Motherhood Part Two: The biggest surprise of my life

It’s been months since I’ve put words on this page.

Life has changed drastically.

Wyatt, my beautiful IVF rainbow baby, is now almost 23 months old.

And I’m just over 9 weeks pregnant.

Shocking. I know. 

I should have seen it coming. I had so many signs from the universe.

Deep down, I believed it was possible. I longed for it to happen.

But…

My conscious mind didn’t want to go there. I was protecting my heart after many agonizing years of trying to have a child. It was safer to believe it couldn’t happen.

On August 3rd when I took a pregnancy test, I was shocked to see two lines. I actually think I was in literal shock for over 48 hours.

It was difficult navigating the health care system as an (in)fertile who conceived spontaneously. My fertility clinic told me to go to my family doctor. The family doctor didn’t believe that I ovulated when I thought I did, obviously late in the cycle due to breastfeeding.

Why can’t we trust a mother’s intuition? Why don’t doctor’s believe that a woman can know her body? 

They booked me in for a much-too-early scan which just created fear and anxiety.

We were even earlier along than we thought.

I found it ironic that I had tested on the first probable day I could have gotten a faint positive.

We waited for our next scan just before 7 weeks and saw a heartbeat.

Relief, but the fear still needs to be tamed. 

If we are blessed to receive this gift, are we destined to keep it?

My heart, my body, my soul – all say yes.

One day at a time, Lindsey.

 

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Intentions for 2016

Last year, I set my intentions for 2015 using Leonie Dawson’s Create Your Shining Year workbooks. I was introduced to Leonie’s books and her work through my fertility coach, Zahra.

I highly recommend these books if you are someone – like me! – who loves setting intentions, being creative, writing down your goals and reflecting back on them.

This year, I pre-ordered the set (both life and biz books) in the summer. I reviewed my 2015 intentions and progress, but I haven’t quite finished my 2016 intentions.

For 2015, I defined my word of the year as PEACE. Throughout my pregnancy, peace really was an apparent theme. I distanced myself from people who cause drama and spent a lot of time alone finding my inner peace. I also worked at finding peace in pregnancy after loss – which is not an easy feat! At the end of my pregnancy, I had to make peace with the lack of control I had over the timing of Wyatt’s arrival. We also had an overwhelming sense of peace once he finally joined us. ❤

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My theme for 2016 is JOY. I want every day to be filled with joy. I want to experience so much happiness in this first year of my son’s life. I  want to only commit to activities, people, and items that bring joy into my world. This would be the reason I’ve registered for Mommy + Baby yoga; not bootcamp. 😀 (haha) 

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I will complete the 2016 book, but I’m not putting a timeline on myself. That’s been another big lesson since having a baby: going with the flow sometimes means that timelines aren’t as important. My intentions will organically unfold as they are meant to. Besides, I’m not experiencing joy if I’m experiencing  unnecessary stress. 🙂

What’s your word of the year? 

 

Overdue and over it

Today I’m 40 weeks, 4 days.

Still no baby…

I did lose my mucous plug over the weekend, but that doesn’t mean much.

I’ve been lucky to have minimal swelling during this pregnancy – even throughout the summer. Yesterday morning, I was on my feet doing some baking and cleaning in the kitchen. In the afternoon, we went for a walk at the lake. The result of both activities = I’ve officially got cankles. The swelling is starting to go down after elevating them and drinking a ton of water. I also convinced my husband to rub them and stimulate some of the acupressure induction points. This morning they looked decent, but by this evening they were swollen again.

Baby is moving well. Whenever he’s awake, I joke that he’s beating up my insides. I get a ton of cervical pressure as he moves around. A few nights ago, Bella our chihuahua was curled up against my belly and he kept kicking her. She didn’t move at all, so baby gave up. I found this quite amusing.

Tonight, I discovered my first hemorrhoid! WTF! I thought I would be able to escape without experiencing ANOTHER lovely pregnancy side effect. On that note, any suggestions for remedies? Surprisingly, it doesn’t hurt at all yet. I read that it should go away after delivery, but what else can I do?

Other than that, it’s starting to get really annoying when people ask, “No baby yet?”. I can handle, “Hey we’re thinking of you!” or “How are you feeling?” or “Hope your little guy comes soon!”. But, “No baby yet?” is the stupidest question. If he was here, we would announce it. :/

I saw my chiropractor and my acupuncturist today. I also ate an entire pineapple (core included) hoping that might help. My plan is to just take it one day at a time until my next OB appointment on Thursday. I don’t have any other practitioner appointments scheduled. If I haven’t gone into labour by the end of the week, I’ll try to get into chiro/acupuncture on Saturday.

Here’s my latest bump pic – all low and lumpy bumpy. 🙂

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Here’s a comparison from last week to this week. Note: I was wearing my Bella Band last week which tends to smooth things out and give my belly more support. You will notice a significant drop in the belly though. I’m not sure how much further this little guy can get before he’s actually making his way out my vagina.

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Please continue sending birthing vibes my way. I’m aiming to naturally go into labour before the end of the week.

Please universe! Let’s make this happen! I trust in the timing and believe everything will unveil the way it’s meant to. 

40 week OB appointment

Today, I am 40 weeks, 1 day.

I just got back from an OB appointment. He did another membrane sweep. As I expected, it was more uncomfortable this time and it lasted a lot longer than the previous time. Following the sweep, I had some pinky-red discharge, but since then it’s turned to brown. I’m also a bit crampy, but not too bad.

He estimated me at 2cm dilated, 60% effaced and baby at a station of -1.

He booked me in for my next appointment at 41 weeks, but doesn’t think I will go that long. Ughhh I really hope so. 

Following the appointment, my husband and I went for a walk around a lake in a subdivision near our house. I’ve been walking a minimum of once a day. There’s a tobogganing hill in a park near our house that I’ve been doing side squats up and down as well. We ate some spicy Thai food again this week. I also have been going to Acupuncture 2x a week and Chiro 1x a week.  More than anything else, I’ve been using my birthing ball to bounce and do hip rotations. It actually feels nice to get on there and relieve some of the pressure.

I’ve noticed I’m a lot more tired each day. I still get up to pee every hour or two all night long. Since baby got even lower this week, it’s almost harder to pee though, seems like it takes forever to come out. And even though you think you have to go, there’s barely any in there compared to what my bladder used to be capable of holding.

As for back and pelvic pain, I’m actually moving a lot better than I was when I was working. I think being more active is helping. My SPD pain is still there on my right side, but I’m learning to manage. Night time is my most uncomfortable time though. I dread climbing into bed. It’s super hard to roll over and get out of bed these days.

I’ve been experiencing false labour every night for the past 3-4 nights too. I wake up about midnight when the cramping/contractions start. Typically, I’m only up for half an hour to an hour until I can sleep through them. They are always gone by morning though. My OB said this is a good thing as my body is getting ready.

It’s just a waiting game now. I hoped the baby would arrive today to celebrate his Daddy’s birthday with him, but it looks like we will be waiting a bit longer. My OB is on-call tomorrow. It would be ideal if the baby came then as we are both comfortable with our OB (and he isn’t on call again until late next week).

But as I said before… clearly this decision is up to our little man and not us.

Please send me positive birthing vibes! ❤

39 week bumpdate

How Far Along: 39 weeks and 4 days

Meds: All taken daily – prenatal vitamin, Omega 3 + DHA, Ranitidine (2x/day), Magnesium (750 – 1000mg at bedtime), Gaviscon for heartburn as required (which is OFTEN!). Iron – every other day.

Baby is the size of: a WATERMELON or a small pumpkin

Best Moments This Week:

  • Random cashier asking me if I was due soon and if I was sure it wasn’t twins. (I actually found her reaction to be funny). 
  • Random lady stopping her SUV on the side of the road to ask how I was doing. She said she has seen us walking every night and wished us good luck. I have no clue who she is except she lives somewhere in our neighbourhood.
  • Taking the chihuahuas for nightly walks with my husband
  • Watching the Jays in MLB playoffs

Total Weight Gain: 20 lbs (+3 lbs over 2.5 weeks)

Maternity Clothes: It feels like my maternity clothes are getting small. My shirts are a bit too short, so I tend to wear my belly band if I go out. The panel in my pants doesn’t quite cover my entire belly any more.

Symptoms:

  • My back/SI joint is feeling better, but my SPD pain is back again – especially on the left side. It’s still not as bad as it was when I was working though.
  • Tired. Oh, so tired.
  • Random Insomnia.
  • Lots and lots of Braxton Hicks
  • Baby is continuously lower = random cervical pain/pressure
  • Low iron = anaemic
  • Leaky boobs if I don’t wear a bra

Sleep: Still up every 1-1.5 hours to pee. Super uncomfortable. Difficult to get out of bed.

Food Cravings: Garlic dipping sauce from Pizza Pizza, chocolate, fruit punch, water

Anything making you queasy or sick: Still some random night pukes. The smell of Starbucks made me nauseous this morning. Eating too fast or too much. I really can only have very small meals.

Movement: He’s active on and off throughout the day. It’s easy to tell where his bum and his feet are now.

Stretch Marks: Yes, I’ve got tiger stripes. And this week, they are extra itchy!

Baby Bump: Growing and growing… hopefully deflating soon! haha

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Gender: BOY

Labour Signs: Lots of Braxton Hicks. Sometimes at night, I feel like I get real contractions, but they always are gone by the morning. Random cervical pressure. Baby has gotten EVEN lower. Straight up, depending how I’m sitting my belly will actually touch my thighs. It’s crazy! 

Belly Button In or Out?: Innie, but not much left.

Wedding Rings on or off?: Off.

Happy or Moody? On Saturday morning, I had a meltdown during my early morning insomnia. I was over tired, uncomfortable and just ready to be done. Going back to bed for a few hours fixed my mood. Overall, I’m in a decent mood. I don’t have much energy or drive to do much though. Who seriously nests this close to the end? NOT ME!

Purchases for baby:

  • Received a few more gifts
  • Bought a dinosaur stuffed animal… just because 

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Purchases for Momma: 

  • Nothing this week

Miss Anything?: Sleep, energy, enjoying a good meal, sitting comfortably, laying flat, walking at my normal pace, comfortably putting undies or pants on, bending over without a struggle,

Looking forward to: The actual arrival of our little man! I’m also really curious to see how labour goes especially what the first signs and symptoms will be for me.

How do you honour a loss while celebrating a new addition?

October.

To my husband and I, this month represents:

  • The loss of our daughter due to ectopic pregnancy on October 7, 2014
  • The upcoming birth of our son – estimated due date October 15, 2015

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how we can grieve/remember/honour the upcoming anniversary of the loss of our first child while celebrating the birth of our second child.

Grief vs. Joy

These two emotions are such opposites. Yet for someone who has faced infertility and pregnancy loss and is transitioning into the state of parenting a baby earth-side, these emotions can be very much experienced at the same time.

How do you explain that to someone who will not acknowledge your loss in the first place? 

You don’t… or you do so without expectation.

Earlier tonight, I read a post by Sondra from A Calm Persistence about the importance of seeking support. In her post, the lesson that stood out the most for me was to seek support where it’s most likely to be given in a positive way. I know I spent too much of my own journey looking for support from the wrong people. Once you find the people who “get it”, the journey overall seems a bit easier.

When I speak about my ectopic pregnancy, it’s easy to hide the grief. It’s easy to put aside all of the emotions that are tied into loosing a child and simply focus on the medical procedure and consequential outcomes.

But when I speak of Emme, I can’t hide my grief. My voice cracks. My eyes tear up. My wounds within my heart are visible for all to see.

She existed. She is our daughter… even if she isn’t with us now.

Still, that concept remains hard for so many people to grasp. They prefer to ignore it rather than work through their own awkwardness into a place of compassion and understanding.

My grief is normal, healthy and common. The infertility and pregnancy loss community has shown me that.

I don’t have a plan for this upcoming Wednesday except that I don’t want to take myself back to the memories of the night we lost Emme. The fear. The sadness. The aloneness.

Instead, I want to honour the beauty Emme has brought into our lives, the reassurance I have knowing she is watching over us and the gift that she gave us through her passing – her little brother.

I won’t hide my grief.

I won’t hide my joy.

I’ve chosen to share them both.

Because I know there’s another woman out there experiencing the same feelings as I am.

And she deserves to know she’s not alone. ❤

Labour signs and our Perinatal Loss Awareness Walk

Oh pregnancy insomnia! Once again, it’s 3 am and I’m wide awake. I decided to just get up instead of fighting it. I typically will go back to sleep in an hour or two.

Not much to report on baby’s pending arrival. Thursday after my sweep, I had some brown spotting and very light cramps. I went to acupuncture on Friday morning. My acupuncturist agreed to start working on the induction points past 38 weeks, but said she would ease slowly into it. It must have done something because I had brown spotting, increased vaginal discharge (thick mucous – almost like ovulation time) and a consistent on and off again pressure in my cervix all Friday night. I was convinced I would wake up Saturday morning and be in labour. I even finished packing my hospital bag before I went to sleep. The pressure was decent enough that it even woke me up. Come Saturday morning, everything was back to normal. No signs of oncoming labour.

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Yesterday, we attended our local Silent Hearts Perinatal Loss Awareness walk. It was a crap day – cold, rainy and windy, but we toughed it out. I made it through the 2.5km walk. Surprisingly, my pelvic pain has lessened but my SI joint was acting up during the walk (and still is… ugh). I had quite a bit of SI joint pain during the walk and some braxton hicks. Afterwards, I had increased vaginal discharge (almost thick and yellowish), but it stopped fairly quick. No other labour signs or symptoms. I was really hoping the long walk would encourage him to vacate the premises. I’m thinking baby boy is comfortable in there.

Overall, it was quite the family event. Many people were gathered with their children, parents, grandparents and friends. I was surprised at how many people I recognized even. I may have been the largest pregnant woman there, but I wasn’t the only pregnant woman which helped ease my worry about feeling awkward at 38.5 weeks pregnant at a pregnancy loss awareness walk. I didn’t get emotional until I wrote our daughter’s name on our prayer flag. They were just beautiful. In the end, we skipped the closing ceremonies. We had a family supper to attend and I needed to sit down. It was a nice celebration and I would consider going again especially if the weather is nicer next year.
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My husband has been very considerate this past week. I contemplated not going to the walk due to the weather, but he insisted that at least one of us attend because “she deserves it“. He even offered to go for us, but I knew it was something we had to do together. It meant a lot to me that he not only referred to her as she, but that he also saw the significance and importance behind the event.

My MIL texted my husband asking what we were up to yesterday. When he mentioned that we were going to the loss awareness walk, she just didn’t respond. I DON’T GET IT. Those are the times you should say something comforting, perhaps even offer to join us? Oh well. I’ve just accepted that they will never truly acknowledge our daughter. I do think my husband is having a hard time with it though. We had a conversation last night about how their actions aren’t a reflection of the person he is.

I’m so proud of who he is and our little family.

Now if someone would decide he’s ready to join us, life would be perfect. 🙂 

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