Monday, April 8, 2019

Pregnancy #2

Pregnancy #2... I can't believe I'm typing those words. Does anyone remember how long it took us to get to pregnancy #1? About 3 years, 7 rounds of fertility treatments, a LOT of tears, prayers, drugs, and heartbreak.... all of that led us to the 2nd greatest blessing (our greatest blessing being salvation) of our lives: Liam.

The last 18 months with Liam have been scary, exhausting, fun, happy, exciting, joyful, exhausting, and full of gratitude. Lee and I have learned and grown so much, and we are humbled daily by the colossal opportunity that parenthood is.

After experiencing all of that, we knew we wanted more children. We just weren't sure how realistic that was for us. If you remember, when we did IVF to conceive Liam, we had 2 embryos that were viable for transfer to my uterus... we transferred both of them at the same time, and got our sweet boy. So that meant that if we needed to use fertility treatments, we would be starting all over again, financially, physically, and emotionally. Liam is so incredible, that we were prepared to do that.

If you wanna get real personal here (as if a blog post about the conception of your children isn't personal enough), we've pretty much been trying, or not preventing, for baby #2 since Liam was born. Despite our lack of prevention, due to breastfeeding and everything else a woman's body goes through after birthing a baby, I didn't have a menstrual cycle until 12 months after Liam was born. So although its possible, we weren't really expecting a chance of conception until after that. It took about 3 months for my cycle to get regular, and then I could really tell what was going on in my cycle. Even more so than before Liam. Things really did feel different... I knew to the day when my cycle would start, and I thought I was doing a good job identifying signs of ovulation (thanks to Natural Family Planning!!!). So once I got to that point, we were really counting days, and being intentional with trying to conceive.

Although I was identifying ovulation, I was not keeping a chart. I didn't want that daily pressure, stress, or reminder of the fact that we want another baby. Lee and I talked about it, and we decided that if we didn't conceive on our own, we would go back to our Reproductive Endocrinologist (fertility doctor), this summer and give IVF another try. We both assumed that despite our efforts, natural conception wasn't in the cards for us.

Can you just go back and read that last sentence again..., "We both assumed that despite our efforts, natural conception wasn't in the cards for us." HOW AWFUL DOES THAT SOUND?? Real faithful of us, right? True prayer warriors here trusting that Jesus will take care of us LIKE HE ALWAYS DOES. Time and time again God shows us that despite our unworthiness, he provides for us. We are constantly showing how undeserving we are of his forgiveness, of his blessings, of his care, yet HE STILL SHOWS UP. Talk about being humbled to the max.

Lee and I were lucky enough to take a trip together to Phoenix, AZ for a conference, and this was the first time I'd left Liam for more than a night. I was nervous and sad to leave my baby, but excited to spend some quality time with my husband. Of course we have a 4 day trip together and I'm anticipating the start of my cycle, but I've only had 5 cycles since Liam being born, so who knows if they really are THAT consistent yet, or if the last 3 just happened to be lucky timing. So maybe I won't start while we're gone? News flash: I didn't!

One morning we were sitting in a conference session listening to Lori Grenier from Shark Tank, and I noticed my wedding ring being tight and my hands a little swollen. This hadn't happened since I was pregnant with Liam. I also remember being super tired one morning, which was odd because I had slept uninterrupted for over 8 hours the night before, which is unheard of at home. The last thing I noticed was that I enjoyed this frozen fruity cocktail by the pool one day and noticed that it made me feel AWFUL. I was so bloated and uncomfortable from one single drink! So I told Lee I thought I might be pregnant, and he totally blew me off.

Let me give him some credit here: I literally say every single month, "Oh my gosh I'm so bloated right now... maybe I'm pregnant!" "Ouch I have some cramping... maybe that's implantation cramping!" "Hmm feeling emotional today, maybe those are pregnancy hormones..." You get the picture, right? I say these things EVERY SINGLE MONTH and have for most of the last 4+ years. So OF COURSE Lee thinks I'm crazy because I've only ever been right ONE TIME out of dozens. We opted not to go get a test, but I stopped drinking just to be safe.

We arrived home on a Wednesday, and it was LATE. Like 11:00pm. By the time we got settled at home, Liam was starting to wake up. My mother-in-law headed home, and Lee put Liam in bed with him. I needed to finish getting ready for bed, which actually meant take a pregnancy test. The infertile girl in me keeps these things on hand ALL THE TIME bc every time I have one of those "symptoms" I might wanna test, just in case, right? So I took a test and it was POSITIVE!! I was so excited and was trying to quickly think of a cute way that I might plan out and tell Lee the next day, but ultimately I gave up that plan and I just went to bed and whispered (over Liam between us), "Hey Lee...? I'm pregnant!" Lee was shocked because he really didn't think my "symptoms" were pregnancy symptoms, and we whispered and hugged as not to wake up our sleeping baby.

The next morning I called our fertility doctor and our OBGYN to see where we needed to start. Our fertility doctor said the OBGYN was the best place to start, and our OB scheduled blood work for that day. Later that afternoon they called back and said I was definitely pregnant, but it was a super early pregnancy, so they'd have me come back for follow up blood work.

So that was it! Lee and I were so excited and thankful that we were PREGNANT with no medical intervention! We never thought that this would be a reality for us, and we were so wrong! I'm 8 weeks pregnant at the time of writing this post, so I'll write a follow up to tell you all about the pregnancy and how things are going. For now, I'll end with reminding you  and me that God is bigger than ALL of our symptoms, diagnoses, illnesses, etc., and HIS plan will always prevail. If you've made it this far, thanks for reading! If you're praying, we'd love for you to pray prayers of thanksgiving, and ask that God keep both me and the baby healthy, strong, and full of growth over the next several months.

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