All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


Why I Was Sad

When we were going through infertility, I was very depressed and sad.  I couldn’t get my mind off of what we didn’t have, and what we may never have.  A family member was going through IF at the same time as us (but was on her 4th year of it while we were in our 2nd and 3rd years) and once said, “my family doesn’t understand that I think about our infertility about 98% of the time.”  I completely agreed with that – because that’s how I was too.  I was a bad wife during that time, an unfocused employee, and a selfish friend – because my mind was always on our inability to have a baby (even with treatments).

I would wonder in those days what I thought I was missing.  I knew that I was missing the idea of a baby – that I really didn’t even know what having a baby would be like.  People would say things like, ‘until you have a child, you have no idea how much joy parenthood is’ (why did people say this to me during our struggles?  WHY?).  I knew they were right though – I knew that there was no way for me to quite understand what I was missing out on, and I think that made the sadness even worse.  I WANTED to know the joy that so many people attain so easily.  I often said that I wasn’t sure why I was so sad, because it’s not like I really KNOW what we’re missing out on.  But I did know we were missing out on something very special.  I did know that we were missing out on the one thing I had always wanted most in my life.  I knew we were missing out on an unexplainable joy that I hoped we would realize one day.

Today, while getting Matthew ready for his nap, I was changing his diaper and he quickly pointed out his belly button and laughed hysterically.  At that moment, I thought, “this is why I was sad.”  What is funny about a child pointing at their belly button and laughing?  You can’t describe why that’s funny – and without the experience, you just don’t get it.  But when it’s your kid getting such joy out of his own belly button, it gives you the greatest chuckle.

There are many moments like these throughout the day – too many to count.  I stay home with Matthew and witness almost everything he does, and I feel bad for B that he doesn’t get to witness the same things.  Matthew has so many happy, fun, joyful moments that I can’t even remember them all to tell B about them.  I do my best to take photos and send them to B throughout the day, but there is just so much I can’t capture.

And this is why I was sad during our IF experience.  I was missing out on so many things that I didn’t even know would bring me such joy.  I was missing out on the simplest joy in the world – the view of the world through a child’s eyes.

I am so glad we’re past the sadness.  It was a dark time – a hard time (hell – it was an impossible time).  I look forward to the day when all the gals I follow on the ALI journey are past the sadness too.  What a happy day that will be!

So much joy in a such a small little person!

So much joy in a such a small little person!



Scares and Realizations

We had a bit of a scare yesterday – and I’ll start by saying that everything is fine.

I had an earlier start than normal yesterday morning because Matthew and I were both ready to get the day started.  B had taken off for the gym at 5:30 and I never really fell back asleep after he left, so by the time Matthew got up at 7:00 and finished breakfast and his normal Curious George viewing by 8:15, we were ready to get a move-on!

As I hopped in the shower, I wondered why I hadn’t felt Bryson move yet.  I thought and thought about the last time I felt him move, and the last time was around 11:30 the night before.  I didn’t panic, but was a bit concerned.  As we showered, I thought back to when I got up to use the bathroom at 3:00 and again at 5:30 that morning, and realized that despite his normal routine, Bryson didn’t move.  As I tried not to freak out and rush our shower, my mind was racing as I was trying to shake Bryson awake.  Nothing was working.

When we finished up, I promptly got Matthew dressed and then downed a bunch of cold water.  Nothing.  I texted B that I needed him home and why.  I tried calling him too.  He wasn’t responding.  I leaned up against the bathroom counter which always gets Bryson riled up, and again – nothing.  I laid on the floor and had Matthew sit on my belly (Bryson hates that), and again – nothing.  I laid on my side in the bed and talked to B long enough to just tell him to get home NOW, and again – nothing.  Back to the bathroom counter I went and I thought maybe I felt something, but then realized it was my pulse I was feeling.  My mind kept going to those awful places you can’t help, and I was feeling scared that we were maybe in some trouble.

I don’t do kick counts with this baby.  I did with Matthew since he didn’t move a ton, but Bryson is so predictable.  I ALWAYS know the last time I felt him moving because he’s moving, and kicking the hell out of me, all the time.  When I get up to use the restroom in the night, he wakes up too.  When I get up to check on Matthew when he’s sick, Bryson gets up too.  The minute I’m up in the morning, he’s up and making his presence known very firmly, and for hours at a time.  He’s an active baby.  Realizing that I’d felt nothing from him in over 9 hours was freaking me out, especially when my efforts at waking him up were going un-noticed by him.

As I stood at that bathroom counter, wondering if I should call the doctor (in two pregnancies so far, I’ve only called the doctor once with a concern), the phone rang.  It was the triage nurse – B had called her after we hung up.  She asked what was going on, asked if I was doing kick counts (I explained why I don’t need to – and why I was freaking out), and told me what she wanted me to do.  I was to eat something high in sugar, drink more cold water, and lay down for up to an hour, or until I felt 10 movements.  I know all of this, and was trying it leading up to this point (besides the sugar because we don’t have that stuff in the house), but I really needed to just FOCUS and not have a toddler to tend to.  I ate Matthew’s rejected blueberries and a banana and got in bed just as B was getting home.  He came home to me in tears, waiting desperately for some movement.  I asked him to get me a super icy water bottle and with that and the banana, Bryson finally woke up.  He wasn’t near as active as he usually is, but as time went on, he got stronger and I only counted the good kicks because I wasn’t messing around with this.  It took 16 minutes from the first strong kick to the 10th – so that’s pretty good.  I laid there longer just letting him beat on me… feeling good knowing he was OK.  (And I called the nurse back, letting her know that things were fine.)

After that, our day really started and we had a great day.  I think it’s amazing how quickly things can go from a complete panic attack to perfectly fine.  All I needed was for my baby to move like he usually does and I could move on.

What did come from all of this is B’s realization that we really are close to having this baby and he needs to keep his phone with him and turned up at all times, my realization that we must keep something sugary in the house in case this happens again (my awesome neighbor gave me a Snic.kers bar for this – and it’s been hard not eating it!), and… I finally packed for the hospital.  Because this baby is REAL and he is coming any time now.  I’ll be 36 weeks this Saturday, and he truly could make an appearance at any point in time.

What did I pack?  I want to list it here in case we have another baby in a couple of years.  With Matthew, I just packed shit – lots of it.  I didn’t need a bunch of it so I’m not doing that this time around.  I was very methodical:

  • 3 of my own maternity/nursing hospital gowns (I highly recommend these – they’re pretty and more comfortable!)
  • 5 baby nightgowns (all worn by Matthew – they are so cute!)
  • 2 muslin swaddling blankets
  • 2 swaddlers just in case he’s good at getting his hands out of the hospital blankets used to swaddle him
  • 2 “coming home” outfits for Bryson (I will decide which one he wears once he’s born)
  • 1 “coming home” hat for Bryson
  • 1 pair of “coming home” booties for Bryson
  • 2 newborn baby hats for photos (thank you, Etsy!)
  • 1 special blanket for Bryson (bought this today at my favorite baby boutique – yay!)
  • Ear plugs (B will be with me and can wake me when Bryson wakes up in the night)
  • Contact solution, case, toothbrush, toothpaste, makeup, hair products, lip balm, etc.
  • Med.ela hydrogel pads for relieving sad nipples

I will pack an outfit for me to come home in later on – I need to keep wearing my faves for now!

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Today has been much better – Bryson is back to his normal self and beating me up for hours at a time.  I prefer it this way!




My Sunburn

It’s been a long time since I’ve talked about my pregnancy.  I keep photos and stats on this page,  My pregnancy with Matthew was so easy, relatively speaking, and this one has been too.

I can’t believe that I’ll officially be 35 weeks tomorrow, and that I’m delivering in 4.5 weeks.  We went for the hospital tour the other night at the new hospital and saw the nurse who helped us deliver Matthew.  We LOVED nurse Laurel, and after she left the day Matthew was born, we figured we wouldn’t see her again since we’d be delivering at the new hospital next time.  We locked eyes with her and she knew immediately who we were, and that was super fun!  We reminisced about the delivery, and her helping us nurse, and then told her when we would be there this time around.  She’s going to try to be on that morning to be our nurse again!  I know that it may not work out, but it would be so awesome if it did!

The new hospital is a complete 180 from the hospital where we delivered Matthew.  The hospital downtown is – well – a hospital!  It’s been there forever and it’s there for the simple reason of taking care of people.  The hospital out west isn’t intended for severe cases, etc. and is much more comfortable and leisurely.  The rooms are HUGE, there is tons of space for Matthew to run around and play, and the entire setup is more like a hotel than a hospital.  I’m actually looking forward to being there next month for 3 nights  🙂

So all is going well with this pregnancy.  Bryson (that is still his name, despite discussions the other night about maybe changing it) is measuring 2 weeks ahead when it comes to femur length and head circumference.  People say that that means nothing, but I don’t believe that for a minute because Matthew was the same way and was born with a 16 inch head!  The ultrasound tech was very precise, measured several times, and says this baby is looking to be a bit bigger than Matthew was (8 pounds 9 ounces).  She’s a super natural, crunchy kind of gal and she told me that I’m lucky I’m having a c-section again, because this baby’s head is “huge.”  She is estimating his weight at delivery (39w3d) to be about 8 pounds 14 ounces to 9 pounds.

I am not one to complain about pregnancy, but a few of you have asked me how this pregnancy is going.  I know that pregnancy comes with its own set of challenges and even though it’s wonderful, there are certain things that can suck about it.  I fully expected (and hoped for) morning sickness, sore hips, and stiff back, heartburn, round ligament pain, etc.  I have never had morning sickness, for which I am very grateful, but I have fierce heartburn way early on (started at 2 months with Matthew and was debilitating through the end).  This time around has been kinder to me with the heartburn, but hauling Matthew around (28.5 pounds) does cause sorer hips and a stiffer back earlier in the day than last time.  I didn’t have round ligament pain with Matthew but have had 3 bouts of it so far with this pregnancy and the third time had me in tears, unable to breathe, for an hour (Dr. H says it gets worse with each pregnancy).  At the end of each day, I’m pretty much done.  It’s been better lately, but there were a few weeks between Florida and now that I just needed to sit on the sofa after Matthew was in bed.  Don’t get me wrong, I still sit on the sofa after he’s in bed, but it’s out of desire and not necessity/survival!

I have a very strange condition that apparently only happens to 5% of pregnant women.  I had it with Matthew and I have it with Bryson.  My cousin, interestingly enough, had the same thing with her pregnancy when we were pregnant together last time (due 1 week apart).  We both asked our docs about it and they seemed perplexed, but then I had an appointment with Dr. H and he said, “oh yeah, that happens to about 5% of women for no reason at all.  The only cure or treatment for it is to deliver the baby.”    The condition is hard to describe, and the best way of describing it is to say it’s like having a severe sunburn in just one spot – and it’s chronic.  My cousin and I both had it under our right breast, and it’s about 5 inches wide and 3 inches tall.  It hurts – ALL THE TIME.  Everyone (including me) speculated last time that it was from Matthew’s head being in my ribs (he was frank breech) but Bryson is head-down and I have it worse this time.  In fact, it covers the exact same area as last time, but there is very rarely a baby or any movement there at all, and it hurts worse this time around.  When there is movement there – it hurts like a SOB and it’s unbearable.  It’s just awful.  Imagine having the worst sunburn of your life in just one spot, for 5 months without end, with multiple flares during the day – and that’s what it’s like.  There is no relief from it (we tried aloe vera in addition to many other things – and nothing helps).

Besides that, I’m doing just great!  Bryson has more room to stretch, we believe, because he’s very active.  Matthew ended up having a short cord (9 inches) which explained why he never turned/flipped (even early on) and only rolled side to side.  When he was delivered, Dr. H announced to the surgical team that, “we have a VERY short cord here” and later said that Matthew didn’t have much to work with in there.  We assume Bryson does.  He is ALL over the place.  He is strong and his kicks hurt a lot, but it’s fun to feel and see big movements from him!

Sure, my back hurts a lot, my hips are sore in the morning, the heartburn isn’t relieved from medication, and I’ve had round ligament pain that has left me in tears – but I think that’s normal stuff and I don’t really complain.  Heck, I was able to play basketball out back on our court with Matthew last night and fully hoist him into the air to dunk the ball.  I would say I’m doing just fine!

I’ve gained more than I’ve wanted (30 pounds!) and have struggled with that.  I only gained 18 pounds with Matthew, so this is really different for me.  YES, I started out 25 pounds heavier when I got pregnant with Matthew, but the number still bothers me.  Interestingly enough, I am measuring small again and the docs don’t know where the weight has gone and are not concerned (it’s all in my butt).  We know that the baby is HUGE but still – 30 pounds?  I am still wearing all the same clothes I got when I first bought maternity jeans, so I’m not expanding more than one would expect with a 30 pound gain.  Who knows!  I thought I was going to get my first, “you look like you’re about to pop” comment yesterday when I responded that I’m 35 weeks to the cashier at Bab.y G.ap.  She said, “whoa!” and I braced myself for what was about to come.  But instead, she said that I’m small and that she thought I was having a July or August baby.  I wanted to hug her!  Of course, I told her that I appreciated the comment and then went on to tell her that I’ve gained 30 pounds and am just not sure why.

My breasts have not grown at all (which also adds to the confusion of where those 30 pounds are and WHY they happened) – I mean – they have not grown at ALL.  They got HUGE early on when I was pregnant with Matthew and I needed new bras in the first trimester.  This time around, I can’t fill those bras up and they are way too big.  I know this has nothing to do with how successful I’ll be at breastfeeding this baby, but I will admit that I’m a little nervous about that anyway.

My feet have not swollen at all like last time.  I think it may be because I’m so active during the day being a SAHM this time around – and because I put my feet up during Matthew’s nap time.  I am just thrilled about this!  I know it could change tomorrow, but for now, I’m thrilled!

Am I glowing?  No.  Am I the most pleasant pregnant gal on the planet?  No.  Do I constantly marvel at what’s growing inside me?  No.  But I am doing really well and when I have time to think about what’s going on in my uterus, I smile from ear to ear!

Even the big kicks to “my sunburn” make me smile!



Out of Control

This room of Matthew’s has gotten out of control.  I mean – 100% out of control.  What started out as a simple plan is now quite elaborate and there’s more work to do each and every day.  I’m supposed to be winding down, but I’m not.  We’re not.  We both have added things to the list of things to do.

B wants the room to be “cool and fun” for Matthew.  I agree.  I think children’s rooms are supposed to be their safe places, their happy places.  I want Matthew to like spending time in there, and that leads me down this path of infinite possibilities.  And B too.

For instance, I put the framed print from my sister up on the shelf in his room and asked B what he thought.  He said that it’s not the right place and that he’d like to put pine trees up there.  BRILLIANT IDEA!  So now we need to get fake (or real) pine trees for that space.  NOT IN THE PLAN.

Another example.  B bought me a polar.oid printer (for Mother’s Day) to create small prints from the photos on my phone, and then said that it would be nice for Matthew to have a pin or magnet board in his room to put them on.  I loved that idea, so I spent tons of time on Etsy trying to find the perfect thing.  I didn’t find it – which led me to PBK (which you all know that I have a love/hate relationship with PBK).  I found what I thought was perfect, took B there last night to show him, he liked the idea, so I bought them.  NOT IN THE PLAN.  Upon coming home and putting them where I wanted them, B says, “that’s not what I had in mind, I want him to be able to reach it.  I’ll find him a magnetic easel but keep these.”  An easel is NOT IN THE PLAN.

Then there are all the animals on the walls of Matthew’s old room that he loves – and B said that he thinks we should find different ones for his new room.  Again, I LOVE the idea and have found lots of options, but they’re NOT IN THE PLAN.

It’s not just B.  I mentioned getting Matthew some Curious George sheets from PBK because he loves CG.  We both know that this does NOT go with the outdoor theme, but we don’t really care.  B thought it was a great idea so now we’re considering it.  NOT IN THE PLAN.  I got a bedside book shelf that we both think is perfect, but it was NOT IN THE PLAN.  Oh – and along with those fun magnetic boards comes a need for fun, cool magnets.  I’ve been busy on Etsy.  Again, NOT IN THE PLAN.

What I find so strange is that prior to being a stay at home mom, I was a project manager.  I was a good one.  I was excellent at managing scope and budgets, and kicking things out because they were NOT IN THE PLAN.  But when it comes to my own projects, the sky is the limit and I sort of don’t care.  It’s become a real problem.  The same thing happened with our nursery – and that room doesn’t hold a candle to what this room is going to end up being.

So yeah – the room is coming together but the project gets longer and longer because of our new ideas (my latest idea today was to buy a bona fide hiking sign from a campground sign vendor (yes, there really is one of those) – and B agreed).  I’m out of control.  And the worst part is – I have no interest in getting back into control.

If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, now you know!