So. I’ve made it to 16 weeks! I thought surely when I made it to 14 weeks I would relax. Then 14 weeks came and went. I am now at 16 weeks and am still just as nervous and fearful as I was at 6 weeks.
I am trying. I am really trying to enjoy this pregnancy. But I feel like I’ve been robbed. Robbed of the joy that pregnancy brings. There are days when I do forget and am happy but more often than not even on those days when I am glowing with happiness lurking in the dark corners of my mind is the fear. Recurrent miscarriages will do that to a person I suppose.
The problem is I have definitely hit the second trimester high. All those nasty first trimester pregnancy symptoms are gone. I’m not sick, no more food aversions, I’m not tired anymore, and I have way more energy. In short, I feel like my old self again. I just feel like me, not a pregnant version of me. Most women can’t wait to get to this stage. But the problem is my baby is still too small for me to feel any movement and that makes me wonder. I don’t feel bad anymore and I don’t feel a baby…is everything okay in there?
My other fear stems from the fact that I don’t have typical miscarriages. I don’t get cramps and bleed. I have what you call missed miscarriages (which I’m told is very rare.) Meaning the baby dies and then my body for whatever reason holds onto the baby. My first miscarriage happened 3 weeks before and I found out when there was no heartbeat on an ultrasound. The second time it was the same thing only it was 2 weeks when I found out not 3. That scares me. Because my body doesn’t traditionally miscarry in the way you would think. And since my pregnancy symptoms have lessened and I can’t feel the baby move yet….I worry.
I guess what I am slowly starting to realize is that there will always be another milestone to get to. I can say well when I get to 20 weeks I will feel better. But you know what? When I get to 20 weeks I will say if I can get to 24 I will stop worrying. The truth is I am going to worry until I give birth. And then a whole new set of worries will kick in because I will have a BABY! I don’t think I will ever not worry. So the issue becomes how to cope and manage that worry? I almost feel like I need to give myself permission to worry and not beat myself up about it. But I also need to find the balance between a healthy amount of worry and an unhealthy amount.
Sobbing so hard I start hiccuping? Not a healthy amount of worry.
Googling every little thing? Not a healthy amount of worry.
I do visualization and that helps. It always makes me feel good and it makes me smile seeing, in my mind, a healthy baby. I talk to my baby all the time. I reassure him/her that this is a safe place and that we love him/her very much. I tell the baby to take whatever it needs from me to grow strong and healthy. I pray all the time for the baby and I make the effort to try and think two good thoughts whenever a bad thought enters my mind. It isn’t easy and I don’t always succeed on that last one. But I’m trying.
I’m really trying to hold it together, believe that this will happen, trust in my body, in God, and in my baby. I’ve never wanted anything more.
Last night I posted this picture on instagram:
Almond crusted chicken fingers. They are so good and they’re paleo for those of you who like that! Win win! The best thing about eating chicken fingers is that it makes me feel like I am eating kid food. It also makes me feel like I am eating something really bad for me when in reality, I’m not. I like it!
Almond Crusted Chicken Fingers
1 pound chicken tenders
3/4 cup almond meal
1 egg white
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dry mustard seed
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
Preheat oven to 425F. * Spray a wire rack with cooking spray.
On a plate combine all your dry ingredients. Scramble the egg and egg white together in a bowl.
Dip the chicken tender in the egg mixture, then roll it around on the plate in the dry ingredients to coat. Place it on the wire rack.
Repeat until you have covered all the chicken tenders.
Bake for 25 minutes. The last 2-3 minutes flip the oven to broil to get the tenders really crispy.
* Now the secret to really crispy tenders is to bake them on a wire rack. I always use my microwave rack and place a cookie sheet underneath to catch anything that falls. It works like a charm and the entire tender gets nice and crispy (top and bottom) without having to flip the tenders over at any point. It’s perfect.
You should totally make these. Honestly, I am contemplating making them again for dinner tonight. They were that good. With ketchup….lots of ketchup! Although Keith ate his with horseradish mustard and that wasn’t half bad either.
The possibilities are endless…..
Happy Tuesday Friends!
First of all, thank you so much for sharing in mine and Keith’s joy over the pregnancy. I am beyond excited (still slightly nervous) but just trying to enjoy the moments! I have been quite open about our journey so I will gladly share our story with you as well.
After our second miscarriage last April, the doctor told me that I once again needed to have two normal periods before we could start trying again. I had my first one in June and my second cycle in July. Like clockwork…32 days apart. Those were the last 2 periods I ever had. In August I just stopped having them. Just *poof* stopped. I took a pregnancy test (negative), panicked (obviously), and waited. By September I still hadn’t started so I called my doctor. I went in and did a slew of blood work and all my hormone levels were totally normal. My doctor chalked it up to stress of the new school year starting and told me wait it out another month. I did. By October still nothing so my doctor put me on a round of Clomid. This is a commonly used fertility drug to induce ovulation in women. If you do not get pregnant then you should have a period. Since I was just trying to have a period, my doctor told me NOT to have sex on certain days and once I ovulated and didn’t get pregnant I would have a cycle within 2 weeks of finishing the medication. Then hopefully my body would recognize what it was supposed to be doing and start having regular cycles again. I took the Clomid, didn’t have sex, and didn’t have a period. It did nothing for me. My doctor was stumped. He told me that I was out of his expertise and I really needed to see a specialist especially given my history of recurrent miscarriages. He referred us to the Texas Fertility Center (TFC).
We called TFC and could not get an appointment until the end of January. In the meantime, Keith went in to see his doctor for his annual check up. He mentioned my problems to his doctor and he asked us if we had ever thought of doing acupuncture. It apparently had a 80% success rate with fertility challenged women. Keith came home asked me if I would be open to trying it. I would have tried ANYTHING! So we found an acupuncturist who helps with fertility and made an appointment. I started going once a week. After two treatments (i.e. 2 weeks) I had a period. My first one in over 6 months. I was a believer. I kept on seeing her once a week for months and I started having regular-ish cycles (meaning they were coming 42 days apart). I also started drinking Chinese herbs formulated for fertility.
In the meantime, I saw Dr. Kaylen Silverberg (AMAZING DOCTOR) at TFC and before he could recommend any course of action he wanted to do full testing on me. We did chromosomal testing on both me and Keith, I was also tested for certain genetic markers, and I was also tested for every autoimmune disease under the sun. Everything came back 100% clear! Dr. Silverberg also did a cervix culture and found I had an infection in my cervix called Ureaplasma. He said it was a common infection (actually it’s an STD) that is harmless in women unless they want to have a baby. Ureaplasma left untreated can cause miscarriages and fertility problems. He said there is no way to know how long I’ve had it…it could have been years. Considering Keith and I have only been sleeping with each other for 10 years now who knows how long this little infection was sitting there. Keith and I were both treated with antibiotics and when retested it was gone. The last step was to take a dye test. This is where a dye is inserted into the cervix and through an ultrasound the doctor watches where the dye goes. It checks for structural integrity of the uterus and makes sure the fallopian tubes are open. The stinker is you have to have a period, finish the period and have the test done before day 10 of your cycle. Well…seeing as I still wasn’t quite regular this test was holding things up. I was on day 40 and my doctor said if I didn’t have a period by the 42nd day he was going to put me on hormone inducing drugs to force a period.
The next day, I went to Chanelle (my acupuncturist) almost in tears begging her to do whatever she needed to do to make me start. We did an intense treatment that day and the next day…BOOM…I started. Thrilled I called and set up the appointment for the dye test. When I made the appointment the nurse cautioned me that I could NOT be pregnant when I took the test because the dye would be life threatening to the baby. I assured her I wasn’t, made the appointment for that following Monday morning, and didn’t think a thing about it again.
Monday morning I woke up and I felt off. I can’t explain it. I was out of breath, my boobs were really sore. I just felt awful. I did a crossfit workout that shouldn’t have been as hard as it was. I was just struggling. All the sudden I thought….am I pregnant? No way. No freaking way. I just finished a period on Friday there was no way. Was there? I couldn’t shake the nurse telling me that I couldn’t be pregnant when I took the dye test. To ease my fears I took a test fully expecting a negative result. I peed on the stick, and went about my morning routine. I had almost forgotten about it by the time I needed to leave to work. I ran back into the bathroom more worried now about being late for work and saw the words “PREGNANT” staring back at me.
I immediately called me mom.
I went to school, taught my kids, and when they went to Specials at 10:30 that morning I called TFC. I told them what happened. They canceled the dye test and had me come in that afternoon for a blood test to confirm the pregnancy. The next morning they called me back…definitely pregnant and could I come in that afternoon for an appointment? According to me HCG levels I was about 5 weeks pregnant. Tracking back it seems we conceived about 4 days after finishing the Ureaplasma medication. (Around Valentine’s Day…hehehe) I asked about the period I had just had quite literally 3 days prior and the doctor said maybe it was implantation bleeding, or a false period brought on by the acupuncture. We’ll never know. From that day on I had weekly sonograms with Dr. Silverberg and weekly blood work done to check my progesterone. I took (and still take) a progesterone vaginal suppository because my body isn’t the best at producing progesterone on its own. I also still see the acupuncturist once a week. Instead of doing fertility treatments she does pregnancy support and hormone regulation treatments. She also switched my herbs to be for pregnancy support versus for fertility.
After 12 weeks, Dr. Silverberg sent me back to my regular OB doctor. He sees me every 2-3 weeks right now (more frequently than normal) simply to ease and reduce my anxiety. I feel very blessed that I did not have to do invasive fertility treatments and really credit this pregnancy to 2 things: The treatment of the Ureaplasma and the acupuncture. I believe those two things were what got me pregnant.
So that’s our story. It is a story I will always love because it is the story that come November will make me a mama.
Keith and I have been on a longer (than some) path to become parents. For those of you who have stuck with me through the last 3 years…thank you. The encouragement I received from this place called the Blog World has been utterly amazing. For those of you who are new readers I have chronicled our story here. Having a baby seems like it should be so natural and easy….until it isn’t. As little girls, we are led to believe that just thinking about sex will get us knocked up. Ha! And the truth of the matter is that for some people it is a journey and it takes a team of people to get you from point A to point B.
I promise to give more details about everything soon but just know that right now I have never been more excited to say that Keith and I are expecting baby #1 in early November. We’re 14 weeks pregnant and feel very blessed.
And of course, my class is super excited!!!
14 weeks! I have quite the bump, eh? And just to note…I am holding up the jean jacket vest just you didn’t think my outfit was a tad odd.
We’re very excited. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we are both still nervous but trying to stay positive and enjoy this journey. Due November 7, 2013!
Happy 7th Anniversary to my best friend, love of my life, partner in crime, and the man who still thinks I am beautiful first thing in the morning. You have had my heart for a very long time. Though we’ve been through a lot , we’ve never given up on us. I love you more today than I ever have.
I sometimes feel like since I basically broadcast my life via instagram I am a loss when I open my blog and am staring at my blank screen with that cursor just blinking at me. I feel like my pictures are basically self-explanatory of what I have going on. Then I try to write my blog and I feel repetitive. Anyone else out there feel me?
I guess it should come as no surprise because really I AM NOT THAT INTERESTING. Ha! What is interesting is my job. When you are a teacher everyday is a new adventure especially teaching the younger grades. I teach 2nd and the kids are 7-8 year olds. The conversations we have! Oh my goodness. The hardest thing about that age group is they are very literal. They don’t know sarcasm or wit. They are as literal as they can be and sometimes that leads to some very interesting exchanges. Along with that, their young minds are soaking up facts and information so quickly that sometimes it gets muddled and their responses to things are hilarious.
Here are a few of my faves:
1. We started our persuasive writing unit and I wrote on the board this writing prompt, “Convince Mrs. Bruneman that chocolate cake is better than vanilla. Remember to use at least 3 reasons with 3 details under each reason. (Hint: Mrs. Bruneman REALLY likes vanilla cake so you have your work cut out for you).” To me, that seemed clear as day. But more than half my class sat reading the board looking utterly stumped. Finally one little girl timidly raised her hand and said, “Mrs. Bruneman, I am so confused. I can’t figure out what we are supposed to be cutting out?” Teacher Fail.
2. We did a lesson on comparative adjectives. You know tall, taller, tallest. After the lesson we were practicing and this little girl excitedly shot her hand into the air saying, “Mrs. Bruneman, I got it!” I asked her to share and she proudly announced, “Mrs. Bruneman is the heaviest in the class!” Hum. Well yes, yes I am but……Ha!
3. A few Fridays ago, I had on what I would consider to be a fun outfit. I had on skinny jeans some neon yellow and gold sandals, a black tank top and a striped summer scarf. I thought I looked great! A little boy, upon walking into the classroom, said, “Mrs. Bruneman your outfit it sick!” Well thanks….I think.
4. With about 5 minutes to go before the bell, my class was sitting on the carpet in the front of the room. We were chatting. One little boy raised his hand and said, “Mrs. Bruneman this summer I am going to Boston!” That sparked a bunch of hands in the air all wanting to tell me about upcoming summer trips. I called on one boy who said, “I am going to London.” With that, another student yelled out, “London? Is that where the Leaning Tower of Pizza is?” I will admit, even I couldn’t stifle my laugh.
5. I had a student lose a tooth. She was so proud. The next day she came in all excited to tell me about the Tooth Fairy. “Mrs. Bruneman, the Tooth Fairy left me $5 last night for my tooth!” “Five Dollars!”, I said, “When I was a kid my parents only left me a quarter.” Insert weird look and a nod. Teacher Fail. (Fortunately she didn’t catch on and the next tooth she lost we repeated that scene but with a much more appropriate response from me!) Whew!
One thing is certain, I laugh a lot and I learn a lot. Who says 8 year olds can’t teach a 32-year-old? They do. Every single day.
I hope you are having a great Tuesday. I know I am. It is the last week of our third 9 weeks so we are in testing mode. Then it is onto the fourth 9 weeks and then say it with me, “SCHOOL IS OUT FOR SUMMER!” I’m not excited…not at all.
So we got double whammed on the weather a few weeks ago. A hurricane strength wind storm (65mph winds!) and then a hail storm hit right back to back. All this means a new roof for the Brunemans! Woot Woot! I am very excited about this because Keith and I are going to put our house on the market come summer and a new roof will be a nice little selling perk. We love our house but we’re ready to move on. Bigger and better dreams, right? We aren’t leaving our current location…we LOVE where we live…we just want to upgrade a little. So we’ll see. Personally I am ready to put it on the market like yesterday! ha! If you live in the ATX area and are looking…email me. Never hurts right?
I have read 3 books since we last chatted. Yes, THREE! And I loved all three. If you follow me on Goodreads then you know but if not I simply must tell you about them:
1. Before You Know Kindness, Chris Bohjalian
2. Lessons in French, Hilary Reyl
3. The Life You’ve Imagined, Kristina Riggle
All three are worth reading, in my opinion, so if you are stuck for next download or book purchase I recommend these!
Alright, that’s all I have today. I hope you enjoy the rest of your week. I do have some awesome recipes I pulled off Pinterest that I plan on trying in the very near future so I will report back ASAP!