Becoming a Mama - Part 2
If you haven't already read Part 1 in this series, be sure to catch up and read here it first!
The moment I found out we were expecting a baby (due date: May 1, 2016!) life immediately got a little more exciting and difficult. Jarrod and I were beyond excited and incredibly grateful, but I’d be lying if I said my pregnancy was always enjoyable or easy. At one of my late first trimester pre-natal appointments, my doctor would later accuse me of “lying through my teeth” when I told her I was feeling okay. She was right…I wasn’t really being truthful with her in that moment. But it’s hard to complain when you know that something is so worthwhile even if it’s painful. Looking back on the last 9+ months, I’m even more grateful to have had that perspective. For those of you reading who might be in the throws of pregnancy misery as you read this…I encourage you to keep your chin up. You’re strong and your body can do this. It really is SO worth all of it.
We eagerly awaited our first prenatal appointment (this was scheduled for 8 weeks gestation) and I practically skipped, hopped and jumped on my way into the office. We didn’t meet with my doctor, but we met with the midwife and they confirmed the pregnancy and gave us tons of info. Thankfully they were able to get us in for an ultrasound that same day and we were able to see that tiny little nugget on the screen! Granted, we could barely tell what we were looking at because until the baby is large enough to well…look like a baby…seeing the inside of one’s uterus seems to most closely resemble looking at outer space. But, there was a little life growing in me and he/she was ours to love.
At that same appointment, our practice recommended that we consider having a genetic screening test done. Many never receive this advice, but because I would be 35 years old when our baby was born, my pregnancy was automatically considered “high-risk”. Jarrod and I agreed to have the blood test done and scheduled a genetic counseling appointment. One fun little bonus of having this test done is that you can find out the sex of your baby as early as 12 weeks instead of waiting until a mid-second trimester ultrasound!
We went to our genetic counseling appointment, took the test, and went about our lives for the next week while we waited for the results to come back.
Around this same time, all the yucky pregnancy symptoms seemed to converge and I found myself feeling constantly exhausted, run down, nauseous and just overall achey. This also happened to coincide with the week of the Lively Workshop for Photographers that our sister company, Rebecca Rose Creative was co-hosting with Perry Vaile. We had worked diligently for months to prepare for this workshop and I was so looking forward to it!
Then… holy cow.
I think I can actually say that the week of the workshop was one of the most difficult weeks of my life. I was running on fumes and trying to hide it. This was the last week of the first trimester and we hadn’t shared our news with the world yet. Somehow I managed to teach, design and style shoots at the workshop, while feeling absolutely awful the entire time. It was emotionally and physically draining in ways I can’t even explain, but I kept thinking about the exciting phone call that could be coming any day from our genetic counselor to tell us whether we were having a little boy or a little girl. The few people on the workshop production team who knew my secret were eagerly awaiting that phone call with me. The workshop would end on a Thursday and then Jarrod and I were heading to Washington, DC for a quick little two-day weekend getaway on Friday. I just had to make it through the week and then I could relax, rest and let my body recover. Jarrod and I agreed that when I got the call, the genetic counselor could tell me the news and then I would call him to tell him. The timing worked out perfectly and we would announce our pregnancy (and whether it was a boy or a girl) that weekend as we transitioned into the second trimester. Our excitement was palpable.
On Thursday, October 29th, the workshop was wrapping up with a special film intensive instruction session and after setting up the props and giving some creative direction to the photographers, they all went outside with Perry to shoot and I took a moment to sit down in a hallway and rest for a moment. My phone rang and before I could answer the call, it went to voice mail. I listened to the message and it was the genetic counselor, asking me to call her back. I eagerly dialed her number and practically squealed with excitement as I did so.
“I’m afraid I have some unexpected news,” she said…
To be continued on Wednesday next week.