I know you all are just dying to hear the details of our big pregnancy news, so I'm not going to keep you waiting *grin*! I'm kidding, of course, but I do want the details documented for myself and my family. I'm not as good as I once was about keeping up with my blog, but I know I'd be mad at myself if I didn't write about this pregnancy like I have with all of my other ones. I'm going to do my best!
As you all know, I have PCOS and have suffered with hormone issues and infertility for years. Chris and I have been married for over 15 years, and have NEVER conceived on our own in all that time. We've always wanted a big family, but growing it has proven to be anything but easy!
After the twins were born, we had a serious conversation with my OB about birth control. Chris and I had discussed this already, and had decided that we did not want to do anything to prevent pregnancy. I DID NOT want to take any form of birth control or put any kind of hormone into my body. I have enough problems without adding other junk into the mix! Like I said, we've never been able to conceive on our own, so we felt like the "risk" of pregnancy was low.
When the twins were tiny babies, I think the thought of another baby was scary to us. We had four littles and were just physically and mentally exhausted all the time! However, as time went on, we found ourselves throwing around the idea of "one more baby". While we both loved the idea of having another baby, we weren't willing to go through treatments again. They are just so hard on us emotionally and financially, and they are difficult for me physically. We loved our family and were certainly happy with our four babies, so we were also prepared to say good-bye to the idea of more children.
When we moved last fall, we realized just how much baby stuff we had in the attic. We were still using some stuff (the twins were 19 months old at the time), but we agreed to donate anything we weren't using to someone else who could use it. We sometimes found ourselves saying things like, "If we could, we'd have another . . . " but we just couldn't hang on to all that stuff when we thought the chances of a pregnancy happening were so slim.
I think it wasn't until the end of 2016 that I realized how much I was really still hanging onto the idea of another baby. I had a super long cycle and some other wonky hormonal things going on, and the thought popped into my head that I could be pregnant. I talked to Chris about it, and he thought I should take a test. We bought a two pack of tests, I took one, and it was negative. We were sadder than we anticipated we would be, and I really struggled to get the idea of another baby out of my head. I felt silly in so many ways . . . here I have four children and I was still yearning for another! I began praying often that God would remove the desire for more children from me. We firmly believe that children are a blessing, but we are SO BLESSED to have the four we have. I didn't want to always have the idea of another in the back of my mind or on my heart.
Regarding my PCOS, it has always caused me lots of issues. My cycles have always been super wonky . . . anywhere from 20 days to 90 days in length! I also deal with constant hormone fluctuations and weird side effect of those unstable hormones. After Brenson was born, my RE and I tried a few different things to help keep my PCOS suppressed. With each subsequent pregnancy after Brenson (remember we had two miscarriages between Bren and the twins, so this is my fourth pregnancy since Brenson), we saw small improvements with my PCOS symptoms. After I weaned the twins in February 2016, we did really well with managing my PCOS and its symptoms . . . things in that area have been better than ever before in my life! My cycles have even been more regular than ever, ranging anywhere from 38 to 48 days. That may not sound great, but for me it was a huge victory!
I had a cycle around the middle of February, then unknowingly got pregnant at the end of February. March brought with it the incident with Brooke getting stitches followed immediately by a week of the stomach bug and the flu for everyone in our house. That all happened during Spring Break which was the week of March 12th - 18th. That was a rough period of time, and the week following that, I was feeling extremely fatigued. One evening, Chris wanted to go on a walk with the kids, and I told him I was just too tired to go. I ended up dozing off on the couch for 20 minutes while he was out with the kids! That is SO strange for me! When Chris got back, I told him that something was wrong with me because I was just tired beyond what is normal. He reminded me that we had just had days of sickness and no sleep and that I hadn't had a chance to recover yet. It made total sense, so pregnancy never entered my mind.
For almost a year, I have been carrying about 15 to 20 pounds of extra weight, and I had finally had enough of it. Around this same time, I began weight watchers and trying to get more exercise. I had cut sugar completely from my diet, so I also thought that maybe I was feeling a bit "off" because of that. I was losing weight, but definitely still adjusting to eating better, being more active, and the effects of that on my body.
There were a few other things that happened during these weeks, as well. One was that I had hot flashes a few times. Hot flashes aren't too out the ordinary for me since I've always had crazy hormones, but I hadn't experienced them since I was pregnant with the twins. Also, I went and got a pedicure at the end of Spring Break. Typically, I'm not bothered by my feet being touched or my legs being massaged, but when I'm pregnant my skin is super sensitive to touch and pedicures are almost miserable. I told Chris after my pedicure that my feet were super ticklish and sensitive for some reason, but I never made the connection that it was because I was pregnant! One other thing was that when I was pregnant with the twins, I would often get this strange pain in my foot. It would bother me for a few days then go away. The week after Spring Break, I had that same foot pain! I told Chris that I could tell my hormones were out of sorts, but neither of us ever thought it was due to pregnancy.
Days passed and I was still feeling ridiculously tired ALL the time. I complained to Chris again, and he reminded me that I was probably getting ready to start my period. I thought, "Oh, he's right!" About five more days went by, and I still didn't start. On Thursday, March 30th, I was at home trying to get some housework done. It was about 10:00am, and the twins and I were in Brianna's room picking up a mess they had made in there. I felt so fatigued that I just laid down on Brianna's bed. I thought, "This is the strangest thing. This is like pregnant tired or something." And it FINALLY clicked! Of course, I immediately dismissed the thought that I could actually be pregnant. In over 15 years, we've never conceived on our own! And, there have been many, many times in the past when I've felt like I was pregnant . . . when I've had pregnancy-like symptoms . . . when my cycle has been super long . . . when I've felt tired for no apparent reason . . . yet, the answer has always been no. I thought, "What a ridiculous thought . . . " and tried to go on about my morning.
BUT, I couldn't get it out of my head that maybe I was pregnant, and I remembered that I had a pregnancy test thrown in the back of a cabinet. I decided to just go test really quickly so I could just perish the thought. Otherwise, I knew I'd think about it all day or for several days until I finally started my period. I went in the bathroom right then and took a test. Before I could even get the cap on the test and set it down, I saw this:
I seriously couldn't believe my eyes! HOW could this be right? Was I seeing things? My heart was beating out of my chest, and I was truly just frozen with shock. The results came up so clear and so quickly . . . there was no guessing or questioning what the test said. After standing in my bathroom for probably two minutes, I thought, "I have to tell Chris RIGHT NOW." I sent him a text and asked him to FaceTime me ASAP. Just about a minute later, he Facetimed me. I was shaking all over and trying hard to steady my voice. I said, "I have something to show you," and held up the test for him to see. He was speechless, which was okay because I was, too! We were both just in shock and completely stunned.
Chris told me later that he thought I had asked him to call so I could show him something the kids had done or destroyed or broken. Pregnancy never even crossed his mind! I told him that had I actually thought the test would be positive, I would have waited for him to get home to take the test!
On his way home from work that afternoon, I asked him to stop and buy more tests. I mean, I wanted to see more confirmation because I still wasn't sure I believed it! That evening - after all the kids were in bed - I took the other tests.
We were overcome with so many emotions at this point, but we were truly, truly beyond excited, happy, and incredibly thankful!