Sunday, September 27, 2015


If you know my husband, you know he's short, and while much more athletic than he gives himself credit for, is not known for his feats of physical strength.

Yet, BJ, is hands down the strongest man I know. Our marriage has not been paved with the smoothest of roads when it has come to life obstacles. We've honestly had more than our fair share of heartache between unemployment, having to live apart, surgeries, miscarriage, infertility and multiple failed infertility treatments, and a bat-shit crazy spouse (that was me, in case you were wondering). Yet, here we are, very happily married. I can't imagine life where BJ isn't my other (better) half.

I could write a bunch of corny things about how BJ completes me, is my lobster, the missing piece of my heart, and every single one is an absolute truth. BJ and I have been put through the ringer, and each time, BJ makes his way through it while remaining patient and guiding me back through some of the worst moments of my life.

We've seen people we love fall out of love. We've seen couples break under the duress of life's unfairness. Yet, for some reason that I cannot begin to comprehend, BJ and I have made it through each and every challenge put in front of us, thanks mostly to his strength and incredible patience.

When BJ looks at me, from the time we started dating, to seeing his eyes as I walked down the aisle, to looking up at him through tears after devastating news, to now as he looks at me as he rests his hand on my expanding belly, I feel absolutely cherished in a way I know I can never feel with anyone else. He loves me because he loves me, and even I, with all my self-doubt, cannot deny that. He is the one that soothes my soul. He is the one my heart chose.

More times than any human should, he's had to wipe my tears, remind me I'm lovable, held my hand through one procedure or another, taken care of me after yet another surgery, squeeze my hand as we receive bad news, and patiently wait for me as I navigate all the horrible emotions that come with infertility.  All of this while suffering from infertility, himself.  Superman has nothing on BJ.

And it's not just the big stuff...He puts up with all my quirks with the patience of a saint, such as helping me find my phone that I had in my hand 2 minutes ago, and now have no clue where in the house I left it. To my uncanny ability to create complete and inexplicable clusters, like locking my keys in my smart car that you are never supposed to be able to lock your keys in and various other mind-boggling conundrums. BJ laughs at me, figures it out, still loves me, and makes me feel like I walk on water.

BJ, you are truly the love of my life.  You are my wonderwall, the one that keeps me far from feeling stranded, my knight in shining armor from a long time ago...  BJ, you are my superhero, and I hope you know what an awesome father you are going to be.

Peace, Love and Happy Birthday, BJ,

Mary Katherine

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

21 Weeks and the Anatomy Scan

I have waited, dreaded and been so excited for this appointment for 5 long weeks. If it weren't for having access to fetal dopplers at work, I don't know how I mentally would have made it without seeing or hearing Pico for 5 weeks, but we did make it.

Pico is apparently advanced.  Like right now, in what is supposed to be the point in my pregnancy that the baby is lifted off my bladder...Pico is head down using my bladder as a pillow, and likes it there very can't get zym to wiggle or roll away from it, so we have yet to see our baby's full face...ever...We also didn't see a stomach bubble, but that just means I get to have another ultrasound at my next appointment. Oh, the disappointment...

On the flip side, Pico has a "normal" spine, "normal" feet and legs, "normal" hands, "normal" bladder, "normal" kidneys, "normal" diaphragm, "normal' heart, "normal" brain, "normal" cord,  I just loved watching Pico take practice breaths, and wiggle.  Even though I can feel those wiggles, it's still so surreal seeing a baby...doing all those things inside my belly.  It's still so hard to believe all those things are happening for us. The heart rate was 132, and the estimated weight was 14 oz, which is 2oz ahead of schedule...Pico!!! I ordered a small baby!!!! I may have to start smoking...(I'm kidding...I think...)

We also didn't see gender, ever...which makes my boy theory a little more questionable...BJ and I didn't look away from the ultrasound, and our sonographer didn't purposely look for gender, so we just thought if we saw, we saw, but it would be unconfirmed.  Well, it's unconfirmed for everyone involved...Pico will remain gender neutral for the duration...

I am just so thrilled.  I'm not too worried about the stomach bubble...just means the baby has not swallowed any fluid at that time. Oh, and fluid, placenta and cord insertion were all normal, too, so go me.  Apparently it's only the conception part that's a struggle for me, and I'm very, very thankful.

Other than a little indigestion, everything seems to be going well for me, as well.  BP is good, even after not sleeping for 18 hours (I worked night shift before my appointment), so that's good.  I'm pretty much rocking maternity threads everyday except for my scrubs...

I'm just happy.  Like blissfully happy...about a moron.  I'm enjoying the little projects around the house to get ready for Pico.  Next up is having the house ready for the flooring installers, then the chair rail in the nursery, and then we can start moving baby furniture into our "spare" room...which everyday seems closer and closer to being a nursery...which is still crazy in my brain. I swear I look at BJ, and I honestly got to the point that I thought this would never be us. I'm pretty sure he is sick of me asking "did you think we would ever get here?" I'm proof that even a pessimist can get pregnant with fertility treatments.  And God knows I am so very thankful. It makes me tear up when I have a moment to accept it. I'm really pregnant...

So at 21.4 I am...
...netting negative 7lbs for a gain of eight.
...feeling pretty great. Occasional bouts of indigestion, but easily resolved with just Tums.
...Averse to nothing new
In love with feeling my baby move inside me. So much fun...and a little strange having this independent human moving around inside me. I find myself wondering what he or she is thinking/dreaming about all the time. I hope ze knows I dream about zym all the time, and already love all precious 14 ounces of Pico!

Peace, Love, and Grateful,
Mary Katherine

Sunday, September 20, 2015



Pico and I have made it past the half-way mark.  And, BJ has chosen to tolerate us and let us keep living with him.  So Win-Win.

It's been a bit of an emotional roller coaster if for no other reason than I am pregnant. We had a rough patch at work that involved a lot of sad outcomes and there is nothing like taking the tiny little body of a baby to a mom for one last time so she can say goodbye to kick you in the feels. Whether you have children, don't have children, pregnant or not, it's seriously the most humbling thing in the world.  As "just a nurse," I am honored to be there for those moms in these devastating moments.  It certainly has reminded me how thankful for every moment I have had during this pregnancy and every moment I will have.

I've been cleaning out the upstairs because we are getting ready to have our carpet replaced with hardwood, and I found a note attached to a can of soup that had rolled way under the bed and buried by Emma's toys that said "Eat this, and breathe."  It was my goal for myself in the days after my second IVF cycle that ended in a chemical pregnancy.  I distinctly remember the devastation, hopelessness, emotional exhaustion, self-disgust and loathing I felt. Breathing and eating were serious accomplishments for me while I was at rock bottom. Yet today, I stand in front of a closet-full of my friend's maternity clothes still in shock that I get to use them...that I NEED them!  So as dark as the days can be, there is more, much, much more...

On the up-hill side, while it's a tad early, my mother and I painted the nursery.  Again, flooring is being installed, so we chose to paint over the old carpet instead of waiting and having to be extra protective of the new wood floors.  People either think this is neat, or make a face like I'm raising a goth baby when they see the nursery decor thus far...but when you hate the colors brown,  pastel green and yellow, and are not finding out the gender of your baby, there is just so much gender neutral options left to you. We will accent with colors later, but here is our unfinished project...

Imagine white chair rail, and white nursery furniture, etc... The point is, I like it (I love black and white home decor), Pico can actually focus on it, and while I enjoyed Beetlejuice and Nightmare Before Christmas, Tim Burton is not the inspiration...although...wouldn't be the worst thing.

I've also felt the first movements that I couldn't blame on anyone else, but Pico.  I had felt them earlier, but I wasn't sure if it wasn't just my guts, but now I am confident it's my little Pico.  I've officially crossed over into the world of maternity clothes. It's so bizaare to have a belly.  Like if I rest my hand on my hipbone, my belly extends past it, because BABY!  I had my first 2 Braxton-Hicks contractions, which were kinda neat. My belly just got really hard, and then relaxed.  We are still reading Grimm's Fairy Tales, and I'm not sure we are learning many valuable life lessons, but if it was good enough for children in 19th century, I'm sure they are fine for Pico...or ze may actually grow up to be his or her generation's Tim Burton. I'm fine with that.

We have our big anatomy scan this week.  I'm still scared poopless.  I know Pico's heart is in good shape, or at least all the parts ze let us see thus far, but there are just so many things and parts and organs that need to be just so. My quad screen was normal, so that does help, but I can't help but worry.  And I worry that I've cursed myself by painting the nursery so early... I'm still an infertile after all...

At 20.4 weeks I am...

at -8 lbs...I've gained 7, and I'm pretty sure it's all in my boobs which still are acting like I'm going through puberty.
feeling pretty darn good.  I sometimes feel like I need a hernia belt at work, but I think it's just my belly stretching. Sciatica seems to have backed off. And I enjoy every growing pain in my belly.
averse to...nothing new...
in love with my belly and everything that is going on inside of it. But if a stranger touches it, in the words of composer/modern-day philosopher Fergie, "I'ma start some drama. You don't want no drama."

Peace, Love, and Growing Pains,

Mary Katherine

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Okay, so I'm kinda starting to believe something is happening.  I have this bulge in my lower abdomen, that doesn't go away.  I don't know that I've felt Pico move yet, but I think maybe I have??? I'm seriously in that chub-chub stage...Like right now my elbow is resting on my hip bone, but there is more abdominal tissue touching my forearm....that's weird.  I also can't tell if I'm walking or falling forward because it does feel like I've got some extra weight up front.

I'm also down to 4 outfits.  I did have five, but being a southerner I'm going to have to hang up my white shorts until spring break.  I can't blame the Pico bulge as much as my boobs at this point...although Pico and I have outgrown my waistbands.  Seriously, I have all these super cute shirt dresses that I can't button...nor have I been able to.  I've never thought about accommodating my boobs before...this is totally a foreign concept to me.

I did buy a few tops for this fall, one of which was a maternity top, but I'm struggling with late summer wardrobe. The Belly Band thing is a joke...I'm sorry, I'm not comfortable walking around with my pants unbuttoned, and as soon as I lean over or move the thing comes flying in one direction or the other.

Today was also the first day where everything I did made me have to pee.  I bend at the waist, I have to pee. I take a drink...have to pee.  Pick something up...Have to pee...Basically, I've had to pee all day.  I don't mind, but it is funny.  I just hope I don't pee on myself...that I'm not going to appreciate too much.

I have gone over a week without listening for hearttones.  It's the first thing on my agenda, tomorrow, but still, I haven't freaked out about Pico.  I've been doing a lot of reading to Pico because ze (I went to the University of Tennessee) has been able to hear.  We are working our way through Grimm's Fairy Tales...the real ones.  So far, we have learned it's not okay to beat your wife, that manipulation will get you far in life, and that if you want to grow big and strong, you need a giant.  Pico may be disappointed when ze is born.  But it's so much fun to read to zer...Gaius doesn't like it as much, he prefers to sit on what I'm trying to read...

I can't wait to read to Pico on the outside one day...but, oh do we have so much to accomplish between now and February. Perhaps it is time to prepare!

So at 18.6...

I'm netting -10 lbs. I don't know how...I feel like my uterus weighs 20 lbs...
Feeling like my boobs have forgotten we're not in the first trimester, anymore. They are acting up a lot...very much like first trimester.
Craving random things, and then I don't want them when I have them...what sounds good doesn't taste good, and what tastes good is the stuff I've been eating the whole time...
Averse to Progresso Chicken Noodle Soup...
In love with this little bulge...I feel like I can finally look at BJ and say, "We did it!"

Peace, love, and bulging,

Mary Katherine