#30weeks: When getting out of bed without sound effects is virtually impossible.
9 more weeks to go!
*Photo credit: My 6 year old, MK.
#30weeks: When getting out of bed without sound effects is virtually impossible.
9 more weeks to go!
*Photo credit: My 6 year old, MK.
Remember that day, BK, when we were 7 years old, and you stole my heart back on Audobon Ave in Grafton, WI? My first crush, my first concussion, you drew me a picture and wrote me a poem. I remember hearing the name BK and my heart would skip a beat and the butterflies in my belly came alive. You had the same effect on me 30 years ago as you do today.
Our journey has taken us from Wisconsin to Iowa to Illinois and now Colorado. We have two beautiful babies and one more on the way to complete our family. Cheers to 8 years of marriage and 30 years of friendship.
I have a favorite. At almost #30weeks my skin is crazy soft and my expanding belly feels amazing. I apply #RodanandFields #ActiveHydrationBodyReplenish daily, after my shower, and my skin stays so hydrated which can be hard at this time of year and dry climate in #Colorado. Let’s hope it keeps those #stretchmarks away too! If you have any questions on this product, send me a message or drop a comment below and I am happy to answer!
Signs. It was something that I clung to after all of my miscarriages. Not stop signs, or traffic signs, or restaurant signs. But signs from God, a loved one, the universe.
There was that one time that the butterfly followed me while we were on a boat ride up in Minnesota on a family vacation. This was the month before Brian and I suffered our first miscarriage. We were trying for a baby so I took this as being a good sign with only good things to come. Butterflies were not my sign.
I saw shooting stars right before I became pregnant as well as when I was newly pregnant with Makenzie. Thinking those were a good sign that all would be ok with my pregnancy, I made silent wishes for God to bless us with a healthy baby. Shooting stars turned out to be Makenzie’s sign.
I prayed to the Virgin Mary a lot the months leading up to my pregnancy with Brady. I remember sitting at midnight mass in December of 2014 praying for a healthy sibling for Makenzie and silently begging for the Virgin Mary to give me some sort of sign that things were going to be ok. Fast forward less than 3 weeks later and I woke up early one morning after an extremely vivid dream. She didn’t have a face that I could remember, just a calm voice telling me everything was going to be ok and that I should take a test. It had been almost a year since our 2nd miscarriage and was sick of the let down feeling I had. Up until that morning I had refused to test but after I woke, something felt different. The dream. It felt so real and like the Virgin Mary really was talking to me from heaven. So I decide to follow my gut and my heart and take a test. It came up positive and I was pregnant with my now almost 3 year old, Brady.
The one constant sign that I have had during the last 4 years from above have been hearts. These hearts seem to appear when my own heart is having trouble processing something or unsure of what to do or what the outcome may be.
The first heart was captured in August of 2014. It was after our 2nd miscarriage which took place the day after Mother’s Day. The baby was 9 weeks old when his/her heart stopped beating. At this point in time when the picture was snapped, I had no idea that I still had retained placenta in my uterus and that the roller coaster was still moving but would be over soon enough. “Soon” being January 2015. I remember feeling sad on this particular day, right before I saw the heart in the sky. I wasn’t sure Makenzie was ever going to get the chance to be a sibling. I happened to be running something over to our neighbors house when I looked up and saw it. My Instagram post read:
The second heart. The crisp blue and white picture that looks as if the heart is trailing with angel wings I took when I was newly pregnant with Brady and it was Valentines Day. I happened to be driving home from the grocery store when I looked up and saw it. Since it was only February I was still only in the first trimester. I had already experienced random, sudden, and unexplained bleeding and I was on edge most of the time but this heart….. this one put me at ease:
And the last heart. Y’all, my friends here in Colorado will tell you, I would corner them at the gym, at my house, at their house, if we were on a girl’s night out, and yes even in a garage with a bottle of wine tucked under my armpit. The question was always the same: Should the Kopecko family have a third baby? My heart said maybe and then it said yes and then it went to maybe not. Then my over analyzing brain said, “I just don’t know… Do you really want to start over? But you’ve always wanted three kids!” My heart was confused. Really, really confused.
One day in early winter we went for a walk as a family. It was the middle of the week. Brian was home and not traveling, Makenzie had off of school and I know she was going stir crazy so I took a 20 minute break from work and made everyone go outside and take advantage of the unseasonably warm winter day. I don’t go for random walks during the work day but that day I did. And during the walk I just so happened to look down on the ground and there laying on the sidewalk was this perfectly shaped heart rock to which my own heart skipped a beat. I bent down and put it in my pocket because really what were the odds.
Now, I’m not saying I found this rock and said, “YES! Let’s have another baby, Brian!” It didn’t work like that. But this little rock sat on my window sill, perched up against a candle so I could see it every morning, noon, and night that I was home. Basically all the time. To me it was a sign of, “It’s ok. You’ve got this. The right decision will be made and you and Brian will make it together.” And over the next few months, we did.
Maybe you guys have caught on to all the hearts that I’ve had in my pregnancy announcement photos and gender reveal post. Maybe not. But there is a reason they are always included in.
Do you believe in signs? Signs from God, a loved one that has passed or the universe?
If so, tell me your story. What is your sign?
Look what I got over the weekend! I’ll let you know later on this week how I feel about our new product, Body! I can tell you though, two days in and I may, might be, DEFINITELY am in love. 😍
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Now that the word is out, I feel like I can also give this blog the Heimlich maneuver and bring it back to life. It’s been quiet. I’ve been quiet. The first trimester was a bit rough here. Let me take it back to the beginning.
I found out early. Like really early. It was May 8th, also my mama’s birthday, and I was about 3 weeks 4 days. I peed on a stick randomly that Tuesday morning and sort of just for the hell of it. If your a woman and you are trying for a baby you know that urge to pee on all the sticks is REAL. So there I was peeing on this pregnancy test and immediately cursed myself for doing it so early. I was planning on waiting until at least Saturday when Brian and I had plans to go to the Brewers vs Rockies game with our friends. Honestly, I really didn’t expect to see anything at all. I set it on the toilet and went to take a shower. I doubled back within 30 seconds and was in shock when I saw a very solid double line.
I debated how I was going to tell Brian. The night before he slept on the floor with our early riser, our little BK, and got very little sleep. So he was tired and I didn’t think dropping the “Oh hey guess what?! You ready to not sleep again for like the next 2 years” bomb on him was a great idea. But after the kids were at school and daycare it just sort of came out. Despite being exhausted, he was ecstatic!
Unlike the other two pregnancies I felt calm about things. Based on my past, I knew whatever happens will happen and nothing that I do can change that. Within 30 minutes of peeing on a stick when I was pregnant with Brady I called my acupuncturist to get me in ASAP. I just felt different with this one. After all, this is my 6th pregnancy and Brian and I have learned a thing or two about losing babies and heartache.
I sent my OB a message later that afternoon and I got a response that said I would receive a call within 48 hours. Perfect I thought, no rush. Within 45 seconds my phone rang, seriously, it was 45 seconds and it was one of the nurse’s from my OB’s office. She wanted to schedule blood work and an ultrasound right away. Against my better judgement I told her I didn’t even think I was 4 weeks yet and wanted to wait but she was pretty adamant. So we scheduled blood work and would go from there. They wanted me to go in ASAP so the next day I made the 20 minute drive to my OB and gave some blood to check hcg and progesterone levels. They put the order in for STAT so we could find out that afternoon. The first draw came back at hcg of 105 and progesterone at 24. I went in again Friday morning, a little less than 48 hours later and this time my hcg came back at 277 which was more than double in 48 hours. They were happy with that. From there we scheduled my ultrasound based on my LMP. I will fight every single OB on LMP vs ovulation day. I know my body very well and generally speaking I can always pinpoint within a day of when I ovulate. So when they scheduled my ultrasound for less than 6 weeks, I was pretty sure we weren’t going to be able to see anything.
Fast forward a week and based on my calculations, I was about 5 weeks 5 days. Brian was traveling so I found myself trying to calm those butterflies in my stomach on my own and repeating everything is ok, everything happens for a reason, God has this. She started the ultrasound and after multiple of them in my day, I know what to look for. Normal looking gestational sac, fetal pole and a flicker. She did some quick measurements and said the gestational sac was where it should be but there was only the start of a fetal pole and no cardiac activity. I told her I am a late ovulator and she said, “Well, then I am sure when you come back in a week, we will see a little bit more.” The fetal pole was too small to even measure at this point. Afterwards my OB was trying to be hopeful but she kept saying, “We really should see something by now…” I told her I didn’t think I was quite 6 weeks and she replied that next week will be a better indication then.
So there I was…. again. Leaving the OB office unsure… again. Having to wait another week to see what was going on inside of my uterus… again. I went home and calculated my dates… I did it over and over but the difficult part this time around was that I wasn’t charting. I wasn’t taking my temperature and I wasn’t 100% sure exactly when I ovulated. I could only guess based on my cycle length and where I have in the past. I told myself I was 5w 5d that day and when I went back in a week I would be 6w 5d and we should be able to see more.
Fast forward a week… Brian was with me. I was supposed to leave with the kiddos for Wisconsin later that day and Makenzie was graduating from Kindergarten as well. I debated not going to my appointment. What was it going to change anything? I thought about waiting until we got back from Wisconsin which would end up being almost 10 days later. At that point we would surely see something. But we went anyway. I tried to remain calm, collected, talk about other things on the way there.
We got into the u/s room and she said to me, “Let’s hope we see a little more this time around.” As she begin she said, “Oh good, much bigger. Great growth.” And then I saw that little flicker of a heartbeat which was measuring 130 bpm. And you know what, when she measured me, I was measuring 6w 5d, exactly where I thought I was.
The rest of the first trimester has been weirdly normal for me. With Makenzie and Brady I had first trimester bleeding around 6.5 weeks for no apparent reason. With this little peanut, nothing. I’ve just had the normal fatigue and nausea that reared its head around 5.5 weeks. The nausea started to let up around 10 weeks but the fatigue has stuck with me even now at 15 weeks. It’s not nearly as bad as it was where I felt like I could sleep just about anywhere every single day and was in bed immediately after I put the kids to sleep at 7:15p.
Our genetic testing was done at 12+ weeks. It’s the first time I have done in it in my pregnancies but since I am considered “advanced maternal age” it was recommended. Everything came back low/normal and we are feeling happy about that. We are looking forward to our 20 week ultrasound when we can confirm if our tiebreaker baby will be a boy or a girl.
Until then I am going to sit back, relax, and really soak in this pregnancy because I am now totally 100% ok with saying this baby will be the last and will complete our family. ❤
We have our Iowa born baby.
We have our Illinois born baby.
In early January our family will be growing by one heart and two feet and we will be adding our Colorado born baby. 😍❤️ #babynumber3#15weeks #tiebreaker #mantozone #gonnabeoutnumbered #iowa#illinois #colorado #sheorhe #pregnancyannouncement
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It happened. We hit a major milestone last week and we all survived.
I’ll admit, the night before as I was brushing my teeth I internally panicked and all of those questions came flooding into my mind:
Are we doing the right thing?
Is she ready?
Will she make friends?
What if someone is mean to her?
Does she know how much I love her?
Will she be happy?
Will she have enough time to eat her lunch?
I tiptoed back into her room and laid myself down on her bed. I smelled her hair. I stroked her cheek. I tucked her curly blonde hair behind her ear. I held her hand. I smiled when she instinctively wrapped her fingers around mine during her sleepy slumber, just as she did when she was a baby. My mind flooded back to those first few days, weeks, months of her life. She came 4 weeks early and she spent a lot of her evenings screaming. Screaming at me. Screaming at Brian. She cried, I cried. We all cried. Brian and I spent a majority of our evenings in her bathroom because it had the best vent fan, ever. EVER. We would take turns, standing in the dark bathroom, with the vent fan running, holding her little swaddled burrito body tight to us while practicing the 5 S’s. Swaddle, Shush, Sway, Side laying, and sucking…. eh, I guess we practiced the 4 S’s since she hated all things pacifiers and bottles. I remember those days seemed long and I wished for time to speed up because it was exhausting. But everyone told us, “It goes so fast! Just enjoy it.”
“Just enjoy it.”
So your saying I’m supposed to enjoy the fact that she screams at me all evening long? How about the fact that I feel like a human pacifier? And the sleepless nights during those milestone moments? The teething? The ear infections? The sickness? I’m supposed to enjoy that? You’re joking right? But they weren’t. And I wasn’t getting it. But I do now.
Enjoy the chaos, the sleepless nights, the teething, the sickness (because with sickness comes cuddles). Enjoy the moments of rocking her to sleep. Her sleepy little head on my chest. When she would bring a book, sit on my lap, and point to those animals while making their respective noises.
Enjoy the meltdowns. The struggles over what to eat and making the same damn thing for lunch every single day. Enjoy the independence she shows around the age of 2. The smiles, the giggles, how one day she just starts talking in full sentences and you had no idea she even knew what the word exasperated meant let alone how to use it (correctly) in a sentence.
She is resilient this one. We moved from Iowa to Chicago when she was around 22 months old. She started a new daycare. New faces, new names, new home, new routine, new everything. She did beautifully. She was happy, she made friends. And then at the age of 4, we blew her little world up again. Another move. Another state. Far, far away from family and our friends. It would be ok, we said! We are moving to the mountains! She had no idea what freaking mountains were. But we made them seem really exciting. You’ll love it, we told her! And she does. Again, a new daycare, new faces, new names, new home, new routine, new time zone, and the biggest of all, starting kindergarten.
It’s midnight, the day of kindergarten and I am tossing and turning in bed. I get up and check on her. Watching her. Hoping, praying that her first day goes well and that she ends up loving school. I settle back into bed but lay there wide awake because sleep isn’t coming as easy tonight.
Will she be scared?
Will she cry?
Will I cry?
Is her teacher going to be nice?
Earlier that night I packed her first lunch. Ham sandwich, chips, fruit, carrots, water. Should I put a note in I wondered? Um, no. She couldn’t even read it.
My alarm clock went off at 6:15a. I rolled over and at the same time all the butterflies in my belly woke up. I quickly got ready and walked into her room. She was still sleeping soundly. I laid in her bed and started to slowly wake her. I looked around her room and spotted her first day of school outfit. A dress of course.
She woke up excited for her new day. She got dressed, ate breakfast, I took about 100 pictures while Brian took Brady to daycare and then the time came for us to walk her to school. We each took turns holding her hand. She walked in front of me, holding her daddy’s hand, while her backpack bounced with every step she took. Her backpack seemed so big on her. We told her how proud we were of her, how much we loved her, and how much we hoped she enjoyed her first day. We told her that no matter what, it was important to be kind to others, even if they aren’t kind to you.
The walk to school is quick, 7 minutes if your timing it. We got there early, trying to avoid the rush of students that started the day before and the kindergarteners that were arriving with their parents for their first day.
I glanced up and quickly made eye contact with another mom. We smiled at each other, both reading the thoughts in each others’ minds I’m sure. We made our way towards new family friends of ours. Makenzie was going to be in the same morning enrichment program as their daughter and I really do think that helped both girls from not completely losing it the first day. Each girl took turns posing inside the frame that read 2017-2018 My First Day of School! They were excited. They all lined up and talked amongst themselves. I gave Makenzie another hug, as did Brian and we hung back a little bit. I didn’t want to be helicopter mom and tried to play it really cool but the truth is, inside I was breaking just a little bit. The school bell rang and it was time for her to go. She looked at me with those big hazel eyes and said, “Bye, mommy!” I waved goodbye to her and told her to have a great day. I watched as she slowly turned away from me and followed her friends into the school. Watching her little blonde baby curls every step of the way until I couldn’t see her anymore. I turned towards Brian and looked up because I could feel it. The tears were forming in my eyes.
I’m pretty sure I drove Brian crazy all morning with the, “I wonder what she is doing now?” or “She should be starting actual kindergarten at this time.” Around 11:35 my friend A texted me and said, “I think they’re on their 20 minute lunch,” to which I responded back, “Hopefully they can eat fast!” But that was how my entire day went. Wondering what she was doing, how she was doing, who she was talking to, playing with, if she was being a good listener.
2:30 rolled around and I was practically running out the house. I couldn’t wait to talk to her and find out how her day went. She came strolling out of her school, behind her teacher, and then ran to me, greeting me with, “MOMMY!!” And a giant hug. She said she had a great day. She clipped up to blue, and she made some new friends.
On the way home Brian asked her, “Makenzie, what was the hardest part of your day?” To which she responded, “Probably when they told us we only had 7 minutes to eat snack.”
People say it all the time, “It goes so fast. Enjoy it while you can.”
Lately I’ve been trying to do just that. Take it in. The crazy, the chaos, the good, the bad, and the ugly moments. Because they really are gone in the blink of an eye and then it’s on to the next big milestone.