baby blythe

d + r = baby b


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Give me a P and GIVEAWAY!

I haven’t done many things to update Porter’s nursery since he was born. In fact, we didn’t even add anything to his nursery to make it more “boyish” after we brought him home. When we finished the nursery, it admittedly looked more like a boy room than a girl room. This was partially due to the green chalkboard wall that turned out to be much brighter than we anticipated. We thought it was going to be a more subdued lime green. If it was a girl, we planned to add some pink and girly accessories.

However, I did recently add an element to Porter’s nursery that I LOVE. It’s a P pillow from Chelsea’s etsy shop called Hydri. Chelsea creates the most adorable custom pillows.

Here’s Porter posing with his new pillow.

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Here’s another pillow Chelsea has for sale in her shop. Isn’t her son, Van, adorable?

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Chelsea also made these R + D pillows for our master bedroom. I’M IN LOVE WITH THEM.

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Lucky for you guys, Chelsea has agreed to give away a custom letter pillow!

To enter the giveaway, please do the following:

1) Visit Hydri and favorite Chelsea’s shop and comment on this post!

2) Like Chelsea’s facebook page.

You must do both to be able to enter!

For an extra entry, you can pin this giveaway on pinterest. Leave an extra comment in the comments section and include your pinterest URL.

Good luck! The giveaway will end on Monday, August 12 at 12:00 a.m. {central time}.

Winner will be chosen via random.org. All worldwide readers are eligible to win!


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Twinkle Dreams Design Giveaway WINNER! {and discount code}

Congratulations to LORA on winning the monthly onesie stickers from Twinkle Dreams Design! For everyone else, Darcie has been generous enough to offer a discount code for my readers!

For 10% off your order, please use the code babyblythe7months (expires August 31, 2013).

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Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway!


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How to Score a Breast Pump for FREE

When I was pregnant, someone told me to check with my insurance company to see if it provided breast pumps. I was skeptical, and I figured I’d just have to shell out the $200-$300 needed for a quality pump. However, I did some research on the Affordable Care Act and realized that it was quite possible to get a free pump.  The process was kind of annoying, but it was definitely worth the trouble, because in the end,  I did not pay a single penny for my breast pump.

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I started out by calling my insurance company. The first thing they told me was that I had to wait until January 1, 2013. This wasn’t a huge deal to me, because Porter was due on Christmas Eve (born on December 28th) and I knew that most likely I wouldn’t need the pump right away. The second thing I was told was that I COULD get a breast pump for free, but they would only provide a manual pump, which would not really be worth the trouble of getting (in my opinion). Sure, free is free, but I doubted a manual pump was going to cut it. I knew I was going to need a high powered electric (double) pump when I returned to work. I asked the woman on the phone a few more questions and she said it was up to my employer and what specific insurance plan my employer selected. Some policies agreed to provide manual pumps and some agreed to provide electric pumps. I was bummed and thought I was out of luck.

However, I did not give up. The woman I talked to did not seem entirely confident in the answer she gave me, so I doubted whether or not I should accept her answer. I waited a few days and then called again, in hopes of speaking to a different person.  The second woman I spoke with looked up my policy and then told me there was no way for me to to know prior to January 1 if I would get a pump or not. Basically–according to her– it was up to my employer and it would depend on what insurance policy they chose to renew at the start of the calendar year. She said I could call back after January 1 to inquire. I was a bit annoyed. I knew that when January 1 arrived that I would have others things—um, like a baby–to worry about.

I almost decided to forget about the whole thing, but I contacted the woman in charge of our benefits for my school district. I told her about the two previous encounters I had and I asked her if she had any contact people at the insurance company who could give her a firm answer.  She said she’d look into it and get back to me.

She emailed me the next day and told me that yes, I could get a breast pump, and not just any breast pump, but a double electric pump. I would have to wait until after January 1, though, and I also needed to get the pump from a medical supplier (in my insurance network). She also instructed me to get a prescription for the breast pump from my OBGYN.  The prescription would serve as proof that I really needed it. I did some homework and called all the medical suppliers in my area and found one that carried the type of pump I wanted (most of the medical suppliers didn’t even have ANY breast pumps, let alone the type I was interested in.)

Porter was born, and a few days later I managed to shower and put yoga pants on and went to the medical supplier with my prescription in hand. I imagined I’d walk out of there with a brand new breast pump, but it seems I had more hoop to jump through.  When my doctor wrote the prescription, it was before Porter was born. The prescription literally said “Patient is pregnant. May require breast pump.” I gave the medical supplier my prescription.

The woman said, “Oh, you’re still pregnant? You’re pregnant now?”

Despite the fact that my belly did still look a little pregnant-like, I couldn’t help but to feel a little offended. Maybe I shouldn’t have worn my MATERNITY yoga pants, I thought to myself. I looked down at Porter in his car seat and looked back at the woman. “No, I’m not pregnant now. I already had the baby.”

“But it says ‘patient is pregnant.’ ”

“Well, she wrote it when I WAS pregnant.” I thought this was obvious.

I didn’t understand why this was such a big deal, but I could tell this was going to be a problem.  She called someone (I think it was someone from the claim department of my insurance company) and then told me that she couldn’t give me the breast pump because of the way the prescription was written.  She then said she would call my OBGYN and verify my need for the breast pump even though I wasn’t still pregnant. I thought having the baby right there with me was proof enough, but I guess not. Maybe she thought I borrowed someone else’s baby in order to snag a breast pump, but why someone would want a breast pump unless she really needed one is beyond me. She sent me on my way and said she would call me when she knew something. Again, I was a little annoyed.

The next day she called me back and said that my OBGYN verified the prescription. She then had to make another call back to the claim department, but she finally told me that I could come back in to pick up the breast pump.  The following day I returned to the medical supplier and picked up my breast pump. I was pumped (no pun intended) to have finally figured all this out, and I guess my persistence paid off.

The pump I received is a double electric pump. It has plenty of power, gets the job done, and  is almost identical to the Medela Pump In Style, except the bag that I have isn’t quite as fancy as the Pump In Style. [By the way, why is it called the “Pump In Style”? I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to pump one’s boobs stylishly.]

So, long story short, if you’re pregnant and you plan on using a breast pump, check with your insurance before purchasing one. While my experience was a tad tedious and cumbersome, a friend of mine (whom I work with, so she has the same insurance) had absolutely zero problems when she went through the process a few months after I did.

On a similar note, if you don’t have insurance or if your insurance doesn’t provide a pump, I personally do not think there is a problem with borrowing a pump from a friend or family member. I know this isn’t recommended and supposedly it voids the warranty, but if you purchase separate parts for the pump and do not use the original parts, I don’t see why this would be a problem. Obviously this is a personal decision, but I thought I’d throw my two cents in there.


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Guest Post: The Pregnant Friend’s Perspective on her Friend’s Miscarriage

I’ve written a little about Diana before, and I asked her to share her experience/perspective about something that created a visible wedge between our friendship: my miscarriage (written about here and here and specifically in reference to Diana here). Want more of Diana? Visit her blog, Losing It where she writes about weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle after pregnancy.

On a Sunday in January of 2012, I found out I was pregnant.  The next day, I told only my family and one very dear friend, Rachel.  I will never forget our conversation.  I sat down in her classroom before school started and I said, “So, I am pregnant.”  She responded with a “Shut-up!”  It was an awesome BFF moment.  All throughout the day via email, and later that night over text, she asked me a variety of questions.  Actually, she asked me A LOT of questions, things like “How are you feeling?” to “How dark was the line on the pregnancy test?”  I just assumed she was curious.

The next day at school, Rachel came into my room and shut the door.  I didn’t think anything of it:  we do stuff like that all the time.  She handed me a card, which I assumed was a written congrats.  Rachel is a generous and thoughtful friend, and one of her trademarks is surprise gifting and affirmations.  I read the card quickly and looked up at her.  Then I said, “Wait!”  I read it again.  The card was not from Rachel; it was from Baby B.  My own personal joy of being pregnant had just been amplified.  My best friend was pregnant, too!  She energetically pulled out multiple pregnancy tests from her purse and showed me each one.  She told me that she found out she was pregnant on the exact same day that I found out I was.  Suddenly, all of the questions from the day before made sense.  I had never felt so connected to a friend.  I already had so much in common with Rachel, but we were about to experience the most amazing time in our lives, together.

Rewind just a bit.  I typically am difficult to get to know.  I would imagine that my first impression can sometimes be read as stuck-up, standoffish, and distant.  I don’t always do well during social situations and I don’t open up for a long time to people.  So, you can imagine my surprise when I first met Rachel and I immediately knew we would be friends.  We have joked about how we are seriously like friend soul-mates and that we were meant to meet each other by working at CHS.  Another coworker actually bought us a paper gift for our first friend-iversary.

Rachel started trying to get pregnant around the same time that I started trying.  This was not some weird pregnancy pact thing, although multiple students have asked me if it was.   We just happened to be in similar places in our lives.  (We each got married in June of 2009.) We spoke a lot about how exciting the prospect of becoming pregnant was, and we shared concerns that it seemed to be taking longer than either of us thought it would.  One day at lunch, I remember Rachel saying, “I hope that no matter what, we can be happy for each other.”  I never felt like it was a competition or a race to become pregnant, but I did wonder how I would feel if she got pregnant first, or vice-versa.

Over the next two weeks, Rachel and I exchanged emails throughout the day guessing at each other’s due dates and speculating on the size of our tiny babies.  We talked about birth plans, names, worries, maternity leaves, etc.  It was so nice to be able to talk about it with her because I was keeping it a secret from everyone else until it was appropriate to share.

One day during the last block of the day, Rachel came to my room.  She asked to talk to me, so I went out into the hallway and shut the door.  She told me that she had spoken to her OBGYN office, and they asked that she go to the hospital for some tests.  She was fighting back tears, and I could tell that she was trying very hard to not jump to any conclusions.  I did not want her to drive herself, so I insisted that I drive her home so she could leave for the hospital with her husband.  I had a team teacher in the room with me during that class, so I told her I was leaving and we got in the car.  It was an icy day.  The roads were not clean and it was snowing.  I don’t remember exactly what Rachel and I talked about in the fifteen minute car ride, but I do know that I was trying to stay hopeful for Rachel.  Like Rachel, I had been pouring over pregnancy articles, blogs, and books from the  moment I started trying to become pregnant.  She had shared her symptoms with me, and the word we avoided saying out loud was bouncing around in my mind.  I was very scared for her.

Later that night, Rachel called me.  She did not have any results back, but she told me a few details from being at the hospital.  While we were on the phone, her doctor called her, so we hung up.  A while later, Rachel sent me a text telling me that the worst had happened:  she was miscarrying.  I don’t remember how I responded, I just remember feeling so sad for my friend.  I do remember suggesting that she take some time off, but she told me that she needed to move on and live as normal, and I knew in that moment that she was incredibly brave.

The next day at work, I knew that something had shifted.  I did not know how to act around Rachel.  She was visibly drained.  She was broken.  I was the only one at work that knew what she was going through, but I also knew that I was probably the last person she wanted to be around.  I couldn’t help but feel like the enemy.  I was pregnant, and she was not.  I decided it would be best to give Rachel space.  I felt so conflicted.  I argued with myself.  I thought, maybe I should do something for her.  I should pamper her.  However, I couldn’t shake the feeling that just my presence pained her somehow.  I tried to consider how I would feel.  If she did have any negative feelings towards me, I completely understood.  I read the signs as best I could and I tried to give Rachel space while letting her know I was there when she was ready.  This strange friendship limbo went on for awhile.  People at work started to notice.  After I announced my own pregnancy, a coworker actually approached me and guessed the entire situation.  She somehow knew just by our actions that Rachel had experienced a miscarriage.  I, of course, did not share Rachel’s story, but I dismissed the claim.  Women know.

It felt very strange to be so happy for myself and so very sad for my friend at the same time.  Although I was not mourning the loss of my pregnancy, I was mourning for a friend, and I couldn’t help but feel like I was mourning the loss of our friendship.  The overwhelming emotion during this time was guilt.  When it was safe for me to announce my own pregnancy, I felt guilty that I did.  I wanted to be happy for myself.  I wanted to tell everyone.  I wanted to do all of the things I planned on doing as I waited to become pregnant.  I told myself that I couldn’t continue to compare Rachel’s situation to mine and I needed to enjoy the experience I was having.  Every time I did though, I felt like the most selfish person alive.  I convinced myself that I would also suffer a miscarriage.  In a weird way, I felt like I almost deserved it.  At one point, my husband confronted me and told me that I was never going to experience being pregnant for the first time again, so I had to stop analyzing everything as though I had had a miscarriage.  I knew that I had to just try to separate our two situations.

I eventually had distanced myself so far from Rachel that she confronted me.  “It seemed like you stopped being my friend.”  I was so afraid of hurting her that I actually did.  I continued to hope that after some time, Rachel and I would be able to be as close as we were before.  It was through honesty and a few letters that we were able to express to each other how we each felt about the situation.  As time went on, things started to feel more and more normal between us.  When Rachel found out that she was pregnant with Porter, I was overjoyed.  I know that she was very worried and did not have the easiest pregnancy, but I felt so happy that she was going to become a mother, and that we would still get to go through the process together.

Now, Rachel and I talk daily about the joys and struggles of being new mothers.  Rachel and I get our babies together as often as we can.  Porter is the most amazing little man.  He has beautiful skin and eyes, just like his momma.  She is Auntie Rachel in our house.    Although our friendship has mended, that difficult time has not been erased.  Whenever I share something with Rachel about McKenna, I worry that I might be reminding her of what she went through.  If Rachel did not experience a miscarriage, our babies would be exactly the same age.  I can say that Rachel and I are now very honest with each other, and we are able to share these thoughts instead of letting them stew.

I can’t say that any of my other friendships have been through something like this.  I am forever thankful that I met Rachel.  I am a better teacher, friend, and person than I would be never having met her.  She challenges me.  She gets me.  She is my sister, a supporter, and an incredible friend.  Most of all, she is an amazing mother to Porter.  I have a lot of regret from how I handled myself during this complicated situation, but I know that Rachel forgives me.  That is what sisters do.

Thank you, Diana for sharing your story! Be sure to check out her blog, Losing It!

Also, don’t forget to enter my first giveaway! You have until August 3 to enter and you have three chances to win!


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7 months and a GIVEAWAY!

So, I can’t believe it, but somehow Porter is 7 months old. I don’t know how or when it happened, but it’s true. Every day he is looking more and more like a toddler as opposed to a baby, and while I love seeing him grow and change, IT’S FREAKING ME OUT. Where is my baby?!

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A lot has happened lately. He has a tooth (!!!); he’s eating real foods more regularly; he’s moving around like crazy. He rolled over from back to belly for the first time recently and he’s sitting up pretty well, too (though he still falls over from time to time.) I know it will only be a matter of time before he starts scooting around.  Maybe I should start baby gate shopping.

Here are some 7th month photos that we took this morning. I can’t believe how big he’s getting and how much he’s changed in one short month.

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PorterMonth7-28{I’m a little biased, but he’s the cutest baby EVER!}

And finally, I have a giveaway for you guys! The monthly stickers that I use to document each month are from an etsy shop called Twinkle Dreams Design. I bought them before Porter was born, and I think these are the perfect stickers that could have been used for either a boy or a girl. And lucky for you guys, Darcie, Twinkle Dreams Design‘s shop owner, has agreed to give away a set of stickers. The winner will get a set of monthly stickers of his/her choosing. Even if you could not use these yourself, these would make a great gift!

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How cute are these unisex ones?

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I also love these!

You can earn three entries for the giveaway. You must leave a separate comment for each entry. To enter the giveaway, please complete any (or all) of the following:

1) Visit Twinkle Dreams Design and comment on this post telling me which set of stickers you would choose if you won. 

2) Visit Twinkle Dreams Design and favorite Darcie’s shop and comment on this post. 

3) Pin this giveaway on Pinterest. Leave a comment in the comments section and include your Pinterest URL.

Good luck! The giveaway will end on Saturday, August 3 at 12:00 a.m. {central time}

Winner will be chosen via random.org. Giveaway open to US residents only.


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Porter in Motion {a video}

David’s parents bought us a video camera for Christmas this past year (just before Porter was born). We’ve been able to get some special moments on camera (like when Maggie and Porter met for the first time), but all the videos lived on the camera (until yesterday) because I had never bothered to upload them to our computer.  When Porter first rolled from his belly to his back (shortly after he turned 4 months old), I tried to get it on camera about a dozen times before I was successful. It seemed like every time I got the camera out, Porter refused to roll over.

Yesterday Porter rolled over from his back to his belly for the first time. David and I joked that he would never do it, because he HATES being on his belly. However, I was able to get it on camera right away! As soon as I saw him do it for the first time, I got the camera out and hit record.  Since David was at work, I hoped I could capture it on camera, and Porter didn’t disappoint!  Clearly, I am not the best videographer.

He’s growing up so fast!


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Citrus Lane: A Review

Okay, so I love the new fad of monthly subscription services. If I could join a million of them, I would. My love for this fad started with Birchbox, and I’ve tried a few others as well [though Birchbox remains to be my favorite.] Anyway, when I discovered Citrus Lane, which is essentially a Birchbox for babies, I HAD to try it out.

It’s quite a bit more expensive than Birchbox, but you get much more. Each box is $25, and I signed up for a 3 month subscription. However, I had a $10 off coupon code, so I paid a little more than $20 per box. The thing I love about Citrus Lane is that it is customized based on the age and gender of the child. I loved knowing that I wouldn’t get a random headband in my box that I wouldn’t be able to use. I received my first box recently. Was it worth the $20? I think so.

Here’s what I got in my first box.

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On-The-Go from ZoLi: This is a stackable container for snacks or formula. You can stack them individually, as needed. I was checking out some of their other products, and I definitely am interested in trying some of them out. I’m especially interested in their sippy cup, ceramic food scissors, and fork & spoon set.  All of their products are safe and non-toxic. {$15.00}

Jittering Giraffe from Tiny Love: This toy is adorable. It’s one of those toys that hangs from a car seat bar. It’s LONG and Porter loves that because he can actually grab it and pull it.  {$8.49}

California Baby Travel size Aloe Vera {$3.24} and Shampoo & Body Wash {$0.67}: I love California Baby stuff, so I will definitely use these travel sizes! I figured out the cost of these based on their full size versions and how much was included in the travel size.

NurturMeals from Nurtur Me: This looks really cool. It’s food that comes in powdered or dried form. You simply add water, formula, or breast milk and mix. They are certified organic and gluten free. These would probably be great for traveling! {$1.49}

Little Buddy Wipes from Me4Kidz: I love these antibacterial wipes, and the package is small enough to throw in the diaper bag. {$2.49}

Postagram from Sincerely Inc.: Now, THIS is cool. Basically, this company turns Instagram photos or other photos off your phone into real postcards. This box gave me 10 free postcards! I can’t wait to send them to my friends + family! {$9.90}

The total value of this month’s box was $41.28.  Would I have bought all these things myself if I would have seen them at the store? Probably not, but I love trying new things, and it is worth more than double what I paid.

Will I continue beyond the 3 month membership I already purchased? I haven’t decided. The subscriptions do cost less the more months you are subscribed. I’m not sure if Citrus Lane allows this, but it might be fun to start and stop memberships in order to do a 3 month membership once or twice a year. I do like the idea that I could save things from the box if I didn’t need them right away. I could use them in the future as gifts for Porter (birthday, Christmas, etc.) or I could give them to friends as well.  The coupon code that saved me $10 was a nice perk, and I’m not sure if I would have tried it out without the coupon code. If you join via this link, you’ll get $10 off your first subscription as well.

I can’t wait to receive my next box!

Have you tried any other subscription services? Were you impressed?

*This post is not sponsored by Citrus Lane nor did I receive compensation for this post {I wish!} All opinions are 100% my own.


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The Miscarriage: The Not Too Detailed Details

It’s taken me over a year and a half to be able to sit down to write this post.  Naturally, it’s not something that I like to recall, but it’s still something I think about often. Even though I have a beautiful baby boy whom I love so dearly, I think about the first “baby B” more than I’d like to admit.

I was terrified that I was going to miscarry as soon as I got my first positive pregnancy test.  I know that most women probably are, but my paranoia seemed to be a little over the top. I panicked at every twinge and pain and I Googled almost anything that could be a “symptom” of miscarriage. Every time I went to the bathroom, I feared that I would see blood. And then one day, I did.

This next paragraph may be TMI for some of you. Skip it if you don’t want these details. It didn’t start out as bright red obvious miscarriage blood, which gave me some hope. At first there was just a bit of brown discharge. I turned to Google and knew that this could be considered normal for some pregnancies. Most sources said it was probably implantation bleeding, and there were plenty of women who said they had bleeding during successful pregnancies. After experiencing my second pregnancy, I know that bleeding–even bleeding for several weeks–didn’t necessarily indicate miscarriage or other problems. I tried to think positively, but deep down, I feared the worst.

Then the discharge increased. It still wasn’t bright red, but there was more of it. Since Google could no longer assuage my fears, and my first appointment was several weeks away, I called my OBGYN during my prep period at school.

After telling the nurse what I had been experiencing, she asked a series of questions.

“How long has this been going on?”

“A few days.”

“Do you feel any pain or cramping? Have you passed any clumps or clots?”

“Maybe a little, but nothing severe. No, I haven’t passed anything.”

“Have you done any heavy lifting lately?”

“No.” I hoped that these answers would earn me some gold stars or brownie points in the eyes of the fertility Gods.

Even though nothing I had said would necessarily provide any hints towards miscarriage, the nurse wanted me to go to the hospital for an ultrasound.  After hanging up the phone, I immediately burst out in tears.

I walked to my friend Diana’s classroom, whose classroom is around the corner from mine. She had a class, but at the time I didn’t care. She was also pregnant (and found out on the same day as I did). She came into the hallway, and I told her what was going on and that they wanted me to go to the hospital. She immediately said that she would drive me home and that she didn’t want me driving. It had been snowing and the roads were icy.  Despite my protests, she insisted.  She had a co-teacher who could cover her class for the rest of the day (it was near the end of the day).  I called David and told him the news. Diana and I talked in the car, but I was afraid if we talked about it too much that it would make it real. “They are probably just being overly cautious. I’m sure everything is fine.” She told me. Later, she confessed to me that deep down she knew. I don’t know how she did–and maybe I did, too, but I was too afraid to admit it–but she did.

David and I went to the hospital and after waiting in the waiting room at the hospital, I was finally called back for the ultrasound.  The technician only spoke a few words to me throughout the entire process. Then she sent me back out to the waiting room to wait for my doctor’s phone call.

It seemed like we waited forever, but in all honesty, I don’t remember how long it actually was. Finally, the phone rang and the receptionist called my name. My OBGYN was on the phone with the results from the ultrasound.

She verified the first day of my last period, and told me that there was no amniotic sac or fetal pole on the ultrasound. However, she did not say that meant I 100% miscarried. Since I was only a few weeks pregnant, she said it would be too early for anything to show up. Next, she sent me down to the lab for blood work. A quantitative pregnancy would give us answers for sure.

I was pricked with a few needles, got my blood drawn, and then was sent home. My doctor was suppose to call me at home when she got the results. I was told that this could take a few hours.

By this point it was around 7 in the evening. We hadn’t eaten dinner (not that I was hungry) and my car was still at the school. We picked up a pizza and I retrieved my car and drove it back home.  I ate a few bites of pizza and we sat on the couch for a few hours…waiting.

Finally my cell phone rang, and I didn’t want to answer it.  I knew that if I answered the phone, that I may not want to hear the news on the other end, but I knew I had no other choice.

My doctor verified what we feared all along: the pregnancy was not viable. She said my quantitative blood test came back as a 14, which is technically a positive pregnancy test. I didn’t understand that if I was testing positive for pregnancy how she knew for sure that I was having a miscarriage. How could I be pregnant yet NOT pregnant? She explained that HCG stayed in a woman’s system for a long time. In fact, she said that even if I were to take an at home pregnancy test, it would still show up as a positive*. According to the first day of my last period, if the pregnancy was viable, the numbers would have been a lot higher. She said there was no way that these numbers supported the idea of a successful pregnancy.

In addition to this news, she also told me that I am Rh-negative.  While this in and of itself is not a huge deal, it can cause problems later with future pregnancies.  Thus, I was told that I needed to return to the hospital on the following day in order to receive a shot of Rh immunoglobulin to prevent sensitization. None of that made sense to me (and it still doesn’t) but I returned to the hospital the next day. I had to have my blood drawn again, because they had to verify I was Rh-negative. Even though my blood was drawn the day before and it was in my chart, it had to be drawn again. We had to wait two hours for the Rh-negative results, and then I received the shot in my lower back/butt.  I had to get this shot again later in my pregnancy (third trimester, I think) and also after giving birth.

What I won’t tell you are the real details of the actual miscarriage, because honestly, I couldn’t put it into words, and I wouldn’t want to try.

I do think about our first “baby B,” though. I wonder if it was a boy or a girl. If it was a boy, we would have named him Porter, but then our Porter wouldn’t be here today, which is a weird thing to consider and think about. Would he look like our Porter does now? Would his mannerisms and personality be the same or would he be completely different? These are not questions I’ll ever know the answers to of course, but they are questions that still haunt me at night when I lie awake.

After I miscarried, someone who also miscarried once told me that if she wouldn’t have miscarried then she wouldn’t have the daughter she has today. While I do not want to say I’m glad it happened by any means (because I’m not), I do consider that point. If I wouldn’t have miscarried, Porter wouldn’t be here (or at least the Porter we know today…a different Porter could be here, which is enough to make my brain hurt).  It doesn’t make the memories of the miscarriage any easier to deal with or less painful, but I am so happy and grateful to have Porter with us today.

*I had several pregnancy tests at home, so I did continue to take a pregnancy test every day for several weeks until it no longer was positive.  This was tortuous, and I can’t explain why I did this to myself, but some weird logic told me that maybe everyone was wrong. I thought that maybe if I kept getting positive pregnancy tests then I actually was pregnant.


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Moonlit Drive (This sounds romantic, but it’s not)

Last night was by far the worst night we’ve had with Porter. Ever. Even his worst night as a newborn was nothing compared to what we experienced last night.

We were visiting my sister in Indianapolis, so we were away from home. We’ve taken a few short trips away from home before and we hadn’t experienced any problems.  While on these trips, Porter didn’t seem to mind and didn’t have a difficult time adjusting to a new place.  With his rock-n-play and his sound machine, putting him to bed had never been a problem while we were away. This was our second night staying at her place, and he had done fine the previous night. I had no problems putting him to bed on Thursday night and he slept through the night beautifully.

Friday night was an entirely different story.

I went up to bed around 10 p.m. and I noticed that Porter was awake. He wasn’t crying, but he would make a noise every now and then. I figured he would fall back to sleep, so I got in bed and tried to fall asleep myself.  He started fussing, so I reached out to rock his rock-n-play, as this usually puts him back to sleep. Soon his fussiness turned into a loud cry, so I figured he was probably wet and/or hungry. I changed his diaper (which was wet, but not overly so) and fed him (despite the fact that he had been fed 3 hours earlier.) He seemed content, so I put him back down, and he was quiet for about thirty minutes.  Suddenly, he starting crying screaming, so I picked him up and paced the room while I rubbed his back. This calmed him down, but every time I tried to put him back down, he would immediately start crying. This wasn’t his normal cry, either.  His cries and screams were unlike any I had ever heard before that night. Thus, I walked and bounced him for about an hour.  I felt helpless as I pondered this weird behavior; 99% of the time he sleeps through the night without waking.

Around midnight David came up to go to bed. When David came in, I was changing Porter’s diaper again, which I knew wasn’t the problem, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt. The screaming didn’t stop. Then, I continued to walk and bounce him, but at this point, Porter wasn’t pacified by my pacing and bouncing. I knew he wasn’t hungry, but I tried feeding him again. David tried walking with him, but that didn’t help either. He wasn’t gassy; he wasn’t wet/poopy; he wasn’t hungry. He was tired, but he would not sleep. NOTHING in our arsenal of tricks that had worked countless times before was helping.

I literally started playing scenarios in my head. I imagined having to call the emergency number at our pediatrician’s office, despite being three hours away.

“Hi, Doctor. We’re having problems with Porter.”

“What seems to be the problem?”

“Um, he won’t sleep and he won’t stop crying.”

“Welcome to parenthood.” Click.

We felt helpless before, but after an hour and a half of his screaming, we really felt helpless now. David and I stared at each other in the dark and spoke to each other without words. “What are we going to do?”  My eyes filled with tears and my heart literally hurt from the agony I was feeling.

David finally spoke. “Let’s go for a drive.” These were the exact words I was thinking, yet hadn’t said.

I read somewhere that you should never use a car/driving in order to try to get a baby to fall asleep. I don’t remember the reasoning, but it probably had something to do with teaching babies to soothe themselves. However, at 1:30 in the morning, I didn’t care about following this random bit of parenting advice.

As we walked out the door, my sister asked “How long has it been since he’s been this way at night?”

“Never. He’s never been like this.”

So we packed Porter in his car seat and started to drive around nearby neighborhoods surrounding my sister’s condo.

About a half hour later, Porter had been quiet for awhile, so we assumed that he was asleep. We drove back to my sister’s, pulled in the driveway, and said a mental prayer before getting out of the car. I opened up the door, and sure enough, our sweet little boy was peacefully asleep. With much care and precision, we took the car seat out of the car, walked through the front door, climbed the steps, and tip-toed back into the bedroom.  We didn’t even think about trying to retrieve him from his car seat, and despite the fact that there are probably numerous parenting articles that warn parents not to let their babies sleep in their car seats for long periods of time, we did it anyway.

I awoke at every minuscule movement or sound and held my breath until I was convinced that Porter wasn’t going to wake up. Thankfully, Porter slept for the rest of the night.

This morning Porter was his usual self, bright-eyed and smiley, and he showed no memory of last night’s events. Upon retrieving him from his car seat, I stuck my finger in his mouth, which has been a practice of mine for several weeks now.  I let out a deep sigh that I didn’t even realize I had been holding in.  Our midnight mystery had been solved.  Just below the surface, barely detectable but definitely there, was the white tip of Porter’s first tooth poking through his gums.

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