Its hard to believe with the way 2020 has gone that I’m actually sitting here writing this blog post shortly after we announced we were expecting on social! If you’ve been following along this year, you know that after our first loss and months of ttc and our second loss, we’ve been anxiously awaiting this moment!
And while we had been trying and wanting all year, this pregnancy was completely unexpected, we were even a little shocked. So let me give you the details.
On august 4, 2020, we found out we were pregnant again after months of trying. I was a week late. I hadn’t allowed myself to test until then since I had tested so often and experienced disappointment so often over the last few months. we spent the morning elated. by evening, I had extreme cramping and light bleeding. One second, I told myself there was no way this could happen again and the next second, I knew it was happening. I called my doctor and they brought me in to test my hcg and then to test again in two days to see where I was. A few days of bleeding went by and finally I passed our second angel baby, so before even hearing from the doctor, we knew.
This loss was different than the last one, but the same at the same time. Instead of weeks of back and forth, we experienced all of the emotion in 48 hours. It was quick, which was less torturous, but the rollercoaster we felt in such a short time was almost too much to bear.
Anyway, fast forward to September 27, 2020. We had just gotten back from our week away in OBX, a trip full of morning bubbles and all day rosè. That Sunday in the middle of the night, Will went to the hospital, something was off and come to find out it was an exercise related injury called rhabdo that left him extremely weak, in pain and could lead to kidney failure. That Monday morning, as I was stressed about Will being in the hospital, I decided to take a pregnancy test. I didn’t get a period in September, but when I miscarried in January, I didn’t get a period for two months, so I didn’t think anything of it. However, it was when I thought about the other symptoms such as nausea (that I thought was a hangover), exhaustion (that I blamed on heavy drinking and running after a toddler) and tender boobs (hm, no explanation there), I decided it was time and what do ya know : pregnant. what? how? we JUST miscarried?! and I didn’t even have a period since! when did we even conceive?!
My doctor had me go take the same two hcg tests I’d take in august to see where my levels were and if they were rising. So between visiting Will at the hospital, getting blood work done and finally going in for my own exam, it was an extremely busy week. Will got home from the hospital a few days later on October 1 (our four year anniversary). My doctor called about an hour after Will got home and said he’d like me to come in that day if possible because based on my levels, I was ‘pretty far along’!!
Um what?! How!? I hopped in my car alone and went to see my doctor alone (thx Covid). The last time I went to that office, I was being told after three weeks of agony that our baby didn’t have a heart beat. My anxiety was through the roof. I didn’t allow myself to get excited because I couldn’t handle a third let down. So there I sat, in the waiting room, for what felt like an hour, it was likely only ten minutes. I go into the exam room, they ask when was the date of my last period and I had to awkwardly explain that it wasn’t exactly a period, but a loss.
In came my doctor, he chatted about Ryleigh (he was the one who delivered her) and I don’t even know if I was answering his questions correctly. My mind couldn’t focus on anything else. and not having Will there made it even harder. The lights went low, the sonogram machine went on and I closed my eyes. Within five seconds, I heard the doctor utter ‘there’s our heart beat..’ I opened my eyes, ‘..and its a strong one!’ And while I saw that little flutter clear as day, I needed him to repeat it. He turned on the lights, handed me a photo of our healthy little EIGHT WEEK OLD bean all in the matter of five minutes. I went into freak out mode telling him I had been drinking a lotttt over the last eight weeks and he wasn’t phased. Its almost like I was waiting for that other shoe to drop.
Talk about an anniversary gift from the universe! We couldn’t stop smiling, we instantly told close friends and family because those were the support group we needed when we experienced loss in the past, so it didn’t make sense to keep things quiet! I even reached out to our photographer who was doing our family photos and asked if we could add in a pregnancy announcement! In a way, finding out a little bit later at the same time you get to see an ultrasound right away made for so much less stress! Normally, I’d find out at 4-5 weeks and have to spend 3-4 weeks wondering what’s going on in there before they have you in for an ultrasound!
So now that I was pregnant, I was able to acknowledge the symptoms I’d been having and let my body truly adjust to the first trimester. I allowed myself to take naps and take breaks from exercise – all I had been depriving myself of. It was a relief to know that the gut I had been seeing below wasn’t just from quarantine alcohol and carbs! It’s kind of insane how quick the belly pops second time around!
We had an appointment scheduled for four weeks after that at 12 weeks where we would go to a location that specializes in ultrasounds for genetic testing and just to get another look at baby. Instantly the anxiety set back in. Pregnancy after loss is hard. I never worried once with Ryleigh, call me naive, but it just never entered my mind. Now worry is all I could seem to do.
October 29, 2020 – two days after my birthday, we had our appointment. Will was allowed to come with me and thank goodness because I was an anxious mess. Laying there on the table waiting for the ultrasound tech to just say something is wrong. Quite the opposite. She said all looked great! And even gave us an 80% guess at gender! I thought this time around, I’d like to be surprised, I gave that up realllll quick when she said she may know! She told us her guess and then went on to say she’s never wrong! I felt such joy and relief leaving that appointment, its hard to even explain, but I was on cloud 9!
The next day I had an appointment with OB since the ultrasound is done by a group of techs. Will couldn’t accompany me to this one, but I felt such calmness after seeing our healthy baby the day before that I wasn’t even bothered. I had my favorite doctor, all seemed easy and well. She examined me and then used the doppler to listen to the heart, waiting and waiting, she says she can’t find it…she can’t find the heart beat. My heart sunk. How is this happening. I knew it was too good to be true. In her upbeat way, she pulls out the super outdated ultrasound machine and says ‘its okay! we’ll find it! those dopplers mess up all the time!’ Having gone to tons of appointments with Ryleigh remembering that not once the doppler failed, all I could think was that it was not okay. It took her ten or so minutes to even get it booted up. It was about the size of 1/2 my pinky nail, but there it was, our little heart beat fluttering away. I took a very long deep exhale.
I know going forward this is going to be a journey of ups and downs accompanied by a lot of anxiety, but I could not be more grateful that my body is allowing me to grow another little babe and making us a family of four.
And now that I’ve given you the very detailed backstory, lets get into the nitty gritty Q+A you were expecting from this post.
Q : What is your due date?
A : We are due May 13! The doctor based my due date off of the last time I bled (which happened to be a loss) and then measured baby and they were both in line, so that’s what we’re going with!
Q : Will you find out the gender?
A: The number one asked question. I kind of already answered this above, but YES! We were going to have a friend find out for us and do a little gender reveal where we’d be surprised, but once the tech told me she had a guess, I needed to know right then! And due to a genetic blood test we received, we actually found out the gender for sure last week 🙈 stay tuned! But I will say, the tech was not wrong 😏
Q : What symptoms have you been experiencing?
A: EXHAUSTION! Pregnancy with a toddler is SO much different than without. I was tired the first go round, but this is another ball game, especially right now during busy season, work and parenting has to get done, so I take breaks often, but realllllly missing that extra caffeine! Hopefully now that I’m entering the second trimester, I’ll get some of that energy back! I’ve also been dealing with congestion, I literally feel like I have a cold every night when I try to sleep aka sleep is suffering.
Q : Any cravings? Or aversions?
A : I cannot stop craving fries and Diet Coke. I literally never drink soda, like haven’t since college. But now, its become an obsession. And I’m not gonna lie, right now CFA and Mcdonald’s tie for best fries 🤷🏼♀️ I’m really trying to limit this craving as much as I can, but sometimes ya girl’s just gotta treat herself. Other than that, no cravings! I don’t really love raw leafy greens during the first trimester, I didn’t with Ryleigh either, the nausea rears its head when a salad is in front of me, but I keep trying hoping that fades because I’ve been missing my salads!
Q : How’s Ryleigh doing? Does she understand? What will their age difference be?
A: She doing great and she does understand, sort of! She’s been talking about being a big sister since we were pregnant back in January and then of course we naturally stopped talking about it and she didn’t understand why. But now that we’re talking about it again and reading her a book about it, she’s so excited! She talks to the baby everyday and tells everyone that there’s a baby in mommy’s belly! Right now her top names for baby are ‘dada’ ‘mama’ and ‘troy’ (lol that’s one of our neighbors 😂). They will be a little over 2.5 years apart!
Q : What wine are you missing most?
A : You guys know me so well! I laughed when so many of you said you knew I was pregnant because of my lack of wine chat!! Ha! Its been hard, especially during Covid WITH a toddler! Now that its getting chilly, I definitely miss my red wine and bubbles! I’ve been allowing myself a glass or two a week. I get that alcohol free red and mix it with a regular red to make it feel like I have a full glass! But come May when we’re due, your girl will be STOCKED up on rosé!!
Q : Anything different this time?
A: How fast I’m showing!! I already have a bump the size of my 20 week bump last time around! I had to take a break from try-ons because this bump was showing big time and I hadn’t announced yet!! I’m a lot less stressed about what I can/can’t eat/drink/do. I’m eating deli meat (just heating it up), I’m having wine (a glass doesn’t hurt), I’m working out (sticking to what I know) etc.
Q : Who shot your pregnancy announcement photos?
A : Kait McNamara is a gem! If you are in the area, snag her before she moves next year! She was SO good with Ryleigh and her photos are stunning! It started off as a regular family photo session that I booked and then when we learned of the news, I messaged her and asked if we could also add in the announcement and she happily agreed! I look at them and can’t believe that’s our family! Sharing some more from our shoot below!
Thank you guys for all of your love and sweet support!! It means the world to me to have you guys as my people! I’m so happy to have you on this journey with me!
And if you are experiencing loss or infertility, know that your struggle is not lost on me. I remember the bittersweet feeling of every pregnancy announcement, the happiness for the person sharing and their expanding family, as well as the pain and unfairness. I am here for any of you who are navigating that space and know that I am a sound board for you if you’d like to talk.