Monday, July 22, 2013

According to His Will...

My biggest fears during this pregnancy were that the baby would either not be healthy, or that I would hear those awful words during a routine appointment "there is no heartbeat". Once we saw the baby for the first time (7 weeks, 5 days) and heard the 165bmp heartbeat, I was told that the chances of miscarriage went down significantly. I had planned to wait until 12 weeks to share the news with friends, but decided to spill the beans a little early since we had heard that little thumper and more people than not knew already anyway.

Fast forward to 11 weeks. I had been worried that the morning sickness had gone away around 9 weeks but was told that between 8-12 weeks that can happen. I still was having some pregnancy symptoms, so I tried to just look on the bright side and wait it out until my next appointment.

On Friday I noticed some minor spotting. I'm talking barely-even-visible-couldn't-see-it-without-a-super-careful-eye spotting. I of course googled it and learned that some spotting is normal and that it was probably just old blood from the cervix. I decided to go in to the ER just for peace of mind to last me through the weekend. My appointment was scheduled for Monday, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to have some reassurance.

I felt silly just explaining my symptoms to the nurse. Everything was typical and normal for pregnancy, and I almost felt like I should just turn around and go home.

I waited in the OB room, in that awful hospital gown, for an hour before ER doctor finally came in. An HOUR.

As soon as he started the ultrasound I struggled to see anything on the monitor. It just looked like a hazy black and white mess. I started to panic because there was nothing there. I remembered that I was only 11 weeks and sometimes you can't pick up a heartbeat with a doppler until 12-14 weeks. The doctor came back in to do a transvaginal ultrasound.

He immediately turned the monitor away from my face. And I started to cry. Doctors have little nuances in their behavior that give away what they are thinking. Turning the monitor away from me told me that he thought something was wrong, and didn't want me to be able to look at it just yet. After about a minute of silence, he quickly turned the monitor back to face me and said
"I'm sorry, I am not detecting a heartbeat". In that brief moment, I saw the baby on the screen. Turf had been standing up and said he was able to see the baby while the doctor was looking.

Just as quickly as he had turned the monitor in my direction, he turned it off and got down to business- telling me my options for how I could proceed with the miscarriage.
I was completely shocked, trying to hold back hot tears and to be very mature about it.
But the more that man talked the more annoyed and confused I got. He was very dry and cold, like he just wanted to get it taken care of and move on. He was willing to give me medication at that very moment that would send my body into a state of "labor" in order to "expel the materials of pregnancy". It was no longer a baby, or a fetus, or even an embryo, but now simply a "material of pregnancy".
I could schedule a D&C, which essentially involves scraping out those materials within my uterus.
OR, I could go home and wait for it to expel on its own.

He didn't even recommend getting a second doctor to look at it before making a decision, and I had to ask if I could just keep my OB appointment and talk to them. He didn't measure it during the ultrasound in order to tell me when the heart had stopped beating. They didn't draw blood so he couldn't tell me what my HCG levels were, only that my urine test showed that I still had the HCG hormone. He didn't tell me what I was looking at for the 30 seconds I was able to see the monitor, and he didn't explain to me why it could have happened. All he told me was that it happened and I had 3 choices for how to "get rid of it".

I didn't feel comfortable making any decisions without having a second doctor, preferably my OB, do an ultrasound and measure the baby. So I went home and all weekend long was waiting for signs that my body was going to "expel the pregnancy". I was waiting for a lot of painful cramping and lots and lots of blood and clots. Nothing came.

I had what is called a Missed Miscarriage, or a Silent Miscarriage. Basically the baby dies, but the body doesn't react to the miscarriage. You still feel pregnant and think that everything is progressing as normal. I started looking up information online and Missed Miscarriages are much less common. Not only did I have a silent miscarriage, but it happened after I had already seen the heartbeat and everything had looked great. Nothing is certain in pregnancy, and the first trimester is the most vulnerable part, but I really never thought it would happen to me. It can take days or weeks for the body to begin to actually miscarry the pregnancy. Some women have waited for 5 weeks before their body began to actually miscarry. How awful is that? To be so blissfully happy in pregnancy only to later realize that your baby's heart stopped beating weeks ago. Only now do I truly understand the weight of a miscarriage on your heart.

I went through a few moments of denial. Maybe the guy was just a huge idiot and couldn't read the monitor? Maybe he had already decided I was miscarrying and didn't really look for the heartbeat. I tried to not get my hopes up, but when your body still feels pregnant, it is hard to imagine that the baby is not alive in there.

I cried and cried that day once we got home. I looked at the picture of our first ultrasound and cried, saw the few random baby things we had already gotten and cried, remembered that I had just blogged our 10 week picture and cried, thought about all the planning and baby names we had talked about and cried. I had felt so confident throughout all of my worrying that ultimately, we would end up with a healthy baby because I truly believed that God had blessed us with this baby.

And then I got mad. How can it be that some mothers are so irresponsible and drink and smoke or do drugs throughout their pregnancies and wind up with healthy babies? There are mothers who decide they don't want their baby and have abortions, or give them up for adoption. And then there are just the mothers who care more about themselves than their children and turn out to be awful parents and role models. How can they have healthy babies, but I didn't?

This is absolutely the most heartbreaking thing I have ever gone through. We so wanted this baby and
we were so ready. After being sad and mad I had a moment of clarity. God has a plan. I don't understand it, but He has something planned that is far greater than anything I could ever imagine. And although this experience was devastating, I was able to find peace in His name.

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: That if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us- whatever we ask- we know that we have what we asked of him". 
1 John 5:14-15

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Back to the Heartland of America

Turf received an email this morning telling him that he got the job! He will be doing business strategy in San Antonio. And they want him to start September 9th. SEPTEMBER 9TH.
Holy cow.
There is a lot of paperwork for him to do and a lot of offices for it to process through in a very short amount of time to make that happen. More than likely he will be starting in late September, but this means we also have a lot to do to get our behinds out of Okinawa. Selling things we don't want to take with us, checking out of our apartment, getting plane tickets, getting Boomer home (the dog has really been the toughest part!). He is so dang big, tall, long, heavy....that getting him on a plane as baggage with me is difficult, as most of the airlines have a weight limit of 100lbs- HA! yeah right! It is also summer time and the airlines have a heat embargo for summer travel for pets. Luckily if you are moving on PCS orders they make an exception. At this point, we aren't sure if we will be able to take him as baggage, so he may have to go on his own Cargo flight. Hello $4000 price tag. This mutt is expensive.
I am so excited that Turf got this job. Thrilled that he will be doing something he loves, he has earned it. Happy to be coming home after almost 3 years.
Us leaving means that I will no longer have a job. No more teaching until after the baby is born. After last year, I really wanted to start a new year with a fresh batch of firsties. I love the beginning of the school year: new backpacks, lunch boxes, the smell of freshly sharpened pencils, sweet little incomprehensible writings that soon develop into actual stories. Each summer I nerd out on new ideas. They have already been coming to me this summer, but will have to be put on hold until I can go back to work. My heart is in teaching, and I will seriously miss it!
We will be in Oregon at some point before we head to San Antonio, so I am hoping to see everyone then. So here we go, let the whirlwind of moving begin!

Monday, July 15, 2013

10 Weeks

Hello everyone! I had a pretty good week and a half. After the 4th of July I spent the whole weekend in my little Bat Cave living room feeling awful. I watched several seasons of Boy Meets World and slept. A lot. Nothing sounded good to eat, and I settled many nights for vegetable soup. Then, like magic, Monday morning I felt great! I haven't been sick, had much more energy, and have actually been wanting to eat food. I was actually a bit worried that everything seemed to take a break so fast, but the top part of me is still growing and painful, I have been a bit tired still throughout the day, and I may or may not have cried throughout 80% of the latest Boy Meets World episodes (life lessons, people, they get me every time!). I asked one of my doctor friends and she said it was completely normal and not to worry,  so I am relaxing until my appointment next week.
Turf had a job interview on Saturday for a position in San Antonio so we are anxiously awaiting news on that! We will keep everyone updated. 
My goal is to post every 2 weeks. It doesn't look like much now, but I am excited to watch the belly start to grow (disclosure: I was totally sucking in for all I am worth in order to not have a pudge. It's totally there, but definitely not baby yet!). Anyway, I won't be posting these on Facebook, just on the blog so you'll have to check back in here to keep up! 
Happy Monday Friends!

How far along? 10 Weeks
Total weight gain/loss: None
Maternity clothes? Nope! Although I am enjoying scouring Pinterest for outfit inspiration. Hello Fall/Winter baby belly!
Stretch marks? No
Sleep: Aside from some really vivid, kind of creepy dreams, I've been sleeping well.
Best moment this week: Making my "Japanese" baby board. I was too lazy to hunt down chalkboard/chalkboard paint, so this little beauty is made up of a piece of black dry erase board, colorful dry erase markers, and a classy plastic frame all courtesy of the 100 yen store. SCORE!
Have you told family and friends: Yes!
Miss Anything? Hot dogs. 
Movement: No
Food cravings: Sweets! Brownies, gooey chocolate, cookies, cheesecake. Yum! Don't worry, I haven't eaten MOST of that ;)
Anything making you queasy or sick: I am happy to say I have had NO sickness for the last week and a half. 
Have you started to show yet: No, but the bottom of my already round belly is starting to round out more.
Gender prediction: I am certain it's a girl. I just have a feeling!
Labor Signs: No
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy this week because I have been feeling MUCH better!
Looking forward to: Starting to actually look pregnant. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July everyone! We are missing America right now, the fireworks, festivities, BBQ's, and good old American Spirit! I feel so blessed to live in this country, and am reminded of the price that many have paid for our freedom.

I thought today would also be a great day to share our happy news! We are thrilled to become parents! As we move up and on from Okinawa, I am hoping to now use the blog to track the pregnancy so friends and family can be kept in the loop.

How far along? 8 Weeks 6 days
Total weight gain/loss: I actually lost 2 pounds! But I definitely don't feel it!
Maternity clothes? Some friends gave me some hand-me-downs, and I'm telling y'all, elastic band shorts are AWESOME! But I haven't worn them in public yet.
Stretch marks? Nope
Sleep: I'm sleeping great, but waking up to go to the bathroom at least twice each night!
Best moment this week: Being able to cook dinner AND dessert without feeling sick! WIN!
Have you told family and friends: Yes!
Miss Anything? Drinking, deli sandwiches, sushi, hot dogs!
Movement: No
Food cravings: I'm not craving anything at all, but about the only thing I'm able to eat are bagels, toast, or other carbs!
Anything making you queasy or sick: I'm having huge food aversions: salads, veggies, raw meat, certain smells.
Have you started to show yet: Nope, but I am bloated!
Gender prediction: I think it will be a girl, Turf is thinking boy
Labor Signs: No
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy with a few random days of moody!
Looking forward to: Not feeling queasy, tired, headachy ALL.THE.TIME!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Flashback Friday! Cancun

Sometimes I have a problem about not appreciating an experience until it's over and I am able to look back on it. Looking through the pictures and remembering is almost more fun and nostalgic for me than living the moment. Turf's more of an in the moment kind of guy and I'm more of a picture taking gal. It's balances out.
I have a friend who is on her way to Cancun for her Honeymoon (13 years in the making!) and I am so excited for them to see all that Cancun has to offer! It is such a romantic place, full of energy and culture....and AMAZING sunsets!
This morning I was looking back over our honeymoon photos from Cancun and had that "I have to go back!" feeling (Nhadia, pack us in your suitcase? I promise we'll stay out of the way!). I can literally remember the smell of the ocean and the excitement walking through the town.
Here are some of my favorite moments from that trip

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

We really have been so blessed to have been given this opportunity to live and work in Japan. My whole life I have dreamt of traveling everywhere. We have seen and experienced so much these past three years that it literally blows my mind. 
I didn't keep up with the blog as I had planned, and that's okay. Because I spent so much time enjoying myself! I really am in amazement by it all. God is so good!
We've made friends.
And lost friends.
Said "goodbye for now" to people we care about,
and "goodbye forever" to some family members along the way.
We've had visitors,
made it through a deployment. 
We've fought and laughed and cried and laughed some more. 
We made some mistakes, but grown together as well {who hasn't!?}
We moved (and then moved again), 
accomplished goals-and maybe even fell short on some.
And now here we are, May 2013. It's hard to imagine we arrived on this little island 2 1/2 years ago. It was scary and wonderful and exciting and terrifying. 
I remember networking with some wonderful ladies like crazy from the states, trying to gather as much information as possible to make the move to Okinawa seamless. 
I remember telling people I was moving to Japan, and not really believing it myself.
I remember sitting in our tiny room at the Westpac, praying for everything to work out with housing so Boomer could stay with us. Then we got an apartment, and a car. I got my first real job teaching. What a blessing and what a learning experience that has been, especially after doubting myself so much as a teacher and not knowing whether or not I could actually be the teacher I wanted to be. 
We both started our Master's Degrees. 
I haven't been back in the United States since we arrived in Japan, and I've dealt with my fair share of homesickness. 
Our time is now coming to a close, perhaps even sooner than we expected. 
A new chapter is ahead of us, and it is again scary and wonderful and exciting and terrifying at the same time. We have no idea what is in store for us, where we will wind up, or even really how we will get wherever it is we are headed. 
I can only hope the next 3 years are as incredible as the last. 

Here are some of the many highlights of our life these past years

New Year's Day in Japan

Kyoto, Japan

Taroko Gorge, Taiwan



Night Market Food, Taiwan

Tokyo,  Japan

Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo

Patara Elephant Farm, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Phuket, Thailand

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand

Floating Market, Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Sacre-Coeur Paris, France


The Louvre, Paris

Christmas Eve Market, Paris

Christmas Day, Paris


Omaha Beach, Normandy

Utah Beach, Normandy

Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland

Salzburg, Austria

Irish Pub, Salzburg

New Year's Eve Munich, Germany

Beer Pong in paris

Neuschwanstein Castle

Bali, Indonesia

Lowak Coffee, Bali

Roasting Coffee Beans, Bali

Coffee Tasting, bali




Forbidden City, Beijing, China


Great Wall of China Marathon (10k for me)

Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

Shuri Castle with Kim

Peace Prayer Park

Cape Zanpa

Camping on the Beach, Okinawa

Tedako Festival

Zip Lining

Kamakura, Japan

Tedako Festable

Sunrise from the top of Mt. Fuji, Japan

Top of Mt. Fuji

Okinawa, Japan


Okinawa, Japan


Biking through Bali

This sweet face, my little buddy

Philosopher's Walk, Kyoto




Arashiyama, Japan

Arashiyama, Japan

Taroko Gorge, Taiwan



Night Market, Taiwan

Patara Elephant Farm Lunch, Thailand

Chiang Mai, Thailand


little step may be the beginning of a great journey