Tuesday, May 9, 2017

weeks 3-14

I found out I was pregnant at exactly 3 weeks (my due date was moved up a few days several weeks later at our first appointment, but at the time, I thought I was 3 weeks along). With both Uriah and Ezra, I experienced several pregnancy symptoms very early on - with Ezra I had to wait a week to take a test once my symptoms started and that was still five days before my missed period...! So this time around, when I wasn't experiencing my usual symptoms, I wasn't really expecting to be pregnant. Hoping, yes!, but not truly expecting it. But there I was, positive pregnancy test in hand, at just three weeks along...!

I felt great until about week 5, still surprised at this point that I wasn't experiencing symptoms. They came, though, not to worry ;) Those first few weeks were pretty miserable - I was sick from morning until night and I don't think I ate anything other than toast and Saltines for two weeks. I wasn't throwing up, which some might say is a blessing, but I constantly felt like I was about to and wanted to, just to make myself feel better for even a few minutes. There was no escaping it - it would come and go suddenly, staying for various amounts of time. I was exhausted - just doing the laundry lead me to fall asleep on the couch as the kids played around me. Everything was hard. I finally gave in to buying freezer meals for Stephen and the kids because I couldn't stand to be in the kitchen - the sight and smell of food made my stomach feel awful.

We went to Alaska just as I reached 7 weeks and the morning after we arrived I started bleeding. Some spotting is normal, I knew that, but it wasn't just some spotting and it wasn't brown - I was bleeding, bright red blood with several large blood clots. We assumed the worse. It continued for the rest of the morning and I found myself taking notice of every cramp and discomfort and pain. Stephen did his research and it seemed to us both that I was having an inevitable miscarriage - I hadn't lost the baby yet, but would in the next week or so. This was just the start. We looked in to going to the hospital, but couldn't justify the risk of getting stuck with a check for an ultrasound in the ER when there would be nothing they could do, except give us answers. I spotted a little bit on and off for the next few days - every time I went to the bathroom I was expecting the worst. I started to feel better that week - I had a little more energy and a much bigger appetite - which just solidified our fears - I was losing the baby and my symptoms were going away because of it. I cried almost every night and told Stephen I didn't know if I could do it again - be that happy and that miserably sick just to become that sad and that empty. It hurt too much. We were in Alaska for ten days - we spent our entire trip worried and wondering. It was awful.

The day after we got home, on Stephen's birthday, we were able to go in for an emergent ultrasound. There was baby and there was baby's beating heart. The tears came instantly as the relief flooded over me. Stephen said that my reaction would have been the same no matter the results - I was practically convulsing in his arms, sobbing. I had been so mad at God for the week and a half prior - I had so intentionally prayed for this baby and it was so clearly what I wanted, what I had been waiting for, I felt like God was teasing me, dangling a toy in front of a baby just to pull it away as they reach for it. I know God doesn't work that way and he doesn't cause these things to happen, but I had been so scared and so angry. Part of my response to finding out baby was ok was guilt that I had treated my loving God so unfairly. I hadn't trusted.

Since returning from Alaska, I had been feeling sick again (I think all the opportunity to rest there really did my body good! I had someone taking care of me and my family and the ease of it showed in the lack of my symptoms) My sickness was slowly waning from all day to just starting in the afternoon, right around 3 when my kids wake up from their nap, of course ;) I still couldn't eat dinner but was eventually able to cook it. When I hit week 10 I felt like I could see the light at the end of the tunnel - I wasn't back to "normal" by any means, but it was coming. But then I hit 12 weeks and felt like that light was still just as far away, a mirage in the desert. Mostly in the afternoon and evening, and right when I woke up in the morning - I just didn't feel good! My stomach hurt, it was actually painful!, and nothing ever settled quite right. Plus I'd been constipated for 7 weeks, so there's that...

At my 12 weeks appointment I brought the kids, knowing it was just a quick heartbeat check. He put the doppler to my stomach and... nothing. For three agonizing minutes he moved the doppler around and around but there was no heartbeat. I started to panic. You always worry that there won't be a heartbeat but I had never actually pictured it happening. What was I going to tell the kids? What was I going to do? Why, God, why?! He pulled out the ultrasound machine and right away, there was baby. Before he had a chance to do anything I asked, "the heartbeat?" He kept it still and steady for almost a solid minute so I could just stare at it, beating away at 150 bpm. Again, that flood of relief washed over me. Thank you Lord. We wouldn't have gotten an ultrasound otherwise so it was really fun that the kids got to see the baby - it was moving all around and very distinctly waved at us, which had Uriah thrilled - he's convinced it's a boy because it was clearly a boy's hand ;)

And now, at 14 weeks, the light is (finally!) much closer. I am able to make it though the day without feeling sick until 7 or 8 pm, and I still require a nap, or at least a decent rest, around mid afternoon. At this point, I'm really looking forward to my second trimester and praying my energy stays up and my sickness stays away while Stephen is gone for the summer!

- - - -

Just days after we found out I was pregnant, my mom came to town and Stephen and I were able to escape for a date night. I tried not to talk about all things baby but I don't know how well I succeeded ;) By the end of the night we had decided not to find out the gender of this baby. We've always loved the idea of the reveal at birth - I just picture it making that moment so much more meaningful and magical! But I'm a planner, very much a planner!, and was always too impatient to wait. Having one of each already means we're prepared with "stuff", and though we doubt it will be, there's a chance this could be our last baby so really, we're in the perfect situation to not find out...! Stephen was much more on board than I was so he made me shake on it, which I did! In the car, screaming and almost crying, I shook hands that we would wait to find out the gender... Ahh! Yay!

- - - -

After we had our emergency ultrasound, and a few days later my scheduled 8 week appointment, I felt like we had been given the ok to tell the kids. We held out for a few more weeks, just in case - that wasn't a conversation I felt ready, at least emotionally, to have with the kids - but knew we had to tell them before my 12 week appointment because they had to come with me. I think we made it to week 10 before telling them, though how Uriah didn't pick up on it before I don't know. We talked about it right under his nose and all our friends and family knew. Stephen didn't want to just tell them, he wanted to make it a bigger deal than that and have a little bit of a lead up to get them excited. So we told them we had something to tell them and we'd written it out on a piece of paper with a clue, but they had to find it first. So we sent them on a scavenger hunt around the house. My parents had done this with our Christmas present and he loved it so I knew it would be a hit. At the end of the hunt they found their final note sitting on top of a baby blanket with a picture from our ultrasound. Once the note was read and we explained it all to them (Ezra at this point had given up and was off playing DinoTrux) Uriah said, in response to me saying I have a baby in my belly, "no you don't." He didn't believe us! Most likely because I wasn't showing at the time, but he was very skeptical and lost interest after a couple of minutes. Slowly, though, he started to ask more questions and after a few days, he was constantly commenting on it and boldly stating his desire for a brother! Ezra will repeat Uriah and randomly declare, "You have baby in your tummy!" but she has no idea what's coming ;)


  1. Congratulations!!! I know how crippling it can be to start bleeding and not have a heart beat. I'm so grateful that your story has an amazingly happy ending. What a blessing from above!

    1. Whitney, I'm so sorry that you've experienced that! Having been through just that short piece of it I can't imagine how it would make me feel and affect my life. We feel very blessed, yes, that our story has a different and happy ending. Thank you! And I'll be praying for you!