35 Weeks

Tomorrow will be 35 weeks.  But tomorrow Davie Ann gets tubes in her ears, so I think that will trump any incubation news.

Not much new to report on that front, anyways.  His movements are smaller (must be getting crowded in there), but reassuringly regular.  Sleep has gotten more difficult – it’s almost exhausting trying to sleep.  I can only lie on my side, and my hips and lower back give me at most two hours before the pain wakes me up and I begin the arduous process of rolling over.  My bladder is the same – I get about two hours at a time before I have to go again – but it’s not necessarily synched up with the hip/back pain.  That would be way too convenient.  I’ve also picked up a symptom I had with Davie – my fingers, hands, wrists and sometimes my whole arm will go numb.  Usually the arm I’m lying on when I’m on my side.  That wakes me up pretty quickly.  It’s weird to wake up and not be able to use my fingers for a minute or two.

If all that wasn’t enough to keep me awake, pregnancy-induced insomnia has made for some interesting late night moments.  It’s so strange to wake up at 2am and not be able to fall back asleep for an hour or two.  My mind is tired, but it’s busy.  My body is exhausted, but twitchy and achy.  Usually a hot bath helps a lot.

But all of this is temporary, passing, and insignificant.  Despite the symptoms and all appearances, it doesn’t seem real that I’m growing a human being.  You’d think since we have a daughter I’d be able to wrap my mind around it all.  But it still doesn’t seem like there will be another person in our home at the end of this.  How could we be that lucky, that blessed?  Who are we to have our prayers answered – not once, but twice? 

In these final weeks, I’m feeling more emotion, more nostalgia.  I’m not afraid like I was with Davie.  I feel the reassurance of his movements, I know what the aches and pains are, so I’m not scared every day that he’s gone.  Even with the discomforts I’m enjoying being pregnant.  Being capable of being pregnant.  I am lucky.

And there is the knowledge that this is the last time.  I’ll never be pregnant again.  I’ll never feel life move inside me.  I’ll never carry my baby around with me everywhere I go.  In less than two months, we’ll be two separate beings forever.  I’ll never be so completely enmeshed in another again.

There are so many reasons I’ll never be pregnant again.  This pregnancy was brutal for a long time.  The hyperemesis gravidarum is hard to explain … it consumed my entire being, physically and mentally.  It was hard on my family, my husband and my daughter.  To be pregnant again would mean leaving this baby behind, too.  It wreaked havoc on my work relationships and our finances.  Not to mention the obvious – I’m already 42.  If I get to breast feed, it’ll be at least a year before we can try again, and it took us 3 1/2 years to get Davie and another 2 years for this one.  I don’t know if this old body can handle a pregnancy at 44 or 45!  And even if we were lucky – how frickin’ old will I be when that last kid graduates?!? 

Not to mention, our fertility insurance coverage is all gone.  Only … suddenly, it’s back.  Troy’s insurance is making another global policy change, from United to a version of BCBS, so everyone starts over from scratch.  It’s not as great – it’s a lifetime maximum of $15,000.  Just one try for us.  With ICSI, a fresh cycle costs us about $12,000 a pop.  And with eggs like mine, it’s unlikely we would produce a viable fetus. 

But it does put embryo donation back on the table.  I like the idea of being to carry our adopted baby.  And we still feel a pull in our hearts toward adoption, although all of our focus was on foster-to-adopt.  But the truth is, it’s rare to be able to adopt an infant through the foster system.  Much more common is heartache and loss.  I understand, I really do, that the true purpose of fostering is to facilitate a reunion between child and parents.  I have to admit, my heart isn’t in that.  I want our child to stay with us forever.  And of course I worry that our extended families may not love and accept our adopted child(ren) as they do our biological ones.

Maybe it’s time to “resolve.”  Time to appreciate the two we are blessed with and not ask for more.  I feel a pull towards that peace.  To know our journey to grow our family is forever complete, to fully revel in what we have, to let go finally of the heartache of the journey (whether through IF treatments or adoption).  I think this is where Troy is, and I want to respect him. 

As this pregnancy draws near to the end, I am so excited to meet this new person who will change our lives.  I can’t imagine ever being as deeply immersed in and in love with another human being as we are with Davie Ann.  I know it all changes when they come, the love grows, it just doesn’t seem imaginable now.  I also find myself grieving the ones we lost along the way.  From our first miscarriage before we got pregnant with Davie ’til this very pregnancy where we lost a twin at 8 weeks – or even the other two embryos that didn’t take at all; whether it simply wasn’t God’s time, or my body failed them, or my eggs were too old … whatever the reason, they were wanted and loved.  I hope they know, I hope they know. 

This is long and rambling with no real resolution.  I think I’m just in a process, evolving.  To the next step, whatever it may be.  And whatever it is, may it bring peace.

23 Weeks

It’s so strange to be here.  To feel him kick so often, to know he’s real but still struggle to believe it.  I want to savor every moment of this last pregnancy but I’m afraid it’s slipping by before I can even grasp it’s reality.

Throughout our infertility struggles, I pictured what it would be like at the end.  Sometimes I pictured that we had just what we wanted – we had the three kids we would’ve had if we were normal fertiles, with minimal help, no losses.  Sometimes in the depths of dispair I saw us at a tragic end with no baby, no more hope.  But I have to admit that somehow, neither of those images ever seemed truly real.  I never believed we’d have the perfect ending, but I didn’t think we’d end up hopeless, either.

So here we are, somewhere in the middle.  We started out declaring, “if it’s not a baby made of you and me, it’s not meant to be.”  And ended up with hearts open to growing our family by any means – by adoption, embryo adoption, IVF, FET … however.  It’s funny how absolutes are never really absolute in Infertility World.

Our journey to Davie Ann was long – 3 1/2 years – but had little loss.  We started with timed cycles, went to Clomid timed cycles, to Clomid IUI’s, to Gonal F (injectable) IUI’s, to IVF – which led to our first ever BFP and our first miscarriage.  But that miscarriage, although heartbreaking, was also full of hope – after endless BFN’s, my body had responded, there was a chance we’d be successful again.  That IVF was followed by one more Gonal F IUI cycle (we couldn’t do IVF #2 because the embryology lab was closed for cleaning), and bam!  a BFP that turned into a dream come true.

When Davie Ann was 4 months old, I returned to work and my milk quickly dried up.  When she was 7 months old, we resumed fertility treatments.  After all, my ovaries weren’t getting any younger!  This second journey was so different from the first.  It’s been shorter – only 2 years this time – but so much more brutal.  Physically and emotionally, we were beaten and broken.  There was the first IVF, which ended in an early miscarriage (chem preg).  Then the FET that was a BFN.  Then another IVF and another miscarriage.  Followed by our last frest IVF cycle, which ended in a painful ectopic pregnancy requiring two rounds of methotrexate and surgery to repair an ovary that burst open and bled out into my abdomen.  I’m surprised to find that tears well up in eyes even now, so long after this happened, it’s still hard to return to that place.

I was broken.  We took some off.  We opened our hearts to adoption and signed up at our fertility center for their new embryo adoption program, which hadn’t officially started yet but already had a waiting list.  We began the long, arduous process to become liscenced to foster-to-adopt here in Texas.  We learned how long the odds were that we would be able to adopt an infant or toddler, but still, we kept our eyes focused on God and pressed on.  Many months later, we finally finished the process, and began the long wait for final approval.

During the wait, the last four frozen embryos from all our IVF tries began to weigh on my mind.  I needed to close that chapter, to know we’d gone through every door.  Our fertility insurance coverage was gone, so we saved and maxed out our medical flex spending accounts.  And put all four eggs in one basket.  And from a place of calm acceptance that this part of our fertility journey was over, we waited peacefully for the inevitable miscarriage.  Our hearts and minds were already focused to the future, on adoption, ready to close this book and open the sequel. 

And God sent us a BFP.  And still we expected to lose the pregnancy.  We watched while two fetal poles appeared.  We rejoiced for a week in two precious heartbeats.  We mourned the following week when there was only one.  Three months later, we finally got our final approval to become foster parents.  We told them about the pregnancy, and they decided to put us on a “hold” list until after the baby is born.

Even though this will be my last pregnancy, I don’t know that it will be the last child we welcome into our family.  With hope that all goes well, next March Newt will be four months old, and we will be able to go back on the active list to foster to adopt.  I had wondered if Troy would want to do it.  This weekend we were watching the news and it told of a horror story where a toddler was beaten to death by a foster parent.  As a result, foster requirements are becoming even more stringent.  The representative put out a plea for more people to apply, to open their hearts and homes.  Troy looked at me and spoke what we both felt, pride that we had accomplished such a difficult process, and broken hearts that the same system had failed that beautiful, innocent baby.  Although I don’t know if we’ll go beyond the next year that our lisence will be good, I know without a doubt that with much prayer and thanksgiving, we will absolutely go back on the active list next March.

If we hadn’t been successful this pregnancy, I know we would’ve tried at least one FET with adopted embryos.  I know we couldn’t have afforded more than two tries, since it would’ve been entirely on our own dime (no fertility insurance coverage left).  If those two tries at embryo adoption had failed, we probably would’ve renewed our foster-to-adopt liscence at least once.  After that, we would’ve been in our mid-forties, so we probably would stop at that point.

So I guess I’ll never know what it’s really like to reach the end of all hope.  Although physically and emotionally painful, we didn’t experience the utter depths I’ve read about on other blogs, like a late term loss, or the loss of a newborn, or being forced to return a child we had hoped to adopt to less than perfect circumstances.  I didn’t lose my ovary and fallopian tube like many others have.  Eventually I will have a hysterectomy, so I’ll never see my endometriosis get as bad as it has for others.  I’m grateful I have been spared those depths.

So here we are at an end I didn’t imagine.  An end that is different from the ideal but wonderful in it’s own way.  And end that has possibilities. 

I am grateful to leave this leg of the journey behind.  And I am grateful to have walked through it.  I am a better woman, a better partner, and a better mother for having taken this long road.  I am humbled. 

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that I never walked a step of this path alone.  Thank You for the hard-won peace and joy we have found.  Keep our eyes focused on You, lead us to the family You have planned for us, and to the children You have entrusted us to raise in Your image.

“‘He has brought me here

when I did not want to come

for His own purpose.

I, too, will look up into His face and say

‘Behold me! I am thy handmaiden

Acceptance-with-Joy.” 

~Hannah Hurnard, Hind’s Feet On High Places

20 Weeks

Week 19 we spent with our whole family in Port Aransas.  What a wonderful vacation!  I loved the family time.  I loved being constantly dusted with sand.  I loved the feeling of a little too much sun on my skin.  I actually gained back 3 of the 25 lbs I’ve lost so far.  I read two books!  I’m always so happy by the ocean.

 

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Is that not the cutest beach bunny belly EVER? 🙂

My sister-in-law JoAnn planned it perfectly.  We had the weekend to get ready, then we left for the beach Sunday.  The house was three stories on stilts.  Even on the days when the hyperemesis was bad, it was still wonderful to curl up on a beach chair on the top balcony and read a book!  I could hear the ocean and watch everyone on the shore.  We returned home Friday and had the weekend to rest and do laundry.

Still, it was hard to get back into the swing of work today.  I ended up there an hour and a half late just trying to catch up and fix some issues that came up last week.  It’s going to be a long week. *sigh*  I’ve already re-lost the 3lbs I gained at the beach.  I’m 10 hours negative on vacation time now, so I’ll have to make that up.  I’ve been with the company a long time and I accrue vacation time really quick, so I should be able to replace it in one pay period.  Still, it’s strange to be negative.  I usually have so much time saved up.

I didn’t sleep well last night, and I was lying in bed watching a BBC series called Copper, which is really gritty but I’ve enjoyed it so far.  It’s in the second season but I’m still finishing up the first.  I had my hand on my stomach, and I felt THREE hard kicks – on the outside!  It was so, so awesome!  I’ve been feeling myself up ever since trying to catch those knocks again.  No luck so far, but hopefully I’ll be feeling them regularly soon!

Tonight I made french dip sandwiches for dinner.  It was so easy!  We have lots of cheese and lunch meat left over from the trip I want to use up.  I stopped and picked up two French bread rolls on the way home.  I sprinkled them with seasoned deli oil, then put on a thick layer of provolone and popped them in the oven for 10 minutes to crisp up.  While they were toasting, I heated up French onion soup on the stove.  As soon as the cheese was good and melted, I took the bread out of the oven and put slices of deli roast beef in the the soup to get hot.  Then I piled it on the bread so the soup soaked in.  We dipped the sandwiches in the soup while we ate them.  Oh my gosh, they were AMAZING!  I could only eat a few bites, but Troy ate his and finished off mine!

Davie is staying with Mom & Dad tonight (I knew Troy and I would both end up working late), so I’m taking advantage and heading off to bed early!  Good night, everyone!

10 Weeks

Last Friday I had my first regular OB appointment.  When I checked in, the young woman at the front desk asked for my insurance card.  A few minutes later she handed it back to me with another form.  “After insurance, this is your part of a natural vaginal delivery.  You can pay the whole amount today, or make payments if you’d like.”

I just stared at her.  Nothing she was saying made sense.  I tried staring at the paper but I couldn’t read it, like it was in Japanese.  I know I freaked her out by just staring, open-mouthed, but I was just trying so hard to process what she was saying.  Why would I pay for a BIRTH when I’m only 10 weeks?  Do you know all the shit that can happen between now and then, girlfriend?  I don’t even know if I’m still pregnant yet!  Can I at least get the ultrasound first?  My mind just raced but my mouth couldn’t speak.  Finally she must’ve realized something was off ’cause she took the paper back and just said, “We’ll go over this again next time.  Why don’t you have a seat?”  She must’ve thought it was sticker shock or something.  Oh, the hubris … I still can’t wrap my mind around it.

A few minutes later the waiting room door burst open and Dr. Breen himself came out and gave me a big hug!  He was so, so, so excited for me!  He said he had just gotten the paperwork from Dr. Silverberg (RE) the day before, and he couldn’t believe it was me, he was just so happy for us!  I thought it was so sweet he took an extra minute to congratulate me.

I did bloodwork, left a urine sample, and then the doc did a PAP smear and genital culture.  Finally, we were ready for the ultrasound.  I was actually happy to see the ol’ wand come out.  I had forgotten how different everything looks on the OB’s vagi-wand than it does in the RE’s office.  Different equiptment, I guess.

We saw a small dark circle pass by we assumed was BB.  A big circle filled the screen with a perfect fuzzy baby in the center.  A perfect baby that wasn’t moving.  I knew it instantly.  There was no wiggling and waving, no flashing little circle where the heart would be.  The nurse, Dr. Breen and I fell completely silent.  I could see him twisting the dials, measuring everything, trying to pinpoint a heartbeat.

One of my hands flew to my chest and the other grabbed the table so hard it went numb.  I couldn’t feel the rest of my body.  I knew I was breathing but my brain felt starved for air.  Everything was fuzzy, the room narrowed down to that screen.  Finally he pulled up the doppler blood flow image and I heard him say, this is the nightmare we never hope to see, there’s abundant blood flow through the uterus, but we can see there’s none going to the baby, I’m so sorry, we should see cardiac activity right now.

It’s bizarre, but I knew this moment was excrutiating for them, and I heard myself almost trying to comfort them, saying, we knew it was a long shot, we’re still glad we tried, it was worth it.  But while my mouth said those words my mind was racing, racing with such stupid thoughts, like, “I KNEW I’d be by myself when I got news like this!” like it was Troy’s fault for not being there and “How am I going to drive home?  How will I go back to work?  I can’t go back” and then, louder than anything else, “I’m done.  No more pain.  No more heartache.  It’s ok that it’s just the three of us.  It’s enough.  I’m done.”

Suddenly my mind went quiet and I felt like there were cool hands pressing on my forehead and I could breathe again.  I forced myself to peel my fingers off the table one at a time.  Dr. Breen said, “Before we’re done, lets take one last look all around the uterus” and he began to twist the wand in a wide circle

and Newt filled the screen, thrashing and twisting, and we hadn’t realized Dr. Breen had cranked up the volume while searching for a heartbeat it was so loud the nurse started and squeaked and it sounded like we were having our own personal rave and Dr. Breen actually shouted, “Your baby’s ok!” and I just barely kept from bursting into tears, but I held it together only my legs betrayed me I couldn’t stop them from shaking.

It turned out all that time Dr. Breen was looking at BB, who measured much bigger (and did look a lot bigger to me) and the size confused him.  I still don’t know what that first dark circle we saw was (that we originally thought was BB).  Dr. Breen thinks my body recognizes BB as a foreign object and is trying to put a calcium buffer around him, which made him look bigger.  I dunno, maybe it’s just the difference in machines.  But Newt is ok.  Newt is ok.  Newt is ok.

In a fog I checked out and smiled and said thank you for taking so much time with me and somehow I made it to my car and closed the door and started shaking so hard I couldn’t get the key in the ignition and hyperventilated and sobbed.  Then the storm passed and I fixed my makeup and went back to work.

So … now I know I will survive the worst news, and I guess there is value in that.  I know that even though no one came to the appointment with me, I was not alone.  I felt His presence, I wasn’t alone when I thought my baby had died inside me.  I know my limits now.  We had thought embryo adoption would be our next step but I know I can’t look at another dead baby on the screen ever again.  And for one more day, I know Newt is ok.

9 Weeks

Almost 9 weeks, anyways (8W1d).  I struggled with constipation a bit last weekend, and ended up with worrisome cramping that had me begging for an ultrasound on Sunday.  The weekend nurse kindly but firmly told me they would fit me in on Monday, and fortuantely my work schedule ended up cooperating.  My fears were unfounded (“I told you so,” said Troy, completely un-helpfully).  Newt looked fantastic, measuring 9w1d with a heart rate of 174.  Dr. Silverberg took his time, letting me listen to the heartbeat, pointing out the forming spine, and then we just watched Newt twitch and move.  I loved it.  Loved it.  I’m so happy and relieved.

So now I’ve graduated!  I’ll still get progesterone and estradiol bloodwork drawn once a week for Dr. Silverberg until I’m off the Crinone inserts, but I won’t have to go back into the office.  Next, I make an appointment with my regular OB, Dr. Breen. 

It was a rough weekend.  Davie didn’t run a fever again, but she threw up several times.  Mostly, it just scared her, poor baby.  My niece Kinley got the same virus from her daycare, and gave it to her parents.  My folks got it, too, either from Davie or Kinley.  So we had two babies and four adults with the runs and vomiting.  Troy and I may have gotten a touch of it – we were both lethargic, nauseous and had no appetite.  But those are all the same symptoms I’ve had with the pregnancy so far (and I had the opposite of the runs), so I’m probably fine.

Last Saturday (the Saturday after I found out we lost BB), Troy told my mom about the pregnancy.  It’s ok, I would have rather waited, but I understand why he let the cat out of the bag. 

There were a few reasons why we hadn’t told our families, but the main reason was honestly that it just felt right to go through this last try with our own embryos together, just me and Troy.  This has been our journey to building our family, the hardest journey we’ve ever taken as a couple, and it felt right to end this huge chapter together.  We have other chapters in place – we are already on the embryo adoption waiting list, and we had just completed our foster-to-adopt requirements.  But this was a big ending, the last four Troy+Stacey embryos that would ever be.  Whether we were successful or not, it felt right to walk this last step together.

There were other reasons, too.  My parents were going through a major life change as my father retired from the ministry.  Not only is that a major adjustment in income, it’s also a change of identity.  At the same time, they were looking for housing close to my brother and trying to get out of their rental before the lease was up.  With all that stress, I just didn’t want to drag them through the FET roller coaster.  As they struggled with financial changes in their lives, I knew they would worry about the fiancial burden of adding a child to the family (even though that’s mine and Troy’s responsibility, not theirs).  Also, I was afraid if the pregnancy were successful, we would lose their support of our foster-to-adopt dreams.  Before we are matched we need for mom to take a CPR class, take the Saturday child trauma class at Pathways and be FBI fingerprinted.  She will be our primary “daycare,” and those things are required by Pathways.  Of course we are hoping and praying for the best with this pregnancy, but we don’t know God’s plan.  And we entered into the adoption process with a lot of prayer and the confidence that we were being led to do so.  So we didn’t want to lose my folks’ focus or support for our adoption goals.

If I could have chosen, I would’ve waited until 14 weeks to tell anyone.  But that Saturday, it had been such a long day and we were so beat down and exhausted.  Davie was still fighting fever and was so fussy.  We were grieving the loss of BB.  I think Troy just needed a little extra support himself after supporting me for the week.  And I have to say, I competely underestimated my parents.  After the initial surprise, my Mom just exploded happiness all over us!  She promised to only tell Dad (and not to tell extended family and friends, but I bet she’s already broken that promise *sigh*).  They texted and called us all evening with happy encouragement and joy!  It was so wonderful to see their excitement.  Dad called and prayed with us for a healthy pregnancy and sent love and comfort for the loss of BB.  Not once did anyone say anthing about how it was for the best, or anything like that.  There was only sorrow BB wouldn’t join us, and joy that Newt was doing so well.  It couldn’t have been more perfect for an imperfect time.

So … it’s off to the OB next.  We’ll see where we’re at then.

8 Weeks

Well, I won’t bury the lead, we’ve lost Baby B.

I could tell as soon as the wand went in.  The image of Baby A flashed by first, twice as big as last week.  Right behind it Baby B came up.  You could’ve fit all of BB’s sac into Baby A’s. 

I was 8 weeks, 0 days yesterday.  Baby A measured 8w4d and had a heartbeat of 160.  Strong and beautiful.

Baby B measured 6w4d – exactly the same as last week.  And of course, there was no heartbeat.  Since there was no growth, I can’t help but wonder, did BB’s heart stop beating just a short while after we saw it last week?

It’s funny, after all these years in the infertility trenches, we still got so swept away.  Just two weeks ago we first measured BB, and a week later saw a heartbeat.  in the past week, we looked at twin strollers, at mothers-of-multiples meetups, at bigger cars.  We planned to borrow my niece’s newborn carseat so we wouldn’t have to buy a second one.  We argued over names.  We were in love with our twins.

I know two weeks ago when we first discovered it was twins, I was so cautiously happy but Troy had the wind knocked out of him for a minute.  On the way home from Dr. Silverberg’s I asked him, were you really excited about twins?  Or are you a little relieved?  He looked stunned for a minute then said, I’m so sad.  I thought they’d be girls and I’d have a house full of giggly girls.  This from a man who, when we first started this journey six years ago, just wanted one kid (not-so-secretly preferably a boy).  Now his dream was to be forever outnumbered by three little girls.  I don’t think I could love him more than I did right then.

I knew BB wasn’t for sure, but after seeing growth and a heartbeat last week, I really thought we’d see growth again this week.  Despite the fears, I clung to the dream.  Of course I’m still over the moon that Newt looks so strong.  And I’m so glad for the time I had with BB.  I’m at peace that when his heart stopped beating, he was in a warm, nourshing place, surrounded by love.  I know BB knows he was wanted.  I know God rejoiced in BB’s making and BB now rejoices in the presence of the Lord.  The Lord’s will is good and His will has been carried out in our lives and in BB’s.  I am so sad but also so happy knowing we will be together again.

.~.

Our Tuesday actually started Monday night.  Davie was clingy and not her usual whirlwind self.  Whenever I’d give her a kiss on her temple it seemed she was hotter each time.  Troy just rolled his eyes at me but got the thermometer.  Temps were 97 … then 98 … then 100.  During the night she woke up burning up and her temp was 101.  We gave her children’s Motrin and a lukewarm bath and coaxed her to drink.  In the morning we both called in to work.

As soon as our appointment with Dr. Silverberg was over, we ran by the lab (progestone was 9, lower than last week, but he said he was happy with it so I’m going with that).  Then we rushed to the pediatrician.  By the time we got there, she had a temp of 102.  She had redness in the back of her throat and clear drainage from her nose.  They checked for strep (negative), hand/foot/mouth (no blisters, so negative) and did a throat culture.  She’s also still got her four eye teeth coming in and is drooling like crazy, so that could be it.  Lastly, she has a massive insect bite on the inside of her left knee.  She is extra sensitive to bites and it’s swollen as big as her knee!  It’s hard and purple-red.  The doc said it would come to a head eventually, and to just keep it covered so she can’t get a secondary infection. 

So really, we don’t know what’s causing the fever.  As long as we dose her with Advil or Tylenol every four to five hours, she seems to feel good.  She eats ok (not great) but is drinking TONS, so that’s good.  We just give her lots of snuggles and attention and keep hoping it passes soon. 

She woke up a lot last night so Troy and I are both worn out today.  It also took me a long time to fall asleep.  I’m not destroyed by the loss of BB, but it was on my mind and I think I just needed to process mentally and emotionally.  So it’s just exhaustion that has taken me so long to get this posted.  I know it’s long and rambling but I wanted to get it out there.  I’ll make more sense tomorrow.  Davie is going to spend the night with Nana and Pop tonight so I should get a lot of sleep.  Thank you for all your encouragement. 

Lots of love,

Stacey

Weekend Update

This weekend was beautiful, lots of gorgeous sunshine.  I pretty much slept through it.

I worked an extra shift this weekend, so that took pretty much all the extra energy I had left.  Saturday morning we went to my nephew Cayle’s 10th birthday party at my brother’s house.  We gave him a scooter-type thing called an Ezy Roller that he loved.  He and his brother Andon both managed to run it straight into the side of my dad’s car before they learned to control it.  It was pretty funny. 🙂

After that I took a nap, and woke up to a bizarre phenomenon where a tornado actually formed inside our house and twirled it upside down.  Actually, it was just a two-year-old with her father as “supervision.”  So … there was an inch of water over the patio, with the hose running, and my kid, cat and two dogs running freely in and out of the house, accompanied by a swarm of flies … mud all over the kitchen … laundry piled hip-high … dishes piled in the sink and glasses and sippy cups on every surface of the living room and kitchen … dolls and stuffed animals everywhere … and my kid was naked.  All we need are a few tires on the front lawn and we can go completely trailer park.

Still, everyone was super-happy and since they all pitched in to help clean up, how can you be too upset?  Happy is contagious. 🙂  We were making blackened chicken alfredo for dinner when my mom stopped by.  My dad ended up coming over for dinner, too.  (Mom actually came by to help me with a case of chicken and dad was at Barnes ‘N Nobles).  I love it that my folks live close enough to just “drop in” now.  So awesome!

A few months ago I placed an order with Zaycon, a farm that delivers meat to different areas on a schedule.  Because they have delivery “events” instead of selling to grocery stores, they pass the savings on to the buyers.  I bought 40 lbs of chicken breast (1 case) for $71, which breaks down to $1.79/lb.  And it’s fresh, just-butchered chicken breast, no bone or skin, organic, no hormones or chemicals and so fresh it’s never been frozen.  Even at the grocery store the best deal I can get is $1.99 on frozen chicken breasts on sale, and those are really small.  Mom and I cut up the breasts and trimmed off any fat, then sealed them three to a ziplock and froze what we weren’t using for dinner.  They were amazing, juicy and so fresh.  I’m getting two cases next time!  It’s a great deal to stock up on!  Now if only I could find a deal that good on beef.  Pot roasts, steaks and even ground beef are so crazy expensive right now.

Sunday we slept in, then spent the day just playing with Davie.  Neither of us could get her to lie down for a nap!  Of course, as soon as we headed over to my parents’ for dinner, she crashed out in the car.  We had chicken and rice and roasted vegetables in the oven.  I made mac ‘n cheese from scratch, and it turned out ok but a little dry, even though I added extra butter and milk.  I made it great once, I just can’t seem to duplicate it again!  The roasted veggies were the best – squash, zucchini, onions, tomatoes and turnips drizzled with garlic butter.  Yum.

Tomorrow is my next u/s.  It’s the first one I’m going to go to alone.  I’m so nervous.  I don’t know why, I just feel like I’ll feel more confident after 10 weeks.  Or maybe after 12.  I just know it’ll be a relief when we can finally tell everyone instead of pretending I’ve had some never-ending stomach bug.

After eating great this weekend, I feel like crap on a cracker today.  I can’t wait for some grilled cheese and soup tonight.  Right up my alley. 🙂

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