Marathon Man

Joe is now a marathoner.

He ran the Scenic City Trail Marathon on Raccoon Mountain in Chattanooga yesterday, and from what he said, it was a pretty grueling course. The trail took runners up and down steep hills, stumbling over tree roots and skirting branches that were across the course. I can’t recap the race as well as Joe can, so make sure you head over to his blog.

Joe was super excited when we arrived at the race site, and he wasn’t too nervous. He didn’t do much of a warm-up like he did last year for the half marathon because, as he said, the first 13.1 miles are a warm-up.


Last year, the marathoners started farther up than the half marathoners to make up the correct distance. This year, all the racers started out together. I didn’t really understand why they changed that, but it was good for me because I was able to get pictures of Joe starting out, even though they did turn out blurry.


And then, we waited. I was alone for the first three hours or so until my brother arrived to keep my company. About a half hour later, Joe’s family showed up.


Joe had expected to finish around 12:30 p.m., which would have been a 4:30:00 time, but it ended up taking him longer for several reasons. First, it’s a trail marathon, not a street marathon, and the terrain makes it much tougher which takes a lot longer. Joe said most runners were walking up the hills and then running the downhills and the flat areas. And, since part of the course wasn’t marked like the runners had been told, Joe and a group of other runners went a few miles in the wrong direction before hitting the highway and realizing they weren’t on the right trail.

One of my proudest moments was watching Joe cross the finish line.


The first thing Joe did after finishing was give me a BIG hug. I wore an old shirt on purpose so he could hug me with his sweaty clothes. Then, Joe kissed Smudge through my belly. It was so sweet. While we were waiting, we saw several toddlers run up to their dads after they finished screaming, “Daddy!” and giving them big hugs. It made me smile because it made me think about how next year, we’ll have a 6-month-old watching his or her daddy finish the marathon. And, that was what I thought of when Joe kissed Smudge.

The race results were posted today, and they had Joe listed as finishing last, even though we both knew there were runners behind him. It turns out, 26 out of the 79 registered marathon runners didn’t finish, which is a 67 percent finish rate. That’s means one-third of the marathoners didn’t finish. In fact, Joe said he didn’t see a man he ran with for a while on the list of finishers. Knowing how many racers dropped out makes me so much more proud of Joe for finishing. He’s my hero.

12 Weeks — Bouncing Baby

Smudge is doing quite well as we head into the last week of the first trimester. We had our 12-week scan today, and Smudge has grown tremendously. For the entire pregnancy, Smudge has been two days behind where I was. In fact, last month, my OB moved my due date to Dec. 4. Today, Smudge measured two days AHEAD of me! I’ve been telling her all afternoon how proud we are of her. And, for those who may not know, we decided to call Smudge a “her” until we find out the sex because we hated calling her an “it”.

We got a LOT of pictures today from the ultrasound. Our sonographer tried for five years to get pregnant before adopting, so she said she really likes it when she has IVF patients. It was nice from our perspective to be dealing with someone who’s gone through the struggle to conceive.

At first, Smudge was nice and still, but then she got quite active and was bouncing around. I told Joe it looked like she was in a moon bounce. Oh, and she also rolled over and back. How cute is that?? It’s amazing how much she changed in one month. For reference, here was my 8-week scan:

8 week ultrasound

And these pictures are from today:

12 week u/s

12 week u/s

Look at how she’s rubbing her face!

12 week u/s

12 week u/s

This is the top of her head and her arms

It’s amazing how much she’s grown! We can now pick out her feet and her knees and her toes and her fingers and her arms and her nose! Can you tell I’m excited?

The sonographer said I do still have a placenta previa, which occurs when the placenta covers the opening to the cervix. It was a slight previa last month, but now she said it’s well on the outside. She said most will move as the uterus grows and not to be concerned, which I’m not, but it does mean I will have to have ultrasounds every time I go in to monitor it. What? More chances to see the baby? What a bummer. 😉 If it doesn’t move, though, I will have to have a c-section. I’ve always wanted to have a vaginal delivery, but we’ll do whatever needs to be done.

Our next scan is scheduled for June 19. The midwife we saw today said we might be able to find out the gender then. I’m so excited. I just hope this next month goes by quickly!

Bridesmaid Dress Horror Stories

Going to a wedding this past weekend made me think back to my wedding and the two weddings I’ve been in. The first wedding I was in was my best friend’s, and she picked out dresses at B. Moss that were super cute. I wore mine for quite a while afterward, and I’m hoping to be able to fit back into it after the baby is born.

Then, there was the second wedding. I was a bridesmaid in Joe’s sister’s wedding, and her color was green. I thought it was neat that she was going outside the “typical” colors because, really, I hadn’t seen green picked as a color before. We also were able to pick out our own bridesmaid dresses, which was a nice luxury, but that season there were absolutely NO green dresses anywhere. I cannot even count how many stores we went to before I finally picked the one dress that fit me at Macy’s. It wasn’t floor length like Joe’s sister wanted — it more like hit me in the middle of the calf — and it wasn’t the most attractive shade of green and was shiny, but it worked. And, frankly, I didn’t have a lot of time to continue searching for one.

However, I absolutely HATED it. I felt like such a dork wearing it, especially since the other bridesmaids were able to find floor length dresses, and now it is stuffed in the back of my closet with the rest of the dresses I only wore once. I probably should give it away to Goodwill because maybe someone would like it.

Not only was my dress awful, but the stylist who did my hair (and to this day I still cannot believe how much I paid him) basically plastered my hair to my head. I don’t look at all feminine in the pictures. If you looked at me from the front, I looked like I had a guy’s haircut. Seriously. It was awful.

Now it’s your turn to share. Have you ever been a bridesmaid and had to wear a dress that you thought was hideous? Tell me all about it!

11 Weeks

Here we are with a week left in the first trimester. Week 12 starts on Wednesday, and that’s when we’re going in for our 12-week NT scan. I’m so excited. I just want to see Smudge again. I get so paranoid and think about what could go wrong probably, as Joe says, because so much has gone wrong in our quest for a baby. It’s hard to imagine this going right.

Here I am at 11 weeks. I look more pregnant in my empire-waist shirts than I do in regular shirts, but it’s ok.

11 week belly shot

11 week belly shot

At 11 weeks, I’m:

  • Hungry ALL.THE.TIME. Seriously, it’s insane. I’ll eat breakfast or lunch, and a little while later I’m STARVING again. I’m sure ready for my appetite to go back to normal!
  • Peeing constantly. Apparently it’s because the baby is resting on my bladder. It’s insane. I’m usually up every hour during the night. Yikes.
  • In maternity pants. They are *so* much more comfortable than regular pants and, since everyone knows I’m pregnant, there’s no need to hide it. I might as well go for comfort.
  • Self-conscious about my stomach. I didn’t start out with a flat stomach, so now it’s just a lot larger. In empire-waist shirts I look pregnant (at least in my eyes), but in regular shirts I just look blubbery, like I’ve been hitting the cookies too much.
  • Incredibly paranoid and fearful. I have a week to go until I’m pretty much out of the dangerzone, and I’m so scared that when I go in for my u/s on Wednesday, I’m going to get bad news. Joe says that’s because the road to get here has been so rough. I honestly know deep down that things are fine, but there’s still that little bit of fear. I’m sure it’s normal.
  • I am counting down the days until Week 13 gets here.

    Cute Cat Stories

    These cat stories and pictures are going to become slightly fewer once Smudge is born! Something tells me the cats won’t mind too much. 😉

    Cute cat story #1: Callie tends to go to the bathroom outside the litter box. At least it makes it a little less like Julius is gone. Well, the went to the bathroom on the floor either last night or this morning and, since she knows it really irritates Joe, she knocked a baby bodysuit off the kitchen table to try to cover it up. She missed, but she’s pretty darn smart. And the bodysuit got tossed right into the wash. 🙂

    Cute cat story #2: AJ is petrified of the vacuum cleaner. Just the sight of it outside the closet makes him run for cover under our bed. So, after Joe used it the other night, what did he do? He left it right in between the food bowls and the litter box.


    I told Joe he has to clean up after AJ goes to the bathroom on the carpet. 🙂

    My Lumps, My Lumps

    My lovely progesterone lumps. I am on the final stretch of my nightly progesterone shots, and the end cannot come soon enough. The shots themselves haven’t been *too* bad, although here toward the end they’re getting a little bit more painful. I guess my muscle is running out of room.

    No, the shots aren’t awful, but what really bugs me are the lumps under my skin. I was shocked the other night when I found a *huge* lump on my right hip. It was insanely big. I’ve had smaller ones, but this was the first big one.

    Oh, and did I mention that both my hips hurt, especially when I get up from sitting or lay on my sides. I need to start using my heating pad more. I stopped because the shots weren’t hurting, but then I realized I still need it. Maybe it will help stop new lumps from forming.

    I was scheduled to run out of PIO on May 18, which is two days shy of my 12-week mark, but my IVF coordinator said to go ahead and knock the dose down from 1 cc to 1/2 a cc. It was make the shots last longer, but at least I’m taking a smaller dose and don’t have to order a new bottle.

    I’m ready to be done with the shots, not only for my comfort but for the fact that the last step of my IVF journey will be over, and I’ll be a normal pregnant woman.