Are you ready for my third post this week?! I can’t remember the last time I did that…
Bob and Sean have been up at his parents’ summer home in Michigan this week for a family vacation. While I would usually join them, in light of my third trimester discomforts, including not enjoying extended periods of time spent on car rides, I decided to stay home and take it easy, while getting some things done around the house at my own pace. Our OB has also strongly discouraged me from traveling more than an hour away from home at this stage of our pregnancy. It has been relaxing and nice to have some time to myself, however I miss them and look forward to their homecoming today! 🙂
I started working on this post off and on during the first month we knew we were pregnant this time around. I added bits and pieces to it in the weeks following and then never got around to finishing it. I know it may seem weird to be posting this in our third trimester, so close to when our baby girl is due to be born, but I thought you might still find it fun and interesting to read and I wanted to have it here on my blog for posterity, to always remember the circumstances surrounding how we discovered that our newest miracle was with us here on earth.
So here are “the details” surrounding the day we found out we were pregnant earlier this year and the days/weeks following before I shared our news here on my blog. I initially wrote it in “Q & A” format, as I had done this post the month before after I got my period, prior to which I had once again “cried wolf” to Bob believing I might actually be pregnant (and somehow managing to convince him I might be) after all we have been through trying to have another child over the past five years:
Q: When did you find out?
A: Tuesday, January 13, just before 11:00 a.m. See visual aide below:
Q: Did you have any idea that you might be pregnant?
A: Do you really have to ask that of someone who has been trying to have another living child for over 4 1/2 years? Of course I did and then I second guessed myself and then I thought I might be and then I was sure I wasn’t. You get the idea…
Q: Okay, point taken. But did you really suspect you were?
A: I did sort of think this cycle seemed a bit different than the last few. My breasts had been tender, but they typically are during my two week wait between ovulation and when my period is due. Also the past few days my jeans, which had been feeling looser lately were feeling almost a bit tight, so I was noticing and wondering why I was so bloated?!
So, yes, I suspected for a few days, but “knew better” than to get my hopes (especially considering my experience the previous month, which I ironically had shared about here). Bob would not indulge me wanting to discuss it, as I have put him through this way too many times since July 2004 when we started trying to have another living child.
My period was due sometime between Saturday – Monday of that week. I expected it to show at the latest Monday night before I went to bed. That Monday night I had gone out for a nice dinner and to see the opera Madame Butterfly with my mom and sister. At dinner/the opera that night I kept checking the toilet paper when I would use the bathroom and there was “still nothing.” I had some trouble falling a sleep that night, but ultimately did. I recall lying in bed that night talking to God and begging that if we by some miracle were indeed pregnant again, for the baby to please be healthy, as I didn’t know if we had it in us to go through this again (in light of our recent experience with Molly) and I especially didn’t want Sean to have to lose another sibling. I got up to pee a few times in the night and “still nothing.”
The next morning (Tuesday), while Sean was at preschool, I went to Yoga and still nothing. Finally, I broke down and went to a local chain pharmacy to buy a home pregnancy test (HPT). I went to one a little further from our house as hopefully not to run into anyone I know from our neighborhood. I was nervous, excited and scared as I entered the store and searched for the section where the HPT might be located. I was hoping they wouldn’t be locked up, as I really didn’t want to have to ask a clerk for assistance. I quickly spotted the “Family Planning” aisle/section and had a little chuckle to myself about that term being used (in light of our history and attempts at “family planning” over the years trying to expand our family). I chose a two pack of the store brand digital pregnancy test.
I rushed home and took the test in our upstairs bathroom and waited for the results to come up. I was equal parts excited and scared when I saw that word “pregnant” appear in the digital HPT window.
I called Bob right away and said “it’s not hypothetical anymore.” He replied “that’s fantastic!” I loved his response!
I called my OB/GYN and then picked Sean up from school to get blood work taken before the phlabotomist had to leave at noon. I made it clear to the nurse who I talked with on the phone before we came in that I would not being telling our son yet and to please let everyone there know to not say anything to him or to me in front of him that could tip him off to what was going on/why we were there. A number of the staff there did subtly slip in some cautious congratulations, which I appreciated.
As the day went on I wondered if people around me thought I had taken a happy pill ?! Not that I am not usually a pretty happy person, but I just felt like people I interacted with could read it on my face or hear it in my voice. That somehow they would be on to me…
We got the blood work results back on that Thursday because the office was closed on Wednesday. The results for approximately 16 dpo were 633! 🙂
Q: So how far along are you?
A: This question is funny to me, as originally I thought I might use it as part of a post to share the news of our pregnancy here and the last time I had edited it (prior to working on this week) it read 10 weeks… As of today we are 32 weeks and 5 days!!!
Q: So that makes your due date…
A: At the time I first composed this post, by my last menstrual period (LMP), it was Wednesday, September 23, 2009. My LMP was 12/17/08, the eight month milestone since Molly had been born and died. I thought it was pretty cruel at the time to get my period on that date, right before Christmas, however now it is kind of nice to have a date with the number 17 in it be my LMP. I feel like anytime a nurse or doctor asks me during this pregnancy when my LMP was I will think of this baby’s big sister when I say December 17. Also, we had the opportunity to “choose” from a few days the date of our new baby girl’s scheduled c-section and we chose September 17 (we will be 39 weeks and 5 days at that point). We chose this date in part, because we like the idea that our two daughter’s birthdays could both be on the 17th, while understanding that it is possible our new baby girl might arrive early.
However, as you may recall, our due date was changed early on, after our first ultrasound when Baby Benson measured almost a week ahead, to Saturday, September 19, 2009. Ironically, based on when I recall feeling what might have been some ovulation pain with the cycle we conceived (approximately 12/28/08), I think that is relatively accurate.
Q: Isn’t September 23 your and Bob’s anniversary?
A: Yes, it is! 🙂 I don’t think we could ask for a better way to celebrate our 9th anniversary then to be welcoming a new baby into our family!
From here on out, I stopped doing the Q & A and added notes from time to time about the early days of our pregnancy, before we shared our news outside of some of our immediate family and close friends. As you know from my recent post, we didn’t tell Sean about our new baby girl until early April, which was almost three months after we we found out we were expecting.
I had an interesting conversation with Sean, just a few days after we found out we were pregnant. Usually I would not have indulged him as long as I did in such a conversation, giving him a reality check that we might not have another baby someday. However, knowing what I did at the time, I went with it and enjoyed letting our discussion play out, without letting on that we were pregnant. I find it amazing how kids can seem to sense things sometimes…
Sean: If we have another baby we need to get another room for it.
Kathy: Or you could share one?!
Sean: Oh yeah, I do have two pillows!
Kathy: Well you wouldn’t actually share a bed! A baby would start in a crib and then move to their own bed eventually.
Sean: Oh, okay!
Kathy: Maybe you could have bunk beds?!
Sean: Like my cousins have?!
Sean: If we have a child, he can get some of his own toys for his room and I will share mine. If he gets ones I have already we can return or exchange them.
Kathy: That is good that you would share your toys.
Sean has always seemed to just assume after we lost Molly that we would have another baby someday. We told him many times that we may not, that we just don’t know what will happen. I think it is interesting and ironic now that he insisted, before he knew we were pregnant, on talking about “the baby” we will have, as if he has known something all along that we haven’t.
As I shared earlier in the post, our 1st Beta at approximately 16 days past ovulation (dpo) was 633. Our 2nd Beta (at approximately 23 dpo) = 8,028 (doubling time of 45.84 hours).
My early pregnancy symptoms included: fatigue, tender/heaviness in my breasts, frequent vivid dreams (with lots of random nightmares interspersed). Light morning sickness (m/s), which with all of my pregnancies have been more so all day sickness, began Tuesday, January 20 (5 weeks 2 days gestation). Heavier m/s kicked in Tuesday, January 27 (6 weeks 2 days). Still heavier m/s started around Monday, February 2 (7 weeks 1 day). From then on the m/s got worse at about 9 weeks and even more so at 10 weeks. The m/s seemed to get progressively worse with the start of each new gestational week, until if finally began to lessen and mostly went away by 18 weeks! I only threw up a few times, but just had that general feeling of nausea during that time.
Another sweet story from during our first trimester is that of a conversation I had with my father-in-law (FIL) after he congratulated me/us on our pregnancy. It took place the week prior to our first ultrasound, which is always nerve wrecking for us in light of our history of, miscarriages, ectopic pregnancy and congenital heart defects. I didn’t know that his wife/my mother-in-law had told him our news at that point, so his congratulations caught me off guard. I said thanks and that we were excited and also scared. My FIL said that he felt the same way.
Then my FIL asked if things went well at our first ultrasound that Thursday (January 29) if everything would be okay with the rest of our pregnancy. I said it would certainly increase our chances and make us more optimistic. I then made an analogy to the things he sees on-the-job as a police officer and how that colors his view of life and what is possible. I shared how my experiences with pregnancy loss and my perinatal bereavement support group has made it difficult for me to experience a pregnancy “normally” ever again, as I know too well all that can go wrong at any stage. My FIL seemed to understand where I was coming from and I appreciated our discussion, especially his candidness and compassion, which doesn’t always come easy for law enforcement officers who have seen and experienced the things he has over the course of his career.
Another memorable story that I want to share/remember from the early days of our pregnancy took place on Monday, February 2 at breakfast. Out of seemingly nowhere Sean asked me why my tummy looked bigger?! I freaked out for a second until I looked down and realized that I just had an over sized fleece on and it was bunched up and knowing that we were only about 7 1/2 weeks gestation at that point. I proceed to raise up my fleece to show Sean my shirt underneath and that my tummy wasn’t bigger (at least not significantly) and he seemed fine with it. Again, probably just a coincidence, but I still thought it was an ironic conversation to have in light of knowing we were expecting at the time.
Thank you for your wonderful comments on my last post when I shared about telling Sean he is going to be a big brother again. I can never thank you enough for your support, encouragement, thoughts and prayers. Thank you also for reading this post and for indulging me in this trip down memory lane.
It is incredible for me to look back on the days when I composed most of this post, during our first trimester, and to comprehend that we have made it, relatively uneventfully, to our third trimester. If my water doesn’t break and/or I don’t go into labor early and our baby girl continues to be healthy, she will be born seven weeks from today. Can you believe that?! I am actually starting to…