Sunday, August 23, 2015

when god's timing isn't what you had in mind

I have hardly kept it a secret that I'm someone who has always wanted to be a mom and who has always wanted a ton of kids all smushed together. I've always had such a hard time in school because I've never been interested in having a career. Even music, which is obviously a very important thing to me and my family, couldn't quite fulfill me the way being a mother has. Having Milo has been the very best thing for me. It has given me so much purpose and drive and confidence. Being his mother is what I was born to do. I was worried about how being a mom would affect my schooling, but it has given me more purpose in that area as well. I want to be as educated as I can for him. I want to show him that it's possible to do school and have a family as well, if that's a road that he ends up taking someday. I want to show him that I am a motivated and driven person and that I can do hard things, even (and especially) when they aren't my favorite.

As much as I have genuinely enjoyed being both a parent and a full-time student, I knew that I didn't want to have another kid until I graduated. I only had about a year and a half of school left when Milo was born, so that seemed more than reasonable. I started getting the itch for baby number two when Milo was around six months old, but this was always a fairly easy desire to ignore because I knew that my education was the most important thing at that point. Plus I had a super cute baby to keep me occupied.

I'm officially graduating December of this year, which means that as of April or so we were IN THE CLEAR to start trying for baby number two. Let me tell you, I was ECSTATIC. I felt like I had been waiting forever to be able to start trying again. I was so proud of myself for holding out and the timing just felt perfect.

It only took us a couple tries before I took a test one morning and saw two lines! I called Andrew at work and let him know, and then told a couple close friends and family members. We were expecting a baby! Due in February! It was perfect! I called the doctor and scheduled my first appointment about a month out and then took about 5,000 more pregnancy tests just to make sure I read the first one right.

A week later, at exactly 6 weeks along, I started spotting. Which got heavier. And heavier. And then turned into just about the worst pain imaginable. I called the doctor and they had me go in and do some bloodwork to test my hormone levels. This sounds so silly now, but I genuinely believed that I was just having weird symptoms, and that everything was going to be fine. I read on a bunch of forums about women that had bleeding during pregnancy, and a lot of people reported that after experiencing heavy bleeding discovered they were having twins! TWINS! Maybe I was having twins!!

After the first blood test you go home and then come back 48 hours later and they test them again to see if they've gone up like they should. Those 48 hours Andrew and I basically just sat around in our anxiety as we went back and forth between "everything will be fine" and "there is no way this is just normal pregnancy stuff." I tried to prepare myself for the imminent let-down but something inside me kept this ever-going optimism. I wanted so badly for everything to work out the way I wanted it to.

Long story short, the doctor's office ended up calling just before I was supposed to go in for my second blood draw and told me that my hormone levels from the first test were incredibly low and that I didn't need to do any more tests. I was definitely miscarrying. All I could do now was go home and wait it out.

The first day was the worst, but every day since then got progressively easier. We started trying again almost immediately and that helped me feel like we were being productive and working towards something. I kept telling myself that I was lucky that it happened so early and that it was stupid to be sad about it because it wasn't even technically a real baby yet. It was just a tiny blob of cells. Why was I mourning a tiny blob of cells?

Initially Andrew and I talked a lot about how blessed we were (are). We have a seriously perfect baby and some people don't even get that. I was only 6 weeks along. We never heard a heartbeat or had an ultrasound, and in some ways the pregnancy hadn't felt fully real yet. We hadn't been trying very long, and could continue to try. We know that we are capable of getting pregnant. We are so blessed that our situation wasn't worse than it was. We know so many people experience far worse miscarriages and stillbirths.

I didn't realize that I wasn't properly dealing with things until the February baby pregnancy announcements started popping up everywhere. I opened up Facebook one evening and there at the top of my feed was a "Baby coming February 2016!" announcement and I just completely lost it. I was so surprised with myself, because I thought I had dealt with it and was "over" it.  But seeing that announcement and realizing that could've been me hit me harder than I ever expected.

It was then that I realized that this whole miscarrying thing isn't a competition. It isn't about whose loss is worse or who feels it more. It doesn't matter if you're pregnant for 6 weeks or 16 weeks. The moment you watch a positive pregnancy test emerge on your bathroom sink, you imagine an entire life with another little person in it. I wasn't mourning the loss of the blob of cells that I lost, but the infinite possibility of what those cells could have become.

It's been about three months now since I miscarried. I'm still not pregnant and I have no idea when I will be. It's still hard to see pregnancy announcements and baby bump pictures. Don't get me wrong, I am SO THRILLED for all my friends who are expecting. But it's impossible to not feel the tiniest pangs of jealousy when I think about what my life would be like if I were 15 weeks pregnant right now (although I must admit, sometimes I am SO THANKFUL I'm not currently 15 weeks pregnant). I still don't understand why this pregnancy wasn't supposed to work out. I'm not sure I ever will. But for now I'm learning how to deal with it in a way that allows me to occasionally feel sad and jealous. I don't need to justify it or qualify it. I hope that someday soon I am blessed with a successful pregnancy, but until then I can find my own happiness with my husband and beautiful toddler and my incredible friends.

And you know what? Sometimes I'll have sad days... and that's okay too.

Sunday, March 8, 2015


GUYS. It happened! I survived! Milo turned one and I survived! 

Milo turned one on Thursday (March 5) and we had such a fun day with him. We gave him a ball popper and his cousin Olivia gave him a truck that he's been pushing around all day ever since. We ate donuts (his favorite) and watched Curious George. I feel so blessed to have had him for a year, and I feel so blessed that rather than give birth this year I was able to watch him crawl around and laugh and play and snuggle. People always talk about how the best days of your lives are the days you get married and they days your kids come into the world, and while those days are really really great days that I will always remember, it's so hard for me to call them the best days of my life. For me, every day since having Milo has just been better and better. There are ups and downs of course, but watching him grow has been the happiest and greatest thing I've ever done. 

A more detailed 12 month update is forthcoming, and also a proper birthday party post but I thought you guys could use a little recap of Milo's first year so be sure to click the links down below. :)

A couple essays on parenting [1, 2, 3]

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Milo | 12 Months

WELL. HERE IT IS. Milo's very last monthly update. Once again, I apologize for the quality of the pictures but I had approximately 2 seconds between me positioning him and him rolling away with which to snap the picture, and that results in some slightly out of focused, blurry pictures. But I do what I can.

At one year old, Milo is a few ounces shy of 24 lbs. He's 32 inches tall and he still has a tiny head. He wears size 4 diapers and 18 month clothes fit him just perfectly. He has giant feet and giant hands. It can be a struggle to fit his hands through the arm holes sometimes.

Pretty sure I've written it in every. single. blog post. but seriously his current stage is MY FAVORITE. I am obsessed with him right now. He's more and more toddler every day but he can't walk yet, so I still feel like he's my baby. He's starting to understand speech and get such a deeper understanding of language lately, it seems. At the beginning of the month I taught him to say "GO!" and now he says it whenever we're going anywhere. In the car, the shopping cart, stroller, just crawling around and pushing his truck. He switches between "doh" and "go" but the sentiment is the same and it's adorable. He's also said "buh bye" a couple times and waved. He is very stingy with waving. Most of the time if you ask him to say bye or wave he'll just stare at you like you're an idiot. He does give out high fives pretty liberally, however.

He crawls like a champion and climbs up on e v e r y t h i n g. He's able to get pretty much everywhere he wants which I think is a big reason he hasn't explored walking too much yet. He's totally content with crawling. He has started standing up a lot on his own and not using the furniture as much when he's standing. The past week we've gotten him to take a couple steps on his own but he'll either fall down or chicken out and sit down and resume crawling. He's close though! I think within the next month we'll have a walker.

Milo has learned how to open doors and cabinets and drawers. He loves taking his toys and putting them in drawers, then taking them out again. Over and over again. He also loves playing peek a boo. He'll hide behind or under something and then pop out when we say PEEKABOO. He thinks it's just hilarious. His favorite toys lately have been trucks. He's got 3 of them now (thank you birthday!) and he is totally content to push them around the house. He takes them everywhere he goes, to bed, to the bath, outside... He always wants a truck in his hand. He even buzzes his lips as he pushes them around and will occasionally make a noise that sounds like "Ohhh yeahhhhhh" He looooves his trucks.

As far as food goes, he pretty much just wants to eat whatever mom and dad are eating. We can still get him to eat the pureed stuff, but only if there isn't "real food" around. If we're eating real food and he's eating pureed peas, he gets extremely offended. So mostly now we're just feeding him off our plates and cutting up whatever we're having. His favorites are chicken nuggets and mac and cheese, or really any kind of pasta. He also loves drinking grape juice from his sippy cup.

Speaking of food, a couple weeks ago he broke out in hives all over his body. He also had some mild eczema for about a week prior. We took him in to get some testing done and found out that he has a mild peanut allergy. The ped said he'll likely outgrow it and it won't be an issue later on, but for now we should avoid peanuts and peanut products. We hadn't really fed him much, but I had given him bites of my peanut butter toast before and he once snuck an entire Reese's cup when I wasn't paying attention. His eczema has totally cleared up since then so I'm happy we figured out what the problem was before it could get any worse.

Milo has 6 teeth now and 2 are verrrrry close to breaking through. He's got four on top and two on bottom. I feel like he's always teething, always chewing on something, and always in need of tylenol or teething tablets. Looking forward to this stage of life being over!

His favorite shows right now are Daniel Tiger and Curious George. He still loves Teletubbies but mom and dad needed a break from it for a little while :) He also LOVES watching videos of himself. Anytime he is crying or upset I just put on a video of him and he is immediately laughing and totally content. He watched videos while getting his blood drawn for the allergy testing, and didn't cry or wiggle at all! It was pretty amazing, honestly.

Overall Milo is just the happiest and easiest baby. I feel so lucky to have had him while I'm finishing up school. I don't think I could do it if he were a baby that screams and doesn't sleep and is super dependent on me all the time. He has made being a mom a breeze and I am just so blessed to have him. I seriously can't believe how much he's changed in just a year. He is just so so so wonderful. I can't say it enough.

Love you, Milo Benny. Happy One Year. :)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

LIFE LATELY (and iphone pics duh)

I am back from my very much unplanned hiatus from this blogging space. What sparked this sudden inspiration?? HOMEWORK of course! So. Basically nothing has changed.

SO here's a very unorganized list of things that are happening currently. (lists! disorganization!! procrastination!!! everything you could ever hope for, honestly)

Milo has started "helping" me around the house and while it's the least effective thing, it's also the cutest. The other day I was digging through a pile of laundry, looking for something to wear (who even folds laundry anyway?) and he came over and started pulling clothes out and digging through the pile as well. THEN after class one day I was getting ready to put him down for a nap and I had him on one hip and a bottle in my hand and had the water running, waiting for it to get warm. He grabbed the bottle out of my hand and stuck it under the water (not the right way of course. he managed to do it in a way that sprayed water everywhere but i digress) Anyway, it's my favorite thing he does currently.

Speaking of Milo, can we talk about how he will be ONE IN TWO WEEKS? I'm feeling very emotional but mostly excited. Also I made a video with a bunch of clips from the past year and I cried at least 6,000 times while making it.

At the beginning of the year I made the goal to read lots lots more this year, and not only that but I made the goal to only read books written by women this year. I've read like 5 or 6 books so far which is more than I read in all of 2014. Also I'm taking a women's lit class this semester that is probably my favorite class I've ever taken and yeah. It's a cool thing.

I bought a new journal and that's quite honestly why I haven't blogged in awhile. I stopped writing for a year or two because my tendonitis was bad and it super hurt to write, but now I'm doing much better and I just love tangible pages so much better than anything the internet has to offer. Plus, when I started incessantly journaling at 13 I decided I wouldn't stop until I reached 20 journals. And I made it all the way to 14 so I can hardly stop now.

Parks and Rec is SO GOOD THIS SEASON. I mean it's always good, but this season is truly exceptional and I'm going to be very sad when it ends FOREVER NEXT WEEK.

I've been cooking a lot recently??? (I know, I know... I don't even recognize myself these days) But I'm here to tell you that chicken enchilada zucchini boats are WHERE IT'S AT.

(meanwhile Milo's dinners be like)

Basically all I want to eat these days are veggies, grapefruit, peanut butter toast, and tuna sandwiches. And pizza, because pizza. Also, I could pretty much eat squash at every meal. (like I said, I don't know who I am anymore)

I've been running three times a week for like the past month or so and I love it so much. I listen to Serial while I run (please listen to Serial. PLEASE.) and it's one of my favorite things.

Playing this on cello currently, and I will never get over how much I love it. Also apparently the cello girl plays it in If I Stay? ha.

OH and one last thing about Milo. We finally moved him into his own room this week. Don't ask me why we didn't do it sooner. I just like having him around all the time. That said, it's SO nice to have our bedroom back.

And I'm pretty sure he hasn't even noticed the difference. 

OKAY THANKS FOR STICKING WITH ME IF YOU MADE IT ALL THE WAY THROUGH. This has been an incredibly exciting update on my incredibly exciting life, I know. I do what I can.

Annnnnd one last picture to send you on your way. These two are just the best.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Milo | 11 Months

"Are you telling me it's that time of month again??"

Yep, sorry bud. Time to frantically snap away on my camera while shoving you full of cookies in an attempt to get a non-blurry picture before you crawl away.  Believe me when I say that it's absolutely as fun as it sounds. 

(these faces of his kill me, such a goof)

 A Day in The Life of 11 Month Old Milo: Milo wakes up every morning around 7, sometimes 8 if I'm lucky. I make him a bottle and he drinks it in bed while I attempt to get a few more minutes of sleep. Verrrry rarely he will fall back asleep after drinking his bottle and sleep for another hour or so. Those are the best days. But most days he is up and ready to play by 7:30. We go out to the living room and watch a show or two while I get ready, eat breakfast, or snooze on the couch (let's be honest, that's usually what happens) He goes back down for a nap around 9 or 9:30, depending on when he wakes up. At that point it's usually time for me to get ready for school, so I pack up all my stuff and his diaper bag and whatever else he might need while I'm gone. Then I get him up from his nap, change him, buckle him into his stroller, and wheel him off to the babysitters. 

Three-ish hours later I pick him up and bring him home. By this point he's ready for another nap so I give him a bottle and stick him in his crib. He usually falls asleep without a fuss. Then I've got about an hour and a half to myself, wherein I sleep, do homework, clean, eat, shower, read, write, or some combination of them all. Nap time is never long enough. 

Milo wakes up around 3:30 and then we play in the living room basically the rest of the night. haha Sometimes we go outside and watch the cars. Usually we'll watch some more TV (he loves Daniel Tiger, Teletubbies, Baby Genius, and Kitten Party) I'll feed him (bananas, cookies, yogurt, scrambled eggs, crackers, applesauce, squash), which usually then requires bathing him and we basically just hang out until Andrew gets home. Milo's super independent so he just crawls around and plays with whatever random object he's obsessed with that day and I keep an eye on him and intervene when he inevitably puts tiny objects in his mouth (like every 5 minutes). 

I usually try to get Milo out of the house once a day, whether it's driving Andrew to school or going grocery shopping or going to visit a friend. Sometimes we'll just drive around and listen to music. Our house is super tiny and he gets suuuuper stir crazy, especially in the evening when it's getting close to bedtime. So I'll load him up, give him his frog pacifier, turn up the car jams and drive around for 15 or 20 minutes. It does wonders for us both. :) 

He goes to bed between 8 and 8:30, depending on how cranky he is, and then he's out for the night and Andrew and I have a party.


As far as new additions to this month go: Milo is definitely waving and I swear I've heard him say "bye-bye" a couple times. He's still got two teeth on bottom and his vampire teeth on top his top middle teeth are going to pop through any day now... 

He got his first cold last month and it was the saddest thing ever. Babies with stuffy noses are no joke. Luckily it went away after 3 or 4 days and we're all back to our healthy selves now!

Milo is about 24 lbs. and 31 inches. He's in 12-18 month clothes now and size 4 diapers (although pretty sure he's gonna need to upgrade in the next couple weeks). His hair has started to get really long and thick in the back but he's still super bald on top, except for one stripe right down the center of his head. His baby mohawk, if you will. 

He hasn't really showed much interest in walking yet. He'll walk if we hold his hands and walk with him, but otherwise he hasn't made much of an effort. He just recently has started standing for a few seconds without holding on to anything, but usually he chickens out and sits down as soon as he lets go of something. He says "mama" and "dada" still and a whole lot of other babble in-between. He's gotten to a point where he'll start crying if we take something away from him or if one of us leaves the room and he's all alone. He thinks it's hilarious when Andrew and I laugh, and when I pretend to eat his fingers. (he's always shoving his fingers in my mouth) He still loves animal noises, playing his cat keyboard, and his guitar. He's learned how to look under things and behind things and basically preposition any object he thinks might be hiding something. 

He has such a sweet and hilarious personality and he is endlessly smart. Andrew and I can't believe how smart he is and how quickly he catches on to things. 

Brace yourselves for extreme amounts of emotion on my end. Lots of throwback pictures, guaranteed.