Just When We Thought We Were All Safe

The Bench home is lit up.
My husband's choice of LED lights outlining our roofline probably allow the astronauts in the International Space Station to see us from their window, as they float about eating M&Ms.
Our Christmas Tree is up, decorated, and on the automatic timer as well, thanks in large part to J, my brother Ryan, and my mom's ever-flowing Christmas spirit.
Still, aside from the flurry of activity brought on by Thanksgiving, its preparations, and the weekend stay from my family, our home has actually remained somewhat quiet.
Note the windows and doors shut, no phone calls, texts, tweets, or {gasp} blog posts.
We are not being Scrooges, nor are we hibernating from the almost surprising 80-degree holiday weather {we love you, Southern California!}.
A peek into our lives these days reveals a very boring story: my husband at his usual post -- in our bedroom on his lounge chair, in front of our TV that has been turned sideways to face him, large headphones and microphone glued to his head as if he is an air traffic controller, Playstation 3 controller in hand, barking commands like "Charge on Bravo" -- and me, in bed, alternating between frustratingly pursuing the 3 star score to every level of Angry Birds Rio, reading Southern Living magazine and Bon Appetit magazine, or losing myself in the craft nirvana of Pinterest.
Mundane and domestic as it sounds and as far cry from our old partying lives as it may be, this is bliss to us. 
We have been laying low, silently thanking the hormone gods for keeping me actually eating, virtually not sick, despite being significantly tired. Of course, we only had the last pregnancy to compare this too, and having that, we should have known better.

The past two and a half weeks since confirming the pregnancy had been without event. Just like the last time, I got queasy about an hour or two after meals, during which time I just routinely put on my Sea Bands and that would do the trick. I ate happily and heartily, craving root beer, cheese bagels, and spaghetti carbonara, which I would make from scratch. {And no, I didn't crave them all at the same time.} We foolishly thought that after these smooth past couple of weeks, we were home free. As always, we were proven wrong: we foolishly thought WRONG.

I am officially 7 weeks pregnant today, and my hormones did not waste any time. After church this morning, I began to feel queasy in the car. We got home, I ate a ham and cheese croissant from my favorite donut place, and within 15 minutes, I was so nauseous that I couldn't even lift my head from the couch. I felt so guilty as my mom and brother got ready to go home and I didn't even get to spend the last few minutes of their stay here with them because I had fallen asleep on the couch. After they left, I missed them immediately, and wished that my stomach would have settled itself at least in time to be able to spend some more precious time with them. 

J and I went upstairs, where he assumed his position in front of the TV with video game controller in hand, and I fell asleep again, this time for an hour and a half or so. I woke up lethargic, queasy, and just like last time, with no appetite. I was so sick that I didn't even want to go to the store to get some more Parmaggiano cheese to use for my carbonara sauce, and ended up having a shameless Nutella and jelly sandwich for dinner instead.

On top of all this, I have carelessly allowed my hormones to get the best of me. My poor husband, being the one who is constantly with me, has sadly become the most regular victim of my behavior. With my constant exhaustion, everything seems to be twice as much effort, and going up and down the stairs just to ask him something has been twice as frustrating. He can't hear me through those headphones, I get angry, and unleash on him. Inexcusable, I know, and I have given my share of apologies to him. 

Yes, I know I sound whiny, but outside of those {and really, there is so much more outside of it}, our home has been filled with excitement, a little anxiety, and joy. On Friday, we will have the baby's first ultrasound, and God-willing, we will get to hear his / her heartbeat. 

At this time, we still have no real guesses as to the baby's gender. I've shared with some that I have a feeling the baby's a boy, but I think I am just trying to prepare myself for that news. I cannot hide from God what is in my heart, and He knows that deep down, J and I would prefer a girl, but if His plan is to give us a boy, we would welcome our son into a world with so much love and wanting. Boy or girl, we want a baby. We want to share our overflowing love for each other with a child of our own... and hopefully, come July 16th, we will have a chance to do that.

I'm Still Here

No, I didn't disappear,
although some days it feels like it.
My friend Michele just asked me yesterday where I have been
because NO ONE has really seen me all week
{or more like the past two weeks}.

You'd think that after finding out the official news that 
That I'd be on top of the nearest peak, announcing it at the top of my lungs
{although, I did, in kind of a virtual way. Thank you, Facebook.}
but quite honestly, 
I am exhausted.

I think that the very tense days leading up to Wednesday, November 9th, when we received the official call, just had me so wound up that it's taken me so long to unwind from it all.
That and the fact that we were so concentrated on the baby stuff that it almost slipped our minds that Thanksgiving is next week, and as of Saturday, my guest list inadvertently increased from 15 to a whopping 20. TWENTY!!! 
So scramble away we have been... purchasing extra plate settings, figuring out how to finagle seating, finalizing our menu.

On top of that, the exhaustion during this pregnancy has been fairly significant. I keep thinking, "Was I this constantly exhausted when I was pregnant with the girls?" I know that I was much sicker when I carried them {although this pregnancy, thus far, has not been without queasiness}, but I think in the 8 short months since I was pregnant with them, I had forgotten how winded I felt all the time, especially in the first trimester. Earlier, I was on the phone with my friend and walked up the stairs while talking. By the time I had reached our bedroom, I was so out of breath!

At any rate, here are a few more updates in list form:

  • [Morning] Sickness: Not really, but some normally after meals. I have been pretty diligent about putting on my PsiBands (Sea Bands) and it's helped diminish the queasiness within minutes.
  • Cravings: So far, the most constant has been root beer. I want it all the time, but have been really good about drinking more water, especially since my lips have been so chapped and my skin has been so dry, but I think that's largely because of the weather change too.
  • Mood: Cuh-rank-yyyyyyy. Wow. I don't know how J puts up with me. Heck, I don't even know how I put up with me! The same as last pregnancy, I have been my most hated quality in a person: needy. All I want is J and I want him to myself. I am extremely sensitive and have found myself swallowing a lump in my throat to stop from crying. FOR. NO. REASON. I hate weak characters and I have become exactly that.
  • Next appointment: We have a double appointment on Dec. 2nd -- one with PRC and one with Kaiser -- both to get ultrasounds of Baby. We are so excited to hear the baby's heartbeat!
I have to apologize for the scatterbrained thoughts on this post. I promise pictures and a much more organized post for next time! 

Most importantly, however, we both want to thank all our friends and family who have been praying for us all this time and continue to pray with us. I never thought this until I went through it myself, but there comes a time in life when faith really saves you, and everyone's faith has done that for us. Thank you for being there for us through the worst time of our lives, and being with us through this amazing journey we have been blessed enough to embark on again. xo

Pee Stick Party

A progression of the home pregnancy tests I've taken so far.
I do have to mention the following:

1. Yes, I am using different brands of HPTs. {To me, it's like getting a second opinion from another "doctor"}

2. We had a bit of a panic this morning. After yesterday's very faint, but visible second blue line, I took an EPT brand test this morning and got a negative. {The visible second blue line was from a generic Albertson's [Equaline] brand}... So after the negative result, I guzzled up tons of water and retested on another Equaline brand [Picture 2]. 

3. Just to put my mind at ease, I took a 1st Response brand test an hour or two later, and got Picture 3.

4. Both J and I are keeping in mind that these, while positive, are not the "official" test results. My blood tests will be done tomorrow {Monday, November 7th} and Wednesday {November 9th}. Official test results / confirmation will be on Wednesday afternoon.

That being said . . .
This was yesterday's test. See the very, very faint blue line inside the circle? Obvies, my HCG levels are there, but still only barely detectable by these Home Pregnancy Tests.
This was the second of this morning's tests. The first one was the EPT brand that showed negative. Evidently, the other brands are much more sensitive to lower levels of HCG.
Here is the third test. Looks like we got a second line!

Keep those fingers crossed and those prayers said!!!


I've been quiet all week.
To J's relief, I've been a pretty good patient this year:
No arguments about not being able to do anything,
Staying in the same 45 degree or flatter position for most of the day,
Not pushing myself {at least not too much}.

But in my head, the same whirlwind of activity has continued
{perhaps even crazier than ever}.
I'm nervous, and anxious, and scared, and excited...
all rolled up into one very neurotic {and seemingly always very hungry} girl.

All week, I had looked forward to the weekend, not for the normal reasons {although, I must say, this weekend with just J and me at home has been particularly relaxing and wonderful despite the anxiety} but because I have been looking forward to this:
I know I'm supposed to be patient and wait until Monday and Wednesday for my blood tests,
but let's be real: It wouldn't be me if I wasn't cheating a little and having what my friend Molly calls a "Pee Stick Party"
{Only appropriate for this usage, by the way. In any other context, it's just wrong!} :-)

Tune in for Pee Stick Party results!