Journey to Parenthood: Pregnancy

At this point it’s no longer a secret… We are expecting our first child! It was definitely a surprise that we really wanted however were not sure when it would come to be. In late 2018 we began our journey to parenthood and nearly a year later our prayers were answered. 

For about a year I was on and off hormone medication. In late July 2019, we took a weekend trip to Palm Springs and decided to delay the medication until afterwards. As soon as I returned home I picked up the meds and began a new journey with myself. I was eating “healthier”, taking my meds, and going to the gym before work. 

Approximately a month later, I began doing home testing for ovulation and each time I got back a negative. Per usual I was my negative self and thought of a worse case scenario. We even made a game plan on how we’d use all our savings (which we have set aside for a home) for IVF if it was what we needed to do. The night before my big pregnancy test day, we prayed and cried and hoped for the best. The following morning my life changed with one word “PREGNANT”. 

PLOT TWIST 

As soon we found out our biggest dream of being parents was coming true we were thrown a curveball. From our first appointment at 8 weeks, which we then found out was actually week 9, we knew things were not going to be as dandy as everyone talked to us about. At the first glance of my medical chart the doctor pushed for me to see my cardiologist to ensure we could “continue with this pregnancy.” Definitely not the words any mommy-to-be wants to hear. 

At the age of 2 I was diagnosed with Partial Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return and a heart murmur. Even though this was all taken care of with surgery within months of diagnosis my OB wanted to be sure my heart was strong enough for the stress of pregnancy and labor. Thankfully, I was cleared by my cardiologist and we were so thrilled. 

So now I can enjoy my first pregnancy right? Sike! Given my cardiac history and the fact that I am overweight my OB thought it would be good to check for gestational diabetes early into the pregnancy. 75 grams of an absolutely disgusting sugary drink, 2 hours, and holding back from throwing up the Glucose tolerance test was complete. Within a week or so, our life changed again. 

We nervously sat in the hospital lobby area waiting for my name to be called. After hours of mindless scrolling and tapping like on Instagram we got called into a small classroom and had to learn how to deal with gestational diabetes. Finger pricking and measuring everything had to become our new normal. The magical time before welcoming our first child, was now becoming a stressful task. Four glucose checks a day, two insulin injections (which later became three) and weekly hospital check-ins were now the routine for me. 

This was definitely not what I imagined for my first pregnancy. I did not want anyone to know. I felt ashamed that this had happened to me. The hospital nurses kept telling me there was nothing I could have done differently that approximately 2-5% of pregnant women are diagnosed with this. However, I felt there was more I could have done. I kept thinking of the summer I had just had eating out, drinking, and enjoying my life instead of working out and getting “fit”. Looking back now, I realize that I could have been fit and weighted less and still could have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. The positive has been that with me being at 37 weeks now, I have only gained about 10 lbs total and have a little baby bump which keeps popping! 

PAN-WHO?

About 4 months later, in March 2020, I felt I had gotten the hang of my new lifestyle. Eating healthier and staying active was becoming a lot easier. I genuinely enjoyed my check-ins at the hospital and getting to chat with the nurses and trade hacks to enjoy yummy treats; when life changed again. 

Who would have thought that in this lifetime we would be experiencing a pandemic. Of course like most of us, we did not take this seriously at first and things just started to spiral out of control. In mid-March I called my OB with a list of concerns and of course COVID-19 was the first on my list. However the response from the OB was not at all what I was expecting. I was told that at that moment there were no guidelines from the CDC to have pregnant women stay home which meant I had to keep going to work and be surrounded by others. Fantastic. A week or so later I had an actual appointment and I was able to voice all my other concerns and was finally able to go on maternity leave a couple weeks early and self-quarantine and cancel our baby shower. Just wonderful right?

I honestly thought the 4 weeks before birth would be spent enjoying girl time with my besties, doing a maternity photoshoot and spending a lot of money at Target and TJ Maxx to get the nursery ready.. But instead I spend all day at home avoiding the news and watching YouTube videos to help me prepare for labor and birth since the hospital has cancelled all birthing classes. With this pandemic still out of control instead of planning our child’s coming home outfit, we are praying that my husband can be with me during labor and stay with us after birth. Every week at my appointment my OB informs me the hospital guidelines have changed and I am honestly planning for the worst so I can be mentally prepared and not feel so anxious, upset, and stressed if we are told my husband cannot stay. 

LESS THAN 2 WEEKS

With this baby coming in 2 weeks (or less), I can look back and say that pregnancy has taught me a lot and definitely prepared me for motherhood. No matter how much I planned and prepared at the end of the day I need to be prepared for things to change. As much as I want to make a checklist and cross off each task it’s not always going to be possible and I have learned to be more flexible. These months have also taught me that not every pregnancy is the same and to take everyone’s advice with a grain of salt; no matter how much you love that person. Being pregnant in the midst of a pandemic also allowed us to see how many people truly love and care for us and our baby. Even with the baby shower having been cancelled we are continuing to receive gifts from our registry and that means so much to us. More than we can ever express. We are genuinely grateful for our family and friends. 

Overall, pregnancy has taught me to just roll with the punches. I could have taken every birthing class and still not be prepared for labor. I now can see that all along becoming a mother has been in me and just like many other women before me, when the moment comes, I will find the strength within me and give birth to our son. 

Keep us in your prayers and send all the positive vibes our way!

-xoxo Michelle ♥️