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You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to write this post and let the cat out of the bag! This weekend, we went to my hometown, Lousiville, Ky., to celebrate our Baby GIRL with my family! This visit was officially supposed to be our gender reveal, but as I learned early on in this pregnancy with babies (and of course, in life), nothing ever goes as planned.
Let me back up to Week 6 of my pregnancy because I mentioned a particularly dark and trying first trimester. There was a period of time early on – and for several weeks – when we didn’t know if this pregnancy would make it. It was sad – tearful and heartbreaking.
Once we found out the embryo transfer was successful and that I was pregnant, things were moving along well. Instead of choosing the gender, we wanted the doctor to use the best embryo. Our medical team knew not to tell us the gender and instead we were going to do a gender reveal with my family over the Summer. We couldn’t wait for the surprise! But as Week 6 started, I began bleeding. I was still under the care of the fertility clinic and my reproductive endocrinologist so I called and they told me to come in. I dropped everything and went.
On the phone the nurse told me it was too early for an ultrasound but when I arrived, my doctor performed one – this would be the first time I would see our baby on a screen. She told me that the bleeding could be normal but wanted to take a look. What she saw wasn’t good.
I had developed bleeding between the embryo and uterine wall (what in medical terms is called a subchorionic hematoma). This is the most common cause of first trimester bleeding and it’s not always problematic, but in my case it appeared to be. My doctor said the bleeding was interfering with the development of the gestational sac and that I had an 80 percent chance of miscarriage. She confirmed miscarriage isn’t common in IVF pregnancies, but it can happen and if I did in fact miscarry, we would need to investigate further. There was nothing we could do but wait. She told me to rest over the weekend and come back to see her the following Monday. Before I left, as I sat sobbing on the exam table, I asked her to tell me the gender. In my heart, even before that day, I knew it was a girl … and I was right.
David was traveling for work and got the earliest flight home. I walked home from the doctor’s office in tears over the baby girl I would never meet. All weekend we waited and nothing happened.
The following Monday, we arrived at our doctor’s office bright and early. Both of us a ball of nerves, trying to stay positive. The ultrasound showed that the hematoma was still there but had gotten smaller and the pregnancy was progressing. My doctor was amazed and we breathed a sigh of relief. We would still need to be watchful, but things were improving – the risk of miscarraige was now 60 percent.
The next six weeks were uncertain. The bleeding continued (right up until the end of my first trimester), I was instructed not to exercise and the nausea set in around Week 7 making it all that much worse. Trying to keep this all a secret while juggling my teaching schedule and getting my classes covered as needed for doctor’s appointments and tests wasn’t always easy, but I was grateful for everyday I remained pregnant. If there’s one thing this experience taught me it was to be completely in the moment each day of my pregnancy. In fact, I credit my mantra, “Today I am pregnant,” and my incredible, supportive and positive husband for getting me through those trying weeks.
Are we happy it’s a girl?
Like all parents, all we wished for was a healthy baby but now that we know it’s a girl – we’re both thrilled! We both know that a girl will be the best addition to our family. David already talks about “his girls” and can’t wait to have two of us to spoil!
Do I regret finding out the gender?
Not one bit. In moments of crisis we do what we need to get through it. In that moment, I needed to know. In fact, now we both agree that we couldn’t have waited this long to find out! Knowing the gender has made us feel more connected to our baby before actually meeting her than we ever imagined we could. In many ways we feel like we’ve already met her and can’t wait for the day – but not too soon!
Do we have a name?
Yes, we’re 98 percent settled on a name and have only changed our minds once! We’ll make the final decision when we meet her, but that’s something we’re keeping a secret until we do.