Thursday, July 19, 2012


We'll be leaving on our 9 day camping trip on Saturday! We're traveling all the way around Lake Superior with my BFF and her husband. There will be lots of driving, hiking, and pop up camper fun:) It should be an adventure! We'll be starting in Minnesota and traveling through Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ontario. I'm trying not to let the idea of ticks or possibly having to pee outside get me down (one of the sites we're thinking of camping in for the night is a primitive site, which means no showers or toilets...I have never had to pee in the wilderness before! Eek!). I am so looking forward to the fresh air and star filled sky!

I look forward to catching up with all of you when we return!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

e-mailed the boss! and then freaked out

I e-mailed my principal on Saturday morning letting him know that I am due in January and will need to figure out maternity leave. He sent a very nice reply back and said he'd figure out how much sick leave I have to use towards maternity leave and that we should meet in person to work out the details.

I had a break down yesterday in front of my older sister (she stays at home with her 1.5-year-old and just told me yesterday that baby #2 is due in March). When I was mentioning that I think I have enough sick leave to use for almost 8 weeks paid maternity leave, I started sobbing imagining sending a 2-month-old to a stranger while I finish out the school year. Two years ago, the plan was for my sister to watch our baby while I continued to work full-time. The plan was also to have a baby between the months of May and July (like you can really plan those things, haha!) so I'd have all/part of summer home with them plus whatever time I had accrued in sick leave. Now, we are due in January, smack dab in the middle of the school year, and my sister no longer wants to watch our baby (which she told me a while ago before she knew about baby #2). Now that she is due pretty much right when my 2 months of sick leave will be exhausted, I see how it probably wouldn't have worked out anyway. It seemed like a perfect plan, though. She lives nearby. I trust her completely. She would be making some income while still staying at home with her kid(s).

I had a second break down when my husband got home. We've talked about me taking off the rest of the school year (unpaid, of course) but that obviously means we would be making other sacrifices. I'll share something with you that I've never mentioned on my blog before: we live in an apartment. It is a nice one with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, plenty of space for 2 adults and a baby, but we've been longing for a house for a couple of years. Until last summer when my husband got his new job, though, we weren't sure where we wanted to settle down. Now that we are both in jobs that we see ourselves sticking with, we started looking for houses but then my husband's work schedule picked up again (talking 12-16 hour days, ugh) which leaves little time for touring houses. So, last night my husband said, "It might just mean we wait another year for a house." We know we are stuck here until next July at this point because we had to re-sign our lease this month. That I could handle. We like it here and Ponyo won't really be on the move by next summer, anyway. I start to freak out when I imagine being here until July of 2014, though. Two college educated, full-time working, money conscientious adults should be able to afford a baby and a house before the age of 30. Really, though, the college educated part is part of the problem. We both have many student loans. They are our biggest expense every month and we are trying to be aggressive with them so we aren't paying them until we are 85-years-old. Plus, houses in the city are EXPENSIVE. Moving to the suburbs where taxes are substantially less or "out west" like many of our friends have won't work well for us since I work literally IN the Twin Cities and my husband works in the opposite direction (so the Twin Cities are centrally located for both of out commutes).

I am having issues with logic, desires, my heart, life plans...pretty much everything. In an ideal world, I'd be able to teach part-time and my sister would watch Ponyo and we'd buy a house next spring/summer. Now it is looking like we'll be stuck here and I'll be working full-time and sending my child to a stranger for daycare. It will probably be like my entire paycheck just going towards childcare of an infant, too, since I work for a private school and make about half of what public school teachers in the area make. How in the heck do I find balance? We think I can take off 3 months for maternity leave (2 months paid from my sick leave and 1 month unpaid) without any financial hit because my husband plans to take 2 more exams for work this fall which means 2 bonuses and 2 raises upon passing them. That money would be well over what I make in a month of teaching. Then I'd have about 2 months back in school before I'd be home with Ponyo for the summer. But is it worth it to work full-time for 2 months at the end of the year and be paying for childcare?

Sorry for the long, whiny post. I needed to get it off my chest in writing. This was more for personal therapy than for entertainment/fishing for advice. I keep thinking, "In 25 years I won't wish I taught more Art but I WILL regret lost time I could have spent with my son/daughter." and "We can buy a house when we are 50 if it takes that long, but we can't have a baby when we are 50." Ugh. I need to do some yoga, stat.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Yesterday's appointment was uneventful (which I'll take as a good sign!). We asked a lot of questions about bug spray and stuff for our upcoming camping trip. Can you believe DEET is considered safe during pregnancy? I was shocked. Although, they recommend a diluted concentration and only putting it on your clothing. I'll be trying some other bug repellents first but bring the stuff with DEET as a backup in case the bugs are horrible. Ticks and mosquitoes are supposed to be much worse than usual this year due to the warm winter and all of the flooding up north. A friend of ours who is a nurse and just got back from camping in some of the same areas said there was a case of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever from a tick recently. I'd like to avoid that, thanks! I got my EpiPen prescription renewed (allergic to bees) so I don't die while in Canada. My doctor made me feel better about the mass amounts of fruit I've been eating because I was worried about too much sugar.

Then she used the doppler and we got to hear Ponyo's heartbeat for the first time! We have seen the heartbeat twice on ultrasound but Ponyo was still too small to listen in on at those points. She found it fairly quickly and it was strong at 158/160-ish beats per minute. Because I am feeling alright and the heartbeat was good we didn't need an ultrasound, so we don't get to see Ponyo again for about 7 weeks at the 20 week anatomy scan. I do feel quite relieved after hearing the heartbeat. It was different than seeing it, for sure. That sound was coming from a tiny person inside of me. Hearing that sound has made it feel more real than anything else so far.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Last night we were planning on telling a group of our close friends our news and we both chickened out. We went to high school with the majority of these friends (so we have known them 10+ years) and many of them were in or at least at our wedding almost 5 years ago. Why did we chicken out? I can think of 2 reasons:

1. Many of them still live the single life style. Not many of them are married, though several are in committed dating relationships at this point, and they frequently make comments about how The Bee and I are the "cool" married couple they know since we still attend gatherings pretty regularly. I am wondering how some of them will feel about the news of a baby entering the picture.


2. We are still terribly nervous about sharing the news. Things seem to be on track but I have read too much about all of the things that can go wrong. I just about had a mental/emotional/physical breakdown when I had some spotting last month because I automatically assumed the worst. We have an appointment today and I am terrified that Ponyo will be smaller than expected or the doctor won't find their heartbeat or something. I don't feel like we can hold off too much longer telling people because I am looking a bit plumper. If you don't know me, maybe it is not noticeable, but there is definitely what appears to be some pudge around my middle that wasn't there before. When I lay down on my back my stomach doesn't even get close to flat anymore and by the end of most days my belly looks bigger than it did in the morning (water retention, maybe? I don't quite know). Anyhow, we are afraid that we'll finally tell everyone and then we'll find out some bad news.

The nerves I am feeling are something I never expected. I know plenty of people have anxiety surrounding pregnancy, but I think I have been affected greatly by our infertility. I always feel like this may be our only chance, the only pregnancy we'll ever experience, and I am wasting it in worry instead of being as excited as I expected to feel.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Good things

First, today I am FINISHED with progesterone supplements! Hooray! It makes me a little nervous to be off of them, but hopefully everything is as it should be and my body will stay right on track hormone-wise. I won't miss the icky, melty things one bit (although I was sure glad to have them!).

We told some of my husband's extended family our news last night (relatives were in town from California and we all went out to dinner together). The excitement and support we have received brings me to tears every time we share our new with another person. One of his aunts exclaimed that she got chills and another teared up over the announcement. We are truly blessed to have such wonderful family!

My mother-in-law gave us our first baby gift last night. The Bee and I both felt like, "Hey, this is really happening for us! For real!" So now we have our very first blankets, onesies, rattles, and rubber duck for Ponyo. Through our struggle to get here, we avoided purchasing baby things because it was too painful for us. It feels strange and exciting to have baby items in our home!

We'll be telling my Dad's extended family tonight. My cousin's wedding was Saturday and my aunts and uncles came from all over the country to be together. My Dad is one of 11 (eleven!) children and this was the first time in 22 years that all eleven siblings were in the same place at the same time! Tonight there is a family picnic and everyone stayed in town to attend so we are thrilled to be able to tell so many people in person.

I tried a new line of hair products designed specifically for curly hair and I am loving it! Here it is:

It is all sulfate free, paraben free, and silicone free, which is awesome! Sulfates and parabens are yucky things that are bad for everybody (they mess with hormones and have been linked to increased risk in cancer [although I think the jury is still out on the cancer stuff due to lack of peer reviewed studies]). If you are wondering why they put that nasty stuff in our shampoos, it is because they are what cause shampoo to lather and feel luxurious. So, my new "shampoo" is actually called "No-Poo Zero Lather Conditioning Cleanser" and doesn't lather AT ALL. Although I miss the sudsy, lathery goodness of my old shampoos, I think it will be worth the sacrifice.

As far as I have read, silicone may be linked to cancer, too, but I know for sure that it is hard on curly hair because it causes hair products to build up on your hair over time. For straight hair, silicone makes hair shiny and smooth. For curly hair, it makes it frizzy and dry! So, these products are helping me make healthier choices for my body (right in line with my changes to diet and body products that I talked about here) and will hopefully provide me with many good hair days (which, sadly, are quite uncommon for me!). My hair was still a bit frizzy after using DevaCurl but I am guessing I still have silicone built up from all my years of using shampoo that contains silicone. I may try a clarifying shampoo to help remove it more quickly, otherwise it can take weeks to get it all out! I can tell it works for my hair, though, because my curl definition has been amazing! Like, way more defined that when I used other products designed for curly hair. So, if you have curly hair, I'd recommend looking into this stuff. It seems to work well, doesn't have all those gross chemicals and it smells great, too (and is made in the good, old USA!)!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

New Family

Yesterday we had the pleasure of meeting our newest niece. She is the daughter of my nice sister-in-law and brother-in-law who also have 2-year-old twins. When we found out my sister-in-law was expecting, we were so, so excited for them! It was a journey of about 6 years and many fertility treatments, eventually leading to IVF, that brought our twin niece and nephew into our family. The newest addition was a complete surprise: no treatments, no planning. Quite a miracle given what they had been through and the diagnoses their doctors had given them years before. I am sharing this because I find so much hope in their story. First, they went through the pain and sadness of infertility but didn't give up! Their family didn't come to be in the way that most of us imagine starting a family but they got there and now we have my niece and nephew to love! Then, against all medical odds, along came our youngest niece! Quite amazing and wonderful, indeed.

For those of you beginning the road to IVF, I am praying for you.

For those of you in other stages of treatments, I am praying for you.

For those of you taking breaks from trying to conceive, I am praying for you.

For those of you pursuing adoption, I am praying for you.

And I am always hoping for all of you!