A Tragiversary

Tragiversary.  You probably haven’t heard the word before.  It is the anniversary of a tragic event.  Today is a personal one of mine.  It’s been exactly a year since I experienced an ectopic pregnancy (or some may be more familiar with the term, tubal pregnancy).

Honestly, I don’t feel bad life experiences need to be turned into this big make you bawl or gasp fest or something that needs a big… party(?) to shout to everyone I know a bad thing happened to me.  It happened.  I experienced it.  I learned and grew from it.  Now, I feel ready to share some of my story to help others that may be going through something similar or already had gone through it.  I know when I was in the midst of my hardship, I devoured any information I could about what really happens.  And later, I will share some of the details I was looking for when ectopic pregnancy was new to me.  But today, I want to share a bit of hope.

When I was doubled over with pain and finally realized I needed to get myself to the ER, I didn’t know what was wrong.  I didn’t know I was pregnant.  I wasn’t planning on being pregnant.  My husband and I were going back and forth on if we did want to have more children.  I only suspected it because nothing else that could cause the pain made sense to me.  I think I surprised a lot of healthcare workers with my happy attitude throughout the whole process.  I wasn’t happy to be going through something awful, but I was ok about the pregnancy not working out.  It was scary but I found it very interesting because the average population of women (including myself at the time) do not know much about it.  I was learning so much.

Then, we had to wait.  The whole process to become un-pregnant took 6 weeks.  After that, we had to wait at least 2 months before trying to get pregnant again.  All that waiting and all that awfulness changed my husband’s and my perspective and we agreed that we would like to bring another baby in our family.  We tried a few times without success so when I finally found out I was pregnant in mid-November of last year, I was ecstatic!  I immediately started documenting the pregnancy and refreshing myself on pregnancy do’s and don’ts and dreaming about a possibility of a little girl.

5 days after my positive pregnancy test, I miscarried.  Though the physical pain was like a 1, the emotional pain was like a 9.  It was a very different experience than my ectopic pregnancy.  I had been looking forward to having a baby for several months and a few hours destroyed that hope and excitement.  I felt completely broken.  I really thought there was a good chance I would never have another baby because I wasn’t physically able to anymore.  I had 3 very boring yet perfect pregnancies and babies and now twice in a row, my pregnancies were failures.  I didn’t even want to try again for fear that something bad would happen again.

Then very slowly, my emotions leveled and I started to rise out of the fog.  I had to ask myself if I really did want another child.  Was God’s plan for me include another child?  Did my husband still want another child?  I felt like the answers to all those questions were yes but I was still hesitant.  Hubby and I had a serious, to the point conversation where he said he did want to try again but we would wait until I was ready.   We talked about what scared us (really me) and his responses calmed me.  I felt a big relief and peace come over me and I knew I could do it.  I would try again, but only one more time.  I didn’t feel like I could keep trying if a third pregnancy turned out with no baby.

About 2 weeks later, I had another positive pregnancy test.  I wasn’t excited as I was the last time, it was more like anxious.  Every twitch of uncomfortableness came with a thought of another miscarriage.  Hubby was reserved too.  We didn’t know what would happen this time.  But I was still pregnant week after week.  Finally, when I was 7 weeks pregnant, I called my doctor’s office to set up my first appointment.  A week later I was in his office and he showed me the most precious thing in the world to me in that moment, my baby alive with a beating heart.  I was excited.

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I still can’t help myself but smile when I look at that picture or even think of it!  I really am pregnant and my baby is ok!  I was so excited that I showed off the picture to my boys to tell them the news.  Soon, I started having doubts again.  I have known too many people who lost their babies.  Some were late miscarriages, some were stillborns, all could happen to me.  I reserved my excitement.

My second doctor appointment I was pretty anxious.  This would be the first time to hear the baby’s heartbeat, if there was one.  I asked my husband to go with me.  I would want him there if the baby had died.  I may have let him think I thought it would be exciting for him to experience hearing this baby’s heartbeat for the first time.

Another miracle occurred though!  The doctor quickly found the baby’s heartbeat and could even hear the baby moving already.  Another wave of relief and excitement came over me.  This baby is still ok!  I’m finally ready to tell everyone that I’m definitely pregnant and the baby is doing great.

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Our next appointment will be the sonogram where we will find out the gender… and if there is anything wrong.  I do have some worry about it, but I’m much more hopeful that the baby will be found healthy and thriving.  Today may be my tragiversary which started a journey of failed pregnancies, but it’s also the beginning of the renewed hope of bringing a baby into this world.

I know there are many couples out there who are wanting a child.  Their journeys may be much longer or more difficult than mine.  I completely sympathize.  I just want to share that most of those people can have hope that not every pregnancy will end in terrible sadness.  It’s ok to hope.  Once you are emotionally ready to try again, try.  Life is full of events that are not planned or wanted but these trials make us stronger, more capable.  We can be happy in the process.  Remember that life is also full of joy when we search for it.

Baby Saucy is 14 weeks along and due October 4.

For another amazing account of hope following baby loss, read my sister’s blog here.

Oscar Spectacles

So you may have watched the entire show or not at all.  I personally only caught the last half after the boys were tucked in their beds, but it does seem like I watched the best part!  There was plenty of craziness to gush for…

First and foremost, Kristen Stewart hobbling on stage .   Did she really just skip off stage after presenting?  Or was she masking the hopping that seemed to be the only thing that could move her across the floor?  Luckily, she wasn’t drunk but had cut her foot.  Unluckily, no one knows that so she just looks drunk (though she still looked drugged up, pain meds possibly?).  Her hair color was a mess too which wasn’t helped by the fact that she kept flipping it over in different ways.  Or is it a bad brunette to red ombre?  Someone please touch up her roots!  Yikes.

Was it just me or was Catherine Zeta Jones performing a just-off-enough-that-you-can-tell-I’m-lip-syncing?  I don’t feel too bad for her though, I wish I look like her when I’m 43!

Jennifer Lawrence fell on her way to accept the Oscar for best leading actress… and made it look stunning.  I do not doubt her talent.

Did anyone else catch Kristin Chenoweth (hopefully) accidentally degrading Adele on the red carpet pre-show?  Look at me, I’m super petite!  And you look so enormous beside me!  Ha ha ha ha.  Let me take off my shoes to embarrass you even more!  Ha ha ha ha ha.  You can watch a video of the interview here.  I don’t think Adele will be accepting any requests from Kristin to visit backstage for a long time.

Lady Obama is so cool she even gets to present Oscars via satellite.  I was hoping she was going to dougie but she kept it classy.

Let me end with if I never hear of Seth MacFarlane again, I would be totally ok with that.  Cue Jaws music.

What were your favorite parts?

Behind the Scenes: Birthday Cakes

I kid myself with “behind the scenes”.  Like I am a movie star with something interesting to show you or something.  Hmpf!  But you know how you see someone else’s beautiful creation be it a craft or a recipe and you never see pictures of their 10 failures before they got it right?  Or how they completely destroyed their table with a glue gun?  Well, I’m posting pictures of some ugliness when it comes to making birthday cakes happen.

I actually am a Wilton certified cake decorator.  No, really.  I am.  I had big ideas of how awesome I was going to be and how I could use my awesome skills to earn extra money when I had a family.  Some of these grandiose ideas stemmed from my own mother, aunt and grandma who decorated cakes when I was a child.  But I realized in the midst of my training that I didn’t have a passion for it and with cake decorating you really need passion to get you through the days (yes, days) of baking, mixing, coloring and making cute swooshie things.  I realized since I didn’t love it, I just couldn’t be patient enough to make cakes pretty as the pictures.  Lesson learned.  But I still attempt to make fun cakes for my family’s birthdays.

My husband’s birthday is exactly a week before my 5 year old’s so there’s a lot of cake going on at that time.  Hubby requested mini cupcakes which I did in red velvet with cream cheese icing.  The thing about red velvet is it stains everything.  My hand looks like I just finished wiping blood from the counter instead of cake.

I ended up making 50 something mini cupcakes.  They are so cute but I was so done.  I took a few of them to create the number 36 and slapped on some icing, called it good.  They were too.

My sweet 5 year old requested a princess cake.  Not just any princess either, Princess Peach.  He really wanted me to make him this fondant Mario wedding cake I found online but that surely wasn’t going to happen.  He settled for this.

I know it’s not the best decorating in the world but I think it’s pretty good with the amount of time and effort I was willing to do.  I think it took me 2 hours to decorate.  Last year, I made him this Curious George cake.

He was even easier to make because I didn’t have a lot of colors I needed to mix.  So how do you make these mediocre cakes?  Use a template!

  1. Just find a picture and print it out to fit on your cake.
  2. Cut around all the edges then place it on your cake.
  3. Take a pointed knife or box cutter or exacto knife, whatever and cut around your template.  Make sure to not cut very deep.  In fact, the more shallow you cut the cake, the better.  Otherwise, when you serve the cake, it will fall apart on you.
  4. Remove the template and trace your cutting guide with icing.  With both of these cakes, I used black icing I bought.  If the picture isn’t complex, you can use an icing tip that comes with store-bought icing tubes.  Or find a craft or cake decorating store that sells Wilton tips (like Hobby Lobby or Michaels) and get the size you need.  The smaller the number, the smaller the size.  You do not have to buy icing bags either.  Just stick the tip through a corner of a sandwich baggie.
  5. Trace any outlines you need inside.  You can cut your picture if you don’t trust your creative instinct and trace like you did before or go wild and freehand it.
  6. Fill in with icing.  You can use a small star tip to fill in like you might see on Wilton cakes but I find it cramps my style… and my hand.  You can smooth the icing with a clean finger that you dip in a bit of water.

From all this partying, I had a mountain of dishes.  Both sinks are full and it’s overflowing.  :(   I despise doing dishes.  At least I got to eat a fair amount of cake!

Rental Review: The Dark Knight Rises

Whenever I think of Batman, I think of the cartoons I grew up with. Batman was always the good guy. He had faithful Robin by his side. Together they made Gotham a safe place from all the evil in the world. In this movie, it’s not so black and white. The movie is dark. It’s a story that lurks in the shadows. It is a kind of nightmare that slowly reveals itself. That sense of foreboding is present throughout the movie, even at the end.

Storyline
Batman is missing, after being blamed for murder. Bruce is locked up in his house, broken in body and spirit, until a new foe emerges, Bane. Bane has a secret army underground preparing to take over Gotham. Batman makes a sloppy reappearance and is easily cast down again. As Bane’s reign of terror begins, Bruce is left in a legendary pit where his spirit is reawakened and rises up into the light.


My Take
Though this is definitely an “action movie”, it is also a thought provoking one which presents some interesting moral dilemmas if you desire to engage in the intellectual. The only comic relief that you get from the impending doom comes from Catwoman, pretentiously played by Anne Hathaway. It is a dry humor that doesn’t lend itself to laughing out loud for a few minutes, but rather it’s more of a smirk across the lips. All the characters are played very well but best actor award has to go to Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He transformed himself into a Brooklyn born cop who happens to be a lot like Bruce Wayne. It’s amazing to watch him and get sucked into his performance. In fact, it was a pleasure to get sucked into the whole dark movie for a few hours (yes, a few).

Kid Guide
I would recommend this to be a mom and dad date night-in movie only, unless your children are older than maybe 11 (or you like to comfort little children in the middle of the night for weeks). The Dark Knight Rises is definitely a dark movie and though there wasn’t much death and blood shown on-screen, there were plenty of innuendos. Plus, the overall theme and lurking-in-the-shadows feel is not appropriate for younger children. I even jumped in a few parts!

Grade Card: 4.75
Hathaway’s slightly unbelievable performance was the only downgrade. I definitely recommend it.

So, enjoy the movie after the kiddos are tucked safely and happily in their beds and get transported into a story where a hero rises out of the darkness.

TV Worth Watching


So the Fall Season is over and the Spring Season has started.  The only shows that I keep watching are…

Go On (NBC):

Nothing too deep but this is great sitcom comedy.  I can see that the characters could get old if the writers keep story lines repetitive.  I think that’s the big conundrum with writing TV.  You don’t want to change things up too much but you don’t want stagnant predictable episodes.

The Mindy Project (FOX):

Mindy is still awesome to watch.  You get invested in her life which changes from glamorous to dreadfully awkward to hopeful.  And she is completely hilarious!

The Neighbors (ABC):

I don’t feel as urgent to catch up on this as I do the other shows because I’m not as emotionally connected to the characters.  But once I start watching, I wonder why I stay away so long!  It is quirky comedy at its best.

The Big Bang Theory (CBS):

It’s still awesome.  If you’ve never watched it, you really must.  Enough said.

Downton Abbey (PBS):

This show hasn’t been in my posts because the 3rd season just started in January.  This show is definitely not for everyone but it is beautifully written and the acting is superb.  It is about an aristocratic family and their servants drama.  Ohhhhh and there IS drama.  You won’t get much laughs from this one but the stories are so compelling, you easily get sucked into their post World War 1 lives.  My husband would want me to warn you that they’re British and will speak in (what I think is a beautiful) accent.  If you still have something against the mother country, than you don’t want to watch it- though you may connect with Branson’s views.

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