Thursday, July 24, 2014

Another Goodbye

One time was more than enough for me. I thought that I'd paid my dues. That I'd had my share of suffering. I never expected to be back on this haunted merry-go-round again, that's for sure.

On Saturday, July 12, B and I were very surprised when an at home pregnancy test popped up with 2 bright blue lines. "Surprise! You're pregnant!" Just days before, I'd nonchalantly poked a bit of fun at other people who'd claimed to have surprise pregnancies, thinking to myself, "Is a pregnancy ever really a surprise?" I mean, we all know about the birds and the bees, right? We know what can happen when certain, ahem, actions are made between two people. So, on that Saturday in the dim light of early morning, I found myself eating a very large piece of humble pie when, with shaking hands, I emerged from the bathroom to tell B, in utter disbelief, that we were getting ready to add to our little family. In true B form, he gave me a hug and told me how excited he was, before nodding back off to sleep. I know he was genuinely happy, and not the least bit stressed by the news. In fact, I've known all along that any news of this type will always be good news to him - be it our first child or our twentieth child. That's just the kind of man he is, God love him. Me, on the other hand? I was not prepared. I was not ready to see that positive result. I was not ready for what comes along after that positive result - the big belly, the hormones, the child. Despite being a week late for my period, I hadn't let myself contemplate the what-if's. But no more. When those lines pop up on that test, reality smacks you in the face quick. 

Despite being utterly gobsmacked by this news, it wasn't long before I was warming to the idea. After losing our first pregnancy back in July of 2012, we'd kept the news of our second pregnancy - and Caleb's impending arrival - quiet until 17 weeks. Not even our parents knew. We wanted to to be sure that he would stick around before we let the cat out of the bag. This time around, instead of waiting, we decided to throw caution to the wind, and told our parents the day that we got the positive result. After all, third time's a charm, right? We basked in their surprised joy. We talked about whether we would be adding another precious boy to the mix, or whether it would be a little princess making an arrival this time. I began perusing websites, planning a much cuter maternity wardrobe this time around. I imagined carting a round baby bump around at Christmas. March seemed like the perfect time to have a baby. My sister is getting married in June of next year, so the timing was perfect. A spring baby. All was well.

Until Sunday, July 20.

I'd seen a light brown spot - just a tiny one - the day before. I'd mentioned it to B, but thought nothing of it, as spotting in early pregnancy is a fairly common symptom. As long as the spotting is not bright red, I'd been told there was nothing to worry about. On Sunday, the spots became a bit more frequent, and I began seeing a faint pink tinge. B was on call (of course), so I called him at work to update him. He seemed to think that it was nothing to worry about. I wasn't cramping, there was still no bright red blood, so all seemed to be alright for the time being. He told me to relax, keep my feet up and try not to stress. I did what he said. The spotting continued. And a sinking feeling began to fill me with dread. A mama just knows.

By the time B came home that evening, I was fighting off the panic - a losing battle. He grabbed the grocery list that I'd never gotten around to and Caleb, and headed out the door. And about 20 minutes after he'd left, I was calling him in the grocery store, sobbing and begging him to come home, as I'd started seeing some red. He called his mom, headed home, and shortly after that, we headed to the ER. On the ten minute drive to the hospital, I remember looking up at the faintly purple-tinged, 9:30 night sky and thinking to myself, "Surely this can't be happening again. I'm not cramping, so surely this can't be happening again." You see, Hope is a fickle mistress. Even in the worst scenarios - even when we know better - we allow her to creep in. Hope kept whispering in my ear, "This time it's different. This time, it's ok." 

But it wasn't. 

Two years and 10 days after I'd lost our first baby, I found myself in an eerily similar situation. Sitting on an uncomfortable hospital bed, my husband by my side, as we waited for a doctor to confirm what I'd already known in my heart. This time, I was earlier along in the pregnancy. My blood levels were low - my beta hcg just 192. They said they weren't sure if I'd already miscarried and my levels were dropping, or if I was just much earlier along than I'd thought. The ultrasound was inconclusive. I felt Hope trying to creep her way back in. She kept me from falling apart on the table. She helped me keep my composure as I pulled off the ugly hospital gown and put on the plain clothing I'd thrown on to make the trip. She held my head up as B took my hand and we left the ugly, colorless, sterile environment of the ER. But as soon as we exited the sliding glass doors, Hope disappeared. She stepped aside for reality. A reality that hit me as hard as the humid, steaming air we stepped into at 2 am to return home. A reality that stole every breath in my body, and squeezed like a fist around my heart - so hard that I didn't even know if I could get the tears that were welling behind my eyes out. 

Once again, my baby was gone. 

I'd been surprised by this baby. Shocked. Scared. Worried. A bit stressed. But above all, I'd allowed myself to be a mama again. I'd allowed myself to love another baby. Caleb's little brother or sister. One that would make me a mother, yet again. As any mother can tell you, that love is all encompassing. And when that love is dashed, well, it's brutal. It's devastating and disappointing and sad all at the same time. It's hard. It hurts. It's isolating.

This time around, I at least knew what to expect. When the severe cramping and bleeding began at 6 am Monday morning, it didn't scare me like it did the first time. I knew that my body was just doing its job. A job that I hate, as it means that I am officially no longer pregnant, but a job that I am trying to be thankful for, as it means that I can hopefully avoid a D&C. The pain is still fresh and raw, but it's not as traumatic as it was the first time around. I have a beautiful little boy that is doing wonders in keeping me busy and engaged, and I am more thankful than ever for the miracle that he is. Of course I wonder if I will be able to have more children. I worry about it, and wonder if there is something wrong with me. I will never be one of those lucky ladies that gets to have a completely worry-free pregnancy. I know what can go wrong. And I know that it goes wrong so often. Even when you think you've paid your dues.

So, instead of sharing a fun pregnancy announcement like we were hoping to do in the coming weeks, I find myself writing yet another blog post full of grief, sadness and loss. Please bare with us as we navigate this tough time in our lives yet again. We're trying not to wonder why this happened again. We're trying to avoid the, "Why us?" questions. That can be a slippery slope, and one that will mostly likely lead to no answers. It's just one of those things. One of those hard, unfair things in life that we may never understand. I know that some of you precious ladies are dealing with very similar things - be it infertility, or losses of your own, just like mine. My heart goes out to you. I am right here with you. If you'd like to share your story with me, please email me or leave a comment below. It's always comforting to know that you are not alone - even in the ugliest of circumstances - and I would love to hear that I am not alone right now. 

Here's to Hope. That fickle mistress.

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Random Assortment {Oh Hey Friday Link Up}

So, I've been a bit MIA over the last few days...Sorry about that. We've had some internet issues. If you've ever tried writing a blog post from your cell phone, you know it's dang near impossible, so I just gave up on blogging for a few days. I've still been trying to keep up with you gals, and have been commenting here and there when I could on my phone. Otherwise, these internet problems have had me down for the count. They're still not resolved, so I am writing this post sitting cross-legged on the family room floor with my laptop - that B hardwired to the internet (whatever that means) - on my lap. To my understanding, it just means that I can't take my computer farther than the little cord that it's plugged into. Which is super un-comfy. So, I'll make this post a short one, mmmk?

Today, instead of 'fessin, I am linking up with sweet Karli of September Farm for the "Oh Hey Friday" link-up. If you'd like to join in, grab the image below, pop over to Karli's blog and link up!

1. Momma's Got a J-O-B
Don't freak out! I am not re-entering the corporate world. I am also not heading back into the classroom. Not ready to give up being a SAHM yet. Not by a longshot. But, I have agreed to a little part-time job offered to me by B's dad. He desperately needs some help with his bookkeeping (expenses, employee pay and fun stuff like that). And I desperately need a little fun money. It's a win-win. As I mentioned, it's part-time. I can do it from home. And I choose my hours - so, it's something I can work on when Caleb's napping, in the evenings, or whenever I get some free time. 

2. Nordstrom Anniversary Sale
Speaking of fun money, I know you are all aware that the Nordstrom Anniversary sale is going on right now, right? Well, ladies, the sale went live this morning for non-cardholders like little ol' me. I have my eye on a few things, and will share with you my finds after I narrow down my ridiculously long, completely unattainable list.

3. The New Coca-Cola Campaign
I'm still not sure of the goal of this new campaign. But, whatever it is, I'm a fan!

4. Park Friends
Many of our mornings have been spent at the parks around town lately. Caleb - like every little boy known to man - loves being outside. And I love wearing his little self out so that he takes good long naps for me in the afternoon. This week, he met his first sweet little friend at the park. Funny thing about it? Their hair was the exact same shade of blonde. It almost looked as though they could be brothers...

5. A New Drugstore Favorite
I was in Ulta earlier this week, and on a whim decided to try a new concealer. And ladies, I am in love. For less than $9 a pop, I would say run, don't walk, to get one - or seven - of these. They go on smoothly, cover nicely, and are perfect for erasing those dark circles. I even use it for highlighting. It's a keeper!


That's all I've got for today, lovelies. I'm off to peel myself up off the floor, get packed up for a little trip to visit some ATL friends and family this weekend (more about that on Monday), and head to bed. 

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Momma Moments {Link Up #3}

Happy Tuesday, ladies! 

Welcome to the third installment of the Momma Moments link up with sweet Alisha and I. If you'd like to join us today, simply grab the button below and paste it somewhere on your blog, then enter your link at the bottom of the post. Easy as pie:)

As you are all aware by now, B has started the five year chapter of his career known as residency. For him, this means long hours away from home. For me, it means long hours at home with our little man. With B being gone so much, I am more grateful than ever that I can be at home every day with Caleb. I truly don't know how we would make this crazy time in our lives work if I had a full-time job right now (hence the reason you don't see too many residents with children; and if you do, they typically have a stay-at-home-spouse like me).

Because I am at home with Caleb all day, every day, we see every side of each other. The good, the bad, and the ugly. We laugh and play and love and snuggle. But we also get on each others' nerves and suffer from cabin fever now and then. At almost 14 months old, Caleb has developed his own little personality. He loves to get into everything, and knows what he wants. He is strong-willed, smart, and doesn't give up. When deterred from getting something that he wants, he is not afraid to show his displeasure. And he is not a fan of waking up...

But he's also sweet, kind and silly. Despite driving me out of my ever-loving mind once in a while, Caleb is my favorite little person in the whole wide world. One smile from him lights up my entire day. The feeling of his chubby little arms wrapped around me in a hug is the best feeling in the whole world. Breathing in his baby smell when he's curled up on my lap is my absolute favorite thing.

He's had a few rough nights over the last couple of weeks. He starts out in his crib, but about halfway through the night, will wake up screaming and inconsolable. We've been attributing it to teething. Last night was one of those nights. My hubby went in to get him, and brought him into our room, where we were able to calm him down and get him back to sleep fairly quickly. Despite his settling down, I was not able to sleep well with his little body thrashing all over the bed. Poor little guy just couldn't seem to get comfortable. I felt myself getting frustrated about not being able to get some rest. Then, out of nowhere, my sweet baby reached his little hand to me in his sleep, grabbed one of my fingers in his tiny little hand, and sighed, "Mama." 

My eyes welled up, and my heart felt like it would explode into a thousand tiny fragments hearing that one word whispered just like that. The sweetest word on earth. What an amazing blessing it is to be his mama - sleep or no sleep. And what a sweet momma moment.

What "Momma Moment" do you have to share today?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Eat Mor Chikin {Weekend Review}

Yes, I do know how to spell chicken...But, as I mentioned in my post on Friday, the little man, B's sister and I had a little excursion to Chick-fil-A in honor of national Cow Appreciation Day. Yes, it's a thing. It involves free food, so believe it or not, it's a big thing. People go all out for this every year. And I'm not too proud to admit that we enjoy dressing up for the day and participating. 

Because it's easy to throw on leggings and a tshirt, attach paper ears to headbands, and cut out white spots with computer paper, that's what we did. So, Anzlee and I were black cows with white spots. And because Caleb doesn't own any black clothing, he was a little brown cow:) Here's a few (poor quality phone) photos:

Sweetest little brown cow you ever did see...

"Are those my chicken nuggets?"

 Little man is a CHAMP at sucking down chocolate milk. I literally have to stop him to breathe.

He is not such a champ with large, walking/talking animals. As you can see, the minute the cow came within reach, C started screaming! Santa should be interesting this year...

I'd like to say that our weekend got a whole lot more exciting after the Chick-fil-A excursion, but alas, I don't have much to share with you now. B and I did do a family dinner Friday night - we took Caleb to Mellow Mushroom to indulge in our favorite Caesar Pizza - and that was nice. B has been working such long hours lately (ie 90+ per week) it just hasn't been feasible to try to go out to dinner by the time he gets home late in the evening. So, it was a nice change to go out just the three of us. 

We spent most of Saturday at home. We slept in, made blueberry biscuits for breakfast, watched some tv, did some cleaning, and enjoyed lunch together. Then, on a whim, we popped up to Atlanta to do an impromptu dinner with my parents. It's nice that we live close enough to do that now! Saturday evening was bittersweet because although we wanted to stay up late and watch a move together, we knew that B would have to be up around 5:30 in order to be at the hospital a little after 6 am for Sunday call. So we turned in around 11 instead. And Sunday...Well Sunday didn't feel like a typical Sunday. Caleb and I spent the day at home, missing Daddy. We played outside for a bit, but the intense heat drove us inside before too long. We watched the Tigger movie, trashed the house with every Lego and toy train in Caleb's arsenal, played with Ellie, and whipped up a bacon caesar pasta for dinner. By the time B got home last night, we were both pretty desperate. 

And he doesn't get another day off for 2 weeks...Sigh...

Happy Monday.

*As a reminder, don't forget to link up with Alisha and I tomorrow for our monthly Momma Moments link up. It's a great way to share sweet memories of little moments with your children that might otherwise go forgotten, and to meet other mamas as well. Can't wait to see what you all have to share with us this month!

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Day in the Life {Friday Confessions}

Happy Friday, lovelies!

Today, I am linking up with sweet Leslie over at A Blonde Ambition for the Confessional Friday link up. For a fun twist, Leslie made today's link up a topic-based one on "A Day in the Life". So, here's what yesterday looked like in our little life:)


8:00 am Caleb's up! (This week, his schedule has been completely off - he's been up later at night, and sleeping later in the morning). After a quick diaper and outfit change - due to a little bit of a leak - we're prepared to start the day. He's ready for some morning cuddles and his morning milk. 

8:30 am My little munchkin hangs out in the bathroom (i.e. destroys everything) while I wash my face, brush my teeth, take out my contacts and try to make myself somewhat presentable. 

9:00 am Caleb and I pay a visit to the pantry, where he tries to convince Mama that Lemon Oreos would be a good breakfast choice. (They are really good...ahem).

9:05 am The Oreos having been vetoed, Caleb enjoys his morning oatmeal with peaches...

And a side of Doc McStuffins.

9:10 am While Caleb eats his breakfast, I let Ellie out, feed Aslan, and pour a bowl of cereal for myself. This morning, it's Honey Bunches of Oats in almond milk. 

9:30 am After breakfast, Caleb plays for a bit in his room. Around this time, Anzlee gets up and around and makes herself some breakfast (B's little sister has spent most of the week with C and I while B's been gone on night calls). 

10:00 am I throw on a tank top and shorts. I contemplate fixing my hair or putting on some makeup, but don't get around to either. I scoop Caleb up from his mess of Legos and toy trains, and we go through another diaper and outfit change.

10:30 am Anzlee, Caleb and I are loading up the car when B pulls in - finally home from a 16 hour shift. We give hugs and kisses, then wave goodbye, knowing that he will be heading inside to collapse in bed.

10:40 am We arrive at one of our favorite places - the park! We love to visit and walk the trails, feed the ducks, and play on the playground. It's so nice having such a nice little place to visit so close to home.

Look at those curls. Eerrrrmmmyyyyygooooodddddnesss!

11:00 am After checking out the ducks, we hit the swings, and then Caleb spends a solid 15 minutes running around the playground, digging in the dirt. #boymom

11:15 am I wrangle my sweaty little man up for a park selfie and some sliding before we pack back up for some walking on the trails around the lake.

11:45 am The three of us head out of the park, and swing through McDonalds for some $1 drinks on our way home. Nothing's better on a hot day than an icy cold Coke. Delish!

11:55 am Little man strips down to a diaper - the dirt encrusted park clothing didn't make it past the front door. While Anzlee and I enjoy our icy beverages, Caleb enjoys a cool beverage of his own -a sippy full of apple "juice" (1 part juice, 3 parts water).

12:15 pm Lunch time! Caleb enjoys some cheddar cheese, turkey, Goldfish and applesauce, while Anzlee and I nosh on some turkey sandwiches and sour cream and onion potato chips. Lost my mojo here, and totally forgot to take any pictures.

1:00 pm Caleb lays down with Daddy for his afternoon nap. 

1:15 - 3:00 pm While C is asleep, I grab the opportunity to do some house cleaning - particularly in his room, where it looked like a lego explosion has occurred. Then, Anzlee and I get down to business preparing our cow costumes for the annual "Cow Day" at Chick-fil-A tomorrow.

3:00 pm Caleb is up! He enjoys another bottle of milk (he still prefers milk from bottles) and runs around with Ellie like a wild man for a bit.

3:30 pm Out of nowhere, a summer storm pops up. Caleb is fascinated by it, of course, and watches every second of it from the glass front door. 

He looks so big to me most of the time, but then once in a while, I remember how tiny he still is. And I'd love for him to stay that way. Time, slow down.

4:00 pm Anzlee and I enjoy a little mid-afternoon snack of carrots and cucumbers picked straight from Pawpaw's garden. So yummy!

4:30 - 5:00 pm Caleb and I spend some time with Daddy after he wakes up! These few precious minutes are all we get with him during the days this week.

5:00 - 5:30 pm I start dinner and we sit down to eat (we've been eating earlier this week so that B can eat dinner with us before he heads out at 5:45 every evening). Tonight, homemade waffles, turkey bacon, and fresh strawberries are on the menu.

We couldn't get it onto Caleb's tray fast enough! (Please ignore his crazy hair - it's time for another haircut).

6:00 pm Kitchen clean up. Daddy's gone, so Anzlee and I get everything cleaned up while Caleb plays in the family room.

6:30 pm Anzlee, Caleb and I head to B's mom's house so that I can print some coupons for grocery shopping (our printer is out of commission right now). While I am working on that, B's mom gives Caleb a bath. He loves getting to play with 'new' bath toys!

8:00 pm Anzlee, Caleb and I head home. Little man falls asleep in the car, so I carefully transfer him to the crib when we arrive home. 

8:30 pm Anzlee and I sit down for a couple of episodes of "Friday Night Lights" on Netflix, some blog work, and some laundry catch up.

10:30 pm I wrap up my blog post, and head for the shower, hoping that I won't be interrupted by a screaming baby this time around. My wish is granted!

11:00 pm I finally head to bed. And prepare to do it all again tomorrow - but with a few embarrassing cow costumes involved this time around! (Pictures to come). Looking forward to B's last night of call and a weekend spent together.

As a reminder, next Tuesday, July 15 will be the third installment of the Momma Moments link-up hosted by Alisha and I. Don't forget to pop over on Tuesday and share a sweet, funny, silly, crazy moment with us. We can't wait to see what you have to share!