Pregnancy blog: Labor and Delivery

Pregnancy

On Sunday, March 25 I had been having some contractions around 11:00 PM. Nothing serious but crampy and uncomfortable. I called into work because I wasn’t sleeping. I had a scheduled day off on Tuesday and I thought, I’d get some rest and go back Wednesday.

Monday came and I felt fine. No cramping, no pain, baby was moving a lot but otherwise I was fine.

My mom came over and while we were chatting on the couch she kept staring at me. I remember sitting criss-crossed on the couch and constantly rubbing my belly as baby moved around. My mom asked if I was having contractions and I said “no.” I hadn’t felt any since Sunday night.

We continued talking and we both felt baby moving for an hour or so when she said, “I think you’re having contractions.”

Ugh…don’t you think I would know if I was having contractions?

So we watched my belly tighten and relax and we timed them. Rock hard belly for a few seconds then soften. A few minutes later and again rock hard belly and then soft belly. But still no pain.

If you have been to any laboring classes you will have heard “511”, if contractions are 5 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute for 1 hour you call the hospital or nurse for directions. Once I fit into the 511 rule, I called my nurse triage line and here is what I was told.

“No pain means you’re still fine. Stay home until you are in pain.”

So we timed and waited. Still no pain. I started to get worried, I was already at 3 cm and 70% effaced. So I called again and I was told.

“No pain and your water hasn’t broken so stay home until one of those happens.

I decided to make an appointment with any available OBGYN for Tuesday just because I was curious if the contractions had done anything. Still no pain.

Monday night the contractions slowed, I slept great and felt fine. Tuesday morning I decided that we should bring our hospital bags just to be safe. I thought for sure we wouldn’t need them, I was only 37 weeks and I wasn’t experiencing any pain.

We see the doctor, he checks me and I have gone from 3 cm and 70% effaced to 5 cm and 90% effaced. He said that today was the day! We were told to walk around the hospital until the contractions hurt or my water breaks. So we walked…2 miles and still no pain, but I was tired so we decided I should get check in to rest. At 12:40 we were checked in and I was at 6 cm and 0 station. I was put in a room and by 3:00 it was decided that the doctor would break my water because my labor had stalled.

I had still not felt any pain. Every hour or so nurses would come in and check my stats and ask me about my pain. My answer was always, “I am at a 0 on the scale, I am in no pain.” I felt some sharp, short contractions after my water broke and I was sure that the pain was coming and that the pushing was going to be brutal, so I got an epidural to be on the safe side and then we waited. At 4:30 we started pitocin and waited. At 5:00 I was at 7 cm and still feeling great.

At 6:00 I was ready to push and at 7:03 my baby was born.

My awesome baby boy.

Jude Alexander Rixe

March 27, 2018

7 lbs 7 oz

19.5 inches long

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According to my OBGYN 1% of women do not experience labor pain. I am in that 1%. Don’t hate me. I had prepared for laboring. I had mentally prepared for a tough and long process. I went to the classes, I practiced the breathing and relaxing techniques. Alex had practiced how to best help me and support me, however the delivery was so fast and uneventful, (thank God) that all my planning and knowledge was useless. My body took over and protected me and Jude during the entire event. The experience was magical and Jude is the best thing I have ever done.

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Fun fact: Most of this was written during my labor process and saved in Google Drive until now. It might be a little all over the place but I thought it was special to use my real time thoughts.

Pregnancy blog: Third trimester

Pregnancy

My third trimester was pretty normal. My belly grew, the nursery progressed and baby moved all the time. I was still working and my nesting urge had kicked in only in my classroom. At home I was calm and really relaxed. I felt really good.

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The nursery came together with the help of our parents. Toys, books and baby clothes piled up from family and friends. I had a baby shower with the Hermes/Weinzetl side and a special friends tea party shower. The weather was still awful and cold, so I spent most of my time under a blanket dreaming about baby. We found out that Max and Megan were expecting and we were over the moon! We couldn’t wait to have Rixe cousins! We prepped freezer meals (which turned out to be clutch!) and we took some belly pictures.  

 

 

I had a few contractions and was dilating, but had no other medical issues. Alex and I went to the hockey state tournament and I had a few contractions there. We joked about my water breaking during a game, even though it was 5 weeks before my due date.

We found out that Max and Megan were having a girl on March 24th and I decided that I needed to know what the sex of my baby was…like right now. Even though I was sure it was a girl, I needed to know. At every doctor visit I debated with myself about asking for an ultrasound to find out the sex. I am so glad I never talked myself into saying it out loud. My weekly doctor visits were great and I was told that I was dilated to 3 cm and 70% effaced. If I were to go into labor they wouldn’t stop me. I guess that was enough for me.

 

March 25, 2018 things started happening…

Pregnancy blog: Babymoon

Pregnancy

Alex and I did not go on a honeymoon. I know a honeymoon is not a guarantee just because you get married, but it was something we wished we could have done. We couldn’t afford one and over the years we decided to buy a house and a trip just wasn’t a priority. That being said we had always dreamed about honeymooning in Greece.

 

When we first discussed going on a trip for a babymoon, we thought Mexico was the easiest way to go. Warm, cheap and relaxing. We discussed it with our parents and got some awesome advice on how best to go on a trip. We booked the flights and the resort, we were set! At one of our OBGYN visits it came up that we were going to Mexico and she said, “Oh no, you can’t go there.” Ah, what?! Apparently the Zika virus was still very severe in Mexico and if I were to get bitten by a mosquito and get the virus it could have serious effects on the baby. I actually had a tiny anxiety attack in the doctor’s office and almost passed out. Luckily, we had purchased trip insurance so rearranging our flights was relatively easy. Now we had to either cancel the trip all together or find somewhere safe we could go.

 

We looked into Greece (which had been approved by our doctor) and things quickly fell into place. Mostly due to my husband researching, planning and organizing all of the details. I simply had to pack and everything else was taken care of. He really made this process look easy. December came and off we went, on the last trip as just us two.

 

Our flights out: Minneapolis to Paris, Paris to Athens, Athens to Paros.

 

Once in Paros my 22 week pregnant self was exhausted. Our first day was cold but sunny, we walked around the deserted village, picked up some groceries and realized that while Paros was gorgeous, we were going to get bored pretty quickly. We were there in the off season and the grocery store and our hotel were the only things open in the village. Again, my husband sprung into action and changed our plans. We would be going to Santorini early and staying there for most of our trip.

 

We ferried to Santorini and stayed on the edge of a cliff in Firostefani, our room was tiny and perfect. We ate meals in bed and lounged on our balcony overlooking the Caldera. We walked into the much more active village and saw our first blue dome building. Those first few days in Santorini were so peaceful and serine.

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After a few days we moved from Firostefani to Oia and this was the trip we had dream about. The sun was hot, the breeze was cool and the locals were so welcoming. We walked along the white marble sidewalks and explored the shops and restaurants. We ate so much delicious food, crepes, pasta and baklava were our favs. We watched the sunset from an overlook and visited the most amazing bookstore we had ever seen. We bought souvenirs for the baby and sat on our patio enjoying this breathtaking place. Alex got to feel baby kick for the first time while we sat enjoying the sunshine.

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Eventually we ferried back to Paros and headed home, Paros to Athens (24 hours to explore there), Athens to Paris (where we literally ran 2 miles to our gate) Paris to JFK, JFK to Indianapolis and Indianapolis to Minneapolis. That was exhausting…

Not everyone will be able to do this, I get that. I never thought we would actually go to Greece, but this vacation turned out to not just be a break before baby, it truly helped my marriage. It reminded us to appreciate each other, we were able to spend time together without bringing up bills, to do lists and work. It truly made me see how happy Alex makes me and how much I value him as a person and as a partner. He is an amazing man and will be the best father to our little one.

Pregnancy blog: Second trimester

PCOS blog, Pregnancy

During my second trimester Alex gave me an incredible gift. He planned a babymoon to Greece. We had an amazing time (next blog post is all about our babymoon!) and Alex took such great care of me. He was incredibly patient as I waddled around the streets and took twice as long to climb the stairs, oh so many stairs!

 

Everyone says the second trimester is the best, for me this couldn’t have been more true. The exhaustion went away, the morning sickness stopped and the nausea was rare. I could finally function like a person again. I had a burst of energy and never stopped smiling.

 

My second trimester started in October and we had decided we would let our families and the world in on our little secret! I bought a t-shirt that said “Not a food baby” and wore it around my siblings. Everyone was so excited! Alex came up with a sweet social media announcement and finally the word was out.

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We polled our families and most thought we were having a girl. We called the baby Clarp and everything was magical. Alex felt Clarp kick for the first time while we were in Greece and so began the game of “run to me, the baby is kicking” which lasted until the minute our Clarpy was born.

Here I am at the beginning of my second trimester and the end.

Pregnancy blog: First Trimester

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I found out I was pregnant on August 5, 2017. I told my husband, my parents, my in-laws and our best friends. Then Alex and I decided to keep quiet.

Being pregnant and not being able to shout it from the rooftops is pretty challenging, but having a tiny bubble of people who know and being able to enjoy the news alone is pretty incredible.

My first few weeks of pregnancy were not easy or very pleasant, I had extreme cramping which take the test in the first place, but even after I found out I was expecting I still had the cramping. On August 7th, I went to my fertility clinic to get an ultrasound and blood work to make sure I was in fact pregnant and the doctor confirmed I was 2 weeks along.

Because I was undergoing fertility treatments and getting ultrasounds every week, we were able to see even the smallest change in my uterus! Typically women wouldn’t know they are pregnant this early and getting an ultrasound this early is very unusual.

Over the next few days the cramping got worse and worse and I was throwing up from the pain. I called my fertility clinic and they told me to go to the hospital to be checked out further. So again I had an ultrasound, they couldn’t see anything (because it was so early) but suggested I rest and classified me as a high risk pregnancy. What does high risk even mean? Should I be on bedrest? Is my baby ok? Should I go back to work? None of these questions entered my mind at the hospital, I just sat there and thought “high risk, oh my God!” My husband and I had worked so hard to get pregnant and here I was two weeks along and something was wrong. I was terrified.

I continued to be monitored by my fertility clinic weekly and on August 23rd we had an ultrasound where we could see a beating heart. We could see the tiny white blip of a baby. Wow, that feeling is indescribable. Unfortunately, with this great news we received some scary news. We were told that I had a mass in my left fallopian tube and that was what was causing my cramping. What our doctor and the ultrasound tech said was that we had a healthy, viable pregnancy in the uterus, but that we might also have an ectopic pregnancy. Again, high risk is flashing in my head. My doctor said that  I might need surgery to remove my left ovary, which would make getting pregnant again even more challenging than it already has been and while it was safe to do surgery while I was pregnant there was a chance that we would lose our baby. It was just another batch of bad news that I couldn’t emotionally handle. I ached to keep my baby safe but knew that if it was an ectopic pregnancy not having surgery wasn’t an option.

A week or so later we came back for another ultrasound where after my doctor and two ultrasound techs examined me it was confirmed that it was not an ectopic pregnancy but part of the egg that shed as it moved through the fallopian tube. Everything was fine and was officially not a high risk pregnancy! That visit marked the end of our time at our fertility clinic and we were off to see an OBGYN.

From then on my first trimester was pretty typical. A lot of nausea and morning/all day sickness (which got me out of a ticket as I almost threw up on the officer), exhaustion, and my husband would say mood swings, but I didn’t notice those!

Alex and I enjoyed this time, planning and brainstorming all the things we wanted to do before baby came. We talked about names, some we had loved for years and others we discussed for the first time. We felt my belly and were in awe of how amazing this journey had been and would continue to be. Everything we had done for the past 2.5 years had paid off. We were finally going to be parents.

 

Pregnancy blog: Telling my husband

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Flashback to Saturday August 5, 2017:

It was a gorgeous summer morning and the sun was already shining bright when I woke up. I had an awful night. I couldn’t sleep because of horrible cramping and I woke up still cramping. I thought I should just take a pregnancy test and force myself to accept it, these were period cramps. Obviously, I hoped it would be positive, but logically I knew it wouldn’t be. My doctor had said I already ovulated and was just waiting for my period. Nevertheless, I took the test and went to make some coffee, leaving the test on the counter. I wasn’t anxious about the test. I knew it would be nothing. I had some coffee and went to confirm the result. I glanced at the test and my heart pounded. “PREGNANT” More than two years of consistently negative results faded away instantly. I had a teeny tiny baby inside me. OH MY GOD!!!!

I am pregnant

After 2 years and 2 months, we are finally expecting our first baby!

 

I cried. I was shaking and my heart continued to beat out of my chest. I couldn’t think of anything except how much I needed Alex to come home from work! Unfortunately, he was working an event all day with his co-workers who had flown in from all over the country. He was unreachable…all day.

 

I had dreamed of how I would tell him when it finally happened. I watched countless YouTube videos of people telling their husbands and families and cried along with them as they jumped for joy. I had just never really decided on how I would actually tell him, I guess I assumed we would take the test together and we would just find out at the same time. So now to keep my sanity I had to make a plan. The only thought in my head was Target. Here was the plan, Target would guide me and show me what to do.

 

I walked around, looking in the baby section, then picture frames and crafts. I passed by the books. Bingo. This was it. I would find our favorite childhood books and then figure out how I wanted to arrange things later. I bought four books. I also picked up a nautical baby blanket. When we first started trying, I bought a onesie that I kept secret and I decided to use that to tell him too.

 

Alex was working at an event all day, but I had been able to text with him a bit and tried to play it cool. I casually asked when he would be home, he thought maybe he would go hit some golf balls after the event with his co-worker that was staying with us. Being the cool wife that I am, I said “Yeah, that sounds like fun, can you just stop by the house first?” I needed him to understand telepathically that he needed to come home and stop trying to go golfing! So let’s be real, I didn’t really play it cool at all. I texted him a lot, like excessively, and laid it on thick that I needed him to be home as soon as possible. I usually try to not bother him and just do my own thing when he’s at events, but I couldn’t handle not telling my best friend this news! He later told me that he had no idea why I was being so needy and annoying!

 

Finally, he texted that he was heading home! I set up the books, blanket and onesie on the kitchen table along with the two positive pregnancy tests I’d taken and I waited. I had already been waiting all day for him to get home so by this point I was so frantic and my emotions were all over the place. I heard the garage door open, I started shaking. Alex’s co-worker, who was going to be staying with us walked in first, I super casually greeted him and told him where the guest room was, then Al came in. Even now, my stomach is turning with excitement as I recall this moment. I asked him to come to the kitchen, he glanced at the baby stuff and asked me how I was doing. HELLO, ACTUALLY LOOK AT WHAT IS ON THE TABLE!!!!!!

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He looked again and stopped, he said “What is this?”, he picked up a test and stared at it then quickly looked at me. By this time his co-worker had joined us and was in shock too! I had to literally say “I’m pregnant” before I think he got it. The next few minutes are kind of a blur, we were happy and he was in shock, very similar to my reaction hours before.

 

We took some time just us two and called Al’s brother and my best friend. We decided to go tell our parents right away too. Everyone was surprised, everyone was happy and we received so much love from our people.

 

This was such a great and special moment in our lives and I am so excited to enjoy so many more moments with my little family!

 

Trying to conceive part 7

PCOS blog

Written August 8, 2017

So much has happened since I last blogged! I completed two days of the IVF process when my insurance came back and essentially said “Nope, you cannot skip IUI, we will not cover you.” To say it kindly, I was frustrated, but I felt like, of course something like this would happen to us.

My doctor called our insurance and tried to appeal their decision, but had no luck. We decided to do just do one month of IUI to show the insurance that it won’t work because I don’t ovulate and then we can appeal again.

After 4 weeks of blood work, IUI shots and ultrasounds we still saw no egg growth. On my cycle day 24 I had my last ultrasound. We found one egg that had grown to the smallest measurable size, 11mm. I was over the moon! My eggs could grow, they could do what I needed them to do. I felt like this was the start of me getting pregnant! My doctor, however, thought the egg was still too small and it was too late in my cycle for it to grow much more. We decided to stop medications for this cycle and see if the egg would ovulate and then give me a period. That would give us some evidence when we talk to the insurance for our appeal.

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So much blood work, my arms started to bruise.

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A couple shots a day got to be so exhausting.

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Alex came to the majority of my ultrasounds and was such a great support with all the frustrating news I continued to get.

A few days later, a blood test showed that I did in fact ovulate. I was so happy! My body did something it was supposed to do! In two years of negatives I had to find even the smallest of positives to keep me sane.

Alex was in Detroit for work at the time and thought maybe he would need to come home to fertilize my newly ovulated egg. Nope, we were letting this cycle pass. Alex later told me that while he was in Detroit our doctor called him and said he tried to appeal the insurance again and they were still not budging.

A few days passed and he came home, it was a nice reunion (if you know what I mean) and it was good to have him back. He left to go back to Detroit for another week.

About a week after Alex got home I started feeling awful. My first real period was finally happening and let me tell you, women are warriors! It was horrible pain in my stomach and my back. I was at work and felt like I was going to pass out from the pain.

For a few days I had this awful pain coming and going, but still no period. When I was on medication to get a period it was so easy, one day of slight cramping followed by three days of period and then done. It’s usually a breeze, and this was not a breeze. It was horrible pain.

After being in so much pain for three days I felt like maybe I should take a pregnancy test to get that thought out of my head, I have wanted this so much and my brain wouldn’t let me move on from the small possibility that I was pregnant.

August 5, 2017 I took a pregnancy test and thought nothing of it, but it was positive.

 

I am pregnant!

 

I am pregnant

After 2 years and 2 months, we are finally expecting our first baby!

 

 

Trying to conceive part 6

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Written June 21, 2017

Since my last post in March, a lot has happened.

I left off with going back to the doctor to see if an egg was stimulated and unfortunately, there was no stimulated egg. My ultrasound tech said that my doctor would call me with the next steps.

The call came while I was at work and I listened while sitting in my parked car after work. “This step does not seem to be working, come in for another ultrasound and we will discuss your options. We will most likely go ahead with IVF.” I would be skipping months of the TTC and jumping to my last step, my last hope. I cried, I hurt and I was scared.

At every step in this journey, doctors kept assuring me that the next step would work, and they just didn’t. We kept getting reassured by seemingly everyone that medicine has gotten so advanced, but none of it was working for me.

I was so heartbroken. Alex was away for work and couldn’t get home and I found comfort in my parents and my in-laws. Phone calls, some retail therapy and some projects for the future to keep my mind filled with positivity went a long way in helping to soothe.

The next appointment was a consultation with my doctor and we went over all the IVF steps again. We decided to get the process started. In addition to the paperwork and insurance approval, I needed a new medication to shed my uterine lining and a few more ultrasounds before we could go ahead with IVF. We had a two hour appointment with a nurse to go over the shots, how to fill the syringe, how to give yourself a shot, when to give the injections and what will be done with the eggs they harvest. It was an overload of information and honestly I don’t remember most of it.

This morning, I had my last ultrasound before the injections start. My uterus looks good, my blood work is good, but my insurance company needs more forms filled out before giving approval.

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My last ultrasound before IVF

Getting the IVF medication filled was a nightmare, but after an hour and a half on the phone with my doctor, the insurance and my specialty pharmacy we finally got the majority of the medication filled. I had been feeling pretty chill about everything and had planned on spending the day outside in the sun, now I am frazzled, anxious and spending the day in bed.

Looking back on my experience so far, I never thought I would get to the point of needing IVF. I knew I had fertility issues because of PCOS but I was a young and healthy woman, surely there was some pill or noninvasive procedure I could use to ovulate and BOOM have a baby. IVF is something I thought was so far beyond my fertility journey, but here I am, about to start IVF.

To prepare myself for the next step, I will focus on being positive. I will remind myself that there is a baby in my future. I will pray that I can adult enough to do this right. I will keep myself positive and hope that one day this will happen for me.

 

Trying to conceive part 5

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Written March 26, 2017

Fertility treatments began recently.

I am already exhausted.

My story is unique, because all stories are unique. No two people go through the same process to get a family.

Our first appointment was just a consultation, we met with our Fertility Specialist and discussed our options. There are three options that we could go with, here they are;

Option 1: continue on the medication I’ve been previously taking, along with a new additional medication to help stimulate an egg. I would visit the clinic every few days for ultrasounds to monitor ovulation and once an egg is stimulated from the medication, I would take a hormone shot at home and continue to get ultrasounds regularly to see if anything happens to the egg.

Option 2: Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization. The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and subsequently increase the chance of fertilization (americanpregnancy.org).

Option 3: In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is an assisted reproductive technology (ART). IVF is the process of fertilization by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. The embryo(s) is then transferred to the uterus. (americanpregnancy.org).

 

Our first visit at the Fertility clinic was on February 13th. Up to now March 26, 2017 we have been to the clinic four times. Here are the appointments broken down a bit.

1st visit: Consultation:

We discussed the three options and decided to start off with the first option. We added another fertility medication to the one I was already taking, ultrasounds and eventually a fertility shot, if things were progressing. We did discuss that even though I had been on fertility medication to make me ovulate, I was actually not ovulating at all. So I had been thinking I was making progress for a year and a half while in reality nothing was happening at all.

We also discussed that because I have been TTC for close to two years we would skip option 2, (IUI), entirely if option 1 did not work. It would be better for us to work on Step 1 for 3-4 months and then go right to option 3, IVF.

2nd visit: Ultrasound

This ultrasound was to check on my eggs. Until this visit I had no idea if I even had eggs, but I was pleased to learn that I have an extreme amount of eggs, probably because I’ve never ovulated before.

After this visit I was told to continue taking Femara (Letrozole) the medication that I had been on since July 2015, but a much lower dose and to add Decadron (Dexa) once my eggs were stimulated.

Alex and I were so new to this process that we didn’t know what questions to ask and what to expect, so we called the clinic and were told to come in for another ultrasound and then a sit down with a nurse.

3rd visit: Ultrasound and Meeting with the nurse:

At this ultrasound they rechecked my ovaries and we chatted with a nurse who answered all of our questions, gave me a form that spelled out every step I needed to take and when I need to take them. I felt really good and positive about everything!

4th visit: ultrasound, Meeting with the nurse:

Today was our fourth appointment. I had taken the medications and was waiting to do the shot after a good ultrasound today. I sat on the exam table ready to be super uncomfortable but praying for a nice large stimulated egg that was ready to ovulate. My ultrasound tech was great, she was very vocal and pointed out what was on the screen and then she was quiet and I knew that there wasn’t an egg. She finished up and I got dressed. So close to tears I held Al’s hand and I prayed that there was an egg, how could there not be? How could I be on so much medication and still not have an egg that is really supposed to develop naturally?

The nurse came in and said that there was no sign of a stimulated egg. That I needed to come back in three days for anther ultrasound. Guys, I held it together, I said “ok”, scheduled an appointment and got in the car. Alex and I ran some errands (including getting a chocolate shake from Cold Stone) and we went home. I put on pajama’s and slept for hours. The cramping and uncomfortableness from the ultrasound along with the frustration I was feeling really  got to me. I felt very discouraged.

My story is unique, because all stories are unique. No two people go through the same process to get a family. In my story I have had a lot of negative news. Other than hearing that I actually do have eggs, my process has been daunting, I have been given bad news at every appointment for two years. I am tired, drained, mentally exhausted and sad. Saying this to my husband prompted his knight in shining armor skills and he held me while saying that this doesn’t mean it’s over. This just means in three days we re-strategize, we look at what we have, what we can do and then put our whole selves into our new plan.

So next week I will go back to the doctor, I will still be tired and drained, but I will pray with everything I have to hear something positive, and the next time I go to the doctor I will pray with everything I have to hear something positive and the next time and the next time and the next time. I will continue to pray, I will continue to hope and I know one day, somehow I will be a mother.

 

 

Trying to conceive part 4: My husband’s thoughts on baby making

Adult living, PCOS blog

Well friends, here it is, thoughts from my husband on our TTC process. Let me start this off by saying, this man is wonderful and while he may not have written this in the timely manner that I continuously nagged him to, he is an incredible man who puts up with my crazy and that is not an easy task! Enjoy Alex’s side of making babies!

 

On Fatherhood and our Fertility Journey

Jill’s always been far more ready to be parent than I have. Case in point is the delay it took for me to write this post compared to the prolific pace that she kept up by herself. I’ve been delaying this process as far back as I can recall. I’ve not always been the best partner on this journey and it’s a credit to Jill that she’s stuck with me throughout the whole ordeal.

Becoming fully bought in on the idea of becoming a father and starting a family was not a sudden thing for me, there was no inflection point or moment of clarity. I just thought about it one day and felt differently. I’m not sure if this the normal course of events for most men. I don’t have many friends that are my age and are dad’s and even if I did, I’m not sure it’d ever really be discussed in normal discussion (Guys don’t talk to each to each other about emotional stuff? Inconceivable!)

During our period of disagreement, my thoughts on the subject could best be summed up thusly, “I am such an asshole for postponing this, but I can’t bring myself to commit to this yet either.” There was nothing unique about my objections, I was uncertain about where we were going to live long-term, I felt very uneasy about our financial situation and at the end of the day, felt we could barely take care of ourselves, much less another human. My self doubt centered on the fact that deep down, Jill’s condition probably trumped my concerns and I resented my self-perception of not carrying equal weight in regards to this process. So I dug in, insisted that I was not ready and that we needed to progress further down our own paths before I could start this journey.

I’m particularly proud of the fact that Jill and I were able to both recognize that since we were at loggerheads over this issue, we’d be better served with a third party mediating. Finding compromise was not easy, but we were able to get there and are better off for having sought out help. The moral of this part of the story: Therapy works, don’t be afraid of it.

What I’ve ultimately found during this journey is that, as with most things, the fear and anxiety that occurs before a particular event is far worse than actually going through it. We have come a long way since we first discussed having children. We’re both at good places in our careers, own a home and generally take care of our business in a mature, adult fashion. We’re now more concerned with what our children will call my mother (we like “MeeMaw Jardo” A LOT, she… does not) or if they should play varsity sports before they’re upperclassmen (I don’t see a problem, Jill has strange ideas about this though…) and how we’ll announce we’re pregnant (not telling!)

This process has become, dare I say, fun? I’m genuinely optimistic about our prospects of getting pregnant and looking forward to all that comes with it. I’m excited for the next step and look forward to fetching Jill all kinds of strange food combinations at odd hours, reading all the pregnancy literature possible to keep her off my back (I think I’ve already told her I did this… don’t say anything.) and eventually waking up one day and thinking, “Let’s do it again.”