(18 weeks pregnant)
I am probably way oversharing considering the fact that this post is a bazillion words long but if there’s anything you’d like addressed that I didn’t touch on related to our baby news, please let me know in the comments section and I’ll get back to you!
As for how I am planning to document this pregnancy on the blog, I am planning to take a very laid back approach, much like I did when I shared my pregnancy with Ryder in this space. I am glad I shared weekly updates about my pregnancy with Chase because I’ve heard from so, so many of you who have referenced them during pregnancy and I’ve honestly really loved having such a detailed reference point to look back on as I go through pregnancy again. That being said, I was in such a different mental space during my first pregnancy (and it’s truly the place I hope and pray most moms are in during pregnancy) but now it all feels messy and complicated… with big sprinkles of immense gratitude and joy in there as well.
My plan is to share monthly recaps of my pregnancy unless I feel compelled to share more or less. A big part of me wants to document everything for my own memories and I also enjoy taking you guys along for the ride because expecting a baby is obviously a huge part of my life right now and not chatting about the baby we’re so excited to have in a few months feels weird, too. I hope this goes without saying at this point, but if reading about pregnancy and babies causes you pain right now, please, please take some time away from my blog and be kind to yourself. And know that you have a lot of love coming your way.
And now here’s a deep-dive into my first and second trimester (so far), our journey to having this baby, whether or not we’re finding out the sex of our little one and more!
Knowing We Wanted More Children
Ryan and I knew before we got married that we wanted to have children. We were on the same page with wanting two kids from the beginning but we’ve always said we would “evaluate everything” after a child entered the picture because it’s impossible to know how a baby will affect your life and change things. When Chase turned one, we knew we wanted to try for another child. Fast forward a year and two miscarriages later, even when I was pregnant with Ryder, I never felt like he was going to be my last pregnancy or that I was “done” being pregnant. I kept waiting to feel a sense of closure and a finality to our family of four but it never came, even months after Ryder was born and we were in the thick of two-kid chaos. My feelings began to morph into a strong desire for another baby and Ryan shared similar feelings. We agreed to start trying for another baby earlier than we might have had we not worried about experiencing additional loss(es).
After our third miscarriage, I hesitated to try again. I wasn’t sure I could handle another pregnancy or loss. When I found out I was pregnant with our baby several months later, I felt a deep sense of “this is it — I’m done” in my heart whether we had this baby or not. I just don’t think I could’ve kept trying again, at least not for a long time, because I felt myself going into a dark place emotionally. I surrendered this pregnancy to God early on and began praying not only for our baby’s health but for the ability to fully trust God with my pregnancy and our baby, whatever the outcome.
I hate that we’ve lost three babies but I also have Ryder and the fact that he wouldn’t be here if we had two of the babies we previously lost is confusing and complicated but proof in my heart that God is always, always good and knew Ryder was the baby I was meant to have through my heartache. I remember some of you saying one day, someway, somehow, I’d have another child when I was in the thick of my second miscarriage and “everything would make sense” and this was really confusing and hard and even a little upsetting to read (because when? how?) and yet… it was also oddly comforting. And now I get it. I’m praying that once I have this little one in my arms, I’ll feel a similar sense of peace.
How I Found Out + How I Told Ryan
I found out I was pregnant a couple of days after Christmas. My period still wasn’t due for several days but I had a weird feeling that I might be pregnant. I took an early detection pregnancy test and when it came back positive I was filled with a myriad of emotions. Happiness, obviously. But also anxiety, fear of loss and a desire to not let myself get too attached or emotionally invested until I was further along and things looked good.
Ryder was napping but Ryan was playing with Chase and I immediately rushed downstairs with the test in my hand and mouthed to him, “I’m pregnant!” He was excited and we exchanged hugs and weird whispered excitement because we already knew that if I became pregnant we were going to wait to tell the kids. (Chase never knew about any of our prior losses and that’s exactly the way I wanted it.)
How We Told the Boys
Our initial plan was to tell Chase and Ryder after my 18 week appointment since I knew I’d be going to maternal and fetal medicine to be monitored at various points in my pregnancy. Well, our plan to wait didn’t hold because when I was around 15 weeks, Chase turned to me one day in the kitchen and said, “Mom! It looks like there is a baby in your belly.”
(My 15 week belly — the day Chase asked if there was a baby in there!)
Ryan and I immediately made eye contact and smiled and then of course Chase sensed something and the questions came flooding. We told him that there was a baby in my belly and I only wish I had the moment on video because it was so darn sweet. He had the BIGGEST smile on his face and his eyes got really wide and he said, “Whaaaat!?” We told him we didn’t know if the baby was going to be a boy or a girl and he was so excited. He then got a confused look on his face and looked at my belly and said, “Why did God do that?” Well, we certainly prayed for God to do that many, many times!
As for telling Ryder, since he’s so young, we just pointed at my belly and told him there is a baby in there. He mostly just says “baby” when he points at my belly and then gets bored of any baby talk. Haha!
Our Due Date
Our official due date is September 9, 2020. I’ll be 20 weeks pregnant tomorrow!
Becoming Pregnant + The Early Days
I’ve had a few of you ask me to share whether or not we did anything in preparation for pregnancy and the only thing I did other than take prenatal vitamins and have sex on and around ovulation was ask to begin progesterone the minute I found out I was pregnant. A bunch of you recommended progesterone to me after our two losses in 2017 and though my doctor did bloodwork that made her think that wasn’t an issue for me, she said she had no problem prescribing me progesterone once I became pregnant with Ryder if it made me feel better. At that point I wanted to feel like I was doing something so even if progesterone served mostly as a placebo, as long as it wouldn’t hurt anything, I was all about it.
When I became pregnant again last summer, I didn’t request progesterone again and couldn’t help but wonder if that might’ve made a difference for me with our third loss. I talked about this with my doctor and she said to call her the minute I became pregnant again and we would start progesterone immediately so that’s exactly what I did. I took progesterone up until I was 12 weeks with this pregnancy which is exactly what I did during my pregnancy with Ryder.
Because we wanted to begin progesterone so early, I went into the doctor the day I found out I was pregnant which set off another rollercoaster of emotions. To make a long story short, I ended up at the doctor for bloodwork every other day for a week or so because my HCG (pregnancy hormone) levels were so low and weren’t doubling the way my doctor likes to see in early pregnancy. It was a mess of wondering whether or not I was actually pregnant to then worrying that I was pregnant but the pregnancy wasn’t going to last. Thankfully everything eventually looked good and I began progesterone and went in for biweekly ultrasounds through my first trimester.
At 10 weeks, I was also referred to maternal and fetal medicine for a more detailed screening and bloodwork because I will be 35 when I deliver in September and that is officially “advanced maternal age.” (I definitely prefer that term to “geriatric pregnancy” — haha!) I got myself all worked up about that appointment but it ended up doing a lot to ease my mind and my anxiety when everything with our little one looked good.
Finding Out: Boy or Girl?
We will not be finding out this sex of this baby until he or she arrives! It was the most incredible experience when we were surprised by the sex of our second baby and I cannot wait to experience that all over again.
I mentioned this on the blog when I talked about our decision to wait to be surprised by the sex of Ryder, but when I was pregnant with Chase, I wanted to know the minute I found out I was pregnant whether we were having a boy or a girl. To be 100 percent honest, I was kind of hoping for a baby girl when I was pregnant the first time. I wasn’t disappointed to find out we were having a boy – not at all! – but I was intimidated and a bit nervous since both of my parents have sisters, I have a sister and I feel like I’ve been surrounded by girls my entire life. But then we had Chase and he was the freaking BEST. He changed our lives in the best way and I quickly came to realize I could have a bazillion boys now and I would be 1,000 percent happy. Couple this feeling with the losses we experienced and I when I say I just want a healthy baby, I mean it from the very bottom of my heart and soul. I just want a healthy baby.
Boy or girl, we will be beyond thrilled!! I can totally picture us with a little dude crew and adding a little girl into our mix would be absolutely amazing as well.
Any Boy/Girl Intuition?
Oh gosh! This is hard!!! All of my pregnancies have been SO different so I try not to read into how I’m feeling too much. My pregnancies with Chase and Ryder were so different and this one is very unique as well so I feel like that doesn’t reveal too much.
Fairly early on in pregnancy, I had an intense feeling that this baby was a little girl. I’ve also had two vivid dreams that this baby is a girl but then at my 18 week appointment, when I saw our baby dancing around on the screen, something switched and I went right back to feeling like maybe, actually, this one is another little boy. I truly have NO idea!
Any Name Ideas?
After waffling back and forth between two girl names when I was pregnant with Ryder, Ryan and I decided on a girl name when I was in labor with Ryder and, go figure, he ended up being a boy and we didn’t have a name for him for two days! Haha! (We were torn between the names Ryder and Cade.) The baby girl name we loved for Ryder is still a top one on our list for this baby but it’s not a “sure thing” in the least. Ryan and I are also in an intense disagreement over the spelling of the name (I like the traditional spelling but Ryan is more into the phonetic spelling to “make things easier”), so if it ends up being that name, it will be interesting!
As for a boy name, we are fresh out of ideas! I actually just brought a baby boy name to the table last week that I like a lot and Ryan seemed to like it too, so maybe we’re on our way to having a boy name for this little one? We’ll see!
The First and Second Trimester (So Far)
As mentioned above, the first week after I found out I was pregnant was a bit of a rollercoaster. Once everything seemed to be heading in the right direction, I’d love to say I relaxed, but anxiety follows me around throughout pregnancy. I told my doctors that the days leading up to my appointments are the hardest (not to mention the way I feel in the doctor’s waiting room), but then when we get good news, I feel a rush of relief and gratitude and that carries me through several days until the cycle repeats. Thankfully, once I was around 8 weeks pregnant, I began to feel all the symptoms of pregnancy I remember from the past, mainly nausea and exhaustion. It’s kind of bizarre to wake up in the morning feeling relief when you feel like you want to puke but that’s the only way I can describe the way I feel. It’s oddly reassuring to “feel” pregnant.
(12 weeks pregnant)
As the weeks continued on, I found myself telling Ryan that this pregnancy felt much easier for me than previous pregnancies from a nausea perspective. I threw up many, many times when I was pregnant with Chase and Ryder but the only way I can describe the nausea I’ve felt during this pregnancy is to attribute it to a lasting sense of car sickness that just kind of followed me around all day long and peaked in the evenings. I only threw up when I had the stomach bug but I’d still find myself dry heaving a lot. The evenings were not my friend for a long time — easily several weeks into my second trimester — and I would often find myself eating “dinner” between 3 and 4 p.m. because I knew if I waited until after 6 p.m., I’d feel too nauseated to stomach anything. Also, preparing the boys’ dinners made me want to gag so lunchtime dinner prep for the whole family became a necessity.
I began feeling relief from some of the less-than-comfortable pregnancy symptoms around 17 weeks though I still often have a few days where I am so incredibly exhausted by 2 or 3 p.m. that I just want to sleep (not possible, by the way, with two kiddos to care for all day)! The exhaustion during this pregnancy has definitely felt more intense than prior pregnancies but I’m not sure how much of that has to do with pregnancy or the fact that mom life is in full swing over here and there isn’t any time to sit down and relax during the day… and if there is, I’m working. Let’s just say 9 p.m. bedtimes are my BFF!
As far as cravings and aversions are considered, they also haven’t been nearly as strong this pregnancy. I’ve been able to eat vegetables most of this pregnancy which is awesome! I also remember wanting to puke at the thought of meat for weeks and weeks when I was pregnant with Ryder and that hasn’t happened with this pregnancy, though I did have some weeks of strong “don’t bring that anywhere near me” feelings with random things like tomato/marinara sauce (except on pizza — there’s no rhyme or reason here, folks), barbecue sauce, etc.
Cravings have been super random and some odd things of note include pimento cheese (I don’t even like this when I’m not pregnant!), beets (especially pickled, vinegary beets), Pirate’s Booty (one big bag = one serving), cinnamon rolls and gummy candy which is a consistent pregnancy craving for me! I also cannot get enough fruit right now and eat a million servings a day. Mangos are my favorite along with watermelon, berries, pineapple, oranges, grapes… pretty much ALL fruit sounds good at all times! And ice cream, too, of course.
The way my body has changed this pregnancy is blowing my mind because it definitely went into “go-mode” a lot earlier than ever before. I swear I had a noticeable (to me) bump at only 8 weeks! I am sure it was mostly bloating but even my belly button started looking strange early on. By 10 weeks I was still able to hide my growing belly with loose-fitting clothes but the bump was undeniable!
(10 weeks pregnant)
I know a lot of women notice breast tenderness and growth early on but this didn’t really happen to me until the second trimester and now my boobs seemed to catch the memo and are in pregnancy mode along with the rest of my body. Like prior pregnancies, I almost instantly began feeling softer all over and also feel like my arms and hips are already bigger than before.
My body gained a decent amount of weight in the first trimester (maybe around 10-12ish pounds?) which is another thing I’m used to thanks to prior pregnancies. I know a lot of the weight gain guidelines say women may not gain much or only a couple of pounds in the first trimester but this has never been the case for me and I just embrace it. Right now, at almost 20 weeks pregnant, I’d guess I’m up 15-18 pounds but I haven’t stepped on a scale since I was at the doctor’s office around 14 weeks. Our baby is apparently measuring on time “to the day” so I’m taking that as a good sign that things are progressing well!
(Just over 2 months pregnant)
The moment I found out I was pregnant, I began dialing back my workouts quite a bit. Though I know it’s often safe for women to resume their workouts as usual in the early weeks of pregnancy, for my peace of mind, I felt more comfortable keeping my heart rate lower (always maintaining the ability to carry on a conversation) and opted out of many plyometric exercises and boot camp workouts that focused on high-intensity cardio.
Strength workouts have been my best friend and make me feel strong. Walking is also my favorite right now and this pandemic has me outside walking with the boys and Sadie every single day… sometimes multiple times a day! I’m typically working out four(ish) days a week right now but I definitely wouldn’t describe my workouts as overly challenging. They’re usually 30 minutes or less and emphasize strength training and simply moving my body above all else.
Aaand I think that catches us up! If you’re still reading at this point, thanks for sticking with my rambles as I tried to make sure I covered as much as I could in one spot. I thought about breaking this post up as it started to get super long but also wanted everything in one place so hopefully those of you who are interested in pregnancy and how things are going could pick and choose what sections interested you most. As always, thank you for following me and my long-winded blog posts! I’m counting my blessings big time right now and you guys are always on my list. Thank you for making me and my life a part of your life!