You got mail…from the President?

Little mister was able to get a presidential greeting from the POTUS and FLOTUS.
Little mister was able to get a presidential greeting from the POTUS and FLOTUS.

 

When I saw an acquaintance post a photo of a wedding greeting from the President of the United Staes and First Lady of the United States, I decided to see if they did birth greetings.  In addition to wedding greetings, you can request greetings for wedding anniversaries, retirements, birthdays, and oh yes, birth greetings.  Who wouldn’t want to get mail from the President let alone a Presidential greeting?

I remember getting so excited when O received his first piece of mail.  Mind you it was from the Social Security Administration and contained his social security card but I was excited.  I know, I know, babies are so young, they don’t know how to read, why get excited about mail?  I’m a sentimental, I love firsts, almost all kinds.  I also like saving any firsts that I can.  The first outfit for a holiday, the first pair of shoes O walked in, the first drawing O made, well you get the idea.

You can’t just request a card from the POTUS for anything.  There are specific guidelines (as stated on the site):

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen
  • Birth greetings are only available within a year of the baby’s birth date.
  • Birthday greetings are for those that are celebrating a birthday that is 80 years or greater. However for Veterans it starts at 70 years of age.
  • Retirement greetings are for service of 20 years or longer.
  • Wedding greetings should be made at least 6 weeks in advanced of the wedding date.
  • Wedding anniversary greetings are done for 50 years or greater and also must be requested 6 weeks in advance.

I only provided an overview there are other specifics that you can check out here.

I do wish they had a greeting for those adopting because I would assume that is just as much of a joyous event as a birth!  So new moms or soon-to-be parents go and request your presidential greeting.  Bear in mind it does take awhile for you to receive the card.  I requested mine in January and received it a few days ago.

I’ll be keeping W’s in his memory box.  I’m not sure if he’ll appreciate it but I still think it’s pretty darn cool to get mail from the POTUS!

 

Why I learned to “let go” my second pregnancy.

 

My second pregnancy was very different from my first and it made me approach things in a new way.

My first pregnancy and second pregnancy were like night and day.  With my first pregnancy, the morning sickness seemed to leave as quickly as it arrived.  I had maybe three days where I felt miserable.  My cravings were not as outrageous as I expected. Overall, you can say that it was a pretty easy pregnancy.  O just happened to decide he wanted to make his debut almost a month early.

My second pregnancy, well my husband and I were not trying to get pregnant at the time.  I had just started school to get a second bachelors and I felt as if I was going in a good direction with my postpartum depression at the time.  It was a huge surprise for the both of us when we realized we were pregnant so soon.

From finding out, sharing the news with family, and trying to wrap my mind around having two kids so close in age, I was a nervous wreck.  Thankfully my husband was more than elated with the fact that we were having another child. Knowing that my husband was happy about being pregnant put some ease into my mind.

My second pregnancy could not have been more different from my first.  I had horrible morning sickness, my OB/GYN diagnosed me with hyperemesis gradvidarum.  I not only was getting severly dehydrated but I was losing weight.  I began to make trips to the clinic fairly to go in for IV treatment.  I was so tired and weak from being sick almost all day and everyday.

As I was approaching 12 weeks, I started to have some strange aches. I just chalked it up to the normal aches as I was showing much more quickly this time around. I went about my normal routines both at home and while I was at the office.

Then one of the scariest things happened without too much warning.

I had just turned 12 weeks pregnant and was still struggling with the hyperemesis gradvidarum.  I began to miss a lot of work because I was exhausted and I pretty much spent the work day in the bathroom.  One morning I was leaving a voicemail with a client and I suddenly felt a gush.

I can’t begin to describe the feeling of panic and surprise I felt at that moment. I quickly made my way to the bathroom to see that I was bleeding bright red. Everything was a blur at that point. My husband was directing a product shoot on location and I managed to reach him right before he turned off his phone. I was in tears when I walked back into the office and tried to string a sentence together to explain to my nearest co-worker. Luckily I don’t live too far from the office and drove myself home after reassuring my co-workers that I could do it.

My husband met me at home to wait for my OB/GYN to call to see what our next step would be.   My sister-in-law was watching O and luckily my husband called her ahead so I wouldn’t have to try and explain once I got home.  I remember telling myself to breathe the whole drive home.  I remember going straight to the bathroom hoping that all of this was not happening.  I had one thought in the back of my mind but I was trying my best to push it away.

I finally got a call back from a nurse at my OB/GYN’s office and heard one of the hardest sentences I had to hear:

“I’m sorry, but you might be having a miscarriage.”

She told me that she was waiting for a call back from the hospital so that I could be seen right away. In the mean time I was to stay in bed and monitor the bleeding.  My husband happened to be holding my hand during the entire phone call.  Once the nurse hung up, I bursted into tears as I relayed the information to my husband.  It was exactly the thought I had in my mind that I had been trying to push aside.

Even thinking about it now is bringing me back to tears.  I can feel the ache in my heart, just in my entire being, from trying to process the information.  I remember how my husband never let go of my hand.  How he looked me directly in the eyes and said, “I know it doesn’t seem like it right now, but no matter what, it will be okay.”

At that moment it didn’t feel like it was okay.  I was not okay. I was already feeling horrible, already more than I was physically, because on top of not being able to manage the household things I felt as if I couldn’t care for O.  Then I remembered my sweet O.  Although I was in a fog of confusion and sadness, I was holding on to the fact that I still had my sweet, healthy, and loving O.  That thought alone helped me prepare for going to the hospital to find out whether I was having a miscarriage.

The thing was, miscarriages isn’t something that was foreign to me.  My mother had a couple of miscarriages, so I always had that thought in the back of my mind that it could happen to me.  However being in a position where it was seeming far too real, nothing prepared me for that feeling what so ever.

My husband and I were talking to each other quietly as we were in waiting to be seen, reassuring each other of whatever outcome we would face.  When the doctor finally came wheeling in the sonogram machine, I felt like my heart was beating in my throat.  Once she placed the wand on my stomach, I felt myself holding my breath.

A strong heartbeat started to fill the room.

I think I was more in shock to hear it, that tiny but strong heartbeat, because I was already preparing for the worse.  It was determined that I had a fairly large subchoronic hemorrhage.  I was to be placed on bed rest for a couple of weeks and had to come back in to check on the size.  The doctor was concerned with my history of preterm labor and even more  worried that my placenta would separate from the uterine wall.

Prior to this scare I was so worried about how I wasn’t being a good mother to O.  How I was not pulling my weight at work and I was feeling disappointed that lately I was just unable to do so many things.  I did not want to be using the pregnancy as a crutch.  That changed as my husband and I walked out of the hospital with the ability to breathe again.

I decided that I had to accept things at that moment.  Accept that yes I was pregnant and it both changed and didn’t change certain things.  It changed the fact that I needed to accept that I could not do certain things without putting myself and the baby at risk.  It meant that I needed to understand that this didn’t change the fact that I loved O, it just changed how I would be caring for him from then on.  It also meant that I needed to tell myself that it was okay and that I couldn’t do everything at work and that I had understanding and awesome co-workers to help.

I decided to let go of the things I could not control.  If it meant that down the road, this pregnancy was not meant to be, then I would accept it.  I was going to do whatever I could to be healthy and grow a healthy baby.  I was going to “let go” and enjoy the experience.  Enjoy the hiccups and kicks in the belly.  Enjoy listening to a heartbeat at each appointment.  Enjoy seeing O’s curiosity as my belly continued to grow.

This is not to say that there were no longer bumps in the road.  I consider myself stubborn and would still try to do things.  It also didn’t change that I was still feeling overwhelmed with the idea of having two children so close in age. The subchorionic hemorrhage also managed to linger almost my entire pregnancy and resulted in a couple of hospital visits and a hospital stay prior to giving birth to W.

I just decided to approach things much differently from then on, in a more positive sense.  Overall I learned to put myself first for once and that it was okay to not get everything done.  It was okay to ask for help at home and at work.  It was okay that I couldn’t carry O like before.  It didn’t change the fact that I loved him nor did it change how he loved me.

W is a blessing in so many ways, while he was inside the womb and now that I have him in my arms.  Even now he’s continuing to remind me to “let go” of certain things.  For that, I am forever grateful.