Adjusting the Sails

For most of my life, I’ve struggled with adapting to change.  Well, let me take that back.  We moved a lot and I adapted to our new cities and my schools pretty well, but, if a plan ever changed, I struggled to adapt to that.  I’m the type who mentally prepares for one thing, and if that one thing doesn’t happen, I’ve been known to….just not handle it well.  However, I will say that that trait has relaxed a lot since getting married.  I roll with the punches much more easily, because honestly, I have to.  When you’re married, you have to relax a little because it’s not just about you.

When we got pregnant, I had an idea in my mind of how things would go when it was time for delivery and the weeks following.  My whole life I’ve anticipated my parents coming down  and spending those first few days or weeks with us as we acclimate to life as new parents. They would dote on their grandchild, help us cook dinner, watch her while we napped, and just be there.  I know we’d be capable on our own, but there’s something reassuring about your parents support and help.

Last year, my mom was diagnosed with leukemia.  In the past few months, it’s gotten more aggressive, leading her to enter chemotherapy sooner than we expected.  Initially, the chemo was going well, but after the second and third rounds she was hospitalized for weeks at a time, including the most recent stint at three weeks and five days.

Today, my parents met with her oncologist to discuss next steps.  The type of chemo she was having is now off of the table.  It’s just too harsh and she’s not responding that well.  So, there’s a new plan of attack and that includes new medicine starting next week.  She’ll be hospitalized for five days at a time during chemo just in case she responds poorly, and then she’ll have 21 days of rest between treatments to go home and recover and gain strength before the next round.  The doctor expects 2-3 cycles of the new chemo, and then, she’ll have a stem cell transplant, which is expected to be a relatively uncomfortable recovery that lasts quite some time.

There’s no time to take an extended break between treatment, as time is of the essence.

The timing of course does not go well with our due date at the end of July.  If all goes to plan, I’ll likely be delivering Gracie around the same time that she’s wrapping up her last chemo cycle and/or starting the stem cell transplant process.

The vision of my parents being here when Grace arrives is suddenly gone.

So, this brings me back to adapting to change.  I was talking to both of my parents this afternoon, and they knew I was disappointed that things weren’t going the way I imagined.   And you know what, if I’m honest, they’re right.  And I think it’s fair to say that they’re equally as disappointed.  However, I’m not so big of a selfish asshole to realize that it’s out of everyones control.  Grace’s due date is out of my control.  My moms chemo schedule is out of her control.  It is what it is.  It’s not what any of us expected or want, but it just is what it is.  I know they’d be here if there were any physical way possible, but obviously the treatment takes priority.  We’ll rely on facetime and phone calls, and hopefully they’ll be able to visit shortly after she arrives. Or, maybe we’ll be really brave and haul our newborn and all of her crap up to VA early on if they can’t make it down to us.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared of us being alone in those first few days and weeks.  I’m an only child and I wasn’t around babies or children growing up.  It’s all incredibly foreign to me, which might sound ridiculous, but it’s my truth.  I keep telling myself that Chris and I are totally capable of taking care of her, and we’ll be fine.  It’s just intimidating as hell.  Thankfully, Chris is pretty confident around kids and babies – we’re just going to have to figure it out together; intimidating or not.

So that’s it.  It’s nothing any of us expected or envisioned, but as Tim Gunn would say, it’s a “make it work” moment.  I’m sure we’re not the only ones to experience this exact scenario, and we’ll be okay.  Chris and I will figure it out as we go, and Gracie will be just fine.  The important thing is Grace and my mom are healthy, and if that means it has to go this way, then so be it.   The rest will fall into place later.

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The Story of Us

Dear Chris,

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much our lives are going to change in the very near future.  And, I’ve been thinking a lot about the story of us.  After 15 years of friendship, something happened, and suddenly, we were in love.  I love our story, and I can’t wait for the new chapter, with our new addition, little Gracie.  So, here’s our story, so far… I love you forever and ever.

We started dating in late 2009:

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And we had a pretty great first year:

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Halfway through our second year, your proposed at my favorite place:

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And then a few months later, we got married:

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We went on our honeymoon, and on a catamaran in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, you shocked me, saying you were ready for a baby.  We captured the moment a few seconds later:

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And then, 13 long months later, this happened:

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After containing our excitement for a few months, we were finally ready to share with the world:

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And now, here we are.  Just a few months away from meeting our daughter.  Our lives will forever be changed, but there’s nobody else in the world I’d rather experience all of this with.  I am lucky.  Grace is lucky.  And I hope she makes our story that much more amazing.

XOXO.

The Day that Changed our Lives

I knew today was going to be big, but I don’t think I was prepared for just how much finding out our babies gender was going to rock our world.

Today, we found out we’re having a girl!!!  Cue an explosion of pink confetti and glitter!!  We are so excited!

The first part of the ultrasound was amazing because we got to hear the heartbeat for the very first time.  I almost cried, I’m not going to lie.  It was incredibly overwhelming, and as always, a flood of relief came over me as soon as we heard and saw the heartbeat.

After listening to the heartbeat, we settled in for watching the rest of the ultrasound in hopes of the technician finding out the gender.  Before she could confirm anything, she showed us the baby sucking  her thumb, stretching, yawning, having the hiccups, and kicking like crazy.  As she went to determine the gender, she flipped over on her side and shut her legs!

So, I drank some orange juice and ate a super sweet chocolate cake pop, as well as walked around the room for about five minutes and then laid back down.  Sure enough, the sugar was enough to get her to roll back over on her back, and low and behold, she was able to identify her as a girl within a minute.

I think my heart stopped when she said “it’s a girl.”  That moment is overwhelming in the best way possible.  Suddenly, shit gets real.  Like, really real.  I had visions of Chris with her, doing her hair, and dragging her to all sorts of sporting events.  Visions of pink bedrooms, adorable clothes, pig tails and endless other girly things.

Chris was stunned.  Beaming, but stunned.  We’re ecstatic at this point, and we were so excited to share the news with the rest of the family.  EVERYONE thought the baby was going to be a girl, and EVERYONE was right.  We captured our immediate families reactions as we spilled the good news, and I’m so glad we did:

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Also, I should say that immediately after finding out she’s a girl, we went to go buy our first girly thing, and of course, I went straight for the tutu’s.  A girl can never have too many tutu’s!!

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We’re all so excited, and now, Chris and I need to get cracking on some names!  We can’t wait to meet our little girl.  :)

Baby 101

Ask me if I ever thought I’d spend an hour test driving a stroller.  The short answer would be “no,” but we’ve started doing research and checking out baby stuff at some local stores, so now that answer about the stroller is an emphatic YES!  I never thought I’d be so excited about such a thing, but oh boy, when you find something as dreamy as what we’ve found, you sort of obsess about it and talk about it all the time.  :)

Anyway, I never realized just how overwhelming all of the options would be when it came to having a kid.  Yeah, I obviously knew we’d have a lot of decisions to make and a lot of shit to buy, I just didn’t realize the plethora of options.  It’s ridiculous.  

So, here’s my question to all of you parents out there:  What are the things you loved and couldn’t live without?  What are the things that made your/your baby’s life better or easier? What are the things you regretted buying?  

Help a girl out!

Return of the Blog (with some exciting news)

Oh, hi there.  It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but I’ve had good reason.

The end of 2012 was in a word, awesome for us.  We had a rough go of most of the year, but the last few months were amazing to us.  Things finally fell into place and not only were we able to buy a house, (we move in February and can. not. wait) we found out we are expecting our first baby.  We found out in mid November (the day after my last blog post), and I just decided to stop blogging because I knew I couldn’t contain such a big part of our lives if I continued to blog like normal.

But, now we’re out in the open with Baby Goods, (or “tater” as Chris lovingly referred to it last night since all I want to eat is mashed potatoes & gravy) I’m back on the blog.  I’m sure it’s going to turn into baby central over here, but that’s okay, because it’s part of the journey.  :)

Since we found out we’re pregnant, we’ve had two ultrasounds, which were incredible.  The first was at six weeks which was a confirmation of the pregnancy, and then the next one was at 8 weeks to make sure baby was growing at the right pace and also to get a more definitive due date (July 26th if you’re curious!).

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6 Week Ultrasound

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8 Week Ultrasound

At the first ultrasound, we were able to see the heartbeat on the screen, which was one of the most amazing things I think either one of us has experienced in our lives.  I was also in awe of just how tiny Baby Goods was that early on.  Fast forward a few weeks, and I was shocked to see how much bigger Baby Goods had gotten in just a few short weeks (you can actually start to see the beginnings of the arm & leg buds – insane) No wonder I’m so exhausted – this baby is doing some serious growing!

At this point (11 weeks), Baby Goods is the size of a lime.  A lime!!  The next steps for us are hearing the heartbeat (not just seeing it) next week (on my birthday!!)!  And yes, we are going to find out the gender which should be in early March.  :)

So yeah, it’s been a crazy couple of months over here.  They aren’t kidding when they say pregnancy is exhausting (I also feel permanently hung over, and morning sickness has just started to creep up on me), but it will all be so worth it.

It’s such a relief to share our exciting news, and we are just so excited for 2013 and this new adventure as a little family.  :)