Love, Labor

The contractions hit harder and faster than I imagined. This couldn’t be the real deal, though. While I’d been dilated and effaced for weeks, with an induction scheduled the next morning, I didn’t let myself believe this was actual labor. After all, I’d had two false alarms before, and I knew they’d just send me back home if I wasn’t officially 39 weeks. I SO wanted it to be go time though. I wasn’t quite miserable yet, but I’d always dreamed of that quintessential “honey it’s time” labor sequence you see in the movies. I’d grip my belly and grab his hand while we raced to the hospital. My other two were scheduled inductions, and I always felt like all the fun was taken out, even though I enjoyed the predictability.

I took this pic …

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Time is Drawing Near

Soon. Soon love will fill this corner of the bedroom.

The wee hours of the morning. That delicate span of time when either you’ve stayed up very late, or gotten up very early. My husband is the latter. He leans to kiss me in bed, my hour tousled unattractively against my pillow. I tell him I love him, words spoken through my lisp-inducing mouthpiece used to prevent nighttime teeth grinding. Baggy black sweats with holes in ever-increasing places sit across my hips, purchased when I was 10 weeks pregnant with my first baby. They’ve served me well. I wear a soft-because-it’s-old faded gray t-shirt, screen print of a sporting goods store cracked and disappearing on the front. It’s his. Just like this squirming life inside me.

I’m 36 weeks pregnant with our fifth child. Two are in heaven, …

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When. She used the word when, not if. “When you deliver your third child, we’ll need to be prepared for a possible transfusion. You lost a lot of blood with that surgery, and we need to be ready if that’s going to be an ongoing issue.” My mind stuck on the “when,” rather than on the large blood loss and possible future complications. I appreciated her optimism. My OB, reassuringly cheerful but professionally somber when appropriate, has always advocated for me to have more children. We enjoy each other’s company, and she knows that when everything gets off to a good start, my body handles pregnancy and childbearing beautifully.

Except this time. This time, I lost my baby at 8.5 weeks, and continued carrying completely unaware, hormones still in full …

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Today, my spirits are low. My energy is low. My ability to rub to coherent thoughts together and make a spark is low. This is a problem for me, this inability to stand my ground beneath the weight of worry. The worst case scenario is the only one I can imagine, and the alternatives seem like pollyannish pipe dreams. I’m a generally positive person, and can keep my chin up when life throws me struggles and setbacks in small chunks at a time, or with adequate warning.

But when I receive unexpected bad news, sometimes, I crumble. Like yesterday. My husband and I went in for our ultrasound, cautiously optimistic that we’d see a “Glinda bubble” on the screen when the tech placed the wand on my abdomen. And we …

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Almost immediately after dropping the “baby bomb” on social media, doubts ran rampant in my mind. “Was it too soon? What if I’m wrong? What if the pregnancy doesn’t stick? What if…”

Even though the bloodwork confirmed, even though my body is exhibiting ALL of the classic symptoms of early pregnancy, part of me worried that maybe it was all a farce. Some rare genetic condition that causes pregnancy hormones and no baby. Because it’s so hard to believe, even when your body has done it before, that a HUMAN BEING is growing inside you. It’s weird. Even when it’s the most natural thing in the world. And you know what they say, seeing is believing.

So I should be excited about my …

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Yep. It’s real. I’m pregnant.

Last week, I wrote a post for, the website spawned from the infamous “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” pregnancy bible that’s on every woman’s nightstand who’s “with child.” It was a dream for me, the chance to write on such a big platform, and I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to come up with anything compelling. But life is funny like that. Always changing and twisting and turning until you remind yourself, again, that nothing is predictable. Nothing. Even your period.

As I headed to an out-of-town conference, I was certain my Aunt Flo would be along for the ride. Cramping, a touch of moodiness, weeping at insurance commercials. I packed along my “supplies,” a bottle of Advil, …

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