Naming Maxee

I feel the pressure. Since we found out Maxee is a girl, I think this subject is one that I am trying to avoid.

Naming our baby girl.

We are currently 22 weeks pregnant with our sweet baby girl, Maxee. The nickname has grown on me and I am scared I won’t like choosing her actual name. download.jpg

The task of choosing her name has been an exciting, playful, and daunting journey and I’m not sure I have grown used to this task.

Growing up, I worked as a lifeguard during the summer. I got to know plenty of children’s names and began a list while I was in college of my top names.

Over the years, I have revisited the list, refining it, adding, deleting.

I thought this process would be much more fun and creative but I forgot that my Hubby would have his own opinions, likes, and dislikes.

I brought my list of over 30 of my FAVORITE girl names to the discussion and Hubby vetoed almost all of them.

To be fair, Hubby has his absolute favorite girl name and it just doesn’t sit well with me for this baby girl growing inside of me.

I vetoed his top choice for this pregnancy. Maybe next one?

He is a simple, practical guy and brought a list of 6 and asked me to do the same.

None of them matched up.

We want to give her a name with meaning and that is not already in our circle of friends and family.

Although we want it to be uncommon, we don’t want it to be too “out there” that would become a problem for her.

The actual name is one big project and then the spelling of it is the next.

Balancing what would be phonetically easy and what makes sense. I always feel bad for people with abstract spelling that they continuously have to correct. I have enough trouble with people spelling my name with 2- “L”s!

  • I personally like a little more abstract names and Hubby is more conservative.
  • I like more gender-neutral names and Hubby wants one that sounds feminine.
  • I would like a name with sentimental value and Hubby doesn’t like any of our genealogical female names.
  • Hubby seems to prefer names that are classic yet unique and I am not as drawn.

Most of the names we discuss, I have horrible facial connections to. (It hasn’t helped that I have been in education for over 8 years and met my fair share of teenagers that destroy the hope of names for me.)

This is a big deal and I feel the pressure of naming this child.

This will be the name she carries with her throughout her entire life. It is how people will know her.

I also can’t help but feel the pressure of choosing THE ONE as it might be our ONLY girl, or child, to name.

If I knew we were having more, then I would be able to relax a little more knowing we have another opportunity.

But this is all we have right now, so we can be grateful, and focus on her.

We won’t be sharing the name before she arrives.

It’s special to have something just between us during this time.

Plus, I don’t want the added pressure of hearing people’s opinions on the name we have chosen.

So, our search continues.

  • We sit in prayer, asking for a name to become clear.
  • We look up the meanings of different names.
  • We scroll the credits of every TV program and movie we watch, seeing if there is a name that jumps off the screen.
  • We think through our favorite books and decipher any characters that really made an impact.
  • We contemplate different meanings and look up names associated.
  • We go through meaningful events and travels that have helped build our marriage and scoured our heritage to find names that reflect who we are and where we come from.

Knowing we have 2 names to decide (first and middle), we keep our options open.

I am grateful to know that I want this name to be from the both of us. I have heard people say, the final say comes down to the women since she carried the child for the past 9+ months, but for me, I want to gift Maxee with a name that both Hubby and I want for her.

I want her to know that her name is especially given to her by us.

Thankfully we have 5 months to work this one out!

 

 

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Making Herself Known

Maxee is making herself known to me and the world.

I thought I felt her little flutter kicks starting around week 7.

Seemed a bit early, but when I sat quietly in the morning with my hand on my stomach, before having breakfast, it was as though she was right there next to my hand.

I would pray for and over her and I would feel these slight pitter-patter of ‘kicks’ on my palm.

As the weeks have gone on, these little precious morning moments have turned into delightful reminders throughout the day of how much she is growing.

Now, my stomach actually moves from the inside!

I can feel these big movements and watch them pop out of my stomach.

Hubby is now able to feel her and at times, she flips and flops on both sides.

There is no way of hiding my stomach and I have moved into maternity clothes.

She is here and making herself present to be known to the world.

I am loving growing this girl.

In my past, weight gain and a less than slender figure would spin me into an unhealthy mental state.

With help over the years, I have been able to arrest these shameful/condemning feelings and thoughts and instead now see my body as a gift that is to be nurtured.

Today, I love my growing belly and praise God for the pound/week weight gain.

Thus far I have gained between 10-15lbs, wahoo!!

Keep this girl growing healthy.


We went in for our half-way-point (20-week) check-up which is also known as the Anatomy Scan.

How incredible was this ultrasound!

We haven’t seen Maxee since week 9 so it was such a surprise to see how much she has grown and how much of a human she has developed into.

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Fascinated by the little nose, bones, ribs, toes, fingers… I cried.

That is our beautiful baby girl.

I was overtaken with emotion.

She was flipping all over the place and putting herself into some funky yoga positions.

How flexible she is in there!

The ultrasound tech was measuring the different parts of her body.

Her stomach, her heart, and the 4 chambers of her heart, her brain, her leg length.

It’s all there.

Between the kicking and now the visual of her inside of me, a tiny human, I am attaching myself to her more each day.

Knowing that these next 5 months will fly by and she will be in my arms before I know it, I hold true to the motto of living for this day to stay fully present and aware of the gift of being 5 months pregnant.

Morning, All-day & Night Sickness

The first trimester was a rough go for me. I loved knowing that I was pregnant and couldn’t believe I was actually able to carry a child.

The gratitude has been overwhelming!

After it was confirmed with the ultrasound and heartbeat that our little one is alive and healthy, it hit me.

At 6 weeks, 4 days, I was slammed with an overwhelming wave of nausea.

The thought of eating made me want to gag.

No weird cravings, just full on food aversion. The thought of a food item made me want to gag.

If I could stick a line straight into my body to get the nutrients I needed to grow this sweet baby, I would.

I don’t want to shop, cook, smell, or think about food and what ‘sounds good’ to eat, ick!

I was able to stomach dairy (cottage cheese in particular) and berries.

Everything else was choked down for the sake of my health and this growing baby.

Going to the grocery store was a chore and something I had to gear up for.

I have read many people’s recommendations on saltine crackers and eating small meals throughout the day.

This wasn’t going to work for me.

Instead, I continued with my regular routine of having healthy, balanced meals and listened to my body and supportive friends who have gone through this before.

Even though the thought of food made me want to gag, when I sat down to eat, it wasn’t too bad.

Therefore, I just shut out my thoughts that were racing in my mind leading up to my meals.

What’s helped?

  • I start off my morning with 18oz of water
  • Breakfast is balance and simple with another 18oz of water
  • I don’t eat snacks
  • Boosted my intake of vitamin B6
  • Healthy lunches and dinners that are well-rounded.
  • Drinking at least 80-90oz of water a day
  • Eating every 4-5 hours
  • Going to bed early and getting a full-nights rest

Weeks 6-7- Berries and dairy were my saving grace, as was rice, tomatoes & cooked vegetables

Week 8– Banana a day, acupuncture, it’s getting worst though, the foods I could eat these last few weeks are non-starters now, don’t even bring them into sight.Image result for stinky food

Week 9- It’s really getting worse, I don’t know how much more of this I can handle. I can’t move without thinking I’m heading for the bathroom. Any smell or thought of food in my mouth makes me want to be sick and I end up choking down food that will give my body good nourishment. Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries (notice a theme), rice, protein. I lay on the couch as much as I can. Sleeping is the best state for me.

Week 10*- I think it’s starting to get a tad better. I’m scared to get my hopes up. I think of the blandest, healthy food I can have. Spaghetti squash, ground turkey, rice, berries, frozen okra, yogurt. I have to lay down after every meal and if I’m sitting up for too long, I need to go lay down. How in the world do people function like this? I am wanting a medal for making it through this period of pregnancy, but have to remind myself that the majority of women experience this same thing… I’m not unique! My dad reminds me that although I’m not unique, this is unique to me and to let myself feel this experience and embrace it as my own.

The second half of the week is back to being pretty miserable. Horizontal on the couch as much as I can. Hubby got me a painter’s mask from the garage to help with the smells that come from our kitchen when I absolutely have to cook something. I don’t know how much longer I can stand this. Every minute of the day, I am reminded of how sick I feel and feel I’m on the verge of running to the bathroom.

The constant churning and unsettled stomach. It’s the stomach flu that won’t go away… for weeks.

God help me!

Week 11*- I thought I was getting out of the worst of it, and might still be. The nausea is so strong and I have limited food options left. White rice with scrambled eggs and a dash of salt. Blocks of cheese, yogurt, blueberries, oranges also seem to satisfy my stomach.

Trying to get as bland as possible without a major reaction to anything too flavorful otherwise, I end up with an upset stomach and the beginnings of acid reflex.

Back to acupuncture, 2 times this week. Hoping it will help my hormones calm down and become a bit more regulated.

The progesterone oil shots conclude this week too, thank you God! That has been a long, committed effort that I am grateful to have ended.

Now, I thank God for the fact that I’m pregnant and that this pregnancy appears to be healthy by the result of my nausea.

Week 12*- White rice, scrambled eggs, frozen cut okra. Thankfully I feel the all-day nausea is subsiding and now it is just back to smells and food aversions only. I’m praying this means that it will be only getting better from here and I’m able to start eating my regular foods again.

I am looking forward to getting back to a workout routine of sorts as well. Praying my body holds up for me to enjoy some activity throughout the week. I can’t believe it’s been over 6 weeks since I saw the inside of a gym or even sweated a tad. Grateful I know how to slow down and be ok not being at the gym (that’s healing for me!)

*It was helpful that during weeks 10-12 we began telling our dear friends and family that we are pregnant. This helped make it seem more real and exciting and the sickness (which lasted pretty much all day), seems less.

Week 13-14- I have found the glorious already-cooked section at Whole Foods to be a lifesaver. Although I am not able to smell the cooked items without feeling sick, I can eat it! Beef roast, pork, chicken, and turkey! Protein is my friend again. Veggies are still touch-and-go as they do have a few cooked items but my stomach is not able to handle larger quantities.

I continue to feel nausea and have actually gotten sick a couple mornings these past few weeks, but overall, I feel it’s getting better.

My prayer is that by week 15 (starts today) and into week 16, I will have my appetite back!

Nurse Hubby

The final round of Clomid is complete and ‘the week’ is here. We have been excited to see what everything looks like that’s been growing. I headed to the doctor, hopeful there would be at least 1 viable follicle and a good thick uterine lining. I have been praying for my womb each night before I go to bed, for God to prepare it and do whatever was necessary to be healthy and fruitful.

Two follicles! Wahoo. Excited to see the Clomid had worked and my lining is 6mm (healthy).

The bummer is the follicles are too small (on day 13), so I made an appointment for day 15.

Within the 2 days, they grew a little more, yippee!! But still not big enough to trigger an ovulation.

Major bummer! What are you going to do? Unfortunately, we are in a circumstance where we are not able to come in to the doctor in the next 7 days, so do we risk foregoing an ovulation? I say this because I have needed help from an HCG trigger shot for all these previous rounds of Clomid so if I don’t get that boost of a hormone, I don’t know if my body will ovulate?

After a little bit of convincing, they send me home with an HCG trigger shot to administer on our own. Ah, what? I am not great at inflicting pain on myself and my Hubby is not too excited about sticking my backside with something that makes me bleed.IMG_1703.jpg

They walk through the instructions of how to suck up 1cc of the sanitary water into the syringe using the thicker gauged needle and then squirt it into the vial that has the powdered medication. Roll it in my hands and then change the needle to a smaller (22) gauge needle to suck it all up and then poke it into my bottom. They said ‘we don’t want to put you through a larger gauge needle’ when giving me the smaller.

Thank you, I thought.

We have now crossed over to the next level of medical.

Praying that I would ovulate on my own between now and day 19 (which was the last day they wanted me to go before triggering).

Day 16– no blinking smiley face

Day 17– Blinking smiley face! Oh come on Solid smiley face…

Day 18– Blinking smiley face…. bummer…

Day 19– Blinking smiley face…. (sigh).

It’s time.

We watched a few YouTube videos on administering shots to the bottom. Hubby washed his hands and we found the right spot that he would stick me.

I prepared the medicine as outlined by the nurses and handed the shot to Hubby who was sitting on the toilet seat in the bathroom.

(Plop)

Uh, what was that? I turned around.

The shot was not in his hand and his eyes were pointing toward the ground.

There… sticking straight out of the white shag bathroom mat, nose down, our HCG shot.

Are you serious?

I bend over, try to pick it out of the rug and it’s stuck. I wiggle the needle point out of the mat as it’s tip had bent making a tiny hook around the mat fibers. I narrowed to the point of the needle, it was no longer sharp.

Hubby quickly reminded me we cannot try to use it as it’s not sterile (even though I was contemplating just doing it anyway).

What are we supposed to do now? This was our last round of Clomid and now we cannot even ensure an Ovulation. We may have just forgone our chance this time around.IMG_1704

My heart sank.

Hubby felt horrible… It wasn’t his fault.

There is one more option.

The larger gauged needle.

The same needle the nurses laughed to me about not ‘putting me through that’.

It’s our only option if we want to force the Ovulation with the HCG.

With sweat beginning to surface on my hands in anticipation of this thicker needle entering my skin, I changed out the needles and gave it to Hubby.

What was it going to feel like? How sore would I be? Would that much larger of a needle really hurt?

He poked once… not going in.

He poked twice…. not going in.

In a serious tone, I said, “just force it in there, like a dart”.

He poked a third time and it went in!

Thicker than what I recall… absolutely!

The medicine was administered.

My bottom was sore.

But these are the lengths we go to, right?

The sacrifices for another human being are great and they begin well before they even enter our wombs and lives.

The supplements, the healthy eating, the exercising. All the recommendations of what we can be doing to help foster a healthy environment.

Re-researching the HCG to ensure we had it all correct… ovulation occurs between 24-36 hours after administration of the HCG and the egg lives in a woman’s body for 12-24 hours. So essentially, plan for timed intercourse 24, 36, 42 hours after the shot.

Hubby thought he was done but he still has work to do. At least we are still having fun with this whole process.

I’m grateful that we are a team and God is strengthening our marriage each step of the way. Our conversations about kids and having a family is raw and realistic as we don’t know what our future holds. What we do know though, is we have each other. For today. We can enjoy what is in our life and accept the story God is still to write.

Miracle Grow

Hooray! A period comes and I am officially able to start my new cycle. What a relief that is to know that I get another opportunity to become pregnant.

I’ve been sensitive to the words I am choosing to use.

  • I talk about us going through fertility treatments as opposed to we are struggling with infertility.
  • I say that I ‘get’ to have a period to kick-start a new cycle as opposed to having to have a period which means we aren’t pregnant.
  • I remain hopeful for the journey to be an experience that will shape my character as opposed to a victim-fill, woe is me, this is so hard and why-is-it-happening-to-me type mentality.

I call my OBGYN and they get me in for an ultrasound. Everything looks clear and ready for a new round of Clomid.

Let’s do this!

My lining is still incredibly thin (what’s new there?) so they want me to up the dose of estrogen to two patches and begin on Day 10.

I also provoke the conversation around the dosage of Clomid. In my book, it needs to be increased. That is without medical training or understanding of the medication but what I know is I’m not yet pregnant and want to explore every option.

My OB takes a look at our last cycle and agrees. My follicle only grew to 20

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mm before they gave me the Trigger shot and for being on Clomid, that seems a bit sm

all to her.

The script read: 150mg of Clomid

Three chalky white pills a day for 5 days… miracle grow.

Grow follicles, grow!