Sequential Screening During the 12th Week of Pregnancy

At my last OB apptiiontment with a midwife, I was offered some optional prenatal testing called sequential screening. The tests looks for various genetic abnormalities including Down Syndrome, Cystic Fibrous, Spina Bifida and more. The test is done by looking and measuring baby through ultrasound as well as testing for different hormones through a mother’s blood draw.

I considered this test when it was first offered to me, and decided to do it for two reasons. 1) because of my history with miscarriages I wanted to know all I could about baby. and 2) with the family history of my brother dying as an infant I knew I could be higher risk for different genetic abnormalities.

On the day of the test, I was a bundle of nerves, as I always am. I went to work that morning as normal as possible. Teaching preschoolers was a good distraction for most of the day. However, as the time drew closer and closer to the test, my fears and worries started to creep up on me.

I confided in many of my coworkers, and they encouraged me and sent me many positive vibes before leaving for my test. The funny thing is, at the time I wasn’t even concerned about the results of the test or any genetic disorders that may be found. I was actually scared of the actual ultrasound. We all know how ultrasounds give me anxiety since my last two losses. I was more concerned that I had lost baby and didn’t even know it. What if baby’s heart stopped beating? What if baby stopped growing? In between work and my test I also confided in my family and friends, read my bible and did some deep breathing.

Charles and I headed to our appointment. I prayed and talked to him the entire time. Charles reassured me that everything would be just fine. When we arrived, we were called back immediately and shown the ultrasound room. Before laying down and preparing for the heated jelly, I confided in the tech and told her I was very nervous.

I laid down and prepared for the worst but hoped for the best. The tech turned on the screen, asked me some questions and began the exam. I held my breath and watched as she looked for baby. She said “There’s baby, and there’s the heartbeat.” I sighed with relief and thanked Jesus. The tech measured baby’s heart rate and it was 163. Perfect. She then started to take images of baby’s heart, stomach, head, and spine.

Baby made little movements here and there but actually looked like he or she was sleeping. The tech still had a few more images to take. She tried nudging baby with the probe and getting baby to turn or roll over… that didn’t work. She then thought she’d take a moment to look at my ovaries then come back to baby. She continued nudging baby with the probe, asking me to roll to my left then roll to my right then flat on my back. She asked me to roll quickly and roll slowly. She asked me to walk around, do some stretching, and anything to get baby to try and move.

As the tech tried nudging baby again, baby turned it’s head and looked at us. It was hilarious and obviously trying to tease the tech. Then baby started waving it’s arms and tried sucking it’s thumb. Baby even put one hand on its forehead, as if feeling irritated and trying to be dramatic. Baby was just stubborn and really wanted to nap. I told the tech during the appointment that this time of day after work is normally my nap time, so it’s understandable why baby wants to take a nap. Eventually, baby cooperated enough to where we were able to get all the photos needed for the test.

After the test I was given a bunch of pictures of our photogenic baby and sent to the lab for some blood work. I was told all of my scans and blood work would be sent to the Mayo Clinic and I would receive results from them within a week or two.

When it was time to go home, all I could do was stare in awe over baby. So many pictures. I got to see baby move and I got to see baby’s heartbeat. Charles actually enjoyed himself too because baby was starting to look like a baby! I shared the good news with my family and friends. They were excited, relieved and so happy for us.

I even shared this little update on my Facebook page as I truly want to not only share in my pregnancy with others, but also share the struggle of pregnancy after loss. I wrote:

It’s funny, now that writing is my hobby, I’m usually really good at explaining what I’m trying to say. But today, I’m at a loss for words. I guess I’ll try and speak from my heart, and maybe just maybe it will make sense.
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I’m going to be completely honest, pregnancy after loss is freaking scary. Sometimes I lay awake at night worried, and over analyzing my symptoms hoping and praying baby is okay. Other times, I am happy, I am at peace and I am content.
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Today, I didn’t know what I was feeling. I was hoping and praying for the best, but truthfully planning for the worse. When you’ve gone through loss you know what the heartbreak feels like and you remember the never ending grief, and in someways you never really escape it.
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This afternoon we had a special appointment. I walked into the room holding my breath and giving it to Jesus. The minute I heard the tech say “there’s the heartbeat.” I knew it was all okay.
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Baby is happy, healthy and stubborn! Heart rate was 163. And I’m measuring a few days early so we are already at 13 weeks! I don’t think I could have asked for better news even if I tried! Baby is okay. We are overwhelmed with joy and feeling so blessed!

Post Written 7/2/21

12 Weeks Pregnant! (Third Pregnancy/ First Trimester)

Wow… I can’t believe I made it to 12 weeks! I have never come this far along in a pregnancy. I feel so incredibly grateful. This pregnancy hasn’t been easy by any means, but is certainly a gift I try to cherish and not take for granted.

This week, baby is the size of a plum! Just 7 weeks ago baby was the size of a Appleseed… crazy! Also, this week baby’s reflexes are developing and the intestines are starting to find their place in baby’s abdomen.

This weeks symptoms include morning sickness, fatigue, cravings, hip pain, round ligament pain, heartburn, increased urination, and increased thirst. Supposedly, this week my morning sickness symptoms may start to decline as I near the second trimester.

This week, I have one appointment. I am doing sequential screening, where they test for various genetic and developmental abnormalities through a blood test and ultrasound.

12 weeks here we go! Let’s finish up the first trimester strong!

Post Written 6/25/21

Our Big Announcement!

On June 18th, 2021 Charles and I decided to do it. We decided to announce our pregnancy and make it public. It was exciting, nerve racking, scary and wonderful.

I put together our message board and it read… For this baby we have prayed, our rainbow is due in January 2022.

We received an abundance of congratulations, well wishes and prayers.

Post Written: 6/22/21

11 Weeks Pregnant! (Third Pregnancy/ First Trimester)

Officially 11 weeks! Pinch me I must be dreaming! This week baby is the size of a Lime!

This weeks symptoms include gas, bloating, fatigue, cravings, morning sickness, moodiness, hip pain, aching joints, increased urination, heartburn and round ligament pain.

No appointments are scheduled this week as I had 2 last week.

2 more weeks until the second trimester! Let’s do this!!! 💕

Post Written 6/19/21

Milestones at 10 Weeks

On Monday, June 14th I made an appointment with my midwife to check for a UTI. I was scheduled to see a midwife a week later, but was notified that my appointment was cancelled due to a conflict with the provider.

When I got to the appointment, I explained to the nurse that I was 10 weeks pregnant, and needed to be checked for a UTI. She listened and understood. She also expressed how she found it odd that I hadn’t seen a midwife yet for the initial first pregnancy appointment. I explained I had an appointment scheduled but it got cancelled. She said she was going to try and figure something out and see if since I was already there, if they could just do everything at once.

When the midwife came in, she introduced herself and explained that we were going to get everything done that day. She asked how I was feeling and we went over symptoms. She explained different testing that I can get during pregnancy in order to test for various genetic disorders. She also did a Pap smear, checked for a UTI and STIs.

However, before doing all the hard “down there stuff” she said she was going to use a Doppler to check for baby’s heartbeat. I expressed to the midwife that I was very nervous about hearing the heartbeat. After having two losses, ultrasounds and dopplers give me anxiety. She told me to try and stay calm. She said I had only about a 50/50 chance of hearing the heartbeat that day since I was only 10 weeks and a couple days. She encouraged me to at least try it, and if we didn’t hear a heartbeat we could always do a ultrasound.

As I laid back on the table, I prayed to God that his will be done and that he would help in whatever would happen. She put the Doppler on my belly and searched for the heartbeat. I was fully expecting her not to find it, and after a few seconds I heard the quick swishing sound of baby’s heartbeat. The midwife said “there it is. That’s your baby” I started crying, and looked at Charles. We got to hear baby’s heartbeat. Baby was okay. Baby was growing. This was the furtherest along I had ever actually gotten in a pregnancy. I was on a high and beyond thankful. The heart rate was 166 and absolutely perfect.


On Wednesday of that same week, I had an appointment with centering. Centering was a support group offered through my hospital designed to help empower women and build relationships with other moms. I showed up to my OB office to check in with the support group 10 minutes early. I was directed to wait with the coordinator just outside the office. We waited and waited and waited. It was quite awkward to be honest. After waiting an extra 10 minutes, so 20 minutes total, we decided to head over to the classroom building.

At the classroom building I met the midwife and the community health worker. They expressed their gratitude that I came and apologized that I was the only one that showed up. They said centering was a great program, and they would do their best to try and get me in a group, with more people. The midwife said, since I came all that way, I might as well check my vitals and be able to hear my baby’s heartbeat.

I had my blood pressure taken and it was somewhat high for me 129/91. The midwife wasn’t too concerned as I did walk across the hospital campus and was kinda bombarded with information. She said after hearing the baby’s heartbeat we would check my blood pressure again. I also stood on the scale and lost a pound. She said that was completely normal especially since I had been experiencing morning sickness.

After taking my vitals, I was then moved to a bed, where they would pull out a Doppler and check for baby’s heartbeat. I expressed to this midwife that Dopplers and ultrasounds make me very nervous after experiencing 2 losses. She said she completely understood. She did warn me that on the Doppler she was about to use, it was very rare to find the heartbeat before 12 weeks. She said she didn’t want me to panic if we couldn’t find it. If that did happen then she would just take me back to the office to have an ultrasound.

As she pulled out the Doppler and placed it on my belly I took a deep breath. I convinced myself she should be able to find it since, they were able to find the heartbeat using a Doppler before. I prayed. The midwife searched and searched and searched but she could not find a heartbeat. She was able to detect my heartbeat over one of my arteries but she couldn’t find baby’s. I began to panic. No, this can’t be happening again. Baby was fine just two days ago. After a moment the midwife said, “Well, it’s your lucky day. We’re going to take you to get an ultrasound so that you can see your baby again.” She must have saw the panic and fear in my face because she then said “Don’t let that worry you. Like I said, this is a crappy Doppler and very hard to detect a heartbeat before 12 weeks.” I took some more deep breaths and said okay.

The midwife and I walked back to the OB office. I got settled into a room while she searched for a bedside ultrasound machine. I laid on the bed and prepared for the worst. She put the jelly and probe on my belly and looked for baby. Only a few seconds went by and she said “See! There’s your baby. You see the little flicker? That’s baby’s heartbeat. It’s beating strong. Oh look! Baby is dancing!” After hearing this I was finally able to look at the screen. Baby was okay. Baby was on the move. Baby was precious and such a gift. I took pictures of the monitor so I could show Charles later. She said everything looked great and my mind was put at ease. I thanked her for taking such good care of me and baby. She gave me a hug and told me congratulations. Before leaving she took my blood pressure one more time and it was completely normal.


What a week! At 10 weeks, baby reached two major milestones. 1) Baby’s heartbeat could now be detected on a Doppler… depending on the Doppler they use. and 2) Baby is now moving in the womb. I had never seen my baby move on ultrasound before, and it was quite a site to see. Thank you Jesus for this gift! 💕

Post Written 6/19/21

10 Weeks Pregnant! (Third Pregnancy/ First Trimester)

Officially 10 weeks pregnant! Baby has graduated from an embryo to a fetus and is now the size of a strawberry!

This week’s symptoms include, nausea, vomiting, sore breasts, constipation, crazy vivid dreams, cravings and fatigue.

This up coming week I have two appointments, including a check for a UTI and my first appointment with my midwife/centering group.

10 weeks, here we go! Already 1/4 of the way there!

9 Weeks Pregnant! (Third Pregnancy/ First Trimester)

9 weeks pregnant! I have officially entered the third month of pregnancy. Baby is the size of a cherry! 🍒

This weeks symptoms include sore breasts, nausea and more frequent vomiting, fatigue, increased saliva, acne, decreased appetite and frequent urination.

More and more people are either figuring out that I am pregnant, or I have shared our news with them.

According to my pregnancy apps, the placenta is about 90% formed and functioning. All four chambers of baby’s heart have now developed and teeth buds are starting to form.

Here’s to week 9! 🍕 🥤 🤮 🛌

8 Weeks Pregnant! (Third Pregnancy/First Trimester)

Officially 8 weeks pregnant! Baby is the size of a raspberry. I am eternally grateful for this little bean that was sent from our Heavenly Father. ❤️

This weeks symptoms include morning sickness, mostly just consistent nausea but sometimes I puke. I’ve also had fatigue, breast tenderness, headaches, increased hunger, increased urination, bloating, and disrupted sleep.

This past week I told my parents and my grandma about our big news and they were thrilled.

For about a week I experienced some leg cramps that became intense and uncomfortable from time to time. I reached out to my doctor and it was discovered that I was likely deficient in magnesium. I was put on 400 mg of magnesium once a day and have seen major improvement.

Week 8… here we go!

Post Written 5/28/21

Pregnancy After Loss

I’ve heard it said that pregnancy after loss comes with a special kind of joy and comfort, but also grief and anxiety. It’s true. I’ve experienced this since the moment I saw the word PREGNANT on a test.

Everyday, is something I just try to get through but also just try to enjoy because I know this little life is precious and anything can happen at any moment.

It’s funny but I actually enjoy having morning sickness. Because when I have morning sickness, I know baby is okay. In my other two pregnancies, I felt my hormone levels drop and my symptoms start to disappear right before both my losses. I think I knew something was wrong but I just tried to ignore it. It’s like my mind couldn’t go there. It couldn’t face the loss that was about to happen.

So, I enjoy morning sickness. I enjoy feeling sick all the time. I enjoy the breast pain, the fatigue, acne, mood swings, everything. It gives me comfort and reassures me that baby is okay. In fact if I’m not feeling sick, I usually am praying that God will make me sick, just so I can put my mind at ease.

Being pregnant again makes me excited, of course. I’m also cautious. I’m cautious because I’ve experience the heartache of loss.

So, I take each day one day at a time. I’m thankful for every single day I have with this baby. I’m thankful for the morning sickness and everything that pregnancy brings. I’m just thankful. ❤️

7 Week Ultrasound

On Friday, May 21st I woke up at 4:50am. I tossed and turned all night as I anticipated my 7 week ultrasound later that day. I spent the morning watching tv, eating and resting. I tried my best to rest and stay calm before my appointment.

When 12:45pm rolled around it was time for us to head to our 2 o’clock appointment. I tried my best to be excited, calm and cautious.

We checked into the hospital at 1:45pm. The ultrasound appointment was scheduled at a different location because the location we usually go to was booked until mid June. My OB requested that I get an ultrasound between 7-8 weeks.

As we sat in the waiting room, I looked at my phone in an attempt to distract myself from my anxieties. When we were called back I held my breath.

When we got to the room, the person doing our ultrasound said she was a student, studying to be a radiology tech. She explained that she would do our ultrasound, then the tech would look it over, then send it to the radiologist to look over.

As I got on the table and laid back, I kept forgetting to breathe. I tried taking deep breaths and just praying in my head. I trust you Lord. It’s going to be okay. Please just have your way.

The student tech asked a few questions and went to work. She took a look at my ovaries, which felt like forever. She then took a look at baby. I saw a little blob on the screen and was hopeful. Okay, there’s baby. Baby is in the uterus. That’s a good sign. The student tech took a variety of images of baby.

Next, she brought up the heart rate scale. It was flat at first and I got scared. What if there’s not a heart beat? I then saw a wave on the scale as it picked up the heart beat. Then it went flat again. I held my breath. Was that my heart beat or baby’s? The tech started typing and then said. “Heart rate is at 147, and that is excellent.” A sigh of relief washed over my face. She looked at me and said “I knew you were waiting on that.”

After the student tech was finished she left to get the tech. The tech confirmed everything that the student tech found, and reassured me that everything looked great. I asked the tech if there was only one baby, and they both claimed that they could only find one. I was fine with that. The tech also told me that it looked like it was my right ovary that had ovulated so there’s a good chance that it’s a boy if my ovaries are quote on quote normal.

The tech gave me two pictures and sent us on our way. I was feeling beyond relieved and blessed by all that was done at our appointment. I couldn’t stop thanking Jesus. We got to see baby. Baby has a heartbeat. We saw the little flicker of the heart. Baby was measuring right on track at 7 weeks and 1 day. Heart rate was 147, and a normal heart rate is anywhere between 120-180. My due date didn’t change as it was still 1/6/22. All was good. All was okay. I was feeling so blessed!

Post Written 5/22/21

7 Weeks Pregnant! (Third Pregnancy/ First Trimester)

Officially 7 weeks pregnant! Baby is the size of a Blueberry 🫐

This weeks symptoms include major fatigue, morning sickness and not just nausea but also puking while brushing my teeth. 🤦🏻‍♀️ I’ve also experienced some leg cramps but I called my doctor and it turns out I wasn’t drinking enough water. Things are better now though. I’m also experiencing vivid dreams, excess saliva, strong pregnancy nose, vaginal discharge and breast tenderness.

Last week I had my first prenatal appointment over the phone and all went well. I also had my first round of blood work and everything looks great. No gestational diabetes. Iron, and thyroid levels are excellent. No UTI or other infections. And no STIs of any kind. I couldn’t be more relieved with my numbers.

Tomorrow, is our first ultrasound scan. It was moved up by a week to give myself a little piece of mind. I’m excited and very nervous for this scan. I’m doing my best to trust in Jesus, and relax.

One other thing I would like to mention before my first scan is this. I think I’m having twins. I think this for a few different reasons.

1. My HCG was very high. Just at 4 weeks it was around a thousand and having a high HCG is sometimes a sign of twins.

2. Major Fatigue. I remember feeling tired in my other pregnancies, but the fatigue I am experiencing now is on a whole different level. No matter how much I sleep, I have the worst time getting up. I take at least one nap on weekdays when I get home from work and I take two or three on the weekend. Having this bad of fatigue makes me think there is more than one baby in there.

3. Intuition/Gut feeling. I just have a feeling it’s twins. I can’t explain it. Since I first got pregnant, Charles has also been thinking it’s twins. When I envision the baby, I see myself holding a girl, but I see my parents helping us care for a boy. I don’t have one strong gender feeling over the other. I feel like I’m having both.

4. The pelvic pressure is different. This time around I am feeling pressure from both sides of my uterus. It’s like my ovaries and the sides of my uterus take turns growing. Maybe that’s normal in a singleton pregnancy, I’m not sure. All I know is there’s a lot going on in there.

5. A Special Phrase. After my second pregnancy loss, a woman at my church gave me a hug and said something to me that has stayed with me since my loss. She said “All I know is you’re going to have double for your trouble. Yep double for your trouble. Who knows, maybe you’ll have twins.” She then laughed and walked away. This could just be me over analyzing little details or this could be something. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.

6. God has a Sense of Humor. I grew up with best friends who are twins. I’ve also lost two babies. We plan and God laughs. Maybe it’s twins. Maybe he has chosen us to carry twins because he knows I have somewhat of an idea on how twins grow up.

All I know is, tomorrow we will have some answers. So stay tuned friends. 🙂

Post Written 5/20/21

6 weeks Pregnant! (Third Pregnancy/ First Trimester)

At 6 weeks pregnant, everything feels right on track! Baby is the size of a Sweet Pea!

My symptoms include morning sickness (nausea and vomiting), pelvic pressure, fatigue, food cravings and aversions, increased thirst, and frequent urination.

A handful of people know including some coworkers, Andrea, Alli and Charles of course.

Tomorrow is my first prenatal appointment!

Post Written 5/13/21

Pregnant on Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day wasn’t so sad this year. I had just found out about a week before that I was pregnant again for the third time. I had bloodwork to confirm my pregnancy and everything was looking really good. I was already consistently nauseated and throwing up. Things were on track.

On the Saturday before Mother’s Day, we went to my parent’s house to celebrate Mother’s Day with my Mom and Grandma. It was a wonderful afternoon as we enjoyed sitting on the porch together, enjoying a variety of foods including pulled pork, deviled eggs, Cole slaw, pickles, cheese mashed potatoes and salad.

While sitting on my parents porch talking and catching up, it was killing me to not be able to tell them that I was pregnant. Not Yet. I kept telling myself. I wanted to wait until after my 8 week ultrasound and surprise them. It was also killing me how much the food was giving me a bellyache. I ate slightly too much and had an upset tummy, but I did my best to hide it.

Before leaving my parent’s house, I visited Mackenzie’s garden. I then asked my mom if I could take home some baby clothes. I told my mom I wanted to take some home, go through them and figure out if I wanted to donate anything. Really I just wanted to go through it and see what I still had from previous pregnancies. I don’t think she suspected anything, but I plan to ask her after I officially tell her.

On Sunday, I had a very relaxing Mother’s Day. I laid around and took three naps. My feelings on this day were different. I was sad and grieving the babies I lost, yes. I also was excited to be pregnant again, especially on Mother’s Day. I was also scared. I was scared to have another loss. I did my best to cherish and appreciate the current season of life I was in.

Throughout the day I got some very sweet messages from people. One message in particular I thought was very sweet and brought me to tears.

Happy Mother’s Day! I know you have such a long time but this is still your day too! You’ve been a mother to many kids and your own angel babies! Enjoy today and relax. Don’t over do it.”

Post Written: 5/11/21

A Mother’s Prayer

A few months back I wrote a post about being more like Hannah from the Bible. Coincidentally, I was writing that post around the same time I got pregnant. In that post I talk about how all Hannah really wanted was a baby. She prayed and cried out to God about her longing to be a mother. However, God made her wait and it wasn’t until she humbled herself and dedicated her unborn baby to the Lord, that she became pregnant and gave birth to her son.

When my pregnancy hit 5 weeks, I started to become very anxious. the shock of finally being pregnant again started to wear off and reality started to hit. My life was forever changed again. In 9 months I would be giving birth to a beautiful baby or at any point I could suffer another loss.

When I hit 5 weeks in my pregnancy, I laid in bed crying. I texted my friend Andrea and talked through my anxieties. I stayed up talking to Charles and praying to God about the baby.


A Mother’s Prayer

Lord, please forgive me of my sins and I just want to thank you so much for this little blessing.

Lord, thank you for this baby, no matter how long we may be blessed with him or her.

Lord, I want to dedicate this baby to you. This is your baby, that you have simply allowed me to care for. I am going to do my best to care for and love this baby.

Lord, thank you for this baby. Thank you that we are both healthy. Thank you for allowing me to get pregnant and thank you for this pregnancy. In Jesus name, Amen.

After saying this prayer, I felt peace and went to sleep. 💤

5 Weeks Pregnant! (Third Pregnancy/ First Trimester)

I’m officially 5 weeks and baby is the size of an Appleseed!

Pregnancy symptoms include: sore breasts, nausea when I have an empty stomach, headaches, slight cramping, and major fatigue!

At this point in time only 3 people know, Charles, Andrea and my coworker Deja.

My first prenatal appointment is scheduled for next week!

So far, things are going well, and I am excited to see what the weeks ahead bring. 🙂

Post written 5/6/21