First and foremost, please allow me to clarify that any of the symptoms I’ve mentioned below are NOT coming from a place of complaint. I am beyond grateful. Even through my worst of nausea, or my 100th trip to the bathroom that day, I am SO VERY THANKFUL. Every little annoying symptom feels like reassurance, and I’ll take that all day every day.
As a mom of three losses, this pregnancy comes equipped with some of the most extreme paranoia and fear. I’ve joked that my anxiety has compounded x4, but that is actually the God’s honest truth. I feel like I could write an entire blog post on what it feels like to be pregnant after three miscarriages, but I don’t know how my pregnant brain would even form the right words to accurately describe it. Just know that I am very, very emotional and I think about the babies we lost all the time. I am so beyond grateful to be pregnant again but our three angel babies haven’t slipped from my mind for a second. I still cry when I think about them. I still cry when I hear from any of you who are currently walking through this pain, and those who long for a baby.
I guess I’m sharing this to say that even though there is so much joy and hope in my heart for our future, being pregnant right now doesn’t eliminate the grief and sadness I continue to feel after our losses. I am so appreciative when friends and family remember our babies in Heaven, too. This isn’t our first baby, it’s our fourth.
A lot of people don’t typically know this early, but we found out we were expecting right at 4 weeks. The day after we found out, Baby P went to his/her first concert – Barenaked Ladies and Hootie & The Blowfish at Riverbend! It was miserably hot, but I was chugging water like my life depended on it. I was so worried that the excessive heat might hurt the baby, but as it turns out, baby was just fine! I was having some twinge-like cramps, likely just from things beginning to move around in my abdomen, but as you can imagine, this was really hard for me to cope with. I was filling myself with comfort food to keep calm, with this meal on repeat: grilled cheese (on bakery bread ONLY) with dill pickle chips and salt-n-vinegar kettle chips. Craving all the vinegar, I suppose?
I am feeling less crampy, thank God, and my boobs hurt so bad! I never thought I would be so happy about such pain! I started sleeping either in a bralette or a sports bra every night for some support and it seemed to help some. I’m craving breakfast food with chocolate milk (I usually don’t even like milk), ALL the pasta dishes, and Chick-Fil-A waffle fries — though these cravings are nothing new! Baby went to his/her second concert this week in-utero, Thomas Rhett, where this Mommy-to-be couldn’t help but get emotional during Life Changes.
My anxiety was at an all-time high leading up to week 8, as this was about when we found out that our past two pregnancies were not progressing. We saw my OB for our first appointment this week, and heard the sweetest heartbeat and got ultrasound photos of a healthy baby, measuring right on track. Read more about our first appointment here.
I’m still craving breakfast food a ton, specifically sandwiches and bagels. My digestion was not great, and really constipated (Sorry TMI!), probably from too many carbs and not enough vegetables. I’ve noticed I am super emotional and moody, so sorry to all of you that I’ve come in contact with who thought I was being short, or sassy with you. #Hormones! 🙂
I added more fruits and vegetables this week and digestion has been better. I also bought some Fiber One bars which not only do the trick, but taste delicious too! Anxiety still high, but not nearly as bad as it was in previous weeks. We’re starting to think it might actually work out this time, and started discussing baby names again. I started strugglng with an off-and-on UTI this week, and it showed up in my urine culture last week. The doc didn’t mention it, so I assume she isn’t worried about it, but I will be sure to ask at our next visit. We also decided this week that we DO want to get the InformaSeq testing that our doc recommended. It will test for most major trisomies (including Trisomy 16, which we did have!) triploidies, and sex chromosome abnormalities. With this test, we will be also able to find out the gender early, but truthfully we are just praying for a 100% healthy baby, with all normal chromosomes.
My boobs aren’t hurting as much. Google says it’s because the placenta has taken over hormone disbursement and my body is getting used to the pregnancy hormones. I had some “reverse morning sickness” this week a couple of times. Most notably, when I was craving Chipotle and then could not even eat 1/3 of my bowl before I felt sick. It felt like I had completely overeaten, and was bursting at the seams. I actually had to throw away the rest of the bowl because the smell was making me so nauseous. PSA: I am 100% aware that many women have way worse nausea, and much more frequently, so I am very thankful I’m not in that category. I just thought it was an interesting instance worth mentioning.
We got a couples massage this week, and mine was a prenatal massage. Definitely different, because you can’t lay on your back or your belly, but it for sure helped with some sciatic pain I was having, and just helped me to relax, overall.
By the end of the work day, I can no longer button my pants and have resorted to the hair-tie trick. I wouldn’t say I look pregnant yet, but more like bloated and like I have eaten 10 weeks worth of all carbs, which we know is 100% true. I’m not sleeping as well this week, since I have to get up multiple times to pee. Still craving lots of pasta (be on the lookout for some pasta recipes to be posted soon), and completeeeetely turned off by eggs and grilled chicken. Twice this week we had meals planned, and at the last minute I was like no, I can’t. Chicken Alfredo? Sure, but hold the chicken. Breakfast for dinner? Nope, I’m eating a Wendy’s frosty.
I’m drinking lots and lots of cranberry juice this week to hopefully combat this UTI that might be lingering. My energy has started to come back this week, and I even managed to work out a few times!
This week was also our second wedding anniversary. The traditional gift for year two is cotton, but with all the chaos of the pregnancy and everything we decided to forego gifts this year. But Justin, being the sweet husband that he is, bought me some cute onesies for the baby anyway. I made him one in return.
This week we returned to the doctor and heard that sweet heartbeat again on the Doppler. My doc had to try three different machines before she got a clear sound without interference, and I was trying my best not to lose my shit while I laid back on the table, waiting. Once we heard that sound we again, let out huge sighs of relief! Baby’s heartbeat measured about 160 bpm this time, and doc said, “This is definitely a viable pregnancy!” and that was truly the best news we have ever heard!
The next hurdle is making sure my cervix is competent to withstand pregnancy. I will return in a few days to get an ultrasound of my cervical length, and again at 14 and 16 weeks. Hopefully all will look good, but if I’m not where she wants me to be then we will schedule surgery to place a cerclage, which essentially will stitch my cervix closed until 37 weeks or so. My body after 3 D&C’s has faced the same trauma as someone who’s had 3 kids, and not keeping a close eye could result in a second trimester loss.
We started telling extended family and close friends this weekend. It was so, so exciting but also almost feels like I’m talking about someone else’s news, not my own. I guess you could say, we’re cautiously excited. Seeing everyone’s faces light up and cry tears of joy was such a cool experience. No doubt about it, Baby P is very loved already!
12 Weeks & 5 Days
Today we had the first of three ultrasounds of my cervix, and we also got to see the baby again! My cervix measured within the normal range (4 cm), but they will check again in two weeks to make sure it’s not shortening or caving in. Baby was swimming around my belly like crazy, and “jumping” from the ultrasound wand. It was truly the most amazing thing we have ever seen! Baby measured perfectly, in fact, just a smidge ahead, in the 68th percentile. We heard that strong heartbeat again, measuring 168 bpm.
Dr. Lemasters also got our chromosome tests back, and everything is NORMAL! Praise the Lord! 46 chromosomes, no trisomies. And, she told us the gender!!!!!!! EEEK! For the record – we truly had no preference of gender, but we are floating on cloud 9, and seriously can’t believe it. We are so, so, so unbelievably grateful for a healthy baby! Knowing the gender makes it seem so much more real. I know I’ve loved this baby since the moment of his/her conception, but our bond feels even sweeter now.
Why hello, sciatica. Nice of you to join us. NOT! I guess I should be happy I didn’t get sciatica pain as early (consistently, at least) as I did last pregnancy. I booked another prenatal massage for next week which should help a bunch!
Justin and I are planning a gender reveal party for our families on October 4th. I use the term “party” loosely, because it’s really just an informal dinner-slash-excuse to get together and celebrate Baby P. The real struggle is, I must keep the gender a secret until then! (Side Note: I’m thinking about doing a separate post on how we told our families we were expecting, and how we revealed the gender, so leave a comment below if that’s something you’d be interested in hearing about!)
I’m feeling pretty great this week, and managed to muster up enough energy to work out a few times. My anxiety and stress levels feel much, much lower than than they were a few weeks ago, and I’m hoping that with each passing day I’ll continue to feel a little more confident.
Baby bump is getting harder to hide these days, and I’m resorting to stretchy waistbands as often as I can! Drop a comment below with your recommendations for maternity shopping!
As far as food aversions go, I’m still steering clear of Chipotle and all forms of chicken, and eggs – which is proving to make dinner plans awfully hard! I’m craving lots of fruit and as always, chocolate. We also started clearing out the bedroom which will become the nursery, and Justin even renovated my childhood dresser.
I feel so blessed and thankful to have made it this far, and beyond excited to be entering into the second trimester! Thank you all for your positive thoughts and prayers during this two year journey. We will be sure to update you lots throughout the next (hopefully!!) six months of pregnancy!