September Recap

Well, well, another  month down!  The time is a flying my friends.  Here's my monthly recap.

Books read:
The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp
Smart Mama, Smart Money by Rosalyn Hoffman
(one of these days I'll actually read fiction again!)

Movies watched at home:
Now You See Me
On The Road
The Big Year
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Movies watched in the theatre:

On TV:
Breaking Bad (watching the final one tonight!)
Orange is the New Black
Veronica Mars
Returning favorites: How I Met Your Mother, Glee, Parenthood, Modern Family, New Girl, etc.

Restaurants visited:
India Palace
Clauddaugh Irish Pub
Village Pub
Rye Delicatessen
Nelson's Cheese Shop

Visited 50% off sale days at the thrift stores over Labor Day weekend, picked out blinds for our new windows, though we haven't purchased yet.

Other adventures of the month:
Installed the new front windows over Labor Day weekend with the help of family and friends, golfed with my parents one Saturday, went to the zoo.

Baby stuff:
Currently 29 weeks, size is something around an eggplant I think.  We got our registry done at the beginning of the month and also went crib shopping with my in-laws and they purchased our crib.  Took our childbirth preparation class, have a few more classes coming up in the next couple of months.  Making lots of progress on the baby's room.  Learned I have gestational diabetes and have been controlling it with diet and exercise so far.  Also found out I'm rather anemic, so have started meds to help with that.  Feeling good about everything all around though!


Finding out

This is the part of our pregnancy journey that originally I said I'd never blog about.  I'm really not proud of how this went down.  But, in retrospect, from the much better place I'm in now, I feel like it's still part of the story and I really do want to remember the good and the bad.  And who knows, by sharing this, maybe I'll give someone else who may find themselves in my shoes someday a little bit of hope.  And if by chance my son ever sees this someday, I'm guessing by the time he's old enough to be reading he'll already know what a crazy, emotional lunatic his mom can be sometimes!  So here we go.

So you know on TV and in the movies there is usually this sweet scene between the husband and the wife when the wife says "honey I'm pregnant" and the husband is like "really?" And they cry and hug?  Heh.  Right.  I had brainstormed some ideas of how I would tell Nate and I wanted to surprise him and make it be special when it actually happened, but I also didn't think super hard about it because we still weren't truly "trying" all that hard so I figured I had some more time.

As I've shared we pretty much traced the, um, conception back to our anniversary.  Most women should get a positive pregnancy test about two weeks after said conception.  I had no clue for more like three weeks.  Looking back, there were tiny, little things that maybe should have been a hint that something was up, but at the same time, they could be written off as other things too.  For example, I had taken a few days off around Easter since I always have extra time to use - and one of the days I could not drag myself out of bed to save my life.  I also found myself getting hungrier than normal - and in fact after I knew I was pregnant it got rather extreme, something I later found out is actually another type of morning sickness believe it or not.  There was one night that Nate and I were having a small glass of scotch with some chocolate, and I normally really enjoy this particular type of scotch, but I was like "this tastes really off tonight, what is up with that?"  And finally, I was super overally emotional, but figured I was heading towards that time of the month and well, that's a common occurrence around that time!

So what convinced me that there was something different? Many early pregnancy symptoms and monthly female visitor symptoms are SO similar.  But the week leading up to when I finally took the test, while I keep feeling like that visitor was going to make her appearance, something did feel different.  I was crampy, but not in the same spot.  My whole lower half just felt kind of heavy.  It's really hard to explain, but it wasn't quite the same as what I usually felt.  And as the days progressed with no sign of Aunt Flo I started thinking maybe something wasn't quite right - but I was in some denial.  The night before I finally took the test was when Nate and I went to see Wits and I definitely had some beer that night.  I hadn't said anything to Nate yet, but even he says now when we look back, he could tell I was on edge that entire week.  I finally in my own head set the Sunday of that weekend as my deadline - if I didn't have my period by then, I'd take the pregnancy test.

But that Saturday I started really getting freaked out.  Nate was helping his parents shop for a computer and then they took him to lunch.  I remember that while he was gone, I made myself some lunch and decided to have a beer - not uncommon for me to do in those pre-pregnancy days.  I agonized over what beer to have as we had quite the assortment at that time and I think it's because somehow I knew that was the last beer I would have for a long time (if you're a beer nerd I chose Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA by the way, I took a picture of the bottle later on).  And let me tell you, I nursed that sucker.  I was barely through half of it when Nate got home.  He was going to do our taxes but before he sat down to do that, I finally told him I was worried about the fact that I still hadn't seen my monthly friend.  He asked if I'd taken a pregnancy test yet and I said no.  So he's like "Just take one, you'll feel better if you know."  I'm sure he thought there was just no way and that I was being irrational - especially since we'd had previous "scares" before that obviously turned out to be nothing.  I finally gave in, drank a ton of water and took the test.  And again, somehow I must have had more intuition than I thought, the entire five minutes I was waiting for the results I was completely shaking.  It was so weird.  Nate just set about doing our taxes like nothing was out of the ordinary.  The timer went off and I went to look.

Two. Pink. Lines.

I stared in disbelief for about 20 seconds.  Grabbed the test and went with shaking hands to Nate and said "um, I think we're going to have a baby"  And he said "really?"  And then I choked out "Oh my god" and immediately started sobbing.  Uncontrollable, I can't stand up, gut wrenching sobs.  I barely remember somehow ending up on the couch in the living room and Nate trying to tell me it would be ok.  I hate admitting all of this.  It was not pretty.  He convinced me we should pick up a digital test since the one we had was one of those cheapy guys.  We wanted to confirm it for certain.  So we stumbled to the drug store, bought one, headed home, lather, rinse, repeat as far as the testing went.  The result was immediate.  By now  I wasn't crying, but I went into a bit of a state of shock.  We both spent a lot of time in a complete daze the rest of that weekend I think.  Somehow Nate finished our taxes.  Somehow we went to have dinner with his parents and Ali and her boyfriend and even faked me drinking a margarita in front of them so they wouldn't know anything was up.  And I do remember going to bed that night and sleeping a very long time into the next day.  I'd love to say I woke up with a clearer head and immediately was excited but it wasn't quite like that.  It took time.  I think I spent a lot more time crying in those first couple of weeks than not.  So now you're wondering, when did I turn the corner and how the heck did I come out of it?

Well that's easy - you see that first sonogram and there is just nothing like it.  God bless modern technology, I'm not joking.  As soon as I saw him in there, that flickering heartbeat, it was like everything was going to be ok.  This was what was meant to happen.  This is not to say that I haven't had the emotional ups and downs of pregnancy since that point - but that was a huge turning point and from then on out I embraced everything about becoming a mom and I felt so much better.  The other thing that truly helped was when we could finally share our news with others.  We wanted to keep it quiet until the risk of miscarriage went away.  Once we could tell everyone it was another burden lifted, our families were overjoyed and our friends were so supportive.

I credit SO much to Nate for getting me through those dark days.  I truly lost myself for awhile. I really believe I may have been suffering almost a pre-part-um type depression.  And I most definitely would have sought help if it hadn't improved, but thankfully it did and he played such a huge role in that. He knew the right things to do, he helped take my mind of things when I needed it.  And of course that support has continued even after things were better.  He's been my rock.  He's going to be the most amazing dad.

From where I stand now, I do look back on those days with regret.  But it happened.  I can't deny that.  I also won't dwell on it.  At this moment I couldn't be more excited and just overall calm, happy and blessed. And really, that was the lowest of the low other than my gestational diabetes diagnosis - and that's the next thing I'll probably talk about and also start sharing the highest of the highs - as there have been so many now!


How did we get here?

Man.  I just have not been blogging much here.  I really wanted to blog more, to remember more about this pregnancy and share more and I just haven't done it.  I really couldn't say why.  And today we enter the third trimester and we're into the last chapter and I want to try to remember and record more.  I think I'll regret it later if I don't.  And yes, that includes the bad stuff even, like my gestational diabetes diagnosis yesterday.  I'll get to all of that soon - but I think to truly get the story documented from beginning to end, I should kind of explain how we got here in the first place.  I think it's good to look back and see the journey.  This could get lengthy so bare with me, but maybe it'll help everyone understand how we got to where we are now.

So as I've shared, we've been together 15 years.  And in those early years of dating, we used to imagine our future together, we talked about marriage and we talked about someday having kids.  We always said we'd have a boy and a girl, because isn't that how all idyllic daydreams work?  We used to give them names and everything.  We planned to be married immediately after college and to be done having kids by the time we were 30.  Yes, this was those blissful days of the late 90's/early 2000s, before 9/11, before the economic downslide.  We were pretty young and clueless back then.

Eventually we realized life doesn't always work out exactly as you plan it.  It took Nate a lot longer to get a full time job post college than it did for me, even though he finished his degree two years earlier than I did.  But he did finally get a job within the year after I graduated and while the dream fall wedding I always wanted didn't end up reality, we were able to be engaged by about a year after my graduation and then married after another year.  And we were blessed to be able to buy our house right away.  We figured even with a slow start, our life plan was still working out fairly well.  Getting married at 24 we figured still gave us time to at least have one child before turning 30 and still take a couple of years to enjoy life as a married couple.

Of course the first year of marriage was a little shaky - whose marriage is smooth sailing the entire first year anyway?  Nate losing his job a mere three months into our marriage was one of the most frightening things to ever have happen, especially when you just closed on your house.  But we still weren't planning kids in the first year no matter what, so it just kind of went in the "Someday" file for that time.  Thankfully that unemployment stint was short lived, he started contract work after only four months of being out of work. As we approached our first wedding anniversary things felt good and stable and I thought "we can wait awhile on the kids thing, why rock the boat now?"

Two things happened then that following summer after our first wedding anniversary (2007).  One of my friends from church had her first baby and I visited her and fell in love with her little guy.  And then suddenly we had a rash of people around us slowly start to become pregnant.  Somewhere in all of that I caught the baby bug.  I knew I didn't want to be pregnant until after Gina's wedding in the spring of 2008 though as I was the matron of honor and wanted to be able to fit my dress and be able to party and have a good time like we did at our own wedding.  But, I couldn't shake the desires I was feeling, so Nate and I had a conversation and decided, we'll spend the next 8-10 months starting to work on getting ready and as soon as that wedding is over, we'll start trying.  And you know that saying "We plan and God laughs."

I had everything falling into place and I was seriously ready - and then Nate lost the contract job he had. And while that had happened two other times previously, this time the agency didn't get him a replacement position.  Even with him calling and checking in with them, it was like they suddenly didn't want him any longer.  So he started looking for permanent work, which would prove to be a more daunting task than just pestering his agency.  It was the bottom of the economic downturn.  No one was hiring.  And due to that and other things around me - namely HUGE changes at our home church - I fell into a bit of a depression in 2008.  Early on during his unemployment we decided that I'd still quit my birth control pills because your cycles can take awhile to come back and we'd just use other means (TMI I apologize) to cover ourselves until he started working.  So we did and then the final nail in the coffin was learning I had some female problems that would not necessarily make my reproductive life easy.  And actually, I didn't learn this news until after he had started working again - but somehow during those months he was out of work, having a baby started becoming less important to me.  Those months took a strain on our marriage and so once Nate started at MasterSwitch it seemed at the time we needed to rebuild and reconnect with each other.  So poof, we stopped worrying about having kids at the end of the year.

I stayed off the pill and we just continued on our other forms of birth control and as time progressed I realized, my "must have kids before 30" timeline was really quite silly.  What was so special about the number 30 anyway?  And we finally settled into a comfortable life - one that I selfishly just wasn't ready to give up.  We started going with a one day at a time approach.  We simply decided, let's revisit this topic around or just after we turn 30.  There is nothing wrong with that.

The closer we got to that big birthday, the more I started wondering if we really should or needed to have kids.  We had a good life, we were fulfilled and happy.  And then Nate had his own rough year with work and stress and ugly stuff right around the time we actually did turn 30, so my focus was very much on getting him through that.  Shortly after his grandfather passed away in early 2012 we started talking about kids again though - truly, seriously talking about kids for the first time in a couple of years.  And it was becoming very clear, while I was feeling more hesitant - he was very much ready.  And I just wasn't sure that I was - or that I ever would be.  And that wasn't fair to him, it was always a part of the deal when we got together and got married that someday kids would be a part of the greater picture.  I will admit to being very selfish and sort of lost inside myself at that time.  But, he was right.  So very quietly without telling anyone - even my very best friends whom it killed me not to say anything to and I hope they will forgive me as I just really had to struggle through that time on my own - we decided to "not try, but not NOT try."  This was around March of 2012.  And again - I have female issues.  My cycles are WACKY.  And it seems the minute we decided to throw caution to the wind, they decided to be at their wackiest for awhile.  Which basically meant - again TMI here - I was on the rag more than I was off.  That isn't very conducive to making babies, I'll tell you that much!

So we just kind of had it in the back of our heads, but didn't stress about it too much and just kind of focused on enjoying our time together.  We had one what I will now call "scare" in October 2012, I was so certain that I was pregnant at that time, but it was just more wackiness.  After the 1st of the year I thought long and hard about it and I decided I didn't want us to be much older than about 32 or 33 before this actually happened.  We had planned to go to Duluth for a beer festival this July, so I told Nate, after that festival, we can start getting more serious about this trying business.  Deep down I was finally getting that motherly feeling back and I realized that I think it was something that I did still want for us.  And maybe coming to that realization and feeling peaceful about it is what allowed it to finally happen - ironically on our 15 year anniversary of being together.  I can't help but think that someone upstairs knows more than I do.

So that's the first part of the journey.  I will share more about what happened when we finally learned we were expecting - it wasn't all sunshine and roses which I'm a bit ashamed of now, but at least I know that this all has a happy ending - I am beyond thrilled and blessed and overjoyed at this little guy growing inside of me and that's the part that matters most now!



I posted this over on my fashion blog too, but for fun, I thought I'd also share here the before and after of our front window!  I'm super thrilled with how it turned out.  It's different and yet looks like it's always been there - it belongs!

Huge thanks to my dad, my father in law, Ron, and Dave for all their hard work on Saturday.  Nate and I appreciate it so much!  There will be more work to come, but Nate and my dad can do it at their leisure now.  And we've already picked out new window treatments that I'm very excited about too.  Bye bye ugly old lady curtains!!