Monday, March 2, 2015

To My 27th Year: Monthly Follow-Up

During my 27th year I decided I want to commit to writing a follow up to my post To My 27th Year the first Monday of each month. I hope that I'm able to follow through for the whole year, so I can look back and see how I've done.  Since I'm linking up, go check out Amanda's blog Marry Mint :)

Here's to the December of my 27th year...

1. Use Less Technology - So it's been two months, but this goal is still going well.  Some nights I've given myself more time after 8:30pm, so I hope for March I can quit that.  It's not helping anything, although I guess it's not hurting anything either.  It could potentially be hurtful to my relationship with John though, so I want to be mindful of that.  John was sweet the other day and said that he wanted to start "unplugging" at night too.  Maybe I'm rubbing off on him a bit :)  I plan to keep doing the same things during March. 

2. Bake My Little Heart Out - I made banana chocolate chip muffins and pumpkin banana chocolate chip bread (Both can be found on my Pinterest).  I made Easy Creamy Crockpot Salsa Verde Chicken in January and it is a keeper!  It was SO easy and so tasty.  I made a double recipe and that provided a meal for a friend who just had a baby and an extra for me to put in the freezer.  This month or next I want to get a freezer meal plan in place so there will be some meals ready once Baby Girl comes.  My sister and I are going to get together on a Saturday and do it together.  It should be fun :)    
3. Take Advantage of Snail Mail - I sent two letters this morning.  One to a high school friend whom I haven't spoken to in years.  Kai colored a picture for a friend and we sent that too.  I love snail mail!  We got a book of 100 stamps at Costco yesterday so I'd better get writing and Kai coloring. 
4. No Picking - Seems the last two months have been pretty good in this department.  I think baby girl is helping me out since that's what happened during my pregnancy with Kai. 
5. Church - The last two months haven't been great.  We made it yesterday and it was wonderful.  Kai is fabulous in the nursery, very minimal tears!  It made this momma SO happy!  Hockey is slowing down significantly so church will be so much easier to get to.  We can go as a family.  March should be great. 
6. See a Friend - I've seen many friends, so this goal is always good.  I have two mommas and their daughters coming over tomorrow to play.  I love seeing friends just as much as Kai does, so we do our best to see people.  
7. Go Walking/Exploring -We got a membership to Edinborough Park and Kai loves it there.  It has a small gym and a huge indoor park.  It's wonderful for Kai and also a workout for me.  We've been attending Storytime at the Library and Kai loves that too.  We keep pretty busy especially since it's been so cold and we haven't been able to get outside.  We've been to the zoo a few times too.  Looks like we've done well!  This month we'll be going to Florida with my family.  Kai will get another plane ride under his belt and I know he'll love swimming and running and soaking up vitamin d.  I honestly can't wait! 
8. Sew/Craft: I haven't done much of anything since there hasn't been much extra time.  I'm working on a few gift, so I'll be getting in some more this month.

9. Savor - The last two months have been a lot about savoring.  I've been savoring Baby Girl so much as she is kicking and moving and making her presence known every day.  I'm so thankful that she's gotten bigger and I can feel her more because her placenta is in front.  I've been savoring my sweet boy as he's saying so many words.  He says "lav la" (love ya) after we say it to him.  It's the best thing ever!  Lastly John and I actually got to go on a date.  It was fun to be with just him, since it happens so rarely.  I love where I'm at in life and wouldn't trade it for the world. God has so richly blessed me.   

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

To My 27th Year: Monthly Follow-Up

During my 27th year I decided I want to commit to writing a follow up to my post To My 27th Year the first Monday of each month. I hope that I'm able to follow through for the whole year, so I can look back and see how I've done.  Since I'm linking up, go check out Amanda's blog Marry Mint :)

Here's to the December of my 27th year...

1. Use Less Technology - I feel great about this goal.  I continue to leave my electronics in the kitchen overnight, but they have been sneaking back over to the couch during the day.  Since the new year has also come I've decided to add three parts to this goal.  One is that my phone and iPad need to stay on/near the kitchen island while Kai is awake.  If I want to use them during naptime that's completely fine, but I don't want them to be a temptation while I should be playing with my sweet little guy.  Two is that I need to be intentional about unplugging at night.  Since I have been unable to be successful at this without a reminder I set an alarm on my phone and my iPad for 8:30pm.  The last two nights I've actually turned off my devices before that time so I haven't needed the alarm.  In the future I might decide to lower that time to 8pm, but we'll see.  Lastly I have decided to only check my email once in the morning, once at naptime (if I want) and once before bed.  I check it a lot during the day and all I get is spam and it's a waste of time.  I hope that it will make me feel more intentional about the emails I sent and receive.  Hopefully January goes great!   

2. Bake My Little Heart Out - I baked a few different things during  December.  I made these three recipes (Chocolate Chip Blossoms, Brownie Peanut Butter Bites and Pretzel Thingys)  The choco chip blossoms had no recipe because I used store bought dough and put a chocolate kiss on top.  Super easy, not very good looking, tasted ok.  The Brownie Peanut Butter Bites were AWESOME!  Highly recommend, especially because I love using my mini muffin tin.  I failed at the pretzel thingys big time and ended up throwing them all away.  For this month I've been thinking about trying a few new recipes and being more strategic about meal planning.  For example yesterday I made an entire package of ground turkey.  I put part of it into the crockpot chilli for supper last night and seasoned the rest with our homemade taco seasoning for tonight.  Kai struggles between 4:30-whenever John gets home or we start eating supper, so the more time I have for him then the better.  I'm also hoping to try my hand at some freezer meals, but that might not be this month.

3. Take Advantage of Snail Mail -We delivered almost all our snail mail this month, but we'll get back into it this month :)
4. No Picking - Argh.  Some days are great, some are not.
5. Church - December was SO busy!  I believe we made it the first two weeks and then on Christmas Eve.  Not the best, but I'm considering it pretty good because the other weekends we were out of town at Christmas celebrations.  January should be less busy.... fingers crossed!
6. See a Friend - December was filled with family and friends.  I wish I could've enjoyed a longer time with some of the friends I saw, but I'll take what I can get :) 
7. Go Walking/Exploring - We went to the zoo with Grandma Karen and visited the Children's Museum in Omaha over Christmas.  As far as walking goes Kai has taken to walking on his tiptoes half the time.  Crazy kid!  It's been below 10 degrees the past few days, so we haven't even gotten out of the house.  Hopefully the rest of January will ease up a bit so we can go a few places.  We've already had some visitors so that helps.
8. Sew/Craft: I finished my Christmas crafts in December and that felt great!  I don't have any big plans for the new, but I have started organizing my craft corner in the basement.  I think having everything in it's place will feel good and maybe I'll start to tackle a big project.  

9. Savor - I've had some great savor moments the past month.  I've gotten to snuggle/hold/kiss Kai while he's been sleeping.  I've gotten to rock him to sleep too.  He's gotten quite a personality too, so I've been relishing the sound of his giggle and every new word.  He's just such a treasure.  I've been doing my best to savor my relationship with John too.  Some days we feel very disconnected from each other, but we've tried to be more intentional, even if it's just an extra hug or an extra I love you.  He's my best friend and I'm thankful for him every day and I just want him to always know that.

Thanks for reading! 

Monday, December 1, 2014

To My 27th Year: Monthly Follow-Up

So much for posting even a few times through the Hopes and Plans link-up. This month has been crazy and I had intentions of blogging on Mondays, but the free time just didn't present itself. Due to that I decided that I want to commit to writing a follow up to my post To My 27th Year the first Monday of each month. I hope that I'm able to follow through for the whole year, so I can look back and see how I've done.  Since I'm linking up, go check out Amanda's blog Marry Mint :)

Hopes and Plans

Here's to the September of my 27th year...

1. Use Less Technology - Not much has changed in this department.  I have left my electronics out of the bedroom, but haven't been very deliberate about limiting my time using them.  I did however remember to bring my watch so I was able to leave my phone outside of the room we stay in at my in-laws over Thanksgiving.  Truly being unplugged at night is a great feeling for me.  I'm just going to stick with what's working for this month since I know it's going to be so busy with Christmas sneaking up on me :)     

2. Bake My Little Heart Out - This month I don't think I made anything actually homemade!  I did bake some packaged cinnamon rolls and cookies from a bag, but I'm not thinking that counts.  I'm hoping Kai and I can make some Christmas cookies this month, but finding the time is the tough part.  I'd love to hand out some baked goods to our neighbors.  I'll cross my fingers :)  I'm having a friend over for her birthday this Thursday, so I'm going to make something delicious for breakfast.  Even if it doesn't include baking I'm going to count it. 
3. Take Advantage of Snail Mail -We sure did make a few Thanksgiving crafts to send to grandparents!  We only got around to using the stickers though, maybe next year Kai will be a bit more patient.  We sent a letter today to Kai's cousins and I have about seven letters in the works right now, but I'll count those in next month's tally.  I ran out of stamps this morning, so I'm considering that a win for snail mail!

4. No Picking - No change, but my face has been a bit more clear because of the dry weather.  Can't really count that as finding any self-control though. 
5. Church - We went 3/4 weekends in November!  It was wonderful.  Kai and I went once alone because John had hockey, but we went the other two weekends as a family.  Kai did okay in the nursery, but was always crying when we went to pick him up.  The helpers in there said he was fine until parents started showing up so I'm crossing my fingers that's actually the case.  We missed this past weekend, but I'm already thinking about which service we'll attend next week.
6. See a Friend - The flow of friends in my life has been steady and wonderful.  The most special to date was last Friday.  Right after John and I moved to the Twin Cities I got involved in a church youth group volunteering with a great group of girls.  I got to lead their small group from 10th-12th grade.  They are now in college, getting boyfriends, some getting close to graduating and thinking about marriage.  They have a Facebook group that I occasionally stalk because they are notoriously difficult to get a hold of.  They planned a small get together for half-price apps at Applebees last Friday and I crashed their party.  It was so wonderful to see them all.  I love them dearly and wish we had more time to spend together.  I don't think they'll ever know just how much impact they had on my life.  Here's to hoping I'll get to see some or all of them over Christmas break!
7. Go Walking/Exploring - It's freezing here so we maybe we on one outside walk in the past month.  Most of our walks now are at the mall, which isn't terrible, but it's not outside.  We haven't explored too many new places, but that's ok.  Kai and I did go to the zoo last week and it's amazing how much he's growing and developing.  He walked most of the zoo as I braved it without a stroller.  He climbed through all the tunnels and smiled and waved at other kids.  
8. Sew/Craft: Christmas crafting is in full swing!  I've finished lots and lots of ornaments, four crowns, some napkins and a Give Me Jesus embroidery loop.  I still have lots to finish so I'll be working away!  One fabulous thing that happened this past month was the second homemade gift exchange I decided to participate in.  The blogger from Craftaholics Anonymous puts it on twice a year, once in the summer and once around the holidays.  If you want to check it out it's right on the top toolbar on her blog. I did it this past summer and didn't receive a gift in return, but my partner said my gift is on it's way this time around.  Here's what I made her:

9. Savor - I'm working on it everyday.  Sometimes I just sit and watch Kai take the world in.  It's the best feeling ever.  I love it!

Thanks for reading!  My boy is telling me that he's awake, so I'd better get him.  Have a wonderful Christmas season!

Monday, November 3, 2014

To My 27th Year: Monthly Follow-Up

So much for posting even a few times through the Hopes and Plans link-up. This month has been crazy and I had intentions of blogging on Mondays, but the free time just didn't present itself. Due to that I decided that I want to commit to writing a follow up to my post To My 27th Year the first Monday of each month. I hope that I'm able to follow through for the whole year, so I can look back and see how I've done.  I'm already happy about my first month!  Since I'm linking up, go check out Amanda's blog Marry Mint :)

Hopes and Plans

Here's to the September of my 27th year...

1. Use Less Technology - This is my most successful goal so far, but I failed to turn off my devices by 9pm.  I may have even reverted a little because my phone has been near me a bit more.  I haven't brought my phone into our bedroom though, so that's a win!  I'm going to try and have my phone off between 8:30-9pm and then once I get the hang of that I'll start limiting my iPad time.  I know it helps me wind down and relax at the end of the night, but I'm hoping to do a lot more crafting while we watch TV since Christmas is right around the corner!      

2. Bake My Little Heart Out - This month was not as good as last month for baking.  I did make the Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip muffins again.  I was able to pass some along to friends and bring them to a get-together with John's family, but a few still didn't get eaten.  I think it's safe to say I need to bench that recipe until next year.  My mom gave me a pumpkin cookie recipe that I might try this month.  I have all the ingredients currently so I have no excuse.  As far as the apples from last month I was able to share a lot of them with family and friends (my mom made applesauce), but I still haven't used any of mine.  The few that looked bad fed the squirrels outside if that counts :)  Maybe I'll make something fall-themed in the next few weeks and hand it out with our leftover Halloween candy.
3. Take Advantage of Snail Mail - We did well on this one too!  We've written to eight people so far on my list (some of them more than once).  We haven't had any art time recently but I hope to get some in this week.  He picked out some Thanksgiving crafts at Michaels, so I look forward to getting creative with those.  Kai has actually gotten some mail back from his letters to which is probably more fun for me than it is for him.  I'm also thinking about Christmas cards.  If I want to get them done it should probably be soon...  we'll see. 
4. No Picking - I don't know if this will be accomplished within my 27th year. Argh.
5. Church - No change :(  We were all planned and ready to go Saturday, but I was so sick.  I'm just going to keep praying that the opportunity to go is wide open and we don't have any other plans infringe on it or overlap with it.  Otherwise maybe we'll have to try and start going Sunday morning.  Kai and I are usually already up. Here's to November... 
6. See a Friend - This one we've done well on. I tag-teamed Ikea with our wonderful friend Anna who has a little gal named Emma, went for a walk with our friend Katie, saw my friend Amy whom I haven't seen for over a year, hung out with Michelle more than once and had two baby showers where I saw friends.  It was a wonderful month for friends!  I think this month my goal is to see one friend on a weekend/evening without Kai.  I rarely get time for myself and that sounds pretty wonderful. 
7. Go Walking/Exploring - We have gone on a couple walks, but we haven't explored anything new this month.  Kai did get to carve a pumpkin for the first time and loved it!  We went to the apple orchard again.  Last week we went home to be with my family for an overnight and Kai got to ride in the combine with Grandpa Dan and that was an adventure for him!  His favorite book currently is about trucks/tractors, so he loved it.
8. Sew/Craft:  This month I made some cloth diaper inserts for some covers I purchased and a baby hat.  I didn't complete too many projects, but I started a bunch.  I have some hand warmers and a neck warmer in the works for a friend's mom, a t-shirt quilt and some more baby hats in the works.  I finished the biggest, most wonderful project yesterday with my sister.  We made a bench for the completely not kid friendly brick hearth. My brother-in-law made the wooden part and my sister and I did the foam and fabric.  I LOVE how it turned out!  Here's the tutorial we used as inspiration! I'm hoping to craft a lot in the next two months for Christmas!
9. Savor - I'm working on it everyday.  Sometimes I just sit and watch Kai take the world in.  It's the best feeling ever.  I love it!

If you live in Minnesota, what fun places have you been with/without kids?  How do you allow yourself to savor?    

Thanks for reading!  I'll leave you with one of my favorite pictures from the last month.  Sorry if there's errors in this post as I'm finishing Kai is yelling "mama" from his crib so no proofreading for me (again this month!) :)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Wipes and Wipe Solution

I researched quite a bit about cloth wipes when I decided to cloth diaper. If I was already going to wash the diapers why not give reusable wipes a shot too. I knew I didn't want to make wipes from paper towels, just as much waste and more work. I purchased one package of twelve from Amazon, Bumkins brand, but made the rest myself out of remnants I purchased from JoAnn Fabrics and an old t-shirt. I've read that other parents use anything from baby washcloths to old receiving blankets to fleece. If you don't have a sewing machine fleece would work great because it doesn't fray. I have three different sizes/sets of wipes. The Bumkins flannel, long ones with one side micro fleece and the other side terry cloth and small ones with one side old t-shirt and the other side terry cloth. The old t-shirt is so very soft and it cleans very nicely. You might be surprised that you already have supplies to make your own.
Generally I use the terry cloth side for poop and the other sides for pee or light clean up. That system has worked for us for a year, although I do grab a disposable wipe sometimes when I'm feeling lazy, when my solution bottle is empty or when Kai had a disposable diaper on. I honestly feel the longer ones are a bit too long and the Bumkins flannel ones are wider than I'd like. The midsize wipe is perfect  but their sizes don't stop me from using them. Another note is that the terry needs to be pretty wet to slide across Kai's skin. When it's not wet enough it doesn't clean as well. I stack all my wipes in a pile next to my solution on our changing table. 
As for my solution I use baby wash, coconut oil and water. I have read a large number of wipe solution "recipes" on the Internet that include some kind of oil, different soaps, essential oils and more. When I first made it I just wanted to use products I already had on hand. I don't really measure anything because I'm still trying to find a good amount of each. Generally I put a little soap, a little oil and fill the rest of the bottle with water and shake it up. I have found the products below go well together. Aveno Baby Wash in place of the Johnson and Johnson wash smells awful! I've also tried the lavender scented Target brand wash and that works well. If you don't like the coconut smell, refined coconut oil or baby oil can be used. The bottle I use is a Windex Touch Up bottle. It works phenomenally! I just dumped the cleaner into another bottle and washed it up good and made my solution. (I found the idea from another great cloth diapering momma, but I can't find the blog post now! If anyone knows where it is let me know. I'd love to credit her.)
Do you use cloth wipes and homemade solution? What have you found that works? Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 6, 2014

To My 27th Year: Monthly Follow-Up

So much for posting even a few times through the Hopes and Plans link-up. This month has been crazy and I had intentions of blogging on Mondays, but the free time just didn't present itself. Due to that I decided that I want to commit to writing a follow up to my post To My 27th Year the first Monday of each month. I hope that I'm able to follow through for the whole year, so I can look back and see how I've done.  I'm already happy about my first month!  Since I'm linking up, go check out Amanda's blog Marry Mint :)
Hopes and Plans

Here's to the September of my 27th year...

1. Use Less Technology - I feel great about this goal, so great that I think I want to take it further!  I haven't brought my phone into our bedroom once since starting my goal.  I turn it off before going to bed and it has its own little spot on the island in the kitchen.  It also sits there a lot of the day as well.  If we're going out I take it with me, but if we're home it sits in its spot.  I can tell I've been using it less because I can now get three days out of a charge instead of two.  I can't tell if I've been sleeping better because Kai still gets me up in the night, but I do feel I've been falling asleep easier.  I've also been trying to be very conscious of how much time I spend mindlessly using my devices.  I think that's still a work in progress.
     For this next month I'm going to try and turn my phone and iPad off by 9pm, as well as keeping to my other goals.  I hope this starts feeling good to me and I'll make the time earlier.  I've also been thinking about not allowing myself access to my devices while Kai is awake, but he's so busy that sometimes a little check of Instagram makes my heart happy.  We'll see how this month goes and go from there!     

2. Bake My Little Heart Out - I've made some yummy goodies this month!  I found this recipe for Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Bread on Pinterest and no lie I believe it is one of the best recipes I've ever made.  I wanted to make muffins instead of bread so I did and it made twenty four.  The baking time was about 25 minutes if you want to give them a try.  They're so good I've actually made it twice this month.  I also made the standard Banana Muffins, but forgot the chocolate chips and sure missed them.  Whenever I've baked I've been able to share as well!  I have brought muffins to friends and to a MOPs group I tried out.  Makes my little heart happy!  Not sure what I'll decide to try this month, but John's aunt gave us 7 bags of apples (not exaggerating!) so it's safe to say I'll be looking for apple recipes!  I actually want to try this one out for our pup :)

3. Take Advantage of Snail Mail - I've sent five letters this month!  Kai even helped by coloring some pictures to include in the envelopes!  I'm just going to keep on sending mail this coming month.  I like including Kai because it gives us a little art time together.  That's become an unexpected plus!

4. No Picking - I completely and utterly failed at this one.  Sometimes I'm not even sure why I try.  I've thought about trying to keep my heels on the edge of the rug (can't see my face close up that way), but I don't know if that'll work.  My only other hope might be to take down all the mirrors in the house.  Argh.  I just want this one to stick.  Any ideas?
5. Church - This one was sadly a fail too, but we've had family visiting or other commitments.  It feels yucky to say that though.  I feel that church should be our number one commitment.  We did watch it once on Sunday morning, but it's just not the same.  We have nothing on the calendar this Saturday night, so I really hope we make it. 
6. See a Friend - I have done great with this one too.  Kai and I see/visit/meet with a friend at least once a week.  We also tried out a MOPs group.  We went twice.  The first time went kind of poorly.  It was pretty much all social hour for the moms and Kai cried a lot of the time upstairs (At least the one time I checked on him and when I picked him up.  The sweet girl holding him also said he missed his mom a lot, so I assumed that meant he fussed)  The second time we went he was crying when I checked on him and then playing when I picked him up.  I was so happy!  Yay Kai!  Sadly I spent most of my time in a social hour again.  I also realized I was looking for a place to connect with God and other godly women, but there was no scripture reading or relating our discussions back to God.  I've prayed about it and I've decided we won't be heading back there.  If anyone knows of any other groups I'd love to hear suggestions!
7. Go Walking/Exploring - Just last week we walked ten miles!  We also went to the zoo, the library (for the first time!), storytime at Barnes and Noble and SeaLife at Mall of America. (See multiple Instagram photos of our adventures!)  One of the most fun was when we were at Target it had started to rain, so we got a Pumpkin Spice Latte and a pumpkin cookie at the Starbucks inside, ran to the car and shared our cookie.  I love my boy!  As it gets colder I know we'll be exploring more indoors and I'm so excited!
8. Sew/Craft:  Not sure why this didn't make the first round of goals, but it needs to be here.  Sewing/crafting make me warm and fuzzy inside.  I've made a ton of projects recently including reusable baby wipes, tag blankets, tablet covers and reusable napkins.  Most of these were gifts too, which helps fill my heart.  I have a monogram I'm going to try and work on this month, possibly using wine corks.  I have lots of friends having babies soon too, so I can just be crafting up a storm if I want to.  Kai also got to experience the sewing machine for the first time and loved pushing the back stitch button when I needed him too.  Seeing things through his eyes is so much fun!   
9. Savor - All of the above goals have allowed me to savor.  I feel so blessed and lucky to be where I'm at and to have the people I do in my life.  All I can hope is that I spend a little time each day taking in the wonder and love and laughter that life has to offer!

Do you have anything great you've baked recently?  Have you crafted any fun projects?  How do you allow yourself to savor?    

Thanks for reading!  I'll leave you with one of my favorite pictures from the last month.  Sorry if there's errors in this post as I'm finishing Kai is yelling "mama" from his crib so no proofreading for me :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Losing Baby #2

Disclaimer: I plan to be very honest and descriptive when I talk about our miscarriage experience. I don't mean to sadden, gross out or offend anyone. Everything I write are my own feelings or John's. I want to be helpful to anyone going through a similar experience. While we were going through it I couldn't find any personal stories that were detailed enough to relate to which is what lead me to post. I know it will also be healing for me. Thanks for reading!

My period didn't come back after having Kai until he was almost eleven months old. John and I knew we wanted to have our babies close together so I was relieved I wouldn't have to choose between breastfeeding (which can delay the return) my sweet boy and conceiving another little one. I have a history of an irregular cycle so we figured it was our cue to try and if we hit the magic day great, if not we had time. I started getting negative tests mid-July. I was bummed, but figured it was our first try and I was focusing on the trip to St. Thomas we had planned. I packed pregnancy tests and other "supplies" to be prepared for both scenarios. After a few days on vacay, Aunt Flo still hadn't visited, so I took a test, negative. A few days later another test and a faint positive!  I took the test again very early in the morning (Here's the blog about finding out about Kai!) It took a little while to sink in, but I felt happy. John woke up right on cue, so I was able to let him in on our secret. We were unable to celebrate out loud because we had brought my youngest sister on vacation with to help with Kai.  We only had a few more days of vacation so we soaked in the sun, sand and beautiful Caribbean ocean water and then it was time to go home.  Here's a little tidbit I wrote on vacation for our sweet baby:

"Yesterday we found out you were coming. You are an answer to prayer sweet baby! The night before I prayed for a sign either way because I hadn't gotten my period and all the tests I had taken were negative. I took a test at 4am and surprise you're inside growing!  We love you already! Can't wait to meet you!"

After we got home I called the midwives to schedule my first prenatal appointment.  They don't see you until 8-10 weeks so I scheduled my appointment for August 28.  We had decided to tell people on Kai's first birthday August 23 because my sister was getting married on August 16th and we didn't want to take away any of their thunder :)  I was so excited to keep our secret just for us.  John and I could smile at each other and no one else knew our sweet news just yet.  I bought some big brother books to wrap for Kai for his birthday and we would let everyone find out that way. 

On Saturday, August 10th in the evening I started spotting.  It's not unusual during pregnancy, so John was sweet and kept encouraging me not to worry about it.  It felt off and yucky and not right to me.  I was headed home Sunday afternoon to help finish up a few last wedding details and by that point it still hadn't stopped but it was very light.  Everything I read online said to call your provider if bleeding is present so I called Monday morning.  I was transferred here and there and everywhere on the phone, until finally I left a message with the midwife nurse line and then all I had to do was wait for the midwife to call back.  She did finally call back and reassure me again that everything sounded fine because I wasn't experiencing heavy bleeding or cramping.  She said our best plan of action was to schedule an ultrasound.  That would be able to tell us if we were losing the baby or if the spotting was normal. If the spotting was normal it would just be considered our "dating ultrasound" to figure out how far along we were. We scheduled it for the next day, so I headed home Monday night.

Tuesday morning came and I was full of nerves and water. I still think asking a pregnant lady to drink 16 oz of water an hour before an ultrasound and then keep it in while the technician pushes her her bladder is crazy. John stayed home to hang out with Kai since still hadn't told any of our family about the pregnancy. I went to my appointment feeling like I was going to pee my pants the whole way. Since I had gone through a dating ultrasound with Kai I knew what I would be looking for. First they did an outer ultrasound, then she let me pee. Sweet relief! Second a transvaginal ultrasound, basically an inner ultrasound to see what's going on in there better. The tech said she had hoped to tell me something either way (if we were miscarrying or if everything looked good). Kai looked like this at his dating ultrasound at 9 weeks. Sweet little gummy bear, kicking and punching with a beautifully visible beating heart! 

She said they first look for the sac, then fetal pole, fetus and lastly heartbeat. She found the gestational sac and it was an empty, just black and empty. The technician told me that I wasn't even measuring 5 weeks and I knew that wasn't possible. Let's just say the dates didn't line up with what she was telling me. She said the sac was in a great position high up in my uterus and that the midwife would look over the results and get back to me. I appreciated her kind and encouraging words, but still felt defeated. The pregnancy didn't feel right to me and neither did the bleeding.

(Warning: Graphic details ahead.) I got home around lunchtime and John got ready for work. When he left I told him that I was feeling pretty awful. He told me to call if I needed him to come home. I was cramping, nauseous and flu-like. I started to bleed heavier and pass larger and larger clots. I knew something was going on. That continued throughout the day not getting better or worse. Around 7pm I sneezed and felt something come out. It was a feeling I've never felt before. I went to the bathroom and turns out it was the gestational sac, all the tissue that was in there suppose to be making a baby. It was like a tissue blob. I honestly didn't know what to do with. It felt so wrong to throw it away and felt even worse to flush it down the toilet. I didn't know how to properly get rid of it without feeling like I was discarding a child. I felt numb. We ended up burying it in the backyard. That felt weird too, but it was the best solution John and I could come up with. After I passed that my body felt so much better. It was strangly a relief. 

I felt peace about losing the baby although it stung. We wanted him/her! It was possibly a blighted ovum which is a baby that implanted but didn't start forming because of a genetic mutation. I think the biggest hardship was not being able to talk to my mom about it. She is fabulous and would've been great and supportive but I didn't want to bother her or anyone else right before the wedding. (I ended up spilling the beans the morning of the wedding. I know right right?!?! I just couldn't do the day without her knowing.) Wednesday was like any other. I felt a little sore but with Kai consuming all of my energy I got through the day. 

We decided to go to  Bruggers for supper. Nothing like a little food to heal wounds (John got me a DQ blizzard the night before). While we were there the midwife called. She started to tell me how everything from the ultrasound looked good and it was okay that my dates were off. I had to stop her mid sentence to tell her that I had miscarried. She was so very empathetic. I only talk about this part because of the necessity of another Rhogam shot. A Rhogam shot is a shot a pregnant woman has to get before and after her first pregnancy and after every subsequent pregnancy if her blood type is the opposite of her baby's father. It helps her body not to attack the baby if their bloods come in contact with one another. I had one before and after Kai, but it didn't even cross my mind that I'd need one after our miscarriage. I went in for that the following morning bright and early before going to work. A nurse gave me the shot and after that the midwife I'd been talking to brought me back to a room just to see how I was. She gave us the go ahead to not wait to try for another one :) 

We made it through the wedding and the following week I got a care package from the midwife. I cannot rave enough about their personal care. They are the best ever! On August 28 I had a blood test to check my hCG level to make sure the miscarriage was complete and my numbers were good. Now we're praying for Baby #3! 

Please don't hesitate to post questions here or to email me. Thanks again for reading and allowing myself to heal :) 

I've thought of a few more details I wanted to share:

1. In case I didn't remember the miscarriage happened my insurance thought they'd send lots of mail explaining our benefits and what we owed them.
2. I'm thankful for the friends that shared their stories of loss with me before it happened in my life. That's another reason I'm sharing. 

Here's a website for Rhogam FAQs: