Hi everyone! Brad and I are super excited to welcome a precious little baby into the world in August! I recently moved into the second trimester (currently 14 weeks), so I thought I’d share a little bit about the first trimester – how we found out, how we told our family and friends, and the joys and challenges.
How We Found Out
Brad and I were headed to New York City for a little getaway at the beginning of December, so I decided to take a pregnancy test (because to be honest I wanted to know if I could drink alcohol on this trip). We had not been trying very long, so we did not expect to get a positive test. And we didn’t. Not pregnant! Bring on the coffee and wine! So we went to NYC, came home, and expected to start my period within the week (sorry if that’s TMI but it’s how pregnancy works people!).
But the days came and went and I still had not started. The next weekend we bought a two-pack of pregnancy tests – we figured I could use one that day and have another for the next month, because at this point we still weren’t hopeful we were pregnant. (I think after watching many friends struggle to get pregnant over the last few years, I was hesitant to get my hopes up that it would happen quickly. I think I was subconsciously guarding my heart for what I feared.) So I took the test and guess what! It didn’t work! The control line didn’t show up. Completely blank. Good thing we bought a two-pack. A few hours later, as we were getting ready for my work Christmas party, I took the second test. I left it in the bathroom so I could put my hose on and Brad set a timer. When the timer when off Brad went and got the test from the bathroom. He came out holding it with a crazy look on his face and I thought he was pulling my leg.
But he wasn’t. It was positive! We didn’t cry, because I think we were mostly in shock. We smiled and hugged and walked out the door to my work Christmas party! All night we had to act like normal people even though we had just found out this life-altering news!! It was so hard not to just blurt it out at dinner!
Amazingly, I hadn’t thought much about what we would do after we found out we were pregnant. I think I was afraid to dream of that moment too much because of the heartbreak I’d watched so many others walk through. Luckily, Christmas was coming, which afforded so many great opportunities and fun ways to let those you love know your great news.
How We Told Our Families
We found out that we were pregnant on a Saturday, and we already had plans to see both of our families the following weekend (the weekend before Christmas), so we kept our news to us for the week. Brad’s sister moved home from college that Friday, so we planned to go out to eat with Brad’s dad, sister, and mom, but his mom ended up not being able to come. Brad tried to convince her to come, but it just didn’t work out. Also, we were supposed to have lunch with my parents on Sunday, but the weather was bad and they decided not to come. Our parents rarely cancel plans, so we were like, “Of all the weekends to cancel plans this us, you choose this one! Ahhhh!” We gave them a hard time about it later. Anyways, we decided to tell Brad’s dad and sister anyway because I just couldn’t hold it in any longer! Brad’s sister has been asking us to have a baby more than anyone else over the years, so I was very excited to tell her.
When we travel, we like to take videos and pictures throughout our trip and turn them into a little video when we get home. We had done this while in NYC, so Brad put our video together and added a clip at the end of us announcing that we’re pregnant (you can watch the video here). So we were those very annoying people that forced our family members to watch our vacation video. Before we left for dinner with Brad’s dad and sister we asked if we could show them our vacation video before we left. They obliged, and as soon as it cut to the clip of us in our kitchen talking to the camera, Heather started crying because she knew what was coming. We all cried and hugged and headed to dinner to spend the rest of the night talking about pregnancy and babies and the future. It was really special.
On the following Thursday, my brother, his girlfriend, my aunt Lori, and cousin Jaclyn had all gotten into town for Christmas. I asked my mom if we could all hang out at her and dad’s house that night. Again, we asked my family if we could show them our vacation video and they kindly said yes. We were bummed we couldn’t tell my parents the weekend before, but it ended up being super special to have Lori and Jaclyn there. My family’s reactions were exactly what you would expect if you know them – my mom was super emotional, my dad was stoic, and Dylan was all smiles.
We never had the chance to tell Brad’s mom individually, so at his extended family Christmas we wrapped up an extra gift for Lea. After all the presents had been opened, we told Lea that there was still one more gift for her. Very confused, she opened a “grandkids” picture frame in which we’d written “Baby Bartlett coming August 2017”. Her reaction was so priceless – happy tears and lots of hugs. It was also so fun to tell his extended family because this will be the first great-grandchild in the family. His grandma exclaimed, “I’m going to be a great!” I was super touched by how happy they all were for us.
Of course you probably saw our announcement on Facebook. I love that it’s simple and super fitting for us. (Although I’ve had to cut waaaaaay back on my coffee intake.)
The Joys and the Challenges
Sharing our news with our family the week of Christmas was so special, but my sickness set in at the exact same time. I didn’t get to enjoy the Christmas food and I was so exhausted, as if Christmas wasn’t busy and tiring enough! The following six weeks were fairly challenging – I struggled to eat, was completely zapped of energy, and felt general icky most of the time. I was also leading two major projects at work (aka high stress and working lots of hours), which I normally handle fairly well, but this season really pushed my limits physically and emotionally.
In the last couple of weeks I’ve regained my energy, eating is getting easier, and I’m feeling overall much better, although I’m still throwing up almost every morning, which, amazingly, I really don’t mind.
Just a note – I know it’s hard for those struggling to get pregnant or those who’ve had a miscarriage to hear pregnant women “complaining” about the pains of pregnancy. I totally get that this can be hurtful and insensitive. I never want to sound like I’m complaining! I am so grateful for the life growing inside of me and I wouldn’t trade the exhaustion and sickness for anything! But feeling bad is just a reality for this season and I can’t say that it’s not hard. The almost ever-present nausea was also a constant reminder of those out there hurting and longing to feel what I’m feeling. Know that I’m praying for you and that you would trust what the Lord has in store for you and your family.
Our first two appointments were so fun. We had a sonogram at the first one and got to see little baby B wiggling around like crazy. At the second appointment we got to hear the heartbeat (161!), which was a real relief to me. I hadn’t felt much anxiety about miscarrying, which is surprising since I had so many worries about getting pregnant, but I think God mercifully gave me a peace that the baby was growing healthy and strong in those first weeks.
But the day before our second appointment I got a text from a friend with the heartbreaking news that they were miscarrying. We had just shared the joy of telling them “we’re pregnant!” to which they exclaimed “us too!”. Then I was suddenly taken back to a year and a half ago when our dear friends found out they too were going to miscarry when the heartbeat could not be found. I prayed throughout the day and night that I would trust the Lord with what was to come the following day. It probably took the nurse less than 15 seconds to find the heartbeat, but it felt like forever. When we heard the sound, Brad and I looked at each other and smiled a sigh of relief. Little baby B was still growing strong.
We’ve taken a total of 1 picture of my baby bump so far (whoops!). I noticed a little pooch form right around the time I started to feel sick at 6 weeks, but it really just looked like I indulged too much at Christmas. For the following 7 weeks I felt like it barely grew any bigger, but I have noticed it gaining size in the last week or so. I’m so excited for my belly to start growing, but I’m trying to be thankful that I still fit into all of my clothes. I lost some weight in the first trimester, so the waist of my pants is starting to get tight, but the legs and butt are baggier than usual.
I think that our dog Libby knows that I am pregnant. She is needier than usual and always wants sleep on my lap or stomach, when she is normally content to lay beside me.
Poor Libby, her life is about to change so much! I really hope that Libby loves our baby and we can be those people that post pictures of their dog and baby cuddling.
I’m sorry this post is so long! It’s okay if you just skimmed it. My blog is a place that I share about my life with others, but I also like to think of it as a place that I can go to look back on the journey that God has taken us on. Thanks for following the journey with us.