Friday, August 23, 2013


We live in a time when we have abundant forums to share our lives (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) yet we are often not authentic in that sharing. I'm not saying that we propagate falsehoods, but we really only share our best selves. We post a status update when we have something bright and witty to say. We share a photo when we look our best. We post about our careers when we get a promotion or bonus. What we avoid like the plague is posting updates about failed cycles, miscarriages, divorce, unemployment, and loss.

Please don't misconstrue what I'm saying here. I'm not suggesting that everything in our lives must be laid bare to the social media masses. Perish the thought! There are some things that are just private. Period. What I am suggesting is the importance of cultivating authentic relationships. 

When I "came out" about our infertility struggle, my private message box on Facebook filled with friends sharing that they too struggled with infertility. Soon I realized that some of the beautiful Christmas cards I receive each year filled with photos of beautiful smiling children were brought into this world with ART. My previous fears that everyone else had their lives together while I was somehow broken beyond repair were quickly assuaged. 

So now that I am joyfully pregnant, I started to wonder how I can avoid stepping into the well-intentioned, albeit annoying habit of only sharing the highlight reel of my family's life and stashing the B-roll well out of sight. Do you promise yourself that for every precious photo of your child posted, you also balance the universe by sharing your frustration with their latest tantrum? Is there a formula to follow? If you were looking for an answer, I don't have one. But I will share that my goal is to build a simple and authentic life.

When I asked myself what that looks like, I realized it sounds a little ambiguous and buzz-wordy, so I'm trying to break it down to the core of what I want for myself and my family.

Here is what I'm working towards (and putting in writing so you can call me out when I'm not!):
  • Understand that I will fail and embrace those losses as learning moments when they happen
  • When appropriate, share said failures 
  • Not be fearful of frailty 
  • Surround myself with authentic people who bring out the best in me (in my career and in my friendships). It's that whole iron sharpening iron thing.
  • Live a simple life. Get the hell off Pinterest (or at least take a break) and quit comparing my wardrobe, home, car, lifestyle, bank account to others. Live comfortably within our means and love. :)
Seems like a good starting point. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Note To Our Little Avocado

Today was our 16 week appointment with our OB. We were both hoping that at today's sneak peek we (and by we I mean the doc who is skilled in reading ultrasounds) might be able to tell if you are a boy or a girl. No such luck today, we did get measurements of your head, torso, femur (2.5 cm in case you were curious), and got a really cool look at your spine. I'm still amazed at watching your little life grow! You are no longer a product of my dreams, you are a real, heart-beating, blood pumping person growing at an incredible rate! 

Once the size of a poppy seed, you are now a full blown avocado! In just a few more weeks, you will be approaching the size of a grapefruit. Four weeks from today we will be halfway through the pregnancy. Halfway to sleepless nights holding you, our much hoped for child. It all feels strangely surreal, although not as fragile, tentative and nerve wracking as the first 12 weeks. 

I'm eager to begin feeling those first small flutters announcing your movements and reminding me that I'm not alone. I understand that your ears are developing so get ready for my morning commute sing-alongs, your mother has no shame in her game. 

Keep growing little one. We are already so in love with you!

Saturday, August 3, 2013


I've been MIA from my blog for a couple of weeks now. The reason? Monday kicks off my busiest week of the year at work (our annual conference) and thus the last few weeks have been very full with planning, meetings and logistics. The good news is that I feel ready for the marathon week ahead! 

So what's happened in the past few weeks with Baby Gage, you ask? Quite a bit! We had our first appointment with our OB last week and got to see our little one. Our baby is a mover! As soon as the ultrasound brought my womb into focus, both arms and legs began pinwheeling! It was so exciting to see our progeny move about. I cannot wait to begin feeling those flutterings and kicks (which my doctor thinks I'll begin to feel in early September). Baby Gage measured right where he or she should be for this point in our pregnancy. Our OB was able to get a view of the baby's brain during the ultrasound and quipped that we should keep all savings for fabulous vacations because this child would obviously be brilliant and earn a full ride to the university of their choice. I know he must say this to every patient, but it was no less thrilling to see our baby's 12 week old brain!

I had another more detailed ultrasound this week for our sequential screening. The amazing thing about this appointment was the detail the ultrasound provided. I could see the individual bones in our baby's hands and feet, and could see the baby swallow! What a tiny, beautiful miracle!

We are now headed into our 14th week and officially in the second trimester...whew! Making it this far feels like such a surreal accomplishment. My nausea has pretty much subsided and my energy levels are rebounding. My belly is beginning to protrude and I have embraced the comfort and forgiveness of maternity pants. As evidenced by the time stamp on this blog, I'm also experiencing a bit of insomnia. I wake up once or twice a night to use the bathroom and my brain flips on and begins cataloging a list of to-dos, replaying conversations from the day, and wandering to baby names.

Our next ultrasound is in just over two weeks and we are REALLY hoping to find out if our little Embry is a boy or a girl. I have strong sense that we're having a boy, but have heard countless stories from my mommy friends of how their maternal instinct told them one thing, only to be proven wrong by the ultrasound tech. Regardless of the sex of our baby, we're thrilled that he or she is growing strong and healthy!