Monday, March 4, 2019

First-Time Mom - First Trimester

This post will be a little different than others, but it's about the newest stage of my life and I want you all to follow along on this journey! This post was originally written for The Lake Country Mom blog, but I want my followers to be able to see it as well. 

I may not have always known what I wanted to do or be when I grew up, but becoming a mom was always part of the plan. When I first started dating my husband, who has two daughters from his previous marriage, we talked very early on about the idea of children and he was on board. I still remember his exact words, “Being a parent is amazing, so every woman should have the opportunity to become a mom.”

Once married, the questions started coming from everyone if we were going to be having a child of our own. Being in my mid-late 30s (not ready to say late 30s!), I knew that could pose some challenges for us. But I really wanted to be a mom. Yes I was a step-mom, but having a child of my own was my dream. There is no way to guarantee pregnancy and so I put my faith in God to provide me with a child if it was in the plan he had for me. I prayed about it and finally in October of last year, we found out we were expecting.

We found out extremely early because I was diligently monitoring my cycle. We had a long way to go before we were going to be telling people, but I did confide in my mom (of course) and my close girlfriends who were emphatically excited for us.

And so began the doctor appointments and decisions on which tests to have performed. I have been a patient of Moreland OB-GYN for many years and trust them fully with my medical needs. Because both my husband and I have down syndrome in our families, we opted for the MaterniT21 test that would let us know if there were any chromosomal abnormalities with the baby. And a separate bonus of this test, because it goes down to the DNA level, is that you can find out the gender earlier than your 18-20 week ultrasound.

I had an ultrasound around 8 weeks because of some pains I was having in my uterus. As a first-time mom, I wanted to make sure everything was ok and get answers from the pros. The ultrasound confirmed that Baby A (what we are calling the baby) was completely fine and the pains were most likely my body growing and stretching to make room.

Because of the ultrasound, we had our first images of Baby A. And we received the MaterniT21 results a few days before Christmas--no chromosomal abnormalities were found and also Baby A is a…..BOY! Because my husband already has two daughters, he was so thrilled that it was a boy. For me, I didn’t care either way, just want a healthy baby.

Christmas marked 13 weeks and out of the first trimester. Overall, my first trimester was rather easy—a little nausea and definitely was very tired all the time. We put a plan in place to tell his daughters and our close family at Christmas but that our full announcement would then happen after the holiday. 

Baby A has made this past Christmas extra special and memorable for us being able to surprise everyone and in return receive so much love. Our favorite announcement was telling my step-daughters. I purchase shirts from Etsy for the girls, “Big Sister Again,” and “Big Sister Finally.” It was only right for them to find out in a special way and be told before others.

The Friday before Christmas, we let the girls each open one special gift. It seemed to take the girls forever to unwrap the shirts and read them, but the moment of surprise-shock once they figured out what the shirt meant is forever in my memories. The screams and squeals to follow confirmed their ecstatic excitement to get a sibling, and a brother at that. After the squeals subsided, the questions began and haven’t stopped yet. Though we (thankfully) weren’t asked how did this happen (aka where do babies come from), we have been asked a million other questions.

My mom is super excited and already knitted Baby A a pair of booties in Duke Blue Devils colors (my husbands favorite college basketball team), and my step-daughter Samantha does a ton of knitting and already made the baby a little hat. 

Each week I provide my husband and the girls a Baby A size update from my apps that I use to monitor my pregnancy. One of the apps compares the baby to food (lime, mango, artichoke) and the other compares it to a gadget (Nintendo controller, Game Boy, TI-86 calculator). I love the food references, my husband loves the gadget references.

I am trying to do my best to take in every moment and remember this pregnancy. There are many things that are coming as a surprise to me as a first-time mom, but the journey is exciting and I can’t wait for Baby A to arrive. Watch for another update on my second-into third trimester coming up.

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