Now that the secrets out, I thought I’d share a bit more about my pregnancy journey and how we found out we had a little babe on the way! I’ve found a huge source of comfort hearing other Women’s pregnancy and birth stories. It’s been so helpful to me to learn from and relate to others. So, I’m sharing my story with you guys!
Ditching the Birth Control
We always knew we wanted kids, but we’re type A planners. We were waiting for the “right time” to start our family. I was on birth control for nearly 15 years. I decided to stop taking the pill in December 2018 after our honeymoon so that I could start to track my body’s natural cycle.
A Previous OBGYN told me that I had endometriosis. So, I wasn’t quite sure how my cycles would shake out, or if I’d have trouble conceiving. I switched to another OBGYN earlier this year and she was not convinced that I actually had endometriosis due to how my previous doctor had “diagnosed” me. So, we just decided to see how my body reacted and go from there, which was really encouraging.
Surprisingly, my cycles fell into a natural rhythm with very mild symptoms each month. This was further evidence that my previous diagnosis of endometriosis was likely invalid and I was optimistic. Once or twice I was a few weeks late (likely stress), but using the Clue app I could see that on average I had 35 day cycles vs. the normal 28 days. We were not trying to conceive, but this info was really helpful for us to avoid the time each month when I was ovulating.
It’s no secret that 2019 has been a really difficult year for my family. We lost my Mom to breast cancer in February and its been a long few months of managing our grief and getting used to life without her. I
n May, my husband and I had talked about when we wanted to start a family and we both decided that we wanted to wait a little bit longer. We were both job searching and my Mom’s death really forced us to think about what we wanted out of life. We even seriously contemplated quitting our jobs, renting our house and traveling for a year. I felt so lost and unsure of what I wanted out of life.
Lot’s of Life Changes
A job came onto my radar and I had a really good feeling about the opportunity and knew that I couldn’t pass it up. It was so scary to think about leaving the comfort of my team and the longest corporate job I had ever known, but there is no reward without a little risk. After my first interview I knew this was the perfect role for me. I told Andrew, “okay, we really are putting a family on hold for at least another 6-months if I accept this job.” That’s the moment when I feel like the universe laughed in my face and changed our lives forever.
For Memorial Day Weekend we went to North Carolina for a friend’s wedding and had a REALLY good time (clearly too much fun). I checked my clue app before we left and thought I was very clear of my ovulation window so we didn’t have anything to worry about.
The following week I was back to work and something just felt off. I wasn’t nauseous or anything I just felt super weird. It was hard to describe. I almost felt like I was getting sick, which I was freaking out about because I was leaving for Las Vegas on a girls trip that Thursday. I pounded green juices and ginger shots and even left work early because I just felt so run down and exhausted. It crossed my mind that I might be pregnant and I needed to be sure before I left for Vegas and probably had way too many tequila sodas.
Wait, am I pregnant?
I had Andrew grab a two-pack of tests on his way home from work, and the test was negative. PHEW. Relief came over me. On Thursday, I left for Vegas and had a great ol’ time that weekend. I mean a really good time. We went to a pool party, saw Lady GaGa, stayed up way too late and you guessed it – drank way too many tequila sodas.
That Friday while we were getting ready to head to the pool party, I got a call from the recruiter with the job offer. I verbally accepted the offer and it gave me the perfect reason to celebrate that weekend! (Lady Gaga was amazing BTW. Go see her if you’re in Vegas).
I came home from Vegas that Sunday and was expecting to start my period. I felt bloated and was extra moody so I knew it was coming. My period didn’t show up on Sunday, but I wasn’t worried. I had been traveling like crazy and was really stressed with the job interview process. So, I figured it was going to be late.
I went on with my week, business as usual. And by usual I mean I had to put in my two weeks notice. No big deal. Typical Wednesday. It was one of the worst days ever for me. I knew that I accepted an amazing opportunity, but I still loved my team and my boss and knew that my absence would shake things up and cause some stress for everyone.
It was a huge relief to have my new job news off my chest and at least have a clear path forward. The next day I went to my husband’s volleyball game to watch him play and see some of our friends. I was telling my friend all about my new job and we got on the topic of kids. Jokingly I said, “yeah we’re going to wait a bit with my new gig – hopefully I’m not already pregnant.” Now wouldn’t that be HILARIOUS.
Yep, Definitely Pregnant
We got in the car to leave and I happen to brush my boob with my arm and felt a bit of tenderness. I still hadn’t started my period, but didn’t think much of it. A lot of times my boobs will hurt around my period too. Traveling for work and on the weekends had my workout schedule totally out of whack. I got back into my gym routine that week and assumed that I was just out of shape.
I remembered that I had an extra test laying around from before I went to Vegas. When I got home I told Andrew I was going to take it and he rolled his eyes. He always teases me because at the slightest symptom I convince myself I’m pregnant and panic. For context, WebMD is banned in my house. He jumped in the shower in our master bath and I went into the guest bath to take the test (since our entire house was still under construction from the renovation).
I peed on the stick and put it on the counter. I never thought that it might actually be positive. When I leaned over to grab some toilet paper, I noticed a blue plus sign appearing on the stick. I read the instructions JUST to be sure that a plus meant what I thought, that I was pregnant. Yep – pregnant.
I ran into the other bathroom in full panic mode – didn’t even bother to pull my pants all of the way up. I started waving the stick around and telling (yelling at) Andrew, “I’m F*&$%@#! pregnant!!”.
Andrew jumped out of the shower to examine the test more closely and questioned its validity. “Are you sure? ” he said. “It’s kind’ve faint. You can’t just take one.” So, he ran to Rite Aid to grab more tests. They were all positive.
Moving forward as a Family of Three
The timing was not ideal and having a baby was something I hadn’t considered when looking for a new job. I wanted nothing more in that moment than to call my Mom. As a working mom, she would know what to do and what to say. The reality of it all started to sink in. I was about to start a new job, I was pregnant and the one person I wanted to tell was gone.
With my best friend on the phone I hatched a plan to move forward. I didn’t want to back out on a job that was a great opportunity just because I was pregnant. It was scary and an added unknown, but I don’t think as a woman I should have to choose between my career and my family.
I got into bed and I cried. It was a happy cry and a sad cry. Of course I was happy that I was pregnant, but this news and the added job stress made me miss my Mom so much. The reality of her absence set in and l felt so lost about what to do next.
After much deliberation and lots of back and forth with my current boss and my new company I decided to move forward with the new job. I made the personal decision to tell my new employer before my start date. It was important to me to start on a good foundation of trust and transparency. This is a super personal choice and everyone will have a different opinion, but looking back now was the right decision for me.
It took me about a week to feel calm and settled about everything. Sure, it was terrifying starting a brand new job when you’re newly pregnant. At the same time, I was thankful that we were lucky enough to get pregnant because I had been told most of my adult life that it would probably be difficult for me. I realize how fortunate we are that pregnancy came easy to us and I know that is so often not the case for many families trying to conceive.
This year has brought with it grief, sadness, anxiety and stress. Everything fell into place and this pregnancy felt like a gift from my Mom. It was truly meant to be.
Our First Ultrasound
At my first ultrasound we went in to hear our baby’s heartbeat and see the little bean for the first time. Her growth was measuring more like 9-weeks vs. 10-weeks and I knew right away that because my cycles are 35 days that my due date was probably off. The OBGYN said she felt more comfortable pushing my due date back a week to February 11th. My parents wedding anniversary.
I felt comforted and connected to my Mom, not only in that moment, but throughout my pregnancy thus far. Leaving that appointment I felt peace and comfort for the first time since learning I was pregnant. I felt connected to my Mom in some way and knew that everything was going to be okay.
Ready to be Parents (Sort of)
This year has brought with it the worst days of my life, but also the best. And can I just say, WOAH. What a whirlwind. In May, I never would have thought that come Labor Day I’d be nearly halfway through a pregnancy, yet here we are.
We’re so excited to welcome this little babe into the world. We have no idea what we’re doing. I just learned what afterbirth was like two years ago (don’t Google that). We’re not at all prepared to be parents (who is?). But I also know that this surprise came into my family with a purpose. To give us new hope and to shift our focus on new life in a year that has been centered around loss.