My Pregnancy Journey Part 3: Beauty for Ashes

Note: Before jumping into the final installment of my pregnancy journey, check out Part 1 and Part 2 first!

Following my miscarriage, I took time to focus on my physical, mental, and emotional healing. Although I seemed to have bounced back fairly quickly emotionally, my heart was still broken and I was consumed by fear. I feared that my husband and I would never be able to conceive naturally. Given the emotional and physical trauma I endured during my miscarriage, I told my husband that I wanted to hold off on trying to conceive because I wasn’t mentally or emotionally ready to try again.

Side note: My husband was incredible throughout this time. He was patient and understanding, he respected my feelings, and agreed to us waiting until the following year to try again. He even said that if I wanted to pursue IVF the next time around, he would make it happen. I honestly believe his love, support, and patience helped me through this time.

For anyone who has not endured a miscarriage, it takes over a month before your body realizes you are not pregnant anymore. Your hormones are still out of wack, your cycle is nonexistent, and you still have certain pregnancy symptoms (e.g., nausea, breast pain, heightened sense of smell, etc.). During this time, I had to get bloodwork done weekly to ensure my HCG was dropping. Thankfully it was, which meant I didn’t have an ectopic pregnancy. However, I was tired of being poked and prodded weekly. What made it even worse was that each nurse who drew my blood assumed that I was pregnant and told me congratulations. I didn’t have it in me to tell them that I had a miscarriage. This made it even harder to move forward and fully heal emotionally.

By the first week of July my HCG had finally reached 5 so I was off the hook from getting my blood drawn. However, my cycle still hadn’t returned. To help get my mind off of all that occurred in June, I focused on planning my 30th birthday. I was excited to be turning 30 and having a 90s themed party. I was also nearing the official release of my book Tea for Two: A 30 Day Devotional. One of my close friends was getting married and I was one of her bridesmaids. I had also made a decision regarding my career during this time. I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in speech pathology so I applied to Emerson College’s Master’s in Communication Disorders online program. I had so much going on that I honestly didn’t give myself time to mourn the loss of my child or fully come to terms with all the emotions I had bottled up. My response was to move full steam ahead and leave the past behind. Looking back, that was not a wise decision and it did impact me greatly later on.

July 20th was one of the best days of my life. I celebrated my 30th birthday 90s style. I had so much fun and it felt good to smile and laugh with all the people I love. I was so care free and felt better than I had in a while. There was so much laughing and dancing. It is definitely a day I will cherish in my heart forever. I know it was what I needed following all that I had went through the previous month. My cycle FINALLY returned July 21st. I had never been happier to see my cycle. July 23rd my book was officially released. It felt so good to accomplish this goal. I went through so much to birth my book, but it was all worth it.

The beginning of August, I found out that I was accepted into Emerson’s speech program. I was a bundle of nerves and excitement. I was nervous because by this point I had been out of school for over 3 years, but excited for this new adventure. Following that it was time for my friend’s wedding. It was such a beautiful wedding and I had so much fun celebrating with her. I also got my make up done and looked good.

I was finally starting to feel like myself again. I felt like I was moving forward…to a certain extent. All of that changed the week of August 19th. That week I started feeling off. My period was due, but it was nowhere in sight. I started experiencing extreme pregnancy symptoms: nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, severe breast pain, extremely emotional. I knew in my heart that I was pregnant, but didn’t want to believe it. I told my husband of my suspicions and he told me to wait a month before taking a test LOL. He said I needed to be 100% sure that my period wasn’t coming. I also think part of it was that after what we had just went through in June, he didn’t want to go through that again. I don’t blame him. It was an emotional time for us both. I told him I would try to wait, but I was itching to pee on a stick. I just needed to know so that I could go see my OB to see what we can do to try to prevent a miscarriage.

Yes, miscarriage was my on brain. I automatically assumed that I would be prone to miscarriages. I know that I shouldn’t have been bracing myself for the worse, but I did. I didn’t show excitement at the possibility of being pregnant. I shut my emotions off and was all business. I lasted until Saturday and finally decided to pee on a stick. The test read…

There was no denying that I was pregnant. Despite reading the words pregnant on the test, I still felt no excitement. I was determined to not get my hopes up because I did not know if this pregnancy was going to last. I didn’t know if when I went in for my first ultrasound if I would hear my baby’s heartbeat. To keep from experiencing heartache, I immediately disconnected from the pregnancy. I showed my husband the test and he asked me why I didn’t wait a month like he suggested. I think he was just as apprehensive as I was. That following Monday I called to make an appointment with my OB. Unfortunately they wouldn’t see me until I was about 7 weeks, which fell on September 11th. I had to wait two agonizing weeks. I honestly tried not to think about the positive pregnancy test and went on with my daily life.

It wasn’t until about a week before my doctor’s appointment that my worst fear was realized. I started bleeding while at work. My heart immediately sank in my chest. I text my husband, my mom, and one of my friends to keep me in prayer. I honestly did not want to endure another miscarriage. I couldn’t endure another miscarriage. I ended up leaving work early to go to urgent care. After waiting literally hours, I was finally able to get an ultrasound done. The results came back: they saw the gestational sac and a strong heartbeat (141 BPMs). I immediately burst into tears. I did not realize that I had been holding my breath the entire time. I felt relieved to know my baby was fine. I had asked the doctor I saw to test my progesterone, but he refused. I contacted my OB to notify him of the bleeding I had and informed him that I wanted to take progesterone suppositories to be on the safe side. He agreed and immediately prescribed me the suppositories.

The next several weeks leading up to my 2nd trimester was pure turmoil. Everyday I woke up bracing myself for something to go wrong. Despite taking the progesterone suppositories, I was still on edge. I know that as a Christian I had the wrong attitude. One minute I was praying, begging God to keep my baby safe, and the next I was playing out worst case scenarios in my head. To say I was an emotional mess would be an understatement. I shared with one of my friends what I was feeling and she shared with me that I had to take things “one moment at a time”. Something about that relieved me of so much anxiety. I decided to take it moment by moment. I decided to start talking to my baby even though I didn’t know if it would be a boy or a girl. I started singing to my baby and connecting with my little one. I decided that I was going to enjoy each moment of my pregnancy regardless of the outcome. I also started back praying and learning to trust God. I knew that God loved this precious life growing inside of me more than I ever could.

Slowly but surely I began to feel so much peace and I began to enjoy my pregnancy. I joined Facebook pregnancy groups, started reading pregnancy books to track my baby’s growth, started being mindful of what I ate, and really started enjoying my pregnancy and the ways in which my body was changing. My husband and I even took a trip to Florida to visit his family during this time. I was only about 10 weeks along so we wanted to wait to share the news with everyone. Unfortunately, my extreme nausea and fatigue caused my mother in law to ask questions. Hubby told her she was going to be a grandma and she was over the moon. The next day she took us to breakfast and shopping for the baby even though we didn’t know what the gender was LOL. Her response made it even more real for me and it helped reduce my anxiety even more.

On October 16th, hubby and I decided to officially announce that we were expecting. It felt good to share the news. It also made it even more real. I believe that my husband and I had finally reached a point where we were both excited and we accepted that this was happening. Our life was changing and we couldn’t be happier. At this point all was going well with my pregnancy. I was still nauseous, which lasted well into my second trimester. During this time my husband and I religiously prayed the pregnancy/threatened miscarriage prayer from Prayers and Promises for Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize. I can honestly say that God has honored the prayer we prayed and stood firm on. As you can tell from the looks of the book, it has gotten much use.

With each passing week my pregnancy progressed and my belly grew. Each month I was able to either see my little one via ultrasound or hear their heartbeat. By about 15 weeks I began to feel my baby move. It honestly scared me to death. I was at work sitting at my desk when all of a sudden I felt something move quickly from one side of my stomach to the other. It felt like a fish swimming quickly. It made me so excited to officially feel my baby’s first movements!

In mid-December my husband and I went to my anatomy scan and learned that we were having a boy. We were both so excited! I don’t think we cared either way, but it made my husband feel good to prove his best friend wrong (him and his best friend always wished nothing but girls on each other LOL). I decided to do a gender reveal at my job. It was fun seeing which of my staff were right. Mostly everyone thought I was having a girl.

In January I started school. By this point I was about 24 weeks pregnant. It was only by the grace of God I was able to pursue a Master’s degree and work full-time while pregnant. In February my staff threw me an amazing baby shower! It was truly a beautiful event and I felt so loved.

Little did I know that following this special occasion, my life as well as everyone else’s would change drastically. I was scheduled to have my maternity photo shoot March 22nd. I had found the cutest lace gown for a reasonable price on Amazon. It was a royal blue gown and my husband was going to wear all black with a royal blue tie. I could not wait for my maternity shoot. Sadly, that day never came. This was due to the coronavirus pandemic.

When news first spread about the coronavirus, I simply just thought of it as the flu and didn’t take it seriously. It wasn’t until it began to spread rapidly across the US and numerous cases began to pop up across California that it dawned on me that this was something to be taken seriously. I ended up having to cancel my baby shower as well, which was scheduled for today, March 28th. I’m not going to lie, missing out on so many firsts as a new mom was heartbreaking. I cried. I even got mad at God. I didn’t understand why He allowed me to be pregnant smack dab in the middle of a pandemic. I was hurt. So much planning had went into my maternity shoot and my baby shower.

I eventually came to terms with it. The blessing is that despite me not being able to experience those firsts as a new mom, so many people have showered my baby boy with so much love, many prayers, and gifts. We may have not been able to celebrate in person, but we had so many people send us much needed items for our little one. I’m truly grateful for that. We have been able to get the necessities for our son, which has helped relieve so much stress.

Currently I’m 36 weeks pregnant. Both me and my son are ready for his arrival. I can tell he’s ready because he is cramped and he expresses his frustration with being cramped by kicking me repeatedly in the ribs or kicking extremely hard whenever anyone, except for his daddy, puts their hand near my belly. I honestly can’t wait to meet this precious boy with so much personality. Yes, I still have my concerns. I mean I have to give birth in the middle of a global pandemic. Hospitals, including the one I will be giving birth at, have implemented many restrictions. I am heartbroken that I won’t be able to have my mom with me when I give birth and that my dad, my son’s godmom, and my in laws won’t be able to visit after my son’s arrival. Despite all of that, I’m grateful. I’m grateful that I have had a safe and fairly easy pregnancy. I’m grateful for this precious boy growing inside of me. I’m grateful for the love and support from my husband, family, and friends. I’m grateful that God saw me fit to be this precious boy’s mom. These aren’t ideal times, but I choose today to be grateful for the many blessings I do have. So now my husband and I await the arrival of our son. I’ve started having contractions on and off more frequently so it’s only a matter of time before he arrives!