Things have been a little crazy around here. Scott and I take turns looking at each other every couple of days and asking if it is really real. Neither of us can believe that we actually managed to get pregnant, much less on our own, while on our dream vacation. Sure, I miscarried weeks before and that sucked (its suckiness hits me sometimes when I see women who are as pregnant as I'd be if that one little thing had stuck around). For all we knew it would take us another 18 months or IVF to get pregnant for good. How fabulously wrong we were -- for the better.
So around 10 weeks I started feeling better. It didn't last long! I had a great week though -- DH and I did some shopping and mailed off our Xmas cards and the gifts to his families. I made a great superman cape for our nephew. After that, I lost a lot of steam, seemingly overnight!
My family holidays have a special craziness. My older brother's bday is the 20th, my younger brother's bday is the 22nd and of course mine is the 27th. We were raised in a very Catholic household and Christmas was a special time all its own. But our family took it (and still takes it) to a whole other level. Growing up, we only had cake in December. And we fought to have separate parties. These days we all just hope to get calls on our big day and are happy to have a little private peace to our selves.
On the 22nd, we met up with my brother and his wife for a little hockey game. My SIL ordered my brother a box of chicago love -- chicago dogs and pizza and cheesecake. It was crazy -- everything (mustard and all!) was packed on dry ice. We all pigged out before the game and Joe and I were totally sick through the first two periods. I ended up throwing up at an intermission and then felt better. But a word to the wise -- chicago dogs are NOT good on the way back out. Those peppers burn! LOL. Our team lost but we had fun anyway -- we were also celebrating their new pregnancy. :) They have a 17 month old daughter and really wanted another child for a long time and were really worried about whether it would happen, given my brother's poor health this year and his scary prognosis. And we are all thrilled that we'll get to share this new thing together. My SIL and I are the only girls in our families and have been close since she started dating my brother 10 years ago, despite a 7 year age gap. They are so supportive of us and I'm so glad we are in a place were we can be supportive right back.
On the eve of Xmas eve I did a little more sewing and then took a nap before dinner with my dad and his wife. It was the only time we could find for us to get together and it turned out to be a really nice chance to just sit and talk with them instead of trying to talk in between seeing tons of other relatives. My dad already has 4 grandchildren but is very cautiously excited for us. He's more cautious than I would have expected considering that he's a big optimist, but I think seeing us so sad and scared for so long had an effect on him too and he doesn't want to get his hopes up too high. He prays for us and in our darkest hours was a real comfort to both of us with his trademark phrase -- God is good, God is great.
After dinner with my dad, I stayed up late sewing more capes for two more adorable nephews -- this time personalized with their own super hero emblems. :)
Christmas eve I was exhausted and a little stressed. We had a lot to do to get the house ready for a party for 10 adults and 4 kids. The living room had to be totally rearranged and I wasn't in the best shape to help. Poor hubby! We stayed up until 1:30 sewing and wrapping gifts and getting set up.
We slept in Christmas morning and had TJ's chocolate croissants for breakfast while opening our stockings. We decided months ago not to exchange gifts and it sounded great in theory but was tough to do in practice so we compromised and exchanged stocking stuffers. It was fun to think of sweet little things he would like. :) It turned out great and we both felt a nice sense of abundance even without any big gifts.
I made the mistake of making a regular weekend breakfast after that. So not a good idea. I spent the hours I was supposed to be getting food ready throwing up in our kitchen sink. Yuck! My lightbulb moment hit just as I was supposed to get dressed -- too much food, even two bites too many, means throwing up. So STOP eating!
The family thing was fun. My mom and G'ma came and brought my uncle and his longtime gf. They'd never been to our house so it was a treat to show off all our hard work. My brother's both were here with their four kids (six weeks to almost 3). The oldest napped through half the party and had to be bribed with presents to wake up. ;) The middle two are 4 months apart and are funny without even talking. They would walk up to the buffet, and reach up over their head to grab whatever food might be in reach. They ate everything they could get their little tiny hands on and left powdered sugar hand prints all over everything as proof! Baby Ali, just six weeks old, was a darling in her Christmas dress and sweetly slept through the party too. Opening gifts was a sight to behold -- paper everywhere -- but everyone seemed happy with their gifts. We even got one for Baby K -- a pair of tiny pink shoes with lions on them. We have no idea if it will be a girl, but we love lions and pink lions things are rare so my SIL snapped them up.
After everyone left we checked our mail and I was surprised to discover that I'd gotten my annual benefits letter from work and it included news of a raise, a promotion and a bonus. What a great gift! I work for a non-profit and never in a million years expected a bonus. I'm really thankful though as it will come in handy for all the things we need now that we didn't think we'd ever have to buy.
After everything calmed down we called to check in with the ILs and got another surprise. My SIL, the one with the 2 year old who came to visit in October, is also pg and is due 3 days before me. I wish I could say I handled the news well but I didn't. Instead of a feeling my own pregnant zen, I was a bitter pissed of IFer again. It really freaking stung. She's 40 and got pg both times without much effort. That alone kicks my ass. I know it shouldn't. But it does. I started trying when I was 31. And it took us 15 cycles to get pg, only to miscarry. Then 18 more to get pg again, only to miscarry badly. Sure I'm pg now but damn did that road suck. And hearing the ease with which other's conceive still kicks my ass apparently. I'm also a bit bitter than our child will have to share so much from the very beginning. SIL lives near the ILs, several hundred miles away from us. I can't imagine that they'll make the trip to see our little one when their daughter has one a few minutes away.
I spent the days after Christmas in a haze. I napped a lot and dreamed about our baby. At twelve weeks it really started to feel real. As the year drew to a close and a new year started, a year when we'd finally be parents, all I could think about was: This new year is the year we get our dream come true. Don't get me wrong, I still have moments, and heck days, when I get terrified that things will all go fantastically wrong, a larger part of me believes that this is finally our turn for things to go fantastically right. And I want to enjoy it, for all its wonder.
And my last bit of update: I had my 12 week check up today. All bloodwork and tests were fine, I lost a pound (thanks to a lingering cold) which is fine since I am overweight to begin with, bp is fine, all looks good. And we finally got to hear the hb, at a wondrous 150 bpm. Doc is happy with my progress and shares our wonder at our happy situation. She confirmed that at this point as long as all screening comes back fine, we are on cruise control for now, with good things on the horizon. NT scan is Monday and we'll get our results then.
I hope the new year brings peace and good things to all my fellow stirrup queens.