For my first "family" blog post, I thought I'd write about my experience of pregnancy up to this point. I'm 26 weeks (+2 days) pregnant with our first, a boy named Henry. For those of you not in the pregnancy world right now that's about six months. Every pregnancy is different, but I hope to give you an open and honest portrayal of my experience.
The Decision to Try
My husband and I made the decision to start trying after about a year of me having serious baby fever. I grew up always looking forward to being pregnant and being a mom, but in my mid-20s I started to feel completely unprepared to have kids. Something shifted at age 27 and all of a sudden I was ready to go! My husband had to be the voice of reason and keep the brakes on my desire while we planned the right time to try.
Fast forward to our decision to try, and bam! we got pregnant. I think we both thought it would take longer, I know I did. I had been on the pill since high school due to irregular periods and stopped around the time my baby fever hit it's peak. My aunt, eager for me to bring a newborn into the family, told me it took her and my uncle a year of trying to conceive my first cousin, and I know fertility is a problem for many couples. We were not one of them.
Even though we were one of the lucky couples who didn't have a long trying process, I was ready to know right away. I actually got a positive super early and shocked Derek with the news by giving him a pair of Bengals onsies.
These are the first outfits we got him for our baby announcement. The onsies I gave to Derek to announce to him that we were pregnant are on the far right in both pictures.
These were my first two tests. The second one I actually took at work right before class started and the picture is a little blurry because I was shaking when I saw it read, "Pregnant 1-2." The first test was negative within the appropriate time frame, but positive when I pulled it out of the trash a couple hours later.
We went to Disneyland that day (our weekly tradition) and took our first family picture (the one on my "About Me" page of the two--really three--of us in front of the park.) When we got home we took my first weekly bump shot.
If I had to describe my first trimester in one word it would probably be "fear." I had a lot of spotting and couldn't feel the baby move yet and was constantly worried that something might be going wrong. I already felt connected to our baby and didn't want to lose him. I can understand how miscarriage creates an incredible feeling of loss no matter what time it happens in the pregnancy.
I took a ridiculous amount of tests just to try and ease my nerves and convince myself that our baby was safe.
Telling Our Family
We convinced my family that is was important for them to come visit us for my mom's birthday (my family is out of town and my husband's family is local), planned a dinner for both our families, and completely surprised them the day before I reached 10 weeks. I told my sister early on, swore her to secrecy, and used her to help coordinate our surprise. We had her pretend to take a picture of us before the dinner (she was secretly filming). On three Derek said, "Lauren's pregnant!" It took WAY longer for them to react and catch on than we thought it would. My husband is quite the joker so they thought he was playing around until I started to explain. I have never seen such pure joy from so many people at once. My father-in-law thanked me about a million times that evening, my mother-in-law screamed, "I'm going to be a grandma!," my mom cried and talked about how it was the best birthday gift ever, and my dad gave me a long hug as he smiled ear to ear. It was a special moment that I know we will all treasure forever. Oh, I should mention, Henry is the first grandbaby on both sides, so he's quite special.
Announcement and Gender Reveal
We decided to wait until the second trimester to announce our pregnancy to everyone else. We took the following pictures of us (yes, we're already indoctrinating Henry into TCU, Bengals, and Disney culture).
Early on we both kind of thought we were having a girl. My husband thinks he was trying to mentally prepare himself (he comes from two boys and feels more prepared for a boy). I had two pregnancy dreams, in both of which, I had a boy so at the time of our anatomy scan I was guessing boy. I was right! I saw "it" right away. The woman assisting with the scan said that she was pretty sure "mom already knew" before she told us because she saw my reaction when his boy parts came across the screen. He left no room for doubt and was not modest at all.
We announced that we were having a boy to my husband's family in person and to my family via Skype with some cupcakes that I made. We also told everyone his name at the announcement.
I am a little under a week from finishing my second trimester and if I had to describe it in one word, I think I would choose: excitement. Don't get me wrong, I've had my share of less than exciting moments this second trimester, including an ER visit that cost us an unexpected few thousand dollars. I never really experienced the "honeymoon phase" or energy burst that everyone touts in their descriptions of this trimester. I've still had some nausea a few times (though I have gotten lucky and have never once thrown up throughout this pregnancy), and I've had some pretty bad backaches accompanied by some intense charlie horses. But, I can feel my baby move all the time. I look pregnant. We learned that we were having a boy during this trimester and I reached viability! Overall, looking back, it's been a pretty good phase for me and now I'm under 100 days until we meet our son.