We've spent the last month informing friends of our amazing news -- so I am sure you already know at this point -- but just in case you don't, WE'RE PREGNANT!
I've thought about this post for such a long time. Thought about what I could say to even express our gratitude for this miracle. I am sure it will fall short. But, I will try!
I started this blog when I was in a really dark place, searching for support & needing it as therapy after a long year of miscarriages and heart break. My first post was on December 15th, 2016. At this point we had had multiple doctor appointments, were waiting on results, and just eternally waiting for our baby. I never dreamt that we would find out we were healthfully pregnant just 6 weeks later. I imagined years of pouring out my heart and soul, connecting with others and their journey with infertility, and bringing you all along. I am still shocked and amazed that we are here now, 17 weeks pregnant. I still fear that this is a dream, that someone will take it away from us... But I am doing my best to listen to my doctors, and just keep the faith that this is our little boy and he will 100% be with us come October.
I, like most women trying to get pregnant after 15 months was obsessively taking ovulation tests. So far, in all of my pregnancies I have had a hunch I was pregnant. My symptoms have always come on quickly. But I was never sure. One day feeling certain, the next completely talking myself out of it. It's that maddening battle of the wait between ovulation and period. I took a pregnancy test the morning of February 16th, 2017 and it was positive! First thought, PURE JOY. Then of course like a freight train came the fear. All we've experienced with pregnancy thus far is loss, it's so so hard not to let your brain go there. But I pushed it out, at least for the day, and was just so so excited to tell Nick this wonderful news. As you all know we've been in a 6 month major overhaul kitchen renovation. That particular week we had just gotten our drywall hung -- So I decided to paint the surprise on our new wall so Nick could see when he got home from work. He was shocked, it was such a fun moment!
And then, you wait. Wait for test results to make sure things are progressing, wait for your ultrasound to hear baby's heartbeat. Waiting that first month was EXCRUCIATING. In the past, we'd never made it to our 8 week ultrasound, we had always had complications prior to that. My doctor suggested we follow my HcG and progesterone levels before the ultrasound to check on progression and ease my mind. Those results came back PERFECT and helped me to relax for a short little while. Pregnancy after repeated loss is so incredibly hard. I imagine any pregnant mama worries... But saying I worried is the understatement of the century. The doctors felt great and that helped, but I was just dying to see my baby on that screen and hear that heartbeat thumping!
My first experience with morning sickness was the morning I turned 6 weeks. WHOA! I went from eating avocados twice a day and the most balanced diet, to not even being able to look at something green. Weeks 6-9 were really hard. I was just trying to figure out how to manage the nausea, keep my cookies down, and find things I could stand to eat. I ate a ton of applesauce, crackers, soda, bread, and strawberries. As soon as I figured out how to manage the nausea it did get slightly better. Never let your belly go empty! But this is quite the task when eating is the hardest thing, ever. I found myself eating things like Fruit Loops and ice cream pops, things I never buy normally! It was literally day to day whatever you can tolerate, eat it. I started to feel more myself around week 13. Prior to that it was naps all hours of the day, no makeup, and just surviving the day. My nightstand looked like a convenience store, and I was pretty much worthless to accomplish anything around our house. Thank god for my mother who helped around the house, and my husband who was fetching toast, water, soda, taking care of our pups, and listening to me cry. I am so lucky for the help I had and time I had to take care of myself in the first trimester! As hard as those symptoms were, they brought me SO MUCH PEACE. I had never had morning sickness with my other pregnancies and I just knew this was a good sign. I'm 17 weeks now and still struggling with an appetite. I'm not nauseous anymore, just can't seem to find things that sound good. And I've noticed its so much worse at night. Evenings come and I am so beat that eating a yogurt and passing out is all I can seem to do most nights. Surprisingly enough, morning sickness is not necessarily in the morning at all! I had a few bad mornings, but evenings were the worst for me always. But I am through the worst of that now! Everyone says that your appetite turns for the better around week 20. I'll be looking forward to that!! I always thought pregnancy was a time to eat like a hog guilt free!? I'm ready!
March 17, 2017 -- The first time we saw our baby. Oh my goodness my anxiety that morning was unreal! Up until that point we had had great news, I had no known complications, and I was sick as a dog, so in other words, super pregnant. We were just so nervous/anxious/excited to see our baby 9 am that day could not come fast enough. The sound of its little heartbeat is something I will never ever get tired of. We were so excited, immediate tears, immediate relief. Baby was measuring right on track and had a strong heart rate. We were on a high that day and I will never forget it. Our doctor found a small bleed (which went away on its own and turned out to be nothing at all, thankfully!) but wanted another ultrasound in a week to be sure. Here is baby at 9w3d. Lucky for a 2nd healthy ultrasound. Any chance to see my babe I will take it!!
Breaking news, on April 4th I ate 4 carrots and a green pepper. Up until this moment it was toast and fruity pebbles. Hubs was proud of me that day!
And here is week 12. My first bump pic. And looking now I realize thats not a bump at all! Definitely more breakfast than baby but at least we have documentation of what I once looked like now that I'm really getting a bump!
Fast forward to 14 weeks! Starting to feel more myself and my belly growing a little bigger.
And then week 16, when we get to see our baby again and find out the gender!! I was truly more excited to see the babe then find out what (he!) was! I was still a nervous wreck going into the appointment... Again, everything seemed to be progressing perfectly, we had had multiple appointments checking for a heart beat, so far so good. But I knew this ultrasound was big because baby was going to look like a baby now! I think its safe to say our 16 week ultrasound was the best day of mine and my husbands life. I have never seen anything so incredible and beautiful in my life! His perfect little profile. He has two ears! And we saw his lips. It was so amazing. We cried and we were on the highest high that life can offer! The tech was so sweet and showed us baby for over twenty minutes too. We got to see him swimming all around and all his perfect parts. What an amazing day. We didn't find out the gender in the room, we took an envelope home and waited to open it until the next day!
The next morning was the big reveal!! My brother in law opened the envelope, handed us the right smoke sticks, lit those babies on fire and found out we were having a BOY!
Everyone in our life had convinced us it was a girl. Such a fun shock finding out it was a boy! Another moment in life I will never forget. I'm not sure the shock has worn off that we will be parents to a little guy this Fall. I'm not sure it will feel real until he's here! We had a girl name set in stone, but I'm worried this boy will be nameless until we leave the hospital. I swear boy names are SO HARD. We have some contenders, but nothing Nick and I both agree on and love 100%. I want to name him just so I can stop calling him "Him" and "Baby." We still have 5 months to figure it out! We might just have to stay at the hospital till he's two.
So here we are, 17 weeks in and I feel... better. Our last ultrasound gave me a peace I could have only hoped for. Instead of letting fear and worry take over, the past two weeks we have been so excited! I didn't let myself plan or think ahead too much in the first trimester. I just focused on staying healthy and getting through the sickness. But now that we have every reason to believe our son will be with us in a few short months, I'm letting myself shop!! I bought a few things for his nursery last week and it felt so good. Maybe the beginning stages of nesting!? Lets be honest I just love to decorate. We've had friends and family buy us little outfits and his first gifts and organizing all of that in his room has been something I've dreamt about for so long. I can't even express to you how grateful we feel to be given this opportunity to be parents. Nick reaches over to rub my belly and its one of the sweetest, most special things. I woke up in the middle of the night the other night to him holding my belly. He will just come up behind me to touch and feel, its sweet and brings me so much comfort. Love doing this with him.
The rollercoaster that is infertility is quite the ride. As excited as I was about this miracle, my heart also hurt for all the other mama's in waiting. I know how much announcements and bump photos cut into me when we were trying and losing. I've had a lot of anxiety about sharing our news for fear of hurting someone else. But I will say, mama's that struggled and then went on to have babies gave me hope on hope on hope. Their stories inspired me to stay strong and focused. They constantly promised me that it was all worth it, just keep fighting. I haven't met my boy yet, but I will tell you being here now has been worth everything we went through. I am so glad I didn't let our losses defeat me (although there were moments when I thought it might). If you are still waiting for your positive, waiting for your rainbow baby, my wish for you is that you stay patient and gentle on yourself. There are so many ways to become a mama, and I truly believe those destined to be, will become parents. Our experience has brought me an intense sense of gratefulness and what I feel will be such a fierce love for our son. It's helping me to be grateful for every single little thing, even the dry heaves and not so adorable pregnancy symptoms. I am so so thankful for all the ladies that talked me through my fears on our journey. They will never know what they did for me in a time I felt so lost, alone, and completely not myself. I look forward to so many happy posts to come, but we had bumps in the road & this is our story, raw and real. I've always felt so connected to authentic people and their stories and I hope to be that for others.
Thank you SO much for following along during this crazy ride in starting our family. Every comment, every text, card, gift - I will never ever forget any of it. We love you all so much!