baby #5: the details

It’s definitely been a journey to get this little baby growing in my belly. I know many people have a story even longer and harder than this, but I still wanted to share some of the raw, honest feelings that have been along the road to this pregnancy.

This is our “rainbow baby”, which is a term people use to refer to a baby they have after a previous loss.

Our losses were double. Twice we found out we were pregnant, and twice, it ended all too soon.

I was shaken emotionally and physically. I blamed myself. It’s tremendously difficult not to.

I still think about both of those babies, and who they would have been. I still cry and grieve over them and the time we weren’t granted together.

However, if either of them were here, this sweet baby kicking in my belly wouldn’t be, which is impossible to think about.

Miscarriage has taught me that you can grieve and feel gratitude simultaneously. And that’s okay. One emotion doesn’t negate the other. They coexist, and I think, as hard as it is, perhaps they’re meant to. Sorrow makes love all the more sweet.

We already love this tiny person with all our hearts and souls.

So, with much gratitude, I want to celebrate this new life as much as possible.

Our due date is October 17, 2020.

I got to have my first ultrasound the earliest I’ve ever had one- at 6 weeks 6 days. All I could see was a tiny dot with a heartbeat, and it felt so surreal.

That tiny baby dot was everything to me, and yet, I still felt so disconnected from it all, as if I had been watching someone else go through the earlier losses and the beginning stages of a new pregnancy. Bonding with this new baby has taken longer, just out of natural caution.

I’m feeling close to the baby now for sure, although there’s still a lot of anxiety I’ve had to work through. There’s been so much prayer for this tiny person. I’ve also been practicing meditation and yoga, all with the hope that I can have hope, faith, and calmness instead of fear. I’m trying my best, and I’d say it’s improving a little each week.

We told the girls we were pregnant after my first ultrasound. I wrapped up these “new baby” books, and they were so excited, although it seemed to take a few minutes to really sink in!

I have been so sick again this time. I basically lived on my homemade pumpkin bread, just like I did with Eve, for most meals in the first trimester. I don’t know what it is about that pumpkin bread… the texture and spices, maybe, but it always seemed to be the only thing my stomach could handle.

The nausea started in week 5 this time (super early!), and is still going, although it did start to subside slightly around 14.5 weeks. I did lose a little bit of weight, but not as much as I did with Eve. I started to feel more normal consistently at 17 weeks, although there are still really hard days and moments here and there.

Aversions have included almost everything. Ha! Salad dressing and Greek yogurt are huge ones, and since that’s what the girls eat every day for lunch, it’s been a challenge. I can’t sit next to them at lunch still, which is a little sad for everyone. I couldn’t eat my own salad for a long time, and now that I finally am again, it has to be only with the Olive Garden dressing you can get at the store. Any other brand is impossible. Crazy how that works.

I’m basically planning on just being sick on and off until the end of pregnancy like I was with Eve. I remember when she was born and I finally felt like I could eat. It was such a sweet relief, and I look forward to that feeling again!

I don’t think I’ve had too many cravings, since I’ve mostly just been in survival mode as far as eating. I do seem to want all the salty things, though. I’ve also liked those sour gummy Lifesavers (sour helps the nausea) and Twizzlers.

We had an elective ultrasound at 15 weeks. With in-person appointments spaced out drastically due to COVID-19, I was eager to hear the heartbeat for the first time and see my baby. I’m so glad I was able to go and watch the heart pumping and fingers and toes wiggling for a few moments. It was definitely worth it just for my own peace of mind.

As a bonus, we were also able to find out the gender early! I’m waiting until our anatomy scan in a few more weeks to publish it to the internet, though. It’s kind of fun to space out the surprises, and it also doesn’t hurt to get it confirmed first! Honestly, though, we really, truly, just wanted another sweet baby, regardless of gender.

This little person is a wild and crazy mover. I started feeling what were definitely baby movements at week 14, and honestly, although it sounds crazy, I had a lot of flutters that I wondered about even a couple of weeks before that. This baby loves to sit on my right side in a big hard ball, leaving my left side empty and soft.

I feel like my bump popped out so early this time, but maybe that’s just a fifth baby for you. It feels like it’s a whole month bigger than it was last time around.

Other random notes:

I transferred to a completely different OB office for this pregnancy. When I went to my previous care provider for help with my miscarriages, I felt unheard and, in some ways, not cared for properly. I really came away from them with some uncomfortable feelings, and the biggest reason for my transfer was the fact that if I did get pregnant again, they still didn’t want to see me (even for bloodwork) until the typical first appointment at 10-ish weeks. As soon as I knew I was pregnant this time, I had an appointment to talk to my new OB, got hCG betas done, and had an earlier ultrasound. Receiving adequate care and feeling heard is crucial, and I’m glad I followed my instincts and made the switch. I’m not a medical professional, but feeling like my care provider actually has time for me and that I can trust them is huge.

Being pregnant during the COVID-19 pandemic has been worrisome. My doctor appointments have been scheduled differently, and there’s always the uncertainty of what future care and hospital protocol will look like as time goes on. I’m grateful for telehealth visits, but it was hard waiting to hear the heartbeat for the very first time until 15 weeks.

However, with the pandemic, Michael has been working from home, and that has been a blessing in so many ways. He has made lunches for the girls so I wouldn’t have to gag over the smell of their food. He’s changed Eve’s dirty diapers, for obvious reasons. It’s been a huge comfort just to know he’s downstairs, and I can ask him for something I truly need, or even just go down for a hug if I’m emotional. He has been my rock, as he always is, and having him here with us full time has been a silver lining to all the uncertainty in the world right now.

Don’t worry, he’s been working on his bump, too.

We’re so grateful and hopeful for this sweet new addition to our family. We love you, Baby!