Oh, baby

Aug 26, 2017

Life update: we made a baby!
In January of 2016 Josh and I decided it was time for us to start a family.
As it turns out, getting pregnant isn't as easy as Teen Mom makes it appear.
I think I went into the process with the wrong mentality: I was entirely too positive. I knew getting pregnant could have it's challenges, and I was aware that miscarriages were very, very common, but for some reason I thought we would be the exception. I thought we would get pregnant immediately.
Let's be real here: I'm a millenial, and we live in a society where we can get pretty much anything we want when we want it (thanks Netflix and Amazon Prime).
Fast forward a year and a half, and after trying alllllll the things (natural things, like the herbal teas, crazy diets, test strips, feet in the air, you know, the things) we were finally coming to terms with the fact that we may not be able to do this on our own. 
We spoke with my doctor and made arrangements to start infertility testing the next week.
Then, of course, it happened.
I had a weird feeling one night, so I took a test and we flipped it over together and saw our first positive pregnancy test, ever.
The smiles haven't left our faces since.
Five months later, and I'm honestly still in shock.
The emotional rollercoaster that came with trying to get pregnant was unlike anything I ever expected.
Initially, at the start of each period I told myself "it's fine, at least I'll get to drink at so and so's bachelorette party" (I had three bachelorette parties last spring). Around month four the positive attitude faded. I never, ever wanted to be that girl who resented other pregnant women or couples who had babies so "easily," but I found myself starting to. I was so mad at myself for crying after leaving baby showers, and getting bothered by innocent Facebook posts from friends. I was literally surrounded by babies, left and right (I'm laughing typing that now because our neighbors to the left and right both had babies recently). I was genuinely happy for all of them because I know how severely they wanted babies too, but that happiness was surrounded by jealousy and confusion. Everyone was getting pregnant, except for me.
Comparison is the thief of joy, they say.
Our thought process and emotions would do a complete 180 every two weeks. My brain flipped and flopped from being filled with excitement and hope and prayers for a baby, and then the start of another period would bring tears that would turn to attempts at positivity by telling myself "oh well, at least we can save money, travel, and eat and drink all the things".
That wasn't healthy.
We wanted a baby and our bodies couldn't make it happen.
We never got to the point of experiencing the emotional and financial strain of IVF and IUI. I genuinely don't know if I would have been able to handle those feelings, and through this process I am constantly in awe of the couples who have endured those steps. I had so many encouraging people in my corner who put up with my constant griping and crying and pity parties, and continued to give me positive words of affirmation. I am eternally grateful for them. BUT I could have slapped every human that told us "it'll happen when you aren't trying." Seriously. How do you just not try? How do you take your focus and your every thought off of the one thing you want more than anything in the world? It was truly a mind boggling concept. But I guess I can say it happened for us. I was mentally distracted. I had just returned from 10 days in Europe (could it have been the de-stressing affect of a vacation?), I was focusing on my body and my health (I attempted Whole 30 and lost some weight), and the daunting task of getting pregnant had somehow managed to drop down a few notches on my to-do list.  I have zero tips for physically getting pregnant, but I can say that it was SO beneficial for me to reach out to others who have experienced the struggle as well. Many women are dying to talk about this taboo topic, and the words and encouragement from someone who has experienced similar emotions can do so, so much. 
During the most emotionally exhausting stage of the process (last summer, around month 5 and 6) I read Aly Taylor's "How Cancer Made Me a Mommy".  Her story of her battle with cancer and infertility helped me understand that getting pregnant has absolutely nothing to do with our desires and our ability. It confirmed to me that this process is 100% according to God and His timing and it is far, far beyond our control. If you are out there struggling with similar feelings, I pray that you find peace with the fact that it is beyond your control and that your time will come. Although it may not make sense now, it will, and it will hands down be THE perfect time for you and your family.
It's funny how the moment our focus changed from "trying to make it happen on our own" to "considering that we may need assistance," it happens.
We gave up control.
It happened.
With a lot of assistance from God (mentally and physically, I suppose) and a lot of patience and time.
So much time.
Looking back, I find myself thankful for the time we were given. Extra time to sleep in, time to travel and save money, and time for us to grow as a couple. Josh and I have learned SO much about each other and our relationship has grown immensely throughout this trying time. I also find myself thankful for all the experience and life advice from the moms who have come before me. It's so wonderful to be surrounded by friends with various parenting styles and so much advice (especially when it comes to my daily questions on random pregnancy symptoms like is it normal to sometimes have to push on your bladder to make yourself pee?) It's really great to have multiple opinions and firsthand experience on what products worked or didn't work for them, what to register for and if a wipe warmer or a $230982091832 glider is reallllllly necessary. I'm also very glad Josh has been able to see so many of his friends turn into dads over the last year and learn from them.
Had we become pregnant immediately (when we thought it just hadddd to happen) then we wouldn't have been able to receive near as much advice and experience from friends who have had babies over the last year.
God definitely knew what He was doing when he placed these people in our lives and when He placed these babies in our lives at the most appropriate times.
Photo by Mattie B. Photography
Now that I have come to terms with that major life hurdle, here comes the next unexpected wave of emotions: fear of miscarriage.
The fear was so very real. I read a statistic that said over half of first time pregnancies end in miscarriage. It was almost hard to get excited at first, because in a weird way I was expecting the worst. I wanted to be mentally prepared for a miscarriage.
I'll never forget the feeling when we heard & saw a heartbeat at our first ultrasound.
The look on Josh's face will forever be engrained in my brain.
It was real.
This was happening. 
Neither of us were really expecting to see anything at all at the first visit, because I had heard so many stories about ultrasounds where it was too early to find a heartbeat.
We were able to see our baby and hear it's functioning heart at 7.5 weeks. 
Thankfully, we had three ultrasounds during the first trimester (still not sure how that happened) but we were able to see Baby K quite often in a matter of weeks. Thank you Jesus. I needed some reassurance and sanity after the last year and a half.
A friend recommended a book called "Expecting Better" by Emily Oster. It was research based information that was very reassuring in regards to many pregnancy myths. It gave actual statistics on the likelihood of miscarriages, week by week, and gave information from evidence based studies on exercise and weight gain and delved into the history of the "bad" foods of pregnancy. 
I also read "Sippy Cups are Not for Chardonnay". It lightened the mood around the seriousness of pregnancy, which helped me mentally survive the first trimester.
Thankfully, I was really really really blessed with a great first trimester. 
I seemed to only have some very light nausea in the late afternoon (around 5ish) every day, so I was able to work without the pregnancy slowing me down (one of my biggest fears).
I had also hear horror stories about how truly exhausting the first trimester could be, but again, I didn't find it to be thaaaat bad. I took a lot of naps though. I was even able to squeeze in naps during my lunch breaks on clinic days.
It has been so amazing to watch Josh's excitement throughout this process. He wants to be at every ultrasound and he gets so, so, so excited to see the baby and talk to our doctor.
I get emotional every time I get a random text from him asking how the peppercorn is doing.
(The peppercorn was the first size reference my pregnancy app gave for the baby, and it was a big deal apparently so it kind of stuck).
Throughout the first trimester, I never threw up (until I got the stomach virus a few weeks ago, which was a doooooozie, but I wonder if it was karma because I had it so easy in the beginning).
We found out we were pregnant on the Thursday before Mother's Day. 
We couldn't stand to hold the info in for two months (who is able to really do that, anyways?)
We decided to tell our families on Mother's Day, and it was one of the biggest joys of our lives.
We found out through genetic testing that Baby K is a boy (praise Jesus, although we already had a girl name picked out, we were both not-so-secretly hoping for a boy). We were planning to do a gender reveal via ultrasound with some friends and family, but when we learned that our genetic testing contained the gender results (three weeks before the scheduled ultrasound), we decided to open the envelope and see for ourselves.
As for all the gender theories, the majority said girl for us: heart rate, Chinese gender calendar, baking soda test. I could never quite figure out the Ramzi method, but my only male gender signs were that I had minimal nausea and I was craving more salty than sweet.
As of now Baby K still remains nameless, but we are working on it and stressing over it, daily. 
He has been well traveled throughout his first few months of life.
We went camping in Oklahoma, visited Banff for Canada's birthday, saw Fleet Foxes in Portland, made a road trip to Marfa and Big Bend National Park, and had another camping trip for Josh's 30th birthday in Wisconsin for our third year at the Eaux Claires music festival. 
Work has been somewhat of a challenge, in regards to the workplace hazards that come with orthopedics, like x-ray radiation and avoiding inhaling the potentially toxic cement that comes with total knee replacements. So I get to wear triple layered lead for surgeries that involve x-ray. I just tell myself that I am building my strength for the third trimester. Then I realize that when I'm 8 months pregant in the busiest sesason of the surgery world, I will still be carrying around a baby + a billion pounds of pregnancy weight and stilllllllll have to wear this lead. Then I want to cry.
I haven't necessarily had any cravings per say (I mean, I've always lived in a continuous state of always craving all the food) but I have had a few food aversions.
Before I got pregnant, I had just completed Whole 30 (well, 25 days of it, thanks to our trip to Copenhagen and Norway). I'm not going to totally say that Whole 30 had anything to do with me getting pregnant, but I did lose 15 pounds and I honestly feel that cutting alcohol and sugar for that long was a really good detox for my body. Anyways, during that time frame I was living and breathing on eggs and avocados. I probably ate two eggs and half an avo daily for about three months. Now, I can't stand the sight of either of those two things. 
It's tragic, really. 
Chick-fil-A helps me pull through the tough times.
As does a good mocktail.
We like to celebrate monumental occasions at Fireside Pies (where we ate before Josh proposed, after seeing the heartbeat at the first ultrasound, and pictured below, as a celebration for making it through the first trimester).
So here we are.
I'm almost half way through my first pregnancy and I'm feeling better than ever.
We have made a TON of progress on the nursery (as in, it's almost complete; we are only lacking the crib, curtains, and wall decor) thanks to my incredibly talented mom (and dad and Mrs. Laura who painted the entire nursery in less than four hours!)
Nursery tour coming soon, but for now here's a sneak peak at one of my favorite projects so far:
Stocking up on baby boy clothes has been entirely too fun, and Josh and I thoroughly enjoy imagining our future life with a mini Kerrigan running around (send prayers he gets 100% of Josh's creativity, humor and musical ability). 
I'm so, so grateful to have been given the chance to carry and develop a living, breathing being.
It's so amazing to know that our bodies are capable of creating life, and that right now there is a little boy growing in me who will one day fit into this backpack and travel all over the world with us.
We absolutely cannot wait to meet you baby boy.
P.S. I've really gotten into reading blogger's lists of pregnancy must haves, so prepare yourself. I've got a gooooooood list the works (if anyone is even still reading after all this jibber jabber)
K, bye.


kristen said...

That just made me tear up. Thank you for sharing this!! You're going to be the most incredible family with so much adventure and fun!! I'm so excited to watch you guys become parents!

Leah said...

Sweetest!! I'm SO excited for you both!! Babies change your lives so much, but only for the best!! ❤️

Shelley said...

Congrats mama! There were so many parts of this posts that echoed my own experiences, I reared up thinking back to those months and months of not being pregnant and hating all forms of social media and the seemingly endless pregnancy announcements. Enjoy every moment and hopefully the rest of your pregnancy is easy peasy :)

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