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Love is Powerful

"Im going to have this baby on the toilet and I'm ok with it." When I was in labor with Phen I remember sitting on the toilet in the guest bathroom, holding onto Stephen’s arms, the midwife with a flashlight checking to see what was happening. I could have sworn I was going to give birth right there on the toilet. I had completely accepted that and was ready to give birth. Turns out that was transition.

Today I was again sitting on the toilet, experiencing contractions, in labor, and thinking to myself Im going to give birth on this toilet. Today I released my second pregnancy- a 7w3day baby and placenta. Today I had a miscarriage. Today I celebrated how amazing our bodies are, the fact that I can carry life inside of me. Today I grieved a loss, the loss of a baby, the loss of a life and the hopes and dreams I had for that life. Today I felt just how powerful love is.

The following is my second pregnancy blog- today is first followed by the posts I had been saving for posting later once we had officially announced. My hope is that I can use these thoughts for remembrance and reflection and perhaps they can help someone else in this experience.

Feb 21: We interviewed a midwife on Thursday. In a situation where you have zero control it was helpful for me with Phen to have a plan in place- where we were going to birth, who we were going to birth with and check off the to-do items week by week for the birth center. This time we decided to go with a private practice certified nurse midwife- mostly because of the convenience and being closer for monthly appointments. Driving 40 mins each way for a 10 minute chat just doesn't seem like fun.

I started having a little spotting at bowling, but it was light brown and normal. I will still feeling all the signs of being pregnant too. I was reassured when I asked the midwife, Sarah, her advice. We tried listening for a heartbeat with Doppler at the appointment, but because we are unsure of the conception date we could be 11ish weeks, we could be 9 weeks- or even only 6-7 weeks. We didn't hear a heartbeat but thought we heard a couple blips. We made an appointment with Sarah again for Tuesday- just a few days makes a big difference (same thing we did with Phen). She offered to write a referral for an early ultrasound to put our mind at ease but I decided to wait it out.

Friday morning I woke up to a little more bleeding- spotting really- some pink but still nothing to be concerned about. Sarah thought it was sub-chorionic bleeding. I continued to feel uneasy and decided to ask for the early ultrasound. The risks of an early US were outweighed by my stress and need for a peace of mind. I was second guessing everything and felt so worried and bogged down by thoughts that I couldn't tune into myself and listen to my intuition.

The US appointment was going to be the make it or break it for this pregnancy. We would find out it was a viable pregnancy or not. When the US tech couldn't find much with an abdominal scan I started to prepare myself. When she did a vaginal scan and said she was concerned, she was going to get the radiologist I knew.

They should give more training on how to deliver and inform a mother what is going on in her body. I am the kind of person who wants the information. They just said “Im so sorry” and I had to ask what they saw. The saw that a fetus had formed, had formed a fetal pole but there was no signs of a heartbeat. The fetus was measuring at 7w3d and there was a placenta. They could also tell that I had been bleeding (although they did not tell me how they knew or saw this).

I called Sarah after my appointment, knowing what this meant. There was a SUPER small possibility that we had our conceptions dates way off and I was only 6 weeks and the pregnancy test showed up positive right after we conceived…but that was a super small chance. We would know over the weekend if I released the placenta and fetus or the bleeding stopped.

We had not told many people about this pregnancy- I had only told a few friends. The downside of telling people early and sharing that new excitement is sharing bad news should something happen in those early weeks. Telling others such sad news was hard- I had a lot of tears on Friday. I also felt so much love and support from friends holding me in their thoughts, sending love and light.

Friday I continued to have light spotting and not much was different. A little increase but not enough to worry. Saturday morning I woke up and had increased bleeding. Enough to feel and enough to use a real pad and menstrual cup. I knew that my cervix felt different when I inserted the menstrual cup and it caused some cramping. Saturday came and went without much cramping- just some un-comfortableness. I kept myself busy with a project- repainting my craft/photo/me space.

Sunday morning I had the same small bleeding. I was preparing for a photo shoot and tried using a menstrual cup but that caused intense cramping. I had to remove it and I knew today would be the day. As the photo shoot came to an end I could feel the cramping intensifying. I remembered these feelings of labor. I took some valerian root and sat with a heating pad. I felt so poorly that Stephen took Phen to the grocery store so I could rest and have some alone time. As the cramping intensified I went to the bathroom. I sat on the toilet wishing the cramps to go away. I was in labor. I recalled back to being in labor with Phen, thinking I was going to give birth on the toilet. This time I really was going to birth on the toilet. With an intense cramp I felt release and I released the placenta. What a beautiful organ the placenta is- at 7w gestation age it was already larger than I thought it would have been. Truly amazing. I sat for a moment and reflected on what had just happened. I was no longer growing a life inside of me. I was at peace.

While my body enters a postpartum time I know there will be ups and downs- and there will be times that Im angry, jealous, sad, hurt, confused. I will also have times of peace, calm, easiness, and celebration.

I think that a part of me knew that this pregnancy wasn't going to come to full term. I had uneasy feelings and was quite surprised by the fact that I was pregnant- and then I had worry- so much worry. I brushed it off as being a mom and knowing but I think I knew. I was having a hard time attaching to this pregnancy- I was excited but I wasn't ready to get too excited before hearing that heartbeat.

Women are given the biggest blessing and biggest responsibility- the ability to carry life. The universe has chosen easy paths for some women and varying degrees of more difficult paths for others. Questioning why you are on a certain path does not change it. You must accept what has come across your path and decide how it will change you.

I always knew that I loved being pregnant. Know I know how much I truly love bringing a life into this world, and how blessed I will be for each life I get to carry. Although this fetus didn't develop a heartbeat it was still my baby.

From the moment I knew you were growing inside me I have loved you.

They say miscarriage but there is nothing wrong about the time or way I carried you.

I carried you inside my womb, helped you grow, nourished you, protected you.

I carried you in my heart each and every second of every day.

I fell deeply and madly in love with you. With the dreams and hopes I had for your life.

I saw you fitting perfectly into our family.

You are unique, irreplaceable and special to us. You are loved more than you will ever know.

You are gone too soon. You will always be our baby. You will always be loved. You will always be mine.

I send you off with blessings and love and light. I know that I will see you in little things, in memories, in my heart. I know that you were mine, and I was yours.

Thank you sweet baby for our time together.

Pregnancy #2 Blog Posts

Jan 6: Im fortunate to have a best friend who is set on doing most things a few months before me- wedding, baby #1, baby #2 so I have someone to talk to who has been there recently (Justina if you ever need to move every 18 months or across the country a couple times let me know ;) I am going to add back in there the weight gain- because I think it is interesting to track pregnancy to pregnancy.

Once again Im stealing her blog ideas, which is a slight amendment from baby #1. Make sure to check out her blog over at Knot to Nest.

My goal is to blog each week and hopefully publish it, if not blog/journal each week and publish each month. There is just something about now having a toddler that takes up more of your time…. So here goes!

5 days ago I took a pregnancy test- the 1st of the year seemed like a great time to take one, especially after being told I was ovulating. Negative test. After being in a funky mood I had somewhat resigned myself to not being pregnant- my body not being ready. I figured we would try this month (January) with no goalie or system in place and see what happened by Feb 1st. If no positive test by Feb 15th then we had most likely missed January as a conception month and then we would just wait until May at the earliest. I was becoming okay with having my babies 3 years apart- hey this way we could try for another July baby. I woke up Monday with an icky UTI-ish feeling but took some Echinacea and it went away. Chalked it up to body wash irritation. Wednesday the 6th chatting with my friend I was taking another shot of Echinacea and explaining my UTI-ish feeling. As I was saying how I don't even remember the last time I had this feeling my brain switched. The words came out of my mouth but my brain remember that UTI feelings are often an early sign of pregnancy. What the heck- Ill take a test but wont expect anything- I was just negative. Well as Im on the phone I watch the test absorb and the lines start to show. A positive pregnancy test. “Well I know why I have the UTI feeling. I'm pregnant”

The roller coaster of emotions was intense in those first few moments of realization. I think it took me a minute to really soak it in. My heart was racing- how exciting- but my brain couldn't quite catch up.

Once the excitement wore off a little bit things started making a little more sense- the bloated feeling, the tiredness, the moodiness- all those early signs were starting to come back to me.

I decided I wanted to tell Stephen in a fun way- so I got ahold of our photographer Jeni (link her page) and asked her to help me surprise him. For those who follow me or know me know that Stephen HATES pictures. I was going to wait until the following weekend when work had a 4-day but after one night I knew I couldn't keep the secret that long. Saturday we were going to “model” for Jeni. I bribed him with tacos at his favorite Virginia taco joint and he got to wear whatever he wanted. He chose his Paits hoodie. :/

Jeni had us write signs saying what we loved about each other. I had so many ideas running through my head, had adrenaline running that we had succeeded in surprising him and baby brain – so my sign kinda stunk. But that's ok- because a mediocre sign and a Paits hoodie were real life- not “photoshopped” or planned.

When we turned to face each other with our signs it took Stephen a minute to understand what my sign said (granted it wasn't super clear- again mediocre signage) and in the same instant he realized what Jeni and I had done- surprised him and caught his reaction on camera! He flashed a super brief real smile and then started fake crying, well because that’s my husband. We really had surprised him and he really didn't know so overall I thought it was a successful announcement- Paits hoodie, overcast day, signage remorse and all.

Im most looking forward to letting our family and friends know- but only if they have to say congratulations! I don't want comments about gender, timing or anything. Just share in our joy. If you cant just share in our joy don't comment.

This pregnancy I have a feeling I will show sooner (I can already push my belly out a little bit) so our friends in real life will probably know sooner than we make the announcement to the world. Ideally I would not tell until our gender reveal- 20 ish week- but Im hoping to wait until at least 16 or so. With Phen we announced over Christmas time- right after we heard his heartbeat around 11 weeks.

Jan 14- week 5?: Nothing noticeable has really changed- I feel fat and bloated and tired. Nausea is starting- nothing too bad just an icky stomach feeling. Thankfully root beer is helping with that. A second pregnancy is so different than a first. The first everything is new- it is the first time you are experiencing every little sensation. You can rest and relax and focus on the teenie tiny human you are making. Second pregnancy you have another child to think about. You have life to get on with. I want to enjoy these little sensations but the novelty has worn off. I think there will still be big novelties but the little things- the “oh this is morning sickness that's cool I’m making a human!” is gone. You remember what it is like to be 9 months pregnant- not so much barely pregnant. Your body on the other hand remembers and starts preparing much sooner. Everything hurts more- relaxin is released in full force and your uterus pops out. Eventually your body realizes it can calm down but it happens almost overnight.

This pregnancy I am more worried as well. I’m not sure if because it kind of caught me off guard or because I know more this time around. I think really I know what I will be missing should something happen. I am focusing on positive thoughts and energy and trying to push the worry out of my head.

Jan 21: The nausea has started back up- not a feeling of “get to the bathroom now!” but more of that 2pm hung-over feeling- that you just don't want to eat or do anything. Root beer seems to help the nausea and Im binging on ice cream. I am tired- so tired and Phen is super clingy right now. Physically my nipples hurt- shower is like daggers and nursing is ouchie at latch. I am starting to get swollen- my clothes are getting tight, my medium shirts are too tight and showing a pouch. Once again Im moody- and taking it out on my poor husband :(

Jan 27: It is really hard not to tell people. It is also very hard to wait for our first appointment with the midwives. There is so much in limbo right now- aside from waiting to hear our sweet baby’s heartbeat our future is in limbo waiting to hear back from grad schools. We have no idea were we are going to be in the fall- which does not put me at ease with a baby due in September-ish. The feeling like crap has started. Tired- all the time and no matter how much sleep I get. I have to pee all the time- whether I drink a lot or not. The lightheadedness. The not wanting to eat. New this time around- water has a funny aftertaste so all my water has lemon in it.

The nausea is not fun this time around either. Im not sure if it was easier to ignore (sleep off) last time or if it is worse this time around (thankfully no puking yet) but ugh. Eat too little- nausea. Eat too much- nausea. I have to try and graze all day long.

The smell sensitivity kicked in full force this week- as did the nausea when someone else is driving.

If someone finds my brain can you please return it to me? Between being pregnant and nursing I have lost it. I went to Target, walked in and literally went 100% blank on what I had needed from the store. Walking around didn't jog my memory. Left Target; 10 mins down the road remembered what I needed.

I am ready to be past the first trimester, to have my first appointment, to have questions answered. The power of knowledge helps me get through things. First time around we knew we were going to be in Virginia- I was working, I was researching birth, taking birth classes, all of these things to pass the time.

This time around I have no idea where we will be for the birth, am busy with a toddler and some online jobs, and already know about the birth process.

I am ready to tell people, but I still don't want the comments I know will come with telling people- the comments they say out loud or the comments I think they will say in their heads.

I am ready for a squish wrap stash- but Im also diving into the world of handwovens so I won’t have a large stash lol. I have reached a point of ‘get rid of all the things’ and have gotten rid of half my closet. New year or pregnant it feels good to get rid of things. I also made the decision to switch from pocket diapers (the gateway of cloth diapers) to covers and prefolds/flats. So Im trying to sell off my pocket stash. I attempted to sell on the BST boards and decided keeping track wasn't worth it and opted for the consignment option instead.

Ive also had every intention of taking belly pics but haven’t gotten to it yet- I need to decide what im doing this time around (silhouette again?) and then set up my camera and shooting space.

So much to do; so many to-do lists; so little energy to actually get them done. C’mon second trimester energy! :)

Feb 11: Still feeling the first trimester woes- tired and nausea. I had to skip bowling this week because I felt like blowing chunks. Root beer, potatoes (chick fil a fries yummy!) and Thai food still hitting the spot- although Thai food is losing its yum factor.

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