My first appointment with the ob/gyn Dr. W referred me to was today at 10:30. The appointment was looooong. As in, we didn't leave until a few minutes before 1:00. We didn't have to wait or anything, there was just a lot to do. He did a routine exam and then tried to check the baby's heart rate using a doppler, since the pregnancy had already been confirmed twice by ultrasound already. That was fine with me....until he couldn't find the heart beat. I nearly died. Died! Of course, I was terrified that we had lost the baby. He assured us that it was still a bit early to find the heart beat by doppler (that normally happens after 12 weeks) and sent us into the next room for an ultrasound. The ultrasound tech (who was so sweet and understanding!) found the baby and heart beat right away. Oh, I was so relieved! The baby has grown so much since the last ultrasound--he/she measures two inches now!!--and was wiggling all over the place. So precious! After the exam, ultrasound, and lab work, Bradley and I met with the OB coordinator. We filled out paperwork for the hospital and made arrangements for paying for the delivery. Wow! I had been wondering when this pregnancy would begin to feel real....and, let me tell you, there is nothing more real than writing a check!
One hundred posts ago, I was in a dark place. We had just lost the baby we longed for, and our future was filled with uncertainty. One hundred posts ago, getting pregnant seemed like a far-fetched dream. I prayed that one day we would be the couple leaving REACH with the coveted Destination: Maternity bag with ultrasound pictures and a onesie, but at times it seemed like too much to even hope for.
Now, one hundred posts later, we're expecting a baby. We still have two schnauzers. And hope? We're absolutely filled with it.
The best is yet to come, and won't that be fine? The best is yet to come, come the day that you're mine. --Written by Carolyn Leigh and Cy Coleman --Performed by Frank Sinatra
Yesterday Bradley and I went to the Apple Festival. We spent the day listening to bands, looking at everything the vendors had to offer, and eating yummy food. We bought apples (of course!) and the cutest collars for Lucy and Ethel. Lucy needed a new collar because Ethel chewed hers while she was wearing it (sad, but true), but I couldn't stand for Ethel not to have one too. In the end, I chose matching collars. Too cute!
After the Apple Festival, we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant for lunch. I didn't really like Mexican food until college, but now I can't get enough of it. The Mexican cheese is on the "do not eat" list, though, and I'm having withdrawals. There are very few Mexican dishes that taste right without the cheese! While Bradley had a delicious pollo fundido (my favorite!), I had....soft chicken tacos without cheese. Sigh. It's a major sacrifice, let me tell you, but one I'm so glad I have to make. :)
We didn't go to church this morning because I wasn't feeling well. I was feeling okay until I took a shower and dried my hair. This seems to be happening more and more--maybe I'm getting too hot when I dry my hair? I'm thankful that I haven't been sick yet, just nauseous. I'm definitely not complaining about any of it, though. :) Anyway, we didn't make it to church and I was so disappointed. Sunday just doesn't feel right without church. We spent most of the day just relaxing at home.
Overall, it's been a wonderful weekend--restful and slow. I've enjoyed it so much.
There is more to life than increasing it's speed. --Mahatma Ghandi
Fertility treatments are, without question, expensive. To pay for the months and months (and months...and months....) of treatment, Bradley and I had to be creative. We've always had a monthly budget, but we had to carefully examine the budget and make cuts where we could. Over the summer, I started using coupons more and more so that we could save more money. In the past, I used coupons sporadically, but this summer I made a conscious effort to match grocery store sales with coupons. Yes, it's time consuming and was overwhelming in the beginning. Going grocery shopping took lots of preparation and thought. Now I love it. Seeing how much money I can save is like a game to me. And now that we are expecting a baby, the money I save can go toward cute baby things. :)
I love to read blogs about coupons and saving. Many of the bloggers post pictures of their weekly finds and how well they did that week. I eagerly anticipate those posts because they encourage me. I'm going to try to do that and see how it goes.
**All coupons doubled this week, thanks to Super Double Coupons!
--3 boxes Hamburger Helper, on sale 10/$10, had a $0.75/3 coupon=$0.50 each
--2 boxes General Mills cereal, on sale 2/$5, had a $1.00/2 coupon=$1.50 each
--2 boxes Betty Crocker Scalloped Potatoes, on sale for $1 each, had a $1/2 coupon=$0.50 each
--5 boxes Pop Secret popcorn, on sale B2G3F, had a $1/2 coupon= $0.80 each
--4 cans Progresso Light Soup, on sale BOGOF, had two $0.50/2 coupons=$0.90 each
--4 cans Campbells Soup, on sale $0.50 each
--Minute Maid Orange Juice, on sale $2.50
--Best Life Butter Spray, on sale BOGOF, had a $1/1 coupon=FREE!
--Danimals Yogurt Smoothies, on sale $1.99, had a $1/1 coupon=FREE!
--Herbal Essence Shampoo, on sale $2.50, had a $1/1 coupon=$0.50
--Colgate Total Toothpaste, on sale $2.50, had a $1/1 coupon=$0.50
--GUM toothbrush, on sale $2.39, had a $0.75/1 coupon=$0.89
--3 boxes Green Giant frozen veggies, on sale $1 each, had a $0.60/3 coupon=$0.60 each
--Quaker Oats, on sale $1.50, had a $0.50/1 coupon=$0.50
--2 bags Yoplait Frozen Smoothie, on sale 2/$5, had two $1/1 coupons=$0.50 each
--1 bottle Frank's Red Hot sauce, on sale $1.35, had a $0.50/1 coupon=$0.35
--Not pictured: 2 18 lb. bags Purina Little Bites dog food, on sale BOGOF, had a $1.50/1 coupon=$6.50 each
Most days, I'm still insanely nervous about this pregnancy. Bradley says I'm driving him crazy, and I'm sure I'm doing that to our friends and family, too. It's not that I'm not happy--I really couldn't be happier. It's just that I know what can happen. I'm still worried about losing the baby. I'm worried about going to the next appointment and not seeing or hearing a heartbeat. The thought of going through that again terrifies me. Like I've said before, I worry about everything. Am I eating the right things? Doing the right things? Am I hurting this baby in some way? Is the baby healthy?
But sometimes there's a break in the clouds of my constant worry and nervousness. Sometimes I can look toward the future with excitement and imagine the joy we'll know in April. I love those moments, and the past two days have been filled with them. We've been given a miracle, and I can't wait to meet him or her.
Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. --1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
Today's ultrasound was wonderful. Our baby was there, alive, and measured beautifully. I can't begin to describe the joy and relief I felt when our little miracle appeared on the screen. The flicker of a heartbeat was clearly visible right away. What looked like a bean two weeks ago now looks like an actual baby, with a head, arms, and legs. What a precious, precious miracle. I'm so in love.
We were released from REACH today. Truthfully, it was kind of bittersweet. Dr. W and his nurses have seen us through a lot. They are such wonderful people! At the end of our appointment today, they gave us a bag filled with all kinds of goodies--REACH pens, coupons, a Best Wishes card from Dr. W and his nurses, and our baby's first onesie!
Bradley and I are so excited and thankful. God has given us so much. I know that it's still early and many things can happen, but I feel we've made it through the first hurdle.
I'll post pictures soon!
Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. --Psalm 126:5