Things I’m Thankful For Today

  • My boys went to a baseball game tonight!  It was unexpected due to someone else’s cancellation, but they had front-row seats that gave them a really great view and one of the coaches even gave Gabe a ball!  How fun is that?
  • Said impromptu baseball game gave me an entire evening at home to myself.  Bliss!  It only would have been better if I could have figured out what I wanted to eat. Eventually my mom brought over some crackers and carrots for me, and those did the trick (along with copious amount of dip, but I’m pretending that I didn’t eat half of both containers)!
  • I’m 10w5d pregnant.  In my 11th week!!! I can’t believe I’ve made it this far.
  • On that note, I’m especially thankful for home fetal dopplers which allow me to hear the baby’s heartbeat everyday.
  • The sun has started shining again. And I can’t wait for the warmth to follow!

A (Not So) Brief PSA About Anxiety

  1. I have anxiety.  Like a full-blown, diagnosed anxiety disorder.  Of the generalized variety.  300.02.  That’s the code the therapist wrote on my bill.
  2. To know me is to experience my anxiety.  I’m sorry. I can’t do much about that.
  3. I try to keep my anxiety at bay because that’s what everyone seems to want me to do.  Really, I imagine they probably just don’t want me to have to experience that anxiety.  In my reality, however, I process that message as the fact that I am more accepted if I am not anxious.  I’ve gotten pretty good at pretending.  Pretending increases my anxiety, though.
  4. To suggest my anxiety is an issue of mind-over-matter is like suggesting a cancer patient think herself well.  My mind will certainly play a role in times when I’m well, but the experience of my anxiety involves a tremendous disconnect between what it feels like in my body, what it feels like in my mind, and what I can see is happening all around me.  When you spend inordinate amount of time trying to “think” your body into physically feeling calm, it agitates you.  Physically and mentally. And thus the cycle begins again.
  5. It hurts when people suggest my anxiety might be my own doing.  I used to believe that statement until I started having memories of early childhood.  Where I was anxious.   Like, “off-the-charts, screaming, panic attacks” anxious.  If my mother is to be believed (and I assume she is) 😉 they started even before I turned 1.  I was scared of Santa Claus.  BIG scared.  I’d say it was a fluke except I can remember numerous other panic attacks from early childhood. It’s just me.  It just is. I’m anxious.  However, this realization is fairly new and so it still stings when people put it back on me because I spent many years trying to figure out how to unsuccessfully fix what I had apparently broken about myself.  I’m learning to let myself off the hook, to believe it’s not all my fault, but it stinks when others take a different approach.
  6. I’ve been depressed.  However, I don’t think depression is my primary issue.  I think it’s anxiety.  It’s been the constant in my life.  I think the experience of chronic anxiety becomes depressing.  Let’s face it – when you wake up everyday feeling like you have to save the world (or at least your family) from imminent danger, you’re eventually going to get tired. You get more tired because you expend a lot of energy trying to convince yourself that there is no imminent danger.  You can see that there’s not.  But that doesn’t matter. It’s exhausting to argue with yourself all day long, day in and day out.  That exhaustion reads as depression, at least for me.
  7. I would love to hear how you/your mother/your child/your best friend/the coworker you eat lunch with overcame anxiety.  Unless it involves giving it to Jesus.  Because honestly?  Jesus seems to have given me this. Or at least let me have it.  And 32 years of attempting to give it back has proven fruitless.  I’d rather learn to make do and work around.   I may be a little bitter.  Or this may be the greatest gift I’ve been given.  Or maybe a little of both.
  8. I thought I was anxious during our infertility experience. I was, but it is nothing in comparison to this.  I’ve climbed the walls so many times in the last 2 months that I’ve basically set up shop on the ceiling.
  9. The fact that my doctor has said there is one (and only one) acceptable medicine for anxiety during pregnancy would be hopeful.  Except I’ve taken that medication and it makes me more anxious. The frustrating part? He doesn’t believe me. He argued with me. And inferred that if I don’t take it I’ll be anxious all during pregnancy and it’s the only thing I can take while breastfeeding so I’ll be anxious then, too.  Basically, I’m doomed.  I don’t believe him. I think there are other options. I’m looking for a different doctor who will give me some.

A New Leaf

First off, the ultrasound was absolutely wonderful!  We saw a perfect gestational sac and yolk sac containing a tiny baby measuring 6w3d.  And Houston?  We have a heartbeat!!!  It was tiny, a faint little flickering, beating away at 126 beats per minute!  The room let out a collective sigh of relief.  And by room, I guess I mean me.  I don’t think anyone else was quite as worried as I!

In spite of the fact that less than one year ago I had no less than seven uterine ultrasounds and one uterine surgery, I seem to have developed a fibroid.  <sigh>  Luckily (I guess??) the fibroid is well out of the way of the baby.  The ultrasound tech told me if I had to have a fibroid then this was the type of fibroid I wanted positioned in the perfect place.  I’m going to take her word for it and enjoy the fact that it has written me a pass for a few extra ultrasounds.  I go back for a follow-up in a little over two weeks and am looking forward to getting another peek!

I’m trying to be brave.  I am.  I even changed my playlist to reflect my attempt at turning over a new leaf.  In all honesty, I went to Kelle Hampton’s blog and basically stole half her playlist.  lol  I still haven’t recovered from reading Nella’s birth story.  I mean that in a good way, though.  I read a lot – and I especially read a lot of blogs.  There have been a few entries that have stayed with me and have helped me redefine the way I think.  This was one of those.

I want to embrace my life – as it is. Without abandon.  Unfettered by fear.  Staying present in the moments.  Of course, I have limits.  I’m anxious and introspective and find it easy to get stuck in my head.  Those things are a part of me.  I want to embrace those, too.  But I’m also creative, spontaneous, and lively.  Lately there has been none of those around these parts.

In the first blog I linked to in this post (which you should totally read, by the way), Emily said something about putting her faith in the miracle rather than the Miracle Worker.  This is a rub for me.  I know the Miracle Worker.  He doesn’t always make sense to me.  So I get nervous and scared and start focusing on the miracle inside me, pretending that if I cling tightly it will be glued to me.  But that only provides a false sense of security, and I know it.  Yet the alternative – putting my faith in the Miracle Worker – feels risky due to his unpredictability.

The more I think, however, the more I realize I’m getting it wrong.  I’m looking toward and end result and am trying to devise my faith and trust based on that.  Someone told me once that God gives us strength for today.  He doesn’t give me enough strength for the whole journey all at once.  Just strength for today.  Maybe that’s how I need to look at faith.  I don’t have faith for the whole journey right now.  Perhaps I should, but I don’t.  I am, however, strong enough for today.  I don’t need to waste today’s energy in thought over what might happen seven and a half months from now.  I could use today’s energy for fun, for joy, for the moment.

But oh!  How stuck I am in this rut!  So I’m just going to plod my way out, little by little.




With any luck I will get there.  Just in time.

Why Am I So Scared?

Since the day after I got the positive pregnancy test, I’ve been scared.  Terrified.  A basket case.   Tahd was the one who started out uncertain (on the first day) and I quickly begged him to be excited and happy because I just “knew” in my bones this was all good.  And yet 24 hours later, I fell into a pit of fear and have been unable to drag myself out since then.

There are some distinct reasons my fear bothers me.  If you are not a faith-based person, it is alright with me if at this point you commence thinking I’m out to lunch.  😉   From a logical standpoint, I can totally see how I might look that way.  If you are a faith-based person, I think this will make sense at some level.  Either way, I’m open to feedback from both perspectives.

Here’s the long-ish version of the story.

When we began trying to get pregnant again in 2005, intuition told me early in the process that something wasn’t right.  I couldn’t suggest what was wrong, but I knew something was off.  When we had officially been trying for a year and were crossing the threshold of the infertility diagnosis, I had a very distinct experience.  I was taking Gabe for a walk, and while I pushed his stroller I was talking to God about my heartache over our lack of conception.  I remember the exact spot I was in when, through my tears, I sensed God almost audibly saying, “Don’t worry.  I’ve got this one.”  It was followed with a deep peace that pregnancy would come in time and that God wasn’t abandoning me.

Several years ago, I had two early pregnancy losses.  The short version is that these were very hard on me, came at a time in my life when my faith was particularly vulnerable, and I struggled immensely through them.  There was a distinct moment in which I believed I heard God tell me there would be no more miscarriages.  I tucked that away in my heart and didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to it because the first order of business was getting pregnant, and that proved to be a monumental task in and of itself.

Then Gabe’s 268 day thing.  The timing of that is so amazing to me.  How is it that exactly 268 days after he said those words I missed my period?  How is that?  It certainly could be coincidental, but coincidences of that nature – and in conjunction with the next thing – make it hard for me not to believe in a Heavenly Father.

In the fall, we geared up for a second ivf.  Tahd and I were both deeply conflicted about it, and I reached out to a friend who had previously talked with me about the first experience I mentioned.  I had told her about what I thought I heard God say on that walk, and after a tremendous amount of prayer she told me she felt God speak to her and confirm that same message in her heart on my behalf.  Initially, that’s all she told me.  However, when I reached out to her about the second ivf, she was much more specific.  In fact, she told me that she felt God had told her why we were currently unable to conceive and told me when she felt God told her we would be able to conceive.  There were two potential time frames from her conversation with God.  This pregnancy falls into the first time frame, with the projected delivery occurring during the second time frame.

How is it, with all these very specific experiences, I can continue to live in fear?

For us, this is pretty big stakes – something we’ve wanted and invested in – both emotionally and financially – for a long time.  The thought of having it and losing it is monumentally painful.  I know it’s hard to fully let go when you’re in a high stakes situation.  I know I’m spotting and that’s never a great thing, and it definitely gives me reason to hesitate.  I know I’ve had two miscarriages before which increases my odds of miscarrying again.  I know I’m older now than I was when we had Gabe.  Based on our ivf experience I know I don’t have a lot of eggs left.

But I don’t know how I can have experienced my list of positives and still choose to dwell on the list of negatives or the risks.  How can I choose fear over joy?  Do I lack faith?  Am I just a pessimistic person?  Do I need to better learn how to enjoy the blessing of today?

So basically, that’s what I’m doing – wallowing in a pit of fear.  We have an ultrasound scheduled for Friday afternoon and are hopeful about seeing a heartbeat.  In my head I know I’ll eventually be okay regardless of the outcome.  My heart, however, is afraid of breaking again.

Part Two

I didn’t know it at the time, but this was Part One.  In case you’re not up for reading, the basic summary is that on June 16th of last year, Gabe told us we’d have a new baby in our family in 268 days.

268 days later…





I am not very far along – in my 6th week with a projected due date of November 17.  Progress has not been without wrinkles – namely some spotting that has kept me from fully embracing what still seems so fragile.  The good news is my hcg levels are rising at a reasonable pace – it was 768 just after 4 weeks and has risen to nearly 13,000 as of yesterday.  Progesterone is good.  Other blood tests are good – even the autoimmune ones, which have traditionally been questionable to poor!  The doctor has ordered an ultrasound for this week, so we’re hoping for assurance that there’s a beating heart and that all looks well!

A request if I know you on a face-to-face basis… if you can keep this under your hat for a little bit, we would appreciate it greatly!  I need a place to write and process this out, and most importantly to me I use my blog as my primary place to record my life for later reflection.  Seeing as this is a HUGE development in our lives I feel a little lost not writing about it!  However, I have several friends dealing with infertility and I’d like to share with them first.  Also, we do not plan to tell Gabe yet, and the fewer people who know decrease his chance of finding out accidentally.

For four and a half years I’ve been waiting to say this… I’m pregnant!  We’re having a baby!  I can’t wait!

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