Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Our Plan vs. Gods Plan

Remember when you had it all figured out? Your life plan after college. Married by 23. First baby by 26. Baby 2 and 3 to follow and be all wrapped up by 30. Travel the world, make lots of money, you know what every college kid dreams of. Well, as 23 came and went, and my plan evolved. Married at 23 turned to 29....thank GOD! Kids starting at 30 not finishing....thank GOD! Funny how my plan didn't really play out.....or has it ever really been my plan?

Disclaimer: There are curse words in this post. I only use them to really get my point across. Sorry if this is insulting to you. I also talk about menstruation...enjoy!

Most recently, my plan was to nurse Raleigh boy until he was a year old. That plan dried up around mid June. A few weeks before his birthday. It was a process I thought would be dramatic and heartbreaking for both of us but honestly I was ready and he was ready. I was working a summer school program and exhausted! I would look at my breast pump during my 30 minute lunch break and physically cringe. At eleven and a half months the boy wanted cow's milk from a sippy cup. Fine with me. I wanted to get rip roaring drunk and float the river! Done and done, with Fourth of July right around the corner I was ready to have my body back!! Or that was my plan at least. The beginning of July found me sprawled out on the side of a neighbors pool with a stomach bug. A bug that rocked me to the core. I could not eat, drink, get out of bed for what felt like three months. This parasite took me well below pre-pregnancy weight to 90 lbs. Yes NINETY!! Dig out the Reed Middle School cheer uniform, it would have fit!

This bug sent me onto an emotional roller coaster of stress, guilt, and fear. This is no ordinary stomach bug folks..................this is a baby bug:)

How the hell did this happen?!?!?

Yes friends, we are having another baby! My stomach bug was no bug at all. I am pregnant! And no it didn't take me 3 months to figure it out. It took me staring at my dinner plate and feeling ravenous and not being able to take one bit. I turned to Mr. R and said "Will you go get a pregnancy test? I mean, just go to the dollar store, there is no possible way I am pregnant. I'm still nursing and I haven't had a period but just in case....just so I can drink on the 4th, go get one. Like, right now." Blank stare from across the dining table. "I'm not going to buy you a pregnancy test from the dollar store."

After I took the test (and in disbelief took the second...I totally understand why they sell them in twos), And PS it did not take 3 minutes for that second line to appear. I kept looking at the box and actually shook the "pee stick" like a thermometer trying to re-set it! I came out of the bathroom in total shock. Happy tears mixed with scared tears. Raleigh boy was not even a year old. Our plan was to have our kids close but not this close! Our plan was to get pregnant in November so I could take full advantage of my maternity leave and summer break...not MAY??? Question mark there because we in fact had no clue when this child was conceived! Our plan was to have a few friends catch up with us in the baby department. Our plan was to vacation in England over Christmas break and party the night away in upcoming wedding parties. Our plan was was was...Never our plan at all!

God was laughing so hard when we were making all these "plans". Knee slapping, belly holding, can't catch your breath laughing.

So there you have it. Baby number two is on the way. It's been a weird couple of months. A lot of shock, I lot of feeling like crap, and a lot of this baby really going to happen moments. The last two weeks specifically have been emotional and all around unsettling. After a very routine 17 week check up everything seemed to be on track so I decided to tell my boss, Raleigh's teachers, and a few people from work. Mainly because I am showing!! I am always so timid to start telling people because anything can happen. Anything! At any moment this pregnancy could just poof, be gone.

SOOOO two days after I break the silence I get a call from the doctor's office saying they had my lab work back and to call them asap. I didn't really find this weird but looking back they usually leave a voice mail saying everything is ok. I called back and they put me on hold and then the phone with the doctor. The freaking DOCTOR!!!  I was so flustered when he got on the phone and said "Allison?" I answered "Yes, Ma'am". Something was wrong. To sum it up, a routine triple screen blood test came back wacky and he wanted to do another test the following day. In case you don't know....

Triple Screen Test:

The triple screen is measuring high and low levels of AFP and abnormal levels of hCG and estriol. The results are combined with the mother’s age, weight, ethnicity and gestation of pregnancy in order to assess probabilities of potential genetic disorders.

High levels of AFP may suggest that the developing baby has a neural tube defect such as spina bifida or anencephaly. However, the most common reason for elevated AFP levels is inaccurate dating of the pregnancy.
Low levels of AFP and abnormal levels of hCG and estriol may indicate that the developing baby has Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome), Trisomy 18 (Edwards Syndrome) or or another type of chromosome abnormality.

That all makes sense right? I am sitting there on the phone listening but not listening. Trying to seem calm in front of a class of 9th graders...

This was me on the outside. Uh huh. Sure. Ok. Did you say (whispering) Downs? uh huh. Well definitely not an amnio. Ok. So what's a small percentage? Uh huh. (Fake smile to the class) Sure, tomorrow works. (Giving the finger to mouth "shhhh" sign to my students followed by a thumbs one is even looking at me). Two weeks for the results? Is that normal? Ok. Sure. Alrighty then. Bye.

This was me on the inside. WTF!?!?!?!
I'm panicking. I'm panicking. This is what a panic attack feels like. Or am I having a heart attack? Don't cry in front of these kids. Shit, I need to tell Scott. He's going to panic. Stay calm. Small chance. Downs? I got this. Internet....whoa, never mind. That percentage is not that small. I'm no math genius but I hate those odds! What is going on??? I'm too young for this shit! Oh wait, I'm not that young. Panic. Panic. Nervous swaying. Could everyone just be quiet for one second? Thank you! (fake smile). Don't throw up. Shit!

I was so dizzy, no other word to describe it, when I went back to the doctors office and I didn't even ask them any questions. I just gave the blood and left. It was like if I wasn't there, in the office, this wasn't happening. This is how I normally role with stressful situations. Avoidance! The following day after getting on the internet I fell into a puddle of tears on the couch. The I'm cool, I'm not stressed about abnormal chromosomes facade crumbled.

It took about 72 hours to finally exhale. There was nothing I did or didn't do to cause this, except get pregnant. There was nothing I could do to prevent it. All we could do was wait. And after the results were back start planning for whatever played out. I wasn't worried about Downs I was worried about loosing the baby all together. And the worst scenario of all....thank you internet...was to carry the baby to term, deliver, and live in a hospital for a year with an infant hooked up to machines. This scenario I'm sure happens everyday. It was a weird, emotionally complicated two weeks. My prayers were not to change anything, my prayers were for God to guide us down the right path. Whatever cards were dealt we would play.

After the results were back I called the doctor's office and without any change in the voice of the receptionist she read the results. Low risk. 1 in 10,000 chance of chromosome abnormality. I asked if there was a "no risk" box and she said no. Relief. News that should never be given over the phone by a receptionist but delivered on an over sized cookie cake by Santa himself! Oh relief...sort of.

I have said it once and I'll say it again. We are so unbelievably blessed. I know there are women out there who pray every moment of the day to feel morning sickness. And my heart breaks for them. This is a child we are/were not promised and we realize it now more than ever. Every pregnancy is a miracle! Every child born is a double miracle!

Thank you God for giving us this oppoturtunity to be parents again. This is the best, most rewarding job we have ever had. We will do everything in our power to show his baby that they are loved everyday. We will not let you down and we will not let this baby down. 

And now half way to the finish line we are finally settling in to the idea of a family of 4. I am finally feeling good enough to joke about feeling like dog crap for the past 15 weeks. So here we go.....

First pregnancy vs. Second pregnancy
- Puking almost everyday until 15 weeks ish vs. Dry heaving and horrible food aversions until 18 weeks ish
- Horrible heartburn vs. No heartburn...yet
- Big boobs vs. NONE!! I'm too skinny and Raleigh sucked me dry....I miss you boobs!
- Emotional crazy woman vs. Emotional totally rational all the time woman
- M&Ms, fried eggs, cottage cheese vs. Spaghetti, gummy bears, mint chocolate chip ice cream, turkey sandwiches....and champagne...and donuts!
- Nervous about every pregnancy milestone vs. Really nervous about every pregnancy milestone
- Tummy really popped about 22 weeks vs. Tummy popped at 18 weeks
- Tired vs. Completely and utterly exhausted down to my toe nails
- Acne vs. No acne
- Nursery design planned vs. Nursery complete....we are moving Raleigh into a big boy room which I haven't started so new baby gets a hand me down room that is just a little bit worn.
- Had a dream about a sonogram and a scrotum:) vs. no baby dreams yet:(

And all the disgusting things that happen to your body while your pregnant happen again, but sooner, and grosser! The veins are bigger and bluer and everywhere! So glamorous! Well there you go world. Baby number 2 will hopefully hold out and make his or her appearance mid February. We are having another was too much fun the first time not to have another one!

Here is the one and only belly shot of this pregnancy. Raleigh seems pretty excited....or he has no clue! There are not enough filters in the world to hide to exhaustion on my face so here I am in all of my pregnant unfiltered glory!!!

20 weeks! Super awkward bump shot!
Happy Baby #2!!