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Growing Baby M: Part 1

I didn't blog much during my pregnancy, except for a couple posts about how we found out we were pregnant.


To be honest, I was completely consumed by fear.

Pregnancy after loss(es) proved to not only be a physical challenge, but an emotional one as well. For me, it was very difficult to trust my body to create and carry life when it has let me down every single time we (us + science) tried before.


Eleven times to be exact. What would make number 12 different?


Don't get me wrong - I was absolutely ecstatic that we were finally pregnant!


But thinking about baby registries and nursery decor and everything we needed to do before Baby M's arrival took my anxiety to a whole new level.


It's like my brain was trying to protect my heart. I lived in fear that the moment I began dreaming about nursery colors or baby showers, something terrible would happen to Baby M and we would be back to square one. Can you relate?


The fear of losing this pregnancy was crippling.


How did I get through it?

  • Help from my supportive husband

  • Weekly therapy

  • Strong faith and trust in God

 

June 5, 2023: Our First Ultrasound


On Monday, June 5, first thing in the morning, we had our first ultrasound at the University of Iowa Clinic in West Des Moines. I was six weeks pregnant.


Clare (our favorite ultrasound sonographer) was running late but called and wanted us to wait until she arrived! She said it was like Christmas morning that day at the clinic - everyone was both nervous AND excited for us!


The fetus, gestational sac, yolk sac, and fetal pole were all visible on the ultrasound. I'm not sure if I took a breath the entire time! We even got to see a super tiny heartbeat. 💓


I was measuring 5 weeks 6 days with an estimated due date of Januar 29, 2024!


We met with the doctor right after the ultrasound. She told us making it to this 6-week ultrasound was a HUGE milestone and that our chance of miscarriage decreased from 30% to 3-5%!


This is a giant decrease and was such a relief! Seeing that tiny baby for the first time made it much more real for both of us.


Clare printed off photos from our ultrasound and handed them to Brian.

"Here you go, Dad!" she said.

Brian's eyes welled up with tears because no one had ever called him that before.


Right after that appointment, Brian and I hit the highway for our road trip to Montana! His sister was getting married out there, so we decided to make it our summer vacay and spend some time at Yellowstone! We stayed in Bozeman for a few days before the wedding (actually, we were going to start our road trip over the weekend, but plans changed since we got to have our first ultrasound!).


It's a lonnnng drive out there, so we had a lot of window time to talk and dream. One major point of conversation was, "What are we going to call our baby while he or she is still in the womb?


Peanut? Baby? Smoosh?

The first unique wildlife we saw at Yellowstone was a moose. So that is what we went with.


Moose. ❤️


We even got a little stuffed moose from a gas station and took it on all our adventures! That stuffed animal was a constant reminder that there was LIFE GROWING INSIDE ME.


I am a sucker for good symbolism. ☺️



Since we were still so early in pregnancy, it was very important that we continue progesterone shots (remember this for when I write about our delivery!) at the same time each night, so we had to sneak away from wedding festivities to "take shots". LOL



The wedding was absolutely beautiful, but I will never forget having to run out of the reception venue and throw up in my bridesmaid's dress!


 

Fertility Clinic Graduation


For the whole month of June, the fertility clinic kept close tabs on me and Baby M. Our nurse helped us choose an OB and even put in a good word for us.


Our last appointment with the fertility clinic was July 6, 2023. We were so sad to leave this fantastic group of nurses and doctors who had become like family to us.


We know we wouldn't have made it to this point without each and every one of them. I wish we could have stayed with them during the whole pregnancy! I am thinking someone should open a fertility clinic that follows you all the way through pregnancy!


A friend of mine made special thank you cookies for us to take them on our last day, and we made sure to get a photo with all of the staff!



 

In Part 2 of Growing Baby M, I'll talk about the rest of my pregnancy: cravings (or not), Baby M's first concert, our fabulous baby shower, OB appointments, NST after NST, and a few scares along the way!


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