My baby’s heartbeat, photos, and an update

“When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place.” ~ Unknown

This past week seemed like it’d never end. I know since hearing the news that I’m pregnant again that we have had quite a few of you just as anxious as us to hear a little reassurance. After miscarrying three time over the years I have to tell you the biggest fear I have in pregnancy is the first trimester. I’ve spent a lot of time this past week resting and keeping myself busy when I did have energy so that my mind wouldn’t begin thinking about the past or the risks.

Today I had my first ultrasound to help confirm the due date. Knowing that I’ve had a history of irregular dates they wanted to be certain they were close with the due date and of course we prayed the ultrasound would help us feel more confident that this little one was going to be okay. Jason and I agreed we’d take the kids to the ultrasound. We’ve always been very honest with them and honestly they help keep my nerves a little more calm when I’m as emotional as I’ve been lately. As I found myself extraordinarily nervous about to head into the doctor’s office Hope and I took a quick photo. I have reminded her the last two days how happy I was that she’d be there because I really feel like she’s my good luck charm. I began to think back to the past. Call me suspicious but she was there for Jaylen’s first ultrasound and he made it here safely. During the last pregnancy she was in school and I remember feeling so empty hearted not having her there beside me. Here’s me and my baby girl (aka my good luck charm).

meandhope

We’ve definitely embraced this pregnancy and the support surrounding us has been amazing. It was so reassuring again today walking in realizing how many in our doctor’s office are pulling for everything to work out well for us this time. We were greeted with so many smiles today and it was so reassuring knowing how on edge they knew we felt after our last pregnancy.

I’m quite a proud Momma…here to make sure everyone knows that this little one is doing so well. I was brought to tears by my little one’s amazing heartbeat. 166 beats per minute to be precise. They told us it’s a great sign. As far as due dates they were nearly right on and only different by two days. The ultrasound estimated the baby to be 7 weeks 4 days and the original estimation leaves me at 7 weeks 6 days. When ultrasounds are within week of the estimated due date they keep the original due date given so that means tomorrow I’ll be 8 weeks along. And well, this little one should arrive around March 8, 2011. The doctor said give or take a week or two because of how unpredictable babies can be. Given my history we won’t be surprised if it’s a week or two sooner than that due date but we’ll just have to see what God has planned.

I know you all are probably curious to see the first photos of this little one. It’s still early so it’s tough to see much, but here’s a few photos our third little one thriving within my belly.

ultrasound-07262010

There’s no forgetting
I suppose some may think it’s been easy to just pick up and move on since the last miscarriage. I wish I could tell you all I’ve totally forgotten about it. Even after finding out that I’m pregnant again, it’s impossible for me to erase the memories or the hope I once had for the little one I lost. But the quote by Oscar Wilde helps me think a little more optimistically about it all, “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” I think this time around God’s making sure I feel every single ounce of this pregnancy to help remind me how important this little one is. But no matter how much time passes I know God’s going to find his own ways to remind me of the little angels I’ve lost. Today on our way to the doctor it was only ironic that I hear the Kelly Clarkson song “Already Gone”, you may or may not remember me writing about the impact this song had on me after the miscarriage. It was the song I heard on the way to the hospital before first surgery and every time I hear it I swear it reminds me of that little one I lost in October. I’ve been so thankful that the radio has played it a little less often lately so to hear it for the first time in a while today brought back a rush of memories and emotions. As I sadly thought back to those moments today it seemed to symbolize a more hopeful meaning. And though I know my heart will never completely let go of the sweet thoughts for the little ones I’ve lost I now have so much hope for this little one that’s now on the way.

What are the risks now?
Honestly, the doctor said things are looking very good for us. All the prenatal lab work came back normal, including my progesterone levels. Since I was pregnant with Hope the doctor discovered my prosterone levels were low and needed to be supplemented in order to sustain the pregnancy. Every pregnancy after I was given progesterone for the first trimester. I was relieved to hear this time the test came back normal because I wasn’t so sure I could endure progesterone making me feel more sick than I already feel. I asked the doctor if they’d keep checking my levels or if there were any concerns given my past and he said that the levels are at an adequate level and show no reason to show concerns so I will escape this first trimester without having to take it! The doctor knows how incredibly nervous I am after miscarrying a few times now and he reminded me that typically risks of miscarrying are 20% of all pregnancies. He said once we hear a heartbeat that risk goes down to 3%. I’m not one to rely on numbers, especially after the fall and being told that 2 or 3 surgeries rarely happen and are virtually unheard of. But yes, seeing this little one’s heartbeat today brought me some much needed reassurance. Every time I’ve seen it before I’ve been blessed with a little one. The doctor reminded me that typically they look back at the history of previous viable pregnancies and given that we’re hoping this pregnancy goes smoothly. Lord knows I need a little break from all the risks and concerns and really deserve to just enjoy the moments of anticipation that come with expecting a child.

Is it a girl or boy?
I have to laugh at how many times we’ve been asked either that or if we wanted a girl or boy. It’s entirely too early to know and to be honest we won’t be finding out until the baby is born. I’m sorry if any of you are disappointed with the fact that we hope to be surprised this time around. We look at it this way. We have a girl. We have a boy. Honestly, we don’t really care what we have as long as our little one arrives into this world healthy. We didn’t find out Hope was a girl until the day she was born and it still is one of the most amazing surprises we’ve experienced. We sure loved knowing that Jaylen was a boy before he was born but to be honest, our family doesn’t need to be wrapped up in the materialistic hopes that come with knowing the sex of your child. We have this feeling it’ll bring a great sense of anticipation and help us appreciate this little one that much more.

How in the world will you do everything with three kids?
Yes, I’ve already had a few people asking me this question. I knew it was coming so I may as well answer it now. People ask me that now with just two kids and I really don’t know “how”, I just have faith that everything will work out as it was meant to be. I realize it may mean that this coming year I will pick my battles wisely. My family comes first. I have absolutely no intent to ever stop teaching. Obviously there’ll be a little break for maternity leave but I have every intent to continue teaching full time as I have been. This year I will begin my tenure track ILP which is a three year process. I still don’t know how I will do it all, but I have faith that I will conquer it just as I have so many other things in life. I’m thankful to have such amazing and supportive colleagues and students at Valencia who I know stand behind everything I do. I will somehow complete my Masters degree at Savannah College of Art & Design. I will likely take less classes than I have in the last three years but I know at this point my family and career take precedence. I know I also have amazing support at SCAD and something tells me taking a little pause in my degree won’t put me as far behind as I once feared. I will also continue pursuing my photography business. It will leave me far more limited with time but I suppose that means I will take on only photography commitments I have time for. Something tells me being a little more selective in my work may end up building me that much more of an amazing portfolio. I am sure once the little one arrives I’ll slow down photography commitments dramatically but I have this feeling in the months ahead you all will begin to see an awesome new collection of newborn photography leading up to the day that I am able to spend all this time and energy into photographing my own little one.

So that’s it. Our update that we know many of you have been waiting to hear more about. In about a month we’ll return for my next OB appointment which will include another ultrasound. Thank you all once again for all the amazingly kind words of encouragement and support you’ve sent our way. There’s no doubt this little one is loved. 32 weeks and 1 days to go until we get to meet our little newest blessing.

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July 26, 2010 - 8:58 pm

Lisa Macon - Mazel tov, as my people say, and with it all the luck and joy that statement brings.

I’m so excited! Excited that you are pregnant. Excited that everything is good with the baby. Excited that we have a fun 7 months ahead to watch you and support you! What fun!

July 29, 2010 - 6:31 am

Susie @newdaynewlesson - Hope you continue to feel fine and all goes well. Congrats again.

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