Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mothers Be Good to Your Daughters

With the stork on his way, I have naturally turned to the one person who guided me through childhood – Mama Lisa.

For those of you who know my Mom, this whole goo-goo-ga-ga, mushy, heartfelt story I am about to tell may come as a bit of a surprise. Don’t be mistaken, every word I speak (write) is 100% true. If you’re unfortunate enough to have never met my Mom, it’s pretty simple: she’s tough as nails. A true, dedicated, super-intelligent business woman who is constantly elevated in the ranks of her very successful career. Some might even say she was born to dominate her field, having overcome hardships I can only imagine, and inevitably accomplishing everything she set out to – all the while, raising three radically different and challenging kiddos (Joseph Riley, Chelsea Marie, and Myself).

That would make anyone a little hard, a little over it, maybe even a little ready to move on from the world of babies.

Enter Brennen Shea Nagle, now 1 year old, and quite possibly the cutest and largest baby in this history of mankind. My brother’s son was born December 26th, 2008, consequently making Mama Lisa do a double-take on the idea of becoming “Grammy”. Needless to say, I was surprised and ecstatic over her reaction to our fabulous news.

She was at work:



“Mom, I have some news. Some really exciting news.”


“Stacey and I are going to have a baby!”

Voice already cracking, “Oh my Gosh! Really?” I could hear her smile, her sincerity, and I started to cry a little, too. This conversation isn’t something they teach you at UVM or St. Johnsbury Academy, or anywhere else in life, really. It’s not even an event that crosses your mind until you’re actually experiencing it, and it… is... Wonderful.

Mom blessed our little one the moment she knew, she prayed for us during our first big scare, and she continues to guide me through my pregnancy with a swollen heart and truly gracious understanding. She’ll respond to my incessant texts any time of day:

“Did you have really bad morning sickness?”

“Did you have stretch marks? They’re genetic!”

“What do you think of genetic screening?”

“Epidural? No epidural?” (NO EPIDURAL! THREE KIDS!)

“I wish you were here with me.”

And she will be. April 14th, once again sharing herself with my beautiful little blueberry, as Mom arrives on her own birthday. I told her I should be pretty chunky by that time – she calls it “cute”.

She really is a softy.

Monday, January 25, 2010

'Roo Ups and Downs

My doctor told me from the very beginning that pregnancy can be a rollercoaster of emotions. I was not prepared in the slightest for what would happen in the coming week.

The day after confirming the presence of our little one, Stacey and I were elated to see what was going on inside. We had our first ultrasound at Littleton Regional Hospital at 11 o'clock in the morning. "Arrive with a VERY full bladder," the instructions said. So I did. Lying down on the gurney, we could barely contain our excitement, attempting to take a photograph, which the kind man performing the sonogram informed us was against the rules. Oops.

After an unsuccessful try at an exterior sonogram, the technician decided we might see something more by performing an internal version of the same procedure. Big smiles, lots of heart tugs, laughter, giggles, and then....nothing. There was nothing on the screen, not even what the technician referred to as a gestational sac (the very beginning signs of a healthy pregnancy). He assured us it could simply be too early to see anything. "You are young and obviously healthy, you have nothing to worry about".

We left the appointment still filled with extreme giddiness and loads of hope.

Fast forward almost two days later. I was meeting with a wine representative at work (no, I didn't taste), along with my boss and friend, Stacey Northrop, and nearing the end of the meeting when my phone rang. "I have to take this, I think its my doctor calling to schedule our next appointment..."

I walked away from the two and took the call. "Jackie, this is Jessica. We've reviewed the results of your ultrasound, and the pregnancy is not viable. You will likely miscarry in the coming weeks". Just like that. No 'I'm sorry', or 'I regret to inform you...'.....NOTHING. I gathered since the conversation that she gives this information out regularly.

My knees literally gave out from underneath me, thankfully greeted by the front of a chair to fall down on. I don't remember exactly what was said after the fact, but I recall hearing I needed to have blood drawn immediately, it could be ectopic, blighted, etc, etc. I hung the phone up and lost complete control over my mind, body, tear ducts.

My poor co-workers. They thought I had lost my mind. I sent an email after the fact to the nice man who was talking to us about new wines. He seemed to understand. I began grieving without even thinking, without a single moment gone by. I was devastated and stayed that way for 3 days. I remained in bed, depressed over the baby I had only known was mine for less than a week. At one point, I lay down in the shower, desperate and exhausted, and plead with God to give my child another chance. Please, please, please, please, please, please…

Stacey was wonderful. He rubbed my back and wiped my tears, not knowing what I was feeling, just understanding and listening the way he always does. I knew he would be an amazing father someday.

I returned to work, noting the slow yet obvious depletion in my checking account, with a heavy heart and somewhat resentful disposition. Every step I took, I forced back tears and kept a smile on my face. I dreaded the inevitable "Congratulations" from people who had yet to hear the bad news. The clock ticked, ticked, ticked by slowly, and at around 7 o'clock, I began to wonder if this was such a good idea. Moments later, the phone rang, and I overheard my boss' husband, "Of course, of course, she's right here actually".

"Jackie, this is Jessica". Oh, Lord, please not this again. Why would she be calling me at 7 o'clock on a Saturday night? This is going to be bad.

"Jackie, we made a mistake. Your hormones are through the roof. You are definitely carrying a viable, healthy pregnancy".

No sweeter words were ever uttered! I stood and wept in the middle of the dining room, taking time to absorb the information and, for the moment, keep it my little secret inside. That lasted all of three minutes, but what a feeling!

The previous three days almost wiped from my consciousness, I laughed and cried my way through the rest of the shift. I managed to call Stacey, my Mom, Dad, and best friend while in the weeds, that was the type of adrenaline I was dealing with. Of the 25 years of memories in my bank, this night topped the list. It’s funny and devastating what the human soul can put itself through when it grieves, but when it comes out the other side unscathed and optimistic, it needs only the next day to carry on.

Back to reading 'What to Expect', following (she's the size of an orange seed this week!), picking out names, extreme gasiness, nausea, vomiting, getting fat, and all the other amazing and rewarding feelings that we come to expect.... when we're expecting.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Day One

A day we will never forget! Up until today, I figured the holiday stress had caused me to skip another period. With fear in hand, I peed in the little plastic cup at the doctor's office, only a part of me hoping the result would be the one it has always been: Not Pregnant.

We are so thrilled to be embarking on this adventure together! Counting our blessings and praying for a healthy & happy pregnancy!

PS, we both think it's a girl!