Sunday, July 24, 2011

Thinking Ahead

Knowing that I might be spending the next several months pregnant in a foreign country has really changed my packing list. We are due to fly back to Korea in a few short weeks and I feel like I am never going to get everything finished. Not only do I need to purchase everything that I might need for the next year, but now I also need to purchase everything that I will need for my, hopefully, impending growing belly. Because I am not extra small and a size 0-4, clothes are extremely hard to come by in Korea. Bras are rarely found in a size C, let alone in a D, and shoes that exceed a size 8 are all but unheard of. This means that it will be nearly impossible for me to find or purchase any maternity clothes. Now I am sure most of you are thinking, why don't you just shop online. Well that is always a possibility but shipping packages from an online store to South Korea can cost anywhere between 100 and 300 US dollars, depending on the size and weight. The price alone is unfortunately not the only obstacle. Most stores do not even ship to South Korea, leaving me no choice but to pay twice for shipping. Once to my parents house and then to me. So while buying things like clothes for my family, medications, deodorant, toothpaste, vitamins, hair color, shoes, makeup, pregnancy tests (not sure if they have the home tests there), holiday decorations, Christmas and birthday gifts, tampons and everything else that I can not think of at the moment, I now have to add maternity clothes to that list. Please, wish me luck.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Trying to conceive our 2nd child in a foreign country.

As the title states, my husband and I are trying to conceive our second child while living abroad. We have been living and working at the Deagu International School in South Korea for over a year.  I really can not say enough good things about the school, but I do have a lengthy list of concerns about living the dorm life with an infant. Not to mention trying to conceive a child with 100 or so other people living around us, but that's another post.

While I am excited about sharing our story to anyone who wants to read our blog, we are trying to keep the news of our actively trying to conceive a little hush hush. I worry that if things should not work or something should go wrong, we would have to explain everything to those we live with and while I know they would be very supportive, I would hate to make anyone feel uncomfortable or awkward around us. So for now we are only sharing this blog with a few family and friend, along with all of you. So I hope you enjoy our story and hopefully once we are able to announce that we are pregnant to everyone, they can come back and read what it took to get us to that point.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My life in a nut shell

My name is Ryann (Ryan) and I turned the dreaded big 30 six months ago. I have been married for almost a year to my wonderful husband and best friend, Jeff. Even though we are "newlyweds" we had been engaged for almost 7 1/2 years. Life just never seemed to slow down enough to plan the wedding of my dreams.

A year after he asked me to marry him, we found out we were pregnant. I will never be able to express in words how I felt when I saw that first positive test. In college I had surgery to remove my appendix and was later told that they did a little exploring and were only able to find my one "normal" ovary. It was still on the small side and was covered in cysts. They removed the largest but they could not guarantee I would ever conceive a child on my own. So when I took the first pregnancy test that came back positive, I had a hard time believing it. It was not until after the fifth or sixth positive result that I finally allowed myself to really get excited. Even though I had given up most hope to ever getting pregnant, I started imagining ways that I would tell Jeff if it ever happened. However when the time came, I couldn't wait long enough to plan anything. I went into our bedroom and woke him up to tell him that he was going to be a Daddy. It took him a little bit to wake up enough to realize what the little stick I was waving in front of him meant, but once he did, he was as ecstatic I was.

For years I had imagined what it would be like to be pregnant. Even as a young child I knew that the one thing I really wanted to be was a Mom. Never did I imagine that it would be as hard on me as it was. I had morning, afternoon, evening, and middle of the night sickness the entire nine months. I ended up in the ER several times to receive IV fluids because of dehydration. I was so sick that I could not gain any weight and lost  over 40lbs. We had to have frequent check ups to make sure that our baby was still gaining weight and was healthy. On top of all that, at 22 weeks we had to undergo one of the scariest prenatal tests to find out if there would be a possibility of our baby being born with a genetic disorder. My sister had lost a baby, my Niece Anabelle, when she was only 30 days old. She was born with a condition called Trisomy 18 where an extra chromosome forms in the 18th position. She was born with numerous birth defects, but was otherwise perfect in every way. Even though she was small and was only here a short time, she impacted a lot of lives. Because of her and similar issues in our family, we wanted to know what our chances of having a similar problem might be. We decided early on that we did not want an amino because we were going to love our child regardless. We would never decide to intervene in our pregnancy so in my eyes there was no point. During our high level ultrasound we were told that some of the things they were looking for were cysts on the brain, clenched fists, small size, heart defects, excess fluid and crossed fingers. Thankfully it didn't take long to see that he had none of the markers for T18. They were able to tell us that we were having a healthy baby boy!!! At least they were 60% sure he was a boy. He was moving around a lot so we were asked to come back in two weeks for a double check because they could not get a great picture of his heart. When we went in for the second ultrasound there was no doubt to his sex. He was laying with his legs out straight and his feet over his head. Even our wonderful ultrasound tech had to laugh at his position. It made it a little harder to get the pictures of his heart, but everything was perfect. We were having a healthy baby boy and I could not be happier. 

After 14 very difficult hours of labor and finally an emergency c-section, our son, Tyson (last name left out) was born on January 18, 2006. He weighted on at 6lbs 15oz and was 19 1/2 inches long. He was perfect and I was more in love than I knew possible. Right away I knew that I wanted to do it all again. The months of being sick did not matter anymore. The pain of labor did not matter, the only thing that I cared about was this amazing little person that I knew I would live the rest of my life protecting, encouraging, teaching, caring for and loving. I knew that I wanted him to have a brother or sister and hopefully a best friend.