Search

The Art of Running in the Rain

"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift." -Prefontaine

Mira’s 4 months!

Well, I missed three months, so this will really be a recap of Mira’s third and fourth months of life.

IMG_4502.jpg

Our little bean is extremely adorable, especially between the hours of 7am-5pm. It can get a little shady anytime after 5pm, see this video to find out just how Mira’s doing at 3am.

IMG_4566

Our little girl currently enjoys:

-Balls

-Hitting her toys with her feet

-Whenever her nonna says “piccanina de la nonna”

-Her good night stories for rebel girls (we read 2-3 a night before bed)

-Her night time songs: “You are my sunshine” “Baby mine” “Golden slumbers”

-Water (pool, bath, shower)

-Other people/babies

-The dogs

IMG_4625.jpg

She also really enjoys dancing

Mira’s dislikes:

-5pm or later (as I mentioned before)

-She continues to hate sleep, outside of the first couple of weeks of her life, she really hasn’t fallen asleep without some level of tears.

-Loud laughing (cue my anxiety ****sensory disorder?!?!?!!!****)

-Tummy time – we do it anyways, but man does she hate it. Oliver sure makes it more appealing.

IMG_4579.JPG

Oliver isn’t so sure. I think it may be jealousy, but it’s not about her it’s more about her toys….

IMG_4587.JPG

Mira experienced two big firsts this month:

-Swimming

IMG_4644

-Pumpkin Patch

IMG_4610.JPG

both were so much fun!!

These last couple months have had there ups and downs (we made sure to get footage of both so Mira knows the good, the bad, and the ugly), but it has definitely been so amazing to see Mira laugh and really interact. Her personality is really shining through and it’s been so fun!


As you probably saw in my previous post my nonna passed away a couple weeks ago. Last week we went back to the town where I was born and attended her funeral. It was a really hard time, but it was also really nice to see family.

IMG_4678

Nonna got Mira the jacket and cap and I thought she looked really cute in it!

We miss nonna every day, but I’m just so happy that there’s a little nonna in me and my mom and everyone in my family and we can share that with Mira.

DSC_0034.jpg

Be well.

Oh Nonna

I can’t sleep.

I just need to write.

Today we lost one of my favorites. My Nonna. Emma Morelli.

nonna birthday

If you have even met me then it’s very likely you have heard a story about my Nonna. You probably know that she’s hilarious, giving, and sensitive.

oh nonna

My earliest memories of nonna were when she would watch my siblings and I while babysitting a neighbor’s child. Her house always had homemade bread, pizza, pasta, sugo, antipasto, and tons of other delicious Italian foods that I can only hope to recreate for my family.

nonna

Some of my favorite Nonna quotes:

“Buh, I guess so”

“Oh nonna”

“Pick’nm’up’dat’ting”

“I carry on, carry on”

“I love you with allamy heart”

“How’s Dah-veed?”

“Ciao baby”

15624506_1845842769029963_7848813718509977600_n

I know that we are all put on this earth and one day we will leave, but today a large hole has been left. I’m sad for so many reasons, but something that really has me down is how Mira won’t get to know you like I did.

DSC_0030.JPG

I promise to tell her what her middle name stands for. I promise tell her your story, how life was definitely not always fair to you but how you worked hard to make it better for us. I promise to share your food with her. I promise to teach her how to play dice.

View More: http://rickplusanna.pass.us/nicolelovesdavid

I love you so much my Nonna, and I will carry you always and forever in my heart. You are a part of me and now you are a part of my daughter, Mirabella Emma. I know that you are with Nonno now, and I’m sure there’s a rock somewhere that we’ll hear about later.

xoxo

Nicoletta

 

Mira Is Two Months!!!

Well, I would be lying if I said these last two months have breezed by. It’s such an interesting time warp with a newborn…everybody now, ‘let’s do the time warp again!’

tumblr_nbg2kwjUSs1tsxieqo1_500.gif

Sorry I had to 🙂

When Dave was home from work we talked about how the days melted into one another, and I can’t think of a better way to describe it. I’m definitely jealous of countries that offer a year of leave (ehhmm Canada), but we made due with what we got and I’m so glad we had him while we did.

So I missed a one month post, but I kind of discussed our first month with bean in this post.

IMG_4178

My hope is that I can do a monthly post so she has a virtual baby book to look back on when she’s older. Lord knows I wouldn’t be able to do a physical baby book. So let’s fast forward to today, Mira is two months old!

DSC_0014.JPG

This month has been hard for our little girl as we learned she may have reflux 😦 We are starting to get it under control, but it’s been a tough go for her. My mom described having a newborn like having an exchange student living with you, and I felt that was an apt comparison. I think we’re starting to get a better sense of her.

Nirvana

Likes:

  • Baths
  • Papa bouncing her on the yoga ball
  • Swinging (sometimes)
  • Being worn
  • Eating
  • Going for walks (while being worn, not in the car seat)
  • Teddybear made out of Nonno’s shirt
  • When mama calls her a goose
  • Sticking your tongue out at her
  • Mirrors
  • Looking around
  • Books (baba haha, baby faces)
  • Music (Brandi Carlile, The Doors, The Beatles, Kendrick Lamar, Regina Spektor, The Decemberists, and Ingrid Michealson)

IMG_4274.jpg

She looks so much like my nonna when she cries!

IMG_4341.jpg

Dislikes:

  • Pooping
  • Car rides (oh lord)
  • Going to sleep
  • Being put down for longer than 10 minutes
  • When mama sneezes (this happens, and then she cries so hard)

Initially we thought she had a digestive issue so after her one-month appointment we began giving her probiotics. That did seem to help for a time but she continued to cry with extreme frequency. So when we saw the pediatrician for her two-month appointment he recommended we try reflux medicine (he had thought that might be her problem at the one-month appointment, but he wanted to give the probiotics a try first). Honestly today was the first day that we had some relief from excessive crying, and we are so grateful (both for our sanity and her upset).

DSC_0002.jpg

Visitors:

  • Auntie Jill
  • Auntie Lolo (Lauren)
  • Guncle Canaan
  • Cousins Julia, Carlos, Mason, and Logan

IMG_4278.JPG

Today we were discussing the things we are grateful about regarding our little miss and here is the list we came up with:

  • Her smile at 5 weeks (with all the crying we needed that interaction so early)
  • Her alertness
  • Sleeping at night (she’s pretty good about only waking up every 3-4 hours)

IMG_4335

There’s a lot that’s been SUPER difficult in this first few months. Saying that on the blog is really difficult for me because I have a lot of guilt surrounding the fact that I don’t feel like everything is all flowers and sausages! Dave’s therapist really described it well, ‘you both have set an expectation on yourself that it should be really easy/amazing for you since it was so hard to get to this point.’ Accepting that it’s okay it didn’t turn out exactly how we planned and letting go of the control has been very helpful.

I love our little bean, can’t wait to check in with you guys at three months.

Be well.

 

 

Pump and Post I

You can thank Dave for that creative title 😉 I have a feeling it might turn into a recurring theme so I’m making this the first installation.

So now that you know what I’m up to atm, I thought I’d fill you in on the last little bit of my life. Something about the number three is sticking in my head today so I’m going to share three things from a few categories of my life.

Favorite Third Trimester Workouts:

I. Body Pump – Up until week 39 I was able to do 2 body pump classes a week and it felt great! The energy that lifting gave me was so helpful and I think it definitely helped me through my labor.

IMG_3967

II. Walking – It’s been a family tradition to complete bloomsday every year and I wasn’t going to let pregnancy hold me back from that. It was the slowest bloomsday I’ve done yet and I had to stop four times after mile 5 due to some horrible cramps (TMI, but I was having some digestive issues that I believe added to the difficulty), but I DID IT!

IMG_3953

III. Spin – It’s interesting how the difficulty of spin evolved throughout the pregnancy. During the second trimester I felt some pain in my hip flexors and then in the third trimester it became hard to sit on the seat. It was never too painful to do though and I’m proud of myself for getting myself to classes up until the very end.

IMG_3926

Baby Shower: 6/3/2017

I. Friends – Thank you to these ladies for throwing an amazing baby shower (and to my mama, who also helped out a TON but I didn’t get a photo with her)

Baby shower ladies

2. Cugina – Kate helped from afar by getting this beautiful cake, she was missed for sure, but the cake was delicious! Also, did you see the donuts? My mom and friends know me so well 🙂

IMG_4037

III. Shower dress – In general I haven’t LOVED Target’s maternity section but I found this dress and it was amazingly comfy and pretty cute!

IMG_4035

Labor: 6/15/17-6/16/17

I. My labor team – Dave was an amazing support during labor. Him, my doula, and the labor and delivery nurse really helped me through it all.

IMG_4080

II. Partial drug free labor – Though it didn’t go exactly as planned I worked so hard for a drug free labor and I’m proud to say that outside of a few doses of fentanyl I stuck to it. My nurses face (Pauletta was literally the BEST) says it ALL! I am also proud to say that I was the loudest person in labor that night 🙂

DSC_0012.JPG

III. Dave’s tears – If you know me then you know I’m a crier, but I guess I don’t cry at major life events (e.g., weddings, child birth). But I love that my husband does, I’m so happy Mira will grow up knowing a man that shows all his emotions.

DSC_0016

Mira In The Hospital:

I. The Five A.M. Crew – Mira was born at 4:23am on Friday June 16th, so need I say more about the people who stayed up until five a.m. to meet our new little human. Nonna brought the nurse’s donuts too, she’s the besht!

DSC_0032.JPG

II. Family of three – Although I felt I could have left the hospital in the evening on Friday they had us stay until Saturday. It ended up being nice spending those first 24 hours in our little hospital room nook with my newly expanded family.

IMG_4096

III. Watching the love of my life become a dad – people talk about how amazing this is all the time and they definitely aren’t exaggerating.

IMG_4091.jpg

Favorite Post-Partum Items:

I. First Forty Days – This book is amazing. It is primarily a recipe book and everything Dave has made so far has been delicious, I’m just so glad that he’s always enjoyed nourishing me with his amazing culinary skills. I have also really enjoyed the lifestyle portion of the book. They talk about the Chinese traditions/philosophies for the first forty days post-partum and all that goes into setting yourself up for the best healing possible. I highly recommend it!

IMG_4213.jpg

II. Belly Bandit – I haven’t had it officially diagnosed yet but based on self assessment I experienced some diastasis recti, which is when your rectus abdominis separate due to the tissue thinning. Although the belly bandit has not been scientifically proven to bring the muscles back together (I’ll be doing my deep core workouts to help promote that) it feels good to wear it and I feel it has helped assist my uterus in contracting and bringing my belly in.

Belly Bandit

III. Nipple Whip – This stuff is literally the best, the end.

nipple whip.jpg

 

Mira’s First Few Weeks:

I. Holding her ciuccio – I mean when it’s you and your chooch against the world you gotta hold it tight!

IMG_4194.jpg

II. Fisher Price Rock ‘N Play – Mira really enjoys sleeping in this thing, of course she prefers being held (who doesn’t???) but this thing has been really nice for naps.

DSC_0064

III. First Bath – the actual bath was a real upset for little Mira, but I really wanted you to see the adorable towel picture when she was so relieved to be out of the water.

DSC_0051.JPG

Parent Judgements – I have to preface this one with my love for growing as a person and admitting/working on my faults. Before becoming a parent there were silly things that I looked at and judged, now that I’ve lived it I definitely still have some judgements 😉 but there are a few things that I have a better understanding of, so here they are:

I. Riding in the backseat with your baby – I have no idea why I hated seeing parents do this, but now I know that in the first few weeks of your babies life it’s hard not to want to ride with them. For me it had to do with anxiety about how she was sitting in the car seat. People like to say shit like “Oh just wait, the worrying only gets worst” but I have to say that for me the level of anxiety has decreased in just the last week of getting used to her. Also, I can’t wait until I can work out again (which ALWAYS helps me with my anxiety).

IMG_4233.JPG

II. Bed Sharing – I understand why it’s not for everyone and why it wouldn’t be safe in all situations; however, it works for our family and it’s so nice to get 4-5 hour stretches of sleep 🙂

IMG_4186

III. Okay, so Dave and I have been sitting here for the past five minutes trying to think of another one and I can’t think of anything. I turned to him and said “I don’t think there is a third one,” he laughed and said, “it’s just that you judge so much.” HAHA my husband knows me.

So I’ll leave you with a few pictures of Mira meeting her nonno, nonna, and grandma.

DSC_0053

nonna.jpg

DSC_0059.JPG

Be well.

 

Pregnancy Thus Far And A Week In Workouts

This pregnancy has been an up and down of emotions. At times I feel blessed that we made it through such a tumultuous time and have been able to carry this baby thus far and then other times I’m an emotional wreck, feeling guilty about any negative feelings I have towards the pregnancy and how it has impacted my body. I try to allow myself all feelings, but the guilt creeps in at times. I’ve found there are a few things that can help me get through it and I thought I’d share them on the blog so other people who may be experiencing pregnancy after loss (or just similar guilty feelings) can find solace in knowing A. They’re not alone and B. There are things that help.

1. Gratitude. One of the strategies I have utilized to keep a peaceful frame of mind is gratitude. I’m grateful for a. being able to have this baby b. the love and support I have in my partner c. that I live in an amazing city with so many amazing opportunities for myself and my family d. that I have a home e. that I have friends and family that I love f. that I have health care (fucking Trump) g. that I love my job. And honestly the list goes on and on. When I’m feeling down I start running through the list of things I’m grateful for and it really does help.

2. Healthy eating. I feel that throughout this pregnancy I have been able to eat a healthy balance of 80/20. I can’t imagine never indulging in those things that your pregnant body desires (in my case Cadbury egg, popsicles/slushies, doughnuts <–okay this one might not be pregnancy hehehe), but I’m extremely head strong about maintaining a balance with healthy foods. Here are some of my faves so far:

DSC_0075.JPG

Avocado toast, banana almond butter toast.

IMG_3665

Sauteed spinach.

IMG_3673

Savory eggy oats.

IMG_3790

Smoothie bowl.

IMG_3843

Whole foods salad.

IMG_3857

Bagel with cottage cheese cucumbers and tomato.

IMG_3920

Brown rice with Kale and egg.

3. Hydration. I’ve also been sure to drink 80-100oz of water a day. This has kept a lot of the negative symptoms at bay and I’m so happy about that.

IMG_3933 2

4. Finding inspiration. I’ve been inspired by so many bloggers in general during the last 4 years that it was intuition to start finding those who had given birth. I love reading the Hungry Runner Girl, Peanut Butter Fingers, and The Fitnessista. On Instagram I recently found Hayley Bolton’s account and she is so REAL and inspiring. I also follow Knocked Up Fitness on IG (I have her DVDs too), which lead me to really watch out for Diastasis Recti and see a personal trainer when I felt it had happened to me (Thanks Erica!). Lastly, I follow Natalie Jill Fit on Facebook (I’m rarely on facebook now but she has great videos). These women do not sugar coat things, they are women that have worked hard after pregnancy/delivery (with things not always going smoothly) and it is truly inspiring.

5. Hiring a doula. The doula has already been such a great support. I had some pretty intense sciatic nerve pain and she had some great suggestions for how to sleep at night that would help and it completely has! She also gave me an acupressure point for anxiety/sleep, and has shown me some dance moves to help alleviate that ‘full’ feeling that happens near the end of the day.

6. Working out. Ever since my first pregnancy I found that the times I felt the best were when I was working out. But this has rung true even more so during this pregnancy. At the beginning of the pregnancy the nurses/doctors at the high risk clinic advised me to keep my workouts easy (which was a real bummer), but as soon as I hit 12 weeks and went to a regular OB I was cleared to do my normal thing. I’m so proud of myself that I’ve gotten in 5-6 workouts a week and I don’t feel like I’ll be stopping any time soon. My workouts have consisted of: Body pump, Spin, Mixxed Fit dance, Kettle bells, walks, and hikes.  It’s crazy how I can be sitting on the couch and think ‘my hips hurt and maybe I shouldn’t go workout,’ but once I’m at the gym doing it my hips feel much better.

I spoke with my doctor again yesterday and she was very happy that I’m able to engage in this level of activity, she wants me to keep going for as long as I can. A lot of things change during pregnancy and if this can be something that stays consistent and can help me recover afterwards then this is something that definitely makes me happy when I’m feeling down on myself.

I wanted to share what week 32/33 in workouts looks like for pregnant Nicole:

1. Thursday, April 27th was a 45 minute spin class. Forgot my watch, so you get a picture of the bike instead.

IMG_3926

2. Friday April 28th was an hour and a half walk with Dave (prepping for Bloomsday), we got a little bit of jogging in there.

IMG_3927

3. Saturday, April 29th was suppose to be a Body Pump class, but I got such little sleep Friday night that I decided to sleep past my 7am alarm and do a 45 minute workout from Erica Ziel’s Prenatal Sculpt DVD. I love these things, they are a really great work out!

IMG_3947 2

4. Sunday April 30th (HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME) was a sweaty spin class.

IMG_3934 2

5. Monday, May 1st was a rest day. I took the boys out for walks, but kept it really minimal because my body definitely needed a break.

6. Tuesday, May 2nd was another great spin session.

IMG_3938 2

7. Wednesday, May 3rd was time for some weight lifting at Body Pump.

IMG_3940 2

My goal has been to get 3-4 days of cardio a week and 2 days of weight training, and so far so good. I’m taking advantage of this time when my body feels good and I feel like I can get out the door and do it. If there comes a time when my body says no, then I will listen, but thankfully it continues to love these workouts.

So now you’ve heard what’s been getting me through the ups and downs of pregnancy, hope it’s helpful to anyone having similar feelings.

Be well!

Baby Moon At Willows Inn

A couple weekends back Dave and I celebrated our baby moon at Willows Inn on Lummi Island and I never want to forget that place. It was extremely relaxing, the food was delicious, and it was a perfect way to get time alone together before we become three. Just a heads up that there a TON of photos coming your way, I’m going to keep the descriptions to a minimum (the photos really do speak for themselves).

DAY I

We arrived on Friday, checked in, and made our way to our room.

DSC_0190

The grounds were beautiful!

DSC_0188

We stayed in the “Cottage,” which is quite aptly named as it is essentially a stand alone cottage.

DSC_0202

In the lobby they had a bunch of snacks and beverages for guests to grab and munch on, so we made some plates and ate them while enjoying the view from our porch.

DSC_0086

DSC_0098

After our refuel we headed down to the beach that’s in front of the Inn and walked a bit. We were so lucky with the weather it was sunny the whole weekend!

DSC_0088

That night we grabbed a bite at the Beach Store Cafe (really good food – we determined that you would have to be if you were one of three restaurants on an island that included Willows Inn) and brought it back to our cottage.

DAY II

We started off Saturday with a beautiful hike. The first part of the hike included almost ALL the elevation gain, which was a little difficult, but the views along the way were worth every difficult breath. Pregnancy is so weird, you can complete an hour long spin class and not feel breathless, but try walking up a hill or stairs and man.

IMG_3886

Once we got to the top we saw a Bald Eagle fly by, it was awesome.

IMG_3894

Back at the room it was time to get ready for dinner.

DSC_0108.JPG

DSC_0120

The eating area is beautiful!

DSC_0118DSC_0121

We started off with a cocktail for Dave and a mocktail for me 🙂

DSC_0124

Then came the food…

Toasted kale leaves

DSC_0125

Savory doughnuts

DSC_0127

Golden char roe

DSC_0126

Raw scallops in raw goat milk (for dave – they were really amazing about pregnancy substitutions)

DSC_0131

Raw clams (for Dave)

DSC_0132

Grilled shitake (for me)

DSC_0133

Shoots steamed in angelica

DSC_0128

That was the last dish before heading to our tables so I wandered around and snagged some photos.

#pantrygoals

DSC_0129

View from the porch.

DSC_0123

The area where they grill/smoke.

DSC_0196

Back to the food…

Salt roasted beets with gin yogurt (for me)

DSC_0134

Raw mussels in nettles (for Dave)

DSC_0135

Lightly-cured rockfish in a broth of grilled bones

DSC_0136

Reefnet caught smoked sockeye

DSC_0139

This was definitely our favorite, and Dave was in his happy place.

DSC_0140

Grilled geoduck clam and cured pork.

DSC_0141

Charred wild nettles.

DSC_0142

Herb tostada (Dave’s had an umami puree and mine had a mustard greens puree – both amazing).

DSC_0143

Dungeness crab soaked in pinenut milk.

DSC_0147

Black cod and currant leaves.

DSC_0150.JPG

Bread from heirloom wheat and pan drippings.

DSC_0157

Caramelized sunflower roots and squid

DSC_0162

Everyone was in need of a little break so we all got up and walked around, took some photos and enjoyed the views.

DSC_0161DSC_0156

DSC_0160

We were then given a palate cleanser made of toasted birch branches, it reminded me of the spa.

DSC_0163

Quince and candied rosemary.

DSC_0165.jpg

Woodruff and nettles

DSC_0168

Pears, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds.

DSC_0170

On the way out they gave us more of their house made bread to enjoy later.

DSC_0173

Everything about the meal was perfect and delicious. We are excited to go back during a different season.

DAY III

We had massages in the afternoon on Sunday so we pretty much spent the whole morning relaxing in our cottage. We may or may not have had an easter egg hunt.

DSC_0177

After our massage we went on another hike and then walked along pebble beach.

DSC_0181

DAY IV

On our last day there we enjoyed the pre fixe breakfast that they do at the Inn.

DSC_0195CSC_0194

It started with yogurt, apple, pear butter, and granola.

DSC_0197

Palate cleanser (ginger, apple, pear, celery)

DSC_0198

I’m sorry for the upcoming blurry picture, but it was the best part of the meal so I have to include it. I think I was just so excited to eat I rushed the picture hehe.

Buckwheat crepes, sautéed kale, radish with creme fresh, bacon, salmon, prosciutto, cheese, honey, soft boiled egg.

DSC_0199

Pine nut biscuit.

DSC_0201

And then it was time to head home. We enjoyed our stay so much, but we were ready to get back to our boys and home. Such an amazing weekend, I highly recommend you visit!

Be well.

11 Years, Feels Like 2

My friend showed me this video and man did I cry after watching it.  It made me think of the last eleven years I’ve had with this guy..

IMG_0896

Charlie has been with me through some pretty difficult times in my life and I really don’t know what I would have done without him.

IMG_1187

When I first met Charlie they said they had found him roaming the streets of Seattle.  I took him to the play area Seattle Animal Shelter has in their backyard and he was totally aloof.  This was what I wanted in a dog.

IMG_2579

He was fooling me though, playing coy I think.  Because this dog has a tremendous amount of personality.  He gets very excited to see pretty much everyone, Tara always says the song that goes, “I didn’t mean to scare you, you just seemed really nice” reminds her of him and it’s completely true.

IMG_1120

Charlie was named after the dog in this movie, and while he’s really more like ‘itchy,’ I just love how she says his name, I say it to him in her voice all the time.

This dog means so much to me, I often cry thinking about what my life will be like without him. I used to get upset at myself for worrying about that, but I now know that when I cry for that (hopefully) far off future I’m just practicing the sadness that will inevitably be. Sadness, disappointment, loss, they are all a part of life. Let’s not pretend these things don’t happen, but let’s celebrate what we have right now. Knowing, that when the hard time does come, we will be sad, but also resilient.

I love you my Charlie bone ❤

Dave’s Guest Post – Running & Marching

My husband is a really good writer, and this morning he wrote something beautiful that he’s allowed me to share with the world. So here you go….

IMG_2792.jpg

Yesterday I ran.  It’s not unusual, I run most every day.  Running is cathartic, the strain mixed with the rhythm, it gives me quiet between the static.  Usually I think about work problems that I’ve been trying to figure out, sometimes I think about what life will be like for my wife and I in the future, but yesterday I thought about my daughter who’s soon coming into the world.

I ran for 11 miles, almost 2 hours of rhythmic tapping on the pavement with each foot, one after another.  In that time I pictured what she’ll be like.  I mulled over hopes and dreams superimposed on a tiny body that’s yet to feel the air of our world.  Part of the time I ran past the University of Washington and had an imaginary conversation in my head of driving my young daughter past it, her asking me “what’s that daddy?” me saying, “that’s a university!  You can go there one day if you want to.”  Then I thought about the incredible privilege that that statement implies.

I ran through the Washington Park Arboretum, I saw all the signs and markers explaining the greenery and the nature around me.  My mind drifted off to the Park Service, who is being silenced by our current government and I imagined a day that I’d be walking with my daughter through such a park, telling her that it exists because people stood up to bad people.  They refused to be silenced.

I ran through wealthy neighborhoods where I pictured my little girl pointing at the spectacles of these huge houses.  I mouthed a thought that the people in those houses, who have so much have a chance to give so much.  I told her in my mind that I hope that even if their lives are prosperous that they’re helping others who don’t have their same privileges.

I passed through a poor neighborhood, with tired houses and thought again about my daughter.  I told her that not everyone is born into privilege.  Some people have to fight and struggle purely because of their skin tone or religion.  I hoped that by the time she was born that wouldn’t be the case.

When I was done running yesterday, I got home, I changed into warm clothes and my wife and I picked up signs that said “The fact that humanity has to clarify that any lives matter, should be concern enough” and “when the whole world is silent even one voice becomes powerful.”  We went to Westlake Park in Seattle and stood with thousands of other people in protest.  A protest that I wish was unnecessary, but is so necessary.  I saw other children there with their parents and couldn’t help but think that our little girl was there with us, learning the importance of standing up to oppression.  The importance of making her voice heard for those less fortunate and those wrongly persecuted.

IMG_3540

Today I read the news, I hear people standing up, I swell with sadness and pride at the same time.  I don’t give up.  I put one foot in front of another.  I think about what to do next and how to one day help my daughter to do the same.  I hope to find the right words to make someone take pause and think just for a second that they might change their mind and respect the person next to them.  Our country is great because of our diversity, we will always be citizens of the Earth.

Pregnant After Three Miscarriages

I recently read a post written by one of my favorite bloggers ‘Peanut Butter Fingers‘ in which she discussed a recent miscarriage she had and after weeping for about 15 minutes I wiped my tears and thought to myself, “why haven’t I written about my experience?” I think  I haven’t written about it in part because there are such a range of feelings that come with this kind of experience and I wasn’t sure I had sorted through these feelings until recently (thank god for therapy).

Let me start at the beginning…

We found out we were pregnant in December 2014, after asking around for suggestions I found a clinic that had me come in at 6 weeks just to double check if I was pregnant. We got a ‘yes’ and they wanted me to schedule a 12 week appointment, but I felt really weird about waiting that long. They assured me that it was routine, but I decided to go with my gut and schedule with another clinic. They got me in at 8 weeks and I loved the doctor! When we went into the appointment we were ecstatic; the excitement quickly faded when the wand was in place and there was no heartbeat and a sad look appeared on the nurses face. They had us do a more in depth ultrasound (waiting + ultra sound took about 3 hours) and still it remained, we had lost the baby.

We were so thrown by news, sad, confused, and by that point tired. They told us we had two options: an insertable medicine to induce contractions, or a D&C. We chose the medicine because it reduced the risk of scar tissue on your uterus. That was a mistake, essentially I went through labor but with no baby to show for it. It was horrible pain, we were up for 8 hours, I laid all over the house (couch, bed, toilet) and dave laid right by my side, on the floor holding my hand the entire time. It was a nightmare.

We really didn’t even think about trying again for another 8 months after that. During that time we had decided to move down to California and try out a new chapter in our lives. Once down there we decided to give it a go. **At this point I think it’s important to mention that we have never had difficulty with the conception portion of things, that has always happened fairly quickly. I’ve only met one other person who struggled (at least openly) with recurrent miscarriage, every one else who had a story to share seemed to have trouble with the ‘getting pregnant’ part. While I can’t imagine how difficult that must feel, I found it really hard to feel like I could relate to anyone.** Back to the story, so we tried, and in October of 2015 we were pregnant again!

At 8 weeks we went to an amazing doctor in Newport Beach and we heard our babies heart beat! It was so moving, Dave and I both cried. I called my mom into the room and she teared up a bit too. Things seemed to go fairly smoothly until about 9 weeks when I saw some very faint spotting, I was told that it was no big deal and a little spotting is normal. It wasn’t normal, and at our 12 week appointment the babies heart had stopped and based on the size measured about 9 weeks. This was the 22nd of December, we had a D&C (never again will I inject medicine into my vagina) on the 23rd, and flew to see family later that day. It was a stressful time, on the one hand I was glad to be surrounded by people that love me, but on the other I just wanted to be in my bed at home curled up in a ball.

Dave took this picture of me the day after the D&C (I had to go in for an injection due to my blood type), and while it’s quite sad to look at, it pretty much depicts the way a miscarriage leaves you feeling. Sad, uncertain, hopeless, and defeated.

IMG_2433.jpg

Obviously I had grown attached to that fetus, I had picked out names, made a registry, etc. But I honestly think the hardest part was knowing that it had been dead inside me for three weeks. That’s something that never leaves you.

Dave and I are nothing if not persistent. We gave ourselves three months to heal both physically and emotionally and tried again. We were pregnant, and at week 6 we miscarried. The saving grace about that miscarriage was that it was natural, I didn’t have to choose between the horrible medicine or surgery. But still it was miscarriage number 3, and for a 30 year old that’s odd. We went to the doctor and this HORRIBLE nurse practitioner said, “So when will you try again?” I started crying and said “Are you kidding? I’ve had three miscarriages, I want answers, why is this happening? What’s going on?” At that point she decided to send me to a fertility specialist, which was something that I am so thankful for because that’s where I met Dr. Sharon Moayeri. While I had already had quite a few tests run, Dr. Moayeri sat me down and made a list of the possible reasons why, the tests that would need to be done, and the solutions for the most likely possibilities. Now if you know me, then you know I’m a list person.

We did all the tests and the only thing we really found out (which we already new) was that the second miscarriage was chromosomal, so most likely that was what was happening. At which point our only option for further testing is to do IVF, pull a certain number eggs (say 10), combine them with sperm and see how many test chromosomally normal. Then that maybe gives you your odds.

Dr. Moayeri was so amazing and kind, but during this time we decided to move back to Seattle. She recommended a colleague she studied with at Stanford who was located in Seattle and we felt really good about that.

We made an appointment with the new doctor and reviewed what IVF would look like and how much it would cost. We looked at our calendars and things just weren’t lining up, it wasn’t going to work in October because we had a wedding in November, we couldn’t do it in November because we had Christmas and a wedding on New Years. So we decided to wait until January 2017 to kick off the new year.

In the mean time, we decided to try on our own and we got pregnant again, and here we are at 25 weeks.

IMG_3780

You never forget a miscarriage, and I was nervous for the first 12 weeks of this pregnancy (and it still pops up every now and then). But what I’ve learned through this whole experience and my work in therapy is that one thing we don’t allow ourselves enough of is the opportunity to be sad, anxious, mad, or frustrated. It starts in early childhood, you fall off a bike and start crying and someone rushes to your side saying “It’ll be okay, don’t be sad.” I believe that if we just allowed ourselves to feel those feelings without shame or judgment, life becomes a lot easier to handle.

Pregnancy will never be normal for me, as it hasn’t been for a lot of people. My heart goes out to anyone who has experienced any difficulty with pregnancy, or to anyone who is in a position of being pregnant and does not want to be. These decisions are so hard to make and our society does not make it easy on any of us (especially now). Know that I have your back, it’s your body your choice.

One more thing, if you know someone who has had a miscarriage and you want to support them, this article has some great suggestions. It’s such a difficult time and everyone responds to it differently.

Be well.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: