Friday, February 8, 2013

The Thanksgiving Chicken and the Invention of Deadlines

Thursday November 22, 2012: 14 weeks 3 days
So, I'm 14 weeks now and we have been continuing to keep this pregnancy a secret.  No one but our immediate family and a few close friends has been privy to our good news over the last three months. 

I know people who have kept up with Josh and I on our journey to become parents are not surprised by our (well mostly my) secrecy.  I am still terrified all the time waiting for the bad news to come.  To tell the world out loud that we are pregnant and pregnant with twins would be the ultimate relinquishing of control, which is my biggest enemy to faith.  If those words get said out loud, I cannot take them back, I cannot know the conversations that might take place away from my presence, and I cannot shake the feeling that I would be jinxing myself and these babies if I am honest. 

We decided we were going to share our news on Thanksgiving....what more could we be thankful for?!  It seemed like the perfect time.  My grandma was going to be at our house and we could easily stop by Josh's grandma's where many of his aunts, uncles, and cousins would be gathering.  I had accepted, despite my fear, that I could do this...I could announce this news.

A few days before Thanksgiving though....I had an incredible breakdown/freak out/full out basketcase moment/panic attack. 

I allowed this crippling fear to overtake me, control me,  and literally take me over.  I have never been so overwhelmed by anxiety. 

I wasn't ready!!!!!  I couldn't do this!!!!  I said over and over to my patient, amazing husband.  I continued to choke these words out through enormous sobs. 

I was a Thanksgiving Chicken.

I bargained with him that I would feel better if I just had one more doctor's appointment under my belt.  He of course knows me and my basketcase brain well enough to answer, "Kristin, you will always need one more doctor's appointment." 

He was right.  I would continue to try to push this back and back and back. 

I have to say as a disclaimer that I know deep down that telling more people is going to be amazing!  The amount of people I know that have been praying for us, hoping for us, sending us positive thoughts and kind wishes our way is astounding.  Those people deserve to share in our joy and we deserve to be joyous with them.  We both have the most supportive wonderful families who would be nothing but ecstatic at this news.   

I admit it, the devil won this time.  He beat me.  I allowed his poisonous thoughts to consume me.  I robbed our families and ourselves of having one more thing to talk about being thankful for at this time of year.  

*********************
And thus, one of the best ideas emerged because of my failure and my fear: signed deadlines.  

Josh --> the GENIUS,  took what happened and used my own Type-A personality against me.  He walked up to me after I had calmed down with a piece of paper and these words:

"We will tell our families after our 16 week doctor's appointment
 by Sunday December 9th." 

There were two lines below for signatures; one for me and one for him (the witness).  He knows I would NEVER miss a deadline!  He knows I would in fact try to get things accomplished earlier than the deadline!  

Sure enough, Wednesday December 5th (earlier than said deadline), we were driving over to both grandma's houses to tell them the great news and let them spread it all around our families.  It was wonderful to share.

We have continued, together, to make deadlines, every step of the way: when to tell everyone we work with, when to tell my students, when to announce it on facebook, etc.  

He knew this was just what I needed.  I don't know how he puts up with me and all my crazy, but I couldn't feel more thankful, appreciative, and lucky.  It's nice to get that perspective back that us finding each other, us choosing to make a commitment forever, us loving each other unconditionally is what started all this journey in the first place.  It's what really matters.  I truly am the luckiest....no matter what :) 

Keep hoping, keep praying....

Saturday, February 2, 2013

12 Week Appointment

November 6, 2012: 12 Weeks
Finally, after not being sure my sanity could wait a second longer...
Finally, after many mornings and evenings crying tears of worry and fret...
Finally, after four weeks of roller coaster emotions (including passing the due date of our second pregnancy/miscarriage)...

We found ourselves at Lansing OBGYN for my 12 week appointment.  THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!

This appointment, from what I was told, was a time to weigh me, take my blood pressure, have my urine tested, and hear the babies' heartbeats on a Doppler.

When the nurse called us back she first asked me how I was feeling.  I still continue to be uncomfortable with that question because I want to answer: grateful, appreciative, thankful.  I don't want to say nauseous or exhausted because those things are not even a blip on my radar.  I just want to still be pregnant, no matter what, the.end. 

I answered her, "pretty good." 

Josh sort of coughed next to me.  I knew what that cough meant.  He, my mother, and my therapist, wanted me to talk with the doctors/nurses about how I've mentally been feeling so that they could understand all that encompasses this crazy basketcase worrier.

So I followed up, "Does that question count how I'm mentally feeling?"  She said yes, so I gave her a mouthful, but here are the highlights:
  • I'm a fertility patient.  I'm used to being seen ALL THE TIME.  I'm used to having ultrasounds ALL THE TIME.  To have needed to wait four weeks to have a doctor's appointment was extremely difficult.  
  • I'm not sleeping well/at all because I'm waking up during the night a nervous wreck.
  • I'm on the verge of tears daily waiting for 'the other shoe to drop.'  We've had two miscarriages, both early in pregnancy, and it has been a nightmare to sit and wait with no reassurance that everything is okay. 
  • I had a bleeding scare several weeks ago and still find the need to "check" myself a million times a day in the bathroom. 
  • I know of people that have had miscarriages around this time of pregnancy as well so that makes me even more paranoid, worried, and unsure.
That nurse listened to every single word through my cracked voice and my eyes swelling with tears.  She nodded and said she can see why this time has been difficult and must've seemed very long (UM YES!)  That was nice enough, but she went a step farther....

"How about this," she started, "I'm going to fish around here with this Doppler and I'm going to find it difficult to find two heartbeats.  Let's let you see your babies, let's get you an ultrasound."  

This could go down in history as one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me.  She didn't have to, she probably wasn't even supposed to, but did anyway out of the kindness of her heart.

So after "fishing around" on the Doppler, into the ultrasound room we went and never in my life have I seen something so amazing.  Our babies, four weeks older, looked like humans, not tadpoles, not gray dots.  I have never been far enough in pregnancy to see anything like what was in front of me.  They had arms and legs and were MOVING!  Baby B was punching and kicking and Baby A even waved at us.  Both heartbeats were also completely normal.   

My tears were so overflowing that the nurse, when we got back to the exam room, thought something was wrong.  Through my tears, I gave her the biggest smile and said, "No, everything was great.  You have no idea what you just did for us" and I thanked her lots and lots of times. 

Throughout our whole journey with infertility, God has tried so many times to teach me patience which is something I am no good at.  He showed me I could wait four weeks to have a doctor's appointment and even though I came close many times, I would not break and I would persevere.  With that being said, he knows me and all my failings and sent an angel to give me the solace I so desperately wanted/needed. 
Goodbye First Trimester! :)

**********
Four weeks later, when we went back for our 16 week appointment on Wednesday December 5th. we tried to score another ultrasound, but it didn't work this time.  The Doppler was our best case for reassurance and I had to be okay with that. 

Baby A had a heartbeat of 158, Baby B had a heartbeat of 154. 

God had shown me yet again that I could do this and I could persevere.  We would get another ultrasound until 20 weeks.  I would have to wait 8 whole weeks in between our 12 and 20 week appointments to see our babies and I had to accept that. 

Keep praying...keep hoping...

CHEESE and Other Yum Yums

End of October/Early November 2012:
Somewhere in Limbo, waiting for week 12 doctor's appointment

People always talk about weird pregnancy eating habits during first trimester.  The very few people in our life that know we are pregnant always ask me how I'm feeling and ask me about food and what I've been eating.  I decided to write this blog so that I could remember how I've been feeling in these early stages and what's been going on with me and food :)

I've definitely had interesting 'anytime' sickness.  I haven't been able to pinpoint a pattern, but there are times throughout the day, several, where I do not feel great.  I haven't puked, thank God, and I honestly don't see myself doing that.  I would do just about ANYTHING to avoid throwing up. 

I do find myself not feeling great right before and right after eating.  The during part of eating has been strange too.  I will be enjoying a feast of something and then suddenly, I will have to push my plate away and walk away from it.  It will go from the most amazing thing I've ever tasted to the worst in a heartbeat.  Josh, the amazing man that he is, has been having to clean up most of our dinners because I can't be in the same room with anything leftover from what I just ate.

Also, I've been noticing that I can only eat something once and then can't eat it for a while..several days, a week maybe.  I love having leftovers so that's been an adjustment. 

Here are some foods I've been LOVING and some I've been disgusted by...

LOVING:
  • Cheese: I will eat ANYTHING with cheese on it; cheese bread, pizza, mac and cheese, cheese and crackers, slices of cheese plain, grilled cheese (you get the idea)
  • Arby's: I must have some of my mother in law in me because I hear she ate that all the time with her third pregnancy (Lance).  Josh and I have had a few trips there to pick me up a Beef and Cheddar (shocking, cheese again)
  • Spaghettios....yum!
  • Spaghetti with my family's homemade secret sauce.  Thank God the babies have been wanting me to have that because they will eat it for their entire life :)
No Thank You:
  • Salads....I could not be more disgusted by salad dressing. The other day I gagged just looking through the choices in our fridge.  This has not helped me get a lot of veggies into my system. 
  • Desserts...this has shocked me.  As a HUGE dessert lover of all kinds, I figured I'd love that stuff while pregnant.  Things like ice cream aren't doing it for me. 
I have to share though that I have been SOOOOO thankful to have this 'anytime' sickness; in fact, I pray for it.  To me, feeling like a "normal" pregnant person gives me so much hope that things are okay.  My favorite days are days that I am exhausted and sick.  I am honored and appreciative to be feeling this way. 

Keep praying, keep hoping...

The Week of Naps

Late October 2012:
In Limbo Waiting for 12 Week Doctor's Appointment

So this week, I was extra exhausted for some reason.  I'm hoping that means that the babies are doing some serious growing! :) 

Because I am an extreme control freak, I have tried to find things within this pregnancy that I can control since there is so much that I cannot.  One thing I can control is how much rest I'm getting.  I have been going to bed super early, sometimes even in the 8s, and have allowed myself the occasional nap if I accidentally fall asleep watching TV or something. 

This week though, I napped every single day after school!  It was glorious!

I feel like I'm letting my body do something it obviously needs and that I am helping the babies while doing it. 

These naps have also helped offset how much I'm waking up in the middle of the night worrying so I embrace them! 

Keep praying...Keep hoping...