Thank you guys for all the love and support.  Things of course always turn out much different than you originally plan no matter how much you try.  Honestly I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Long story short: Our bean arrived after water breaking, 14 hours of labor and an epidural later at 6:01 pm Saturday night. 

Full version: Friday morning I was checked at my usual NST appointment to find that I was still at a -3 station (possibly -4) and only 1 cm dilated.  At that point, being 39w2d and GD they were concerned with her growth being too much to make it to a vaginal delivery before 40 weeks so they scheduled my induction for Monday morning.  

Saturday morning at about 4:30 am I woke to what was clearly not pee.  I calmly woke DH up so he didn't get too nervous and got the okay to shower and dress while he packed the car.  By 5:00 we were in L&D being checked out and admitted.  At that point I was still hoping to avoid pitocin but since I was still at -3 and and tight 2cm they were only going to give me a few hours to labor on my own.  I'm not sure at what point they came in and said that I would need to get my IV and pit line put in.  By then contractions were pretty mild and not really consistent.  

At 3:00 my pitocin was upped to an 8 and I had to use the restroom.  In the 2 minutes I was going pee I had 4 contractions without any break in between and knew that I wasn't going to last hours this way.  I was checked again at 4:30 with the baby at a +2 station and 7cm dialated so the epi was put in and other than only feeling it on one side, it caused major relief.  About an hour later DH stepped out to grab a bite in the waiting room and I started to feel her descend.  As soon as he came back the labor team checked again and said I was ready to start practicing my pushing.  You could tell the Dr. didn't think he'd be back anytime soon so he gave me a few tips and left me with my l&d nurse.  In about 20 minutes the Dr. was called back and two sets of pushes later LJ was born, all 6lbs 11 oz and 20 inches of her.  

DH who originally wanted to stay by my head saw the entire thing (even I got to see her head) and said he doesn't regret it at all.  The doctor held her up and we saw the goods, she was all girl!  DH cut the cord and we both got to do skin to skin which was super special.  She's got jet black hair everywhere, is calm as can be and still getting the hang of feeding without falling asleep.  The first two 2 nights we cluster fed but we are slowly getting her to latch longer and have more time between feeds.  She's beautiful and I can't believe we have a daughter.  I'm so in love.
My anxiety is a real thing.  It's sneaky in that I feel as though I'm rid of it when I'm not paying attention.  It comes at me in the most random times.  Mostly when I'm going to bed but then there are times like when I'm packing the diaper bag to send L off to grandma's house or when I'm scrolling through the news.  It's ugly and awful and oh so terrifying at times.

The amazing thing that going through infertility has taught me is that I can speak out loud what usually is kept quiet.  I can tell people about my fucked up reproductive system and my wonky anxiety filled brain.  As uncomfortable as it makes people feel to hear about all of that, it makes me even crazier to keep all these little secrets as if they should never be uttered.  

So when I began to open up about my anxiety I was overcome, once again, with a surprising number of friends and family who experience it as well.  And with them came a support system.  An understanding of what you actually feel like when your mind wanders from "Should I pack the stroller or the car seat?  I'll pack the car seat.  But what if my mom forgets to buckle her in because she's distracted by her adorable dimples.  And then they get into an accident. And L flies through the windshield and this will be the last time I ever see her or kiss her."  Yup, they understand it. And they have solutions or exercises.  Things that help remind me that L is happy, healthy and above all safe.  That my mom may be distracted but she loves L so much that she'd never let anything happen to her.  But most importantly, that no matter how much I worry, it will never stop bad things from happening.

It's going to be a long road this anxiety thing.  But I know I have another amazing support system to turn towards when things are rough.

7 weeks is a long time to stay silent.  It also makes for plenty of material to blog about.  But isn't that just like me, to be a ghost for months and come back with 10 different topics.  I'm sorry but it's been awhile since I've had a chance to come back here.

To start, April 24th is the beginning of National Infertility Awareness Week according to   Last year was the year I finally decided to reveal a little bit about our struggle on social media.  The outpouring of love and support was mind blowing.  Two months later, we were pregnant with our little Bean.  When you bring a little one home after sharing your struggles with infertility you tend to get a lot of mixed comments and questions.  One that is surprisingly naive is the fact that since we've gotten pregnant once, it will be much easier to get pregnant again.  People seem to think we're going to be the Duggard's now that the seal has been broken.  It's quite frustrating.

I'm in love with my beautiful daughter and can't imagine my life without her.  The struggle to conceive her was absolutely heartbreaking and real but I'm also of the mindset I wouldn't have it any other way.  But the reality is, should we decide to grow our family further, no one can predict the ease or difficulty of which we will have to deal with infertility again.  We may have overcome it this time by having once successful pregnancy, but there's no way of knowing if that will happen again.

So I'm trying to find a way to put that into words for NIAW.  Infertility was and always will be the road to have our baby girl and to pretend it wasn't is living a lie.  Not just for us but for every other man and woman struggling to build their family I feel NIAW will always be a way to shed awareness on the topic which is so near to my heart.

Now that our little Bean has arrived, I've done a lot to try to stay in tune with what my body is telling me. Getting sleep when it's needed, drinking plenty of water and just generally making sure to also take care of myself. One thing I never expected to happen go through is Post Partum Anxiety (PPA).

Night after night I'm stuck in my head fighting to go to sleep, pushing back horrible thoughts of accidents and dying. I'd known to pay attention to signs of PPD given my history but never even heard of PPA. 

This weekend I decided I couldn't deny something was wrong any longer. With the encouragement of DH I finally went to see my doctor today. I'm hoping with a combination of herbal supplements she recommended and seeing a therapist I can start to feel somewhat normal again. Time will tell but in the interim you might see me around these parts a little bit more channeling some of my anxiety through blogging.
I'm sitting up in bed at 2:30 on a Monday morning wondering how I became so lucky. In front of me is my gorgeous husband and my beautiful baby girl both sleeping peacefully.

A week ago Saturday our lives changed in ways I only dreamt about. Our daughter L came into our lives so perfectly I couldn't have planned it any better. Since then our days and nights are filled with dirty diaper changes, feedings, doctors appointments, eating whenever we can fit it in and late night shift changes.

I'm proud of the mother I'm striving to be and in awe of the father my husband inately is. Of course parenthood isn't without its challenges. For one, breastfeeding hasn't come easy for her or I. We're up to nursing every 3-4 hours as long as she stays awake. But nights like tonight we're back to every 2 hours. Sometimes it feels like we put her in a clean diaper only to be pooped on again within minutes. And then there's the long nights (even though there's only been 8 of them) that the crying for no apparent reason can go on for what feels like eternity.

But at the end of the day, this beautiful little Bean who stole our hearts is more than worth it. I've never been so instantly in love in all my life and am falling more in love with my husband every day she's alive. If ever there was a role in life for me, this was it. 💗

Dominican Dreamer
I'm trying to wrap my head around how to respond to a comment recently made to me.  Or if I do at all.  My husband and I were thrown a co-ed baby shower by my sister, my sister-in-law and my mom.  It was amazing and I loved every minute of it.  There were a few little things that stood out that I'm having a hard time knowing what to do about them.

The first was when my mom thanked everyone for coming to celebrate.  It was a sweet thank you followed by a prayer at which time her and her husband never mentioned E or I.  They said they were grateful for their new grandbaby and that of my father-in-law as well but nothing about us as parents.  This has been a theme throughout our pregnancy and at times it's really bothered me.  My mom constantly calls the baby hers or theirs, celebrates with her husband whenever I share a milestone of our little Bean and now this.  Although the speech/prayer in and of itself isn't really that big of a deal I don't know how much more to express that the baby I've carried for 9 months is a product of E and I only.

So then after we had eaten and my mom and I were mid conversation when her husband leaned over to whisper in my ear "your mom really wants to be in the delivery room".  :::blank stare:::  Not only was it awkward that it was brought up right in front of her and by him but literally mid-sentence.  What do I do with that information without offending her/them?  My answer has and will always be a resounding "NO" for many reasons.  Do I even have to address it though since it wasn't a request made directly by my mom?  And if so how much do I tell her?  No, because it's a special moment I want to share with E only.  No, because we've never been close enough to share that type of relationship and I would feel incredibly uncomfortable.  No, because you don't seem to understand that this is not your child but that you are grandma.

I feel as though he put me in such a weird position to define ourselves to them and I'm really at a loss.  I genuinely don't want to hurt her feelings so I plan to keep quiet for now but it's starting to cause me a lot of concern that it may come up in the hospital or at an even more awkward time.  Oy vey.

There are a lot of pregnancy symptom lists out there, I know, I'm on Pinterest too.  What gets me is how very little these symptoms are discussed even though some are so common.  I spent the first 30 weeks of my pregnancy questioning if there really was a little human growing inside of me.  No, not because I think I'm small and haven't gained any weight but because all the classic symptoms you hear about were nowhere near my experience.  Morning sickness for example, okay maybe I gagged a time or two when I was brushing my teeth but never did I have all day nausea and constant vomiting like other women experience.  Back pain, well my tailbone hurt a lot but then again I've always had that problem, pregnant or not.

So why would I complain that I wasn't feeling anything remotely pregnancy related?  Well I would soon find out that was not the case.

Vaginal Swelling aka Cheeseburger Crotch
Before becoming pregnant I scoured the internet for pregnancy symptoms and ran across a few random blogs that mentioned vaginal swelling, but of course when it actually happened to me I was at a loss.  My lady-bits were hurting like crazy and it was making me feel like I was going crazy.  Maybe it was just a fluke.  Let me tell you, it's not, and you're not going crazy.  The urge to stick an ice pack down your pants while you sit spread eagle on the bed is not in your head.

Other bloggers call it cheeseburger crotch which conjures up so many disturbing images that it really should be renamed.  Thankfully cheese or anything of that nature has nothing to do with it.  It's really more in line with the idea of feet and ankle swelling you hear so many pregnant ladies suffer from, just a little higher north.  The doctor doesn't seem to have a solution other than putting my feet up and waiting it out.  Although anyone who suggests you sit on it to put your feet up hasn't experienced it for themselves.  My only option is to therefore do just what sounds the funniest in my head, actually lay on my bed spread eagle with an ice pack down my pants.  Hey it works.

Round Ligament Pain (RLP)
This by far is one of the most common symptoms that until becoming pregnant myself, I had never once heard of.  So your body is clearly preparing for a couple of things, one is carrying life, another is bringing that life into the world and lastly sustaining that little being you worked so hard to carry. Without exaggeration, from day one your body is making room for baby by stretching in places it's never had to stretch before.  Your abdomen is clearly one of those places.

For me I could pinpoint RLP within a week of finding out we were expecting.  I'd had a had cold and as usual coughed sending lightening like pains to my lower abdomen and scaring the crap out of me.  Surprisingly RLP is so rarely talked about considering how prevalent it is.  Of course it causes a lot of worry when you have no idea why you're experiencing so much pain.  So first time moms, don't be surprised when these little joys start showing up.  

Blurred Vision
I have been wearing glasses for reading since the age of 12.  Progressively my eyes have gotten worse over the years but nothing compares to the changes I've experienced since becoming pregnant.  It took me a while to get to that point in my pregnancy books but when I finally did it all made sense.  Making a baby creates a lot of new hormones as expected and one of the side affects of that is blurry vision.  Of course there could be some serious causes of blurred vision so it's best to check with your doctor, but if you're like me it's nothing to worry about and will correct itself over time.  In the meantime I'm left squinting at the jumbotron at hockey games and forget about finding the puck.

Loose Ligaments and Joints
Along the lines of RLP, the rest of your body is preparing for the delivery of your new addition.  You may be noticing a little joint swelling, maybe a sore pelvis like me or how much easier it is to injure yourself or twist your ankle.  Your body is making room both in your abdomen and your pelvis for pregnancy and delivery and all of your ligaments become more loose as a result.  Although it's not for everyone, I've found that doing prenatal yoga has helped stretch me out a bit and deal with the discomfort of pelvic pain.  The fun part is this doesn't end as soon as we have our babies and I'm totally looking forward to my recovery (said no mom ever).  

So now that you've read one more blog about strange pregnancy symptoms, maybe you'll feel a little more normal knowing that you're not alone.  

One of my favorite times of the day is right before bedtime which I know will drive me insane when you're an outside baby.  But most nights between 10 and 11 at night, I get to host the most wonderful dance party in my stomach.  Some nights it lasts for just a couple of minutes before you, my little Bean, are quiet again and very rarely I don't feel you at all.

Last night though, daddy and I were up late after a long day celebrating Roxy's birthday, doing house work, shopping and then going to a hockey game.  Just as the night was winding down you decided it was time.  No music necessary, you gave us your best moves yet.  For nearly an hour I got to feel kicks, punches and jabs on nearly every part of my tummy.  But the best part of all was when daddy put his hand on you and got to feel it all too.  

See you don't generally move a lot for him.  Last night was different though and there you were showing us just how much we have to look forward to.  So little Bean, keep dancing because in 3 short months everything is going to change for our little family.  

With all my heart,