Tuesday, October 25, 2011

And baby makes 3

So there is a little secret I have been keeping from the blog world....


We are thrilled and excited and overjoyed and thankful and a million other emotions I cannot adequately express. I just updated the fertility journey page so for those of you who really do enjoy all the nitty gritty details just click on over to get specifics. For those of you who prefer a bullet point run down:

  • Our frozen embryo transfer took place on August 23rd  (transferred two embryos)
  • We received a positive blood pregnancy test on September 8th
  • Ultrasound on September 13th revealed two sacs = twins!
  • We heard two heartbeats on September 16th, crazy and amazing! 
  • Ultrasound on September 20th showed that Baby A's heart rate had dropped significantly and that we will be closely monitored to see what happens. Our Dr prepared us for the (high) chance that we would miscarry Baby A. 
  • Ultrasound on 9/27 showed that baby A no longer had a heartbeat. :(
It's amazing to experience such a wide range of emotions when learning that you have miscarried yet are still pregnant. I found out about Baby A at 8:00AM that Tuesday. I cried all the way to work as my heart ached for this little one (whose heartbeat I just heard the week prior). Yet once I arrived at work it was as if God's peace just blanketed over me, covering me from head to toe. I wiped away my tears and then stared (for what felt like a solid 5 minutes) at Baby B's ultrasound, which was perfect in every way. At that moment I was able to smile and praise God for his good gifts and was reminded of the song "Blessed Be the Name of The Lord," especially the part that says "he gives and takes away." I have never experienced anything more true. God chooses to give and take away in His time. For His glory and for His good. I now feel completely at peace that, for whatever reason, God knew that one baby was enough for us right now. 

  • I was discharged from my fertility clinic on 10/10. It was such an exciting day. All of the nurses  were giving big hugs, smiles and well wishes. They have walked this journey with me and I am forever grateful for their time, compassion and encouragement. 
  • I was seen by my regular OBGYN for the first time, today 10/25. The ultrasound revealed a strong and vibrant baby. It is amazing that we could see the body (heads, arms, legs) so clearly. The little one was actually jumping around every few seconds which made me LOL which made the baby jump even more. Priceless! Our official due date is May 10, 2012. 
It means the world to know that our family, friends and even "blog world" buddies care enough to speak directly to the Father on our behalf.  Your encouragement and support has made the hard moments so much easier. We know you will continue to pray for us and for the little baby growing inside of me and so again we say THANK YOU! 

I will be updating the blog from time to time with pregnancy news and experiences along the way. 
For now, I will leave you with a few pictures. I couldn't resist sharing some of these photos with you.
Picture of one of the two embryos at time of transfer.
Isn't it amazing that each and every baby starts out looking like this? 
The arrow above is pointing to both embryos (looks like a white dash) that were implanted into the uterus. 
Baby at 10 weeks pregnant. Last ultrasound with the fertility clinic.
The black (tiny) sac above the main sac is where Baby A was at one time. 
Baby at 12 weeks pregnant. First ultrasound with my regular OB.
Can you spot the head and feet? 
Baby at 12 weeks pregnant 

Let the heavens be glad and let the earth rejoice; and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigns! 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Clothes in the closet

One question I frequently get asked when someone learns of my ED past is “Was it hard to gain back the needed weight?” My sarcastic side wants to reply “No, actually, it was incredibly easy. I barely even noticed my body changing. I just started eating a lot more and one day I realized I was healthy again.” Yeah right. Yes - it was hard and probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do at this point in my life. Wrapping my mind around gaining 20 pounds when I was literally freaked out about gaining one was enough to send me over the edge on some days. I worked closely & frequently with my therapist during this initial phase of recovery. She provided much support, encouragement and hands on advice of things I should do to make the process, of gaining weight, easier. I mentioned in this post how she encouraged me to create recovery cards which provided visual encouragement when I felt like throwing in the towel. Those cards were very helpful although she had another tip that was (what I would consider) most essential to my success.

Get rid of the clothes in your closet.

Photo courtesy of this site
My dream closet. 

That’s right. All of the clothes that fit me (at that time) I was to bag up and take immediately to Good Will or another charity of choice. No setting them aside in a bin under the bed or on a closet shelf. Nope, that was not allowed. My immediate response to this suggestion was “Well I should keep them until they start to feel snug and THEN I will shop for new clothes.” She shot that idea down hard core. 

So what did I do? I went home and bagged up all the clothes with a size 00 label (not a typo - two zeros people. For some this might be a natural body size but not for me) and left them in the bag inside my closet. Baby steps right? At least I was able to take them off hangers and put them out of immediate sight, or so I told myself. Yet day after day I would continue to reach for my (then) favorite pair of jeans. Thankfully, I was eating more and following my meal plans and so the weight started to come. Soon these favorite jeans started getting tight and I noticed a direct correlation in my mood. Trying to squeeze myself into jeans that are cutting off my circulation = Brittnie sporting a really crabby attitude. All. Day. Long. How Brandon put up with me I will never know. It was then I realized that my therapist was right. I had to get the clothes OUT of my closet once and for all. On the day of my next therapy session, I bagged up all my "unhealthy" clothes, put them in the trunk of my car, and drove to my appointment. I admitted to my therapist what I had done (not like she didn’t know) and promised that immediately after our appointment I was taking the clothes to a donation center. That is exactly what I did.

So what is a girl to do who is in the midst of body changes with no clothes that fit (my healthy clothes were still too big at that time)? Shop! Yep, my therapist gave me permission to shop it up until I had several items to wear which would fill the gap until my body returned to its healthy shape. This was the BEST decision I made during early recovery. Wearing jeans that had some give (you know... where I could actually breathe) continued to give me the strength I needed to press on. 

Let's think about it:
Trying to gain weight + squeezing your body into clothes that do not fit = always thinking about the negative aspects of a changing body which also =  a 24/7 rotten attitude. 

My pessimistic attitude lifted immediately once I expanded my wardrobe. Out with the old and in with the new if you will. I was able to live day to day not focused on weight but focused on LIFE.  

If I had to name one piece of advice for someone who is hoping to recover from an ED it would be:

Get rid of the clothes in your closet. 
Not tomorrow.
Not five pounds from now. 

 Photo courtesy of this site
Dream closet #2. Or #1. I really can't decide.

Interestingly enough, this metaphor can overlap with so many areas in life, not just ED recovery.
So now It's your turn to do the talking. Can you relate?  
Are there any "clothes" in your closet that you need to bag up and pass off, for good?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Not goodbye, just see you later

Well friends… today is the day. The day that I talked about in this post. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was turning in my resignation and still had 10 weeks left on the job. I am not sure it has really hit me yet. In fact it probably won’t hit me until Monday morning when I wave bye to Brandon and then realize that I am at home, alone, and not in the car riding into work. Poor Brandon now has to face Houston traffic solo; no HOV riding for him anymore. I am very excited about this change and new phase in life, yet at the same time I am sad to say bye to my coworkers today. My supervisors are adamant that we won’t say goodbye but instead “see you later,” since they continue to remind me that I am required to visit at least 1x a month and bring my "famous" baked goods to their departmental meeting. (For some reason they think my baked goods are out of this world. I suppose they just don’t have much to compare it to, ha!). At any rate, it will be a fun excuse to visit from time to time.

Today is a closing of one life chapter and the beginning of another. I am sure many of you have experienced similar emotions that come with a big life change. A friend asked me recently “So you feel sad, ok, but do you still feel at peace with your decision to resign?”And I had to answer her “Yes. One hundred percent.” So with that I can walk out the doors at 5:00pm, head held high, knowing that while I will miss my role, my coworkers and my clients, I have an entirely new adventure ahead. For the last four and a half years I have played a role in people's family tree, their family history. Now it is time to take those experiences and use them to continue good work, just in a different way. And that, my friends, is worth getting excited about. 

Adoption/Post Adoption team at our Family Fun Day, August 2011
National Adoption Day
Adoption/Post Adoption team (at one point) at our annual retreat 
"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might..." Ecclesiastes 9:10
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