1.31.2009

What Dreams May Come

I'm doing better. The topic of having kids colors most of my conversations lately: with M, with my friend L, with my sister T. . .
It's strangely cathartic. And it gives me hope.

I once dreamed of a tightly wrapped burrito baby being held over my husband's shoulder while he was standing in our living room. (It's a little fuzzy whether or not there was a twin burrito baby lying across my lap as I sat on the couch.)

On Father's Day 2007, M had a dream about me having just had a fair skinned, dark haired baby girl who was very quiet and thoughtful.

On Mother's Day 2008, I had a dream of having had a baby in the middle of the desert and trying to keep her warm.

I've dreamed of a sleepy toddler, head lying on my chest, body wrapped around my front, both of us rocking in a white, wooden rocking chair.

I've dreamed of feeding rice cereal to an unseen baby. I've even dreamed of having a baby that looked just like my own baby self.

This past week, while praying, I had a vision of an 18 month old toddler with dark brown, curly hair and big, pretty eyes. I asked Heavenly Father if I could have her.

Tonight, when visiting with M's parents, I told them they have to stick around a while because they haven't had a chance to meet our kids yet. Mom says "yes, we're looking forward to that." And M says "we're trying" and he puts his arm around me. And, standing silent, I think "we're just waiting for our dreams to become reality."

And they will. I know they will.

~Nichole

1.28.2009

Crimson Tide

Fear is a gripping thing. I've felt so much like an insane person these last few days, obsessing over every little thing, sleuthing out the clues and searching them for what they must mean. Turns out, I've have phantom symptoms. Or maybe I just want this so badly, I've attributed every "symptom" to being because of The Thing I Want Most.

Truthfully, the "nausea" was probably because I've had a lot of stress at work. The "implantation bleeding" was really pre-period spotting and the "implantation cramping" was really just PMS. The "fatigue" was because of not sleeping well. The "frequent urination" was because I drank a ton of water. . . etc. etc.

Typically, anything I set my mind to, I go out and do it. I go out and get it. That's not to say the attempt is flawless or the outcome perfect. But it's usually within my control. Fertility and pregnancy is one thing I have absolutely no control over. Hence, the gripping fear.

I cried last night to M and I was so glad to be able to do that. He's so patient with me and I'm so grateful for that. I'd love to cry to everyone, to throw a big ol' pity party for myself, to let out the roiling sorrow, to let go of my inner harbinger of heartache - but Miss Pragmatic won't let me. She tells me to keep it together, to not fall apart. And I do. Mostly.

Turns out my miscarriages have been gossip fodder at work. And these are people who like me. While I know logically they weren't trying to be malicious, it stabs to know it's been discussed with everyone in my office but me. Not that I've ever even talked about it, nor has anyone ever asked about it. It's just very hurtful because it's intensely personal and painful and I'm trying to recover, I really am. And really, it's just because I'm having a rotten week with this particular subject. Any other week and I'd probably shrug it off.

Even now, the tears come easily. There's so much to these drops of saltwater: each one is a whole world of pain, ache, worn out worry and fatigued fear.

When the cramps in my low back started today, I knew. I knew my period would inevitably start. My sadness at the prospect of "trying again next month" was overshadowed by a sense of relief that at least I know something. When the bleeding started, I was relieved. No more sleuthing, no more guesswork - until next month, at least. Such a simple thing, bleeding. And yet with that simple thing, my sanity was restored. I don't have to start down a whole new path of worry: being pregnant with the looming threat of miscarriage hanging over me and more waiting ahead of me to find out.

I'm tired of feeling crazy. I'm tired of thinking about it every. single. second. of the day. I'm tired of the endless cycle of hoping, praying, obsessing, trusting, fearing, worrying. . . ad nauseum for days on end.

I feel like bawling my eyes out. But more than anything, I want to be glad this horrendous two week wait is finally over!

~Nichole

1.27.2009

So Strange

It's a strange thing to want something so badly, but to want to not think (or even care) about it anymore.

It's a strange thing to feel like the concern of others is salt in the wound, and to want to carry this burden alone, having it yoked between only you and your husband.

It's a strange thing to pray and pray and pray (too many times to count) that your heart will be calm and you will find peace in the face of the anxiety, the worry, the fear, the sadness.

It's a strange thing to feel it's inevitable that your period will arrive in the next day or two (since your boobs aren't sore and you're still spotting) but still hold out hope that it won't and that you'll see double on that stick.

It's a strange thing to want a hpt to turn positive, but with stipulations: only if it's going to be good/healthy/viable. Only if I can keep it. Please let me keep it.

~Nichole

1.26.2009

Pardon Our Dust

I'm still spotting. A little more than yesterday, and a few red drops. Also cramping still. Today brought some dizziness and more fatigue and waves of nausea.

In my more imaginative moments, I envision that I'm pregnant and that the spotting and cramps are due to the redecorating party going on in my uterus. You know how it is with those things. Inevitably, it gets worse (and messier and dustier or, you know, spottier) before it gets better. Right?

I broke down and bought home pregnancy tests tonight. I was going to take one Wednesday, but moved it up (in my mind) to tomorrow. Then M saw them and was like "are you going to take one? I wanna see!" I said "but what if it's negative? I'll be peeing on dollars here!" "Just take one!" "You're seriously gonna stand here and watch me pee on a stick?" "Yeah! I've never seen this!" "How is it you've missed this all the times I've done it?" (Oh yeah! That's because your wife runs a covert pee-stick operation every time she does it because-she's-secretive-like-that! Cuckoo!)

So, I played Vanna White and showed him his way around a hpt: "here's the absorbent tip where you pee, here's where you put your thumb to hold it firmly, here's where you get the results" etc. etc.

When you're trying to aim for that stupid tip and bein' all careful and stuff - oh and your husband's watching you - it's hard to just. . . pee. So, I dispatched M to fetch me a cup. He brought me a small glass dessert bowl, saying it would be easier. I specified "a small orange cup!" and he brought me a medium one, asking "this is orange, right?" before further inquiring "how many cups have I drank out of after you've peed in them?" (If only you knew. . . ) "I rinse them very thoroughly and then they go through the dishwasher, so I think you're safe."

Rookie stands over the test, watching it develop. Veteran goes back to the computer, assuring him it will take at least 3 minutes to show results.

He comes in to the office and says "there's only one line." I say "that means it's negative." He's sad. He says it's cause I'm sad, but I tell him I'm not very sad. I'm just really tired. Besides, I've left it up to God. It's really His baby anyway, and He'll let us borrow a couple when He's ready.

We talk a little about how it's crazy that some people get pregnant after one time, how some people get pregnant without even trying. And how others can try for years and have no luck.

Last night we talked about the baby that sat next to us in Sunday school. M brought it up by accusing me of having "baby eyes," and saying he caught me staring at her. I told him he was staring too. So, we both stared at her alternately throughout the class. So there.

M thinks she's the cutest baby in our ward right now and wants one just like her. Me? I just want to kiss her cheeks.

So when he's sad about the negative hpt, I know it's not just because of me. And when I'm sad about the negative hpt, I'm always holding out hope that in a few days' time there'll be two double lines on those pee sticks.

~Nichole

1.25.2009

The Fearful Faithful

I'm still spotting. And as that continues, I'm finding myself afraid. Which frustrates the life out of me, because I'm really trying to have faith and feel like fear sabotages that effort, cutting it off at the knees.

I'm having some, not all, of the signs I had last time. I spotted more last time, but I don't really know what that means or doesn't mean. I told M about the spotting, and how it's pretty inconclusive about what it means or what it could be. I'm apparently not the only one being driven nuts with the not-knowing. It frustrated him.

I woke up (again) before the alarm went off, only to find myself tired after getting up. I was also down and sad, which frustrated me. I cried during the first talk at church. Then, I was bone-weary tired. I had the strongest desire to just lay down during the second talk - it's all I wanted right that minute - so I settled for laying my head on M's shoulder and I nearly fell asleep. I took a 2.5 hour nap yesterday afternoon, and a 4 hour nap today.

By the end of church today I felt peace, knowing it's all in God's hands and knowing I shouldn't worry all that much. That's improvement. Hopefully, I can keep that attitude throughout this week. This week will be the week of The Test, and all that comes with either result.

~Nichole

1.24.2009

Change of Scenery

I changed this blog title today. The former title was "doodlecan'tbeundid.blogspot.com" but since my doodle was undid (twice), and given that it just hasn't felt like it fit for a while now, it got changed.

It's now officially "Smothered in Motherness". Smothered in a good way. . . .like "smothered in warm blankets" way or "smothered in chocolate" way.

Yeah. Like that.

~Nichole

1.23.2009

Two Years and a Whole World Ago

Two years ago yesterday was when I first found out I was pregnant. I was not expecting to be. . . but in that instance, everything changed in terms of my wanting to be a mother.

In honor of that time in my life, I re-posted here a May 18, 2008 post I did on Ms. Adventures.

Since that experience, I've learned the following:

"The half of our Father's plan that creates life, that nurtures souls, that promotes growth, that influences evertyhing else was given to us. We can't delegate it. We can't pass it off to anyone. It's ours. We can refuse it, we can deny it, but it's still our part and we're accountable for it." ~Julie B. Beck, general Relief Society president

I'm in a different place now. We're in a different place. January 22, 2007 feels so far away in that respect.

I'll never forget that day. I had finally decided that the thing I needed to do was to go back to grad school. 1-22-07 was the first day of my second class. But the surprising results of the home pregnancy test I had taken earlier that morning weighed heavily on my mind. I knew it meant a complete and monumental life shift.

By the time Wednesday came around, it was confirmed by the doctor. By Friday, I knew the bad news I was being given by the efficiently detached PA at my doc's office meant I probably could not finish one of my two classes.

Two years later, I have what I think is implantation bleeding and cramping. I don't have the typical spotting I usually get a week before my cycle starts. And I'm hoping that trend continues. And I sit in my car praying I will be healthily (and happily) pregnant - no more ectopic pregnancies or miscarriages - thinking about how long it has taken me to get to here, and being amazed that Hope is so resilient. . .

~Nichole

1.22.2009

Postponing, Plotting, Praying

Postponing the urge to take 5 pregnancy tests a day. Taking them early won't do any good anyway. . . peeing on dollars and all that, you know.

Plotting when would be the best time to take said test(s). (Maybe next Wednesday? I won't even buy them until I'm going to use them. . . ) And also searching all sorts of statistics and information about progesterone and miscarriage, implantation symptoms/bleeding (had some spotting today), etc.

Praying to be pregnant. So is M. He admitted as much the other day. (Right before I forced him to admit he prayed about it because he wants it to, not just because I want it. Then I accused him of being scared to admit it. 'Cause I'm a good wife with all the forcing and accusing. . . )

~Nichole

1.19.2009

Waiting game

They say parenting teaches you patience. They must mean from the moment of conception. . .

I'm smack in the middle of the Two Week Wait - the time between ovulation and my next cycle, wherein we wait to see if the stick turns blue, pink, or "pregnant" (depending on the type of stick I buy).

Meanwhile, M is rubbing my belly, talking to it, and lest I still be ovulating (I doubt it), not wanting to "waste sperm". (quite enough TMI already without my having to go into gory detail . . . )

He says it's because he knows I want to be pregnant, and when pressed admits he'll be "happy about it" - but I know it's really because he wants a burrito baby almost as badly as I do - he just doesn't want to admit that he does. And in the meantime I still don't want him seeing my ovulation calendars, even though it's clear to both of us that we're totally "trying".

What is it with this freaky sense of secrecy between us? This "final frontier"? Huh? 'Cause it makes no sense to me! But, in true me fashion, I have a theory: we each have our coping mechanisms, our ways of dealing with the fact that MC is a killjoy.

Me? I'm looking up the chances of a miscarriage with a second pregnancy after having one the first one. (They're the same as any other pregnancy: 15%.)

In the meantime, I'm totally excited and hopeful again. And looking forward to peeing on some sticks in the next week and a half or so.

~Nichole

1.13.2009

Weird Things to Hear

Yup. It's weird

to hear

your husband

review his hand-written notes

from his call with the unemployment office

and suddenly proclaim

"Ooops! I wrote on your

ovulation calendar!"

Hey! How'd he know about that?

(that was supposed to be my secret secret. . . )

~Nichole

1.11.2009

I Know Too Much

Yesterday I went to the bathroom and discovered oodles of EWCM, about 3 days earlier than expected. For some, my amounts of EWCM might be TMI and for some it might be WTH . . .

I remember one time in particular when I was walking through my apartment complex and heard two of my SAHM friends talking. One was saying to the other something about "wetness" once a month. I had no idea what they were talking about, especially since I had never paid much attention to my cycles and, er, fluids.

I thought about this yesterday because it made me think about how I now know exactly what this friend was talking about. For some women, pregnancy and becoming a mother happens without having to know everything about everything. So not fair!

Not so for me. I know exactly what EWCM is, what it does, when it happens, and what it means. Even hub knows a little about EWCM.

I know a lot of other things too. Such as: my cycles are 32 days; I ovulate around day 16 of my cycle; I don't have a problem getting pregnant, just staying pregnant; miscarriage takes the fun out of all of it.

My husband came home from church to his sleeping, migrainous wife and told me he thinks it's the right time and the right thing. (which is why we've not been preventing. . . )

Our talk is still cautious ('cause miscarriage takes all the fun out of it, I tell ya!) and we know that we want this, but we're content to just wait and see what happens.

~Nichole

1.07.2009

Midnight Confessions

It wasn't quite midnight. But confessions there were. The kind of confessions that make you avert your eyes to admit, even to your spouse of 9+ years. Vulnerable, honest confessions - of vain concern, solitary guilt, crushing fear.

Concern over what people are going to think if we get pregnant with M being out of work. (Crazy? Irresponsible? Insane?)

Guilt that the miscarriage was because of a lack of faith or too much worry. (Can I do this? Will I be a crap parent? How is this all going to work?)

Fear of how we're going to get through if we miscarry again. (Oh please, oh please not another miscarriage.)

It's a hard thing to find out about the guilt your spouse has carried over the miscarriage.

It's a hard thing to admit if there's a next time you might genuinely fall apart for the endurance of it.

It's a hard thing to acknowledge that a miscarriage just takes the fun out of the planning, the talking, the trying. It reminds me a lot of those cartoons where a storm cloud is drawn over a character and it follows them wherever they go. Yeah. Miscarriage is that storm cloud hanging over us as we head toward trying again.

It's a hard thing to step into the darkness and hope to find there's light to guide your way.

~Nichole

1.03.2009

She Called Me First

My phone rang this morning. I know because I heard it from my bed. M said it was the second time someone was trying to call me. The pillow over my ears must have blocked the first ring.

When I finally moseyed out of bed, I checked. It was my friend L. She also sent me a text saying "Call Me!"

So, naturally, I did. Especially because last night we were trading texts about when she was going to take The Test.

She couldn't wait until tomorrow, so she did it today and it was positive. Her husband didn't even know yet because she wanted to tell him in person and he wasn't home. I am so incredibly happy for her!

Then, I got off the phone with her and M said "I hope you're not wanting to try because you're in a race with her." {Insert mental image of my mouth-dropping open and a shocked grunting sort of sound issuing forth from it.}

The diatribe that flowed thereafter went something like "yeah, 'cause I'm an idiot! I'm immature. I'm a ten year old who wants the toy her friend just got. That was really rude of you to say! Besides, I was pregnant FIRST! I'm not in a race. Our paths just happen to be parallel, but the decision you and I've made has nothing to do with our friends! It's not you and me and V and L, it's you and me! You're mean! Besides, I thought I resolved this concern (missionary phrase) with you yesterday!"

Clearly, it was the wrong thing for him to say, which mistake he caught on to very quickly.

Yes, yesterday and again today that conversation once again took place. The one where we hash out the pros and cons of trying again. Mostly his cons include the same: school and job. Me? I'm ready. Well, in so far as I have no decent reasons for waiting, that is.

But, now I'm all freaked out about when to try in terms of ovulation. I'm so scared I'll have another miscarriage and that it might be because we conceived too far in advance of or even just after ovulation. That kind of timing can have an affect, you know. You didn't? Yeah, neither did I until I started reading books. So much for Information being a comfort to me. Crappity crap crap!

Whatever. Chances are I won't miscarry again. Unless, of course, I'm a recurrent miscarrier (which title I am not vying for in any way, shape or form), in which case, chances are pretty good, even there's no way to know that until it happens 2 more times. Here's hoping that it doesn't happen again. (Ever EVER again.)

~Nichole

1.01.2009

Year of the Baby

The Return happened this past Sunday and was a little heavier than normal, and much much crampier than normal. That was not fun!

All week I've been plagued with the question of whether or not we'll be trying again this cycle. The whole "I want to be a mom without the pregnancy part" thing was still ruling my thoughts.

I have a million reasons why I'm not ready to be pregnant again: I've gained 7 pounds, I don't feel emotionally or physically ready to endure a pregnancy, M is currently out of work, pregnancy (once again) no longer sounds like an exciting or feasible way to become a mom - and those are just a few.

Yesterday, as I continued this line of pondering, the thought came to me that I can think of lots and lots (apparently a million) reasons why not to try again right now, but that maybe the question I should be asking is whether there are any reasons we should wait. Okay. That's not coming out how it was in my mind, but hopefully you get the idea.

I mean, our children will be born into a loving home, with happily married parents and a stable home life. All good things. Any reasons not to do this? Not any I can find. Not any that in the grand scheme really matter.

Today we traveled down to Oro Valley to spend some time with M's family. I watched one of M's brothers interact with his children, and had an overwhelming desire for a Family of my own. Don't get me wrong. M and I have made a dandy family with just the two of us. But since, as they say, three (or more) is the magic number, the magic seems to be missing from our family of two.

Machen sie sense? It does to me. Mostly.

So, unto the convincing of my husband, 2009 will be the Year of the Baby. Hopefully an October or November one. Yes! I can feel the magic already. . .

~Nichole

"May you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world." -Ray Bradbury