Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

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.


Let’s Start at the Very Beginning…

Earlier this year we were moving on to adoption, and we were excited. But there was this little nagging voice in my head that kept reminding me of the Metanx that the doctor had prescribed for my MTHFR mutation, and I kept asking myself if we really wanted to move on before we tried everything. To be completely honest, I really didn’t think it would work. I was convinced that I couldn’t have kids and that I needed to start trying to accept that fact. But I had this compulsion to try. We talked about it multiple times and were basically very indecisive about trying again so we just stopped preventing to take the pressure of the choice out of our hands.

March 29th we went to Atlanta to surprise a friend for his birthday. We drove down early so we could walk around Ikea (because Ikea is a wonderful, magical place), and when I went to the bathroom, I noticed a lot of EWCM. About an hour later I felt intense ovulation pain in my left side and I remembered the time hubby and I had spent together the night before. I had no idea when my last period was because I hadn’t been keeping track of my cycle at all–it was a complete coincidence that I noticed ovulation. So I said a little prayer that whatever was best for us would happen and I wondered if there was a little soul developing inside of me.

When I bought a test 11 days later, I was not wishing for a particular result. After five losses, BFPs sort of lose their magic and are potentially scarier than they are exciting. But there it was: that second line. In my mind, I really thought of it as our last chance. I was convinced that I would look into some sort of long-term birth control if this one didn’t work out. I called and ordered the Metanx and paid extra for faster shipping. You are probably thinking that we should have already ordered it, but I don’t think I can describe the crippling indecision we had. We desperately wanted to be able to have a baby but actually making a firm decision to try again after five losses…it felt irresponsible. It made me feel like a stupid child who keeps touching the stove even though she keeps getting burned. So I didn’t order anything. I didn’t plan anything. I just had sex with my husband when I felt like it and prayed that the right path would be revealed to us because we had no idea which way to turn.

Actually ordering the Metanx turned into a huge ordeal that was unbelievably (and unnecessarily) stressful.  When I ordered the pills, I was very specific with the person I spoke to. I asked her multiple times how large the package is and I had her confirm multiple times that it would be delivered to my mailbox and not to my front porch. She assured me that the pills come in a small package and would be placed in my mailbox. Two days later, we come home to find pieces of package and a mutilated pill bottle in our yard and a large pile of dog puke on the driveway. They delivered it to the porch and Jack Jack ate them. Some people just can’t catch a break. Those people are us. In their defense, the company overnighted another bottle to me free of charge and even made a note to make sure it was delivered to the mailbox (but we still put the dogs up that day just to be safe). So I eventually got the pills and started taking them, unsure if it was too late or they would even work.

Coming soon: our first two appointments, the complicated emotions that come with pregnancy after loss, and the hunt for a midwife

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Coming Out

I’ll just come out and say it: I’m pregnant. To be exact, I’m 10 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I’ve avoided posting about it for two reasons. First, there were some other things that I wanted to write about first. Also, there are a couple of people who know me in real life that know about this blog and I wasn’t ready for that yet. That being said, if you know me in real life, please keep this news under wraps and let me announce when I’m ready. You are welcome to talk to me about it, but just don’t talk to others about it.

But I ultimately decided to break the silence because I really need this community. I have wonderful family and a few friends who know and are so supportive, but they don’t understand like you do. They’ve never been in the trenches of loss.

For this post, I wanted to give you a quick overview of how things are going, and then I plan on writing a few posts about different moments in the last couple of months. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but everything has been going really well. I have had two perfect ultrasounds (one at 6 wks 2 days and another at 8 wks 2 days), and my doctor was positively giddy about how everything looked. I’m taking prenatals, prometrium, metanx (for mthfr mutation), and fish oil (a natural blood thinner because of my aspirin allergy), and this particular cocktail seems to be working. My next ultrasound is at 12 wks 2 days on June 9th. Waiting for that appointment has been the longest, most torturous wait of my life, but we are down to 11 sleeps at this point.

We are hopeful. Every once in awhile the panic starts to creep up, but this whole experience has been  much different from my other pregnancies. So we are nervous (read: terrified), but hopeful. Maybe the sixth time’s the charm.

Check back for some posts about the process thus far.


Stuck in the Middle

Going to the ultrasound today, I thought I was prepared for anything. I was prepared for disaster–for an empty sack, for a baby with no heartbeat, for an ectopic pregnancy. I was also prepared for a beautiful miracle where everything looked perfect.

I was not prepared to be stuck somewhere in the middle.

Today we saw a baby sitting high in my uterus that measured 6 weeks with a heartbeat of 83. Hubby is ecstatic that we saw a heartbeat, but I am wary of a baby measuring behind with a slow heartbeat. At the moment, I am forcing myself to stay away from Google and concentrate on each day as it comes and staying healthy and sane for our baby. I am supposed to go back in a week for a comparison ultrasound to see if the pregnancy is viable.

I’m still processing all of this, but I wanted to give you all an update.

Oh, and now is a good time for encouraging success stories. Ready, go.


Ultrasound Day

Well, I made it to ultrasound day. Honestly, I’m having a really hard time wrapping my head around that fact. Today I am 6wk6d pregnant, and I miscarried on 5w1d with my longest pregnancy so even making it to ultrasound day feels like a miracle.

I still have light, brown spotting, but there has been no cramping and I haven’t seen any red since that scary morning last week. I’m guessing that means either this pregnancy is perfectly normal, and I’m just one of those women who spot in first trimester, or this pregnancy has been doomed from the start and is only being sustained by my progesterone supplements. Either way, we’ll find out today.

I have been going back and forth between being so excited I can’t stand it and playing out worse-case-scenarios in my head. Yesterday the excitement was much stronger, but I would say that today is 50/50.

I’m spending my morning trying to stay busy and praying that we see a baby in the correct place, measuring on time, with a strong heartbeat. Some benign explanation for the spotting would be nice, too, but I’m not greedy.

I would appreciate extra prayers, good vibes, and thoughts around 3:45 EST. Four and a half more hours.


Stepping back…

…from the crazy ledge.

First, I want to say thank you to all of you wonderful, wonderful bloggers who left such kind and supportive comments on my last post. I can’t even tell you how much your words and prayers mean to me. I am doing much better now, and I attribute most of it to the support and prayers I’ve received.

I’ll start with hubby. Hubby’s fever had disappeared by the time he got to his appointment, and it has not reared its ugly head again, thank goodness. Dr. GI is still trying his best to get hubby’s pain under control without surgery because people with Crohn’s tend to have surgical complications (like adhesions) that lead to more surgeries, and once you start cutting, you may never go back. Hubby’s inflammation levels were back up at his appointment which means that the pain could be from inflammation instead of scarring (which is good–scarring means surgery), and since Dr. GI really doesn’t want hubby to go back on steroids, he prescribed an immunosuppressant drug to go with his Hum.ira. The idea is that the two drugs in combination can kick his Crohn’s into remission and then we can discuss a maintenance drug (possibly sticking with Hum.ira, we’ll see). Hubby seems to be doing a little better, which is normal because his pain has been pretty inconsistant lately. I’m just glad that the fever is gone and he isn’t going to have surgery. Yet. And I’m hoping that this new drug combo will help him.

After yesterday morning’s scary spotting episode, I have not seen anymore red. The spotting turned brown and tapered off through the day and has been negligible today (maybe four or five light brown drops), and my pregnancy symptoms are still present, so I’m going to continue on as pregnant until proven otherwise. We will know more on May 23rd when we have our ultrasound. Eight more sleeps. I can do this.

After hubby’s appointment yesterday, he picked me up at work to take me to lunch and I just sat and cried in his car for awhile. I think it was good for me–I haven’t let go like that yet during this pregnancy, and it was very cleansing to release some of that fear and anxiety. Note to self: crying can be a good thing–don’t fight it.

Continued prayers are appreciated. They have really encouraged me.


Thank You and an Update

Thank you so much for all of the lovely comments last week. I feel so supported and loved by all of you, and I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate your prayers. Please keep them coming. Just as a warning, this will be a pregnancy-heavy post, so feel free to skip it if you can’t handle it right now.

I’ve got a lot on my mind that I want to share, so I’m going to go with bullets so I don’t have to think as hard about making this post flow:

  • I’ll start by saying that I’m still pregnant, which is a pretty big deal for me. I had already miscarried by this point with my first two pregnancies, and once Saturday rolls around, it will be the longest I have ever been pregnant.
  • Symptoms are coming and going, but the one that has caught me by surprise and required the most adjustment is the insomnia. I’m a good sleeper who usually goes to bed early and sleeps until my alarm (and then hits the snooze button a few times). I’m also usually good about going back to sleep if I am woken up, but this has changed. Ever since 8 or 9 dpo, I wake up around 4:30 (a solid two hours before my alarm) every morning, and I will lay in bed awake for at least an hour if I wake up for any reason during the night. It’s a bit annoying, but I’m starting to adjust to it and try to take that time to pray, take deep breaths, and enjoy the fact that I am pregnant.
  • I called the birth center on Monday to get a refill on my progesterone. I really, really didn’t want to call yet, but I had to have my pills! I got to speak to the midwife directly, and we discussed my decision to forgo betas because I find them incredibly stressful and they won’t save my baby. She was totally cool with it but said that I could come get a blood draw at any time if I change my mind. We also scheduled an ultrasound for later this month so we can check the dates of the pregnancy and see the heartbeat. I will be 6w6d.
  • I’ve done a fairly good job of staying calm and not panicking, but the fear still bubbles up at times when my temp isn’t as high as I would like it to be or my symptoms subside for awhile. I talked myself down from the crazy ledge this morning by taking another test. The test line showed up immediately–before the pee even got to the control line, and then it got super dark.  So that was encouraging. I figure you have to be pretty darn pregnant to get that kind of result from a dollar store cheapy.

I guess that’s all for now. Just holding on to faith, hope, and love!



It is Well

This morning at church we sang “It is Well with my Soul,” and that made me feel a whole lot better:

When peace like a river attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well with my soul.

I’ve been so afraid to get excited and worried that I will wake up one morning and not be pregnant, but for now, I am pregnant. I know I will feel better after tomorrow because that is when I have my first appointment with my midwife. I’ve never actually made it to my first appointment before–since I had chemical pregnancies, they were over only a few days after I learned I was pregnant. I guess for that reason, I feel like actually making it to an appointment is a good sign. Unfortunately, hubby’s boss is out of town and he put hubby in charge of the shop while he is gone, so I’ll be on my own tomorrow–I would really appreciate it if everyone would send some positive thoughts and prayers in my direction around 2:15 EST.

Also, does it feel like fall to anyone else? There has been a noticeable shift in the weather here in East TN. We went for a mile long walk with Molly today, and I didn’t even break a sweat. I’m taking it as a good sign because I love autumn. Let’s just hope that fall pregnancies bring May rainbows.

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