Friday, December 30, 2011

{16 weeks}

16 weeks

16 weeks - first maternity outfit I wore (actually wore it at 15 weeks 3 days)
**My husband keeps commenting on the belly this week - it's starting to get very real and noticeable! :)

Size of baby: avocado (4.6" and 3.5 oz)

Total Weight Gain: +4.5 lb
Continuing symptoms: Round ligament pain, br.east enlargement, feeling hungry but then really full quickly, indigestion if my clothes are too tight
New symptoms this week: Dizziness
Maternity Clothes: I received some maternity clothes for Christmas, so I wore my jeans and a shirt the day after (outfit pictured above). I can still wear most of my non-maternity shirts, but it was fun to put it on and I think it accentuated the pregnant belly a little more. I even got my first stranger comment (kind of)! We were at a bagel shop with our in-laws, who are regulars at this place. I was drinking decaf coffee and they were out, so my mother in law went to the counter to see if they had some brewing. The man behind the counter filled my cup, and my mother in law double checked that it was decaf. He responded by saying he made sure it was because he sees we have a little one of the way. :)

Sleep: Sleeping well.
What I'm Eating: Normal eating habits. This week felt a little off because of traveling and being at family members' houses, so I couldn't eat like I normally do. This resulted in some moments of getting really hungry and weak feeling, but then when I would finally eat I got full way too fast and felt uncomfortable. One particularly heavy meal the day after Christmas did not sit right with me and I almost wished I could just throw it up (but I wasn't nauseous).
Cravings: Nothing in particular.
Movement: Not yet but looking forward to it!

Special pregnancy moments: Wearing pregnancy clothes for the first time and having a stranger notice my pregnancy. Anticipating Christmas next year and imagining our 6 month old. My husband noticing my growing belly and constantly touching it when we are at home. Signing up for a birth class (Me?! Giving birth?! It is still surreal most of the time).

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gender guessing game!

The gender countdown is on and we will hopefully find out whether this baby is a boy or a girl two weeks from today!! For some reason my mom is unhappy that we are finding out, but it is something I just always knew I would want to do. I totally respect those who want to wait, but for us it will be a huge surprise to find out if we are having a son or a daughter in two weeks and then we figure we will have another surprise finding out what he or she looks like on the day of his or her birth. Plus, we can't wait to pray for and talk about him or her using the proper pronoun - we figure that will make this pregnancy that much more real.

I thought it would be fun to have a gender guessing game on the blog, so I have added a poll to the top of the sidebar. Feel free to join in and guess. :) I will share my guess and my husband's closer to the ultrasound.

I made a chart showing some of the old wives' tales that indicate gender:

Boy Girl
No nausea Chinese Gender Chart
dry hands Heart rate high
clear skin prefer sleeping on my right side
no weight gain in face crave citrus
left br.east larger crave sweets

not moody carrying high?

location in early ultrasound
carrying in front
don't want bread heel (never did though) 
Not stealing my beauty (haha)

**From Amy: "Location in uterus at early ultrasound. It has to be around an 8 week ultrasound though. If transvaginal baby on the right - boy, left - girl. If abdominal baby on the right - girl, left - boy. It's been accurate for everyone I know :)" - Ok, so my 7 week ultrasound is here - looks like the baby is more to the left of center, right?? That would mean girl!

(I got some of these from Parents Magazine and others from blog readers)

Happy guessing! :) 

ETA: If you have other Old Wives' Tales that you want me to add, let me know in the comments and I will!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Refelctions on Christmas

What a difference a year (or 4) make.

Christmas had always been the most difficult holidays for me as an infertile. Mother's Day wasn't a big deal, but Christmas...Christmas! How I longed to begin creating Christmas memories with our little one. As the years went by, I longed for the change that a baby would bring, but every year felt like a marker in time that nothing was changed and that, very likely, the next Christmas could be exactly the same.

But this year, on Christmas, we thanked God for the miracle of new life growing inside of me - something that by Christmas last year I had given up hoping for. This miracle is certainly not the baby Jesus or the Savior of the world, but he or she is a beautiful example of God's goodness, faithfulness, and that he can do what we think is impossible.

This year, we talked with our families about having a baby at the Christmas celebrations next year. The youngest child in my husband's family is ten, and my 8-month-old neice lives too far away to be here for Christmas, so this will be the first baby/ small child around in quite awhile. It was so fun to imagine the day with everybody passing around our little one and the joy that he or she will bring to our families.

This year, my husband and I started dreaming of how we would like to celebrate Christmas with our child. Once he or she is old enough we would like to have Christmas morning at our house. And as we thought of this, we imagined the face of a little toddler Christmas morning running through our living room with bright eyes and the sheer excitement that only a child can have.

For those of you still waiting, I hope your next Christmas is filled with the wonder of a child or anticipation of a child. We are so very thankful and blessed for this gift that we were not expecting.

Friday, December 23, 2011

{15 weeks}

15 weeks
*It doesn't look like my belly really grew much this week, although I felt bigger for whatever that is worth. :)

Size of baby: naval orange (4" and 2.5 oz)

Total Weight Gain: +2.5 lb
Continuing symptoms: I felt quite normal this week, minus the new symptoms below. Thankful to be feeling so well!
New symptoms this week: This isn't completely new since I had this a couple times early in the first trimester (probably when I had a cold), but this week I have caught a cold again. It is very mild and started in my throat. Yesterday I kept having a tickle in my throat and needed to cough constantly, and every time I coughed I gagged. This must be a pregnancy thing because I don't think that ever happened prior to being pregnant. Thankfully the cold feels like it has moved into my chest and I haven't been coughing (or gagging) as much today. Also, I must confess to peeing my pants (only a little) a couple times - my bladder was just really full, and when I stood up to go to the bathroom a tiny bit leaked out. I have been trying to empty my bladder earlier now, but I am kind of surprised since isn't this the trimester when the baby/ uterus is not pressing on my bladder?!
Maternity Clothes: Not yet, but I gave up wearing my jeans altogether this week and have been living in yoga pants (I don't need to dress up for work since I am by myself in a home office!). I can definitely still button my jeans, but I just felt soooo uncomfortable by mid-day that I decided it wasn't worth it to wear them. The last night I wore my jeans I sat through a 2 hour choral concert (thus I couldn't unbutton them), and by the end I had terrible indigestion! I can't say for sure it was entirely connected, but once I stood up I immediately starting feeling better, and then once I unbuttoned them in my car I felt completely better. Weird.

Sleep: Sleeping well.
What I'm Eating: Normal eating habits. I'm loving a before bed snack of a glass of milk, and an english muffin - one side with butter and the other side with an almond cocoa spread from T.rader Joe's (it's like Nu.tella but doesn't seem as sweet but is pretty much as unhealthy, haha).
Cravings: Nothing in particular.

Special pregnancy moments: Seeing my high school best friend for the first time in a year (and obviously since being pregnant), having her notice my tiny bump, and getting to talk about the pregnancy with her. Having a few other friends notice my tiny bump, too. Being off of progesterone for over a week and NOT spotting - yeah!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Heartbroken for my friend

Remember my dear friend who told me a few weeks ago that she was unexpectedly pregnant? The one I was so very happy to be experiencing pregnancy with and anticipating becoming mothers together? Yesterday they found out they lost their baby.

I am so heartbroken for her and her husband. There are almost no words. They had their first appointment at 11.5 weeks of pregnancy and discovered the baby only measured at 6 weeks (which, by the way, isn't that a crazy long time for her body to hold onto the pregnancy?! She was still experiencing morning sickness!). Thanks to my own suffering through infertility I feel like I can be an empathatic friend to her, but I also know I have not (thankfully) experienced a miscarriage. So devastating.

And, of course, there is the part of all of this that I am now the pregnant friend who will always be about as far along as she would have been, whose baby will (God willing) be born around when hers would have been, and my baby will hit milestones and birthdays at the same times as her baby would have. We have already had a good talk where I said I completely understand if she needs space from me because of that, and I think she will be able to tell me if or when she does. But, for now, I am just trying to be there for her as much as possible through phone calls, keeping her company, and anything else she might need.

Sad, sad weekend.

Friday, December 16, 2011

{14 weeks}

14 weeks

Size of baby: lemon(3.4" and 1.5 oz)

Total Weight Gain: +2.25 lbs - same as last week. I love my new scale!
Continuing symptoms: gassy, br.east tenderness (even less this week) & enlargement, indigestion (only a tiny bit), and cramping. Still a little tired but nothing extreme.
New symptoms this week: None. My first trimester was really mild (no throwing up, I think I gagged slightly a couple times when coughing, and maybe had nausea once or twice for brief instances...but now I wonder if it was just me hoping I had nausea in those early days of just wanting to feel pregnant), and so far the second trimester feels even more symptom free.

Sleep: Sleeping well.I woke up this morning with a lower back ache, so I'm not sure if I slept funny, did something to it yesterday, or it's just a pregnancy thing.
What I'm Eating: Normal eating habits. I make sure I always eat some breakfast with a glass of orange juice (unlike my pre-pregnancy days where I often skipped breakfast).
Cravings: Nothing in particular.

Special pregnancy moments: Sharing our news publicly and receiving many joyful reactions!! Continuing to check out my tiny belly in the mirror all the time and loving that there is a little something there. Changing to a different doctor for my anatomy scan (the other one wasn't contracted with my insurance) and getting an appointment 12 days earlier (January 12)!! And, yes, I will do a poll on the blog for you to weigh in and guess the gender - so fun! :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

We are public!

This week marked a huge milestone for me...we went public with our news! This has been much anticipated for two reasons: 1) I am so over the moon excited about this miracle that it is hard to not want to shout it from the roof tops (other than that pesky first trimester anxiety that certainly kept any shouting in check) and 2) We can finally answer people's "How's the adoption process going?" question directly.

During our trying to conceive years, if I would have conceived nobody would have really asked me any questions during the first trimester because few people would have known. Even after an IVF cycle only a select few people would know, and thus we could have gone through that stressful first trimester only answering simple, "How are you?" type of questions. Even if we had gotten the random and awkward, "So when are you going to have kids?" question, that one never really deserves a real answer anyway (unless it's your best friend, but then she probably already knows what's going on...).

But in our situation, everybody and their mother (quite literally - I have had so many people tell me their moms were praying for us - ha!) knew we were adopting. This led to everybody wanting to hear how the process was going, which was actually really fun to talk about...until I suddenly found myself pregnant. Now we felt like we were lying...or being purposely vague...every time the question came up. Church on Sundays was the worst. It wasn't a huge problem, but it actually really drove my husband crazy! So, with that said, it is nice to be able to respond, "Well, we've actually put our adoption on hold because I'm pregnant." :)

We've made three "announcements." The first on was on Monday to both my husband's and my small groups of high school seniors (I have written about them before, but in case you're new we are volunteer youth group leaders. We started with this group of kids when they were entering 7th grade, and they are now in 12th!). We had conveniently planned a joint Christmas party with the guys and the girls groups, and I was so excited to share that we made the announcement early in the evening. We told them we had an update about growing our family, and when we actually got to the part where we shared that I am pregnant, we were met with blank stares for about fifteen seconds because they were completely expecting something adoption related. Once the news sunk in, however, there were many squeals, a few tears, and a mob-like group hug with all my girls around me. Love.

We then announced to our adult Bible study last night. We have been with this group for about three years, and they have supported us and prayed for us extensively as we did infertility treatments and pursued adoption, and I actually remember going to this group crying on the day we found out our male factor diagnosis and receiving prayer. Needless to say I was particularly excited to share with them! We were supposed to bring a white elephant gift that night, so I simply wrote on a small piece of paper, "The (insert last name's) are pregnant! Baby is due June 16, 2012!" on it, wrapped it in a box, and brought it as one of our white elephant gifts. Fortunately it was one of the first gifts opened, and the person who opened it decided to pass it around for each person to read themselves. It was so fun to see every person's face and hear the different "Oh!'s" as the little box went around the room. Thankful.

Lastly, I emailed all the ladies who were invited to my baby shower back in October (the shower that actually happened on the day of my missed period!). It was fun to be able to write out the news and praise God, since I feel like I express myself better in writing. And it has been amazing to get email responses throughout the day filled with joy and praise at this miracle. Humbled.

Before making these announcements, I did email the six women I know in real life who are facing infertility. Thanks for weighing in on how you thought I should notify them, and while I am sure there is some degree of personal preference, I am happy with the decision to email them. It is difficult to know that my news was most likely painful for them, but all I can do is be as sensitive as I can and continue to pray that their arms would be filled soon.

I continue to be so thankful and amazed that I am in this place. That I - Hillary - just made pregnancy announcements. Thank you, Lord. And now that these announcements have been made, I am sure word is out!

Friday, December 9, 2011

{13 weeks}

Ok, I went a little crazy with the photos this week because I am in a happy shock that this little belly is actually growing! :)

First, my standard picture:
13 weeks

Now this is the same shirt I put on last week to show how not-pregnant I look in most of my regular, less form fitting clothes. But now I can see a tiny bump in it!
13 weeks

This shirt is from an order of Old Navy maternity clothes I got this week! It was probably a tad early to order them, but they were all on sale plus an additional 40% off as a Cyber Monday promo! Anyway, the looser type shirts just look huge on me at this point, but when I put this one on my husband said,
"You really look pregnant!." (By the way, do you think I should return this shirt? It doesn't seem like it would have much room to grow in, although I really like it for right now....but not sure how long it would last?!)
13 weeks

And lastly, this is a regular non-maternity sweater that I was going to wear yesterday. I ended up not wearing it because I saw how warm it was as I was leaving the house and changed to something with more layers, but anyway...
13 weeks
Size of baby: peach (2.9" and .81 oz)

Total Weight Gain: +2.25 lbs. I know I said last week that I thought I had gained 5 lbs, but when I went to the doctor this week I had gained only a quarter of a pound in the last four I really think our scale is just a piece of junk!! It's always 10 lbs. off, which I accounted for, but now I'm thinking it is just plain inaccurate and hard to read. So I actually bought a new scale yesterday in hopes of a more accurate weekly measurement. I wasn't too worried about the weight gain, but it was still a little nice to know it hasn't been as much as I thought.
Continuing symptoms: gassy, br.east tenderness (even less this week) & enlargement, indigestion (only a tiny bit), and cramping.
New symptoms this week: None - the cramping was a little more this week with some new sort of jabs and stabs that made me a little nervous before my appointment. But apparently it's just the uterus growing...

Sleep: Sleeping well.Thankful.
What I'm Eating: I never really lost my appetite or changed my eating much, but my eating felt especially "back to normal" this week.
Cravings: None. But still loving that glass of milk before bed!

Special pregnancy moments: THIRTEEN weeks! Even more officially in the second trimester!! Seeing the baby again at my appointment and having a great appointment overall. Getting an over-the-belly ultrasound because I am farther along. Starting to wean off of the progesterone (I'm taking one every other day until Wednesday). Scheduling the anatomy scan. My belly growing (I still can't believe I'm going to have a belly - eek!!) and even having a friend (who knows I'm pregnant) point out that she noticed my belly. :) Feeling a tiny bump even when lying on my back. Sharing the news with a few more friends and having a friend so excited she called, emailed, and texted at the same time to get me to call her back right away - so cute. Anticipating telling "the world" in the next few days!!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Appointment today!

So very thankful to report that the baby looked wonderful at my appointment this afternoon! I did have an ultrasound (yay!) but she forgot to print the picture and I forgot to ask (boo!)....but the baby looked so much bigger and just plain perfect. :) Heart rate was 154bpm and the arms and legs were moving around. I felt like such a big girl because the ultrasound was over my stomach this time!

I am really having a baby...! Wow. Thank you, Lord, for this precious gift!

I was a little crampier in the last few days leading up to the appointment, and I think the general pre-appointment jitters were making me hyper aware of it. But last night I woke up during the night and put my hand on my stomach, expecting it to feel flabbier than usual but still pretty flat when I am laying down like it has. But as I ran my hand over my stomach I felt a small bulge and got so excited I couldn't go back to sleep. It felt like confirmation that the baby is growing and helped me to be calm today leading up to the appointment.

I even scheduled the anatomy scan - on January 23rd we should know if this baby is a boy or girl! :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Telling other infertiles

Last week, I shared the news of my pregnancy with a fellow infertile I know in real life who is also waiting to adopt. Her journey has been very, very long and her wait to adopt has been very, very long. It was hard to know what to say in the email to her - I understand all too well the pain, sadness, jealousy, and longing that comes with a pregnancy announcement. My heart aches for her.

I told her a little "early" because I was supposed to see her (we don't live in the same area), and knew we would talk "adoption talk" and I didn't want to have to lie or be fake. However, before we start sharing our news publicly this weekend, I have a list of six others I know in real life who are struggling or have struggled with infertility, and I am going to email them the news. My heart aches for them.

There are few words to say that comfort, but I pray for them - and any of you who are waiting - that God would make them - and you - a mother soon and ease their suffering. Much love to each of you who are waiting. My heart aches for you.

Friday, December 2, 2011

{12 weeks!} {12 weeks!}

12 weeks
I do feel like I am starting to "show"! Not to the extent that anybody who doesn't know me would notice, and even those that do know me haven't noticed, but *I* notice. :) I think it completely depends on what I wear, too, and I don't wear super tight clothes generally.

12 weeks
This picture shows how completely non-pregnant I look with normal clothes on. But even when I wear that shirt I can just tell how much tighter it is around the stomach!

Size of baby: plum (2.1" and .49 oz)

Total Weight Gain: +5 (!)  I think. I am looking forward to making sure my scale is correct at my doctor's appointment this week, but I am a little shocked that I have gained more than the 2-4 lbs. recommended in the first trimester. I counted calories for a couple days this week after realizing that I may have gained 5 lbs., and I don't think I have been eating more than I should be on a day to day basis (I'm sure there are days I do, though, but I had those pre-pregnancy, too!).
Continuing symptoms: gassy, br.east tenderness (even less this week) & enlargement, tired,  indigestion, and heartburn.
New symptoms this week: None - the heart burn seemed to be a little worse, but otherwise it was a fairly symptom-free week.

Sleep: Sleeping well. I had one night where I woke up at 4:00am and couldn't fall back asleep for awhile....not sure if that is pregnancy related or not.
What I'm Eating: Eating normally overall. I started drinking a glass of milk before bed that always tastes really good and helps me from feeling starving during the night.  I can't really figure out what triggers my heart burn - both times this week when I had it really bad I had eaten a pumpkin black bean soup that I had made, but I had also been starving before I ate the soup. I'm wondering if it was something in that recipe or just the eating on a stomach that is too empty...
Cravings: None.

Special pregnancy moments:  TWELVE WEEKS!! 12 weeks!! I know there are multiple ways of calculating the end of the first trimester, but usually I read that the most miscarriages happen in the first 12 I think that's a good reason to call phase one done. :) I am so thankful, happy, humbled, and shocked to be here at 12 weeks. Twelve weeks! It seemed so very far away after first finding out I was pregnant and facing so much anxiety, but these last few weeks feel like they have gone by quickly. I have my next appointment this Thursday, and after I receive the confirmation that the baby is still doing well we will openly share the news of this miracle - I can't wait!! Thank you, Lord!

Friday, November 25, 2011

{11 weeks}

11 weeks
*Sorry for the camera phone picture today - I'm at my in-laws right now. :) I am feeling a little bigger these days, but some days the "belly" seems like more than others.

Size of baby: fig (1.6" and .25 oz)

Total Weight Gain: +3?
Continuing symptoms: gassy (less this week), br.east tenderness (even less this week) & enlargement, starving (especially at night) sometimes, indigestion and inability to eat other times
New symptoms this week: round ligament pain - I think! I felt a sharp stabbing pain in my lower left abdomen after I sneezed a few days ago and googled it, and it sounded like round ligament pain except everything said it usually starts in the second trimester. But then I have had a similar feeling again when I stood up from bed and coughed - all the things they list for round ligament pain - and I am pretty close to the second trimester. Also, I think  I can feel my uterus in my abdomen - a hardness that seems like what I read about!

Sleep: Sleeping well, thankfully
What I'm Eating: Overall eating pretty normal. The starving-like-crazy feeling has been less as the week progressed. On Thanksgiving I ate a really light breakfast so I would have room for the two Thanksgiving meals we were going to eat that day, but became starving right before lunch. When I did eat lunch I ate a small amount, but as the afternoon went on I felt more and more full. By dinner I could hardly eat anything, and had terrible indigestion and heartburn. Thankfully we're eating left overs tonight so I won't completely miss out on a Thanksgiving meal with a decent appetite. :)
Cravings: None.

Special pregnancy moments:  Getting closer to the second trimester! Sharing the excitement of this pregnancy and the baby to come with both of our families on Thanksgiving - they already knew, but it was fun to talk about together. My mother-in-law took me maternity clothes shopping! I don't need any yet, but she is going to wrap the items up and give them to me for Christmas. Trying them on made me really look and feel pregnant, even if there is not much of a belly yet to fill out the clothes. :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My cup overflows

I found out this weekend that one one of my closest friends is pregnant and only a few weeks behind me. When she told me, I jumped up and down and squealed with joy. I hugged her and immediately started dreaming of sharing this pregnancy experience and being mothers together. Wow!

It was strange to think that only a few months ago, pregnancy announcements still brought those dreaded feelings of sadness, jealousy, and longing. It was almost like an out of body experience to now be the girl who delights in a friend's pregnancy, but it felt so good. I am thankful.

In full honesty, I think much of my joy was for selfish reasons. Of course I am happy for her and thankful for the miracle of new life, but, ironically, this was a surprise pregnancy for her and she is still processing the emotions that come with that. As she told me, she was not beaming with joy, but her face displayed shock that I know she is struggling with. She is thankful for her pregnancy, but it is interesting to walk through the opposite of infertility with somebody. As infertiles our "plan" to conceive fell apart, but for her, her "plan" to wait to start a family has been dramatically changed, too. (Also, the poor thing is pretty nauseous and sick. Seeing her made me extra thankful for my lack of morning sickness.)

But back to my selfishness. :) As months turned to years while trying to conceive, I felt like everybody was passing me by. That all of my friends would be mothers without me, and that by the time I did become a mother their children would be much older. And this has been true with some friends, but I have also been amazed at how many sweet friends are pregnant right now.

And now this friend! She is one of my closest friends, but one that I never expected to raise children with. She is younger than me, and my husband and I were trying to conceive before she was even married. I knew she wanted to wait to start a family, so it always seemed like one way or another I would enter parenthood well before her. Really, if both of our "plans" had worked out - if we had both conceived when we wanted to - I would have an almost 3 year old and she would still be a couple years away from trying to conceive.

But now! Now we are both pregnant and due within weeks of each other. I have faced years of grief and she is processing her new reality, but both of us shared yesterday what a tremendous joy it is that we get to walk this new road together. Finding out she is pregnant was almost as amazing, unexpected, and joyful as when I found out I was pregnant. God giving me this pregnancy was a dream come true, and now giving me this dear friend to become a mother with feels like another dream come true.

God has blessed me beyond belief. I have already felt like my cup is overflowing with blessings, and now it is spilling all over the place. I am so thankful. God's timing is beautiful.

Friday, November 18, 2011

{10 weeks}

10 weeks

Size of baby: olive (1.2" and .14 oz)
Total Weight Gain: +2
Continuing symptoms: mild cramping off and on (but less this week), gassy, br.east tenderness (less this week) & enlargement, starving!! (especially at night)
New symptoms this week: headache

Sleep: I slept well, except when it was difficult to fall asleep because I was so hungry.
What I'm Eating: I'm continuing to have a good appetite without food aversions. I'm loving snacking on tangerines and cheese sticks with crackers.
Cravings: None.
Special pregnancy moments:  The post-pap bleeding/ spotting stopped! Waking up today and announcing to my husband that I am TEN WEEKS today - double digits!! I remember a few days after I found out I was pregnant (a few days into my 5th week), a close friend emailed me a sweet, sensitive-to-the-infertile email to tell me she was over 9 weeks pregnant. I remember thinking she was SO far into her first trimester and how lucky she was to be that far....and, well, here I am! Only two or three weeks to go, depending on how you count :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful and happy...

...that the post-pap smear bleeding and spotting has stopped. I'm feeling quite happy and relieved! Thanks for helping to get me through a rough couple days!

In other news, my very few symptoms seem to be even fewer this week. However, on Tuesday night I ate a regular sized dinner and a small bowl of ice cream. A couple of hours later we went to bed and I was SO hungry it was almost unbearable. Like my stomach hurt from hunger pains kind of hunger. I laid there for a while debating about whether or not to get up and eat something, but ultimately I decided I was too tired to face getting out of the warm bed and dirty my clean teeth. Thankfully I was able to fall asleep and woke up in the morning still starving, but I was willing to satisfy my hunger at that point. I have never experienced hunger quite like that, and love these little reminders that I am indeed pregnant!

Oh, more good news! The doctor just called and said my pap smear came back normal! :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

A little better

Thank you for your prayers and encouragements these past 24 hours. I have had some low moments where I felt nearly overcome with fear, but I have also had moments of peace that I know are from the Lord. I am asking him to help me trust him because I certainly can't do it on my own.

I called the doctor this morning. I tried to call at 8:00am when the office opened, but the voicemail came on and said the office wasn't open yet (although the message said they opened at 8:00...). I tried a few more times and finally got through around 9:15am, and left a message with the receptionist asking for the doctor or nurse to call me back. The office closed at 5:00, so I called back at 4:15pm and said I hadn't heard from anyone. The receptionist said she had passed the message on to the doctor, but if she has a busy day she sometimes calls back in the evening. So I continued to wait. (I am a little disappointed that it took so long to hear back from my doctor...)

The doctor called at 6:30 tonight, and I do feel a little better. She said my cervix is extra 'vascular' during pregnancy, and that mine was even more so than most (she said maybe because I am taking prometrium va.ginally, but she's not sure why). So she said it doesn't matter what color the bleeding is and that I may spot for up to two weeks (Lord help me!), and that as long as I don't soak through a large pad in two hours it is fine.

I continued to spot bright red today, and it may have been less. It it is hard to quantify since sometimes it seems to be disappearing and then it is back the next time I go to the bathroom.

I feel less like crying after hearing my doctor say it is ok, and knowing that it might be like this for awhile makes me want to stop over analyzing every trip to the bathroom. I need to just buckle down and accept this spotting. Perhaps the Lord has given me yet another opportunity to grow my trust in him and refine this tendency of mine to worry.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Struggling tonight

After my pap smear on Friday, my doctor specifically said not to worry if there was some bleeding afterwards. So when I started spotting later that night, I was calm. I spotted through out the next day (Saturday), but still felt like it seemed "normal" after a pap smear, it wasn't heavy, and it wasn't accompanied by cramping, so I was doing fine.

But then this morning (Sunday morning) I woke up at 5:00am to what felt like bleeding. It was terrible. It really wasn't *that* much, but there were two gushes of bright red blood. I was only wearing a pantyliner, so it also probably seemed like more than it was since it got everywhere. I tried to tell myself it was just from the pap smear as I cleaned myself up (and changed the sheets...), but as I crawled back into bed I laid awake waiting to see if I started cramping. In my heart I felt like the baby was ok, but I felt like if I started cramping and bleeding more the baby might not be. As I laid there I went through some of the comforting verses I have memorized, and I think after an hour or so I managed to doze off for a little bit.

I woke up tired and on edge. Thankfully there have been no more gushes of blood, but I have continued to have red spotting all day that continues to be unsettling. The day has felt long. As I type this I feel crampy - the regular period like cramps I have had all throughout this pregnancy - but accompanied by the bleeding episode last night and the red spotting today it is even more upsetting.

I think I will call the doctor tomorrow. Part of me knows she will just say it is normal from the pap smear, and I don't even necessarily want an ultrasound at this point - all of these ultrasounds might get expensive, and I feel like the baby is ok and that this is just my darn cervix (and maybe the bleeding is worse because of the cysts?!). But hopefully hearing her say it is normal (or saying I need to come in for an ultrasound) will ease my nerves.

Praying there is no more bleeding and that the spotting stops ASAP!!

PS - Leah, thanks for sharing your bleeding post-pap story. It has been a serious comfort to me this weekend! And if anyone has any scary stories, please don't share since I don't need anything to add to my worry...thank you!

Friday, November 11, 2011

{9 weeks}

9 weeks
*I feel like my "belly"/ bloat is smaller this week :)

Size of baby: Grape (.9" and .07 oz)
Total Weight Gain: +2
Continuing symptoms: mild cramping off and on (but less this week), gassy, br.east tenderness & enlargement
New symptoms this week: starving!

Sleep: I slept better this week with less tossing and turning. There were a few nights that I slept like a rock! I usually get up once to pee, but occasionally make it the whole night. (Frequent urination isn't a symptom I have I guess).
What I'm Eating:I haven't had that "full feeling" like I did in the earlier weeks. Instead, I become ravenously starving and need to eat. After eating I sometimes don't feel that much better. I'm trying to eat more frequent, small meals that include fruits and veggies so I'm not picking up fast food all the time. (But I have eaten fast food twice this week...)
Cravings: None.
Special pregnancy moments:  Continuing to feel less anxious and experiencing more excitement and joy about this miracle pregnancy! Seeing our baby via ultrasound again and seeing him or her move her legs. Crying as I heard the heart beat. Going to an OB's office because I am pregnant!

9 week ultrasound!

Our baby, growing strong at 9 weeks with a heart rate of 172bpm!!

I am so thankful and happy to share about my first OB appointment. Of course, seeing our baby and hearing the heart beat were the happy highlights that made me cry with joy. We even saw the legs moving around!

I had never met this OB before but knew that a lot of my friends had had her as their OB's, and both my husband and I had a very positive first impression. I felt like she listened to what I said. I mentioned that my mom had an incompetent cervix and had delivered me at 28 weeks, and expected her to simply say it's not hereditary. She did say that, but she also said to ask my mom if she had taken any medications during her pregnancy with me, and said that she would monitor my cervix more closely.

A few of you asked why I was having this appointment today, and I guess it is just this OB's practice to see women for their first appointment around 8 or 9 weeks. They took my weight, blood pressure, and a urine sample, asked about my medical and fertility history, did an ultrasound and pap smear, and gave me a flu shot. I will now go in every four weeks until I am 30 weeks pregnant, and then I will go every two weeks from 30-36 weeks, and then every week from 36 weeks on until the baby is born.

The only bit of bad news we received (don't worry, it's not the baby!) is that I have a lot of small cysts on  my cervix. The doctor seemed pretty surprised about it, which is never what you want to see. :/ However, she did say that the cervix is very engorged during pregnancy, and this just could be how my body is reacting to that. But because of the cysts, she did a pap smear that she otherwise would have waited to do because it can cause bleeding. She said not to worry and not to Google. Of course, it is a little hard not to worry (and to let your mind go to the "C" word...), but honestly I was SO happy that the baby was fine that those feelings have overshadowed any worry I might be tempted to feel. Plus, I know my RE saw my cervix during our IVF cycle six months ago, so I know they have developed since then at least. (But if you have any scary or bad stories about cysts on the cervix please refrain from telling them).

But we are happy, happy, happy and oh so thankful for our sweet babe! :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Oh, Joy!

As the days tick by and I move further along through the first trimester, my anxiety has continued to decrease and has been replaced by tremendous joy. Joy that there is a life growing inside of me (although it is still difficult to believe many days), joy that God has given us this gift that we don't deserve, and joy that I am experiencing pregnancy like I had always dreamed. I am so thankful.

I also "feel" more pregnant these days. My symptoms are still minimal and I can go a couple of days with almost none, but my body certainly feels different. My br.easts are fuller, and my pooch feels bigger. At night sometimes my abdomen feels huge (to me), and I generally feel some heaviness down there.

While my lack of morning sickness increased my anxiety earlier on, I am now very thankful that I feel as well as I do and am counting myself blessed! Instead of food aversions and vomiting, I have moments (and sometimes days) of extreme hunger. I do not have particular food cravings, but a sudden need-to-eat-right-this-second feeling that, if not satisfied, can make feel rather yucky...not nauseous, but just yucky. I must confess to a McDonald's run for a second lunch of a small fry and a 4 piece chicken nugget the other day! However, yesterday I was utterly starving for dinner, wolfed down a burrito, but the yucky feeling continued and my body didn't seem to like that I had eaten a burrito. But thanks, baby, for reminding me that you are there! :)

The only downside to this pregnancy symptom could be that I gain much more than baby weight. And, for the record, I have eaten salads and fruit this week, too - just so you don't think all I'm eating is McDonald's and burritos, ha!

Tomorrow afternoon we are going to our first OB appointment! I honestly never thought I would set foot in an OB/ Gyn's office again because those are mostly for pregnant people, and I could just get my annual pap from a family practice doctor. Yet, here I am meeting an OB for the first time because I am pregnant! I have moments of nervousness about the appointment and getting bad news, but overall I am quite excited and hopeful!

PS - My husband got home from work as I was typing this post, and when I hugged him to welcome him home he said it felt like I had a belly (albeit small)! That made me squeal with joy and hug him another time.

Friday, November 4, 2011

{8 weeks}

For comparison...the first "belly picture" I made my husband take of me at 5 weeks (he thought I was crazy but he is already glad we did it, haha) and a self portrait I took at 8 weeks:

5 weeks

8 weeks
I have read that it is still way too early to have a "baby belly" but that there is "bloat" in the first trimester instead. It looks like I have it?! Craziness. I really don't expect to show early since I have a *very* long torso, but I'm surprised I do have the bloat anyway!

Size of baby: Raspberry (.63" and .04 oz)
Total Weight Gain: +1
Continuing symptoms: mild cramping off and on, gassy, br.east tenderness & enlargement
New symptoms this week: first heartburn experience

Sleep: Sleeping well but waking up earlier than normal many days. I tend to toss and turn more and don't feel as comfortable all night.
What I'm Eating: Anything! Thankfully I am having no aversions and my appetite is normal. I do tend to feel full faster and get starving -hungry more suddenly.
Cravings: None.
Special pregnancy moments:  Telling a couple more close friends and seeing them tear up with happiness. Feeling less anxious about the pregnancy and enjoying it more. My husband kissed my "belly" for the first time.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The ups and downs

Thankfully, there have been a lot more ups since hearing the heart beat on Friday, and the downs have been less extreme. It eased my mind tremendously to know that after so much spotting and the lack of symptoms, the baby has continued to grow and thrive on track.
UP: These last few days I have enjoyed the fact that I don't feel sick. I have a had a couple random times where the thought of throwing up appealed to me even though I didn't feel nauseous (or maybe was a tiny bit because I was hungry) - how weird is that?! And a couple times I coughed and thought I would gag. So weird things happen from time to time, but I can go a couple without experiencing any symptoms. I must be one of the lucky 25%. :) I have a dull lower back ache, some bre.ast tenderness and fullness, and an abdomen that just feels fuller (even though it doesn't look it). I also have cramping on and off that seems like normal "uterus stretching" from what I can tell, and it never feels intense. Although sometimes it is pretty strong and makes me wonder if it is "bad" cramping, but usually it just is a pleasant reminder that there is a baby growing in there. :)
DOWN: How can I always find something to scare me? (TMI warning) A couple nights ago I inserted my progesterone pill and felt like I hit my cervix....but all of the other times it has felt high and far away. Cue internal temptation to freak out. I felt like God carried me through that one because I read my verse on my phone, prayed, and managed to go to sleep without worrying. The next morning (and everyday since then) the cervix has been high...
UP: Listening to the heart beat on my phone. :)
DOWN: Getting a cold. So far it's not too bad, but it is difficult to manage without taking any decongestants. I woke up early Monday morning and felt so much pressure in my face that I got scared I was getting a sinus infection. I stayed home from work, breathed steam every 2 hours, and started using a nasal rinse twice per day and it seems to be helping.
UP: Going out to dinner on Friday to celebrate hearing the heart beat and not feeling like I could eat because I'm pregnant. It wasn't because the food didn't look or taste good (it did!), but I just felt full after only a couple bites. I don't want the sickness, but these occasional reminders that I am pregnant are nice. :)
DOWN: I was supposed to fly to St. L.ouis today to visit my best friend from high school. She and her family are moving out of the country in January, so we had planned this as the last big visit. Also, her husband was going out of town so I was going to help with the kids. Well...I had already started freaking out about going because I'm pregnant (nervous to fly, nervous to be away from home and DH...)....and I was getting stressed about it. The doctor said it was completely fine to fly so I just planned to go. But then I woke yesterday with that pressure in my face and decided I just couldn't do it. I'm not that sick, but I don't want to get worse, and missing sleep, traveling, etc. with a cold just seemed like too much. I don't want to get a sinus infection and need antibiotics, you know? And I just can't push myself like I normally would and risk it. But I felt terrible canceling :(
UP: Everyday that goes by feels like a gift from the Lord, and I continue to thank him daily for this baby and pregnancy!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Heart beat!!!

We are rejoicing and praising God that he has continued to grow this baby! We saw and heard the amazing sound of our baby's heart beat flickering away at 153 beats per minutes. The baby measured at 11.2mm which is 7 weeks 2 days.

Here is a not so great picture of a picture (I will have to scan it when I get home):

As I laid on the table my husband held my hand and I squeezed his so tightly. Almost immediately after the RE started the ultrasound he said, "I have some nice news for you," and I was SO thankful he let us know so quickly. I started crying, and he showed us what he was seeing and pointed out the heart beat. He even told me to get my iPhone out and film while he turned the audio on to hear the heart beat! My husband got teary eyed, too.

I am just over the moon happy and so, so thankful to God. Wow. There is a baby with a heart beat inside of me.

My estimated due date is June 16 - two days before our 7th anniversary. :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Spreading the news

I have moments where I feel so much peace about this pregnancy. In those moments, I actually enjoy the fact there is nothing I can do - God will either continue to grow this baby or not. I also think about what a sheer and utter miracle this pregnancy is and feel God's blessings on it. (I updated this blog with pregnancy info during one of this days, but regretted it the next day). Admittedly, these moments usually correlate with "feeling" pregnant, which I know is not something I should set my hope on.

There are other days and moments that I question this pregnancy. Again, admittedly, this is often when I don't "feel" pregnant. When fear grips me and I try to pray and seek God's peace but it feels elusive. I know God does not want me to fear or worry, and I think about this and it makes me worry even more. I also think about how my stress might be negatively effecting the baby and I worry even more. I think this is an area the Lord still has much refining work to do in me!

We have told a small number of people about the pregnancy, although it is more people than I would have liked. We told our parents and brothers the night we found out, which was actually very exciting and I am happy we did. I wasn't feeling anxious then. :) I called my grandma the next morning, and she was so happy she cried! :)

The night we found out we decided we would only tell a very small, select few family and friends about the pregnancy. I called my best friend who lives in St. Louis, and also told a friend who I was having lunch with the next day. She is a close friend, and there was NO way I could have a normal lunch after all that had happened in the last 24 hours. We told some close friends who had offered to let K stay in their house because they were asking for updates about that situation. And then I thought we were done telling people.

The very next day my husband came home from work and told me not to be mad, but he had told his 5 person team at work. What?! But I justified it that he was excited AND I rarely if ever see those people. I feel like we have had the, "Don't be mad, but I told x" conversation a few times in the last couple weeks, but I can't grudge him his excitement and they are HIS friends.

Since then I have told a couple more people, too, but it has been a lot more difficult for me. I know I didn't have to tell them, but for various reasons I just decided to do it. However, in the process of telling them I have felt like my anxiety increased - like saying the words "I am pregnant" out loud has made my fear increase because what if I am no longer pregnant? Part of me wants to shout it off the roof tops, but another part of me is so scared that I just can't even look happy when I tell people.

Tomorrow feels like The Big Day - will there be a heart beat? I ask God this all day. I know so many of you shared that you did not feel pregnant - thank you! - but it is still hard because I don't feel pregnant, and I have felt less pregnant the last couple days than the little I did before.

Carrie, my appointment is at 10:15am PST tomorrow - thank you for offering to pray! Thank you to all of you for your prayers and support!

Monday, October 24, 2011

{6 weeks 3 days}

The days are continuing to move very slowly. I thank God constantly throughout the day for this life inside of me, and ask that he or she would continue to grow and thrive. My anxiety has waned now that the spotting has stopped (yay progesterone!), although I know it is there but hidden more below the surface. I cried off and on through church yesterday as I sought to entrust this child to the Lord.

I want to remember this time of my life. Despite the anxiety and temptation to worry and fear, I want to relish in the fact that I AM PREGNANT. So here are a few items about this early pregnancy stage:

*I have had a few very mild symptoms. Fatigue set in during the middle of last week, and yesterday I took an hour and a half nap (and could have slept longer). Although sometimes I wonder if it is just the high stress we have been experiencing the last few weeks that has caught up to me?

*I may have felt the teensy-tiniest bit of "morning sickness" today and a couple days ago. Again I wonder if it is nerves/ stress/ I want to feel symptoms since it is so mild and inconsistent - who knows. I wouldn't even call it nausea, just a general yucky feeling that feels better when I eat.

*My mom and paternal grandma told me they never had much sickness in the first trimester - maybe I inherited those genes?!

*My appetite is normal and food is still enjoyable to me. However, I don't feel like eating much - I feel "full" after only half a serving.

*I have been waking up between 5-6am most days. Usually I am able to go back to sleep, but I never used to do that. This is another one that I question if it is pregnancy or anxiety.

*I feel bloated, especially at the end of the day. I don't even know how to describe this, but my abdomen feels weirdly distended/ full when I lay on my side at night. Obviously there is no "belly" but it feels like gravity is pulling on it or something.

*I had an optical migraine on Thursday night. I usually get those a couple times per year so I am not sure if this one was triggered by pregnancy or not. (it is the flashing lights in my vision but no migraine headache)

*I love progesterone and am so happy it stopped my spotting. I know it wouldn't prevent a miscarriage, but not seeing and feeling the spotting constantly has eased my nerves.

*My b.reasts really aren't too sore. I notice a tiny bit of tenderness when I wake up in the morning, but I think wearing a bra all day keeps them comfortable. They have felt a little fuller the last couple days, but maybe that is from the progesterone?

The next ultrasound is this Friday, and we are praying there will be a heart beat. Taking one day at a time...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

One week

It has been one week since I found out I am pregnant. It feels like so much has happened in this week and our heads are still spinning. My husband has been going for two jogs a day, experiencing insomnia, and walking around with a quite a grin on his face. I have been praying like crazy for this little one, and seeking to trust God with whatever he has ahead for him or her.

One week. It feels like time is moving in slow motion. How can I make it through another week? Will the end of the first trimester ever arrive?

To answer a few questions from my last post....The RE said he can't determine exactly how far along I am or give me a due date until there is a heart beat. But based on my LMP that I am guessing is pretty accurate, I was 5 weeks 5 days yesterday (so I will be 6 weeks tomorrow). I will go in for another ultrasound on Friday, October 28 (should be 7 weeks) and am praying there is a heart beat!!

To the commenter who suggested that I am farther along then 5 weeks 5 days based on my high HCG level last Friday (6,000 at 5 weeks), that I should have seen a heart beat by now, and therefore things don't bode well for my pregnancy....well, I have a few things to say to that. First of all, I don't know what your warning was intended to do? Make me "prepared" for a miscarriage? Because, really, how can I be? All I can do is take each day at a time, trust God, and hope that this pregnancy is viable! Secondly, you are basing that on your own experience, but HCG levels can vary greatly. According to The American Pregnancy Association website, HCG levels for 5 weeks of pregnancy can range between 18 - 7,340 mIU/ml. Their website also says, "The hCG levels should not be used to date a pregnancy since these numbers can vary so widely." Also, according to the Beta Base website, at 21 DPO (which is where I would guess that I was on beta day), women have reported betas ranging from 41 to 21,000, with the median 1,248. So, yes, my HCG levels were high. Yes, I have thought about the fact that maybe what I remember about my last cycle is incorrect, I am further along, and yesterday's ultrasound was a problem. But I can't ignore the fact that an HCG of 6,000 could be normal at 5 weeks (give or take a day), that I do have a pretty decent guess about when my last period was, that a gestational sac and yolk sac are normal milestones for 5 weeks and 5 days, and this pregnancy could still be viable.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

We saw our baby!

So far, so good! We saw an 11mm gestational sac today with a yolk sac. There was no fetal pole or heart beat but it is probably still too early. I am feeling a bit of relief. :)

Also, my RE is letting me take progesterone if it makes me sleep better at night. :) Thank you SO much for all of your words of encouragement over the last couple of days. Hearing your many spotting stories really did help, and you offered wonderful advice and scripture to encourage my heart. I put this verse as the background on my phone so I could read it whenever I get anxious:

Monday, October 17, 2011


As my husband and I attempted to wade through the shock and process the news of my pregnancy on Thursday night, I realized that I had such a long road ahead of me. Yes, the goal was always to get pregnant....but the real goal is to have a take-home baby. And just because I am pregnant does not mean God would give us a take-home baby.

I thought I had left the fear and sadness of infertility behind. Yes, the adoption journey had already been stressful and I probably would have shed some tears along the way. But I had hoped that there would be no more of the heart-wrenching, grief filled sobs that had marked different points of our infertility journey. Adoption offered so much hope with less month-to-month or day-to-day anxiety. As painful as it was for me to close the door to fertility treatments - and in my mind a pregnancy - these emotions were the things that were easy to leave behind.

But as I sat there holding the positive pregnancy test, I knew the door had opened again. A door that will hopefully lead to our baby - who happens to be biological - but could lead to more intense suffering. And for one split second, I almost didn't want it. How could I handle losing this baby? Of course, of course, the JOY and HOPE quickly pushed that thought aside, and I know the risk of pain is worth it for the possibility that lies ahead. I am so incredibly thankful for this baby.

But it is hard to feel so raw again, friends. I haven't felt this raw in some months, and my heart feels so fragile right now.

As I mentioned before, I had spotted during the time before my period was due, and continued to lightly spot in the days before I took the home pregnancy test. Since I had already been spotting and my HCG levels were so good, I tried to just tell myself that I am a spotter and there's no way around it. And, of course, you can google and find that 30% of women spot during the first trimester. And it can be completely normal. (However, I feel like when I find things about spotting it is people saying it was simply when they wiped...or a few times and then it went away...but not for days and needing a panty liner!)

But I have been unsuccessful in convincing myself, and I feel like the spotting increased yesterday and today. It is still brown, it is still light (I only need a panty liner), and there is no cramping - but it is still there and feels worse. I have moments where I remember that God created this life so miraculously, that he can certainly sustain it. I have moments when I pray to God and know that there is nothing I can do but trust him. But I also know very well that God works in many mysterious - and sometimes difficult - ways.

I called the RE's office this afternoon on the verge of a meltdown. I knew they would tell me it's normal and I almost didn't want to call and hear them say that, but I wanted to beg for some prometrium. (Ironically, my husband had pulled out my old bottle of prometrium pills only a few weeks ago, asked if I still needed it, I said no, and he threw it away.) My progesterone level was really good on Friday, but the ONLY times in my cycle that I have not spotted were while I was on some form of progesterone (I have spotted before even when my progesterone levels were fine). I know that it won't necessarily prevent a miscarriage, but I think if I can take it and it does stop the spotting, it will save my sanity. It will be a long seven weeks ahead regardless, but I almost don't know how I will survive those seven weeks if I spot constantly.

I left a message for the nurse, but my RE ended up calling back. He assured me that brown spotting is normal and everything is most likely ok, but offered to have me come in sooner for an ultrasound to make sure. And if I really want the prometrium he will prescribe it. :) So my ultrasound is now going to be on Wednesday morning.

That phone call from the RE bought me at least a few hours of calm, I think. I know in my head that this baby is the Lord's and he numbers his or her days - whether that be just a few or an earthly lifetime - and all I can do is trust him. But my heart is so tempted to fear.

Friday, October 14, 2011

How I found out I was pregnant

First of all, I just have to give praise and thanks to God. He is the creator of this life, and I am in awe that he would choose to perform this miracle in me. It is funny that for these 3.5 years I have wondered and cried out to God, "How long, O Lord?," but now that it has happened I feel so unworthy and humbled that he would grant my request. The timing of this - especially in relation to our potential adoption situation with K - is difficult to wrap my mind around at the moment, but I praise God for his timing, and trust him with it. May it be for his glory.

So this is the story of how I discovered I am pregnant. Can you believe I typed that?? It is surreal that I have said those words aloud, and that I have prayed for and thought constantly about a life that is growing inside of ME for the last 24 hours.

I haven't been keeping track of my period, monitoring ovulation, or even taking prenatal vitamins. That season of life had just seemed done, and I felt like I had to close one door to feel ready to walk through another. So I can't tell you when my last period was, but I would guess around it was around September 11. The only reason I have a vague sense that it was around this time is I remember that I did count ahead on the calendar and thought, "Shoot! It looks like I might get my next period on the day of my baby shower. Bummer." (ironic, huh?)

My baby shower happened this Saturday without my period's arrival. However, some of you may remember that I am the queen of spotting, and the pre-period spotting occurred in the days leading up to my shower so I thought nothing of the seemingly delayed period. I wasn't really tracking anything, anyway, so I could have just been off in my timing. The week continued on, and the possibility of matching with K became much more real and intense. So much prayer, so many talks, and so many decisions were being made that the week has felt like one of the craziest of our lives.

Wednesday night my husband and I stayed up late outlining all of the possible scenarios - emotionally and financially - about matching with K. We felt a tremendous sense of the Lord's leading to move forward with K. Thursday we talked multiple times throughout the day to check in - do you still feel good about matching with K kind of talks - and we also talked with a few close friends about it. We decided that that night we would write her an email that would most likely lead to a match.

On my way home from work I decided to stop and get a home pregnancy test. I had no reason to think I was actually pregnant other than a "late" period that I couldn't even remember if it was actually late. I really had to pee when I got home, so I raced to the bathroom, unwrapped the test, and went for it. It was so different than all the other times I have ever peed on one of those things because I had no sense of nervous anticipation...I think I just saw it as the responsible thing to do - to double check that I was indeed not pregnant before making this huge step in matching with K. I set it down, washed my hands, and looked over at it, only to discover that I had either used a defective test, or had gotten it too wet. Either way, the liquid that usually moves through the test strip had stopped in a weird place before even getting to where a line would form.

I didn't really care because I didn't expect to be pregnant, so I threw that one away and started drinking water so I could take the second one. I just wanted to get it over with. In the meantime, I sliced some onion, heated oil in a pan, and started sauteing the onion. I then began to feel like I could go pee again, so I turned off the stove, went to the bathroom, and managed to eek out just enough pee to feel pretty certain the test could be accurate. And there, before I could even set the test down, were two lines. I was staring at two lines!!!!!!

Despite the fact that every infertile knows that there are rarely false positives, my first thought was to wonder if it was wrong. But I quickly remembered my training and knew that it most likely had to be true, but I wanted another test ASAP to make sure.

I ran out of the bathroom, grabbed my phone, and called my husband. He later told me his blood ran cold when he heard my voice because I sounded like something was terribly wrong, like I had been in a horrible car accident or something. I just remember that I was practically screaming, "I AM PREGNANT!! I'm not even joking! This is serious! You have to come home right now! Like right now, leave work!" He was clearly stunned, and immediately followed the orders of his nearly hysterical wife to leave work and come home. But then I changed my mind and ordered him to stop at the grocery store across from his work and buy another pregnancy test, despite the fact that I later realized there was no way I would have any pee to use when he got home, anyway. I clearly couldn't think straight.

My husband went to the grocery store, but told me he walked around in a daze not knowing where to even find pregnancy tests. He called to announce his was coming home empty handed, and then I paced throughout the whole house. I was alternating between thanking God, feeling sad about the interrupted adoption plans, and saying, "What the heck?!" in my head over and over. I had so long imagined this joyful, tearful, thankful moment of discovering I am pregnant, but this was a lot different than I had ever imagined!

As soon as he opened the door, my husband and I hugged each other. I showed him the tests, but we didn't even know what to say. Stunned and shocked were pretty much all we could feel. Honestly, I think if you saw us through the window we wouldn't have even looked happy. We were happy, we just couldn't feel or express it yet. We talked about K and adopting, and knew right away this meant we could not match with her at this moment in time. I know some people may consider moving forward with both, but my husband said he had prayed for a sign as we had weighed the match situation, and as we sat there staring at that positive pregnancy test we couldn't help but see that as God closing the door for us. I have MANY more thoughts and emotions about the adoption, but will save that for another post.

Anyway, we decided to throw away the half cooked onions and go out to dinner - there was no way we could do something so mundane as cook dinner in the state we were in. On the way to the Japanese restaurant, we stopped at the drug store and picked up a digital test, and when we got the the restaurant I went straight to the bathroom. And in a thankfully clean but public single toilet bathroom I saw the word "pregnant" pop up.

By the end of the night some of our shock had worn off and the joyful feelings were coming to the surface. We prayed many prayers of thanksgiving and praise in what used to be our nursery prayer room and is now, ironically, already a nursery (how many people have a nursery at 5 weeks pregnant with their first child?). I gave my husband the present I had been saving for him, which, again ironically, I had planned to give him when we "matched" with an expectant mom...which could have been just around the corner - if not that very same night.

Today I had a beta test (I drove down to my RE's!), and my HCG level was 6,000. Wow! I would guess I am around 5 weeks. My first ultrasound is in 10 days, and they said there is no need for another beta to see if it doubles. So far, I do not feel too much anxiety about the pregnancy. Maybe the shock is still protecting me, but for today I just know that this was a gift from the Lord and I am thankful that I am pregnant today. I am having a tiny bit of brown spotting (and have all week), but I am just telling myself that I am a spotter and it doesn't mean anything. Otherwise, I have NO symptoms - nothing happening with the b.oobs, I don't think I am peeing more frequently, my energy level feels normal, and my appetite is normal (other than not being able to eat much due to shock, I think).

Thank you all SO MUCH for you amazing words of congratulations. It was incredibly touching to read through the comments - many of which are from people who have followed my story for a long time - and to see your joy on my behalf. So humbling, too. And to see how many of YOU have prayed for me over the are a part of this miracle, too. What a gift you all have given me through your love, support, and prayers over these past 3 years.