~ Meet Caryl!
Hello everyone! My name is Caryl and I am 37 years old. Right now, I am at home with my daughter, Charon, who is 4 1/2. My partner, Pete, is 42, and is a Director of Quality Assurance (or, as I tell people, a "computer guy.") We've officially been together for ten years now, and we recently found out we are pregnant again. All three of us are looking forward to adding a new member to our family.
Before we had Charon, I was a middle school English teacher, and I loved my job. We had thought about having Pete stay home when we decided to have children, and we even bought our house knowing we could afford it on just my teacher's salary. One day, Pete asked me if I'd like to stay home, at least for the beginning. It was a revelation for me. I hadn't been able to picture myself teaching and trying to care for a tiny baby, so I hadn't been ready to get pregnant. We planned for me to take a year off, and I had Charon in the summer of 1999.
Charon quickly taught me that parenting is a full-time job (or maybe several full-time jobs), and we were lucky to be able to have the opportunity for me to continue to stay home with her. I have loved these years of watching her grow, spending my time nursing and cuddling, caring for her, teaching her and playing with her. She started preschool this year and will be in kindergarten this fall. When she became more independent, I felt ready to try for another baby. I would really love for Charon to have a sibling. I know she'd be a wonderful big sister!
Last summer, after trying to conceive for about six months, I learned I was pregnant again. The pregnancy seemed to be going well, just as I expected. My due date was right around Easter this year, April 11, and I was planning ways to tell Charon about it. At my 13-week midwife appointment, we tried to hear the heartbeat for the first time. The midwife couldn't find it with the Doppler, but she didn't seem concerned, saying that this wasn't too unusual. She signed me up for an ultrasound that afternoon.
The ultrasound showed no baby. From the size of the sac, it looked like the baby stopped growing around 8-9 weeks, and at this point, it wasn't even there. When I asked where the baby went, the OB told me that sometimes the baby is just reabsorbed. I hadn't started bleeding yet, but the OB assured me that I would start to miscarry soon. He did recommend a D&E, saying that letting it happen naturally at this point would be quite painful. We decided I should have the D&E.
We spent some time healing, and then felt ready to try again. This time, I became pregnant after our very first try! The due date looks to be my sister's birthday, October 28, 2004. We are thrilled, but I am also anxious, of course. I look forward to sharing my pregnancy through this journal.