Hey, Jude!

2022 has, by far, been the hardest and best year of my life, and as it is winding down with the holiday season upon us, I am reminded of the journey that brought me to where I am…which is sitting here writing this blog entry while feeling my baby boy wiggling away in my belly, just like he does every single evening. 

It would be easy to place my hand on my stomach and forget all the hard times – to be filled with such joy that nothing else matters. That, however, is not the case. If anything, the pain of this year is a constant reminder of the fragility of dreams and everything that it took to get this baby – our son. 

In some strange way, refusing to let go of the adversity is my way of never letting myself take this tiny precious life for granted. I am forever thankful for that little beating heart as well as the medical advances and technology that allowed him to take up residence inside of me. 

As far as updates go, I am currently 25 weeks – almost at the end of my second trimester! How is that possible? Part of me wants to stop time and just be pregnant forever. The rest of me, though, can’t wait to hold him and never let him go. 

He now has a name – Jude Randall.  In all honesty, he has had this name since before he was conceived. There was never a doubt. Surprisingly, the name discussion was never a big deal with Justin  and I. We knew this was it. His name is after the line in the Beatles song, “Hey Jude”  that says: “Take a sad song and make it better.” And, in case you hadn’t caught on to the theme of this post, that is exactly what he has already done. 

His middle name, Randall, is after his grandfathers – my dad’s first name and Justin’s father’s middle name. He will also have the same initials as Justin. 

After a debacle at the lab which led to me having to do my glucose testing twice (a long story  that involves lots of tears on my part when they forgot to call me back to check my blood after drinking the glucose), I found out that I passed and do not have gestational diabetes just in time to enjoy all the pumpkin pie! 

The blood tests did come back with some alarming results regarding my iron. What started out at the beginning of this pregnancy with mild anemia has become something a bit more serious. Starting this week, I will have weekly iron infusions at the hospital. Hopefully this, in combination with taking additional iron pills, will get it back up in the range that will make my doctor feel more comfortable. This, thankfully, explains why I have been feeling extremely tired and run down lately. I was beginning to think that my “advanced age” was showing. 


In about a week and a half we have a high risk ultrasound scan to get a more in depth look at little Jude, and his growth from my previous anatomy scan. We have no suspicions that anything is wrong, but will feel a huge sense of relief when it’s visible on the screen and hear my doctor say the words. 

Other than that, my regular OB appointments have been progressing quite normally. To be on the safe side, my doctor said he will not let me get to my due date – March 11. Around early  to mid-February we will start doing Non-Stress Test monitoring and formulate a concrete plan to get our little guy here safely based on what he sees. 

In the meantime, we are working on getting the nursery set up, building baby registries, and buying all the necessities and sweetest little clothes I’ve ever seen – all things I never thought we’d get the chance to do. 

And while we will never forget the tune of the sad song that played in the background for so many years, Jude has certainly rewritten the melody. 

na na na na, na na na na….hey Jude! 

(eleven. twenty-seven. twenty-two)

Here Comes the Sun

Every Sunday, I continue to receive, and then promptly clear, my weekly pop up notification as a reminder to blog. I know it’s been a while (yet again) since I wrote an update on our crazy fertility journey. And though everything has changed for me, when I sit down to write, I keep coming up empty handed. Each and every moment of pregnancy has felt new and wonderful. I am truly living in the present and soaking it all in. I refuse to take one thing for granted. On the other hand, while every detail is monumentally special, I also know that it’s something that is second nature to most of my readers. I’m not sharing anything new or enlightening at this point. So, please indulge my naivety and unadulterated bliss for the rest of this pregnancy. 

However, at the same time, until this week, I haven’t felt at peace. At all. The worry and stress have been eating me alive. The fact that something good has happened to me (reproductively speaking) somehow feels wrong. In fact, if I were to have shown up at my recent ultrasound to have the doctor say “Sike! You’re not having a baby. You’ve just gotten fat.” I would probably have just nodded and apologized for taking up their time.  

Thankfully, this is not what happened. And while I have developed quite the belly, it has less to do with snacks and more to do with the fact that I am 20 weeks pregnant. (Though, I’m sure  the snacks aren’t helping matters.) 

On Monday of this week, at about 19 ½ weeks pregnant, we finally had our big anatomy scan, as well as an additional appointment with my doctor later in the week. This was the moment for which I had been holding my breath. The moment that I was pretty sure I would not survive if something was wrong with my baby. 

A few days prior to this ultrasound, I felt the baby move for the first time. Something tells me this is a feeling I am going to crave for the rest of my life. The movements are still small and sometimes I question myself if I’m feeling the baby or my own heart’s nervous palpitations. The kicks and movement are getting a little stronger each day…or maybe I’m just getting more attuned with my body and growing baby. 

This week proved to be just what I needed to find a small bit of peace and release some of the stress that I have been clinging to as if it were a security blanket. 

We checked into the hospital for the ultrasound which was done by an ultrasound tech who was great, but since she wasn’t a doctor, couldn’t tell us if anything was wrong. Nothing seemed too alarming as she clicked away at our baby’s first (of what’s sure to be many) photo shoots. I mentally ticked off all the appropriate body parts and organs as she narrated the ultrasound. 

One thing I know for sure is that we have a VERY active baby. She struggled getting some of the necessary images because of all the twisting and turning. Another thing I know for sure through photographic evidence is that Baby Weave is a BOY! 

Internet, meet my son…

I am in love. 

Every image they obtained was completely normal, and we have no reason to not feel like we have a healthy boy on the way. However, due to the fact that they were unable to get clear pictures of his heart, along with my “advanced maternal age” (as they so lovingly call it), they have referred me to a high risk clinic to have an additional and more in depth ultrasound. That appointment is in about 6 weeks. 

In the meantime, I am going to try to let go of some of this stress. I am working on convincing myself that just because I sucked at getting pregnant, does not mean I also suck at being pregnant. 

The song “Here Comes the Sun” has long been special to me. Now, however, it has a totally new meaning. Never in my (adult) life, did I think I would get to experience this. After two devastating miscarriages, never did I think I would get my rainbow baby. My sunshine. My son. 

(ten. twenty-one. twenty-two)

Even Pregnancy Can’t Cure Infertility

I thought getting pregnant would fix my infertility. And maybe in a way, technically speaking, it does. But as time goes on, and my baby bump continues to grow, I am learning, for some things, there is no cure. 

In an attempt to make sense of my mind, I have read article after article and study after study over the mental and emotional effects of infertility. One thing that is clear is that they are lasting. A 2021 study shows that nearly 50% of women who undergo fertility treatments develop PTSD. 

To be honest, this didn’t come as a shock to me. The emotions that I have felt for the last thirteen years, and more specifically the last year, have felt beyond my control. In my mind, I’ve labeled it as anxiety triggered by baby showers, pregnant women, and Mother’s Day, just to name a few. 

I’ve wondered how these things would change now that I’m pregnant. I’ve hoped that pregnancy would cure the side effects of infertility. Unfortunately, this is not the case. 

Earlier this week, I was scrolling Facebook and came across a story that felt like it knocked the air out of me: OKC Bennett Fertility Clinic to Closing at the End of the Year. 

For those who don’t know, this is the clinic we used for the last year. This is where we finally found something that worked- something that, for the first time in my life, caused ovulation. This is where we lost two babies. And most importantly, this is where we found our miracle – the one that has been cooking inside of me for the last 16 ½ weeks. 

To say I was heartbroken, would not touch the tip of the iceberg. I am not entirely sure why reading this story rocked my world to the extent that it did. I went down the rabbit hole of trying to discover the reasoning behind this closure. I have read the letter from Dr. Reshef to his patients explaining the abruptness of this decision and the complete shock in which the entire clinic was left. 

Like every female, Facebook stalking, wannabe FBI Agent, I have developed my theories – none of which I can confirm. I do know the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade left devastating effects on fertility treatments, of which Dr. Reshef and fertility specialists across the country have been very vocal. But regardless of the “why”, it’s the “who” that I can’t stop thinking about. 

Several people have reached out to me, asking if this was my clinic. They have all said the same thing. How relieved I must feel that my timing worked out as I was, very recently, released from Dr. Reshef’s care. Common sense would say I should feel relieved – thankful I dodged this bullet. 

Instead, I was devastated. All I could think about was the huge number of women – current patients – sitting at home, suffering another heartbreak on top of their already impossible situation. The woman who was waiting on a call to go over yet another set of lab results, only to answer the phone to find out that they no longer have a doctor. The women who, four months ago, was me. 

The night after reading this story, I had a recurring nightmare. I woke up five times in the middle of the night to some variation of the very same dream. It was after my anatomy scan that is coming up in a few weeks, during which we learned something was terribly wrong with the baby and I wouldn’t make it through the full pregnancy. And in every single dream, I kept searching for my clinic to resume treatment, only to be told it doesn’t exist. 

Like a broken record, this dream played on a loop. The next day, I was a mess – crying almost every time I was alone. That evening, I walked in the door, after a very long 12 hour day at work, balling. Justin, thinking  something was terribly wrong, was baffled when I couldn’t explain why I was crying. And though I am trying with this blog post, I still can’t put it into words. 

I tell you all of this to say that some things are unrecoverable. There’s simply not a cure for everything. And sometimes, just when you think you’ve found it, you learn that even the obvious fix can’t cover all of the scars. 

But that’s okay. It is the scars that make us stronger. It is from hard times that we grow. And I often think of the person I would be if, like it is for the majority of women, all of this were easy for me. I don’t know who that person would be…but it definitely wouldn’t be me – the knocked up, 40 year old woman who wears her battle scars like tattoos. 

(nine. twenty-eight. twenty-two)

Obligatory Update: All is well with momma and baby! Baby’s heart rate was perfect at the last appointment, and I really can’t complain. I have two more doctor’s appointments this month. One of which we will, for sure this time, learn the gender. Most people tell me they think it’s a girl. I still have no gut feeling. It’s a baby. That’s all that matters to me.

Waiting to Exhale

I feel like I am getting through this pregnancy one “landmark” at a time – always trying to make it to the next point where I can exhale. 

Here’s a snapshot of what  it has been like so far:

  • Just let me hear the heartbeat(s)….big exhale around 6 weeks (but still nervous because of my age and PCOS, my chances of miscarriage were still higher than 40%)
  • Just make it to 8 weeks for my first drop in miscarriage chances…only slight exhale because I lost one baby at 7 weeks and ALL the nerves returned
  • Now, just make it to 10 weeks to be released from the care of Dr. Reshef to the care of a regular OB…exhale. 
  • Get the genetic testing results…exhale.
  • Make it through the first trimester…exhale. 

I have officially made it to the second trimester with my next (and fourth) ultrasound on Tuesday, at which point I’ll be 15 weeks. I don’t know if I’ll ever walk into an appointment full of confidence. I think I will always be holding my breath until I see my baby moving around on the screen and hear the doctor say the words that my little one is looking good. But for this appointment, I can’t contain my excitement. I am hoping this will be the one where we finally find out the gender. 

As I mentioned earlier, we did the genetic testing more to rule out chromosomal abnormalities that lead to Down’s Syndrome than determine the gender. However because my pregnancy started as twins and I still am carrying both babies, there is no way to differentiate the gender of my healthy baby from the one I lost. Justin thinks it’s a girl. I am totally without a gut feeling. There are some days I am convinced it’s a girl and others where I am already calling the baby “him.” Either way, we will both be totally surprised. And happy. 

I know gender reveals have become incredibly trendy in recent years, but this is something I will not bend on. Maybe it’s because everything has been so public so far, or maybe it’s my introverted side, but I cannot wait to share this quiet moment in the doctor’s office with my baby daddy. Don’t worry, though…after we’ve had our time to celebrate together, we will share the news with all that are waiting to find out. This has been thirteen years (full of heartache and loss) in the making, so we are going to soak up every single precious moment.

I should also be getting close to feeling the baby move. This will be another BIG exhale. 

All in all, I feel incredibly guilty about how easy this pregnancy has been. I spend most of my time eating, sleeping, or peeing, but honestly, I feel really good. I do have frequent headaches, and I’m already having minor back pain, but these feel like a small price to pay and not anything I would ever complain about. 

I’ve had lots of questions about the nursery and if I’ve decided on a theme. Most of the time I  say we are waiting to determine the gender – which is partially true. We are. However, a large part of me has been too scared to start clearing out the guest room. This is a level of attachment that would be devastating if something happened. Just one more exhale and I’ll start working on it. 

14-week Bumpdate

(nine. fifteen. twenty-two)

Week 12 of 40

I have one more week left of my first trimester. Even as I type this and can look down and see a definite bump, I still have a hard time convincing myself this is finally happening. I can’t help but feel ill-deserving of this absolute gift growing inside of me. As we began this final attempt at fertility treatments, I mostly felt like it was a chance for me to be able to say that I gave it everything I had and be at peace with my family of two. 

I, honestly, don’t have a ton of news to share in this post. While I am so looking forward to officially being in my second trimester, just for the sake of being past the riskiest weeks, my first trimester was not nearly as bad as I had been warned. Yes, I had morning sickness and nausea, but not anything I would ever complain about. More than anything, I have just been completely exhausted. And hungry. 

About a week and a half ago, Covid hit the Weaver house full force. Somehow we have managed to stay well for two and a half years but could avoid it no longer. Justin and I have both been down and out, and still, though much better, not quite back to normal. 

Because Justin was still running a fever and several days behind me, I had to go to our first OB appointment alone. I was, however, able to video the heartbeat for him so he didn’t miss that magical moment. 

I love our doctor! He has declared the pregnancy high-risk but feels comfortable remaining our OB. Everything so far looks great with our baby. It had a strong heartbeat and was very wiggly. For the first time, it looked more like a human and less like a gummy bear. It was fun to watch it move around and see its little arms flailing about. It was, by far, the cutest thing I have ever seen in my entire life. 

Obviously, because of my age, we have a few added risks. Dr. Mitro gave me the rundown on all the possibilities. While this list felt extremely overwhelming, he ended with the fact that he has delivered many healthy babies to women in their 40s. We are still anxiously waiting on the results from our genetic blood tests and should hear back on those next week. 

The twin we lost has not changed in size. A part of me expected it to be gone by this appointment, but it is still measuring 7 weeks in size with no heartbeat. I’ll be honest, I still don’t know how to process this. 

My next appointment is in about three weeks. We are hoping at that appointment to be able to confirm the gender. As of now, I am not leaning either way. I have absolutely no mother’s intuition about what it is. Justin thinks it’s a girl and has since the beginning. I just don’t know and have zero preference. I just need it to be okay. 

I am overwhelmed by all of the love and support shown by family and friends through this entire process. I can’t wait to someday share this story with our child. 

11 week “bumpdate”
Baby Weave. (The thing on the other side of its head is a sweet little hand that, by now, has fingernails!)

(eight. twenty-seven. twenty-two.)

How I’m Doing

“How are you doing/feeling?”

I am asked some version of this question probably 10 times each day. That may be a conservative figure. I honestly love that people care enough to check on me. Upon returning to work after summer vacation, I have been overwhelmed and humbled by how many people have become invested in my story. 

I tend to answer the questions with a similar response each time: “Really good. Constantly tired and hungry, but overall, I feel good.” This is true. 

Partially. 

There is so much more to the truth though. 

It’s been five days since we learned that I miscarried one of the babies. Or perhaps I should say “will miscarry”. I’m still confused by the timeline of this loss as both babies are still inside my belly, but only one is alive. I have not yet learned how to process this piece of information. It is oddly both comforting and gut-wrenching. And no matter how many times and ways I have googled “Can a Vanishing Twin reappear?”, I am repeatedly met with the permanence of what happened. Which leaves me stuck somewhere between grieving and hopeful. However, I no longer cry every time I get in the car alone, and I’ll take that as a step in the right direction. 

Before our last appointment, I was finally enjoying my pregnancy without worrying constantly that something would go wrong. The worry is back with a vengeance. I have now lost two babies in 8 months, and I am scared to death of more devastating news. I know that I cannot live in this constant state of fear, but I also don’t know how to shake it. 

It took us twelve years, thousands upon thousands of dollars, and more stress and heartache than I thought one could survive to get this baby. I NEED it to be okay. 

When I said I was feeling good, it was not a total lie. Somehow I have been lucky enough to dodge intense morning sickness. While I often feel nauseous, I have not thrown up, and I can usually solve it by eating something –  anything really. The food aversions have also been few and far between. This should be a good thing, right? It should not be what it has become – another thing to worry about. Shouldn’t I feel sicker? Since I’m not constantly throwing up, is there something wrong with my baby?

I never said these were rational thoughts and fears. 

Despite all of these emotions and anxiety, I truly am, little by little, getting excited. I bought a car seat and a baby monitor, as well as a few other odds and ends. I have begun creating Amazon and Target baby registries. I truly never thought I would get to experience this. I never thought I would be researching which bassinet or baby bottles work best. I am in love with everything little. When I start looking at things it becomes clear just how much I have to learn. But, these are the things that are slowly edging out the sadness and worry. 

I love that because I started out pregnant with twins, I started showing much sooner than I would have otherwise. Since I can’t feel the baby yet, it’s something that makes it feel more real to me.  And while most of my clothes are extremely uncomfortable, I love the maternity shirts that show off something that I never thought my body would be capable of making. 

For the first time, I am proud of what my body has done. After more than a decade of infertility, these are words I never thought I would say. 

The effects of my infertility still have me feeling half broken. But, the hope of actually holding my baby has me also feeling half whole, and I can only hope that over the next 7 months that half starts edging out the broken parts so that I can truly answer how I’m feeling. 

“Bumpdate” from about a week ago.
Baby is now the size of a green olive– which is, coincidentally, my current craving.

(eight. thirteen. twenty-two)

a juxtaposition of emotions

I have written and rewritten the opening line to today’s blog probably a dozen times. In my previous entry I spoke about constantly feeling like the ball was about to drop on me since things seemed to be going too well. And because of all we’ve been through, I don’t know if I’ll ever go into an appointment feeling completely confident. 

However, I was pretty close to confident going into our last appointment. Overall, I have been feeling pretty well, especially considering I’ve been growing two babies. So far, I have been very lucky with fairly mild morning sickness. Honestly, my biggest symptom has been the most extreme exhaustion I could ever imagine. But a small price to pay! 

This morning we had our last ultrasound with Dr. Reshef, our fertility specialist. In two weeks I will begin seeing my original OB/Gyn – a fact that still seems surreal. 

When he began today’s scan, I immediately knew something was wrong. The entire screen looked “off”. There were still two babies, but they didn’t look the same. Dr. Reshef zeroed in on the larger of the two pretty quickly. Another giveaway that there was a problem. 

Baby A is looking fantastic. Though still only about the size  of a gummy bear, our first little miracle baby has quadrupled in size with a very strong heartbeat. I will never get tired of hearing that sound. 

Baby Weaver (aka the cutest blob I’ve ever seen)

Then, Dr. Reshef switched to Baby B. This little one had only doubled in size and unfortunately we were unable to detect any heartbeat. 

We are heartbroken. Completely.

Baby B is still there, but eventually I will miscarry. The devastating part is that I won’t even know when because there will, more than likely, be no bleeding. Between myself and the healthy baby, we will end up absorbing all of the tissue – which is why this type of miscarriage is referred to as Vanishing Twin Syndrome. 

Dr. Reshef did point out that, as hard as this is, this doesn’t happen to a healthy baby and that there was something genetically wrong with Baby B. So, I suppose this should offer some peace. Also, since this occurred in the first trimester this loss should have no effect on Baby A. Things maybe I can appreciate tomorrow.

I apologize, I know this post is absent of my usual metaphor and clever rhetoric. I also know this is why they caution you in “telling people” too early. I don’t regret sharing the news though, because we all got to experience the excitement of twins together for two full weeks. 

Don’t get me wrong, we are still thrilled beyond words. We are just grieving at the same time. 

(eight. eight. twenty-two.)

The Much Anticipated Update

 

“Now, Justin…be prepared. I’m probably going to cry either way – if we hear a heartbeat, or if we don’t. I’m just warning you now. And when I do start crying, just hold my hand, so I don’t look like an idiot crying on the table alone. ” 

This was me trying to prepare Justin for the surge of emotions I was sure to experience at the doctor yesterday when we had our first ultrasound and viability scan. 

To everyone’s shock, there were no tears in the room. But I’ll get to that part later. 

The impact of infertility and pregnancy loss did not end when we finally got our two lines on July 2. And, in a way, it actually stole the joy of that moment. I never really told the story of us finding out we were pregnant, but it was not a tearful, jumping up and down moment. It was a “let’s not get our hopes up just yet” kind of excitement. Even after several consecutive days of positive tests, we still were guarded. Me, especially. 

It’s hard to explain, but I feel like I am constantly waiting for the ball to drop. Bad news has got to be lurking around the corner, because there is no way that good things are finally happening. 

Over the course of the next few weeks, repeated lab tests showed that my HCG levels were growing quite rapidly – doubling every day or so as they should be. Still…I had not seen the heartbeat, and therefore was remaining cautious in my excitement. Don’t get me wrong, I was all smiles on the outside, but a nervous wreck on the inside. I obsessively checked for blood every time I went to the restroom. And since I was now peeing every 5 minutes, I had ample opportunities to obsess. 

Yet time was passing with no ball dropping. 

About a week ago, I had one of the most scary moments of my life. The morning was totally normal. I had some work meetings which ended around noon. I stopped and picked up some egg drop soup (a totally random craving as I don’t know that I’ve ever even had it) on my way home. All in all, I was feeling pretty good. Even though I had planned on saving half of the soup for later, I devoured the entire thing in one sitting and then crashed on the couch for my daily nap. 

Without warning I was startled awake by a horrible cramping sensation. I had still yet to throw up, so I thought: this is it – this must be what it feels like. I ran to the bathroom, where I promptly fainted. I have no idea how long I was out, but when I came to, I was sitting on the toilet, slumped against the wall, and my foot was in the dogs’ water bowl (I think this is what snapped me out of it). 

I called my husband hysterical and freaking out, but actually feeling, other than a little weak, physically okay at this point. The cramping had passed and there was no blood. However, as it would of course have to happen, my doctor was already closed for the day. I convinced Justin that I did not need to go to the ER, and that I would call them in the morning. 

Again, some terrifying time passed with no ball dropping. 

We never really figured out what caused me to faint. My nurse that I spoke to the next morning said it was probably a vasovagal response to the pain I experienced. She gave me a few things to watch out for and reassured me that everything was okay. 

I still had almost a week to go before my first ultrasound, at which point, based on my HCG levels, they determined I would be about 7 weeks. 

Then time essentially stopped. I just wanted to hurry up and see it for myself – that everything was okay.

The night before our appointment, I couldn’t sleep. I spent the majority of the night with my hand on my stomach just trying to sense the heartbeat. 

When Beverly called my name in the waiting room, my heart literally jumped into my throat. 

And maybe the reason I didn’t cry was because it was still in my throat when the doctor said, “What we have here is twins. And before you ask if I’m sure, yes, I’m sure – two babies, two heartbeats.”

“Excuse me, what?!”

“Take a deep breath and hold it, and we’ll listen to Baby A’s heartbeat.”

We listened to the swishing sound in total shock while he took all the necessary measurements, before moving onto Baby B. 

So, when I say there were no tears it was because both Justin and I sat there, the entire appointment, looking like that emoji with the saucer sized eyeballs. 

At this point we are still not out of the woods. We go back in two weeks to make sure both babies are still viable. He said we have about a 20% chance of Vanishing Twin Syndrome. However, both babies had a good heart rate, and are measuring the same size, so we’re taking that as encouraging news. Also, it turns out, we’re not as far along as we initially thought. Those high HCG numbers were not due to how far along I was, but rather the fact that there are TWO! 

As of today, we are 6 ½ weeks along, with a due date of March 18th. 

For the first time, I can say that I am incredibly happy. An over the moon kind of joy. I am still worried and in desperate need of all the positive vibes for the next two weeks. 

And, it appears, despite all my worrying about dropping balls, we’ve finally caught our break. 

Life is good. 

And as I type this, I am finally crying. Happy tears, y’all. So many happy tears. 

(seven. twenty-six. twenty-two)

Another Letter to HB

Dear HB, 

Someday I will give you these handwritten blog posts as a gift. A collection of my writing over the past 9 months (and all the months to come)  that will tell the story of how loved you were before you were even you. Maybe you were expecting keys to a new car when you saw this small box, but this is so much better. Now hear me out.

The story of you is one of hope and perseverance – but most of all love. It’s a story of two imperfect people who refused to give up on you, no matter how hard the challenges became. 

You should also know that your story helped a lot of people in so many different ways. You helped women like your mama feel seen and that their story matters. You helped others walk in shoes that they wouldn’t have otherwise tried on. Before you were even conceived, you were growing compassion within others. 

I can’t wait to see all that you will accomplish when you have an actual voice of your own. I’m not talking about how much money you will have in your bank account or what kind of car you drive. I’m talking about you making the world better for somebody other than yourself. You see, that’s what it’s all about. 

When your mom gives you her 2014 Ford Edge as your first car, and you’re bummed because all your friends have flying cars that drive themself, find the kid that has to walk to school and give him a ride. Unless you’re a girl…in which case you’re not allowed to be alone with a boy in the car until you’re 30. Maybe go save a stray cat instead. 

I would say that I hope life is easy for you, but that’s not the way it is. Character is born from struggle and whatever life throws at you, you can handle. I promise. Just look at your mom. (wink wink) She went through hell and high water to get you and came out a badass. Okay, okay, maybe that’s pushing it. But she lived to tell the story, and THAT’S what truly matters. 

I am terrified that if you are a girl I will pass on my genes to you and you will find yourself exactly where I am someday. If you do, I am so, so sorry. But, also…you can do this. Perseverance is in your blood. Hell, I even have a guidebook of sorts for you. Who knows, by the time you’re old enough to have kids there may be so many medical advances that this won’t even be a thing. I hope that’s true. If not for you, undoubtedly for someone you know. 

You know, I’ve referred to you as HB this entire time I’ve been blogging – my Hypothetical Baby. I guess it’s about time I change that since you’re now about the size of a grain of rice. This last week has been the happiest of my entire life. Yes, I am constantly simultaneously feeling nauseous, hungry, sleepy, and needing to pee…but I couldn’t be happier. 

You’re no longer my Hypothetical Baby. You’re just my baby. 

And Baby, I can’t wait to meet you. 

See you in eight months! 

Love, 
Mom

A “P.S.”  for all my readers: Things are looking good. Really good. I am currently 5 weeks pregnant. I go in for a second set of labs in a couple of days to make sure things are progressing as they should, and next week we will have our first ultrasound. 

We are far from being out of the woods. Every day feels like a gift, and we are enjoying every single one. Who knew morning sickness could be so glorious? Call me crazy, but I have waited for this so long that I actually LOVE it. 

I’ve gone back and forth on posting this. This is actually the first time I’ve been hesitant to post something because I know it’s a bit untraditional to share the news this early. Every published work says to wait a certain amount of weeks so that you don’t have to retract your pregnancy announcement if something goes wrong – suffer in silence, if you will. I know the whole point is to protect your heart. But, the whole point of this blog is to be open. To tell the story as it’s happening – the good and the bad. 

If you could, continue to send us all the good vibes – we definitely need them in the coming weeks. 

(seven. ten. twenty-two)

Cat Distractions

About a week ago, Justin and I went out to dinner. The topic of our infertility journey came up when I mentioned that I was somewhat dreading all of the 4th of July festivities. Typically we love this holiday. In fact, Justin often claims it’s his favorite. However, this year it is falling at the same time that we will find out if this cycle worked or not. The Monday of the 4th of July is the two-week mark from our 3rd IUI. For the life of him, this statement did not make sense. I think I confused him more when I said that I am utterly exhausted from putting on my pretend smile and faking it all the time. 

He took this to mean that I am never happy, which is not the case. I sat there, silent tears falling in the middle of a restaurant because I was completely unable to express myself. And it was in that moment that I realized that this is something that is wholly unable to be understood unless it is happening inside your own body. Don’t get me wrong, we are in this together and he has been an amazing support for me. But I have realized that even those closest to you, and even those in the thick of it with you, cannot fully understand the all-consuming emotions. 

Even after all that we have been through in the last year, I consider myself to be a happy person. I think I have a can-do attitude that pretty much makes me feel like I can take on the world. I know this isn’t going to make sense when I say it, but just because I cry a lot does not mean I am not happy. I know, I know. It didn’t make sense to Justin either. 

He told me that I have to stop letting it control my life.

“I don’t know how. I really am doing the best I can.” This was all I could think to say. 

I know he was just looking out for me. And I know it can’t be easy for him to see me get my hopes up only to be heartbroken month after month. But this didn’t come with an instruction manual.  And even though I often feel like I am doing this all wrong, I don’t know that there’s a “right way” to do it either. 

I have tried to take his advice and “be less obsessed with the process” during the last couple of weeks. This is admittedly difficult when you’re still taking hormones twice a day, charting temperatures, and everything else that goes along with infertility. I took a short break from the blog, and I haven’t been analyzing “symptoms”/every tiny fluctuation of my body. 

I have, however, found a substitution for my obsession in the neighborhood stray cat. 

Yes, you read that correctly. A cat. I should preface this story with the fact that I come from a family that is openly, and quite strongly, not a cat family. I never really formed my own opinion because it was just something that was. I’ve never disliked cats, I’ve just never been around them. By default (and maybe a little by design), I too became “not a cat person.”

On the other hand, I (like my husband) am a complete sucker for any kind of animal. So when this stray cat showed up in the neighborhood, we had no choice but to feed it. I think this all started during the winter months when I just assumed her hunting options would become limited. We would see her watching us fill her bowl from across the street. Once we went inside the house, she would scamper over and eat up the food. 

A little over a week ago, as I was filling her bowl, she was sitting across the street, supervising and meowing….loudly. I assumed this was a critique of my speed, so I assured her that she would get her breakfast. 

At the sound of my voice, and to my complete surprise, she darted across the street and came up to me, rubbing against my legs. I was even more surprised when she let me pet her and followed me to the porch. 

Fast forward a week, she now has a name, is super affectionate, and lives on my front porch full time – which is fully furnished with a raised bed, toys, and of course food. And last night, Justin built her a wooden cat house for her to retreat to when she needs some shelter. I call her Gypsy because she still likes to wander. She always comes back though.

I’d like to say that I’ve been taking care of her, but I think she’s been taking care of me. She’s given me something to focus on – something new to be excited about. And I didn’t realize how badly I needed that. 

I honestly don’t know how this month is going to go. This morning began with a negative pregnancy test. And although there’s still a little time before we can officially count this cycle out, I really have no inclination one way or the other. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that your mind can be very deceptive.

Gypsy Weaver.

(seven. one. twenty-two)