Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

What a Difference a Year Makes

Almost a year ago (it will be a year on Tuesday) I woke up full of excitement and apprehension. I went into the bathroom and peed on a stick, and a few minutes later, I saw my first positive pregnancy test. I immediately ran into the bedroom and told hubby. There was so much joy, excitement, and laughter. We immediately called our families and celebrated the fact that our 9 month long journey of trying to get pregnant was over and we were finally going to be parents. As you all know, that joy ended in blood, pain, and sadness only a few days later.

A lot has happened in the year since that first BFP. A lot of terrible things: miscarriages, Crohn’s, and feelings of hopelessness. Also a lot of wonderful things: growth, a new support system, and love.

Tuesday morning I woke up with a sense of peace and certainty. I went into the bathroom and peed on a stick, and a few minutes later, I saw a faint second line. I continued my normal morning routine and told hubby right before I left. We exchanged a knowing look and a shy smile and then left to go to work as usual. Needless to say, it was a much different experience from my first BFP.

Tuesday was 11 DPO, and I got a squinter on my DG cheapy. I tested again yesterday on another DG test and got a much darker line. So far, this whole experience has been so different from my other three pregnancies. With the exception of a few moments where panic started to bubble up, I’ve been calm. I’ve also been positive, removing the word “if” from my vocabulary. Only a week ago, I prayed so earnestly for God to grant me some peace and to calm the storm inside of me, and my prayers have been answered ten-fold. I honestly believe this will be our take-home baby–our miracle child that will show the world that God can bring beauty from ashes and grant a child to a couple who had all but given up. I am hanging on to faith, hope, and love and trusting that they will get us through the next eight months. I am trusting God to protect this child. I am trusting this child to fight for life. In an expression of self kindness, I am trusting my body to nurture this child. And I’m not ending this with a statement about how I reserve the right to change my mind and freak out–when my trust runs out, I will pray for more and it will be given to me.

Instead of super excited phone calls to family, hubby and I spent the last two days asking close friends to be in prayer. We covet the prayers of those who love us, and I consider this community to be included in that group. Please, be in prayer for us and our child. Please pray for life.

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TWW and Kindness Friday Part III

After months of missing the big O because of hubby being sick and some weirdness in my cycles, I am officially one week into the two week wait. I feel like this is our first full-hearted attempt since my last pregnancy, and as much as I make excuses about why we couldn’t really try each month, I think the truth was that I wasn’t ready. I want a baby, but I wasn’t ready for the emotional roller coaster that is TTC, and as much as I hope and pray that our next baby will be our rainbow, I have to acknowledge the very real possibility that I could have another mc and I couldn’t face that possibility. Now, I’m ready to try. I’m ready to hope. I’m ready to risk great heartache for a chance for our rainbow. I’m ready to hurry up and wait I have begrudgingly resigned myself to waiting.

Whenever we aren’t trying or I’m not currently in the TWW, I always think that it’s not that bad–I can stay calm and be patient and stick to my POAS plan. Seriously, I’m an intelligent, reasonable person, and I can conquer the TWW with grace and sanity. Then, starting just a few days after ovulation, I feel the desperate need to start peeing on all the things. No matter what I’m doing, the upcoming peestick day and everything it represents (the possibility of a baby growing in my ute, the possibility of another mc, the possibility of our lives being forever changed) is always in the back of my mind. The harder I fight it and try to stay calm, the more forcefully it drives itself into the forefront of my thoughts. It’s ridiculous.

So, in an attempt to distract myself from obsessing about the current state of my ute, I’m going to spend the next week doing things that I enjoy and will leave me feeling content and empowered. Let’s think of it as a whole week of kindness that will keep me mentally (and possibly physically?) happy and healthy. Here are some of the things I plan on doing over the weekend and during the evenings next week:

  • I would like to spend as much time as possible outside. I haven’t posted about it, but hubby and I have been busy little bees getting a garden ready for this summer. First, we built a fence to keep out the pup, then we built two raised beds, and two potato towers. We also used the extra lumber from our fence to make some small boxes for me to grow herbs. Now that it looks like we have had our last frost (I hope), I’m ready to plant some seeds and some of the seedlings that we have been growing in our house. I absolutely love the feeling of the dirt under my hands and watching the miracle of life coming from these tiny seeds. It really builds up my self esteem and also makes me feel more connected to God. Unfortunately, it is supposed to rain all weekend, but that’s ok because I have a back-up plan:
  • I’ve been spending some time lately reading blogs and watching youtube videos on how to make my own cloth pads and panty liners.  I spent my winter knitting, and now that it is summer, I am ready to start sewing again! Sewing makes me feel so calm and empowered–it’s like the whole world disappears for awhile, and there is nothing but the whir of my machine. Also, wearing something that I made is an incredible feeling! I’m planning on taking aspects that I like from different patterns and products and meshing them into a super awesome hybrid that’s just for me :o)  I know it may seem silly to make these during my TWW, but maybe I can jinx myself into pregnancy…
  • Over the past few months, I have slacked on my reading and replaced it with watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Netflix. In the past week or so, I have worked on remedying that and revisiting my “to read” list. I’ve started a pretty hefty epic fantasy series called that Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson, and I’ve enjoyed it so far. I’ve almost finished the first book, and it feels really good to lose myself in a series again, which I haven’t really done since I finished reading the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin (can I mention that he needs to hurry up with the next book?). I’m also doing daily bible readings (following the OWNit365 plan), and reading different nonfiction works, like those by C. S. Lewis.
  • The last thing I want to concentrate on is spring cleaning. I’ve gotten a little bit of a head start, but there is still plenty to be done–we bought a fairly large house with the intention of filling it with children (because we are responsible and couldn’t possibly start trying before we had a place to put a baby), so there is lots to clean. Once the nice weather hits, I actually enjoy cleaning–opening all the windows and smelling the fresh air while I organize, sort, scrub, and fold.

So that’s it. My be-kind-to-myself-by-attempting-to-salvage-my-sanity-during-the-TWW plan. What do you think?

Also, here is a bonus picture of our little Molly hanging out in one of the raised beds before we filled it with dirt. She’s not so little anymore!

Our sweet little furbaby!

Our sweet little furbaby!

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The POAS Plan

Today is 8 DPO, and I am resisting the urge to pee on all the things. I would like to hold out until 10 DPO because I’ve gotten a BFP on that day with two different pregnancies so I think it’s a pretty safe pee day, but it’s just so hard to resist. So today I thought I would share my “wait until 10 DPO to pee on a stick” plan. I’ve been following this two-part plan for nine or ten months, and it seems to work for me:

1. No peesticks in the house. If I have them, I will pee on them. Some people like to stock up on HPT’s, but I’ve discovered that I loose all self control when I have a stack of them in my house. Instead, I will purchase them on my way home from work the day before I test and try to hold out until the next day so I can use FMU. Sometimes that doesn’t work and I just hold my pee for a few hours that night, but I do try to wait until morning.

2. Use cheap dollar store peeticks until I get a BFP, then switch to digital for confirmation. We often have friends ask us how we manage to survive on the amount of money we make, and the answer is that we are really cheap. I just can’t justify the price of fancy peesticks because I feel guilty wasting the money, and hubby gets upset (he never actually says that it upsets him, but I can tell he’s annoyed). So I always start with dollar store cheapies, which works out great. I’ve always gotten my BFP a few days before my period is due when using them, and I don’t feel bad about wasting money if it’s negative. I actually have a system where I hoard dollars and save them to buy peesticks. If I want to buy something cheap that I don’t need, like a soda or candy bar, I ask myself if I’m willing to sacrifice one of my peestick dollars for it. The answer is usually no because I love my peesticks. Once I get a squinter, however, I allow myself to use a digital HPT so I don’t drive myself crazy analyzing the lines.

That’s it. It’s a simple plan but it works. It keeps me from testing way too early which will stress me out and waste our money. I have two dollars stashed in my wallet, so I will buy two tests at the dollar store on my way home tomorrow and hopefully get a BFP on Friday, which is 10 DPO.

Does anyone else have a method for testing?

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TTC Pregnancy #4–Cycle #1

If you think this post seems terribly apathetic, that’s because it is. That’s where I am right now. Bear with me, I’m hoping it will pass soon…

For the first time since August, I am officially in the two week wait. I wrote awhile back about how I felt stuck, and you would think that starting TTC again would help me feel like I’m achieving some forward motion. Unfortunately, that is not the case. I had a rough New Years. I have a very vivid memory of going on vacation with my very pregnant friend and our husbands on New Years last year. I remember crying to my husband because I wasn’t pregnant yet. Sure, we had only been trying for 4-5 months, but I had this gut feeling that something was wrong and we would never have a baby. It’s been a year since that moment, and we are essentially in the same place. So TTC may seem like progress, but we started TTC well over a year ago,  I’ve been pregnant three times, and the end result is that we’re in the same place we were last year.  You could even say that we’ve backtracked a little because now we have  more heartache and less hope. I’m fairly certain I won’t feel like we are moving forward until I am solidly into a viable pregnancy or we move on and start the paperwork and classes for the foster adoption plan–Plan H (seriously, there are only so many letters in the alphabet).

I’m not really holding my breath for this cycle because hubby and I haven’t been particularly diligent in our baby-making efforts. The timing wasn’t perfect–we had sex around the general time of ovulation, but we might have missed the exact window. Hubby hasn’t been feeling well (he’s going to the doctor tomorrow to figure out what could be up with his stomach), and I have stayed true to my promise of not pressuring him when he doesn’t want to. I didn’t even tell him when I was ovulating because I didn’t want to upset him or stress him out by making him think that he has to have sex with me. So we are basically only having sex when we feel like it and I’ve been watching for ovulation and hoping that he feels like it at the right time. It’s not really the perfect recipe for baby-making, but at this point, our relationship and hubby’s emotional health is much more important to me.

Even though I make it sound like I was tricking hubby by not telling him when I was ovulating, he is fully up to date and well aware that I am in the TWW. He also knows the official POAS date: Friday the 12th. I’ve been taking my progesterone in the evenings and I have enough to make it until Thursday before I need to refill it which is perfect because I think Friday is 14 DPO. So I’ll take a HPT on Friday morning, and if it is positive, I’ll refill my prescription that day. Then I will follow the “BFP Plan” that I have comprised over the past four months since my last mc. I’m planing on posting about it in detail tomorrow, so be sure to check back in, because you know you are on the edge of your seats.

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My love/hate relationship with BFPs

I really wanted to TTC this cycle, and I am so ready to be a mommy. The longer this entire process takes, the more sure I am that I am called to be a mommy and love on my children like crazy. Starting out, I was nervous about having kids and unsure about how good of a mother I would be, but that feeling has shrunk with every cycle that has passed until it was basically gone. Now I know that I will be a good mommy and that is one of my deepest desires right now. There is only one problem:

I am terrified of BFPs.

I am stuck in a weird place: AF or a BFN will make me sad and a BFP will make me scared. The first time I got a BFP, I was elated. Hubby and I were jumping up and down and smiling like morons and so sure that all of the worries we had faced TTC were finally over! I still had a small nagging fear that we weren’t out of the woods yet and something could still go wrong, but I don’t think it was any worse than any other freshly pregnant woman. I told myself I would feel better after my first appointment when the midwife assures me that I am actually pregnant and the baby is healthy, but I never made it to that first appointment. I had a miscarriage with a traumatizing ER experience. I was devastated, but I was also filled with hope–I can get pregnant! Everything I had read and heard said that one mc does not suggest another one and there was no reason why we couldn’t have a perfectly healthy pregnancy after the mc, so we started trying again immediately. Another BFP. I felt a little relieved knowing that the last pregnancy wasn’t a fluke, I can actually get pregnant, but I was filled with anxiety about this little one inside of me. I remained distant from this pregnancy, afraid to get too attached, and I miscarried before my first appointment again. In some ways, it’s probably a better that I mc’d before my appointment and didn’t have a first appointment filled with joy and hope before losing our little one, but anyone who has had a mc knows you become a mommy the minute you see that second line.

In my last post, I talked about how I feel like this isn’t our month and I’m not pregnant. Honestly, I think I’m just afraid of another BFP. I want to be pregnant with a healthy baby and then give birth and have a healthy child, but part of me just wants to skip the initial BFP part of the process. Seeing those two lines that mock me with hope, calling the birth center to make a first prenatal appointment again, feeling a rush of panic at every twinge and tweak in my body (indigestion or mc?), scrutinizing my pantyliner for any sign of blood every time I go to the bathroom, needing support but not wanting to announce my pregnancy, etc. It’s exhausting. Part of me feels like I shouldn’t be trying again if I’m not in a place where I can handle another mc, but seriously, who is ever in that place? I am ready to be pregnant. I am ready to be a mommy. I’m not ready for another mc, and at this point in my life, I would rather have AF or a BFN than lose another one. How do you reconcile this with TTC? I haven’t quite figured that out yet–these are some pretty complicated/conflicting emotions and I’m not sure how to sort through them right now.

AF is due sometime today or tomorrow. Or she might be much later because the progesterone might lengthen my luteal phase. So at what point do I POAS? The birth center is closed on Fridays, so if I POAS tomorrow and get a BFP, I can go ahead and call to set up my appointment early next week. If I POAS anytime after tomorrow, I’ll have to wait until Monday to call if there is a BFP. I don’t know. I don’t have any HPTs in the house right now (I do that on purpose to reduce the temptation), so I’m still trying to decide if I will buy some on the way home tonight. I probably won’t make that decision until I’m pulling out of the parking lot.

That zen feeling I had yesterday? Gone. Replaced with a nauseating fear that I will get a BFP and go through another mc. I  feel like this is weird–most women are afraid of seeing a BFN or AF, but right now I only know one end result to a BFP and I can’t handle it right now.

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