I have made announcements on this website before. They have always been that the blog is going to get a redesign or we are moving again. Those have been something big, but definitely not the big announcement you all have been wanting or waiting for. Now, the big announcement is here:
I’m pregnant and Baby Birt is due mid-February
We are so excited, joyful and anticipation the arrival of our little one to join our family. There’s a part of us that still doesn’t quite believe it or fully get we are having a baby and in only a few more months will be holding this little one in our arms.
You guys, this baby has been a long time coming. Oh man, have I wanted to be a momma for years. It has been a long standing desire of my heart that I have had to wait and wait for. The waiting is almost over, although I do want to wait until the full 37+ weeks to meet this one.
Phil and I knew when we got married it was not the right time to have kids. We both wanted a house of kids (our quiver full) but there were some things we needed to do before the time was right. The first thing on the list was my health. When we got married I was already about 1 year into my gut healing journey but I knew I still had a long way to go. Not only did I not think my body was strong enough to be pregnant I didn’t want to pass on any of my health and gut issues to my baby. A strong body creates a strong baby and I knew I wasn’t strong enough.
I also wanted to feel good enough to be a good mom. There were some days I struggled to take care of myself and try to get some housework done. I knew I couldn’t be the best mom because I would be so tired and sick and who knows how my body would have struggled in postpartum recovery. I saw ahead and we realized it wasn’t the right time.
The “talk” about when to have kids has come up many times over the years and we decided with much prayer that we were ready for babies last fall. My body was the healthiest it had been in over 10 years, I felt strong and we felt the green light from God that it was time. Finally, I said!
This is where the story gets hard. The good news is we tried and we got pregnant. It seemed really easy (pregnant on the first try), but we were beyond excited about the baby. We started dreaming, researching and all the other amazing things that comes with finding out you’re pregnant. Sadly, the excitement didn’t last long. We were on vacation in Hawaii and when we came home I had a miscarriage at 6 weeks. Our tropical traveling little one wasn’t going to join our family and it was the most devastating thing we have gone through both individually and as a couple.
God is so good and so much healing and growth has come from this experience. If you have had a miscarriage my heart goes out to you and I am sending you one big virtual hug and a couple of tears. The miscarriage mommas group is something I never wanted to be a part of, but am so much more tender towards pregnancy, babies and other mommas or want-to-be-mommas out there. I plan on writing more about my miscarriage and what I learned and maybe it can help one of you out there. That topic will be blogged about more once this baby is born. One thing at a time.
The hard seemed to get harder. I read (and read and read and researched some more) all about pregnancy after miscarriage and what to do to get pregnant again. In all of my research I found physically you can start trying right away because your body can recover quickly and there’s no increased risk for a reoccurring miscarriage. Emotionally, healing takes a lot longer. I don’t think you heal emotionally back to where you were. You heal into a changed person, hopefully for the better.
We started trying again and month after month the answer was a no. It’s hard to get a no, but it’s really hard to get no after no, especially after a loss. I got really stressed out. There were some big career/ job changes in the works and that was definitely affecting my body (aka fertility). Stress and fertility is a big thumbs down.
After 6 months of trying I wondered if getting pregnant was something that would ever happen to me again. What was wrong? I was doing so much through diet, detox, supplements, abdominal massage and castor oil packs. I felt like the list went on and on and despite what I tried the answer was no.
God and I had a few talks over these months. There’s a few things I learned and as I look back am thankful I learned. First, God opens and closes the womb. I was doing everything I knew to take care of my body to keep myself healthy to enhance and promote fertility. I believe this is important and something, as women, can and should do. The lesson was despite what I was doing it was God who decided the timing on our next pregnancy.
The more I tried didn’t mean the more likely I was to get pregnant. It was my job to do what I knew my body needed and trust that God had a plan for our family. One of my dear friends Kysa texted me in the midst of this saying “God already knows your children’s birthdays, trust him”. And it’s true. He has a plan and I decided the best thing I could do was surrender my desires to his good and perfect and pleasing will, even if I didn’t understand it at the time.
In the next month I decided to look at my comprehensive blood work I had ran a few months before. My brother is a chiropractor too (did you know that?) and he’s amazing at what he does. Anyways, he helped me find out I was very iron deficient. It was lurking in the “normal” range for the medical system but very low for functional medicine standards. We started me on an amazing supplement that helped me build up my iron levels.
I found out that your fertility can be affected by 40% by having low iron because it can affect ovulation. My suspicion is that I was low iron with the first pregnancy and after the miscarriage I bet I became anemic. Anemia + stress is bad news. I don’t necessarily attribute my iron supplementation to getting pregnant but I know it served a purpose in getting my body healthier and allowing me to support my body.
Now onto the good news. Two months later we celebrated with a positive pregnancy test. It was so surreal and didn’t feel real to me or my husband. I wanted that positive pregnancy test so badly and now we saw one the instant feeling of deep seated fear took over in my brain. What if I had to go through another loss? I didn’t know if I could handle that but I knew God had a plan and I could go one day at a time in his strength.
My first trimester was a time of extreme fatigue, no appetite and food aversions (honestly I’m still feeling the food aversions months later). It was also a time of a lot of rest, low stress, staying home and taking care of this growing baby. I spent so much time talking to God and getting into his word to believe truth about this pregnancy, like “You’re pregnant, believe it” and “Not everything ends in loss”.
It was a hard 3 months but I was so thankful to be pregnant and also have a time of complete rest. I had nowhere I needed to go and it was a true gift. Lots and lots of naps taken during the First Trimester. Greta was my nap partner. Always eager to take a nap with me. My first trimester mantras were Little by Little, One Step at a Time and So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. -1 Corinthians 3:7 (Thanks Lara Casey)
At 11.5 weeks we got to hear the heartbeat at our first midwife appointment. It was one of the best days of our life and that little heartbeat coming from inside of my belly was the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard. We recorded it and I often listen to it now as a reminder of the blessing inside of me.
The love we have for this baby is beyond anything I’ve felt and I know it will grow stronger once we meet him or her. This is our rainbow baby (a baby after loss) and the opportunity to be parents and meet this little one is greater than I can even describe. And to answer a question you are thinking, we are not going to find out the gender of our little one. It’s going to be a birth surprise.
Now I am 19 weeks along. I have a belly (that popped at 14 weeks) and I’m feeling lots of little kicks and movements from this babe. Best feeling ever. Pregnancy has been the best gift but also has had it’s challenges. I barely did any work my first trimester and I’m still struggling to get food in me and trying my best to eat as healthy as I can. That’s hard for a foodie like me who loves food and usually has an appetite and a desire to eat. Have you noticed the lack of food posts and pictures lately? This is the reason. I couldn’t post pictures of me dipping cheese in cottage cheese or that I ate taco dip for 2 days straight. You would know something was up, but now the cat’s out of the bag.
This next season is really a new one for us. It’s uncharted territory and we are excited for all the new coming to our family. I will be posting baby updates and bump shots on Instagram. Be prepared for more baby related postings in the future.