Welcome to my blog

A blog about miscarrriage, infertility, pregnancy, birth and mothering. My name is Emily and this is the story of my journey in motherhood.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

39 Weeks

39 weeks pregnant!!! Wow!!! My due date is next Sunday, Christmas day. So many wonderful things have been happening lately, I want to capture them because I have a feeling I am going to blink and these last few days of still and quiet before the baby comes will be gone.

Blessing Way
On the first weekend of the month my sister held a blessing way for me at my mothers home. (See http://www.naturalbirthandbabycare.com/blessingway.html). I big snow storm blew in that night, but despite the cold weather, most of the woman I had invited were still able to make it. It was a small gathering of woman who make up my support network. The woman who have been on this journey in motherhood with me.

The evening was simple, just the way I like it. Candles were light and the mood was relaxed. One of my younger sisters painted my toenails while the woman passed around a paper and a wrote down gifts of service they planned to bring/do once the baby came.

Then each woman presented me with a bead that she had picked out for my birthing necklace. Something to give me inspiration while I am birthing. As each woman gave me their bead they explained why they had picked it out for me. Each bead was unique and inspiring. As I received each one I strung it on to my necklace. At the end of the evening I was left with a necklace I can wear during my birth, reminding me of the woman who are supporting me in this journey.

The remainder of the evening was spent eating good food and visiting.

It made this next step of birthing and mothering seem much more real. I also feel more confident moving forward, knowing that this group of woman surrounds me and believes in me.

Baby's Room
The baby's room is coming along! Poor thing, she doesn't even really get her own room. Its a baby room/office. Oh well. I think she will survive.

We got a used crib and change table for less then $100 and they look fantastic. I have spent many mornings organizing and cleaning and getting it all ready for her. I think its pretty much there. I keep thinking of one more thing to do, but remind myself that there will always be one more thing to do.

Christmas
This Christmas season has been special for me. I have been working in the helping professions for the past 10 years, so Christmas has typically been filled with Christmas decorating and client and staff Christmas functions. While I have been to a few Christmas events this year, its been a more quiet Christmas, giving me time to step away from the rushed and busy side of Christmas and remember what Christmas is all about, the birth and life of Jesus Christ.

Being pregnant at this time is special. I am amazed at Mother Mary's journey. I feel pretty buff if I walk to the post office or make it through a step class at the gym. Mary rode a donkey or walked for 100 miles. That is sacrifice. That is faith. That is love.

I am amazed at how the birth, life and death of one so long ago impact my life today. I have been reflecting on the peace I feel through my Saviour. How he was been with me through every step of this journey, the hard awful, fearful parts and the wonderful, joyous parts. And I know that as I take my next  step into the unknown, He will be there.

Belly Cast
Friday night DH and I created a belly cast. (For more info see www.proudbody.com) We didn't use a kit, just some plaster gauze from the local craft store. I am had to sit very still while DH worked away. My back got sore and I had some itches under the cast and the whole time I was wondering "is this going to work out"? But when DH pulled it off my belly an hour lately and I saw the finished product, it was worth it. Our little bean thought it was pretty neat too. She was kicking so much the whole time, she must have liked all the attention my belly was getting. The cast kept moving she was kicking so hard. She can be funny like that, moving when its time to be still and then when I want her to move being quiet. She seems to have a personality already.

Home Birth Preparations
My goal this week has been to gather up all the supplies for our home birth. I think I finally have everything, including 25 towels!! The list also includes a swimming pool, a hose, baby blankets and clothes, cleaning supplies, important documents and candles.

We went to a home birth prep class the other night. This was different than the 10 prenatal classes we have completed. This class was put on by the midwifes and was more specific to home birth/midwife services. Topics included, when to call the midwifes, what supplies to have and what to include in a birth plan.

I think we were the youngest people in the class by at least 10 years. And I think that we were the only ones having our first baby. Not sure what to think about that. But one thing I was grateful for was a husband who supports and is now totally into home birth. Some of the couples there, the wife wanted a home birth but the Dad didn't. So I am grateful that DH and I are on the same page.

With my birth kit packed and my birth plan written, I am feeling ready.

My name is Emily and this is my journey in Motherhood.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Amazed

Status: 35 weeks pregnant

Each and every day I feel so amazed.

Amazed that I am carrying this life inside of me. Amazed that I have made it this far. Amazed to feel her hiccups. Amazed that after coming so far I am simply in this moment.

I am amazed to me on my maternity leave. My originally last day of work was going to be the 2nd of December, but I have been feeling such an uncontrollable urge to nest and I am tired at the end of the day and driving and just being at work is exhausting, so I asked my midwifes for a note and November 17th was my last day of work.

So far I am enjoying my maternity leave. I am getting to the laundry. (Long story, but I inherited bags of used clothing from family, so now I am washing and sorting it). I am cooking meals for my freezer. Plus just taking time to nap and get caught up on my blog. I am loving it!!

Part of me is so amazed to be on my maternity leave. When I was trying to get pregnant, I would always think, okay this is my last winter driving to work, or this time next year I will be on my mat leave, it was something I always looked forward to and now it is here and I am amazed.

Another experience I have looked forward to for a long time is taking maternity photos. I would see my friends photos and think that they looked so beautiful and look forward to getting my own done some day. Luckily for me my sister is a photographer (http://web.me.com/stonemanphotography/Stoneman_Photography/Home.html).
Here is a sneak peak:



My name is Emily. This is my journey in motherhood and I am amazed.

Birthing Goddess

Birthing Goddess and her Partner
Created November 11, 2011


Grounded and centered
Connected to Mother Earth
Squatting low
Letting gravity, letting the Universe work with her

Uterus opening
Peeling back
Blossoming
Expanding to new life

Spine strong
Centered
Supported

Belly
Glowing with love and life
Expanding
Changing
Making room for new life

Heart beating for two
What love!
Love without beginning or end
Love that transforms and endures
Lave that withstands storms and heartaches
Love that grows

Life source
She is a source of life!
And for a time, it is enough
She lets go
Really deep down
Lets go
And embraces the unknown of Mothering
She is content simply nursing and caring
For all things there is a season
This is her season for supporting life
So lets go and simplifies

Her arms are open and flexible
Adaptable to the changes of
      Pregnancy
              Birth
                    Parenting
Able to reach heaven
And to hold her baby
And to hang on to her husband

Head
Not thinking with logic
       or timetables
           or expectations
Thinking through her heart

Hair specked with gray
Wisdom
Hers and the woman supporting her
The woman she is connected to through generations

She is woman
She is pregnancy
   Birth
      Mothering

She is brave, yet supported
She is strong, yet open
She is grounded, yet reaching

She is.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Open That Box

We are slowly getting ready for baby. I am trying just to take it one step at a time and not get overwhelmed by all the things to buy and get ready. I keep reminding myself that the best thing I can offer my little one is a healthy, happy relaxed momma and a strong marital relationship. So I am slowly getting ready and taking it one day at a time. I have been in total nesting mode and have a new found passion for cleaning and organizing and throwing things out.

A few weekends ago we got this stroller:



It's called a city select stroller. Its neat because you can use it in so many ways. We can attach our car seat to it, use it as a single stroller or add a second seat to make it a double stroller. We are being optimistic that there will be more children in this family, so we are making space for them now.

This weekend we got our carseat. It’s been sitting in the office and tonight I got the itch to open it up. I mean, what if the baby comes early and we need to use it soon? DH came up and we were about to open the box and I had a moment of panic. I mean, what if something happens? Should we really open the box? If it’s in the box we could resell it if something happens and the baby doesn’t come. DH reminded me that we need to move forward with hope, can’t always believe the worst is going to happen. So we opened that box!! And we read the instruction manual and tested everything out on Jammy Pie. Now when baby comes, we know how to use the careseat.



My name is Emily and this is my journey in motherhood.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

31 weeks



Being a Mom is starting to freak me out. I feel ready and at the same time completely unready. I am taking another step in to the darkness and into the unknown. I really hate taking steps into the unknown. As brave as I make myself feel. As much as I can tell myself, walking into the unknown is good for you. God will be there for you. Either you will fall and break apart and be rebuilt or see a little further down the path or God will be with you. Or whatever I tell myself, I am still scared. Silly me. Always a lack of faith. When will I figure it out? When will I be able to trust completely? When I am able to stop looking so far into the future and just trust today?

What if I am the world’s worst mom? What if I can’t do it? What if that’s the reason that I had so many miscarriages is because this was never really meant to be? I have wanted this for so long and now I am standing right in front of it and I am scared to death. I am scared that I will do or say the wrong thing. What if I can’t do it? What if I can’t function on no sleep? What if I lose my temper? I so badly want to be a “good” mother that..... that I think I want it too much, if that’s possible. Sometimes wanting something so bad makes it unattainable. Or sometimes wanting something so bad just sets me up for failure.

And so I take a step back and I look at the whole picture.

I let go for controlling the universe (I am not very good at it anyways and it’s just an illusion). And I trust. I trust in the true master of the universe. I open myself to the possibilities of the universe. Knowing that the possibilities of the universe hurt sometimes. Actually, the possibilities of the universe down right suck sometimes. And they hurt sometimes. But the possibilities of the universe are also beautiful and breathtaking and extraordinary. They are sitting on the beach in Italy with 5 scoops of Gelato melting down your leg. They are being pregnant with the most beautiful baby girl. They are new jobs and new friends and new experiences.

The possibilities of the universe change me. They scare me, but sometimes (okay a lot of the time) the things that scare me the most are the things that I love. (AKA riding the incredible hulk ride at Universal Studies, or jumping off the high diving board or skiing down that really big hill). Sometimes, I just need to open my heart and soul to all that is. To all that is possible. Knowing that it could hurt, but also knowing that it could be the most beautiful, amazing thing.

And so I open my heart.

And I say “come”. I am ready. I will begin.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

27 weeks

Status: 27 weeks

My baby is now as long as a cucumber

 And weighs as much as a head of cauliflower.

Wow!!!!

I am still in such amazement! I still remember lying in bed and saying to DH, "I feel like flying to the moon is more probable then getting pregnant". I feel so blessed. I remember reading people's blogs who had lived with infertility or multiple pregnancy losses and then eventually got pregnant and thinking, is that possible? I started this blog not knowing where it would go, and here I am writing about being pregnant, and I am amazed.

I got two books in the mail the other day.

Hypnobirthing


And Birthing From Within



I started with Birthing From Within and I am enjoying the focus on art work and getting to know your own thoughts and and feelings about birth. I haven't started on Hypnobrithing yet, but thought that both books would work in partnership with our natural birth class.

I also recently started prenatal yoga. Regular yoga makes me nauseated lately (going from downward dog to warrior to forward bend, jumbles up my already squished stomach) so the prenatal yoga is a refreshing evening. Everyone thinks I am so crazy for exercising this long (I still go to muscle works and yoga and what ever else the Y is offering that day, zumba or Y-bo), but if I don't exercise, I feel so sluggish and I am hoping that exercising will help the labour go better and help me loose the pregnancy weight after. If anything it gives me a break from the business of my life lately and gives me an energy boost.



I still have fears sometimes about loosing my baby. DH was talking the other night how he realizes now that anything is possible, the good and the bad. According to that stats only 1% of people have reoccurring pregnancy loss (although I suspect its actually more than that), but anyways, we realize now that we can be 1% of people. If we were 1% of people in this regard, what else are we going to be 1% of? But I try not to get caught up in the fear, which is easier some days then others. Hearing the babies heartbeat and feeling her move eases my worry.

My name is Emily. This is my unpredictable, sometimes challenging, some days amazing, journey in motherhood.

Summer Sun

The second trimister of pregnancy has been going wonderfully and I have been enjoying the summer sun with DH and baby bump.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Conversation



Me: I love you.

You: (Strong kicks)

Me: I love you more than anything I have ever experienced. I have loved you for a long, long time. I can not decide when my love for you began. You are a miracle. You are the manifestation of love. I wake-up each morning happy and amazed. And I thank my Father in Heaven for you. You are a miracle.

You: I know. Want to see my back flip?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Reflections on a Journey

Status: 20 weeks and 3 days pregnant


Photo taken on hike completed at 19 weeks and 1 day pregnant.

So much is changing. I know feel my little girl move every day now. My placenta is in the front, which means she has to be kicking pretty hard for me to feel it. Her heart beat was 140 yesterday. I love hearing her heartbeat. It reminds me that I am full of life!

I was reading my journal from a year ago. I cant believe how far I have come. Life is truly a journey. Motherhood is a journey, not a destiation as I once thought. I know now that God gives us just what we need when we need it, even when it hurts. I will never 100% understand why I have walked the path in life that I have. Why did God allow me to loose 4 babies? I'll never completely understand. But as I reflect on my journey, I see that my path has taughtt me patience, faith, perseverance and compassion. I have come to better understand how to find joy in the journey. Also, I have come to better appreciate what it is to be a mother. I treasure each day of this pregnancy in a way I don't think I would have with my first. And maybe that's reason enough to have walked this journey. DH always says "we learn more from stormy seas then from calm waters".

I am amazed by so much lately. The intense love I feel for my baby. My bodies ability to support life. The fact that there is a living, heart beating, life inside of me. I remember one day telling DH "I feel like having a baby is just as likely to happen as going to the moon". Impossible things can happen! I am amazed.


I am not the only one who has been waiting. I feel that this little life has been waiting a long time too to come to this family. I feel that she is the same soul that was connected to my first pregnancy, (if that makes any sense). I just feel that she has been waiting a long time to come to be part of our family, just as we have been waiting a long time for her.

My belly is growing more and more every day. I have gained 15 lbs already!!! I went to the maternity store today to stock up on some shirts. I needed some bright summer colors to express the immense joy I have been feeling lately.



Every day I carry this life inside of me I feel more and more sure. Each day the fear lessens a little. I still look for blood when I go to the bathroom, but it feels more like a habit then an actual fear. Maybe my worries will not go away until the baby is born. I don't know. But what I do know, is that there comes a point where I just have to stop being scared. I mean anything could happen, now or in the future. So today I choose to set my fears aside and enjoy the most miraculous experience of my life.



Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Christmas Baby

A Christmas Baby

My first baby was due end of November, beginning of December; just in time for Christmas. I imagined our young family seated around the Christmas tree, smiling, little baby in my arms. Perfect.

Those dreams came crashing down only a few days after they began. That Christmas of 2008 would come and go with no baby in my arms.

That Christmas I made a commitment, a goal, a plan, that I would be pregnant by Christmas of that year. We started trying in May. We tried all that year. Each month would follow the same pattern, I would be excited, lets try!! Then waiting, and waiting, and waiting. and some months my period would be late and I would think that this must be it, I would take pregnancy tests and wait some more. But each month my period would come and my dreams would be dashed all over again. Then the next month the same pattern would repeat itself. And through it all I kept fasting and praying that Heavenly Father would make my dream a reality. That Christmas of 2009 would come and go with no baby in my womb.

That Christmas I decided to make a goal that was within in my control to keep. This year my goal was to come to know my Saviour Jesus Christ better. That year would be that hardest of my life.  2010 I did get pregnant, and again my baby was due end of November. Again thoughts of me with a baby in my arms around the Christmas tree quickly came to mind. Again, these dreams were quickly dashed. I didn't just get pregnant once that year, I got pregnant 3 times in about 7 months, and had to say good-bye to my babies much too soon. All that year I prayed and prayed for a baby. That Christmas of 2010 would come and go with no baby.

Come 2011. This year my goal was to serve others. For the first few months I tried to find joy in my journey and be grateful and trusting. And we kept praying, that if it would be God's will, that we would be able to bring children into the world. Now here I am, with a baby due Christmas day.

Part of me says, this is just a coincidence. Its just the way the timing worked out that my baby is due on Christmas day, but I cant help but see something deeper here. Albert Einstein said "There are two ways to live; you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle". Choosing the latter, I see my own little miracle. I see the tender mercies of the Lord. I see a God who knows my heart, who knows and understands my experiences, who knew exactly what I needed, when I needed it. No, he didn't immediately answer my first prayer or my fiftieth, or my five hundredth but He did answer my prayer. I feel He is telling me, I was with you all along, I know the desires of your heart, your dreams, your goals. I am here. I answer your prayers. You are my daughter and I love you.

17 weeks

Okay, first confession and excuses. My life seems to be so busy lately and I have not had the time or energy to write. I am working full time now and that has been a big change for me, impacting more aspects of life then I thought it would. Pre-March 28th, I was working three days a week, giving me lots of time for art work, cleaning house and exercising. NowI am working 5 days a week, plus dealing with the fatigue of pregnancy. I am happy if I simply make it through the day. DH is cleaning the kitchen, giving me a chance to lie on the couch to stop my stomach from throbbing and giving me chance to get caught up with my blog and my thoughts. I am so grateful for my DH.

As for pregnancy, I am 17 weeks, (aka 4 months) today. I cant believe that I have made it to this point! Every day I am grateful and in awe of this experience. I feel like I am carrying a little secret inside of me, sure people now I am pregnant, but I feel amazed that I am carrying life inside of me wherever I go. Its my little gem, my treasure, my secret to take with me.

Health wise I am doing well. The first three months were rough. I was sick and tired most of the day. But now, the nausea has left and most of my energy has come back. I do get an upset stomach/heartburn easily, but I find eating lots of small meals and drinking lots between meals helps. And when I do get an upset stomach, I am practicing kindness towards myself and not kicking myself in the head for eating a hot dog or what ever it happened to be that day. As a pregnant woman I am feeling a lot of pressure from everyone and their dog (and myself) to be super-healthy, so I keep reminding myself that I am doing my best and that I don't need to be super woman to be a good Mommy to this baby.

Our little one was being a little monkey the other day when we went to hear it's heartbeat at the midwifes. It wouldn't hold still. It took a few minutes, okay maybe seconds, but it felt like the whole world stopped moving, for the midwife to get its heartbeat. And all I could think was, my baby is dead, my baby is dead. Why is it so easy for me to believe the worst case scenario? But my baby was just being active and eventually the midwife picked up the heartbeat for a few seconds. The little monkey.

My name is Emily and this is my journey in motherhood.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Heartbeat

Status: 12 weeks and 3 days pregnant





We went to the midwifes yesterday for our monthly appointment. We went through some blood work and some questions, and then we FINALLY got to hear babies heartbeat. The midwife didn't even have to look around for it, it was right there. She just put the Doppler on my tummy and there was it's heartbeat. This baby really wants us to know that it is here :)

I am now past the three month mark and know that baby has a heart beat. I am starting to get excited. After hearing the baby's heart beat we couldn't keep the secret any longer. We drove straight to my parents house and after dinner pulled out the computer and played the heartbeat clip for my parents and my brothers and sisters (my parents knew and my married sisters knew, but my four youngest siblings did not know yet). My little brothers didn't know what was going on at first, they are only 10 and 12. But when my sister explained it to them they were excited. My youngest brother came over and waved and said "hi baby". This moment seemed impossible. I remember telling James that having a baby felt as likely as going to the moon. And yet, here I am. In this moment. Pregnant with a little baby with a heartbeat.

My name is Emily. My baby is 2 inches and has a heartbeat. This my journey in Motherhood.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

11 Weeks Pregnant


This picture about sums me up right now. Drinking a smoothie (I am eating SO much, as it helps with the nausea), enjoying some flowers from hubbie, and reading a pregnancy book (I am starting to think that this one might actually stick).

I don't have much time to write, so I'll just give you a quick update.

My life seems to consist of pulling myself through the work day, trying not to throw-up and napping. That about sums it up :) Only another week or so of this and I should start feeling like myself again, but sometimes I wonder, will I ever feel like "myself" again?


I finally broke down the other day and wore my maternity jeans. I can still fit into my regular pants, but they are so tight and uncomfortable! I bought some maternity jeans during pregnancy number three and finally had enough of being uncomfortable and pulled them out. I also went to Thyme maternity and bought some work pants, a sweater (for the winter when I am super pregnant) and a shirt. All on sale!!


This art piece reflects a meditation I experienced a few weeks ago. After doing some relaxation stuff we were asked to sense on a sensation in our bodies. I choose to sense my pregnancy (something I had basically been ignoring up to that point) and as I did I was filled with love and joy. And then were asked to sense the opposite feeling. So I connected with the fear and the worry, the heartache and pain, that has resurfaced sense I have been pregnant (something else I had been ignoring). As I flipped between these two feelings, joy and fear, life and death and as I sensed them both at the same time, I felt the dance of life. Truly this is life, happiness and heartache, growth and loss. I felt a protecting circle wrap around these two feelings and I felt peace. This meditation experience was the first step in acknowledging my feelings around this pregnancy and I am still exploring them.

My name is Emily. I am 11 weeks pregnant. I am excited and scared all at the same time. This is my journey in Motherhood.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

9 Weeks Pregnant



9 weeks and counting.....

So much has been happening lately. Let me recap.

Prenatal Visit: We went for our first prenatal visit this week. We have chosen to go with midwifes for this pregnancy (which will be a blog posting all of its own) and are planning for a homebirth. The visit went well, with the midwife being down to earth and compassionate. We asked her to listen for the heartbeat, even though she never does it at eight weeks. She tried, but couldn’t pick anything up. We aren’t worried though because it’s still very early and we had seen it the week before. I am looking forward to our next appointment at 12 weeks where it’s more likely that we will hear a heartbeat.

DH was fidgety through the whole appointment and when I asked him about it after, he told me that he was still nervous about the pregnancy. I feel the same way. We are hopeful and we know things are different this time because we saw the heartbeat and I haven’t had any bleeding, but we are still cautious, we have walked this road too many times to just have it end in heartache. I also think that because I am part of the “miscarriage and pregnancy loss” culture I have maybe heard one too many sad stories and know that loss can still happen after a heartbeat is heard.  We are both balancing these feelings of hope and excitement and optimism and these feelings of fear and worry. We got really good at dealing with miscarriages. We were kind of getting prostar at living with the loss, that I don’t think we have really figured out how to live with hope. This is something I am still sorting out.

In the meantime, I have been living with early pregnancy symptoms. I woke up the other day and was so tired and nauseated I didn’t even go to work, rather I stayed home and slept and watched movies. Smells really bother me and I have an all day, persistent nausea. My naturopath gave me some homeopathics for the nausea and they have been helping a little bit. I am traveling next week for a work conference, so I hope that I am feeling a little bit better.

So right now my life feels like a balancing act between the optimism and the caution, between feeling well and feeling ill, between hope and everything else that creeps in.

When You Least Expect It

When You Least Expect It
By Hilary Weeks

It's been raining for days with no sign of it letting up
And all I can think about is how much I miss the sun

The sound is almost hypnotizing, pounding on the pavement
And drop by drop I forget how good the sun feels on my face

Then through the shadows
Beyond the clouds
A ray of light hits my window
I can't believe it
But I can see it
Right in front of my eyes

And that's when it happens
When you least expect it
When it feels like the storm will never end
That's when it happens
Light cuts through the darkness
And Heaven surprise you
When you least expect it

I quit counting the hours I've prayed for answers
But I can't help wondering how long will I have to wait

And why is Heaven silent while I'm running out of words
I keep on knocking but nobody hear me standing at the door

Then through the shadows
Beyond the doubt
Heaven send the answer
I can't believe it
But I can feel it
Deep inside my heart

And that's when it happens
When you least expect it
And you know God has head every prayer
That's when it happens
Love breaks through the darkness
And Heaven surprises you
When you least expect it

I cant believe it
But I can feel it
Deep inside my heart

And that's when it happens
When you least expect it
When it feels like the storm will never end
That's when it happens
Light cuts through the darkness
And Heaven surprises you
When you least expect it

Faith and Infertility


I found this article very inspiring, although it deals more with infertility more then miscarriage, I still felt the message fit for me. I especially liked the points on serving others and infertility being a refiners fire.

Check it out at http://lds.org/ensign/2011/04/faith-and-infertility?lang=eng

There is also a link to a list of other great talks/resources.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New Life



Today my life changed forever. Okay, that’s a little exaggerated, its more that a new chapter has started in my life.

We went for our seven week ultrasound. As we got settled into the room, we explained our story to the ultrasound tech, I asked her to turn off the screen that faces me and a laid back, closed my eyes, gripped DH hand and started psyching myself up for the worst. The tech placed the wand on my stomach and said “Oh I see it. And there’s its heart beat”.  She didn’t have to look around for it. It was right there. Ready to tell its Mom and Dad it had arrived. She turned her screen so we could see. I started crying and hugging DH. She continued with the ultrasound and we watched on the screen now. It’s just a little blob but it’s the cutest little blob I have ever seen. And I saw its heart beating. 133bpm. When people told me I would see its heart beating I thought they meant I would see a line moving on the screen, but no, I SAW its heart beating. AMAZING!!! I all ready love it J

I called my Mom and she cried and I cried, and I still can’t believe that after 4 miscarriages and three years later that this is really happening. In none of the other pregnancies did we see a baby or a heartbeat. This is a brand new chapter for us.

We went and bought it a blanket. A blue blanket with a monkey.

As I sit here at the end of this full, wonderful day, I feel blessed, not only for the life that is beating inside of me (still can’t believe it!), but for the journey. For learning what healing is, not just physical healing, but the deep down kind of healing. For learning to find joy in the journey, even when the journey is hard. For knowing that I can look fear in the face, find faith and take a step into the darkness. For knowing that God is aware of me. For knowing that I can do hard things, really really hard things. Things that are so scary and overwhelming that I wanted to stay in bed some days. But I know now that I can face those days, as I focus on the spiritual strength in my life, and not just face those hard days, but live with passion.

My name is Emily. My baby is the size of a lentil and has a heartbeat. This is the story of my journey in Motherhood.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Do You See What I See?

Okay, I was debating weather to post these or not, but I am going to. So be forewarned, if you hate seeing pee sticks, you may leave now.

Test #1:

Is that a second line I see? Better try another.

Test #2:


Okay there is something there. Quick DH go and get me a first response test. I have to leave for work soon, so be quick about it.

Test #3:


DH, I have to go to work, could you please take a picture of the test for me?





I guess you just never know what will happen you leave for work and ask hubby to take a picture of your pregnancy test :)

Taking a Walk in the Darkness

Status: 6 weeks, 3 days pregnant

6 more sleeps until we go for the ultrasound. This is the farthest I have made it in a pregnancy without spotting, so that’s good. But I don’t think it’s possible for my body to miscarry right now because I am on so much progesterone and baby aspirin, I think this is keeping my body from miscarrying. So we will really know what this pregnancy is going to do once we go for the ultrasound. There are moments where DH and I go CRAZY!!! We just want to know what is going on. But I try to remember that this time will pass no matter what, so I might as well enjoy it. I am trying to focus on other things in my life, work, family, my art work.

With are first 3 pregnancies we had told our family members by this point. The only people who know right now are my parents, DH parents, my best friend and a co-worker. I really don’t feel ready to tell people. We are thinking to wait to tell people after I have passed the 12 week mark. Usually we are so excited to tell people we can’t keep it a secret, but this time, we are much more cautious.

As for signs and symptoms, I have been tired, and once I hit the 6 week mark the nausea started to kick in. It’s not really bad, just more annoying than anything else. I have vivid wild dreams, so even though I am tired, I don’t really feel like a sleep (lame). But overall I have felt pretty good, “full of life” as a co-worker put it the other day.

Over the last couple of months I have really come to believe that this whole experience of Motherhood is part of my journey, part of the earthly experience I was put on earth to experience. For whatever reason, these experiences are teaching me important life lessons that I may not have been able to learn in other ways, things like faith, patience and joy.  And so I am taking a step into the darkness, opening myself to whatever may come, knowing that God and DH and the goodness of the Universe will be there to greet me on the other side.

Truly the Lord encourages us to walk in faith to the edge of the light and beyond - into the unknown. After the trial of our faith, He once again shines the light ahead of us, and our journey of faith in every footstep continues. - M. Russell Ballard



I am trying to take good care of myself. My new job is keeping me extra busy, so I am trying to balance it out with relaxation, good food and joy.



Protecting my Inner Child


I have found a new treasure to illustrate my journey with: an Eton's Catalogue from 1901


A great find from an antique store. I can tell its going to be the inspiration for many amazing pieces.
My name is Emily. I am six weeks pregnant and right now, my pants feel tight. This is the story of my journey in Motherhood.

Monday, April 25, 2011

(Re)Defining Pregnancy

What does it really mean to be pregnant? I had to tell a nurse today that I was pregnant. She was all excited and kept saying "after the baby is born" and "then you'll go on your maternity leave" and in my head I was thinking "what are you talking about lady? How can the future be so sure? Have you been blessed with such a life that there are no worries or fears"? Then she asked if this was my first baby. Baby??? What baby?? I just have a positive pregnancy test, that's all I know for sure right now. I wanted to scream at her, (stupid I know, this could be pregnancy hormone reaction). I told her "it's complicated". She replied with something positive. She was driving me nuts, I don't even now this women's name. I had to see her as part of a health assessment for work.

This experience really bothered me today, I had to go into the bathroom after and take some deep breaths. And I started thinking and wondering, what upset me so much about it? She was just acting like anyone else in our culture would. She wasn't being mean, if anything she was attempting to be supportive. So what bothered me? I was/am upset that I don't still live in that naive world where a positive pregnancy test meant something. I am upset that I live in my own mixed up sad world where I don't get excited about a positive pregnancy test anymore. I feel alone.

The past week I have been doing fine with the whole "pregnancy" thing, thinking about other things, but today it really got under my skin. I left a message with the fertility Dr. to get my blood work back, and they didn't call me back, so I am starting to think that maybe something is wrong, but wouldn't they have called me back if something was wrong? And last night I had such a nightmare. I was having a m/c and I was screaming for my mother but I couldn't get the words out. It was so vivid.

Anyways, bottom line, I am starting to go mental.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pearls of Wisdom from Helen Keller

Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.


Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Signs and Symptoms

DH and I went on a little weekend getaway this past weekend. It was lovely to get away from everything. I tried to not focus on the fact that I could "possibly" pregnant, but the signs were everywhere. The evidence is below (note, these photos were not taken for the blog or as a reflection of pregnancy symptoms. They were taken just because my husband that they were funny. Now they are photo evidence of my 5th pregnancy).


#1) Very Sleepy!! I slept on all the car rides.



#2) Heightened sense of smell. This is me covering my nose after DH cut the cheese.


#3) Nausea
#4) Vivid dreams


My name is Emily and this is my sometimes wild and crazy and rather smelly journey in Motherhood.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pregnancy #5

Took a pregnancy test this morning (okay 3) and I am pregnant. Due date is Dec. 25th.

I am full of mixed emotions, fear, excitement, but mostly just a "what ever is meant to happen will happen".

Called the fertility clinic and I am going for tests and taking progesterone.

DH is so excited, but I am not really. Getting a positive pregnancy test doesn't really mean I am pregnant anymore. It just means, I could potentially 1% be pregnant. I feel its just one step closer on a long, long, long, path. I feel like I am protecting my heart, my emotions. My life is so full of "other" things right now, travel, work, spiritual and creative growth I don't really want to become emotionally involved in something so unpredictable, something I can do nothing about, something that will be what ever it is meant to be. My ultrasound is booked for the 10th of May, right now I don't even feel like I will make it to that date. If I do, it will be a miracle. If I get positive news on the 10th, then I'll be excited. Man I sound pessimistic. Its not that I am pessimistic really, its rather that I just don't want to get emotionally caught up right now. I want to stay centered and balanced, trusting in the things I know 1) God loves me 2) DH loves me 3) Gods plan is bigger then me, and in the end its going to turn into something beautiful, no not in the end, now, today, everyday, its being shaped into something beautiful.

I am open and trusting to a plan bigger then me. One filled with heartache and beauty, challenges and life lessons, hardships and tender mercies. I am trusting.

My name is Emily. I am pregnant. And this is my journey in Motherhood.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Remember My Little Monkey


On March 22nd, 2010, after nearly 10 months of trying, I found out I was pregnant! April 4th 2010, at about 6 weeks pregnant, I had a miscarraige. As the one year anniversy of this creation and loss passes, my mind recalls the joy and the heartache. In memory of my little monkey I would like to share some of the good and sad memories from a year ago:
  • Screaming at 6:30 in the morning when I got a positive pregnancy test. DH running into the bathroom at high speed thinking I was dying and smashing his head. Then crying as he held me, both in sheer reliefe, shock and joy.
  • Going out for breakfast and being on cloud nine. He orded waffles and I had an omelete. We were both so exited.
  • Going over to my families house that night and telling them. As soon as the blessing on the food had been said DH couldn't take it any longer and told everyone our good news.
  • Feeling both scared and excited. One momment feeling complete dreed and fear and the next feeling joy beyond measure.
  • After the 4 1/2 mark passed (the point when I had the first m/c) feeling a little more optomist and even going baby clothes shopping. Had a hard time finding anything gender nutural and settled on a yellow onsie that said "Daddy's Little Monkey". This is where the nickname for our little one came from.
  • Telling the baby we loved it. DH saying good-bye to it when he left for work.
  • Waking up to spotting. Feeling so scared. Calling health-link. Being told to stay home from work and take it easy.
  • DH borrowed a ton of movies from the library and stayed home from work with me.
  • Spotting for a few days and feeling in complete limbo. My sister came and spent some time with me. Mostly we watched movies together. We did go to Starbucks and Chapters where I bought the book "I Love You More Then Rainbows".  At this point I was still feeling a little hopefully. That night I got DH to read the book to the baby.
  • I remember having a long talk with the baby. I told it how much I loved it. How much it's Daddy loved it. How much all its Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles were going to love it. I let him know about all the wonderful things and places here. I told him I would take him to the mountians and to the ocean.
  • After three days of spotting I couldn't take it anymore. I had to know what was going on. So I called healthlink again and they told me to go into the ER.
  • ER was a lot of waiting, and getting poked and waiting some more. Finally they came and told me that my hsg levels were very low and this meant I was most likely having a m/c. It was like my whole world was crashing around me. I couldn't think, I just felt overwheleming pain and loss and grief. I asked them to go and get my husband. And I sat there and just cried. No one offered me kleenx, no one offered me a drink of water or some chocholet ice-cream. I sat alone and ignored. DH came quickly and I would not let him leave my side after that. I remember just crying and wanting to be home in bed. They gave me a shot, sent me over to the ultasound clinc to book an appotintmnet and FINALLY about 5 hours I was able to go home. I think I cried all the way home.
  • The next morning I had to get up early and start drinking my water for the ultrasound. I remember having to stop and change our turning signal on the way over and being worried about being late.
  • They made me wait for ever for my ultrasound. My bladder was so full. I thought I was going to die. Really, I can't remember being so uncomforatbale in my whole life. I was rocking back and forth.
  • The woman ahead of me finally came out of the room. Arm in arm with her man they gushed over there happy news of twins. Twins!!! How was it fair that she was having twins and I was being told that my baby was dead?
  • Finally I went in for my ultrasound. I remember closing my eyes and imagining I was lying on the beach with my husband. I didn't want to by lying on that bed with the ultasound poking and prodding, so I remember the best day of my life, just lying on the beach with my husband. I felt myself crying. Not out of pain or worry or fear (it was probably hormones), but I remember just feeling in awe at life.
  • After the ultrasound, she told me that it did not look good. The sack was measuring less then four weeks. I still felt a glimmer of hope as I headed back to the ER waiting room.
  • There we sat and sat and sat.
  • I was told that I couldn't leave even to go down the hallway to eat. I did anyways well DH waitied to hear my name.
  • I remember going to the bathroom and starting to really bleed. I went back to the waiting room and sat on that stupid plastic chair and thought "I am going to have a miscariage right here in the ER waiting room. Please someone, let me go home". DH kept asking when they would see me. And finally as I sat there silently crying, they called my name.
  • The Dr. told me what I already knew. The baby had died. It was a blighted ovume. Go home and let nature take its course.
  • Mostly I slept and cried for the next 24 hrs.
  • The morning after being in the ER I passed the egg sack. We were able to plant it in our peacelilly plant.


To my little Monkey:

You and I were only physically together for a few weeks
But I loved you more than rainbows
And will always remember you

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Wellness Day

I just started a new job this week. I work at a hospital Mondays and Tuesdays (my new job) and the rest of the week I am at a local non-profit organization that I have been working at for the past two years. I thought this week might be a little crazy starting a new job and all, so I took a wellness day today (I get 3 of them a year).

I have had mixed feelings about this new job, 75% of me has been excited to be learning new skills, meeting new people, stretching and growing myself and the other 25% of me never even expected to work in this city, I thought I would have a baby. Most of me wants to be here in this moment, but part of my heart aches for what could have been and wants to dwell on past dreams and feel miserable and not get out of bed in the morning. But I find the more I listen to the part of me that wants to live each day with passion and purpose the more that part of me grows.

This weekend will mark the anniversary from when we lost our second baby, "our little monkey" as we called it. (That will be a blog post all of it's own). So my heart has been a little heavy with past memories. I want to do something special this weekend to remember our little one. I am thinking of lighting a candle and just remembering and honouring that little life I held inside of me and the joy and heartache that it brought into my life.

So with all these crazy emotions and experiences, my new job, the anniversary of my little monkey, I decided to take a wellness day. I went for a massage, went to Chapters (one of my favourite stores), took a nap and did some art work.

Things I am grateful for today:
1) My grandparents who are an example to me of faith, compassion and a strong marriage
2) Yummy tea
3) A hubby who cleaned the kitchen today
4) Sitting in a steam room (not really sure if I should have done that as I am ttc, but what ever, it was relaxing, so I figured that was helpful and healthy)
5) The best berry crisp and frozen yogurt I have ever had
6) A nap
7) A warm shower
8) Wearing my favourite socks (they are knee high mismatched socks)
9) Curly Hair
10) My blog


I have a Queen inside who listens for what delights the soul.  - Rumi


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Do you have any children?

The past three days that I have been at work someone has asked if I have any children and/or if I plan on having children. I know that this is meant to be a straightforward, simple, easy-going question, but it doesn't feel like it. A thousand emotions run though my when I am asked these types of questions. I feel a twinge of loss for my four precious little babies, I feel a stable at womanhood (as if I am some how less of woman because I cant/don't have kids), I feel pried into, I feel lost. And I am never really sure what to say, especially to people who I've just met.

Do I say:
Yes, I have been pregnant four times, but the baby stopped growing shortly after conception (no, too much information).
Maybe:
It's none of your business (but I don't want to come off rude at my new job).

So usually I go with, no, it's just me and my husband and when the question is about if we are going to have children, I answer, "no, too busy with work". Which was a complete lie. It all feels like lies.

What is the truth? And how much of the truth do I want to share?

The truth is, I have loved a Mother's love.

The truth is, I don't know when/or if we are going to have children, not because that's not what I want, but because it's not in my control.

I think when I am asked "do you have any children"? Instead of giving my bland, self-defeated "No". I would like to say "not right now. Right now my life is full of traveling and working and time with my husband and camping and art work". I like the words "not right now". Because its true. Right now, I don't have any children here with me and it leaves the window open for the future. And I like adding in all the other wonderful things I have in my life. Because my life is full of wonderful things right now.

In response to "are you going to have kids"? I need to remind myself that its okay to say "that's a rather personal question" and leave it at that. It really isn't anyones business and I don't "owe" them an answer.

I think I am going to try to use both these answers in the future.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Words of Inspiration


I worked on this piece over a few days and I am really happy with the way it turned out. I am going to use to for the cover page of a scrapbook I am making about all the things I love.




Believe
Laugh
Friendship
Adore
Lucky
Together
Classic
Imagine
Life
Enjoy
Hope
Joy
Heartfelt
Family
Love
Inspiration
Memories
Happiness
Genuine
Create

New Creation

I created this installation piece to represent all the changes and new perspectives I have been experiencing lately. I don’t usually work in 3D, but I enjoyed it. Painting the vase was very relaxing on a Saturday afternoon, with the sun shining in my art room and some relaxing tunes going in the background.


New Creation


Surrounded by Love
And bursting forth

The broken heart
Opens to new life

Growing tall and strong
Reaching new heights

Amongst the daily change
Faith Centers

She is Becoming.

Better Luck Next Month

Status: CD 2


My period came right on time this month.


I was so sure I was pregnant. Strange dreams, dizzy, a little nauseated, strong sense of smell. I had ALL my typical symptoms. I would have bet money I was pregnant. Maybe that strange pose I did in yoga last week, the one where my legs were in the air and then behind my head, the one that the instructor said NOT to do if I was pregnant, maybe that did something. I did feel something strange when I did the pose. Ahhh..... who knows.


No point in focusing on the past. I have a new plan for this cycle. I am going to try charting my temperature, taking progesterone cream, using preseed and an ovulation kit. Also, the naturopath recommended some vitamins and herbs to help boost DH suboptimal sperm. Here goes another month.


I did have a good cry (or two) about getting my period. And had a whole late night rant with DH how I would be completely happy without kids and would love to travel the world and pursue my career. There are moments were having kids scares me to death and I would be fine with keeping the status-quo, but then I remember the intense love I felt for each of my four babies and think that going down that path again would be alright too.


Getting my period is always fraught with mixed emotion. Feelings of despair and let down. But then I usually think of a thing or two I can do now because I am not pregnant (like start my new job without morning sickness or go backpacking). I suppose either way my life goes; there will be things to celebrate along the way.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Joy in the Journey

Status: Day 21 of cycle, 6 days PO.

This is the part of the cycle I struggle the most with, past ovulation, just waiting for my period or a pregnancy test, just waiting. No, NOT JUST WAITING, living and waiting. Or maybe just living in suspense. Or maybe.... living and trying to keep busy so I don’t go crazy.

But already I am playing mind games. Thinking everything is a sign of pregnancy, the odd smells I smelled at work today, the two naps I took, my wild dreams the past two nights and the fact I get dizzy when going from sitting to standing. Three of the four pregnancies were conceived the first month we tried, so it’s not impossible. I am going to have to wait about another week to test. (But I did just order 30 pregnancy tests for cheap from https://www.saveontests.com so I don’t bankrupt us with all these tests).

In the meantime I am finding joy in the journey.

Things I am grateful for:
1)      My new job in the hospital system (my DREAM job)
2)      These really yummy strawberries I got on sale this week that I have been eating with everything
3)      The book that I am listing to on the way to work, The Rhythm of Life: Living Every Day with Passion and Purpose by Mathew Kelly, Super motivating.
4)      A stress-free, easy going week at work, including an inspirational music therapy session today, followed by a relaxing expressive arts group.
5)      Sunshine and warm weather
6)      The DVD series “Life”
7)      The ZUMBA Pool party class I am taking (Really, how can you not have fun in a pool with a bunch of woman attempting to salsa dance?)
8)      A testimony of Jesus Christ
9)      A best friend to vent to
10)  The possibility of going to New York this summer with one of my best friends