Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Teeter. Totter.

I having a hard time finding balance.

In work and my marriage and preparing for a baby and friendships and blogging and life in general like going to the grocery store and getting my hair cut and remembering to stop at the gas station before the "low fuel" light comes on.

Work is getting busy for me and for Aaron. Time at work goes by fast, time at home, faster. We come home, eat dinner, clean up dishes, mow (eh, not me. I don't know how to turn the mower on.) play with the dog, pack lunches for tomorrow, shower, laundry, collapse. I know we are not alone in this, and I know it will only get more intense when we throw a baby into the mix.

I'm stepping away for a while. I still have things to say, but I don't want to feel pressure to write here, fearing that if I don't have something witty to say, no one will come back.

But I need to spend the time I have enjoying things like my marriage, organizing baby clothes, and washing the 7 outfits on rotation.

Be back later.

**This may have something to do with my decision not to attend Relevant. Plus I'll have a 10 week old and I've already lost sleep thinking about how she and I will get there and get around and get home and so on. It's also the weekend of my anniversary, and as I fall more in love with my husband each day, I realized how much I don't want to be away from him then. Thanks for understanding.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

To the Left, To the Left

I am a belly sleeper or a back sleeper. I don't do well sleeping on my side because it hurts my shoulders and makes one side of my hair frizzy. But if I HAD to choose a side to sleep on, I'd choose the right side.

So you can see why this would be a problem. Sleep on the left side? Shouldn't be so hard, right? Well, it is. Mostly because it's not comfortable for me and also because I kept waking up on my right side.

When I was given the opportunity to review a pregnancy pillow, I had no idea what to expect. The Utterly Yours Pregnancy Pillow showed up and I couldn't believe how small it was, while claiming to help me sleep better at night. But then I used it and OHMYGOSH. It is so comfortable. Yes, they sent it to me for free. Yes, I would tell you about it even if they didn't.
The side that goes against your back (the pattern side) is made of a memory foam that is so comfortable, I want a bed made out of that stuff. It is not hard, but is sturdy enough that I can put my weight on it and still stay on my left side.
Also, this picture? Not me. Anyhow. The solid color side goes against your belly. I've been using this pillow since about week 16 and haven't needed the support of the solid colored side until the past week or so. I assume as things go (and my belly grows), I will fall in love with the support of the "belly" side as I have the "back" side.
Because I wasn't aware of how big I would get (still don't know this, obviously), I ordered the Large. I think I could have gotten away with a Medium, especially because I started using it early.
Honestly, I love this thing. I would tell you this even if I had paid for the pillow. It helps me sleep and supports my back. Plus, it is compact and so lightweight, I've taken it with me out of town on multiple occasions. I open it up, put the strap of my overnight bag through the middle, and close it with the loop and button closure. I don't even have to carry it!
If you are pregnant and concerned with sleeping on your left side, or having back pain, or just sick of rolling onto stacks of pillows you've shoved into your back, I cannot tell you how you would benefit from this pillow.
For 15% off of your order, enter code "Promo" at checkout.
I was not compensated for this review. I received the Utterly Yours Pregnancy pillow for my own personal use. The opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My (In)Fertility Journey

I don’t consider myself lucky. I consider myself incredibly blessed.

My (in)fertility story doesn’t have as many pages as some of the friends I’ve met along the way, but still, they are tear stained. The paragraphs of my story contain words like “try” and “loss” and “success”. Their paragraphs contain words like “IVF” and “Beta” and “Clomid” and “Reproductive Endocrinologist {RE}” and "2WW". My story is not the same, and with that, comes incredible guilt.

But also with that, comes incredible friendship.

For years, the idea of taking a pregnancy test was that of overwhelming fear. And yet, when the test was negative, there was still disappointment. It was in me. It is in us, the desire to be a mother, even if we know the timing is wrong. But along the way, the idea of taking a pregnancy test brings excitement and anticipation. One, two, even three negative tests into the journey just meant that the birth control hadn’t left my body yet. But (months) four, five, (and) six negative tests into the journey made me think there might be something wrong. (Months) Seven, eight, nine? Is this a joke?

The doctor said “it’s not infertility unless you’ve tried a year”. So, we kept trying. And there were tears from announcements by girls younger than me, who didn’t have jobs, or even a steady boyfriend. And there were broken toenails from propping legs up on headboards, and there were nights where it just didn’t happen.

And then they were there. Two lines! “Pregnant”! The weekend of Father’s Day, 2009. Joy and more tears and feeling so excited!

And then it was gone. July 27, 2009.

And then we didn’t try anymore. I wasn’t ready, my body wasn’t ready, my heart wasn’t ready to love again.

I wouldn’t call it closure, because I will never have completion in my life due to the loss of my first child. But there was a defining moment in our lives, in our marriage, in our family, when I chose the name Angelina for our first child, and Aaron was there with me, even though not, and we had done this together. This conceiving and losing and grieving and moving forward. Together.

And now we have Tiny Dancer. Our beautiful, sweet, amazing baby. Who is so loved and so desired.

I desire this for my friends who struggle daily with infertility. My story is not the same as theirs, my trying not so long, my longing not so drawn out. I do not boast of this, believe me. I cry tears for them, with them, over BFN’s (big fat negatives) and failed IVF’s and lost dreams. Because in MY darkest hours, they comforted me. They were there for me.

Every woman who desires to be pregnant would be crushed by another’s pregnancy announcement – I know I was. And yet, these women rallied around me and offered “CONGRATULATIONS!” and “SO HAPPY FOR YOU” when I announced my pregnancy, all the while tears probably falling down their faces.

Their grief is deep, but their friendship is deeper.

I am so, so thankful for their friendship.


I tell my story to bring awareness to the struggle that thousands of couples face to bring children into their families. We are not all "fertile Myrtle's". Next week is National Infertility Awareness Week. There is a campaign to make "infertility" a trending topic on Twitter to bring attention to the awareness. If you or someone you know or love has ever dealt with infertility, please help spread the word by using #infertility in your tweets.

For more information, follow the #infertility tag on Twitter, and visit the blogs of the women and men there. Their stories are inspiring.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Twitter Home Tour!

I didn't get around to participating in the Ultimate Blog Party, so I thought I'd hop on the 'ole bandwagon known as "Twitter Home Tour".
In the interest of FULL disclosure, I didn't clean my house before taking these pictures. In fact, I haven't cleaned my house all week. And I'm not ashamed, because I kinda feel like my uterus will fall out if I stand for too long. Plus, between me and Aaron (Aaron & me/myself/I??), we worked 97 hours last week. And then add in the fact that we had CENTRAL AIR INSTALLED (DO I SERIOUSLY NEED TO TELL YOU HOW HAPPY I AM ABOUT THIS????), and really, that explains the clutter and laundry piled high (see picture of master bedroom).

Welcome to our home! Can I get you anything? We have water, tea, and Monster energy drinks. No? Okay then.
Our couch is old and the seat closest to the kitchen is reserved for Duke. In addition to being a hand me down, it is the spot where I spent the entire winter napping away my first trimester nausea.

The blinds behind the curtain are not broken, but the sun is shining in the most amazing way today, and it looks like they are. I'm not the best housekeeper, but you'd better believe if my $6.00 blinds were broken, I would replace them. It's the little things.

Sometime after Christmas (like, the week of the Super Bowl), Aaron went out and bought himself the family a new television. It looks gigantic only because my living room is so tiny. It's usually on the Disney Channel or MSNBC. I prefer Hannah Montana and Aaron prefers to watch something called "Lockup". You may have seen it. If so, it probably gave you nightmares.

Next up is the bathroom. Nothing exciting here, except that my night clothes were on the floor, so I cropped them out. I do like my shower curtain though!

Making our way around the teeny tiny hallway, the next room you would enter is the nursery. Not much to see here either, mostly because it's a SECRET, but the color? It's called "Faint Maple", which for some odd reason makes me think of fairies. No, the room will not be decorated with fairies. I'm girly, but not that much.

Also, it's not done yet. Which is why there is no cover on the light switch. I know better.

Right beside the nursery is the "Master" bedroom. Since there is no bathroom attached, it can only be called the "Master" bedroom because the King and Queen of the house sleep there. (Corny? I tried.)

(When I said laundry day, I wasn't kidding).
(Also, I am in no way being compensated for the Old Navy bag hanging out in the picture, but will show you the cute dress I bought there soon!)
(Lastly, making the bed is the most pointless chore known to man.)

Continuing around the small circle of hallway, we come to the office. I didn't get a good picture of the whole room, but all you need to know is that 1.) it's small and 2.) it's my husband's "Shrine de Purdue (University)". This is just a very small amount of the PU goodies he's collected over the years. The onsies are what I gave him on December 1, along with a just-peed-on pregnancy stick, annoucing this pregnancy.
The Purdue hat was made lovingly by "Ma", Aaron's nickname for my mom.

The file cabinet is full of old pay stubs and electric bills and other random papers that don't exactly have a home.

The whole hallway at one time?
Yes, we have baby gates. They are to keep the dog out of the rooms because he likes to chew on things. If he knew how to do laundry, I would let him in that "Master" bedroom, because, ugh.

The kitchen is where many meals are prepared unpacked from their "to go" containers, at least lately. No dishwasher, so the dishes sit on the counter.
Yes, we use plastic cups. No, we do not play beer pong. Yes, we wash and reuse them.

The outside of the house is Aaron's domain, and where he sits to make shopping lists.

If someone is outside, Duke insists on being there also. If we go out without him, he will stand at the back door and cry.

"Why would you ever go out without him?"

"Because he digs holes in the yard and we get sick of filling them in".

I hope you've enjoyed this tour of our home. If you called and said you were coming by in the next 5, 60, or 1200 minutes, I probably wouldn't do anything to change it. But I might brush my teeth.

My house is clean most of the time (usually). Just not today. Check back tomorrow, no, after the baby is born next year.

You can play along by visiting the homes below and by posting pictures of your home! I'll be by to "visit" soon!

About the Twitter Home Tour - Once upon a time, @MomNom, @jennandtonica, @emmie_bee, @heirtoblair, and @ColeEmmett were talking about home decor on Twitter. We thought it would be so great to be able to see each other's homes! A *bunch* of other tweeps joined in, @Alena29 put together a terrific button, and #twitterhometour (or #twitterhouseparty) was born! Feel free to join us - add a link to your home tour post (pictures, video, or both!) below.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mover. Shaker.

Wow. No one told me how incredible it would be to feel this life moving inside of me. Sometimes, I think she's doing somersaults because the movements aren't distinct, but they are there and they are her. Sometimes they tickle and sometimes I feel like I've just gotten off a rollercoaster.

Other times, like right now, I feel like she's standing up straight on my bladder and training for a marathon. It is so, so, cool. Except I have to pee. A lot. I used to have to lay real still and focus so hard on feeling her. I could feel my own heartbeat in my fingers and my toes until kick and I knew it was her.

Now, I don't have to be laying down and I don't have to be still, and I don't need to focus on her. She is there and she wants me to know it and she might be a cheerleader instead of a marathon runner but I don't know.

The first time I felt her kick and knew it was her, for sure? Sunday, March 28. Laying in bed, praying for Beth and Eli, kick and asking God to keep them both safe during delivery kick and make sure that Eli was perfect kick. He is. kick.

Now, I talk to her in the car and in the shower and in bed, and she talks back.

Our conversations are breathtaking.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I really have nothing to say. Go figure.
But this is what's up. She's dancing up a storm in there and it is incredible!

(Mama is still very, very tired however. So this Sunday has been spent on the couch. Hope you had a good weekend!)