But I've realized two times over now that any misery that may accompany a pregnancy is completely irrelevant when compared with the joy and fulfillment that comes with bringing a brand new human into this world and watching them grow into a real, unique and beautiful person.
So let's rewind a bit because I want to document the beginning of this pregnancy. It was a complete roller coaster. I wanted so badly to be pregnant and there was one small chance that I was that month. Jeff wasn't really on the baby train, but I guess the smallest fraction of him was because, well, it happened. I took a pregnancy test a day before my period was supposed to start. One of those dollar store ones. (NEVER AGAIN!) The positive line was so faint that I was even too embarrassed to take a picture to send to my mom because I was sure she would say I was crazy. But it was more than a completely negative test so I was SO conflicted. I texted jeff and told him I wasn't pregnant, and that if I was, I would be having a miscarriage because in my experience, faint lines equate to miscarriages. I even called the Dr. to see if I could come in and get on Progesterone ASAP. The nurse hotline just said "if you are having a miscarriage you need to go to the hospital." to which I replied "well, I'm not...I just think I will." Oh, I'm sure I sounded (and felt) like a mad woman!
Well I took a few more of those dollar store tests and they were extremely faint 2 more times, until I finally caved and picked up some better tests that provided me with a beautiful, very much EXISTING, second line! That's the first time I felt even a GLIMMER of hope. I still couldn't even get excited. Having 2 miscarriages seriously messes with your pregnancy mentality. But I decided to relish in the fact that in this very moment, I WAS pregnant, and to give that baby all the love and connection that I possibly could, even if that meant being hurt more later on if I did have a miscarriage.
I got into the doctor at 6 weeks, which still wasn't soon enough for me! Every single day I felt a roller coaster of emotions. More fear than excitement. But I got to see my baby at 6 weeks, the Dr. put me on progesterone, and told me to come back every 2 weeks. Thank goodness for that. I NEEDED the bi-weekly reassurance that my baby was growing. I would've even loved it weekly but I'm just grateful he must've sensed my fierce worry, and allowed me to come so often. Every appointment I prepared myself for the worse, but every appointment, that deep breath of relief that I was so hoping for came, and I was so grateful.
During this pregnancy, I've been kind to myself. Which I'm proud of. I realized I had to maintain my focus on merely keeping my 2 girls happy, and healthy, and taking care of myself. I granted myself a lot of grace, which is unusual for me! I realized my home would not be perfectly clean, that I couldn't use my small amount of energy on working out and be depleted for the rest of the day, that I wouldn't be able to rush in and bring everyone who needs one a meal or a pick-me-up. I realized I'd have to say no to some things. And I also realized that in a few months I could get back to normal. And I have!
My baby is now in the popcorn stage. Which means, growing perfectly and healthily and giving me little happy popcorn popping inside my tummy. Just kinda trudging through this awkward stage where to the average onlooker, I just look chubby. The bump will pop soon enough but my body is definitely changing, as it should! I'm gaining back some energy and kind of feel like superwoman, not gonna lie. I know I'm officially departing first trimester yucky-ness when I can go to the grocery store without wanting to drop dead and give up on everything for the rest of time.
Jane and Lyla have been rooting me on this whole time! Jane will often tell me to go lay on the couch and then bring me "some water for the baby!" or "an apple for the baby!" She is also quick to remind me "Mom, that candy is probably REALLY bad for your baby." I've actually been good about not eating sugar, but anything else is fair game. Every week the girls are SO excited to look at a picture on babycenter of what my baby looks like, and what fruit it is the size of. And last week was exciting when they learned that the baby is starting to hear what we are saying! Jane has been coming up to my tummy and reciting random facts "hey baby? did you know what colors are in a rainbow....did you know I can count to 10 in german?" etc, and singing songs to the baby. They are so completely thrilled that we will have a baby in our family soon-ish. Although the concept of time is a little rough for them, as expected.
Now, as for what we have been up to this past 4 months? Jeff was gone for almost the entire first trimester so that meant....a lot of play dates and a lot of playing in the backyard. (My saving grace the past few months!) I'm soooo grateful for all of our good friends here. They made the summer bearable. Traveling has been at a minimum but we still made it to Belgium for a blissful few days with cousins, and Jeff and I even got to sneak away to London. (!!!) (more on that later) My mom and her fiancee came to visit too, and we got to do some fun little trips with them. Also more on that in another post :) I'm grateful for my 2 babies on the outside, and my one baby on the inside. And as ironic as it is, I think the inside baby has sucked more of my energy than the other 2 combined, so it's probably the perfect preparation for having THREE kids. I still stand by my declaration that being pregnant is harder (for me) than having the actual baby to take care of.
We should find out the gender in a few weeks. I want a boy, because Jeff wants a boy. Oh that poor boy has to put up with sooooo much estrogen already. So we will see, grateful he will have 20+ weeks to mentally prepare for a boy or a girl.