When I started this blog almost 2 years ago, I wanted to tell Staley's story from the beginning. I wanted to remember all the little moments and big moments leading up to her arrival. I wanted to remember my pregnancy with her, those precious 9 months of wondering who my little baby would be. I wanted to make sure that one day, when Staley could go back and read my words, that she would understand how much she was truly loved right from the start.
For Peanut, my desire is the same. Although the story will be different, I want Peanut to know that he/she is a blessing that we hoped for and wished for and prayed for, a miracle that we thank God everyday for giving to us. We are only at the halfway mark to meeting the newest addition to our family, so this story will be a work in progress. We'll call this Chapter 1: Our Little Miracle.
Obviously, Staley's story began with the heartbreak of infertility. The beginning of her story took us a long time to reach. Since that time, there has been a surgery and medication changes that we hoped would resolve some of the issues that we faced when trying to start our family. Nevertheless, we weren't sure what path we would have to take in order to add to our family. At my routine doctor's appointment in April, when learning of our desire to add to our family, my doctor recommended returning to our fertility specialist. He made the referral, but when they called to make an appointment, I asked if we could wait a bit before scheduling. The farthest out they were scheduling appointments was in August, so I made an appointment for then.
As August approached, Zach and I continued to discuss our options. We weren't sure if we wanted to go through the in vitro process again, primarily concerned about decisions we might have to make if we were successful and ended up with frozen embryos. We went back and forth, determining that we would use this appointment to discuss all our options with our doctor and then make some decisions after that. A few days before our appointment, I realized that I was in a gray area with my body's cycle. Zach and I thought it made sense to take a pregnancy test before the appointment, just in case, but were both convinced that it would be negative. We were wrong! Miracle of miracles, we had a positive pregnancy test. We cancelled our appointment with our fertility doctor, and made one with the ob-gyn instead.
My ob-gyn didn't want to see me until I was 8 weeks along. In that time, Zach and I didn't tell anyone about our news. We didn't even discuss it between ourselves. I waited nervously, preparing my heart for the worst. At our 8 week appointment, they did an ultrasound that showed a baby with a healthy heartbeat. As soon as we saw that heartbeat, I cried with joy. We then shared our news with our parents and siblings, waiting for our 12 week appointment (and another strong, healthy heartbeat) before sharing the news with other family and friends.
The first trimester went by smoothly. I was tired (of course), but Staley's 7:30 bedtime and my 8:30 bedtime gave Zach plenty of time for reading, internet, and television shows and movies that I didn't want to see. I had a week or two of some mild night-time nausea, but otherwise it was smooth sailing. I was certain I felt baby movement at 14 1/2 weeks (while waiting in line at Express), but my doctor told me that the earliest baby movement is usually felt around 16 weeks. I still believe that Peanut was enjoying our shopping experience, but between 16-17 weeks was when those first, beautiful, reassuring flutters and tickles were definitely felt.
My pregnancy with Staley was very easy, and this one has been the same. The primary differences are that I have less time to dwell on every little change in how I feel (and therefore, some decreased worries) because more of my time is consumed with keeping pace with a toddler. My doctor's appointments are much shorter since I don't come armed with a list of questions and worries each time I visit him. And my ability to keep this pregnancy a secret was much harder, not because of my mouth but because of my body. Apparently if you don't do anything to strengthen your ab muscles after your first child, your second one pops out there for the world to see much, much sooner. (I actually had a few gutsy individuals ask me directly if I was pregnant when I was only 9 or 10 weeks along, before we were even sharing the news with those close to us. Yikes!) I graduated into my maternity clothes around 18 weeks, although I probably could have squeezed into my regular clothes a little longer. But I had the maternity clothes available and I now know how comfortable they generally are, so I embraced the new wardrobe without hesitation. Elastic and stretch and work pants that feel like pajamas are not something I'm going to turn down.
Our 20 week ultrasound last week was another milestone in Peanut's journey. Each doctor's visit, each heartbeat I hear, and each kick I feel makes me smile with relief. And an ultrasound that affirms our baby is healthy and growing and developing just like he/she should is a true answer to prayers. Each week brings us one step closer to meeting our baby that I already love with all my heart.
And I'm not the only one. Peanut is already surrounded by so much love. Our families and friends have expressed so much excitement and support. Peanut's cousins are eagerly awaiting his/her arrival. Big sister, Staley, talks regularly about the baby. And, of course, Zach and I couldn't be more thrilled. We have plenty to do before Peanut arrives, like a nursery and a name, but we also have a few more chapters in this story before he/she is here. So we will continue to pray and wait patiently to meet our little miracle.