Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It was a . . .

Back in the summer when we underwent genetic testing and met with a counselor to determine the specific chromosomal abnormalities that caused our miscarriage, I asked the counselor if the tests showed the sex of our lost fetus.  She indicated that information was available, and at our request sent us a copy of the results in a sealed envelope, in case we ever wanted to know that information.  At the time we received it, Hubby didn't want to open it.  I knew I wanted to know one day, but at that point my heart was still in a million broken pieces, so I wasn't sure the timing was right either.  So, we've kept the sealed envelope in a drawer, close at hand.

From time to time I'd think of the envelope, and at one point later in the summer I decided that I'd like to open the envelope around the time our baby was due, December 25th.  We were upstate with family for Christmas Eve & Christmas Day, so that timing wasn't appropriate -- I wanted to unseal the information in private.  I also didn't know how I'd react.  But, over the past couple weeks I made up my mind that I wanted to open it before the year ended.  I know there are so many things I have in my life to be thankful for, and I want to make a conscious effort to focus on those in 2014.  I thought by opening the envelope before the year ended, I could try to bring some closure to the situation, and try not to focus so hard on what we've lost.

* * *

Back in May, even before I miscarried, I had a strong feeling that our baby was a girl.  I can't recall what initially led me to believe I'd soon be carrying a bundle of pink in my arms, but I think it was a random dream.  Then, when we vacationed in the Dominican Republic for our anniversary and received a little parting gift from our hotel of a faceless girl figurine, my feelings became stronger.  When I first saw that little faceless girl, I was convinced it symbolized the baby growing inside of me.  And, after our miscarriage when I came home and saw the little faceless girl in a blue dress and hat, I just knew she represented the baby we'd never meet.

* * *

Well, it turns out I was completely wrong.  The little baby we lost back in June was a boy.  Our lost boy.  I'll never forget him, and always wonder what he could have grown up to be.  But the truth is, I'll never know.


My Little Angel

I never got to hold you,
Or kiss your little head
Or watch you sleeping soundly,
All snuggled in your bed.

I can't count your tiny fingers,
Or you even smaller toes
I won't see your smile,
Or your cute little button nose.

I know you are in heaven,
Where there is no pain or tears.
You'll never get hurt or sick,
In heaven there are no fears

And though I'm sad you're not here right now
For us to hold today
I know we'll hold you in our arms
When we're in heaven with you someday

© April Westlake

Obviously a part of me is still very sad, and I am sure I'll always wish for my angel baby.  But I am also grateful to have found out this information.  I have no idea why, but knowing this little tidbit of information, although it doesn't change a thing really, has brought me a tiny bit of closure.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Exercise During Pregancy

I was a Zumba lover before I got pregnant.  Work would sometimes get in the way of me making it to a class, but there were periods over the past 1-2 years where I would Zumba consistently 2 times a week, sometimes 3 if I could squeeze in a weekend class!!!  The rule with exercise during pregnancy seems to be that if you did it before, you can likely safely do it during pregnancy.  I remember one of my favorite Zumba teachers shimmying throughout her pregnancy, up until about a month before she delivered!  I remember thinking she was amazing and hoped that I'd be able to do prego Zumba too!

Alas, here I am, nearly 19 weeks pregnant and only having gone to the gym a measly ONCE so far.  October 13 seems so long ago.... though I can still remember very clearly the nausea I felt when I got off the elliptical machine that day...  It seems like it hasn't let up since then!  ;)

Well, couch potato no more!  Hubby and I went to the gym together today!  {He really has been the one guilting encouraging me to go back for weeks, since all the pregnancy books try to trick you into believing that once the first trimester is in the rear view mirror so is the fatigue and nausea...}

I walked for 30 minutes on the treadmill and then did about 2 sets of 10 bicep curls on each arm using a 5 pound dumbbell before I had to call it quits.  Although I drank a full 16 ounce bottle of water while walking and didn't walk too fast or on too steep of an incline, I somehow wound up feeling pretty crappy by the time I left.  I had a little of a cramp in my side {possibly from the water, though I made sure to sip it slowly} and couldn't even bring myself to lift each arm another 10 reps.  I was a little disappointed, but I guess that's not too bad for my first visit back to the gym in over 2.5 months.  Let's hope it's not another 11 weeks before I make it back again...

I really want to work on some more arm toning and definitely some stretching and other prego-friendly exercises over the next few months.  There are a number of benefits to exercising during pregnancy.  They say that having a baby is like running a marathon, and there's noooooo way on God's green earth I'd ever be able to do the latter, so I'm thinking I need to prepare as best as I can with my remaining "training time" to make it through the delivery!!!   Plus, some studies show that pregnant women who exercise and/or stay fit have shorter labors.  Yes, please!

The Bump website has a pretty handy exercise workout guide {click here} that I'm going to *try* to use for the remaining few months of my pregnancy.
Source: The Bump
Hubby also got me a great workout video for my birthday that I'm going to give a shot, too.  {Even though my current work-out clothes may or may not look like skin on bologna...}

Here's to more exercise in 2014!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Missing Our Baby

December 25th was the due date of our first baby, making this Christmas emotionally difficult for me.  I know I should be happy that we're currently pregnant again and have a new due date to look forward to, and I absolutely am -- but that doesn't erase the great sadness I still feel, thinking of our baby that was never meant to be and wishing instead that we were about to welcome him or her into the world.  When the doctors first calculated my due date as December 25th I was ecstatic that of all the days in the year our due date was Christmas Day!  I couldn't believe our luck, and couldn't possible have imagined or asked for a more perfect day to look toward.  Over and over I thought to myself what a true gift of love that baby would be!

Hearing Christmas carols on the radio and hanging stockings up by our fireplace brought back a lot of the feelings I felt back when I first miscarried and realized I'd never meet our first baby, and it's been a bit harder than I thought it would be to get into the Christmas spirit this year.  While I know I have so much to be grateful for in my life -- certainly more than I could even list on a blog -- some days it's hard not to focus on what we lost with that pregnancy.  Needless to say, this Christmas has been bittersweet... celebrating a new pregnancy while still mourning my first pregnancy. 

It might seem strange to miss a person I've never met, but I do.  I really do.  Especially during the past few weeks, when I'd once imagined I'd be preparing to meet my baby or possibly even have gotten the chance to snuggle him or her first the first time.

I wish all of you a Merry Christmas, and send lots of hugs to everyone out there missing a loved one.  The holidays can be merry and bright, but they can also be hard when you're missing the ones you love.

"Miss You Most (At Christmas Time)"
The fire is burning
The room's all aglow
Outside the December wind blows
Away in the distance
The carolers sing in the snow
Everybody's laughing
The world is celebrating
And everyone's so happy
Except for me tonight

I miss you
Most at Christmas time
And I can't get you
Get you off my mind
Every other season comes along
And I'm all right
But then I miss you
Most at Christmas time

I gaze out the window
This cold winters' night
At all of the twinkling lights
Alone in the darkness
Remembering when you were mine
Everybody's smiling
The whole world is rejoicing
And everyone's embracing
Except for you and I

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Pregnancy Announcements

When I first realized we'd {hopefully} be past the 16 week mark around the time our Christmas cards went out this year, I had a thought -- what if we sent out Christmas cards + Pregnancy announcements combined in one?!?!  I did what I normally do, and turned to Google for inspiration.  Let me tell you, there are some very cute pregnancy Christmas cards out there!!!  Here are a few of my faves:


Since hubby has been waiting to share our news with some of his extended family in person though, we decided against this route, in favor of inserting little announcement poems into regular Christmas greeting cards for the people who already knew or who we wanted to tell via card.  Here are the 3 different poems we used:

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way...
Oh what fun it is to say "a baby's on the way”!!!

Someone tiny and very dear, will join our family in the coming year! With great joy, we are excited to announce that we’re expecting a baby in May!

Our family of two will soon become three… in May 2014 we’ll be adding a baby to our family tree!

The reactions from people who have already gotten their cards are so sweet.  :)  Spreading happy news is fun!!  I feel bad that the people in Hubby's extended family didn't get a poem with their card, but we have a few fun announcements planned for them later this week -- wish us luck!

Friday, December 20, 2013

17 Weeks

On Sunday, December 15th we made it to the 17 week mark!

According to The Bump:

~ Baby continues to beef up.  She's now about 5.1 inches long and weighs about 5.9 ounces.
~ Her rubbery cartilage is now turning to bone.
~ And she's growing some meat on those bones -- putting on some fat.
~ She's growing a stronger, thicker umbilical cord, too.

That all sounds like good progress to me!!!

I am definitely sporting a more noticeable baby bump these days:

Unfortunately, I'm still patiently anxiously waiting for the nausea and what I call "puke burps" {sorry for being gross!} to let up, but at this point I'm losing hope that they will...   I don't mean to complain in a bad way -- if puke burps bring us a healthy baby I will gladly continue dealing with them -- it's just been really hard to try to function as a "normal" human and get anything done {at work or at home} feeling this way almost all day, most days.  There is just so much I need to do {Christmas is in 5 days, AHHHH!}, and while Shep has been working overtime at being an absolute CHAMP picking up a LOT of my slack, I'm feeling a bit frustrated that I'm not making any progress on all the things I want to be doing {including keeping this blog much more up to date than I have been!} while time is passing by so quickly!

This week I had 2 holiday parties to attend: a team party at my manager's home in Brooklyn on Tuesday night and then our company party on Wednesday night.  I've honestly been dreading both of them, because my nausea is always way worse in the late afternoons and evenings.  I must have had a stroke of good luck though this week because I actually felt pretty good at both parties!  On Tuesday night especially I didn't feel like I was dragging myself around, didn't feel nauseous at the party, and had a good time!  We even stayed for the whole party!  I did stay up WAY too late though, and woke up on Wednesday morning regretting my lack of sleep.  Wednesday afternoon I felt really icky but by the time the company party rolled around at 7pm I felt okay to go.  I put on my new maternity dress from Target, and had a good time...

I only stayed for about 2 hours, but I made an effort and that's what counts!  Thursday morning I woke up so tired though that I actually felt hungover -- bizarre seeing as I haven't had a drop of alcohol in months!!!  Getting through the work day yesterday was a bit tough, so I took today off.... TGIF!  :)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Team Blue or Team Pink?

One of the first things almost every person has asked when they found out we're expecting, after "When are you due?" is...

"Are you going to find out early whether 
you're having a boy or a girl?"

And the answer is..... nope!  We're going to wait until the delivery to be surprised!

A lot of people have found our response surprising!  Especially in this day and age, when almost everyone I know finds out as soon as possible, I get it's a bit unusual that we're choosing to wait it out.  One of my favorite replies was from a co-worker who proclaimed:  "You?!  Preparation Patty??  You're not going to find out???"  I got a real kick out of that.  I'll be one of the first to admit it -- there is a part of me that is very organized, detail-oriented to a fault, and possibly a bit of a control freak.

But here's the thing -- on the flip side there is a HUGE part of me that just loooooooves surprises.  I mean L.O.V.E.S.!!!  I was disappointed when I thought I'd figured out when and where my "surprise" bridal shower was {though oddly still was surprised when I walked in and saw all those people smiling at me -- even though my hunch was right!}.  A few years ago when I accidentally stumbled upon an unwrapped Christmas gift hubby had hidden from me, when looking for an extra blanket in November, I almost cried and got so mad at myself!  I'm the kind of person who keeps a wrapped gift box containing a piece of jewelry in my nightstand drawer for 6 months.  Yep, you read that correctly.  For our anniversary in May, Hubby bought me 2 gifts, which I thought was too much, so I only opened one of them and said I'd save the second gift for another time.  A couple weeks and then months passed and I told him not to get me anything for my birthday, and that I'd open the second box then.  Well, my birthday came and Hubby had bought me something else, so I decided to wait until Christmas to open it.  Yes -- I voluntarily have decided not to open a whit bow-tied little blue Tiffany box, just because I love the suspense and thrill of knowing I have a forthcoming surprise!

So, although I'm absolutely curious to know whether we'll soon be parents to a baby boy or baby girl, for now we're staying Team Greenladies and gentlemen!!!

At least that's the current plan.  At 17.5 weeks we still have a little time to change our minds, but I don't think I'm going to change mine.  Hubby originally said he wanted to find out, and threatened to bribe the ultrasound tech to tell him without me knowing!  There's no way that he could keep that secret from me though, so that plan is not going to work.  ;)  While I'd certainly be willing to be convinced to see his side of things -- this is his kid too! -- when I pressed him to share with me any good arguments he had why we should find out the baby's sex before the birth, he didn't really have anything convincing {sorry, Hubby!}.  He said he was 50% sure he wanted to find out early but I'm about 90% sure I want to wait, so I think the math works out in my favor for the moment...

I recently saw a post on a message board, advising a mom who was asking whether she should find out her baby's gender, that said:  Do you shake wrapped presents? If no, stay team green.

That seems like very fitting advice for me!  ;)  Team Green we are!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Equal Opportunity Parenting

I came across the below video today and couldn't help but share it further.  The story depicted provides such a sweet and inspirational message, for parents and children alike.  Before you watch it, let me just say that I was definitely sniffling at my desk when I first saw it .... so you might want to grab some tissues before pressing play!

It's really amazing how the world can change if you start looking at it through a different lens.  And who doesn't want everything to "look like a giant cupcake"?!?!

We should ALL strive to be both nurturing AND brave.  I'm filing this one under "parenting advice" for sure...

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

15 Weeks

15 Weeks!

Hello.  It's the husband and father-to-be with another update.   Our little apple (I got the fruit right this time) is about 4 inches long!  Nicole is still struggling with morning sickness (which I now understand is a complete misnomer-- it should be "all the time sickness") and general fatigue.  The books I read all say this should be on the wane but not yet for us.  Hopefully soon?

Anyway, we told Nicole's extended family at Thanksgiving about our apple.  We surprised them.  Nicole said she wanted to have a "family picture" that I would take.  When everyone was posed I counted down and said "Everyone say 'Nicole is Pregnant'"! (instead of "cheese").  Most of her family was shocked and Nicole's 91 year old grandmother put her hands on her head and said "Oh my God!".  Then she told me: "It's about time."  

The Holidays are approaching so that's more announcements to make.  Spreading good cheer indeed!
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