21

Movement!

20 weeks, 5 days today!

I talked a little about this in my 20 week update post. It is such an exciting milestone, so I wanted to dedicate a post to movement!

Now that I know what tiny baby kicks feel like, I’m pretty sure I felt my baby before. Possibly weeks 13/14, 16, 17, and 19 – although, the first few might not have been. It’s a strange/foreign feeling, and it’s very gentle/light at first. So, especially as a first timer, I didn’t know what it was. I kept thinking it was gas or my imagination. It was totally sporadic and random. I had only felt him maybe once a week – if that. I’ve learned not all ladies feel their babies everyday, especially at first.

Part of it depends on baby’s position. I have an anterior placenta, which means my placenta is in front of the baby, nearest to my belly. It’s like a big pillow. As you can imagine, that blocks a lot of the feeling. When he’s in a better spot (like legs or arms reaching towards the left or right side of my belly), it’s easier to feel him. If he’s just snuggled up in the middle next to the placenta, it’s more difficult.

Last Monday (19 weeks, 6 days), I definitely felt him kick and move!! He was hanging out towards the left of my belly. The sensations felt like bubbles popping underneath the surface of my belly, as well as light taps. It even tickled a little bit, like he was touching me. The bubble sensations are different than gas, but that used to be difficult to distinguish until he got bigger. I had to feel something stronger in order to believe it. πŸ™‚ So exciting!!!

Tuesday (20 weeks), I felt an even stranger/stronger sensation! It had to be him rolling around and changing positions! I felt him move away from my left side and down into my lower abdomen – realllly low, on top of my bladder. Whoa, seriously weird (but awesome)! He was kicking (and/or punching?) me, too! I loooved it! There was no denying that movement!! It was like he was saying, “Hi mom, I’m really here!” πŸ˜€

I didn’t feel him for the rest of the week, but that didn’t worry me. I have been resting and staying very calm and still all week – for my back/bum issues. So finally yesterday (20 weeks, 4 days), I was up and doing things around the house. My movement got him moving! I can tell he is still down wayyyy low. It feels really scrunched in there! I thought he was trying to claw his way out LOL! He was rolling, wiggling, and kicking/punching! It even hurt a few times LOL! Not a bad pain, just like little sharp jabs as if he hit a nerve – it’s hard to explain. I actually liked that it hurt (I’m weird), because I was so excited and shocked that I could feel him that strongly! πŸ˜€ He’s growing a lot right now!

Each of those times – Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday – I sat there and cried. I felt such amazement, joy, disbelief, pride, love, gratefulness, excitement, and a stronger bond with my little boy. I feel more like a mom now. I can’t contain myself! I just can’t believe I’m experiencing this. I’m so lucky. I always dreamed and tried to imagine what this would feel like, but I never truly imagined that it would happen for me. I wish I could help make all my friends’ dreams come true, too. Anytime something exciting happens for me, a piece in my heart breaks for my friends that are still waiting. I want it so badly for you, I believe it will happen for you all, and it will make your journey worthwhile. β™₯You guys are always in my thoughts & prayers. β™₯ xoxo

4

Autism, Infertility, and why April is an important month for me

April is a big month. Lots of causes and events that are close to my heart, including Anniversaries and angel babies.

Light it up blue for autism awareness!

Light it up blue for autism awareness!

April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day. I have many friends who are personally touched by Autism, and I want them to know they have my support. They have really opened my eyes. I see how amazing they are with their children, and their kids are truly inspiring to me! Children are so resilient, and many of those with Autism have exceptional intelligence and abilities. They can excel and go far in life. The sky is the limit. I commend my friends for being such awesome parents, and I am in awe by their children’s strides.

In the US, 1 in 88 children are on the autism spectrum. It is a a challenge every single day for the child and the parents. Not only that, but most people don’t recognize or understand the struggles of people living with Autism. Outsiders look upon them in judgment and ridicule, at times. No child deserves that. If more people create awareness, there could be increased development in effective treatments, as well as better understanding and compassion for the child/individual and parents involved. Find out more at AutismSpeaks.org.

___________________________________________________________________________

April 21-27 is National Infertility Awareness Week! Personally affected by infertility, this is a cause that I feel passionate about. For a condition that affects 1 in every 8 couples, there are still a lot of unknowns, stigma, ignorance, and insensitivity. Not to mention, most couples are left without financial means or insurance coverage to treat infertility.

Millions of men and women are struggling everyday with loss, heartache, confusion, lack of compassion, and serious debt for medical conditions that can be treated. There is no cure, but there is hope. Just like any other cause, disorder, or disease – we want to create awareness, provide education, and seek better options to end people’s suffering – or at least help them cope.

In my case, technically there was only minimal medical intervention needed, but it took us many years, several losses, and thousands of dollars to find the true cause and underlying issues. Infertility is so complicated, but it doesn’t have to be THAT complicated and difficult. To make things worse, we dealt with road blocks, financial problems, and lack of support and understanding from medical professionals, employers, insurance companies, and everyday people who knew nothing of infertility.

This problem is not going away. And we will not be ignored.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Speaking of infertility awareness, I’ll never forget our struggles to get where we are today. April 12th is our 11 year Anniversary (and 5 year Wedding Anniversary)! We are so lucky to have each other. But it’s also our “TTC Anniversary” month. If I hadn’t gotten pregnant, this would mark our 6 year TTC Anniversary (but I count the last 4 years the most, since we were trying the hardest then). Every passing year, I wondered if it would ever happen for us. And it’s something you live with everyday. My thoughts and my heart go out to those still waiting. I definitely understand the pain and uncertainty of facing that type of Anniversary – or facing each day – period.

I’ll always keep my other babies in my heart. I had 2 early losses in April – in 2010 and 2012. One of my other angel babies was due in April 2012 right around our anniversary. RIP my sweet angels. As you can see, April is a bittersweet month for me. It’s important that I remember where I came from and what I went through, without letting it overshadow my future. This is why I feel even more blessed and appreciative to have something wonderful to celebrate now. I never truly imagined I would get here. But there is always hope!

I will do my regular weekly update for more info later today or tomorrow. πŸ™‚

there-is-always-hope

8

Possibly my last visit with Grandma…

I had just received the dire news from my Dad on Friday, that my Grandma was placed in Hospice. The DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order was in place. And the doctor said my Grandma only had days to live.

It didn’t sink in right away. I was shocked more than anything. How could this be? Just last weekend, she was sent home, feeling stronger and well again. We all felt hopeful for a full recovery. I knew she had been re-admitted to the hospital earlier this week with pneumonia, but it didn’t seem possible that the end of her life was near. She was sick and very weak, but surely she would get well again, given some time.

I decided I needed to make the trip to see her on Saturday. I felt an urgency to get there and be with her and my family. Despite my back pain, I drove out of town – by myself. Andy had to work. He wanted to be there, but he couldn’t get away. I started out feeling like the news couldn’t be true. That Grandma really wasn’t as bad off as they said.

It felt like the longest drive ever. I was alone with my thoughts.

My thoughts soon turned to memories of Grandma. Happy times with family, every Thanksgiving and Christmas at her house. Grandma is loved by many. She is everyone’s Grandma and Mother. She has 5 children and countless grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Grandma lives in a small town, so everyone knows her and loves her.

I fondly recall the time that I spent with her as a child, while she babysat for me. Grandma is an animal lover, like me – or maybe it’s because of her that I adore animals. She always had 3 or so cats, which she treated like her babies. I can remember all their names. One of them even lived to be 20 or so years old, because she cared for her cats so well. I’m just like her now, with 3 kitties of my own, and they are spoiled rotten, too. Grandma’s gentle, caring spirit has touched many lives, both feline and human.

Next, my feelings of guilt came out. I began getting choked up. Over the years, I hadn’t spent as much time with Grandma as I used to. Sure, I moved away, but I still could have made more time for her. I’m not even close with that side of the family anymore. It’s a shame. There has been some issues/drama, but that stuff is so silly and pointless. Life is so precious. You never know how much time you have left with your loved ones – usually until it’s too late.

Finally, the seriousness of the situation began to sink in. My Grandma is dying. That’s when the tears came. She’s probably too weak from her previous injury and illness that put her in the hospital originally. The pneumonia is taking over. Antibiotics, oxygen, breathing treatments – none of it is working. Her heart and lungs are failing her. Combined with her age and other health issues, it’s all too much. Poor Grandma is too weak to fight. I cried off and on, and tried to choke back my tears the whole drive there.

I finally arrived at the hospital, feeling nervous to see Grandma in that condition. However, I was very anxious to get in there. The moment I saw her, tears began rolling down my face. She looked like a ghost. I tried to stop, because I didn’t want her to see me losing it. I wanted to be strong for her, as well as for the rest of my family. It didn’t matter much though, because Grandma was unresponsive (and everyone else there was crying anyway). My Dad and my sister were sobbing. Even my cousin, the big strong Marine, was in tears. And that all made me cry even harder, as I tried to console them.

I quickly composed myself, and began speaking to Grandma, while holding her fragile hand. For awhile, she seemed to be hearing me, but she couldn’t open her eyes or speak. I was just glad she was responding to my voice, since she hadn’t been previously. Suddenly, it was like a miracle – she woke up and began speaking to us! She patted my belly, as I told her the latest good news about Graham. She looked very emotional, and said she’s so happy and proud. I told her I’m praying for her, and she said she’s praying for me, too. β™₯ How sweet and selfless of her, especially when she’s going through so much. I’m so incredibly thankful for that experience.

Talking about Graham really perked Grandma up. I joked with her about the surprise she must have felt when she found out we were having a boy. That made her laugh. Grandma thought is was a girl all along. She and my sister fought about it (playfully), since my sister thought boy the whole time. πŸ™‚ Grandma even joined my Facebook page months ago, so she could follow my updates. She’s been so supportive. She’s known about our infertility struggles for a long time, and she sees what a miracle & blessing our baby is.

Grandma actually sat up, had more color in her cheeks, talked to our family that was visiting, drank a little water, and took a breathing treatment. Dad said it was the best they’ve seen her in the past couple days. I’m so glad I could make her feel happy for a little bit. The whole family seemed in better spirits, smiling and laughing. It was a much different atmosphere from when I first arrived. After that, Grandma went back into a deep sleep. She seemed to be very comfortable though, which gave me peace.

My heart is with her and my family right now. All I want is peace and comfort for Grandma & everyone, no matter what happens. I hope that wasn’t my last visit with Grandma, but if it was, I feel so blessed to have had that time special time with her.

201211171020_Life-Is-Precious

5

18w2d – Anatomy scan

It’s amazing to think our baby was once just a dream……then somehow he became our dream come true. A dream we were told would never come true. After years of trying, something went RIGHT for the first time ever. The impossible became possible. The good news kept rolling in, after years of bad news and disappointment.

December 21st, 2012 – We saw that perfect “spot” in my belly. That tiny spot renewed our hope and faith. There were many worries, of course. This was uncharted territory. But “spot” soon grew into a tiny human. As he grew and thrived, despite all the reasons not to, my hope grew stronger. My heart grew larger and swelled with love as each day, week, and month passed. Now he is our son. Our perfectly healthy baby boy.

I finally believe we are having a baby in August!! (It’s about time). πŸ™‚

From left to right:5 weeks, 2 days -- 10 weeks, 5 days -- 18 weeks, 2 days (yesterday)

From left to right:
5 weeks, 2 days — 10 weeks, 5 days — 18 weeks, 2 days (yesterday)

As you can tell, we got nothing but good news about our baby boy at the anatomy scan yesterday!!! He was very cooperative. The ultrasound tech was able to examine and measure every vital organ and body part. There were absolutely no abnormalities!!! The scan was done with my MFM (Maternal Fetal Medicine) specialist, and he was so pleased with everything! I knew our boy would be our perfect miracle, but to hear it from a specialist is amazing and such a relief! Also, he is 8 oz now – above average!

I do have another new issue now. I have Partial Placenta Previa. This means my placenta is covering my cervix partially. It can cause bleeding or possible rupture of the placenta. However, it’s pretty common, and there’s a good possibility that the placenta will move up and out of the way. I have to take it easy, no sex (poor hubby), and come back in 1 month to re-check everything. If it doesn’t move up, we may have to think about some kind of modified bed rest, depending on the degree on danger. I also wouldn’t be able to have a vaginal delivery. I feel hopeful that it will resolve though!

At this point, I’m already high risk. Another issue doesn’t really bother me. They are taking good care of me and monitoring everything. I feel like we are in good hands. My baby is doing so well, and that’s all that matters. I’m healthy and doing great, despite my issues, so we’re going to be okay. We can do this. We just have to stay on top of it all. I will tell you that hearing the good news yesterday made me forget about my back/bum pain for a little awhile!!! I am so happy and grateful for this miracle. I feel so lucky.

18 weeks, 2 days

18 weeks, 2 days

Baby feet!!!!

Baby feet!!!!

Still a boy, lol

Still a boy, lol

18w2d_6