Our First Meeting

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” -Joseph Campbell

I can remember the first day I held her.  It was her Aunt’s wedding to some man I don’t even remember.  The wedding was in a VFW of sorts and there were streamers as decorations.  The kind you use for a 6 year old’s birthday party, not for a wedding.  The centerpieces were some sort of pop-up plastic wedding bells and the food was served on cheap plastic plates that fell through with any type of weight.

It was my cousin’s wedding.  A cousin I didn’t have a ton of association with but she asked me to grab my camera and take some pictures.  I felt like we should be on some prank hillbilly show on CMT, the whole thing was such a disaster.  I remember rolling my eyes at the keg in the middle of the room, the lack of soda and the balloons that bobbed around the doorway.

I walked from table to table, talking to family members I had slowly quit acknowledging over the years.  That was easy to do when you didn’t grow up close to them.  At some point she was plopped in my arms.  She was in a little white dress and a mere 6 weeks old.  Her mother, the bride’s sister, looked stoned and haggard.  She needed a cigarette and didn’t care who held the infant, just as long as it wasn’t her.

I caught myself fully entranced by her.  I had been around hundreds of babies in my life but somehow this one felt different.  She slept soundly and I stroked her sleek black hair and dark skin.  She felt infinitely light and looked like a doll.   My gut instantly told me something whether I knew it or not.

The music may have been fast but I rocked slowly back and forth and looked for her mother to come back but she didn’t.  Little did I know she was probably out the back door catching a high that she liked to keep while she was pregnant with the little one in my arms.

It was a peaceful first meeting.  Nothing like the life that would lay before us.  There are major flashes of that day stuck in my head, all meaningless, except for the one.  The one where I just looked at that sleeping baby for so long not realizing that my life changed for forever.  Nothing after that moment kept me in the norm.  Nothing after that moment was in my control.  God had a plan that was set into motion and it couldn’t be stopped.

I stood there rocking a baby Rebecca and had no idea what we were getting ourselves into or that I had already fallen in love with someone I didn’t know.

I would be lying if I would say I haven’t gone back to that moment in my head and wondered if I would change it.  If I would hand her back over, walk away and gone back to my college life.  The truth is we make a path for ourselves in this life to learn, to grow.  In the hardest of times I believe that is what we are meant for.  That tiny moment forever changed the course of my life and as much as I curse it sometimes, I wouldn’t change it.  It was the first day of my life with Rebecca.

To Tell Her Story, Is to Tell Mine

On my old blog I did a series of posts that explained just who Rebecca was and where exactly she came from.  On this blog, I don’t quite talk about her as often just in case someone we know IRL finds out about this site.  You could say I am a bit more cautious this time around because I don’t want to have to start over again.  The only major story I have ever really shared of her is here.  But she is my life and changed it the moment she came into it.  To know Rebecca’s story is to know mine.  Now that we know this new little one is safely on its way, I feel the need to share Rebecca’s story over here for those of you who didn’t know me in my pre-blog life.

For one, her real name is not Rebecca, but the name of her favorite American Girl Doll.  When I started my new blog I asked her what she wanted her name to be here and that is what she suggested.  At 12 years old, she understands the blog world and those friends that exist in it.  She has even had the chance to meet a few other bloggers and she is absolutely fascinated by it.

She is very aware of her story, our story, as we have never kept anything from her.  We are open to any and all questions she has had and will have as she gets older.  It is her life, her story, what has changed her.

As we tell people that we are pregnant, those that don’t know us well or of Rebecca, often ask if this is my first child.  I have to say I have a 12-year-old I have raised and this is my first successful pregnancy.  That is a loaded answer, I know, but the one way I feel most comfortable to answer.  Every family is different and on Monday I will start sharing our story.  It isn’t just about Rebecca, myself and my Husband.  It is also about my ex-husband a man who she considers her Dad, a man who has been there for her everyday and continues to be.  it is a story that leaves everyone with an opinion but we have grown past the point where we give a shit.  We do what we can everyday and hope it is what is right.  After all, isn’t that what any parent hopes for?

8 Weeks Pregnant

With that, we are now in our eighth week of pregnancy.  I’m arriving in this week thankful that we even made it through the 7th week after a lot of cramping and a bleeding scare.   I am back to yoga after 11 days of zero working out which makes me one cranky person.  I don’t do the job of “sitting on the couch” very well.  Aside from being tired and wanting a few extra snacks, I’ve been feeling pretty normal.  Every now and then I have a moment when I think puking up the last thing I ate would be great.  That happens more often when I take a whiff of something funky or suddenly hate whatever I am eating with a passion.

While most women would be ready to hit up a baby store or stalking baby Pinterest boards, I am not.  Instead the Hubby and I spent the weekend looking at fireplace inserts.  Yes, you read that right, fireplace inserts.  Who knew there were so many choices?!  My 21-year-old self is standing, hands on hips, (okay, one hand on a hip the other holding a Corona), rolling her eyes at the boredom of it all.  My 32-year-old self realized the smell of gas in these stores, from the fireplaces, made her baby no happy and therefore made herself want to puke.  Ah, the grown-up life.

Where were we, yes fireplace inserts.  Long story short, my sister is moving in with us in about 10ish weeks.  My sister currently lives 4 hours away from us, 3 hours away our parents and that is the closest she is to family.  Where she currently is at is where her ex-husband wanted to live and she just hasn’t felt the need to move, until now.  She is burnt out at her teaching job, most of her friends are moving away, she can’t stand her roommate any longer, her car keeps breaking down on the side of the road and my Husband is to far away to fix it.  Time for her to move closer to family.

If you had told me 10 years ago, 5 years ago or hell, even 4 years ago that my sister was going to move in with me, I would have laughed you right out of my house.  We never grew up with that sister bond.  In fact, in the past few years, we just started really noticing the other one existed and started working on building a friendship.  It was actually my idea to have her move into the basement and the Husband was completely cool with that.  I was even sober when I made that offer.  The plan is for her to stay with us for a year, find a teaching job here and then after that we will make a decision on how to move forward.  She won’t be paying rent as we figured we would let her hold our baby every now and then while we go on vacations and out to eat.  So yea, built-in nanny is where we are going with this.  No shame in our game and she is fine with it.

With 13ish weeks till the move we had concrete floors, walls and an organized area of totes for all holidays in the basement.  Now with 10ish weeks left till the move we have most of the basement framed in which will soon consist of an over sized storage room, bedroom, full bathroom, utility room, bar, entertainment room, an office nook and a bedroom that will serve as a gym.  By moving the office to the basement this does free up a room upstairs for a nursery.  (See, something baby related.)  Yea, nothing like just a few things to do on the list and I say “we” as in my Husband because my ass sits in a chair and makes a baby while I watch him put studs up.  We make one hell of a team.  And no, we are not hiring a contractor.  The Hubby will be doing it all during nights and weekends with the exception of a guy to come in to blow in the insulation.

It feels like building our house all over again.  There are things to pick out and choices to be made.  The fireplace insert was the first major decision and I learned I could not build a house and be pregnant.  My brain quickly gets frazzled, I think about a nap and walk away while telling the Hubs to just pick something.  So this is going well so far.

And no, we still don’t have a fireplace insert picked out.  I think I need a nap first.

Baby #2. Telling Family and Friends

Over the weekend my Mom and Dad came out for a quick visit.  Unfortunately my Husband was with his parents at a separate event so we took on the task of informing Grandparents on our own.  I was able to hand my ultrasound pictures to my Mom and introduce her to baby #2.  She started in with the tears while I explained we are not jumping for joy until we hit that 12 week mark.  She was, surprisingly, much more supportive than I thought she would be.  I think with Dad’s Alzheimer’s he thought I was 16 and Pregnant and belonged on MTV but I just ignored that death stare and moved on.  With that I made calls to my sister and brother.  Yes, complete opposite and much more downplayed from the first time around but everyone was equally excited and supportive, which is the most important factor.

The Hubby met up with his parent’s the same day and informed them that the doctor suggested that I should quick drinking.  Neither immediately caught on as to why but were equally sad for the loss of wine in my life.  The Hubby eventually connected the dots for them and with that came their own tears of joy. They were also happy that I could return to my wine habit in roughly 8 months.

I was truly grateful that we didn’t tell a lot of people the first time around.  We were right in making that decision.  We are sticking with the same theory for this baby as well and have pretty much told the same few people.  While some have had a few stinging remarks (“Why don’t you actually take it easy this time around.”) everyone else has been very supportive and understanding of our hesitance.  Honestly, the remarks don’t bite as much as I thought they would.  I know I did nothing to cause the loss of my first baby.  It just happened.  I will continue to do what I feel is best for me and this baby, no matter others opinions.  I’m going to pull an Elsa and just let that shit go.

With that, we head into week 8 of this pregnancy.

 

 

Here we go again

I mentioned we were going to go back to the fertility doctor as soon as my next period showed up.  So I waited, and waited and didn’t become overly concerned when said period wasn’t on time.  My cycle has been getting longer each month but just for the hell of it, last Friday, I took a pregnancy test.  And then another.  Because both were positive and I literally stood there in my bathroom wondering how the hell that happened.

Well, I know HOW it happened but we aren’t really suppose to be able to just do this on our own.  Here we were just banging around on our own with zero thought to dates, timing or a baby and BAM, insta baby with no signs or symptoms aside from a missing visit from Aunt Flo.

I immediately called the nurse, who ran to my doctor and I’m not sure who was more shocked but they told me to come in right away.  I was told by other women who had miscarriages that I would be shocked at how I would be treated during the next pregnancy.  Kid gloves.  Helicopter doctoring.  No waiting.  You name it, they were right. There was no waiting for return phone calls, results, a certain date weeks out for ultrasounds or appointments and no being pawned off to other doctors.  No, you go to the front of the line and get your hand held.

Here is where I wasn’t thinking that day.  I went straight to the hospital, to the second floor, and into suite 2300 like I had done a million times.  It hit me like a ton of bricks when I was getting signed in, last time I was here was for the doomed ultrasound.  I started crying right there at the desk.  The poor woman checking me in thought I was nuts and I didn’t really give a shit.

Within an hour I had my blood drawn and results back.  I was certainly pregnant and it turned out so well that there was no need for me to come back for another draw. The exact words were that the baby was showing off.  Throughout the course of that day I spoke with the nurse five times.  I had an ultrasound scheduled for Monday and an appointment and second ultrasound scheduled the following week with my doctor.  I was given a pep talk, the emergency phone number, asked repeatedly how I was feeling and told what to do in the case of any cramping or bleeding over the weekend.

By the time my husband came home that night I don’t think much had fully sunk in.  When he sat down I told him I had an interesting day and said I was pregnant.  He turned around and said “Who the hell is pregnant now?!” Not someone else dear Husband, me, your wife.  This took some time to sink in followed by just how the hell did that happen? My question exactly.

Still not feeling pregnant and still in shock we went Monday for the ultrasound that showed I was right at 6 weeks with a due date of October 20th.  We could see baby had a strong heartbeat, was measuring correctly and everything looked great.  The tech was so enthusiastic and congratulatory while I laid there in stone silence, holding my Husband’s hand, not saying a word.  We had already been here before, with a healthy baby, and it didn’t end well for us.  Finally I just had to tell her about our prior experience so she would back off a bit.  I was overwhelmed.  Thank God she understood, finished her job, politely handed us our pictures and sent us on our way.

My Husband and I have done a lot of talking over the past few days.  Neither of us can bring ourselves to get excited.  This is absolutely nothing like last time.  We knew we were going to be robbed of these wonderful moments and here it is.  We are telling approximately the same people we told last time, which are not many, and leaving it at that until a complete 12 week confirmation.  We want to have hope and positivity for this baby but it is hard.  A miscarriage, especially how late ours was, changes you in ways that you can’t explain to someone.  Of course this is what we want, don’t get me wrong and we were on the track to start again anyways but we know what the worst case scenario is.

So here we go again.  Round 2.  We will take all the positive, creative, vibes that you can send.

 

 

 

Letting Go of A Friend

Last July I made a very tough decision and cut a dear friend out of my life.  A friend that had been my best friend since we were 14.  We knew everything about one another, we told one another every secret, we grew up together, we watched one another go through some tough times, we even had a lot of sex in between break-ups.

If you would have asked anyone that knew us well, when we were younger, everyone would have told you that we would grow up and get married.  But the thing is, him and I knew that we could never get married due to various reasons.  We became a package deal.  A Will & Grace, if you know that one.  You marry me, I have this guy as my best friend.  You date me, you can’t be jealous of my best friend.  It just worked.  He was apart of my family and I, his.

Then we come to last July.  I can give you a million things that led to this moment but this isn’t about those reasons.  It is about the fact that I was exhausted holding our friendship together.  I was tired of him using me and hurting my feelings.  My daughter was tired of it, my Husband was tired of it.  We all really missed the guy that we knew. Slowly, due to all those various reasons, our friendship was dissolving and while I was fighting to hold onto it, he no longer was but he did actually expect me to.  And then I realized I had to let go.

I sent a text after my final straw moment.  I told him he was being a shit friend and I just couldn’t do it anymore.  I knew he knew everything I was referring to without actually saying it.  He didn’t respond until three days later to tell me Happy Birthday and since then it has been radio silence.  13 days after that I found out I was pregnant.  He knows nothing of my butterfly baby to this day.

While this decision has been brutal, I miss him everyday, it has helped. It was worth it.  Until the moment last week when I received the news that his Grandma passed away.  Under other circumstances I would have driven back home in a heartbeat and been there.  But circumstances are different so I called the local florist to have them send an arrangement to the church with a signed card.  By 3pm that day, radio silence was broken for the first time and he sent me a text.  He thanked me for the flowers and told me he was having a tough time with the death.  I wanted to text all the words I know my best friend needed in that moment, but I stopped myself and I hit delete on the long paragraph. I simply said you’re welcome, I’m sorry and left it at that.  My heart broke more.

I don’t know how long this will last.  I hope not forever.  I honestly, for once, don’t know how to put this one into words.  I’ve tried several time since July.  There is something hard about saying you gave up on someone that you should never have to give up on.  Mainly because I would hope that he would never have given up on me.  I have to assume that he will come back around one day when he is ready.  Sometimes we just have to let the ones we love go.

The Holidays Can’t All Be Perfect

I have always been one of those who really gets into the Christmas season.  Once everyone leaves Thanksgiving night I declare it “game on” and I’m full on into the songs, decorating and shopping.  I love everything about it and always try to really slow down and enjoy every bit of it.  Until this year.

Once Thanksgiving night came this year it was more of a “game on” situation to pack up our summer clothes and say fuck it to winter weather.  We headed far south to find warm weather and to give ourselves a chance to breathe.

I came back thinking it would be exciting to have the distraction of the holidays and I found it was quite the opposite.  I was an emotional wreck when we came back.  It turns out that when I was pregnant, I was looking forward to the holidays to hit up those baby sales much more than I realized.  The Husband and I had talked about how it would be the perfect time to buy the crib and other nursery items.  Because hello, sale.  Suddenly, there was none of that.  Sure, there were sales in every ad for the crib we had in mind but we weren’t needing to make that purchase or any others.  All the cute “First Christmas” items, that are now on clearance, are something we don’t need to bother with either.  We were excited to have an 8 month old baby to dote on next Christmas but once again- NO.

And that was when I realized just how hard the Christmas season can be for a lot of people and for many reasons.  It is a huge reminder of what hasn’t happened or what is lost for so many.  There are many families that celebrated this season with one less at their table.  Many that celebrated with broken hearts of what might have been.  There were couples that may have felt the weight of pain and struggle from the year.  Others tried to find the spirit of the season only to be met with a maddening feeling that they have lost so much faith. For some it isn’t a reminder of all the good but all that hasn’t been good.

To all of you I want to say how sorry I am.  For those who wavered, cried, lost it, struggled, and just tried to get through the holidays, you are not the only one.

The New Year should be a chance to start fresh and I know that isn’t as easy for some.  I have pulled the baby topic off the table until after the New Year and that deadline is quickly approaching.  We have conversations that we need to start having and I don’t know how to sort all of that.  I don’t know what I’m ready for because there is no answer.

My hope for everyone in the New Year that is struggling with infertility is that you get the gift that you have been longing for.  For everyone that has been struggling with miscarriages and/or the loss of a child(ren), may you find the courage to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  For all of those who feel like you are drowning beneath the weight of decisions and uncertainty, may you find peace with where the road is taking you.  For those that feel like they lost all hope, may you find faith.  May there be joy in the small achievements, hurdles crossed, and chances to breathe.

May the New Year be bright, magical, and full of happiness for you all.

New Year