Sunday, January 31, 2016

15 Days of Miracles

Yup, I'm still smitten, and so in love.  I get to look at this everyday.

These boys...I tell ya, they are the best things that have happened to me on so many levels.  They are precious to me, and I seriously cannot believe how easy it would have been to give up on this.  In our lowest of lows, it would have been so easy to let everything go, to stop, to say "enough".  Often peanut gallery members would tell us the same thing.  After all, it's not like infertility will kill you...You'll just wish it would.

But we didn't stop.  We didn't give up.  We pushed on, and we are so glad we did.  It wasn't the way I envisioned, but those things began washing away as soon as Susan, our embryologist, told me I was pregnant.  Even with egg donation I thought there would be doubt.  I wondered when it was first brought up, how I could love a child that was not my own.  I promise, there is nothing about Matt that isn't mine.  I will clobber the first person that tries to tell me he's "not my son".  He very much is my everything.  I grew him, I breastfeed him, I change his diapers when I can't weasel BJ or another family member into it ;).  I cherish him in a way I never thought possible.

It was different, yet I don't know any other way.  I knew I would never have a child that looked like me.  That was part of the processing I did when we took some time off after IVF #2 when we realized my eggs were absolutely junk.

I knew when they handed whoever Pico would be to me, that I wouldn't see my eyes, hairline, nose, etc.  And while none of us are ever guaranteed those things even when our DNA is in play, I knew it was not an option for me.  So when they handed Matt to me, I saw not just BJ's cupid lips, I saw the team of people that made this possible.  I look at Matt, and I see all the love our friends, family and medical team poured into him to help us get to that exact moment.  I saw a miracle, and I will forever be changed in a way beyond just becoming someone's mother.

For instance, I have this unworldly patience when it comes to Matt.  Neither of us are breastfeeding experts by any means, and in all other aspects of my life...patience is not usually the first virtue I am associated with... Yet I can soothe and coax Matt into a latch after 5, 10, 15 ...however many minutes it takes.  He's been so worth the wait, why can't I give him more time? He's so little and trying to figure so many things out.  I appreciate every moment with him.  He's such a gift. Hence the name Matthew - Gift of God - being so relevant.

I have been freed from the burden of infertility.  It's a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.  It's a relief I feel almost unworthy of having, but gratefully accept.  My life will forever be changed because of infertility, and for that I must be thankful.

Peace, Love, and Appreciating the Gifts,

Mary Katherine & Matt

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Double digits!!!

Oh Matt, my squishy little love monster.

I'm still stupid happy.  My baby is 12 days old, now!  He's doing great.  He's up to 6lbs 10oz.  He eats and sleeps like a champ.  Let's his big sister lick his hands and feet, smells amazing, and is so friggin' strong.  He legitimately can roll from front to back to the right side.  He's done it about 5 times, not including the time in the hospital when he had a down hill head start...He's a super easy to please baby.  Just keep him fed.  The only thing he HATES is diaper changes. Those are the absolute worst. They require a lot of screaming to make it through, but I don't blame him.  I like to stay dressed and warm in January, too.  I'm still shocked it's January, and he's already been here for so long!

I'm just so enthralled with him. Everything he does is spectacular...but the moment he's crying and someone hands him to me and snuggles into my neck and stops.  I seriously can't believe those moments are mine.  That I have actually become someone's mother.

We were so seriously close to giving up the summer before last.  In fact, BJ was okay with us being done.  Not that he was against trying again, either...He just hated to see me suffer.  Now neither of us can imagine not having him.  As tired as we are, and no matter how many times we get up at night, or how many diapers we's still just so very amazing.  It's probably every bit as unbelievable to win the lottery...and to us, we literally thought we had better chances of winning the lottery than ever having a child.  It's my child I soothe at night.  It's my literal miracle that I get to hold.  How many people experience miracles?  How many people actually get to hold their miracles in their arms and soothe them?

Peace, Love, & Tangible Miracles,

Mary Katherine & Matt


Saturday, January 23, 2016

1 Week

I know, I just blogged yesterday...but I have all these feels and I forgot to talk about my furbabies!!!

So this is kinda where I'm at...I love Matt so much it hurts, I can't believe he's here, I can't believe I got pregnant, I can't believe I'm not still pregnant, I can't believe this over a half decade battle is resolved...I can't get my mind to catch up.

Neither can our furbabies...

So Lucifer, my most aloof of the fuzz-butts, is actually the most interested.  He loves to sniff Matt's head and has resumed his place at the foot of the bed overnight and doesn't seem bothered by the frequent milk breaks.  His big problem is he likes to chew on dummies, nipples, nipple shields are fair game.  So far he's not been too awful, though.

Gaius is AWFUL!!!! He sniffed and seemed curious about Matt on one of our first nights home, and then hissed at him and ran off.  He's been acting out much like a jealous toddler.  He's chewing on cords which he's never done before.  He's laying on all of Matt's stuff, and trying to pick at the glider in his room.  He's just a mess.

And poor Emma Grace.  She's just not totally convinced she has not been replaced.  She sniffs at Matt and is upset when he cries, but she runs off.  We are trying to give her plenty of lovings individually, and Grammy has been a big help with that.  She's making progress.  Like today, I had Matt in an Ergo and sat down beside her. She sniffed and put her head in my lap and we had a love session.  I am not too worried, because if you know Emma, she's a bit of a self-absorbed golden retriever who gets what she wants.  If nothing else...down the road, Matt will be her best friend because he drops food for her...she is a golden retriever, after all.

And then there is me...

I slept pretty hard for a couple of hours this morning and reached for my belly.  It wasn't there!  It's crazy, it's not there (well, mostly not), but Matt is!!  He's been such a doll.

My doula came to visit today and had pictures of Matt's Birthday and a video...I just bawled.  It really has been a whirlwind.  I totally thought I was going to go post dates and have to have a long induction process.  Instead a I had a whirlwind of a delivery.  They say not to expect anything, but holy crap.  I didn't even know I was in labor...which is embarrassing  because an important part of my job as an antepartum nurse is to recognize when my patients are going into labor.

I just did things kinda out of order... and had a horrifying start to my labor which still makes me cry to think about.  I arrived to L&D triage knowing Pico, as he was known at the time, was gone.  I was seriously sure he was gone.  I hadn't felt him move in a long time during one of his high volume busy times in the midst of a slew of some other disturbing symptoms. When you think your water broke and instead find yourself staring at a pool of blood and clots.  It was a lot more than it should have been, but less than a complete abruption, but I had no clue what the outcome of somewhere in the middle amount of blood was.  I was so scared I couldn't really do anything but go into my own "Oh, shit nurse mode"--with the addition of an occasional tear. I told my mom and BJ and I needed to go to triage and wasn't even bothered that it was taking us a while to get our stuff together.  I knew, if I had needed to be cut, I couldn't make it from my house to an OR in a reasonable amount of time to make that happen.  I knew either Matt was gone, or he wasn't, and nothing I could do would change that.  I just busied myself with calling my doctor's office and letting them know I was bleeding pretty heavily with random contractions and hurting in-between and on my way to triage, come what may.  

So Matt was so low when we got to triage, he wasn't an immediate find, but I thought I heard him moving when they got the monitor on.  Then our wonderful nurse got his heartbeat, and it was sweet relief.  My bleeding had also slowed down in the duration of the car ride to the hospital which was another good sign.  I totally thought, ok...we'll have an ultrasound, watch and see what happens, and maybe if things continue to stabilize, we'll go home...and I'll be mad because I'll have to use my leave time before the baby comes, but everyone will live.  Except I was contracting every 2-4 minutes (didn't know that)...and it just went into warp-speed from there.

I never got a chance to get my mind around any of it...You can't and I certainly wouldn't want to change anything.  I really had an easy delivery and a wonderful team of people to care for BJ, Matt and me.  In fact I was the only patient for most of my weekend stay.  My only complaint was the placement of the vanity in our room. This is at the foot of the bed...I mean seriously... I can think of nothing less inspiring to my pushing efforts than watching the damage being done!

Photo by Liz Streeter
Liz, our doula, fixed it...but honestly....

It's like when you are watching ESPN and some gruesome injury happens and they replay it 25 times from multiple angles.  Who wants to watch that?!

But all of that got me to this sweet, cheesy and love of my life nugget.

Photo by Liz Streeter

Peace, Love, And Embracing the Whirlwind,

Mary Katherine & Matt

Friday, January 22, 2016

6 Days?

I'm still getting pings about what my baby is doing in utero, and yet I'm typing this with one hand as Matt is sleeping on my chest...My little peanut-man is just so precious, and he seems to be doing so well...

I mean everything I thought I'd feel, do and think...well it all went out the window.  Everything is just so...I don't even know how to describe it...surreal, yet amazing, yet very, very real.

Let me tell you about little James Matthew.  He is so patient, and tries so hard, and takes all of Mama's (wait, that's ME!!!) breastfeeding conundrums with the greatest of ease.  He was so little, he basically pooped his meconium out and was close to a 10% weight loss.  He also had a complete tongue-tie, he couldn't get his tongue past his lower gum, so latches looked great, but didn't feel to great to me. So the second day in the hospital we had to start supplementing using a supplemental nursing system.  I was glad we didn't have to give him a bottle, but after 24 hours of trying to snake a tube into the corner of your child's sore mouth (pediatrician clipped his frenulum) over a sore nipple, we were both kinda hurting. I was really hoping at our first pediatric appointment we would be told we could stop supplementing, but no.

Did you know my best friend for life is a pediatrician?  That makes things pretty convenient...It's seriously a good thing doctors don't have billable hours, or I'd be screwed!

Anyway, we (as my favorite pediatrician and I) decided to quit using the supplement unless I could not pump enough colostrum to supplement with. We went back yesterday and Matt's weight went from 5 lbs 14.5 oz, to 6 lbs 3.5 oz. and my milk had not even come in.  He was such a trooper. Yesterday I noticed I was feeding him in solid chunks of my nipple, so my wonderful mother ran out to Wal-Mart late last night in the midst of the Snowmageddon preppers and bought a nipple shield for me.  HOLY CRAP!!! GAME CHANGER!!!

Matt latches least 2 RN's and 2 lactations consultants have told me so...Which makes me the biggest liar when I'm working with postpartum mothers ever.  Why do they teach us to tell new mom's it shouldn't hurt?  It's like we mean it in the same way we take an 18 gauge needle to their arm and tell them they "might feel a pinch."  REALLY??? I am so chewed up from 48 hours with a tongue-tie that I don't know what his "great" latch should feel like. Gah!

So anyway, I think we are finally getting a handle on all of this.  It's not textbook, but then again, nothing has been textbook.  As much as I loved Jack Newman's book...he's a man.  This is what is screwed up in our country...a MAN is the breastfeeding guru in the United States.  OK, enough political chat...

We are just so stinking happy.  So fulfilled with wonderment, love, elation, and unadulterated joy.  I just feel so blessed to change MY baby's diaper, feed MY baby...even if it's teaching him cannibalism...hold MY baby.  I feel guilty for napping or trying to do anything else.  I'm just drawn to him.  Poor kid, doesn't know any different, and Mama's trying to work out 5.5 years of angst and pain on him!!!

And still just so blown away that he's here already.  He's here!!! In my arms, not in my belly.  It's crazy!

Peace, Love, and Trying To Soak It All In!

Mary Katherine & Matt

Sunday, January 17, 2016

37.3...I spawned!

So yeah...I didn't quite make it to 42 weeks... cuz this peanut-sized ball of joy decided that 1/16/16 would be a better day.

BJ and I are in heaven.  We love our baby boy so much.  He's just simply amazing.  I can't take my eyes off of him, and I still wonder how this little miracle came to be ours.  

I watch him sleep, eat, look around, chew his hand, stretch his legs, and just feel so privileged that I was a part of that.  

Because I'm still so full of adrenalin and bliss, and every other happy adjective that you can imagine, I simply leave you with this little piece that I have kept near and dear to my heart for the last 5.5 years.

I will be a wonderful mother.
There are women who become mothers without effort, without thought, without patience or loss, and though they are good mothers and love their children, I know that I will better.
I will be better not because of genetics or money or because I have read more books, but because I have struggled and toiled for this child.  
I have longed, and waited.
I have cried and prayed.
I have endured and planned over and over again.
Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams.
I will notice everything about my child. 
I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore, and discover.  
I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life.
I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold and feed him and that I am not waking to take another temp, pop another pill, take another shot or cry tears of a broken dream.  
My dream will be crying for me.
I count myself lucky in this sense; that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child.  
Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to or a child that God leads me to, I will not be careless with my love.
I will be a better mother for all that I have endured. 
I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend and sister because I have known pain. 
I know disillusionment, as I have been betrayed by my own body.
I have been tried by fire and hell that many never face, yet given time, I stood tall.
I have prevailed.
I have succeeded.
I have won, so now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain to save myself discomfort.
I see it, mourn it, and join in theirs.
I listen. 
And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely.
I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine, other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth when life is beyond hard.
I have learned a compassion that only comes by walking in those shoes.
I have learned to appreciate life.
Yes, I will be a wonderful mother.

Peace, Love, and Staring at my Living Miracle, 
Mary Katherine & Matt (aka Pico)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

37.0 Weeks...

I'm 37 weeks!!! There is a baby on the way...our long sought after, hard-fought, absolute miracle and dream-come-true is much closer to making an appearance than it ever was before!!!. I'm so ecstatic.  I can barely believe it.

So today we had our 37 week appointment which included a "growth ultrasound", and true to form, Pico would not cooperate...not totally zyr's fault. Pico's head is too low to get a measurement. Our sonographer tried and tried and finally told us that she needed Dr. Bullen to confirm something.  I was too shell-shocked about the head being as low as I thought it was to really be concerned about that.  So Dr. Bullen came in and informed me that the baby was "engaged" (which I had been suspicious of for a couple of days) and I had no cervix. BJ's face was awesome when he said that!  So baby is just literally hanging out at 0 station (that's low in my experience). I was totally expecting to hear the L&D triage favorite fintertip/thick/high...which means basically no dilation, no effacement, and your baby is still in your abdomen.  The whole time my sonographer, kept saying, "Oh, honey, you must be miserable. Are you miserable?" And I'm like 'why would I be miserable?! I'm pregnant!!!'

Hmm...To be honest, I have contracted pretty frequently at work, and thought these are kinda moving from intense to bordering on painful... I had been thinking if these are just Braxton-Hicks...I must be a pansy.  So I'm slightly relieved that I'm making progress.  Of course it could still be February 3rd...or later, but for the first time, I'm facing the possibility that it could be earlier, too.  I've been in this 42 week mindset because my mother went so late with both my brother and me so this is a bit mind blowing to me.  I need to be ready-ish, now...YIKES!!

Oh, Pico, I love you so much.  I love feeling your squirmy little legs kick and swim. I love rubbing your tiny little back through my belly. And I think I've done a pretty good job keeping you safe and happy in utero, so I'm a little nervous about taking care of you on the outside.  I promise I'll try my best!

I am super excited about Daddy getting to hold you, and your grandparents who've waited SOOO long for you, too! You have so many people that are so excited to see your mysterious little face!  It makes me tear up to think about all of that!

I don't feel nervous about the delivery...they happen all the time, so I'm not so worried about that. I've got a great OB and a doula that's on her game, so I'm just going to let them do their jobs...that's easy. I'm more nervous that I just don't know when it is going to happen.  Like I said, neither BJ or I feel like we are totally ready.  I've got stuff to hang in the nursery, fridges and freezers to clean out, bags to pack and repack, thank you notes to write, shifts to work, graduate school assignments, etc!

So anywhoslebees, at 37 weeks, I am...

...holding steady weight wise.
...averse to heartburn...
...craving Maalox and skim milk...
...feeling a lot of pressure, but I'm still waiting for that "lightening" experience where I can breathe and eat comfortably...this may be a short girl problem... love with this whole experience.  I feel so blessed, it's hard to complain.  I feel fortunate to get to experience these discomforts that I fought for years to feel. Yes, there is a bowling ball between my legs, but that bowling ball is my beautiful baby's head!

Peace, Love, and Embracing the Unpredictable,

Mary Katherine

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Prenatal Yoga

Due to the holidays and random scheduling conflicts, I've not made it to my yoga class in a few weeks. Let me tell you, I have loved prenatal yoga. It has been relaxing, renewing, and I have enjoyed how normal I feel during the classes.

That is until now. Prenatal yoga during the 9th month is no joke. I mean...shit gets real.

First off, I was kinda between clumps of due dates. So all the people I'm used to are recuperating and about to join the postnatal Mama and baby class. I'm the only one who waddles in. There is a fresh crop of high teens and low twenty weekers that are a bunch of yoga hosers, and I'm sure they feel great, and like they are God's gift to prenatal yoga. I was one of you, too, hopefully not as annoying...I'll explain later...

So anyway, it's been a few weeks. Today I realized I am one person with two spinal columns at the moment. Imagine doing yoga with a rigid back brace on backwards... Now imagine that back brace moves on its own, in any direction it pleases, but usually not the one you would also like to go in...

So cat/cows...that turns into torso straight, a little less straight, torso straight, a little less straight...forget arching and hollowing...Pico didn't want to. We also do this pose where we round out our upper backs. That seems doable...except that's when Pico decides to try corpse pose and I have feet in my diaphragm.  So basically I could drop my head...

Standing poses!!!! Yeah! Always some of my favorite. We did warrior one and two, and that was pretty good. So then we turned to a mountain pose and did squats. Squats are my jam, I squat at work all the time to check foley bags, get meds off the bottom shelf of the OmniMed, etc....except somehow in three weeks I've gone from being able to do squats during yoga no problem, to getting tunnel vision and even my hearing in I'm about to have a syncopal episode. And we're not talking about numerous 8... I didn't pass out, thanks to years of balancing on a beam and bars with head colds, but sheesh, I was embarrassed for feeling that way.

So then we go to tree pose...and this is when yoga hoser comes into play. I can still rock tree pose. But that's without random objects being kicked and thrown at me. So one of the twenty weekers, of course, tries to do a more complicated version of tree pose because apparently it was competition day at prenatal yoga, except she can't. She kicks her damn metal tree hugger water bottle as she stumbles, and, of course, it bee lines for my shin...but, dammit, I'm a strong tree, with my one foot on my thigh, and I just glare at her with left eye. We switch feet, and I'm once again rocking my tree pose on my "bad side". I hear scuffling, and as not to be surprised again I open my eyes to watch her splat...just to her knees. I swear, I was gonna call OB triage at my hospital and tell them to refuse her because she was an idiot. 

I think our yoga instructor was pretty exasperated at this point, because we did humility pose for the first time. It's basically first position in ballet (feet flat, heels together, toes turned out, arms by sides, head down). Then you raise up on your toes...Well, Yoga Sue, just wobbles all over her own yoga zen is out the window. She turned Namaste into nama-gotohell.

Finally, we get to shavasana, which is typically my favorite. Honestly, it's what keeps me coming back. You lie in corpse pose, or in our case a semi-reclined corpse pose with a bolster, for about 10 minutes. It can be very relaxing. So I'm all trying to chill out, and Pico decides it is fun time and moves around like a wild thing. Ze is moving strongly enough to make me wobble on my narrow bolster. So now I'm trying not to laugh and ruin everyone else's Zen. At the end of the class my instructor even said she could not concentrate because she was watching Pico move so much. I'm so in love with my wild thing! I can hardly wait for Pico to be on the outside so I can see what ze has been up to for the last few weeks.

Peace, Love, and Find Your Own Damn Zen!

Mary Katherine

Friday, January 8, 2016

36.2...Let the Nesting Begin!!!

I'm still convinced I'm going to go late because that's what my mother did...both times.  So while I haven't quite gotten that nesting rush of energy, this weekend is going to be all about purging and getting ready for Pico to be on the outside...and maybe some last minute shopping, too!  I even installed the car seat base.  I don't know if we'll ever get it out again...but isn't that the point?

It's been a good week.  I am having a little bit more trouble with swelling, so anytime I'm doing something I can sit down and do, I try to actually lay back and get my feet up.  It seems to dissipate, still, but it sure comes back easy.

My almost 36 week appointment went well. Fundus was about 35.5 weeks, so pretty much right on schedule.  Baby is head down and just hanging out until D-Day.  Heart rate was 135.  Everything seems to be in good shape.  I suppose I have experienced lightening (where the baby drops) too, but I don't think it makes a big impact on a 5'1" frame...Dr. Bullen seemed surprised I wasn't contracting more, but I probably am and just don't pay attention because they don't hurt.  After that appointment I tried to count the ones I had overnight and I had about 1 an hour.  I thought I was only having 6-8 a day... so like I said, I don't think I pay a lot of attention to them unless they are intense.  Some of them are getting more intense, but I still wouldn't call them painful.  It's just exciting to be at the point where contractions are good!

Holy cow, I'm talking about contractions.  Thirty weeks ago, I had no idea if this baby and I would make it to the second trimester!  Pico is a tough little one.  I'm so proud to be zyr's mother.  Seriously, kid, there is no pressure on you to do anything but be loved.  What a long way I've come from the 28 y/o who thought she could control everything and wanted to be a Tiger Mom.  All I want for Pico is to let zym thrive and be a happy/content newborn.  From there, we'll learn together and take things as they come.

I was also blessed with another shower hosted by my friends and co-workers.  Seriously, I can't say enough wonderful things about my co-workers.  They make me look forward to coming to work, and I'm going to miss them when I'm on maternity leave!  Oh, and they hosted a great little shower, and I can say Pico will be a happy, splashy baby...and we have stuff to take care of Pico know, like a comb, brush, thermometer, medicine spoons, things to help keep baby alive! So that's awesome.  

My Mom is coming up, we are having the great purge, a growth ultrasound and my first weekly appointment to look forward to this week.  I'm plenty excited for all of the things headed my way!!!

So at 36.2 I am...

...up 2 lbs for a total of +6 lbs, I was up 4 at doc's office but that was also with tree trunk legs and I've peed a half million times since who knows what this week will bring.
...feeling very happy and uncomfortable at the same time.  It's hard to be miserable when the thing that is making you uncomfortable is also a dream come true.  Plus Maalox is a miracle drug.
...craving skim milk.  I'm going to have to purchase a dairy cow, I believe.  
...averse to Panera for suddenly adding French Onion Soup back to their menu.  Where the heck were you when I needed you?  I feel betrayed, but, yet, I'll probably go back...#Ican'tquityou
...In love with pretty much everything.  I'm so blissed out right now.  I don't even care that I have to read 900,000 pps for school next week, not to mention start trying to get ahead...

Peace, Love, and Making Room for Bliss,

Mary Katherine

Friday, January 1, 2016

35.2...Happy New Year

I re-read my New Year's blog from last year, and I still totally agree with it.  I mean, look at what not demanding anything from God or myself has brought me!  I'm a mom-to-be, a doctoral candidate, an extremely happy wife, and a very happy night shift nurse (I am Kassi!)...

So I dedicate this year to just being in the moment again, and learning how to parent the beautiful miracle growing inside my expansive belly. I have tons to learn.  I don't know hellabeans 'bout raisin' no babies.  I should probably be more concerned, but I'm not.  I mean I've watched enough Teen Mom to know that I'm probably better prepared than some. I also frequent Wal-Mart in East Tennessee so I have a pretty good idea on what parenting should not look like...

( I'm pretty sure you're supposed to NOT put plastic bags on your kid's head...but what do I know)
I am totally getting excited to have Pico on the outside.  My precious miracle of modern science.  Again, I cannot emphasize how blessed I feel to live in a time where you can be going into menopause at the age of 28 and still have a chance to carry a healthy pregnancy.  It's pretty staggering to think of everything that's had to happen just so to make this possible.  I literally thank God everyday for the incredible minds that have collectively worked together to give us this miracle.

Last year I talked about not setting myself up for failure, how I would take things one step at a time and focus on the small accomplishments...and it worked. That's not to say I didn't stress or obsess... I know myself too well to think that forbidding myself to ever get stressed out is an attainable goal, but I simply followed the steps set before me even when the voice in my head said 'it's fruitless'.  Despite all of my fears about my uterus being inhospitable to life, that surgery would show I couldn't bear children, etc, I just followed through on my end. 

I guess the biggest thing I learned is that no matter how much control you think you have or want to have you can still live without it...and function pretty well, too.  If there are people willing to take the reigns from you in an area of your life that totally stresses you out...let them.  Even with this pregnancy, I know way too much, and I am constantly surrounded by everything that can go wrong with pregnancy as a high risk antepartum nurse, but I've never been pregnant before, so I don't assume to think that because I have a cramp Pico is dead.  I have felt that way, but other people didn't think so, and they knew more.  They also got me pregnant and have kept me pregnant, so I defer to their expertise. And it's wonderful...even when my pessimistic infertile mind is sure Pico has left me because ze hasn't moved in an hour, nobody else thinks that, and they are much more reliable resources than I am.  I'm not saying to ignore your gut, but definitely ignore that hostile voice in the back of your head that tells you everything is going wrong when it's not.  When you can't, ask people you trust!

Peace, Love, and to Another Amazing Year of 'Somethings',

Mary Katherine