Mommy Monday: 31 weeks pregnant with number two!

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Happy Monday!

I hit the 31 week mark on Saturday, and I am so incredibly thankful to be feeling so well still! This pregnancy has been such a blessing...easy, fast, "normal"... I can't stop thanking God for this experience.

Today, James was sitting next to me on the couch and I felt the baby kicking. I asked J if he wanted to feel the baby, and placed his little hands on my stomach. James felt kicks and looked at me with this really amazed smile on his face and his eyes gleamed. Then, he laid his head on my stomach, and wrapped his arms around it, and just held his baby brother...it was seriously so special and so sweet. But THEN, as if that wasn't adorable enough, J jumped up, ran over and grabbed his water cup. He brought it over and held it up to my stomach, giving his baby brother a drink. I almost died, it was the most precious, sweet thing I have ever seen. I'm so proud of James...he's a truly one-of-a-kind little boy and he is already the best big brother!

James and I made no-bake toddler cookies and they turned out so yummy! James had so much fun making them and he did a really great job. He was very focused, haha. Baking is serious business! You can get the recipe we used for these cookies HERE

Now, for this week's survey:

How far along: 31 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up nearly 30 lbs as of my last appointment 1.5 weeks ago.

Maternity clothes? Yes!

Stretch marks? All around/above my belly button.

Sleep: Not great!

Best moment this week: James hugging his baby brother in my tummy and sharing his water with him. I mean, what more could a mama ask for? :)

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: So much! :)

Food cravings: Peaches

Anything making you queasy or sick: No.

Have you started to show yet: Oh boy, yes haha

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Lots of Braxton Hicks.

Belly Button in or out? Half in, half out...it looks kind of like a unicorn...haha

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy. But a little cranky. And A LOT emotional. haha

Symptoms: Leg cramps, at night heart burn, light-headed, out of breath, THIRSTY, hungry all the time, stretch marks, spider veins, EMOTIONAL, hormonal, feet starting to hurt if I stand on them too long.

Thanks for following along! I love all of the e-mails and messages that I get from you guys! This is such a fun community, and I am so grateful to have connected with each of you!

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Baby After Bedrest? My Thoughts On Baby Number Two

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Warning: This will be a long one, guys! It's probably the most personal blog post I've ever written.

If you've been following my blog for awhile, you know that my pregnancy with James turned out to be a really challenging and scary one, leading up to an even more frightening birth experience.

To summarize, I was given an emergency cerclage and put on bedrest at 20 weeks due to having a shortened cervix. Being on bedrest for the next 16+ weeks was the most challenging experience of my life, both mentally and physically. It was 16 weeks of being terrified for my baby's safety, my body deteriorating, and being bored and antsy and...it was just a really really emotional and hard time.

I ended up having my cerclage removed at around 36 weeks and I was taken off of bedrest at that time. At 39 weeks 3 days, I went in for my weekly check in with my doctor and he noted that my right leg was waaay more swollen than my left leg. He said he wanted to have me induced and to check for a blood clot. I was sent right over to the hospital where I was admitted and was told I would be given an ultrasound on my leg to check for blood clots. The doctor on call who would deliver James came in and basically told me that there was a good chance I would die suddenly and that she was very very concerned. When I told her I was scared she said "I think that's reasonable, I am too." Um. Without going on and on too much here, what AWFUL bedside manner. It REALLY messed me up, to put it lightly. I burst into tears and was horrified (read more details here). Bottom line, I DID NOT have a blood clot. They went ahead and broke my water and I went into labor and delivered James without any further complications. (Click here to read our birth story)

I haven't opened up too much about the mental aspects of how all of this affected me. I'm not sure I really want to. I have shared with my close family, because I DEFINITELY had (and still do have) a lot to work through. It was a traumatic experience from the moment I was told my cervix didn't look right at the anatomy scan. Then after all of that and being told I would die, I was thrust into the throes of new motherhood which is a huge life-altering experience on its own, let alone after all I had been through. I still struggle with everything that happened. I'm scared. My anxiety is through the roof. I'm more emotional. I'm more aware of how very quickly life can be taken away, and how fleeting and fragile and precious life is. I'm still healing emotionally, and probably will be for a long time. My experience, without trying to be too dramatic, has forever changed me - has forever changed my mind - and it will haunt me for the rest of my life in some form. BUT I ended up with the most beautiful little boy, and I am absolutely so grateful for how everything turned out!!

At first, Ben and I were pretty scared to even think about the possibility of having another baby. We both want more kids, but we are also SO SO SO VERY happy with just James. James is EVERYTHING. He is our perfect blessing - healthy, happy, strong, whole, beautiful, smart... we are so thankful for him and for the fact that we were blessed with a son and that we all came out of that pregnancy and labor and delivery SAFE. We are so thankful to be parents, and we thought "why mess with what we have?" Because what we have is perfect. Why risk having to go through that again? Why risk me dying? Why risk losing a baby if all didn't go well? I was suffering from PTSD and so so unbelievably scared to even consider doing that again.

As time went by, and James turned a year old, I began to feel a pang of baby fever. My little boy was becoming a toddler and babyhood was slipping away so quickly. I pictured having another little one close in age with James for him to play with. Ben and I talked, and decided that I should sit down with my doctor and talk about if it was a good idea for us to get pregnant again, or if it was NOT recommended. We didn't want to be selfish by getting pregnant again just because we wanted another kid, and then put the new baby at risk because of a shortened cervix, or risk me dying, or upset James' perfect, happy, charmed little life.

I met with my doctor and laid out all of my thoughts, concerns, fears, questions... he looked at me, smiled and said "have a baby!" He explained that bottom-line: I DID NOT HAVE A BLOODCLOT. Bottom-line: Nothing happened to the baby. Bottom-line: Everything turned out FINE and I made it nearly to my due date, and maybe would have longer if they hadn't moved things along. Bottom-line: we will NEVER know if I even NEEDED a cerclage and bedrest at all, because my cervix never changed and I maybe would have made it full term even without all of those precautions. Bottom-line: I may not even have any issues with my cervix next time around. My doctor said, "If you were my wife, we'd be having a baby. Hopefully I'll see you back here soon pregnant!"

I was relieved, but still skeptical. My doctor recommended that I meet with Maternal Fetal Medicine, since high risk pregnancies and all of that are their specialty. So I did. I met with ANOTHER doctor from MFM, and he basically told me the EXACT same things that my doctor had. This doctor told me that if I get pregnant again, I wont be put on bedrest because it has been found to do more harm than good in most cases, because of inactivity and how it can increase the risk of blood clots, and also how bad it is for a person mentally. He said I also wouldn't have a cerclage again. He explained that there is no scientific evidence that a cerclage or bedrest do any good or make any difference. He told me to get pregnant.

A number of emotions went through my head after my meetings with the doctors. I was relieved and excited. I felt a bit angry that I had been through a cerclage and bedrest for maybe no reason, but then quickly I felt guilt for feeling angry because God knows I would have done ANYTHING ANYTHING ANYTHING in the entire world to keep my son safe inside of me until he was able to survive in the world. I felt confused. I felt a LOT of skepticism. These doctors were not the doctor that did my cerclage and put me on bedrest and monitored me up until I was around 30 weeks pregnant - did they REALLY know??

Ben and I have discussed everything at length. Most of all, we don't want anything to negatively impact James. But having received such adamant and confident assurance and encouragement from two separate doctors, we feel very encouraged and excited that we have the option of trying for baby number two, if we choose to do so.

A lot of prayer is going on over here. Prayer for guidance and for strength and for the right decision to be made and for God's will to be made known. We will see what happens. We will see what we decide to do. But for now, I am clinging to the words of each of my doctors, telling me that I have to remember that EVERYTHING TURNED OUT TO BE OK. My son was born full-term and healthy, and I did not have a blood clot. I wouldn't be considered high risk going into another pregnancy.

I'm ok. James is ok. I am ok to get pregnant again.

But I'm still scared.

So we'll see. But that is where we are at. We have been given the go-ahead by two different doctors, and Ben and I would both love to have more children. But we'd also be SO SO SO fine with just having our bright, sweet, shining little boy! I am an only child and I loved it.

Whatever we decide to do and whatever happens, I pray that it is God's will.

So that's where we're at!

Have any of you had another child after having a scary or hard pregnancy and/or birth experience? I'd really love to hear your story if you have.

 

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Mommy Monday: 28 Weeks and another big update!

Wow, so much has happened since my last Mommy Monday update! Last Monday I was just feeling off, and I didn’t get around to doing my 27 week update. That whole weekend I was having a TON more Braxton Hicks contractions than normal. Monday night I woke up with period-like cramps that lasted about an hour and a half or so. I had my weekly ultrasound and appointment with our perinatologist scheduled for Tuesday morning, so I decided that I would definitely mention those cramps and the increased Braxton Hicks when I saw the doctor. 

 

At the appointment, they checked my cervix as usual and it was still stable. They checked the baby as well and he was perfect as usual and weighing in at 2 lbs 13 oz - right on track! :) I also got another round of the steroid injections to help the baby’s lungs develop quickly. 

 

When I mentioned the increased Braxton Hicks and the cramps, the doctor hooked me up to a monitor for about an hour or so. Low and behold I was having contractions, and a lot of them. The weird thing was that I couldn’t feel most of them. Only the big ones, and even then they didn’t hurt, they just felt like my abdomen getting tight for a bit, which is why I assumed they were just Braxton Hicks. The doctor sent me straight to labor and delivery at the hospital down the street and told me that I could expect to stay there at least until the weekend. Ben and I were SO worried, scared, and shocked.

 

We headed over to the hospital and they hooked me up to an IV (my least favorite thing EVER!!!!) with a magnesium drip to help stop contractions. I had to be on a fluid restriction while I was on the magnesium because magnesium can make your body retain fluid, specifically in your lungs which can cause pneumonia. So I could only drink little sips of water and only have a very limited amount each day. I was SO THIRSTY. 

 

I was on the magnesium from Tuesday through Thursday afternoon. They unhooked me from the IV, but left the IV needle in my arm with a saline lock in case they needed to use it again in an emergency. They started me on Nifedipine, an oral medication that stops contractions. I’ll be on that medication until l am 36 weeks. I have to take that every four hours, even at night! Which is a bit of a pain in the butt, but TOTALLY worth it! 

I got so many beautiful flowers while I was in the hospital! Thank you!!

 

I FINALLY got to go home on Sunday! The doctor checked my cervix and it hadn’t opened at all, so that was good. I am SO HAPPY TO BE HOME!! 5 nights in the hospital was really really hard and miserable, but obviously so worth it to make sure everything was ok and to keep the baby safe.

 

My sweet Ben spent every single night in the hospital with me. He slept on this awful, saggy cot next to my hospital bed. He only went home for a couple of hours each day to shower and walk Gunner, and then he was right back with me. I was seriously SO blown away by him - I couldn’t believe how sweet and caring he was and how he hardly ever left my side the entire time… I fell even more in love with him during that hospital stay. I never ever think it’s possible to love or appreciate him more, but somehow it just keeps happening. I’m such a lucky girl. I could go on and on and on, but I just thank God every day for giving me such an incredible life partner. 

 

My parents also flew down and came to visit me in the hospital every day, which was so sweet of them. They stayed at our house and took care of Gunner for us, cleaned, and prepared a bunch of frozen meals for us. They are the best!

 

Anyways, long story short, that’s the gist of it. We’re home now and I’m on even stricter bed rest and on this new medication, but all is going well! Tomorrow I’m 29 weeks pregnant! Woohoo! And tomorrow we go in for our weekly appointment and ultrasound with our perinatologist, so it will be nice to have her check my cervix and check the baby again after having been out of the hospital for a whole day and a half. It will be so nice to make sure everything is still stable and hangin’ in there! I am SO thankful that our baby boy is doing so well and that we are HOME. And I am really thankful that I didn’t have to stay in the hospital until I deliver, which is what a lot of girls in my situation have to do. Hospitals are NO FUN. 

 

All of your continued prayers, well-wishes, positive thoughts, and good vibes are SO SO SO appreciated! Please pray that I don’t have to go back to the hospital and that we have smooth sailing from here on out and that our little one stays in until at least 35 weeks (which is only 6 weeks away … crazy!! And exciting!!!). 

This is my 27 week picture - I didn't take a 28 week one because, well, i was busy. haha

 

How far along: 28 weeks 6 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up about 20 lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes!

Stretch marks? No!

Sleep: Not great, between the constant trips to the restroom and having to wake up every four hours for my medicine! haha

Best moment this week: Getting to come home from the hospital!!!!!!!!

Have you told family and friends: Yes! 

Movement: A lot! He’s getting SO strong!!

Food cravings: Fruit, salads, protein

Anything making you queasy or sick: No!

Have you started to show yet: Ooohh yes!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Contractions. 

Belly Button in or out? Part in, part out still. haha

Wedding rings on or off? On!

Happy or Moody most of the time: So so emotional, but happy!

Symptoms: Contractions, peeing all the time.

Thank you for reading!! 

xo, Anna

Mommy Monday: 23 Weeks!

Quiet time with the little bump and a good book!

The bump and some new workout pants - So excited to work out again once the little guy gets here! 

Hi there! As I’m writing this, my ribs are being pummeled from the inside by a certain little someone. :p Tomorrow, we hit that MUCH anticipated 24 week mark! Or, as I am affectionately referring to it, Viability Day! Hitting 24 weeks is the first major milestone since we found out about my shortened cervix. We’ve reached the point at which baby boy can survive outside of me IF he were to be born early! But of course we don’t want him to come just yet. Now, the next goal is 28 weeks! After that, 30 weeks, and then just as long as possible! We’re doing this! Hang in there, little guy!

At last Tuesday’s weekly check up with my perinatologist, we learned that my cervix had shortened again a tiny bit. The doctor said to just keep doing what I’m doing, and that some shortening was normal as my body prepares to give birth, but that we just don’t want it to shorten too soon. So, that was not what we wanted to hear, especially after getting the news the week prior that my cervix was stable. Needless to say, my anxiety over the situation has kicked up a notch. BUT, now that the 24 week mark has arrived, I am very slightly less anxiety ridden. At least we know that if he is born soon he has a chance at surviving! :) Just taking it one week at a time and each week I’ll be able to breathe a bit easier!! You know who is NOT stressed or anxiety ridden? This baby boy. He's just kickin' back and relaxing in there! It looks like we have a little thumb sucker on our hands! :) I die every time I look at this picture...so freaking cute!!

Today, I go in to get my first steroid injection. This is for the purpose of speeding up our little guy’s lung development. I go back in again tomorrow for the second round of the steroid injection, and our weekly ultrasound and cervix check with the doctor. Then on Friday, we go in for our monthly check with our OBGYN…it’s a big week! Since doctors appointments are the only time that I get to leave the house, it’s going to be a very eventful and exciting week for me! Three outings! haha

I have been finishing up our baby registry, which has been SO fun! Here’s a little board I made of things that will be in his nursery: (If you'd like details about where each item is from, I can do a whole nursery post! Let me know in the comments below!)

Also, I am SO sold on this idea for a baby monitor: Owlet 

Image: www.owletcare.com

I like this idea SO much more than a traditional baby monitor. It alerts you if your baby stops breathing, and you can even sync it to your phone. With a traditional monitor or a video monitor you have to listen or watch to make sure your baby is doing ok, and if he stops breathing you wouldn’t necessarily know it. The Owlet will keep an eye on your baby for you and let you know if he stops breathing via a flashing light and an audio alert. Just love it! Plus, I've heard creepy stories about video and audio baby monitors, such as people spying or listening in. No thank you!

How far along: 23 weeks 6 days (Tomorrow we hit that MUCH anticipated 24 week mark! Woohoo!!)

Total weight gain/loss: Up about 13 lbs

Maternity clothes? Yep, having so much fun with them! 

Stretch marks? No! I slather on body oil and coco butter at least three times a day and I’ve been drinking a ton of water! No stretch marks, please!

Sleep: Sleeping pretty well!

Best moment this week: Capturing our little boy kicking on video!  AND getting a surprise visit yesterday from our good friends, the Liens!!

Have you told family and friends: Yes! 

Movement: Yes, so much! Feeling him kick is the coolest, most amazing thing in the world! 

Food cravings: French fries, meat, berries, smoothie bowls

Anything making you queasy or sick: No!

Have you started to show yet: Oooh yes!

Gender: Boy!!

Labor Signs: No!

Belly Button in or out? Still hangin’ in there…

Wedding rings on or off? On!

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy! But so emotional it’s not even funny, haha.

Symptoms: Acne and bloody noses again. So fun!

Mommy Monday: 21 weeks!

21 weeks and all is going well! I’ve been on bed rest for over a week now! Though it’s been pretty rough, I’m finally starting to get used to it and settled into a new routine. I’m keeping myself pretty busy with reading, writing, Netflix, and napping. Ben has been more incredible than I could ever explain. He is taking SUCH good care of me, our house, Gunner, and just everything. He is so amazing and I can’t even say how thankful I am to have him by my side through all of this! 

I had my (now weekly) check up with the perinatologist who performed my surgery. She said that my cervix grew from a 1.2 to a 1.3 - woohoo! It’s not a lot, but it’s something! She seemed very encouraged and after the appointment Ben and I felt a whole lot more relief and optimism about the situation! I just need to keep resting, stay off of my feet as much as possible, keep taking my progesterone suppositories, and keep praying! :) Baby boy looked perfect and healthy, and we even got to see his little face on the 3d ultrasound, which was SO cool! He’s so sweet and we love him so much already! We've started to buy a few things here and there for him, which has been so fun!! I love little baby boy clothes!!

A HUGE thank you to the friends and family who have sent gifts and who have offered to come be with us to help clean, cook, care for Gunner, keep me company, etc… We seriously can’t thank you enough! Your kindness and thoughtfulness brightens our days and helps to ease the stress! Also, THANK you to everyone who has been praying and sending good thoughts and vibes our way! The kindness and love that we’ve received from loved ones and from strangers around the world has been so overwhelming and is such a huge blessing! Your well wishes mean more than you know! Our little boy is already surrounded by so much love and positivity!

How far along: 21 weeks 6 days 

Total weight gain/loss: Up about 12 lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes! I’ve found that even while on bed rest, it’s important for me to get up, shower, get dressed, and put makeup on every day. It helps me to feel like a human being and not like a sick, lazy bum. haha 

Stretch marks? No!! Still crossing my fingers that I don’t get any!

Sleep: It’s been a bit more difficult to get a good night’s sleep lately!

Best moment this week: Hearing that my cervix had grown a smidge, AND getting to see our baby boy’s face on the 3d ultrasound! 

Have you told family and friends: Yes! 

Movement: Yes! I can feel his kicks from the outside now, as well as on the inside. We kept trying to time it so that Ben could feel, but whenever Ben put his hand on my stomach, the baby would stop moving! Or, whenever Ben left the house to go walk Gunner or go to the store, that’s when the baby started kicking really hard. haha FINALLY Ben was able to feel a kick the other night! So cool!!

Food cravings: Eggs, meat, juice

Anything making you queasy or sick: No!

Have you started to show yet: Yes! Getting so big!

Gender: Boy!! <3

Labor Signs: No!

Belly Button in or out? In…getting closer to popping every day! Yuck!

Wedding rings on or off? On!

Happy or Moody most of the time: It’s been an emotional week, but mostly, I’d say I’m just so happy and thankful!

Symptoms: Breathlessness, peeing all the time, heartburn.

Thanks for reading! And thank you for your continued prayers and positive thoughts! :)

xo, Anna

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