Day 1

Well, I'm laura, but I'm assuming most of you already knew that. I'm 22 years old, I live in South Dakota with my husband Jon and 20 month old daughter Dylan. I am a stay at home mom and also run a photography business, but being a mom will always be my first and most important job. We lost our son Elijah on April 25, 2010, from complications caused by trisomy 13, and miss him more than ever. This year, we are expecting our third child, due September 13, 2011. We are so excited and happy to report that everything looks healthy and normal with this pregnancy. 

15 interesting facts about me:

  1. My eyes are two different colors, one is blue and the other is half blue half brown.
  2. I still have a baby tooth, the permanent tooth was missing so I never lost my baby tooth.
  3. I don't really like ice cream (unless it is coffee flavored) but I love frozen yogurt.
  4. I don't eat anything that lives in water, so no fish for me.
  5. I graduated high school early and moved out of state to live on my own before turning 18
  6. I can't stand the sound of people brushing their teeth, it makes me cringe every time.
  7. I once wore my hair like Baby Spice for an entire year, how embarrassing is that?
  8. I absolutely hate lady bugs and I am terrified of butterflies.
  9. I am one of those annoying people who sanitize everything and obsess about germs.
  10. When I was little I wanted to live on a farm, become and artist, and have 8 kids.
  11. Sometimes I go through phases where I sleep with my head at the foot of the bed.
  12. I fell in love with my husband three years before we even started dating.
  13. I enjoy playing a good game of Counterstrike or Call of Duty.
  14. I toured with the Band Bowling for Soup for a few weeks once.
  15. In the last three years I've NOT been pregnant for only 8 months.
Here is the most recent photo of myself that I can find:

Baby #3

Yep, it's true, Jon and I are expecting again! We found out on Dec. 30th, when I took a pregnancy test on a whim. I was hardly even late so I have no idea what prompted me to take it, but I just had a feeling. I cried and cried when I saw the second line, I just couldn't believe it. And yes, we had been trying for a while. In June, after my postpartum check up  we decided to start actively trying to conceive. We were devastated by the loss of Elijah, and it took a lot of late nights talking things out with my husband for us to decide to try again. But we knew we wanted Dylan to have a sibling somewhat close in age to grow up with, and we also wanted to have our children while we are still younger just in case there was the small chance there was an issue with our reproductive systems that had caused something to go wrong last pregnancy. Well, I waited and waited for my PP period to come and it was nowhere in sight come the end of June, so I was prescribed Provera to help out. Finally after getting my first cycle started at the end of June, I started charting and doing OPKs. And yes, I became one of those women who was obsessed with charting, I would try and time everything perfectly and then I would spend many nights staring at my chart expecting something magical to happen, but of course nothing ever did. A few months went by and I hardly had any positive OPKs and when I did it was very late in my cycle. Going from getting pregnant with two children with little to no effort to having to try and be disappointed every month seeing that one lonely line was very stressful. I know many people have struggled for years to get pregnant, and my heart goes out to them, just in the 7 months of trying I became very sad and discouraged. I felt that since I lost Elijah and I wasn't magically getting pregnant right away when trying, that maybe it just wasn't meant to happen, but I know I was just being very impatient and maybe even selfish.  So come November, it had been six months, and I just thought something might be up. Either I wasn't ovulating or I was ovulating too late in my cycle for it to stick. My OB wanted to do some blood tests during my cycle to see when I was ovulating, and both in November and December I had my progesterone checked on day 21 of my cycle (I normally had 28 day cycles).  Both tests showed that I had very low progesterone not consistent with ovulation. I was very sad, I felt like I had been trying for no reason for the last 7 months. After my test results in December we made an appointment for Feb. 14 (valentine's day of all days) to discuss medications to help out my cycles and kick start ovulation.

Exactly a week after scheduling that appointment, on a very weird whim, I used my last pregnancy test I had. Totally irrational, and I knew I was probably just setting myself up for disappointment. For about 30 seconds I stared at the test I knew would just end up making me cry.  And to my amazement TWO lines appeared. I was in disbelief, just 7 days ago I had scheduled an appointment to discuss fertility treatment options, yet there staring back at me was a positive pregnancy test! I cried, then I sobbed, I couldn't believe it. I sent a photo of the test to my husband and he couldn't believe it either. But after buying a few more tests, they were all positive. I had no clue how it happened, and I didn't even really care, I was just so happy. I had blood work done to check my hcg and progesterone levels the following week and they were looking perfect, my progesterone was even back up to a normal level. We had only told our parents at this point, because we really wanted to be cautious this time around, I wanted to know that this was a real and healthy pregnancy before telling everyone. On Jan. 26th I had a dating ultrasound to see how far along I was, and this is what we saw.

One healthy little bean measuring 7wks 1day with a strong heart rate of 157. We were so relieved to see that heart beat and for it to be in a normal range, our first ultrasound with Elijah showed a heart rate of over 200. My next appointment wasn't scheduled until Feb. 23 at 11weeks, and let me just say that was the longest wait ever. 

Yesterday was my first OB appointment and I also had the first trimester screening. I was a nervous wreck. I was sick to my stomach thinking about what might happen. With Elijah we found out around 11 weeks that there were complications, so I was terrified of reliving that experience. My OB appointment went great, it was just a basic exam, but it was so nice being able to talk to her again and express our excitement and fears. After that I met with our same genetic councilor who went over what the ultrasound was going to look for. Next was the ultrasound. I was so scared. Thankfully my mom and husband were able to be there with me. Immediately, we see a precious little baby giving us a big thumbs up. That's when I starting crying. Then the tech said it was in a perfect position to do the measurements. The nuchal fold is what they measure behind the neck and when there is a high measurement of fluid, that usually is an indicator that something is not right. They consider a normal measurement to be under 3, Elijah's measured 4.5. Right away I could tell that things looked better with this baby, and the tech said with much joy that it was measuring 1.4, which is normal. My mom, my husband, and I all let out a huge sigh of relief, and lot of tears. Everything else measured perfectly. We got to see some 3D and 4D images, and have a cute little video of the baby dancing around. We just feel so relieved and so blessed to be able to have another chance at having a healthy baby. 

I've never known what I wanted to do with my life, but one thing I've always been sure of is that I was meant to be a mother, and I'm so thankful to have that opportunity again. Also, I want to thank all of you for your support throughout the last year or so, I wouldn't have been able to get through all of this without such kind words of support and comfort. I know now more than ever how fragile life can be, and it makes me appreciate everything I have so much more. I know I'm still going to struggle with grieving the loss of elijah, and it will probably make this pregnancy a little more stressful, but I will continue to update you with my thoughts, fears, and joys. 

And for fun, some photos from the last 11 weeks:

Our new little guy or gal:

And our announcement:

The due date is September 13, 2011.

30 Days

In an effort to help jumpstart my blogging again, I'm going to post about these 30 things. I may not do them everyday, but I will get through them by the end of the year.

Day 1-Introduce, recent picture, 15 interesting facts

Day 2-Meaning behind your blog name

Day 3-Your first love

Day 4-Your parents

Day 5-Your favorite recipes

Day 6-A picture of something that makes you happy

Day 7-Favorite movies

Day 8-A place you've traveled to

Day 9-A picture of your friends

Day 10-Something you're afraid of

Day 11-Favorite tv shows

Day 12-What you believe

Day 13-Goals

Day 14-A picture you love

Day 15-Bible verse

Day 16-Dream house

Day 17-Something you're looking forward to

Day 18-Something you regret

Day 19-Something you miss

Day 20-Nicknames

Day 21-Picture of yourself

Day 22-What's in your makeup bag

Day 23-Favorite vacation

Day 24-Something you've learned

Day 25-Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs

Day 26-Picture of your family

Day 27-Pets

Day 28-Something that stresses you out

Day 29-3 Wishes

Day 30-a picture

Goodbye Gluten

Jon had his endoscopy yesterday after his blood tests for Celiac came back positive. The entire procedure took about 3 hours. The doctor said that there was quite a bit of inflammation in the stomach and the esophagus, and it looked like there may have been an infection in his stomach. We won't get the biopsy results until Friday, but based on what was seen they want Jon to eliminate all gluten from his diet and he will have to visit with a nutritionist. I went through our cupboard and pretty much all of the products had gluten in them. Looks like I have some serious meal planning and grocery shopping to do. One positive from this is that we will be more aware of what we are eating and will likely be eating healthier. Here are some photos from when Jon got home, he was out, and nothing (not even Dylan) could wake him up.

Momma Dylan

I find it so cute how Dylan takes care of her dolls. She feeds them snacks, reads them books, even tucks them in at night and gives them kisses. It's so fun finding out what things she understands, and I think she's smarter than I give her credit for. Even though she doesn't talk much yet, she can do most anything I ask her to do, even pick up her toys and put her dinner plate on the counter when she's done. I'm finally starting to get through all of the stress, anger, and sadness of the last year, and I'm so happy that I'm finally in a place where I can be happy again and cherish the moments I have with my family.

Dylan and her baby.