finding out about baby earl

(I wrote this post on Thursday, September 19, one day after we found out I was pregnant)

Yesterday morning I was terrified to pee on that stick. Well, I don't really pee on it because it's easier to pee in a cup and then dip but I digress. I got up with Dale knowing it was time. I went to the other bathroom with my supplies and proceeded to take a pregnancy test.

I covered the stick up with the instructions while I waited the 3 minutes shaking as I sat on the toilet. In 3 minutes I would meet the inevitable fork in the road to growing our family. One side would lead to more tests, drugs, procedures, and struggles to make our baby. The other side would lead to a new chapter of being pregnant and growing our long awaited baby.

My 3 minutes were up. It was time to find out where the road was taking us next.

navigating infertility and the journey to growing our family

Tomorrow we’re taking a big step on our journey to grow our family. It will be our first attempt at IUI. This past month I've been stressed and nervous working to get to this point. But now I feel full of hope and excitement. I know we’re getting closer to meeting our future baby.

This journey to grow our family has been much longer and filled with road bumps that I never anticipated. I thought we’d get pregnant within the first year of being married. Isn’t that what happens when you don’t use birth control and don't have a family history of infertility?

One of the last texts I have saved from my mom is her comforting me after taking another negative pregnancy test. I've peed on countless sticks all with the same result--no baby in my belly. To better prepare by body and future baby, I spent a year transitioning my antidepressants to a safer medication. Last summer we got the thumbs up from my doctor to start seriously trying and then two months later mom died.

surviving my first mother's day without mom

the last picture of me and mom together

As a stepmom, Mother's Day is already a complicated holiday for me. Then you add the tragic loss of my mother 10 months ago combined with our continuing struggle to get pregnant and the day quickly became an emotionally explosive trifecta.

Mother's Day Weekend my emotions were on a twisting roller coaster of highs and lows. On Saturday I was overcome by despair and self-pity. By the time we got home from visiting the boys in Farmington, seething rage mixed with numb indifference clouded my mind and engulfed my body. Unsure how to help myself and wanting to be alone, I took a shower and let the water poor over me for 20+ minutes.

I sat on the floor of the tub and cried. I wanted to cry more than I could actually let out. The desire to wail and lose complete control welled up inside but I couldn’t surrender. It hurt too much. Like a crying baby, I let enough out so I could at least fall sleep.

10 affordable plus-size tops for spring under $30

Things have gotten a little gloomy over here in my corner of the internet. So much of my blog has been devoted to processing my mom's death. While that's been extremely helpful for me (and I know will continue...sorry not sorry), I'm going to switch things up and talk about a bit lighter subject today. Shopping (and of course body image because this post can't be too light)!

I've followed Natalie Borton and Caitlin Kruse on Instagram for years. I love both of their personal styles and weekly try-ons via Instagram stories. However, both of these lovely ladies have very different body shapes than my own. So I've been on the hunt for some additional style inspiration from bloggers who are size 12 or above.

I'm happy to report that through Natalie and Caitlin's Instagram try-on sessions, I've found some fabulous (new to me) fashion bloggers in my size range! Three of my favorites include: Rebecca from Mommy in Heels, Ashley Dorough, and Maddy Gutierrez. I'm grateful that brands and bloggers are becoming more size inclusive. Every body deserves to be loved and celebrated.

thank you for needing me

Neither of us is good at waiting. Patience is certainly not our strong suit. I admit I kinda love that about you. It makes me feel understood in some strange, meaningful way.

As I sit here trying to work on a freelance assignment while you nudge my arm asking for loves, I can't help but be grateful that you need me. You could be sleeping on the couch in the living room with dad but instead you're lying on the hardwood floor next to my desk chair.

I'm in a waiting period. I have been since shortly after we got you. I know it won't always be just you, me, and daddy. One day we will be blessed with the human sister we all talk about so much. She will become your new best friend.

the dead moms club

Six months. 184 days. 4,416 hours. 264,960 minutes. That's how long mom has been gone.

For some reason, today felt like a significant milestone in this never ending grief journey that's been thrust upon us. I'm an unwilling member of the dead moms club. Most of us end up becoming a member eventually. But I never imagined it would be this soon or under these circumstances.

When I woke up this morning, I was conscious of the date but wasn't focused on its significance. I got up ready to get to work early and tackle my to-do list. I fed Zoey, made myself a healthy smoothie, and read my scriptures.

Then I made the mistake of looking at Instagram before I got into the shower.

surviving my first christmas without mom

2018 will forever be burned in my memory as the year we lost mom too soon. Stuck in the sterile environment of a ghost town ICU. Absorbed by sorrow, disbelief, and horror. Mom slipped away in the wee morning hours mere minutes after the machines turned off. Spencer and Ian made it just in time to say their goodbyes. We each held her hand and told her how much we loved her. And then, just like that, she was gone.

Typing these words over five months after that dreadful day still makes my chest tighten and stomach turn. I'm glad this first holiday season is over. One less first to face in the future.