Hi, Sprout!!

Baby Sprout is here! He arrived July 12– 8 days AFTER my due date– at a whopping 9 lbs 5 oz. I’ve been writing our birth story and I will post that soon… It’s been really hard to get through, though. It was definitely traumatic for me, both emotionally and physically.

welcome, sweetie!

welcome, sweetie!

So here we go again, on this NFP journey. They say that for the first 56 days post-partum, if you exclusively breastfeed, you are infertile. Well, we are coming to the end of that little grace period and I have to say… I’m terrified. I’m terrified that I will get pregnant again immediately. Just coming off being pregnant, and after such a hard pregnancy and delivery, I am very much NOT ready. So we will be extremely careful– as careful as possible– but the whole point with NFP is that we are trusting God’s will for our family. We know from first hand experience that if we are meant to be pregnant, we will be pregnant. Like I said… Terrifying.

There is one great comfort to me, though, and that is our little love, Thaddeus. He is the living proof that God’s plan is good. He is living proof that God’s plan is more beautiful and wonderful than I could ever imagine. So even though it is the hardest thing, here we go again, trusting God’s plan.

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Ignorance is not bliss

As if God heard our prayers, and decided “today, I’ll give them mercy”, we are–miraculously–still pregnant. My doctor, who is fully trained in high-risk and endometriosis pregnancies, told me that she had no idea why I was bleeding. And she had no answer. She did all the tests she could, and could see no reason why it was happening. Call me crazy, but when science can’t explain why there is still a baby in my belly, I call it a miracle.

I have a friend who got married about 2 months before me and got pregnant immediately. And I remember thinking, damn. That must be REALLY hard– being a newlywed AND being pregnant– I’m so glad we’re waiting. But the funny thing is that now I think it is such a huge blessing. That we got pregnant after 3 months. There is this side of my husband that I had only glimpsed before we were pregnant. A side that is extremely and inexplicable giving and generous and selfless. At the risk of sounding like a brat, he does everything for me. He brings me juice in the morning, and my medicines at night. He makes the bed and does the dishes and cooks me dinner. I’m feeling better now, but for a while there I couldn’t do anything, other than go to work and sleep. And you know what? Despite how I totally doubted him, he picked up the slack. Times a million. And it makes me love him so very much. It makes me feel his love all day, everyday. Amazing how pregnancy really does bring a couple so much closer. Someone kick me in the shins, I keep forgetting God has a plan.

oops… we’re pregnant!

At the end of September, I had the first of two surgeries for my endometriosis. It wasn’t anything major– just a laproscopic exploratory surgery to confirm and map out the disease. Welp, my body didn’t think this was so trivial. In fact, it went full on nuts and decided to have a totally wacky cycle. I thought I ovulated super early, while having menses, but then I wasn’t sure, and then I thought that I was double peaking. So… sex was hard to come by. We were constantly nervous if I was ovulating without presenting the right signs, etc. And then ONE day, ONE time I had 10K (Clear, stretchy). The next day, I was dry. And here is the other thing… my second surgery was fast approaching, after which we wouldn’t be able to have sex for SIX WEEKS. no bueno. So that dry day… we took a chance. We didn’t realize we should have been “counting three“, because I had never encountered this experience of one solo day of peak-type mucus. (This would have been super easy to check… by flipping my chart over and looking up what to do….but again, we were very aware that we were about to have no sex for six weeks.) So we blissfully ignored the signs (somewhat) and did our thing.

Shortly after, I started worrying. So I took a picture of my chart to my Creighton practitioner and got and email back asking, “Did you intend to use a day of fertility?” OOPS. No- we didn’t. Anyway, I still kept trying to tell myself that I wasn’t pregnant. But I knew. I took a pregnancy test the Monday before surgery (which was on Friday) and it was… NEGATIVE! We did a quick high-five and went out a got and beer.

Friday rolled around– after weeks of preparing at work to take OFF for 2 weeks to recover– and I was more worried than before. I didn’t really believe the pregnancy test anymore and my boobs were getting bigger. I still hadn’t missed a period (this was all within a month) but I just knew. I told my nurse that I thought I was pregnant as she was taking my blood. Right before they were going to knock me out, Ford came back to give me a quick kiss. That’s when the nurse walked in with my blood tests. “I’m pregnant, aren’t I?” “Yup.”

So… we’re pregnant. We are terrified, scared, and I have to admit, angry. At ourselves, at the world, at fate, at Creighton. I am honestly in disbelief that this actually happened, considering the odds. But I have to accept that this is the way our lives were planned to be. So with that I find a little comfort. I’ve been praying for peace and for a softening of heart. Pray with me?

Getting creative

When Ford and I FIRST got married (I’m talking first 5 days, here), we were fertile, and therefore spent our wedding night being…creative. I was sincerely sad; I had looked forward to that night since I was about seven years old. Weird, maybe. But totally true. I was thankful that I had planned on that happening (I had an inkling that’s how things would pan out). But it still stung. And I spent the morning of my wedding sobbing to my older sister.

I had a friend tell me, “Just so you know: things get pretty crazy there toward the end (we had sooo many things just totally go wrong) and you might feel like someone is doing it intentionally. It is on purpose! I really think that the devil hates marriage and married couples, so he’ll try to get you two to lose your cool. Just hang tight and keep praying and hold onto each other.” That was the absolute best advice I ever received. Because when we became fertile the DAY OF the wedding, it definitely felt intentional. It felt like an attack or a curse.

Things can be really hard with Creighton. But the good that comes from being totally honest with my husband, from being disappointed and excited together, from feeling confidant that (in this little slice of our life) we are absolutely doing God’s will…. that definitely outweighs the hard.

And when it came time for our vows?

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Nothing else mattered.

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The swing of things

We’ve been married for two months now, and making love is still really painful.

I had a small surgery 5 days ago, in which they discovered (in a quantifiable way), that I have endometriosis. In a twisted way, this gives me hope. I know that some of the pain will go away once I have the second surgery to remove the endometriosis. But I’m know that isn’t the entire picture.

No matter how many people warned me that the first year of marriage would be hard, it is human nature to believe that my marriage will be different. And there is a certain type of pressure that comes when you marry young. Most of your friends have no idea what marriage is actually like and assume, like I assumed, that it would be full of relaxing time together and lots of great sex. So it can be really tough when it is so much more complicated than that. It is very tempting to see myself as a failure. I know, in my head, that I am not. But how do I keep that attitude in my heart?

A Honeymoon while Ovulating

I’ve thought about starting this blog for a while. But a blog about fertility and sex and married life? Sounds pretty scary to do so much soul-bearing on the internet. But then again… I’ve got a lot to say.

I’ve been dreaming about my wedding night and subsequent honeymoon since I was in middle school. If I’m honest, probably before that. So what happens when honeymoon falls on your first day of fertility? I’ve waited (patiently, I might add) to have sex for 23 years. Am I honestly expected to wait on my wedding night? On my HONEYMOON?

In my opinion, a honeymoon is for two things: relaxation and sex. The closer the wedding gets, the more I begin to understand why this time-honored tradition was created. Weddings are freaking stressful! There is an immense amount of planning, prepping and partying. Seriously– there are like 6 parties before the big day. So by the time it is all over, you need a break. You need to do some deep breathing and re-claim your pre-wedding self… the one who wasn’t always on her computer researching flowers, cake and lace. You miss that girl, don’t you?! I know I do. And your sweetie probably misses her just as much. So a honeymoon is a time when you get to remember what it is like to be relaxed… and to get to know your new husband in an undivided kind of way. Sounds magical.

The other reason for a honeymoon is quite universally clear: sex. Whether you’ve been having it since you were 16 or you have never had it at all… the honeymoon is a time to get to know your spouse’s body. Sex is in the top 3 reasons for divorce (up there with money and in-laws). So, from my understanding, it is a really important part of the marriage. A honeymoon is a time when you get to escape from the world, guilt-free, and get jiggy with your best friend as many times as you like.

Here is the issue: my fiancee and I aren’t ready to have a baby… yet. We want to wait, say, 3 years. We’re young! To me, it seems that to forego sex on a honeymoon is a disrespectful and twisted way to start a marriage. To my soon-to-be husband,he thinks that having sex while ovulating is asking for a baby… which we aren’t asking for just yet. Is it imprudent to have sex when you aren’t ready (even if it is on your honeymoon)? Is it disrespectful and irreverent to not have sex on a honeymoon? Right now, I don’t know. What do you think?