7 Weeks Pregnant

At 7 weeks pregnant… I started to feel better. My nausea started to subside, and food was starting to appeal to me again. I think that since I had already experienced a loss, this symptom made me really nervous and anxious. I feared that I was losing my pregnancy symptoms and I was going to lose another pregnancy. However, I also wondered if it was just my nerves talking and this pregnancy was different than the first.

Around 6 weeks and 6 days I started to experience a really weird symptom. It was an aching pain deep near my cervix. It kind of felt like a menstrual cramp, but also just felt sore. I started to get concerned about this symptom as I had never experienced it during pregnancy before. I asked a friend and even a nurse at my OB clinic. They all said it sounded pretty normal. I also Googled the symptom, which probably wasn’t a good idea. The only term I could find was lightning pain. This is a term used when a woman experiences pain at the start of labor. I figured that probably wasn’t what I had and just decided to trust that everything was okay.

At 7 weeks exactly, I had my first OB appointment. I ended up going to the appointment by myself since Charles had class. It was just like last time as I had to sit with a nurse and talk about my medical history. I also met with the community health worker. In this meeting I felt compelled to share with her about my previous loss and how I was treated. I expressed to her how I was given promotional offers, samples and other reminders from various places. I shared how hurt I felt that I wasn’t given any resources until 3 months later. I expressed how I wasn’t treated kindly by my doctors. Lastly, I shared the struggle in the waiting room and how it can be hard on any woman of loss to have to sit among other pregnant moms.

The community health worker was so kind and supportive. She listened intently and allowed me to feel heard.

6 Weeks Pregnant

My second pregnancy was different than my first. For my pregnancy with Mackenzie, I was in shock for days and not at all prepared. For my pregnancy with Chase, I was very prepared for the first trimester as I knew what pregnancy symptoms to expect. At 6 weeks I was already feeling nauseated, tired, hungry and hormonal.

Though these early pregnancy symptoms weren’t exactly fun, they gave me comfort knowing my baby was doing okay, and my pregnancy was on track.

For this pregnancy, I had my mind made up that I definitely didn’t want too many people to know. I didn’t come to this decision lightly. The reason I didn’t want to share about our pregnancy isn’t because we didn’t want people’s love and support; more less, we just wanted to keep it under wraps until I was further along. I don’t in any way regret telling people I was pregnant before my first miscarriage….. but I have learned a lot since then. I have learned that people will look at you differently when you go through a traumatic event. I also learned that though people may have good intentions… they can say some really hurtful things on the topic of miscarriage. Due to all of this, Charles and I decided to keep things a secret until we were ready to handle other people’s opinions.

At this stage in my pregnancy, I had so much peace. I had peace knowing and believing my baby was going to be okay. All the statistics and stories I had read, told me I was more likely to have a healthy pregnancy than a repeat miscarriage. My HCG and thyroid levels were great for a healthy pregnancy. I was ten times stronger than I was before experiencing a loss. Lastly, my faith, my education, my relationships and my job were all in a good place. Things were starting to go right for once.

Taking Pregnancy Tests is Exhausting.

In the beginning of September, I had a really strange feeling. Everything was coming together, I was moody, but in a good place. Charles and I started our semester on August 28th. I reflected back to the last time I started a semester, and I found out I was pregnant. It would be nice to be pregnant again, but I wasn’t in a rush. I was in my last two semesters of school, so I was okay with a few months of trying.

I was expecting to get my period around September 7th. Through the first week of school though, I kinda felt pregnant, or had really bad PMS. I really wasn’t stressed since senioritis had officially kicked in. I was just grouchy. Around September 4th, on my Daddy’s birthday food was not settling well on my tummy. I felt hot, uncomfortable and just in a bad mood.

It reminded me of when I was pregnant, but since I wasn’t late for my period… I blamed it on PMS.

On September 5th, I got sick. I ate some Greek nachos with Charles for dinner and threw up. At that point, I knew I was pregnant again. I tried telling Charles but he didn’t think so. That night we took a trip to the dollar store to get some home pregnancy tests. I took the first test that night and it was a big fat negative. I knew it probably wasn’t that accurate because it was in the evening and I wasn’t late for my period.

The next morning when I woke up, I took another pregnancy test. Negative. Maybe I wasn’t pregnant. Just bad PMS this month for some reason. I told myself if I didn’t get my period by tomorrow, I would take the last test I had. Through out the day at school, smells were not appealing, I knew this was another pregnancy symptom, but I told myself I was crazy. That evening I brushed my teeth, and had a gagging fit.

Maybe I was pregnant.

The morning of the 7th, my period didn’t come. I took another test when I first got up. Negative. Hmm… this was getting exhausting. No period. I felt really yucky and three negative pregnancy tests. Charles and I talked and he didn’t think I was pregnant… but he also didn’t think I was the last time either. Something told me I was. I was listening to my body and even though all the tests said no, I knew I was. Charles and I went out and bought the more expensive pregnancy tests. These were the tests you take 5 days before your missed period.

The evening of September 7th, I took the test. I wanted to wait until the next morning so it was more accurate, but Charles wanted answers now. I went into the bathroom and took my 4th pregnancy test in a week. It wasn’t negative… but it wasn’t positive either. There was nothing! No test line and no control line. It was a defective test. I was so frustrated. I then took the other test out of the box and tested again. No line! I was so upset! These were supposed to be the good tests and they were both defective. This was a cruel joke.

The next day, Charles and I picked up two more dollar store pregnancy tests. This was it. I was frustrated, tired and so confused. My body was telling me one thing, but these tests were either broken or telling me something else. If they were negative and I got my period I would be okay. I’d be mad because I spent so much money on tests, but I’d be okay.

The morning of the 9th I started work from home. My boss ordered me lunch and I had a pretty chill day. I didn’t feel good especially after I ate. After I was finished with work I took a three hour nap. When I woke up, I couldn’t take it anymore. If I wasn’t pregnant, there was something really wrong with me. Even though it was the evening, I took another test. I watched the test the whole three minutes. By two minutes, I swore my eyes were deceiving me.

Did I see two lines? It was faint, but there was something there. I knew it!

The morning of September 10th, I took another pregnancy test. Two lines! The second line was slightly darker than the night before. My nephew was having surgery that morning and Charles and I planned to go visit him. Since my OB was in the same hospital, I decided to call and get my pregnancy confirmed that morning. After visiting with my nephew I got my blood work done. Now I just had to wait to know for sure.

Within 24 hours I got my results. I was pregnant! My HCG levels were in the 60’s. Because I’ve already had one miscarriage, my doctor’s office wanted to check my levels in 48 hours to make sure they doubled. By Friday I had my second set of results. I was really nervous. I prayed so hard they would double. When I checked my results online I immediately had peace… they more than doubled. My HCG levels were at 150! I knew then that everything would be okay.

I was pregnant for a second time. I found out exactly one week before Mackenzie’s due date. It’s like this baby was sent from her. After everything Charles and I have gone through, we decided to give this baby a nickname right away. We nicknamed him Chase because we were chasing our rainbow. We were excited again. We were nervous again. But both of us knew that whatever happens, we would get through it together.

10 Weeks Pregnant… A Fourth of the Way There.

On Monday February 18th, I hit 10 weeks of my pregnancy. At this point I had grown used to a Monday morning routine of waking up, thanking God for another day, and opening my pregnancy app The Bump to see how big baby was that week. At 10 weeks baby was the size of a strawberry. So precious. It was simply incredible to read how a little life inside me could grow and change so much in just a matter of weeks. On Monday mornings, I also got into the habit of having Charles take my weekly bump pictures to see when I would start showing. Before leaving the house for the day, I would send the picture to close friends and family. I loved being pregnant.

At exactly 10 weeks I had my first OB appointment with my midwife. To be honest… I was very emotional at this appointment. I was still feeling rather dizzy and famished no matter how much I ate. I was also starting to show which I thought was a little too early. My midwife was very kind and gentle to my emotions and boat load of questions. She gave me the same advice that Marci gave me in that maybe I just needed to add more protein into my diet. She also suggested that I drink more water, because sometimes especially when we’re pregnant, our body can signal to us that we are hungry, when in actuality we are thirsty. She also expressed to me that I may be showing if my uterus is tilted forward. I found that very interesting. My lab work also came back from the 15th of February and everything was completely normal. No gestational diabetes for me… thank goodness. We scheduled my 11th week ultrasound for Monday February 25th. I couldn’t wait! 🧡

After my appointment, my mom and I headed to Meijer to pick up some groceries. She had been such a good mom through all of this. She listened and helped me talk through my anxieties. She also answered any questions I had about pregnancy and helped make sure I got the nutrients I needed for me and baby. We bought many items that would hopefully curve my hunger including nuts, sardines, peanut butter, cheese sticks, and more. I loved having this time with my mom and peace believing I would soon start to feel better.

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The Day My Symptoms Changed….

On Saturday February 16th, I didn’t sleep much at all. I was waking up every hour having to pee and feeling very hungry. I had eaten a fulfilling dinner at 8pm and went to bed at 10pm. I couldn’t understand why I still was waking up super hungry. By 6am I couldn’t take it anymore… I was awake for the day. I continued eating little snacks every few minutes, and would throw up about half of what I ate. I started researching reasons for having extreme hunger pangs and food cravings during pregnancy. To my surprise, the biggest reason…. was if you are carrying multiples.

Throughout the day, anxiety and emotions about my hunger only grew stronger. Why could I not feel satisfied? I was so hungry but I felt like I couldn’t eat enough to feel full. I also couldn’t eat too much of too fast or I would throw up. I was miserable and was driving my husband crazy. Throughout the day, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was having twins. From what I had researched and learned about pregnancy, it is common to feel hungry but is also common to feel extremely hungry when carrying twins. Even though twins don’t run in mine or my husband’s family, I still suspected. Since I am best friends with a set of twins, I decided to text their mom, Marci.

Marci was very helpful in answering my questions about pregnancy, carrying twins and morning sickness symptoms. She suggested I eat protein along with carbs so I can feel fuller longer. She also expressed her congratulations and said she would be praying for the three of us.

Later in the day, I had to work at the dining center from 5 – 9pm. I ate dinner right before my shift, and I hoped I would be able to make it without eating for four hours. I stayed busy throughout my shift until about 6:30…. then the hunger pangs began. As my shift dragged on, my cravings and hunger pangs only intensified. I was feeling hungrier and dizzier by the minute. By about 8pm I became very dizzy. All I could think about was food, and my body just felt so weak and lethargic. What was wrong with me? Was baby really that hungry? Should I have snuck snacks in my pocket? By 9pm I was done. I clocked out of my shift and found my husband who was also getting off work. When I saw him, I lost it. I sobbed and cried in his arms. “I’m so hungry!” I wailed. Charles sympathized and took me to McDonalds. This was not the healthiest option, but we didn’t have a lot of groceries at home, and all I really wanted was a high calorie double cheeseburger. I didn’t care if I threw it up. I just wanted it. I NEEDED IT. After going back home and eating my food I continued to cry. I don’t know why I was crying, I just felt sad. I felt frustrated and overwhelmed. The food made me feel better, but by the way things were going, I was bound to feel hungry again in a few hours. I ended up calling my mom and freaking her out too. Since I called her crying she feared the worst, that I lost the baby. No that wasn’t the case (that I knew of), I was just a hungry, overly emotional pregnant lady, who suspected she was carrying twins.

The next morning I was up by 6am again. I woke up every few hours throughout the night hungry and having to pee. I guess this was my new normal. I started keeping goldfish crackers and peanut butter near the bed so I didn’t have to get up (or wake Charles up) to get me a snack in the middle of the night. Later on in the morning before going to church, Marci texted me. She said she woke up in the middle of the night and I was on her mind. She said she felt led to pray for me and baby. Seeing that text made my day. I was feeling awful, and to know that someone cared and was praying for me meant a lot, I was still so confused by these symptoms. Eventually, I realized I shouldn’t fret over it and just try to manage my hunger and emotions as best I could.

Valentine’s Week

The week of February 11th through the 15th was pretty crazy…..

On Monday February 11th, when I was 9 weeks pregnant, I finally had my first OB appointment. This was the intake appointment where we were asked many questions about both sides of our family history, as well as mine and my husband’s health. I also had the chance to talk with a social worker about any concerns, fears and resources that were available to us. This was such an exciting appointment. I was overwhelmed by so much support and resources to women in this community who are expectant mothers. I was also given a folder full of information and educational resources. Receiving this support gave me peace about the upcoming months of my pregnancy.

On Tuesday February 12th, I started my internship at FIRE. Parts of me were really excited to start this internship… while other parts of me were exhausted. I felt really behind and just wasn’t motivated to do anything. I was throwing up at least once a day at this point… either because I ate garlic or I simply ate too much. I was tired, it was snowy and I just wanted to hibernate for the rest of the winter. Everyone tells you how much your pregnancy hormones can affect you, but until I actually experienced it… I had no idea.

On Wednesday February 13th, we had yet another snowstorm over night, that covered most of Michigan. My university had yet again another snow day. Charles and I both were okay with this, as we just spent a nice day at home watching movies and relaxing.

On Thursday February 14th, was Charles’ birthday. It was also Valentine’s Day. On this cold morning we woke up around 6am. We headed to Denny’s to enjoy a nice breakfast while also getting Charles a free birthday meal. It was a very nice breakfast as talked and dreamed about Baby Rhames. We were getting so excited to start planning for her arrival. We knew that we weren’t going to have too many more dates before her arrival, so we definitely wanted to enjoy this time of just the two of us. Later that day, after going to classes and work we met up for dinner at the dining hall. We ate with some friends and during the meal I gave Charles a Valentine’s Day card. It was handmade and super cheesy, but he loved it.

On Friday February 15th, we had a busy day. I went to my internship at 9am. Charles picked me up at 1pm and brought me lunch and a mango smoothie. We headed 45 minutes away to get our taxes done. When we arrived at our tax person’s house (sorry, I’m not totally sure what his title is), we discussed with him our year and how we were expecting a little one in September. Unfortunately, we couldn’t claim baby on our taxes this year…. but next year for sure.

After completing our taxes, Charles and I stopped at Walmart because we both had to pee and couldn’t wait until we got home. After this experience… I am NEVER EVER EVER GOING TO A WALMART ON A FRIDAY AFTERNOON AGAIN. This experience was honestly worse than Black Friday. Not only was it packed and Charles and I almost got hit twice just walking into the building… but the bathrooms were completely disgusting. Toilets were overflowing, diarrhea on the floor, people didn’t wash their hands, it was awful. I’m sure you can imagine how gross this is, but try imagining this while also being pregnant. When I was pregnant my sense of smell was superhero strong. So, if I got a whiff of something disgusting I would immediately engage in an involuntary gagging fit. And if I couldn’t stop, I would start throwing up…. which is exactly what I did. We both tried our hardest to get the heck out of there. So I repeat again, I will NEVER EVER EVER AGAIN GO TO A WALMART ON A FRIDAY AFTERNOON.

Once we arrived back in our home town, I went to the lab to have my pregnancy glucose test completed. I was really nervous for this test as I had researched and heard about the challenges that gestational diabetes can have on a pregnancy. Never the less, I knew I still needed to get the test completed. As I sat in the waiting room for an hour, I watched other pregnant women and their kids. I was getting so excited to be a mommy. I was so thankful I had gotten this far in my pregnancy. I thanked God for these moments of peace, joy and excitement that overwhelmed me.

A Rocky First Trimester

The next few weeks of my pregnancy weren’t easy. For the semester I was interning at a government agency that required me to volunteer anywhere from 15 – 20 hours a week. I was also working 10 hours at the dining center, and taking three classes. By the end of the day I was exhausted. I had already dropped out of one on campus organization and continued to cut my hours at work. On top of that… we literally had Antarctica pay a visit to Michigan this past winter. There was so much snow. There was so much ice for weeks. It was also very, very, VERY COLD. There was one day it dropped down to -40°. Due to Hell freezing over and every business in the county closing, I was losing internship hours and was unable to make them up at home. I was very stressed

My pregnancy symptoms came in full swing when I hit 6 weeks. I had a very strong pregnancy nose and could smell tuna a mile away… which usually got me into a 5 minute gagging fit. Vomiting was pretty unpredictable. There were some days I would throw up only once, while others I didn’t throw up at all, and others I would throw up five times in a day. I was tired… so tired. I would fall asleep often at my internship, in class and practically any time I sat down. I loved pickles though. I loved them so much, I would eat a jar a day… practically. One food I could not handle… was garlic. Whether I was eating pizza, garlic bread, pasta, or anything else, I was guaranteed to throw it up. Baby did not like garlic. I was also peeing constantly. It felt like every half hour… kind of annoying.

On January 28th, I was feeling really sick. I was nauseous, throwing up, peeing all the time and even felt some slight cramping and burning. I was 7 weeks pregnant at this point and a little concerned so I thought I should go get checked out. My symptoms got worse towards the evening so Charles took me to the ER. In the hospital I was tested for STIs, and a UTI infection. It turns out a UTI is exactly what I had. Apparently, they are fairly common in pregnancy. Thankfully we caught it early and I was able to get on medication quickly and feel better.

Since telling my parents of the news that they were going to be grandparents, they were over the moon. My mom had went out and bought a ton of baby items on sale at Meijer, and my Daddy already nicknamed the baby. Their excitement got me excited. Every Monday I looked forward to sending bump updates to my family and friends. I couldn’t wait for our little one to be here in September. I also couldn’t wait to get through this rocky first trimester.