God writes our story.
I am still learning to surrender the pen.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bump Update: 31 Weeks


How far along? 31 weeks! Time is really flying by! 78% of my pregnancy has passed, having 62 days left until his EDD.

Size of baby: everydayfamily.com says he should be about 16 inches long and about 4 pounds. I'm thinking Sully would love to prove them wrong right now! lol

Milestones: Sullivan will now be gaining about a 1/2lb every week until birth!

Total weight gain: I have lost a little more, and I'm still under my 'conception weight' by 6pounds! Every week I think I'm going to cross over to be on the positive side, but I guess not just yet!

Maternity clothes: My husband's T-shirts that I wear to bed are now very snug around my belly and Walter says I have "pregnant plumber's crack" because my belly hangs out of them a bit, lol.

Unglamorous body changes: Dry skin, slight cramping, and round ligament pain

Sleep: The last couple of nights have been really great. I've woken up pretty shocked at how restful my sleep has been. I'm trying to take advantage of it now... but I still can't get to the point where I don't feel bad going back to bed after Walter leaves for work. Haha.

Best moment this week: Walter was off this past Sunday and we were about to go out and run some past-due errands. Things like oil changes, etc got done but we also got to go buy him a new shirt for maternity photos and pick up a few 'props'. In the midst of our errands we went to Coldstone to split a BIG bowl of ice cream and a candy apple. As soon as I walked in about everyone in the room stared and chuckled. I guess I'm 'that' pregnant girl now that I so hated just a year ago... but a woman's gotta fulfill her cravings! Walter and I also went to the Melting Pot and have been enjoying a lot of time with just the two of us. :)

Miss anything? I would give up ANYTHING for this baby and not miss it. 

Movement: I set a goal to do kick counts twice a day, and that was a little overboard. I still don't do them every day! :S

Food cravings: Cheese, peanut butter, fruit, chocolate... annnnd repeat. 

Anything making you queasy/sick? My prenatals! I've gotten really bad and have started to skip a few days. Feeling pretty bad about it, but if I throw them up there is no use in taking them right?

Gender: It's a BOY! Sullivan James Wallheimer 

Labor Signs: Random contractions have started! Eeeek!

Symptoms: intense hunger, lactation, and I am starting to swell just a bit

Belly button in or out? IN!

Wedding rings on or off? Off

Happy or moody most of the time: I'm very happy. I love the busyness the end of pregnancy brings, but I'm so sad to see it go! :( Thank goodness I'll have a cutie in my arms to make up for it!

Weekly wisdom: Just because another mom struggles with it, and PROMISES you will too, doesn't mean you can't fight to change the 'norm'. I promise to make our own 'normal' as mommy and baby. :)

What stereotype I embody: I don't deny myself any cravings. ;)

What I bought this week:  Walter and I are looking at puppy training!

What I checked off my to-do list: Walter and I have been enjoying our time as 2 right now. We try not to feel guilty about taking later afternoon naps, or spending the whole day playing video games... unfortunately that means housecleaning is waaaay behind! :/ Better catch up this week!

Looking forward to: I'm looking forward to maternity photos this weekend! :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The (fill in the blank) Baby Shower Invite

A year ago I was getting ready for our first IVF and I would have filled in the blank with words like 'dreaded', 'terrible', 'isolating', and 'heartbreaking'. You see, every baby shower was a reminder how HOW MUCH I wanted a little baby of my own and how EMPTY my arms were. The fear and uncertainty of our future as parents made me a shell of a woman, who was hurting so badly and far too insecure and afraid to celebrate another woman who had what I so desperately wanted. I was terrified that that would never be me, and I was even more terrified about not being able to control the tears at such a 'joyous' celebration. It wasn't because I wasn't happy for that glowing mommy-to-be! I almost always really was thrilled for my friend/family member/etc... but I couldn't contain my saddness for us. That may sound selfish, and it may as well be, but in a time where your greatest fear plagues you every moment of every day it was all I could do to get out of bed.

The uncertainty is over and I am a beaming mother-to-be expecting a bouncing baby boy! Sending baby shower invites is now the highlight of my month and I spent hours talking to my best friend about my ideas and hopes for them. My baby shower has now grown to be bigger than my bridal shower, with a guest list that is the size of most weddings. I can't go a day without thinking and talking about how awesome that day will be! My 'gorgeous', 'elegant', and 'vintage-inspired' invites have come together perfectly. Sending them out has been very 'long-awaited'.

So what about the 365 days in between? What changed?

Hope was built up and hope was crashed. Tattered and torn, we put our hope back together and tried again. Hope grew again. I grew (in more ways that one lol) and I learned that I needed to put my hurt aside and celebrate with others in the best way I could. I worked hard to find the right balance for me. I would go to the baby showers, but leave before all the gifts were opened and we were expected to coo at the 101 different onesies. My gift always consisted of a book or something special for momma because I couldn't bear to force myself down the pastel baby aisles. I learned to politely refuse to play the baby games, and I found myself keeping to myself and not taking part of the baby chit chat at my table. I wasn't rude. I just wasn't the life of the party either. I learned to blend into the walls. I would give my support to my friend, and I would stay strong until I was able to be home. Walter learned as well. He took extra special care of me those evenings and held me as I cried and wished it were me. I was thankful to have learned the 'right' way to go for me.

It wasn't easy and it came at a cost. There are still baby showers I regret not being able to have attended, and I especially regret one friend who I lied to about being sick to not attend. I later confessed and took her out to pedicures... and maybe I needed that mistake to learn what to do. However, I'm still sorry.

Now instead of my husband getting the mail and shuffling through to look for anything 'baby suspicious', I anxiously sit by my phone to get updates from my best friend about who is attending my shower. Getting together the invite list was really rough. I sat and prayed about it over and over, and I really had to try to put myself back into the hardest of places when I was thinking of my friends who are still TTC. Was it more offensive to ignore their names and try to spare the pain of getting an invite, or was I being inconsiderate to send them one like I had crossed over somehow and forgotten the pain of TTC?

Again I was trying to find the right balance.

Now, the invites are sent and the comforting phone calls have been made and I await to see the responses on what my friends decide is right for them. There is no right answer and there is nothing I want more than for them to do what they feel the need to do.

In the end, I hope they know that I'm praying for them and can try to hold on to what a difference one year can make! I understand the pit, and the feeling of never being able to crawl out of it. It's the worst part of trying to your first baby- never knowing on IF or WHEN it will be your turn.

But it will be if you don't give up.

The last 365 days (almost EXACTLY) I have prepared for IVF and had it fail. I got another dog to help me cope with the loss. I've struggled with feeling if I'm 'SO young' and 'still have so much time' then why have I already done the most aggressive fertility treatment AND failed it?! Walter and I went on a hideaway vacation to a B&B to try to gather ourselves. He encouraged me to try again, and I agreed... but only simply because I knew it would fail and I would be able to prove to him how 'broken' I really was. We prepared for IVF again, and began to grieve the loss of embryos, and then found out I was pregnant! We worked through all the ultrasounds to make sure baby was growing healthy, and we have finally become that married couple who is expecting a sweet baby of their own. Now our concerns are if we have enough candy for the candy buffet vs if we will forever be childless.

Worries still abound as a 'new mommy' and I am almost brave enough to say I worried just as much during my pregnancy and I did TTC. Once you're hit with loss it changes you forever. However, it's been 365 days and I have gotten to do a complete 180.

I pray that for every single one of my TTC friends every single day.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bump Update: 30 Weeks!


How far along? 30 weeks!!!

Size of baby: Babycenter.com says that baby should be about 16 inches long and almost 3 pounds... but we know from his ultrasound at 29w2d he was already 3.7 pounds!

Milestones: Amniotic fluid is growing, and eyesight is getting more keen!

Total weight gain: Right now I'm still holding strong at -4lbs from my conception weight! I can't believe it!

Maternity clothes: Shower dress came in and it's pretty perfect I think. :) I love how maternity clothes look on my bump! Is that vein? 

Unglamorous body changes: Dry skin, slight cramping, round ligament pain, and more stretch marks this week.

Sleep: Pretty much one extreme or the other. A full, restful night or a night tossing and turning trying to get my mind to SHUT UP!

Best moment this week: Of course seeing Sully's little face at our ultrasound appointment! But also this week as Walter and I were in bed to fall asleep I told him Sully had the hiccups and that I felt bad I couldn't do anything for him. He apologized. A minute late he placed his hand on my tummy and went "RAWWWR!". Yes, he definitely tried to scare the hiccups out of our unborn child, lol. 

Miss anything? I would give up ANYTHING for this baby and not miss it. 

Movement: Started kick counts again, though I'm not consistent every day. Every time I track though he EASILY gets it in under 10 minutes. His active times are changing a bit, but are still nice.

Food cravings: Dairy. Cheese, pudding, chocolate milk, ice cream...

Anything making you queasy/sick? nope

Gender: It's a BOY! Sullivan James Wallheimer 

Labor Signs: Nothing yet!

Symptoms: hip pain

Belly button in or out? IN

Wedding rings on or off? Off

Happy or moody most of the time: Anxious. My mind won't stop racing/worrying/planning...

Weekly wisdom: God wants us to be the mothers we are to our children. Not THE perfect idea of a 'mother' we have in our minds.

What stereotype I embody: I'll admit it. I used my tummy as a table twice this week. To eat a big bowl of ice cream and to sign a receipt, LOL.

What I bought this week:  I bought Sully's first cloth diapers (!), a planner that was on clearance for $1 to keep track of his eating/sleeping/etc, and a prenatal exercise DVD (that also included a postnatal bootcamp!). 

What I checked off my to-do list: I, embarrassingly, re-organized his room again.

Looking forward to: Napping. As much as possible.

My little man

Looking like Daddy or Mommy?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bump Update: 29 Weeks


How far along? 29 weeks, 72.5% of my pregnancy has passed and 77 days left to our EDD!

Size of baby: Sully is over 16 inches long and 2.5 pounds!

Milestones: Sullivan's head is growing bigger and making room for his big ol' baby brain! :) He's still working on getting fatter too!

Total weight gain: Holding strong from last weigh-in. I lost one pound and am now -9lbs from my conception weight!

Maternity clothes: Bought my baby shower dress today! I am so very excited! It is everything I wanted. Blue for 'Team Blue', light and comfy, and has a look of 'spring'!

Unglamorous body changes: Stretch marks, dry skin, and yep... I've sprung a leak. lol

Sleep: Lots of tossing and turning throughout the night due to hip pain, uncomfortable position... but from what I've heard from other mommas I don't dare complain! :)

Best moment this week: Went to the marriage retreat over the weekend and got to spend a lot of wonderful time with my husband (our last retreat 'baby-free'!) and got so many compliments about 'glowing' and 'making pregnancy look HOT'! LOL You know who you are, and it makes this momma feel really, really good ;) We also got to tour the maternity ward of the hospital and let me just say, LOVING it!

Miss anything? I would give up ANYTHING for this baby and not miss it. 

Movement: Okay, so I still haven't pulled out the kick counting app... I'm a slacker. I guess I should start sparing the twenty seconds it'll take to feel ten movements! Heck, he's kicked three times on JUST THIS QUESTION!

Food cravings: cheeeeeeese! My best friend took me to the Melting Pot (because she's super sweet) and instead of the traditional four courses we got cheese, salads, our entree, and... another pot of cheese! YUM! Also: pineapple and strawberries

Anything making you queasy/sick? I've slacked on taking the iron supplements as well. Doctor says just to get them in me when I can. 

Gender: It's a BOY! Sullivan James Wallheimer 

Labor Signs: Nothing yet!

Symptoms: hip pain

Belly button in or out? It's still an innie! ...but it's getting flatter every day! Who wants to place bets? lol

Wedding rings on or off? Off

Happy or moody most of the time: Happy and anxious. Loving this "fun/busy" time!

Weekly wisdom: Our stories might not go the way we thought, and may throw us on a surprising twist and turn, but if the ending is 'right' nothing along the way matters.

What stereotype I embody: EVERYTHING is a celebration! "Bought my first nursing bra! YAY!", "Made a list of what to take to the hospital! HIGH FIVE!", "Just dominated FOUR brownies! Who's your momma?!"

What I bought this week: Sully is (already) one seriously spoiled baby. A friend I met on IG sent me THE most BEAUTIFUL handmade quilt with Sullivan's name on it (I seriously can't tell you how much I LOVE it!), and another friend sent me home with a piece of artwork for his room and a book after meeting for coffee. I bought him another outfit over the weekend while meeting friends at Cracker Barrel (yep, Walter's money isn't even safe THERE!) and it is an adorable sock monkey outfit. 

What I checked off my to-do list: Walter and I really worked hard this week. We got our tax refund in and paid off ALL of our debt (a small credit card and the REST of our medical!!!) with it, as well as set aside over $1,000 in an account for Sullivan (for emergencies, for fun, etc). Toured the maternity ward, bought my baby shower dress. I made an appointment with a pediatrician I think I'm going to like as well as a hair/eyebrow appointment and a pedicure appointment with friends for our maternity photos... like I said, TAX REFUND! ;)

Looking forward to: My Valentine's Day gift :) When Walter asked, I immediately knew what I wanted. "Flowers?" he asked. Nope, they die. "Chocolate?" Nope. If I want it I'll go grab that for myself right now, lol ;) "Than what?!"
...Walter is treating me to an ultrasound at The Ultrasound Zone again! I can't wait to see his little face!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bump Update: 28 Weeks


How far along? 28 weeks

Size of baby: Sully is nearing 15 inches long and 2.25 pounds!

Milestones: Sullivan now has eyelashes (maybe really long and full like... Daddy's!), and he is busy watching the light move outside the womb and getting fat on him (Mommy too! lol).

Total weight gain: Up a few pounds again, growing slowly, and I think that's a good thing... I'm now -8lbs from conception.

Maternity clothes: Started shopping for my bridal shower dress! :D

Unglamorous body changes: Stretch marks and very dry skin will be hanging around to stay. I keep slathering on lotion, but I think it only helps my sanity from constantly scratching. 

Sleep: Leg cramps have come just a few times this week, and I'm hoping they won't get any worse. Am I just ignorant? lol probably

Best moment this week: Threw a shower for a friend this past week, and although I was exhausted I was thrilled it went pretty well! All the moms couldn't help but comment on our tummies, and though I got a few "Wow, you can barely tell a difference between the two of you!" (at 27.5 and 37 weeks LOL) I got quite a few oooohs and awes as well. I'll take it. :)

Miss anything? I would give up ANYTHING for this baby and not miss it. 

Movement: I've promised myself to get back into kick counting this week, though it seems so useless for us. I KNOW he's good to go!

Food cravings: mac n cheese (our favorite)!

Anything making you queasy/sick? The iron supplements. I've not done the best at keeping up with them EVERY day, but promise to keep trying to make them work for baby.

Gender: It's a BOY! Sullivan James Wallheimer 

Labor Signs: Nothing yet!

Symptoms: hip pain, backaches, slight swelling, and cramping/nausea from movement

Belly button in or out? It's still an innie! :)

Wedding rings on or off? Off... haven't tried to put them on in awhile... and I'm thinking I may not get a chance to wear them again for a little bit :(

Happy or moody most of the time: Momma is on.the.edge.

Weekly wisdom: Seriously no one wants to hear your grumbles. While sometimes you need to vent, grab a close friend or your spouse for support. To constantly whine and grumble on social media is such a pet peeve of mine... and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

What stereotype I embody: The list-making obsession I already have is going into overdrive! (Connie I'm always thinking of you!) "Must-haves before Baby Arrives", "Maternity Wants & Expenses Remaining", "Books to Read/Classes to Take", "Nesting around the Home"... just to name a few.

What I bought this week: I bought nothing for Sully this week, though he did recieve an awesome Pixar book from the momma I hosted the baby shower for. Best thing about it? Sully is on the cover and is the first story of the book! 

What I checked off my to-do list: We've been really working with our beautiful pups Belle and Lucy to prepare them for a baby brother in the house. It's sometimes draining, but now that we're starting to see progress we've really been pushing ourselves to see it through! They are such good girls.

Looking forward to: So much going on this week! Walter and I will be touring the maternity ward for the first time at our hospital! That makes it seems really close! We are also getting ready for the Metro Marriage retreat this weekend, and are thrilled about that as well. I also have another OB appointment this week! I won't get to see him on ultrasound, and I probably won't really hear that much, but oh well! :)