I guess my most recent posts are all about new and exciting personal things! Jordan and I are happy to announce we're expecting our first baby! This is another reason why I've been quiet as moving and being pregnant offers its own set of challenges.
We are incredibly happy to be about 25 weeks along and look forward to meeting little who-ever it is in early December. I wanted to share the news with you for two reasons:
1) This will change the tone of my blog and mean that I include more baby stuff. Being a first time mom I will never claim to be an expert - but I welcome advice and will share my learning's.
2) Getting to this point has been a long journey for my husband and I. I wanted to share some of our story because I found hope to be a positive thing and wanted to share a bit of our hope with you.
Our Pregnancy Journey
We got married in the summer of 2012, and after enjoying about six months as a married couple decided we wanted to start trying to expand our family.
When we tried the first time we were the picture of an after school special and basically got pregnant right out of the gate (only takes once!). We were so excited and got to planning right away. Early on we discovered that I had a subchorionic hematoma and a couple of cysts. Many people go on to have successful pregnancies with these conditions, I've actually had a subchorionic hematoma with all of my pregnancies, but for me, my pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at 10.5 weeks.
It was really heartbreaking for us, but we were optimistic that it would happen for us quickly. We did put our trying on hold for a bit as one of my cysts needed to be removed surgically because the size of it would put my ovary at risk, and while they were there they cleaned up some endometriosis (I like to cover my basis in terms of medical conditions).
I had the surgery in October of 2013 and discovered we were pregnant again just after Christmas. It was exciting and terrifying to be pregnant again - but we were so excited. After the first trimester we took a deep breath and had complete confidence that this pregnancy would be successful.
I had some challenges with my second pregnancy. First there was morning sickness (which for me, was completely miss leading, it wasn't in the morning, it was all damn day long). The sickness didn't really go away after the first trimester, and there were a couple times where I needed IV fluids to get better. That and a steady supply of purple Gatorade. I also had a small set back when they thought I had a brain bleed (which I didn't). I'll spare you the details (focusing on hope and not scaring anyone who may be in a similar situation), but two lumbar punctures later, a blood patch, a CT and a MRI and I was cleared as almost healthy, just severally de-hydrated and suffering from pregnancy induced migraines.
Despite our challenges with that pregnancy, we were still optimistic and excited. I figured, I could do anything and deal with anything if in the end I got my healthy baby. Unfortunately that didn't work out for us and shortly after going for our anatomy scan we got the news that our little boy wasn't going to make it and that I need to be induced. I think that was by far the hardest thing that we have ever gone through. The waiting, the lack of answers, and the plans that had to be put on hold or changed. At 20 weeks we had to say goodbye to another pregnancy that was so desperately wanted and start planning for a future that seemed scary and nerve wracking.
Third Time's the Charm
After taking a break to recoup physically and mentally we began the process of starting to try again. I found this time it didn't happen as instantly as before and I found that very difficult. I ended up doing acupuncture, which I sucked at. Not the actual act of getting acupuncture, that was fine and even comfortable, but I couldn't relax to save my soul. Never fell asleep. Always counted the songs (and I always seemed to get the same CD). I was really doing it to check something off my list, and I think it helped,because I felt like I had done everything in my power to get pregnant. We were happy to find out that we were expecting in March, and thus began our hibernation.
We took time to ourselves to be cautiously optimistic. We tried to find the joy and if I'm being honest, we spent most of the first 20 weeks counting down milestones and waiting for good news. It was so exciting to go for our scan and then hear we were having a happy healthy baby. Now we are getting to share with our families the gender of our baby, slowly and surely finding more joy and excitement.
This pregnancy was much easier physically by comparison to my others, though an emotional roller coaster. I have a great doctor who has made sure that I am looked after and helped me make every important decision along the way. After the 20 week scan it was like there was a light switch that I got to turn on that made pure excitement acceptable (just ask my husband, he's seen the closet full of clothes that says that is true). That being said, though I have a lot of joy in my heart, I feel like I am mildly missing the glow. If this were the movie What to Expect When You're Expecting, I'd be Elizabeth Bank's character, she looks graceful and charming compared to me.
We are now planning for our shower, reading as much as we can, and celebrating with loved ones. I'm enjoying watching my alien baby kick and flip inside me and am calling on my girlfriends and family members with kids to ask questions about being pregnant and being a first time Mom. If I'm being honest, I think there is still almost like a veil over this pregnancy as I know that things can go tragically wrong. But I know that things can go perfect as well, so that's what we hold onto. I think about being luck that my husband and I grew closer through this experience, and that I have a family & framily that could rival superheros when they need to jump into action, as that support has been huge.
I wanted to share my story because I think, at least for me, that there was this sense of failing at not being successful to be pregnant and stay pregnant. Everyone time someone joked or asked about our family plans it felt like a personal jab at me. I thought that I should be able to do this no problem. But the more I talk about it the more I hear from friends and family, that easy isn't a reality for most women when it comes to getting pregnant. So many women have stories of loss, of desire, of dreams and endless medical procedures. We ultimately all have the same story though, one of want and one of hope.
If you are in a holding pattern of fertility from having challenges getting pregnant or staying pregnant I wanted to tell you to have hope. To talk to each other. Want is want, and it can be incredibly helpful to have girlfriends/family who understand the insane jealousy that comes from wanting a child and feeling like everyone else just snapped their fingers and had a healthy pregnancy. I hope that one day, maybe someone can read my story and have more perspective for a friend who is experiencing this kind of want, or for the one who is experiencing it, I hope that this gives you some light at the end of the tunnel and that you take strength from hearing a bit of a happy ending, or I guess more so a happy beginning.
I'd love to hear your stories. Anyone else experiencing their rainbow baby? Any advice for a first time mom?
I love to cook, entertain, craft and create - all while being a wife, friend, daughter and a mom to a little boy.