My birthday last year came just after we told my parents that we were pregnant. One of the gifts my mom gave me was the what-to-expect-when-you’re-expecting journal, to keep track of all your pregnancy milestones. I was super diligent at keeping record for about a week…then life happened and I haven’t been so great. So I thought I’d write a blog post summarizing how this pregnancy has been while it’s still all fresh in my mind, and maybe it will be fun to compare with future pregnancies.
I took the pregnancy test the week we came back from my brother’s wedding in Portland. I was so scared of a false-positive that we decided to wait until I saw a doctor to tell our parents. However, that was also the week that school started back up and I was filling in full-time for a position until they hired a teacher. The position was in a little school about 40 min. out of town, and the dr.’s office just happened to go on their lunch break right when I had lunch at school…so that combined with not getting back into town until around dinner time every day led to me not getting a dr.’s appointment until the end of September. The first two weeks of knowing we were pregnant were great- I didn’t feel any different. I figured this pregnancy thing was a breeze! Then…the nausea hit. I was so sick and so exhausted, it pretty much became impossible to hide. So we figured we’d tell our parents and just hope the at-home pregnancy test was accurate enough we wouldn’t have to break their hearts after my dr.s appointment and them we were wrong haha.
I did some sneaky detective work and asked my mom casually if she and my dad were going to go on a Friday night date. She said yes…so Tanner and I waited till dinner time that night and called them back to tell them together. They were so excited for us- they apparently told every stranger they met that night (their waiter, etc.). The next day was Tanner’s parents’ wedding anniversary, and also the day of our friends’ wedding. After the wedding ceremony and before the dinner we asked his parents if we could talk to them for a minute. They looked super concerned, which made it that much harder to keep a straight face. But then Tanner told them they were going to be grandparents and everyone was all smiles! That night at the wedding dinner I could barely keep anything down, so we left the dance/celebrations early. When I skipped church the next day Tanner had several people tease him about me being pregnant (man what if I had really just had the flu!), and he just had to laugh it off.
A few weeks later was Canadian Thanksgiving, and we were almost to the 12 week mark. We figured it was a good time to tell our extended families in person, before making the announcement publicly. We spent the day with Tanner’s family, so I told my mom she could go ahead and tell my grandparents at their dinner. My cousin and his wife were there (they are same age as us and just had their first baby) and were so excited for us. So excited that when my cousin saw Tanner’s mom at a church function a week later he ran up and congratulated her, until a few people started to look at them weirdly and started to put two and two together. So with the rumours flying, we finally announced we were expecting to the world via Instagram and Facebook (will those even be things when our kids are older?!).
Pregnancy-symptoms wise…I was still SO sick. I was working on-call as a substitute teacher, which was nice because it meant I didn’t have to work every day. But I was trying to get enough hours to qualify for maternity leave, so I wanted to work as much as possible. Everyday at work was a struggle, I pretty much took a can of Gingerale and crackers for lunch, and tried not to throw up when kids opened their smelly lunches or snacks in the room. I was probably not the best sub as most days I was just trying to stay standing without crying, but hey I showed up and kept those kids alive for the hours they were in my classroom…so mission accomplished I guess?!
Also, these pictures make me laugh because I was trying so hard to see any sort of evidence of a bump…ahhh if I only knew that it would come soon enough haha.
Around 15 weeks we had a little scare. I was at work and went to the bathroom and realized I was bleeding, quite a bit. I texted my midwife and she told me to call her. At that point I lost it (I just happened to be subbing a hockey class that day and the kids were all on the ice with an instructor, thank heavens), I was crying and she told me I should get down to the hospital asap. I called the principal of the school and they sent someone to cover my class. My midwife told me if it was a miscarriage there’s nothing they could do, but if I went into the emergency room they could do an ultrasound right away and at least let me know one way or the other. I called Tanner bawling and he rushed down to meet me at the hospital. As it turns out, all I had was random pocket of blood in my uterus that just decided to burst and work it’s way out (apparently it’s quite common)…and after a quick ultra sound that day and a more extensive one the next day, we found out our little baby was fine. That was probably the most emotionally-taxing day of our marriage this far, but it made us realize how attached we were to this little ‘fetus’ (as we had nicknamed her) already.
Christmas rolled around and we hit the halfway mark! I was finally starting to feel better- which was such a relief! I was starting to show and was even able to feel baby kicks! I was obsessed with having Tanner put his hand on my stomach to feel the kicks, but he couldn’t yet…but it didn’t stop me from having him try every single day! haha We bought a bigger car to make room for the carseat and we moved into a new apartment with an official ‘baby room’ so we could actually start collecting all the stuff that comes with a little human. It was all so exciting. AND we finally found out the gender!
A girl! A little girl. Our midwife happened to be out of town the week we had our ultrasound (the clinic wasn’t allowed to tell us the gender, they have to report it to our medical provider and then they tell us), so it was torture knowing the information was out there somewhere but we couldn’t know! Our families kept making bets whether it was a girl or a boy. The majority thought boy, but Tanner and I felt pretty strongly it was a girl. Or at least I did, I wasn’t going to be disappointed if it was a boy, just surprised because I just had this gut feeling we were having a girl. So I was pretty stoked when the midwife finally called, and told us it was a girl!
In addition to telling us it was a girl, she also told us there had been some irregularities on the ultra sound that we were going to need to go down to Vancouver where they had better equipment to get another ultrasound. For the next week and a bit Tanner and I stressed yet again that something could be wrong with our little fetus (the most affectionate nickname I know), so we prayed lots that we would be able to handle whatever the ultrasound found. Thankfully, it was a false alarm and everything appeared normal on that ultrasound (and the follow up one they made us do a couple months later). Apparently our little girl just really wants to enter this world with a dramatic flair and teach her parents what it’s like to stress over a child before she’s even ‘here’.
About a week after going down to Vancouver, I was called into the board office to interview for a full-time teaching position. I was terrified, and really didn’t know if I could handle it. I was feeling better, totally over my nausea, but I knew teaching would be extremely time-consuming. I wasn’t sure if I was going to able to handle that on top of finishing up my online classes, and getting ready for a baby. However, we found out it would qualify me for a full year of maternity leave at a higher rate, it just seemed stupid not to. So I told Tanner get ready for a stressful few months- and accepted the position.
The next couple months were crazy! I basically went to work, came home and prepped/graded papers, and slept…and then would wake up and repeat. Weekends were just full of prepping, grading, and trying to keep up in my online class as well. Tanner was amazing at supporting me, but as of Spring Break I was burnt out. At this point my two biggest pregnancy-symptoms were acid reflex and the feeling like I was going to faint. About twice a day, I would get tunnel vision, my ears would start to ring, and I felt like I was going to faint. At this point I would hand out a worksheet to my classes and tell them to work quietly for about 15 min. until my vision came back and I could keep going with the class. I was so tired of pushing through this, that when I found out I could go on mat-leave up to 6 weeks before my due date, we discussed it and it seemed like an obvious yes.
I spent spring break getting my classes ready to hand off to another teacher and finishing my online class. As of April, I was done and could solely focus on getting ready for baby! I was so excited to finally be able to ‘nest’ to my heart’s content. Also being able to sit and rest when I felt like I was going to faint was a nice perk too…
Tanner also learned that nesting= him constantly putting things together for me. The crib, the rocker, the stroller, installing the carseat….the list goes on and on. He’s getting pretty good at figuring out Ikea instructions and posing for pictures for me of every.little.milestone haha.
So these past few weeks of pregnancy have definitely been the least stressful…for me. My online class is done, I’m officially on mat-leave, and all I have to do is prep, prep, prep for baby. We officially have a name picked out- which we tried to keep a secret. Tanner slipped in front of my mom, I slipped in front of his…so our immediate families know, but we’re excited to introduce it to the world soon enough! We’ve tried to get out and do a fun things together on the weekends… and the weather has been amazing so that’s been really lucky. Tanner has been crazy busy with school, work, and keeping his pregnant wife happy by constantly hanging pictures and putting things together 😉
This pregnancy I can’t really say I’ve craved a specific item. In the beginning the only thing that sounded appetizing was cheddar cheese on white buns, and sometime pickles (I think the vinegar helped with the nausea?)…but those just qualified as not nauseating…it wasn’t really a craving. Throughout the rest of my pregnancy sometimes I would see an ad for something or Tanner would mention a food, and I would obsess over it until I could eat it. For example, we went to Red Robin and they had an ad for a tower of donuts…for the next two weeks I told Tanner every night all I wanted was a tower of donuts. Finally when my sister was in town one weekend we went and ordered just a tower of donuts. And it satisfied all my desires for donuts…pregnancy does such weird things to you.
Symptoms have been pretty normal for this stage- you know, getting up 5 times a night to go to the bathroom, heartburn, and anxiety over what the heck labor is going to be like. Oh…and I just keep getting bigger and bigger!
I never really thought pregnancy would be easy, but I also never imagined how emotionally and physically taxing it would be. Especially in the beginning, there were days were I hadn’t kept anything down and hadn’t even gotten out of bed, Tanner would come home after working AND going to school and I would just cry. I felt so guilty that he was balancing so much, and I couldn’t even manage to get out of bed that day. He was amazing at supporting me and convincing me that lying in bed and growing a human was accomplishing quite a bit. At every stage of pregnancy he’s been amazing at reminding me that just growing a baby is enough- everything else I get done is just a perk. I’m so blessed to have such a supportive husband, and every night when he talks to my tummy and tells our little girl he’s excited to meet her, I know he’s going to be an amazing dad as well.
So here we are, at the very end…every night we go to bed and wonder if tonight will be the night. Every little movement I feel I hope is the beginning of contractions. Thursday, the 12th, is our official due date, so we’ll see how accurate that is. Until then I’m just trying to treasure every squirm (seriously my favourite part of pregnancy) I feel because I know that right now is the closest me and my little girl will ever be. I’m so grateful that despite all the alarming moments and the nausea my body has been able to carry our baby and I can’t wait to meet our little girl!