Catching Up

{ Wednesday, October 29, 2008 }
Thank you so much for the well wishes on our big news; the boy and I are both thrilled and so grateful for the support. We've known that I'm pregnant for almost a month now, which puts me well into my seventh week. Those first couple days I was holding my breath and trying not to make any rapid movements, for fear something might happen. The whole thing was so huge that we had to have little goals. At first it was literally making it through one day. If I was still pregnant at the end of the day, we were doing good. Then, when I was having blood tests every couple days, the goal stretched out to the next test. We're now to the point where I feel comfortable talking in weeks. We're still taking it day by day, but every week that passes makes me more and more comfortable thinking about the possibility of having a baby in our arms come June. There's still a lot of worry and uncertainty, clearly, but we're in a good place today and that's all we can ask for.

Over the past couple weeks, I've had a handful of early pregnancy symptoms--some I was expecting and others that were complete surprises. (I thought I knew what pregnancy was all about, but there are some things you mamas aren't talking about!) Its been amazing to witness my body making these changes and taking the first couple steps in nurturing a whole person inside me. (A whole person! I can't get over how wonderful and amazing it all is.)

I had some queasiness early on, but morning sickness started full force in week 6 and has gotten steadily worse. Even this is strange and exciting. I've never had nausea without all the accompanying flu or hangover symptoms. And I've never before felt hungry and nauseous at the same time, that's interesting. I'm trying all the tricks I've read about to lessen the severity (eating frequent, small meals and lots of saltines). Even though morning sickness is my near-constant companion, I've already started having cravings. The last week, all I've wanted to eat is mexican food. Dried fruit, nuts, and beans (prepregnancy staples of my diet) are revolting to me. And I've spent the majority of my life to this point detesting avocados, but now? I cannot get enough guacamole. I would eat it all day if we could keep enough in the house.

I've been tearing through all the pregnancy books I was too superstitious to read before I got pregnant and eyeing the labor and delivery books with some trepidation. We're working through the long list of things to do that has been filed under the category of "to do after we get pregnant, before baby comes." Aside from you all, we've told a few close family members and are waiting a few more weeks to make a general announcement. (I'm still deciding if I'm superstitious about that too.)

And that, dear readers, should get us all caught up.

Babymaking--Take Two

{ Tuesday, October 21, 2008 }
Attempt #2 was meant to go the same as #1. We arrived at the doctor's office a few days before I was scheduled to ovulate, where an ultrasound was performed to see which ovary was at bat this month. The egg was coming from the left (the one the doctor told us was likely no good) and it wasn't quite ready yet. I was a little bit disappointed because I really didn't want to wait a whole month before we could try again. Walking out of the doctor's office, the boy turned to me and said, "I'd be OK with inseminating the left ovary." That statement changed our whole approach. If we don't care which ovary, then we don't need the ultrasounds. Without the ultrasounds, we wouldn't know when to use the hormone injection to force me to ovulate and we could just let my body pick the timing. If we don't care which ovary, we are back to the plan that we made before the doctor was able to convince us that we needed all of his help. It felt good to give my body a chance and so we decided to roll the dice on lefty.

It took a little work to convince the people at the doctor's office to just give us our frozen samples to take home (they really wanted to prepare them for us), but finally we ended up with a nitrogen tank in our living room. And we waited. And waited. Stress can delay ovulation, did you know? I was worried that I'd mess up the timing and we'd have wasted both the time spent waiting and the money spent on samples. I worried that the samples would thaw out and be ruined before we'd had a chance to use them. Honestly, it all started to get to me and I had a little meltdown. I started to feel like I would never be able to get pregnant from of all this checking and worrying and waiting. It all felt ridiculous and the stress was just too much. I finally let go of trying to control every aspect of this process and trying to be an expert at it. I gave myself permission to be human and, of course, that eliminated the stress I was feeling and allowed my body to get on with it.

The timing was the big issue. Attempt #1 was easy--doctor told us when to do everything. Without doctor's help, it was on me to decide when all this should happen. I was getting anxious that we'd miss it and I decided that would be the worst case. Its better to be early than late (but not too early). I finally got too nervous to wait any longer (I'd let go a little, but not completely) and I told sweetie it was time. We did our routine two days in a row and the sweetie was wonderful. There were some nerves the first month, but on the second attempt, the boy was a pro. Afterwards, we waited for confirmation that I'd ovulated. And waited (sound familiar?). I had planned that we would have one insemination the day before ovulation and one the day of. And I was wrong. We were too early by one day. The boy had performed perfectly, but I had let us down. And again, I let go and all my remaining stress left. We were both disappointed and started looking forward to next month so we could try again.

Not long after this, we went away to get engaged. We came back and I was a mess. Everything felt wrong in my, uh, girly bits. I decided maybe this trying to get pregnant thing wasn't agreeing with me. I'd gotten a bad cold immediately after inseminating the first month and now this? I was not amused, and not quite sure what was happening to me.

Now, before we got on this ride, the sweetie and I had decided how many days we'd wait before taking a pregnancy test. Too early, and you risk getting a false negative, too late and you're driven crazy with the waiting and not knowing. I wanted to have the day in mind before we started so that I wouldn't be tempted--I could tell myself to just be patient and wait for test day. Test day happened to fall on a Monday and all weekend, the sweetie was impatient. Test now, test now, test now!! Monday was so close, though, so I was able to convince the boy that it was best to wait.

Monday morning I woke up early, went to the bathroom, and took the test. With this particular test, you wait three minutes and if there are two lines you're pregnant, one line means you're not. I took the test, half awake, and tried to keep an eye on my watch without waking up too much. The night before we'd both said we thought it would be negative since our timing was off. I just wanted to see it be negative and go back to bed. I glanced over at the test. It was early, maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me, but I thought I saw a shadow where the second line should be. I waited a few more seconds and looked again. Strange, the shadow had gotten darker. I rubbed my eyes and kept watching, wide awake at this point. Finally, I couldn't deny it any longer. I saw two lines. Two lines = pregnant.

I came flying out of the bathroom and crashed my way into the bedroom. I grabbed the boy and turned around, heading back into the bathroom without pausing. I'm actually surprised the boy was able to get feet on the ground before being literally dragged down the hall. There certainly wasn't time for such things as glasses. "Do you see two lines??!!" The boy leaned close. Even without glasses, there it was. Two lines = pregnant.

We looked at each other, speechless.

Two lines.


It freaking worked!

I'm not talking about a little crush . . .

{ Wednesday, October 15, 2008 }
Today is Love Your Body Day.

That's love with a capital L. That's taking a critical look at all of the images thrown at us a thousand times a day about what a woman should and shouldn't look like and realizing that they're all wrong. That's examining all of the messages from the beauty industry, the TV industry, the media, the fashion magazines, even our own families that tell us something is wrong with the way we look and choosing to love ourselves anyway. That's understanding that women are being set up every day; recognizing that this is a game we can never win. Even the super models and movie stars that we're told we should emulate can't measure up.

Today, let's all be a little kinder to ourselves. Let's try looking in the mirror and complimenting ourselves. Let's NOT (for the love of all that is good in this world) ask "do these pants make me look fat?" Let's celebrate all the beautiful, amazing things about our bodies. Big thighs are good for running! Big arms help you lift things! Womanly curves are hot. hot. hot.

I've struggled with negative body image for as long as I can remember. For the longest time, I thought, "if I could just lose a little weight, I'd be happy." What I learned was that no matter what size you wear, if you're looking for something to hate, you'll find it. It honestly makes me so angry to think about how much of my precious time on this planet has been wasted wishing I looked different. What was the point? This is it. This is my body and its the only one I'm getting. Why bother being mad at it?

Love your body.

At the very least, take it out for a nice dinner and try to develop a crush.

Perfect Timing

{ Friday, October 10, 2008 }
I'm usually not one to brag, but lately its felt like I'm living a charmed life. Almost two years ago, I met my sweetie. That one event has completely changed my life in every possible way. Being with the sweetie has opened a whole new world for me; one in which I am supported and loved and really seen for who I am (and supported and loved anyway). Every single day together is a precious gift; one that I would not trade for anything in the world.

Now, not even two weeks after the boy asked for my hand, our state has decided that it would actually be legal.

I can't help but feel as though someone is on our side.

Apricot Update

{ Wednesday, October 01, 2008 }
Thank you so much for all of the well wishes on our engagement. The boy and I have been so thrilled with all of your comments and are really touched by the support we've been getting.

I have no idea how to segue from that to knitting, so let's just dive right in, shall we?

I had ample knitting time during the drive to and from Vermont last weekend. (The sweetie takes public transportation during the week and actually prefers to drive on the weekends, so who am I to argue?) Unfortunately, I have very little to show for my 10 plus hours of knitting. Remember that I had heard the pattern was difficult to follow? Well, it got me. Twice. I finished the back with no problems, but the fronts are a different story. See the pink yarn threaded through them here?

This is the point where I start decreasing to create the V at the neckline. The pattern provides directions for the left front and asks you to reverse the shaping for the right side. I'm knitting them both at the same and somehow, while trying to reverse shaping on the fly and in my head (mistake #1) I ended up with decreases that didn't match. I snapped this picture after I got almost to the end and realized my mistake. Immediately after snapping this picture, I ripped back to the line.

Attempt #2. I fixed my issue with the placement of the decreases and happily knit back to the same point on the drive up to Vermont. Now, confession time. I was understanding the armhole shaping and the decreases along the front edge, but then the pattern does something I didn't get. Bind off for the shoulders and then continue knitting. Wha? I figured all would be made clear in the fullness of time, but I got to that point and still didn't get it. I read ahead (something I should have done before starting, I know) and saw some reference in the finishing instructions to attaching a neckband. There were no instructions to actually KNIT a neckband. And then, it all made sense. I continue knitting a thin strip of fabric that is later joined and attached to the back to FORM a neckband. Perfect, except for one small problem. I had refigured the neckline decreases to account for my different gauge and I had way too many stitches left. I was making one huge neckband. So . . . . here it comes . . .

I ripped back. Again. To the exact. same. spot. And I reknit on the drive back from Vermont. So today, as I type this, I am only slightly farther along than I was in that picture up there.

Its humorous that even with the warnings about the pattern and with all the research I did, this crappy pattern still got me! Although, the situation is slightly less funny when I think that there's only a slim chance that this sweater will actually fit me when I'm done. I just hope I can finish it before spring.