*this is a two for one. two posts. one page.
"Hello World" - Lady Antebellum
Exactly two weeks ago, at ten and a half weeks pregnant, I snapped this photo of my husband.
We were sitting in the parking lot of our doctor's office, taking five minutes together before he left for work. We held hands as we read the two page letter our doctor handed us before we left. The letter, beginning with detailed information of our journey and ending with touching and beautiful words.
He was sending us off.
I kissed Steve goodbye. Got in my car. And just sat in amazement. Clutching this picture as tears streamed down my face.
This tiny sheet of paper carried so much significance.
This tiny baby - we already love so deeply.
This tiny baby - we already love so deeply.
That appointment was bittersweet at its finest.
The nurse shook our hands after my ultrasound. She told us to make sure to send an announcement come March and to bring the baby in for a visit.
It really all started hitting me...Bring the baby in for a visit. Send us an announcement.
Yes, of course.
Because, there is going to be a baby. We are having a baby.
After, we sat with our doctor. He grinned and asked me how I was feeling.
"Wonderful, so wonderful" I replied in between deep breaths.
We talked for a while - About the past couple years. The heartache and struggles. Even his recommendations for when we are ready for another baby.
But mostly, about where we are right now.
I tried my best to swallow the lump in my throat as he began saying goodbye...
Telling us he had full faith that this is it.
That we were a pleasure to work with and that we always stood out to him as a couple who stuck together and displayed teamwork.
And then he asked for a hug. And I couldn't help but let the tears fall as I thanked him for all he has done and made possible for Steve and I.
My last words to him were "You're awesome!"
Dammit, this whole crazy, beautiful, chaotic, blessed mess of a journey is awesome.
And that day, two weeks ago, was such a proud moment for us.
I certainly didn't graduate from high school with flying colors.
I never went to college.
But on Friday, August 31st, 2012,
I graduated. From "something" that meant the most to me...
With a sense of accomplishment. With the man I love right beside me.
From the time I was a little girl until now, at almost 30 years of age - the one thing I've desired, hoped and dreamed to become more than anything in this world is finally becoming a reality.
And it feels good. So damn good.
I thought the day I wrote about above was special.
And then five days later, on the following Wednesday, we met my new OB.
I didn't know what to expect.
I spent our first year of trying with my old OB and two years with our fertility doctor.
This was all new to me.
We arrived early to fill out the stack of paperwork for new patients.
I signed my name a million times. Poked Steve with my pen every time he shook his head at me and laughed when I wrote Marino in the "first name" spot and Maria in the "last name" spot.
And then got to the page where they ask - How many pregnancies? How many living children?
I wrote down 8 and 0.
And I smiled and even smirked a bit, as odd as that may sound.
I looked up at Steve, knowing he was watching my every move, making sure I didn't write our address in the "phone number" spot for the fourth time in a row.
This overwhelming feeling came over me.
There have definitely been times in this journey where I've been down on myself and sick and tired of it all. Times where I've thought to myself "I've been pregnant x amount of times and have nothing to show for it."
I smiled because I realized that we were sitting right smack in the middle of another wonderful milestone. We've been pregnant 8 times. But that 0 is going to become 1.
We beat the odds that were against us.
We sat for a long time waiting to be called back.
And then, the secretary walked up to us. She handed me a bag and said "Congratulations, Maria. Here's a little goody bag that we give to all new moms."
Steve grabbed it and started rooting through it. I think he was secretly hoping to find some beef jerky and a 6-pack. Instead, we found diaper samples, nursing pads and mama magazines galore.
Such a happy moment.
As was the next hour and a half we spent with the nurse and doctor.
We love our OB.
I really couldn't have asked for a better transition.
She's so caring, sensitive and honest.
And though I worried a bit beforehand if I'd be able to just be myself and click with her the way I did with our fertility doctor - I realized quickly that I had nothing to worry about.
She sat with us, went through all of our paperwork and read the letter our doctor had sent to her.
She kept repeating 7 miscarriages.
Not just in disbelief, but in total interest in wanting to hear our story.
Steve and I took turns telling her about the ups and downs of the past three years as she sat and listened intently. She so genuinely cared. You could just feel it.
I was 11 weeks and 2 days and knew there would be a chance she would try to listen for the baby's heartbeat. I discussed with Steve in the waiting room that if she asked, I would wait until the next appointment (knowing that they usually wait until 12 weeks). I had never heard the baby's heartbeat. Not in this pregnancy. Or any others.
But then without a word, she popped out the doppler and told me she'd like to give it a try.
She told us there was a possibility it was still a bit early, and not to worry if we didn't hear it.
I went to lay down. Giving Steve wide eyes, smiling nervously,
like, yeah, who am I kidding? I'm not going to turn this down.
And I swear, almost 2 seconds after she placed the wand on my stomach,
the room filled with the most amazing sound I've ever heard.
Fast and loud
swoosh, swoosh, swooshes.
Steve said it sounded like a subway.
I announced I was crying through the happiest laughter. I was shaking, quivering and must have said
That's so neat
about 12 times.
I could see Steve sitting teary-eyed, smiling. I kept my eyes on him, as we took in that unforgettable moment together. Our doctor couldn't believe it was the first time we'd ever heard a heartbeat in our journey. She kept the wand there, letting us take it all in for a while as she told me to
cry away and never forget this moment.
She shared stories of her first emotional time hearing her first baby's heartbeat.
As we were closing the appointment up, she looked up at me and asked when I'd like to come back. She told us the standard is usually in another four weeks, but that it was my choice...I could come back in two if I wanted or whenever I felt comfortable.
"4 weeks sounds good" I replied.
I feel so calm and like I'm ready to embrace this pregnancy more than ever. I truly believe this is our take home baby, I said.
She smiled at me and told me she does too. That she's happy to see me embrace it after everything. And that no matter what, whether it be I have a bad dream one night...or if I'm walking down the street one day and get a bad feeling...or just simply want to hear the sound of my baby's heartbeat -
to not hesitate to call and come in from now until the end.
I feel so lucky. So blessed, to have such incredible people to watch over us along the way.
To have such intense love from my friends and family...
From people I've never met but have been fortunate enough to get to know throughout this journey.
who has kept on believing with us.
Who has cheered us on through the good and bad.
Thank you for embracing it right along with us.
It means more than you know.
Thank you for making it feel even more real...
Though we don't know the gender yet, my mom always has a treat for the baby.
The cherries might not work so well for a boy,
but the baby will rock the hoodie no matter what gender.
My mom's best friend, Karen, took me to Babypalooza yesterday (okay, I made that name up). It was an expo and explosion of baby stuff.
(We missed you, mom. She had to work.)
We spent hours walking around.
Generous as always, Karen treated me to everything in my bag.
And then, in true Maria fashion, I cried and made her cry on our way out, as I hugged her and thanked her for such a meaningful day.
I found a few maternity jeans and tops.
And got to try them on in this fancy and high class dressing room.
Poor Dora needs a straightener and some conditioner!
After breakfast, I came home and snapped a few pictures of some of the bag's belongings...
brand new baby Minnetonkas for $4.50
a Baby Bjorn for 12 bucks. almost brand new.
Twinkie liked the baby radio.
I am gonna live in these. They make my gut happy.
And Muffin loved the baseball toy.
Last week, Steve sent me an email with a link to a huge set of baby cds he bought on sale.
The title made me burst into tears.
I'm one emotional, hormonal pregnant woman!
And I wouldn't want it any other way.
Thank you to everyone! <3
Have a fabulous weekend!