Mommy Monday: 20 Weeks, Gender Reveal!

Warning: This is going to be a LONG post! 

Wow, where to begin?? I guess I’ll start one week ago! This past week, in particular the past few days, has been a whirlwind! Last Sunday, I flew home to Seattle last minute to be with my parents because my mom had an accident (she is doing fine and will be ok!). It was so nice to be home for a couple of days and to be able to help take care of my mom! I missed Ben though, of course! I hate being away from him. I got back to California on Wednesday, and Ben and I took Gunner for a long walk, had a nice dinner, and spent the evening relaxing and just being together.

Thursday morning, we had a doctor’s appointment with our OBGYN - just our standard monthly follow up. She checked the baby’s heartbeat, which was normal, and then sent us on our way. No ultrasound, pelvic exam, anything…which is normal, but we were a bit disappointed just because we thought *maybe* we’d get to find out the gender at that appointment since it was our half-way mark. In fact, we had DEFINITELY gotten our hopes way up so it was kind of emotional when we didn’t get to find out that day. Our doctor said she didn’t make guesses about the gender because she often times gets it wrong, and since we had our Anatomy Scan scheduled for the next morning, she wanted us to just wait until then to find out. But she did jokingly throw out that based on the heartbeat she thought it might be a girl. 

The rest of that day, Ben and I were emotionally drained, and anxious for the Anatomy Scan the next morning. We knew that 100% we would for sure find out the gender Friday morning, and we were so excited! We were also very very anxious and nervous, because the Anatomy Scan goes through and visually checks every single organ and part of the baby’s body to make sure that it is growing the way it should be, that it’s organs are functioning properly, that there aren’t any problems, defects, etc… Big big appointment!! 

Thursday night we took Gunner on a long walk again, then came home and watched the GOP debate. I worked out on my mini elliptical for awhile while we watched the debate. We talked about how the next day was going to be one of the best days of our lives, since it was the day we were going to find out the gender of our first baby!

The next morning, we headed to the perinatal specialist for the Anatomy Scan and to find out the gender of our baby. The ultrasound tech told us that before she did the scan of the baby she was going to check my cervix via ultrasound, as is the standard. She started the scan and right away I could tell something was wrong…she kept asking questions like, “This is your first baby?” and things like that. Finally she finished the ultrasound of my cervix and told us that my cervix was not looking like it should be and that she was going to go get the doctor to come in to take a look before she started the scan of the baby. 

Ben and I waited in the room, SO NERVOUS. I had read about things like this and know people who have had this same thing, and I was pretty sure that would mean that I would need stitches in my cervix. Other than that, we had no clue what to expect or what this meant. The ultrasound tech came back in and told us that she was going to go ahead and do the scan of the baby and THEN the doctor would come in and talk to us. She did the scan and our baby is totally perfect, healthy, fully formed, and all of the organs are functioning perfectly! We were so so so relieved! She couldn’t get a picture of our baby’s face because it was facing my back and kept covering it's little face with it's hands, which was pretty cute. She said, “It’s ok though. You’ll be coming in A LOT because of your cervix, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to see your baby’s face!” Which was also a little nerve-racking to hear. She asked us if we wanted to know the gender and we both said yes, and she told us, and we were (and still are) SO overwhelmed with joy and a new love that is so hard to describe! It just makes it feel so much more real knowing what gender our baby is. Our baby has a name now, and it feels like we know it so much more now. 

Then the doctor came in, and first of all said that our baby looked perfect and healthy. Yay!! BUT, my cervix was VERY short… 1.2 cm, and they want it to be 3.8-5 cm. It had started to open on it’s own…bad news. But THANK GOD that they caught it when they did!!! Otherwise, our sweet little baby would have been born MUCH MUCH too soon and would not have made it. So, I can’t stop praising God that they caught this when they did. I was sent directly to the hospital and admitted at around 11:30am or so. It was my first time being in the hospital as a patient and it was SO scary! Ben was so so sweet (and I could honestly write an entire blog post about how incredible he has been and is). 

The nurse hooked me up to an IV (my least favorite part of my time in the hospital to be honest…IVs SUCK!!), and a technician drew my blood. They put straps around my belly to monitor my heart rate and the baby’s heart rate. The monitors were showing that I was having minor contractions, which is normal (they are called Braxton Hicks) EXCEPT for the fact that my cervix was opening. If my cervix hadn’t been opening it would have been totally normal. It’s a body’s way of preparing for real contractions. But the fact that my cervix was opening made it pre-term labor. I couldn’t feel any of this so it was very confusing and weird to me. They didn’t seem terribly concerned though, which was sort of comforting.

At around 4:00pm they took me into a (HORRIFYING LOOKING) operating room to get a spinal (injection into my spine that numbed me from the waist down). My legs went numb right away which was so weird feeling. I wont go into details about the surgery itself, other than to say that it was scary, I puked while on the operating table, and it was the most humiliating experience of my life, haha. (Picture being spread eagle, unable to move your legs, with four people crowded around your lower region, etc… haha)

So after the surgery, they transferred me into the recovery room and Ben met me in there. Then we waited until about 10:00pm for my legs to work again and for me to be able to use the restroom. The doctor came in and said that the surgery went well, and that she had placed two stitches in my cervix. She told me to take it easy for the foreseeable future… no laundry, dishes, cooking, housework, walking, exercising, anything. Just laying down, sitting, and getting up to use the restroom. No being on my feet for too long. The scariest part, or the part that made the situation hit home the most, was when she told me not to do anything that I might look back on and regret if something were to happen. We HAVE to keep the baby in me until at the VERY least 24 weeks. I am about 20 1/2 weeks now. So, four more weeks at LEAST. Hang in there baby!! I’ll be going into the doctor every week now for check ups and to be monitored. 

I’m home now, and officially on bedrest. It’s been tough: no working out, no walks with Gunner, no going anywhere except to the doctor every week, no cooking, no cleaning… poor Ben, it all falls on him. He is such a saint…I can’t say enough. He takes SUCH good care of me. I have a whole new appreciation for him now than I ever thought possible. I couldn’t ask for a better man to have caring for me and loving me, and he is already the world’s very very best father. 

It’s been really hard processing all of this. I feel a bit of shame in myself since my body is putting our baby at risk. But I am so thankful that our baby is healthy and perfect, and I have faith that it will be kept safe inside of me for a long time until it is ready to survive on it’s own out in the world. It’s hard not being able to do any housework and having to leave it all to poor Ben. It’s hard not being able to exercise, or take Gunner on our daily walks. It’s scary not knowing if I’ll be able to keep our baby safe long enough for it to be ok. It’s hard having to tell people about this because in some way, however irrational is might seem, I’m a bit ashamed. But, I’m feeling better each day! Just healing from the surgery, and wrapping my head around our new situation. And just SO incredibly thankful that the situation was caught before something bad happened!! Mostly, I just don't want people to feel sorry for me or for us...this is a HAPPY time!! And it's SUCH a blessing that the issue was caught in time and that our baby is safe!! :)

Bedrest Life...

So, for now, it is Netflix and a lot of reading for me! I’ll continue working on articles and updating my blog. I’ll settle into a new routine, and it will all be fine! It’s just an adjustment, and it’s definitely kind of scary. Once we pass the 24 week mark I will be able to breathe a *little* bit easier, and every week after will give me more and more peace of mind. Any prayers you can send our way are GREATLY appreciated! :) 

As I said, it’s been a whirlwind, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten some things, or left some things out…but that’s the gist of it! We’re doing well, just adjusting and figuring out this new situation. More than anything, we are SO SO SO thankful that our sweet baby is well! God has consistently shown that he is watching over this baby - first with the news of the Zika virus just DAYS before we were supposed to go to Mexico, and now with the discovery of my shortened cervix JUST in the nick of time to be able to keep the baby safe inside of me for as long as possible. I feel like I am just constantly praying, thanking God for taking care of our baby and for watching out for us. SO much to be thankful for!!

Now, we are SO HAPPY to share that we are expecting a healthy, strong, perfect little baby boy!  We seriously could NOT be more thrilled! When the ultrasound tech said, “This is a baby boy!” Ben and I both were in shock and I asked, “Is it really??” as a huge grin spread over my face. We’d both really wanted a boy for our first child and this is just such a blessing and we are so happy!! The tech was so certain, and clearly, yes, this is a baby boy! We are just so thrilled and happy and thankful and full of so many emotions! 

How far along: 20 weeks 3 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up about 12 lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes! I was planning on doing a photoshoot this weekend in my new PinkBlush dress that they sent me. Ben and I were going to do a half-way point/gender reveal photoshoot. But, obviously, that wasn’t an option this weekend. Oh well! Hopefully soon we can do a little photoshoot in our home! :)

Stretch marks? Nope!!

Sleep: Sleeping well for the most part!

Best moment this week: Finding out that we are having a baby boy!!

Have you told family and friends: Yes! 

Movement: Yes!

Food cravings: Chicken, oranges, meat

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really.

Have you started to show yet: Yes! 

Gender: Boy!!! So so so incredibly happy!!

Labor Signs: Yes, apparently contractions, but hopefully that’s all under control now!

Belly Button in or out? In but flattening out!

Wedding rings on or off? Off because of the surgery, and I haven’t put them back on yet! My fingers were a bit swollen.

Happy or Moody most of the time: So so happy and thankful!

Symptoms: Breathlessness, peeing all the time, Braxton Hicks apparently.

Thank you so much for reading and for your prayers! Please pray that my cervix stays closed, that baby boy stays safe and healthy inside of me for as LONG as possible, and that Ben has the strength, mentally and physically, to care for me, Gunner, and the house, all while working more than full time. He is such an absolute saint…I am so so thankful for him and for how sweet and loving he is with me and with our son already. Until next week!

xo, Anna