To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Thursday, December 24, 2015

2015 .... The Roller Coaster Year

With great sorrow also comes wonderfully happy things. That's one thing I've definitely learned this year. 2015 has quite possibly been the most up and down year of my entire life. I've had the worst heart ache ever, balanced with the greatest joy I have known.... so far. I know 2016 is going to be fantastic and full of new experiences! But first, I thought I'd sit here, while my still-cooking bundle of joy exercises off her Christmas cookies inside of me, and pause to look back and remember this wild ride!

To say Tewfer (aka Man Friend) and I have a boring life would be so very wrong. If you missed any of the old stories, basically when we first met in 2006 I initially thought, "oh here's a new person, he has a big smile!" And then he opened his mouth.... and for years I went out of my way to avoid him. I would be happy when I heard he was again being deployed overseas because that meant I wouldn't have to deal with him. And then he sent me a Facebook friend request which I skeptically accepted. Maybe a year down the road we started talking to each other online, which quickly led to in person. By April 2012 we had decided to go to the coast together. On that first "date" (the judge is still ruling on if it was a date.... it totally was) I knew I was going to marry him. True story! I asked him on a second date only minutes after he dropped me off. We were together a lot before that 2nd date happened in May. On Labor Day weekend we were in engaged in Las Vegas! Not even a month later, after buying my wedding dress, we had our first unexpected event happen when my aunt committed suicide. And then we are pretty sure she haunted my house while I was away and he was left alone. Go Nancy! That next April we were off to Las Vegas getting married! Let's have a photo.....

That huge back story does lead us to this photo and this year. So much has changed since this photo was taken! Prior to this year, we lost 2 family members. Man Friend's mom (green dress, 3rd from the right) lost her fight with Leukemia last year. Also from MF's side, his uncle Bob passed away (6 from the right, back row, very tall). But we also have had exciting things from this group ... like Brian and Jessica who got married last year (I think they are blocked by some jazz hands in this photo). My uncle, second from the left, became a Grandpa this year!!! I have yet to meet her, but she has the cutest cheeks ever and I am very excited for my girl and her to meet and become new cousin friends! Now we come back to 2015!

At this time last year I had no idea what was in store for me. I thought that I'd continue racing, hitting my 36 half marathons while still 36 years old (I am paused at 30 now, FYI). I had hoped that we'd finally have success at creating a baby. And really that's as far as I got. 

As one very fancy pants doctor suggested, I started off the year by being brave and called OHSU. I was seeking a consult to verify if I am able to carry a child and what options do I have. I was so antsy to get the ball rolling after years of trying and failing. On February 6 my life was switched upside down! We met with our new doctor hoping to hear that we had various choices to make, but perhaps it was easier by learning we had ONE way to make a baby. Prior to this meeting we had so many conversations about the future, and even spent an entire night looking into adoption. Hearing that we were good candidates for In Vitro Fertilization with ICSI made it an easy choice. I didn't even hesitate or question it. And thus my new normal was started!

Dual lives. One we had at home in private for the two of us, and the one the rest of the world saw. Living a secret so huge was so hard, but we had a good support team and a couple close friends I talked to which really helped. Life was about to be pretty crazy and exciting .... until ....

Step-dad, Grandpa, Mom, Me, Man Friend, Mother in Law, Father in Law, Dad
This small family of ours took another hit. Not even a year after losing Man Friend's mom, my Grandpa had an accident. Two emotional, tough weeks later, with my hand on his shoulder in a quiet, dimly lit room, we had to watch my Grandpa leave us. I can't even write about it again. Click the link for my blog on all of that. Only days before I was alone with him in his hospital room and about to tell him that I was trying to make him another great-grandchild when a nurse came in and I had to pause. I never did get to tell him.... although his newest little girl has already visited him and Grandma a few times where they are now. Ugh, can I go cry again??

As hard as that was to get through, we were still trying to continue with our new life of multiple daily injections into my stomach and an insane number of trips of I-5 to OHSU for countless ultrasounds and blood draws. Finally in June I had the happiest of tears in the car with my mom when I learned we had success and I was "very pregnant"!! It was one of those experiences where you really want to tell someone, i.e. Grandpa, and you can't. The excitement of that phone call would soon be overshadowed by even happier news .... not only was I pregnant, but I had TWO babies growing inside of me!! TWO!!

Looking at this, the eye on the left is the girl that is currently kicking me non-stop!
What a crazy change of life this was going to be. I couldn't stop crying -- more happy tears. I had hoped for one, and instead life gave me two babies to spoil!! Ugh, and I can't talk about this anymore. Clearly life ultimately had a different plan, and at the 10 weeks pregnant mark I lost my little girl's twin. For only knowing that baby for a short while, I was very attached and it is still hard and sad whenever I think about it. Every time I get into my underwear/bra drawer I am reminded, as I see his/her engraved silver spoon from OHSU. 

Not only was I already poofy from carrying twins for that time, I was now dealing with learning I lost one and trying to keep a normal face to everyone. I was so relieved when we were well into the second trimester and able to share our exciting news of a baby! What a party that was, thanks to all who came!! Fortunately the good has been dominating the rest of the year!! We were able to go to Disneyland for a babymoon, and then finally learn the news we all wanted to know ... Boy or GIRL???

Life has now been full of first flutters of baby movement, seeing my tummy move for the first time, non-stop bathroom trips, decorating a nursery, getting ready for Lamaze class, packing my hospital bag, picking out a pediatrician (yes, Mom, we did do that!), and just trying to keep me comfortable!

The year had other things happen .... Man Friend took on a new position at our work (uh, yeah, we do work at the same place) that has actually been a plus with his crazy schedule and will save us tons of day care money! We went to Osoyoos, Canada for donuts and I was able to see my first rattle snake! I got a new car ... for carrying around said baby and her stroller.
Most patient bff EVER!

My mom and I had many fun trips to various Broadway shows - OMG isn't Wicked the greatest??? My Meniere's Disease actually calmed down believe it or not (I thank pregnancy for that). And I did get to do a couple races, including one while pregnant! I've also seen such generosity and good in people through this crazy year, even though so much negativity has happened in this world and even locally. So thank you all for reading my blog and supporting us through all of this! Due to this dual life we led, I was pretty quiet on social media for a long time - because how do you not let that slip out?? Fortunately for me Man Friend and my patient BFF both put up with me and never complained once. It wasn't always pretty .... read this post for the inside scoop on deliberate menopause at age 36 and the "Lupon Rage" that accompanied it! So thanks to my Tewfer and Blake. You guys deserve trophies or something! .... and I expect both of you to be just as helpful once our girl is officially here! You got that??!!

That was long and babbling, but that sort of fits the nature of my 2015! I'm incredibly excited about this year ending, since I know that means we are so close to having a little girl come take over our lives! She's already my everything! I found one last picture to sum up the year. This year, for me, will be remembered by two things. Grandpa and my baby. So here we are, Grandpa and one of his favorite babies .... me! :)

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