Hi, y’all! So, I know I’ve been a little absentee lately… I apologize, but it’s been for a good reason. I’m terrible at keeping secrets! And we’ve had a BIG secret that we’ve been waiting to share…
Baby Smith is on the way!!
This is such a huge part of our current life, and the main thing I want to talk about, but I knew I couldn’t share just yet, so I’ve been avoiding y’all… Sorry! But now we’ve spilled the beans on our social media, so I can start blogging about it as well!
My plan is to chronicle things by month because going by week just seems tedious. I don’t always have time to do that, and I don’t know that anyone really cares to follow that week by week #tmi #infooverload. 🙂 #youmaystillgetinfooverloadthiswaytoo
So, here is a little look at what the first trimester has looked like!
So, maybe you paid attention in biology or health class, but apparently I did not (or perhaps this was never a subject discussed in any biology class I took!), and I feel like I have learned a lot about how pregnancy works since we started trying to get pregnant. For example, you are basically one month pregnant before you even find out you are pregnant. Maybe you knew that? But if you didn’t, here’s why– the most reliable way to date pregnancies is by the date of the last menstrual period. So, you have two weeks from period to ovulation, then two weeks from ovulation to what should be your next period, which is when you should get the positive home test. Theoretically, you could find out sooner if you get a positive on an early response test, but I had several months of negatives (it took us about 6 months from when we first decided to start trying to get our positive), and I never wanted to take the chance of getting a false negative just because I tested too early. Between ovulation tests and pregnancy tests each month, seeing the words “negative”, “no”, and one pink line start to mess with your head after a while, and it’s easy to get discouraged, so I didn’t want to see that any more than I had to.
So, in early June, I had gone to San Antonio for two days for training for my new job. I had quit my old job back in April with an interview lined up for another practice that I thought was pretty much in the bag. And then it wasn’t. I flew out, interviewed, everything went well, and then a week later, the CEO called and said the audiologist they were trying to replace had decided to leave at the end of the summer instead of the beginning like originally planned, so they wouldn’t need anything until then. And I freaked. I was unemployed with no other plan, and felt like a complete idiot for quitting my old job without a legitimate back up plan.
Later that week, I got an email that an ENT practice in town was looking to expand and hire a second audiologist. I sent in my CV, and obnoxiously called to get an interview. I interviewed with them, and really liked the practice. This would have been working longer hours (working for ENTs typically include longer hours that are less predictable), and a twenty to thirty minute commute (about an hour total) everyday. They were in the process of hiring in a second ENT, and doing major structural renovation to their offices, which they anticipated would be complete in July. I interviewed in mid May, and they were bursting at the seams at that time. I hoped to hear from them, but two weeks passed, and nothing. I started to get really discouraged that these interviews seemed to go as well as they could, but then no one would call me back.
During all this, I had been offered a different type of job– a VA contracting job for a practice that does compensation and pension exams for veterans. The practice has nurse practitioners, x-ray testing, a lab, EKGs, and other equipment, and the CEO wanted to hire in an audiologist to do hearing testing. We are within about 30 miles of a huge Army base (Ft. Hood), and have a large VA hospital here in Temple, so our veteran population is pretty large. The VA is overwhelmed trying to get everyone taken care of, so they have started farming out initial testing to contracting companies like this one. I was very interested in the work, liked the office, and was really considering it, but there was one problem– he was offering part time. There was no way for him to know how busy it would be, so it wasn’t smart for him to take the gamble and offer full time just yet. But, the upside was that the hourly rate was good enough that if I was able to work at least 3 full days, I would be making the same as what I was making at my old job. Our plan at that time was for me to work hard as long as I could to get our savings good and healthy before we had a baby and I became a stay-at-home-mom.
About Memorial Day, I was super frustrated to not have heard anything from the ENT practice. I complained (which I feel kinda horrible about) to Steven that I prayed about this every day, and I felt like God wasn’t giving me an answer. And he looked at me, and said “I think He is giving you an answer”, meaning I was waiting for the answer I wanted to hear, and that just wasn’t going to happen.
So, I made a call to the VA contractor. He was as nice as he could be about me putting them off for as long as I did, and offered me days to work in the Dallas clinic to help get more to a full time schedule. He knew all about our plans about trying to start a family, and was fully on board with this and very supportive. I felt good about the decision then, and we celebrated me finally no longer being unemployed! (And the ENT practice called 2 days later and said they just weren’t ready to pull the trigger yet without the space for someone else. So, that worked out!).
So, all that to say, on June 8 and 9, I was in San Antonio at our mother office for training. I drove there on Thursday morning, worked until about 4, checked into my hotel and immediately fell asleep for a few hours (like, my new boss called to see how I made it through the day, and woke me up. And could tell he woke me up from a nap. Awkward.). After my nap, I ordered dinner and Tiff’s Treats (google this if you don’t know about this. You will thank me later.), and ventured out. And, just out of curiosity and habit, I stopped at a Walgreen’s and picked up a box of First Response tests. I hadn’t felt any symptoms in the previous two weeks, and I wasn’t sure what to think about that. In previous months, during the two week wait, I convinced myself I had every symptom under the sun. But that month? I hadn’t noticed a thing. So, I figured it would be another negative, and we’d move on.
The next morning, I got up to get ready for work and quickly took the test. And when I went back to check it, I saw two pink lines. And I immediately started laughing and crying. And checking the instruction packet to see if I was really seeing what I thought I was seeing. And I texted a picture to one of my college BFFs with a recent baby to double check my eyes.
Y’all. I’ve never felt more like God knew exactly what was going to happen and lined everything up, and now looking back, I know this is true. I wasn’t meant to get any of those full time jobs because God knew He was about to give us a baby, and it just wasn’t His plan. I’m so thankful for my job because the hours are good, and my co-workers/ boss are sweet and supportive. And, it’s flexible enough that when I have the baby, I can work two days or so a week (with some work from home), which is a huge blessing.
And I think one of the things I was most excited about was that I was going to get to surprise Steven. In previous months, he was generally hanging out in the next room, or hurriedly trying to get to work, and then it was really anti-climatic when it was negative. I made it through most of the day and then tried to make it home as quickly as I could (one, because we were driving to Dallas that night, and two, because I was SO dang excited!!)! I made a stop at Bass Pro Shop to pick up a few things for my little surprise, and got it all set up about 20 minutes before Steven made it home!
I made of video of him finding this, but I think I’m going to hang on to it, and not share it with the world, at least at this time. That was such a special moment, and I don’t want to lose our special moments to the world. But, he was REALLY dang excited! He ran around the entire time we were trying to get ready to leave for Dallas saying that he is gonna be a dad! Before all this, he had been stern that we would keep this a secret for a while, and not tell everyone right away, but once he found out, he was really excited to tell people (our close people, not like the whole world, obviously). He told his brother that night when we got to his house, and I had already told my BFF earlier. We waited to tell his parents the next week when they were in town, and called mine since they were on vacation, and then told grandparents and a handful of other close friends and family. We wanted to be realistic and cautious about telling people, but at the same time, I knew that I couldn’t live in fear about every aspect of this. I prayed constantly that everything would be fine, but I didn’t want fear of something possibly happening to overshadow and steal the joy from this. I didn’t want to worry about things that were out of our control, and reminded myself that the odds were in our favor.
The first week of Month 2 we spent at the lake with Steven’s family. This is when my morning sickness first started to creep in. At this point, it was just a general nausea every morning when I woke up, and then at various other times during the day (MORNING sickness is a terrible name. I think I was more sick at night than any other time). And the heartburn. Holy smokes. If that old wives’ tale about heartburn meaning your baby will have lots of hair is true, our baby is going to be Chewbacca.
By week 7, we went in for our first ultrasound/ pregnancy confirmation. We met my OB (I had previously been seeing a resident, but she graduated right as we got our positive, and we were wanting to transfer to an attending for prenatal care, anyway), and she did a sonogram of our little bean. And little is an understatement. Like if it weren’t for the little hashmarks on the screen, you can’t even really see it, but it was there! And we saw it’s little heartbeat flashing, but it was still a little early to hear it. We decided to celebrate by getting Mexican food because tacos were the first thing that had actually sounded good to me in a week or two. And then we got home and I immediately lost them. And that wasn’t the first night I’d lost my dinner. Week 7 was when the nausea turned into full blown hurling a fair amount of the time.
There was mostly more of the same through the next two weeks. I didn’t eat a ton, and what I did eat was a little iffy on how long it would stay. It was around this point that I thought to myself, I don’t think I thought pregnancy was going to be all rainbows and sunshine and magic, but I wasn’t really expecting this… 🙂
Weeks 8-12 were more of the same. My morning sickness gradually moved back to the general nausea rather than the throwing up, but I had to really take it slow when I ate, and I couldn’t eat much at a time. I would eat tiny little meals because that’s all I could handle, but then I’d be really hungry not that long after. So, I really felt like I was constantly stuffing my face. Mostly with teddy grahams, saltines, pretzels, and cheerios. #carbqueen. For my birthday, we went to a movie (Dunkirk) where I ate a ton of popcorn (which I was totally craving and it was absolutely delicious), and then later went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants where I stupidly ate fried pickles and then fried catfish. Needless to say, I lost that dinner. I flew out of the bed to make it into our bathroom in time and at some point during my throwing up, I heard the bathroom door shut because Steven didn’t really want to join me. #hesatrooper #heslistenedtomethrowupalot
The biggest news of our third month was our first big OB appointment. We had another sonogram where we actually saw something that legit looked like a baby, and heard its heartbeat. Of course I cried. It was amazing!! The heartbeat was good and strong at 154 bpm. She took several pictures of it, but it was swimming around like a crazy little thing so it was hard to get a good one. Which means my guess is now boy. That thing just looked like a little tiny Steven flying around. Especially when it pumped its tiny hands in the air. (Yes, it has hands! Isn’t that crazy??)
Prior to this appointment, we had learned that the genetic blood testing is an increasingly common practice, and this screens for genetic disorders (like Down syndrome, Trisomy 18, etc), and also tells you the gender by about 12 weeks. Our insurance covers it, and Steven knew other residents in the program that had done it, so we just planned our little reveal party and thought we were going to know so soon. Our party had to be scheduled out to October because of Steven’s schedule and other events that had already been scheduled so we were preparing ourselves to keep this secret for several weeks.
And then the provider (a nurse practitioner that works under our OB) told us that there was no reason to order this as we have no risk factors and they don’t do this testing just to find out the gender. Which is not why we were doing it. It was just a nice bonus. But she wasn’t budging. And we decided not to be pushy. So, we have to be normal people and wait until 18 weeks (about mid September) to know! Right now, we call “it” “Henlivia” because our boy name is Henry Wyman and our girl name is Olivia Anne (a combination of the two first names). But, we are so ready to know if it is just a Henry or an Olivia!
After this appointment, we decided it was time to go public. We made up this little announcement with the dogs and posted it to Facebook. Boudreaux is excited to be a big brother!
And here we are rolling into the second trimester! Our due date is in mid February, and we can’t wait until then! And y’all. I could not love my husband anymore than I do right now. From day one, he has been the most excited about this, and is so supportive. Even though his schedule is crazy and he’s been working somewhere around 50-75 hours a week, he always brings me lunch, helps keep the house in order, and makes sure I’m okay. Every night for the last 6 weeks or so, he faithfully asks what take-out I’d like for dinner and doesn’t complain when he has to go pick it up because the sights and smells of cooking and the grocery store have been yuuuuuck. Things that seem normal to everyone else are sometimes a little harder to manage when you are in medicine or married to medicine, like going with your wife to OB appointments, but he has faithfully been to every one (just by making it a priority with whatever rotation he is on at the time) and excitedly held my hand as we saw our first child for the first time and as we heard it’s heartbeat for the first time. Honestly, I think this has meant the most to me. I could do all this by myself, and would if I had to (and kind of expected that I would be going by myself), but having him go to such lengths to be there for me just proves how wonderful he is. He tells me my bump is cute (even though I look like I’ve just really let myself go 😉 ), he’s really itching to paint our nursery once we know the gender, and talks all the time about how excited he is to be a dad. I love that man! He’s going to be the best dad!! 🙂