Becoming a Member of a Club No One Wants to Belong to

I remember checking my app one morning

That’s weird, I should have started my period… no way… could I be? Well, yeah I mean… but wasn’t I out of my “green week”? Weird weird.

I checked my pregnancy test stash, left over from our last child, I made sure it wasn’t expired, and took the test. I watched intently trying to recall dates and cross checking them against my chart to see if it was a real possibility and I suppose it could be. As the dye ran across and the test line showed a faint line my heart raced. I grabbed my wallet, asked my teenager to watch my toddler, bribed my 10 year old with the promise of donuts if he came to the store with me, and off we went. I got 3 different brands, including the ones with the words “pregnant/not pregnant”.

My 10 year old looked at me
“Are you pregnant?!”
“I don’t know, that’s why I’m buying the tests.”
“Does dad know?”
“Well if I don’t know, how would he know”
“Are we still getting donuts?”
We got donuts, drove home, and I took test after test. Then went for the big guns. I used the digital test.

And there it was, in foolproof lettering,

PREGNANT.

My first thoughts were mainly about how to tell my husband who was at work. I wanted to do something fun but nothing like over the top, second thought was how can we tell everyone (aka post on FB), then I had thoughts I’ve never had… let’s wait until after the first trimester, just to be safe. Let’s not tell EVERYone just yet.

My husband has this whiteboard on the fridge he uses for notes when he gets after hour calls from work. He was using it pretty frequently at the time because the with snow we were getting people were constantly calling him… constantly. So the older kids and I decided we’d just write it on the white board and he’d see it when he got a call.

“Hey, I’m pregnant. Due September 2017”

He didn’t get any calls and we got impatient so we kept directing his attention to the white board and he finally realized something was up and he said it “what, are you pregnant or something??” And then he saw the white board and his jaw dropped.

“No way. Seriously? Wait… are you serious? No, are you messing with me? Omg. What? Dude, wait. Seriously?”

And I reached into my hoodie pocket, pulled out the like, 5 positive pregnancy tests and mic dropped them on the counter in front of him.

He examined the tests, and pressured the older kids.

“Is this for real. Did she get these online? No waaaaay… really?? Wow. Woooow.”
Then he went from crying to laughing to crying to laughing.

See we wanted another baby, but we weren’t trying yet. We just had a ‘free night’ when we thought I was out of my fertile window. So it wasn’t like we didn’t want more children, but we just weren’t regularly trying so we were all caught off guard, but as the days and weeks went on we got more and more excited.

I made appointments and set up an ultrasound and the place invited the kids to see their new sibling. They had never seen it live before so I asked if they wanted to go and they did, so we made arrangements.

The ultrasound was set up for when I would be 9 weeks and 3 days along. We would be able to see a gummy bear/teddy graham looking baby on the monitor and the big kids would see their new sibling for the first time. We were excited and counting down the days.

And then the day came.

The ultrasound started out on my tummy, but we couldn’t quite get a good view, which is how it can go early on, the uterus isn’t quite over the pubic bone so unless you can get the right angle the best way to get a peek is from the inside. For that we sent the kids out, they don’t need to see that side of their mama. We got everything covered, and appropriately set up for the kids to come back in, but the ultrasound techwanted to have the baby on the monitor for when they came in. Except she couldn’t find a baby. What she did find was measuring weeks behind what my dates said. There was no heart beat, no yolk sac, nothing indicating that this was a viable pregnancy.

The big kids didn’t come in.

How I Plan!

Let’s talk about how I went from this:

To this:

So this is is my fullsized household planner, uainf the IQ 360 system. This stays in my home, on the bookshelf, accessible for the family in case they decide to take initiative instead of asking me about happenings on the Foreman Front… maybe one day they will, until then I will continue to answer 😂

So first thing is first, these pages are boOoOring. Plain, empty, and just all together not cute! For me I tend to pick a patterned washi and some accent colors. Here is my washi stash:

I’m still trying to convince myself that just because there is room in my second washi case doesn’t mean I have to rush to fill it! “Trying” 😜

Weather here in Central Oregon is finally, FINALLY, warming up. 

HOORAY! 

Since the weather is warmer this week I wanted to pick something that was bright, like the sun will be. I settled on this combo:

For the header I decided on this washi:

“Plan Work Hustle” very accurate as this week I’m stepping back into the working world. It’ll be a shift from the last 6 and a half months of embracing the role of Stay At Home Mom, but bills don’t pay themselves and I gotta do what I gotta do! 

Easy peasy. Pattern and accent colors washi along the footer, complimenting washi across the header, and then it’s STICKER TIME! 

I think all together I have about 4 MAMBI Happy Planner Sticker packs. I have these packs:

And one other I can’t find a stock photo of but it’s full of quotes and flowers and such. Each of these I picked up from Michael’s and embraced their sales/coupons! 
Utilizing those sticker packs, as well as the other stickers I’ve picked up from Joann’s and Hobby Lobby, I decorate my pages to suit my families needs. 

Things I Include:

* What’s for dinner, I list dinners in the big planner, I list them in my small planner so I can reference if we need something from the store, and also on this meal planner expo board deal: 

Saturday is “Fend For Yourself” night. Whether we decide to do pizza, fast food, or everyone do their own thing, it’s a night my husband and I just don’t have to cook. 

* What area on the house we’re supposed to clean this week (I totally love Fly Lady Zone Cleaning schedule and I try to adhere to it as closely as possible) 

This week is Zone 4:

I actually wrote out each zone, and I adjusted so it applies to my house. This is Zone 4, listed out:

Not everyone has a laundry “room” my home actually just has a laundry “area” as the washer and dryer are in a closet in the hallway. 

And then I like to include quotes and anything we need to remember through the week. Last week there was a bake sale and a play, those were written down, and copied into my small planner in my purse.

I also keep track of my prayers and journaling, I give myself stars when I complete them for the day. Juvenile? Idk, nor do I care. The instant gratification of collecting my stars helps me stay on task! 

Welp, that’s it for this entry. I’m actually in the market for a color printer here soon and I may be trying my hand some stickers of my own design!

Thanks for reading, and happy planning!
-SF

Let’s Talk About Planning and Journaling

So there are a TON of planners out there, and they range from simple to extreme. A few months back I went and purchased a mini happy planner, a couple packs of stickers, but never really decorated it or anything. 

I got the planner right after finding out I was pregnant and had the first 4 months of prenatal appointments written out, so when I lost the baby I kind of didn’t want to look in my planner and stumble onto anything pregnancy related. 

Well It’s been a while, and although I will never forget my little angel Blip in in a good place and am not thrown by any markings in my planner, in fact they make me smile a little because it just shows how loved babe was so early on.

So I started with a happy planner mini, this one specifically

https://www.amazon.com/ideas-Create-Planner-Golden-January/dp/B01N2TWX71

Since then I’ve actually acquired an additional full size planner, a music journal, a personal journal, a notebook for a self help type class I attend, and a notebook for church. All are the same disc bound system however I found an “off brand” at Wal-Mart called iQ360 and I was able to build the four full size and 1 additional mini disc bound systems for a fraction of the cost. Definitely a no brainer since I LOVE a good deal. 

Once I decided what I wanted to keep track of and how I wanted to go about doing it I began stocking up on washi, stickers, and pens. 

Aside from things I purchased from the Dollar Tree everything I have ever gotten for my journals and planners have all been accompanied by a coupon or a sale some times both! 😉


Well, here they are in all of their glory: 

Seems like a lot, right?

It’s really not. They each serve their own purpose, I promise!
From left to right:

TOP ROW:

iQ360 mini – gray pocket folders used as covers filled with lined paper used for Church notes. 

iQ360 full – purple cover planner filled with weekly planner pages and line paper used for all things going on with the Foreman Front. 

Happy Planner mini – Hello Life cover fits perfectly, and I mean perfectly, in my small messenger handbag. I use it for quick jotting downs of plans, tentative and solid, and later transfer any info into my full size planner as needed.

BOTTOM ROW:

iQ360 full – teal cover notebook/journal filled with lined paper, separated into 2 sections for the 2 classes I attend. I got down quotes, notes, scripture references, homework questions, etc. 

iQ360 full – black and white pattern journal filled with lined paper. This is my daily recap journal. I keep this on my nightstand and each night after prayers I take some time to scribble down that day’s tidbits. 

iQ360 full – black cover music journal filled with lined paper. I use this for guitar notes. Ha. Puns. “Guitar notes” Anyways. I use this for storing chord progressions, scales, tabs, lyrics, etc. I like to pretend I can write songs 😉
And that’s it! 
In a future post I will break down how I turn this

Into this

And maybe show you guys why I got the nickname “Washi Woman” 

– SF

Sometimes You Need Some Happy

This past weekend the family and so took a trip to Great Wolf Lodge, a much needed break in all of the crazy we’ve been through this past month. 

Our youngest is 2 and a half and had an absolute blast. He loves water, I can’t think of a toddler that doesnt, and there’s a ‘little kid’ type area designed just for kiddos his age. 

Our middle boy got an action camera for Christmas, think Go Pro but within our budget, and he was thrilled to be able to record himself throughout the water park.

Out teenager enjoyed the waterpark, the pizza, and of course the wifi. 🙂

It was a nice break from my brain. Not having to cook, not having to think of entertainment because hello! Waterpark! Woo! But, I would catch myself staring at pregnant bellies. It’s hard to accept that I was just pregnant, and now I’m not, but I have no baby to show for it. 

I’m working through it.

My mother in-law gifted me a pressure cooker and I’ve found 2 weeks worth of recipes I’m going to work through to help keep me occupied. I’ve found a curriculum I’m going to be implementing with my 2 and a half year old, as well as a new schedule I’ve written out for us which includes daily walking time, a new breakfast and lunch plan for me, and I’m giving up anything other than water and the occasional glass of juice/milk to try to just feel better health wise. 

Before finding out I was pregnant I had a ton of medical stuff was going on, I actually had a few appointments I had to cancel because I became pregnant. So now I can focus on getting to 100% before we try again. 

So, recipes! 

Preschool stuff! 

Medical stuff! 

Healthier lifestyle! 

All happening here on the Foreman Front, follow along and see where it goes 

When depression strikes.

Let me start this with a disclaimer: I am not a doctor, I am not a licensed therapist or any sort of professional. I am, however, a being who has lived within the sea of chronic depression for more than half of my life and I’ve learned to rides the waves and read the currents in a way that helps me keep my head above water, especially when the tides come in.

So I’ve noticed this last week my depression is in full swing. I’m just nothing. I have zero drive and I feel like I’m just flatlinning through the day until it is time to sleep. I googled a little and found that postpartum depression isn’t just a risk for those who give birth, but is a possible outcome for those who miscarry. 

Joy.

So I’m fairly certain that’s what’s going on. I mean I figured the miscarriage wasn’t helping. 

Where I live, central Oregon, we got hit with a pretty decent amount of snow this winter season. I was let go from my job at the end of October and started a daily walking routine with my toddler, but once the snow hit the walks stopped. I got a treadmill but it’s not easily accessible and I can’t manage getting it into the garage by myself and sadly my husband just hasn’t buckled down to help me. 

Needless to say I just don’t leave the house much, so in addition to cabin fever with a toddler, my depression was already raising and now with the miscarriage and trying to deal with that the waves are crashing hard! 

This weekend we have a family trip planned for our middle child’s 11th birthday and I am certainly looking forward to family fun and smiles and laughter and just some solid happy. We’re going to Great Wolf Lodge and it was a blast last time, so I’m certain we will all enjoy ourselves. That should help reup my ‘happy meter’

A band I *love* is playing a show so a friend of mine and I are going to go soak in some awesome, which will also help get some more ‘yay’ in my happy meter as well. 

Unfortunately, while all of this is happening NOT in central Oregon guess what… It’s supposed to snow. So we may be coming home to a fresh coat of snow. That’s disheartening. 

I think, regardless, I have boots, the toddler has boots, maybe we will just stroll around the block. 

I gotta pull myself out of this funk and the fresh air has always helped. I used to walk by the shoreline before we moved here. Maybe the river trail will help. I read a while back that breathing in fresh air near bodies of water helps to alleviate depression and such. 

Til next time!
-SF

Processing (Part 2)

I was trying to understand what was happening. I was trying to figure out why the baby would be 3 weeks smaller, my dates weren’t that off were they? I mean I track my cycles. I know when my last period was, it’s right there in my app. I check the box each day I’m on my period. I KNOW my dates are right. My stomach was starting to pooch a bit and my pants were getting snug and I had just ordered maternity pants. We had planned out how we would make our announcement. We were supposed to be having a baby.

During all of these thoughts I’ve gotten dressed and we’ve walked to a side room while the kids were in the waiting area. I’m still trying to rationalize what just happened as the tech hands me paper work about the possibilities of miscarriage, helpful resources, and such. She leaves and I look at my husband, and then it just smacks me in the face and I feel like I’ve been punched and here they come.

The tears.

I’m shaking, trying to go through everything and wipe my tears and gather myself before the tech comes back, before I have to talk to my older kids who are more than likely wondering what is taking so long, before I have to drive and have my mind straight, before I have to go home to our toddler who eagerly pulls up my shirt and says “Baby tummy! HIIIII” regularly, before I have to go home to the babysitter who was surely expecting to see ultrasound pics and hear happy stories of how cool the experience had been.

My husband contacted his boss and told her he was going to work from home for the rest of the day. We had an appointment with our doctor the next day so we called and let them know what the tech at the clinic had said/found and they tried to get us in before our appointment, but we wound up just going in at the scheduled time since nothing earlier opened up.

I keep going over my dates. I haven’t had any cramping, I haven’t had any bleeding or spotting or anything indicating anything was wrong. I was getting sick daily, my breasts were still sore, my body was clearly still thinking it was pregnant. So what is happening? What is going on?

We go to the doctors and she does another ultrasound. Same as the day before, no heart beat, no yolk sac, still measuring 3 weeks behind. The doctor says a few things could be going on, I could be really early, maybe I ovulated later than I realized, but there was still no yolk sac which is necessary in early pregnancy to sustain the embryo as it develops onto a fetus, or I could be experiencing what is known as a missed miscarriage.

A missed miscarriage.

So not only is my baby not becoming a baby, but my uterus won’t let go.

Apparently, I have a stubborn twat.
My doctor decided that getting blood work done and comparing HCG levels over 48 hours will give us a better idea of what’s really going on. That day my levels were 101,000, which the nurse added was “actually really high”.
While at the doctors I get a text from my teenage daughter “something from zulily came for you”
Great.
My husband hid the package in the closet, not knowing I was already aware it had arrived. While everyone was at work/school I peeked in the package, sucks I more than likely won’t be putting these to proper use anytime soon. Stupid pants. Stupid stupid pants. I balled them all back up and just shoved them back in the package. I can’t deal with this right now. Once everyone is home I get dinner going. Definitely comfort food tonight, my husband and I agree on corned beef and cabbage. Here I am enjoying a meal thinking about the reality of my situation. I’m not pregnant. My body thinks I am, but I’m not pregnant. There is no baby, I will not be using those stupid pants for this pregnancy. My body is dumb and won’t let go. And then I feel it… the nausea creeps up, the food creeps up and I race to the bathroom.
Stupid stupid stubborn and stupid.
I lose it. I’m face first in the toilet, which I clean every time I prep to puke, and I just lose it. My stupid body is still acting pregnant. This non viable pregnancy is still in control of my body. I can’t. I curl up in bed and bawl.

Confirmation (Part 3)

So two days later I go back for the retest. My husband didn’t come with me this time, it’s just an in and out then go home and wait for the results… or so I thought.

I go in, alone, and almost bump into this woman with a glorious round orb of a belly that is obviously so full of life.
*sigh*

I shake it off and check in, expecting to be just sent back to the lab area. But nope! I get told to sit down, and wait for my name to be called. I have to wait in this room full of women with various bellies of various sizes unintentionally reminding me of stages I’ll never reach with this pregnancy. Now, yes. You may be thinking “oh but the dr hasn’t called it yet, there’s still hope! How are you so easily giving up?”

Check it out.

I measured 3 weeks behind, that’s impossible, if I WAS truly 3 weeks behind there’s still no cardio activity, and yes maybe it would be so early that the heart hasn’t started beating yet but then there’s the lack of yolk sac, which is 100% crucial to the embryo’s survival before being absorbed into its gut. So I’m being realistic and not trying to hold onto hope that I can’t just muster.

I see women leaving with the “Your Pregnancy” book this office hands out when they confirm a pregnancy, they gave me one at my first basic appointment, it’s currently hidden in my closet. I see them staring at their ultrasounds smiling, texting away, sending pics. I think of my own ultrasound with not much going on, tucked away in an envelope along with the paperwork about miscarriages. I stuck it into this book I have that gives you a day by day break down about your pregnancy, you know, when things go right.

Aaaand here they are again.

The tears.

I fight them off and anxiously wait for my name to be called. Just take my blood already for crying out loud.

Finally.

A lady calls my name and I follow her back. “How’s your day going?” I can’t even open my mouth for fear of a freak out so I give her what smile I can manager and a thumbs up. She takes my blood and recognizes my vein, it’s really a good one, almost doesn’t even need a tourniquet.

When done I head back to the car and lose it. My teenager stayed in the car with my sleeping toddler. She looked at me and reluctantly asked “you ok mom?” I ranted a bit about how screwed up the whole situation is and if I was miscarrying why was my body being such an ass an not just letting go. We agreed that mcdonalds would cheer us up.

That night I had the weirdest dream, and I feel it was my brain’s way of letting me know it acknowledged our body’s situation.

Friday morning, we were watching the phone intently, my husband stayed home for support, and the phone rang.

It’s official.

My numbers have dropped. Not only have we lost the baby but my body isn’t letting go of the pregnancy.

The nurse went on to tell us about our options. I was in my body’s 10th week, however baby was measuring 6 weeks. That’s given my body 4 weeks to figure out and let go however there’s no signs of that happening.

See if your body will start to do what it should have already done, take this pill you’re technically not a candidate for, or have a surgical procedure done and move on to healing.

I tell her I’ll discuss with my husband and call back.

After some deliberation, tears, selective googling, and some serious hugging it out we opt for the d & c. With my inability to contract/labor because of my risk for uterine rupture, and my body already going 4 weeks beyond the cease of development, this seems our best route to the road of healing.

The dr has an opening the next day and with heavy hearts, and tear blurred sight, we schedule to procedure.

Closing Time (Part 4)

“Nothing to eat after midnight
Only water up until 4am
Be at the hospital at 730am
Bring ID and insurance cards
Wear comfy baggy clothes

And again, I’m so sorry.”

I jotted the instructions on a scrap of paper and stared at them for a bit, and then cried some more.

I laid out the clothes I’d be wearing in the morning and that night I tossed and turned, which wasn’t too surprising considering what I would be facing in the morning. My eyes snapped open when the alarm went off.

This is it.

This is the first time I will go from pregnant to not pregnant and not have a baby to show for it.

My body is STILL acting pregnant and I have to wait out a wave of nausea before getting out of bed and getting dressed, not ready, dressed. There is no ‘ready’. I remind my husband of the time, and we head out. We prepared the kids the night previous that’d we would be leaving early and would most likely be gone before they got out of bed so they wouldn’t freak out. We sit in the van, hold hands for a moment, staring out of the windshield in silence, and then we head to the hospital.

Because of the hour we had to go through the ER and man, that’s the most empty I’ve seen an ER ever. We get me checked in, I’m given the file to give the nurses, and we head to the lobby to wait to be called back.

“Stephanie?”

Crapcrapcrapcrap this is it. I hand the nurse my folder and we walk back to a room where they ask the standard questions, take vitals, my IV is started, I’m given an antibiotic, and I get dressed into my lovely hospital attire. After a bit the anesthesiologist comes to check in on me, same standard questions, the Dr comes and checks in and confirms it’s time. Again, this isn’t a thing one is ‘ready’ for so much as coping with. They show my husband to the waiting room.

By then my anxiety has kicked in, I tend to do purposeful repetitive movements when I’m anxious, this time it was creating a small fold in my hospital blanket and running my hand along the fold basically pressing in a very precise crease. My anesthesiologist notices and offers to give me something to calm me down a little since we are heading back. I feel it kick in, I think this was what being drunk felt like? I just remember reporting I felt loopy and then moving to the O R table.

I remember nothing of what happened until I opened my eyes at about 915am, I checked the clock and closed my eyes again only to snap them back open at 920. I did this until 940, every 5 mins, the nurse would try to talk to me, I would mumble “I’m just so tired” and close my eyes again. Finally I get a decent sentence out, which was asking about the procedure and if it went well. The nurse said it was done a while ago, everything went fine, but I must have been really tired because I was in recovery for nearly an hour before waking up. At that point I asked for my husband and was offered juice. As my head got less cloudy and  it started to all sink in.

This last week has seriously been one of the hardest weeks I’ve ever experienced.

I opted for cranberry juice and get dressed. I try to come out of what’s left of this haze and then my husband comes in, boy does that man make me feel safe. My head cleared a bit more and I finished my juice. I was told I had to go potty before I was released so I tried and success. With that I’m given my discharge paperwork, meds for pain, and a follow up appointment for 2 weeks out.

The nurse wheels me to where my husband has pulled the van, and he helps me into my seat, buckles me up, and that’s it. It’s done. The healing can start.

I get home to a living room full of concerned children
“You okay? How you feeling? I love you!”
I give some love and head to my bed.

I’m exhausted.

Physically, mentally, and emotionally, I am just absolutely frickin exhausted.

I am one in four. (Part 5)

I’m not sure how to explain how I’m feeling now. I mean there’s a bit of peace, quite honestly. It was so disheartening KNOWING that my body was carrying a nonviable pregnancy. No heartbeat, no yolk sac, what would have become a baby was actively shrinking, but my body was refusing to let go. Every pregnancy symptom was torture after realizing that they were onset only because my uterus didn’t seem to get the memo that there was no life to support.

I’m glad we can turn the page, and while I never wanted to join this “club”, I can say that I will be okay.

To my little Blip, who showed up too briefly on my life’s radar

I never got to hold you or hear your beating heart, but since I saw those two pink lines, I loved you from the start.

I had hopes and dreams and fantasies of what you would do and be, and though those will never happen just know that you’re still part of me.

While I no longer carry you in my womb as this world you did depart, you’ll always be a piece of me and live on in my heart.