So... to back-chronicle this blessed news, I will start with Friday, September 27th, 2013, the day we found out we were pregnant. Although it's really no one's business but our own, this was a planned event, and even though I didn't think I was pregnant/was any way I could be, we were tracking this, so just to be safe, I took a test around 6am that day. I had gotten up to go on a run and didn't even tell my husband I was planning to take a test. When the test turned positive, I don't think I've ever been more shocked/happy in my entire life. I quickly ran downstairs (ready to go on my run) and grabbed a book I'd been saving for the occasion, inscribing a quick message to my husband. I put the test inside the book (gross, I know) and captured it on video on my phone when I gave it to him. His initial reaction was disbelief and that I was making it up! Once the initial shock wore off, we both shared in our joy over our super-exciting secret. I then went on my run in attempt to process what had just happened.
Later that day, I saw my doctor for a blood test which confirmed what EPT promised--I was pregnant. The next several weeks followed with weekly ultrasounds and blood-work for me while we kept our news (almost) 100% secret. I actually told my boss and a close friend at work almost right away because of my anxiety over the whole thing but otherwise we kept it to ourselves.
2013 was a trying year for us in some ways and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't (nearly) constantly worried until we got to see the baby's heartbeat. I had an appointment at approximately 5 wks 5 days and we got to experience seeing the heartbeat at this early stage. At this point, the baby only looked like a white mass on the ultrasound screen so to see the slowly flickering heart at this stage was amazing and could only be God's work. We both cried (sorry honey). One of the (few) perks of a high-risk pregnancy were those weekly ultrasounds. I got to see my child go from an egg before it was fertilized to a tiny white dot to a recognizable human with a heartbeat over those weeks. I will never take this experience for granted and often marvel how lucky we were to get to watch this all happen as few people get this privilege.
The next big items on our fall agenda were my company's participation in the Philadelphia International Dragonboat Festival and one of my best friends' wedding.
It was actually easier keeping our pregnant secret at the Dragonboat festival than I thought it would be and we had a blast despite the unusually hot weather. I brought seltzer and kept putting it in my solo cup to make everyone think I was drinking beer. Racing:
ES and MD's wedding was next and given my husband and I were estatic to be a part of their special day. This was also a fabulous weekend for us because we revealed to my parents and sister (via the book Peabody--my favorite as a child--and some ultrasound pictures hidden inside) we were pregnant, which was fun and they were super surprised! I was still feeling pretty good at this point and nausea hadn't yet set in, so I was good to go with my "vodka and soda" aka seltzer for the weekend. I suspect this was also one of the last times I was able to fit into the dress I wore to my own rehearsal dinner (haha).
We spent Christmas this year with my husband's family in NYC. The trip was fun and taking the train to/from Philly was such an improvement over driving in past years. We had a great time, but I will say the smells (garbage in particular) in NYC were tough for this 17 weeks pregnant lady!
Less than one week after our gender reveal party, I headed to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic for our annual work summit. I was 21.5-22 weeks during this time and it's about the best I've felt while pregnant. My nausea was finally gone and until I got dehydrated at the end due to a delayed flight and being stuck in an airport all day without enough water, I felt great. I stayed out dancing and walked over 10 miles on some days! This time was great for me and I really enjoyed myself (much to my surprise).
With the fabulous bride and groom!
Four of the six bridesmaids with the bride-to-be.
The day after the wedding, we flew to Prague via London for the start of two-year wedding anniversary adventure. We visited Prague, Czech Republic, Vienna, Austria and Budapest, Hungary along with an unexpected (and unwelcome) night in London, England at the end of our journey. I was 8.5 to almost 10 weeks pregnant during this time and this is when I began to get nauseated. As long as I had snacks and TONS of water (so so so thirsty during this time), I felt ok. The night we arrived home in the US, I began to get ill in earnest. Looking back (38 weeks and 2 days as of today) I cannot believe I felt I looked so obviously pregnant in these pictures!
Budapest (Buda side looking out at Pest)
Our hotel in London
Prague, in front of the Astronomical clock
In front of the amazing cathedral in Prague
Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna
Grounds of the Schonbrunn Palace
Trekking near our hotel in Vienna
Beautiful flowers in Hungary
Crossing the St. Charles Bridge in Budapest
I the remainder of my first trimester nauseated 24-7 and ill usually only in the evenings. Whoever said it was morning sickness must have been a man! We made it public we were pregnant on Thanksgiving. This was special and it was nice to finally stop hiding our happy news.
On the (freezing cold) High Line
Sleepy on Christmas Day in Brooklyn!
In the middle of January, at 20 weeks and 2 days we had our anatomy ultrasound/scan. We did not find out the sex at this time but were happy to hear our baby looked healthy. We took the sealed envelope containing the gender to my favorite bakery and had them bake the cake with the center icing colored either pink or blue. We had a gender reveal party the next day with over 30 of our friends and family and had everyone guess ahead of time what gender they thought our baby was. No surprise--it was pretty close boy vs. girl. My husband and I both guessed girl, and we were super excited to find out...
It's a girl!!!!!!!!
Out late dancing at one of the Hard Rock's clubs
Beach (and bump) time
Gala night with some of my closest work friends
Champagne for posing only
22 weeks pregnant!
Beginning of our trip--first time on the beautiful beach!
The next big event for us was a trip to NC at the beginning of March to celebrate my grandmother's 93rd birthday. This was a bittersweet event in some ways as we had lost her twin sister in February and their older sister last year. However, the trip was wonderful in many ways as on the day of her party, she was more lucid than she has been in the entire time my husband has known her. This was also a great trip for us because we finally got to meet my sister's fantastic partner in person (yay!), see their brand new house and our family threw us a surprise baby shower. It was a wonderful trip and great end to my 2nd trimester/beginning of my third as I was 27.5 weeks pregnant this trip.
My favorite place in the entire world, Montreat
Outside the Huckleberry at Montreat with my parents!
This home has been our family since 1916
With my Mimi!
Mimi and my husband
Opening presents at our shower
My Mom's side of the family!
The (misspelled-haha) cake
Hanging out in Hickory before flying home!
At 31.5 weeks, two of my very best friends hosted a beautiful baby shower for me. ED, one of my best friends, hosted it at her home and did a really sweet recap on her own fabulous blog (http://alwaysajerseygirlatheart.blogspot.com/2014/04/showering-baby-girl-v-with-love.html). I truly felt showered with love that day and it was great to have some of my closest girlfriends as well as my own mother and mother-in-law in town for the weekend to celebrate. I am (not so secretly) obsessed with Lilly Pulitzer, and from the invites to the beautiful cake from my favorite bakery, ED and KH kept with a Lilly-esque pink and green theme, which I loved! The saying goes it takes a village to raise a child, and we certainly felt as though there was an entire village of women behind us this weekend!
Pink and green galore!
Beautiful cake to match the invitations!
Facetiming with my husband's family in Brooklyn!
Some of the ladies at my shower!
Awkward pregnant post to please my Mama!
The cake and my beautiful corsage!
With my MIL and Mommy!