Breaking Point

We all have one, right? A breaking point?  Maybe you let something small bug you for too long. Maybe you’ve just been doing everything you can to get through your day, but all of a sudden too many days have piled up and just getting through isn’t good enough any more. Sometimes you know the breaking point it coming. Sometimes it sneaks up on you.

Mine snuck up on me yesterday. I hit 29 weeks of pregnancy. The baby still looks great. It’s measuring a week ahead of schedule and they estimate it weighs around 3 lbs. 3 oz. My high risk doctors don’t seem to be concerned. I’ve only gained around 14 pounds, which is less than they’d like, but from their perspective, everything else is going really well. And everyday, I like to pretend that’s exactly how I feel… gleeful, chirpy, tickled pink… the happiest girl on the planet. It’s an act I can successfully pull off, until I reach my breaking point. After all, I have enough distractions: work, kids, life to name a few. Who has time to even think about themselves and how they are coping when the rest of the world needs to be taken care of? Then yesterday happened.

I failed my initial gestational diabetes test, and I had an emotional break down. And if I’m really being honest, I’m still reeling from it today. For the last 12 hours or so, I’ve been trying to figure out why this triggered me. Maybe it’s because I barely failed? The threshold measurement at my doctor’s office is 135… I got a 139. Maybe it’s because I know what’s coming next? I failed the first test with my son, too… then nearly passed out at the doctor’s office for the longer version and proceeded to feel like crap for the rest of the day. Maybe it’s because I’ve just had enough? My entire pregnancy I am poked at, prodded and examined. I hate needles, but needles are necessary when you’re high risk. Why NOT add something else to worry about to the list… gestational diabetes!? I kept coming up with reason after reason, until finally I realized it’s not just one thing. It’s all of them.

When I sit down and allow myself think and feel, I realize how worried I’ve been about this baby for the last seven months, and how I’ve shoved all those feelings aside. I have two children, 4 and 6 who need a lot of attention. The 6-year-old is in kindergarten, has homework, dance and swimming classes, friends’ parties and girl scouts. Have I mentioned it’s cookie season? The 4-year-old needed to be signed up for spring soccer, registered for kindergarten next year, and also has swim lessons. They each have emotional needs at the beginning and end of each day. While I know I’m raising compassionate little beings, most days it feels like the compassion ends with mommy.

My husband is desperately trying to keep up with and tolerate what I can’t or don’t do around the house. But I feel his frustration. Eating cereal at the end of the day is never ideal. And sometimes you just need a brain break!

I’ve written a list of things that need to get done before the baby arrives. Lord only knows if we’ll finish it. I only have a certain amount of energy every day. Once that’s over I know I can’t do anything else. I try to plan wisely, but in the back of my mind I know there’s still a lot of items on that list.

In the middle of it all I got sick. Judging by my fever, cough, body aches and fatigue… it could have been the flu. I had to miss days of work that I didn’t want to. Those lists of mine didn’t get touched for a couple of weeks and kids still came to me with needs.

Then there’s the life that is growing inside of me. Everyday I’m focused on making it to the next day or the next week. I’m constantly worried about whether I can feel the baby move. Most of the time the baby is active, but movements are different now as the baby gets bigger. They are slower and less ninja-like. I wonder if I’m feeling a contraction or if the baby stretching. And when it IS a contraction… I’m constantly worried that my water is going to break. Just a few days ago I had a dream that my water WAS breaking. When I woke up, I was in the middle of some pretty intense Braxton Hicks contractions. They stopped after I went to the bathroom and drank some water, but I was freaked out for the rest of the night. My joints hurt worse this time around than they ever did with my other two children. Sciatic pain is out of control on some days. I’m STILL throwing up in the morning.  The baby is sitting low so my lower abdominal muscles hurt and so does my back.

My hormones are raging. I’m tired.

I’m still high risk. Doctors still measure the baby regularly to make sure everything is ok. But this thought is always looming: When’s the other shoe gonna drop?

And then… I failed my gestational diabetes test. Barely. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s just one more thing. And when, on God’s great earth, am I supposed to emotionally deal with it?

The other day I joked to some of my coworkers that we should start a new segment called “Bitch with Ditch”. You know… offer people a chance to vent with me, then we’ll end it with a 2 minute meditation session so we can all just let go of that anger. Maybe I need to take my own advice. Find some quiet time. Settle down and sit with my feelings… then when I’m done, let them go. Because the reality is, most of these things are out of my control.

If I need to find support, I’ll get it. I know first hand that depression is a real thing. I struggled while I was pregnant with my son and then after. For now, I think it’s time to focus, just a little bit, on me.

Partial contractions, stuffy nose and a very active baby!

22 weeks! About a week and a half and baby reaches viability!

I’m definitely bigger now than I was with my first. In fact this pregnancy has been very different from the others. Aren’t they all?!

When I was pregnant with my 6-year-old, it was the first pregnancy I had where I carried a baby past the first trimester. My daughter was in my right uterus, the bigger one. As it stretched, I don’t really remember it contracting in weird places throughout the second trimester… but to be honest, I was pretty overwhelmed by the entire thing. EVERYTHING was new. It could have happened, but I was so concerned about a bat colony that had made its way into our house, a hemorrhoid that needed surgery and my emergency cerclage that I easily could have missed it.

Those partial contractions, however, are happening with this pregnancy. I compare it to that “first” one because this baby is in my left uterus. That uterus has never been pregnant before, it’s never been stretched by a growing human. But this time I’m a veteran. The bat colony no longer exists, I’ve figured out how to keep the hemorrhoid situation under control, and this is my third go around with a cerclage. Perhaps now I’ve allowed myself to notice different things.

My high risk doctor says it’s TOTALLY NORMAL. And, to be honest, these contractions have been happening for a few weeks now. What I mean by “partial” is that it’s a small part of my uterus that gets tight. I promise you’re freaking out right now more than me.  Sometimes it’s on the left, sometimes it’s on the right, sometimes it’s high, sometimes it’s low. It does not hurt, but it’s a little uncomfortable and does cause me to pause for a moment, especially if it’s low. I manage it by rubbing my belly, giving it a little massage, and in a few seconds it goes away. My doctor says that it’s just that organ trying to “warm up” for the real thing. Most days I don’t notice much, but some days it happens a lot. Today was one of those days.

Unfortunately, today it took my breath away a bit and a couple of my coworkers and viewers noticed it on the air. I apologize! It doesn’t help that this pregnancy has also caused my nose to be constantly stuffy. Plus, this baby is measuring a full week ahead of schedule, so it’s growing quickly and taking up more space. All of those things are making it more difficult for me to manage my breath at times. I, sincerely, appreciate everyone’s patience.

For now, the cerclage is holding wonderfully. Baby looks healthy every time we peek at him or her. And the baby is kicking like CRAZY! I love it. 🙂 My four-year-old son likes to listen to the baby. He’ll put his ear on my belly while the baby kicks. He might get a swift kick to the face, but says he can hear it. LOL

My belly is getting high enough that acid reflux is a big issue this time around. Medicine is helping, but if I’m not careful it will make me sick… which by the way, is still happening every morning. YAAAAAAAAYYYYY.

Coming up next week, I get to see the baby again! My high risk doctors are doing growth scans once a month. They want to make sure that when growth does slow down, the baby is still getting enough nutrients. They believe that growth slows more significantly because the umbilical cord and placenta are not as efficient as they were earlier in the pregnancy when the baby wasn’t taking up so much space.  Both my daughter and son were fast growers at first, measuring well ahead of schedule, then quickly falling behind during the third trimester. While both were small, they were both very healthy so that’s good!

This baby looks to be following in big brother and sister’s steps. He or she is measuring a full week ahead of schedule! We’ll see how that growth has continued next week.


Week 19: pickles, string cheese and the baby’s kicks

Okay, it’s not the greatest picture! But this is what happens when there’s nothing but blue lights above your desk at work!

The week 19 bump is out in its full glory. I’ve gotten all the comments ranging from “Your bump doesn’t look like it’s growing too much.” to “When are you due again??” implying that the bump is huge. It is sometimes hard in the moment to process and emotionally deal with what people say to you, especially when you are pregnant. But I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last 5 years. My life has been a little bit of a roller coaster, and I’ve learned where I get my value. I’m okay with my body and how the baby is developing. My doctors are okay with those things too and they see me every 2 weeks. So people can have their opinions and that’s all that they are. Opinions that live in their space, not mine.

My high risk doctors want to see me every two weeks to monitor my cervix length and the stitch. The stitch doesn’t hurt as much as it did the first couple of weeks after I got it done. THANK GOD. As of two weeks ago, my cervix looked great, too! I still have my moments. I still get tired and every once in a while a part of my uterus will get uncomfortable, almost like a small part of it is contracting, but I’m told that is ALL normal. It was also nice to hear “There’s no such thing as crying wolf. We’d rather you call every time, us check it out and it be nothing, than you not call and it be something.” So I’m taking it one day at a time.

Something cool happened this week, too. I’ve been feeling the baby kick since about week 16. This week the baby kicked hard enough that my daughter was able to feel it. She was laying next to me watching tv when the kicks came on. They felt stronger than usual, so I put my hand where I thought they were and, sure enough, I felt them! So without alerting her I just took her hand and placed it on my belly. She jumped off the bed as soon as she felt the kicks and ran to the other room to tell her brother and her daddy. It was exciting for both of us. She was only 21 months old when her brother was born, so this is a brand new experience for her. She’s been asking when she’ll be able to feel the baby kick for a while. Unfortunately the kicks stopped when her brother came to check it out… but he’ll experience it soon enough!

I am also excited to say that my appetite has gotten a little better! Anti nausea drugs and Tums are mostly to thank for that! My favorite foods at the moment are pickles and string cheese. I’m not a big pickle fan in “real life” either, so devouring an entire jar of pickles in one sitting is a new one for me. They’re delicious and don’t make me sick. #winning.

On a final note, I cannot believe I’m almost half way through this pregnancy. Parents of 3 keep telling me that having 3 is “a lot”. A lot of challenges, but also a lot of fun. I’m sure it will mean a lot of changes for our family. I’m trying to predict how the kids will handle it. I’m worried about how the kids will handle it, so I’m doing my best to get ready. No matter what, this little bean will add so much more love to all of us in 2019.


An acute awareness of time

Last week, as a preventative measure, my doctors stitched my cervix shut. The surgery was quick, successful and we are hopeful this pregnancy will hold longer than the last. My son was born at 35 weeks.

For my last two pregnancies, my cerclage was put in at 19 and 22 weeks respectively. They were each considered an emergency cerclage. The surgeons did not have much cervix to work with, and it was late enough in my pregnancy that they also needed to give me an extra drug to keep my uterus from contracting.

The hope is that by having the stitch done earlier, doctors would have more cervix to tie shut and the pregnancy last longer. I guess only time will tell! I’m still not moving around all that quickly, but I am off all my pain meds and am starting to feel the baby kick!

I’ve been back at work since Monday and am steadily feeling better every day. I get exhausted pretty quickly as my body continues to heal, but I’m hopeful that will continue to improve!

Honestly, it needs to. About a week before the surgery I had finally had enough of the disorganization of my daughter’s room and decided to start clearing it out. Mainly, of clothes.

So here I present you with clothes I found in my daughter’s room. She’s six. These sizes range from 18 months to 4T. Clearly, a #mommyfail.

We don’t want to get rid of the clothes (which is also driving me nuts) because we have decided NOT to find out the sex of the baby. This baby will be a surprise on the day he or she arrives! I’m kind of excited about that. It was my husband’s idea. We found out for both our daughter and our son. Since we have one of each we figured, why not wait! We are clearly over-prepared with clothing. I haven’t cleaned my son’s room out in a looooooooong time either. And my daughter has the rest of her stash in bins in the basement. I just have to get over my urge to purge until the baby arrives.

When I told my younger brother about this he said, “Uh oh. Are you sure you’re not nesting already? I’m not sure that’s a good thing.” I thought about it… and my answer is still no. It’s more an acute awareness of time. I’ve been on this train a couple of times before. I know my energy level.(It’s not great) I can get one project done a day. We just finished a house remodel. We’re unpacking from that, have my daughter’s room to organize, my son’s room has to move down the hall and get decorated and furnished, the baby’s room needs to be redecorated and rebuilt, and we all still have to live our normal lives! I’m 16 weeks along in my pregnancy. I realize that’s not that far. But I’m pretty sure I won’t make it to 40, and there are only so many weekends left before this baby gets here.

I’m hopeful we can finish it all, but I can’t guarantee that will happen. We’ll be okay if it doesn’t, we’ve managed before.

Surgery scheduled for tomorrow

I had to look back to see when I got my cerclage with my other two babies. Hannah’s came at 19 weeks, and Colin’s at 22. This baby, I get it at 15.

I’ll back up a little bit in case there’s some folks out there who are confused. For those who are unfamiliar, I have a uterine malformation called Uterus Didelphys. Instead of one uterus and one cervix, I have two of each. Here’s what it looks like…

Because of this, I’m at risk for miscarrying during the 2nd trimester. People with my anomaly are at greater risk of having something called an “incompetent cervix”. My cervix, essentially, starts to shorten and give out before I actually go into labor. My high risk doctors watched me very closely during my pregnancies with my son and daughter. Both times my cervix started to shorten dramatically, so the stitch was put in.

This time, since it’s happened twice before, they are just going to put the stitch in early. Tomorrow, doctors will be sewing my left cervix shut in order to reinforce it.  This will not, however, keep labor from happening. As I learned with my son, your stitch can be in and your water can still break. He came at 35 weeks.

I’m nervous, because I’m going to a different hospital and different doctors than I’ve ever seen before. It’s not that my other doctors weren’t great… but my previous OBGYN doesn’t practice Obstetrics anymore. 😦 That means she doesn’t monitor pregnancies or deliver babies. I can’t blame her. She’s got 3 awesome kids of her own and being on call is hard on the family. But it was sad for me because I was faced with a choice. Ultimately I chose to go to a small practice closer to home. I know I made the right decision for me, but change is always scary.

After a bleeding episode and loads of questions I am sure I’ve made the right decision. My regular OBGYN is having me see a high risk doctor (perinatologist) to get me through this part of my pregnancy. Tomorrow, I go in for my surgery. It’s out patient. I’ll be numbed through my spine. They’ll also give me something to relax my uterus so it doesn’t start contracting. And hopefully they’ll give me some meds to relax my mind!

I’m expecting minor spotting after and a good deal of relaxing and staying off my feet while I heal. For the next several weeks to come they will keep a close eye on my cervix and the size of my baby. So say a prayer, keep me in your thoughts, keep your fingers crossed… whatever you feel compelled to do. I’m gonna need all the good vibes I can get!

A Special Announcement!

img_2699It’s been quite a while since I last posted on here, and our family has changed quite a bit! My daughter is now in Kindergarten, while my son… who I was pregnant with when I started this blog… goes to Kindergarten next year! Oh yeah, and we have another baby on the way! Due Spring of 2019.

This will be another wild ride, as I have no idea what to expect this time around. I’m pregnant in a uterus that has never been pregnant before. Both of my other children were on the right side, this one is on the left.

I’m nervous because this uterus started out smaller than the other one. My doctors, high risk and regular, assure me that that doesn’t automatically mean this baby will come sooner. Maybe this uterus stretches better than the other one, maybe not.

So far so good, though! I have surgery for my cerclage scheduled for next week… I’ll put up another post on that later.

My right uterus lining is pretty thick, and lucky me… I’m starting to spot. It made me panic when it first happened, because I wasn’t expecting to see a quarter size of brown blood when I went to the restroom. A quick call to my doctor and an ultrasound showed the baby still looked great, and there was evidence that the blood was coming from the other uterus. We’re not sure how long it will last, but I feel a little better knowing what it is.


Much like my other two pregnancies, my symptoms have not been fun…

Nausea/vomiting…. still! 🤢

Sciatic pain

Lactose intolerant

Nose bleeds


And crazy pregnancy dislikes to sugar and basically all of my favorite things. Oh well, it’s worth it in the end, right?!

My goal is to keep this blog updates throughout this pregnancy and beyond! Hopefully it provides more insight to people going they the same thing!

Check out this 2 minute video of how we told the kids!

This Blog turns 1!!

I cannot believe that one year ago today I launched this blog! To be honest, I had a few anxiety attacks over it. But I knew I was doing the right thing. It was so important to me to share my own, high risk pregnancy experience.  I wanted others, who were either going through the same thing or something similar to have a real-life example to compare to, and to ultimately know that you are not alone.

I never expected it to grow to more than 8000 subscribers, or to receive the messages and emails from other people experiencing the same way. I feel like I have gotten more out of this experience than I ever gave. So, thank you!

While I am no longer pregnant, I still deal with all of the issues that made it hard for me to get pregnant in the first place, and made my first, second and third trimesters so stressful.  I still have uterus didelphys, Factor V Leiden, my endometriosis can return, and so could my uterine polyps. 

So, now I’m focusing on being a good mom, taking care of my health and finding ways to help others in their journeys as well.

Knowledge is power! And I firmly believe that the more thoughtful conversations we have, the more we share, the more power we give ourselves to make our lives better.

My journey

I don’t know why, but I was feeling nostalgic today. This blog has been one documenting my pregnancy with my, now 6 month old, son. What most people don’t know, is that I kept a private blog, documenting my journey through infertility and finally a pregnancy that stuck.  I think I’m going to start sharing some of those. 

That blog kept me sane, helped me sort out my feelings and move forward despite the heart ache.  So today, I’m sharing one I called “Hope”.  I wrote it the day I found out I was pregnant with my Hannah.



I have hope today.  This month, I believe I ovulated early.  Fortunately, much like the mean signs of Aunt Flo’s arrival, I’m very familiar with the friendly signs of “Olivia”.  I caught it.  And this morning, I took a positive pregnancy test.

I’m trying to stay calm.  We’re keeping it to ourselves, and I have an appointment for my first blood draw at 1:45 p.m.  I need this draw and the next one to show positive growth, and then I’ll get put on Lovenox.  

I pray with all of my heart that God keeps this life/lives healthy and safe.  

We’ll see what happens next, but for now, I have hope.”

My “disgusting” belly

The lost blog…

I meant to post this while I was still pregnant.  Alas, Colin arrived 4.5 weeks early, and I never got around to it.

People are funny. You can’t please them all.  I realize that not everyone likes to look at a pregnant woman.  I understand if you just can’t because you’re having problems getting pregnant yourself, or have suffered miscarriages.  I’ve been there.  You do what you need to do to cope.

But for the Negative Nancy’s: Come on… complaining about my growing belly, and calling in to call its appearance on live television “disgusting” is extreme.  There are more important things to life, people.  Get over yourselves.  If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

What do you want me to do? Hide my belly?? Fine. Is this better?

image“The magic blue screen” – Nothing like hiding that belly with a little blue painter’s tape!

image“Pardon me while I walk around with this giant landscape!”

image“My best friend Peyton” – Nothing like using your good, super tall buddy to hide that growing belly!!

Missing photos:

“The Redneck” – belly hiding at its best in duck hunting camouflage.

“The mumu” – Granny would be proud.  There’s no way you’re finding any kind of shape in that get-up.

Yeah… none of these are going to work.  I’m proud of my belly.  And I’m proud I’ve made it as far as I have. So deal with it.  It’s not like it’s forever anyway.

Meet Colin Michael

The 3-4th of July were crazy days.  Needless to say, I was NOT expecting my water to break before my cerclage came out, and I was NOT expecting to deliver a late pre-term baby.  But here we are, and Colin Michael is doing great for his gestational age.

imageBorn at 2:56 a.m. on July 4th, 2014, he weighed 5 lbs, 10 oz. and was 18 inches long.

I knew the exact moment my water broke.  I felt a pop, and then I was literally soaked with water. My water broke with my daughter, so there was no confusion what this was this time… and it was a mess… despite the cerclage.

As my husband raced around the house to grab the necessities… diapers for Hannah, phones and chargers, and my computer… our daughter sat on the couch watching quietly.  She knew something was wrong.  Mommy was on her hands and knees on the floor and daddy was running around the house like a mad man! How could you not?! LOL

We didn’t have time to pack much more because I started to feel contractions quickly after my water broke, and the last thing I wanted to do was tear through that stitch.  We’d figure the rest out later.  We needed to get to the hospital pronto.

I was scared.  This was not going at all how I planned in my head. The birth of your child rarely does.  I wasn’t too scared for my baby.  35 week kids can go either way… need breathing tubes and feeding tubes in the NICU, or be totally fine.  I was more scared for me.

First of all, we were no where close to ready.  Rooms hadn’t been painted.  Closets weren’t set up.  Furniture hadn’t arrived. Oh yeah and the basement is under construction.

Second, and most importantly my stitch was still in.  Who the heck was going to take it out?? Were we going to get to it in time?

That process turned out to be much more complicated than what I thought.  My doctor was on vacation this weekend, I knew she would be. But she still called ahead to labor and delivery to let them know I was coming in.

After check in they took me to a labor and delivery room where two doctors (pretty typical for a teaching hospital) sat down and we discussed how the stitch was going to come out. I opted for no medication to start.  I knew it was a relatively quick procedure.  In fact, I figured I was in enough pain with the contractions… just take it out in between and I’d be okay.

Uh… wrong assumption. Because the stitch was wrapped around both of my cervices, it was extremely uncomfortable and even painful at times when they tried to just get a hold of it. It was taking A LOT longer than I expected.  I looked from one doctor to another asking if it was over yet.  They just couldn’t get it.  At one point, they even asked what type of stitch I had!

Since it was causing me so much discomfort to take the stitch out with no meds, we decided to just get my epidural put in. Kill two birds with one stone… no more contractions, and less pain to take the stitch out.

So we waited… about half an hour to 45 minutes for the epidural to arrive. She was helping someone else who was having a c-section.  By the time I finally got it in, my labor had progressed so much that my doctors could no longer locate the stitch.  My cervix had swollen up completely around it.

At this point they had to call the on-call high risk doctor. I give the hospital major credit.  They only wanted one O.R. open during the holiday, but my doctors and nurses managed to get the other one open to take care of me. So off I went. They numbed me up a little more and in minutes my stitch was out.  I immediately dilated to 5 cm. In less than an hour I was at 8.  We got that stitch out just in time.

Now it was a waiting game.  I truly thought I was in the clear.  And then I started to black out. I had no idea what was going on, but I knew something was wrong.  All I knew was I was confused and I was about to lose consciousness. They later told me the color had completely drained from my face.  I told my husband and my mother-in-law to find someone quickly.  I did not want to wake up and have no baby in my belly, and somewhere inside something was telling me I needed to fight to stay awake.

My blood pressure had plummeted. Nurses came in, rolled me onto my left side and gave me medicine to get my blood pressure back up.  We had to… because when that happened to me, it also happened to my baby. And that was frightening.

What I didn’t know was that can be a side effect to the epidural.  It had never happened to me before.  But apparently it’s pretty normal, and once we got my blood pressure back up, the baby’s slowly returned to normal too.

Finally, NOW it was a waiting game.

It took me 3 pushes and ten minutes for the little guy to come into this world. He was a lot bigger than I thought he would be!

When your baby is pre-term, a ton of people are in that labor and delivery room with you.  There your doctors, any family you want, and a full staff of folks from the NICU.  I knew that going in.  But as Colin came out he screamed.  It’s the most beautiful sound in the room.  And his was LOUD. In fact, it basically prompted the entire NICU staff to leave.  And that made me extremely happy.

They kept Colin in the hospital for longer than a usual full term baby.  We needed to make sure he was gaining weight, passed breathing tests, hearing tests, car seat tests, etc. We supplemented him with milk until mine came in.  Now, 2 and a half weeks later… he weighs more than six pounds, and my pediatrician says we need to stop treating him and thinking of him as a preemie… because he’s not acting like one. For that, I am so grateful.

You see, that night there were several 35 week moms who came in to UCH to deliver.  Who knows what was going on that caused us all to go into labor.  Three of those babies were still in the NICU when we were allowed to leave.  So we were so blessed to have a baby who did and is doing so well.

Uterus didelphys threw me a couple of punches at the end of my pregnancy.  Since Hannah had gone full term, we didn’t completely expect my next baby to come so early.  But my doctors still warned me that it could happen.

Interestingly enough, both Hannah and Colin were the exact same size when they came into this world.  I guess we now know the threshold for my right uterus! 5 lbs, 10 oz, 18 inches long… time to exit!

Colin Michael is my little fighter.  And I can’t wait watch his life adventure begin!