Cute, eh? This is how we announced to our social media world that we were expecting in May 2015. As mentioned previously, I am currently 36 weeks pregnant and anxiously (yet slowly… and uncomfortably!) moving towards my due date in November. I’ve kept track of minor details of my pregnancy, mostly via photos – but have never actually sat down and written about the experience and documented the timeline. So, here goes. My pregnancy journey – so far!
My menstrual cycle is pretty regular – so when I was late 2 days, I thought something might be up. Was I hoping to be pregnant? Well yes, actually! My husband and I were married in February 2013, and have been together since 2004 – so I knew it would be the next step for us. We weren’t technically “trying”, but we weren’t being “careful” either. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t at least paying attention to my cycle, and trying to understand when I would be ovulating – which is a tricky process to figure out! Once we were officially married, we were pretty careless to say the least. But, in those 2 years, nothing had happened yet – so I wasn’t really anticipating that anything would happen this month either. When I took the first test, I didn’t believe it… (I think this is why many pregnancy tests are sold in a double package!) I took the second test and it yielded the same result. I put the tests down on the counter and backed away – and then I started crying – (excited tears!) I was alone, and had to wait another few hours before my husband was home from work. I wanted to make him figure it out on his own, so I tried to come up with something clever – and non-mushy. We aren’t the “mushy” type. Here is what I came up with:
Get it? Okay, okay – so I didn’t reinvent the wheel…this is a pretty common method of making the big announcement – but apparently it wasn’t as common as I thought – my husband didn’t have any idea what the un-heated bun in the oven meant. It took him a few minutes (and a couple anxious laughs from me) before he got it! Once he figured it out, we had a great conversation about it – and coincidentally had an upcoming appointment already booked to meet our new family Doctor. I didn’t want to share the news with anyone else that early, but was DYING to tell my sister – she lives far away, so the pregnancy test made a cheeky appearance on our FaceTime date that evening.
April – May, 2015
Those first few weeks of “being pregnant” are pretty strange. You don’t look or feel much different, (at least I didn’t feel many symptoms until about 9-10 weeks) and nobody else knows you’re pregnant – so you can’t yet go around acting different or being open about how you’re feeling. I was lucky to not have much of a problem in my first trimester, except for fatigue/tiredness and some evening nausea without any vomiting. I spent the early weeks trying to come up with funny ways that we could share the news with our family, when the time came. On Mother’s day, we were exactly 12 weeks along – and were going to visit my mother-in-law. Here’s how we broke the news to my husbands side:
We will have the first grandchild on my husbands side, so needless to say they were very excited and gave us a great reaction! For my dad, who is already a two-time Papa, I used my pup to share the news when he came over for a casual visit:
He had a pretty great reaction too – I didn’t expect much emotional response considering he’d heard this a few times before!
My mom had one of the best reactions – but I don’t have a photo of it! While I do have a video, it’s too long to post. Essentially I came over with coffees, asked for an extra empty cup, and inside I put a pacifier with a tag on it that read “Use by November 2015”. When she went to open her coffee she knew something was up, but wasn’t expecting that!
I’m not sure why I didn’t want to tell my immediate family before the “safe” 12 week mark – I was nervous and didn’t want to jinx the pregnancy, although I realized afterwards that we would have told our family if anything had happened either way, so I would definitely tell them sooner next time!
Slightly showing at the 20th week, we decided to have a “gender reveal” get together with immediate family and very close friends. (For the record, I thought I was showing WAY more at this point – this could still have easily been hidden if necessary!) We had our 20 week ultrasound and the technician wrote the gender down and put it into a sealed envelope. I then took it to a bakery and had them make an ambiguous cake on the outside, with pink or blue on the inside. (And let me tell you, I was SO tempted to peek inside that envelope on the way to the bakery! I didn’t, though – promise!) We had our close friends and family over for a barbecue on a Sunday afternoon, and the “cake cutting” was done right after dinner. Thus far in my pregnancy, I was certain I was having a boy. My husband was impartial – not really having a “feeling” either way. We took everyone’s predictions – and actually the verdict was perfectly split between boy and girl!
The old wives tales predicted in favour of a boy, including the “90% accurate” Chinese Gender Chart. So, he or she?
IT’S A GIRL! My sister created two of these cute photos (although, she trusted my boy instinct, and so the frame came set up with the boy version!) I was so drastically surprised and excited – and my genuine shock was captured on video, too! Knowing the gender was something I wanted to know basically so I knew how to decorate the nursery… and of course so I knew what kind of cute things I could start buying for the little one!
Once we knew the gender, things started getting a little more real. The summer flew by, despite a few challenges (both physically and mentally) as I grew in size and started seeing my body change at such a rapid rate. I had a lot going on at work, and now that everyone knew about it, people were always asking questions and of course, asking to touch the belly. I had a few events to attend in August for work also, and so shopping for something formal to wear became yet another daunting task. I’m in the pink dress – you know, the one with the bump, who is wearing flip-flops due to the beginning of my horribly swollen ankles!
September, 2015 – The “Baby Moon”
Have you heard of this phenomenon? It was new to me, but I figured I would embrace it while I had the chance. When in Rome! Essentially it is an excuse to travel/vacation in your 2nd trimester (which is, consequently, the “honeymoon phase” of any pregnancy!) I was feeling fairly comfortable, the bump was a good size – clearly pregnant, but not too heavy yet – and I wasn’t feeling too tired or fatigued. We decided on a small cottage resort about 2 hours from our home, where we could bring our dog and our boat. We had great weather and enjoyed the included breakfast – although the pup wouldn’t let us go for the romantic dinner we originally planned on! We enjoyed the weekend spending quality time together – dare I admit, one of our LAST official weekends away “just the two of us” ?! That’s the idea, anyways!
Here I am now, 9 month pregnant and with 4 weeks to go before my due date. (That’s right, in case you didn’t know, pregnancy is 10 months long, or 40 weeks – NOT 9 months. I didn’t know this either, until I became pregnant myself!) Since about week 30 I’ve been experiencing a slew of uncomfortable, but manageable pregnancy symptoms. My back aches when I stand or walk for long periods of time. I’ve gained “a lot” of weight (according to typical weight gain standards – though I am pretty close to what my mother and sister gained, which is apparently the way you should compare. I am also a lot bigger in stature than both my mom and sister, and have always been heavier than I “should” be, despite being active and living a healthy lifestyle.) I am not sleeping well, if at all. My feet and ankles are very weak, probably due to the excessive swelling I experience from my knees down. (This started as occasional, mild swelling – and has progressed to consistent, severe swelling.) It is unattractive and very uncomfortable, to say the least. My shoes don’t fit and my ankles have now taken on permanent “cankle” status. My hips hurt constantly, and I’ve experienced (sorry) a few different degrees of haemorrhoids, which have taken to sticking around these days. My entire body – limbs, hands, face, and obviously ankles and feet – are puffy and retaining water. I can’t bend over to tie up my own shoes, which are 2 sizes too big just so I can cram my foot inside. I can’t shave my legs properly, but when I do attempt to, I don’t even recognize my own legs. Despite all these things, I do know that many others have it a lot worse, and so I am grateful to have made it this far with only the symptoms I have, and I know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. It has been a constant struggle dealing with body-image issues as these changes occur, and I find solace in the fact that many of my mom friends reassure me that I will feel like myself again sooner, rather than later. The end is near! (Not to mention, I’ll get the best prize for suffering through the past few months!)
And so, as we inch closer to November and my due date is now 27 days away, I will do my best to relax, sleep when I can, finish preparing the nursery and other “things” that need to be ready (future blog posts to come), and I will be grateful to be able to experience this amazing phenomenon and exciting journey to motherhood with my partner alongside.
For now, I’ll leave you with a few photos from our recent maternity session – which I was not entirely thrilled about, but am so glad we did! My amazingly talented friend Jessica captured our little growing family (www.jessicanicolephotographer.com), and I plan to have her snap a session of our new bundle of joy when she arrives, too!
4 more weeks!
*Photo credit – jessicanicolephotographer.com