A little help from my friends

Hello, dear friends!

I have missed you! I have missed updating. I have missed sleep and energy and all sorts of things. I have been the WORST and I am sorry! I am still here and owe you quite the blog post. I think some of you must have missed me too because I finally had someone reach out and ask if they could lend a helping hand and guest write my blog to get me back on track. I am THRILLED to have her voice my last 11ish weeks. Below, my dear friend, amazing mom of three and fellow military wife, Elise has provided a great insight and I promised to add my photos to her words. I cannot thank you enough, Elise, for getting me back on the blog train and inspiring me to continue on for my community, even when I am burnt out. I cherish and love you and am so grateful for your kind words. Enjoy Elise’s point of view and stay tuned for my THIRTY WEEK (say whaaaa?!) update coming tomorrow. You know, when it rains, it pours!

From Elise –

When I first asked Katie if I could do this interview I was sure she’d say no! Not only did she not say no, she sent me a picture of the bump!

She shared his beautiful name, told me all about the precious nursery, and she was super open about how she’s really doing. Without further ado- the interview:

Q: How far along are you now?

A: 26 weeks! We are over halfway there. We have some showers coming up… this is really happening. I sometimes feel like maybe it’s happening to someone else and then he kicks again. He moves all the time.

I bet that’s a real comfort, especially as an IVF and pregnancy after loss (PAL) mama. 

K: It really is. Waiting for so long it seems like this feeling of “Is this really real?” is really pronounced. From the time I asked Dr. B seriously about starting our second transfer process to due date, it will have been a full year. 

Is there anything else going on in your head that you feel like is IVF specific? 

K: I feel like thinking about when the next one is coming is probably a little more common in my brain. Maybe that’s IVF and knowing the process or maybe it’s just being an older mom (she’s really not that old y’all), but I think about the next one often. 

E: You said you’re 26 weeks and viability is 24. Did you think about this as a milestone? 

K: Everything is a milestone when you’re doing IVF. It’s like I’m on the frontier, it’s the furthest I’ve ever been. It is a cautious sort of celebration because it’s obviously not what I want- to have a 24 weeker – but it’s also really amazing to have made it this far!

E: When was the last time you saw baby? 

K: 20 weeks, which is another weird thing because I had been having ultrasounds weekly since 6 weeks. Again, I’m so glad for the movement because it is comforting. But I’ve had plenty of other checking up on me.

Since this interview, we had our 28w checkup and here’s our sweet lil human with his daddy’s nose already.

E: Tell us about the health updates- you’re managing some other health concerns you’ve shared about in past blogs. 

K: Yeah- I’ve been to the cardiologist, gotten an echo and wore the monitor- the whole 9 yards. I will be checked out again at 32 weeks and again post-birth. My OB was very interested in making sure my heart was in good condition for birth, especially as a first-time birther. 

As for birth- I’m leaning toward less intervention but also very realistically waiting on this partial Previa to resolve or not and other things. There’s also the Antiphospholipid syndrome, the clotting disorder. We’re currently managing with 2 baby aspirin a day, but paying attention of course. 

I’m glad you have a team that is super on top of all of that! I’m sure it’s a bit stressful especially wanting that lower intervention birth- I will ask you about that again in a bit. For now, I want to shift gears, you said you have baby showers coming up, have you picked out your outfits for those yet?

K: No! 

E: Well, tell us what you have bought then! Tell us about the nursery. 

Katie did one better here- she offered to show me! Look at this beautiful space.

The accent wall with the interesting grid trim that their carpenter friend came and helped with is incredible. Then they chose and painted the bold colors. The classic crib is all set up and waiting for the crib mattress to come in.

K: I definitely put a lot of extra thought into certain things- the crib mattress being perfect and the owlet sock and things like that- you know that’s some of the IVF and worry stuff coming through. 

E: All of that is also totally first-time mom typical too! I remember worrying about a lot of that. I was a PAL mom the first full pregnancy like you though too so my memory of that may be influenced by that. It’s okay to want what’s best for baby.

Back to the nursery- that gorgeous quilt! Katie made it. She was quick to tell me how it was not backed yet, but it’s so pretty and lush looking and will be so perfect for their baby boy. She ordered the perfect chair, but it’s not coming until November which is stressful!

This room is filled with love. And the lampshade might be one of the most fun things in it! (.) 😉

If you know Katie you know that her animals are her first babies and she loves them well. While we were looking at the nursery, we got interrupted by BB, the sweetest cat, who is all over everything baby. He jumped in the crib and he thinks everything baby is for him, not even the movement of the mamaroo deters him.

E: How are the other animals doing with everything?

K: Rider seems kind of ambivalent so far. Daisy loves children. She’s going to be so glad that I finally gave her a baby of her own. She’s really clingy, especially in the last month. Shelby is the wildcard. Stranger danger is her theme. It takes her some time to get used to new people and she is not traditionally kid-friendly but she does okay with my niece and nephew. There are three other cats but they’ll likely be more on the Rider side of the spectrum than BB or Daisy.

Katie is going to make such a good mom. She is so in tune with everyone’s needs and personalities and how they fit the whole family. We talked some about pregnancy with a spouse who has to travel- Tim has been gone for work and military on several trips and trainings. Katie and I bonded over that last time Tim was deployed at the same time my husband was. It was incredible to see her doing the brave and terrifying leap of faith to try IVF. During deployment, no less. And being a guard wife is one thing but also a LEO wife- I’m just making this my brag on Katie paragraph y’all. She’s a trooper! But things like not having Tim at appointments, or coming up with a birth plan while travel is interrupting life. All of that has been a challenge… including in the naming decision. 

E: So, what is his name going to be?

K: Solomon Pierce Millican, Pierce is my maternal grandfather’s middle name. Solomon is biblical and it’s a beautiful old-world name. I’m Catholic and our kid will be Catholic, so that’s important to me. Life is hard and life is messy. At the end of the day, I just want him to be wise.

E: How long did it take you to decide? 

K: It did not take nearly as long as I thought it would for us to agree on a name. Tim’s been gone a lot so making some decisions has been tough. But including him and his perspective is important. 

E: Did you decide on a girl and a boy name? 

K: No, We did not have one ready to go for each gender, so we didn’t start until after we knew that.

E: Was deciding on a name a hard thing to do? 

K: Tim had some interesting criteria like wanting the name to be 3 syllables. We had some contradicting things we had to work through like being called the name on the birth certificate as opposed to having one name on the paper and a nickname from the start. 

E: Haha- naming kids is such a weird thing anyway. Like there’s a huge weight to get it right but also it’s odd to decide something for someone you haven’t even met yet. I can’t wait to see how Solomon grows into his wise name. 

There’s still some time before you would need to have a plan in place for birth. You know, as a person who has been at many births that even when you plan, things don’t always go that way, but I know you have thought about it. 

K: Yes, and I am definitely more interested in low intervention. But I am realistic about what the limitations may be because of the placenta previa. It’s a waiting game. Tim and I are talking and there’s some education going on to be prepared for an ideal scenario.

E: Katie, thank you for sharing this with me and of course by extension with everyone following you and Tim’s journey, and now Solomon’s too. We all want nothing but the best for all of you. Continued prayers and well wishes and all of the GOOD coming your way. Cheering you on from the sidelines is a true joy in my life, and I know many of the people who follow this blog as well. 

Elise Pawlik is a mom of 3 girls, military wife, and volunteer-aholic. Involvement in organizations and ministries that support moms in the early stages of their mothering journeys is the best part though. You can find her reading a book in the bathtub most nights no matter how late it is… a night owl through and through, she naturally loves coffee as well.

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