Sunday, January 29, 2012

this time around

well, i figure it's about time for an update. my first appointment is this week, and what felt like it was forever away a few weeks ago has come pretty fast.

with sam, i got sick at seven weeks. this one wanted to make his or her presence known at five weeks. i'm pretty sure i'm having a worse time with this one, and not because i have another baby to care for. sam's a pretty easy kid, even when he's sick like he unfortunately is now. i just think it's hitting me harder. justin feels so bad for me, he is giving me daily "it's just for a time, this isn't forever" therapy so that i won't despair and feel like i'll feel like puking forever.

otherwise physically, i feel giant, with the "leftover belly" from sam. i feel like i'm already showing big time. maybe i'm just being harsh with myself, but i notice it. i'm running out of regular work clothes that hide it even a little bit. i think it can still pass as just all leftover belly, at least.

the pulling has started as well, with all of that expansion in there for the little blueberry-sized kid. a blueberry-sized baby can have such an effect on a body! incredible.

i have been napping quite a bit lately, and justin has been great about it. he has covered all of the duties i can't do, or whatever i'm asleep for. the last two weekends have been really low-key, involving naps and just hanging out at home. work has been kind of tough but i am managing. it's very demanding as it is, but pregnancy makes it harder. i'm looking forward to the second trimester.

i find myself not being as worried, whether that is knowing more of what to expect, or not being pumped full of fertility medication, or trusting better, or just being more tired, or a combination of the four, i'm not sure.

we have felt some guilt, and let me explain this. when you have infertility, you develop bonds over infertility. you have friends with infertility. and you all know how much it sucks to hear another pregnancy announcement, how your stomach falls and your heart catches in your throat, and how you want to be happy for the person announcing, but you desperately want your OWN children and so it hurts. and so, we get that. i don't consider myself permanently cured and super fertile. i have been blessed with at least temporary health in that area. we still know what it feels like. we understand if someone can't say congratulations or just live life with us through this time, and that's ok. it really is. we know we haven't done anything to make us better people, and we don't deserve it any more than the next infertile couple - probably less, in a lot of cases.

so if you're reading this wondering why not you - i don't know either, but it probably isn't because God doesn't want you to ever be a mom or dad and it probably isn't because you're not a good enough Christian to bear children. infertility is part of the curse, but your fertility is not determined by merit. if it were, none of us would have kids.

so these are just some things going on with this one, and some thoughts i've had about our "intentional surprise."

Monday, January 9, 2012

oh baby!

sunday, i was one or two days late, depending on how you're counting. on a whim, i asked justin to stop at the dollar store and grab a couple dollar tests (they work as well as any expensive one) on the way home from eating lunch at grandma's. we got home and i took one. almost instantly, there it was...a second pink line. i brought it in and said, "we have a big brother," gesturing toward sam.

we sat and stared at the test saying things like, "that's a line." "yep, that's a line." "how did that happen." (we know how, and we meant to, but we were surprised.) "is that even real?" "this isn't real." and so forth.

i took another test monday morning, just to make sure. still pregnant.

then we were able to keep it a secret a whole three days after we wanted to wait until sometime in february to tell. yeah right. :)

and once again, God just defies everything anyone would have thought about our path to having more children. He has perfect timing in everything. every good and perfect gift comes from God, this we know well.

i am sure that some people will have questions (or comments, or opinions)...soooo...

the answers to questions that people might not (or for a few of them, shouldn't) ask, but might wonder about - because hey, i'm an open book.

1. are you crazy?
a little, but not for this reason. ask us again in september.

2. was it on purpose?
of course.

3. did you expect it to happen?
not in a million years would we have guessed that after going through everything we have, this would happen now.

4. so you never really had infertility?
wrong. we had primary infertility - we could not conceive our first child. apparently we don't have secondary infertility, which is conceiving after your first child. we may have infertility if we try again - who knows. there are couples who have no trouble with the first and then have infertility with the second. having kids does not negate infertility.

5. now don't you wish you would have just waited instead of doing IVF?
no. for one, sam. he is awesome.

two, you don't try 15 months with various treatments and get diagnosed with stage IV endometriosis with a bleak outlook and just have a baby. my body didn't work right then. my ovulations weren't good, if they even existed. when they did, the luteal phase (time between ovulation and menstruation) was too short, which had the potential to impede implantation. all of this was caused by the endometriosis.

there is no way to get rid of endo except a hysterectomy (which doesn't even always work...ugh), to temporarily (very temporarily as i found out) clear it out with laproscopic surgery, or to be one of the miracle people who has the worst possible kind of endometriosis that miraculously mostly dies off because of a pregnancy - a pregnancy that in our case likely would not have happened without us doing IVF. miracle. miraculously. you get the picture.

after my IVF pregnancy (aka, since i had sam), i have had a few endo-symptom-free cycles, several good ovulations, and a normal two-week luteal phase every single time.

if you don't think God can work through IVF - apparently in more ways than one - then i have a sam for you to meet and a pregnancy test for you to see.

if we waited, it wouldn't have happened - not this way, at least.

6. are you sure you weren't just too stressed about it the first time?
no. if you think endo and infertility are caused by stress, you need to read some medical literature. (please never ever say anything like this question to anyone trying to conceive. ever.)

7. why did you try so soon?
there was no guarantee that i had been healed of my endometriosis, even enough to get pregnant, and for a couple of months i had symptoms of it. we knew that if there was a chance, the chance was NOW, and not later. endometriosis grows as time goes on, and though pregnancy's progesterone keeps it in check, after pregnancy it can grow back with a vengeance.

it may seem irresponsible to some people for us to try so soon, but it seemed irresponsible to us to miss the opportunity to have more children based on the expectations of someone who doesn't understand infertility.

if you want something, you don't sit around and wish it would happen. when you want something, you try. you apply for a job. you go to school. so we tried to have a baby because we want more kids.

end of fake interview! :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

my post-christmas christmas craft

i wanted to do something with sam's handprint for his first christmas, but i didn't have time to do it before christmas. things were just too busy. i decided to make something after christmas to put up next christmas.

i tried salt dough with a handprint impression. my first try i threw away because it got very puffy even though i followed the directions. my second try was ok with a different recipe. it's sitting unimpressively on the table right now. it was tough to get a good impression because he's at the age where it's fun to grab things and he just squished his fingers unevenly through the salt dough.

but with felt i had leftover from making my argyle christmas wreath, i decided to make a handprint ornament. i liked this project because it wasn't messy and the ornament won't break if it gets knocked off of the tree, etc.

i took green felt and traced sam's hand on it, then cut it out.

i cut two circles of red felt (the same size, large enough to fit the handprint cutout with a "border").

then i stitched the handprint to one of the red felt circles with white thread, just stitching around the edge of the handprint. it might be embroidery floss. i just found it in my sewing box. it's thick and white.

i used white yarn to then stitch the two circles together around the edges (with the handprint on the outside of one of the circles). i left an opening to stuff some stuffing between the circles to give it some dimension, then continued stitching until it was stitched all the way around.

last, i threaded a piece of yarn through the top of the circles and, leaving enough yarn to hang the ornament from, i knotted it securely. this created the loop at the top of the ornament.