Loss is never easy

I had an entirely different post planned for July. I was so excited, I had already ordered the onesie for Riley's big sister announcement photoshoot. This new life inside me was already so naturally accepted into our plans for the new year, it was hard not to share the news.

Everything was pretty similar to Riley's pregnancy: I had a UTI which led to me suspecting another baby and I grabbed a test. It was so soon, I wasn't even sure how it could be possible so I ended up waiting almost a whole week before taking the test. And yet on May 25th, a blue cross showed up announcing BabyO #2. Excitement. Nervousness. Joy. All sorts of emotions flooded me. I let Alex know immediately. It wasn't easy. I knew we hadn't planned for this. And I wanted our baby to be something we planned together, sharing that adventure of new life. 

Because our little bean was a complete surprise, we opted for bloodwork to confirm. Oh how I loved getting stuck with needles in the early morning...  but thankfully the numbers were good so I didn't have to go back after 48 hours to recheck the levels. Everything was on track. We went in for an 8 week appointment and got to see our little bean, hear the heartbeat and start getting everything together and ready for BabyO #2. 

And yet. June 28th 2017 put my whole world in a tailspin. That whole day is still surreal. We had our 10 week appointment that day, but I went alone since it occurred during Riley's naptime and everything felt good and normal. It was all good at first. The nurse and I chatted while she took my vitals. She was surprised to see me in, asking if I had delivered with them recently because she remembered me and asked if I was excited or nervous about having kids so close in age. Turns out she and her sister were less than a year apart and she loved it. I told her I was so excited and didn't mind the close age gap. I finally went into the ultrasound room, finished the oh so pleasant pap smear and then got ready to see our baby. Dr. Beatty was quiet. She zoomed in several times. No one said anything. I got uneasy. She finally spoke and I'll never forget what she said in a quiet sad tone, "I'm looking for cardiac activity ... and unfortunately I am not seeing anything." 

She did another test to check. She told me it would be really obvious at the stage for the heartbeat. At some point, our baby had just stopped growing. She told me she'd give me a minute to change and we would talk options. I simply nodded. It was shocking, stunning. I didn't know what to think or feel. The nurse led me to another room and I waited for what felt like forever, unable to stop the tears as everything crashed down on me. I was alone. I didn't know what would happen next. All I knew was our baby had died and all the excitement and plans for the new life were suddenly ended. 

The doctor came in, and she told me not to blame myself, that these things happen. I want to be honest. In that room, I had several thoughts and only once did I feel like I had failed somehow. I knew that searching for blame or what-ifs wouldn't help or solve anything. All I felt was sadness, loss and disappointment. I have spoken with different friends who have experienced this same loss and respect how they handled it, their feelings and am grateful for their advice. I am most thankful for not struggling with feelings of blame. 

In fact, I have realized a lot about myself over the past week or so. I struggle so much with being a control freak. Nothing about this pregnancy and miscarriage process has remotely been what I wanted, or how I wanted it to go. I cried in the car coming home from that appointment and told myself that I should just feel what I need to feel. There is no right way to think or feel during this time. Another thing I struggle with is wanting to be what I think others want me to be. I didn't know what Alex would think of me or how he wanted me to handle it. That day I came home, I just cried and he held me. That is what I needed and wanted. 

I felt a new connection to him through this loss. I felt very vulnerable when I talked to him about my fears and desires for the future. We talked and agreed that we would try again later, sharing that adventure of planning for another child. Those couple of days were exactly what I needed during this time. Both our parents knew, and we shared the loss with them as well as my best friend. 

The following days of waiting and knowing started to really drag on me. Having the knowledge that I was carrying our dead child inside really weighed heavily on me as well as the unknown of the miscarriage process. I decided to take the holiday time to try and get things started. I felt grumpy and emotional. I felt more distant and alone from Alex. And again, that control freak inside me started to panic when nothing was happening like it should. Right now, I'm still waiting. I'm still in this process. I'm still fighting how to process this because there is this internal pressure to be someone I'm not. To live up to this perceived notion of how I should handle this. I understand worry and stress will not help the situation. It doesn't stop the fears from drifting in and out. My hormones and emotions are high. I don't know what I want or need. I hope that writing and sharing will help me in processing everything. 

I do know these truths. Life should be celebrated. I will never forget this baby and all the joy it brought in the 10 weeks we knew about it. That's over 2 months of growing this little one in my body, experiencing the joy of pregnancy again. Riley is such a joy and I am so thankful for such a healthy beautiful child whose personality is spunky and full of life. Alex and I will grow stronger together through this and I know I can count on him to be that rock I need. There is the promise of the future together and the possibility of a sibling. As Alex put it, our family plans are just simply pushed back not destroyed. 

So yes, I am okay. I will get through this. I will do what is necessary to finish this process. I don't always feel like I am strong. I don't always feel like doing my normal routine. I feel alone sometimes. But I have hope and I have a wonderful family with me. Always. 

 

 

Riley Alexis Ocasio | 11.11.16

She's here. Our beautiful, amazing perfect little girl is here. I am so in love. 

11.9.2016 - due date. I went in for my 40 weeks appointment and everything looked okay, we talked induction date (11/18) but Rachel was concerned about my stomach measuring small. She requested a growth ultrasound to check fluid levels but the technician had already left for the day. So we scheduled an appointment for the next morning and went home with a bit of uneasiness. But also a little excitement because we could be having the baby the next day. 

40 weeks - due date

 

11.10.2016 - We woke up early the next morning despite the appointment being at 10:20. Packed our bags for the hospital just in case, and headed out the door. I felt really calm but slightly apprehensive because I just wanted to know what was going to happen. Sure enough, growth check showed low fluid levels and the doctor recommended grabbing some lunch before heading to the hospital to have our baby. Stunned isn't the right word to use, but the same kind of numbness swept over me with happiness and I was just ready. After lunch, we got to hospital and checked in. Then we waited for a couple hours for a room and nurse and had some fun (: 

When we got to the room, I got set up with an IV and a foley bulb to ripen my cervix. Baby was already low, I believe almost +2 position but my cervix opening was tilted back so her head hadn't been pressing on it directly to open. Not going to lie the foley bulb felt so odd. Alex left to grab Changs for dinner at my request. I was craving honey sauce and rice. He got back and literally minutes later at 7:36pm, I stood up at the foley bulb fell out. My cervix was about 4cm. They let me eat dinner and started me on pitocin to begin my contractions at 9:58pm. 

For the beginning the contractions were breathable but it quickly became apparent to me the hardest part was going to be relaxing and breathing through the back pain. I started shaking uncontrollably which was exhausting. The contractions themselves were bearable but the intense back pain ached and the shakes refused to let my body relax. I tried a few positions. Because I was being constantly monitored, walking around wasn't much of an option so I stood some, but the shakes left me weak. Alex did amazing, he held me, he rubbed me, he held a cup for me as I puked. He kept me strong through the worst of it. Around 8 in the morning, doctors changed (Brazeale was awesome) and Alvarez came in and after a painful check for my cervix, he said there was little change but my water was bulging. Shortly after breaking my water, I felt some relief from all the pressure. But Alvarez and our nurse, Heather, spoke firmly with me as the pain worsened. My cervix was still not dilating. Exhausted, Alex held me as I asked for the epidural. AT 9:40am they gave me the epidural and immediately my legs grew warm as the medicine started working. I cannot express the relief as the contraction pain in my back subsided, and my legs stayed warm. The nurse brought warm blankets and just the fact of being warm slowly eased my shakes. The nurse told me to sleep and both me and Alex crashed. I woke up, they had me roll to the other side and Heather put the birthing peanut ball between my legs to help speed up my cervix opening. After noonish, Heather checked my cervix and announced, "Well you're at 10 cm and I feel her head and hair."  

I was ecstatic. Alex woke up and we asked for a birthing mirror. I am so so glad we did, it was absolutely magically watching her birth. Alvarez came in and we got set up to push. The first time Deb, Alex and Heather coached me to push, I had the odd feeling of not feeling anything and not knowing what or how to do it. It's still amusing to me remembering that feeling. Within about 5 pushes, Alvarez told me to just relax as my body naturally pushed her all the way out. It was incredible and I couldn't believe it, one of the most amazing moments of my life. Alvarez clamped her cord and had Alex cut it. Immediately they placed her on my chest. Skin to skin is still my favorite thing in the world. She also latched perfectly later on and watching her nurse was special. She opened her eyes and just stared at me. I couldn't take my eyes off her so I didn't notice (and obviously i didn't feel) the placenta birth as well but Alex described it as really clean. 

Riley Alexis Ocasio was born at 1:02pm, 11.11.16 and she weighed 6lbs 13 oz and was 20" long. We were able to leave the hospital around 36 hours later because mama and baby were healthy and doing well. Our families came and visited her both the night she was born and the morning after (: Being home with her and spending time as a little family has been the best few days of life. Alex and I are so happy and we are so in love. 

 

 

A World Where There Are Octobers

Halloween is tomorrow. October is such a special month for me, it's always been my favorite. I've always wanted to be married in October. And now I'm sitting on the couch feeling sentimental and to be honest quite sick as I hope and pray Riley makes her arrival before October fades away. I'm able to breathe much easier now that she's dropped and the pressure against my tailbone reminds me of how low she really is. Friday's doctor's appointment revealed that I'm 75% effaced and dilated up to 2 cm. We ended up with a growth ultrasound check up since I haven't really changed my measurements the last few weeks and she figured the baby was too low to properly measure. Riley is over 6lbs and measuring about 2 weeks behind size wise which is perfect. I am so ready for our tiny little girl. 

3D ultrasound photos @ 31weeks 

 

Wednesday marked 38 weeks and Alex and I met with another Raleigh photographer and spent the hour taking maternity photos. My breath is taken away with her skills and plan to share the gallery as soon as I receive it. The weekend has been busy, we drove down to Charlotte Friday night for Alex to run the Spartan Beast the next day with his brother. And he ended up injuring his knee halfway and my incredible man hobbled his way through the rest of the race (over a half marathon plus obstacles) and through most of the obstacles. His stubborn strength proves the warrior he is but also provides this sense of security knowing he would do anything and everything to finish or accomplish his goals. And I know he would do anything for me and especially our daughter. 

Sipping on my Red Raspberry leaf tea hoping to strengthen myself for labor and thinking of all the craziness since I found out about you back in March. Those first few weeks were rough and it had nothing to do with you. I wanted you from the minute I found out and I knew you were going to be a girl. I was still drowning in a world of misery partially of my own creation. and I felt like you were my redemption. You were the spark that lit the fire of change. I remember how I told your daddy about you, we were eating Greek just like I am now. He knew something was on my mind and asked if it was about us. I said yes. And that I was 6 weeks pregnant. It was scary wonderful news, but it was also a total surprise for him. It was a week before my twenty-first birthday and we had gone through so much rockiness the past 4 months in our relationship. I knew he would be your dad and would love you but I was terrified that he would not want me and I never wanted him to feel obligated to be with me. All I knew was that I loved him fiercely and wanted more than anything to build our family together but I couldn't ask that of him. He had to chose it. I have never cried so much than the day I told him because everything was so unknown. Except for the fact I wanted you. Always. 

The next week he was tender and kind. We spent the week in Charlotte with Darren for Full Force with Fit to Fight. I didn't know exactly what would happen during the week but I was paranoid of hurting you in any way because the thought of losing you devastated me. Alex was gentle and bought me a warm pack to put over my stomach as I felt crampy and sore. Every night no matter what was said during the day, he would hold my hand across the coffee table. He was on an air mattress and I was on the couch. No one knew we were together or that we were struggling. There were so many tender moments but there were also tense emotional moments where I felt so alone. We managed to avoid having to explain why I wasn't having my celebratory legal drink by leaving after training that Friday. The drive home was honestly miserable with us arguing and emotions tense. Probably my least favorite birthday ever. However, the next morning I woke up and he was kinder and more gentle. 

The next few weeks were a whirlwind of emotions and tears, working through things and figuring out a plan. I had just moved into Ashley's house in March but ended up spending all of my time at Alex's over the next three months as we enlisted her as our realtor. It was like a flip had switched in Alex. We were back together. We were committed. and for once in a very long time, I felt myself trust and be happy again. April, we spent telling family and grandparents. The excitement was contagious and everyone was so happy for you and still are! There's not a day that goes by when someone doesn't text me asking for progress and you're still snuggled safely inside. May and June were filled with closing on our townhouse, moving and continuing to rebuild our relationship. Family moved in for August and life was busy, crazy, and time just flew by. I really have no idea where the summer went. 

In fact, I can't imagine not waking up happy next to Alex and feeling his commitment and love. That's not to say we don't fight (haha we argued on the way to taking those maternity photos!) but I don't doubt him. I don't doubt he chose me and wants me. I know he always chose you and I know he is going to be an amazing father because he is an amazing man. He is passionate almost to a fault but I wouldn't have it any other way. I can't wait to parent with him and teach you about the world. I want you to love your life, love your Savior and love your family. I know you are beautiful but I want you to always believe that you are beautiful. That your size and shape doesn't define you. But your will power to overcome things does. I want you to fan that fighting flame inside you and learn to love pushing yourself harder and conquering your walls and fears. 

I'm terrified of the unknown but at the same time I'm excited for this process to start. It's been incredible feeling you move inside me. And yes, its been uncomfortable too. And as ready as I am to hold you, I have cherished the time I have been pregnant with you. You're my first and you have taught me so much. I never knew how protective and loving I could be of someone until you began to grow inside me. And you are about to challenge me again as I deliver you but I trust your daddy and his support and know I am strong enough and ready because I'm your mother and this is what I am suppose to do. 

Riley Alexis

That heart stopping moment when the nurse looks at you and smiles and says, "Ah! It's a girl, congratulations!" I was so surprised. I knew from the beginning it was a girl but recently Alex had talked convincingly enough about how great boys were that I had accepted being a boy's mom but NOPE. It's a girl. And her name is Riley Alexis Ocasio. 

Riley Nicole was the name I had picked out from childhood for my daughter but when I found out, I knew Alex had said he would love to have the name Alex somehow incorporated and so Riley Alexis was the natural choice. He instantly agreed. We took a bit longer to come up with a boy's name but Dean Alexander was special because Alex's late nephew, Martin, had the middle name Dean and it was perfect if we had a boy. 

6.15.16

6.17.16 finally answered all of our what-ifs. The technician was very thorough and showed us all the different parts of our little girl, who's healthy and on track for November! In fact, yesterday marked 20 weeks THE HALFWAY POINT. [ i've been pregnant for 20 weeks. unbelievable ] Riley not only is a kicker and mover but she has been listening to our krav classes - hands were up, protecting her face and she even had some elbow #1 action going on to avoid the camera (: During classes, its amusing to watch him teach kicks and feel her moving inside me. 

6.17.16 It's a GIRL

We had different ideas on how to announce little Riley to the world but it ended up with me contacting my friend who is also pregnant (and having a little girl!) and a fantastic photographer. Purple Paint. Water Guns. White shirts. It was a BLAST. Here are just a few from the photo shoot: 

[ yes there was glitter and purple paint EVERYWHERE ]

Life has been an incredible journey with this man and now our #lifeofdos has changed into our little family of three and we can't be more excited! There is no one else I'd rather walk this path with or stand next to while raising our daughter. Life feels difficult with its ups and downs but standing by his side has never felt more right. Our cozy townhouse is slowly coming together and we're looking forward to the next few years filling it with even more memories!

 

Thoughts from Mother's Day

5.8.16 Mother's Day

Baby is officially into the second trimester as of May 11th! It is amazing to think that I've been pregnant for 14 weeks. There's a slight baby bump now but its not enough for someone to look at me and think oh! baby. [maybe like she's got a bit of a tummy but the rest of me is still skinny] I have an appointment tomorrow for updates and hopefully another ultrasound picture. We may decide to go ahead this weekend and announce Baby O to the social world but that'll require some coordination. 

Mother's Day came and we ended up making the drive out to Pittsboro to see my family and fur babies. It was a good visit with everyone, we ended up looking through mom's old scrapbooks of me. Alex laughed at all the crazy food and hair pictures. And he graciously asked his mom to send some of his childhood pictures to us so I could see them. We both are adamant that we were the cutest baby of the family so this child has no choice but to steal hearts from the moment it comes into this world! I also called P-paw and let him know about his new great-grandchild. Hopefully he can meet Alex at Aunt Diane's wedding this June. 

It's been a whirlwind week however because WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A TOWNHOUSE! It's a beautiful cozy home about 10 minutes south of where we are now. The neighborhood is quiet with lots of long roads for evening walks with the family. I am [dying] to paint and make it our home but we have to wait til at least June 6th to close if nothing holds us up. Fingers crossed everything is good to go and on time. (=

5.11.16 14 weeks / Second trimester

I feel very loved by Alex and building our family together. It's scary and exciting, I often feel like I have no clue what I'm doing and its easy to feel defeated. But I have such a strong partner at my side, I know we can conquer every obstacle that comes our way. Our strengths compliment each other. Which is good because the stress level of moving and getting ready for baby will increase in the next few weeks. Being in a relationship is so challenging; I am constantly tested and pushed to be better. Seeing the world from different perspectives is something I am grateful for even when I get overwhelmed by all the information that comes my way. As Alex always says, "Everything is a decision." It's easy to remember this and the logic it brings to situations when you're not emotionally charged but the advice is sound and something that has shaped the way I approach things. 

I feel like im starting to ramble when i should be wrapping things up and moving onto to my work projects.  =P 

Baby O // Updates

I'm on the cusp of turning turning 13 weeks! AHH. its really crazy to think back and realize I've been carrying around a child for over 2 months.  Literally, it feels unreal. The baby has grown into the fetus stage this past week. The little 'What to Expect' app on my phone provides updates each week on the growth of the baby and its incredible all the things its little body is doing! It's about the size of a peach now but no there's absolutely no showing of any baby bump =P 

The changes in my body feel subtle but overwhelming at times. I do feel the loosening of my joints, particularly with the hips and knees because of the strain they are already under due to krav and past injuries. The headaches are generally manageable but yesterday I took a half day off work because the nausea and dizziness. Weather tends to wreck havoc on the sinuses which just adds to the headache symptoms. Energy levels are higher but I will admit sleep has been the most amazing thing. 

But aside from that, Alex and I have spent the last week meeting with family and house hunting! Whoop whoop #adulting. 

4.30.16 | Dinner with Papas and Nanny

Last Saturday we met my grandparents for dinner and they enjoyed meeting Alex for the first time. Everyone got to catch up, eat food but the opportunity to say something about the baby never really came up so I asked for them to walk around Crabtree Mall with us. We stopped in a coffee shop and after chatting for a few, I told them I couldn't believe people had kept it a secret long enough for us to meet and handed them the ultrasound pictures saying, "you're going to be great grandparents." I swear, Nanny gasped and screamed at the same time and practically lunged at us to give us hugs. The surprise and shock on their faces was priceless.

Over the course of the weekend [which was pretty fantastic] we called my great grandparents, uncle and shared the news with them. so family is pretty much taken care of and now we just have to get a sunny afternoon and someone to take an announcement picture. We have an idea already, we just have to implement it. We won't find out til June sometime whether we're welcoming a Riley Alexis or Dean Alexander Ocasio into the world. 

Ashley has been enlisted as our agent in our search for a townhome/house/condo in a good area. Talk about exhausting. It's mentally draining to find something perfect and its already under contract within 24 hours. Sigh. We managed to get out last night to see some places but the search continues.. 

 Basically its pretty routine otherwise despite the craziness approaching. I NEED to get better about baby bump photos though. It feels like no change but I'm sure looking back i'll be able to see some progress each week. Alex was able to put his ear to my stomach the other night and hear the baby's heartbeat. The next OBGYN visit is in a couple weeks so I will probably update then with the announcement photos as well. Fingers crossed we'll have a place under contract soon! 

4.27.16 //  12 weeks

5.4.16 // 13 weeks

Who do you want to be?

Every person wants to feel like they have a purpose. They are meant to live for something. They want they do matters. Guess what? You have a purpose. I have a purpose. 

I often feel like God won't forgive me. That's I'll be so stubborn that there won't be any turning around for me. I KNOW God forgives and has His arms outstretched towards me to repent and turn. BUT I act like He doesn't. This disconnect of knowing something and acting on it is hard. Its something I struggle with in many aspects of my life. 

Im trying to find my identity. And to end the bad habits of beating myself up for not getting it right the 5 hundredth time or feeling inadequate, etc whatever else makes me feel worthless. The past Sunday I spent a miserable 24 hours. I bickered with Alex, I cried myself sick, and I felt worthless. I ruined my whole day, his day, and finally ended the day alone and numb. 

But that awful day sparked something. For the first time, I have been able to look at a situation and think, no I am not going to fly off the handle upset. I have thought through what I was saying, who I told, etc for many situations in the last week. I have chosen to push aside the weak feelings and emotional urge to cry. I'm not perfect. But I finally feel released. That I can shake things off. I can take a bad day and leave it in the past. I can frustrate Alex and say I'm sorry and move on. I can disappoint others and myself and say tomorrow's a new day, lets do this better. 

Now I have expectations and I do feel hurt. Every day. But there's something different. honestly. I feel more clear-headed. There isn't so much muddling around. God seems to be saying yes, who do you think I am? Because once you know that. Then you'll know who YOU are Caity. 

I am an intelligent beautiful person who loves deeply. Yes I want to make everyone happy. I love being around Alex and my friends and enjoying the moment. These are good wholesome things. I don't have to save the world, I need to live my life and live it to the fullest. I don't have all the answers but I can re-cultivate a love of finding answers. I'm not perfect, but I can listen and learn to do better. I'm not big but I have the tools I need to discover how to become stronger and faster. 

I have a good life. All the ups and downs and hardships suck but there is always light. 

Time is a tricky thing

I know. There's like no belly in that picture. BUT look how much baby O (aka Quasi) has grown in the last two weeks! Baby is about the size of a prune now but already moves enough that it was hard to get a picture for our second ultrasound (= Everything looks healthy, I'm healthy despite allergies, and praise God the nausea has been next to none! 

There are still moments in the day when reality hits and I get those overwhelming panicky thoughts of holy crap I'm a mom, this is happening, what if I mess up horribly and how the hell am I going to do this?! This journey is going to reveal more steel in me. Because its only going to make me a stronger person. Each week I feel like I am able to overcome one more weakness though I discover 2 more =P It feels like I have so much to do and no time. YET. time feels like its passing so slowly. It's best to just enjoy it and capture the memories as often as I can. 2 more weeks til I'm in the second trimester and we can post an announcement !!!!! Then I'm gonna be on myself to take a weekly picture to watch Baby O and baby bump grow. (=

Krav has been more stressful for me as no one knows yet about baby O and so trying to avoid bumps and bruises and heavy padwork has been ... well stressful. AND IM TIRED ALL THE TIME. I hate that the most. I feel like I may could accept it more if I dealt with more morning sickness (NOT wishing for that just to be clear) but miss I have-to-do-everything is really struggling with my body telling me rest is best. Haha I do enjoy telling Alex about my cravings though he says its all in my head. But

Alex has been such an amazing person through all this. We have our spats where we discuss things (heatedly) but I always walk away feeling okay if not better. We've really stressed communication and discussing things and despite the initial bumpiness, its been a relief to have him to lean on as a partner. His family and my family all know now except Nanny and Papas (my mom's parents) who are meeting us later on this month for dinner. They've never actually met Alex either so it'll be a lot of info coming in that night for them (= 

The latest OBGYN appointment was quick, despite needing a papsmear (oh god why...), but apparently I'm a really healthy person and should have a drama free pregnancy. Whoop whoop! I have O- blood (universal donor here) which means I'll need to get the shot or whatever because of the RH factor. We got to hear the heartbeat again which is crazy fast. And the baby was moving around enough we had to play around to get a snapshot. Alex is excited for it to be a kicker like him. Which is understandable if you've been on the receiving end of his formidable kicks. This baby already has its childhood planned out: gymnastics, martial arts, music, and art lessons. 

I am pretty happy having two blog posts up. My website updated minus the content I need to add from my personal laptop. I GOT TWO GRAPHIC DESIGN JOBS DONE. And daily walks in the sunshine. Sometimes its good to write down reminders to enjoy the little things or acknowledge I accomplished something. 

 

Why my 21st is the best year yet

Why my 21st is the best year yet

[ And no there is no alcohol involved. ]


March 25th was the big 21 birthday and I didn't have a single drop of alcohol. Not because I abstain but because it's been forbidden for at least the next 9 months. Yep. This year, I'm becoming a mom and it is the most happiest and most terrifying feeling to have. 

3.14.16

I remember feeling extremely exhausted and more bloated than normal. Given the fact I don't experience cramps, I was a bit thrown off but just figured it was because I was late a few days. Not a huge deal for me because I'm generally really light. Monday, March 14th I had two pregnancy tests I picked up from Harris Teeter over my lunch break because it had been 6 days and I just had this feeling. 

What place more appropriate than CSD Krav Maga to take my test. Alex and I had our first kiss in the parking lot there. Countless moments of training there together and spending most of last 3 years there makes it a special place for me. Luckily for me, the 5:30 class had gone outside so the studio was deserted. I locked myself in the bathroom and shakily unpackaged the test. I was terrified. Mostly because I wasn't sure what to do if it turned out positive and I didn't want the crushing disappointment of if it came negative. I honestly just stared at it when the faint cross came through. Shit. Life just got real. 

I ran outside and just walked the roads out behind the highway, shocked and lost in thought. I prayed for a healthy baby. And I tried to wrap my mind around what to do next. Praise God, my church has been so supportive and encouraging. Ashley, my roommate, is the absolute best and helped me move, prayed for me telling Alex, and just been like another sister to me. 

Telling him felt like a huge challenge and yet completely natural at the same time. I was terrified but felt reassured. I knew Alex would love his child and protect it. And I knew he loved me. The insane peace I feel hasn't left me since that Monday that test came out positive. Struggling through the ups and downs of the following weeks was exhausting but that peace never left. There are still big hurdles to overcome. But Alex has never left my side. And together, we're about to face the biggest challenge of our lives: parenthood. 

8 weeks. Wednesday 3.30.16

The baby is officially code named, Quasi. Don't ask, Alex named it and its stuck for now. Thursday morning, we went to the OBGYN and I had my first ultrasound and physical for baby O. We got to hear the heartbeat! Honestly the whole appointment felt unreal. This is really happening, I have a baby inside me and a loving man at my side. Alex asked more questions than me during the whole visit, and held my hand while I squirmed during bloodwork despite wonderful job the Mexican nurse did at entertaining us while she drew my blood. Luckily I think I only have go through that one more scheduled time. [I think.]

So far, Alex and I are just working on getting a life plan together for this year including moving, sharing the good news, working out everything with work and krav, and enjoying this amazing time together. I could never imagine doing this without him or with anyone else. I feel like Baby O is my redemption in a way, I feel more like myself again. I feel the drive and purpose in life again. And of course I'm excited for baby snuggles. Life is hard, enjoy the little moments.