Posts Tagged ‘About Brandi’

Pregnancy Week 20

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Week 20 equals the half-way point and that means some serious excitement and anxiety. With each passing week the reality of our little “situation” becomes ever more apparent and with that comes a host of emotions like “complete and utter panic,” “what were we thinking,” “she’s going to be perfect!,” “how soon can we cuddle,” and “denial.”

OK, so some of those aren’t what most people would classify as “emotions.” It does sort of read like one of those As Seen on TV record advertisements.

I think our range of emotions from nervous, panic and denial to excitement and curiosity is probably fairly normal. I almost think we’d be odd if we didn’t feel all of these things. Which is why bringing home the crib last night hit me like a ton of bricks and made me have this “come to Jesus” moment. Like, OH MY GOD A REAL PERSON IS COMING HERE! Some friends offered up their retired crib and sent it home with us and we are so incredibly grateful. It’s perfect – the color, style, everything is exactly what I’ve had in mind. (THANK YOU!!)

We also brought home an antique wooden rocking cradle from Shelton’s grandparents. My understanding is that every Koskie kid since Shelton’s dad has snoozed in this cradle. Pretty special.

Sitting in it right now is a positively adorable pink OU diaper bag, a gift from another dear friend. Seriously, SWOON over this bag. It’s trimmed in pink polka-dots and the zippers have little football charms. “Sooner born and Sooner bred…” (THANK YOU!!)

In other week 20 news, I flew to LA for a whirlwind two-day trip so that I could attend the Biggest Loser finale for work. This was my fourth live Biggest Loser finale and probably my favorite. It was so much fun to catch-up with contestants who I now call friends and get to know the newest alum of this incredible show. They are truly amazing people, each and every one of them, and whether you have five pounds or 500 pounds to lose, you can’t help but feel inspired to just do better. While I’ve met host Ali Sweeney a few times before, this time we had a chance to chat and snap a few pics. I also had the opportunity to have dinner w/ Biggest Loser Cookbook and Most Decadent Diet author Chef Devin Alexander. She was adorable and funny and her food was AAAAMAZING!!! She sent me home with an autographed copy of “Decadent,” and I’m anxious to crack it open!

This trip helped me realize that my travel hence forward will be done by car. I just can’t handle another airplane. After the snot-covered, tear-soaked hysterical break-down in LAX (because of a canceled flight, coupled with exhaustion and killer back pain) I decided that flying just wasn’t worth whatever was on the other side. (Unless the other side involved all you could eat pizza for days and days and days…and maybe Oprah!!) I broke this to my co-workers in NYC and was not the least bit surprised to hear they were understanding. Maybe I’ll finally coax them to Wichita… yeah right!

I also discussed the maternity leave plan with my boss this week and I think we have something in place that is fair for both sides. I honestly can’t foresee taking a full six-to-eight week maternity leave, but I guess we’ll just have to see when we get there.

And finally, maybe the most exciting news of all from week 20, we’ve got a mover and a shaker on our hands. This little girl has been moving for a few weeks, but really deep little flutters only noticeable to me, and often indistinguishable between flutters and gas. But sitting on my connection flight between Dallas and Wichita, I felt a bump in my stomach like nothing I’ve ever felt before. Positively amazing! I’m sure I looked like a total freak on the plane with both my hands shoved down the front of my elastic maternity pant panel, but I was not about to pass up the chance to feel her with my hands for the first time. The entire 45-minute flight home the monster gave me quite a show. I was literally giggling out loud at some of the bumps because it was just the most incredibly satisfying moment. I of course bragged the news to Shelton when I got home and he was thrilled. It took two or three more days before Shelton was finally able to get his first feel of our little girl. Wow! What a moment. So far she doesn’t keep much of a schedule, her bumps, rolls and kicks come at all hours of the day (and night) and can last for one or two thumps or for 30 minutes or more. She also plays hard to get. I can feel her for the longest time, finally have Shelton come over to feel and she’s done.

Overall I’m actually feeling pretty good. Just dealing with a lot of pretty constant back pain and fatigue. I keep waiting for this “dawning of the day second trimester second coming” event, but I feel like that’s one pregnancy milestone that’s going to pass me over. We’re seven weeks in to this trimester and while I feel a hundred times better than I did in the first, I still feel tired, lethargic and famished all the time.

Reflecting on 27

Monday, July 20th, 2009

I have to say 27 was one of the better years I’ve had. All those birthday wishes last year paid off! Here are a few of my favorite moments from ‘08-’09.

1. Watched the Yankees win a home game in the old stadium

2. Celebrated our 6th anniversary

3. Welcomed our first niece, Tilton

4. Saw Dave Matthews Band perform for the fourth time, and danced to #41, from our wedding

5. Went to OU opening game

6. Welcomed the Swart twins

7. Visited family in Baltimore, to meet Tilton

8. Welcomed our second niece, Emilee

9. Celebrated Jim’s and Amy’s wedding

10. Saw a Broadway show image

11. Celebrated the New Year with some of our dearest friends

12. Went to the ultrasound to learn my sister was having a girl

13. SXSW in Austin

14. Celebrated Jonathan’s and Nicole’s wedding

15. Celebrated Sarah’s and Andrew’s wedding

16. Started IVF and hoped for the best

17. Welcomed our niece Eleanor

Not to mention a few camping trips, visits with family and countless evenings spent with good friends.

Here’s to 28!

IVF Shots Day Six

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

Does Lupron make you tired? I feel like I did last summer when I had mono, like no amount of sleep quite quenches my exhaustion. I took two naps this weekend, something I never do. Going to bed early and sleeping late. And I feel sluggish all day long. Tonight I was like, let’s go to bed! When I looked at the clock it was only 7:30 and I realized it was still bright as day outside. So I did a little Google search for “lupron fatigue” and sure enough, there are several reports from other women indicating “severe fatigue,” “extreme exhaustion,” and “serious fatigue.” There it is folks, our first side effects. If this is as bad as it is six days in, then I think I can hang. However, I know better than to think this is the peak.

Last night I had a total meltdown over Jenna (my sister) having a baby. And not because she had a baby, but rather because I wasn’t there. I’ve planned for months to be there by her side when Eleanor joined us, and it just didn’t happen. I’ve apologized to Jenna profusely over the past few weeks as I prepared myself to not be able to go. I’d decided once the shots started I would not make the ten hour round-trip by car. So out of absolutely no where last night I started sobbing uncontrollably and sat in Shelton’s lap (ever-so delicately!) and he held me. I finally eeked out how sad I was that I missed Ellie’s birth. Since the day my younger brother and sister were born they were mine. I’ve been a part of every major day and event in their lives and I missed this one, a big one. I hate it so much. I know we’re adults now and the three of us live in different states and so the fact of the matter is I’m going to miss a lot of big events. But the first one stings.

Shelton mentioned that we do not have any plans this upcoming weekend (by design mind you) and that maybe we could go visit Jenna. Judging by how tired I am now, and guessing where I’ll be five or six days from now, PLUS we introduce the Gonal F on Thursday… I don’t know if that will happen. I want to talk to “M” or Dr. T to get their opinion when I go in for a check-up on Thursday; I imagine they’ll recommend staying home and resting.

The thing is, I don’t know how to rest. I’m a busy body. A bit of a workaholic. Shelton has to actually pry me away from my laptop a lot of nights and tell me to just stop. So this idea of two weekends in a row with no plans, taking naps, and resting seems a bit cumbersome. But it’s probably what my body needs most. Maybe I should listen to someone other than myself sometimes.

My shot this morning HURT LIKE HELL!!! It felt like Shelton lit my stomach on fire and I actually screamed a little. Yesterday’s hurt more than normal and today’s was just downright awful. Shelton thinks the alcohol didn’t dry enough by the time he injected. Hopefully tomorrow goes better.

Today was the last day of my birth control pills. I took two packs back-to-back, meaning I skipped my July cycle. All of this to make sure I ovulate at the right time to align with the schedule at the clinic. However, I’ve had a lot of spotting. A full week during June and now another full week. It’s annoying to say the least! Each time the spotting has started I’ve alerted “M” and each time she’s assured me that it’s totally normal. Some women respond to the BC this way and apparently I’m one of them.

Today is also my last day as a 27-year-old. Tomorrow is my 28th birthday! I’m a bit of a birthday brat. I like everyone to know, I like everyone to celebrate with me and I like to make a big deal about it. My BFFFF Christie is coming up from Dallas to spend the week with us. I’m so excited to see her. Tomorrow night she, Shelton and I are going to one of my favorite restaurants in Wichita for dinner, Yia Yia’s. Then, coming back where I have a Monica’s Bundt Cake (my favorite!) and a bottle of pink champagne (thanks “R”!!) waiting for us. I was told one drink here and there wouldn’t be terrible… and I was told I could have two drinks on my birthday! It’s going to be a pretty simple birthday. But I’m spending it with two of my absolute favorite people, with some of my favorite things, and I think it’s going to be rather nice.

On Being Aunt Branee

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

It’s been almost four years since we received a phone call that would change our lives. We were right in the middle of monitoring my basal body temperature (BBT) to learn if I was ovulating or not. So our infertility journey had begun, but not quite. One night we received a phone call from Shelton’s younger brother who informed us that he and his wife were expecting. I eeked out a discontent congratulations, tossed the phone to Shelton and collapsed on our bed sobbing. We were older than them! We’d been married longer! We wanted it more! Right? At the time it seemed completely unfair and that we were doomed to have a barren womb and barren second bedroom. Six or seven months after that call, a little guy named Stone was born. My first and still only nephew. And so with that phone call my life was changed.

I often joke that Stone is the love of my life. I like to think that he and I share a special bond, despite the MILLIONS OF MILES AWAY his parents moved (look at ANY map and you’ll clearly see that the East Coast is ONE MILLION MILES from Kansas!). He really is something special. I don’t love him “more” than my nieces, but I do love him differently. Is that being too honest? Although I can’t compare it, I imagine it’s the way you love your first child differently than the rest of your children. He’s my first. He’s the boy who added the prestigious title of “aunt” to the front of my name and coined “Branee.” While we’re not related by blood, he’s proven to me that that’s not necessary. So what if we don’t share a chromosome or two. We’ve made chicken eggs together, and that’s really all that matters.

In just a couple weeks that little boy will turn a mind-blowing three-years-old. It’s unfathomable to me that he’s turning three. What’s even more insane is that in the time it’s taken him to talk, walk, potty train and declare that Lightning McQueen might be the single best cartoon character ever, we’ve added two nieces to our brood. Stone now has a little sister, Tilton, and the other brother-in-law has a daughter, Emilee. I love them all to painful pieces. I can’t get enough of them and if you could pour them in a glass I’d just drink them with a straw.

In about eight weeks, we’re adding a third niece. Only this time, she’s mine. Little Eleanor (or Ellie) is being born to my baby sister in July. There’s a therapy session in and of itself, but I’d be lying if I said I’m not counting the days until she arrives. And it makes me consider that love thing all over again. I mean, before Stone, I didn’t know it was possible to love anyone that much. Obviously, the love I have for Shelton is impossible to explain, but it’s that “different” kind. Will I love Eleanor more or differently because she’s my sister’s? If so, it seems impossible. And to that point, what about my own kids? I already feel that I’m tapped out. I’ve reached the end of the Internet so to speak on love, I found the source stream and I’m all filled up and these babies keep finding ways to take more.

It’s a weird thing watching my sister be pregnant. I’m not nearly as painfully jealous as I expected to be. In a lot of ways I feel numb to it, yet a ridiculous kind of excitement at the same time. I’m a big crier. Always have been. And moments where I would ordinarily cry buckets, I just kind of stand back with a contented smile. I’m seeing my sister differently than I ever have before. She’s growing up (thank God!), she’s not 12 any more (clearly!), and I find myself looking forward to our conversations more than I usually do. There are six years between us, and as kids and even until recently, that six years seemed like decades. We’re as different as night and day, and so I can’t help but to think that the way in which she’ll raise Eleanor will be completely opposite of how I intend to raise my children (for no other reason than to spite me and make my hair curlier than it already is!).

One of these days, I’ll get to make that phone call to Jenna that will change her life, and make her an aunt. Will it be different because she already has a (as in singular Jenna!) child of her own? Possibly. But I will stack my auntieness against any auntie out there and promise you that I think my nieces and nephew are pretty much the raddest kids around!

Wichita Weight Loss Examiner

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

I can’t get enough of publishing online and if you can’t get enough of what I’m publishing online then check out my articles as Wichita’s Weight Loss Examiner. Examiner is a great place to find localized insight on a variety of topics, and since my day-job is as the editor for, this seemed like a natural place to help my fellow Dub-towners.

My newest article talks about donuts.

“Gotta be hungry to eat a donut? I never heard of such a thing,” says Lawrence Garfield, played by Danny DeVito, in 1991’s Other People’s Money. Garfield loved donuts, and didn’t think there was a specific time of day that a donut should be eaten, or that you really even needed to be hungry to eat one. That philosophy could be good for The Donut Whole, a new coffee and donut restaurant in the heart of downtown Wichita that serves the cakey treat 24 hours a day.

Read more of Wichita’s The Donut Whole is no place for a dieter.

When Yesterday Becomes Last Year

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Tomorrow will be New Year’s Eve. There’s always the strangest feeling in the air on the last day of the year, and the same can be said for the first day. There’s an odd sense of closure as you bid the year farewell; and an equally odd sense of unfamiliarity as you wake on the first day of a new year anxious to see what will unfold. Don’t ask me why but I vividly remember the New Year’s Eve when 1987 became 1988. I was 6.5 years old, and I stood bawling next to my mother telling her that I didn’t want 1987 to end. I think that’s the only time I’ve ever cried at midnight. This year, if there happen to be tears, they will be warm and happy. I will look back on 2008 fondly and it will be noted as one of the best I’ve ever lived. (more…)