Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

Still Here

I’ve spent a lot of time lately wondering about this space. This blog was my way of dealing with loss and pain, and I don’t know if I could have survived without it and the community that I have found. Now that I have my precious little Squish, I’m not sure what to do with it.

I would come to this blog in times of depression. In times of fear. In times of survival. In times of hopelessness. But I’m not so sure how to express myself now that I am happy. I’m not saying being a new parent is all sunshine all the time–it’s stressful, overwhelming, and exhausting, but I am so thankful that we have made it to this place and that we have a healthy baby that writing about how hard it is seems petty and somehow dishonest to the joy that he has brought into my life. I also have a real fear of sounding ungrateful or of hurting those who are still in the trenches by talking about how hard motherhood can be.

But I can also see how beneficial this space can still be. I would like a place to talk about how difficult it is to recover physically from giving birth or how going back to school less than two weeks after having a child totally sucks.

And I feel like I owe all of you. You’ve helped me so much, and I feel like I need to share him with you because of that. You shared the burden of my losses with me, so I want to share my joy with you.

So I’m not promising more than the occasional update, but I want you to know that I’m not going away. I’ve faithfully kept up with my reader and your stories, and I’ll still pop in every once in awhile to share mine.


After All This Time

I’ve been wanting to write for awhile but I just can’t seem to find the words. Johnathan Bruce was born on December 27 at 2pm and was 9 lbs 2 oz and 22 in long (which is huge considering my relatively small frame). It was a very difficult birth but I was able to have him at home and he is thriving.

After all this time, after all the losses, I can’t believe that my son is here and I get to keep him. I can’t believe that I am a mommy to healthy little boy. Every time I let it soak in, I just cry because I feel so lucky and I feel that I have been given a gift that is so precious that I could never deserve it.

He is beautiful and perfect. And I am crazy in love.



Still Counting

On Saturday Hubby and I went on a road trip with his mom to the Ikea in Atlanta to buy a crib. We weren’t originally planning on buying a crib because his sister gave us our nephew’s crib, but that didn’t work out. When we were putting it together, we realized there was a piece missing, but the piece was part of the drop-side. I figured we could just call the company and see if they had a conversion kit we could buy to make the side stationary, and then it wouldn’t matter if we didn’t have that piece. When we called the company, however, the number was disconnected. At this point, hubby got on Consumer Reports to get some info about the company and the crib. I am not exaggerating, this is what it said: “Case for case, this is the deadliest crib on the market.” Then it talked about the company mysteriously disappearing in December. Needless to say, we aren’t using that crib. We checked and the recall was too old for us to return it somewhere, so we went to Ikea to buy a new crib.

Whenever we go to Ikea, we play a game where we count the pregnant ladies. We usually get around 15 obviously pregnant women, and before we left Saturday, hubby pointed out that we didn’t have to play our game. We no longer had to take note of each pregnant woman and think ugly, bitter thoughts at her because I was one of those pregnant women. In fact, I actually ovulated on our last trip to Ikea. Looking back to where we were then–only seven months ago, and where we are now is staggering.

The truth is that I still struggle with pregnant women. Like a girl at our church who is due two days after me. They weren’t trying and didn’t even know she was pregnant until she went to the doctor with a lot of cramping and found out she was eight weeks along. She keeps talking about how she doesn’t know anything about pregnancy and babies and how this was totally unexpected (even now when we’re over 30 weeks). It just seems so unfair that this gift just dropped in their laps while we had to work so hard for it. I haven’t forgotten where we came from. I still feel the pain of what we’ve been through. I very openly inform people that this baby is a miracle–one we didn’t think we would ever have. Hubby and I have talked about it, and we both confessed that we sincerely believed that this pregnancy wouldn’t work–that I would never be able to carry a child.

Infertility leaves a mark that never leaves. Even now, I still count the pregnant women.


Hanging On

I’ve been wanting to write on here for awhile, but graduate school is kicking my butt. This year I am teaching two freshman writing courses so I’m having to learn how to balance being a teacher with being a student because I’m also taking two graduate level courses. In the last two weeks, I’ve graded 46 papers, written a 20 page take-home exam, taken a very difficult in-class exam, written a seven page annotated bibliography, had one of my classes observed, wrote a proposal for the classes I’m teaching next semester, met with multiple students to discuss their plans to revise the first paper, done the regular reading for my classes, done the regular class prep for the classes I teach, attended to a wedding, gone to our first baby shower, and taken a weekend trip to a family reunion where I didn’t have time for any school stuff at all. I feel like I spent so much of last year learning time management and how to prioritize my time between being a student and being a wife, and now I’m having to do that all over again with yet another role added to my plate. Not only that, I’m having to adjust to a new level and schedule of productivity because I really can’t do any intense reading or work after 8:00 or 8:30 anymore because I am so exhausted. By the time I got to the end of the day Wednesday (marking my fall break that I am currently enjoying), I felt like I was just barely hanging on.

So that’s my life right now. It’s hard and pretty stressful, but I am still doing things that I love. I feel behind and I’m not doing as well as I would if I weren’t pregnant and actually felt better and more energetic, but I enjoy learning and I enjoy teaching. I’m just on a pretty steep learning curve this year.

I try not to stress about next semester because I know it will be much harder with me adding another role: mommy. I talked to the head of my department to see if I could defer my last semester to the fall, but that’s not possible. Apparently, taking off just one semester and therefore leaving a funding package unclaimed during that time signals to the graduate school that our department has more money than we need and we could lose it. So I’ll be taking two classes and teaching two classes again in the spring. I’ve worked out my schedule so that I’m only on campus two days a week with an hour and a half break midday to eat and pump, and my MIL is going to watch the baby for us. I just hope it works out. Worse case scenario, I can take an incomplete in my classes and get my degree with I finish them later in the year.

I keep thinking about how this timing is stressful and inconvenient. But then I am honest with myself and admit that I would not change it for anything. Every day I can feel our baby getting stronger and everything is worth it. I am getting everything I want–a degree that will let me do what I want to do and a child. It’s really hard, but it’s also an enormous gift that I refuse to take for granted.

Well, I was going to write more about the pregnancy and the baby, but that looks like enough for one day. Hopefully I’ll have time to give some more updates in the days to come–I miss you all and this space.


Breaking the Silence

I really didn’t want to be that blogger. The one gets pregnant and then stops posting. But the truth is that I had nothing to say. My life was a constant state of waiting and hoping, and I didn’t want to write a bunch of posts that were all the same: I’m fine, baby is fine, I’m still scared. It wasn’t even an issue of trying to be respectful of those still in the trenches–I just really didn’t have the desire to write those posts. I was happy and excited and having a textbook pregnancy, and I just wanted to ignore the fear and uncertainties. I was refusing to acknowledge all of the anxiety that I was harboring. But I wouldn’t be able to do that here. I couldn’t be that dishonest here. So I ignored this space and didn’t deal with those feelings. But now something has happened that I have to share. Something I’ve been waiting for, holding my breath.

I’ll be 26 weeks tomorrow–two weeks past viability. This whole pregnancy I’ve been worried about attachment because somewhere between Tup and our fifth loss, the eternal optimistic in me that could never be silenced was finally cut out. Every milestone that we’ve come to this pregnancy has been met with excitement, joy, and complete disbelief. I continued to be floored when things went well. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. I honestly kept waiting for my baby to die. While I was happy and excited, I never truly believed that I would give birth to a healthy baby at the end of this, and I never truly attached to this life inside of me. Everything just felt like more practice in how far I could be pushed until I would completely break. Even when I felt the baby move–I could never make the emotional connection between those feelings and the child we would have in December.

Then something changed this week. Baby has gotten so much stronger and I’m a fairly small person so I can put a hand on my stomach and clearly feel little body parts moving around. And at some point I made the transition and starting thinking that the little life that is moving and squirming inside of me will be moving and squirming in my arms in December. Our baby is alive. I will hold that little body and touch those tiny fingers and kiss that tiny nose and watch those little legs kicking. The same ones that are growing and moving inside of me right now. I love this child. I love this child more than I ever thought possible. And instead of thinking that I cannot wait until he or she is born so that I can stop worrying and finally enjoy my baby, I’ve just been thinking about how I can’t wait until he or she is born simply because I want to meet this tiny person that I love so much.

I kept waiting for this transition. I kept waiting for attachment–the true attachment where I let go of the painful past and believe deep down in my being that the movements that I feel inside of me are my baby that I adore and I will meet in three months. And I just realized that I’m finally there. You would think it would make me even more afraid, but there is too much love and excitement and joy in my heart to fit fear right now. That might change, but, for now, I am going to allow myself to soak in this moment that I have waited three years for. I have endured so much pain and anxiety that I’m just going to let myself have this.



Today was our second appointment with our midwife, Debi. So I guess I’ll finally tell you about our midwife hunt and our plan for this birth:

When I found out I was pregnant in April, we decided that we did not want to give birth at the local birthing center anymore. The center is wonderful, and the women who work there are very sweet and professional, but we were going to that center when I had each of my losses, and just walking in the door makes me sick to my stomach now. That is not the atmosphere I want to be surrounded with when I give birth. So hubby and I decided to plan a homebirth. We live less than two miles from a hospital, and I already have a relationship with a high risk ob if we become high risk for whatever reason. Plus, I’ve always wanted a homebirth, so we’re going for it.

I called the birth center for the names and numbers of homebirth midwives in our area and they gave me contact info for two women in our town and one in a neighboring town. The two in our town were a little flaky about returning my calls, which made me a little uncomfortable, but Debi was wonderful on the phone and also at both of our appointments. Because she lives and works in a neighboring town, we have to drive an hour and fifteen minutes to our appointments, which is annoying but completely worth it. I just hope that the universe has forgotten about us for while and will let us have an uneventful pregnancy and birth.

Speaking of uneventful, the exact word that Debi used about me today was boring. She said my pregnancy is boring and that was music to my ears. After all we’ve been through, boring is the best possible thing I could think of to hear from her. Let’s hope we stay that way.


The Red Dress

Back in October hubby and I went to the wedding of two good friends. When I was pregnant with Tup, I remember happily thinking that I would be wearing a maternity dress and sporting a large bump at their wedding, but that obviously didn’t happen. Then, two weeks before the wedding, Molly died. I felt like the whole world was against me, and that my life would be nothing but death and loss. Needless to say, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. So I dealt with it by going out and buying a sexy red dress for the wedding. If I couldn’t be large and pregnant, I was going to be super hot. We had a wonderful time at the wedding, and I felt beautiful and thankful to spend time with my fun husband. We drank and danced and laughed and for a small moment, I was so happy and I thought that maybe we would be ok.

The wedding photographers took this great photo of me dancing with my hubby

The wedding photographers took this great photo of me dancing with my hubby

Saturday we went to another wedding. I seem to have “popped” over the week, and when I pulled out my red dress, it looked perfect on my little baby bump. I happily wore it to the wedding–looking noticeably pregnant. And the dress still made me feel beautiful and sexy (and multiple people told me how hot I looked).

It’s amazing how much has changed in the months since that last wedding. This dress signified for me just how far we have come–where we were and how blessed we are to be where we are. I will never forget the pain of our losses. And I will never stop being grateful for this miracle–even in the midst of daily headaches and weekly migraines.

Here is the red dress, showing off my 17 week bump:

17 weeks pregnant

Sorry for the dirty mirror bathroom selfie



Now that I’m pregnant, I feel like I need some big event or a total anxious breakdown or something to write a blog post. One of the things I’m learning is that this step of our journey is a lot like other steps because there is a lot of waiting. With four weeks in between appointments, there is not much to update beyond my expanding waistline and the pregnancy symptoms that you could just read about on any of the countless pregnancy websites. I don’t want my posts to start looking like bumpdates, but I want to write because I know how frustrating it can be when a pregnant infertile disappears from blogland. So I’m going to try to post regularly, but I’m also going to try to keep it personal. We’ll see how it goes.

One of the many weird things about pregnancy is all of the vivid dreams. Due to all of the hormones and the fact that you are sleeping lighter, you have crazy dreams, and someone like me who doesn’t tend to remember her dreams starts to remember them. In my case, I sometimes remember them so well that I mistake dreams for actual memories, like when I was absolutely sure that hubby and I met a politician who is running for local office. I still have a hard time believing that didn’t actually happen, but the facts that I don’t remember any specific details about the moment and hubby has assured me on multiple occasions that it never occurred have me convinced that I’m just a crazy pregnant lady who is totally losing her grip on reality. This is not an isolated event either–I often have to ask myself during the day: did that memory really happen or did I just dream it?

The previous times I’ve been pregnant, I would have a recurring dream where I would give birth, and they would take the baby from me. No matter what I did, I couldn’t find my baby, and I couldn’t get it back. You don’t have to be a genius to interpret that one. But I haven’t had baby dreams with this pregnancy until Wednesday morning. I dreamt that I told my Papa that I’m pregnant, and he was so happy and so excited. He had a big smile on his face and gave me a huge hug. Then I told him that we are going to name the baby after him if he’s a boy. It was such a perfect, joyous moment, and I was so, so happy. And then I woke up. And I remembered that my Papa died a few months after hubby and I got married. I miss him. I want to talk to him like I did in my dream, and I want him to share in the joy we are experiencing right now. It was so real, and I was so heartbroken when I realized that it was only a dream.

Like I said before, I usually don’t remember my dreams. I would just wake up in the middle of the night feeling a really strong emotion–I would be terrified or incredibly sad, but I couldn’t remember why. Now I’m sad because I do remember.



Second Trimester


As of Saturday, I am officially in the second trimester. I’ve been trying to put together a coherent post for awhile now, and it doesn’t seem to be happening, so I bring you bullet points:

  • I have not felt like puking since Tuesday. While I feel infinitely grateful that I did not get the horrible, constantly puking sickness that some of my friends had while pregnant, I am also glad to no longer be in the feeling-too-sick-to-do-anything-but-well-enough-to-feel-guilty-about-laying-on-the-couch-all-day stage.
  • Saturday was the last day for my progesterone pills, and I now can truly understand the fear that some of my fellow bloggers talked about when they stopped taking them. It just feels wrong to stop taking something that has helped keep my baby alive up to this point. I don’t even have a bunch leftover to take for peace of mind.
  • We are now out. We started telling people on Father’s Day (13wks) when hubby wore a “Never fear, Dad is here” t-shirt to the church picnic. It was scary to start openly telling everyone, but hubby had so much fun–I’m so glad that I didn’t let my fear rob him of that experience. The reactions were great–it usually started with a confused look, then a “Oh, you guys got placed with the adoption?,” then squealing and jumping up and down. The amount of love that we have received in the last week or so has been staggering.
  • We took announcement photos with a good friend of ours, and it was so much fun. I realized as we were playing around and trying different things that it was the first time we had done something fun that involved pregnancy. I’ve been pregnant six times, and no fun. Hubby put on his fancy fire uniform (which he looks sooooo good in), and we went to his volunteer department and took pictures in front of/inside the truck. We had a onesie with a fire truck on it and one of our ultrasound pictures that we used as props–as well as various pieces of hubby’s fire gear. The pictures turned out amazing, and I made a collage that said “Tiny (Our Last Name Here) On Duty Dec. 2014” that is hanging on our fridge and the fridges of our families.
  • Now that I am feeling better, I no longer have an excuse to avoid The Room. You should all know what I’m talking about. When we bought our house and the world was rainbows and butterflies and we were going to get pregnant immediately, we labeled one of the rooms the nursery. Then, for over two years we have avoided that room and treated it like an oversized junk closet. Whenever we clean, and there is something I don’t know what to do with or I don’t want to deal with something, I will literally open the door to that room, toss the item in, and quickly shut the door. You couldn’t even walk into it, but hubby and I finally buckled down and started working on it yesterday. Now, as the spouse who is staying home all summer with the intentions of reading for her M.A. exam and cleaning out the house, I must continue the work we started. Good vibes appreciated because I am a hopeless pack rat and I hate cleaning out stuff.

I guess that’s the biggest news for now. Bullet points seemed to help, I may lean more towards those in the coming weeks. I know I owe you a post about my midwife, and I promise I will post one. Eventually.


Seeing Our Baby

Sorry I’ve taken so long to update on my appointments last week. The truth is that I created this blog to cope with IF and loss because writing everything out helps me process and deal with it. Now that there are good things happening, I don’t even know how to approach them.

Monday started with me waking up at 3:00 in the morning and staring at the ceiling for two hours before I finally just gave up and got in the shower. We picked up my mom on the way to the OB, and we got there almost a half hour before my 7:30 appointment which actually turned out great because I was the first one on the sign-in sheet and we really didn’t have to wait at all–beyond waiting for the place to open.

Everything looked great at the ultrasound. Baby was kicking and moving and freaking out which was just amazing. My mom cried, but I just stared in awe the entire time, while occasionally laughing when the baby would kick out really hard. I seriously can’t wait to feel those little feet moving inside of me. It was so surreal to be having this ultrasound–especially after everything we’ve been through. The first thing I did was look for the heartbeat–it’s the first thing I always do, and I was panicked because the heart is so small now compared to the rest of the baby that it is not as immediately noticeable. When you are six weeks along, it’s like half the baby is the heartbeat, and you really can’t miss it when you are looking, but with each ultrasound, it looks smaller and smaller as the baby grows. But it was there, and it was beating. I don’t remember the exact number, but it was in the 150’s.

The tech even said that she could tell us the gender, which really surprised me because I thought 12 wks 2 days was way too early. I guess the super duper  ultrasound machine at the high risk OB is just crazy good enough to tell, but it didn’t matter anyway because we aren’t finding out the gender. That’s another post for another time.

After the appointment, we went to eat with my mom and went home for an hour. I took a nap because I was exhausted and dealing with a serious adrenaline drop that comes after a good appointment. Then we headed out to our midwife’s office, which is a little over an hour from our house. It’s a bit of a bummer that we have to drive so far to appointments, but I didn’t care for the midwives I spoke to who are based in our town. I think I’m going to save the midwife appointment for another post because there is so much information, but I will just say that I loved her and her assistant, and we are both sooo excited to be working with both of them!


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