Sunday, October 31, 2010

Post 39...Two positive makes me too positive

I might be setting myself up here for disappointment but honestly, I am seriously thinking I could be pregnant. For starters, there has still been no sign of Aunt Flow showing up. I have had very mild cramping from time to time but it's been hardly noticeable but by breasts have still been awfully achy. They aren't so much sore to the touch but they ache deep down. And maybe I'm just seeing things but I swear they look slightly bigger. Also, TMI warning: my nipples look very dark pink. I had this last time I was pregnant too. I don't know if it's more of a result of the areolas getting darker (it's so hard to see the subtle color difference of my areolas. At times they look like they could  be darker, but at second glance, it's hard not to feel like I'm just seeing things.) but at any rate my nipples look very bright pink/red.

The other TMI thing has been my cervical mucus (I've got to remind myself I wanted to document EVERYTHING that I'm experiencing we go!). Normally at this time of my cycle, like most women, the cervical mucus dries out around the time right before menstruation begins. Well not this time. I have had a lot of creamy white cervical mucus with the texture of lotion. It has been a lot more noticeable these past few days in particular.

I'm still feeling really tired throughout the day. It feels like I can't get enough sleep! I wake up from a full 8-9 hours of sleep and I feel like I could sleep more. My daily walks seem to zap me of whatever energy I have left, and by the evening time, I'm nearly crashing on the couch!

Lastly, the other "symptom" I have been feeling lately is forgetfulness. Little things here and there seem to be escaping my mind. This last week I went to check the mail. We have a key for our mailbox and so I unlocked the box, grabbed the mail, and then went on my merry way. What I didn't realize until hours later after my walk to the store and back was that I left my keys still dangling in our open mailbox the entire time! I didn't even realize it until I went to unlock the apartment door and noticed that my keys weren't in my purse! All week I keep forgetting things here and there. And whether it's a sign of pregnancy (I know that "pregnancy brain" is a real thing. I certainly had it the last time I was pregnant!) or perhaps my brain is just turning into mush since I don't have a job or school anymore to keep it sharp. Either way, it's resulted to me leaving post-it notes all over the place to remind me of all the little things. Although my neighbors might think I'm crazy if I leave a post-it on the mailbox that reads: remember keys!!!

My only other inspiration for hope was last night's dream. Once again I dreamt about pregnancy this month, but this time the message was unmistakable! I dreamt that I had taken two pregnancy tests, each on a different day, and both turned out positive! The first test I took had only a faint positive, but the second test was as bold as ever. I remember rubbing my tummy and talking excitedly with my friends about it in the dream. I kept repeating that I was pregnant, looking at my tummy and saying "there's a little baby growing in there!" When I woke up, the feeling remained. And who knows. With any luck, maybe there is a little baby growing in there.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Post 38...Mommy Withdrawals

There came a time after our loss that I gave my husband fair warning. Without having a child to mother, I new I might turn my mothering instincts towards him, and comes out in subtle ways here and there, but there are a few times where it is undeniable!

We were cuddling on the couch when my husband started to look really sleepy. Hugging him close to my chest, I reached over to my laptop and put on some soft music. While softly stroking his hair and rubbing his back, I watched as his eyes began to droop, a relaxed smile on his face. For nearly 30 minutes I laid there with him, rubbing his back and humming quietly to the music when it dawned on me...this was the same music I used at work to put the kids to sleep...good Lord, I just put my husband down for a nap!

Then this morning I woke up early to help my husband with his Halloween costume. Since Halloween is on Sunday this year, everyone at his work is dressing up today (Friday). So there I was at 6:30am painting my husband's face and helping him get ready for work. Out in the dark parking lot, in my tennis shoes and bathrobe, I helped him out to the car carrying the decorated cupcakes I made for him to take to work. And as I blew him a kiss and waved goodbye as he excitedly drove off to work, it hit me again...painting his face...sending him off with cupcakes to share?....Damn it! Mothering urges strike again!

At least I'm not to the point of licking my finger and using it to wipe away whatever "smudgy" is on his face. Although I have to admit, having someone to spoil and take care of does help fill a void in my heart. But I've better watch myself!

Post 37...Medical Miracle

Good news everyone!
With all the new changes in regards to healthcare, my mom can now cover me with her medical plan until I'm 26 years old. The best part is, her medical plan does not see pregnancy as a pre-existing condition!!! No matter what stage of pregnancy I will be in by the time medical coverage kicks in, I will be covered! We will be signing up for the medical first thing in November and coverage should kick in by January 1st, which means at this point I will have medical by the time I will need my cerclage! It truly is a God send! Now I don't have to worry about finding a medical plan that won't deny me coverage because of my pregnancy (once I am pregnant) and it's hardly going to cost us a thing. Monthly payment for adding me onto my mom's medical plan is about $45 a month! We may have to pay out of pocket for the first few doctor's visits (if we get pregnant this month or the next) but once the new year rolls around, I will have medical coverage! I am beyond excited and relieved!

Our complicated pregnancy just got a lot less complicated!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Post 36...Are these my footprints?

"Pooh says that it might be a Woozle, or it might not, and Piglet joins in with the tracking and walking in circles to see if they can find out for sure. And after a little while Pooh stops walking, and says that it's very funny, but there are now two sets of paw-prints, which means...well, what does that mean?"--Winnie the Pooh.

Somehow I get the feeling I've been here before...

This last Friday was a total time warp. I spent the evening having coffee with a couple friends from high school. It had been so long since the three of us had hung out. It was really quite enjoyable, even though I had some serious feelings of anxiety before we got together. You see, one of my friends is pregnant. I had hung out with her one other time and things went well then too. But for some reason it still made me feel really anxious. I am so happy for her and her healthy pregnancy, but sometimes it's hard to see how far along she is. Hearing my friends encouraging me to get pregnant again seemed weird in a way. I was pregnant first. I should be enjoying my baby right now, not being encouraged to get pregnant again so I could join the club. It's such a weird feeling. But at the same time, it's so nice to see how excited my friend is...I envy her right now.

The subject of the holidays has also resurfaced. My in-laws have announced that they will be going to Oregon for Christmas this year. At first, they had talked about staying up here, hoping we would be pregnant so they would have a good excuse to have the holidays at home. But now, since my husband's grandpa has no one to celebrate with, my in-laws decided to spend the holiday with him. I'm glad that they will be keeping him company. He needs it more that we do. But I have to admit I am a bit bummed too. I was really looking forward to the idea of having the holidays with the family up here again. We talked about the idea of traveling down to Oregon on Christmas Eve night (after spending Christmas Eve with my family like we do every year), but if we're pregnant we've decided to stay here. I know my husband wants to spend the holiday with his family and I want nothing more than to give that to him. But if we are pregnant for Christmas, being out of town during a complicated pregnancy would run the risk of not being near our obgyn when we might need them. Plus the winter is already starting off harsh. There has been reports that it might be a really cold and snowy winter. If we were to be snowed in at his grandparents house, or have an accident when driving late at night on icy roads, I'd never forgive myself for not protecting our baby better. I have to do everything that I can to ensure their safety, even if that means we end up having a quiet holiday just the three of us. And honestly, that wouldn't be so bad.

The last set of familiar footprints came in the form of another UTI. That's right. After another month of "baby dancing" I woke up this morning with that oh too familiar awkward feeling. My husband came home and took me to the clinic and, sure enough, it was another UTI. So I'm back on antibiotics, drinking water and cranberry juice, trying to find ways we can go about this without sending me to the doctors every month. From what I've read and what the doctor recommended was, I should try to go to the bathroom after each session of intercourse (that sounds so formal...intercourse...). I've worried about peeing out my husband's swimmers afterwards but from what I read, it shouldn't be a concern. All this time, after having sex, I've been elevating my hips trying to give his little swimmers a head start. But now we're thinking it might be best not to have me lay back for 20+ minutes since it only seems to be giving birth to UTIs and not a baby. Since most times we have sex at night and I fall asleep afterwards, it's my guess that, at that time, I'm giving bacteria more of a head start than anything else. Yuck!...Not what I had intended! So hopefully, if we have to try again, we can avoid another UTI and end up with a baby instead. I guess it'll just be more water and cranberry juice from here on out.

"Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering."--Winne the Pooh

Post 35...What follows new beginnings

October is almost over?...Didn't it just start?!

It has been a new beginning this month. After celebrating Joey's due date, I have felt so free. I guess I never really knew just how much it was all weighing on me, but now is a new start! This month, we've been "baby dancing" every other day in hopes we can hit the mark this time around. And though I've been having "symptoms" that point to pregnancy I have been so hesitant to label them as such. After having false alarms several times now, I've been reluctant to log anything in the blog as possible pregnancy symptoms. But since this blog is all about my journey through trying to conceive and pregnancy, making myself a promise to capture the whole experience, I suppose it's best I write them down.

I guess I just feel that...if I admit that I see these as pregnancy symptoms, I'm going to feel like all the more of an idiot if I'm not pregnant again. I've become the girl who cried pregnancy and there's only so much of that I can take before it just makes this process all the harder. I want to excuse everything I feel on something else, but of course the first thing that pops into my mind is pregnancy. Could it be I'm focusing so hard on looking for symptoms that I'm finding them, fabricating them out of pure hope? Like every other time, there is no way of knowing. Symptoms I've created, ovulating or pms symptoms perhaps; the bottom line is, I won't know until I either get my period or take a pregnancy test.

Anyway, as for the "symptoms," they started about a week ago (a week before my pre-week). At first I was feeling really bloated coupled with some mild lower abdominal cramping. It felt sort of like when I'm close to starting my period but obviously it was too early for that. Then, gradually, my breasts started to get more and more tender. So much so that, some times it was waking me up when I would roll onto my chest, other times my chest was so sore it nearly hurt to breath. Since then the bloating, mild cramping, and breast tenderness has stuck around fading in and out from time to time. But in addition to that, I have had on and off headaches, some nausea, mild lower back aching, a slight sore throat from time to time, an occasional stuffy nose, and my skin has been breaking out. I've been really tired (a few days ago I even fell asleep at 5pm for awhile!), and for the past couple days I have been a bit more moody.

I can't explain it, and I'm reluctant to admit it but, this month feels more real than the others. For some reason I have this gut feeling that we got it this time. But then, I'm worried I'm wrong. If I am wrong, how foolish am I gonna feel? How frustrating will that be to feel like both my body and instincts are lying to me? But I guess it's out there now. From the beginning of the month, I felt like it was going to happen this time round. I really feel like I'm pregnant. But...what if I'm wrong again?...

Also this month I had some crazy dreams. One was a dream about me having a spell put over me by a witch. It was a fertility spell where I absorbed the fertility of two other women, causing my breasts to swell with milk. Obviously an odd dream but the underlining subject was as clear as the gigantic boobs that grew on my chest!

Next I had a dream where all sorts of crazy random things happened, seeming more like a blend of cartoon shows and Willy Wonka of all things. But then at the end of a dream, a man approached me and asked: "have you been having crazy dreams?" I nodded. He then smiled and said: "You're having crazy dreams because you're pregnant! Crazy dreams is a sign of pregnancy!"

After that I had two other dreams about spotting. One seemed more like my period was starting. The other was more like implantation spotting. But still, the dreams about bleeding made me second guess if I really am pregnant. The dreams of bleeding are the worst. That sinking feeling of seeing spotting when I so desperately don't want to see reminds me too much of the miscarriage...that dreaded fear of losing everything.

Anyway, in spite of my two dreams about spotting, my husband actually had a dream! It's so rare when he has dreams. The last time he had a dream involving our baby it was when he dreamt about Joey being a boy even before we found out. All that time I was leaning more towards the thought we were having a girl and yet my husband and his one dream were spot on! He dreamt about me having "pregnancy brain," being forgetful because I was pregnant again. I must admit, his dream inspired more hope.

I've tried to check my cervical mucus for any indicators of pregnancy but it is so hard to tell. The last time I was pregnant it seemed so obviously different. At the time, however, checking my CM was unusual for me so things just felt different either way. Last week it was slippery and egg-white-ish which all the books say is the sign of ovulation. Now it's more lotiony and white, feeling a little more dry than it's been.

Until I can test, or until I get my period I won't know if any of this means anything. Even now I feel a bit foolish for believing so much in all that I have been feeling. I don't want to psych myself into not having my period on time...that would really make me hate my body. But...I don't know...I still have hope. It may be totally off but I still have that feeling deep down that this will be our month to finally get that positive.

The rays of hope fade in and out offering nothing more than a brief glimpse of Sunshine.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Post 34...The Days I Carried Him

October 7th was better than expected. I didn't cry as much as I thought I would, although I still cried quite a bit at the end of the day. But all in all, it was very enjoyable. We starting things off at the Steelhead diner; a classy bar tucked away in the back alleys of Pike's Place. There we sat out on the balcony listening to the street performers singing below in the bustling brick alleyway as we ate caviar and crab cakes. My husband sipped away at his usual martini with olives, laughing from time to time as I would quiver with each taste of my mandarin vodka. It has been awhile since I had a hard drink so the burn was more intense than I remembered.

When we had finished eating like royalty, we walked around, bathing in the sites and sounds of the lively market. With our keepsake necklaces on, and Joey in our heart, we cherished our family outing. That night, we dined at the top of the Space Needle. The view was spectacular and once again we stuffed ourselves with some of the greatest things Seattle cuisine has to offer. But as we toasted to Joey and to two years of marriage, a beautiful thing happened. As we looked out over the Elliott Bay, the sky gray with clouds broke apart shooting down two beams of sunlight across the water. It was breathtaking. At that moment the waitress came up and looked out the window. "Hu...well this is unexpected." she exclaimed, "They said it was supposed to get worse before it got better, and yet here it is getting sunnier!"
My husband looked over at me with tears in his eyes. "It's Joey." he whispered. A lump caught in my throat. It's true, from the day we gave birth to Joey, the sun has shown up every time we've needed him (which, if you lived here in Washington you'd know just how rare that really is!). It was the sun shining in my hospital window during what was otherwise a rainy day that told me Joey was already in a safe place even before his body came into this world. My husband was right, I could feel it in my heart...Joey was there with us.

That night we lit Joey's candle, the one we had for his memorial, and looked through his memory box. We cried and held each other for awhile until it was time to put our keepsake necklaces to bed and blow out Joey's candle.

The days to follow were oddly calming. I have felt such a sense of peace since the celebration of Joey's due date. In fact, I've even felt better about trying again for another baby. I didn't entirely understand why until my husband explained: "You probably feel more at ease now because you finally carried Joey for the full 9 months. You couldn't physically carry him that whole time, but you've been carrying him in your heart and in your thoughts. You did it, Tiny. You've carried him full term." I couldn't believe how much peace I felt from that. I didn't have the ability and luxury of carrying him to full term like every other mom can, but I did what I could to honor my son. Now that I have...I truly feel like I can move forward wholeheartedly.

Now, as we have been trying, my conscience has been clear which, in turn, has made things a lot more fun if you catch my drift. I really feel like this month might be the month. I can't really explain why except to say that I feel like I've given myself the okay to move on. Joey is safe, playing up in heaven, watching over us (although I get the feeling he might be a bit distracted at the moment with his toys, as he should be ^_^) and so I'm okay with letting him be. I will always hold him in my heart, but I don't need to carry him anymore.

So now the days continue on. The flickering flame of hope has burst into a full blown fire! My son is happy and safe, and I feel absolutely excited to be pregnant again. I'm okay now with welcoming in a new life. Because deep down I'll always know that, where there is Sunshine, Joey is there too.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Post 33...Champagne and Caviar Wishes

Guess what?....I'm gonna talk about my period again! Trust me, I'm just as anxious as you are for me to be pregnant so we don't have to talk about my menstruation anymore. Anyway, back onto the lovely subject; when I started on Saturday, everything was normal. Sunday came with some wicked cramps but not the worst I've ever felt before. But on Monday, something happened that has never happened to me ever before; my period practically stopped! It was like someone just turned off the faucet. I still had some spotting, a few heavier moments from time to time, but for the most part, my period came to a screeching halt just two days in! Since then, I had nothing but spotting up until today when it finally decided to stop this ridiculous charade and come to a complete stop all together. At first we of course wondered if it was really a period at all or if perhaps by some miracle we actually got pregnant and this was just some left-over vaginal bleeding that can sometimes happen. But after digging a little deeper into some research, the likely culprit is [drum roll] stress! Of course it is, right? With the up and coming due date for Joey, stress has certainly taken it's toll on my emotions, so it makes sense that it would also affect my cycle. So with everything else going on in my life right now, I decided not to tack on the lingering concerns of possible pregnancy and decided to take this all at face value. It came four days late and was extremely light, but it came none the less. True, my breasts are still achy and I still feel bloated, but that could very well be my broken hormones running a muck in my body. If for any reason I start to get morning sickness or some other symptom that is screaming pregnancy, then I will test. But for now, I'd would confidently say I'm not pregnant.

As for tomorrow, Joey's due date; we've been dreadfully watching this day slowly make it's way towards us and now it's here. We have done what we can to plan a fun and eventful day to keep things light, but of course, we'll bring the travel tissues too. For starters, we will be going to Pike's Place Market in down town Seattle. There we will go to the Steelhead diner to enjoy their famous caviar pie and a shot of vodka to compliment the caviar. From there, we will explore the town, doing whatever looks fun, enjoying the open markets and art of Seattle. Later that evening we will then dine at the top of the Space Needle for dinner, enjoying a glass of rich full wine in the candle light. It will be absolutely decadent! We figured we could take the day off from our normal alcohol restraints and just relax that day. Not only will we be celebrating Joey's life, but we will also be celebrating our 2 year wedding anniversary, and 4 years of being together. Although I am sad that we are not pregnant yet, it is nice to spend a day indulging in all the activities I won't be able to do once I am pregnant. Drinks, caviar, rare meat, soft cheeses; I love it! I think it will be good for me to remember the joys of just being us, soaking it in while we can, and realizing that pregnancy isn't something to be rushed. We will get pregnant, but while we're not, there are still plenty of wonderful times to be had. I miss Joey terribly, but I can't keep going on feeling guilty for continuing my life after his passing. He is a part of us and always will be, and I know that he is okay with us moving forward. Although I couldn't stomach sea food when I was pregnant with him, so he may not agree with the menu on our day of remembrance, I know he'll be happy to see his parents smiling and laughing again.

So here's to our son, our marriage, and to a future full of Sunshine.

Post 32...A Can of Worms

It has been a hard week....

Saturday gave us a big slap in the face with the start of my period. Unfortunately our first instincts were correct about us not being pregnant this time around. I say "first instincts" because the few days prior, we were really starting to think we were pregnant. Once again my body was giving off clear signs, but they turned out to be nothing more than just another false alarm. I cried a little but bounced back quicker than I had before. I was at least glad that I got my answer before Joey's original due date rather than the day of or right after. It's better this way, being able to adjust before tackling yet another difficult time.

How we didn't get pregnant after doing you-know-what nearly every day is beyond me! Although, some studies argue that going every day can deplete a guy's supply faster than a guy who goes every other day, allowing him to rebuild his troops before the next go-around. Taking that into consideration, as well as the fact that increased activity can (and did!) lead to a possible UTI, we have decided to try going every other day this month. We also had some deep discussions sorting out a lot of the psychological set backs I've been having. With the pressure of money and family, it is hard for me to be fully in the mood without some stress cluttering the back of my mind. Each month I'm not working and not pregnant is just another month I'm using up our savings on myself alone. And still we have family waiting to hear any updates so they can plan the holidays accordingly. But no pressure right? We're just waiting on my uterus to save Christmas....too bad it's not very reliable because it's INCOMPETENT!

In some ways, it was so much easier having the pregnancy be our own secret last time. Even though our family and friends are just excited and anxious like my husband and I are when it comes to trying again, I can't help but feel like everyone is waiting, watching for any little change in me to see if we're pregnant yet. And as much as I love to be on center stage, that is only when I'm performing! If I'm the center of attention when I'm not on stage, it usually means a bad thing. But one is really paying attention. Oh what a can of worms I'm opening up here....

I'm torn. I feel like family is waiting and watching in excitement, which is fine, although the attention in some ways makes me feel the pressure to give them what they want. They want us to be pregnant and now it feels like I'm not just doing it for my husband and I, but now I have to please everyone else. They still feel the pain of our loss, and they're just as excited for a happy healthy pregnancy. But in turn it makes me feel like, if I don't get pregnant, I'm letting everyone down I guess I still feel slightly responsible for the miscarriage. It was my body after all....

Well, to stay on topic; though I feel like family is waiting anxiously for us to be pregnant, so many other people in my life could care less about what we're going through. Here we are facing the day our son would have been born, and it seems like no one really cares. A part of me knows that they have their own lives, but a bigger part of me feels like: how can they just forget my son? So many petty problems and yet they choose the superficial issues over the loss and life of my son! I thought these people cared about me, so how can they say nothing to me, or offer me no comfort? I tried to reach out for support and some very dear friends and family reached back. But the rest was silence. When we first lost Joey, so many people reached out to us. I was in awe at how many lives my little boy had touched. But now, just a mere few months passed,'s so sad how easily a life can be forgotten. That is my son!

Here is where I take a deep breath and try to push past my burning thoughts....

As the week has gone on, the emotions have ramped up (as you can tell by my rant above). Nearly every day, my husband and I have had moments of crying. But more than anything I have been going through mom withdrawals. I can't help but think: I would have been an active mother right now. I would have been feeding him, changing him, laying him down to sleep, comforting him when he would cry. But I can't do any of that. In my heart, I feel a deep ache to hold him again, to see him plump and pink, wiggling around, and to nurture him. Without me working, I don't even have co-workers to rely on me right now. Clearly family and friends have their own drama to deal with, so I'm not really needed there either. My husband reminded me that he still needs me, but I don't want to mother him. Although, it is nice to know that at least one person in this world needs me. I guess for now, my needs to be a mom will just have to wait. I have my own urges putting pressure on me to get pregnant again. Man, I'm a piece of work!

"Sitting in an English garden waiting for the Sun. If the Sun don't come I'll get my tan from standing in the English rain."-The Beatles.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Post 31...Pickle's song

This was the song I wrote for Joey Jr. when I was still pregnant with him. I figured since we're coming up on his original due date, I should post it in tribute to him. It's not the best recording in the world but it works. This one's for you Joey!

Pickle by ging3rale