a new season

this week has been another crazy week here at the irr home. we are entering a new season in many ways – a new weather season, a new life season, a new professional season. and all the new seasons are colliding!

at home, we are in a new season of life and homeownership. it’s been a busy week of more appointments and phone calls – calling repairmen, reporting claims for property damage (very minor stuff), buying all the equipment and essentials, and trying to completely unpack a single room (still working on this). we love our home, but man, it’s tough to keep up with it all while simultaneously juggling a toddler and a career that takes a very important member of our team away from us for the majority of the week. oh, did i mention we also have squirrels in our attic? flying squirrels to be exact. and one that managed to find its way into our wall just in time to scare me while Mike was away. hello homeownership and goodbye money! and a big OH, we also have an owl in our backyard. pretty cool, unless you have seen the Michael Peterson Dateline….i’ll just leave it at that…

a new NBA season has officially begun and i am not ready. i am never really ready for the season to begin, but this year really feels like it popped up on us fast. i don’t feel like we really had a summer off (probably because we have been a little busy) and that is draining on us all. it’s also a very strange feeling to be entering a season as the newbies. it was always great to see familiar faces and our NBA family after a summer apart, but now we are those people entering a new team and not really feeling connected at the current moment. i know time will change all of this, but with so many other aspects of life being in transition, it’s tough feeling when we will be spending so much of our time together and away due to the team. i will say i am hopeful! i am grateful to have met a couple incredible women who i know will help ease this transition and also grateful for an organization that really puts a large emphasis on family and support.

a new season of life literally began this week for Mike. we celebrated our favorite guy’s birthday and were lucky to be able to do so with both of our families. in this next year for him, life is really changing and we are embracing the opportunity to get another year together to see what is in store. we checked in with little bug at the perinatologist this week and all is looking great! he is measuring right on target and, other than his heart defect, looking perfectly healthy. thank God. i am now being spaced out 5 weeks between visits unless something changes.

i have been asked several times how i am feeling. physically i am feeling pretty good. i am exhausted, but to be expected. otherwise, pregnancy symptoms are minimal and all is well physically. mentally, i am feeling a bit unsettled. i am feeling unprepared for a second child, any child, let alone a baby with special needs. i am feeling guilty that i have not focused as much on this pregnancy as i did with Landon. i keep putting things off because i have “time” with the pregnancy and these other life matters have been more pressing. it’s officially time for me to stop procrastinating and get focused.

on deck for me this week – call around for interview appointments with pediatricians, focus on the name search (we have one we love, but i want to be 100% certain), look into Gigi’s playhouse in Atlanta, start figuring out what we need for baby #2. i should also start thinking about a design for his nursery… but that might be another week or two before i can really focus on that.

things i am thankful for this week: a healthy toddler, a healthy husband, a healthy baby boy growing inside me. my family, who continuously help us through this transition. Mike’s family who gave me a much needed break this week and helped us with more house items. a roof over our head, even if it’s filled with squirrels. a loving home. and a God who continues to provide for us.

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official birthday celebration pic before L’s shirt was stained at dinner…

the waiting weeks

over the next few posts, i will attempt to do my best to get you caught up to the current (almost 22 weeks) stage in my pregnancy. we left off at 14 weeks, so here we go with the following weeks. i call them the waiting weeks.

welcome to the waiting weeks. weeks 14-16 of my pregnancy. they were weeks spent literally in waiting. waiting for more answers to be confirmed by an amniocentesis that could not be performed until week 16 at the earliest.

like i mentioned in the last post, we decided to go through with the amnio to confirm the exact genetic make-up of our baby boy. and again, like i mentioned, the blood test is very accurate in detecting Down syndrome, but not terribly accurate in the sex chromosome detection. given the results of the blood work, we just wanted to be absolutely certain. we were NOT denying that our baby had Down syndrome, but very skeptical that he also had Klinefelters since it’s extremely rare to have both.

back to the waiting weeks. these weeks were interesting. we were both still grieving, but now had to turn our focus (as much as possible) on the immediate need to move cross country.

we had approximately three weeks left on our lease and logistically needed to get things moving as quickly as possible. the tough part, waiting to find out from our moving company when the movers would be able to load our house. fortunately, our move included the packing service, so we were only responsible for packing what we needed for potentially (up to) 90 days. also fortunately, we were planning to move in temporarily with my parents while we house hunted (more on our house hunt later! i promised this blog would be snippets of our life and not only about DS 24/7). these last two blessings made things a little less stressful, but don’t forget we still have our 15 month old to worry about with all the adjustments ahead. move-wise, things were moving (haha) along slowly, but surely. life-wise. that was a different story.

life-wise, we started sharing with our friends that we were moving and it was a mix of emotions. i was not sure how much more i could handle on the emotion front. we made the most incredible friends in Cali. some of the best of our lives. they were more than friends to us. truly, they were family. when you are cross-country from your families and living in a world that revolves around basketball, where holidays really don’t exist, you learn to rely on one another. us women bonded together while our men were on the road or working, literally, seven days a week for 9 months of the year. we became sister-wives of sorts – cooking dinner for each other, holding babies for each other so someone could shower or take the trash out, drinking and laughing together through the long road trips, and checking in on one another when the earthquakes struck (TWICE WHILE HOME ALONE!!!!!). these goodbyes were tough and they barely had enough time to sink in. i cried pretty much the entire flight to Atlanta…and this is honestly not an exaggeration. to our Cali family, i left a piece of my heart there with each of you ❀

down syndrome-wise, i was making connections. i reached out to two “friends of friends” who had walked this path in super awkward texts and emails. i will forever be grateful to both women for being so kind, open, welcoming, non-judgemental and encouraging. you helped me (and continue to) through my mess of emotions and lengthy list of questions. thank you for your patience and thank you for opening my eyes to this beautiful community. we may not have met in person, but i felt less alone in just a few conversations and emails. one of the best pieces of advice i was given at this time was to continue to connect with women and families in our situation.

i was then introduced to the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network and their private Facebook group for women expecting babies with DS. this support group has been one of the biggest helps in this journey. it’s a safe place for all the questions, worry, ugly feelings, doubt, fears, etc. each of our journeys are different, but one in the same and everyone in that group only wants to help and encourage. it’s the opposite of everything bad you read about the internet and i love it. if you are going through the same journey and have not connected with these women on Facebook, i encourage you to click the link here or on my homepage and get connected. i promise it is worth it. i have spent a lot of my waiting weeks reading the posts in this group and connecting with these women who are all in the same boat. i learned, for me, connecting with the DS community started to get me hopeful and feel excited again about this pregnancy and baby. this was the first sign of my mental/emotional health gaining some strength again.

we finished up the waiting weeks with all our necessities packed away in 6 suitcases awaiting our flight to Atlanta. with only a few days left, we headed in to our appointment with the perinatologist at exactly 16 weeks + 1 day hoping to see a healthy baby and proceed with the amnio.

stay tuned for an update from that appointment and the waiting weeks 2.0 (hint hint)

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photo credit: someplace wild (aka our amazing photographer and 2017 maternity shoot location)