I am 1 in 3. 1 out of every 3 pregnancies ends in miscarriage. We lost a pregnancy in between the birth of Owen and Hunter. My pregnancy with Owen was so perfect and easy. He was healthy. I was healthy. I never had morning sickness or swelling. I was very fortunate! He was born in October and after we got over the newborn-shock/haze phase we decided we could not wait to give him a little brother or sister! We started trying as soon as my OB told us we could and left it up to God to bless us with another baby when he knew the time was right.
It was weird but I knew I was pregnant! I took the first test and saw a faint blue line. I waited and took a digital the next morning and sure enough, PREGNANT! We were overjoyed! We told our family and close friends (because we suck at secrets and patience and not sharing practically every bit of our lives with them!) and made our 8 week doctor appointment. At our 8 week appointment, she found the sac but no heartbeat. She was so re-assuring that it was a very real possibility that our timing was off and we were too early to see a developed heartbeat on the ultrasound. I love my OBGYN. She is a wonderful doctor and a wonderful person! She sent us down the hall for lab work and said we should come back in a week and we would know something more definitive at that point.
The next day on my way home from work, one of the nurses called me to tell me they did not like the numbers from my lab work. Everything seemed low. She called in a progesterone supplement prescription for me. She had the unpleasant job of explaining to me that if the pregnancy was viable, this would help it “stick” but that if it was not a viable pregnancy this would not save it. I remember rushing to pick up Cory and make it to the compounding pharmacy before they closed. Everything was such a blur. It felt like living in a dream.
After a week of supplements and agonizing waiting, we went back to the doctor only to have her tell us that we had miscarried, around the 8-9 week mark. Our baby never developed a heartbeat. Heartbreaking and devastated would be a severe understatement. I held it together all the way to the parking lot.
With the blessing of my doctor, I decided to miscarry naturally. It didn’t happen until about 3 weeks after we received our heartbreaking news. The physical and emotional pain was almost unbearable. It’s a pain that still re-surfaces all the time. It’s a pain that no one really talks about. I took one day off from work. One. Day. One day to deal with the gravity of our heartbreak and then it was back to business as usual. But it wasn’t really business as usual- not on the inside. What got me through it all though were Cory and Owen and the promise that God had a plan for our lives- for our little baby’s life.
A month later (just one!) we ended up pregnant again! It was exciting and terrifying. With our first two pregnancies the only outcome I could imagine was joy! But with this pregnancy I knew that the possibility of it ending in despair existed too. So I spent a lot of the pregnancy anxious and worried but also thankful! And our rainbow baby, Hunter Hart, was born on July 25, 2014.
It’s weird for me to write about. It’s sad and it hurts but it’s real and it’s a part of me and my family. I still don’t know what to do or say to someone who is facing the possibility of a miscarriage. There aren’t a lot of words that bring peace when you’re in the depth of those feelings. I tend to turn inwards. I hate anyone seeing me vulnerable but I’ve realized that letting go of what anyone else thinks and just feeling it is the only way to begin healing. There are times when I can think of it and not cry and there are times when it brings the tears from the depth of my soul. And both of those are okay.
Owen turned four on October 5! I know every parent says this but I cannot believe it! So of course you reminisce by looking at baby photos that seem like they were taken yesterday and sob on the inside! Y’know what though?! I LOVE the little boy he is becoming! He is so loving and caring! He is so funny! He makes silly jokes and his laugh melts my heart! He has the funniest little phrases! He loves to call his Dad on the phone and wrestle him for “the championship” or Facetime with Grammy and Paw-Paw (he always wants to talk about the big boy train, which is an electric train set my dad has from when he was a kid!) He loves playing outside and “fixing” trucks and riding in his barrel train with Grampa and painting and baking with Gramma! Right now he loves the “Five Little Pumpkins” song Gramma taught him! He is really curious about tornados and clock towers! He is still a cautious little boy but there’s a daredevil in him too! He likes to be helpful- it’s very sweet!
We celebrated his birthday with our Lifegroup on Wednesday and we had cake and sang and he got to blow out his candle! He got to play with his best friends that night so he was very pleased! The following night we went to Grimaldi’s which is his favorite restaurant! He ate pizza with Grammy and Paw-Paw and then got to play in the splash pad! On Saturday we went to the zoo! The weather was so nice and the boys had so much fun! We got to see the gorillas for the first time and Owen got to touch a snake! We rode the carousel and the train before we left! Owen still loves the train and its whistle! And on Monday we ate lunch and played at Chick-fil-A with Auntie Mal before she headed back to Seattle. We also got to play at Pump It Up which was Owen’s request. They played and ran and bounced! Owen liked the obstacle course bounce house the best! Owen also had his four year check up on Monday. He got four shots but was so, so brave! He weighs 35 lb 8 oz (47%) and is 3’ 4.63” tall (58%). We stretched his birthday into an almost week long celebration! All of us had a great time! Thank you to all our friends and family who made it so exciting for him!
Owen Johnny– You are such a special boy! You make your mom and dad so proud! Every time I look at you I cannot believe that God gave us such a perfect gift! I think you are so smart and so handsome and you make me laugh! I want you to always remain as caring and compassionate as you are now! You are a wonderful big brother and Hunter is so lucky that he has you to protect him, and play with, and laugh with! I LOVE YOU THIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIS MUCH!!
This past weekend was one I had been looking forward to while simultaneously dreading for months! I was dreading it because it would be the first weekend we would spend away from the boys, but it would be a weekend Cory and I would spend together and attend the wedding of one of my oldest, greatest friends! I was definitely looking forward to alone time with Cory and seeing my friend on such a joyful and beautiful day!
We spent the weekend in Austin and nearly everything about it was wonderful! The weather was gorgeous! We got to try new restaurants and take naps! These kind of things are a big deal for parents with little ones! Owen and Hunter can be incredibly well behaved at restaurants but there’s something so relaxing and refreshing about eating a meal at a leisurely pace and enjoying a second drink!
And then there was Jen and Joe’s spectacular wedding! I’ve known Jen since I was in 6th grade and she was in 7th. We were pretty much inseparable in high school and got into a lot of innocent but hilarious trouble. She is one of the funniest, fieriest people I know! She was always my big sister! We hadn’t seen each other in a while and one of the most emotional ways to re-unite with someone is when they are also emotional and looking absolutely stunning in a wedding dress, about to marry the love of their life! There were a lot of happy tears and it was just such a perfect night! We wish them nothing but love and happiness and laughter (lots of laughter!) and cannot wait to see what the future holds for them!
The happiest part of my weekend, however, was coming home to my boys! They were in great hands with my in-laws (who are so spectacular for keeping them on a weekend!) When people say it takes a village, they are NOT kidding and I don’t know what I would do or how incredibly hard it would be if I didn’t have Cory’s parents and my parents, and awesome co-workers who are also awesome friends! Hunter was napping on Gramma when we got there and Owen was playing in his room and man-that boy gave me the biggest hug! They did great and had a blast but I was so happy to get my boys home! Hunter was super affectionate the rest of the day as well! I got several hugs from him and a kiss!
I loved my time with Cory and I loved re-uniting with some wonderful, sweet friends, but oh how things change as the years go by! I am so grateful for the time we had but my heart is whole when I’m with my boys!
So I’ve learned so far in my parenting journey that giving birth to them is pretty much the easiest part. Each new phase brings an infinite amount of joy and an equal amount of nostalgia and pain and doubt. There is nothing that makes you more proud than watching your child learn or do new things. But that doesn’t mean that when they achieve new things, you won’t miss the previous stage!
We are officially out of the baby stage with the boys. Hunter is 3 months past his second birthday and Owen will be THE BIG FOUR next week which is really weird because I literally had both of them yesterday! They are both still my babies but gain more of their independence every day! And I always knew I would have a hard time watching them become big boys but I’m learning that letting go can come with great rewards!
Cory has wanted to take Owen to his first wrestling show for a while now. I hesitated. I would say he’s too young or it would be too loud, or he would probably only be interested in the first 30 minutes and up until a couple weeks ago I knew those things were all probably very true! Then last weekend, there was a little local show in Katy and Cory was convinced it was the perfect time to take Owen. As much as I wanted to say “maybe just wait for the next one”, I could tell Owen was getting excited! And off they went! Two dudes on their first dude’s night out! I’ll admit I was a little apprehensive and sad to watch them go! But it gave me some alone time with Hunter and for that I was thankful! And he’s quite the dancer now! He’s equal parts adorable and hilarious!
Fast forward several hours later and it’s really late (late for me because I’m old and like to go to bed early) and the dudes get home! I expected Cory to carry a sleeping Owen in but Owen was still awake and so pumped up! He was telling me all about it. Showing me the cool stuff he got- like his new favorite prized possession: a gigantic gold chain, haha! I was so excited to see him so excited! It was precious- his dad is now not only his hero but his BFF too! Seeing him so happy made me realize that letting go is inevitable and that in the process, my kiddos are going to experience so many new adventures. And I can’t wait to share in all the excitement!
This Labor Day weekend was great! I love getting to spend extra time with family and friends! The boys are growing up so fast that it makes me really appreciate the time I get to spend watching them interact and learn new things!
Owen is so big and opinionated! But he is cautious and compassionate too! He looks like a little boy! He loves going to Sunday school and playing with his Lifegroup friends! He still loves trains and super heroes! He thinks his Dad is hilarious! He is so helpful in the kitchen- his favorite thing to make is brownies but he helps with pancakes, scrambled eggs, pizza, and cookies too. He loves the water and puts his whole body under to swim. He’s also a fan of the beach since our trip last month. His favorite chore is feeding the dogs and gets upset if you do it without him. He’s been to three movies with his Gramma and Grampa (his favorite was The Secret Life of Pets) and likes to feed chickens with his Grammy. He also likes to talk locomotives with his Paw-Paw. And he can spell his name! He wanted to marry me but he’s been talking about someone named Sheena recently… apparently he wants to marry her now but she lives in Dallas. He told us that she burns pancakes but she makes him green beans! We were cracking up! (And for the record, little man- Mom doesn’t burn pancakes and I’ve yet to get you to eat a green bean!)
Hunter is growing up just as fast! He is also opinionated but a little less gentle when it comes to his big brother. I guess being the youngest gives you an extra bit of fight! He likes dinosaurs and super heroes too! He’ll grab Superman or Batman and pretend they’re flying while he spins in circles! He also is still really into Monster Trucks. He’s still a pretty big momma’s boy. He loves cuddles in the mornings and loves to twirl my hair. He’s still nursing but I think weaning is on the horizon. He laughs SO MUCH! He thinks his brother is so funny! He loves to color and play with sidewalk chalk! And when he really wants something he’ll say “Pwease, pwease!” and there’s no resisting! But my favorite thing to hear him say is “Momma!” He’s very chatty and I can’t wait until I’m able to understand everything he says! He’s a great eater- but he prefers fruit or macaroni and cheese over most meats. And he likes trying to escape bath-time after his clothes and diaper is off!
I think they both have an amazing sense of humor! They’re such happy boys! Hunter wants to do everything his big brother does! And Owen is so protective of his little brother! Makes my momma heart very, very proud! God sure knew what he was doing when he gave me these two!
We went fishing on our church campus with Gramma and Grampa on Labor Day. Hunter “caught” his first fish- a tiny perch that he was a little hesitant to touch. With Grampa and Dad’s help, Owen caught a few too! I’m so grateful that my boys are so close to their grandparents! They get to experience so many new and cool things with them! We know we’ve been blessed and we are reminded each and every day!
So I will forever and always sing the praises of Weight Watchers! At my heaviest I was 187 lbs! I can hardly believe that but it was true and I remember how incredibly miserable I was! Cory was working two weeks on/two weeks off on a rig in New Mexico and I would sit at home and miss him and eat like crap! I had no motivation to cook food for just myself. And then when he was home- we would celebrate with drinks and eating at all of our favorite restaurants. It was a vicious cycle for me but luckily it was one that I broke!
I joined Weight Watchers in December 2010 and while it took me about a year, I lost 50 lbs! I was smaller (and a lot healthier) than I was in high school! The weight loss was great but the most valuable thing I learned was how to eat properly. I still enjoyed beer and wine and sushi and on the rare occasion Whataburger chicken strips! Weight Watchers helped teach me how to budget my food and encouraged me to get my butt in the gym. Once I started running the lbs really started melting off! I was never a runner- in fact, I always HATED running. But one of the things I am most proud of was my progression from doing something I was bad at and hated to do to something that became easy and actually fun! When I was most committed, I was running almost 3 miles/day about 4-5 days a week!
They don’t let you stay on Weight Watchers while you are pregnant. So I had to “quit” when I found out I was pregnant with Owen. That was totally fine though because I took the things I learned and continued with them. I don’t want to sound cheesy but it honestly is about your lifestyle. If you decide to make it a permanent change and you get in the habit of doing it consistently, it just becomes what you do!
Luckily I had two very healthy, wonderful pregnancies! And life with a now (almost!) 4 year old and 2 year old is fast paced! I had given up being as picky about what I ate and gave in to convenience. It takes some time and devotion to really commit to eating well! It takes meal planning, and weekly grocery store trips, and researching new and healthy recipes and snack ideas to keep it from getting boring or feeling bland. And I’m still trying to figure out how to carve out some time in my day to take for myself and figure out a new work-out routine.
And I’m totally happy to say that I’ve recommitted! I joined Weight Watchers for the second time two weeks ago and I’m ecstatic to say I’ve already lost 5.5 lbs! Now I’m not starting anywhere near as heavy as I was my first time around but I’ve set my goal weight loss at 20 lbs. I’m so excited because I know I can succeed! I’ve done this before and I know how awesome I feel when I’m eating well and exercising, and now I have the added motivation of teaching two little sponges what a healthy family looks like!
This was the best picture I could find from when I was heaviest. I hated taking pictures and definetly never full body photos!
After we finished our first (and only!) 5k!
Maintaining a healthy weight after WW during my first pregnancy with Owen John!
The past weekend we headed out to Port Aransas to meet up with a big group of Cory’s family. They have a beach bash every year but this was the first year we have been able to attend! And I didn’t think I was much of a beach person but this trip may have changed that!
We both took half days on Friday so we could hit the road early. It took almost 5 hours to get there but it was worth it! The boys are pretty much the best car riders ever! They only got impatient towards the very end. And they got to take their first ferry ride. Owen got to get out of the truck with Cory and watch the dolphins while we crossed. He loved it!
We stayed in an adorable condo owned by relatives of Cory’s family. I would highly recommend it- Mustang Island Beach Club, Unit 113. It was super cute and comfortable and had a nice pool and great access to the beach! I thought Owen would sleep in the top bunk but both nights he ended up in bed with Hunter and me. We ate great food, drank cold beer, and had a fun time visiting with family and playing on the beach!
Owen is definitely a little fish! He loved being in the water and playing in the waves! He got to play with his birthday buddy, Ian (they were born on the same day!) and he even held a fish! He built sand castles but had an even better time destroying them! Hunter napped most of the day we spent on the beach. But when he wasn’t napping he was admiring the snack table and eating Cheetoh’s. He loved the sand and did a little dancing to the music. We got sand everywhere! When Owen got some in his mouth he kept telling me “his teeth were cracking.” Hunter liked the water once he finally got in but he enjoyed “swimming” in the sand even more. Everyone enjoyed the pool! Owen did so good floating and swimming around while wearing his puddle jumper! And Hunter liked the water too and giggled while we spun in circles!
We visited some surf shops and the boys got some cool new toys. Hunter picked out dinosaurs and sharks and Owen picked out a train (shocker!) and a rescue vehicle. And we loaded up on candy at the neatest little candy shop!
We are already looking forward to next year! It was such a fun time and it’s so cool getting to watch the boys visit new places! We crammed a lot of fun into just a few days but I am so grateful for the awesome memories we made!