Showing posts with label pregnancy announcements. Show all posts

The Announcement

Yes!  It's true!  S. and I are expecting child number 5!  Do you know how LONG I've wanted to tell you guys!  This is awesome and amazing and nothing short of miraculous.  Please know that this comes as a complete shock for us as this child has been conceived naturally without any medical intervention, and against all odds according to the doctors.  Everything looks good and healthy.  The heart rate is strong.  The baby is growing like it is supposed to and we are so excited.

A birth story!!

I've always loved birth stories.  I didn't really write one for my first born. I regretted it. This one, however, is different because we all journeyed together.  We fought for this one.  Medications, hormones, tears, blood, faith.  This one was a battle against infertility.  This one has a following.  So, here we go...

All week long, the people at work were taking their bets about when I'd go.  My due date was 26 Aug and no one, including the Program Manager, believed I would work up to my due date and I was determined to prove them wrong.  I almost achieved it. :)

Contractions woke me at about 2:30 Friday morning.  I'd been sleeping downstairs on the couch because it'd been the most comfortable for my back.  When they started, I wasn't too worried.  I'd had them off and on for the past week and usually they would stay for two hours and then go away.  I figured these would be the same way.  I didn't even bother to wake S., but I noticed these were a bit different though.  A dull ache that didn't seem to go away.

I had my final doctor's appointment scheduled for 9:30 that morning, so I figured I would just go to the doctor's office and let them check me.  My contractions started getting more intense at 5:46 AM and  I began pacing floors and timing them with my app. I went to the bathroom, wiped and there was bloody show (which I'd never had with my first pregnancy).  Contractions started coming every 4 minutes and lasting about 2 minutes in duration.  Silly me, I should have gone then, but I figured they would stop soon and I could still just go to the doctor appointment and kill two birds with one stone.

Social media etiquette

Hello everyone!

So, I've posted about this before.  Well, I've shared it on Instagram.  You all know how I feel about spilling the beans before family right? Well, it happened again and this time, I just HAD to share about it.

Literally, the day before yesterday, I saw yet another post on one of the pregnancy boards I follow of a tiny graphic reminding people not to share parent’s baby announcement news before the parents could do so themselves. I looked at it and thought that no one would really be that crass, but I was wrong. 

Last night, I logged on to FB to see that the parents, sister, and friend of one of my associates had just posted the news that the associate had given birth. They gave name and time of birth. I looked on her page and saw no mention from her at all. I suddenly felt annoyed for her.  I am not there so I don’t know the situation. Maybe she asked them to post. Maybe she gave them permission. But the only thing I could think was this beautiful mom and dad had just given birth to their first child and were basking in the glow of that child while simultaneously trying to recuperate and a great and personal moment was taken from them.

I would be furious. S. and I have tried to conceive this child for 4.5 years. Calendars, positions, blood work, needles, hormones, surgeries, retrievals, transfers, lab work, prayers. We did it all trying to get to this moment. I would be so hurt if I wasn’t even allowed the opportunity to share the moment with the world in a way and time I chose. S. probably won’t care, but I would love to have a mini collage. One of the new baby, one of each of the kids holding the baby, and then one of the entire family. Or not even. Just one of the baby. If my mother or sisters in love posted before I was ready, I’d be more than hurt. I’d be livid.

I wondered if this was just an isolated case. Sadly, it isn’t. Google it. You’ll see tons of posts where parents were hurt, angry, furious, heartbroken that someone had overshared. I would hate that. A while ago, I posted that S. and I were discussing not letting anyone know the baby was here until after we were back home. He has the large family. I have a pretty good size of extended family, several of whom are clamoring to see the newest blessing.

That’s just more than I want right now. I know people will be upset but I’d rather have the peace of mind of knowing that should I want to share, I can do so…on my own time. So, after deep discussion, S. and I have decided that we will keep the news of our little one's arrival private until we get home.  Because I know that my husband can be emotional (it's so amazing to see him tear up) and may change his mind about sharing, this following text message would be sent to our parents only. Siblings will be told later.

Good morning/afternoon/evening! We just wanted to let you know that Baby XXX has made his/her arrival at _______am/pm. Mom and baby are doing____________________. Right now, we are only telling immediate family so PLEASE do NOT post on ANY social media or share this text about the baby until we are ready to do so ourselves. It took us quite a bit of time to get to this moment and we would like to bask in it privately for a while. Also, Mom’s a little tired right now, so please give her a few hours before calling or making plans to visit.

We think this will work.  How about you?  Any one doing a delayed announcement for fear of family spilling the beans?

What I wish they wouldn't say

It’s been a few days since we announced via social media the news of our pregnancy. Even before the news broke and people started noticing the bump, we started getting comments. Most are congratulatory, but several have the ‘magic wand’ effect (as I call it) included. One by one, I started receiving congratulations that sounded like this:

“You’re pregnant?!...

I knew you would get pregnant!...

Didn’t I tell you as soon as you adopted your daughter, you’d get pregnant?...

That’s what happens. It’s like your body becomes a natural incubator.

I told you that’s what would happen!”

And I stand there with a forced smile on my face, thank them for their celebration, and excuse myself as quickly as possible. Call it hormones. Call it being oversensitive, but I loathe this conversation every time it occurs. First, we didn’t adopt to get pregnant and we certainly didn’t adopt and and just “get pregnant”. It didn’t happen. It wasn’t supposed to happen. My husband and I spent time, money, tears, sweat, blood, and pain to get pregnant. My body was pumped full of hormones and all sorts of fun side effects blessed me as my body struggled to do what was asked of it. This wasn’t a “just happen” situation.

Secondly, and what bothers me the most, is the underlying insinuation that our daughter’s adoption was purely so that we could conceive biologically later. If I were a cursing woman….tons of them would erupt right here. My husband and I have always know that we would adopt. We talked about it well before we were married. I come from a family that embrace foster care and adoption. There are no adjectives in front of the names of the children who have been adopted or fostered in our family. They are simply cousins, sisters, daughters, sons, etc. There is no additional caveat needed. People say things like this in front of my daughter. She is only three, but she is very observant. I never want her to think that her birth and place in our family is diminished because she isn’t blood. UGH!

Then, there is the big one. The HUGE one that I have had to correct TWO different relatives on. Shortly after our adoption was finalized with our daughter, one of the relatives remarked that now we “could focus on having a child of our own”. I IMMEDIATELY corrected her and said “SHE IS OUR OWN” in a voice that brooked no debate. She meekly replied that of course she knew that and I knew what she meant. My response was she needed to say it better. Our daughter is our daughter and nothing else. The fact that she said it was annoying to me since she married into a family with children of her own. Of course, she should know better!

This past weekend, a relative discovered we were pregnant. I actually thought she knew, but somehow she missed the close family announcement. Anyway, she hugged me, rubbed my belly, and said that she had just been praying to God and asking Him when would He bless my husband with a child of his own because our eldest “isn’t his” and our daughter “also isn’t his”. I was purple with anger and that’s pretty hard for me to do considering I’m a woman of color. I couldn’t even rebuke. I was that upset.

I know people don’t mean it as they say it. So, I don’t need the “oh they don’t know”. Words mean things. They can hurt and they can maim. My mother and father didn’t raise me. I called my great-grandmother “Mama”. I will never forget a cousin from ‘up North’ visiting and saying that I shouldn’t call her “Mama” because I didn’t belong to her. My great-grandmother was in ear shot and solidly admonished the cousin, but I remember feeling very hurt by the comment. I knew she wasn’t my mother, but I’d never been called out about it. It bothers me sometimes even as an adult. I can’t see having my child endure the same thing.

Look. I write all of this to say be careful what you say. If you want to congratulate someone on conceiving, say so. Congratulations works fine. Don’t add to it. Don’t diminish it. Our children are ALL our children and have been loved as such from the beginning. If that isn’t your frame of mind, don’t speak.

Have a great day, everyone. I’ll write again soon.



Social media announced and 15 week update

DISCLAIMER: This post contains information about our pregnancy. Because I know all too well how these kinds of posts may affect my fellow #ttcsisters and #ttcbrothers, I include this disclaimer to forewarn you. I understand how much these posts can sting and promise to continue to add the disclaimer on any post that may be related to this pregnancy (assuming viability) so that you may have the option to bow out of reading. I understand.

Well, we did it.  I was sitting in bed looking at my personal Instagram feed and I decided that it was time to share the news with the rest of the world.  S. and I had already told our closest family and friends, and people were starting to ask questions about the bump.  I mean, it's definitely there. When one particularly nosy curious church elder called out to me as I walked down a crowded church hallway with a "Mrs. XXXX, are we with child?", I knew it was time to share to everyone else because she certainly would.  (How rude by the way).  So, I showed the it to S., asked if he had an issue, and  he was pretty cool with it (though he said it wasn't his favorite pic). So, I took the plunge and posted this...

I posted no words, no explanation.  I just left it here.  I waited one more day (because it was my very good friend's b-day and I didn't want anything to overshadow her day even unintentionally) and shared to FB.  There, it went crazy.

A few cousins had a bit of a hard time figuring it out, but most caught on immediately, especially the women.  I kept the announcement up for 1.5 days and have switched the profile to a picture of the kids and I.  And just that quick, the announcement was over.  S. and I are still getting congratulations and I am still so very thankful for them.  I'm also still nervous as get out that we announced.  I am praying our little one decides to stay with us.  I feel him or her on occasion.  Today, it was after I ate a nutty buddy.  I assume the baby likes sweets lol.

So, let's talk 15 week update.  

Total weight gain/loss: 6 pounds overall. I am now 160 pounds.

Maternity clothes?: Not really.  I'm still only in the one maternity blouse

Stretch marks? Not beyond the ones I had from the last pregnancy

Sleep: Not that great this week.  I've had a horrible headache and my pubic area feels tender thanks to the round ligament pain

Best moment of the week: Announcing

Have you told family and friends: Everyone knows.

Miss Anything?: Patience.  Seriously, I feel so short fused

What I'm loving?: Feeling the baby move.  S. still can't right now and the baby isn't large enough for me to always feel, so when it does, I cherish the feeling.

What I'm not loving?:  The hormone roller coaster.  I feel like the meanest person when I get home.   I'm so tired I want a couple of minutes to myself when I get in.  But there is so much to do and I find that sometimes I'm snappy and mean.  That's not me at all.

Movement: Yes.

Anything make you queasy or sick: Not eating every couple of hours.

Food cravings: Icecream

Have you started to show yet: Yes

Gender prediction: #teamgreen

Labor Signs: No!

Belly Button in or out?: Still in

Wedding ring on or off?: On

Happy or Moody most of the time: Easily irritated especially when hungry.

Preparations for baby: A coworker gave me maternity clothes.  That's about it.

Looking forward to: Not being so tired and cranky.

Here we go again...

Hello boys and girls.  Today, we're going to play our favorite game...'let's SYMPTOM CHECK'.  It's the #infertility, #ttc community's favorite game where after ovulation, every tweak, twinge, cramp, craving, and mood swing means a possible pregnancy.  Life lines include manual #pregnancytests, digital pregnancy tests, and our personal favorite--guesstimation.  Prizes are the most amazing of all. We could have a #BFP and 9 months of pure joy or a #BFN and another 32 days of reliving the grief process all over again.  Ready to play?

Sorry, that was a bit long, wasn't it.  But it's accurate.  I'm sitting here typing this blog post well aware that according to every fertility app I possess, I am supposed to test for pregnancy in four days.  I've been trying really hard not to symptom check, but we all know how that goes.  My CM is creamy, each and every day.  That's supposed to be an indicator or pregnancy.  BUT, I am also feeling cramps on the lower right quadrant, right under and across from my belly button.  That could pre-period.  I've been craving sugar and carbs like crazy.  That's pre-period...but it's also a sign of early pregnancy according to Baby Center.  Then, I wanted water.  I drink water a lot anyway, but I have been downing it like crazy lately.  Then the cramps come back and pinch.  Which really means pregnancy...right?  Ugh!  So, I never said I was great at this game.

All of that being put out there, I'm trying very hard not to think about the symptoms because I don't want to psyche myself up and then be disappointed all over.  I guess that means no Youtube live pregnancy test videos and no googling pregnancy symptoms-unusual.

Sigh.  I'll keep you all posted and let you know one way or another in a few days.  Talk to you then.


Her story is mine..

Have you ever had a moment where you felt total shame? A moment where you felt less than proud of yourself.  That was me today.  It was self-shame.  Shame of my negative thoughts.  Shame of my pity party.  Shame in just not being the strong woman I know I can be and am.  Shame in the assumption that no one else can truly know or understand this secondary infertility journey.

I'd just logged on to social media and saw a work friend of mine tagged in the post of a mutual colleague.  The colleague is one who recently announced her pregnancy at work.  She is where, at the announcement, I felt the usual myriad of emotions.  I was thrilled for her and her husband.  I was so excited for her news.  However, once again, I found myself a bit sad that I wasn't sharing conception news of my own.

That being said this colleague is a  wonderful young lady and  I find myself stopping by her desk just to check on her.  Well, this same colleague's social media post announced that her doctor was placing her on immediate bed rest until the baby is born.  She isn't due until May.  I was shocked.  She looked fine at work on yesterday.  Somehow between there and today she was placed on bed rest and I was worried for her.  I remembered experiencing that for a mere 48 hours with my son when my feet swelled to the size of large balloons.  The anxiety was nerve-wrecking.  I could only imagine what she was feeling now.

Because her page was semi-open, I was able to see some of the former postings shared on her page.  I saw a picture of her first child, pictures of she and her husband, pictures of her family, and then there was a small post.  There was a banner that was placed on her social media account that honored and recognized a well known Infertility group.  As I read over the post, I realized that her struggle has been and is mine.  She has struggled with infertility.  She struggled to conceived.  She has shed tears over one lined pee sticks and has prayed for intercession when her body wouldn't cooperate.  She kept it quiet.  She didn't share.  She understood.  And she was blessed with another miracle.

I poured over that post and felt pure shame.  Here I was moping around internally about cycles and pregnancy announcements and feeling woe for me sad and life just reminded me that it's not all about me.  Wow...

So, after logging off the account, I sat down and thought about her for a long while.  I said a prayer for her and her family and her pregnancy.  Fortunately, her post makes it appear that she is in a rather jovial and peaceful mood.  I plan to email her tomorrow and let her know that she is being thought of.

As for tonight, I am going to sit down and remind myself of all of the great and wonderful things that exist in my life--from my family, to my life, to being loved, to being blessed with wonderful children.  And all that woe is me stuff I've been exhaling over the past few weeks stops tonight.


Birthdays and new pregnancy announcements

It's the end of another Saturday and once again, it came to an end way too soon.  I purposely stayed in the bed until 9AM.  That's almost unheard of in my household.  My husband is one of the "early bird catches the worm" types.  He sees the weekend as a perfect time to catch up on all the household chores that we didn't get to do during the week.  Since I have had minimum sleep this week with all the crack of dawn meetings I've been having at work, an early morning awakening was not in my plans.

After waking and immediately preparing breakfast for the brood, S. and I attempted to do our taxes.  Not a good idea.  

Can I be honest?  I think Aunt Flo is truly on her way because my hormones are a mess.  I am cranky and short-tempered and everything S. says or does annoys me.  It's not fair to him at all, but I honestly can't help it.  That being said we had a terrible row over something ridiculously simple (a distribution statement that was erroneously marked).  Now he's in a mood, I'm teary eyed, and feeling mean, and we're just giving each other space.  I hate my hormones....

Since today is our niece's first birthday party, we bit our tongues and headed over to the church hall where her celebration was being held.  Unfortunately, no one had opened the church until we arrived, so there was decorating to be done.  Lots of it.  Fortunately, I LOVE this kind of stuff!  I jumped in, directed the teens and older boys to move tables, tape up decor, and we managed to make everything beautiful!

I really enjoyed catching up with my sister in laws and seeing the children all run around and play together.  I enjoyed singing happy birthday to our niece.  I enjoyed taking pictures.  I enjoyed being there.  The birthday girl's mom is currently expecting another child.  S. and I are so thrilled for them, but I was asked today to help plan her shower.  I love this kind of planning, so I readily agreed.  I am excited to help them plan, but can't help but feel just a bit sad that this is child number three in as many years and S. and I still can't conceive one together.  Nevertheless it is always more blessed to give than to receive, and I am looking forward to co-hosting this shower and giving the baby a great welcome to the world gift.

After the party was done and we arrived safely home, I logged onto my social media accounts and saw a new announcement.  A former coworker and her boyfriend had just announced their pregnancy.  And I felt bad for a thought that popped in my head at first.  It was "but they aren't even married".  How judgmental is that?!  And how hypocritical when my first child was conceived out of wedlock.  I chastised myself immediately and asked God's forgiveness for such thoughts.

That being said I really am happy for her.  She is a divorcee and had been through quite a lot during and after her divorce.  The man who found, loves, and fell in love with her now is a really good guy (by all accounts, I haven't met him [smiley face]) and he dotes on her.  I am happy for them both.

Now it's time for me to call it a night.  It's another busy tomorrow especially with Superbowl Sunday!  Our Pastor has invited everyone to wear their favorite NFL team's jersey to service tomorrow.  Someone recently gave our son a Cowboys jersey.  I told him if he wears it he has to move lol!  I'll share with you guys tomorrow!  Have a great evening!


Weekend Recap:The Shower Edition

This past weekend was the baby shower of our dear friends J & T. They are awaiting the birth of their third child, their first son. We were so thrilled to be able to share in their day. Because Honeybee had decided to fall asleep right before time to leave the event, and because we know how cranky a sleepy baby can be, FatherWinter stayed home with Superbug and Honeybee and I went to celebrate on our behalf.

It was such an enjoyable shower. Their colors were blow and white and Mommy and daughters looked adorable in their matching white dresses. Daddy also looked dashing in his coordinating outfit. The cake was done by the same cake artist who did Honeybee’s birthday cake. She did a fantastic job on a baby carriage. It was amazing! I’m trying to talk the cake artist into allowing me to promote her cakes via social media. She says she wants to, just hasn’t yet. We’ll see how that goes.

There was also the most delectable cupcakes I’ve had in a while and I am a cupcake fiend. One of the trustees from our church has a hidden secret with cupcakes and is an artist extraordinaire. They were so yummy that I bought one back for FatherWinter and Superbug to try. They were disappointed there weren’t more. They were really yummy. Homemade frosting, yummy vanilla. Yep, I love cupcakes.

Sunday was our Pastor’s 7th Pastoral Anniversary. It was a bittersweet event because the woman who spearheaded the event was no longer there. Our friend mentioned in the Small Stuff post drafted the program and to honor her, the program was left exactly as she completed it. There was one blank spot for a picture. It was beautiful and seemed to perfectly represent how we felt without her being there. As she was a member of the Hospitality and Greeter Ministry, the Welcome desk was adorned in beautiful fabric with her smiling face in a photo. It will remain until after her funeral. We think that is amazingly appropriate.

After service was over, we decided to go home and rest. The plan was to just relax and enjoy the evening. We allowed Superbug some time to run outside and play with his friends. He’d only been home a little while when there was a knock on the door. One of our neighbors popped in to see how we were doing and to mention that his TV dish was malfunctioning and would need to be replaced. Since the finals were on television that evening, we decided to open the door for him to watch the game at our home and also called a college friend of mine to join us.

It turned out very nice for an impromptu get together. I picked up pizza and wings. We had sodas and chips at the house. The game was a nail biter having me yell at the screen a few times and we enjoyed ourselves. When the game ended, our guests went back to their respective homes and FatherWinter and I knocked out.

Moment of honesty. I was so tired that before head hit pillow I was out. You have to love that 

It's a hectic week for our family (especially me).  Meetings, meetings, meetings, and last day of school!!! Can't wait to share!!!

Talk to you soon.


Can I Be Honest: Infertility sucks

FatherWinter and I have been very blessed in terms of family.  We have our handsome son, Superbug, who is my son from a previous relationship.  We are actively pursuing adoption for our loving daughter Honeybee and love her more than we could ever express.  We are also actively desiring to expand our family with additional children.  It's something we have always wanted to do in addition to adoption.  We always knew we wanted a large family.  FatherWinter is one of eight for goodness sake.  What we weren't prepared for journey to large family was infertility.

FatherWinter and I have been trying to conceive naturally for just about three years.  We've tried apps, counting calendars, eating fertility inducing name it.  Nothing has helped.  In those three years, two of FatherWinter's sisters have given birth to three children.  One sister got pregnant one month after getting married.  Eighteen months after that beautiful delivery, she gave birth to another baby blessing.

FatherWinter's friends have been dropping pregnancy announcement like rain drops.  One, a former girlfriend, also announced her pregnancy a month after marriage.  A colleague announced his wife's pregnancy two weeks after holding our Honeybee and saying aloud how he would like to start trying with his wife.  One week, FatherWinter received subsequent pregnancy announcements every single day of the workweek.  Sigh....

It's been the same with me.  There are two women at our office who became pregnant within weeks of each other.  They recently delivered.  Both babies are beautiful and both moms very happy.  Then, there are a couple of our mutual married friends.  A few months ago, a very dear friend announced her pregnancy.  We were ecstatic for them!!  They weren't trying, but simply stopped any preventative methods.  A month later.  BOOM.  Pregnant.  Recently, another pregnancy was announced and I was thrilled.  I mean thrilled like literally yell out loud thrilled.  She is an amazing mother and her husband is an amazing father.  But, I'd be lying if I said, I didn't feel that familiar ache in the pit of my womb.  It held like a menstrual cramp.  I knew it wasn't.  It wasn't an ovulation cramp either.  I call it my womb's cry.  Every so often, when I am told of the joyous news of a pregnancy, my womb cries out and I feel it in tangible form.

I feel awful about it.  I love the announcements of pregnancy.  I really, really am happy for all of my friends and family members who are celebrating or surprised at the news.  But, there is a part of me that still mourns the fact that I seemingly can not and will not become pregnant. 

Recently, FatherWinter and I had a conversation that truly involved a soul baring moment.  We discussed the fact that we were both sad that we couldn't conceive.  Yes, I've been to the doctor.  She has said there is no reason why I shouldn't be able to conceive despite having a plum size uterine cyst.  FatherWinter has been evaluated as well.  There are some flags there, but nothing that should keep us completely from conceiving.  Yet, here we are.  We can't get pregnant and it is hurts.

We are more than happy and thrilled that we get to be parents to our Honeybee.  That will never change.  She is our daughter and we love her with everything that is in our mind, body, and soul.  We just acknowledge that giving her another little brother or a new little sister to share her life with is going to be very difficult.

The same holds true for our Superbug.  He brings a lot of love and a lot of joy into our life.  I wouldn't negate his presence for anything!

You know what else is hard about this?  I feel like I shouldn't be feeling this way.  I feel like someone else will see our grieving for the absence of biological conception as a statement that we aren't loving and dedicated parents to our Honeybee (and Superbug).  That is not true.  Honeybee is not some consolation prize.  She is absolutely our daughter and means the world to us.  Not because there is something owed, but because we love her honestly and truly.  But there will always be someone who believes the worst and that is why I believe so many people keep their infertility struggles to themselves.

Infertility is an awful experience.  I know there are many women who are experiencing it and many men who are mourning right along with their loved ones.  I just wish there wasn't such a stigma associated with infertility.  It would be amazing to have a dialogue without fear of judgment.