11 weeks...give or take a day or two

It was storming on Tuesday which was technically when I reached 11 weeks so we took this one tonight (we forgot yesterday). Notice I decided to cut my head out of the photo this time. I like the focus on my belly and the boys, and I thought there was too much fence in the previous shot. The tighter shot also makes the sign a bit easier to read.

11 Weeks
Feeling: much better
Craving: chips with Chuy's jalapeno ranch
Got my appetite back! THIRSTY

This week my appetite came back with a vengeance. I had my first turn-the-car-around gotta-get-it-now craving and that was for Chuy's chips and jalapeno ranch dip. I am a bit ashamed to admit that I couldn't even make it home to indulge - I actually pulled the car over half-way back and dug in while sitting in a parking lot. Geez!

While I should be really excited about the lack of extreme nausea that has plagued me over the past few weeks, instead it's causing some anxiety. Why don't I feel pregnant anymore? Could something be wrong? I know that it's perfectly normal for "symptoms" to come and go to various degrees, especially when the physical changes are not yet significant, but I will say that I'm really looking forward to Monday's appointment when we get to see baby once again and calm some of my fears.

One day at a time.

As promised...first belly pic (10 weeks)

I wasn't going to post this and I'm going to be honest, it's for very shallow reasons. I don't like the way I look here. I made my husband take a gazillion photos before his patience wore thin and my hormones brought on tears.

Perhaps I shouldn't have started taking pictures at just 10 weeks because rather than look pregnant, I look as if I indulged a little too much at dinner. But then again with this being my last pregnancy, I want to be sure I document it every step of the way.

So I'm putting on my big girl pants (no pun intended), swallowing my pride and will try to embrace this process for the miracle that it is - no matter how insecure I am about my pregnant body.

10 week belly pic

The text on the chalkboard is a little small so here is what is says:

10 Weeks
Feeling: nauseous, but not throwing up anymore!
Craving: nothing really, maybe slushies
Already wearing maternity pants!

Aside from the fact that I look like a bloated blueberry and can I just say holy boobs batman?!?! I do love this picture for one reason and that is the fact that I get to have my boys be a part of this experience. They are both so excited for this baby and have been very interested in every aspect of the pregnancy so far (how big is baby now? can baby hear me? hi baby, good morning!) You would have thought I promised them a shopping spree at Toys R Us when I asked them to be in this photo. So precious.

Now that I'm 10 weeks, the nausea is starting to lift just a bit. I was so sick from weeks 6-9. When I went in for my 6 week sonogram with the fertility specialist, I had a stomach bug that left me in shambles on my bathroom floor for over 8 hours straight. I. Thought. I. Would. Die. My doctor thought it would be a good idea to head to the hospital to pump me up with some fluids and anti-nausea medicine. So right after seeing our little bean's heartbeat for the first time, off we went to the ER.

The good news is that the stomach bug seemed to dissipate the week of Christmas, so I was able to halfway enjoy myself over the holiday. The bad news is that it came back with a vengeance just in time for our 16 hour drive to Florida with my parents. I spent that entire trip with my head in a Ziploc bag (they would have stopped for me, but I just wanted to get there already). I was a little queasy and pukey while in Florida, but was still able to have a good time.

The most frustrating thing for me this time around has been my lack of appetite. Basically if I start to think about eating, I have to suppress the urge to vomit. Nothing sounds good. Nothing tastes good. And for someone who truly enjoys eating, this has been a very new and annoying thing for me. Even Sour Patch Kids  - which I consumed in large quantities while pregnant with both of the boys - just don't sound that good to me. Strange!

The most frustrating thing for Ricky this time around would most likely be the fact that I've had ZERO desire or motivation to lift a finger around the house. It takes everything in me to make it through the day without dosing off. Clean the kitchen? Vacuum? Laundry? Well that's at the very bottom of my priority list and my house definitely reflects it.

I'm looking forward to feeling a bit better and to getting my energy back (hopefully in the next few weeks). Sometimes it still feels like a dream that this is really happening again. Despite the way I feel, I am beyond excited to add to our family!

Looking back and looking ahead

I am really proud of this here blog. When Aiden was born, so was More Skees Please. In the beginning the purpose was simple: to keep my family and friends informed about the medical stuff we were going through with Aiden. As I start my 4th year of blogging here in this space, I've realized that it's purpose has evolved right along with my life.

It's no longer just a place to log updates on Aiden's medical issues - now it serves as a way for me to raise awareness about Apert Syndrome by sharing our story.

It is a place for me to vent about motherhood - it's challenges, struggles, and lessons learned.

It is somewhere for me to connect to others - I absolutely LOVE getting comments and emails in response to my blog posts. I hope to continue to build my regular reader-base and encourage those who do read to take a few minutes and leave me a comment on something you've enjoyed. I read each and every one and this year want to respond to every comment received. Seriously y'all, it makes my day!

It is also a digital scrapbook for my boys - I am so excited to share this with them when they are older so they can look back and read my (honest) perspective on being their mom. While there are definitely moments that leave me pulling my hair out and doubting my mothering abilities, I hope what they see here are the happy, silly and fun moments that we've captured as a family over the years.

So to recap, I'm going to post my favorite blog posts from every month of the calendar year from the beginning of my blog. Please join me on this trip down memory lane!

So there you have it - my favorite posts throughout the years. Whatever 2012 has in store for me and my family, you can be sure that the most special moments will be captured here. 

Thanks for coming along on this journey with us!

More Skees Please? Why, yes indeedy!

Our family is growing by two feet...baby feet that is! I've been tight lipped since December 4th when we found out that I once again became pregnant. The moment was emotional - and not in the "Oh my God I'm so happy" kind of way. More like the burst into tears because I'm so friggin' scared kind of way.

Having recently had a miscarriage, I knew that the digital confirmation on a store bought pregnancy test was not a crystal ball. Sure I was undeniably happy to see that one little word yet again, but it's just that after experiencing such a difficult scenario a couple months prior, it also set into motion the exhausting roller-coaster that is waiting to see if this time it will work.

Even so, I tried my hardest to remain positive. This will be my last pregnancy and I truly want to enjoy every moment.

I took the test first thing in the morning while Ricky was in the shower. I slid it in the pocket of my hoodie sweatshirt and exited the bathroom to await the result. By the time I took it out and set it on the bedside table, it had already turned positive! There was no waiting for Ricky to get out of the shower or thinking up cutesy ways to break the news. I immediately threw open the door and waved the stick at the foggy shower glass. We both stood there frozen. And then I began to cry.

The next two weeks were filled with blood tests and lab-work to confirm the pregnancy and check that my levels were increasing as they should. Each resulted in good news. It just so happened that my 6 week appointment would fall just a few days before we were preparing to leave town for the holidays - and at this appointment we would get to have a sonogram. Making it to 6 weeks was comforting. I lost my last pregnancy at 5.5 weeks so this felt like an accomplishment and a good sign.

Ricky held my hand as we watched the gray and white blur fill the screen next to the exam table. The doctor pointed out the sac, the fetal pole and right there before our eyes we saw the thumping of the tiniest little heart we've ever seen, something she had said just minutes before that we may or may not see at just 6 weeks along.

But we saw it. Another good sign.

We made the decision to go ahead and tell the boys, who of course were once again beyond excited. And with the ultrasound pictures helping us to feel confident this was actually happening, we made plans to share the news with family at Christmas. (Although we did tell our parents ahead of time...we had to tell someone!)

Just as we were going to start exchanging presents, we told everyone that Ethan had a special gift for his brother. That he had picked it out and wrapped it himself and he couldn't wait to give it to him with everyone's undivided attention (Ethan does love attention, so we knew this would not raise any eyebrows). He handed Aiden his gift and said "I don't need this anymore, but you do". Inside was the blue "Big Brother" t-shirt we had given to Ethan when Aiden was born. He was passing the torch. Everyone cheered and hugged and was incredibly excited.

And it felt right. Okay to share in the excitement.

Tomorrow I am 9 weeks. We had another sonogram today which helped snuff out the fears that began creeping up over the last 3 weeks. All the "what ifs". The doubts.

We saw our little jelly bean become a peanut. We saw the heartbeat thumping even stronger than before. We saw life being transferred through the umbilical cord (wild, I know!) And we saw our smallest little blessing wiggle about on the fuzzy gray screen.

Our head is finally matching up with the way our hearts are feeling. It is real. It is happening. And although I know that there are no guarantees, we are choosing to remain positive.

Out of the blue, Ethan came and sat on my lap tonight and said "Mommy, I have a prayer to Jesus".

"Okay," I said, "let me hear it."

"Dear Jesus, thank you for listening to my prayers and putting a baby in mommy's belly. I know she wanted one so bad and so we prayed and you listened."

Pretty profound stuff for a 4-year-old.

I am so blessed.

I'm Still Here!

Just a quick note to let everyone know that I'll be back to updating More Skees Please in a few short days. I've been "disconnected" from my laptop for a few weeks as we've enjoyed the holidays jumping around from city to city and place to place.

While the time away has been amazing, I am anxious to get back into my writing routine and share all about our extended trip away from home. I have loved reading all the holiday recaps, New Years resolutions, etc. and feel like I am way behind. I've got a lot of catching up to do!

In the meantime, I'm going to soak in the views (and albeit chilly temps) from my parent's condo in Florida for the last few days that we're here.

Then...it's back to reality!