Friday, April 29, 2011


My ticker says that today is the day; my countdown has ended.

And while I have reached the set scientific date of my child's birth, it doesn't look like we will be meeting our tiny human on Will and Kate's wedding anniversary after all. In fact, at yesterday's doctors appointment, we learned that our little miracle is avoiding progress by working it's way backwards.

Smart kid; this world's pretty messed up, so it's probably safer in my womb anyway.

Back at thirty-six weeks, I was told I was one centimeter dilated, sixty-to-seventy percent effaced, and baby was sitting at a negative three station. It was the perfect finding a month before my due date, and set me into my nesting frenzy. But then our next cervical check at thirty-eight weeks found us dilated one more centimeter-a generous two-fifty percent effaced, (yes, that's less effaced than the previous check) but baby had moved it's way down and engaged to a negative one station.

Two steps forward, one step back.

The doctor said that effacement-like everything else-is subjective at this point, and the position of the baby, the time of day, and a million other things can factor into why I seemed to be less effaced at that particular appointment, so I just rejoiced in the fact that baby had moved down and engaged, and let the rest go.

But at our thirty-nine week appointment, we were still two centimeters dilated, fifty percent effaced, and baby had moved it's way back up to a negative three station, where it remains today.

No steps forward, one more step back.

Again, the doctor just explained that these checks are at best subjective, and not to get discouraged because things are definitely moving along at this point.

It's a good thing I love being pregnant, or I may have lost my mind by now. I'm still setting in the minority of enjoying every second of carrying this child, though it's becoming difficult to paint my toenails, swelling has increased again and the weight gain is picking up suddenly after a long lull, but I still feel amazing.

My body is changing once again and I can feel the subtle differences, but I can't help but revel in the beauty of being a vessel to a new life. I've dreamed of this chapter in my life for years now, and knowing it could very well end at any moment makes me appreciate everything about this precious time I have to share with my child; time I will never get back.

Especially since my days are numbered.

I'm blessed to have a doctor who knows and respects how strongly I feel about having as natural a birth as possible, and he's willing to let me go up to a day short of forty-two weeks before giving our tiny human an eviction notice; but unless this child comes on his or her own before May 12th, they will be forced out.

After all this time and all infertility has robbed me of, I long for the experience of going into labor on my own, however painful and inconvenient it may be. There's nothing like choosing your child's birthday to suck the anticipation out of an infertiles dreams of having their first child, and it makes me sad to think that since this little one seems to be working it's way backwards into my womb instead of forwards, we may miss out on the excitement of the unknown birthday.

So my prayer is not only that this baby is and remains healthy, but that God allows the baby to come on it's own, and not on a doctors timeline. I so badly want to experience everything about this process, and I fully intend to avoid a planned trip to the hospital where I'd be hooked up to a pitocin drip to induce contractions while I'm strapped to a bed.

With that being said, however, I'm holding fast to the fact that this child is not my own. It always has and always will belong to God, and I have complete faith that nothing will happen throughout it's entire life without His complete approval, His perfect plan in place.

And even if that means my dreams of a natural, spontaneous, unplanned labor are shattered, I highly doubt my tiny humans arrival into this crazy world will be any less dramatic and perfect; especially since God's seems to like to go big or go home when it comes to His plans for our little family thus far.

So now, we wait.

Refusing to indulge in the old wives tales of controversial caster oil, painful nipple stimulation, greasy, spicy food and doing what got us here in the first place to the point of exhaustion-which, I remind those with this advise, for us is not the same method as it may have been for them-I'll instead continue to ignore the rising scale and pour my heart into daily cardio therapy, argue with my husband over the final name choices, and enjoy these last blessed moments as my own.

Because they are almost over.

And soon-within the limited realm of the next thirteen days-our prayers will have been answered on God's terms, and I will be holding a unmeasurable blessing in the form of a tiny miracle in my arms.

Ready or not.

"It's know the end of something great is coming, but you want to hold on, just for one more second..."
-Author Unknown

Thursday, April 21, 2011


So this is what it feels like to be a ticking time bomb.

My tiny human is set to make his or her debut into the world in eight days, and I'm not sure what to do with myself. I'm just getting used to the idea of being pregnant, I've finally felt my first real contraction and I'm pretty sure this baby has dropped even lower because I now feel like someone has punched me in the vagina.

I still wouldn't consider myself uncomfortable, but my body definitely knows something is up and the end is near.

Like eight days near.


Thanks to the expertise of my mother and a quick trip to Target, he hospital bag is almost completely packed and my nesting frenzy has slowed to a lull. The nursery is almost finished, but I'm still waiting on that last piece of furniture to show up at the second hand store so I can snag it and add it to the room, and due to my own unusual procrastination earlier on it doesn't look like the bumper and crib skirt will be complete until after the baby arrives.

So my biggest decision at the moment lies at wether or not to take pictures of the nursery now, or wait until it's completely finished to share.

It's a big deal, I know.

Normally, I'd be hyperventilating at the lack of a completed nursery posted on my blog in pictures at this point, so I'm not sure what has come over me. Maybe I'm in denial that I really am almost done baking this little love, or I'm just finally learning to loosen up a little because my world is about to get turned upside down, and now is the time to learn to accept the inevitable.

I couldn't sleep last night, so I sat in the nursery instead. I looked around at the scenery and rocked back and forth in the plush chair that was my very first baby shower gift, soaking in the combination of minor and major details that had been stored in my head for the last four years, but had just recently found their way out to become a true part of my reality, via the form of my little one's nest.

And amidst the mindless rocking, I somehow managed to drift back to a day not so long ago when I got the call that my cousin was very close to delivering her second baby. I vividly remember the picture that formed in my head at that very moment, it was almost as if I was watching her in a movie; pacing back in forth in front of the baby's crib, holding her rounded stomach and gathering last minute items to take to the hospital.

I remember feeling a sudden pang of jealousy accompany my excitement for her as I realized that I may never get to experience that moment. We already had two failed IUI's and three failed IVF's looming overhead, and the possibility of a biological child seemed so very far away from my reality that it hurt to breathe.

And yet there I was last night-less than a year later-rocking in my very own nursery for my very own tiny human and holding my very own rounded stomach as I felt the life inside of me shift and reposition, staring blankly at my almost finished hospital bag and trying to soak it all in.

I sat in that chair for a good forty-five minutes and just rocked.

I tried desperately to picture a tiny miracle inside of my bumper-less crib, forcing an inclination of wether my newest love was a little man or sweet girl, but it just wasn't happening. I wondered if my low dresser and changing table combination was functional enough to work in the absence of the taller dresser I'm waiting on, and if the basket I chose for the books was large enough. I became angry again at the mailman for placing my newborn cloth diapers in the box with the key that's too rusted to open it-leaving me unable to receive my long awaited package-and considered the possibility that our crib sheet was the wrong shade of ecru.

I talked to God about showing me how to be the mother He wants me to be, patient, kind, full of unconditional love and wisdom to raise a child in this upside down world; and asked Him to keep me sane in labor, patient in the impending long nights, strong in faith and always grateful for this miracle.

And then I worried that I'd deliver a baby too large to even need newborn sized cloth diapers, pondered again which monitor I should purchase, realized frantically that we still haven't agreed on a boy name yet and wondered what in the world was making that ticking noise under the rocking chair.

Eventually, I was able to shut off my mind and settle my thoughts for the night. It's always a comfort to know that statistics show that first time Caucasian mothers tend to deliver past their due dates anyway, so I very well may have more time to complete my tasks than the calender really says.

But I'm still a ticking time bomb.

Unless I refuse the internal tomorrow, we'll see how much progression has been made-if any-and we'll be exactly one week from the date that's been permanently etched into my brain for the last eight months.

I know it's the wedding date of Prince William and Kate-because they just had to steal my thunder-but that's not why I remember it.

I remember it because it's the ending date that my heavily medicated and ferociously probed uterus was given for withholding our medical miracle. And while I completely understand that babies come on God's timeline-and not that of a doctor and his predictions-it's still a pretty good indication that my little one is done baking and will eventually come out.

And my life will change forever.

Even though I'm still having a difficult time comprehending the reality of what the next few weeks will hold, my forever infertile mind has finally just begun to accept the the excitement to come. I've waited for these moments for what feels like a lifetime, and I love the uncertainty of it all; the possibilities of how my tiny human will enter into this world are unique and only the Lord knows how all of the details will play out, and for once in my life, the suspense of the unknown actually thrills me.

Sooner than I realize, I will be looking into the eyes of my very own baby doll; and I have to believe that in that very moment, everything will make perfect sense.

But until then I'll just tick away, waiting for that new beginning.

"We are nearing the end of quite a fantastic voyage."
-Don Brownlee

Monday, April 11, 2011


Pregnancy is perfect.

I spent a lifetime dreaming about it and years praying desperately for it to happen, but I never imagined it could be this amazing.

I stopped gaining weight about 6 weeks ago, my swelling has pretty much disappeared, and I feel like I could do this for a few more months easy. I still get stunned looks from strangers who ask me how many more months I have left when I answer with just a few more weeks, and I'm not going to lie, I like to watch the confusion form on their faces, because it sort of matches my own.

I have absolutely no complaints whatsoever, everything really is perfect.

A little too perfect.

So it shouldn't have caught me so off guard when the doctor told me that I had tested positive for group B strep, bringing it up like it was no big deal, mentioning IV's and pitocin and and extra twenty four hours of hospital stay all in one sentence while I sat there on the crunchy paper covering the hard table and tried to wrap my head around it all, frustrated with the sudden interruption of my perfect pregnancy.

My birth plan didn't involve IV's, and it certainly didn't involve pitocin; but we all know what happens when I make plans.

God pretty much laughs at them.

So after a few frantic phone calls to my connections in the medical world, I was assured that I can still labor as natural as possible and reminded that in the end, the only important thing is that a healthy baby is born. I can go in when my water breaks or labor begins and get the antibiotics administered, then switch back to a hep lock and go about with my original plans, as long as I keep an open mind.

Because despite my perfect plans and stubborn nature, I was told once again that I'm much more likely as a first time mother to enter the hospital with no makeup on, dilated to a two, in unexplainable pain, whimpering pitifully for relief in the form of drugs.

I'm just a few short weeks away from birthing a miracle, and I suppose it's about time I let go of my extreme expectations and give myself-and my body-a break. Because despite the voices in my head telling me that I must have a spray tan, an enema, freshly colored hair and scarlet nail polish on my toes as I walk proudly into that hospital, the reality is that my child won't think any less of me without these last minute preparations complete.

I hope.

I've spent the majority of my life being a perfectionist in selected areas of my life, and I have never once doubted that God has used infertility in attempt to loosen me up and teach me to let go. Having had what I considered to be a broken body for so long forced me to give up control and lean on Him; but when He chose to answer our prayers and bless me with what has thus far been the perfect pregnancy, I somehow found myself back in the drivers seat, making plans and mapping out exactly what was going to happen in my very near future.

Thanks God, really, thank you; but I've got this now.

Somewhere along the line, wrapped up in this awesome blessing, I seemed to have forgotten how much I still need Him no matter how perfect things may seem. How much I'm still not in control of any given situation, and how small I really am in the middle of His big plans.

So maybe God is using this minor group B strep detail to throw me off just a little, to mess with my perfect plans and put me back in my place, showing me who's really in charge.

And all it takes is a little trip back to memory lane for me to remember how I got here-in the midst of this perfect pregnancy-in the first place.

It all started with two failed IUI's and four attempts at IVF. There were drugs, shots, doctors visits and negative pregnancy tests.

Then there was an eleven.

An eleven, where there should have been a number over a hundred, followed by a phone call two days later confirming our fears that our eleven had dropped to a zero and our pregnancy was no longer valid.

And then there was another phone call.

A second one, days later, saying the there was still a possibility that there was still life growing inside of me and that the lab had quite possibly made a mistake. A mistake that involved us thinking the pregnancy was over, thus stopping our much needed medications and hormones and putting what may have still been a valid pregnancy in danger.

And then-through what can only be explained as God's divine intervention-there were rising numbers, a strong heartbeat, sonograms, baby showers, and yes, a perfect pregnancy.

God's plan for us fittingly never involved an easy road-it was a roller coaster from the beginning-but it certainly makes for an awesome testimony of His faithfulness. And it amazes me that even after four long years and one incredible story, I still get so wrapped up in my own selfish desires that I fail at times to see that His way-not my own-has always been perfect.

So right now, I'm thankful for it all. I'm grateful for infertility, because without it, my tiny human wouldn't be nearly as precious.

For the number eleven, because any higher of a number would have been much less miraculous.

And for group B strep, because it's one more chance for me to let go, and let God.

"No struggle comes your way apart from God's purpose, presence, and permission."
-Max Lucado

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


There is a car seat in my car.

Our thirty six week appointment sent me into full nesting mode when the doctor informed me that I was officially one centimeter dilated and sixty to seventy percent effaced. He told me not to think too hard about labor or it just may happen, and to get ready.

So I did what any normal, nesting mother would do, and headed to the dollar store for baskets. Then I spent the entire evening cleaning out linen closets and kitchen cabinet shelves, adjusting shelve heights a million times over and organized everything into the said baskets. Then I'd stand back to look at my work, and panic because the baskets were the wrong height, width, or color.

Frustrated with the basket project, I instead decided it was imperative to immediately clean out my car and install the car seat, just in case. But by this time it was already pretty dark outside and the main light bulb in our garage had gone out, so my husband found me a half hour later squished into the backseat of my tiny ford focus, holding a maglight and trying desperately to find the latch cover on the seat base.

He asked me-cautiously-if I thought it would be a better idea to do this tomorrow morning when it was light outside, but after a deep sigh and pitiful look from my swollen, pregnant face, he was right there next to me, crammed into what was left of the backseat with a second flashlight and the installation manual.

Thus resulting in the newly installed carseat in my car.

By the time I made my way to bed that night, I had vacuum sealed up the guest bedroom set, sorted the boy clothes from the girl clothes from the gender neutral clothes, completed my first load of baby blankets, socks, hooded towels and sheet laundry, and tried my best to annihilate anything from our house that I hadn't seen or used in the last six months.

Because I've always hated clutter, and now is not the time for emotional attachments.

Never one to hold still for long anyway, my brain is locked and loaded on preparing my house for this impending arrival. And while I'm aware that the baby won't care one bit if my unmentionables are color coated and stacked neatly in my drawers, or if the bottom of the guest bathroom sink cabinet is organized in appropriately sized baskets, If I want to keep my sanity, it must be done.

I still have to finish the nursery, pack my bag, reach a final decision on names, complete a concise and to the-point-birth plan and clean ceiling fans and baseboards, but at least I'm on my way.

Birth classes are over, and as I reached out to take my completion certificate on that last night, it took everything in me not to tell the instructor that I wasn't ready. That I've wanted this so badly for the last four years, but now that it's almost here, I need a few more weeks. I need a few more strangers to comment on my belly, I need someone-anyone-to reach out and touch my belly, I need to have more trouble bending over first and near the point of feeling so exhausted with this pregnancy that I just pray every night for it to be over so I can hold this little one in my arms.

But I'm still not uncomfortable, and despite the thirty-six pound weight gain, I can still wear my wedding ring. I never even started my pregnancy scrapbook, and I still haven't written a post about my latest shower. The crib bumper and bed skirt are still nothing more than a bag of material and thread setting in my trunk, and I haven't decided if I even want to mess with curtains to cover the beautiful wooden roman shades I found. I still have to make an appointment to get the dog neutered and my carpets cleaned, and I never got around to doing my Kegals.

I can't decided if I want to keep my bold choice of a turquoise Moby Wrap, or exchange it for a more versatile black one, and I'm still missing a few things off my registry that I need.

And-insert worst pregnant mom of the year award here-I have yet to read or sing to my baby.

I could go on and on for days about all of the little projects I still haven't found time to complete, all of the many things I never got around to doing and my insane list of worries and fears about the mother I have to learn how to be. But instead of focusing on all of the unknown, I'm doing my best to make a constant effort to just enjoy the here and now.

I won't be pregnant for much longer. The house needs to be cleaned, but it's not worth obsessing over. And though the possibility of birthing a tiny human at any moment sort of makes me want to hyperventilate when I consider that I'll be eternally responsible for the task of shaping my child's heart and teaching them things I'm not even sure I have down myself, I have to remind myself that it's never really possible to be fully prepared anyway.

All the cleaning, reorganizing, checklists, baby books, and color coordinated baskets in the world won't be enough to prepare me for the very moment my water breaks, I realize I never bought that enema I so desperately needed to maintian any sort of modesty there is left to be had at this point, and I begin to experience the most painfully beautiful act a woman's body can ever complete.

Ready or not, I'll be holding this miracle in my arms soon, and something deep inside tells me that nothing else will matter.

Just last night, as I walked on the trail behind my parents house, memories took me back to a time not so long ago when I would walk this same path and daydream about the day I'd be pregnant. During the many infertility treatments, disappointments, and heartbreaks, walking or jogging that trail always brought me peace; because no matter how far away He felt, I could always sense Gods' presence when I was out in nature, nearest to His creation.

And as I watched the sun set behind the watercolor mountain range, felt the soft breeze blow and listened to the noisy birds settle in the trees for the night, my sudden worries and obsessions felt so small.

And I felt so blessed.

I was finally walking my favorite trail right along with my tiny human in utero; my prayers had been answered but I was almost too frustrated to notice. And God needed me to remember that I have nothing to worry about, because He is in control; He made those massive mountains just as easily as He made this tiny little miracle growing in me. And every time I felt that soft breeze blow, it reminded me that He's always near, even when I'm too high strung to see Him.

There really is nothing in this life worth obsessing over.

Because He just like He takes care of those noisy birds, He'll take care of me.

"His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me."
-Civilla Martin