Pregnancy: The Journey
I’m currently writing this blog post as I go through my first trimester of pregnancy. I didn’t want to wait till after, because I wanted to share every bit of info that I could while I’m living it. So, I hope this blog post and future posts are helpful and insightful to anyone who might also be going through their first trimester-I’m here for you, and I’m with you. You are doing great mamma.
My first trimester has been tough, but exciting. It’s been filled with a lot of emotions (mainly from skyrocketing hormones), pregnancy scares, and learning so much about what my body is currently doing to bring a life into this world. Before I proceed any further, I’m going to go back a little bit to fill you in on how I got here…no, not that…just about my thought process and journey.
Jacob and I got married in 2014- my game plan was we will be married for 2 years and then we will have a baby. Well, that two years came around, and I was ready to wait 2 more. At the end of 2018, I realized that I was ready to start my journey to have a family-well, more of just talking about it, and preparing mentally and even physically. That was until my doctor and I had a miscommunication about my birth control refill and it didn’t get refilled-this was in December of 2018. In the grocery store, where I was supposed to be picking up my next round of birth control but couldn’t, I was frantic and crying- I didn’t want to suddenly get off birth control and get back on it a week later (due to Holidays). I was nervous, scared, but there in the middle of Publix, I came to the decision that I was going to get off completely. After talking to Jacob, who has been ready to have a baby day one of our marriage, we decided that we were going to start the journey of growing our family. However, I was still completely freaked out by this thought. I always saw it as a distant thing for me, but here I was preparing myself.
In my head, I thought I would conceive round one- but that wasn’t the case. Then began my 2019 emotional rollercoaster of a year. The one thing I always held onto in my life is “God’s timing is better than my own and God’s plans are better than my plans”. Somewhere at the beginning of 2019, I thought I was pregnant, I took several pregnancy tests, and when it turns out the lines didn’t change from negative, I decided to let God do His thing. Turns out, I was just super late and my hormones weren’t balanced yet. Around this time is when I began to have bouts of anxiety and insecurity creep up. I struggled off an on for the majority of this year as I began to process many things that were going on in my life.
Halfway through the year it happened again, I was late, this time I was set in my thoughts-this was it. Jacob and I talked about it, we were mentally prepared, and I waited several days this time so I knew I wouldn’t be testing too early. I cried and cried when the test came back negative. My primary doctor had me take another test at my annual check-up, and it just confirmed that I was right. The let down was emotional and I told myself again, “God’s timing Rechael, not yours”. Then I watched my friends journey of going through IVF and I couldn’t help but start to feel overwhelmed and alone with my thoughts (since I didn’t want to tell family that we were trying). So, I told myself at the end of 2019 I would go into my OB doctor to get some help. I would let things go until then. At this point it had been 9-10 months of trying and I kept track on my phone and I tried to do all the ”right things”-but each month I got my period and I settled in with the heartbreak.
October rolled around, my first trip to a pumpkin patch to start my #adlpumpkin tour, I passed out in the heat. That week I went to my primary doctor for bloodwork and everything came back totally fine and I was healthy, she did another pregnancy test and it came back negative-I already knew that was coming so it wasn’t as big of a let down. I thanked her as I knew she had her best intentions of doing it-but it didn’t make me feel that great.
The week after my doctor visit I started having horrible anxiety-from passing out mainly and thinking it would happen again. The anxiety was brought on my an accumulation of things that were going on in my life that I’ll refrain from sharing at this time. I was nauseous a lot, I always felt lightheaded, and I would have panic attacks in public places. I started to make some changes in my life, getting proper rest, finding ways to relax, and cutting out my caffeine and alcohol. Fast forward about a week or two, I realized I was late…yet again. This time I had attributed it to my anxiety and stress. So, I waited about 7 days, and when that week brought me no signs of a period, I thought, this isn’t right. My breasts were starting to hurt which I thought was so odd. I thought maybe it could be my PMS, but I don’t normally have this as a symptom. It felt like I was getting sicker and sicker and I wasn’t sure why. At over a week late, I ran to the CVS to grab ANOTHER pregnancy test (those things are not cheap), before Jacob got home from work that night. I took the test, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I literally couldn’t believe what I was seeing. A positive? No. No way. I waited till the next morning to try it again. I googled “false positive pregnancy test” all night to figure out why I would’ve gotten one. After Jacob left for work that next morning, I raced to the bathroom to take the final test in my box. I waited two minutes and every bit of it I was shaking. POSITIVE. I believed it this time, I didn’t need to take 500. It clicked with me, my symptoms of anxiety also matched with symptoms of pregnancy-although I still believe anxiety was involved. I called my OB doctor to tell them that I “thought I was pregnant”, they were confused by my wording, but I myself was just in shock. I said, “I’m pregnant”. As soon as I said those words out loud, phase two of my emotional rollercoaster began.
I went in for my appointment two days after taking my test. I was a ball of emotions, and I still didn’t tell Jacob (fill you in on that later). They told me I was 6 weeks, but measuring 5. They asked if I wanted to do an ultrasound to confirm and I AGREED. They told me that they weren’t sure at this stage if they could see or hear anything, but if I was truly 6 weeks, there should be something. The ultrasound tech didn’t look confident when she was giving me the ultrasound-which made me feel terrible. They started me on several rounds of bloodwork to keep track of my progress. I left feeling so confused. I knew I had to tell Jacob, but there was no way I wanted it to be a sad or upset type of conversation, because I didn’t want to regret that later on. I ended up telling Jacob that very night (story to come) with a little surprise. There was no denying that I was so sick. I could barely function.
I had to go to the doctor every two days for about a week for bloodwork and my numbers were going up as they should. Then, just before I was supposed to go out of town (where I would tell my family the exciting news), I started to bleed pretty heavily. It was at night and I had no idea what to do but to cry. I cried, I was shaking. I felt like I knew what had happened. I called my doctor the next morning, through tears, and explained what had happened. They called me in immediately. Jacob stayed with me the next morning and took me to my appointment. He kept saying “think positively, Rechael, you’ll be ok”. I love him for that.
Wet hair, no makeup, tear stained skin, and a mismatched outfit, I went in where they would have my second ultrasound. I sat in the room, in the dark, just waiting for them to confirm my fear. The tech was so sweet and caring, and I appreciated that. She looked for the baby, and what did she find? A heartbeat. I bursted into tears. She showed me our sweet baby and the little heart just pumping away. Jacob was tearing up, and I was just a blabbering mess because that was not what I was expecting.
Turns out, I did have some minor issues, but everything with the baby was totally normal. I left the office with pictures of my little baby. We set out on our trip and I couldn’t wait to tell my family. I told them as soon as I could, mainly because I was so sick I thought for sure they would have figured it out. It was a special trip for me to be able to share with my family and I was so excited to have their love and prayers on this journey.
We got back from our trip and two days later I started to have intense cramping, like WAY worse than period cramps. Another scare, another round of emotions. I called up my doctor and after talking about things I could do to help the cramps, they subsided three hours later. I ended up going into the doctor again that day, but at that point they seemed to think things were fine and didn’t do any further tests. Every day I pray and I pray for this babe, for my body and all the things that it’s going through. Each day is a miracle, and I’m just so thankful and so blessed.
I’m now finishing this post up at week 12 with nothing but a full heart of love, humbleness, and thankfulness. This year was tough, it was an emotional rollercoaster, but I know there’s a purpose, and I trust God’s timing. I still struggle with my anxiety, insecurity and doubts, but I’m learning each day just how strong I am, and how strong my body is.
In the coming weeks I’ll be sharing more about my first trimester: symptoms, a food diary, how I told Jacob, and even how I felt at the end of my first 12 weeks.
Cheers (my sparkling water) to this NEW adventure!!
Photographer: Faith Danielle