Friday, October 28, 2016

15 Weeks

Today was Book Character Day at school.  The littlest ones thought I was a clown ("thing" has not yet been a sight word).  The second and third graders asked whether I was Thing 1 OR Thing 2.  I explained "Both!  I am Thing 1 and my baby is Thing 2.  Baby will arrive in April".  The 4th and 5th graders are too cool for school, so either they figured it out themselves or didn't notice.  A few of the girls noticed and were excited:).

Today also marks 15 weeks!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

38 Years Young Today!


When you think of the milestone birthdays you usually think of 13...18... 21...30...40.  38 doesn't usually make the list.  

However, for me 38 is about as important as they come.  38 is the year I become a mom.  

Happy birthday to me!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Story Time

According to the Family Education site I visit each day, tiny baby started to hear this week!  J.T. ordered four books on Amazon related to coding, problem solving, and engineering and yes they are all kid's books:).

They them came in the mail today and he lovingly read each of them to my belly (so sweet!).

We have continued the ritual each night this week (each of us taking turns).  After we go through the four books he had ordered, I dug out a basket of books we had from the nursery that included some that were his when he was little that his mom had given us last year and a few I have gathered from various places since we decided to adopt.

I love this little ritual and hope we keep it up over the months to come!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Can I tell you a secret?

As a part of my prayers each morning I have been including a prayer for the baby.  It dawned on me that I have been saying something along the lines of "Thank you for blessing us with this tiny baby growing inside of me.".  One day I realized that this baby was our baby and it gave me pause.

Since there are those of you reading this who are considering the use of a donor in some way, shape or form, I am going to shoot straight from the hip on this one.  To this point while I make sure the choices I make each and every day are in the best interest of tiny baby and I am so grateful that we are blessed with a child, I struggle to feel an actual connection with him/her.

A part of me wonders if it has to do with the fact that I tend to process emotions more like a stereotypical man than a woman.  In some of what I have read it talks about how men sometimes struggle to feel a connection to the baby until s/he is born because until that point it doesn't seem "real".  I think I can relate.  Despite the fact I have seen tiny baby on a bunch of ultrasounds, have even seen moving legs, arms, and a flip, and can see my tiny baby bump grow,  I can't feel any of it so it just seems like I am watching someone else up there on the monitor.  I am wondering if once I can feel tiny baby move inside of me it will feel more "real".

Another part of me wonders ::hangs head in shame:: if because tiny baby and I do not have a genetic link that this is what is causing me to not feel a connection.  I have read blogs where women who carry a baby created by way of donor eggs forgot almost immediately that s/he was not a genetic child, and I feel guilty for remembering more often than I think I "should" that tiny baby was made from J.T. and the generous gift from and genes of a woman we call Hannah (it just felt like her name).

In no way, do these thoughts diminish the love I have for tiny baby, but I do wonder if I'm doing something "wrong" for not already feeling a connection.  My logic minded brain knows that when it comes to feelings there really is not right or wrong, but I still feel guilty.

However, to work through this guilt, I am going to quote my wise friend, Amanda, who had this to say about a different baby related topic:

"I can't evening begin to imagine the rollercoaster of emotions you guys have been through an dhow you handle everything is perfect in my book:)."

So I am going to keep these words in mind the next time I contemplate the concept of connection and whether or not I am doing it "right".

Thanks for listening and for keeping my secret!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Amateur Photographers

J.T. and I spent a good part of the afternoon recreating the pregnancy announcements pics we liked from Pinterest.  Here is a preview:

There was also a pic of the two of us that turned out cute.  It had been YEARS since I had updated my Facebook profile picture so I thought what the heck I will update it and thought that only the people who visited my page would see it.  Ooops-I had forgotten that when you update pics on Facebook it shows up in the news feed.  I had not planned to announce on Facebook, but I did...for a doctoral student I can be kind of dumb at times.  

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Work Announcement

When you search online there are a bunch of cute ways for a teacher to announce her pregnancy to her class.  There is also a lot of advice for how a teacher should break the big news to her principal.  Unfortunately there were exactly 0 ways for a principal to announce her pregnancy to her staff!  I improvised with a cute example from a school counselor:

I put up the sign along with donuts and other breakfast goodies.  It was a big hit with lots of teary eyes and congratulations.  It was fun:).

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Ups and Downs of the Week So Far (keep in mind it's Monday!)

I have a small belly so my regular pants don't fit.  I bought two pairs of maternity pants over the weekend and they are too big.  The mornings are in the 40s and the afternoons are in the 70s so pants are needed to stay warm for morning car duty, but layers are needed so I don't burn up at afternoon car duty.  I may just end up going to work naked this's too hard to get dressed!

We also got an update from Land of Crickets Adoption.  So on the good news front they have agreed to a "final 6 months" on our contract when we return from the freeze next June.  What makes things bleak is even though I fully intend for us to put together the 100% best effort toward a new video/website/profile and are expanding our preferences, 6 months does not leave me much faith given that when our family dynamics were in tip top shape from their perspective and our video, website and profile were good to go, they couldn't make a match in 4 times that amount of time.

Also,  I may or may not have been stalking collecting data from their website since last fall.  There are multiple families who have been removed from the website without ever having been noted as matched or having adopted.  With the evidence stacking up, I am less inclined to believe much of what they claimed upon bringing us on board and am wondering if there may actually be any basis of legal action.  We wouldn't move forward with any of that until our contract officially expires at the end of next summer.  My eyes have definitely been open to my naiveté regarding adoption professional and the few tools that exist to judge their reliability:(.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Looking Back on Trimester One

Math has never been my strength, and I'm not going to lie pregnancy math continues to perplex me.  Most women do not go into first time labor until 39 weeks.  Trimester means thirds.  Mathematically (to me at least) that means the first trimester ends after the 13th week.   However, pregnancy math apparently dictates that Trimester 2 begins in your 12th week- so here I am officially done with trimester one!

The Bump:  I have had a bloat baby since the beginning, but in the last week have seen it turn into an actual tiny baby bump:).

My weight gain has been 0, but now that I am getting my appetite back I see that changing very quickly!

Symptoms:  Ever changing food aversions and bouts of nausea and morning sickness (thankfully no actual getting sick!).  Some exhaustion but once my thyroid meds were adjusted that got better, though if I'm not at school or class I am perfectly content to sit on my new best friend the couch and watch whatever I happen to be able to find on tv.  I have also experienced bouts of heartburn and now get up 4 times during the night to go to the bathroom.

Diet:  The only food I have been able to eat reliably has been pizza.  Everything else has ebbed and flowed.  Cereal (namely Lucky Charms, Life, and Grape Nuts) has been a major highlight.  I have been able to eat string cheese and fruit daily, but thank God for Boost and prenatal vitamins because otherwise we would be majorly nutrient deficient.  I have eaten salad about once a week, but really need to work on getting vegetables back in my system in trimester 2.

Exercise:  I know from wearing my Fitbit for the last year that the average workday yields me 5 miles of walking.  Other than a few additional random walks here and there, the walking I do as a part of my daily life has been it.  Another goal area for trimester 2!

Emotions:  Fear, joy, and peace have been most prevalent.  This past week bouts of tears, impatience and annoyance have begun to flare up.

Purchases:  None.  Now we do have a complete nursery, new born clothing, and other accouterment ready to be freed from their current hiding places from our adoption wait so we are at an advantage in that department.  I am going to need to look for some maternity pants in the coming weeks as it is getting colder in the morning and my skirts and dresses aren't going to cut it much longer.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Today is Wednesday.  Wednesdays are the days I call my friend Liz.  I met Liz when we were sophomores in college-both studying Elementary Education though it wasn't until our senior year that we become friends.  As I later found, this was because we were both destined to move from our comfortable yankee surroundings down South where the weather was warmer and the teacher jobs were plentiful.

We lived together for three years.  There was a lot of good times-being young and carefree in a new city, new friends, and laughter.  There were also a few not so good times- 9/11, the time she was called a cracker by a student and the death of my grandmother.   After three years, Liz decided her heart was in New Jersey and she headed home to stay.  We have only seen each other one time since then, but since she is great a remembering dates and sending cards and I do a decent job of calling we have still regularly kept in touch.

In recent years we having developed a shared bond surrounding the topic of IVF.  Her's stemming from surviving breast Cancer at the age of 32.  She underwent egg retrieval before beginning radiation and chemo.  It took about 4 years before they had the all clear and felt ready to proceed.  I knew she had undergone IVF last fall so when I called to catch up this summer we had a lot to discuss.

Turns out we had even more to discuss then I thought as she had undergone a second IVF in June and was pregnant!  It was exciting to experience pregnancy with a close friend (even one who was 12 hours away).  However, for all I feared in my first trimester we would soon discover her biggest nightmare was becoming a reality.

Before undergoing IVF in June, Liz met with her oncologist and got the all clear.  Unfortunately, everything was not clear- a tumor had returned 5 years later to nearly the exact same spot the first had begun.  This time the stress and fear of the dreaded C word was compounded by the 10 week tiny person she was happily and busily growing.

Liz is a fighter.  Liz is an optimist.  Liz laughs even when the chips are stacked against her and God bless her those chips must look like a mountain.

Three weeks ago, Liz had the tumor removed and this week began chemo (carefully prescribed and monitored by an oncologist, a fetal specialist and a host of other experts).  Baby continues to grow strong and healthy.  Liz is tired and sick, but in amazingly good spirits.

Our weekly conversations are not those of the newly pregnant-first time mom garden variety, but they we never were your garden variety girls.  God puts people in our lives for a reason.  Even when we think we figured out what that reason was, He is forever surprising in the gigantic plans he has for all facets of our lives.

Please keep Liz and her little one in your thoughts and prayers as they continue to fight this ongoing battle.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Cry Me a River

I am not a crier.  Even chock full or fertility drugs and pregnancy hormones there have been few tears, but this afternoon I have cried not one, not two, but THREE separate times and I have learned that crying is exhausting and I am so glad this is the exception not the norm for me!

Cryfest part one:  Parents in the midst of a (news to me) acrimonious divorce decided to use signing the children out of school early today as their arena.  The entire situation was done in 13 minutes, and I did exactly what protocol and law dictate.  That being said, my heart aches for the kids and I worry that by not doing something outside of protocol/law I have now set wheels in motion that cannot be undone, so I cried in my office:(.

Cryfest part two:  We had our first official OBGYN appointment this afternoon!  The first step was using the doppler to listen for what was going on in there and it took what felt like forever.  After about a minute of not hearing anything I kind of panicked and started to cry.  A few days moments later we had success, but my fear of a missed miscarriage definitely reared it's ugly head (I really should stay of off message boards, but I fail to listen to my own advice).

Cryfest part three:  I have veins that are tiny and few and far between.  Bloodwork either goes really well or REALLY badly and unfortunately today I experienced the latter:(.  I showed the lab tech the sweet spot (the spot where the RE's office had faithfully been drawing blood, without fail for months) and she botched it.  The other lab tech stepped in and it took her forever to find a vein in the other arm, it really hurt, and she needed 5 vials so it took a while.  Ultimately she got them, but man that sucked and I cried a couple of different times throughout.

Add to all the crying a sore throat that has lasted four days (yet yields no other symptoms) and I have decided I am not leaving this couch for the rest of the night!