36 Weeks

Pregnancy is weird. It’s fun. It’s fun to feel kicks and hiccups, take pictures, and look at cute tiny outfits. It’s terrifying. It’s terrifying to realize you haven’t felt any kicks in a while, imagine traumatizing birth scenarios, and realizing how much of what’s ahead is completely unknown. It’s also exhausting, and exciting, and annoying, and a complete and total rollercoaster of craziness with, like, four loop-de-loops. I’m grateful for this baby and this pregnancy, especially after our losses, but reality is hitting me hard. I’m going to be a mom.

Fortunately, we have amazing family and friends that are blessing the everliving poop out of us. I cannot express how much I appreciate (and need) all the tips and advice I’m getting from fellow moms. I also can’t thank people enough for giving us essential items and gifts. If anything, being pregnant helps me to count my blessings, and, well, there’s too many to count!

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For those of you that I don’t get to talk to every day (because school, and work, and life keeps me busy, and your life surely keeps you equally busy), I wanted to write up a little update about this rollercoaster of craziness.

Lemme start out with this: I am Type 1 Diabetic in a full remission. It’s kind of unbelievable, and I get a lot of rolling eyes from nurses when I try to explain this, but it’s true! I was diagnosed at 13-years-old and depended completely on insulin (at LEAST five injections a day) for five years, but my blood sugar began to normalize at around 18. My dad lost his job that same year, and no longer needing insulin combined with a loss of insurance led me to kind of just stop worrying about the whole thing. I continued to get an A1C test every year (a test to see your average blood glucose levels), and they always came back within non-diabetic range. It’s worth noting that I have a persistent anti-GAD antibody that means I am Type 1 diabetic as opposed to a misdiagnosed Type 2 or other possibilities. Fast forward to now, and my diabetes seems to manifest itself while I’m pregnant. Because of my history, my doctors and I kept a close eye on it from the minute I got the second line on the pee stick. That’s the good news. The “bad” news is that being pregnant and diabetic is really hard and scary.

I didn’t realize until a few weeks ago just how dangerous high glucose levels can be for an unborn baby. Possible consequences for this include: big huge babies, possible birth defects, placental abruption, a still born, and more. I feel bad for not realizing all of this months ago, and I’m terrified now to know it at all. Unlike gestational diabetes, everything is a little amplified in established diabetics (like myself). I’ve done a pretty dang good job at keeping my sugars in check, but because I have to use the aid of medication AND adjust said medication often, I qualify as a “poorly controlled” diabetic in the world of pregnancy and birth. As a “poorly controlled” diabetic, it’s super unsafe to let me go to full-term. My doctor will induce between 37 and 39 weeks. This is up to his discretion and is mostly reliant on my glucose levels.

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I’m a little nervous about being induced. Heck, I’m nervous about birth in general. Although it’s kind of nice knowing a narrowed range for our little baby boy to come, and he’s coming whether I’m ready or not. So, I better attempt to get ready somewhat?

Also, shout out to Taylor. He is constantly saying the same things over and over again to calm my nerves and make me feel better. He’s a strong steady support that is an A++++ in the husband-of-a-pregnant-lady game.

Their Body, Their Choice. Wait. Really?

As parenthood creeps up on me, I’m beginning to interact with more and more moms both online and in “real” life. As I chat and scroll through forums, I keep hearing this argument in reference to circumcision of baby boys and pierced ears of baby girls:

Their body, their choice.

I take issue with this statement. I take big, fat, hairy issue with this statement. And hey, I have a blog, and thus a place to write about it.

When it comes to kids, parents are making thousands of decisions FOR them, because a tiny infants brain simply isn’t developed enough for a baby to properly communicate something like “Hey mom, don’t give me any formula ever. Don’t circumcise me. I want the following vaccinations….”

They simply can’t make that “choice.” And if I allow my child to make ALL the decisions regarding their body, I bet they will pick candy over broccoli, chicken pox over shots, sleeping over school, and more.

Also, the decision to not circumcise a baby is still a decision made on their behalf for their body. What if you don’t circumcise your baby boy, and he grows up resenting this, because he’s different than his Dad or best friends? We just don’t know how he could potentially feel about it, but it’s a decision that I get to make. It is his body, but it’s my job to make choices for him. 

 

20 Week Ultrasound

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Me at 20 weeks pregnant

We had our 20 week ultrasound, and everything looked okay! The baby is measuring within normal range. This was a huge concern for me, because I’m “diabetic.” Yes, in quotes.

Brief diabetic history: I was diagnosed with Type 1 at 13 and was completely and utterly insulin dependent for five years. At 18 my blood sugars normalized naturally. My blood sugar is creeping up and dropping all crazy again. My endocrinologist is trying to figure out if I went into an incredibly rare Type 1 Diabetic remission, have a gene that mimics diabetes, or have Type 1.5 diabetes.

Anyway, so because of my “diabetes,” it’s possible that my little boy is getting too much glucose. This causes him to produce too much insulin and become a big jumbo baby. Many diabetic babies are born HUGE and early. But my A1c is 4.8, and my baby is totally within normal rage. *sigh of relief*

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Little Baby Rios at 20 weeks

All the baby’s little body parts are in the right place. He has all the right heart chambers, and blood flow, and all that stuff. When the doctor said “everything looks good and normal” I took a minute to tune out and breathe. The only things that aren’t looking totally normal is the position of the placenta. It’s low, but the doctor is confident that it will move up and I can do a natural birth. I hope so! The placenta is also anterior, so I won’t feel the little kicks as much as other mommies. So they say! But a few days ago, Taylor and I felt a big pounding fist bump from the little guy–I don’t think I’m missing out much! We keep feeling those too. Oh, I love it!

 

18 Weeks Pregnant

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Taylor and I at the Red Iguana. Mmm…I’m hungry. I’m always hungry. #pregnant

I can’t believe I’m posting this. My previous post was all about coming clean with our many miscarriages. I love those babies and will never ever forget them, but I’m here now. I’m here writing this post. And this post is about MY PREGNANCY.

Right now, I’m 18 weeks pregnant…ish. The thing about pregnancy is that it’s just a big fat guessing game. I’ve been pregnant for about 18 weeks, sure, but who knows what the baby is measuring at or when he’ll actually come. When he‘ll come. That’s awesome. I never thought I could be so stoked for a boy! I imagined that the news of a boy would leave me with some sort of wistful feeling. But, boy was I wrong! (I’ll stop weaving “boy” into every sentence now.)

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Me at around 14 weeks

By the way, that bump in the picture above isn’t really a baby bump. It’s me sticking my gut out in an effort to have a bump. The typical pregnancy bloating helps here too.

I don’t take a lot of bump progression pictures. I did with my last pregnancy…and the one before that…and the one before that, but going through and deleting those pictures after a loss genuinely sucks. I haven’t registered for any baby forums/boards/emails either. Unsubscribing from those things also genuinely sucks. I suppose pregnancy after multiple losses is a little different in that way.

(The bump in this picture is an actual baby bump.)

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Me now — 18 weeks

We have our 20 week ultrasound coming up (January 17th). To say that I’m incredibly nervous is somewhat of a gargantuan understatement. An hour long ultrasound to check for possible abnormalities sounds scary. I know that afterwards, if all goes well, I’ll feel reassured and relieved and….ahhhhh. But until then, my brain strolls along the path of what ifs. I hate that path. It’s littered with garbage and tricky bottomless holes.

Prayers and good vibes needed, wanted, and welcome. Thank you!

Now off to grab a snack! Just kidding, I’m diabetic and can only eat every two hours. Curse this beautiful perpetual pregnancy hunger. (If you’re thinking at least you’re constantly hungry instead of continually throwing up, rest assured that I threw up in my work’s parking lot yesterday.)

Breaking the Silence: The Story Behind My Necklace

If you’ve seen me lately (which is unlikely, because I’m a shut-in), you may have noticed this necklace. I wear it almost every day. It’s a simple circle with the phrase “Too beautiful for Earth” stamped around the edges.
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You may think to yourself: Wow. She is so full of herself. She really thinks she’s too beautiful for Earth? Come on! I mean, I hope you don’t think that. I would, probably, but don’t be me.

Last February, Taylor and I found out some very exciting news. We were pregnant! And then…we weren’t. We lost our little baby pretty quickly (only a couple of weeks after we found out); it was a lot of emotions, and shock, and blegh. We took some time to recover; we moved on.

Last May, Taylor and I found out some very exciting news…again. We were pregnant…again! We prayed a lot, and reminded ourselves daily that 33% of women miscarry, but not too many miscarry twice in a row. We prayed and prayed and prayed. We heard the heartbeat. We got an ultrasound picture. And at the end of June, well, we weren’t pregnant…again. And we cried. Anger, sadness, anger again. More blegh. Blegh. Blegh. Blegh. Blegh. (No really, a lot of blegh!) Some close friends gently reminded me that “maybe it isn’t the right time.” I wanted to punch their faces off. But we recovered; we moved on.

April 2016, we found out some very exciting news…again. We were pregnant…again. Cautiously excited, we kept our hopes up. We fell in love with our little sweet pea. A few weeks after we found out (about 6 weeks pregnant), I woke up to searing pain in my abdomen. After nearly twelve hours in the ER, and two weeks of waiting, we learned with 100% certainty that little sweet pea went back to Heaven too.

My wonderful mom shared with me this poem after our third loss:

An Angel in the book of life
wrote down my baby’s birth,
and whispered as she closed the book
“too beautiful for the Earth.”

And I needed that. Taylor had the last line stamped on a necklace, and I wear it always.

We’re now officially a statistic. We are the 1% of healthy couples with recurrent pregnancy loss. I’m not writing this for attention or to show off my unedited not-great English skills, but to break the silence. No one talks about miscarriage, but they should. Because you know the thing that helped me through three miscarriages more than anything else? Talking about it. And especially talking about it with people who have gone through it too.

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Back to School Again

School seems to be never ending for me. We took a semester off for our big move. I got into BYU…again, but it seems like a lot of extra work for what? The same degree from a different school? I don’t believe too much in the idea that BYU is the best school ever no matter what. Especially since US News rates USU higher than BYU in my field (Speech-language Pathology). Just sayin’. So, I rejected BYU’s acceptance, and I’m continuing my education through USU’s distance education program. I’m an Aggie all the way!

That being said, school can be hard! I know grades “don’t matter,” and “C’s get degrees,” but I hold myself to a higher standard. This isn’t necessarily a good thing, because it adds an extra layer of stress. Anyway, as of now, I’m studying Communicative Disorders, and I’m really enjoying it so far!

Our 2015

January: 

We began a new semester at Utah State University.

We attended a wedding for our friends Josh & Hannah.

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February:

We traveled to Portland to see our beautiful niece’s blessing. (Unfortunately, my pictures of Cora were lost 😦 )

We celebrated Valentine’s Day with a nice dinner at home.February1

March:

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April:

I was given the birthday trip of a lifetime! We had a super fun staycation in Salt Lake City! (Oh, and this lobster landed me in the hospital…#allergic)

I won an award at work for being an awesome boss, of course. 😉

April

May:

Holly graduated!

Taylor’s mom came to visit for his birthday (his best present ever!)

May

June:

Summer lovin’ and fun!

June

July:

I got Bell’s Palsy, so half my face was paralyzed for a while… (you can kinda tell in the picture below)

We traveled to Libby, Montana (Taylor’s hometown), and absolutely loved every second of it! Especially spending time with Drad, Stuart, Jenny, and ittle little Cora!July4

 

August:

We celebrated our 3rd anniversary!

We MOVED to Provo! It was a difficult decision. We kept praying and receiving an answer: the move was what we should do. But it was such a shot in the dark, that we weren’t sure if or how it would work out. But it did it, and we are happier than ever.

I began working at a preschool, and Taylor began his job at Verizon.

We LOVE being closer to family 🙂

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Cousin time!

September:

We bought a car! Taylor cares quite a lot about our new Avenger. Guys and cars. You know how they be.

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October:

Taylor got a raise! He’s awesome.

 

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November:

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family.

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December:

Merry Christmas! We loved 2015. It had a lot of ups and downs. It was probably our hardest year yet in terms of trials, but it brought us a lot closer. We really love each other, and are grateful for our little family. Thank you, friends, for helping us, supporting us, and rooting for us through it all. We love you! Here’s to a new year!

December