Almost Finished with the New Kitchen – Photos!

The new kitchen is almost done! All that is left is:

  • install under cabinet lighting
  • install flooring (entire house!!)
  • wire island for electrical
  • vent piping for hood over stove
  • apply a few more coats of polyurethane on the island

Aside from the flooring, this is the basic idea for how it will look. I think my favorite features are the faucet, the marble counters and the walnut island.

Our new hardwood floors are an ongoing nightmare. Due to problems in milling the wood, our original installation date of April 29 has been delayed until mid-June (if we are lucky). Meanwhile, we are sort of getting used to living in a disaster zone (think no floor and no furniture).🙂

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Fancy New Oven… Now We Just Need a Bun!

Hi Everyone! It’s so good to be back. I’ve been crazy busy with the remodel and with work. I’ll start the update with news on the remodel and then I’ll move onto our trying to conceive journey.

The remodel is in full-swing. Here is the progress we have made so far:

  1. Paint existing cabinets – DONE!
  2. Install 1 small end cabinet to enclose trash can – DONE!
  3. Replace tile counter tops with 3cm Calacatta Carrara marble – DONE!
  4. Replace kitchen island with one that has more storage (we don’t have a pantry). New kitchen island top will be walnut.
  5. New Wolf 36″ Gas Range (yee hah!) – DONE! We ended up going with a 30″ range to save money and to prevent re-configuring the cabinets. I am so glad we did. The 30″ range is plenty big enough and my cabinet space is precious.
  6. New 3″ x 6″ white subway tile back splash. – not started!

Now, all we have left is installing the new island, making the island top, and putting down new floors. All of the design decisions have been made. All of the contractors have been chosen. All of the materials have been ordered. Seems like the end is in sight. Phew!🙂

As for trying to conceive, I have big news. First, we are officially trying this month! It is our first month of unprotected sex since I found out that I miscarried in December and I had my D&C in January.

Thanks to a lovely group of ladies on babycenter.com, I have also started charting and temping. At first, I was very reluctant to chart and temp, as I was concerned that it would turn me into a crazy baby making lady. The other ladies convinced me that it is a great way to learn more about your body and to be more aware of your natural fertility cycle. Boy, were they right! I spent three evenings while Dan was in Miami furiously studying up on the ins and outs of the female body. With the help of Fertility Friend’s free online course, I am a charting expert!

Let me tell you, Ladies, I was shocked and embarrassed at how little I knew about my own body. Taking the fertility friend course truly changed my life. I am in awe of the complex symphony that happens inside of us every month. So many pieces have to fall into place just perfectly for us to conceive. Yet we do! Often! I feel so proud to be a woman and so honored to have been given this marvelous ability to create life. I highly recommend the course to everyone. It is a time commitment of about 5 or 6 hours, but it is time well spent. After all, now that I understand my body’s cycle, I will be able to better plan for having children (or not) in the future. It is truly a wonderful gift. Thank you Fertility Friend!

Now onto the nitty gritty: There are three big events in the fertility world: 1) getting your period, 2) ovulating, and 3) testing to see if you are pregnant. Each time you start your period, you start a new graph, or cycle. The first day of your period is cycle day 1 (CD1). Your cycle continues until you have your next period, which starts a new CD1.

I got my period on Friday, February 25th. After your period stops, you then begin to look for signs of ovulation. You can observe ovulation through taking your basal body temperature (BBT), your cervical mucous (CM), and by using an ovulation predictor kit (OPK). Based on my BBT and my CM, I ovulated on March 10th (CD14). I will be able to test to see if I am pregnant on Sunday, March 27th. Let me tell you ladies, it is a long wait!

Regarding the wait… women deal with this differently. Advances in testing technology mean that we can detect a positive pregnancy very early, even as early as 5 days prior to your period. Many women are anxious to know if they are pregnant and therefore begin testing days before their period is due. Sometimes this results in a positive pregnancy test, but sometimes it results in a negative test even when you really are pregnant. My personal preference is to wait until at least the date that my period should have started before testing. That way, if I get a negative result, I can be sure that I am really not pregnant. Again, it is personal preference, and everyone is different.

So… the plan is for me to test… in 11 days! Jeez, the wait is killing me already!

Posted in House Remodel, Moving on After Miscarriage | 2 Comments

Lesson #1: Patience is a Virtue

I am back. Life is good.

February seems to be a time of waiting (not my forte). I am waiting for the final bids and photos to get the kitchen and flooring projects started. I am waiting for my back to heal up so that I can start moving freely again. Most importantly, I am waiting for my menstrual cycle to regulate so that Dan and I can start trying to conceive again. We were told that we could begin trying after only one menstrual cycle.

To my surprise (and delight!) I got my period very soon after the D&C. My OB told me that I would get my period between 4-6 weeks, but I got mine only 2 1/2 weeks after the surgery. I attribute this to the fact that I had already passed most of the pregnancy with the misoprostol in late December. Unfortunately, because my period came so soon, I have opted to wait an additional cycle to begin trying to commit again in the hopes that my uterine lining will have sufficient time to rebuild itself and make a nice warm nest for the little egg.

In the meantime, this remodeling project has been so enjoyable. I have been having a wonderful time selecting flooring, tile, paint, and mostly marble slabs for our new counter tops. When I first found out that I was pregnant in October, we put our remodel plans on the back burner for fear that paint and floor finish fumes would be harmful for the baby. Now that we have a little time before we start trying again, the remodel has been a welcome and wonderful diversion. Here is a list of our projects:

Kitchen:

  1. Paint existing cabinets
  2. Install 1 small end cabinet to enclose trash can
  3. Replace tile counter tops with 3cm Calacatta Carrara marble
  4. Replace kitchen island with one that has more storage (we don’t have a pantry). New kitchen island top will be walnut.
  5. New Wolf 36″ Gas Range (yee hah!)

Floors:

  1. Replace virtually all flooring (1300 sq ft) with Oregon white oak wood floors

Here is a slideshow of the pre-construction photos. Stay tuned for work in progress photos as we break out the sledgehammers!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/27773501@N04/sets/72157626018818464/with/5434018326/

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Now What?

It has been a hard few weeks since my last post. On December 23rd, I took my first round of misoprostol. It was a long night of cramping and bleeding, but I did pass a lot of tissue. I was hopeful that my follow up ultrasound would confirm that all of the pregnancy tissue was gone and that my uterus looked clean.

The ultrasound showed that, despite passing the gestational sac, I still had some pregnancy tissue remaining in my uterus. I decided to try one more round of misoprostol before surrendering to a D&C. The second round of misoprostol was ineffective. I had some mild cramping but no bleeding. I felt defeated and resentful that I had to have a D&C. My body had failed to eject the pregnancy for almost seven weeks and each day my risk for infection increased. Why couldn’t I move forward naturally without medical intervention?

On Monday, I went to St. Charles Hospital for a D&C. The hospital visit was difficult emotionally. The operation took place in the same wing of the hospital as the family birthing center. I waited in the lobby prior to surgery with grandparents to-be, beaming with anticipation of the new babies being born just down the hall. My surgery was scheduled for 1pm, but I waited, strapped to the hospital bed and hooked up to an IV for four hours while the OB on call tended to women that were pushing live babies into the world.

I requested to have the procedure without general anesthesia. The anesthesiologist’s reaction was one of shock and disapproval. He asked me what I was “scared of” and was clearly not open to the idea. By this point, I was simply worn out. I was beaten. I didn’t want to argue. “I’ll just do what everyone else does,” I said.

The procedure itself was very quick and non-eventful and lasted about 20 minutes. I recovered for about an hour before being released. I had no cramping and only minor drowsiness from the anesthesia. I was able to eat dinner that evening. It is now Sunday (six days later), and I have almost no bleeding now.

To my surprise, the real pain came Tuesday, the day after the D&C. I realized that I had spent the three weeks since finding out about my miscarriage managing medical options. Now that there was nothing else to “do”, the reality of the loss set in. This was it. I didn’t have a next move. It was over.

On Tuesday I spent most of the day fighting back tears. My hormone levels must have plummeted because I woke up with severe fatigue and headache. It was all I could do to get out of bed in the morning. When I did, the world seemed bleak and hopeless. I spent most of the day on the couch. On Wednesday, I had to go into work for a meeting. I felt equally tired and achy. A bag of frozen peas reduced the swelling on my puffy eyes enough to make me feel somewhat less self-conscious about my appearance. I could not manage makeup or hair. Everyone at work knew that I had been pregnant, and most knew that I had miscarried. One sweet woman did not know and made a happy comment about how I would soon be a mommy. It was painful and awkward to tell her that I had miscarried, especially since there were several people standing there, but she handled the news very well and the conversation soon moved on.

Only in the last two or three days have I started to feel better again. I have resumed an exercise routine, a huge huge help. It is difficult most mornings to “get going”, and find that if I can force myself to exercise, it creates a momentum that carries me through the rest of the day. Honestly, if I can just keep going, it has been a good day. Here are the little things, although small, feel like huge accomplishments:

  1. made vegetable beef soup from scratch
  2. washed my car inside and out
  3. went to Home Depot
  4. went to Joann’s to pick upholstery fabric
  5. vacuumed the entire house
  6. went to book club
  7. went to Michelle’s house for coffee
  8. picked up dog poop in the backyard

Granted, this is not a lot of activity for six days, but believe me, every time I completed one of these small feats, I felt like I was one step closer to feeling like myself again. Hey, when picking up dog poop makes you proud of yourself, you know you must be near the bottom, right?🙂

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Misoprostol – Bleeding, Cramping and What to Expect

After finding out that I had a missed miscarriage (blighted ovum), at 12 weeks, I decided to take misoprostol to help my body get rid of the fetal tissue.

Many women miscarry naturally. My baby stopped developing at seven weeks. At 12 weeks, I still had no signs of miscarriage, and my doctor felt that I was at risk for infection if I did not pass the pregnancy tissue soon. My options were: 1) do nothing – I may miscarry naturally, 2) have a D&C, otherwise known as dilation and curettage, an operation to manually remove the tissue from my uterus, or 3) take medication called misoprostol to urge my body to miscarry.

I found it difficult to find other women’s experiences with taking the drug, so I thought I would share my story to help others who may be in a similar situation.

Here is my experience:

11:30 am – I insert 4 misoprostol pills vaginally (total of 800 mcg). I am told to expect cramping and bleeding to start in 2 – 8 hours. The OB did warn me that the misoprostol is ineffective for about 30% of women with a blighted ovum (like me). I am concerned that I will be one of the 30%.

1:00 pm – 5:00 pm – I have some light cramping and very minimal spotting. I try a lot of things to “jump start” the misoprostol process. I walk up and down our stairs countless times. I ride our stationery exercise bike. I relax on the couch. I take a warm bath.

5:00 pm – I am getting discouraged. Since 1pm, I have had minor cramps and some light spotting, but I know that my lack of bleeding means that the misoprostol is not taking full effect. Dan decides to go pick up some pizza for dinner and bring it home. He asks me to come, and I think that maybe the change of scenery will be good for me.

6:00 pm – we arrive back home and suddenly I am freezing cold. It is below freezing outside and I hadn’t bothered to dry my hair after my bath, so I assume at first that the chills are due to the cold and my damp hair. It seems that there is nothing I can do to warm up. I immediately dry my hair, put on a wool sweater, a jacket, wool socks, and a hat. I get under a down comforter (fully dressed) and asked for a heating pad. Severe chills and a slight fever of 100 degrees persist for about an hour. I eat my dinner and the chills subside a bit.

6:00 pm – 8:30 pm – moderate cramping continues but still no heavy bleeding. It has been 9 hours, and I assume that the misoprostol has failed to work properly. I go to sleep discouraged.

11:00 pm – I wake up from a gush of blood. I get out of bed to see that my maxi pad is filled with blood. I go to the toilet and a thick mixture of blood and tissue comes out. I am shocked at the volume. It is about the size of an egg.

11:00 pm – 2:00 am: cramping becomes heavier and heavy bleeding and tissue passage continues. I am wearing a thick maxi pad but I also put a towel over the bed sheets. Bleeding is very heavy. I have three severe cramps that I breathe through. To distract myself, I watch reality TV. It is a welcome diversion.

2:00 am – cramping subsides. No more tissue clumps are coming out. Bleeding is much lighter. I go to sleep.

7:00 am – I wake up. Bleeding is light (like a normal period). Cramping is minimal. I feel much better and am happy to have the worst behind me. I continue to bleed and cramp as if I were having a period for about 10 days.

Posted in Moving on After Miscarriage | 8 Comments

Goodbye Baby D


This is a painful post to write. Two days ago we went in for our 12-week ultrasound and found that we no longer had a baby. The ultrasound screen showed an empty gestational sac that had not developed past about 7 weeks. I knew immediately upon seeing that empty black blob that it was over.

Prior to this point, we thought everything was developing properly. As this was our first pregnancy, I thought I was lucky for not having morning sickness and other symptoms common in the first trimester. Only a week prior at week 11, Dan and I went to the birth center to listen to the heartbeat. The midwife thought it registered 170 for a split second and she assured us not to worry even though we did not hear that steady thumping heartbeat. She also commented several times that she heard the baby swishing around in the amniotic fluid, so we simply thought that the baby was positioned in such a way as to make the heartbeat difficult to find consistently. After all, she heard it for a moment, and then she heard it moving around so much.

We were asked to return in a week (week 12) to try to hear the heartbeat again. Coincidentally, we also had a nuchal translucency ultrasound scheduled for this same day immediately after the second try to hear the heartbeat. We returned for the week 12 heartbeat and again heard nothing. The midwife gave us no indication that anything was wrong, so away we went for the ultrasound.

Again, as soon as I saw the screen my worst fears came true. There was nothing there. No baby arms, no baby legs, no baby heart. I cried on the ultrasound table while the exam continued. The ultrasound technician, Brian, was incredibly nice. His objective attitude combined with sympathy for the event truly made the experience better than it could have been. He gave us several tissues and advised us to consult with our midwife for next steps.

That evening, we came home and I went straight to bed at about 4:30. I didn’t sleep well and woke up at 2am for a few hours. During this time, we researched options. Our midwife recommended acupuncture to help my body naturally eliminate the uterus. Honestly, at this point I was a little fed up with naturopathic mumbo jumbo and just wanted to get on with things. The idea of sitting home waiting for the baby to come out on its own two days before Christmas was not a pleasant one. We decided to pursue a dilation and curettage (D&C).

As our midwife does not perform D&C procedures, I called several gynecologists in town. Every one wanted to see me for a new patient consultation and start from scratch. This I understood. however, no gynecologists had any open appointments for at least two weeks. We live in a small town, there are not very many to choose from. Finally this morning, we decided to go to the emergency room. Sounds dramatic, but it was the only option that I could find to get into see an actual OB-GYN in a reasonable amount of time.

This entire pregnancy we have been avoiding the medical establishment at all costs. Ironically, today’s visit to the ER was the most satisfying patient-doctor interaction we have experienced thus far. We were given two options: a D&C or misoprostol. A D&C is a surgical procedure in which the cervix is dilated and the contents are removed via suction and scraping. It requires anesthesia of varying degrees. Misoprostol is a drug that is inserted into the vagina. It encourages the cervix to dilate and facilitates the body’s expulsion of the uterus.

We opted to try misoprostol first, as this seemed like the least invasive choice. That decision was made three hours ago. As it write this, I am waiting for the misoprostol to take effect.

We are hopeful for the future. The gynecologist feels that our chances of conception again in the near future are very good. She sees no medical reason that I will be considered high risk. Through this process, I have been amazed at how many women have come forward and shared their similar experiences. As I was checking in at the ER, describing why I was there caused me to cry a little. The admitting nurse offered me a tissue and said that she had been through the same thing. Just 30 minutes later, my gynecologist shared her personal experience with misoprostol. Finally, on my way home, I received a call from a co-worker who had heard the news of the miscarriage. He (yes he!) left a voice mail sharing his condolences and his own experience with a miscarriage just a year earlier. This particular co-worker delivered a healthy, lovely baby girl just one week ago.

It is Christmas. There is hope. The journey continues.

Posted in Fingers Crossed - Almost to Trimester Two! | 5 Comments

Pregnancy Belly

Today I decided to take a 10 week belly photo. I took one at 8 weeks but skipped last week due to the flu. To be fair, the 10 week photo was taken after eating breakfast, but still – could I be showing already!?!


I must admit, I am having mixed emotions. It is a little tough letting go of skinny me! I think I will feel better about this after next week when we hear the heartbeat and this baby starts to become more real to me.

Posted in Fingers Crossed - Almost to Trimester Two! | 3 Comments