Q & A: Part Two

Here’s part two of answering some questions we’ve received with our news of expecting our second child through our first pregnancy. If anything, this is a great journal for my own keeping. Hope you enjoy!

Q: How did you find out?

A: I can tell you it wasn’t anything like I had imagined this news ever being discovered! I had imagined that I’d be surprised someday in a doctor’s office with them saying, “Well, we have a question to ask you: did you know you were pregnant?” I had imagined that this event would cause the look of both shock and joy to spread across my face. I actually wasn’t too far off from that happening!

Going back to the above early symptoms (before 8 weeks) up until Sunday, June 1, I had thought something was seriously wrong. I had discovered a cyst in March that seemed hemorrhagic in nature. Having dealt with that (painful beast) before, I had the doctor fit me in that day. (The risk of these cysts leading to ovarian torsion and organ death is scary, so I knew it needed to be checked out.) They discovered on the ultrasound that this same problematic ovary, as in the past, indeed had a cyst the size of my ovary itself. I felt I could manage pain at home in hopes that it shrunk on its own. My GYN encouraged me that should the pain return, I head directly to the ER. I knew the signs to look for and promised I would be a vigilant patient.

I had the cyst rechecked via ultrasound after six-weeks (mid to late April) and they found it had shrunk some, just not as much as they’d hoped. Again, it was a wait and see thing since the pain hadn’t gotten worse.

For the two weeks leading up to June 1, I considered all my symptoms to be isolated from the others. I could attribute the uterine cramping to a cycle approaching or to the cyst pain. I could consider the tiredness a sign of dealing with lingering allergies. The smell and food aversion was just random and not worrisome. But, non of it was improving, so we both figured I needed to be checked out again. I knew that the doctor’s office would ask the standard questions I’ve heard for fourteen years when calling about a possible gynecological health issue: date of last cycle? and have you taken a pregnancy test? I decided that I was going to be seen the next day, Monday, and that I’d have their questions answered so they could whisk me in there to determine the issue. I was sure that another negative pregnancy test would indicate, like all the hundreds of hundreds had before the past 14 years, that the issue was much more serious.

I found an older EPT test under my sink, still within expiration date, and commenced to tinkling in a cup. Cap off, insert test, count to twenty, replace cap, and wait. Only, there wasn’t much waiting. I had overheard friends mention before that positive tests usually appear quite fast. This one showed a plus sign in the blink of an eye! Then I checked the expiration date again. And I determined the cup I collected the sample in must have been filthy. Then I convinced myself this horrible cyst was allowing a false positive. But then, I felt like throwing up.

I made an excuse to run to the store for some ginger ale. My husband had intended to bring some home earlier, but it slipped his mind. So, off I went to the pharmacy and the grocery store. I was sure to pick up two different brands of tests and wanted one that at least said the word ‘pregnant.’ I was out of luck going to the grocery store to get ginger ale. Sadly, the soda aisle dead ends at the seafood counter and that particular day, the smell was off putting (yet another clue!) So, I left that aisle and purchased more buttermilk. What else, right?!

Upon coming home, I dashed upstairs to take the two tests. My husband was on the deck grilling lunch. (It smelled horrible … just saying!) I grabbed a brand-new, out of the sleeve Solo cup this time and had just enough in my bladder to offer up for the tests. The non-digital test appeared positive as quick as the earlier one. Two out of three! The digital test made me wait the full two-minutes with this blinking hourglass symbol. WAIT! Oh, I’ve waited 14 years, guess another 90 seconds can’t hurt, but it seriously took forever! Then the last hourglass blinked and next it revealed the word: PREGNANT.

WHAT THE WHAT???!!!!

The next day, Monday, June 2, I made that phone call to the doctor, only this time I nervously said, ‘I’ve taken three tests that all show positive. Um, am I pregnant? Could it be false?’ My doctor had me come in immediately as she was quite excited. (She practices solely GYN and particularly specializes in PCOS patients. It’s not every day that one of her PCOS patients has the extreme blessing of being told they are expecting a baby!) Their urine and blood test all confirmed the same thing. I knew the Physician Assistant that saw me that day could tell I was still in shock. She stated that she was a pro choice provider and she started discussing with me the safety and confidentiality I would have if I chose to research my options since this appeared to be something ‘unplanned’.

No, no, no, no. No! NO! NO! Oh, I’m shocked alright, but GOOD shocked! Good surprised! No discussion of options needed here. Thanks for being concerned, but this has just been a long hoped for dream, hence the surprised and albeit still questioning look on my face.

Q: How did you tell your husband?

A: After seeing the third test result flip from a blinking hourglass symbol to the word ‘PREGNANT’, I was immediately startled by the bathroom door flying open. My husband was on the other side. Guess I didn’t lock it, huh? He came to check on me to see if I was feeling better. The look of shock and nervousness must have answered his question. I looked like I could throw up, again! I told him in a very short, jumbled get-out-of-here way to, well … ‘I’m fine! Leave. Get out of here!’ One beat passed and I realized how awful that sounded and I grabbed his arm and said, ‘No, wait! Stay. Look at this!’ Before I stepped away from the counter littered with THREE positive tests, their boxes and instructions, I said, “I always thought I’d be way more Pinterest-y cute about this, but I kind of don’t know what to think. … Check this out.”

I watched him look at all three tests, look at them again, glance back at me with his two eyebrows nearly touching, arched in silent question, then looked back again at the tests. “Is this for real? Did you take these?”

“Yep!”

And then his strong arms pulled me into his chest. We embraced, cried the kind of cry where you can’t make any noise, and kept at it. Our daughter walked upstairs looking for us, found us hugging, and as usual, she declared, “Make room for me guys! I’m coming in!”

She didn’t realize until our hug circle broke that we both had tears in our eyes and running down our faces. She asked what was wrong and we both comforted her by saying they were happy tears. We didn’t tell her until three days later.

Q: How did your daughter and family respond?

A: That’s a question for a different post! We actually have video and if I can convince my husband to edit them together, I’d love to share that with you! It was so much fun, though! We knew everyone would be as shocked and as in awe as we were. By far, our daughter’s reaction was the best!

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Q & A: Part One

I thought it would be fun to post again and answer some questions we’ve been getting regarding our recent news of expecting our second child through our first pregnancy. Hope you enjoy!

Q: How are you feeling?

A: Today, at 13-weeks 4-days, I’m feeling great! Nearly symptom-free even and super close to the second trimester. I mean, if I hadn’t had three positive home tests–okay, maybe 5!–a positive blood and urine test at my doctor’s office, and two ultrasounds now, I probably would have just looked past all the symptoms, eventually, and still been thinking I just went through a weird phase in my health.

Q: Did you have symptoms? What were they?

A: Since I can say we found out at 8-weeks, I can backtrack at least two to three weeks before then and tell you what led up to me figuring out something was definitely going on.

Around 2 to 4 weeks: uterine cramping each and every day. I swore that when my cycle started, it was going to be the mother of all cycles–ever!–just based on how the cramping and tenderness went on and on and on. Since irregularity is more the norm for me in that department, I had no reason to suspect a delayed start would mean pregnancy.

Around 5 to 6 weeks: sudden and bone-deep waves of exhaustion hit around 2pm each afternoon, it was puzzling as my spring allergies had already started improving, but I felt like I could cry a river if I didn’t at least close my eyes for 30-60 minutes.

Around 6 to 8 weeks: food aversions, sensitive gag reflex, the sight of certain things (raw meat, the dog’s food, etc.), and being turned off by smells all hit me, especially strong around week seven. It’s like one morning the smell of a cup of coffee brewing smelled like a can of tuna fish and that ruined my love of a steam hot cup ‘o joe in the morning (thankfully, only temporarily!) Also, I was hungry but literally could think of only ONE thing that sounded wonderful: BUTTERMILK!

Turns out, our bodies do tell us what to crave when we’re experiencing nausea and upset stomach. Buttermilk is a well-known tummy soother for nausea and helps sustain the body’s needs with fat, water for hydration, salts, and has the added benefit of healthy cultures (fermentation for the win) to line your gut with good bacteria.

Around 8 to 10 weeks: LOTS of nausea, kneeling over the toilet gagging, mid-day exhaustion and going to bed around 8:30pm each night, feeling some stretching/pulling in the ligaments of the pelvic area, excess saliva, loved foods that were sour (pickles), soup (yay for creamy Thai coconut soup!), and lots of sparkling, unsweetened water, like La Croix.

And more currently, weeks 11 to 13: Great improvement in all the symptoms listed above, only mild and intermittent nausea, only a little tired, and nearly symptom-free … except for those lovely little spider (varicose) veins popping up on my legs. Those little suckers HURT!

Also something to note, I had my hair trimmed in early May and I had gotten super frustrated with this new bubble of a wave around the lower part of my head (in the back). My normally straight-ish hair was having a freak out! My stylist noticed it as well and said she’d never seen that before. Now that it’s July, and I had more length taken away two-weeks ago, there is even more … dare I say it … curl! We figured out that I was around 4 weeks along in May when we noticed the first sighting of defiant hair.

Q: Were you doing anything different, such as fertility treatments?

A: Nope!

Q: Are you high-risk?

A: Nothing other than my age puts me in a risk category and we pray it continues that way! At least for the first two-thirds of my pregnancy, I will see a specialists due to “advanced maternal age.” There’s a great chance that at some point they’ll dismiss me if everything’s going along well.

Q: Will you find out the gender?

A: If history repeats itself as we did with our daughter, then no. We loved the surprise, but we also had around 8-weeks to go from parents-in-wanting to expectant adoptive parents and covering simple baby essentials was the most important. Gender-specific items are luxuries at that point!

The only thing I wished we would have done differently is possibly hold off on painting the nursery a neutral (green) color and waited until baby was home. I think we would have had the love, support, and help of friends and family to knock out a day of painting and I could have easily ordered a girlie crib sheet set to match, especially considering the first five or six weeks she slept in our room in a bassinet. This, too, could be done with this baby!

More Q & A later! Comment with any Q’s you may have. 🙂

Jules

 

We Asked That He Would Show His Glory, Part Two

I hope you read part one!

Over a month ago when we started seeking direction for growing our family once more through adoption, we asked that God would do one thing, again: show His glory.

Remember how dynamic and fast-changing the events went from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day in 2008? Was it TOO wild to think it could or would happen again? Indeed, it was not too wild to imagine. In fact, His work started weeks before we even took steps towards asking for His will to be shown.

“Is anything too hard for the LORD? …” Genesis 18:14

“Oh, LORD God, you made the skies and the earth with your very great power. There is nothing too hard for you to do.” Jeremiah 32:17

“And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” Matthew 21:22

Let me just stop right here and say in full transparency that I’ve not had the incredible faith that the above scriptures gently convict me to have. I’ve not been bold in asking for what seemed like the impossible to be made possible. Over the years, I admit to growing weary. I had an unwilling spirit to believe that certain desires would ever be fulfilled. I had sadly set my eyes on only the seen, not being mindful that there was unseen works ahead. During this time, countless family and friends stood in the gap believing for us. Praying for us. Interceding for us. Meanwhile, I’ve done that for others in different or similar circumstances while simultaneously giving half-hearted attention to something God was using to grow me.

From my last post, part one …

Many things seemed impossible in our own abilities…”

“Lord, showcase Your abilities. Show others [through our story] that You can be trusted.”

“Use us as tools to make Your Glory known.”

We asked that God would do one thing: show His glory.

 

And, He did. Faithfully and miraculously, He did.

 

Kent Baby Announcement

 

Photos by Maggie Lian; Edited by Julie