Here We Go Again!

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019: 4 weeks

It's Tuesday, March 19th.  Officially 4 weeks pregnant.  But you're reading this MUCHHHHH after this because, like my previous pregnancies with RosieAnnie and Clark, I'm documenting.  And I'm sure you've seen our #5 announcement too.

However, this post was hard to come by...hard to get myself to even start typing it.  And you KNOW that's saying something because I love documenting, love recording, love writing things down.

But this time, oh this time, it is making me I don't want to jinx anything by writing something and then being wrong.  And even though it's bump pics.  Maybe next week...or in the weeks to come.  Again, I'm guarded and cautious...

Because, as not many know, back in February, right before our Hawaii trip, I had a chemical pregnancy, which is basically a supppppper early miscarriage.  Like my period started basically on time, was just a smidgen heavier, and had I not taken that test the day before (which I only took because I was feeling suppppper nauseous and to call my bluff because, according to our method of child creating prevention, we were like 99%+ in the clear for conceiving. ha. so wrong.) I'd never have caught it.  But I did...and as quickly as I went from completely freaked out to excited, it was over.  A complete tease, the greatest mind fuck EVER.  And that stuck with me...and probably will for quite some time.  But, looking at it a bit differently as I heard someone say before about their chemical pregnancy, I took it as a sign from my body that things are good to go, game on, and it's okay to try for another.  So, even though it was definitely sooner than the 6 months they told us to wait, I felt good and awesome and craved, yearned for a healthy baby -- one that I have been wanting to hold in my arms ever since we said our final see you laters to Clark.

And you know what?!  Clark heard us...because he sent us this little rainbow, hand picked by him in heaven into my belly.  And we cannot CANNOT wait to meet this little guy or gal in November.

So I'm going to stay positive here, even though it's currently and you're reading this much later in the future.  A little flashback to Alex's past if I may.

Let's rewind to a week ago, Wednesday, March period wasn't due until Tuesday, March 19th, almost a week out. I woke up early that morning and something was SCREAMING AT ME to take a test.  I felt fine, albeit tired, but I just had this deep feeling and need to take one.  So I grabbed one from the closet and OMG.  POSITIVE.  Not super dark but POSITIVE.  Of course I never believe that first one so I took another...

Now here's the kicker: the chemical from last month was in the forefront of my mind.  I was like HERE WE GO AGAIN.  And unlike last month where I left a very panicked voicemail on Dr. Jen's cell phone and then raced up for bloodwork...I didn't do anything this time.  Didn't call her, didn't make a bloodwork appointment, NOTHING.  I felt like this was different, but I still was hesitant.  I told Mike, he was elated (just like he was with the fake out last month), but told him I'd continue to test over the next couple of days to see the line get darker.  In the meantime I'm freaking out because I soooooo want this but I'm also terrified of all of the what ifs again...It really is such a double edge sword after loss: you want that baby but you also don't want to feel that pain again.  Ugh.  So tough.

Well Thursday and Friday rolled around and the line was definitely not all.  It was there, but SO FAINT.  Clearly I have a stockpile in pregnancy tests (and don't you dare make fun of me...until you've had a stillborn and then prepping to get pregnant again, you don't get an opinion on excessive testing.)

Squint.  It's there.  BARELY.  So obviously the chemical was still in the forefront of my mind because was this gonna be a fake out again?!?!?  The line wasn't darkening...was this just a tease again?  I kept having to calm myself down, remind myself that I hadn't even missed my period yet, these tests are CRAZY sensitive now, and it is SO EARLY.  I have NEVER EVER gotten a positive this early!

So Saturday rolls around and finally that little line starts to darken the teeniest of tiniest of bits...

But it's the weekend now, and even though the line is darkening so something is in there growing, I can't call my OB's office to make my first appointment until Monday! UGHHH.  BUT, what are the chances I'm flying out the next day and will see her ON MONDAY for family pics?!  Like seriously, WHAT ARE THE CHANCES??!?!  Meanwhile, this nausea and sore boobs had set in in full force and I was slowing coming away from the chemical pregnancy fears and into the OH MY GOSH WE ARE GOING TO HAVE ANOTHER BABY excitement phase.

Sunday rolls around, Ro and I head off to Florida and I tossed whatever tests I had left in my bag.  I decide after a stronger line one on Sunday to take a digital...nervous as can be cause those are not nearly as sensitive...

POSITIVE!!! OH MY GOSHHHHHHH!!! Okay, so the chemical fear is slowly fading and reality is setting in with each darkening line.  My goodness I am getting excited.  And nervous.  And anxious.  And terrified.  But definitely excited too because I am just CRAVING that new baby.

Monday comes...I call my OB office first thing and after leaving very detailed ALEX IS ANXIOUS notes with the receptionist she says the nurse will call me back tomorrow.  Meanwhile, I'm feeling icky but actually relishing in it cause feeling sick is such a good sign (I hardly felt sick at all with Clark...was horribly sick with the girls) and hoping the nausea sticks around.  I head up to Captiva to meet Dr. Jen and do her family pics and causally mention I'm going to be seeing her soon.  She definitely said OH MY GOSH WHATTTT?!??! out loud, and I explained that Hawaii is known for rainbows and sent us back apparently with one, and she gave me the biggest hug and was genuinely thrilled...which made me happy (especially since this is sooner than we were told to wait.  Whoops.).

But, I will tell you even with these super dark test I was still FREAKED OUT cause I hadn't actually missed my period yet and I was just like OMG WHAT IS HAPPENING??! IS THIS HAPPENING?!?!?

Well Tuesday rolls around and I am as regular as a Swiss watch -- I can tell you the hour I'll start my period (TMI, but it's true) and no period.  I think I even did a little happy dance that OKAY.  THIS IS STICKING.

The last of my tests I brought confirmed it with a super dark line and the nice PREGNANT sign on the digital.  Okay.  This is happening.

Tuesday afternoon the nurse called me back and wanted to go over my history (which is comical cause don't you have it all in my chart??!!) and annoyed me right off the bat asking me when my miscarriage was.  I was like, "He was stillborn.  22 weeks.  Not a miscarriage.  Typically you don't have a c-section with a miscarriage." I was peeved and maybe I shouldn't have been but I was.  I mean, a loss is a loss and it sucks, but you aren't given a 4 day hospital stay and a c-section for a 7 week old baby you miscarry...which that delivery method factors into my 'history' here so I wanted to be clear that our little guy was stillborn.  So the nurse then wants to make my first ultrasound and it's 3 weeks out from now.  I was like NO.  PLEASE let me come in at 6 weeks.  I cannot wait another 3 weeks.  Waiting 2 is gonna be hard enough (and really waiting 3 since I found out) but PLEASEEEEE let me come in early.  She explained that they can't see the heartbeat till 7 weeks (uh, not always the case.  Saw it with Clark at 6 weeks and my cousin saw hers at 5w5d!!) and I was like yeah I'll take my chances at 6 weeks.  Plus, since I found out early I was hoping this little babe's heartbeat will start a'flickerin' SOONER TOO!  Anyways, reluctantly, even though Dr. Jen said it was cool, the nurse scheduled me at 6 weeks.  So I just have a little over two weeks to wait until that appointment!

I almost typed think good sticky thoughts for me but heck you'll be reading this way after the fact!  But maybe when you do read it think good healthy baby vibes for me until we meet this kid in November!

So we are waiting until after my first ultrasound to tell friends and family...and the big kids.  We just want to see that heartbeat and all of that before we share the news.  Obviously we want all of the good vibes and such our way but also know how raw loss is and vulnerable it makes us.  We will share in due time if something does happen, but for now we are gonna wait and pray together for a healthy fifth babe.

ETA: Wednesday, 3/20: I decided to do a bump snap cause I KNOW I'd regret it.  So keepin' it simple...rainbow shirt for this rainbow babe!  Grow little one growwww!

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019: 5 weeks

5 weeks.  Still feels surreal.  Symptoms are there...they come and go.  Definitely less nauseous than I was last week but more tired and my sinus are going crazy and some lovely zits have popped up on my face that I only seem to break out with when I'm pregnant, but it just is wild feeling.  I cannot describe it.  I want to be happy.  I MEAN, I AM HAPPY.  But I am also TERRIFIED of this not being for real...for something going wrong again.  I don't know if that'll ever leave my mind and I'm just trying to do my best to harness the positive and focus on that.

I am SO ANXIOUS for my ultrasound next Thursday.  It feels so soon and a million years away.  I am so glad Mike will be going with me comforting.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't terrified to go to an ultrasound solo again, so I'm hoping to avoid that this time and have him come with me.  I am so anxious to tell our parents and the kiddos...but also cautious too.  Because we want to see that sweet little heartbeat on the ultrasound and get that early confirmation that things look to be alright.  I mean, the miscarriage rate is less than 5% once you see that first heartbeat... so that's a bit comforting to know.  But I also know the small percentage reality that things can still go wrong after just hoping and praying and hoping and praying A LOT that this little bean sticks and grows and is healthy when we meet him/her in November!

Truly nothing else exciting going back from a whirlwind of 18 of the last 30 days traveling and am SO GLAD to be back into our routine and schedule.  Lots and lots of snappin' coming up to keep me busy and occupied thankfully...and hopefully keep the time sailin' by until it's appointment time.  GAH!  Come fast April 4th, PLEASE!!

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019: 6 weeks

6 weeks.  Whew.  Flying and creeping by.  And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't counting down the hours until 9:45am on Thursday when my ultrasound is.  I have a really good feeling that all will be well, we'll see the heartbeat and I can breathe a sigh of relief for a minute, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't have other fears creeping in my head.  I keep reminding myself of what Dr. Jen said -- I'm low risk for miscarriage and statistically this should be a healthy pregnancy...but, those thoughts are still in my head.  And until I have that baby in my arms they'll probably never leave.

Not much else is happening other than I'm pooped, nausea is definitely in full force, mostly in the mornings but the past few days it seems to have been lingering allllll day long, and my boobs are really sore.  I'm relishing in these symptoms that they are all good praying they last and even if they got worse I'd be okay.

I'm super anxious to tell my parents (and Mike's!) too -- the plan is if all goes well we'll tell them Thursday.  Not sure when we'll tell the big kids...probably soon but I know as soon as they know they'll tell EVERYYYYYYONE so I want to make sure we're good with that.  I'm thinking of maybe surprising everyone else on Easter?!?!?  Maybe tell the rest of our siblings and kiddos then...will have to talk that over with Mike.

Anyways, I'm sure I'll be back for a mid-week update after my ultrasound Thursday...hopefully with good news!  Fingers and toes crossed and big prayers that all goes well...

Thursday, April 4th, 2019: 6 weeks, 2 days

There it is folks!!! A teeny tiny little donut sprinkle of a baby!  We got to take a peek today and, although my anxiety has been at an all time high AND nausea (gosh just as bad if not worse than with Annie's pregnancy, which makes me think PINK already!), it was a huge HUGE sigh of relief to see that little heartbeat flickering away on the screen!

As soon as the tech called us back she very much remembered our last visit together back in October... my 19 week ultrasound with Clark that I went to solo.  I told her we were much happier today than the last time she saw us, and were hoping for good news to keep that going.  She told me that since I was only 6 weeks and a couple days there was a chance we may not see the heartbeat, and I said yes, no problem, we know that we were willing to chance it.  She said we were going to do a vaginal ultrasound instead of the belly one they do at 7 weeks to get a better look. FINE BY ME.

Literally as soon as she turned the machine on she said, "THERE'S BABY!  With a nice strong fetal pole and heartbeat!!" I think I started tearing up.  RELIEF.  Baby is there!  And looks great!  She said that heartbeat was 115 (so good for 6 weeks!) and was measuring spot on.  Everything looked great and she printed some pics and sent us on our way, giving me the biggest hug as I wiped tears off of my face.

It was just PEFECT.  I go back and see Dr. Jen on Monday, so at my 7 week post I'll share my official due date and all of that jazz.

We then went to my parents' house to surprise them...and this is what I whipped up:

Basically a present they'd get to open!  Needless to say, they were SHOCKED but SO SO SO HAPPY and cannot wait for November!  Mike's parents stopped by on their way home from babysitting and we gave them the same thing and again, shocked but so elated.  I was just relieved.  And so nauseous.  Haha!

So we have family pics in a few weeks and I came up with this letter board to hold in one of the family pics, since we've NEVER had a family pic with all of us in it as a reveal:

Our plan is to hopefully get a family pic with the letter board and then use that as our announcement pic on social media.  We are holding off telling the kids and siblings until Easter...we thought it would be fun to come up with some Easter-y themed thing to let them stay tuned if we can pull that off or if we cave and tell them all earlier.  Haha!  We know once we tell the kids EVERYONEEEE will know them so we've got to keep that in mind that they'll spill it too as soon as we tell them.  But gosh they'll be SO EXCITED.  They all want another baby SO BAD and I just hope and pray this little one is their little rainbow brother or sister they they've been begging for!

Okay!  That's all I've update: 7 weeks!

Monday, April 8th, 2019: 7 weeks

I want to first note I have been having MAJOR HUGE cravings for Chinese food since we found out.  I cannot get enough of it!  I'm pretty sure Mike and the kids are sick of it but damn I don't care: I WANT IT ALL OF THE TIME!  I've never had a craving this intense I don't think with any of the other kiddos...

Anyways, so 7 weeks!  I got to see Dr. Jen today to go over my ultrasound, due date, and set my appointments...which my due date is Monday, November 25th so 7 weeks today!  A day earlier than I thought woot woot! I LOVE having babies on Mondays so looks like November 18th at 39 weeks will be the big day...fingers crossed everything goes to plan!!

So I went into this appointment with a list of questions -- like it was my first baby almost! -- and essentially planning on BEGGING her to let me come in every 2 weeks instead of 4.  And I didn't even need to beg cause that's what she suggested!! So I have formal growth ultrasounds every 4 weeks (so 8w, 12w, 16w, 20w) with an appointment afterwards with Dr. Jen and then regular appointment with Dr. Jen at 10w, 14w, 18w and so on -- and she can totally bring the portable ultrasound in and scan me too if need be at any appointments.  Once I hit 20 weeks then I'll still go every 2 weeks for appointments but the ultrasounds stop unlesss there is a need to continue them.  I actually feel really good about how this is setup and just hoping and praying that I make it all the way.  Because I'd be lying if I said I wasn't having flashbacks of just last July making all my appointments for Clark and never seeing the last half of them...

My blood pressure was elevated when I came in too.  And I told the nurse, "That is going to happen whenever I walk in here.  I will never not be anxious for an appointment ever again..." and understandably, she agreed.  I'll just check it more often at home to make sure it's back in the normal range when I'm not at the office.

So really, that's all I have to report this week!!  I definitely feel like I've popped out a bit but whatever.  When it's baby #5 that just happens.  Haha!  I'm anxious to tell the kids and the rest of our friends and family soon too...I just keep praying so hard that everything keeps going well and even though the sickness is HORRIBLE it sticks around and this babe keeps growing healthy.  Fingers and toes crossed for that.  Until week 8 friends!

Monday, April 15th, 2019: 8 weeks

YOOOOO!  8 weeks.  Cannot believe it...cause I found out almost 5 weeks ago and that sounds INSANE to me. Like forever ago and just yesterday!  I am SO ANXIOUS about Easter and telling our families and, most importantly, our kiddos!!  I am really going to try and get a video of us telling them.  We are going to hide an Easter Egg with the ultrasound pic and "LITTLE BROTHER OR SISTER COMING IN NOVEMBER" and make Patrick read it to us!! I cannot wait!  We'll do something similar to tell our families at the Easter Egg hunt then Easter morning.

As far as how I've been's been a rollercoaster.  Some days okay, some AWFUL.  I'm getting over a lovely bladder infection so that's been fun, but the nausea actually seems to get worse as the day goes on?! Which is a first.  But this pregnancy still feels SO SIMILAR to Annie's, so my bets are on a GIRL!

I actually had another ultrasound and appointment with Dr. Jen on Wednesday (so yes, two days after my above update!!) and ALL LOOKS PERFECT.  This gummy bear was measuring spot on at 8w2d and with a strong 175bpm heart rate!  So that made me feel good seeing him/her on the screen again.  I cannot wait to go back in another two weeks to checkin on this little bean again!!!!

That's about all I've got for now...I'm sure I'll have another post-Easter update on how we told the kids and such next Monday!!  We are doing family pics on Easter so I'm sneaking in an announcement too...hopefully we'll get that pic back quick as well so we can share on social media cause #impatient. haha!

Monday, April 22nd, 2019: 9 weeks

9 weeks today!  Cannot believe we're in the double digits next week...and 30 weeks from today we HOPEFULLY will be meeting this little babe!  When I make statements like that I very much get a flashback to making them at this same time with Clark...and that obviously didn't happen, so I'm guarded and cautious about them now and always add a HOPE in there that that comes true.

Still feeling awful...very nauseous, which comes and goes but definitely seems to get worse as the day goes on.  But I'll take it...little indications to me that something is growing in there!  Speaking of, during our family pics Mike snapped a few of these for me...

HUGE HUGE HUGE for 9 weeks, huh?!??! But hoping and praying it's a good sign (and not a ton of with Clark) hoping and praying that truly is a growing babe!

We told the kiddos on Easter...and they were SO EXCITED!  Both the big kids were elated and both said "We hope this baby doesn't die." Gosh, hits you right in the gut.  But I'm with them: I hope and pray for that daily!  We then told our families/siblings -- since we weren't seeing my side we had the kids FaceTime my brothers, who both were so excited.  We then hid Easter Eggs in the hunt that told the cousins they were getting a new cousin in November to tell everyone.  Which, once everyone discovered that was a little hidden secret that was now revealed, everyone was elated!  And I think I probably came off as cold? not excited? which I am...truly...but it's also terrifying and that thought of all of the what ifs, that did happen with Clark, happening again frightens me SO MUCH.  So I'm trying to stay positive, trying to get excited, but shit.  It is SO SO SO hard.  I hope I'll get there...

Anyways, that's all I've got for week 9...I so just wanted to post it on social media to get it out there because I AM SO BIG that I'm sure people are wondering and I'd rather it just be public so I don't have to answer questions, but I'm also terrified to post it too for some reason.  Not that I care if people know? I don't...and obviously God forbid if something happened again I'd share, but I just...I don't know.  Maybe it seems that we're moving on 'fast' from Clark...and that's not the case AT ALL.  But, gah, it's just so many emotions and such that are wrapped up in here that are SO HARD TO explain.  Pregnancy after loss is SO SO SO hard.  Anyways, that's all I've got for this week...onto week 10!

Monday, April 29th, 2019: 10 weeks

10 weeks today!!  Officially in the double digits.  And truly, it is flying by.  Just another few weeks and then BAM.  2nd trimester.

However, as fast as it's going, I'd by lying if I said each and every day I wasn't terrified.  I'm so immersed in the pregnancy/infancy loss world that I probably know too much and that is a super scary thing.  I mean, just this past weekend I was called to snap two losses...and while I don't mind doing them, because I know just how important those pictures are, it still crosses my mind IF we'll be in those same shoes again.  I hope and pray that we're not, that our little Clark is watching over this babe, but that thought truly never leaves.

Today is 6 months since Clark's birth.  I did a little reflecting on that which I won't regurgitate, but wow.  I just cannot believe it.  Feels like yesterday and a million years ago all at the same time. I miss that little man SO SO SO much.  And wonder daily who he'd be today...

With that said, I'm kinda shocked I still haven't announced on social media my pregnancy yet.  Truly, I want to do it just to 'get it out there' cause ^^^ holy bump Alex, but also, we're waiting on our family pics to come back where we snuck an announcement pic in.  They did post one teaser last week...

And I didn't share it or anything cause HOLY BUMP POKING OUT!  I mean, maybe??? no one would notice?! But I'd rather not chance it and have someone comment something they may regret.  So, I liked the pic and am patiently (read: not so patiently!) waiting for them to send us our snaps so I can share one of the pics for our announcement.

Anyways, not much to report for week 10 other than I am SO TIRED.  But it could be the mentally exhausting-ness of the whirlwind of the weekend with so many shoots and births too.  And my morning/daily sickness comes and goes now in waves...definitely not as bad as I remember feeling at this point with Annie so that's good!  My guess is still girl, but truly, I don't care: I just want a healthy baby in November!  Alrighty, that's all I've appointment is Thursday and she'll pop in the ultrasound to take a peek which I am SO GLAD for.  Cannot wait for that.  Until week 11 friends!

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