Monday, June 6, 2016

Uncharted

Last week I decided to deactivate my Facebook account. I don't have a plan for a length of time. Maybe until summer ends? I deactivated it Friday before attending Taize prayer at my church. I figured the meditative prayer could be kind of like a mental/emotional reset. Facebook has become too much of a time sink for me and definitely a source of stress. I know it is my own reactions to things that make Facebook stressful, like feeling a twinge of jealousy and a whole lotta sadness with each pregnancy announcement that has popped up in the last few months. Lots of friends and acquaintances with kids much younger than my daughter are starting to announce the their second and third pregnancies and it is too much for my heart right now.

Friday I also picked up my brand new bike, a Bianchi Milano Dama. Look it up if you have time...it is pretty much the cutest bike I have ever seen! I'll be filling much of my time out riding and enjoying the outdoors. I'll also be starting a Zumba class in about a week. I am hoping the added exercise plus my new daily ritual of gratitude journaling (and the absence of Facebook!) will help me get my mental health back on track. If not, therapy is the next stop for me.

As I haven't really been updating this blog over the last several years, I am thinking it is time for it to come to a close. Things in life seem especially uncharted right now. I never thought I'd be a stay-at-home mom to an only child, but that is where I have found myself.

Thanks to all who stuck with me through infertility, pregnancy, new motherhood, and secondary infertility that I am still wading in. Wishing all of you happiness and love!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Update

After spotting and bleeding for 16 days, my body finally seemed to get back to "normal." I had a final blood draw yesterday and my hCG level was below 1, so the loss is over.  I can talk about it without crying but I am still sad. My grandma was the most helpful saying that there was most likely something wrong and the baby is luckier to be in heaven than to face serious medical hardships on earth. She also told me that it was nothing wrong that I did.

In trying to see the positives...

My body can get pregnant. There is a chance baby #2 will happen someday.

I channeled my sad energy into some house progress. Our daughter's room finally has all of the wallpaper glue removed, has one coat of primer up, and we have the paint colors chosen! The never ending room makeover should be complete before Easter!

I had two classes during my bleeding. They were both registered for before all of this happened and I was glad for the distraction. I am now re-certified in pediatric and child CPR/AED. And I now know how to make some simple fermented foods that will hopefully get all of our gut flora back to health! My daughter seems to be benefiting a little bit already, which is wonderful and makes me so happy!




Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Lent and a Prayer Request

Long time no blog! I am not sure if anyone even reads this anymore, but I am putting it out there in cyberspace anyways.

For lent this year I gave up Facebook, which has been surprisingly good! I started a meditation program based on a book I got at the library and it seems to be helping things. My husband and I decided to take 6 months off from worrying about getting pregnant (well, 6 months for ME to stop worrying...he says he hasn't been worried) and the meditation had me feeling hopeful about the future. Then this month I started spotting 4 days before my expected period and by the day of my expected period it hadn't gotten much heavier so I took a pregnancy test and got a very, very light positive (or so I thought...it was VERY light). I immediately called my doctor and they scheduled me for a blood draw to check hcg and progesterone the next morning (that would have been last Tuesday). I cancelled the appointment after I started seeing bright red blood and got a negative on a digital test the morning of the appointment. I assumed I had imagined that light positive the day before. But as of yesterday I was still bleeding (day 7 of pretty heavy bleeding) so my doctor had me come in for an hcg test and a thyroid level test. The hcg results came in about 2 hours ago...my hcg level confirmed that I had (am having?) a miscarriage. I am going in tomorrow for a pelvic ultrasound to check for any physical issues that may have caused this and the continuing bleeding I am having and to recheck the hcg to make sure it is falling as fast as they want it to.

For 18 months we've been trying and now this. I feel so numb. I really don't think anything could have prevented this, but I am kicking myself for not going to my previous appointment last week. Any prayers would be so appreciated as I figure out what is going on and wait for the bleeding to stop.

Monday, June 29, 2015

This is life

I feel like I live in a constant state of worry. Lately there has been a hefty dose of sadness and grief as well.

The little girl I watched February-April passed away the Tuesday after Mother's Day. My daughter asks about her every day and I miss her as well. It has been difficult for me, and I feel so deeply for her parents, who are experiencing a grief that I cannot even begin to comprehend.

Earlier this month, my aunt passed away after almost a decade of suffering related to early onset Alzheimer's. She was 56.

Our daughter, who will be 2.5 years next month, has been having some possible vision problems recently. We are keeping an eye on things (no pun intended) and are thinking we may be treating amblyopia, aka lazy eye, down the road. Thankfully we are catching things extremely early and treatment, if needed, should be pretty minimal with a high chance success.

Last Thursday I found a lump in my left breast. Friday I was seen at my clinic and referred to the breast clinic for an ultrasound. Good news: The doctor doesn't think it is anything of concern. Bad news: Ultrasound determined that it is not fluid or fiber, but they don't know what it IS. I now have the choice of getting a biopsy to identify what it is or I can wait it out and see if it resolves on its own. I am waiting to hear back from my Ob/gyn about how she thinks I should proceed. Two of my sisters have had similar things that turned out to be nothing, so I am hopeful.

We have been hopeful about baby #2 for about a year now. No positive tests to speak of. My husband tries to console me by saying, "It took 2 years last time, it might just take time again," "We haven't REALLY tried EVERY month," and "I would be happy to have another baby, but we'll be okay if we have one child. We'll be GREAT." Secondary infertility is horrible, but not the same as primary. I have my daughter to distract me. I don't have time to obsess over every possible fertility or pregnancy symptom. Some days I feel at peace about having an only child. Some days I panic. I know we are so very lucky to have our daughter. Five, four, three years ago I would have cut off my arm to have just one. This time around it feels like giving up on a dream, but I know that my daughter is enough. Though, honestly, I do hope we get another surprise. She would be a fantastic, loving sister. We aren't planning on pursuing any treatment at this time. Down the road, I may consider laparoscopic surgery for my endometriosis, but that will be a decision for another day.

I have decided to stop dying my hair! After 11 years of coloring, I am growing out my natural color(s). I would guess I am maybe 25-30% gray, or silver as I prefer to call it. Right now my hair looks pretty awful, like someone poured acid on my head or something. I think it will look interesting and unique once it is grown out. Time will tell!

My husband and I recently downsized our wardrobes by a ton. We estimate that we donated approximately 65-70% of our clothing! And the strange thing is, we still have plenty to wear. And the awesome thing is, all of the things we wear now are our favorite things! We still have more work to do in building the wardrobes of our dreams, but we are well on our way. For me I think that means a classic, timeless wardrobe that channels Audrey Hepburn. I've been looking into a capsule wardrobe method, like Project 333 but haven't seriously started creating "capsules."

Recent books I've enjoyed:

Everything That Remains: A Memoir by the Minimalists by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus

Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood by Susan Linn

I am currently reading:

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

Waiting on my nightstand:

One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child, and the Joy of Being One by Lauren Sandler

Huck's Raft: A History of American Childhood by Steven Mintz

Divergent by Veronica Roth (Have you seen this movie?! I was in suspense almost the entire time and the teenage-esque romance story had my husband and I giggling uncontrollably at times. It was a fun one!)

For now, this is life.









Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Almost spring...

It is almost spring! I haven't posted in ages and a lot has happened:


  • We closed on our house and moved! We've been here for almost 4 months already and we love it so far! The house is great, the neighbors are great, my husband's commute is...not as great as we expected because...
  • He started a new job in January! One that allows him to be home by 6:30pm almost EVERY SINGLE DAY. It is fantastic! Much, much better than his old job that kept him in the office until 10pm...midnight...2am...even 6am on occasion! The only downside is that it is about 7 miles from our house (instead of like a mile).
  • We have hosted 3 big parties here: A baby shower for a friend in December, F's birthday party in January, and a baby shower for one of my sisters in February. We are known as the "party house" in the neighborhood. It cracks me up every time a new neighbor tells us that!
  • I have been caring for a 4-month-old baby girl during the day. It is a temporary job (her regular care place will have space for her in April. I am sort of bummed! We'll miss her!). I thought having her here would tame my baby fever. No luck. We feel ready for another.
  • I am taking my cocktail of vitamins again, listening to my Circle + Bloom, still eating gluten- free (that is a forever change thanks to the huge stomach issues I have when I consume anything with gluten), drinking lemon water first thing every morning, but need to get back on track with the rest of my endometriosis diet. I only drink coffee on weekends, only drink alcohol rarely (and limit myself to one gluten-free beer or one glass of wine when I do), but I am trying to gain 10 pounds again and have been eating ice cream and chocolate with reckless abandon (NOT good for endometriosis!). Despite all of the things I am doing to help boost my fertility, no luck yet. Looks like it will be another struggle, which I was expecting.
  • F turned 2 in January (2!!) and last night was the first night she didn't co-sleep. 2 years + 2 months of not having our bed to ourselves came to an end with very little fanfare. She loves her big girl bed and her new room! It is bittersweet, but maybe that will help with the creation of a sibling for her (it is not so delightful to have to find other locations for THAT every time. Haha! Now we have our bed again, hurrah!). And, for any co-sleeping haters, they really don't stay in your bed forever (Thank God!).
  • I am attending a class at the library tonight about establishing a career as an artist. We shall see if it inspires me to finally work on my own art again and maybe do something with it!
Other things forthcoming:
  • Potty training
  • Music class with toddlers
  • Toddler art groups
  • Cloth diapering on the cheap (our diaper service ends next week and I'll be cloth diapering as F goes through potty training, but I don't want to invest a ton...in case we never have another)<--I hate thinking that way, but with infertility there are so many unknowns. So, so hard to stay positive!
  • Exploring minimalism
  • and (hopefully) much more! 
P.S. So excited to see some of your updates...some babies on the way, some recently born. And also praying for many of you who are still waiting and some who have had losses in the last 5 months while I've been on hiatus. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Ready to move on...

Things I will NOT miss about our apartment:
  • shared laundry (other people's detergent smells and dryer lint, waiting to start a load because others are washing/drying, having to get dressed and put shoes on myself and my kid just to do laundry!)
  • neighbors who move furniture or play loud music/video games late, late at night
  • neighbors who smoke cigarettes and pot (wish I was joking, but no) under our windows and in their bathrooms (which share vents with our bathrooms)
  • keeping our stroller and dining room table in the living room
  • lack of a yard or other safe outdoor space to play
In addition to these things, we had a mouse (A MOUSE!) in our apartment last week. We saw the little fellow (or lady, not sure) hanging out by our shoes when we stayed up late Tuesday night to watch the Lego Movie. We set traps the next evening and by Thursday, the little fellow (lady?) was trapped under the sink. Unfortunately this was after he/she made little messes in our silverware drawer (oh, so, so gross!), linen drawer (buh-bye towels and washcloths!), and spice drawer (so sad!). I spent Friday and Saturday cleaning up and disinfecting everything with bleach and/or boiling it in water for 10+ minutes. Then spent Sunday-present day convinced that now I have the hantavirus. To make matters worse, I was running a temperature of 102.7 Wednesday afternoon and am still recovering. My husband is under strict orders to bring me to the ER if I start having difficulty breathing within the next 5 weeks. I hope it is just a nasty cold or sinus infection that will resolve itself. I haven't known throat and ear pain like this since I had strep my first year teaching! No fun.

Anyhow, we are so ready to MOVE! Come on November 10! I will take shoveling and yard work and home repairs over those bullet points any day! (Hopefully no mice, though).

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

When one door closes...

When one door closes, another opens! I feel like that is a pretty perfect description of how life has been going since I resigned from my job in July. Nothing has actually earned me any money yet, but since quitting:


  • Two families from my school have contacted me about doing freelance work for them (in the form of doing art projects with their kids for specific locations in their homes). Whoa. To say it made me feel like a million bucks that they like me enough to privately contact me and ask me to continue working with their kids would be an understatement. It made my heart so happy! The conversations ended with, "We'll be in touch," since I was honest with them about our impending move.
  • We bought a house! Well, closing isn't until Nov 10, but all has been moving along smoothly! It met all of our criteria (and then some) except for the fact that we ended up paying more for it than we had planned. We are okay with that decision, though, because: 
    • the house is 1.8 miles from my husband's office
    • there are three 2-year-olds (and a handful of older kids) in the neighborhood
    • the house backs up to a nature park reserve with walking trails, a lake, and beautiful woods
    • it has 2 garages...an attached one-car garage and a second garage behind the attached one that is SET UP AS A WORKSHOP/STUDIO! Oh. my. gosh. Considering we live in Minnesota and it gets cold as heck here (and it is an unheated space) we know it won't be used for a good chunk of the year, BUT...it will be perfect for the toddler art group I want to start in the spring/summer and will be a great space for holding private art lessons, should things move in that direction!
    • there are 3 great schools within walking distance that (maybe, someday?) could be the key to getting me back in an art classroom
    • there is a public library within biking distance
  • A co-worker of my husband's needs temporary childcare in February and March. It is not a for sure thing that she'll choose me to watch her babe, but there is a good chance since we will be so close to the office (1.8 miles, yo!). They have a 2 month gap between the end of her maternity leave and the opening in their daycare. So, I might have a 3-month-old baby to snuggle for a couple of months and make a little money in the process.
  • A local art-teacher-turned-sort-of-stay-at-home-mom (triplet boys after endometriosis/infertility! wow!) opened a family art center in our current area. My daughter and I attended the grand opening and she asked for my contact info for when she makes a sub list in the next couple of weeks! 
Now we just need to make it through the move so I can feel like there has been some real CHANGE for our family. I am feeling hopeful that great things are to come!