We’ve gotten so many questions about my pregnancy, so I figured it would be best to put a couple things in a post. Just to set the record straight…
Were you trying? Was this baby a surprise? When Did You Start Trying?
Joe and I started “trying” for Baby #4 in December of 2019. After not getting for pregnant 3 months in a row – quarantine hit. In April we actively “stopped trying”. I was in a very bad place mentally. I started seeing a therapist to help. But I told Joe that I didn’t think I could handle a 4th child with all the kids at home, the looming feeling of the pandemic, and with both of us working from home full time. I was feeling A TON of stress and I just didn’t feel that I could do it. The world felt super uncertain, and with Corona Virus fears at an all time high, I was very nervous about getting pregnant.
May brought about even more uncertainty, and the general unrest in our country solidified that we had made the correct decision to stop trying. Then… I found out I was pregnant in early June. To be entirely honest, it totally caught us by surprise. I was shocked. We had actively been trying NOT to have a baby. I realize how dumb that sounds. We obviously know how babies are made. But I was tracking my cycle diligently and we thought we were being careful. My app said it was very unlikely to get pregnant when we did.
As always, God’s plans are better than our own. Believe me when I say, I understand how lucky we are. There is not a day that goes by where I think about what a miracle this child is.
Were you sick?
I started feeling sick almost immediately with this pregnancy. That wasn’t normal. I had just gotten a treadmill… and even though I was forcing myself to get moving every day I just felt SO sluggish. I was eating super healthy when I could. Green smoothies every morning were all I could stomach. I’d do heated deli meat for lunch. And then at night ALL I wanted was carbs. Buttered toast, buttered noodles… Top Ramen with cheese. TOTALLY balanced diet. :/ And my sweet/sour tooth was FIEIRCE. Licorice, sour belts, sour gummy worms. It was wild.
By the time I reached my 8 week ultrasound, I was feeling like I couldn’t move at all during the day. All I wanted to do was sleep. I still made myself put on a brave face for stories, I tried to run on the treadmill, and I forced myself to show up for my kids. But by 6pm – there was nothing left. I was SO exhausted.
As I laid on the table for my ultrasound – we saw the heartbeat, and indeed there was a beautiful, perfect baby. I was alone in the room that day. Because of COVID, Joe wasn’t allowed at any appointments with me. As my OB kept examining me, she old me I had the most insane amount of eggs, but there was something else too. A large, grapefruit sized cyst on my right ovary. She measured it again. Not bad, but not great news.
In pregnancy, cysts are super common. I had one with William, I had a uterine hemorrhage with David, and I had a placental lake with Caroline. I’m no stranger to small, weird things happening within my body during pregnancy. In the scheme of pregnancy issues, these are all small. I 100% understand that.
But this was just a little different. My doctor explained that if the cyst grew, I would have to have surgery to have it removed. If it burst, that would also mean emergency surgery. In both instances, if it happened in my 1st trimester, I would most likely lose the baby. Worst case scenario, my ovary would have to be removed and I could lose the baby. OR… nothing could happen. The cyst might just go away on its own.
So even though the cyst wasn’t a BIG deal, it felt a little heavy. There was the risk of losing my baby, and then there was the potential for emergency surgery during the height of COVID. It just seemed like there were multiple really unfortunate potential outcomes. I tried to just focus on the positive. Every night I would pray that the cyst was shrinking. I would ask God to watch over our baby. And every night I would try to imagine it getting smaller.
There were lots of new rules to follow too. No running. I was allowed only light walking. No heavy lifting. No sex. Pelvic rest. I had just started running 3-5 miles a day… and now I was barely allowed to walk a mile.
I was also just scared. I didn’t feel like sharing my pregnancy on social media, only to have it end in loss, and emergency surgery. I was in a really bad headspace. Eventually, therapy helped. Light walking and eating healthy helped. Leaning on family and close friends helped. Spending time with my husband and kids – away from technology – really helped.
Why did you wait so long to announce?
During much of my first trimester, it felt like I would open instagram only to see that our DMs had become a punching bag for people to unleash all their anxieties, and to personally project on us. Or – I would see endless negativity and hate all around the internet. I didn’t realize it then, but I understand now, that I am very personally affected by the stories and the comments made to us in our DMs. Positive, negative and otherwise. The weight of hundreds of thousands of people’s comments every day can feel suffocating. At the time, I couldn’t handle it.
I didn’t feel safe sharing this news, so I decided I would share when I felt mentally and physically strong enough to. Over the past couple months, I’ve realized that protecting my mental health and setting personal boundaries is the most important thing I can do – for my health and for the health of our baby. While the majority of our followers and readers are the kindest souls, and always have our best interests at heart, there is a portion of the internet that is nasty and mean. While Ashley and I pride ourselves on having thick skin, and being able to “take it” – we shouldn’t have to, and no one should have to.
How are you feeling now?
I prayed every night for that cyst to go away. By the grace of God, I had another sonogram at 13 weeks, and the cyst had shrunk in half. At our anatomy scan today, the cyst was hardly detectible. I feel incredible. I have more energy. Baby is growing, healthy, beautiful… and we are all just SO endlessly thankful.
Now that I am 20+ weeks pregnant – I know I made the right decision to wait to share this news. I feel like I finally have the proper boundaries set, and my mental health is finally at a place where I feel comfortable sharing.We are overjoyed to be pregnant. We cannot wait to meet this sweet little soul. And I am over the moon to share this news with you. Thank you for all the love and support, we cannot wait to take you along for all of this.
I hope you can all respect my decision to wait until I was in a good place, and thank you, as always, for being here. We cannot wait to meet this little baby in February!