Tuesday, June 25, 2013

10-weeks and counting

I'm 10 weeks already! Time seems to drag on a daily basis, but looking back it seems to be flying (like everyone said it would). I can't wait to complete the first trimester, for several reasons, but mostly because everyone says the second tri is the best!

I have no desire, interest, or time to do weekly update ("bumpdates") but here's a bullet point list of some random stuff:

  • I am starting to show a little bit. Still wearing normal clothes, but I admit I snooped around the maternity section at Target this weekend.
  • I've been walking 3-4 times a week as my form of exercise.
  • I eat cereal almost every morning for breakfast (and sometimes for dinner).
  • I'm beginning to have less food aversions and have actually started cooking dinner again, maybe once or twice a week.
  • I fell in love with club soda as my drink of choice when eating out.
  • I miss deli meat and eating sandwiches.
  • I will have about six months left in school after I have the baby -- interested to see how that works out. I can't wait to be done though (until grad school... ugh)!
  • I've been getting acupuncture once a week through the first trimester, and will probably do it once a month or so after that.
  • Thank GOD this is my last week of progesterone (pending the results of my blood work). It makes me super cranky and irritable.
  • I have not been sick at all (very grateful), and was VERY tired for the first couple of months. Like, dragging-myself-out-to-just-go-for-a-walk kind of tired. Just starting to get my energy back, woohoo!
  • My sense of smell has been off the chain. I feel like a bloodhound. I could smell Eric's champagne so strongly when he was sitting on the couch this weekend... it's super weird.  
  • I have yet to take a real belly picture. I think I need to start soon, but have just been waiting until I look pregnant instead of like I ate too much cheesecake. I'm not going to post them online (maybe I'll post a few, when I'm really preggo-looking), but keep them for myself and my belly book. Don't worry you'll get plenty of pictures of the baby, once it's OUT of my belly. ;)

For now, here's a picture of the little bean at just over 9 weeks. Heart rate was 174 this time! I loved seeing that tiny outline of a face instead of a blob. Such a miracle.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The day I found out

Friday, May 10, 2013.

I will never forget that day. The day our lives were destined to change forever.

The day I found out I was pregnant.

After three years of heartache and struggling with infertility -- well-documented here in this blog -- I truly couldn't believe my eyes. That faint, second line. My eyes must be playing tricks on me!

I did what you're probably not "supposed" to do when you take a pregnancy test -- I watched the fluid creep up the little window until it was all the way, and strained to see the results. It only took about 30 seconds until that second line started to show. And about 5 seconds after that for my heart to start racing.

I jumped up, didn't bother to pull my underwear back up, and ran to show Eric. This was about 9AM, and he had just gotten home at 7AM after working a 12-hour shift. I just kept saying "Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god." He was half asleep as I shoved the test in his face and said, "Babe! Look at this! Oh my god!"

Definitely not the way I had all planned out in my head to tell my husband I'm pregnant. But don't we know by now how well planning works out for me? Yes. See exhibit Z on how well planning has worked for Stephanie in the past. I mean let's be real.

At first, Eric only saw one line. I grabbed his glasses and told him to look closer. When he saw the faint second line, he said just that. "But it's so faint." But OHHHH NO. I proceeded to tell him how many tests I've examined over the years, and how much I KNOW THAT IS A REAL LINE. There is no question. The only question was if the test was flawed. But I didn't have anymore tests to try!

So, Eric apparently GOES BACK TO BED because he was just not convinced it was real. I mean, this is really how I felt too, if I'm honest. Disbelief. Shock. I texted the picture to a few girlfriends, a couple who had been pregnant, just to be sure my eyes weren't playing tricks on me. They all freaked out.

I just knew.

After a few minutes, I jumped in the shower so I could get ready and head out to buy more tests. Eric walks in and just starts talking -- stuff we both we're thinking -- "Is this for real?" "Are you sure?" "Oh my god, I can't believe it." "I'm googling it." "Babe, you're pregnant!"

Then, he couldn't go back to sleep. For the next hour or so we just laid in bed and talked about it. I can't even explain that time. He would tear up. I would stare at him and say "Eek!" He was silently praying to God, begging for this to be the real thing.

Once again, this is not really how I imagined my reaction to be if I ever found out I was pregnant. I imagined myself bawling, falling to my knees, thanking God. That's not what I did. I honestly was in shock. It was truly an out-of-body experience. I kept thinking, there is no way this journey is over. That this is it. This is how it ends? No IVF? No shots? No more waiting? IS THIS REALLY IT?!?!?

I honestly hadn't cried yet. It was still sinking in. I'd also hardly had a moment to myself from that test on Friday morning until late Sunday afternoon. I rushed off to the doctor in Orlando that day to get blood work done, which we repeated again on Sunday. Mother's Day. We told Eric's mom that day. We had face-timed with my parents the day before and told them.

The first blood test from Friday came back definitely positive. Anything above a 5 is positive for pregnancy, and mine was at 58. Then, the test from Sunday showed the level had risen to 142. This was real. The nurse said "congratulations" and scheduled me for a 7-week ultrasound with my doctor. What do you know, but that 7-week mark would be the date of our 5th wedding anniversary.

I mean really.

Could God have planned this any better? I get a positive test literally just days before we were supposed to start IVF, two days before Mother's Day, and our first ultrasound is on our anniversary. This isn't an accident.

This is a miracle.

So Sunday afternoon, driving home by myself after telling Eric's family and getting the call from the nurse, I think it sank in. I was listening to "Even If" by Kutless and "I Need a Miracle" by Third Day. Two songs I'd listened to repeatedly during hard times.  I remembered all of those feelings I had, sometimes after driving back from a doctors appointment, like I was then. But this time, I had a different feeling. A feeling that is unexplainable. Complete humility. Gratefulness. Unworthiness.

Finally, the tears came. In a wave, rushing through me, my heart nearly bursting.

The only thing I could manage to say in prayer was thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Thank you, God, for this gift. Thank you for your timing. Thank you for this journey. Thank you for always being with me, even when I was angry. Thank you for renewing my faith in miracles.

Thank you.

Sometimes all we have to hold on to
Is what we know is true of who You are
So when the heartache hits like a hurricane
That could never change who You are
And we trust in who You are

Even if the healing doesn't come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn't come 

Lord we know your ways are not our ways
So we set our faith in who You are
Even though You reign high above us
You tenderly love us
We know Your heart
And we rest in who You are

You're still the Great and Mighty One
We trust You always
You're working all things for our good
We'll sing your praise

You are God and we will bless You
As the Good and Faithful One
You are God and we will bless You
Even if the healing doesn't come
Even if the healing doesn't come

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Welcome, tiny miracle.

After years of waiting, God has surprised and blessed us with a perfect, tiny baby!
Baby Strodtman will be arriving in January 2014! ❤
More details coming soon, including "the day I found out" story!
P.S. We never did IVF! This miracle happened on it's own.