Tuesday, March 19, 2013

New Website!

I'm moving!

I have created a website that I will now be using instead of Blogger. It is Julie's Happy Life. It gives me a little more flexibility and personalization and I'm excited to play around with it.

I have already started writing on the new website. You'll find multiple pages that have specific purposes. I think that right now all of them have something written on them except one, but I hope to correct that soon.

I hope you'll continue to follow along with me and my writings!

The website address is julieshappylife.weebly.com, in case the above link doesn't work.

Have a great evening!

Friday, March 08, 2013

Surprised? We Were. Twice.

I'm pregnant again.

When I miscarried last December, I was a little surprised when Steve said he would like to try again for a kid. It made me feel better because I had worried that he wasn't too thrilled about our very unplanned pregnancy. And, it was something to hold on to when my bout with depression was at its darkest.

We had been advised to wait until after my first period after the miscarriage before we started trying to get pregnant again, so for all of December and a bit into January, we used protection. We gave it up after a month because all we heard and read about suggested that our first quick pregnancy was a bit of a fluke - the average 25-year old woman takes 6 months of trying to get pregnant and the time is lengthened as the woman gets older...and is even longer if the man is more advanced in age (i.e. old, like Steve. *grin*). We figured we had awhile.

My first period after the miscarriage never came and it worried me a little. The first part of February, I decided to see a doctor about it to see if something was wrong, maybe something the miscarriage had caused. Before I went to the doctor, though, I decided to rule out another possibilty and, without telling Steve I was doing it, took a home pregnancy test. It started to turn positive before I had even stood up from the toilet seat. I was stunned. Steve came in to the bathroom to see if I wanted him to make me a mug of hot chocolate before work. I wordlessly showed him the pregnancy stick. He was speechless for a few beats. "Wow," he said, "you must be really fertile."

Big difference between this pregnancy and the last - we knew it could end at any moment and it made us cautious in our excitement. I told my mom a few days after we learned about it because 1) I'm not good at keeping my own secrets and B) my dad and stepmom were visiting us that weekend and I was afraid I'd let it slip and I knew my mom would want to be the first to know. Good thing, too, because I did let it slip and was glad I had told her first. Steve and I decided not to tell anyone else until the 2-month mark, and then only immediate family members. Then we'd tell other people at the 3-month mark.

The thing is, we didn't really know how far along we were because I hadn't had a period. We went to the Air Force base clinic and had the pregnancy confirmed, but they couldn't tell how far along we were with the test they ran. We decided to wait to find out until our first OB doctor visit, but I guessed that I was 3-4 weeks pregnant by the time I took the test, since that's about when we had stopped using protection. And that's about when I had started to feel a little nauseated.

Yesterday, we went to our first OB appointment. I told the nurses about the miscarriage and not having had a period since but that I guessed to be about 8 weeks along, give or take. They were super cool. In fact, I really like the clinic and our doctor. We know several people who have gone there and have only heard good things. Our experience yesterday was wonderful - not a lot of wait time, very friendly staff, nice facility, great doctor, AND they are open later in the evening so I shouldn't have to miss too much work to go to appointments. Yay!

After all the preliminary stuff, the doctor came into the exam room and prepped to do the ultra sound (we'll have one every visit because our insurance pays for them). She said we were going to do a vaginal ultrasound because it would give a better indication of how things are going at this early of a stage. That lasted about half a second. She said, "You're futher along than you think. We're doing an abdominal ultrasound."

Turns out, I'm 13 1/2 weeks pregnant! I was stunned. STUNNED! It means we basically conceived very shortly after the miscarriage! We used protection! Sigh. I guess it was just meant to be.

I can't say I'm totally over the shock of being 5 weeks further along than I had thought, but there are some definite plusses. I was a little sad that I was already beginning to have a bulge at just 2 months. A slight bulge at 3 months is much more acceptable to me...my own standard for my own body, mind you. I've got to admit that after having a flat stomach for the first time in my life, I'm not thrilled with losing it, but I'm sure I'll deal with it. It's not like I'm dieting or anything. Trying to eat healthy = not eating a whole bag of corn chips when the craving overwhelms me.

So, this pregnancy, though somewhat more planned than the last, has definitely held some surprises for us. The big surprise that I'm glad we didn't get is that we don't seem to be having twins. Whew! It was so neat to see the little baby that is growing inside me and to hear its heartbeat. We didn't get to do either the last time, it was too early. We're still pretty cautious about our enthusiasm - the pain and heartbreak from last time is still too recent to forget, but it's nice to know that we've hit a crucial milestone of the first trimester. We know things can still happen, but it's less likely. *knock on wood*

In our shock of being further along than expected, we forgot to get an expected delivery date, so right now we're just looking at September. That's 6 months from now and good enough right now. We'll try to get a more "exact" date at our next appointment. AND, if baby cooperates, we may learn its gender at our next appointment - April 4!

I'll keep you up-dated, of course. *smile*

Friday, March 01, 2013

February 2013

I was so happy when February came along. January was such a cold, dark, hard month for me, that I couldn't help but be optimistic that February would be better. It was still pretty chilly but it was definitely an improvement over the first month of the year. Here's a brief overview of my month:

* Had breakfast-for-dinner at our house with Sarah and her husband and Joy and her boyfriend (now her fiance!). The food was great and the company was even better! It's always wonderful to hang out with my friends.

* Super Bowl! I didn't really care who won and had reasons to cheer against both teams, but I enjoyed the second half of the game, the delicious food, and the people with whom I watched the game.

* Visit w/my dad, stepmom, and little sister. We shopped and went to a fabulous hockey game and had a great time chatting with each other.

* Visit w/my mom. She offered to babysit my nephew for my brother and SIL for their anniversary her first night with us, then we were joined by them the next day for just hanging out. It was relaxing and fun.

* Went to church three weeks in a row! Twice with family.

* Actually felt the sun shine on my face a few times this month, as opposed to no times in January (except while in TX).

* Passed both tests I took during the month, despite studying for them and taking them while suffering from a horrible cold.

* Lost a few pounds. Of the 12 I gained the last couple months of 2012, I've lost 6 of those since January 1.

* Booked a trip to Montreal and Quebec City! We even splurged and are staying at some swanky hotels while we're there. I can't wait to be back in Montreal - it is very dear to my heart. And, I never made it to Quebec City while I was in the area, so it will be really neat to finally go there. Oh, and we're traveling from Montreal to Quebec City and back again by TRAIN! So excited!

* Started cooking again. Last semester, I was so busy doing homework and Steve was newly retired, so he started doing the lion's share of the cooking. I missed it, though it was super helpful and sweet of him to do it for me. He still cooks the odd meal here and there, like last night, but mostly I cook for us again. I'm so happy that I have the time to do it this semester. It's a much-needed creative outlet for me.

* Started re-reading the Hannah Swensen murder mystery series by Joanne Fluke. They're silly, easy books but with several recipes throughout the book that make my mouth water. They're comfort books.

* Baking cookies. Inspired by the aforementioned books, I've started baking cookies again and am going to choose different cookie recipes from the books to try each time I mix up new dough. The first batch made so much that I baked half at the time and then a pan whenever we run out of cookies. It's lasted us 3 weeks so far with a little more dough still in the freezer! I may only need to make dough once or twice a month for cookes all month long. Woohoo!

Even though February was a big improvement over January, I'm still glad for March. I have high hopes for more sunshine, warmer temperatures, and maybe a few buds popping up by the end of the month. I know there will still be cold days, but I know that winter isn't going to last forever. Spring will come!