Every Pregnant Woman’s Fear

1/20/2016

I have not posted for several weeks, but is all for good reason. On New Years Eve I began to have some spotting. My mother had told me that she experienced this when pregnant with me so I knew it was possible to be a routine occurrence, but still, this was every pregnant woman’s fear. David and I had been having one of those weeks when we couldn’t see eye to eye and had discord between us, but after my 2nd bathroom trip that night, he knew I was scared, and I told him what was happening. We spoke with the on-call nurse through my OB office who  gave us the warning signs that it was the worst fear but stated that it sounded like just routine spotting.

Needless to say, despite what any RN or MD could say to me over the phone, I still wasn’t reassured and the fear didn’t go away. As the symptoms continued into the next day, and the following day, I grew ever more worried. Saturday night, I began having some fairly strong cramping and became even more concerned. David took care of me like he never had before. He went out to get me a heating pad, he texted back and forth with my mom, and he tried to comfort me every time I broke down. Sunday morning I began feeling a little better, despite having continued spotting, took another pregnancy test and it came back 3+ weeks pregnant. I was feeling confident. We went to the Panthers game that day because we had tickets, and marked the day that it was nuggets first Panthers game! We beat the Buccaneers, and finished our season 15-1. It was a great day.

Monday morning, I called the OB office to explain the issue and get an appointment. We had an appointment at 10:30 with the nurse practitioner. We went, waited, got into a room, waited, and then saw the nurse. She did a pelvic exam and told me that she was going to see if the sonographer could fit us in to do a viability test. This was both exciting and terrifying as we were either going to see our nugget and hear it’s heartbeat, or, we were going to know that our fear had come true. We went into the sonographer’s office and she began to look for nugget, take it’s size, etc. Then she told us that she didn’t hear the heartbeat and that nugget was only measuring at 6 weeks, despite me being 8 weeks pregnant. Fear, sadness, and dread entered our lives that day.

We returned to the nurse’s office who informed us that we had lost our baby and that they recommend me taking a drug to push the miscarriage along. Enter more dread. I may experience intense cramping. Dread. I would likely bleed for a couple days to weeks. Dread. They recommend waiting 2 menstrual cycles before trying to conceive again. Dread.

I could barely hold myself together walking around the office as I got blood drawn, out the door to the elevators and to the car. David had kindly asked if we should ask for an anti-depressant, which I refused, but strongly held my hand and tried to support me. I had a constant stream of tears running down my face and he was being the rock that I needed. But I also recognized that if he was my rock, he would be unable to grieve in the way that he needed. I told him this and he continued to reply that he needed to be my rock. He held it together until we were halfway home and we had to pull over and shed some of our grief. While this may embarrass him, it should not. Like I told him, sometimes being the rock doesn’t mean you don’t cry, it just means that you can hold someone up but still know when to lean on someone so they can hold you up.

We got my prescriptions (including some Percocet, thank you!) and went home. Our grief that day was the most we had experienced in our relationship, and I pray that it is the most we ever experience, but life is not predictable. We held each other until the tears stopped, and then an hour later, we were in the same spot. Each day of that week, our grief became a little more manageable, but up to this day, I have found myself crying at a split second to something that triggers my emotions on that January 4th day.

And while this was one of the most difficult times of our lives, it was also one of the best things for our relationship. I learned so much about myself, my husband, our relationship, and our support system that will stay with me forever. While I’m sure there are more learning points, these are what speak to me the most and that I can reflect on at this point in the process:

  1. I learned how to graciously and willingly accept help. Before this event, I would frequently deny the need for help, or inform them that “it wasn’t necessary”. That week, it was necessary and I whole heartedly accepted and appreciated the help that was given. Between my mother, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and co-workers, we were kept and fed that week, which was especially helpful since I had not yet gone to the grocery store. To all of those who were there for us that week, we say thank you, thank you, thank you!
  2. I fell deeper in love with my husband. He was there for me emotionally and physically, comforting me and soothing me. He helped out around the house, doing dishes, laundry, etc. which before would take a lot of nagging, but was done without question. Since then, he has continued to be a help with domestic chores, and work on projects around the house. We also taught each other how to laugh again, after the sorrow we were feeling that week. Someone that can make you smile or laugh in your darkest moments is always someone you should hold on to.
  3. I found out just how amazing my coworkers are. They sent us an Edible Arrangement, they brought us dinner from Panera, they took care of my kids (patients), several checked in on me when I returned to work, and from what my “work wife” told me, they were constantly checking in with her while I was out. I settled in with a great group of women!
  4. We have amazing friends and family. My mother-in-law immediately insisted on bringing dinner night #1, my mother came down and spent the day Tuesday and Wednesday with me cooking dinner and hanging with me so David could get a break, my closest friends at work came to visit Wednesday, my sister-in-law squeezed me in for a haircut on Thursday so I could have a fresh feel, my college roommate came down Friday and Saturday, and our closest friends came over Friday night to do an oyster roast to ease our way back into socializing. We love you all and could not thank you enough.
  5. When you get pregnant, a common question is, do you want a boy or a girl? While David has always said boy immediately (he at least wants the first one to be a boy so he can look out for his younger sister if he has one), I have always walked the middle line. But, after having a miscarriage, I can whole heartily tell you that I don’t care if it’s pink or blue at my baby shower, just as long as my baby is healthy. Yes, it is a cliche but after this experience, it is 100% true.
  6. Most of all, we discovered just how much we want this child to be in our lives. We have grieved over the loss of nugget and will plant a rose bush in memory of the baby that was lost to us. But we are now a stronger husband and wife that will one day be mom and dad.

So with that, I bid this series of Pregnancy #1 adieu. You were an exciting and challenging part of our lives, but as we look forward, we are ready for #2. See you then!

Notifying the Families: Part 2

12/25/2015

On our way back home, David and I stopped at his father’s house to deliver the news since it was on our way home and to tell his grandmother. We made a mug like the one for my dad and gave it to him. Because of the black vinyl, it is hard to see, so he originally thought we had just given him a common mug. When told to read what it said he excitedly said congratulations and that he was proud of us.

David told his grandmother from across the room the news who very nonchalantly said “ok”. Originally, this just seemed like a typical Ma response, but then David went over and told her a little closer and she had more enthusiasm at the news.

So David thought for 2.5 whole weeks on how he wanted to tell his family, and it still wasn’t definitive until we actually told them. He really wanted to embarrass his mother, make her confused, or do something inappropriate, because, let’s face it, that’s David’s way!

He really wanted to play a game that would involve giving clues to tell them. We were originally going to do the Heads Up! app and make a custom deck that told the story of people who met at NC State, got married, “knocked boots” (<– that’s all David not me!), and are now pregnant. However, the custom deck does not allow you to keep the cards in order so… that was a bust. (Hey Ellen, this would be a great option to have for your custom deck 😉 )

So then we moved on to playing either Charades or Pictionary and whenever it was David’s turn, he would just act it out. Our back up plan, was to re-wrap a pair of pacifiers David gave me for Christmas and give it to his mother to unwrap. It should be noted, that the pacifiers said “Pull to sound alarm” and “Mute button”. This comes into play later.

So we had Christmas dinner with his family and then started opening presents. The nieces had been up since 5am and had not taken a nap, so around 7:30 when we were starting to finish up gifts they were getting a little cranky and bedtime had been threatened a time or two. We knew that we wanted them to be a part of the surprise too so we had to get the news out before they were sent to bed. So we went with the back up plan.

We pretended like David had left a gift in the car even though I told him to grab it… a completely plausibly scenario… and then gave the bag to his mom. She began to unopen it and took at least 30 seconds before she figured it out. As she told us later, she was trying to read what it said before she realized what it actually was! Denise was sitting next to her and caught on a little quicker but it wasn’t until after Barbara pulled the pacifiers all the way out of the bag that the rest knew the surprise.

The best response was the nieces. They were at first very confused as to why everyone was standing around, hugging, and excited. When they were told what was happening, Brynlee looked blank and didn’t seem to process what occurred (probably the lack of sleep). Blair, however, when she was told she was getting a cousin, began clapping very excitedly and running around the room. That was quite a sweet moment.

 

Notifying the families

12/25/2015

Merry Christmas!! The time has finally come for us to tell our families and it is perhaps one of the most fun gifts to give! David and I each got to choose how we wanted to tell our family to make it as special for ourselves as possible. First up were my (Kassi) parents since we spent Christmas eve and morning with them. I had immediately known what I wanted to do to tell my parents about the news. I tried to make it as casual as possible that morning to prevent any suspicion. I told my parents that I was going to be taking pictures of Christmas this year but I started with David opening a present. Then I let my parents open a joint present. As soon as mom saw the gift she instantly knew what it meant! Turns out, my mom had been suspecting that I may be pregnant since Thanksgiving! I knew it was a possibility at that point, but it would have been maybe a week or so after conceiving. She had also been keeping a close eye on me and picking up on all subtleties that did not coincide with an unpregnant Kassi. So although she was not surprised she was beyond thrilled and said it was all she ever wanted for Christmas.

For my big reveal, I made a plaque for my parents but I also made a special coffee mug for my father since he is the coffee fiend of the family!

We also video chatted with Ian, Akiko, and Jordyn so that we could show them the plaque I made for mom. As you can see, Akiko picked up on the news before Ian. It was special to be able to share that moment with them even though they were in Florida.

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In order to reduce page loading time, I will make a second page for telling David’s family. Stay tuned…

Eggo is Preggo Update

12/20/2015

On Thursday 12/17, David and I went to the OB for the first time. David felt pretty weird being in the room as it was his first time in a gynecologist’s office! This was a simple visit where I took a urine sample for them to confirm the pregnancy (it was positive!), to do a quick pelvic exam and to ask any questions that we had. While it was a simple visit, we were there for over an hour because we got there 30 min early not knowing how easy traffic would be to get there! We were also given the current projected due date which is simply based off when my last menstrual cycle began and we are currently looking at August 13!!

After our appointment we were able to schedule our next 2 appointments

  1. At 8 weeks to do an ultrasound for viability to listen for a heartbeat and to have bloodwork taken (appt 1/7/16)
  2. At 12 weeks for my first OB appointment where we will finally get a true ultrasound to see our little nugget! (appt 2/1/16)

So far, the pregnancy symptoms are fairly low (fatigue and some tenderness), which makes me nervous for a) it’s going to hit me like a brick wall sometime soon or b) I’m going to feel like this isn’t real until I can see the nugget on the sonagram!

Last night David went out to eat with his siblings and significant others for Brandon’s birthday while I went out with some friends to see Amy Schumer. David told me that our sisters Christa and Denise were asking about if I was pregnant because I was saying how tired I was on Friday night celebrating Christmas, and that it “is time” for us to be pregnant. David tried to dissuade them as much as possible so that we can really surprise the family on Christmas day.

To help with the ruse, we played a trick on them while we were watching the Panthers game today (14-0!!!). I had 2 Angry Orchards still left over so David took the caps off and cleaned them out really good. We filled them with Ginger Ale and put the caps back on. I made sure that they both saw me drinking my “beer” so that they hopefully really have no idea! David was pretty proud of himself!

So we are at T-4 days to finally telling our families our big secret and I CAN’T WAIT!!! We still have to figure out the logistics for David’s idea to tell his family so, hopefully, it will come off without a hitch. We also have to try and get pictures and hopefully video to capture this memory when the secret is revealed! We will write another post to show our families’ reactions!

My Eggo is Preggo!

12/8/2015

Hello Family & Friends!!

I know that I am writing this well before any of you will see this, but I wanted to let you know about December 7th in the Simpson household.

David and I had been planning to start our family this November/December and I, being my planning self, took matters into my own hands to determine the most likely scenario for this dream to come true in that time frame. Surprised? I think not…

So my monthly cycle was expected around December 6th, but I decided that I would rather wait 1 more day to a) give the test better accuracy and b) to enjoy the day with a family lunch and the Panthers game without distraction. So on the morning of December 7th, I re-read the instructions on how to take the test just to ensure accuracy to the highest degree and took the test. Before I was even done with my business, I saw the plus sign and immediately smiled. I still, however, finished up, started the timer and waited 3 minutes across the bathroom while the test completed itself. When my timer went off, I went back across the room, looked at the stick, and saw that the plus sign was still there, holding strong. 🙂

Now David had already left for work and I certainly didn’t want to tell him over the phone. I thought of my plan to tell him and went to Target to buy Panthers onesies. I placed them in a gift bag and used the Target bag as tissue paper just to throw him off a hair. Then the waiting game began…

Let me tell you, keeping a secret about being pregnant might be one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, and I am only just over 24 hours as I’m writing this blog. I had plans to go to the gym after work with a friend and didn’t want to lie to her about why I couldn’t go, however, the plans fell through anyways and I was able to go home after work.

I brought the bags in the house and placed them on the dining room table. David and I were talking about our days at work and the whole time he ignored the bag. Just ask about it already!!! Finally I had to lead him to it. I told him that I found some more Panthers gear but we weren’t allowed to use it until next year because of his brother’s superstition about wearing/displaying your team’s gear in the middle of a season when they are on a streak. I still had to tell David to go take a look at what I found because he still didn’t seem curious about what the Panther gear was! He pulled out the bag and then the onesies and was very confused at first, but then turned to me, smiled and asked, “Really?”

Even though we had both known we were trying, I was still elated to know that he was happy and excited for this big news. We immediately talked about my whole day of finding out and holding it to myself and went straight into how we were going to surprise our families, especially our  mothers, and our friends. PLEASE, family and friends, KNOW that we would love to tell you right now. However, we have an appointment on 12/17 in the morning to confirm the pregnancy at the OB and would like that before telling anyone. But don’t worry, we are already planning your surprise!! 😀 And ladies at work, this may be the hardest thing to keep from you considering I spend my entire day with you in a 30’x30′ room, but you will know soon enough as well!

For now, it will just be David, Lucy and I who are in the know!!