A Week In

Well, we’re a week and 2 days in to our new crazy life. Things have been going well for the most part but I thought I’d mention a few highlights (and lowlights). Cause let’s be honest….the first week home with a newborn is rough.

Highlight:

Getting to go home the day after giving birth. Because he came early in the morning my doctor said I could leave the next day if I felt up to it. And because of the super fast delivery, it didn’t take much of a toll on my body (5 mins of pushing compared to 2 hours really does make a difference!), so physically the recovery has been much better this time around.

Lowlight:

While Gwen was really excited to meet her brother, she wasn’t feeling well at all. She had her first fever EVER the night we got home from the hospital. Thankfully I was able to get it down really quickly but she was still miserable and full of snot and it took awhile for her to fall asleep. I think it might’ve been teething related. In any case, the fever never came back and she’s fine now thankfully. But it wasn’t the most ideal “welcome home” scenario!

Lowlight:

No sleep that first night. None. Zero. And I was already sleep deprived at that point since my babies like to send me to the hospital in the middle of the night when they decide they’re ready to enter the world. It was a very rough night. He nursed, seemed to fall asleep and be content, but then when I laid him down he’d scream and want to nurse again. All. Night. Thoughts of “I’m never doing this again, this is the last baby, I’m done” were going through my head all night. All I wanted in the world was sleep. And there was no sleep. I’m sure I went through the same thing in the early days with Gwen. It’s amazing how much you “forget” (even though it was just last year lol). Eventually, the good memories outweigh the bad/frustrating days and it gets easier.

One more lowlight, that leads to a highlight:

In those first few days I had a really hard time emotionally not being able to give Gwen the attention I used to give her. SHE seemed fine, and not jealous or anything. But it made ME really sad. The baby blues and sleep deprivation made it worse I think. Thankfully now that my hormones are back to normal (for the most part) and I’m getting more sleep, I’m dealing with it much better. It was just hard for me at first to let other people take care of her, or have her needs come 2nd to the baby. And for the majority of our interactions to consist of telling her “no!” and  trying to keep her from hurting her brother. Again, now that I’m feeling more human and normal, It’s gotten better. I’ve really made an effort to do more with her when I can and that’s helped. When little Ivor is sleeping, I’ll play with her. Or I’ll put her down for her nap, or make her lunch etc.

Highlight:

Because of the above, not getting as much attention from me, Gwen has really bonded with her daddy. The two of them have become best buds and that makes me so happy to see. She loves sitting on his lap and reading with him, “working out” together (he taught her to do push-ups, sit-ups and squats lol), kicking a ball around, etc. They are adorable together. It’s definitely a blessing to have him home so they can spend this time together. It will be a very sad day when he goes back to work 🙁

So that’s just a quick glimpse of how our first week home has been. All things considered, we’re doing pretty well. The first week(s) with Gwen were a lot more difficult…because we didn’t have a clue what we were doing (and we had some crazy circumstances that added to the difficulty).

Anyway, that’s all for now. I’ll leave you with a side-by-side comparison photo of Gwen and Ivor Alan at 1 week old. I do think he has more of my features (dark eyes, darker skin coloring, dark hair etc.). Gwen had lighter skin, lighter/bluer eyes and lighter hair. What do you think?

GwenIvor1week

Accomplishments

If you happen to read my facebook statuses, you’ll probably already know that the stomach bug hit our home a few days ago. The day I posted “Vomit“, I vomited, several hours later. Then the next morning, my brother-in-law (who lives with us right now) also vomited. My husband is the only one who somehow managed to escape the vomit. He felt pretty miserable though so we can still say it hit him.

So that sparked in me a desire to go on a mad cleaning spree and also get some things on our to-do list accomplished this weekend. We have an actual Google “to-do” list I made, as well as a “things-we-need-to-buy-for-Ivor-Alan” list. I’m happy to say that we can now cross a few of those things off! I was never much of a list person…until I became a mom. Now I have lists. Kids change things.

Anyway- we got the crib and the double stroller this weekend. I also got some curtains for the baby’s room. Mostly because their room is the only room in house that gets a ton of sun and it really gets hot in there late in the day. So I got some “blackout” energy efficient curtains. Let’s hope they work! But if not, curtains make a room look more home-y and cozy so it’s still nice to have. And they were cheap. Walmart ftw! Also from Walmart, a crib for under $200…convertible…with great reviews…and it’s Graco…name-brand 😉 Ain’t no shame in shopping at Walmart, especially when you can do it online and not have to be in the actual store lol.

About the double-stroller. Cause who would’ve ever thought I’d be purchasing a double-stroller?! Crazy. After talking to other moms and researching a bunch, we decided on the Contours Options LT Tandem Stroller:

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 8.44.01 AM

 

In that wonderful gender neutral (but leaning more towards masculine) color. Really it was the only color Buy Buy Baby had in stock…and that’s where I had a coupon. So we weren’t complaining! I’ll write a review after actually using it in a few months. But here’s what we were looking for a DS (double stroller): 1. compact when folded so it can fit in the back of our Prius. 2. Compatible with our infant carseat.  3. Not insanely expensive. Those were the 3 must haves. This stroller meets all those requirements. Though I have to say, when open, this thing is a beast…NOT compact while open. Just when folded up for storage, which is the most important thing for us. Reviews say that it’s surprisingly easy to maneuver though. I’m sure it just takes a bit of getting used to the length. Like when you’ve been driving a car for several years and then get an SUV or (gasp) a Mini-van. It takes a bit of time to get used to the longer vehicle. Anyway… other features that we like about this stroller: massive storage basket, stands up on it’s own when folded, lightweight, and there are 6 different seating positions for the babies (6!). The parent cup-holder is apparently flimsy but I’ll just get one of those universal cup-holders to attach.  No big deal.

Next things to buy: bigger diaper bag, a few more cloth diapers, a crib mattress, and some other little things. But I feel better now that the big purchases are out of the way.

8 weeks left, here we go!

 

Let’s Just Pray for an Easy Life, Shall We?

::please note sarcasm::

sort of…

As I was thinking of the specific prayer requests I have for the upcoming birth of our 2nd child, I realized that I could just sum it up like this: pray for everything to be easy lol. While that would be nice,  I know it’s not very realistic. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a BAD thing to ask to NOT get an infection during postpartum recovery. So I still will ask for that. But in all your prayers, follow up with something like this: “that they’ll rely on God’s strength to stay sane and endure the tough moments that will inevitably come”.

So, that said…here are our requests:

That I would NOT get an infection during postpartum recovery. Physical recovery is rough enough. Childbirth is no easy feat. Your body goes through a pretty traumatic thing..ya know…pushing out a human like that. And with Gwen I got an infection a few days later and ended up in the ER in the middle of the night with a really high fever that lasted a few days. Thankfully I still managed to nurse Gwen and take care of her even though it was really, really difficult (and thankfully I had help!). But I’d love to not have to go through that again.

Backing up to before the recovery part- of course we’d like prayer for a healthy baby. There’s a lot of uncertainty about labor and delivery. Will it be fast? Will it be long? Will I have to get a C-section for some reason? Whatever happens, I just want a healthy baby boy at the end of it.

Finally, that after the initial survival mode (first few weeks after birth) we’ll figure out a routine that works best for us. I’m sure it will be a lot of trial and error…and a constant dependence on God to stay sane. Sometimes the thought of life with 2 kids so close in age terrifies me and I just picture pure chaos in my home. I’m sure there will be moments of chaos. But I’d love to get to a point where I start figuring things out. Like how to get 2 kids out of the house to go to the store or the park, by myself. Or how to get them on the same nap schedule eventually so I have a moment to myself (even if it’s just for 10 mins at a time lol).

Oh, and pray for Gwen’s adjustment to having a new baby in the house. One of the advantages of having them so close in age is that she hasn’t had several years of being the only child. When she’s older she won’t even remember a time when her brother wasn’t around. So I don’t *think* it will be too difficult to get used to not being an only child anymore. But ya never know. There could be other difficulties.

Ok, those are the big ones. I just wanted to get this post out there now since it’s April. And if little Ivor decides to come a bit early like his sister did, I could potentially be giving birth next month. And that’s kinda crazy.

I should probably get his crib soon. And a double stroller. And a bigger diaper bag. And everything else I need that I haven’t gotten yet! Ah!

I leave you with me and cranky pants:

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BOY!

Yesterday morning we found out that baby #2 is a boy! We are so thrilled! Of course, we would’ve been happy with either gender, but since we already have a girl, we were hoping for a boy, just to at least have 1 of each. I knew Ivor really wanted a son, so he’d want to keep trying until we had one (who knows how many girls we could’ve ended up with! lol).

Ultrasounds are fun/weird/nerve-wracking experiences, so I thought I’d share what it’s like inside the mom’s head during one (or in my head anyway, can’t speak for everyone). Having been through a miscarriage, and knowing quite a few people who have had negative experiences, I’m always nervous. I’ve had enough ultrasounds to know what a beating heart looks like so that’s always the first thing my eyes search for. Is my baby still alive? Is the heart still beating, and how fast? Fortunately I spotted that pretty quickly. Whew. Next I overanalyze the demeanor of the ultrasound tech. With Gwen she was kind of quiet and not very enthusiastic. She very matter of factly just stated what everything was “this is the head” “this is the brain” “this is the arm” etc. I realize the ultrasound techs can’t tell you the results of the scan and say “everything looks normal and wonderful!”. So this is why I overanalyze. This time the tech had a very thick Russian accent and also spoke pretty quietly. Most of the time I had no idea what she was saying, which didn’t help matters much. What I was able to make out clearly though was the gender reveal. I was pretty sure I saw a boy part on the screen and then sure enough she said “it’s a baby boy!” Yay! We have a son! Craziness. He was pretty active and moving around a lot, but not being very cooperative for certain pictures the tech needed to get. She made me empty my bladder twice, hoping he would move so she could get the shot she needed. I assume it worked. Because they didn’t ask me to come back for another one.

Other than the nerve-wracking part of wondering if everything looks normal (and it did by the way), there’s also a lot of excitement and amazement from watching a tiny little human move around on the screen, knowing it’s happening inside of my body. It’s weird. And amazing. He looked so cute in there…seemed to be annoyed though that we were disturbing his naptime. He kept putting both his hands up by his face, and over his ears. Gwen does the same thing when she’s sleepy- hand to the face. It will be fun to see their similarities and differences. From what I hear, baby #2 is usually polar opposite of baby #1. Which means he’ll be a pretty chill baby…laid-back…quiet lol. We shall see….

So the name, as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, is Ivor. The firstborn son of every Griffiths family for generations has been named Ivor (or at least the last 3 generations…not sure how far back it goes). They all have different middles names though, so he will not be a II, III, or IV…or a Jr. His middle name is going to be Alan (my dad’s middle name). Ivor Alan Griffiths. We’re actually predicting that he’ll be born on Ivor’s (my husband’s) birthday…May 31st, which is entirely possible with a due date of early June. Gwen came early, so maybe little Ivor will too! Two Ivor Griffiths born on the same day (just 34 years apart). That would be madness. Which is why I think it’ll happen lol. Anyway. I never thought I’d name my son with the same first name as his dad, but it was really important to Ivor (my husband). I’m going to have to start distinguishing between them somehow…”Big I”, and “Little I” perhaps. I digress.  I love the idea of having a unique and memorable name (but not one of those crazy made-up names). Ivor is a real name. Scandinavian I believe, meaning “archer”. However, people tend to mispronounce it a lot since it’s not a very common name in the USA. So in case you’re wondering, it’s pronounced EYE-ver (rhymes with driver). It’s NOT pronounced EEE-vor. Glad we cleared that up. Also, I can’t think of two better men to name my son after- my husband and my dad!

I wish I could share some pictures from yesterday but they forgot to give us the CD before we left the office. I’ll get it when I go in for my next appointment in 4 weeks.

For now I’ll leave you with this:

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When a former coworker of mine heard what my husband’s name was he told me about “Ivor the Engine”, which was a British cartoon from the late 1950’s, early 1960’s (color episodes in the 70’s). “About  the adventures of a small green locomotive who lived in the “top left-hand corner of Wales” and worked for The Merioneth and Llantisilly Railway Traction Company Limited. His friends included Jones the Steam, Evans the Song and Dai Station, among many other characters. Ivor enjoys doing all sorts of things that people do. As well as singing in the choir, he likes visiting the seaside, making tea from his boiler and spending time with his friends. He is fond of animals, and has several of them among his friends. He can be wilful and disobedient at times, and it is not unknown for him to go and do his own thing when he should be working. He dislikes shunting and timetables.”

You learn something new every day!

We love you little Ivor and can’t wait to meet you 🙂

 

2nd Time Around

I thought I’d share a bit about how this pregnancy has been so far. Mostly because I sometimes forget I’m pregnant. Seriously.  Having an 8-month old keeps me pretty well distracted lol. So I want to try to remember stuff.

A few things are different this time around.

1. I’m way more emotional. With Gwen I was pretty normal. This time I’m a little crazy, not gonna lie. I’m sure my husband would agree.

2. No vomiting! I’m pretty excited about this one. I threw up about once every other day with Gwen for all of the 1st trimester. This time I’ve only FELT like I was going to throw up, which is still no picnic, but at least I can keep food down. I still have vivid memories of the things I couldn’t keep down last time……

3. New mom fatigue + pregnancy fatigue = epic fatigue.

4. Again with the 8-month old distraction, I’m having a hard time keeping track of this pregnancy. With Gwen I had a babycenter app with daily updates and pictures and emails sent to me every week telling me what food my baby is the size of, etc. This time I can hardly remember how far along I am at any given time. I did update my babycenter profile with this pregnancy and still get the emails, but I almost never read them. I am ashamed.

5. My baby bump is making an early appearance. I know that’s pretty normal for all pregnancies after the first. My body is like “Oh hey, I remember this”. I experienced the same bloating at night, and deflating in the morning for a few weeks. But now it doesn’t deflate anymore. The bump is here to stay.

Here’s a shot of the newbie waving at me “Um, Hey mom…don’t forget about me in here!” 🙂

GRIFFITHS_KRYSTAL_1

In a few weeks he or she will be kicking me as little reminders every day. I do miss that feeling and look forward to it!

 

7 Month Update

I haven’t updated since last month because, well, it’s been a bit busy and eventful to say the least. But baby girl is 7 months old now and doing great!

We’re still having breastfeeding issues and decided to supplement with formula because she just wasn’t gaining any weight (she actually dropped off the growth chart completely). I wanted to make sure there wasn’t some other reason for her lack of weight gain which is why we made the decision we did. And thankfully, after supplementing with formula she has started gaining weight again, which is the most important thing. There’s more I can say about this and plan to in future posts, because there’s a lot more to the story. But we’ll leave it at this for now: she’s gaining weight, she’s happy and healthy and we feel we made the best possible decision for her at this time.

Moving on.

Sleep. I vaguely remember what that’s like. It’s cruel really. For 2 months straight she slept through the night. I’m talking 11-12 hours. Then around 5 months she decided…”who needs sleep???”. For the past 2 months, she hasn’t slept through the night once. Sigh. On a good night, she’ll wake up once. On most nights, 2-3 times. I’ve blamed teething. But there are no teeth. I’ve blamed sickness. But she’s healthy. I’ve blamed this “sleep regression” thing people keep telling me about. But is that supposed to last for 2 solid months?! At this point I just keep telling myself “this is a season of life…she’ll be driving before I know it, I will sleep again”.

As far as new things:

*Planking. (The fitness kind). Pretty sure it’s an attempt to crawl. But she’ll get up on her toes and her hands and hold the position for a few seconds. She’s going to have a very strong core.

*Still gets on all fours and rocks back and forth. She’s started moving her knees forward but hasn’t figured out yet that she needs to moves her hands too. It’ll happen soon enough.

*Eating. She still loves her solid foods. We haven’t found anything yet that she doesn’t like. But we’ll be introducing a lot of new things this month so maybe we’ll find something that she turns her nose up to.

*She’s so interactive now, I love it! You can have “conversations” with her. You respond to her, she’ll respond to you. And back and forth it goes. She really is a happy little girl who loves to smile and laugh. She can brighten up anyone’s bad day!

*Loves her reflection. Whenever she sees it on my phone she puts her face right up to it. Same with her little toy mirror. She’s so fascinated. “Who IS that adorable baby? We should be friends!”

*Miss-pees-a-lot. She’s been soaking right through her diapers at night. Time to do some cloth diaper troubleshooting. I’ve tried double stuffing, but she just soaks through both inserts! And for the record, she soaks through disposables too. We’ve tried those. Next to try is hemp inserts. If that doesn’t work, perhaps wool covers. If that still doesn’t work, we may try a fitted cloth diaper of a different brand. Any other CD moms out there have issues at night? If so, what did you find worked well for you? I’m open to suggestions! We have a heavy-wetter on our hands.

*Making more sounds. When I sneak up on her and scare her she literally screams “Ahhh!” and then starts laughing. She also said “daa” once. Ivor was beaming. But she wouldn’t say it again lol.

That’s all for now. I’ll leave you with this face:

gwen 7 month

 

and this one…

gwen 7 month2

 

Happy 7 months Gwendolyn Jane!

6 Month Update! (and breastfeeding woes)

I may or may not be in denial that Gwen is 6 months old now. As in, half a YEAR! I swear I was just pregnant yesterday. Time flies. STOP IT, TIME.

So before I get into the “breastfeeding woes” portion of this post, I’ll start off with “what’s new”:

*Rolling all over the place. Right after I posted the 5-month update, she started rolling over…like the next day. So she’s been doing that for awhile now. Took her a little while, but she can now roll from her tummy to her back. At first it was just back to tummy. She also goes in both directions.

*Sleeping on her side/stomach. It scared me the first time I saw her sleeping on her tummy, but…she likes it. And even though I always put her on her back to sleep, she ends up rolling over at some point. Twice I’ve flipped her back over, and she woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep. So…I’ve stopped doing that. She also sleeps on her side sometimes, which I think is really cute (mommy’s a side sleeper too!)

*Sitting up! She can sit up with support just fine. But recently she’s been sitting up without any support for about, oh 20 seconds or so before she topples over lol

*Didn’t think it was possible but she’s even MORE vocal now. She always babbling to herself, her toys, to us. She likes to blow bubbles and make farting noises. And then laugh.

*Loves her some solid foods! So far we’ve done rice cereal, oatmeal, sweet potatoes and avocados. She’s loved all of it! And she gets mad when she finishes. The 2 oz. portions just aren’t enough for her. Which brings me to “breastfeeding woes”.

I suspected that my milk supply was getting low about a month ago. My boobs started shrinking back to normal size (which is totally depressing). And Gwen suddenly became super fussy while nursing. She acted hungry, but would only latch for a minute or so and then would get really frustrated and fuss/cry. Which immediately made me think that there’s just not enough milk coming out. Heck, I’d be frustrated too! But I went to kellymom.com and it said that many moms THINK their supply is low when it really isn’t, and that the size of your boobs and the behavior of your baby is NOT the best indicator of a low supply. Ultimately, it’s weight gain. She’s always been on the small side, and not super chunky like most babies. But she had been growing “along the curve” just fine and her doctor was never concerned.

Except that yesterday at her 6-month checkup we discovered that she actually LOST some weight since her last appointment (which was actually at 5 months). Not a significant amount of weight, but still. You want to see your baby gaining weight at each appointment, not losing it! Ugh…talk about feeling like a failure as a mom. (and she hasn’t been sick so that’s not the reason)

So now I’m in obsessive-get-my-supply-up mode. I’m taking fenugreek, drinking a lot more water, pumping after each feeding, drinking mother’s milk tea, etc. And in the meantime I’ll also be increasing her solids (2-3 times a day instead of 1, and larger portions). I’d really rather not supplement with formula if I don’t have to. I will if I have to. But I want to try everything else first.

I’ll keep everyone posted on our progress. We go back for a weight check in 2 weeks. I’d appreciate prayers!

That’s all for now. Happy 6 months, baby girl!

sitting up

Darkness is My Closest Friend (Psalm 88) Part 3

As I begin this post I’m not sure if it will be the last in this little series or not…we’ll see how much Gwen lets me write this morning 🙂 To catch up, you should first read Part 1 and Part 2  of my story of pregnancy loss.

We left off with the start of “life after miscarriage”, right after my D&C procedure.

I’d like to address the roller coaster of emotions and crazy thoughts that I had. Both during that initial week of “shock” and the weeks/months that followed. Right or wrong, this is how I felt.

First, disbelief. “You’ve got to be kidding me”. I knew that miscarriage was more common than most people realize, but still…it’s the minority. The majority of pregnancies go well. Why did I have to be in the minority? Figures.

Second, anger. Mostly at God. Yes, I said it. I’m a Christian and I love Jesus very much. But I don’t always like what He allows to happen in my life. There are so many “bad” parents out there who neglect their kids, don’t even want them in the first place, etc….yet they get pregnant and pop out babies left and right. They don’t deserve the blessing of a baby. I do. (As if I have the right to determine who should have babies and who shouldn’t. I am not the author and giver of life.)

Third, shame/blame. It’s my fault. I must’ve done something wrong to cause this. Maybe it was the trip to Napa we took before I found out I was pregnant. Maybe I had one too many glasses of wine and that caused the miscarriage. Despite what my doctor said and what all the online articles said, I wanted to believe that there was a specific reason so that I could prevent it from happening again in the future. Except in reality, there’s nothing I could’ve done to prevent it from happening. And there’s nothing I can do to prevent it from happening again in the future. I don’t have control.

Fourth, jealousy. All of sudden everyone and their sister was pregnant. Waddling mamas-to-be all around me. Cute babies being pushed in a stroller or carried in the grocery store. They followed me everywhere. They all had what I didn’t. And quite frankly, it sucked. What’s worse though than strangers having babies all around you? Your best friend getting pregnant a few weeks after you lose yours. Yep. Let me be clear though…I was legitimately and sincerely happy for her, but it made me even more sad for me. It was really a shame …when I first announced to her that I was pregnant, she wasn’t yet and it was hard for her to fully rejoice with me because she had been struggling to get pregnant at the time. Then I lost mine, and she got pregnant and I couldn’t fully rejoice with her. That’s not the way it was supposed to happen. It’s very hard to “rejoice with those who rejoice” when you’re mourning over the very thing they’re rejoicing over.

Fifth, guilt over my grief. Why would I feel guilty? Because there are so many other people who have it worse than me. Some women lose their babies farther along in pregnancy, or even during birth, so I shouldn’t feel so bad losing mine at 6 weeks, right? Hogwash. Yes it’s true that there will always be someone “worse off” than you. But why do we feel the need to compare? I mean, really. Did that thought make me feel any better about my own loss? Not at all. My feelings of grief were just as valid as anyone else’s. The only time my feelings or attitude wouldn’t be valid, would be if I was complaining about not being able to afford $300 Frye boots, when there are people in Chile and Guatemala who I’ve met and spent time with who have so much less than I do, but are way more content and satisfied than I am. In that case, by all means, tell me “there are people who have it worse off than you, so suck it up”. But when it comes to legitimate pain and suffering, stop comparing. (For the record, no one actually said that to me, I said it to myself…and had this argument with myself.)

And finally, overwhelming sadness. There were many tears. I spent a lot of time listening to sad worship songs. I had a playlist on Spotify. Why would I do that? Because that’s how I was feeling. When you’re in the pit of despair you don’t feel like singing “Oh happy day” or “Sing Sing Sing”. And that’s okay. Listening to the hard songs helped me put words to my feelings, as I sat before God in prayer. Instead of rushing through my grief to get to the other side and be full of joy and hope again, I sat in my grief for awhile and let God do the comforting and the healing. Reading Psalms of lament also helped tremendously. To see what other Christians went through. To hear how they responded to God. I knew I wasn’t alone. Definitely not the first to question God and let him know how I felt about my circumstances, that’s for sure. I could write a whole series on the importance of lament, but I’ll save that for another time.

But thanks be to God, I did eventually “get to the other side” of grief and had my hope restored again. But it’s not what you might think. Gwen is not the happy ending to this story. Getting pregnant again and having a baby was not the solution to my suffering. Because where would I be if she wasn’t here? What if I didn’t get pregnant again?

Aaaaaaand to be continued….next one will be the last, I promise!

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Darkness is my Closest Friend (Psalm 88) Part 2

If you’re just tuning in, read Part 1 first. Otherwise, you’ll be confused.

So, picking up where I left off.

April 24, 2012. Tuesday.

…After sobbing for awhile all over Ivor’s dark gray t-shirt, I went over to the couch and stayed there for several hours. I ignored phone calls. Not sure if I responded to texts. I assume Ivor made me eat more at some point. I emailed my boss to let her know what happened and that I wouldn’t be coming into the office that afternoon but that I still planned to come in the next day. Until the next day arrived. And then the next. Each day I got up when my alarm went off, got in the shower to get ready and then realized I just wasn’t ready yet. I ended up taking the rest of the week off.

Back up quickly to the day after Tuesday. Ivor, against my will, arranged for visitors to come.  Even though I objected, it was exactly what I needed. And God sent the perfect couple from our church to minister to us at that time. They didn’t come over with Bible verses to throw at us to make us feel better (not that there isn’t a place for Scripture in the midst of suffering, there absolutely is, I just wasn’t ready for it at that point). They came over, sat with us in our grief and said “this sucks. I’m so sorry.” They had been through similar situations which they shared with us. They prayed for us. And watched the Muppets on YouTube with us (a momentary, welcome distraction).

A few days later, I went back to the doctor to have my blood drawn again (to check hCG levels, like I mentioned in Part 1).  The numbers confirmed the miscarriage, which was what we were expecting. I wasn’t holding on to any false hope at that point. I had been paying close attention to my cycle when I got pregnant so I knew exactly how far along I was, there wasn’t any chance that it was just too early to see/hear anything.

I was then given 3 options. The first was to wait it out and let my body “get rid of” the remains of pregnancy on its own. Warning: potential TMI ahead….this process involves a lot of heavy bleeding accompanied by painful cramping. And I would have no idea when that would occur. The second option was to take some sort of pill to initiate that process (which eliminates the horrible waiting part of the process). The third option was to have a minor procedure called a D&C. I opted for the third as the first two just didn’t sound like something I would handle very well. And I was told my body would recover faster from a D&C, so I could try to get pregnant again sooner. That gave me hope.

So I had the procedure the following Monday (April 30th). I was on pain meds but I still remember how it felt. Now that I can actually compare, it felt very much like early contractions. The whole thing was over in about 10 mins. My doctor did one final ultrasound to make sure she got everything out. She told us to wait 1 cycle before trying again, then sent us on our way. I remember feeling pretty good emotionally when we got home (but I knew that was a result of whatever they had me on, I can’t even remember what it was…but it wouldn’t last).

I wish I could say “the hard part was over”. But living in the aftermath of pregnancy loss, and re-entering the world again comes with some challenges. And a roller coaster of emotions.

To be continued….again….

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Darkness is my Closest Friend (Psalm 88) Part 1

We interrupt the usual light-hearted posting on this blog for a more serious message. Why? Because life can be hard and I don’t want to always write about fluffy stuff. That would be a misrepresentation of my life. There is a great temptation to put up a “front” online. Only posting about the awesome vacations we go on, the milestones our kids reach, the new jobs we’ve acquired, the fantastic meal we just cooked, etc. “The highlight reel” as I’ve heard it called. Well, in between all those fun things is some pretty rough stuff. Quite frankly, I’m annoyed with how we’ve been conditioned to keep it to ourselves act like we have it all together. In my experience, that’s a pretty unhealthy way to deal with pain and suffering. I’m not saying you should  post online everything you’re going through if you’re not comfortable with that. It doesn’t have to be a big public announcement. But share it with someone, a few close friends/family members, and especially, God. And share honestly.

This post about miscarriage inspired me take a moment to address this topic in particular.

Miscarriage. I’ve had one.

To date, it’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever gone through. On April 24, 2012 I should’ve been hearing my baby’s heartbeat for the first time. Instead, I heard nothing but silence. Saw nothing but a black hole on the ultrasound screen. Something went wrong in the very early stages of development and our first pregnancy ended at 6 weeks. 10-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage and I’m now part of that statistic.

Before going home, my doctor ordered blood work to check hCG levels (I had to go back a few days later to check again to compare the numbers…to confirm the miscarriage). As I sat in the waiting room with Ivor, I responded to the “so, how did it go???” texts. There was a baby crying behind me and an adorable toddler sitting in front of me, looking concerned as he saw me desperately trying to hold myself together and not lose it. My number was called and in I went to have blood drawn. Normally, I pass out when a needle gets poked into my vein. But my mind was elsewhere so I manage to remain upright.

We left the office, grabbed food at the Taco Bell drive-through. Went home. I went to the bathroom. And when I walked out of the bathroom, Ivor was standing there waiting. It had been almost 2 hours and I no longer had the strength to hold myself together.  I fell into his arms and the floodgates opened.

To be continued….

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screenshot of my calendar, April 2012