Full term


Today, September 27th, 2018, marks an important milestone for me: 37 weeks into my pregnancy, Mia is now, according to my doctor, a full term baby. A typical pregnancy gestation is 40 weeks, but today, medically speaking, if Mia decides to come today, there is no real reason to worry about her coming “early”. The bun in the oven can be done baking anytime.


Also, whoa.

In the back of my mind, I had always been worried that my history as a premature baby might affect any pregnancies I would have as an adult. I was born around 32 weeks, weighing 2 pounds, 11 ounces, fourteen inches long, and fitting into the palm of my father’s hand. Knowing what I know now about prematurity and fetal development, it is a miracle of God and science that I am even alive, let alone thriving, with no known medical issues or otherwise relating to my early arrival. It is a wonder that the doctors discovered during a routine check that my heartbeat was erratic, leading to an urgent C-section two days later that likely saved my life. Any delay and there is a distinct chance that I would not be here at all.

Thankfully, my 51 day stay in the NICU was, though traumatic and heartwrenching for my family, overall uneventful, and led to me becoming a happy and healthy baby, child and eventual adult. I bear no ill effects from my early birth, with the exception of possible worse vision, short stature, and small scars on my hands, arms and feet from the many IVs I bore during that timeframe. I was assured that my prematurity held no bearing on my bearing children of my own; however, I still held that fear, small but nevertheless there. I worried even before we started trying, and continued to worry throughout the pregnancy.

It was a relief to find that even a few weeks ago, Mia was already measuring over double my own birth weight, with several weeks to continue cooking. And today, as I feel her rolling around in my belly, I’m grateful to her and to my body for making it this far.

Even despite the immense relief that I feel, I still carry fear. Fear of the unknown for me and little Mia. When will you come? How will you decide to arrive? Will you still be okay? Just because you’ve made it this far doesn’t guarantee you will arrive safely in my arms. The odds are in our favor, for sure, but until you are outside my body and I know you are SAFE, I won’t be able to let go of my fears fully.

For now, I’m contenting myself with the what feels like the thousands of times I feel you move each day. As much as I complain about it, every kick to the lungs and head butt to the crotch lets me know you’re there, safe and sound in my womb, and in no clear and present danger. I’m praying for the both of us that you’ll arrive safely and swiftly (not too swift…), with ease and warmth and love. And for now, we’ll take it one day at a time, together, until you decide to greet us on the outside.



Just you wait


Just you wait.

My new least favorite phrase, uttered by just about any well-meaning cashier at Trader Joe’s or dog-walking neighbor passing me on the street and noticing my burgeoning belly.

Just you wait… Your lives are about to be turned upside down!

Just you wait… When the baby gets here, you’ll never sleep again!

Just you wait… Enjoy the time alone while you still have it!

Just you wait… You think your body is not your own now, but wait till you start breastfeeding!

Insert smirking, co-conspiratorial smile after every comment made above.

Each time one of these remarks have been made, it’s always coupled with some sort of implication that I must not know how good I have it now. That I “don’t know what we’re getting ourselves into”. Oh my god! I just realized right now that I’m in for a long string of sleepless nights, difficult days and tantrums. Thank you SO MUCH, random stranger, for enlightening me!

Maybe I don’t know just how much our lives will really change. It’s probably impossible to predict unless you’ve gone through it yourself. I fully acknowledge that I enjoy my alone time and the ability to pick up and do whatever I want the majority of the time, without schedule or agenda.


I am also fully aware that I signed up for this. In fact, we spent hundreds of days and nights, an insane amount of money, and an even larger amount of heartache before getting to this point where people are telling us “just you wait”. It doesn’t mean that I’m not still equal parts excited and terrified to be a mother, but I also would like to think I’m not completely and utterly naive about the sacrifices made once you become a parent.

It is true that most of the people who share with us their, ahem, wisdom, don’t know our struggles. They don’t know my current struggles – the 24/7 pain in my hands and pelvis that basically prevent me from doing anything productive for more than five minutes at a time, the lack of sleep, the mental struggle over said debilitating physical issues, all caused by pregnancy. The pregnancy that I desired more than anything. All they see is a pregnant lady who “doesn’t know how good she has it”.

I’ve had my fair share of those who have shared with me the delights we have to look forward to – the baby smiles, the every day milestones, seeing the world from a brand new perspective, feeling like your heart lives outside your body with this little person that is a piece of each of you. Thank god for those people, who make the worry about the total upheaval of our lives minuscule in comparison to the joys we have in store for us. Especially because that’s what I’m clinging to, now, to get me through these last few weeks (!!!) of pregnancy.

My current state leaves much to be desired, in my opinion. I want to feel like I am totally ready for this baby to get here, but in reality, right now I feel like an utter failure in the “nesting phase” that I’m in. I want to be doing so much more than I am physically able. And it’s making me frustrated and depressed that I can’t. So I am stuck in this weird limbo of desperately wanting her out of me so I can feel semi-normal again, while simultaneously not feeling ready for her to come at all.

Dale has been an absolute saint through all of this, especially in these last several weeks as my physical state has been in a rapid decline. He’s gone back to working long hours at school and then coming home to doing a full load of dishes or putting together pieces of furniture for the baby’s room at night. He’s constantly putting out an arm for me to grab, letting me lean against him, and has pushed me around in a wheelchair for a full day at Disneyland. I literally have no idea what I would do if I was doing this on my own, and thankfully, I don’t have to.

At the end of the day, I think most of my desires for the conversations surrounding infertility, pregnancy and parenthood focus on one thing: connection. Let’s do our best to try to understand each other’s struggles and meet each other where we’re at. To try to make a real connection instead of relying on blanket assumptions. To lift each other up instead of preparing each other for the worst. Because don’t we all want to be able to see more of the joys in life instead of the pain? Our struggles bring our joys into sharper focus, but they shouldn’t cloud our vision either.

This is 30


Today, I am 30 weeks pregnant.

I will meet my baby girl in around ten weeks, give or take a few.

Time, it seems, is going both lightning speed and excruciatingly slow. I have a million and one things to do before she gets here, but my body is screaming at me to GET HER OUT.

My mind mimics my body. I absolutely love with every fiber of my being feeling her roll and stretch inside my womb. I also desperately want to feel normal again, despite knowing that even after I give birth, there will be a completely new “normal” to embrace.

You know those people who say they loooooove being pregnant? I would pay a decent chunk of change to feel what that feels like right about now. I had a golden week or two, right as the first trimester was wrapping up, when I had a cute little belly, the all-day hangover was subsiding, and I felt like a million bucks. And then the swelling hit. Which led to the 24/7 severe carpal tunnel. And all of a sudden, my bladder felt like it was falling out of my body. I never got a shot at that second trimester “glow”.

The third trimester, like clockwork, brought back pain that keeps me up at night, as well as the feeling that I’ve been kicked swiftly in the groin by a ninja. Baby also thinks that any time I adjust in bed equals *PARTY TIME!!*, so that definitely helps with the whole insomnia thing. And the kicker – a diagnosis of gestational diabetes this week, meaning I can no longer drown my sorrows in ice cream and In N Out like every respectable preggo should.

So here I am, struggling to move forward to get ready for baby, in what feels like quicksand. One step forward, two steps back. How do I live in this space, where everything I’ve prayed for is finally happening, but I can’t escape the feeling of being held back from basking in the joy of a dream realized?

Yes, I have been throwing myself quite the pathetic pity party. Don’t worry, I still find ways to come up for air. When I get a text or call from a friend or family member, checking in. When yet another gift arrives for baby girl from a well wisher. When I think about just how amazing it will be to finally hold her in my arms. When she kicks me to remind me, hey, Mom, I’m here. Remember?

Yesterday, I was wallowing even more, due to our replacement dresser for the nursery from Buy Buy Baby arriving just as damaged as the original (#firstworldproblems, I know, I know). I was down about my GD diagnosis, and this was just the cherry on top of my non-existent sundae. I had these grand plans of starting to wash and fold and put away all the adorable little clothes we’ve already stockpiled, and here I was, at yet another roadblock.

Today, at the encouragement of my ever looking on the bright side husband, I decided I didn’t NEED the dresser to get shit done. So I put on my big girl panties and did my first load of baby laundry. I put on some Disney music (Mia better be a Disney lover; she’s getting a Disney nursery and I’ve been playing songs for her nonstop) and got to work. Before long, I had a massive pile of clothes ready to wash and fold. And that’s when it hit me. This wave of gratitude washed over me, and I stood by the crib and sobbed. How grateful am I? Who cares if my hands hurt, or I can barely walk, or I can’t eat french fries for a while. I’m not thinking about any of those things when I’m focusing on getting ready for my little girl.

So this is what 30 weeks looks like. Hot mess, cranky, can’t breathe, falling apart, so tired, deliriously happy pregnant.

Pregnant and barefoot


“You look amazing!” “You’re glowing!” “Pregnancy agrees with you!” “You look great! How are you feeling, mama??”

These are all sweet, well-meaning and appreciated statements I’ve heard from friends and family the past several weeks. But when asked how I’m feeling, I’m never exactly sure what to say. It depends on the moment in time and who’s asking. More often than not, I say, “Doing pretty good, thanks for asking!” It’s easier that way.

If I’m being truthful,  I basically feel like crap. All the time.

My first trimester hangover gave way to a second trimester surge of energy and feeling great, for a blissful week or two. Then began a rapid decline around week 15 that has led to a whole host of issues. Oh, pregnancy, let me count the ways in which you have wrecked my body:

  • What I thought was just a stiff neck and shoulders while sleeping causing my hands to fall asleep became something much more dire. General swelling in my body has caused some arthritic-like symptoms, making my hands and wrists painful, tingling and numb to the touch. I currently sleep with wrist guards the size of an arm cast, which eases things ever so slightly, but most days I wake up unable to feel my fingers or close my hands into a fist. While the mornings are the worst, the symptoms persist throughout the day. I can’t drive for more than a few minutes without my hands going almost completely numb (sounds safe, right?), it’s a struggle to put on my jewelry or makeup, and I’m going to have to switch to a hands-free phone setup because my hand goes numb thirty seconds in when talking on my cell phone. All manageable issues, but definitely not fun nonetheless.
  • Speaking of swelling – I’ve gone up a full ring size, my watch is on an additional notch or two, and my feet look and feel like sausages most of the time. That whole “barefoot and pregnant” thing definitely applies to me (not the “in the kitchen” part though, lol), since I can’t fit my feet into almost any of my shoes besides flip flops and Birkenstocks. I’m on a strict “elevate the feet” plan basically any time I’m sitting down.
  • I’d heard of postpartum pelvic floor issues, but did you know that some women have pelvic floor issues even before pushing a baby out of their hoohah? Yeah, I didn’t either – until it happened to me. My already small bladder is struggling with the extra weight of the baby and so much less space; I swear this kid is using my bladder as a body pillow. I’m living in the bathroom and having serious issues on days I’m active and on my feet a lot. Disneyland is definitely not the happiest place on earth if you have pelvic floor issues… take my word for it.
  • General added aches and pains include aching hips, especially while sleeping causing me to wake up multiple times a night, and a stiff back while lying down, creating a turtle on its back type of effect when I try to stand up.
  • Appointments at the IVF clinic have been replaced by appointments with a pelvic floor physiotherapist and chiropractor. And here I was, thinking I’d finally get my time back…
  • Clearly all of this adds up to feeling super sexy! But don’t worry – I’ve been diagnosed with marginal placenta previa (my placenta is too close to the cervix for comfort at the moment if I were to deliver today), so even if I wanted to have all the sex, that’s currently off the table.
  • The worst part about all of this: if it weren’t for the swelling and discomfort I’m experiencing, my energy level is awesome! I have a strong desire to be active, especially for a healthy pregnancy, but I’m being sidelined by all of the other fun stuff happening in my body.

Sounds like a walk in the park, right?

On top of all of this, I’ve diagnosed myself with a separate, unofficial condition that I’ve dubbed “Infertile Guilt”. I’ve got a real bad case of the IG. These tracks keep playing in my head:

Remember, you wanted this! 

You should be feeling lucky right now, not whining about how you’re feeling. 

You have no right to be complaining when other people have it way worse than you.

Who are you to talk about feeling crappy when there are so many people who haven’t had their prayers answered yet like you have?

The IG is real, folks. It’s a catch 22: I want to be honest about how I’m feeling, but I’m constantly cautious about how much I share, since I don’t want to come off as whiny. After all, this is what I’ve been wanting for so long! I don’t want to seem ungrateful, especially to those following my story who have been in the same infertile boat as me.

But this wouldn’t be my blog if I didn’t tell it all: the good, bad and the sometimes really ugly. I have to remind myself on a daily basis that just because I am being honest with myself and others about the discomfort I’m experiencing, it doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize that I’ve been truly and radically blessed to be where I’m at, either.

Two weeks ago, Dale and I got to see our little girl via ultrasound for the twenty week anatomy scan, the super in depth check at the halfway point. We saw her fingers and toes, her kidneys, the cerebellum of her brain, and the four chambers of her little heart beating in fast rhythm. It was nothing short of miraculous.

Mia Eva Miller at 20 weeks.

And that’s how I know that despite everything I’ve gone through – the shots, the appointments, the agonizing wait, the discomfort, the stress – is all going to be worth it in the end. So cliche, but absolutely true. We are blessed to have a baby who, by all modern medicine’s standards, is perfect and healthy and growing right on schedule. And so I’ll continue to push through the pain and revel in the joy of feeling my baby girl’s kicks that are getting stronger by the day. Even if those kicks land on my bladder.





Just call me Mama



I’ve discovered a new phenomenon: when you announce to the world that you’re pregnant, people automatically start calling you “Mama“.

“Hey, mama!” “How are you feeling, mama?” “Aww, mama, look at your belly!  When are you due?” “So excited for you, mama!”

My first “mama” took me completely off guard. I did not feel ready nor worthy enough to be bestowed with the title. Apparently, the second you pee on a stick and see a two lines, you are automatically anointed with the title of Parent.

The word Mama carries a lot of weight. It implies nurturing, preparedness, a new level of adulthood. I can tell you quite honestly that in most moments, even fifteen weeks in to my current status of pregnancy, I do not feel any of those things.

I’ll tell you what I do feel.




In disbelief.

Fearful of the unknown.

Is this baby really going to get here? Am I sure this is actually happening? Is this all going to work out? Am I going to be a good mom?

I’ve had so many people tell me I’m going to make a good mom. It’s sweet, and well-intentioned, and often reassuring. Because I am not entirely convinced, even after all of the struggle to get here, that I will be. I’m selfish, I’m messy, I’m entirely focused on myself much of the time, and I have literally no idea how I am going to react when a tiny human is completely reliant on me for her survival.

I know that many parents and parents-to-be face a similar struggle. With infertility, the path to parenthood is often laced with additional fear and self doubt. I am no stranger to that.

I’m doing my best to embrace the Mama in me. I may not know how I’m going to survive on few hours of sleep and midnight diaper changes, but one thing is without a doubt: I do love that tiny human inside of me before she’s even been born. And that’s a start.



Graduation day


Friday is Graduation Day! AKA, the day that I “graduate” officially from my fertility clinic to my regular OBGYN’s office.

This is the moment that I’ve been waiting for: the day that I get to go forth into the world with a “normal”, healthy, second trimester pregnancy. There’s just one problem, though; I don’t feel normal. Nothing about the past two years has felt normal.

Truth be told, I’m equal parts excited, scared, and sad to leave my clinic. I’ve been with the same doctor, making weekly or more visits to the same office, seeing the same friendly faces since June of last year.  I’ve laughed with them, cried with them, felt at home with them. The thought of not being under their care leaves me feeling a little…. lost.

I’ve also been blessed with a doctor that practices under the guise of “abundance of caution”, and has been calling me in for weekly ultrasounds to check on our little one. Some might call that overkill (which it probably is), but it has been an absolutely amazing experience to see her growing and changing week by week. Not to mention the assurance I feel when each week, we’ve seen and heart a strong heartbeat, and on more than one occasion, seen her wriggling around like the dance queen I am sure she will be outside of the womb. Once I officially transition to my OB, I will receive only two more ultrasounds: the full anatomy scan at 20 weeks, and a secondary scan at 22 weeks to check for heart defects. And that’s it. Definitely a far cry from the weekly peeks we’ve been getting to see what’s going on in there.

So far, I’ve avoided the trap of getting a home doppler to check on the babe’s heartbeat, since I knew it would probably just drive me more crazy if I wasn’t able to find it. But now that our graduation day is fast approaching, I am already dreading the weeks and months that go by without seeing my little one moving and grooving in my tummy. Thankfully, in a few weeks I’ll be feeling her move a lot, and likely will rue the day I wished for strong, soccer star kicks to know she’s A-okay.

Despite my fears, I am so incredibly grateful that we’ve made it this far. I am almost 14 weeks with our little babe, thanks to God, our doctors, and the miracles of modern science. Our baby girl is just over three inches long. She has tiny fingers with fingernails and fingerprints, is swallowing, and is starting to gently tap her mama’s belly with her little limbs to say hello. And that is, in this moment, the biggest gift of all.

April Fool’s

By now, I’m sure you’ve seen it at least once. Apparently, it is really hilarious to prank friends and family by posting a “pregnancy announcement”. Even celebrities are getting in on the trend:

Here’s the thing, though: the funny fake pregnancy announcement isn’t really all that funny. In fact, it’s a punch in the gut to the one in eight of us who are suffering with infertility, and an even worse blow to those who have suffered from pregnancy loss.

Even now, going on eleven weeks into my pregnancy, it’s still a little jarring to see someone else’s pregnancy announcement. Weird? Maybe. But it’s the truth. The act of getting pregnant isn’t like waving a magic wand; the pain of infertility still weighs on my shoulders like a heavy cloak. It’s getting lighter, day by day, but there is a part of me that knows it will always be there. And I’m one of the lucky ones. In six or seven months, God willing, we’ll meet our little girl on the other side of my belly and all will be well (except the lack of sleep and total upheaval of our lives, of course). But the feeling is still very fresh in my mind. To feel like it will never happen for you. To feel like every other post on Facebook and Instagram is a photo of a happy toddler, a growing baby bump, or an ultrasound photo.

You may think that your pregnancy prank is silly, and lighthearted, and wonder, “What’s the big deal?” All I ask is that you think before you post, and hopefully take my words to heart. Do it for others like me, who are speaking up, but even more importantly, do it for the ones who are suffering silently, unwilling or unable to share the brokenness that they feel.

If you’re really hurting for ideas this year, feel free to check out this list for some solid pranks. My personal fave is the extension that swaps out every photo on the internet for a photo of Nicolas Cage. You’re welcome.


Is this real life?

A few days ago, curiosity got the better of me about those “pregnancy pillows” everyone keeps talking about. Until recently, I had no idea that it was virtually a requirement when pregnant to sleep with a pillow that engulfs your entire body and takes up half of your bed. Bonus: it also doubles as a stand-in for an actual human snuggled under the covers, and may or may not scare you when entering your own bedroom. (I have no real-life experience with this.)

Feeling the beginnings of pregnancy aches and pains during sleep, I figured I’d give this whole Snoogle thing a shot, so I headed to my local Buy Buy Baby store, aka Baby Mecca. Buy Buy Baby sells literally ALL THE THINGS baby related; I’ve gotten the spins from just looking at all the hundreds of car seats, strollers, cribs, etc. Did you know that there are actually multiple devices to choose from that involve sucking the snot out of your baby’s nose? Buy Buy Baby sells them all. Pretty sure I could get completely lost in the car seat section and an employee would find me, come closing time, sobbing in the aisle cross-legged, wailing, “HOW DO YOU CHOOOOOOSE??”. But I digress.

So I pull into the parking lot of Buy Buy Baby, and I’m met with the Holy Grail of infertiles: the Expectant Mother Parking Spot. You know, the one with the sign that looks like this:

I froze. Wait, that’s me!, I thought. But doubt crept in almost immediately. That spot isn’t for you. Are you supposed to be here? You’re not pregnant enough to park there.

You see, friends, that’s the cruel reality of infertility. It clouds your reality, makes you think that somehow you are less than, that you aren’t deserving, that none of this was meant for you. I have to remind myself on a daily basis that that is a lie.

So I parked in that goddamn spot, and relished in the twenty less steps it took for me to get to the front door. And I dragged that giant pillow out to my car and slept with it that night, and IT WAS GLORIOUS.