Posted in Pregnancy

It Was Then that I Realized…

Million Moms Challenge, preterm labor, irritable uterus, in these small momentsI’ve had people call it brave to share so many details from my life.

They have asked me how I do it and my answer is always how can I not

Most of those posts that lay my soul bare write themselves and hitting publish is typically relatively easy.

But writing today’s post was tough.

And in a year and a half here on in these small moments, I haven’t been able to write about it. 

As I wrote my story today, I cried. I walked away several times, but kept coming back. 

This night was one of the most frightening of my life. 

Thank you for visiting and thank you for always being so tender with my words.


ABC News recently launched the Million Moms Challenge in conjunction with a variety of media partners, including mom bloggers, in an attempt to improve health for women and children across the world.

Today, I’d like to share with you the most difficult moment of my first pregnancy…a moment that I’ve not been ready to share until now.

“I see that your contractions are consistently three minutes apart,” the veiled urgency in the on call doctor’s voice echoed in my ears.

Earlier that evening, I felt the contractions beginning. By midnight, they were ten minutes apart, and we were on our way to labor and delivery.

At 24 weeks pregnant, I hadn’t reached the chapters in my pregnancy books that covered contractions. I hadn’t yet taken my childbirth class…

For the rest of my story, please visit me over at the Million Moms Challenge.


I’m thrilled to have Liz, from a belle, a bean, and a chicago dog as my guest poster on Small Moments Mondays this week.

I’m not sure how she found the time to write this lovely piece for me, as she simply amazes me with just how much she has going on; she’s co-editor at Our Mommyhood, an About One Mom Panel member, and has her own BlogFrog community. Oh, yeah, and two beautiful daughters, an amazing husband, and a gorgeous dog.

Just thinking about all that she accomplishes exhausts me.

Though Liz clearly has tons going on, she still has time to offer a kind word, help you if you’re having trouble, or just make you laugh. She is loved across the blogosphere and I’m truly honored to have her here today.

Thank you, Liz, for sharing your story here.

Waiting — by Liz

I was surprised to hear her voice calling my name.  Wasn’t calling patients back for their appointments a task generally reserved for nurses?  But with my chart in hand, Dr. Mac ushered me through the door and down an unfamiliar hallway towards ultrasound.

I’m surprised I haven’t gotten a call yet, begging for Zofran.  I figured we should take a look and make sure everything is going well.

I was somewhere between 6 and 7 weeks pregnant, and even though she wasn’t my OB for my first pregnancy, she knew the full history of my severe hyperemesis, followed by PPD.

Everything looked great that day, and I left with a sense of calm that all was going very well with my 2nd pregnancy.

Appointment #2 was 4 weeks later.  It was also the first time I’d get to hear the heartbeat.  I was able to leave Kate with a neighbor that day and expected to be in and out with just enough time to get home for Kate’s lunch and nap.  After the standard-issue weigh-in and cup-peeing, I was excited for the magical doppler to make it’s appearance from the pocket of Dr. Mac’s white coat.

The cold jelly oozed on my already-popped belly.  Dr. Mac nestled the doppler into the goo puddle, and started weaving it back and forth.

No matter the angle she tried, she wasn’t finding a heartbeat.

You know, I’m going to get a different doppler.  I’ll be right back.

She exited the room as I tried to ease the queasy feeling growing in my gut.  I told myself that Dr. Mac would come back in with a different doppler and we’d hear the heartbeat, racing just like Kate’s had at this point.

Unfortunately, doppler #2 did not produce the results I had hoped.

Let’s get you down to ultrasound and take a better look” as Dr. Mac leaned out of the exam room to peek down the hall. “Oh wait – looks like someone’s in there right now.  Just sit tight and I’ll come back and get you as soon as ultrasound is free.

And with that she left, closing the door behind her.

Waiting, alone, doesn’t do anything but increase the speed at which thoughts run through your head.  See, after Baby #1, I swore up and down that I would N.E.V.E.R. have another baby.  It took 20 months and the passing of my grandmother before I had a strong urge to jump on the Baby Train again.  And even then, my feelings on doing so changed with the day.  I started and stopped the pill too many times to count.  And it is still unbelievable to me that the planets aligned just right to get pregnant so fast.  That all it took was one “try” on a day that I was both off the pill and wanting another baby.

Yes.  Getting pregnant with Baby #2 was actually that easy.

And it was that “easy” that made me feel like this really was too good to be true.  Maybe I was meant to only have 1 child.  I wished we didn’t tell Kate she was going to be a big sister.  I had been envisioning us as a family of 4 but apparently that was not in the cards for us.

About 5 minutes into my wait, a nurse came in with my paperwork.

You’re free to go.  We’ll see you back in 4 weeks.

I sat there, still.

I, uh…

Head hanging down, tears began to fall.

Dr. Mac couldn’t find a heartbeat.  I’m waiting for ultrasound.

Her face softened, “Oh, honey.  I see this happen a lot.  Don’t let your mind get the better of you.  Just wait and see what the ultrasound shows.

She handed me a box of tissues and closed the door behind her.

Craig was out of town.  How would I call him and give him the bad news?  What if I couldn’t reach him?  Did I need to wait until he got back home before I told him?

The door opened once again, then Dr. Mac ushered me down the same hallway that 4 weeks earlier had been unknown to me.

I sat down, pulling up my shirt in preparation for the cold goo.  Dr. Mac flipped on the ultrasound machine, and as soon as the wand touched my belly, there she was.

Our little peanut.

Just perfect.

Moving and kicking.

Heartbeat racing.

My entire body relaxed at knowing that all, in fact, was well, and that we would, in fact, be a family of 4.

Now that you’ve read Liz’s amazing story here, please go visit her on her blog. Don’t miss some of my absolute favorites: Through the screen doorHow Twitter is like first base, and Warning: Mama Bear approaching.

Don’t forget to follow Liz on Twitter and check out her Facebook page.


A Controlling Personality, a Patient Husband, Some Infertility, and a Microscope

As soon as Craig and I were married, I scheduled an OB appointment and made an action plan for getting pregnant. I didn’t want to waste a single month and just going with the flow is SO not the way I handle things.

I bought a book called Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler and read it through a million times.  (I can’t recommend this book strongly enough.) I took my temperature every morning for months and charted it religiously with Fertility Friend.  I knew exactly when I ovulated.  I told myself that like anything else I had done in my life, if I wanted it badly enough, if I worked at it diligently, I could make it happen.

After all of those years of thinking that getting pregnant would be relatively simple, I was amazed at just how difficult it actually was.  Though I could work at it, the outcome was completely out of my control.

After a few months of negative pregnancy tests, I stepped it up a notch.  I put us both on a vitamin regime that had us each taking fistfuls of vitamins morning and night.

I also bought a microscope. Yep, I sure did.  I will never forget the look on Craig’s face when I told him that I would need samples. Every month, I prepared my slides and got down to business.  (You know how they say if you are camping and a bear enters your campsite, upturning everything, you should totally lay low?  I’m pretty sure that was what it looked like from Craig’s perspective.  He looked at me like he was reminding himself not to engage with the bear.)

In the process of all of this,  I completely lost my mind.

When we hadn’t gotten pregnant after six months of trying, we were referred to an infertility specialist who was kind and patient with us.  She tried not to laugh at me when I walked into that first appointment with a binder full of printouts of my months of charting.  I went into full presentation mode, pointing out where I had ovulated and when we had had sex.  When I look back on this time, I can see that I had lost touch with sanity a bit.  I was completely consumed with getting pregnant and lived life in two-week chunks—waiting to ovulate and waiting to see if we were pregnant.  In hindsight, I can also see that I wasn’t the best wife to Craig during those months.  We were newlyweds, but I couldn’t relax enough to enjoy those precious months.  I was singleminded and consumed.  He is a patient man and I will never forget the way he stood by me and helped me to hold onto what little bit of sanity I had left.

Our infertility specialist put me on Clomid and I went in once a month for a shot that would release my eggs so that Craig could go in and give them his … ummm … contribution for the IUI.  For every month that we did this, I got a cyst, which meant that we had to take the following month off so that my body could regroup.  The IUIs weren’t successful for us.  We never could figure out why, as every month I had numerous eggs and they were placing the sperm exactly where it needed to be.  In August of 2006, we got the news that I had yet another cyst, so I wouldn’t ovulate yet again.  We were advised to go home and try to relax so that the next month might be more successful.

And relax we did.  For the first time in a year, I lived each day for the beauty of that day.  We truly enjoyed just being together that month.

Then?  Yeah, you know where this is going…my period was late and we got this…

We were absolutely shocked.  I can’t tell you how many times we had been encouraged to try not to worry so much.  I had reached a point where I knew that if one more person told me to relax, there would be bloodshed.

It took us eleven months to get pregnant with Katie.  Eleven months of anxiety, tears, anger, and confusion.

But, we are a statistic.

Looking back, I realize that those months of trying made the joy of having this amazing baby girl even sweeter.

She was worth every single moment of effort and I will be ever grateful for her.  I learned so much about myself, about Craig, and about patience.

Anyone need a slightly-used microscope?

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About me

Nichole Beaudry @NicholeBeaudry Location: Northern California
Each and every day, I strive to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments, the moments that, when strung together, form a lifetime.
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