1 in 3

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.

To the lady at the beach…

Last week was National Breastfeeding Week…so I’m a little late to the party! Breastfeeding week has been going on for the past couple of years in my world! I’m so incredibly proud to say that I breastfed Owen for almost 8 months and Hunter for 2+ years. I’m also incredibly proud to say that when they were hungry- I would feed them, no matter where we happened to be. It’s not like I intentionally sought out public places to feed my babies (Okay- that might be a lie…I developed a breastfeeding bucket list with Hunter!) but I didn’t put anyone else’s comfort above my babies’ needs, because they are babies and everyone else should act like the adults they are.

I remember going to the beach when Owen was a little over a year old (his first time)! While Owen was playing and my husband and I were chasing him around, Cory struck up a conversation with the woman next to us who had a little girl a few months older than Owen. They were chatting away when the woman’s daughter runs up to her, tugs on her mom’s bathing suit, and out came the boob! Poor Cory- he didn’t know whether to look away to avoid getting in trouble with me, walk away to give the lady some privacy, or just ignore (or acknowledge) what was happening and go on with their conversation. He ended up casually wrapping up the conversation and walking back to where Owen and I were playing. Here’s the thing: I wanted to totally high five that lady and tell her how awesome I thought she was. I still regret not having a conversation with her in which I told her how much I admired her! She was doing something totally normal and natural and didn’t think twice about it! On another note- her daughter was also eating cherry tomatoes and I desperately wanted to know how she got her kid to eat such a healthy snack!

I never said anything to her. But she made an impact on me and made my breastfeeding journey with Hunter a little easier. I will say it’s never super comfortable to lift your shirt and expose your boob- even when it’s discreet and brief. I’ve always been more on the self conscious side but I decided that the needs of my children FAR outweigh any discomfort experienced by myself or any other person in our vicinity. I’m lucky that the state of Texas sees it the same way.

And only once have I experienced someone being nasty to me because I was breastfeeding in public. Of course he didn’t have the balls courage to come up to me and say anything, but he made sure I knew he was disgusted by me. And that was just fine- my kids never knew what was going on and I was surrounded by super supportive family so it was actually kind of fun to make weird faces back at him! I also decided how I would handle the situation if it ever arose again: I printed out little sheets stating the legislation that guaranteed my right to breastfeed any place I was legally allowed to be. I figured next time someone was appalled by what was happening, I would take a moment to educate them and let them know that I was protected by the law.

Oh and since I’ve officially progressed to the point of not giving two F’s if anyone opposes where I choose to feed my child, I decided it would be fun to make a list of all the cool places I’ve had the opportunity to be when one of my babies needed feeding:

 

BREASTFEEDING BUCKET LIST

  • On the train at the San Antonio zoo
  • The shark tank tunnel at the Downtown Houston Aquarium
  • Hooter’s…Multiple times (because obviously!)
  • Under the wing of a WWII era aircraft at Wings over Houston
  • A crawfish festival (this is where the guy was appalled by my behavior…because there’s nothing like being offended by a woman feeding her child while other women walk around in bikini tops) Side note: I fully support women walking around in bikini tops! Go on girl!
  • Driving down the highway (baby was buckled in, I was not. I do not recommend this but desperate times called for desperate measures)
  • Houston zoo- an adorable momma monkey was doing it too!! Nature, yall!

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Hunter may or may not be flicking off any haters! Also shout out to the best baby wearing wrap ever- Solly Baby! I loved baby wearing!

Bald babies

Hunter was born with the most old man hairstyle! For starters, he was completely bald on top with some long hair around the back and sides. And it was dark brown! We were shocked by the color! Cory and I were both blonde babies and Owen’s hair was practically white! Oh my gosh- he was so cute! He would kind of whimper as a newborn and he was (and still is- thank goodness!) such a snuggler! Moving along, before I catch baby fever…Oops! Too late!

Over the next few months that long brown hair fell out leaving him totally and completely bald. And I am so in love with bald babies! He was bald for such a long time! But it kept him looking like my little baby! Even at a year old- he was still bald. I loved it!

This weekend we checked off another milestone though. He was rocking the best looking mullet around, but I figured it was time for the first hair cut. I knew he would not be enthused so I asked an old girlfriend to cut it. She has an adorable home studio and has been cutting hair for over 10 years. She is a baby hair-cutting whiz! He fought it at first but eventually calmed down. She had him done and looking sharp in less than 10 minutes!

So he went from being a baby to a little man. And in exactly a week from today he will be TWO. I love watching his little personality develop…he’s a joker! But if we could just take it a little slower this momma would really like that!

Bald Baby

Oh hey bald baby!

mullet

That infamous mullet!

haircut

haircut freaking out

haircut calm

after

Post hair cut- Realizing he looks like a baller!

The birth of instant anxiety…

I’ve always been a little bit of a worrier. I realized I wasn’t invincible before most kids my age, but it was after the birth of Owen that things really started to kick into high gear.

A new mom has a million things to worry over and stress about. I remember with Owen it was the constant worry of him getting enough milk. It was so important for me to breast feed but I never fully trusted my own body to provide for him. I remember so many of my new mom worries:

Is he getting enough to eat?

Is it dangerous to co-sleep?

Crib bumpers or not? (Who knew I wouldn’t need to worry about this because both of my babies hated the crib!)

Will he know I still love him when I return to work? (This one was/IS my biggest!)

I never realized how quickly the onset of a million different worries would fill my head. My pregnancy had been so easy and exciting that I never thought that his arrival or caring for a newborn would be anything other than dreamy. I wasn’t naïve- it was just something that I wanted for so long that I imagined every thought would be happiness and joy (even if exhausted), not necessarily doubts and fears.

Then I kind of hit my groove as a mom. It took a while but I felt confident in my decisions and cared less about what books or random people on Babycenter forums said.

Then when Hunter was born I was like “I’ve got this!” And I did! He nursed like a champ (and we’re still going!), we co-slept (in a very safe way) from day one so we never felt like sleep deprived zombies, and I was still able to care for Owen, who was 22 months. I do remember crying when he came home from the hospital though. We pushed to leave a day early so we could get home to Owen and as soon as we got there with a new baby and all our friends and family left, I felt overwhelmed. But it passed and we decided it would just take a little time figuring out our new normal.

Now Owen is almost 4 and Hunter will be 2 in two weeks (WHAAATT!) but a whole new set of fears have taken hold. When they were babies it was mainly “Oh my gosh- how will this baby survive? I don’t know what I’m doing!” Now it’s things like:

What if they get sick, like really sick?

What if I get sick, or Cory gets sick? Or what if something happens to us? Or what if something happens to them? (That one sends me over the edge yall!!)

Is it even safe to go out? To school? To church? To walk down the street? Should I tell them about violence? Should I shelter them as long as I can?

Am I selfish if I do anything I remotely enjoy?

Am I setting a good example? Of humble obedience to God? Of being compassionate? Of helping others? Of teaching them independence from me? (Another HUGEEE one I struggle with. Why would I ever want to encourage them not to need me? Insert mommy heart sad face here.)

I could write pages and pages about my fears- rational or otherwise- that now arise almost every day since having those two precious baby boys. Some days I wake up and I can stuff them down deep inside. This works for a couple weeks until I have to let it all out some way- crying, lashing out, shutting down. Some days I wake up and I don’t even know why I had those worries or fears and everything seems good! But then something can creep up- some thought that can literally make it hard to take the next breath. That feeling of dread that rattles your bones- that literally paralyzes you. Sometimes I can convince myself that these are normal mommy fears. And sometimes I’m willing to admit I have full blown anxiety. And some days I’m good at coping and some days I’m not. But everyday I’m working on realizing that I need to “Let Go and Let God”. I like to continuously tell myself whatever is meant to happen in my life is going to happen. He has already planned it for me…and planned it with a purpose. So I can spend my days worrying about what tomorrow brings OR I can spend them being so incredibly thankful and joyful for the moment I’m in right now!

It’s hard- I’m working on it….

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Owen is getting promoted!

hunter 12 week

Yes, it’s true! Owen is getting promoted to BIG BROTHER! We found out in November that we were expecting baby number 2 and man, oh man is it hard to keep that news private! We had our first trimester screening last week and we are so fortunate that we also get a gender screening done at that time. So at 13 weeks we found out we’re expecting a BOY!! We could not be happier and are so excited! Hunter Hart Wiatrek is due in late July so this summer is going to be a hot one for me! We feel so blessed and thankful and cannot wait to become a family of 4!