We have very different journeys when it comes to starting a new family. Deidra babysat her entire youth, studied child development in college, and chose childcare as a career to really foster healthy development with little ones from a young age. She knew she wanted to start a family soon after marrying my cousin, Cliff, in June of 2000. She went off of birth control that following October. After years of infertility, they decided to enter in to the world of foster care. Their intentions going in were foster to adopt, and the first little boy placed in to their home was 7 months old. They ended up adopting that little boy, Zackary Wayne, to start their family in February of 2006. Six years later! A little over three years later and a series of unfortunate events with Deidra's father, left Dee and her family with enough funds to start IVF treatments in April of 2010. So ten years and 6 months later, Deidra was able to carry and deliver TWO babies of her own, and she had Madison Elizabeth (Ellie) and Madelynne Mae (Maddie) December of 2010. This past June after another round of IVF, the family of 5 became a family of 6, with Zoey Paulette.
This condensed version of Cliff and Deidra's journey to becoming parents doesn't include the grief, tears, and broken hearts from years of infertility, the work it took to become Zack's legal parents, the incredulous amount of money it took to get her eggs to become fertile embryos, and the actual pain Deidra endured with daily injections and medications (check out the picture below). Not to mention, she had a c-section with the twins, and her petite little hips wouldn't allow her to progress with a vbac with Zoey. Thus, a second c-section was inevitable.
|This is a picture of Deidra's first shipment of medications and injections she had to take|
I feel sheepish comparing my journey. I learned about natural family planning while I was amongst crunchy granola midwives in the Philippines learning about birth and all-things-natural. I made Josh buy the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility before I got back in the country. My intention was to read the book to prevent having babies without the pill. Too bad a month later, I hadn't even cracked open the book and took an at-home pregnancy test that tested positive. As I am not discrete about much in my life, I will keep the details to...it only takes one time to get pregnant! 6 months after Shep was born, I decided to go with a safer contraceptive with a still hormone-free IUD. The odds were absolutely in my favor to NOT have a baby until I got the IUD removed and was ready for baby 2.0. A 99.4% odd to NOT get pregnant. As God laughed at my planning methods and baby fever waves that you can read about here, of course I get pregnant when I am being responsible and using "fool-proof" contraceptive methods.
I am SO incredibly thankful for Shepherd and now this baby bean. I have never regretted or even felt bitterness towards being pregnant, the first time or now, since both have been unplanned. But how unfair is it that I get pregnant TWICE without trying, and Deidra endures so much to get the beautiful 4 kids she has today? I am learning that God's blessing doesn't always prove itself through perfect, happy endings that we hope for and sometimes expect. Rather, God's blessing in our life is the reality that He is walking beside us as we experience life. God's blessing often comes in the sudden or unexpected moments of life. And God's blessing comes in the midst of trials, unexpected outcomes, and unmet expectations of life. He walked beside our mothers and fathers for us to enter in to the world, and He is walking beside us as we welcome our little ones in to the world whether it is with ease or much burden. I see it the same as we leave the world. God isn't punishing people by letting them pass away, no matter their age or the way they passed. But He is there during, before, and after the end of life.
Life is so precious. I normally cannot stand clichés, but it really is. Baby 2.0's life is already so precious, and I am thankful to welcome him or her to this world come May or June!
|22 weeks 3 days|
How far along? 22 weeks
Baby is the length of a: Papaya
Total weight gain: 14 lbs still
Waist Measurement: 36 1/4 inches..same as last week
Maternity clothes? I wear them at all times, and even then, I am sometimes uncomfortable. I will be honest here, bras are my nemesis right now. I loath them, and they come off as soon as I am in my house.
Stretch marks? None so far.
Sleep: I sleep good and hard, and I only wake up about once a night to use the restroom. Being in Texas has been rough as Shep has stayed on Eastern time, which means he has been waking up at 5:45am.
Best moment this week: Watching Shepherd interact with his 7 month old baby cousin, Zoey. It gives me an idea of how Shep will treat a baby, which was intentionally sitting on her, kissing her, biting her, slapping her, and licking her. What a journey I am in for!
Movement: Movement has been regular and in the same spot, about 4 inches directly below my belly button.
Food cravings: Still grilled pbj's, but right during the Superbowl, I had to have a root-beer float. That float was divine, and, to make it better, I made it back from the store and made the float seconds before Katy Perry came on for the half time show.
Miss Anything? Nothing... I am pretty happy being pregnant this week!
Gender: Nobody knowwwwss!
Symptoms: Ha... It wouldn't be a complete blog entry without an epic vomiting story, right? The day after my step-grandma, Freda, passed away our flight was to leave at 6:30am. My alarm went off at 4:10am, and I begrudgingly rolled around and scrolled through my Facebook feed to try and wake up. Finally at 4:15am, I stood up and immediately make a bee line for the toilet. I ended up throwing up my entire dinner, which was weird to me. You would think I would have digested it by then being 10 hours later. Any who, 40 minutes after that, I vomited again anything else I possibly had in my stomach. There was no time to eat breakfast (but of course there was enough time to make a French press), so we headed to the airport without anything in our stomach. I was only able to drink about 1/4 of my cup of coffee before we made it to the airport. This was in large part because my throat hurt so bad from "getting sick" that morning. As we were waiting in line at the security check, I felt it all coming on again. I barely got Shep out of the baby carrier before I lunged for the nearest trash can about 12 feet away. From there, I knew the restroom was way out the way and around this big corner. I felt like a ball in a pin-ball machine as I ended up throwing up in every single trash can on the way to the restroom. Conveniently, the trash cans were located on opposite sides of the wide hallway spread evenly apart. By the time I made it to the toilet, I was pretty much finished as I only had a tiny bit of coffee and water in my stomach. Josh grabbed us some breakfast from Dunkin' Donuts, and I only ate the hash browns. I STILL threw up two different times on the plane. One of those times, I was in mid sentence with the lady sitting across the aisle from me, and I politely put up a finger, covered my mouth, and frantically search for the puke bag in the pocket in front of me. As daintily as it could be done (which it can't), I again threw my guts and hash browns up in the bag. The two different times I took my baggy to the flight attendant, she just kept repeating, "Bless your soul! Bless - your - souuuul!!" All I kept thinking was 'no, bless my stomach and my throat, for the love!' After that I did have a little nausea on my 2nd flight, but I was over it. I still don't know if this was purely a pregnancy symptom, but I am thankful the severity of the "morning sickness" hasn't repeated itself again....yet.
Belly Button in or out? I took a little poll amongst some of my friends, and my belly button is indeed an outie now.
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood?: Fine surprisingly. We have all been celebrating Freda's death as she is two-stepping with Jesus and having a big reunion with all of her brothers and sisters in heaven.