Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Sorry about the rant yesterday. I'm happy to say that things are back to normal for R and I. Thank goodness! I'm SO not a fan of confrontation or the inevitable 24 awkwardness that follows. So glad that's over!

I had completely forgotten that I'm going to the mountains with my bestie this weekend for the Mount Mitchell Craft Fair! He and his mom have been talking about this for a couple years now and this is the first time I've been able to go with them. Woo-hoo!

In other news, I'm auditioning for the Praise Team at our church tomorrow night. Very exciting! I've been making music my entire life and actually went to college as a Vocal Performance major, so I'm really stoked to get back into a regular performing schedule.

I'm feeling 100% better physically today. All of the issues I was experiencing on Sunday are gone and I'm feeling good. What a relief!

Oh! And I ordered another batch of maternity clothes this morning. I found a great sale over the weekend, a lot of buy one, get one 50% off stuff. Two pairs of leggings, one yoga pants, one neutral skinny pants, two tunics, three cami's to go with cardigans I already own and a tank top to sleep in. I finally feel like I have everything together so I can get through the next seven months (plus postpartum) without resorting to men's dress shirts. Not that I've done that... What are we talking about?

So, yeah! Things are definitely looking up today. Thank you, Lord!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Three Good Things and A Rant

Three good things:

  • I accomplished a big work project on Friday
  • Saturday was a lot of fun
  • I had a surprisingly good conversation with my ex-husband’s wife last night

The rest of this is going to be rant-y. You’ve been warned. Really, it would be better if everyone decided to go look at this instead.


There was a brief incident at church yesterday morning that kind of set the tone for the day.

I felt awful all day Sunday. All through church, all through lunch, to the point where I simply laid down on the couch at 1:30 and didn’t get off my butt again until almost 8pm. My stomach ached and I had really bad indigestion. Every time I burped, I threw up a little. I just felt horrible.

When I finally did get up, it was to join R and the boys outside by the fire pit in an attempt to be social. Except, when I went outside, I saw R doing something we had talked about and he told me he would stop doing. So I asked for him to hand me the offending item, went inside to throw it away, and laid back down.

When they came inside 20 minutes later, R and I had a talk about what happened. We don’t fight, it’s just not our style, but we did talk about why it was happening, why it is important to me that it stop, the reasons why we originally decided it needed to stop, the resources we had invested to make it stop, why I am holding him accountable, and the long term impact this can have on R’s health and our family. After, I went back to the couch while R played his computer game for a while. Around 10pm he took a shower and headed to bed.

I, however, stayed on the couch. I still wasn’t feeling great and, since I expended close to zero energy all day, just wasn’t tired. I finally fell asleep on the couch around 1am.

This morning, things felt tense. I felt like R was avoiding me and I was just plain exhausted. We finally connected around 10am and talked a little bit. I never doubt that things will work out but it’s really hard to feel disconnected from your spouse. I feel like he's still keeping his distance from me and I'm too tired to do anything about it.

I’m feeling spent right now. This pregnancy, while not difficult when compared to most women, is harder than my pregnancy with Little K. I’m not used to nausea or indigestion or stomach pain. I’m feeling more worn out physically than I was expecting and it’s effecting my emotional energy and patience.

I know that part of it is Little K being gone. Another part is having the boys here.

Don't get me wrong! I love that R is getting so much time with his kids. Both are well behaved, polite, don't cause any trouble. Originally the trip was going to be four weeks. It’s been six weeks so far and they were going to head out tomorrow but extended their visit by an additional 5 days over the weekend. I'm certainly not going to argue or ask that they leave as scheduled. R only sees them for Summer and Christmas and I'm not about to take that away from him! But I can admit to you ladies that I'm feeling pretty done.

I’m just ready for life to get back to normal. I’m looking forward to a couple of weeks just me and R so we can focus on us and reconnecting. And then I’m looking forward to having my girl back home where she belongs.

The kid in me feels betrayed, but it’s been a long summer: I can’t wait for it to be over.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Not a Pregnancy Post

Man, I've been sounding pretty one-note over here. I'm sorry you guys! In fact, this whole summer I've been mostly silent except for baby making. The truth is that, with Little K gone, my life stays pretty quiet.

We have the boys with us for a few more days and the past six weeks with them have been fun. Work is still chugging along - I've been slammed the past two weeks and probably next week, too. We hit the beach earlier in the month. I made a second trip to Florida. I've rearranged the bonus room and added a sewing table. But it all feels so... well, not boring since I've been enjoying it all, but uneventful. Space and time fillers until Little K comes back home.

I wouldn't say that Little K is the center of my life but she certainly is a big part of my day to day living. True, I'm a wife and a daughter and an employee, as well as my own person, but I'm also a Mom. And, without my child around, my life feels somewhat incomplete. A part of me is missing, you know? All of the daily tasks of getting her ready for school, making lunch, picking her up, getting a snack, helping with homework, playing outside, cuddling with a movie, bath time, story time, bedtime... All of the little interactions and acts of love that make up motherhood are on hold until she comes home.

Last year, I had big plans for my summer: tackle my summer reading list, super clean the house, touch up paint, audition for a musical. All of that went on hold with my VIN diagnosis and surgery. This year, it was just one thing: get knocked up. And it worked! And along with that came nausea and lethargy. So, not much getting done this summer either.

Two more weeks. I can't wait for her to be home!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Eight Weeks: Lots of Links

These posts focus specifically on this pregnancy. If you're not in a good place, please feel free to pass it over. Take care of you!!

The storm W and I skirted on Friday in Florida:

I want to warn you that this is going to start out just a little bit complainy. If you want to bow out, I totally understand.

I feel awful today. Slightly nauseous, very tired, completely gross. My stomach is just upset enough that I don't want to eat but still feel hungry. And, when I do eat, I have to visit the bathroom. UGH. I am not a fan of whatever is happening today. Trying to focus on protein and water. Ready to feel better!

HOWEVER. I am still grateful to not be experiencing any true morning sickness (as in, actually throwing up) and to have access to horizontal surfaces during the day so I can lie down as needed. And a private bathroom rather than shared with coworkers.

In other, less gross news, I ordered a few more pieces of maternity clothing from A Pea in the Pod outlet store. I found two work appropriate tunics, a pair of teal skinny jeans, and a 3/4 sleeve t-shirt all on buy one, get one free. All told? $80 including tax and shipping. Not bad!

The swelling in my abdomen has gone down, thank goodness. I was tired of looking 3-months so early in the game! I think I was feeling/looking so gigantic last week due to being away from home and my regular hydration routine. Although I'm still wearing the maternity jeans today because I don't feel well, I think I can get back into my regular pants for another few weeks. Yay!

The two baby-related gifts we purchased to tell Little K about this pregnancy have come in. One is a countdown calendar and the other is a big sister t-shirt. So cute! We are also taking our neighbor's advice and planning a trip to Build-A-Bear for her to make big sister-baby bears. Should be adorable!

Oh! And I started a new prenatal vitamin two weeks ago: Naturemade Prenatal Multivitamin with DHA. We started Little K on a new vitamin regimen back in April that includes DHA and have seen a big difference in her attitude and coping skills. While I'm not feeling any different from my dose, it falls in the category or "can't hurt, might help."

One last thing: I've had two pregnancy related dreams! One was of getting a super high tech 4D ultrasound, wherein it was like we were in the womb with the child, and finding out the baby is a boy. The second was of giving birth to a baby girl still in the caul without pain (don't click if you are squeamish). After the first dream, I was convinced this little one is going to be a boy. Now I guess we're back to 50-50. I do like the part about giving birth without pain. Yes, please!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I'm going on a fashion hunt

The problem with having another child when your first is so much older is that you probably didn't keep your maternity clothes. Seriously, I saved exactly two pieces of clothing: a jack-o-lantern costume from 6 months pregnant and a black sequin top I wore to a Christmas party two weeks before Little K was born. Not exactly everyday wear.

I mentioned yesterday that I picked up some maternity clothes while I was in Florida. Specifically because the Macy's at Mall at Millenia has a great maternity section. Nothing fancy, as I work from home. But really cute and much more sophisticated that what was available when I was pregnant with Little K. My haul included two tunic/capri leggings outfits, one pair of skinny smooth panel jeans, two t-shirts, and a thin 3/4-sleeve sweater that was on sale.

Of my current wardrobe, I have two pair of jeggings that I purchased online last year that are far too big in the waist, so hopefully those will fit come colder weather. Most of my sweaters are loose and flowy. Several of my dresses are high waisted, so I'm hoping those will work for a while. And our church is casual anyway, so I can get away with jeans when the dresses give out. I do have to remind myself that I'm going on a work trip to Seattle in November, so I'll need appropriate clothes for that.

My thought is that, with a few more pieces, I'm set. I'd like to pick up 2 more t-shirts, 2 pairs of leggings, and 3 business appropriate tops.

So, my question to you ladies is where to look! I want on-trend, inexpensive pieces. Nothing with the sash going across the waist and tying in the back, you know? Has Motherhood.Maternity improved in the past eight years?  Do you know where to find Pea In The Pod style clothes at Forever21 prices? Help!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Seven Weeks, Three Days

These posts focus specifically on this pregnancy. If you're not in a good place, please feel free to pass it over. Take care of you!!

I just got back from nine days in FL helping my best friend move into his first house:

Way to go, W!

This morning was our second ultrasound: slightly bigger Smudge, still with a beautiful heartbeat, and measuring exactly on target at 7w3d. Thank you, Lord!! We've been released to the midwives at the birth center. Woo-hoo!

Picture of a picture, I know...

I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that I've already switched over to maternity pants. I can't help it! My stomach is swollen and my uterus has already popped over my pubic bone. My regular pants were making me feel like I was stuffed into a sausage casing. YUCK! I feel so much better now that I'm wearing these...

Still no true morning sickness but my stomach gets upset easily. I get slightly nauseous every once in a while, usually when I haven't eaten in a couple hours. The weirdest things are throwing my system off, though, so I'm trying to pay attention to what makes me feel good and what doesn't.

Other than that, I'm just tired. I'm only waking up once during the night for the bathroom but I'm so tired by the afternoon. Definitely grateful for the blessing of working from home! I can lay down for a nap as needed.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Melting Pot Family

When I hear the phrase "melting pot," I think of my home state: Hawaii. There, you find so many different cultures (Polynesian and Native Hawaiian, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Filipino, not to mention the Caucasians, African Americans, and Europeans) all living together on the islands and, get this, getting along! Hawaii has a saying: "Live Aloha." Live love. It is an integral part of living on the islands.

Growing up, I thought every community was like that. It never occurred to me that anyone could be looked down upon or treated differently for their race. Eventually, I lost some of my naivety and began to understand that racism exists; specifically, in Florida and North Carolina, against African American and the Hispanic communities.

But, and here's the thing: it was only in the past year that I began to realize that there is racism focused on Asians and Asian Americans.

Hapa Hopes and Keiko Zoll have spoken about this recently. In fact, the entire idea was first brought to light for me when Hapa Hopes touched on interracial marriage. I never even realized! For me, a white woman being married to an Asian man, or vice versa, was just normal! Something I saw everyday! Little did I know that I'm in a interracial relationship. Huh.

Keiko's recent post has brought it to mind for me again.

My husband is half Japanese. When I learned that, I thought I hit the jackpot! See, all the cute local boys on the beaches of Hawaii were hapa (half). Beautiful combinations of Polynesian and Asian parents, or Caucasian and Asian or Polynesian, but still! They were SO cute! Even now, five years into marriage, I feel lucky to have my very own "local boy."

Side Note: Let me clarify that I didn't marry him because he looks a certain way or specifically because he looks local. I married R because he is an amazing man, father, and man of God. The fact that he is also half Asian is merely icing on the cake. :-)

The point of all of this is the new baby. This little one I'm carrying is hapa, just like his/her father. When we were choosing a sperm donor, we were looking for someone who was like R. Someone with the same blood type, similar interests, life views, hobbies, and physical appearance, so it made since for us to look for an Asian donor. Now, it is very difficult to find a Japanese sperm donor. There just aren't that many in the registries! So we included other groups in our search. Eventually, we found the perfect donor who happened to be Chinese.

At first, I was calling this one Dim Sum. You know, my little Chinese dumpling. Cute, right? But Keiko's post got me thinking: was I already projecting a form of racism onto my own child? Even though the moniker was said with love and a smile, when my child heard the story later would s/he feel that it was cruel?

I honestly don't know.

I love this child because s/he is ours. Conceived out of love and born into a family that desired him/her so much that we would go to great lengths to bring it into existence. Do I find Asian children beautiful? You bet your ass I do! But that is because all children are beautiful. The worth of this child is not found in his/her appearance any more than Little K's! Our children have worth because they are a child of ours and a child of God.

Those are the values we are instilling in Little K and that we will instill in this little one. Who will, until the anatomy scan, be called Smudge.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Six Weeks: Ultrasound

These posts will be going up on Thursday/Friday of each week and will focus specifically on this pregnancy. If you're not in a good place, please feel free to pass it over. Take care of you!!

In the mean time, we're adopting a new kitty! His name is Sora and he's coming to live with us in August. Yay!

We made it to six weeks! We had an ultrasound this morning and saw one adorable little white smudge with a flickering heartbeat (aww!) measuring exactly on target. Praise God! We are going back for one more ultrasound on July 22nd and will then be released from care.

I've yet to have any cravings or aversions. No serious morning sickness either, except for some nausea if I lay down too soon after eating or drinking. I've been really trying to focus on the quality of the food I eat (lean protein, whole grains, fresh fruit/veggies) while keeping the actual quantity of calories within a normal range. After all, we're nowhere close to eating for 2. More like 1.01 at this point. My abdominal wall remembers pregnancy well and has already given up. Boo! I'm hoping to stick in these pants for at least another four weeks. Let's watch!

How about we wrap up with a quick pic of our little smudge? Although R is already convinced it's a boy, I'm trying to stay neutral and am calling this little one Dim Sum. Hee!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Quiet and Tired

I want to apologize for my lack of posting and commenting the past two weeks. After the emotional roller coaster of cycling for the past six months, it was a relief not to me counting cycle days anymore. Add to that the tired (oh my, the tired...) and a bit of emotional overload, not to mention missing my little girl running around the house verses the two teenage boys who have been with us four weeks with another two weeks to go? Oh man.

All of that to say, I'm sorry to have been so quiet lately and will get back on the blogging/commenting train.

Next stop: catching up with what's been going on with all of you!

One quick pregnancy-related thing: ultrasound Friday AM. Praying for this little one to measure on-target and to be released from our RE's care.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Holiday Weekend Photo Dump

Fireworks in the Neighborhood

Baby M Rockin' the Shades

Beach Feet!

Bucket List: Wear a Bikini to the Beach while Pregnant
Does it count if I'm not showing?

Friday, July 5, 2013

5 Weeks: Birth Center

These posts will be going up on Thursday/Friday of each week and will focus specifically on this pregnancy. If you're not in a good place, please feel free to pass it over. Take care of you!!

Well, looks like we're making the switch to weeks! As of July 4th, we are officially at 5 weeks pregnant. I know this pregnancy is still very new and fragile but we are so full of hope! I'm blessed to come from a family with no history of miscarriage and, given the spontaneity and ease of Little K's conception and birth, still have enough of a fertile mindset that I believe this pregnancy will result in a live birth. I know what a rare thing this is in the IF/Loss community and do not take these thoughts for granted. When thoughts of loss do cross my mind, I remember what I have heard so many say: enjoy every second of this pregnancy - if it ends, you will not mourn less for having celebrated less.

Because of that, we are embracing this pregnancy whole heartedly. We have been making baby purchases (even beyond the Ergo, heh). We have been planning for how to tell Little K when she gets home from FL. And we have been working on choosing a healthcare provider, even though we have not been released from our RE yet.

And you know what? We've found one! We toured the independent birth center on Wednesday evening and were surprised in many different ways.

First off, this place is NOT a spa. Upon arrival, we learned that they are a non-profit organization and it shows. The waiting room is clean but cluttered. The building is in a nice town but in only fair condition. And, to be honest, the receptionist was not very professional. Our first impressions were not the best.

But! Once the tour got started, we fell in love! The founder of the practice led the tour, which began with a 10 minute video leading into about 40 minutes of her talking about the history, P&P, stats and percentages, and FAQ of the center. She then held a 30 minute Q&A for the couples to ask questions. At no point did we feel rushed or that our questions were dismissed. She was so patient, kind, knowledgeable, and obviously passionate about what they do at the birth center. And, because we were sitting at the front of the classroom, she ended up making a lot of eye contact with us during the class. I felt very connected with her and the practice once the class was over.

We then had a 20 minute tour of the birthing rooms downstairs. Again: not a spa! But the rooms were clean and cozy, with a double bed covered in a quilt, a garden tub with massage spray just 5 feet from the bed, and a water closet with grab bars, in case you want to push while you're in there. Each room also has an "escape hatch" - a door to the outside so you can walk during labor. There are two birthing balls in each room and a rocking chair. Shared birthing tools for the three rooms include a birthing stool and a birthing chair. Their policy is to have one midwife and one nurse per laboring mother, so you're guaranteed to have their undivided attention during labor. Awesome.

There is also a small living room and kitchen near the birthing rooms and families are encouraged to bring a nice meal and birthday cake to celebrate after the birth. Aw!

We found out that this center has experience with HypnoBabies, too, which I have been very interested in. They have provided us with contact information for the woman who teaches these classes in town and we are looking forward to speaking with her.

So, there we go! Looks like we're going with the birth center. Which, may I say, is a HUGE surprise! But we're excited about it.

Ultrasound with the RE next Friday and then we'll be released to the care of the birth center. Here we go!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

CD34, 19dpIUI: Changes

At what point should I stop with the CD/dpIUI? It feels superfluous now that we are confirmed pregnant...

What is the best way to handle pregnancy updates? Should we just do these on Thursdays for the weekly turnover?

R and I had a pretty productive weekend! We completed the discovery course at our church and are now officially members. Woo-hoo! I marveled at how different being in worship felt from the previous week. Last Sunday, I was in tears for most of the service (between baptisms and a negative test, I was a mess). This Sunday, I just couldn't stop smiling and thanking the Lord for this gift. God is so good!

We made some baby purchases!

First is the Ergo Galaxy baby carrier and infant insert. The decision to do with the Ergo comes from having walked my new niece to sleep in it two nights in a row during the Florida trip. It was wonderful and mommy and baby clearly love it. And, with as expensive as the Ergo is, I knew I wanted to lock it down pretty early. With a few returns and a store credit, we only went $30 out of pocket. Score! We also picked up the diaper clutch and activity mirror I've been eying. Squee!

We have two books coming our way: Beyond One and Natural Hospital Birth. Excited about those, too!

On a whim, I called up the midwife practice I'm interested in last week and they ended up scheduling me for a new patient appointment yesterday morning. I'm sorry to say that I was not impressed. Although their midwives may be fantastic, I was turned off by the office and the support staff. It reminded me of JustMe's feelings at the OB office. While I could make the best of it, I really don't want to. This is the last time I'm doing this, you know? I don't want to settle.

I'm lucky to live in a healthcare-driven state and have access to some really great healthcare professionals. We are already researching online and I know we'll find someone we are comfortable with.

One option is an independent birth center just over an hour from our home. While a birth outside of a hospital makes R uncomfortable, he has agreed to tour the facility. The general train of thought was the fact that I knew within a few minutes at the appointment this morning that that particular practice was not right for me. Hopefully, after touring the birth center together, we will have an agreement on whether or not it feels right for us. If not, nothing is lost, you know? Then we'll look at practices with delivery rights at the three major hospitals near us. The birth center only takes a handful of patients each month so that they don't go over capacity come due dates, so our tour is set for Wednesday evening. Hopefully we'll be able to make a decision this week.

I'll save any other pregnancy-specific updates for later in the week. Feeling fine, still no symptoms. So grateful for confirming blood test at our center - otherwise, it still wouldn't feel real!