthy and growing so it is OK to make plans for baby's arrival. So, we are making plans together which is how I like it.

 I have been entrusting this baby to God every day asking for His will to be done. Doing that has helped calm a lot of my fears by allowing God to have full control over what happens and decisions that we make. Sorry this post is all over the place, I have kind of been all over the place lately! Thank you for prayers for this baby and me. I am grateful more than you know.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Blog Jump Start: Week 4

So, I am a week behind on this prompt but still wanted to participate. I am behind on most things lately but now that I am out of the 1st trimester I am feeling a bit more like my normal self.

Guess who's coming to dinner...The prompt for last week was who would you have dinner with living or dead? This prompt has been very difficult to write about. Mainly because there are so many possibilities that I can't make a decision. I think I have narrowed it down but, we will see where this takes me. So, I will write this post in a list format since that seems more organized and doable to me.

1) Obviously JJ and the baby (in utero) would be at dinner because um they live here!

2)  Karol Wojtiyla, probably around the time he finished Love and Responsibility. He was still young and spry yet full of wisdom. I think he would bring great conversation and some great light hearted charism. I really love St. JPII because he shaped so much of my conversion and young adulthood. He challenged my view of who I am, who Christ is and how to suffer with grace. I am so thankful for his life and vocation that I would love to share a meal with him.

3) Venerable Fulton J. Sheen. I mean I can't have St. JPII there without him! Whenever I watch, hear or read his words I am captivated. I did not really discover who he was and his media presence until after JJ and I were married. Once I saw my first clip of him I was hooked and his words about Our Lord Jesus Christ and the freedom that He brings made me want to fall deeper in love with Christ. So naturally, he is on my guest list.

4) Rafaela M. Herrera, my great grandmother, aka "little grandma." She was a tiny woman yet her love for God and her family was so big. I would want her there to keep us all in line and make sure we ate enough. It would also be so fun to see this tiny woman interact with these spiritual giants. Though she did not know much about theology she was such a great example of steadfast faith and keeping your prayer life going. She passed away in November 2006 and I would love to share a meal with her again.

5) Fr. M.D., who is still alive. He is a priest we met a couple years ago and he has instantly become a comrade and confidant for us. We have actually had him over for dinner a couple times and each time we grow fonder of his company. He is one of those priests that remind you of a mix between St. JPII, Ven. Fulton Sheen and your best friend. I won't go on about how cool he is for fear that he may become prideful. I think he would bring great conversation and warmth to this dinner plus he would be strengthened and edified in his vocation by being in this company. So, for those reasons he is on the list.

6) This one is a bit controversial for me and I am still not sure I would want this person at this dinner, my father. I would want him there just to ask general questions about his life like his favorite color, favorite childhood memory, what hobbies he has, what music does he like, etc. I have never gotten to know him since our relationship has always been a mix of deceit, mistrust and apathy. In the presence of everyone else on this list I would feel very safe so I would feel comfortable asking these questions and interacting with him without having a bitter undertone. At this point I mostly feel toward my dad the way I do any stranger; I would get to know them if they want to get to know me. Also, I think with being around these extraordinary and holy people my father would have a desire to know God and have an authentic conversion.

7) Honorable mentions: Caryll Houselander, J.R.R. Tolkein (it would be super cool to actually have Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf there too), my spiritual director (who would probably just shy away even if he knew the company), Mother Angelica (actually she would be bumped up to attendance because she would be a hoot!).

Now to the business on what we would actually eat. I think it would be funny to have pizza with all these amazing people. More than likely it would be some form of mediterranean/middle eastern food because that is what I am in the mood for mostly these days. We would also have to play a few rounds of mad libs because I would love to see what we all come up with!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Gaudete Indeed

I imagined many times what it would be like to write this post. I had hoped for this day for many years.

I am pregnant. What a heavy yet ordinary sentence. Having been dealing with infertility and reproductive issues for almost 10 years (well more than 10yrs if you count the horrendously painful cycles and awful PMS I started to have in high school) my mind is trying to understand that I am growing a human being in my body. Prior miscarriage coupled with the years of infertility make this experience for me so much different than your average pregnant mother. I have to exercise my anxiety and scrupulosity calming muscle A LOT more these days.

Taking things day by day and moment by moment is a challenge. So, I just have to go on with what I know right now which is that I am pregnant and my levels are looking great so far. Somedays I hate chicken but love red meat and vice versa. I need to praise God for the present moment and trust Him for the next. I need to be joyful and not just cautious about this pregnancy. There is a new life created through the merciful hand of God working through the ordinary function of our human bodies which He created.

Did I tell you yet that I did not do any trigger shots? I ovulated on my own this cycle and twice to boot once on each side! My usually low fertility signs were amazing on their own without any extra enhancer supplements! And my progesterone was looking great post peak with just taking the standard oral dose and no post peak hcg! When I went in for my NaPro appt. after the detox was done the doctor was pleased with how my chart looked so we scheduled an u/s for a week later to check for ovulation or a LUF. Well at the u/s appt. she confirmed ovulation on the right (which made me a little sad since that tube is blocked completely). She reminded me that the left tube can still pick up the egg from the right side so all hope was not lost. Then she went over to check the left and said "Well, you little over achiever! There is a corpus luteum on this side as well. Thank you Jesus!"

 After the u/s we asked what the plans were for the next cycle. Then she said since I ovulated I did not need the trigger shots any more or post peak hcg shots since my progesterone came back great. I also did not need to do the detox supplements longer. She said basically just keep up with the nutrition plan, take some supplements that I was on prior to detox and my usual post peak progesterone. That was it! She would monitor to make sure there was no LUF each cycle but there was no official cycle plan. Little did we know that conception had already taken place and new life had sprung forth!

 Crazy, right?! I am so used to getting bad news or needing to tweak something that I was stunned to not have such a regimented cycle plan to follow. I LOVE that God showed off His skills because really this could only be Him. I mean come on, I ovulated twice and I was one who had  LUFS for years! I could not ovulate on my own without a trigger shot. That is totally God at work!

We tested on P+13 which was on a Sunday in October and it was actually the Feast of Christ the King in the Traditional Latin Mass calendar. I said a prayer before and just gave it all to God knowing that I would be OK either way. When I read the test I thought it was negative because it was not the tests that I am used to taking, JJ got a different brand this time. So, when I read the test I sighed and said "OK God not this cycle. You are still Christ the King." Then as I was getting ready to throw the test out with the box I glanced at the box and gasped. I had read the test wrong! It was positive! I kept saying "Wait, what?" over and over again which concerned JJ so he started coming toward the bathroom. I took the test to him and showed him that it was positive!

 What a turn of events and emotions in a short amount of time. It is a moment that I hope I never forget. It felt different than when we found out about Cecilia. With Cecilia we were on cloud 9 and excited. With this baby our emotions have been more subdued, calm and peaceful. We don't have any rose colored glasses on and we know we have to take things day by day because we have a long road to July. We are excited yet realistic knowing that we entrust this little one to God and His plans for his/her life. I feel the weight of this responsibility and I am humbled and thankful to be entrusted with this little life.

 I had many years to get comfortable with carrying the cross of infertility and miscarriage. Now, I hope I have many years to get used to carrying the cross of parenthood. My prayer is that I get to meet this baby, have them Baptized and they become a saint.  I want God's will. That is all I want.

Gaudete! Deo Gratias!