12 Weeks Pregnant (Baby #2)

I am now 12 weeks pregnant!  Actually, technically I’ll be 13 weeks tomorrow, but this is the 12 week update.


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So what’s up with the Baby Bean?  Baby is the size of a lime or plum now (as Rachel says, plus legs).  All the baby’s basic body systems and organs are in place now (exciting!).  Reflexes and vocal chords are developing this week!

We had a doctor’s appointment with my regular OB at 11 weeks, and baby’s heart rate was 160! I was so excited that they were able to find the heartbeat, because the nurse acted skeptical but I insisted we try.

As for me, this pregnancy has been pretty mild on symptoms overall, but I’ve noticed my queasiness has started to subside over the last week or so.  I still have my moments, but it happens less often. 

I also haven’t noticed as many cravings, except for iced hazelnut chai lattes. I wanted one of those so badly that I ordered a whole case of decaf chai concentrate and hazelnut syrup – so now I can make myself one whenever I want!  But food in general just sounds good now, and my stomach definitely notices if I’m late for lunch.

I take that back, I forgot to note in the picture that I also had a strong craving for cheesecake back around week 10-11. So I made myself one and ate almost the whole thing myself (over several days, of course).

The sciatic nerve pain has continued over the last couple weeks, though just occasionally, and not nearly as painful as it was with Wyatt

I think my center of gravity is shifting, because my back aches a lot easier these days, especially if I’m standing for long periods of time.  It hurt so badly in the grocery store the other day that I was afraid something was wrong, but it went away once I went home and sat down for a while.

I’ve also had round ligament pain from the beginning of this pregnancy.  Literally, the week I found out I started to notice the round ligament pain.  It seems weird that it started so early, but it did!  I guess maybe my ligaments are just more sensitive to my uterus growing since this is the second time they’ve been through this?  So I’ve been getting twinges of round ligament pain for the last couple of weeks too. 

I can also just tell that my uterus (and baby!) are growing, because when I lay on my side at night I can feel my belly shift . . . kind of like it feels later in pregnancy when you start propping your belly up with a pillow.  Except I can’t prop the belly up, because there really isn’t much of anything to prop!  But I can feel the extra weight.

And then just the general garden variety pregnancy symptoms, but nothing too noticeable.  I get tired at night a lot recently.  That’s about it.  Like I said, this pregnancy is shaping up to be as  easy (as far as symptoms go) as my pregnancy with Wyatt so far!

I’m so anxious to start feeling baby movement this time around.  With Wyatt I think I started to feel it around 16 weeks, but I didn’t recognize it as the baby until 18 weeks.  But now I know what it feels like, and I’ve been hoping to feel it earlier.  So I’ll lay really still at night and just see if I feel anything – sometimes I imagine I do, but in my head I know that it’s just my stomach bubbling, not baby.  When it’s the baby, I’ll just know.

And just because I get asked this a lot, I’ll say it here – I have no idea if it’s a boy or a girl.  With Wyatt I kind of knew it was a boy from the start (well, knew as much as anyone can know, but I had a pretty good idea).  With this baby I have no clue.  It could totally go either way.  And to be honest, I have zero preference as to whether it’s a boy or girl!  I’d love to have a girl someday, so that would be great if it was a girl . . . but I also love the idea of having little brothers running around, so I’d be equally thrilled if it was a boy!  I’m just generally anxious to know, so I can start planning the nursery.  We find out the end of August (my office makes us wait forever for the anatomy scan), so when it gets closer I’ll put a poll up in the sidebar!

And I know you all are going to laugh at me, but looking at my belly shots all in a row, I’d say the belly has definitely grown a bit.  I was unsure for a while at whether it was the baby or just eating too much, but now I’m thinking it’s definitely not just food.  Grow, Baby, grow!


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We also did a little DIY “big brother” photo shoot with Wyatt in May.  I thought we got some pretty cute pictures, so I’ll post the whole batch next week (because my baby is so cute, I can’t pick just one) . . . but here’s one now, just for good measure!

 

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The Belly (Weeks 4-10)

 

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I’ll do a 12 week update tomorrow with current belly pictures!  Then I think we’ll officially be all caught up.


First Trimester And Ultrasounds!

 

This is just some random stuff about the first trimester with Baby #2 that I thought I should record on here!  So I’m doing bullets.

  • Because of my progesterone insufficiency, I was put on progesterone supplements, and I had weekly blood draws to see how my levels were doing.  It was interesting, because they skyrocketed briefly around 9 weeks, so we suspect that was when the placenta started to produce some of the hormones!  It went back down some the next week, but it was still higher than it was.  It was just cool to see.

 

  • I did not get many pregnancy symptoms this time until about 7 weeks.  This, of course, made me panic a bit, wondering if something was wrong.  With Wyatt, I had a lot of symptoms right away – right at four weeks things started changing.  But with this pregnancy I didn’t notice many changes in my body, and only slight queasiness until around 7 weeks.  I also wasn’t very emotional until around the same time, and I felt overly emotional with Wyatt before I even knew I was pregnant. It was just different.

 

  • Then things started kicking in more, and I had plenty of symptoms after that, so that was good!

 

  • I haven’t been sick much this pregnancy either, which has been nice!  With both my pregnancies so far I mainly just get a queasy on and off – occasionally I’ll feel bad enough that I think I might throw up, but I never do.  With this pregnancy especially, the queasiness goes away if I just keep my stomach full.

 

  • Unlike my pregnancy with Wyatt, I haven’t really had many food aversions – I’ve had cravings.  I never really had any with Wyatt, so this is new to me.  Everything from French fries to Chinese/Japanese food to cheesecake.

Yeah, remember when we got Chinese food after our picnic didn’t work out?  That’s because I was pregnant, and I just had to have it.

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More about cravings tomorrow.

 

  • We told my family when I was 6 weeks 1 day pregnant, on Mother’s Day!  Which means I kept the secret from my mom for two whole weeks . . . which is amazing for me.  I have a hard time not telling my mom things, but I wanted to do something besides just saying “I’m pregnant!”  So I dug out this shirt which I bought for Wyatt last year (yes, last year), and we decided to just see how long it would take everyone to notice.

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It didn’t take long.  We did point it out to Derek’s mom, but that was because either Derek or I was holding Wyatt the whole time, and she couldn’t really see his shirt well!  Then everyone else in our immediate family who we didn’t get to see on Mother’s Day got a text with the above picture.

 

  • We had our first ultrasound at 7 weeks 2 days!  Baby looked beautiful, and we got to see the sweet little heart fluttering!  Heart rate was 152 bpm (which is about what Wyatt’s was at 9-10 weeks).  Baby was measuring 3 days big (just like with Wyatt!), and everything looked great! I was a bit nervous and praying for good ultrasound results, and it was such a happy relief to hear that little heartbeat.

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  • We also had a chickenpox scare with Wyatt around this time, and even though I had chickenpox as a kid my doctor wanted to run a test to make sure I was still immune (nothing to be done if I wasn’t, but I guess it’s better to at least know).  I, of course, did a bunch of research on fetal varicella syndrome, but for once I felt like the odds were in my favor, and the Lord really gave me a peace about the whole thing.  Wyatt didn’t get the chickenpox, and I was indeed immune!

 

  • We had our second ultrasound at 9 weeks 2 days.  Baby was still measuring a couple days ahead, and the heart rate was 183 bpm!  Much faster than Wyatt’s at that gestational age.  But then again, that is partly because this baby was moving all around!  It was so fun to see this little baby’s arms and legs moving around like crazy!  Getting that exercise in! 

Derek got to be at both ultrasounds, and it was special to share that time, seeing our second sweet baby together!

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(I turned this ultrasound picture upside down so you could see Baby better – so cute, right?  My kiddos give the cutest early ultrasound pictures. . .)

 

  • Finally at 11 weeks I was switched back to my regular OB (I had been seeing my fertility doc this whole time), and I was so hoping to hear the heartbeat.  They almost weren’t going to check, but I asked them to try, and it took so long I was sure the nurse was going to give up and say it was too early . . . then we heard that sweet little thump, thump, thump.  And I breathed a happy sigh.  Heart rate was 160 (faster than Wyatt’s again – his always hovered around 140-150).

 

 

  • And finally, last thing to know is that I’m still on progesterone supplements, but I’m working on weaning myself off in the next week or so . . . which, I’ll be honest, makes me a bit nervous.  But my head (and all the research) says it’ll be fine because the placenta should be producing progesterone by now and it’s safe to go off it.  It’s just a bit scary to stop something that was helping your body hold on to the baby in the beginning, you know?  I’m trusting the Lord that it’ll be fine though, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be fine.  Prayers for a safe transition would just be appreciated!

 

  • This post has a conspicuous lack of belly pictures, and that’s because I’m saving them for tomorrow!  So check back!


Toddler In Tow, And Baby On Board! (The Story)

 


If you missed my announcement yesterday, you can check it out here!

This is the story of how our Baby #2 came to be, and how we found out he/she was on their way!  Get ready, it’s going to be a long post, but I’m too nice to split it up and make you wait . . .

I’m honestly not sure where or how to start this story, so I’ll just start typing.

(First off, let me just say that though I wrote a couple posts this spring about getting pregnant with Baby #2 and thinking about the process of trying again, I was being vague on purpose – because I just wasn’t ready to share that we had already been trying for 6+ months.  So I apologize if I gave off the wrong impression!  This story, like with Wyatt, is definitely a more involved trying to conceive story . . .)

After Wyatt was born last year, I started getting the “second baby itch” pretty quickly.  This is probably partially related to the fact that we had a hard time getting pregnant with Wyatt.  I knew I wanted more kids, and I didn’t want to waste any potentially precious time in getting them here.  I also knew that if it was going to take as long as it did the first time, we’d probably want to start trying sooner rather than later.

Derek was completely on board with this too – we knew we wanted more kids, and we knew we wanted them to be somewhat close in age (we always though 2 years apart was a good spacing).  So in August 2011 we started actively trying for our second baby.

If you have followed my blog for a while, you’ll remember that I had ovulatory problems when we were trying for Wyatt.  I kind of expected the same thing to happen the second time around, so I was really surprised when my cycles returned right away after I weaned Wyatt.

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(My first positive OPK – as in, first postitive OPK ever.  I was a dork and took a picture of it.)

In my head I was thinking that since my cycles returned so quickly, we should have no problem getting pregnant this time.  I had heard so many stories of people having trouble conceiving their first child and then conceiving their second child very easily, and I was hoping that would be me too.  The idea of having my kids less than a year and a half apart didn’t even scare me – I would just consider myself blessed if it ended up being that easy!

Well, it wasn’t that easy.

The first cycle was relatively normal, but my second cycle ended up being very long.  I actually went to my doctor trying to figure out what was going on, but there was a lot of confusion with my bloodwork (I have bad luck with getting my bloodwork and labs lost or sent to the wrong place) and we didn’t end up doing anything.  I finally ovulated and then realized that I had a short luteal phase.

The luteal phase is the second half of the cycle, the period of time when you are waiting those two weeks to see if you are indeed pregnant or not.  Only for me, with that cycle, my luteal phase wasn’t two weeks, it was nine days.

Having a short luteal phase is a problem because the baby needs at least ten days (preferably twelve) to be able to travel down your fallopian tubes and implant in your uterus.  If you have a luteal phase that is too short, even if you conceive it won’t matter, because the baby won’t have enough time to get settled and let your body know you are pregnant before the cycle starts over.

I figured that maybe it was just a fluke since it was a weird cycle anyway, and my body was probably still straightening out.  But then it happened again the next cycle, and I decided to go to my regular OB and have them test my progesterone levels to make sure they were adequate (short luteal phases are caused by low progesterone).

That whole experience was frustrating, because I’m afraid the nurses at my normal OB/GYN don’t know anything about trying to conceive – so half the time when I called I had to talk to the nurses and they had no idea what I was talking about.  I love my doctors, but oh my, the nurses!  When we finally got my blood results back they told me that I didn’t have low progesterone. 

I thought maybe my body had straightened out on it’s own, so the next month I waited to see what would happen – and I had a short luteal phase again.

I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to have a short luteal phase.  In my head I would always calculate the day that I should take a pregnancy test, but I never got to actually take the test – I was always cut off 3-4 days before I got a chance. 

It was different than trying the first time around – it was actually more frustrating to me when we were trying for Wyatt, the endless waiting for my body to function properly just once.  This was a different kind of frustrating, getting my hopes up every month and then getting them dashed too soon.  But now that I’ve gone through both of these problems, I’d still much prefer to have that sliver of hope every month.  It was nice to be able to dream, just a little.

At this point (February 2012, about six months after we started trying) I decided that it was time to be a little more proactive, and I scheduled an appointment with my fertility doctor.

My fertility doctor really knows his stuff, and he has me down in his book as a Type-A, overachieving, googling-everything, knowing-too-much-for-her-own-good type.  What can I say?  He has me pegged.

I set up a consult appointment and told him that the second phase of my cycle was too short.  He didn’t even make me do bloodwork, he just took my word for it, agreed that 9-11 days is too short, and went over my options with me. 

For my short luteal phase he recommended we do luteal phase support with HCG shots.  He told me a couple other options but explained why he thought the shots would be best, and I agreed.  I’m already used to giving myself shots anyway, so it wasn’t a big deal to me. 

HCG injections work to lengthen your luteal phase because HCG is the pregnancy hormone.  The pregnancy hormone tells the corpus luteum to produce more progesterone (the corpus luteum is the follicle that originally surrounded the egg and it is responsible for progesterone production in the luteal phase and in the first trimester of pregnancy).  If your body is producing more progesterone it will lengthen your luteal phase.  I was to give myself the shots on Day 3, 6, and 9 after ovulation.

However, I had also been dealing with some other problems which I thought might be part of the reason why we weren’t getting pregnant as well (I’d rather not go into them on a public blog, but e-mail me if you’re curious to know).   When I mentioned those problems to my doctor he mentioned to me that, depending on how aggressive I wanted to be with this, doing an IUI might be an option we’d want to look at.

IUI’s are a more involved infertility treatment, and as such they are also expensive.  I was completely open to the idea of doing one sooner rather than later, but I talked to Derek about it and we decided that we’d wait a little while and if we weren’t pregnant by the end of this summer we’d do the IUI.  August would make it a full year since we’d been actively trying and it would also allow us enough time to save up the money, so that was our plan.

In the meantime I would go on the shots and see if that was enough to fix the problem – but with the additional problems I had I wasn’t sure if it would be enough.

I was pretty realistic going into that first cycle on the shots – and I knew in my head that it wasn’t the month.  However, I kind of allowed myself to get my hopes up anyway.  So when I wasn’t pregnant again (though the shots did work for my luteal phase problem), it was probably the lowest month I had emotionally.  I was in a horrid mood for days (I’m sure the extra hormones in my system didn’t help). 

Even though I knew our chances weren’t good that month, I had allowed myself to hope a little too much, and I found myself almost mad at God for letting me get my hopes up (as if it was His fault – obviously I wasn’t rational).  I was also upset about some other situations that came up at the same time.  And then I was mad at myself for getting upset with the Lord about it. 

However, I was reminded that God isn’t “putting me through all this” – but He might be allowing me to go through these things so that I can turn to Him with my troubles.  So that we could get closer in our relationship, so that I could learn to lean on Him. Again.  (He’s had to teach me this lesson before.)  And I realized I’d been neglecting my relationship with Jesus, and that I needed to get back on the right track

It still took a bit of time for me to adjust my attitude, but the next few weeks were so much more refreshing for me as I remembered what I had forgotten for a little while there – that I need to take my problems to Jesus, try to let them go, and He will handle them for me.  So that’s what I did, and I feel like my attitude was better (not perfect, but better).  I started looking forward to seeing what He would do with our trying to conceive journey this time, instead of being so upset at the wait.

It also struck me at this time that though I had no problem going through the IUI ( I was actually looking forward to it a bit, because I thought we’d have a good chance if we did it), logistically and financially it would be good if we could conceive without having to do it.  So I decided I might as well do everything I could before the end of summer, and I prepared to do some home remedies to help with my other problems for the next cycle.

Then we waited.  And waited.  And my body would just not function properly.  For a little bit there I was pretty sure it just wasn’t going to happen at all this month, and I called my doctor’s office to get a progesterone prescription to start my cycle over, hoping it would help reset things for the next cycle.

But then, the night I got the medication, I just decided that I didn’t think I should take it – that I should just give it a couple more weeks.

And looking back, it must have been the Holy Spirit telling me to wait, because the next day I got a positive ovulation test.

Over the next couple weeks I took the shots and waited.  The thing about the shots is that, because it’s the pregnancy hormone, it’ll give you a false positive on home pregnancy tests. I may or may not have taken a cheap, dollar-store test while on the shots just so I could see two lines (even if they weren’t the real thing).

I felt really good about this cycle during the two week wait.  I thought my at-home remedy would probably help, and our timing was good, and I just thought we’d have a good chance. 

Since you can get false positives on pregnancy tests with the HCG shots I knew I’d have to go in for bloodwork to really know if I was pregnant or not, so I figured out the day that I would go in, and then just waited.

Any pregnancy-like symptoms could just be chalked up to the HCG shots, so I didn’t look too far into the symptoms I had, but I did notice I felt really tired.  I also felt really tired the cycle that I got pregnant with Wyatt.  That was pretty much the only similarity though – I didn’t feel more emotional than usual like I did with Wyatt.  I also thought that I probably just felt tired because I had gotten very poor sleep for an entire week, but even then I thought I was a little more tired than I would normally be, so that gave me a bit of hope.

Then on the 11th day post-ovulation, I had a little dip in my chart, and I started getting really irritable after that – and I just had this feeling.  So much so that I took my first belly pictures on Saturday the 28th, even though I hadn’t even taken a test yet.  I wouldn’t know for sure if I was pregnant until Monday, but if I was pregnant (and I thought I was) I wanted to have a picture of myself at 4 weeks pregnant.

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Monday, April 30th, rolled around, and I waited until I thought I’d burst and then got up to take a pregnancy test.  I was shaking a little going into the bathroom, so afraid that I would be wrong, and that the test would be negative.  I grabbed the test and a cup, prayed that the Lord would just let the test give me accurate results, and then I took it.  And . . .

No lines showed up.

I got a faulty test.

Thankfully I had thought ahead and had gathered my first morning sample in the plastic cup as well.  So I unwrapped a second test, dipped it in the cup, and started counting to twenty.

And before I even finished counting I saw the results window turning blue.

I took it out and stared at those two blue lines, then breathed a little sigh of relief.  Then I took out one of my dollar-store cheapies, and tested again, and the test line was darker than it had ever been when I was just on the shots.

I was pretty sure they weren’t false positives and that I was really pregnant, but I didn’t want to accept it until I had my bloodwork.  It was my worst fear at that moment that those tests were false positives and my doctor would tell me I wasn’t pregnant.  That would have been devastating to me.  So even though I was pretty sure, I didn’t accept it completely right then.  I couldn’t stop staring at my positive tests though!

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I had already planned on getting bloodwork done that morning as well, so I got myself and Wyatt ready and waited to call my doctor’s office.  About fifteen minutes after they opened (I figured I should give them a few minutes after opening, right?) I called and told my nurse (who is great by the way – so much better than the nurses at the other office) that I was two days late and wanted to have some bloodwork done. 

She asked if I had taken a test at home, and I said that I had and that it was positive, but I wasn’t sure if it was still a false positive.  My nurse told me to come on in for some bloodwork, but she sounded pretty optimistic about my home pregnancy test, so that made me feel more excited.  When I got off the phone I gave a happy little scream and danced over to Wyatt.  He gave me the sweetest grin – he didn’t know why I was so excited, but he laughed at my antics, happy to see me happy.

We headed to town for bloodwork, then I went straight back home to meet my mom for lunch – I didn’t want her to know that I had gone down that morning, because I was hoping to come up with some fun way to surprise her with the news later.

That afternoon I had to go to a meeting at work, so after lunch with my mom I took Wyatt over to my brother and sister-in-law’s place since they had agreed to watch him for the afternoon.  Then I rushed down to the meeting.

I found it really hard to concentrate on what everyone was talking about during our work meeting, because I kept thinking about my bloodwork and the results.  I kept my phone right next to me in case my nurse called, and sure enough, about a half hour into the meeting my phone started ringing – so I jumped up in the middle of the discussion and headed out the back door to pick up the phone.

Then my nurse said those words that I had been hoping to hear all afternoon “Well, you’re definitely pregnant!”  I was so relieved and excited!

My HCG levels were about 1400-something, which is almost triple the highest average amount at four weeks pregnant (yes, I googled it), so it was nice and high even for 4 weeks 2 days!  However, she did say my progesterone levels were a little low (about 15), so she said they’d want to put me on progesterone supplements for the rest of the first trimester.  I’m sure the low progesterone levels were related to my luteal phase defect, because low progesterone and luteal phase defects go hand-in-hand.  So until my prescription came in, she said she’d give me some prescription progesterone gel samples.

I went back into the meeting, but had to dive out a little later to answer another call from my doctor – thankfully the meeting was fairly casual, so I don’t think my boss minded too much.  Finding out if I was really pregnant or not and getting all the details worked out was a little more important to me than missing part of the meeting!

I was relieved to find out that my fertility doctor would monitor me through the first trimester and then transfer me over to my regular OB – my fertility doctor already knew my case, so I was glad to stay there for a little while.  So I was told I had to go in for weekly blood draws and I would get two ultrasounds in the first trimester – which I actually thought was a nice perk.  If I had to have progesterone issues, at least I got to see my baby more often!

After my work meeting I rushed over to pick up my medication, stopped to buy some markers, and headed to pick up Wyatt from my brother’s house.  I acted casual and got Wyatt all packed up, and then as soon as I was down the road a ways from their house, I pulled over, climbed into the backseat, and wrote “Big Brother” in marker on Wyatt’s belly (yes, I drew on my toddler – they’re non-toxic markers, and they wash off easily).

Derek was already home when I arrived (as I expected), and I walked in the door and complained about what a long day I’d had (it was all part of my plan).  Then I said Wyatt needed a bath and I asked Derek if he would get him ready, because I needed to use the restroom (a fib, but I wanted to surprise him).  He asked if we should give him a bath after dinner (our normal routine), but there was no way I could wait that long!  So I told him I just wanted to get the bath over with.

Then while Derek took Wyatt in the bathroom, I sneakily grabbed the video camera and got ready to tape . . . except it took Derek forever to get him undressed!  Finally he started to get Wyatt’s shirt, and I took this video:


Telling Derek from Callie on Vimeo.


He thought my brother had written on Wyatt’s stomach, that’s why he didn’t get it right away!  It was fun to surprise him with the news this time (well, as much as I could – he knew I would know soon).  With Wyatt I took my test on a Saturday morning and couldn’t hold it in long enough to think of anything fun, but I had the whole day to come up with something for this one!

We tried 8+ months for this baby (actively, that is).  As I’m typing this I’m 5 weeks, 1 day pregnant.  You won’t be reading this until I’m much further along.

I have to say, it’s a little nerve-wracking to be dealing with progesterone problems with this pregnancy – I agonize about my pregnancy symptoms (or lack thereof), and wonder how the transition will be when I go off of the progesterone at the end of the first trimester. 

I’m so thankful for modern medicine and the fact that doctors have ways of providing supplementation for those who are dealing with hormonal problems (like me).  I have little doubt that we would have waited much longer for our second baby had I not detected my luteal phase defect and gone to a doctor who could provide treatment.  I truly believe that sometimes the Lord chooses to use doctors to bring about His healing, and I thank the Lord for giving them that knowledge and ability!

During the months of waiting, I thought constantly about how blessed I am to have Wyatt. Even though it's always hard to want a baby and have trouble getting pregnant, in some ways it was easier for me this time, because I knew that even if I never had another baby, I'd always have Wyatt. I'd always have this time with him, these memories. Even though it would hurt if he was our only child, it wouldn't be because he wasn't enough - he is more than we could ask for. I thank Jesus every day for giving him to us, for giving us the privilege of raising him.

And I'm so thankful that the Lord gave the okay for him to have a sibling as well. I know I'll treasure each of my children as much as I treasure Wyatt - because none of them are guaranteed, and they are all my precious gifts. Even the ones that haven't been born yet.

Through trying for our second baby, I feel like I was also reminded that “unless the Lord builds the house, the worker’s labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1).  Whether the conditions and timing are perfect or not, God is the one who decides when it’s time.  I read on another blog not too long ago (I forget which one, so forgive me for not referencing if it was your blog), that babies require an egg, a sperm, and a “little bit of miracle” to be made.  I agree and I feel like I understand that even better after going through problems trying to conceive for the second time - that “little bit of miracle” is critical and only comes from the Author of Life.

Every baby that is conceived is an absolute miracle, given directly from the hand of God, by His grace.  Whether your babies come from your own womb, or whether your child starts in someone else’s womb and is then entrusted to you through the blessing of adoption, the way a child comes into their family is nothing short of miraculous in every instance.  What a gift to be treasured and celebrated!

We feel so excited and blessed to be expecting this baby.  I was starting to feel pretty resolved to waiting a while, but the Lord saw fit to bless us with another baby before we had to wait too much longer or go through the IUI, and I am so thankful!  I’m very excited to see Wyatt as a big brother, and as the days roll on my anticipation to have another baby in the house is building. 

To my friends who are still waiting for a miracle of their own – know you have ever been and will remain in my prayers. I can’t ever forget your struggles, because even though I didn’t have to wait nearly as long as some of you have, I do have an idea of how it hurts. You are always close to my heart.

To those of you who knew we were trying for another baby and took time to pray for us – thank you!  I felt your prayers from the beginning, and I have no doubt about the hand those prayers played in our sweet blessing! 

Ach, we’re having a baby!

 





P.S. I’m 12 weeks, 3 days pregnant now, for those of you who were wondering.  First trimester recap and ultrasound photos are coming up next!

How To Announce A Pregnancy On Your Blog

 

So you've (*ahem*) urinated on the stick and lo and behold, there are two lines staring back at you!  Congratulations!  

If you are a normal human being, your first thought is how to tell your husband, family, and maybe some close friends . . . but, if you are a blogger, the very next thought is how to announce your happy news on your blog! 

There are two basic ways to go about this - you can be upfront and obvious, or you can be sneaky.  There are pros and cons to each approach.  

 

The Up-Front Approach

You can just get on your blog, type up the story, put something along the lines of "Big News!" in the subject line and you can bet every person who sees that post in their reader will click to see what the news is.  Though they will most likely already have a pretty good idea what you want to announce as they click.  You can also go even more obvious and title your post "Pregnant!", like I did with my first pregnancy.

 

Cons:
-Not quite as novel or fun.
-Most everyone will guess at your news before they click through to your blog.
-It's just so obvious . . .

Pros:
-There is no chance anyone will miss your big news!
-You will get a nice traffic boost when you use this approach, because not many people can resist clicking through to offer their congratulations.

 

Some nice examples of the Up-Front Approach:

The super-obvious approach at Through Clouded Glass (that would be my announcement of my first pregnancy, by the way).

Another obvious-but-the-title-is-more-fun approach at Hope Road

And one more slightly-less-obvious approach from His Grace Is Sufficient.


 

Absolutely nothing wrong with being obvious!  Like I said, it’ll get you lots of congratulations, and isn’t that what we all want anyway?  I was very happy being up-front when I announced I was pregnant with Wyatt.

 

The Sneaky Approach

If you want to be a little more creative, you could try the sneaky approach.  And yes, creative ways to announce on the blog almost always translate into being somewhat sneaky.   Some creative announcements I've seen have included adding "I'm pregnant" into a random facts list, posting pictures of an older child wearing a shirt with a hint and/or the words "Big Brother/Sister" on it and seeing who notices, or a "Wordless Wednesday" post with pictures to announce the pregnancy.

 

Cons:
-It's very easy for people to miss your news completely with this approach.  Let's face it, the title of a post has alot to do with whether or not someone clicks to read your post - and a post titled "Pregnant!" is going to get a lot more clicks.  You may end up having to post a second, more obvious announcement if people just don't catch it.

Pros:
-You can’t deny this approach is fun!  It allows you to be more creative.
-It can be rather educational to be sneaky and see who catches your announcement.

 

Some good examples of the sneaky/creative approach:

The random-things-list approach from Chloe.  I’m afraid the blog has been set to private now, but she posted a list of 25 random things about herself and snuck “I’m pregnant” in there with the other facts.

The Wordless-Wednesday-big-brother approach from Life And Wife Of A Med Student.

The photos-to-tell-the-story approach at Thoughts and Whatnots.


 

And my personal favorite . . .

The write-a-blog-post-about-how-to-announce-your-pregnancy-and-then-announce-at-the-end-approach at Through Clouded Glass.


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That would be this post.

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Surprise!

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We’re having another baby!  More details to follow!



Mascara Crisis

 

I’m having a mascara crisis!

Okay, that’s putting it rather dramatically, but really, I’m about done with my current brand of mascara.

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I could swear they have done something to it to make it dry out quicker over the last half a year.  Either that or I’m slathering it on way thicker than before, but I don’t think so.  Usually I can make a tube of mascara last a while, but I have to buy a new one every couple of months lately because it’s either running out or drying out.

That combined with the fact that I’ve been getting mascara flakes under my eyes for the last week and a half (which usually doesn’t happen), and I’m ready to try a new brand.

So.  What mascara do you use?  I’m buying some new stuff today and I need recommendations!


First Birthday Parties

 

Alright, first let’s wrap up last week’s poll, shall we?

Do you have a Twitter account/ How do you feel about Twitter?

-I do have an account and I love it! - 6 (26%)

-I have an account, don't use it that much - 4 (17%)

-I have an account, but I don't really "get" Twitter - 7 (30%)

-Don't have an account, prefer other social media - 0 (0%)

-Don't have an account, don't understand the point of Twitter - 6 (26%)

Votes: 23

Wow, I was a bit surprised at the results this time!  I guess I’m surprised at how many people don’t really get Twitter.  But I shouldn’t be, because it took me about two years (?) to understand it. And I’m still not an expert.

Twitter can actually be pretty helpful to bloggers (more so than for the general public, I think), but it is way easier to get into if you have a smart phone.  If you have a smart phone and you’re a blogger, you definitely need to give it a good try. No excuses for you!

Any bloggers out there who consider themselves adept at Twitter?  Because I think the results of this poll call for a post on understanding Twitter, but I’m not sure I’m the person to write it.  But I would love to have you write a guest post for me on the subject.  I’m serious.  E-mail me at throughcloudedglass@gmail.com if you are interested!

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Okay, on to today’s topic, and the subject of the next poll – first birthday parties.

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(From Wyatt’s first birthday party. I just realized that one of the lights in our chandelier was out.  Ignore that.)

I’ve been thinking about first birthday parties a lot lately.  Maybe because I’m only four months removed from Wyatt’s first birthday party.  Maybe because it seems like lots of babyies in the mom-blog world are hitting “One-derland”!  Maybe it’s because I still find cute ideas for parties that I pin to my party Pinterest board.

There are some amazing party ideas out there.  Seriously.  Just search “first birthday party” on Pinterest and take a look at what comes up.  It’s hard not to want your own child’s first birthday to be just as fabulous as all that.

The cute themes.  The birthday banners.  The artfully decorated smash cakes.  The highchairs.  The party hats/outfits. The food tables.  The favors.  The guestbooks.  The presents.

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(Wyatt’s birthday guestbook.)

Anything that can be done for first birthday parties seems to be done these days.

I’m not necessarily saying it’s a bad thing.  You all have seen Wyatt’s first birthday party post.  You know the effort I put into it, and I had such fun doing it.

But what I’m getting at more than effort is the money that goes into all of this.  Or at least the pressure for all the money to go into this.

A few months before Wyatt’s first birthday, I got the catalog in the mail.  The first birthday catalog.  Filled with tons of decorations, accessories, and pretty much anything you could think of wanting for a party.

I’m sure you all got the same catalog.  How do these people get our names, anyway?

Sure, they had a ton of cute stuff in it.  But I sat down and added up all the things that you could buy for one party, based on what they were selling in the catalog.  And it was a lot of money.  At least it was a lot to me, but maybe I have unrealistic expectations about what it takes to throw a first birthday party.

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(Cupcakes.)

After I threw Wyatt’s first birthday party I sat down and added up how much I spent on everything, including outfit, decorations, presents, and food.  At first I thought what I spent was a lot, but not after looking at the catalog.

And it made me wonder, what is the average amount that is spent on first birthday parties these days?  I really want to know.

Because let’s be honest, people, the kids aren’t going to remember any of it.  First birthday parties are often more for the parents and family than for the kids, just because of the fact that they won’t remember.

Wyatt won’t remember his first birthday party.  I will.  But he won’t.

I don’t remember my first birthday party.  I like looking at the pictures.  It was a circus theme, and I had a cake shaped like a circus train.  But that was the extent of it – no elaborate decorations or any of that.

And I looked perfectly happy, thrilled even, with my little party.

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(Wyatt at his first birthday party.)

And yet it seems like there is all this pressure to have an amazing first birthday party for our kiddos.  Probably more so for us blogging/pinning people.  And aside from the outside pressure we also put the pressure on ourselves, because who doesn’t want everyone to “ooh and aah” over our creativity? 

I know I’m not immune.  And I really don’t think it’s bad to spend a bit of money and effort making your child’s first birthday party special.

I just think there should be a balance.

So, in light of that, what do you think is a reasonable amount to spend on a first birthday party?  How much would you/did you spend on your child’s first birthday party (including decorations, presents, outfits, and food)?

Tell me below if you feel comfortable, otherwise you can be anonymous and vote to the left!  I’m going to leave this poll open a little longer to last through next week, and I'm allowing multiple answers for those of you who have multiple kiddos.

I’ll tell you how much I spent on Wyatt’s party when I do the wrap-up of this poll in a couple weeks!


Good-bye, Miss Quince

 

A couple months ago we found our dog Quincy a new home.

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You’ll remember Quincy from that time last year when she went on vacation without us?  She was sure a character, for a dog.

She really was the sweetest little dog you’d ever meet, most of the time.  But occasionally she would show aggression toward other dogs.

I never really mentioned it on here, because it only happened once or twice a year, tops.  And usually just with my parent’s dog, so we made sure to keep them apart.

However, I always worried about her a little bit, especially before we had Wyatt.  But when he was born she was just an angel dog. She didn’t have any aggression issues for over a year, and Wyatt could pull on her hair or ears and she’d just sit there patiently and let him play with her.  She was wonderful with Wyatt.

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But then randomly, at the beginning of this year, she showed some aggression toward Ralphie (our Yorkie).  Enough that it started to scare me a little.  And it was so weird, because she and Ralphie were always the best of friends.

It was after that when I told Derek that I thought we should start keeping an eye out for another home for her.  I didn’t want a dog around that I couldn’t trust.  Even though I loved her to bits, and I went back and forth on whether I really could do it or not.

A couple months went by, and we didn’t find anybody.  I knew I couldn’t give her up to just anyone.  I had to know that she’d be happy.

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But then she ran away a couple different times (remember how she’s a runner?), and the first time she came back she had clearly been given a bath.  I don’t think I was ever able to get her hair quite that fluffy.

She ran away again a few weeks later, and some people called to say they had her.  Derek went to pick her up, and found out it was the same people who had her before.  They had two little girls, and they mentioned they’d like to keep Quincy.

So Derek told them the whole situation and explained that we’d been trying to find a home for her.

He brought her back and told me, and I just knew she’d be happy there.  Both times she seemed to be almost sorry to leave this family to come back here.  I knew they could give her the attention that we just couldn’t give her with two other dogs and a baby.

So we said goodbye.

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The family was so sweet, and the little girls wanted us to know that we could come visit or have her back here to “spend the night” whenever we wanted to!

It’s still sad though.  I miss the way she’d wag her whole back-end when she was happy to see us, and I miss seeing her and Ralphie playing together.  I’ll miss having her around for Wyatt, because she would sit still and let him play with her while the other dogs either slobbered on him in passing or wouldn’t give him the time of day. And I’ll even miss how she had no sense of personal space – she’d just scoot closer and closer to you until she was practically on top of your head. It was cute.

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She was a sweetie, but I’m glad we found a good home for her.  The Lord really just dropped the solution in our laps, and I knew it was the right move.  They love her, and I know she’s happy.

I miss you, Quincy-Girl.  Thanks for being part of our family for a little while.


Making Conversation

Welcome to friendship tips, round two!  If you didn’t read the other posts in the series so far, scroll down to the bottom of this post.

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This week is a bit of a continuation of last week’s post on starting a friendship, because I’m going to talk about making conversation with potential or existing friends.  I feel like the following “tips” have been helpful to me in making friends, but conversations with long time friends just go better when I follow these suggestions too. 

So continuing off of the last tip of “Don’t talk only about yourself”…

 

4. Do ask your friend about herself (and be interested in what she has to say).

A lot of you mentioned this one last week too, and I felt like you were reading my mind! 

Sometimes you are trying to form a friendship with someone who is just really quiet. If you are a bit of a talker (like me), it’s easy to just fill the silence with a lot of jabber about whatever, but that’s not really accomplishing anything. Take a breath and come up with some questions to ask the other person. People like to know you are interested in them as a person, and generally people like talking about themselves.

If you are the quiet person, then come up with some questions you can ask the other person before you go. Then you won’t have to talk as much yourself, and you won’t have those uncomfortable silences if you fill them with a question.

And if you are going to ask a question, really be interested in what the other person answers. People can tell when you aren’t really paying attention, or when you aren’t really interested in what they are saying.


5. Do learn to be a conversationalist.

Being a good conversationalist involves giving and taking. You have to ask questions. But you also have to be able to hold up your end of the conversation. If someone asks you a question, try not to let your answer be just one sentence. They are asking because they are interested in learning more about you – give them some details. Not too much (obviously), but put in a little effort – if you have a story that might be applicable, tell it. If you have an opinion of the subject or an interesting tidbit, share it. For example . . . if someone asks me how my baby is doing, there are a few things I could say:

Option 1 (poor): “He’s doing good.” *Followed by awkward silence as the other person scrambles for something else to ask me.*

Option 2 (slightly better): “He’s doing good. He’s growing so big!” *Still not great, but at least the other person has something to work with – my baby’s growth.*

Option 3 (better): “He’s doing good! We started solids last week and he’s learning to crawl!” *The person has a couple of more interesting directions where they could possibly take the conversation.*

Option 4 (best): “He’s doing good! He’s learning to crawl and last week . . .(insert cute story).” *This is better because stories are good – they fill time and keep the conversation going. As I tell about my how my baby crawled into the kitchen, opened the cupboard door and scattered cereal all over the floor, the conversation has a lot more possibility – the person could comment on my baby’s crawling, start up a conversation about baby-proofing, talk about how the price of groceries is getting outrageous, or bring up some related story of their own. See?*

Note: My child did not actually get into the cupboard and scatter cereal all over the floor.  It’s just something I can imagine him doing.


6. Do put yourself in a group with your friend.

I’m not talking about taking your friend to a group with you (although that’s not a bad idea), I’m talking about using group words. Words like “we” and “us” can work wonders as far as building a bond. If you have similar experiences you can put yourself into a group with your friend using those experiences. For example, as the conversation leads (don’t force it), you could insert these type of phrases “The things we moms/wives do for our families. . .” Or “those of us who have been skydiving know . . .” as you are talking directly to your fellow sky-diver. You get the idea. But please! Do not use these types of phrases in conversations with one of your friends when you are in a group of friends that includes some people who might not belong to the same “group” as you do. The only circumstance where that would be okay is if it’s part of an inside rivalry/joke that includes everyone in the group. Otherwise it’s just rude.


7. Do not leave others out.

Okay, I feel like we are going back to grade school on this one, but it’s probably worth mentioning. If you are in a group setting and you want to have any possibility of developing friendships with some of the people you might not know as well, do not cling so closely to the people you do know that you exclude the ones you don’t. If there are three or four of you getting together for a girl’s day, don’t talk about an event that only two or three of you are invited to. Stories are good, but don’t get so caught up in reminiscing with one friend that you make the other{s} who weren’t there feel left out. Try to include everyone in the conversation, even if you don’t know some of them as well.

 

As I was writing these tips, I kept thinking about the verse in Proverbs that says a man who has friends must show himself friendly (Proverbs 18:34). I think that verse pretty much sums up the last two posts, don’t you? I feel like everything that has been mentioned so far is just encompassed in general friendliness toward our established friends and potential friends. Of course I wanted to elaborate more on specific tips, but I might have saved us all a bit of time by just quoting that verse. I don’t think the Lord minds my taking the time to apply that verse specifically though, which is what I’m hoping the last seven tips have done.

What are some of your conversational tips for friendship situations?  I’d love to hear!

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Don’t forget, if you want to link-up, you can do so anytime between here and the end of July.  Read this post for general guidelines on the link-up and more ideas on what to write about.  I can’t wait to read what all of you come up with!  Be sure to check out the other posts in the link-up too, because everyone had such good things to say last week, and I’m sure there are more good things to be said this week!

Just a reminder – next week is a break week on this series for me, but if you have anything you want to say, just write a post and come back here to link it up!  The liny will still be open even though I’m taking the week off. 

On July 3rd I’ll cover Basic Friendship Maintenance – but I feel like that is something that could be wildly different from person to person, and I’d really be interested in what others have to say on that one.  So be thinking!



Other posts (of mine) in this series:

On Friendships That End

Starting A Friendship




What We’ve Been Up To (Catch-up)


 

Just some stuff we’ve been up to lately that I want to remember.

A couple weekends ago . . .

We attempted a picnic, but we got rained out.  So we just ended up driving up to our picnic spot and sitting in the car.

Wyatt practiced his driving (not really, but you know):

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Derek bought me a homemade peanut butter cup (excuse my crazy hair in these pictures):

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And we decided to go out for Chinese food.  Of course it was beautiful in town.  Figures.

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In the restaurant:

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And we ate while Wyatt chewed on my wallet (teething).

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The weekend after that we bought our new car and did nothing else too exciting.  It was actually very relaxing.

Last week was my birthday, and we didn’t get a chance to do much on my actual birthday because of work and stuff.  Though Derek gave me an early present the night before my birthday.

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He bought us a movie to watch and some candy!  It was a nice evening.

So we celebrated my birthday together on Saturday!  We dropped Wyatt off at my sister’s and went to see “What To Expect When You’re Expecting”.  I wish it wasn’t so crude, but I must say that Derek and I did think many of the jokes were funny.  Then we walked around a few shops, got ice cream, grabbed a pizza, and ate at home.  It was a very nice birthday!

Me and my boy:

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He just looked so cute, I had to take a picture:

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Walking around after the movie (though we didn’t go on any of the rides):

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And I’m afraid we didn’t do very much on Father’s Day for Derek this year (just the way everything played out), so this upcoming weekend is reserved for Derek to do whatever he wants to do – which he’s mentioned wanting to work on the landscaping around here.  Doesn’t sound relaxing to me, but to Derek it is!  Wyatt did give Derek his Father’s Day present though.

It’s hard to see, but Wyatt drew all over the front of that card for Derek:

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A Sawyer Brown CD:

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And a picture mug!  Maybe it’s a bit cliché, but I got Derek a picture mug from Wyatt last year, and he requested an updated one this year!

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And that catches us up to today!  I was obviously way behind on documenting . . .




P.S. The next installment of the friendship Link-Up will be up tomorrow - I'll be writing about making conversation this week, so kind of continuing on the making friends theme from last week. If you have anything to say on the topic of friendship, write it down and link-up! Check out the link-up details post for more ideas on what to write about.
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