Today is a huge milestone in our pregnancy… we’re officially halfway there! Last Friday we had our big 20 week anatomy scan, and it was so fun to see how the baby has grown since we had our first two ultrasounds! Here was the little bean at just six weeks:
Then two weeks later:
And ever since then he or she has been growing like a weed, and now weighs 11 oz:
Everything is measuring perfectly normal, and we are SO relieved and so thankful that this pregnancy is going much more smoothly than the last 2 did. Well, for the most part. Today I wanted to share a little more about the journey we’ve been on the past 4 months.
As some of you may remember, back in July I shared about our horrendous experience with our first two pregnancies. God’s timing never ceases to amaze me – little did I know that I was actually pregnant again when I hit “post” on that blog… as we found out the very next day. Caleb and I had just come home from a date night when I had this weird feeling I couldn’t shake. I remember telling him, “I just feel pregnant.” Even tough in my head I knew it was very unlikely – we had decided to stop “trying” for a while, to focus on each other and enjoying our life together after all the heartache we’ve been through in the past year in losing two babies and both our dads.
I happened to have some pregnancy tests under the bathroom sink, so I took one as he was getting out of the shower, totally expecting it to be negative, and we watched it together as two little lines appeared. “That says positive,” Caleb said. Not wanting to get my hopes up, I quickly took another test. Another positive. Now at this point, for lots of people, this moment would be full of hugging and happy tears. But we had been here before. And it’s so sad, but losing pregnancies completely strips that pure joy of a positive test away and replaces it with this tentative, cautious, this-might-be-amazing-but-also-might-break-our-hearts-again anxiety. We both just looked at each other, took deep breaths, and kind of silently agreed: “Here we go again, let’s hope this time is different.” Even hearing “Congratulations” from the nurse the next morning was hard. I had to fight back the urge to tell people, “Don’t tell me congratulations yet, it’s way too early to be sure of anything!”
And so began the incessant nausea & sickness that I’d come to expect, and twice-weekly trips to the lab for bloodwork. Since I’d had multiple miscarriages, I got lots of extra attention those first few weeks, lots of blood drawn, and a very early ultrasound where we SAW the little peanut’s heart beating, and I cried my eyes out. After that, we had to switch to a new doctor, as mine was no longer doing deliveries. So I’m now on my third OB/GYN in less than a year! If you remember from my last post, I was very unhappy with my original doctor, and after 3 D&C’s I quickly jumped ship. I was happy with the doctor I switched to, and got pretty bummed when we had to find someone new again so quickly. My attitude quickly changed after one appointment with this guy! Y’all, he is FANTASTIC! I’ve finally found a doctor that doesn’t dismiss our first two miscarriages as “flukes” or “bad luck.” It was so refreshing to hear someone finally say, “You are having recurring miscarriages and we’re going to find out what’s going on.” He was very interested in my family medical history since my dad passed away so young, and immediately ordered a thrombophilia panel, which basically tells you if you have an increased risk of developing blood clots. They drew SIX tubes of blood, and a few days later I got a phone call saying that one of my levels was, in fact, slightly elevated.
I was SO relieved! This was it! We finally figured out what most likely caused me to miscarry two otherwise perfectly healthy babies. The tiniest blood clot that would have never affected me or my own health could have completely restricted the blood flow to a tiny embryo. I waited for the nurse to tell me the treatment I’d need, which I totally expected to be some sort of prescription pill I’d have to take. Y’all, my jaw dropped when she said the words “daily injection.” And then if possible, my jaw dropped even more when she said “starting immediately.”
I don’t do shots. I can’t watch when they draw blood and I cry every time I get hooked up to an IV. I’m very seriously considering a natural birth only because I’m THAT terrified of an epidural needle getting stuck in my spine. And here they are telling me I have to STICK MYSELF?! Every day?! For SEVEN months?! No way, Jose. This was some sick joke getting played on me because I complained about throwing up 3 and 4 times a day, foolishly thinking that the side effects of pregnancy couldn’t get any worse than that. But here we are. I am SO thankful for Caleb and that he’s willing to be my “nurse” every night, because there is no way on earth I could stick a needle in my own stomach. As of today, we’ve done this 81 times so far, and unlike some people said according to Google, it does not get any easier. The needle stick hurts but that’s not the worst part – the medicine itself burns going in and for a few minutes after. And I’m still a total wuss and have to ice down the injection site for 20 minutes to numb it first every time. (We tried once without the ice. Never. Again.)
But the GREAT news is that the medicine absolutely seems to be working! Besides the morning (all day) sickness I had up until about a month ago, exhaustion and headaches, this pregnancy really is going great. I started feeling sporadic “flutters” at 15 weeks, we SAW and felt kicks from the outside at 16 weeks, and I’ve been feeling the little wiggle worm bouncing around in there consistently every day since about 18 weeks. And it still never ceases to amaze me. I’m so thankful for a healthy, active and strong baby! We lucked out and he or she was super active during our ultrasound last week, so the technician surprised us with some videos of a few “aww” moments that we had. I must say, the only thing better than feeling kicks is SEEING them at the same time! I definitely felt this one:
I love that you can see his or her little fingers here!
Sweet little baby toes…
…and waving bye! Which is probably the cutest video of them all:
After this ultrasound, I feel so relieved and like I can finally fully enjoy this season of our lives! I still have some anxiety about labor itself – because being on blood thinners definitely comes with its own set of complications. (I FREAKED out one day when I hit my head pretty hard on the attic door, I thought for sure I was going to have internal bleeding in my brain!) But the good news is that I have a wonderful doctor that I fully trust to take the best care of me. I can’t stress enough how important that is! He and his proactive approach to healthcare has already made all the difference in this pregnancy, and I’m so so grateful for that. We can’t wait until March or April when we get to meet our little one!