We are PREGNANT! I can’t believe I’m finally saying those words publicly. Our little rainbow Baby Hutch will be arriving in January 2021 and we cannot WAIT to meet him or her. : )
Getting pregnant after having a miscarriage is a little surreal and nerve wracking, but obviously, such a massive blessing. (To read more about my miscarriage journey, click here.)
If anyone reading this has recently experienced a loss or is currently struggling with fertility in any way, please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. I know how heart wrenching it can be to see another pregnancy announcement when you want it so badly yourself. Having a loss/infertility is not a journey I would wish on anyone, but I am confident that you, too, will be a momma one way or another someday. <3
PS: all of the beautiful, professional photos you see of Ethan & I in this post were taken by Brittyn Elizabeth Photography, who is SO freaking talented and amazing. She took our engagement and wedding photos years ago, too! Click here to check out her website — highly, highly recommend using her for any big life event. Follow her on IG at @brittynelizabethphotography.
pregnancy (and loss) changes you
Looking back, it is wild to me that we got pregnant without trying for my first pregnancy, because the fertile window is actually quite short. Not to generalize, but I think a lot of men don’t realize that you can’t just get pregnant ANY time of the month. That is, until they go through the process of trying to conceive (TTC) with their significant other.
I spoke with a friend the other day about my anxiety with this pregnancy (which has been extremely real after having a loss) and I absolutely loved what she said.
Her words to me: “You were meant to grow and change and be challenged by your first pregnancy. It was written in your story. The unknown is so incredibly hard to think about, but His plan for your life was written so long ago that it takes all the pressure off. Now you just get to sit back, take it all in and enjoy what’s in store, and THAT is pretty cool.” TEARS. <3
I think she is absolutely right. Our first pregnancy was unplanned, but welcomed, and then devastating, but it changed my heart forever. For the better. I now have so much more empathy for others and just a different perspective on life in general. I hate that we had to live through that, but I know that good things have/will come from it.
trying to conceive after a miscarriage
It took about seven weeks for me to get my menstrual cycle back after my miscarriage. At the time it felt like an eternity, but in hindsight, I realize it could have taken a lot longer. My OBGYN told me that we were cleared to start trying once I got my first natural cycle. (Obviously, always talk to your doctor about what is right for you.)
Everyone is completely different in terms of when they feel ready to try again after a loss. I think it was a blessing that I had those seven weeks to grieve and really process all of the extremely heavy emotions that inevitably come after a miscarriage, especially since most of that time was spent in quarantine due to COVID-19.
So many people reached out to me with their thoughts, prayers, and apologies, assuming that quarantine would make it all harder because I had to go through it “alone”, but honestly, I liked it. It was nice to be able to just be with Ethan and the dogs and process it all in the comfort of my own home.
I did also visit with a grief counselor (virtually) a couple of times and found that SO helpful, so if you are struggling, I highly recommend talking to someone. There is no shame in asking for help. Check out my blog post with tips on dealing with grief + resources here.
beginning the trying to conceive (TTC) journey
Once my period returned, I felt ten times better mentally and emotionally. It was just really encouraging to know that my body was working like it should again. I also felt ready to try again by the time it came. I was still nervous, but ready.
My OB told me that I could use ovulation sticks if I wanted once we were ready to try, but she advised against it if I thought it would really stress me out. Stress is obviously hard on your body and can make it harder to conceive.
I really wanted to use ovulation sticks, at least for the first cycle, so I could get a good baseline understanding of when I ovulate, how long my cycles are, etc. rather than just blindly trying.
A lot of apps will “estimate” your fertile window (FW) and “average” women ovulate around day 14. However, that was not the case for me — I ovulated around day 20, so we would have completely missed my FW if I relied on what the apps told me and didn’t use ovulation sticks. Just FYI for anyone else out there counting on being the “average woman”. 😉
what i used to track ovulation and get pregnant
Click here for the ovulation sticks / pregnancy tests I used from Amazon. It’s an incredible deal — only $17 for 50 ovulation strips and 20 pregnancy tests, and it all connects to an app on your phone.
During this process I discovered that these Amazon pregnancy test strips were more sensitive than the expensive ones you get from the drugstore, so I will never be purchasing those again in the future, haha.
Initially, ovulation sticks were slightly stressful and discouraging, partly because I was expecting to ovulate around day 14 like “most women”, but didn’t for a whole extra week. I kept getting low readings every single day for over a week and wondered if I would ovulate at all that month. But eventually, I did.
Much to my surprise, we successfully conceived the first month of using these ovulation strips. Obviously, again, everyone is completely different.
I was in complete shock and denial for the first week or two, because it just seemed too good to be true. And again, after a loss I think it is normal to be cautiously optimistic. However, I will say that I had a pretty good feeling from the start with this pregnancy. For whatever reason, I just had a lot of faith that this was the baby meant for us.
Our due date is January 17th, the day before my sweet niece Sierra’s birthday. We found out we were pregnant right before Mother’s Day, just like my sister-in-law did three years ago. They got pregnant with baby #2 the first month using these ovulation strips & she actually gave me the rest of her box to use since they were “good luck”. It just felt like a God thing and everything was aligning.
When i found out i was pregnant
Ironically, my period was supposed to come on Sunday, May 10th — Mother’s Day. As you may know, a lot of the tests say “get a positive result 5 days before your missed period!”. However, they are liars, lol. At least that was the case for me.
On Wednesday, four days before my period, I got a negative test. I knew it was still early, so I didn’t get too discouraged. I took a test the next day, Thursday, and immediately thought it was negative again. But after waiting the 2-3 minutes to actually read the result, there appeared to be a very faint second line. I swore I was hallucinating.
I texted a friend who I had been going through the journey with and sent her a photo. “Is there a second line? There’s no way there’s a second line. I’m crazy, right? Am I imagining that? It’s probably just a shadow.”
Her response: “Girl, there is DEFINITELY a second line. Pretty sure you’re pregnant!”
At first I didn’t allow myself to get excited because I truly didn’t believe it. I also didn’t say anything to Ethan yet because I didn’t think it was real. Why get his hopes up for nothing?
The next day, Friday, I took another test. There was definitely a second line this time. It was darker — there was no denying that it was there. And yet, I was still in denial, LOL. But I decided it was time to tell Ethan either way. (I’ll share the video of telling him if he approves!)
I know a lot of people take the test with their significant other, and that’s great, but part of me wanted to surprise him if/when it did happen again. I also did NOT think that was our month. But it was.
how i told ethan i was pregnant
Ethan was working on something out in the garage that afternoon, and I had a plan. I set up some things in the closet of what will be the nursery. Baby clothes & toys that I bought during my last pregnancy. I also bought myself a Mother’s Day card and set it up along with the baby items.
I told Ethan I wanted him to come check out my set-up for a recording for Amazon that I was going to do. This wasn’t completely untrue, but just a way to get him into that room, and not question my tripod being out. He is used to me shooting content with my tripod so he was completely oblivious and thought nothing of it.
I will share the video, because it’s so good. Unfortunately I missed his facial expression when it FINALLY clicked that I was telling him I was pregnant, but you can hear the crack in his voice and feel the tears in his eyes. I keep saying “I think so” because I was still so hesitant about the faint lines that had appeared, haha.
He was obviously so excited too, and it was exactly what I had pictured in my mind, but I thought it was just a dream and wouldn’t actually play out like that. I felt so, so thankful.
As I mentioned, we got this news right before Mother’s Day, which was a crazy feeling. I got inundated with messages that day from the sweetest people letting me know they were thinking of me and praying for us to get our rainbow baby.
Part of me felt guilty that I was not able to share that news, but of course it was way too early to be certain of anything at that point. And I was of course still grieving the loss of our angel baby, because that is a pain that gets better with time, but never fully goes away. It is an interesting feeling to mourn that loss while being so excited and thankful for this baby growing in my belly.
my first few sonograms
Probably the only positive thing about having a miscarriage is that your OB’s office will typically let you come in a little earlier when you get pregnant again to make sure things look okay. At least mine did/does, which was really helpful to calm my anxiety.
I went in pretty much right away to get bloodwork to confirm that hCG (the pregnancy hormone) was present and that the pregnancy tests weren’t lying after all. LOL. They have you come back 48 hours later to make sure your hCG levels are doubling like they should in a normal, healthy pregnancy. I did that and all was good.
You can head to my First Trimester Recap post (coming VERY SOON!) for more info on my first few doctor’s appointments, baby’s heart beat, etc. Spoiler alert: all looked great, thank God.
For the most part, I had a good feeling about everything. Unfortunately, though, I still had a lot of anxiety, but to an extent, that’s normal with any pregnancy. It’s an overwhelming time and a huge responsibility, and your hormones are literally going crazy, haha. But I wouldn’t trade the crazy symptoms and mood swings for anything.
telling our families we were expecting
I would say the process / timeline of telling people is also a little different after experiencing a loss. At least it was for us. Maybe for some people it makes them want to wait even longer to tell anyone, but I was actually the opposite.
I wanted my family to be in the know about my appointments and any concerns along the way so I could have their support and prayers. Going through all of it last time with just Ethan and I was extremely stressful and isolating, especially since it was our first time, AND we were living with my parents at the time.
I told my mom just a few short days after finding out. She was very happy and excited for us, but of course, cautiously optimistic. Part of me was afraid that would be everyone’s reaction this time, but it wasn’t really, which was a relief. Most people were very enthusiastic, haha. I think I just caught my mom way off guard.
I wanted this time to be as fun and “normal” as possible. As in, I didn’t want to treat it as a “post-miscarriage pregnancy” where we are walking on eggshells and feeling scared the whole time.
From the very beginning I decided that I was going to enjoy every second of it, no matter what happens. I’m fully aware that anything can happen at any time during pregnancy, but I’m choosing faith, praying a lot, and know that being scared and pessimistic isn’t going to help anyone, especially me. *PS: still reminding myself of these things daily – have not perfected any of this*
We gradually told other family members, a few at a time. I share more details on who we told and when in my First Trimester Recap post here! (COMING SOON!)
thank you for all of the love and prayers
I just have to say thank you again for all of the love, prayers, support and random check-ins over the last few months. It has meant SO, SO much to me and really helped me through some of the really dark times post-miscarriage.
It has also been amazing to connect with some of you who have also experienced a loss and just be vulnerable with total strangers. The internet is a weird, crazy, amazing place.
I could not feel more thankful and blessed right now and I am just praying for a continued healthy pregnancy. Again, if you are struggling right now, I am so sorry, and I’m praying for you. I know this could be difficult to read if that is the case for you. I was there and I know it stings every single time. As hard as it can be to see when you’re in the thick of it, God does have a plan and his timing is perfect. I truly do believe that.
My first trimester recap with details on symptoms, diet/exercise changes, cravings, appointments, and all of that fun, first trimester stuff is coming in the next day or so!
Can’t wait to bring you all along on this journey with me.