I’ve started typing this and restarted so many times. I am having the hardest time putting into words how I am feeling right now for so many reasons. As some of you have seen, we are expecting a baby boy in December. It came as a complete shock to us and we are so very thankful to be experiencing this. I thought I’d start from the beginning of our pregnancy story :)
A few months ago, Nate and I started thinking about how we would move forward with expanding our family if we decided to. We still had 6 frozen embryos that we are paying for so that was one option and the other option was adopting again. We knew we didn’t want to really start acting on moving forward until Rhett was around 3, but we wanted to begin thinking of how we’d move forward. We never really decided though. Neither option really stuck out to us. We loved our experience with adopting Rhett. It was smooth sailing and we were blessed with a loving birth mom and the most amazing son but adoption is hardly ever that easy. It still scares me to try it again. Trying to do another embryo transfer scared me as well. My body has gone through a lot over the years and I really didn’t know if I wanted to put it through that again. Plus, I’m still dealing with PTSD over our last miscarriage from our IVF cycle so the thought of going through the injections only to be disappointed again really was not appealing to me.
Fast forward 3-4 weeks after our initial family expanding talk, I realized I was maybe late for my period. Since our last miscarriage 3 years ago I completely stopped tracking everything. I didn’t see the point and I wanted the freedom of not worrying about every single detail of my cycle like I had been for years. I decided to buy a test on my lunch break and take one just to see what the outcome was. I honestly felt like I could be pregnant because a week or so before then I was having a weird pinching pain that I never experienced before. Well the test was positive and I was completely shocked! I sent a picture of the test to Nate and his reply was “what does that mean?” Really, Nate why would I send you a picture of pregnancy test if it was negative?! Men!
We were both elated but so scared at the same time. I was convinced I would miscarry early on like I always have on my natural cycles. I didn’t want to schedule an appointment because I always end up disappointed. I searched for doctors in my area and found one that had really good reviews, so I decided to book with him and he got me in right away. He and the nursing staff of course had to ask for my whole history with as specific of dates I could provide for my miscarriages. 6 losses over 10 years is hard to keep track of and It is never easy to remember. They couldn’t believe my history and immediately started rooting for us and this pregnancy. The doctor did an ultrasound and we could only see the sac and the start of a fetal pole. I was convinced it was another miscarriage. I knew the exact date of conception and I should have been 8 weeks. The doctor told me not to stress too much because it could have been too early to see anything yet, but inside I was preparing for the worst. We did my HCG blood draw that day and another 48 hours later. The levels doubled so we scheduled another appointment for 2 weeks later to check on the growth of the baby. 2 weeks later slowly went by and my appointment day arrived. I was a nervous wreck, holding on to hope, but expecting the worse news. He put the ultrasound wand on my belly and I immediately seen it, the heart flickering! Best site ever! At that appointment he gave me my due date of December 25th, 2019. My Christmas miracle!
We have been going in for appointments every 2 weeks because my anxiety level has been so high and the doctor wants to be extra cautious. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the support of my OB. He has been amazing and so understanding. I am also going to a Maternal Fetal Specialist who does extra ultrasounds to check growth and anatomy at every visit. From the beginning I have told my doctor I would like to check my cervix because I had a feeling that is why I lost our last baby at 14 weeks. He didn’t think I had the signs of Incompentent cervix but he was 100% on board to check it. We initially checked it at 13 weeks, and it was the perfect length. We were happy to hear that, but I was still worried about it. At my next specialist appointment 2 weeks later, they checked it again and it had shortened by 2.5 cm and put me right at the cutoff point for needing a cerclage. They gave me the option of checking again more frequently or going in for a cervical cerclage. I opted for the cerclage and both doctors agreed that they would do the same thing if it was them in my circumstances.
At 16 weeks I received the cerclage to try and help my body hold on the pregnancy as long as possible. The cerclage is basically a thick stitch that they weave through your cervix to sow it shut, keeping it from dilating too soon. I had horrible cramps immediately after the procedure but by the next day I was feeling pretty much normal. Since then, I’ve been told no bed rest but to take it easy and listen to my body. I can tell when I’m on my feet too much, so I sit as much as possible which is not very easy with an extremely active almost 2 year old!
I am now 22 weeks pregnant and my appointments since the cerclage have been good. The stitch looks strong and my doctor see’s no reason not to trust it to help do its job. I am overall feeling pretty good physically. Mentally, I am all over the place. I worry about everything and I’m pretty sure I’m driving Nate crazy. Honestly, I am loving the experience, but I was not expecting it to be so mentally hard on me. It’s made it really hard to enjoy it which makes me feel guilty and sad. I am so happy to have made it this far and am getting more confidence that my body won’t fail me again.
This whole experience has once again taught me that nothing in life goes as planned. We tried and planned for so long and nothing worked out for us in relation to pregnancy. It seems as though Rhett was our piece that fixed everything. He will never understand the importance he has in our lives or how big of an impact he played in starting and completing our family. Since his arrival to our family, we’ve grown so much as individuals, a couple, and a family. I cannot wait to see him as a brother and I know he will be protective, caring, and play the role of big brother in the best way possible. My life is so incredibly full because of the boys that I’ve been blessed with.
I’ve had a few people ask if I’d be willing to share details on our latest announcement that we shared on social media. Of course I’ll share!
First off, we are not adopting again. I am 21 weeks pregnant with a baby boy. A couple months ago, Nate and I were talking about how we wanted to try to add to our family in the future. We discussed trying IVF again with our frozen embryos or adoption. We both decided we wanted to wait until Rhett was 2 ½ or 3 before we tried, but we wanted to get a game plan together. Neither choice really seemed like the right decision, so we held off on any other talks about it. 2 weeks later I found out I was pregnant. Completely unexpected and absolutely a shock to us both!
So far everything has been going great. I’ve had extra ultrasounds because of my past history and because my OB is amazing at letting me come in whenever I want to get checked out. I am seeing a Maternal Fetal Specialist as well, who found out at 15 weeks that my cervix was beginning to shorten too soon. We decided to place a cervical cerclage (a stitch that keeps the cervix closed) that following week to help my body hold the pregnancy. So far it is looking great and seems to be doing the job.
Pregnancy after loss is so hard emotionally. Physically I’ve been doing ok other than the normal pregnancy symptoms, but mentally I’ve been a basket case. I am so thankful for the chance to carry this baby and feel him moving inside me. I literally never thought I’d get the chance and I was finally at a point where I was ok with it. Having Rhett has made me realize that being a mother does not mean you have to carry the child, but I am extremely grateful for this blessing.
We appreciate all the kind words and support since sharing our news. If you are the praying type, we appreciate any prayers for a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery. If anything, pray that I’ll keep my cool for the next 20 weeks 😊
Hi my name is Whitney and I'm a mom to 2 adorable boys. Here you'll find our story of infertility, adoption, grief, and hope. I'm an open book so you'll never know what I'll post next!