Bump Date – The 2nd 20 Weeks of our Pregnancy

Before I can share with you about our daughter’s birth and life so far, I feel the need to finish the story of our pregnancy.  The last update I gave was at 20 weeks – half way through the pregnancy.  At that point we were just about to find out the gender of the Little Pom Pom.  So much happened in that second half of the pregnancy!  It was a roller coaster of trips, parties/showers, doctor’s appointments, blood tests, emotions, and prayers.

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Charlie’s grandmas, aunts, and “aunts” all contributed verses and prayers that we covered the wall behind the crib with before painting. These are prayers for her as she grows, for the person she will become and the life she will lead. Prayers to help her through whatever this world throws her way.

20 Weeks

The emotional roller coaster began with surrendering our anxieties about the health of our baby leading up to the 20 week anatomy scan.  We surrendered that anxiety and trusted in God’s plan for the pregnancy and the baby.

At 20 weeks we were told that Charlie was a perfect baby, but that we would need to have another ultrasound at 24 weeks because her head was measuring a little small.  They figured that was just an inaccurate measurement because of how active she was.

At the very end of week 20 we had our gender reveal!

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In between weeks 20 and 24 I was referred to see a hematologist (blood doctor) for issues with my platelets (the cells in your blood that causes your blood to clot).  I have a platelet count below the normal range.  Come to find out, I have an antibody that destroys some of my body’s platelets, causing the lower count.  Thanks to all of the blood work I had to have done throughout the pregnancy I am now not nearly so bad about needles, but Will’s still not ok with them… I had to have my blood drawn weekly for almost the entire second half of the pregnancy.  More on that to come.

24-25 Weeks

This is when I transitioned into maternity pants.  I finally had an actual bump!  I didn’t just look like I had one too many pieces of pie after Thanksgiving dinner anymore!

24 Weeks!
24 Weeks!

The emotional roller coaster continued in week 24.  When we went in for Charlie’s growth check we found out that at 20 weeks she was measuring quite small, but her head was measuring very small.  She had grown since 20 weeks, even gained some ground, but her head was still small compared to the rest of her small self.  Because of this we were referred to the high risk doctor for a special ultrasound to find out if there was any cause for concern.

Week 25 – We went to the high risk doctor and had a super fancy ultrasound done – you could see the blood pumping through her heart!  The doctor told us “heads come in all shapes and sizes.  It’s what’s inside that matters, and what I see looks perfect.”  We were elated!  It was the first doctor’s appointment we had gone to in a couple of months and left without some possible bad news or some other test that needed run.  Nothing but good news!

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At this point we started registering and planning decorations for her room.  By the end of May we had purchased a jogging stroller (our first purchase lol), the crib was up, we got a steal on a glider off of Craigslist, and we had painted. Will’s mom and my mom had also pitched in their sewing skills to help make the curtains and the crib skirt.

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28-32 Weeks

In June I had the opportunity to go back to Kansas for a week!  While I was there my sister through me the most amazing travel themed baby shower!  At the end of June we went to Texas for the wedding of one of my college roommates.

There are 4 generations of women in this picture =)
There are 4 generations of women in this picture =) My outfit actually was one of my grandmother’s maternity outfits!

In between the two trips was the dread gestational diabetes test… I failed the one hour test.  That meant I had to take the 3 hour test, which I barely passed.  Between those two tests and my weekly platelet count check I had my blood drawn six times that week… there were bruises. Barely passing the glucose test was a shock and meant I had to limit sweets and carbs some.

33-37 Weeks

July came before we knew it.  A good portion of this month was spent working on a special quilt for Charlie.  Both Will’s mom and my mom were a part of that process as well. We learned how to have a baby and started working with an amazing doula! Our friends and family blessed us with so many wonderful gifts, a beautiful shower, and the most precious prayer time. We also had our maternity pictures taken and celebrated our 4 year anniversary!  July was moving a long nicely.  Charlie was doing great, my belly just kept growing and growing, and I was still feeling pretty great considering I was 33-37 weeks pregnant.

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But then it happened… my platelet count started dropping again.  There’s a threshold that you are supposed to be above in case you have to be administered any sort of anesthetic for an emergency c-section. I was rapidly approaching that threshold, and then I crossed it.  At 36 weeks they started me on steroids.  Steroids can mess with your blood sugar, so in addition to the medicine I had to start pricking my finger multiple times per day.

The bright side in all of this is that we had another ultrasound, and much to our surprise, our daughter was all caught up!  They told us that you would have never known we had been due to a small head size because her head (and everything other than her femur) was normal!   In fact, home girl had some seriously chubby cheeks!

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At 37 weeks we found out that we would most likely be induced at 39 weeks if my platelet count was up and I had started dilating.  Strike while the iron is hot and not risk anything.

38-39 Weeks

At our 38 week appointment I had lost weight, and my belly wasn’t measuring right.  For those reasons we had another ultrasound that day to make sure that the steroids weren’t causing problems with my amniotic fluid levels.  Our doctor told us as we were going back to the ultrasound room “If this doesn’t come back normal you’ll be having your baby today instead of next week.”  Everything checked out though! So our induction was scheduled for the following week.

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39 Weeks

Now the story of her birth is something I will leave for another time, but I want to close by saying that it was definitely God’s timing.  The night we went in for the induction my platelet count had dropped, and the next morning it had dropped below the acceptable threshold again – good thing I wasn’t planning on an epidural because I couldn’t have had one if I wanted it.  Labor and delivery went well.  Charlie was born.  She was healthy.  I was healthy.  And at 39 weeks and 1 day our pregnancy was over.  Now for the roller coaster of parenting.

20 Weeks – the Verse for our Child

Do you have verses that you pray over your life, your friends, or your family?  Are their certain verses that really remind you of a certain person or vice versa do certain people bring certain verses to mind?

Here’s a funny story –

Will and I are reading through the Bible this year.  We typically listen to the chapters for the day from our Bible app in the evenings.  One night as we were listening, I heard this verse that just hit me.  I knew that was the verse for the Little Pom Pom.  I knew it was supposed to be my prayer for this child. The next morning, I looked the verse up in my Bible so that I could underline it and write a note next to it.  Wouldn’t you know, there was already a note there from sometime in the past about how I wanted this verse to by my prayer and people’s reaction to Will and I’s future child.  Isn’t God funny like that!

Luke 1:66 and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.

This verse sort of concludes the story of the birth of John the Baptist.  It is talking about how the events leading up to John’s birth and his birth impacted people, causing them to give glory God, and recognize that God was clearly at work and with this new baby.

some pictures of the Little Pom Pom at 16 weeks. The elephant plays a recording of the Little Pom Pom's heartbeat and the book is our awesome pregnancy journal from our brother and sister-in-law.
some pictures of the Little Pom Pom at 16 weeks. The elephant plays a recording of the Little Pom Pom’s heartbeat and the book is our awesome pregnancy journal from our brother and sister-in-law.

I want nothing more and nothing less than that for the Little Pom Pom.  I want our friends, family, anyone else who hears about our child, and I especially want the Little Pom Pom to go through life with the confidence of this verse propelling and comforting him/her.

This verse (along with the prayers, words of encouragement, and verses spoken over us) was a source of peace and reassurance as we awaited our 20 ultrasound today.  There are so many ways that Satan can trip you up and lead you into a place of worry and anxiety during pregnancy.  Over the last month of this pregnancy Will and I found ourselves wandering down the path to anxiety and fear.  But you know what – God was so faithful to gently lead us out of that place and back to security and trust in His character and the knowledge that this child is HIS plan.

Little Pom Pom's precious hand that it likes to scratch its head with and punch me with!
Little Pom Pom’s precious hand that it likes to scratch its head with and punch me with!

Today, April 5, 2016, we had our 20 week anatomy scan ultrasound.  Everything checked out! The Little Pom Pom is an A++ baby.  An active, ornery, stubborn A++ baby.   He/she was squirming so much the ultrasound tech could hardly get the need measurements.  It took 10 minutes to get him/her to reveal the gender, and the whole time he/she kept sticking its tongue out!

Our precious, ornery little miracle =) This is the Little Pom Pom earlier today at 20 weeks.
Our precious, ornery little miracle =)
This is the Little Pom Pom earlier today at 20 weeks.

We feel so blessed and relieved to know that our child is developing correctly according to the medical world’s standards, but no matter what happens, we can rest assured that this baby is developing according to God’s plan.  And we, along with everyone else, can watch and say “What then shall this child be?” because the hand of the Lord is with him/her.

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One last picture for kicks and giggles – this is what the ultrasound tech likes to refer to as “Terminator Baby” lol.

Bumpdate: First Trimester

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We are now officially out of the first trimester – 15 weeks along!  Although it definitely wasn’t the most fun, I still count myself pretty blessed!  Thankfully, it flew by!  It was a season of joy, celebration, adjusting, and new adventures!

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From left to right you are seeing weeks 4-7.

 

Symptoms:

In the very beginning, I was tired, would get light-headed when I tried to run, Izzy wouldn’t leave me alone, and I did not have much appetite.  Thankfully, my energy level was pretty good over Christmas, and the nausea was only starting.  After we got back from Kansas the nausea really kicked in.  I had to eat AS SOON AS I woke up.  Some days I only wrestled the nauseous feeling till 10 or 11, other days it didn’t hit till the afternoon, and some days I wanted to lay on the couch in a ball all day long.  I had a headache about once a week.  I would rather feel nauseous than have a headache…. Tylenol doesn’t even put a dent in headaches for me, and headaches only make me feel more nauseous.

There was one weekend that was absolutely miserable, but we made it through!  We made it through

all of it thanks to the stocked cooler I kept in my car with me as I went from Trainer Joe’s group to Trainer Joe’s group.  Also thanks to my gracious husband who took care of me, did extra dishes, didn’t complain that we ate terribly for a time because I didn’t feel like cooking and only wanted to eat carbs, and didn’t question or get on me for spending way more time laying on the couch than ever before in our marriage.

Thankfully, my symptoms started subsiding about week 10 and are gone now!

first trimester
From left to right you are looking at 8, 12, 13, and 14. I think 9, 10, and 11 are on Will’s phone.

Milestones:

Well, there was finding out that we are pregnant for one, lol.  One of the best parts was the first appointment when we got to see the Little Pom Pom and hear its heartbeat for the first time! It was so reassuring and mind boggling!  The Little Pom Pom was only the size of a raspberry, but CLEARLY looked like a human…. but it also kinda looked like a gummy bear.

The excitement, joy, and God’s love that overflowed when we announced to our families and again when we told all of our friends.

Little Pom Pom at 8 weeks! He/She looked like a little gummy bear. =) So precious! From right to left you are looking at the head, arms, and legs.
Little Pom Pom at 8 weeks!
He/She looked like a little gummy bear. =) So precious!
From right to left you are looking at the head, arms, and legs.

Highlights:

One of the highlights of my life as a whole is the memory of telling Will that he’s going to be a dad.  There were also the highlights of sharing the joy with my family on Christmas Eve, telling Will’s family about a week later, and our friends.   Oh, and there were the people who didn’t know what we meant when we said that we were expecting lol!

Seeing the Little Pom Pom for the first time was surreal; I love having the ultrasound pictures to look at! Getting to record the heartbeat at our 12 week appointment!  Finally getting past the size of prune (we thought we were farther along than we were at the first appointment)!

Finally, a new tradition that Will and I started to help savor this season – Dinners at Cheesecake Factory after our doctor appointments.  We made this our little tradition because that is where Will happened to be taking me on a date the night that I told him.

We have a doctor’s appointment next week!  We’re nearly 4 months along!  So crazy to think that we’re only 5 weeks away from finding out the gender of the Little Pom Pom!

first trimester
Here we are at week 15!