Those of us who struggled to get pregnant, know the overwhelming disappointment of a negative test. You over evaluate every little potential “symptom” and think: this is it. This will be the month I get pregnant.
Then it doesn’t happen. Your monthly cycle shows up, or even worse you test and you know the answer before it comes and the three minutes are up. (This happened twice to me, not kidding) Seeing only one line on a test seems like the silliest thing to cry over, but in that moment it feels like you lost something. Like this was supposed to be the month, and that chance is gone now.
After trying for about 10 months, I decided I was no longer going to test, track my days, or put any excess energy into it. I was trying to feel content with life being just me and my husband and focusing on buying a home. We had also finally planned our belated honeymoon for our 2 year anniversary, and were getting so excited for it! It was the week before Christmas and I started getting my usual period symptoms, so I prepared for it to come in the next few days as usual. When it never came, and I had a week of those symptoms, I tried to push any glimmer of hope out of my mind. I didn’t want to have that feeling again, especially with Christmas coming up so soon.
We enjoyed our Christmas weekend and that following Monday my family came up to celebrate with us. That Monday morning, something in me just had the urge to take the dang test. I slipped out of the bed quietly, unwrapped a test as quietly as I could as to not wake up J, and took it.
I set it down on the counter and before it even left my hand, I saw a line immediately as the dye ran across. My first thought was it was the test line, but the test key shows the test line as the second. I just stood there in utter shock as tears filled my eyes.
J and I had always planned to test together, I wasn’t in to the whole idea of doing it alone and surprising him after, but honestly I was just expecting the usual negative result. I finished up in the bathroom and walked to the bed and said his name and woke him up. I was standing there shaking, test in one hand, and he probably thought I was a crazy woman! I showed him and started tearing up even more and you know what his response was? “About time”.
That’s exactly how I felt too, but of course decorated with more gushy, emotional words per usual. I got back in bed and cuddled up with him, just beaming that it had finally happened: our prayers had been answered, this was the day we prayed for. I am still in shock that we are having a baby, and I don’t think it really sunk in until I saw our baby on the ultrasound screen. The nurse put the wand on my belly and immediately on the screen, we saw our baby for the first time. She played its little heartbeat (a fast 175), and I could not believe my ears. I am finally carrying another life, something that seemed like such a distant hopeful dream at one point, was now a reality. I was pretty composed seeing the baby, just in utter awe that we made that. Then, the baby started moving around and moving all of its limbs and that’s when I snapped back to reality and teared up.
For those still waiting for that day, my heart goes out to you. While we tried for a year, J pointed out that we shouldn’t look at it that way. It happened exactly when it was supposed to. The day we prayed for couldn’t have been as perfect if it happened any other day. I feel like I have appreciated this pregnancy so much more than I would if we got pregnant as soon as we started trying. It made me appreciate my time with J, focus on improving myself, and getting the most out of life.
I hope to change the direction of our blog a little bit, because as you know, this is The Strattons. I created this blog to document our lives together, and now our family is growing by one more! I will actively be sharing this pregnancy journey, doing week updates when major things are changing, and I just sharing the overall joy of motherhood that I so heavily prayed for.
Two years ago my forever began and we started on our journey together. We were just two people who fell in love, and now here we are celebrating our two year anniversary and I am so humbled by our journey.
Three years ago, I fell head over heels for a soldier who I thought was way out of my league. He was leaving for a deployment, and I was left wondering if that was a once in a lifetime love or if I would get to see him again.
Thank goodness it was the latter. Our relationship began with much heartache with long distance and soon after we took on the roles of husband and wife. I could not imagine a future without him in it, and luckily he felt the same.
We shared our vows and then started school two days later.
We then formed into broke college students, eating frozen dinners and ramen, and doing our math homework together... And let's not forget learning how to live with another person who doesn't know how you function and what your quirks are.
Then, we got the great opportunity to move to Colorado and I became a stay at home wife while he went to work. We got our puppy before the move and that was our life! About halfway through the year, we got word of another deployment, so I went home to Texas instead of being up here alone. Our homecoming reunion was so special and sweet and I'm so happy he's back home.
Fast forward to a year after that and we finally bought our first home together. We are know settled in our forever home and have grown so close over these few years of marriage together.
My honey is home and I never got around to sharing our homecoming photos! During J's deployment homecoming, it was literally just us and I drove to go see him. I wore a tank top and shorts and it was extremely casual and intimate.
This time around, I wanted to make it more special! I found an adorable outfit and my mom made me a super cute sign to welcome him with. He deserves so much and I am glad we finally got a bigger homecoming for him! I am so blessed to have him back, I know military spouses understand this heartbreak like no other when our men are away. To see him again, just felt like a breath of relief and my everything was finally standing in front of me again- and that feeling is indescribable.
Going through any length of separation can be hard on any couple. Whether you are going through separation because of Basic training, AIT, TDY, or deployment, I understand what you are going through! It is so hard being apart, but know it isn't impossible. Try and make time fly the best you can (I'll link helpful posts down below!) and remember why you are doing this.
You are going through this distance because your other half is creating your future together and establishing his career. You are spending nights alone so he can defend our country and learn how to protect and grow in his designated career path. You are experiencing those dropped skype calls and weeks without hearing from them, which makes you appreciate the sweet sound of their voice so much more. If you are younger and still living at home, of course miss him, but use this time to love and appreciate time with your family, as you will most likely be moving away from them shortly and starting your own life. Trust me, there are many obstacles when distance comes into play, but stay strong and be supportive during the duration. Best of luck to you and your military significant other. The longer the wait, the sweeter the kiss.
You know in Marley & Me when John gets concerned she wants a baby, so his friend convinces him to get a dog so she can learn responsibility + be cured of baby fever?
While J and I are aching for a baby, I feel so blessed to have raised Pepper this past year. She is my baby before my baby. Raising a puppy is no easy task, but I highly doubt it compares to raising a child.
Raising her has taught me so much about myself and our marriage. We’ve learned how we mesh as parents and how we want our household to function.
Who knew a dog could do all of that?
This past weekend my uncle came to visit with his wife and their new baby. Pepper was so unsure about the baby at first, but eventually warmed up and was very intrigued in this little thing I had in my arms.
It gave me a glimpse of the future and how she would react to our future children. She is so spoiled and will definitely have first/only child attitude, but I have a feeling she will love them and be their protector.
My baby before my baby has been such a blessing in disguise. She is teaching me so much responsibility, how to stick to schedules, and how to develop patience.
I am a crazy dog mom & Lord help our future children! haha I spoil the heck out of her and buy her more toys and clothes than I do for my own wants. But it is that kind of selflessness that you need when you have children.
Don't take advantage of your fur children and their time with them. I value this time so much, because a puppy deserves one on one time for training and love, and she is teaching me in so many ways as well!
Do you have any fur children? Have they been your practice before your kids?
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If you read my post from a little bit ago, you would know I sometimes don't take care of myself. I'll want to stay in bed all day, be lazy, and slack on responsibilities. This post is not only for you who may be feeling a similar mindset, but for me as well.
Taking care of yourself is so important, and yes even if you don't have someone to look good for, it's a great feeling to do it for you. While self care can often times be seen as taking care of yourself physically, you also need to take care of your physical and spiritual well being. Often times doing things for or with others can make you feel better and less alone.
1. Paint your nails & toes (at home or get them done)
2. Tour your town
3. Read the Bible (or pick up Bible journaling)
4. Try a new hairstyle
5. Buy a new outfit
6. Find new outfits through your closet (this saves money & allows you to get creative)
7. Watch your favorite movie
8. Work out
9. Try new meals
10. Do a photoshoot (great gift for you and for your hubby!)
11. Go on a walk
12. See a movie with friends (or go alone, more popcorn for you!)
13. Try a DIY project
14. Visit family
15. Write in a journal
16. Plan out your next week or month (this & this planner look very nice!)
17. Do yoga
18. Read a new book
19. Buy a new plant or tend your garden
20. Volunteer (animal shelter, FRG group events, church nursery, making food for missionaries)
21. Take a long bubble bath (I suggest this bubble bath, it is the best!)
23.Write a letter to someone (I'm sure your spouse would love a letter!)
24. Clean your house (it is never too late to spring clean)
25. Listen to music & create a playlist
26. Learn a new skill or talent (I have yet to learn how to ride a bike & want to!)
27. Play a word game or puzzle
28. Watch the sunset
29. Watch a talk or worship service online
30. Get up early and make breakfast for yourself (challenge: without looking at your phone first!)
What is something that you do to take care of yourself? I'd love to know down below. Taking care of yourself is so important and I've found myself feeling so much happier and productive after doing some of these things. I'm not the best at it by any means, but I encourage you to practice self care, especially when your husband is gone. Stay strong & God bless!