Here’s what happened during my pregnancies…
I found out I was pregnant for the first time on May 26, 2007. Andrew and I had been trying to have a baby for a year and had done our very first intrauterine insemination (IUI) to get this pregnancy. I was 25 years old and been told that my reproductive organs were aging faster than my body and that we may or may not be able to conceive, so this pregnancy felt like the end of a marathon. We had gone on this long journey to get here, and we were so grateful and relieved to finally be expecting a baby. My due date was February 7, 2008.
I’m not much of a secret keeping kind of person…I feel like everything is better when it’s all out there, so we told our family and several friends that we were expecting. I always feel like if I’m going to tell them about a miscarriage, I should tell them about a pregnancy. So anyone I knew I would tell in the event of a miscarriage, I told about the pregnancy (I did this all 3 times). For me, this was a good gauge of who to tell.
Pregnancy symptoms…I pretty much began throwing up every single day right away. I immediately hated food yet gained 4 pounds. I was tired, I didn’t enjoy going to work, and I was always sick.
On June 25, when I was just about 9 weeks pregnant, I went in for a typical visit and we learned that this baby did not make it. Worst day of my life. Without a doubt.
My doctors scheduled my D&C for the following morning and just like that…what I thought was the end of my marathon, my mile 26, was just my beginning.
Over the next six months, I did 5 more IUIs…and they all failed.
On January 16, 2008, I was at work one day when my doctor called and said it was time to start my IVF meds. I had taken the previous month off to enjoy the holiday season and therefore stopped all of my fertility drugs. We had decided to kick off the new year with an IVF and it was time for her to call me in a prescription. The routine thing to do is always take a home pregnancy test before you begin any fertility drugs…so, I ran next door to CVS and bought one and then took it in restroom of mine and Andrew’s office. And it was positive.
I walked into Andrew’s office and told him it was positive and he looked as confused as I was. After almost two years of trying and six IUIs, how did I randomly get pregnant? I immediately called my doctor and headed to her office and yup…I was preggers. Without trying. I was due September 21.
This was me, Erika
and Whitney on the day I found out I was pregnant. We all went to dinner that night to celebrate Rusty’s birthday which was 2 days later on January 18 (keep that date in mind as you read on). I told the girls I was pregnant and they were so excited for me! At this time, Erika
was also having her own fertility struggles
but she could not have been happier for me. Such a sweet friend.
Here are some quick facts about this pregnancy:
1. We decided not to find out the sex of the baby.
2. I continued to work full time during this pregnancy.
3. We told people we were close to early on and then other people at 12 weeks (Valentine’s Day).
4. I gained 34 pounds total
5. I lived off of Pringles (something I didn’t eat before and don’t eat now)
6. I read a lot of pregnancy books but I found The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy and Jenny McCarthy’s Belly Laughs to be the most realistic and hilarious.
7. I had to buy mostly work related maternity clothes since that’s what I wore every day.
8. I continued to exercise in the mornings before work.
9. I had morning sickness the entire nine months.
10. We kept what we were naming the baby a secret. We didn’t reveal name or find out gender until birth.
11. During this pregnancy, I met this girl named Sheaffer
who was also pregnant and due on almost the exact same day as me…and well, I guess you can say, the rest is history ;).
We always knew from the beginning that we didn’t want to know the sex of our babies. We just thought it would be more fun to wait and find out on the big day. And for us, it really was! Our nursery
looked like this…
…and then I knew I would buy more girl things or more boy things after the delivery to change it up.
As for baby clothes and baby showers, I had one big shower before the baby was born and received all of that baby gear stuff that is non-gender specific (Bumbo, car seat, bouncer, bottles, etc), and then I had a sip and see after the baby was born for more specific stuff. I went shopping and bought both girl and boy stuff and then kept the receipts. After the baby was born, I had fun exchanging half of the stuff for more girl things :).
These are my two cousins and me at my baby shower. I was probably 34 or 35 weeks here.
As for my morning sickness, apparently, that’s just how I’m made. I genuinely was sick every day up until and including the days I gave birth. I took everything I could to help with it but nothing worked…I just don’t do pregnancies well. I survive and cope through the entire thing. I learned how to be sick and work at the same time…I even learned how to be sick and drive at the same time. It was just awful and really sucked most of the joy out of my pregnancies. God gave me sweet babies but boy did I have to work hard to get them.
This is dated July 16, 2008…almost two months to the day before sweet Kensington was born. We had 4D sonograms with both babies to see them more closely and we just asked the tech not to reveal their gender. Look at that sweet mouth! It reminds me of this picture…
This is Kensington at 18 months old :).
On the evening of Sunday, September 14, I went in to be induced. I know this is controversial and I know many of you don’t do the whole induction early thing…but listen, I was tired of throwing up. I was exhausted from it. My doctor just knew I was done. Emotionally and physically, done. A girl can only throw up all day every day for so long before she just really deserves some relief. The baby was healthy, all was good and it was time to meet him/her.
At 1:30 pm the following day, the baby’s heart rate kept dropping and so my doctor decided it was time for a c-section.
And at 2:34 pm, I became a mom. Kensington Kate Shull was born
weighing 6 pounds and 9 ounces, measuring 18 inches long. To date, this is the best day of my life. I became a mom. I had finally reached mile 26 of my marathon.
And that’s the end of Pregnancy #2. XOXO
And then…there was Pregnancy #3.
It was June 7, 2009 and I had a 8 month old daughter and was getting braces on that morning. I know…braces. I had been dealing with some health issues for years and years and finally found a team of doctors who knew how to fix the problem. I would be needing braces, my tonsils removed and myofuncional therapy. I was dreading all of it. Our local photographer came over and took a few pics of us to celebrate our 8 month old and so that I could have a few family pictures before the dreaded braces…
…but here’s the thing. I woke up the morning of June 7, opened my eyes and instantly knew I was pregnant. Instantly. Because as soon as my eyes opened, I needed to throw up…and I did. But there is a difference between morning sickness sick and regular sick…and because I was an expert on morning sickness sick, I just knew.
Andrew was at the gym and I had a random home pregnancy test stashed around my house (because when you used to be a girl with fertility issues, you bought those babies in bulk!), and as soon as I took it, it read positive. I had a 9:00 am appointment to get braces put on and I just found out that I was pregnant. Again. Without trying. How did that keep happening to me????
I left for the orthodontist and I told Andrew to make me an OB appointment and to text me the time he made it. As soon as my braces were on (lovely), I drove straight to the OB and guess what? Not only was I preggers, I was 8 weeks preggers? Due January 28, 2010…here we go again.
Here are some quick facts about this pregnancy:
1. We didn’t find out the sex (again) or discuss baby names (again).
2. I was a stay at home mom this go around, so I mostly wore sweats all day long.
3. I lived off of PB&J and Natural Cheetos. I would eat that meal breakfast, lunch and dinner.
4. This time, I threw up so much that I had to go to the hospital for fluids.
5. I did Baby Boot Camp (stroller based fitness) with Kensington during this pregnancy. This was something I started when K was six weeks old and continued it throughout my pregnancy.
5. I gained 35 pounds total.
6. I felt like I had just read those pregnancy books, so I didn’t feel it necessary to read them again.
Andrew and I went back to Italy (and Switzerland)
during this pregnancy. Apparently, I crave authentic Italian food when expecting.
I climbed up on a rock wall and trespassed so that I could see George Clooney’s house in Lake Como, Italy (above). I kept thinking, surely Mr. Clooney won’t have a pregnant girl with braces from Texas arrested, right?
We did another 4D sonogram to check out Baby #2. I loved that nose from the very beginning…
…Smith at 4 days old.
Kensington had her 15 month photo shoot and my belly participated.
Holding Baby #1 with Baby #2 inside :).
This was the only belly shot I could find with this baby…this was Christmas morning, 3 weeks before I delivered. There is snow on the ground and I have a giant kid in my stomach…and there is a good chance I just threw up. Seriously.
My doctor told me I could pick any date between January 18 and January 28 for my scheduled c-section (because listen…I loved that first c-section so much that I absolutely wanted a second one!), and of course I said January 18 (I wanted that kid OUT!). So, here we are on January 18, 2010 ready to deliver.
I have my beachy hair, my jewelry on and full makeup. This was the best and simplest delivery ever.
And for kicks, that morning, I went into labor before I even left for my scheduled c-section. Smith knew it was his birthday…and he was coming out one way or the other.
It was a Monday and on this year, Martin Luther King Junior Day.
And at 12:30 pm, I met my boy. Smith William Shull was born weighing 8 pounds even at 20 inches long.
That afternoon, my cousin Casey pointed out that he would be an easy baby because 1. He started labor on the day he was due. 2. He was born at exactly 12:30. 3. His weight and length were all even and rounded numbers.
And boy was Casey right :). Easiest baby ever.
And so, I’m done with being pregnant. Done. I knew Smith was my last baby to carry. I just really knew it. I also knew that I was a three kid kind of girl…so, I let God work out the details. And here I am…about to be a three kid mama but with only two babies that I delivered. I’m extremely blessed that some other woman chose life in another country. She chose to carry and give birth to my daughter. I am extremely blessed and humbled that she would sacrifice so much to give birth to a baby that will forever be my child. Ashby London will have her own story…I’m hoping to be near mile 26 on this adoption journey
…but you just never know.
And on the foodie blog today…a simple 5 ingredient pie that you don’t have to bake! Yummy!