I know I have been very quiet over here – I think I just needed a bit of a break from thinking and writing. Honestly the transition from living with infertility to being pregnant after infertility and pregnancy loss has been hard – I spent these past few months focusing on being less anxious and more joyful. I am finally starting to enjoy being pregnant and while the fear is still there, I am learning to focus more the excitement and less on the scary what ifs. I am still seeing a therapist that specializes in infertility and pregnancy loss and she has helped me so much!
I am so overjoyed to report that I am almost 19 weeks and everything is going well! Our big 20 week anatomy scan is next week and we are really excited about that. Every time I have a doctor’s appointment or ultrasound, I do get really nervous, but I am just trying to be gentle with myself and remember that I have been through a lot and that the way that I am feeling is completely normal.
I don’t know how much and if I will post very much about being pregnant at least right now. I loved writing about infertility and sharing my story, but pregnancy feels so different to me. I think I am just less comfortable talking about everything going on in my life right now – it feels so much more private and personal. I will definitely check in from time to time and who knows whether I will be itching to write again soon! I am sending so many positive thoughts and wishes to all the lovely ladies in the infertility community – I know it’s not a group that any of us wanted to be a part of, but I can honestly say that I have met some of the most amazing and strong women during this journey. I am so in awe of your strength and determination and I am so deeply hoping for wonderful news for each of you soon.
I am a few days early with my May book report, but I just finished a book last night so I thought it was a good time to post a monthly recap before moving on to my first June book! I read some really great books this month – while the four books that I read were completely different, I did really enjoy each one.
In non-book related news, things are moving along over here. I had my 8 week ultrasound on Wednesday and everything looked great! I will write more about this soon, but the biggest issue I am facing right now is I am absolutely terrified about having a miscarriage and am so so nervous pretty much all of the time. I saw a counselor yesterday that specializes in infertility and pregnancy loss, so I am hoping that our sessions will help with my anxiety and stress levels. (more…)
It’s that time of year again – time to stock up on sunscreen! I was doing a bit of research about sunscreen ingredients and came across these fascinating facts about sunscreen. The first fact – there’s no proof that sunscreens prevent most skin cancers had me scratching my head. I guess that only some types of skin cancers can be prevented by sunscreen – I did not know that! This website is also an awesome resource for general sunscreen information.
I absolutely love these beautiful drawings – they perfectly capture many beautiful and simple loving moments in normal everyday day. This is what true love is all about in my book.
This collection of easy and healthy post-workout snacks caught my attention. Not that there’s very much working out going on over here, but I do like snacks.
My hubby sent me this very cool video. As they approach their wedding day this couple undergoes a series of transformation to see what they look like as they age together – such a sweet and interesting video.
I loved this podcast episode. I am a huge Lively show fan, but this episode in particular really intrigued me since uncertainty is not something I usually welcome into my life with open arms.
These popsicles look pretty amazing. I need to locate my popsicle molds (I’m sure they are hidden away in the back of cabinet somewhere) so I can make them!
For my friends in the US, I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend! No major plans over here, but I am definitely hoping for some time out in the sun. The dogs also insist that a trip to the dog park must be on our list!
I know I have been very quiet over here – I am definitely in a strange place at the moment. I feel like I am stuck in between feeling completely overjoyed and feeling utterly terrified. I am 7 weeks today and am eagerly awaiting our next ultrasound on Friday. While the pregnancy symptoms have definitely picked up a lot this week (hello morning/all day sickness), I am still hanging on to the reassurance that the weekly ultrasounds bring. I am trying to embrace the joyful moments in my life and to be grateful for every single one, but honestly that is not coming very easily right now. I do keep telling myself to be gentle with myself right now – I am truly doing the best that I can.
On Sunday, J and I ventured out for some gelato and afternoon sunshine. I have been on bedrest and am now transitioning into very light activity. As I mentioned in my previous post, bed rest did seem to help with the bleeding. My doctor did tell me and my logical brain knows that bed rest definitely won’t prevent a miscarriage if it is going to happen – it can help lessen the bleeding if it is from something else which is hopefully what we are dealing with here. I couldn’t help but worry as we were waiting for our gelato about starting to bleed while we were away from the house – I began to think that maybe it wasn’t a good idea to be out and about and instead I should be home resting. After spending almost two weeks at home (except to go to doctors appointments), it was scary to be out in the world, but I survived and actually enjoyed my gelato and the fresh air.
After we ate our gelato, we leisurely walked along a nearby street that has a bunch of little shops. I was drawn to the window of a children’s toy store – it is an adorable little independent toy store with lots of fun gifts and toys. The store was already closed, but I couldn’t help but spot some baby things near the front window – a cute little lamb toy and a pair of baby legwarmers. We peered through the window and I pointed out the baby items to J – we both just stood there looking at the baby stuff with big smiles on our faces. In that moment, I let myself imagine – I imagined our beautiful little baby with chubby little legs wearing those baby legwarmers and cooing over the lamb toy. It all felt so real and so wonderful.
I think it is so fitting that we were standing outside of the store when we shared this moment – it’s like we are so close, but we can’t go there quite yet. We can look in the window, but we can’t go in the store today. I realized that moment perfectly sums up how I am feeling – on the edge of something wonderful and beautiful, but not quite able to fully embrace those feelings. I know this is all a process – we have been navigating life with infertility and life after miscarriage for quite some time now, but all of this pregnancy stuff is new and scary and it will only get easier with time.
So that is where I am right now – learning to live in this in between place that is pretty exciting and scary all at the same time. I can only hope that over the coming days and weeks, this in between becomes a bit easier and I slowly start to transition into my new normal. I felt how joyful and exciting this time can be when I was standing outside of that toy store and I can’t wait for more beautiful moments like that to come.
I missed my weekly food update last week, but I am back this week with two weeks of recipes! Honestly I am having a hard time with food right now – I am very hungry, but many of my favorite dishes just aren’t doing it for me right now. I know food aversions and nausea are a normal part of early pregnancy, so I am just trying to go with it for the time being. Honestly I am so thankful that our little bean is doing okay, so I am actually happy that I have morning sickness. I know that might sound crazy, but after trying to get pregnant for so long we are just so overjoyed and excited!
We actually had take-out quite a few times this week – I have been on bedrest, so I haven’t been cooking. I love to cook and usually spend a lot of time planning and preparing meals, so not being able to cook has been a big change. J is taking great care of me and we planned some very easy meals that we can easily throw together for this upcoming week.
Here are the meals that we enjoyed in the past couple of weeks! (more…)
I am absolutely ecstatic right now – we had our ultrasound this morning and everything looked great! I am 6 weeks, 1 day today and we were even able to see/hear a beautiful little heartbeat!! I am so, so thankful for all of the support that we have received our the past week – it really means the world to us and I could just feel all of the positivity and hope coming our way.
It’s still not really clear what caused the bleeding and we will probably never know. My doctor didn’t see any issues with the pregnancy itself that would cause bleeding. He did see a few small pockets of what is probably blood, but they are not near the gestational sac. He was happy that they are in a different part of my uterus and said that he hopes they will just go away on their own over the next few weeks. I am hoping and praying that things will be very, very quiet this week!
I am still on modified bedrest for the time being – staying off my feet did seem to help with the bleeding, so I am going to keep resting for the next few days. Hopefully I can start to re-enter normal life sometime next week, although I imagine I will be taking it very easy for awhile.
Today was a huge milestone for us and I am trying to keep my focus on my gratitude and joy. Am I still terrified? Oh my goodness YES! Pregnancy after infertility and miscarriage can already be scary and the heavy bleeding certainly didn’t help the situation. I am hoping that my fears will lessen over the coming days and weeks and I can start to enjoy my pregnancy a bit more. We have waited so long for this miracle and I don’t want to waste this amazing time worrying and being afraid.
I wish I had happier news to share today, but unfortunately a few days ago I started bleeding. It started on Wednesday night and was a very small bit of mostly brown blood. I completely freaked out and called my husband in a panic – he came rushing home and we decided to wait until the next morning to call my normal doctor/nurse since it was a small amount of blood and I wasn’t in pain. I called my nurse first thing the next morning and she said that spotting is very common in early pregnancy and I could come in for an early ultrasound on Friday if it would help put my mind at ease. I was a nervous wreck so of course I wanted to have that ultrasound to hopefully reassure me that everything was okay.
Throughout the day on Thursday, I checked my underwear compulsively and only saw normal discharge with a very slight brown tinge. By Friday morning, I started to feel a bit better and was thinking that I had gotten myself all worked up for nothing. J went to work for a few hours that morning and was going to come home around 10:30 to take me to the appointment at 11. I got dressed for my ultrasound appointment and decided to use the bathroom once last time before leaving. As I was walking to the bathroom, I felt this huge warm gush. I went into the bathroom and my underwear was covered in red blood. I sat down on the toilet and it felt like there was blood pouring out of me. I started screaming and crying and called J and told him to rush home.
I was convinced that I had already miscarried and didn’t want to go to my appointment, but J insisted that we go anyway. I sobbed the entire car ride there and when we got to the doctor, I waited in the car so J could warn the clinic staff that I was an absolute mess – I didn’t want to traumatize anyone waiting in the waiting room. My nurse was waiting for me in the lobby and gave me a huge hug and brought me into the ultrasound room. I am so lucky to have such a compassionate and kind doctor, nurse and clinic staff taking care of me.
By ultrasound everything looked okay with the pregnancy. I was only 5 weeks 2 days that day, but the doctor was able to see a normal gestational sac, yolk sac and small fetal pole (it was too early to see a heartbeat). There was really no indication of why I was bleeding. My doctor told me that the amount of blood is certainly very concerning, but that as of right now everything seemed okay. He explained that any bleeding in early pregnancy is called a threatened miscarriage – there is a high chance that I could miscarry, but there is also a chance that my pregnancy could continue normally. He suggested trying to rest as much as possible – bed rest won’t prevent a miscarriage, but it may help to lessen the bleeding if it is something else.
So for now we are waiting and hoping – hoping that I am one of the lucky ones and this is just some harmless bleeding. Unless the bleeding worsens or I experience pain (in which case I need to call my doctor right away or go to the emergency room), I go back on Thursday for an ultrasound to see if my pregnancy is progressing. Thankfully there has been no new bleeding since Friday and right now there is just a little bit of old brown blood. I am terrified and there have been so many tears in the past few days, but I am trying to hold on to that hope that things could be okay.
I can’t help but ask myself why all of this happening. Why is this happening to two people that have already had so much pain and already love this tiny little baby more than anything? The world just seems so unfair and cruel right now.
It would mean so much to me if you could send some positive thoughts or prayers our way. I am hoping that all of this positivity, hope and love will make a difference and we will hear positive news on Thursday.
Thank you so much for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers this week. My heart is bursting with love and joy right now – all of this fear in my head and not in my heart, so I think I just need to think less and feel more right now. Our first ultrasound is scheduled for next week and I will let you know how it goes.
4 big myths about organic food. As someone who tried to buy organic foods when possible, I thought this post was really interesting!
How dogs see with their nose – this video helped me to appreciate why my dogs need to sniff EVERYTHING when we are out walking.
Praying at the altar of busy – this beautifully written post really spoke to me.
I am obsessed with these monthly produce guides! May is looking pretty yummy.
Great ideas for infused water combinations.
This post about finding your diamond during infertility infused a bit of hope into my day.
I absolutely love these mantrabands! I want to get one, but I am having so trouble deciding which one that I want – there are so many wonderful and inspirational messages.
I cannot believe that I am typing these words – we found out last Friday that our first frozen embryo transfer cycle was successful and I am pregnant! We are absolutely overjoyed and so full of hope right now. I think I am still in shock and we are very much still processing this news. Words cannot even express how grateful we are for this truly amazing gift.
I’m not even sure how to write about the past few days – it is strange to feel so joyful and so scared at the same time. We have been waiting for a long time for that phone call, but I guess I didn’t really let myself think about what would come next – I almost don’t feel ready for all of these emotions if that makes sense. I am used to the infertility treatment, the injections and medications, the ultrasounds and blood work – all of that has become routine to me, but this is a whole new journey and I am still very much trying to figure it all out.
I will just come right out and say it – I am absolutely terrified of having another miscarriage. It is still so early (I will be 5 weeks tomorrow) and I know that a positive pregnancy test is just the first step on the very long journey we have ahead. After having a miscarriage at 10 weeks, I am very much aware that nothing is guaranteed and that life can change with the blink of an eye. With our first pregnancy, everything was going well and we saw a strong heartbeat twice – that was supposed to be our baby. This new life growing inside of me has brought a lot of that grief to the surface again and I know it will take some time to process.
I am really trying to focus on today and let the past and future just be for now. My mission is to be joyful and grateful for the present moment – today I am pregnant and that is a wonderful and amazing thing. I have no idea what tomorrow may hold, but for today I am trying to hold on to that joy, hope and love. I am learning to embrace that love really is stronger than fear.
I may be a bit quiet about my pregnancy for the time being. I realize as I am writing this, that I still have a lot to work out in my own head before I can coherently put it down on the page. I am a big jumble of emotions right now, but am determined to let love guide me in this next stage of our journey.
It is finally my favorite time of year – farmer’s market season! Last weekend we visited the wonderful farmer’s market near our house and picked up a couple of goodies. We are so fortunate to have a HUGE farmer’s market near our house. Seriously this market is awesome – it is one of my favorite things about living in Baltimore! It is still early in the season, but we bought a beautiful bunch of beets and a large bag of spinach that we enjoyed this week.
During the summer we tend to plan our meals around whatever we pick up at the farmer’s market – this means fewer complicated recipes and more seasonal cooking using what we have on hand. For the past two years, we have been part of CSA (community supported agriculture) program through a local farm. The way that the CSA works is you pay in advance for a weekly share of fruits and veggies (the CSA we did was 24 weeks) and then just pick them up each week and enjoy! Although we love the farm and all of the produce we received, this year we decided we would just stick to the farmer’s market instead of signing up for the CSA again. We really need a half share (we did a full share the first year and it was way too much for two people!) and the half share pick-up sites are limited. It can also be challenging to plan meals when you have no idea what will be in your weekly pick-up – at least with shopping at the markets we have more control over what we bring home. If you haven’t tried a CSA and are interested in eating more produce, I would highly recommend trying one – it was really fun and we tried so many new veggies! You can also look for local farmer’s markets near you here and here. (more…)