Friday, February 20, 2009

Baby Countdown

Just wanted to let y'all know I added a pregnancy ticker to the bottom of the blog so you can count down with us! :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ultrasound #2, 12 weeks 3 days

Ultrasound is such amazing technology. Yesterday Greg and I watched in amazement as our child kicked and stretched and flipped over inside my womb! He or she was very busy in there. Why don't they invent an affordable ultrasound for home use? I'd much rather watch my child all night than any television show!

Seeing the baby move really brings the pregnancy into focus. I'm beginning to realize that there really is a baby in there and that at some point it's going to come out! Wow. Maybe I shouldn't get that far ahead of myself. Or maybe I should actually begin to get serious. I have had almost no interest in looking at baby things yet, though I need practically everything. Without knowing the gender, it's hard to pick anything. Or maybe that's just my excuse. In fact, it's probably just an excuse. The reality is that I'm going through a gigantic ambivalence phase. I'm finding that for the first time in my life, I just don't really care about much. Well, that's not quite it. It's more like this: I care, but can't possibly be motivated to do anything about it. I'm chalking it up to pregnancy fatigue and crazy brain and hoping it goes away soon. If not, I'll have to hire someone to be me for a while because our bathroom REALLY needs to be cleaned!

And apparently I ramble.

Without further ado (or crazy pregnancy brain antics), I present the pictures from our ultrasound yesterday.

Our baby at 12 weeks 3 days. In the last two pictures the baby has their back to us. Notice the kick in photo number 2.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A big girl!

Bella finally decided that she was ready to use the potty! She showed a little interest last year, but then quickly changed her mind. We waited (and waited and waited and waited) and then, out of the blue, last week she decided she was ready and started requesting to use the potty. I'm proud to say she is keeping her panties dry ALL DAY while she's awake, including trips to the store. Such a big girl!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pregnant Thoughts

I'm pregnant! What a miracle after all these years of infertility! To say that I was shocked when the test turned positive is a gigantic understatement. Time stopped completely. I just stared at the test, unable to speak or move. It's been a roller-coaster ride emotionally ever since.

What does it feel like to finally have your prayers answered? What will this pregnancy mean for our family? What sacrifices will we need to make for the baby? How long is the list of things we need to buy in the next several months? Is the baby healthy? How will Bella handle the transition from youngest to big sister? Will the kids share rooms, even if it's a boy? How much weight will I gain? How can I avoid gestational diabetes and pregnancy induced hypertension with my increased risks for each of them? How and when will this baby come out??? My mind is filled with questions about everything, from the mundane to the hypothetical. I'm certain that some of it is just these wacky hormones tacked on to my natural inclination to worry.

I believe that God has a divine plan and that all life is created according to His will. Having said that, I want you to notice the mercy of our God. Throughout years of infertility, he never allowed hope to disappear from my heart. What a gift that is! He knew all along that my prayers would be answered in His time. He knows the child growing within me because it has been part of His plan all along.

When I first began the journey of pursuing pregnancy, I was twenty years old and married to my first husband. My doctor was surprised that I wasn't able to conceive after trying for a year. Further diagnostics revealed that I had a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome. At the time, not much was known about the condition and possible medical treatments were experimental. My husband and I decided to try a combination of medications designed to encourage ovulation. For over six months I struggled with the side effects of these meds, each month hoping that we would conceive. Eventually, I decided that my body had had enough. I never considered going further with fertility treatments. For me, the answer was adoption. Unfortunately, my husband didn't agree. We divorced after four years of marriage.

A couple years later, I met Greg. He was absolutely supportive of anything I wanted to try in order to expand our family. We decided to see our doctor about possible treatments for my PCOS and try for a year. I was put on Metformin for six months without any visible success. At that point, my doctor switched my medication to Actos, but we were already feeling the call to adopt. We began to pursue our adoption of Isabella. After just a few months of being on Actos, my cycles regulated for the first time in my life! I couldn't believe it! But still, we didn't conceive and, really at that point, we weren't concerned. We were very much anticipating our newest daughter.

Fast forward a couple years to our return home from Guatemala. Greg and I began to have discussions on how we would bring our next child into our home, only this time around the conversations weren't as easy. Our adoption of Isabella was really tough on our family financially and emotionally. We eventually came to the decision to just give it up to God. We planned to try to conceive for two years, all the while beginning to save money for another adoption. If we hadn't conceived within two years, we would adopt. We made this agreement in October and were pregnant six weeks later. We never in a million years expected it to happen so quickly!

Many people have different stories than mine and have experienced infertility in a way I cannot relate to. I've heard many women say that they needed to grieve the loss of fertility completely before they could pursue adoption. I've never walked in their shoes. For me, they have always been separate issues. I longed for a child and received a beautiful daughter through adoption. I never ceased longing to be pregnant as well. I'm thrilled that the Lord has answered my prayers, knowing every single day what a blessing this child is!

I stated earlier that God has a divine plan and that each life is created according to His will. This is no less true for Bella. Although I can't know for sure, I suspect that the reason I didn't conceive sooner was because God had already chosen Bella for our family. The same is true for Irene. I needed to be her mom first and she needed some time to feel unique and special.

Today I have the amazing privilege of being a step-mother, adoptive mother, and birth mother. What an amazing blessing!