some light (heavy) reading.

**Disclaimer: Things are about to get real in this blog post. You've been warned.

Let's have a little chat. Except not that little. It's story time, so settle in, because I need to clue you in on a little something in our life. I'm not sure why I picked today to do this, but it's time. I've also had this post sitting in draft for over a week now so it's practically over time.

Here we go.

When we first got married (something like 100 years ago), things didn't start out too rosey for us financially. We ran into some bad luck, and then some more, and a little more in the space of a few weeks right off the marital bat. A bunch of things (that you don't need to be bored with) that when you added them all up and combined it with now being adults with rent, insurance, and college loans to repay, well, things were just rougher than the pretty picture that we'd imagined.

But, of course, we made it through, we made it out better than we would have been otherwise, and thank God we have that time to hold over Sam's head someday ("We had to walk TEN miles, up hill, both ways, shoeless, eating generic ramen noodles"). A nice little guilt trip: every parent's dream.

During this time, my sister gave me a little tchotchke of an angel, to cheer me up and to let me know she knew we'd make it. It said, "Where there is great love, there are always miracles."

Everywhere we go, I've moved that angel with us and it's always one of the first things I place in our new home. When we moved into this house, I finally realized, after four years of moving it here and there, that the angel was a woman holding a baby.

If my life was a novel, high schoolers would highlight this as foreshadowing. Kind of like the beginning of Romeo and Juliet. You the reader knows things are about to go down, too bad Juliet doesn't see it coming.

I've spent the last 28 weeks trying to figure out how to type this blog post or what I wanted to say. Actually, make that 3 years, 6 months, and 28 weeks. Wish me luck.

Chuck and I decided we wanted to have a baby and were ready to start trying in June...2009. Things, as you may have guessed, didn't exactly go as planned. Fast forward to this past August and we were starting Round 5 of IVF, throwing a Hail Mary pass with a little used treatment plan, and talking with adoption agencies.

Sam is our miracle baby. All babies are special and all babies are loved and treasured, but maybe Sam is just a little bit more already.

It's been a long road to 28 weeks pregnant for us. We kept things incredibly private when we were in the heat of the infertility battle. Sometimes, when I wouldn't blog for weeks or months at a time, things were bad for me. And I didn't want to talk or be funny or show funny things we were doing. That and a lot of our jokes and antics had to do with mixing drugs and taking shots and measuring egg follicles which would have violated our strict self-imposed gag order on infertility talk.

I started this blog right after we bought the house, knowing that a family was just around the corner. The original name of the blog was "The Allison Fam". I figured I'd start the blog and we'd start trying and I could announce a pregnancy on it. Sometimes, the blog was hard for me to look at or write on or see. I came so close to deleting it so many times. When you make something thinking it's going to be for your baby, and instead no baby comes, no amount of ship's wheels or arborvitae decorating or general frivolity can make the hurt go away.

I'm glad I never got rid of it and that I have you to share our life with and that I finally did get to make that pregnancy announcement on here. Blog posts shouldn't be dreams, but that post was a dream come true.

I promised myself once we were pregnant or had adopted, I'd talk. There are plenty of people who go through infertility treatments - about 15% of couples - but not so many that talk about it openly. I get that. Look what I never did - talk about it, until now, I guess.

Chuck and I kept our privacy on this blog and in real life too because we didn't want to always talk about it and it was nice to keep the majority of our relationships "normal". Normal was important to us. Aside from the few people who knew - who we talked with openly about this - I came up with three people in my whole life circle who I knew had or were dealing with infertility. I opened up to them, and it was a blessing to have them to email. There's something so warm when you hear the response "I know. I really truly know what you're feeling."

Maybe I can be that person for someone else and pay it forward. I think that's the biggest reason I wanted to finally share this. Maybe you're struggling or your sister is struggling or your best friend. Share this with them, share me, and maybe I could help alleviate some of the loneliness of infertility, like those women did for me.

What I can say for this whole twist of our lives is that I treasure "us" more now than ever. As I'm sure you can imagine, Chuck and I were always very serious and highly appropriate during all our appointments and throughout our years of treatment. By very serious and appropriate, I mean not at all. For example, I have some great anecdotes of egg retrieval days, where I would go under anesthesia, which, we learned, I am amazing on. We did our best to laugh through the tough appointments, make jokes during big steps in treatment, and smile throughout because at the very least, we had each other.

And thank God I had Chuck.

Chuck was the rock who would always say things like "If you're not a Mom, then this fight isn't over." And "Someday, you'll sit at the park with other moms and it won't matter how you got there." He was best. I can't imagine how people go through this without someone like Chuck.

In hindsight, a lot of good did come from three more years of "waiting" to have kids. We got to do some things we never would have - vacations and projects and weird "us" stuff like estate auctions. We did things in our careers that may not have happened with a little one at home and we are definitely better prepared for Sam to come take over. Plus we got three more years as just us, bringing it to a total of 12 years of Chuck and Susie time, and now I get to be pregnant and have babies with my best friends - maybe the best silver lining of all.

Because it's human nature - and I know I'd be curious if I was you, so don't feel bad for wondering - the "what went wrong" isn't easy to explain. It's a lot of medical mumbo jumbo and that is a rabbit hole not meant for this post. Basically, we are both rejects from Table 9. When it rains, it pours for us, and neither of us can make a baby - we each have issues (I think we all knew this). Good thing we found each other because we would have really ruined a fertile person's good time. And there's no one to shoulder the "blame". We both stink at baby making, well, without a considerable amount of help. Our marriage has always been incredibly balanced - even in infertility we keep things even.

That tchotchke Shelley gave us almost eight years ago still hangs in our room, over the light switch and I see it every day. And I know it's true. "Where there is great love, there are always miracles." And Sam is proof. And I will treasure every morning sickness memory, every back ache, and every kick because a miracle might not happen for us again. So we will live in this moment and love this moment and wait patiently for our Sam to join us. After all, when you've waited 3 years and 6 months, what's another 12 weeks?

totally normal work day.

School was amazing today. Thanks so much for asking.

Today just really had everything going for it, and it was kind of not fair to the other days. It was a Friday. There was an assembly. It was decorate our Valentine's day mailboxes day - you remember how awesome that is - and it was TWIN DAY.

Your work has a Twin Day right? For work place spirit? No. Ok.

I'm not going to lie to you. Work BFF Maggie and I nailed it. I mean, like really, really nailed it. And we knew it. It was a good feeling since I had figured earlier in the year that Twin Day was probably out for me. I don't exactly fit into many of my clothing items, let alone an outfit that a friend has. These are the kind of tough work place dilemmas that I deal with: Can I participate in a dress up day?

But that's why we have and love Work BFF Maggie. She had a vision. And she nailed it. Did I already say that? The nailed it part? So much effort to go back, delete, and rephrase. Almost as much as writing these unnecessary sentences.



Nothing makes a pregnant girl feel better than her friend stuffing a maternity shirt with a blow up globe and being fake with-child and huge for her. Of course, in exchange for that Mags teased my hair and eyeliner'd me. The best part was that the kids knew exactly who Maggie was twins with because of the belly and exactly who I was twins with because of the hair and makeup.

One kiddo did ask Maggie "Aren't you supposed to have a husband and get married before you have a baby?"

Best twin day ever.


Also, Maggie got a lot of real world pregnancy experience today. Clearly.

week 26: food.


Please to notice in the above picture, I'm using the term "lovin'" not cravin'. I just haven't had any "I need pickles and ice cream at 1 am or I'm going to die" moments yet. I mean, I had really looked forward to the day when I'd make Chuck drive to Seattle to get me a Dick's burger before I lost my mind, but this has not happened yet. I feel like, as with most things pregnancy, Hollywood may have lied or embellished things slightly. At least for me.

The only moment close to a true Hollywood craving was an incident at QFC where, after walking around the store with a gallon of milk, said milk was immediately opened after purchase and chugged from the bottle in front of Red Box. I can only hope that moment was a visual treat for all other shoppers. I know it was for Chuck.

And you may also be shocked to see that McDonald's isn't listed on my preferred menu. I know, me too. Had I been a betting man, I would've guessed that me pregnant would have guaranteed a stock price increase. Like, probably could've been caught by the SEC for insider trading after buying stock post pregnancy test.

Sadly, that has not been the case. I did dabble in the occasional Egg McMuffin in the first trimester, and attempted a cheeseburger maybe once or twice. Fun fact: once you throw up a completely UNdigested cheeseburger back into the bag whilst in rush hour traffic, things change.

I'm reasonably sure my complete aversion to McDonald's has been God's way of protecting Sam from his mother. Apples, yogurt, and oranges are probably a safer bet, though I'm pretty certain the amount of chocolate I add to the milk negates all nutritional value.

We still have a whole new trimester just a week away, so here's hoping I get to send Chuck on an emergency run for seedless watermelon sometime soon.

thanks chuck. good to know.

Let's just say we've maybe hit the week of the meltdowns in this pregnancy.

I have been many things during this pregnancy - sick, hungry, expansive - but highly emotional...no. That's just not me and has never been me. Things I've never been called in my life: tall, humble, emotional. Unless you count "lack of emotion" or "void of emotion." I've also been called other synonyms for this, but let's keep it G-rated, huh?

Anywho. Things went a little down hill this week. I may have sobbed in the kitchen after accidentally burning onions whilst caramelizing them for tacos. At that moment in my life, it was the biggest tragedy ever to occur. Also, Chuck may have received one hysterical phone call after I burned six fingers - that's possible - and nearly sliced off my thumb - only took off the nail - in the span of five minutes. Here's a cooking tip: Dishes straight out of the oven need to be moved with a hot pad lifter.

Like I said, it's been a week. I'm super hoping that I can make it through the upcoming week without Jack licking tears off my face. That was a low point.

Another fun meltdown I had this week was over...wait for it...a bow. I'm sure this makes so much sense. Obviously you've cried over not being able to make a bow for the top of a gift. I know I'm not alone here.

Ok, so maybe I am.

Well, it wasn't going well. I wanted it to go well. Reality was not meeting expectation and *that* that right there seems to be the best recipe for a good Susie sob fest these days.

There may have been a few foot stamps as I stomped over to the computer to get my lover, Pinterest, to help with the problem. Chuck was watching all this - and loving it because who doesn't love watching a good meltdown over nothing? - but then as I flipped open the laptop, he groaned.

My background picture of me and "The Girls" from this summer was gone.
Chuck had replaced it with this:


I gave him an "OH! Really?" and went right to Pinterest.

Chuck was devastated. It was kind of like scolding a cat for bringing you a dead bird. That bird was a gift, much like this screen shot of him letting me know that after two years of ownership, good news, the webcam we never use, or will use, works.

Chuck did a big 'ol huffy breath and said "You would've thought this was funny any other time! You just had to find it now."

I said back, already knowing this would be happening, "Oh don't worry, I'll put it on the blog and everyone can see how funny you are."

So there you go.

I do wish I had found this some other time because there probably would have been wettening from laughing. But, it did stop the meltdown, so maybe it did serve it's purpose.

 And now Chuck and his "dead bird" have been properly thanked for the lovely gift.
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