On Wednesday, February 14, 2018, at 11:22am I peed on a little stick thinking, “There really is no way in hell...” and before I even had chance to set that stick on the counter it already had one too many blue lines. I quickly sat all the way down on my bathroom floor and took very deep breaths. And I recognize that “peed on a little stick” isn’t a very sexy term, but I have no interest in churching up reality in my regular life anymore and ESPECIALLY in my pregnant life ever so give me some space, okay?
I’d had some clues that an extra blue line might appear - like when I had stared at the freshly-brewed coffee in my coffee pot several mornings in a row and thought “meh”; or how I had curiously skipped over my I-hate-everyone-leave-me-alone-and-bring-me-chocolate PMS days that months; but somehow I still couldn’t fathom that a clump of cells could be both dividing and rapidly multiplying in my abdomen.
I HAD BEEN SO CAREFUL. WHAT IN THE ACTUAL HELL? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? (Okay, I didn’t ask that last question, because I do understand the biology of it all, but you get it.) And I understand and am not offended if you’re rolling your eyes, like I always did when someone acted so “surprised” by pregnancy, like how is it that hard to avoid getting pregnant, right? Okay, wrong, lesson learned and I will never roll my eyes again. Ever, God, okay?! Ever!
Within a week, I was wretching faster than I could inhale and sporting some really adorable burst blood vessels in addition to the dark circles under my eyes as hyperemesis gravidarum enveloped me in its twisted, familiar arms.
I wish I could say that I “got on board” immediately and glowed with gratitude, but I’m learning that the reality of pregnancy, whether wished for or a surprise, after a previous, unexpected pregnancy outcome (aka, Avery) is somber, incredibly bittersweet and straight-up terrifying with a tiny dose of re-traumatizing, even if you aren’t puking your guts out. Before Avery, it hadn’t occurred to me that having a baby could so radically change my life. I used to think the worst they could do was make me fat and tired for a while. I didn’t know that some children change everything. And while Avery has added so much joy to my life, the prospect of having another baby who could turn my world upside down again, when I had just begun to have the freedom to make long-term plans again, sent me reeling for a while. My baby gear has long been given away to friends as I thought I had completely closed that chapter of my life. And while I know I’ll be completely blissed out once he’s here and in my arms, the idea of starting over with a newborn, going through all the baby/toddler stages again and all the WORK and SLEEP DEPRIVATION honestly makes me feel a little sick (and I have had enough nausea to last me a freaking lifetime). 🤢 Avery is still a baby in so many ways that I have no perceived need for another baby and three kids really has felt like my limit, but God is good. Children are a blessing and a sign of favor. There is abundant grace for whatever I face... This is truth and I am choosing to believe it.
But on to the good news...
Baby is a seemingly healthy baby BOY, which we discovered at 18 weeks. We weren’t set on finding out the gender before birth, but in the first ten seconds of our anatomy ultrasound, I blurted, “Oh my gosh, that’s a little boy!” And the technician laughed out loud, saying she wasn’t sure how she was going to hide his gender from me since he was so determined to make it obvious.
I’m considered high-risk for all the reasons you could probably guess, so we’ve done genetic testing and 4D anatomy scans that have all come back perfectly so far. I have a prenatal echo in a couple of weeks to be extra safe, though the perinatologist could not discern any heart abnormalities. I’ll have monthly growth scans to monitor his progress and keep watching for signs of craniosynostosis, but given what we know about the genetic nature of Avery’s syndrome, no one is anticipating a cranio repeat. We can’t pass along a gene that spontaneously mutated in Avery, because we don’t carry it!
Baby boy does not have a name, so I’m not being lame and holding out on you... I just don’t have one yet! We’ve used family names for each of the kids, but nothing is sticking out as an obvious choice yet.
I’m due mid-October, on my oldest son’s birthday.
I’ve gained almost 10 lbs at 20 weeks. My most weight gain during pregnancy was 27 lbs with Lolly (no surprise there 😂 - 12 lbs with Macson and 19 lbs with Avery), so while I started this pregnancy much heavier than I’ve started any other pregnancy, I’m not stressing about the scale.
The kids are thrilled, especially Avery who is obsessed with babies. Every day she tells me how she’s going to help me with him and hold him and say, “Ees (it’s) okay, baby!” whenever he cries. My husband is thrilled. I’m coming around, getting more excited with each piece of good news. I absolutely love being a Mom, truly. My children are my greatest joy and adding this new little fella will be amazing. To be completely honest, I’m overwhelmed with the little people I already have and I’m anxious about leaving Avery when he’s born. Also, we have a few major life changes coming up that I’m having to re-configure in my head, but I AM grateful. Grateful and sleepy. Grateful, sleepy and missing my collarbones. Hehe.
As always, thank you for all the love.