Friday, January 27, 2012

Baby Cookin' Update - 7

Seven Weeks                                           

Size of Baby - A blueberry
Cravings - Potatoes, cheese, pineapple. I love me some cheese.
What is different this time around - As early as I popped out last time, this time has it beat. by Thursday of this week I had already popped. It's a bitty baby bump at the moment, but a definite one.
Symptoms - As I said before, the nausea has hit. I'm crossing my fingers that I got lucky and only had one week of it to speak of. Last weekend I was laid out in bed with it, but it's gotten a bit better each day. I can still feel it periodically throughout the day, but for the most part it doesn't interfere with my life.

Weight - Unfortunately I have started this pregnancy a fair bit heavier than I did with Ryann. No exact numbers as to what I'm weighing in at, but it's a good 15 pounds up from last time around. Here's hoping I luck out with healthy cravings again and am able to top out around the same place.

Appointments - We had our very first appointment with our midwife yesterday. It began with some sad bungling on the nurse's part while filling out my history on the question of whether we have any other children. 'Wait, so you do?' 'So you don't?' 'You had a live birth?' She finally realized what was going on and quickly finished up and excused herself. We've found that even when we give a short explanation people are often confused. I guess they just have a hard time computing that a young smiling couple could have already buried a daughter.

In happier news, our next appointment is scheduled for February 17. The little one should be 10 weeks by then and we should be able to hear the heartbeat. So excited!

Saturday, January 21, 2012


I've spent the entire day in bed due to a sudden onslaught of all-day-'morning'-sickness. Hope to have my 6-week update up tomorrow.

Stay tuned.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cake Central

Now this is how to celebrate MLKJr Day! Can't wait to slice into them tomorrow.

Five Weeks

This post really should have been up on Friday, but I've been too busy cleaning, baking, and sleeping to make it happen. I'm currently working on two cakes for a work meeting tomorrow. I'm having a ton of fun because it's been way too long since I've had an excuse to bake a cake. Usually when I bake, Jared and I end up eating far too much and half of it still ends up going to waste. So I always love the excuse of baking for a group. I'm making a large vanilla cake with blueberries baked in, filled with lemon curd and frosted with lemon-vanilla swiss buttercream along with a small spice cake filled with spiced poached pears and frosted with whipped ganache. But enough of that for now, on to baby!

Five Weeks                                           

Size of Baby - An orange seed.

Cravings - Protein. I've found myself jonesing for beans, hamburgers, and tofu-heavy stir-fry..

What is different this time around - As happy as we are about this baby, it's odd to not just be happy. It's kinda frustrating how it's so mixed in with sadness and fear. Last time we were unapologetically happy.

Symptoms - I've started having awful dreams. Luckily these aren't as bad as that streak of dreams I had my sophomore year. Yikes! Those were true blue gory nightmares. These are just a bit unsettled and drag on forever. Last night I dreamt I was in a maze with a group of people who had shot Ryann and were trying to shoot the rest of my family. I went all revengeful vigilante on them and shot them all in the face. Not the most restful night of sleep.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Stall that Doesn't Disappoint

One of my long running pet peeves is the blatant ignorance that seems to always go into designing a bathroom stall. Of the many problems (no hooks behind the door, stall too narrow, stall to large, toilet to high or low, rolls that will not roll) by far the worst in my opinion is the toilet paper dispenser placement. It never fails that although you must pull the paper out the bottom of the dispenser, it is always bolted to the wall at knee level. This results in bending yourself in two while desperately trying to pull the paper out straight so it doesn't rip as well as trying to keep the two inches that are free of the dispenser from mopping the ground. Of course, this is all in foot-gap view of the occupant in the next stall.

Yesterday I found it. I could not believe my eyes. After years of searching, I have finally found a stall with correct proportions, a proper toilet, and a toilet paper dispenser that I could pull from without joining the circus!

I did not check for changing tables. I didn't want to ruin their batting average.

Monday, January 9, 2012

If You're Happy and You Know It . . .

Today has been full of love. It’s amazing to see just how excited other people are for this baby. That this baby is so wished for and longed for by people we have never met or known only a few months or who have been in our lives as long as we can remember.

This new stage in our lives is so strange. We’re elated, but at the same time we never wanted this. We weren’t planning on having our next baby for at least another two years. My thoughts sometimes start to drift into ideas of ‘if I could have, I would have chosen Ryann instead of this baby’ or ‘we’re only having this baby because Ryann died’.

I’ve been so caught up in the idea of this new baby that last night when I realized I hadn’t sat down to rummage through Ryann’s pictures in over a week, I cried. I cried out of guilt and anger. Guilt that I feel  so happy and on the other hand guilt for feeling that I love Ryann more this new one. And I’m angry that I feel like this, angry that I’m put in this position, and angry at myself because I know that I don’t actually have anything to feel guilty about. I didn’t have the choice to choose Ryann, it wasn’t an option. I love Ryann, she will always be my firstborn, but sadly she will also always be my baby. I hate that she’s gone, but I had no choice in that. I would have chosen her, but it wasn't a choice I had.

I have a choice with this one. I have chosen to move forward, to remember Ryann and make new happy memories. To have another baby to love and to hold, and God-willing, to see grow old. I have to remind myself constantly that it's not wrong to feel sad, but it's also not wrong to be happy. And I am happy. I'm joyful. I refuse to lose anymore experiences or memories of my children, be it through chance or by unintentional choice. And for now, I am content.

Jared surveying the 'blank' canvases of
Rauschenberg's White Paintings at the Chicago Art Institute

Saturday, January 7, 2012


We are elated to announce that we are currently busy growing the newest member of our family!

We somehow hit the jackpot and got lucky our first month of trying. I'm so happy that it worked out this way, since I know that even though I was preparing myself, I would have been a bit crushed if it had turned out otherwise.

This is also part of the reason we are breaking the news so quickly. The most common reason I've heard for keeping the news a surprise is in case of a miscarriage or some other bad news. In our case, we figure that if anything of that sort were to happen, we would need the support of our family and friends.

And now, the inaugural weekly Baby Countdown post -
(Many of these weekly questions are lifted straight from Julia of My Life in Transition)

Four Weeks                                           

Size of Baby - A minuscule poppy seed.

Cravings - None yet, although I have a feeling that aversions are going to kick in any time.

What is different this time around - Last time we waited until almost 12 weeks to break the news. We felt like enjoying the secret on our own for a while. However, we were forced to let people in on it when my belly became impossible to hide anymore at just three months along. So enjoy, I imagine I'll be sporting a significant bump in just a few weeks this time.

Symptoms - A bit headache-y and the exhaustion is just starting to kick in. Last time I had to tote my toothbrush around with me at all times due to the constant metallic taste in my mouth and was brushing my teeth dozens of times a day. I'm curious to see if that happens again.

Worries - That we'll lose the pregnancy or that the baby will have the same genetic fluke as Ryann. We had a pediatrician who specializes in genetics look at Ryann's records and he thinks that it is highly unlikely that it would happen again. He also think that this is something that we can proactively check for, which is good to know.

I'm so excited to be heading down this road again and can't wait to actually feel pregnant. It's unbelievable that we'll be holding a baby in a few short months. There are so many things that I'm worried about or looking forward to or dreading. But most of all, I'm happy.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Banking Accident

I have been known to be a bit accident prone. I like to think that I've been growing out of it. I also like to think that rather than this being due to my negligence, it is instead due to my daring! Don't laugh.

The other day I was in the drive-through at the bank attempting to deposit a check. You know how the ATM starts beeping as a warning that it's about to suck your card down as a punishment for taking far too long? Well it does. So it started beeping. So I attempted to rush through the process of putting my check in the envelope (because unlike BofA, USBank still requires envelopes) and somehow managed to gash my cuticle wide open and no amount of pressure, sucking, or mopping would make the thing stop pouring. I know this sounds like a wussy injury, but let me tell you, the constant re-opening and re-bleeding of this #!$% cuticle is driving me insane! I ended up dripping my way to the Target help desk in order to beg a bandaid off of them while they considered labeling me a biohazard.

Here's to an accident free new year!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Please ignore the ridiculous pile of whatnots and instead be amused by the wee face peering at you. I sat and watched the pile writhe for a while before the head finally made an appearance.

Monday, January 2, 2012


A few days ago I was thinking about my great-grandmother. I never met her, she died before I was born. But I've grown up with stories of her and have seen the love in my grandmother's face when she talks about her, as well as the tears that still come from losing her mother. I thought of how her children and her husband must have missed her. How they must have cried when she died.

My great-grandmother was the first generation to come to the US from Mexico. She traveled across the country with her husband. She worked on the family farm to help feed and clothe her family. And she had twenty-one children. However, because this was many years ago and medicine wasn't what it is today and because she and her husband were dirt poor farmers, eight children died. Eight. Some were born too soon. Some caught pneumonia when they were toddlers. And they were gone. And I have no understanding as to how she coped with that except for the fact that she had to. There was no other choice.

And when I think of her dying in her eighties surrounded by children and grandchildren and with her husband at her side, I can't help but believe that she was happy. Happy that she had finished. That she had a full life. And that it was over. That she had survived and thrived and now she didn't need to any more. She could close her eyes, go to sleep, and wake up to eight shining faces that she had missed for so long.

I am looking forward to my life. I'm excited to see what's to come. I'm loving where I am right now. But I know that when the time comes, that I'll be happy. So happy to be done.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


I expected to be angry about losing Ryann. It's something they tell you to expect. Usually I just have a blank sense of disbelief. Sometimes a gaping hole. More frequently now it all seems like a dream. As though Ryann had simply been in my imagination. There's no need to schedule around naps. It's normal now to just pop out the door, no packing bags and snacks. I'm becoming used to not being a Mommy and just being me. And I hate it. And the anger pops out when it's not expected or earned. When a glass breaks. When socks aren't picked up. When someone voices frustration over something that no longer seems very important to me.

I'm normally very even-tempered and probably still appear to be so from the outside, but I often feel like my emotions are out of control. Sometimes there's an eerie sense of peering in on something. Something someone else is experiencing, as if it's not my own life.

I'm angry that I sometimes no longer feel like a parent. I'm angry that we have to start our family over again. I'm angry that this happened to us. That it happened now. That our lives are on hold. And I try to remember that it's only for a little while. That we're more resilient than we think. That we'll be okay.