Sunday, July 5, 2015

The End of an Era and The Beginning of a New One

As my third and final pregnancy comes to a close, it is with mixed emotions. I am so excited and happy to meet this little girl. I still in amazement and so incredibly grateful that I was able to get pregnant one last time. I truly never thought I would ever get pregnant again after all of the trouble we had to go through to get our first two. It was only through a great many changes made by Hubs and me, but especially Hubs, over the last couple of years that this miracle is even possible.

The miracle is not, and never will be, lost on me.

Of course, like any other pregnancy, the last month is so uncomfortable, fraught with aches and pains and all manner of complete and total uncomfortableness, which makes even the happiest pregnant woman ready to be done. Heaven knows I LOVE being pregnant. I love the idea of a new life growing inside of me. I don't care if it was my first pregnancy or my 100th, it is truly incredible. I am so glad to be a woman, and the bearer of new life.

Even though I love being pregnant, I am looking forward to not having indigestion so bad that I can't eat after 2:00 in the afternoon, and then have to throw up whatever didn't make it past my stomach by the time I go to bed at night. Yep, I've been having to throw up nightly for the last 8+ weeks. 8 x 7 = 56 straight nights of throne worshiping just to keep from having acid/food backup while I sleep.

I am definitely looking forward to the end of pregnancy discomfort, you know the kind where it feels like your hips are being pulled apart like they are on a taffy pull. Or the joys of round ligament pains, especially the ones that hurt so bad in the middle of the night you have to get out of bed to walk them off and then try to fall back asleep afterward.

One thing I am really looking forward to: getting my brain back! While pregnancy brain can be funny, it can also be frustrating. Mostly for me, its just funny, but that's only when it didn't affect anyone else in a negative way.

All of that aside, this journey has been a roller coaster, but in the end, God was watching out for us and baby Jackpot because we made it! We made it longer than we dared hope. We thought we would be lucky to make it to 36 weeks, and with my already being high risk for rupture, that was all we were counting on. With just a month to go, we decided with the high risk OB and my regular OB that things looked so good, we could make it another week. One more week to let baby Jackpot's lungs develop a little longer, to give her some more time to get ready for the outside world, and to give her her very best chance at being born healthy and avoiding NICU time.

At my 19 week anatomy scan with our high risk doctor, she noticed some scarring at the bottom of my uterus. When she asked if I knew what it was from, I told her I assumed it was from the D&C I had after Sweet Pea was born because of retained placenta. To err on the side of caution, my doctor did an internal sono for a cervix check. This was when we discovered that I had a funneling cervix, which means that instead of being nice and tightly closed, the top part of my cervix was opening up, leaving my functional cervix at a scarily short length.

I was immediately put on modified bed rest. The funny thing was before we found that out, I had asked if I could be released to my regular OB for the remainder of my pregnancy so we could follow the same protocol as we had with Sweet Pea, which was monthly sonos to check the weak spot of my uterus for signs of potential rupture. After seeing the funneling cervix, I became a higher high risk patient. I then had to go back every two weeks for growth and cervix checks. Some weeks were better than others. But at my 21-week checkup, things had gotten noticeably worse and I was put on strict bed rest for the duration.

Strict bed rest mean I was allotted 2 hours a day to take care of personal business like eating, going to the loo, showering, etc. Nothing fun like going to the store, cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, day trips to anywhere or anything else.

For a couple of months we kept hoping that things would improve enough that we could still go on the vacation we had planned to Cancun. As the day got closer, things looked less and less likely. Four weeks before we were supposed to fly away for a sunny and much needed vacation, we had to cancel our plans.

Bed rest hasn't been easy on anyone. Hubs basically became a single father of three, having to do and be everything for everyone. Instead of having a spouse to help him, he got to go it alone: get the kids up and ready for school and out the door, feed everyone, clean the house, mow the lawn, do all of the grocery shopping, everything. He has handled it all with amazing grace. He barley complained over the last few months about how he had to step up and do everything. He hardly said anything even in the beginning when he had hurt his back really bad while putting down Sweet Pea a few days before I got put on bed rest.

He picked and chose what was important and what wasn't, and I chose to let go of the things he didn't want to do or didn't do the way I do them. He decided that spending time with his family was more important than trying to keep up with cleaning the house and hired a maid service. This also served to keep me from going insane looking at a messy house and to keep me on my backside, because he knows if things drive me crazy enough, I WILL do them on my own. He has done all he can to make sure I staid off my feet and reclined as much as he possibly can.

You want to know what a serious Husband/Father of the Year Candidate looks like? That would be my husband. I don't feel like I can show my appreciation enough, and heaven knows I try!

Luckily I was able to continue working during my bed rest, to save my precious maternity leave for when I get to hold my baby in my arms. Bed rest could not have come at a better time as far as my workload was concerned. I had just wrapped up all of my projects and was in a low tide phase while new products were in the R&D phase. I am fortunate in my career choice, but also in my employer, or rather manager and coworkers. My managers have been amazing and accommodating. They were friends before they were managers, and as far as I'm concerned, our relationships are still friends before coworkers. They were all so supportive and caring.

When I found out I was pregnant back in November, one of the first things I told Hubs was that if this pregnancy was good, we were done. Then the pregnancy got scary and kept taking on new levels of high risk. When I got put on bed rest, we knew we were done. Done, done, done after the baby was born.

I have only ever wanted three kids, a decision I made and have stuck by since I was a teenager. I actually remember the moment when I was 17 and knew I only ever wanted three.

I kept meaning to tell my regular OB that I wanted to have my tubes tied when baby Jackpot was delivered, but kept forgetting. At my appointment a few weeks ago, she asked me if that was part of our plan. My reaction surprised me.

I started crying. Big fat crocodile tears.

Then I started laughing through my tears and nodded my head yes.

I told her I didn't know why I was crying, that this was always the plan, and that I had kept meaning to tell her at each appointment.

She asked how long this had been my plan, and I told her (through my tears) since I was in high school. But it was cemented once the pregnancy was good. Hubs and I had talked about this many times over the past few months, and every time we hit a new level of high risk, we knew this was the choice we had to make.

She told me if it was a choice I had made in the past few weeks due to being uncomfortable or emotional, she would not perform the procedure, but because it was something that was always the plan, she would do it for us. Then she told me they don't tie tubes anymore because they are link to a 70% higher chance of ovarian cancer. Instead, they perform a fimbriectomy where they cut the tubes off completely now.

I'm still not sure if I'm going to go through with the fibriectomy. It is so final and completely irreversible. I know we won't get pregnant again because we're done having babies, and because it just wouldn't be wise. But there is a part of me that is just struggling with the permanence of the procedure. However, we will have to prevent somehow and there are very few options that we are okay with. The ones we are okay with are not 100% foolproof. So I have a big decision to make before I head down to deliver baby Jackpot.

I cried a lot through our discussion. I stopped long enough to checkout and get to the car, and then I just sobbed and laughed at myself the whole way home.

Why was I so upset?

Because the past almost 10 years my life has been about building my family. Because for my whole life, my existence revolved around growing up and having babies, building a family, and now that chapter is coming to a close. There is so much more beyond that, but it would take me days to get into it and write it all out. The bottom line is the purpose of my life is changing from building my family to simply raising my family. My baby-making journey is over.

Its kind of a hard pill to swallow. No more babies after this. I love being pregnant, but I won't get to be pregnant again. This chapter of my life, of being young and fertile is closing. Now I need to focus solely on raising my kids, and not making more.

I can't believe how fast the past 8 months have gone. I can't believe we are actually here. It is so bittersweet. I finally have the three babies I always wanted. My family is complete. This chapter was almost 10 years in the making, and now it is closing so a new one can begin.

I get to live my dream. I am so blessed and so incredibly grateful.

Monday, January 26, 2015

What's Next

I FINALLY made it to the second trimester! Let me tell you, that first trimester was a doozy! It was by far the scariest first trimester of all three of my pregnancies. On the upside, because I am considered "AMA" (Advanced Maternal Age), I was given the option to DNA testing at our NT scan a couple of weeks ago. Of course I jumped at the opperchancity! I wasn't worried about the baby having any chromosomal issues, but getting to know the sex of your baby with 100% certainty at 13 weeks is pretty stinking awesome.

As it turns out,

Everyone feels bad for Hubs, being stuck in a house full of girls. But he actually preferred another girl. We already have two so he knows how to parent girls, and we already have everything for a girl. He's a very logical man.

Little Bean was very excited of course, and Sweet Pea couldn't care less yet. Hubs and Little Bean already picked out Baby Jackpot's name, and I was outvoted. Why should I have any say, right? I mean, I AM just the gestational carrier making a person out of food here.

So what else has been happening lately? Well, a couple of months back, I got my little brother a job where I work and he was relocated here to Texas! Of course it was a good thing for me, but not so much for the rest of my family. They all miss him very much, especially my parents. For the last few years, he has been a HUGE help to my parents. But everyone knew he needed to move on and start a life of his own.

So far his transition hasn't been easy. He's homesick. He misses the my family, the mountains, and his friends. I keep telling him it will get better. Right now he's still in a holding pattern. That will all change later this week when he closes on his first house! Of course he's pretty apprehensive about that too. Who wouldn't be? Once he moves in and makes the house his own, I feel like he'll start to feel a little more settled. Over time, he will make friends, and he'll start to feel more at home here. I know first hand how hard it is to pack up your life and leave everything and everyone you've ever known. Even if you really want it, like I did, its still hard at first.

My husband sure loves having my brother here. Hubs likes very few people. There are even fewer people who he likes to hang out with. My brother is a definite exception. Since my bro moved here, those two go to the gym together 3-4 times a week. They go rock climbing with Little Bean. My husband has said that even though my brother is only going to live a couple of miles away, he wish he was closer, for selfish reasons. I love how well those two get along, and I love how much my husband likes my brother. Now he has someone to go hang out with, someone to go do things with, somewhere to go to get out of the house every now and then. My girls and dogs really love having him here too.

Something else that was exciting about my brother moving here is I got a referral bonus. I used it to finally replace our old couch and love seat that I hated. (We gave them to my brother [he he]). I bought us some sweet leather reclining sofas, cause I'm awesome like that!

Next up, a new car! My sedan just isn't big enough to accommodate another car seat and other people, such as my brother. I already know what I want, I'm just waiting for my annual bonus from work. That and I want to enjoy the car I have right now for as long as I can. I really love my car. I'm going to have a hard time trading it in. If only it had one more row of seats!

Well, I suppose that is it for me tonight. Everyone should be home from the gym soon, and then the bedtime routing kicks into full gear.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Look Who's Back!

It may be temporary, but I have been thinking about getting back into blogging for a long time. Why would it be temporary, you ask? We'll get to that in a bit.

Obviously a LOT has happened since I last blogged. Sweet Pea has grown so much. She is still the amazing little joy she has always been. She is so happy and laid back. Everyone who meets her, loves her. She has switched daycares, which was a rough transition for her, her old sitter, and me. We LOVED her old sitter, but the plan was always to move her over to the same daycare as her sister once Little Bean started Kindergarten (ahhhh!). The teachers at her current daycare just LOVE her. They send home notes regularly to tell me how much they love having her in their class and what a joy she is. She is a little snuggle bug, she still giggles when she pets the animals, and she loves to play chase. We were so blessed with such an easy-going little girl.

Little Bean started Kindergarten in the fall. In fact, she will be 6 next month already! Where has the time gone?! I can't believe it. She is growing up so fast. She lost her first tooth a couple of weeks ago and is getting ready to lose another here pretty soon. She still loves being a big sister. She is a huge help with Sweet Pea and around the house. She is learning to cook, and loves to learn new skills. She can be a little dramatic, but she balances it out with her great big heart.

But do you want to know our most exciting news? Remember over a year ago when Sweet Pea was born my OB asked what we wanted to do for birth control and I laughed at her and told her Hubs and I were both infertile, and that if we got pregnant God must really want us to have that baby, and that our chances of getting pregnant were as good as winning the lottery?

Well, I guess God really wanted us to add another member to our family! Baby, we hit the jackpot!

Hubs and I were completely shocked. We honestly never thought we would get pregnant on our own. I was perfectly happy and content with our family of four. After Sweet Pea was born, I no longer had the crazy urge to add to my family anymore. When I would ask the girls if they wanted another sibling, both of them would say no. I thought we were done.

Then one night I had a sneaking suspicion.... I wasn't sure, but I knew anything was possible. The next morning, I took a dollar store test and got this:

I was in total shock! I didn't know how to tell Hubs, especially because the night before he had told me he was burned out on all of us. The girls had been super fussy all day and I had been really b****y for the past couple of weeks (now I knew why!). I didn't blame him at all. But this was the first time I didn't immediately tell him we were expecting. Instead, I sat on it all day and decided to write him a letter telling him how much I love and appreciate him and what a wonderful father he is. Then I followed it up with pictures saying we would need another chair at our table and we'd need to get the baby carseat carrier out of the attic because our family was about to grow  by two feet. His reaction was the best one yet! He read the letter, smiled, looked at me and said, "Oh yeah?!" I just cried and nodded.

The next few weeks were scary. There were a few times I thought for sure we had lost the baby. I had bright red bleeding, I had period-like bleeding, and I passed clots. Yet somehow, this little miracle was unaffected by it all. We had our first sono at 6 weeks and I got to see my baby and hear the heartbeat. I just cried. I had bleeding again at 7 weeks, again, a sono showed the baby was fine. At 9 weeks we went to the ER with bleeding and then went to the OB two days later with more bleeding. At the OB, I got to see my sweet little Jackpot move. After that visit, the bleeding and spotting stopped.

The last two weeks have been so uneventful that that worried me. But yesterday, Sweet Pea got to go to the doctor with me, and while she sat on my chest, the doctor did a sono and we got to see baby Jackpot. For some reason, it was at yesterday's visit that the reality of this baby finally hit me.


I am really, truly pregnant!

They say parents are excited with their first two babies, but after #2, the magic wears off. Not for this mama. This pregnancy is every bit as exciting and miraculous as the first two. I am so blissfully happy and excited. I thank God every day for this little miracle. Like the first two, I am not taking one second for granted.

This pregnancy is a little bittersweet though, because it will be our last. I have decided we will prevent after this one is born. Its kind of sad to think that our family building days are almost done, but Hubs and I are getting too old to keep making more, and you don't even want to know what our daycare bill is going to look like! Honestly, I always wanted three kids. I was okay with one, totally content with two, but secretly wished for three.

My sweet little family is about to grow by two feet. We are so blessed. The miracle is not lost on us. We look forward to welcoming little Baby Jackpot.