Monday, August 30, 2010

7 Years...


7 years today, Happy Anniversary my love!

7, knew it was my "lucky number". It is this year we become parents.

7, I am amazed at how quickly time has passed yet excited to look to the future together but even better is just spending today with you!

Going into the "7 year itch", I refuse to think of sharing my life with anyone but you. Everyday we have together is a blessing that I am thankful for. You make me laugh like no one else. I smile just thinking of you. My heart still races for you.

I am so very thankful, looking back, that this is the time God decided he would bless us with our baby... Our baby will have not only two awesome parents that love it so very much but more importantly, love each other and are committed to each other thru it all! I am so excited to see what the next 7 years hold for us and beyond! {That felt a bit like Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story.......}

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fall is coming!!!

One of my three favorite times of year!!! {I could totally go without Summer and yet we are moving to Florida... How's that make sense!? Oh yes, family not weather.}

I LOVE... The smell. The colors. The temperature. The foods of fall {err, just Pumpkin actually}. The cozy feelings houses suddenly have. I love getting in the shower on a crisp fall morning and just standing under the water to warm up. I love having a reason to drink hot cocoa. I love listening to the sound of leaves crackling under foot. I love sweaters and jackets and long sleeved clothes and hats and mittens and scarves. I love everything fall entails!!!

How do I know it's coming?! Panera Bread is serving Pumpkin Muffins again and boy are they delicious!!!!!!! :-) And my toes are getting cold at night again... And the sun is getting lazy about coming up/going down again... And it just feels like Fall is coming! But I gotta say, the Pumpkin Muffins give it away!

This is hubby and I Halloween 2009 in front of this huge tree in our yard... My mom had spent a couple of days with us, err, me, as I was having a REALLY difficult time walking around with empty arms and empty womb while it seemed every other person was pregnant around me without a problem. {You know how you just have those days... This was a weekend of those days. Stupid Infertility!} This photo documents heartache and hope. To think that this year we will be so close {or already} holding our baby in front of this same tree is just wild to think about!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

30 Weeks Batman!

I've made it to 30 weeks! I cannot believe it! I am so thankful, every. single. day., for this baby and while I cannot wait to finally see his/her little face, I do not want to let go of feeling baby move inside me!

I've been asked several times this last week if I am ready for the pregnancy to be over yet? Ummmm, NO! I am savoring each and every movement, even the occasional painful ones, and watching my belly go crazy as I giggle in awe. Even when laying wide awake at night unable to get comfortable occasionally, I can't help but smile feeling baby inside me trying to get comfortable too.

I assure you, my friends who are still waiting for such a precious moment of your own, that I think about and pray for you often and it is for you and every other women going thru infertility that I treasure these moments as I remember...

I still find myself dumbfounded that this is not a dream and that we still have so much yet so little to do to be "ready" for baby's arrival! Charles and I were just discussing this- How we tried for four years to get pregnant but never really knew what we would do when that day actually happened! We spent all our time and energy on trying to get pregnant that it seemed like why worry about the after part if it never happens! We laugh about that now.

Only 10 weeks to go, if baby stays put, until our due date of November 3!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's a Girl!

{Unofficially}

:-)

No one go out buying pink or anything though. I'll explain my reasons but first I wanted to say thank you for the sweet comments in the loss of my grandmother. She is dearly missed...

Back to my crazy reasoning on Baby Swann... For those that know me, truly know me, I will do everything I can to go against the flow. I do not like being "predictable" and am a bit hard headed {yes, I admitted that}. I do not like being told what to do either... Okay, I'm very stubborn. But these are also good qualities. :-) They really are. Proving people wrong gives me motivation. I'm funny like that.

I say Baby Swann is going to be a girl because 98% of our family and friends all believe it's a boy. The Chinese Gender Predictor calendar thing says boy. The Lunar moon calendar says boy. The last heart rate measurement calculator I did online says boy. Everything, and just about everyone, says boy.

So, in stating those two things, I can't help but think if this baby takes after me at all, it'll come out a girl. :-) haha!

So what do you think??? Is baby Swann a "Carter Austin" or a "Madelyn Grace"? If you want to make it even more official, we have a baby pool going... No money, just for bragging rights. :-) Take a guess!

*And we really do not know what baby is... It's been too much fun guessing and wondering!*

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Heaven


I've shared before that my grandma was fighting cancer. A cancer she had five years ago that mutated to one that they had no clue how to fight. They tried it all. Unsuccessfully.

Friday, August 13, 2010 my grandma slipped peacefully from her body here on earth to a perfect and new body in Heaven where cancer is no longer. Pain is no longer.

We knew this day was nearing very rapidly and family members from all over arrived to spend as much time as they could with her in these last days. Unfortunately, I was not able to go be with her but do find comfort in spending an amazing weekend with her this past May that I will always have memories from. {And this photo of the two of us}
Grandma kept her sense of humor to the very end... She was an amazing women who would talk religion and politics and movies with anyone that would listen. Even as a young child, I was also amazed at her movie collection. Not because she purchased them but because she would record them off TV. I still have some VHS tapes that she gave to my parents for us kids with all these great cartoons and old classic movies on them. Those are treasures now. I'm sad that she'll never meet our baby that she prayed and waited so long for as well. I am just so thankful that she died knowing I was pregnant. That her prayers, and everyone else's, had been answered.
Every time I see the sunset over the beach, I'll think of Grandma. Every time I go fishing, I will think of Grandma. Those childhood memories that seemed to have been lost thru the years all come flooding back. I only wish I could have not let 5 years go between visits...

Monday, August 9, 2010

People get it!

I sometimes wonder if it is just the infertility community that really truly understands the heartache one goes thru when they so long to be parents yet are unsuccessful for so long. Through our four year journey, I had a handful {like I could name probably on one hand} who I believe truly understood the depth of my heartache even though they physically were perfectly able to conceive and carry a beautiful baby. I'm not counting those that went thru IF themselves... They get it. These are my heart aching fertile friends and family members. That's it.

So many people "tried" to understand. They "tried" to say the right things. They would "try" to offer encouragement when yet another cycle failed. I knew this and often would remind myself that they are at least "trying" to be there for us... It inevitably was one of these handful of people I would call to talk to after having a conversation with someone who "tried" yet left my heart hurting more with the cliche' statements.

And today I was reminded that not every fertile is heartless. Not every fertile takes advantage of their fertility. Not every fertile turns the other cheek when a friend is battling infertility. You see. Almost a year ago I signed up for this marketing promotional giveaway for Lost Stork Foundation start up. Here's how it went...

Me - "After almost four years of struggling with Infertility {and no end in sight…}, my husband and I are starting a Foundation to provide financial support to couples under going Infertility Treatments that are needed to expand their families. The tees will be apart of several items for purchase to raise money to give gifts to couples so that they can be a step closer to fulfilling their desire to be parents!"

Complete stranger - "Hi there! I came in here to try and win this package for my yet-to-be-born line of motivational tees, but reading the entries before mine I realized that a cause like Meghan Swann’s is more worthy than mine. I want to make money for my children and there’s nothing wrong with that, but if we can give a little help to those who need it more than we do we can turn this world around. I’ve been blessed with 4 wonderful children that are worth more than my life to me and I know that being a parent is the best thing that has happened to me. SO, if you choose this entry for the prize I would like to give it to Meghan so she can go ahead with her Foundation. Thanks"

Wow. I can't believe I just saw this today! No, I did not win this giveaway but that's okay. I won more. The encouragement to continue proceeding forward with the knowledge that both fertiles and non-fertiles alike will indeed bond together for the sake of giving infertile couples the chance they deserve to be the parents they desire! Oh, I cannot wait to give all the details about the eye opening event we hope to have in early November 2011 and how powerful it is going to be!!!! This just excites me even more knowing that the infertiles who are there will be surrounded by the fertiles that support them along the way! I'm soooo excited to see Lost Stork providing hope to couples waiting on their miracle!

I hope if you are reading this and are still longing for your miracle that you too will have a bit of hope that you are not on this journey alone. You are surrounded by people who are rooting for you and standing in your corner offering encouragement and lifting up prayer on your behalf! I remember how lonely infertility can feel. Those days will be there. I just hope they are few and far between!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

So pleased, it swings!

After MANY months of searching for just the right swing, I am so very pleased with the outcome!! I was rather picky with my criteria... I wanted it to plug in {do not want to spend a fortune on batteries if baby decides it loves it!} as well as swing in both the "cradle" and "swing" positions. Of course, it also needed to be gender neutral since we're still having fun guessing what Baby Swann is after all! :-)

I intended just to add the swing to our registry but when I found it on Amazon.com for only $109 {on sale!} I did not want to risk us not getting it and thus having to shell out even more money. Very few items I'm this picky on so when it was found, I couldn't pass it up!

Amazon.com said it should not arrive until August 19-20 so when it arrived early, I was ecstatic! Charles was out of town though so I was hesitant to put it together without him here. Partially because I suck at assembling things and partially because it has purple on it and wanted to make sure he's okay with that. When he got home from Jacksonville {exhausted as expected} and the last thing on his mind was to put together a swing we won't need for another few months, I decided to take matters into my own hands when he left for work today!

Jill, as usual, is the "Project Manager" as she has to be overseeing it all. She's gotten so very interested in all the baby items that are coming into our house... Guess it's a good thing to start her getting used to them now anyways.

Jack, of course, just had to be around for the touch ability factor. That's all he cares about, now anyways. haha!

And this is how we started... With the swing apart and 11 pages worth of instructions staring me in the face. Took a deep breath and started!

But only 40 minutes later and wa-lah! We have a properly working swing that I assembled ALL BY MYSELF! :-) My 20 year old "Lindsey Doll" has the pleasure of testing out all our baby equipment and she seems to find it just nice. {Although I think Jill would beg to differ on her belonging in there...} :-)

I really like that the toy tray can be completely removed as well as the hanging toys, "mosquito net", and the seat cover for easy wash ability or just because. It has the coolest light show and the music can be turned up and down or just off completely. It has a pretty quiet motor too with a rhythmic sound to it that would put me to sleep! :-)

Oh, you want to know what swing it is?? :-) It's the Fisher Price Cradle Swing Starlight Purple. Oh and the purple I mentioned earlier? It's got tough competition as their is also a lot of blue making it pretty darn gender neutral. I will proudly put my baby girl or boy in the swing!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Best Dream, hands down!

I've always been one to have {and remember} a ton of my dreams. Most of them are completely crazy but hilarious at the same time. One of my most vivid dreams from my childhood that I still, for some crazy reason, remember to this day is a dream of me dancing with Michael Jackson on an overpass in my hometown. I was wearing this crazy purple and orange outfit and Michael Jackson had on purple pants too. {I have never even liked this guy so for me to dream about him is just humorous!} See? Craziness!

Charles tells me it's because I smoke dope... I say well, it makes the dreams so neat! haha!
(No, I do not nor have I ever smoked dope or any other illegal drug)

Last night I had the best dream ever, Hands Down! In the past I've dreamed about our baby in a vague sense. Long before we ever got pregnant. Sometimes it was a boy. Sometimes it was a girl. Sometimes it was a baby we adopted. Sometimes I knew I gave birth. Sometimes I had no clue where this baby came from. The only physical characteristic I saw about these babies was that they had dark hair. {I am convinced, always have been, that we are going to have dark haired kids for some reason} Last night was different...

So I had given birth and not met baby yet or anything. I insisted I go home to sleep and would come back later while Charles stayed with the baby in the hospital. After my well rested sleep, I am walking down the hall and see Charles holding our new baby. I start bawling my eyes out. He hands me our baby and I can see features perfectly! Baby looks at me with the most beautifully bright deep blue colored big eyes. I kiss its long skinny nose and am in absolute awe of the little amount of hair, yep, still dark colored though.

I ask Charles what it is as I still do not know if it's a girl or a boy. He tells me to look at the diaper. I go to pull out the diaper to see if we have a turtle or a hamburger and he says "No, look AT the diaper". It is a camouflage cloth diaper. I assume boy? Or maybe hard core girl? I dunno and never got a straight answer.

I felt such intense love for this little human being even in my dream. The eyes captivated me. So alert and beautiful and big. Even now, just recalling the dream, I am overcome by the same feelings of intense love for this little baby still inside me. I am so excited to see if I have been given a glimpse of what our baby will indeed look like or if my imagination is completely off base!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Moving and all that drama!

Several posts back, I mentioned us moving. Not just to another house here in Missouri, but long distances... Lots have changed since then too. So here, let me clarify. :-)

Charles works for the government. The government may make things "official" but as we have learned, they are not "official" until it has already happened. That's it. The end.

The unofficial officiality {I so just made this a word!} is that Charles was picked up in Jacksonville, Florida with a start date in September 2010. {Thankfully} this has fallen thru and now the new "date" is by June 2011. He has been told that anytime between January and June, he could be going. Nice, huh?

So, what we know and are betting our bottom dollars on is that baby Swann will be delivered in Missouri at St. Luke's hospital by our Ob/Gyn {at least we are hoping on that aspect!} and we will be here for baby's first snow and Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year's! After that, who knows!

I'm looking forward to being so much closer to our family and friends back home! To have the ability for them to KNOW our baby and our baby to KNOW them. I want to see our baby's face light up when it recognizes the grandparents or uncles instead of turning red with tears streaming in fear. So although I said I would NEVER, and I mean NEVER, life in Florida God is certainly having me eat those words... Given the option of being 10 hours away versus 5 from family though with our family finally growing changes everything!

I am not looking forward to lots of things Florida brings though but I guess you gotta take the good with the bad......... :-)

So that's where we stand. Our life is always up in the air as we "wait and see" what comes about. It'll all be okay though and we'll survive. I'll update once we have new "official" information.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Weekend with the in-laws

We had a busy few days with Charles' parents here. It was nice seeing them and spending good quality time. :-)

We hit up two separate casinos (both smoke free thank you very much) and had fun watching his parents play as the smoke free ones do not have the Wheel Of Fortune game I like to play. I got my first pregnancy stranger comment and LOVED It! :-)

I got Sierra Mist (Pepsi's version of Sprite) but when I took a sip it was disgusting and I voiced that to Charles who was standing there with me. I then realized it was the DIET one! EWWW! This random lady made a comment on it being bad enough that I can't have caffeine right now that going the Diet route sucks too and encouraged me to dump it out and get the real kind. haha! I'm easily amused...

Charles had to work overtime on Friday so his mom and I did some damage baby shopping. :-) That's always fun, right?! Crossed many more things off our "to get baby list"!

Sunday I had some serious exhaustion going on! I slept right thru their departure back to Georgia and am sad I missed saying goodbye to them but know we'll see them again in a few short months when baby makes its arrival.

And now the countdown is on to get all the crap in our house, OUT! Charles' birthday, August 19, is my deadline! Whatever is still here will go straight to goodwill never to be seen again. :-)