Hey friends! So as I'm writing this, I am a little over 19 weeks pregnant. Anthony and I were on our way to the movies last week and he turned to me and said "I feel like you still don't believe this is really happening". And he was right! I've been dreaming about this chapter of life since I was a little girl and this baby was definitely planned, but still, expecting your first child is a pretty surreal experience. It's not lost on us how lucky we are to be having a healthy, normal pregnancy so far. We are so, so grateful and we're excited to really start to preparing for our little one's arrival this spring.
I promise, Chloe is more excited than she seems about becoming a big sister!
How we found out
Historically speaking, I'm not a very patient person. Anthony and I have been together for 11 years and married for 4. And tbh, I've had baby fever since I was approximately 9 years old -- I'm just one of those people who loves babies. If you have a baby, I might be too shy to ask, but yes, I definitely want to hold it. All this to say that because impatient me felt like I had to wait a small lifetime to actually be "ready" for parenthood, once Anthony and I decided it was time I wasn't taking any chances. Right out of the gate, I did all the things you're supposed to do when you really want to make a baby and thankfully for us, it happened very, very quickly.
In my typical impatient fashion, I woke up early one Monday morning and decided to take a test on a whim. According to my best research, it was still too soon to get a reliable result but I had ordered cheap test strips in bulk on Amazon so I really had nothing to lose. And besides, I had felt really off the day before and the wondering was starting to kill me. When I saw a faint second line appear on the test, I seriously thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. I gave it a few more minutes and then looked again and immediate burst into tears. There was no denying that second line was there and HOLY CRAP WE'RE GOING TO BE PARENTS! My next thought was "how am I going to wake Anthony up this early without him getting mad at me"? Man really likes his sleep. So I wipe my happy tears and walk back to our bedroom asking Anthony in the calmest, sweetest voice I can muster if he's awake and if he minds if I turn on the lights for a minute. He grumbles "yeah, ok" and rolls over, pulling the blankets up over his head. I went and sat next to him on the bed and said I needed him to look at something. Once he opened his eyes, he kept repeating "What is that? WHAT IS THAT. WHAT IS THAT!" even though I know he already knew. We hugged, we cried, we laughed, we looked up what my due date might be and what the baby looked like as a tiny blastocyst. I was really glad we had that extra time to enjoy the moment together before he had to get up and go to work.
From top: me outside our doctor's office the day we found out, trying and failing to be undercover at a bachelorette party just a few days later, on our way home from Pittsburgh and after my dear friend Haley's wedding in October.
Above: beautiful flowers a friend from church sent home with Anthony for me before anyone knew why I was sick. Below: my 12 week "bump" photo
Symptoms & what helped
Spoiler alert, nothing! Just kidding but really. After finding out so early, I was blessed to have a good month with pretty mild symptoms before the nasties of the first trimester really kicked in. Which was good, because I had a crazy amount of travel scheduled in September & October! At 4 weeks pregnant I was at a Bachelorette party in Pittsburgh, where I really tried to play it cool but was outed by the owner of the vineyard to the entire wine tasting tour group, before we had even told our families! At 5 weeks, I visited my little sister in California and during that trip that it was cemented that crying in public was now going to be a big part of my life. At 6 weeks it was back to Pittsburgh for a wedding and at 8 weeks I was a bridesmaid at a wedding outside of Philadelphia! We had just had our first ultrasound and I had a few sporadic days of morning sickness before then but it didn't take long for things to take a turn.
Morning sickness. They aren't lying when they say it's should really be called all day sickness. At first, I tried to detect a pattern and plan my life accordingly but I quickly realized that was a pointless endeavor. There was no rhyme or reason and none of the myriad of remedies I tried really helped. Case in point, I once threw up in my neighbor's front garden while loading my car for a client install even though I was wearing sea bands and magnesium spray AND had taken prescription anti-nausea meds. I was really sick, often multiple times a day from about 8-9 weeks until about 15 weeks. Then it tapered off to 3-4 times a week and then finally stopped around 17 weeks. I still get nauseous sometimes, but I haven't thrown up since before Christmas and I am SUPER happy about that! In addition to throwing up so much, I had zero appetite and basically subsisted off of toast and saltines. In the first trimester I didn't have any cravings yet, just a general aversion to all food so it was a process of elimination to see what sounded the least terrible. Thank goodness for prenatal vitamins! That being said, I really do think the over-the-counter remedy my midwife recommended (Unisom + Vitamin B6) helped decrease the severity and frequency of my morning sickness and the prescription she wrote me because I was still losing weight did work, just not all the time. At 19 weeks, I'm just now back up to the weight I was when I got pregnant and I have an approximately six inch long, half pound baby and all the accompanying fluid and organs included in that. So if you are newly pregnant, definitely try all of the natural remedies if and when your morning sickness starts, but I would say to go ahead and buy the Unisom and Vitamin B6 so you have it in case you need it!
Other than that, I had the usual things like fatigue, sore boobs, having to pee all the time and general moodiness. My theory is that being pregnant prepares you for parenthood by turning you into an actual baby. For a while there, I felt like all I did was sleep, pee, try to eat, throw up and cry. There was a week during the worst of it that I barely left the couch (except to run to the bathroom) and it was pretty tough physically and emotionally. Despite everything, I was still so happy and grateful to pregnant but now that I'm feeling better life is a lot easier.
The first trimester was rough, I'm going to be honest, but hopefully I don't sound like too much of a downer because we are really REALLY excited for this baby! Babies are awesome in general but the idea that I'll get to meet a little guy or girl who is half me and half Anthony around the end of May is enough to make my heart swell and burst into a million tiny pieces. We can't wait to meet you, kid!