Oct 30, 2014

Tidbits

Happy almost Friday! What's better than a bullet-style post to end your week? (The answer is nothing. Nothing is better than this. Obviously).

*Tomorrow is Halloween! I really don't care too much about this holiday but I am pumped this year because we should get a decent amount of trick-or-treaters! We never got them in the apartment and I can't wait to see all the different costumes!
You come to my house - you will get candy
*I am tearing through romance novels this year. I'm thinking about starting the first Game of Thrones book soon, but romances are fun and such a good escape so we'll see. I might just dub this the year of reading the romance novel. (Or something else with a way more clever title).

*If I haven't said it already, thank you. Thank you so much for all your excitement and happiness when I shared our news. And thank you for letting me be real about infertility and pregnancy, simultaneously. I feel very blessed.

*Along those same lines, I wanted to give you all a heads up I am going to do pregnancy post updates. I thought about this for a long time - I want to be sensitive to my fellow infertility warriors, but writing out how I'm feeling is such a part of who I am, and I want to be true to myself as well. Right now my plan is to do them bi-weekly and I will not be offended if you don't read/comment on them. I've been there. And I promise this blog won't become all pregnancy all the time!

*Fall is here! Fall is here! It's finally starting to get cooler here and I'm loving it. You can count on any Instagram photos from here on out involving a scarf or boots of some kind. (Don't hate summer lovers - you had your time).

*Ben and I have a weekend getaway with a few friends coming up soon and I cannot wait! We won't exactly be camping, but we'll be a lot more in nature then we normally are and it makes my Girl Scout heart so happy.

What's currently going on in your world? Are you handing out Halloween candy tomorrow night? Or dressing up? Happy almost Friday!

Oct 27, 2014

Give voice

I am thrilled to be a part of the #GivingTuesday campaign for Resolve. This is the first of a few posts I'll share - Resolve has done so much for me, including helping me give voice to my story and become an advocate for infertility.

When I think of my infertility journey, there are certain moments that come to me. Moments that happened years ago but are as vivid as if they happened just the other day.

*When I was first diagnosed with PCOS and crying on the phone with a friend on my way to work. I didn't know what the future looked like and I had no idea what this would mean for me - physically or emotionally.

*Sitting in the specialist's office hearing her recommend an IUI to us, then crying in the car on the way home telling Ben, "this isn't supposed to be how we have a baby."

*The anticipation we had when we fully embraced the IUI, the terror when we saw all the medicine, and the devastation when my nurse called and told me I was not pregnant.

*I can still feel my heart racing when after our second IUI we got a positive result, and the sinking feeling last Christmas Eve when the doctor told us our baby's heartbeat was slow and there was a chance of it stopping. I was numb when I went in for the d&c, but that night I sobbed on the phone to a friend and told her I couldn't sleep because I kept replaying that day over and over in my head.

*The moment we named our daughter.

*The moment I found Resolve as an outlet, and how Advocacy Day was scary, but one of the best things I could have ever done.

*At the end of the DC Walk of Hope, tearing up because of how uplifted I felt.

I've learned a lot along this journey. But what does infertility mean to me?

It means there's a stigma still attached to this disease, and I won't stop until that's gone. It means I've given a voice to my pain and my sorrow, but I've found an incredible community of men and women who are also navigating this same minefield. This means 1 in 8 couples are fighting infertility, yet the medical coverage for it is still almost non-existent.

Infertility has taught me I always have a little more fight in me. 
It means no one should be walking this journey alone.

How will you give voice to your story?

Find out more about #GivingTuesday and how you can be a part of this campaign.

Oct 22, 2014

All the feelings

About a week after Cece's due date, I took a home pregnancy test.

My cycle was late, and I was pissed. All I could think was how PCOS was once again acting up, and how this would affect everything - especially if we decided to do another IUI. I was calling my doctor the following week about my cycle and I wanted to tell them I'd ruled out pregnancy.

So I bought a cheap test (why waste money on something that's going to be negative), and drank some hard cider. I figured if I had to once again see a negative test, I might as well have a few drinks the night before. Because hello - the tests are always negative.

On a Saturday morning I took the test, and then set it aside as I bustled in and out of the bathroom and our bedroom, putting things away, getting dressed for the day, etc. I glanced at it before the three-minute wait was up, and when I saw a plus sign (indicating a positive result), I stopped in my tracks.

I looked at it in confusion, then laughed and said, "well that's wrong." I woke up Ben to show him and he just kept saying, "what? what?" I went out to get a digital test and later that morning I put them side by side.

Pregnant. 

This doesn't happen to me, I kept thinking. What the hell kind of trick is the universe playing?

72 hours and five pregnancy tests later (I mean, I bought them, I might as well use them right?), I sat on our couch, confused and feeling guilty.

All I could think was I'm one of those stories now. The stories that people with good intentions but who haven't dealt with infertility, tell someone who is in the midst of infertility hell to try and comfort them. "Oh don't worry - I had a friend who tried for years, and they did an IUI that didn't work, they did an IUI that did work but she had a miscarriage, and then she got pregnant naturally." These stories are normally followed by a, "it could still happen for you." 

I fucking hate those stories.

Now I'm one of them. A cliche, a statistic.

It felt like a betrayal of my body. (I mean really? Years of holistic remedies, then pills and shots, and now you get pregnant on your own?)

It felt like a betrayal of the infertility community.

For years I wished and hoped and prayed to "just get pregnant," but when it happened I didn't feel like I deserved it - I know so many people who have been through so much more.

Someone would tell me (with the best of intentions), "I'm so glad it just happened for you." I know they meant it in a good way (so we didn't have to go through another pricey procedure with all the medicine, etc.), but it made me feel like they were only happy because we conceived "naturally."

I (obviously) didn't know what to think.

I was simultaneously clinging to this pregnancy and distancing myself from it. Every time I went to the bathroom I checked for blood. Every time I'd start to feel happy I'd think, "well, if it works out."

When I threw up every day for weeks I wasn't appreciative that the baby was growing, I wasn't happy I was showing symptoms, I was miserable, and I felt guilty for not savoring this experience, because I knew so many women who would give anything to have it.

It wasn't until I was 10 weeks (past the point I'd gotten with Cece) that I even let myself believe it was real - but even that I would caveat in my head, thinking, you're not out of the woods yet. Something could still go wrong.

At 12 weeks all still looked great - it was time for me to start believing in this pregnancy.

I had a few hard days after that - still sick, exhausted, and as I sat in tears one day I had a realization.

Just because you want something, doesn't mean it won't be hard.

This could apply to anything - job, marriage, relationships, etc. So I'm letting it be what it is. I'm pregnant, and I'm overjoyed by that! But I'm also recognizing this might be hard and overwhelming, but at the end of the day it ultimately doesn't matter how we conceived this baby.  I wouldn't be ashamed or feel guilty if we'd had another successful IUI, so I shouldn't feel that way about conceiving on our own.

Having this baby won't take away the years or heartbreak and pain, and it won't make me fight any less for the rights of people dealing with infertility. In fact, it will probably make me fight harder because it shouldn't take four and a half year.

So here's to the next few months, and riding out this journey as best I can. I promise to be honest, even if it's not always pretty. Thanks for coming along.

Oct 20, 2014

Joy

It is with happy and humble hearts that Ben and I share...
Much more to come!

Oct 15, 2014

A wave of light

Today is International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

All around the world, from 7-8 PM (local time), people will be lighting a candle to remember the children that have been lost.

I will be lighting a candle in Cece's honor - remembering how we felt when we found out I was pregnant, how we felt after our d&c, and how we've been changed by knowing her even for a short time.

This is such a beautiful way to honor those children. I will say out loud the names of those I know have been lost.

I'd love for you to light a candle and do the same.
Photo credit: Aly
We will let them know they are loved.

We will let them know they will never be forgotten.

And with a wave of light, we will honor the memory of them in our hearts.

Oct 6, 2014

The seven-year itch

Dear Benjamin,

I've always heard about the "seven year itch." Supposedly when you hit seven years of marriage you start to get the itch to change things up and you want different things, etc. etc.

But when I think back on our marriage, the first thing that comes to mind is all the laughter we've shared.
This past year we've been through a lot, and I don't know how we would have made it if we couldn't laugh together.

So, I guess I have the seven-year itch. But it's the itch for more.

More laughter. More love. More days spent with me knitting and you drawing, and it taking us an hour and a half to get through a 45 minute show because we keep pausing it to tell each other things.

Marriage isn't always easy, but it's always worth it.

I am the best version of myself with you. Thank you for being on my side, for knowing when to push me and for knowing when to simply give me a hug.

Thanks for always, always, making me laugh.
Happy seventh anniversary, my love. Here's to the next seventy.

With all my heart,
Your wife

Oct 3, 2014

Five for Friday

1. I got an iPhone 6 this week. I didn't really care if I got a 5s or a 6, but my 4s was old, and I'd been eligible for an upgrade for months. The phone is nice, but when Ben got home from the store (because he dealt with all of it - he's a keeper I tell ya), he said, "babe I got you a case too and I think you're going to like it." It is ridiculous how much I love it. That man knows my heart.
It's gold and sparkly!


2. Monday is our seven year anniversary. Woah! Seems like just yesterday when I was abducting him for our first anniversary! I also kind of can't believe it's already October. I feel like when months start in the middle of the week they go even faster. So in what feels like a few days I'll be saying, "wow, I can't believe it's November!"

3. I'm actually pretty stoked for November. I'm bringing back my Handmade Holiday series, I'll be doing Ten Days of Thankful, and I'll be blogging about #GivingTuesday (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving), which is technically December, but whatever. Not to mention we are hosting Thanksgiving and I'm sure that will be fodder for some mishap-type posts.

Do you hear that? I will be a real blogger in November! I'll try to start easing in this month so your mind doesn't explode from all the awesome.

4. Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you now know that Gilmore Girls is on Netflix. It doesn't matter that I have all the seasons - the fact that I can stroll through and watch whatever episode my heart desires makes me so happy. (Plus it's nice because some of my discs have been watched so much they skip!) Seriously, between this and the phone case I'm kind of on cloud nine this week. (See also: easy to please).

5. I am a little obsessed with arrow necklaces right now. Not sure why but I just love them! This one is from Lisa Lenoard but I've been all over Etsy too.

What are you Friday five today?

Sep 29, 2014

Looking Forward

Today I'm borrowing this idea from Lisa - I always love when she does these types of posts so I thought I'd try my hand at it!

Today I'm looking forward to coming home and knitting. I've been knitting up a storm lately, and it's such a great way for me to unwind at the end of the day.
Yesterday's agenda: knitting and Harry Potter
This weekend I'm looking forward to hanging out with some friends I haven't seen in awhile. I feel like I have no time on weeknights by the time I get home, make dinner, etc. so I can't wait to just sit and catch up!

This month I'm looking forward to our anniversary. Okay, so it's technically still September and our anniversary is in October, but considering it's only a week away I'm counting it! I can't believe Ben and I will have been married for seven years, together for ten - woah!

This year I'm looking forward to hosting Thanksgiving. We typically split the holiday and go to both families' houses, but since we finally have the space we are hosting everyone this year. I'm sure it will be a lot of work but I can't wait!

What are you looking forward to today, this weekend, this month, or this year?

Sep 21, 2014

Peace

This morning, I had a moment.

Like most moments in my life, it wasn't a big fanfare, or some kind of celebration, but rather a quiet realization - an everyday kind of moment, if you will.

I came downstairs and opened the blinds to our back doors. The sunlight greeted me, and as I leaned down to smell the hydrangea on the table, I was filled with such a sense of peace. I grabbed my camera to see if I could try and capture this scene, and as I was snapping photos, my eyes started to blur.

I put down the camera and let those tears spill over. For the first time since my pregnancy, I was at peace.

I sat at the table, staring at these flowers, letting myself remember. Remembering my pregnancy, remembering it ending, and remembering the all-consuming grief that followed it.

I don't know that you ever "get over" having a miscarriage. Just when you think you're doing better, something unexpected triggers you and you feel like you're back at square one.

But for the first time since we lost Cece, I felt peace.

Maybe it's because we're finally in a place that we love and can be open to change, or maybe it's because I did the work and let myself grieve.

But this moment, this tiny little moment, almost overwhelmed me. There were so many occasions this year where I couldn't imagine what later would look like, and today, I'm here.

I will always carry her with me. Moving on doesn't mean forgetting.

But my heart is filled with peace. And I couldn't be happier about it.

Sep 17, 2014

Savor

A year ago I was celebrating a "milestone" birthday and planning what ended up being the most fabulous of midnight dinners.

Tonight I'll be relaxing with a couple girlfriends, and then maybe watching some Netflix before I head to bed. (Ben and I are celebrating this weekend).

I'm ready for a low-key birthday this year, and more importantly, to appreciate where I am in life.

So much of this past year has been planning or hoping or wishing or dreaming. It's taught me that tomorrow is not a given.

I want to collapse into my bed at the end of the day, exhausted in the best way, by the experiences I had. I want to revel in the little moments and celebrate the big ones.

So hello, thirty-one. Let's savor it.