Bump Update - 9 weeks along
Well, it's been a few weeks since I last blogged and a lot has happened. I guess I should start from the very beginning, because I promised to write about that in my last post but never got around to it.
Well, basically, for the last year Will had been ready for a new baby in our family. I wasn't ready. There were two main reasons - 1) my weight (I still wanted to lose more weight before getting pregnant again), and 2) A lot going on in my music career. But I also was just not mentally/emotionally ready.
For a long time, I would say "We can start trying for a baby in December after my last concert", but then December would come and I would no be ready yet. No way, nu uh. So then it was "Let's wait until February and see." and then the same thing would happen again.
I had been struggling to lose the last 20-25 lbs of weight I had previously gained in my first 2 pregnancies but was not having much luck. I would try and fail, have a little success, but then gain and lose the same few pounds over and over again. It eventually got to the point where I felt guilty like I was putting off our family because I was not taking this weight loss thing seriously. I know that it might seem like a lame excuse to some people to put off another baby over some extra weight, but I have dealt with body/eating issues my entire adult life and so there is a bit more involved. That, and also the fact that both Taylor and Preston's pregnancies were very difficult for me and before going through a 3rd pregnancy I really wanted to be healthier.
So at that point, I decided to hire a trainer. It wasn't cheap, but I sort of felt like I was at a point where I had tried long enough on my own and I needed someone else to kick my butt and motivate me. I needed something fresh and new.
I started working with my trainer Monica in February of this year, and little to my knowledge did I know she was such a huge blessing to me. She helped me through some major eating disorder issues I'd struggled with for YEARS, and for the first time in my life I felt like I was having control over some issues that I had NEVER had before.
The weight started to slowly come off as we set small goals. Between Feb and July I lost 17 pounds and toned up a lot. People were making comments to me that it looked like I had lost a lot more weight, but in reality 17 was all it was but I had just been doing a lot of weight lifting and so I was much more toned.
I was still 10 - 15 pounds away from my wedding weight though, and still wanted to lose another 10 before getting pregnant again. However, I was feeling REALLY great. I had more energy and fitness than I have had in over 5 years. I felt a renewed sense of confidence in my body and was excited. I also was having some great opportunities with my music - including a tour in Scotland in 2014, and several music videos.
But again, the whole baby topic came up again. I hate to say it, but it becoming an inconvenience. When should I have a baby? If I get pregnant now, I lose out on the chance to reach my goal weight which I am so close to, and also lose the music opportunities this fall. If i put it off, then I lose the opportunity to perform in Scotland next summer because I would have a newborn and post-pardum body recovering from a Csection. I was really wishing I were 5 years younger where I could put off having a baby for another year so I could just take advantage of the amazing opportunities in front of me. But reality is that I had just turned 36 in June. If I waited another year to have a baby, I would be 37 and having the baby at 38. The whole thing about pregnancies becoming high risk after the age of 35 was going through my head, not to mention the fact that my pregnancies have been hard and how much harder would they be if I waited until I was older?
I was really torn and didnt know what to do. My trainer told me, "Look, I know you're not at your goal, but what if you got pregnant now? I can help you through the pregnancy to keep your weight down and when it's over, you probably even be back at your current weight in time for Scotland. How does that sound?" Well, it sounded like a positive turn to the other thoughts I was thinking....the dreaded fear of gaining back the 70 pounds I had lost thus far and becoming fat all over again. It was devastating for me.
Well, one weekend I decided I really needed to fast and pray about all of this. And so I did. And i did receive an answer. It was "As long as you're doing the Lord's will, you will still be blessed in your music career." It was comforting, but still, I didn't know what the Lord's will was. Was I supposed to have a baby now or later? Why did this have to be so difficult?
Some weeks went by, and I started feeling like now was the time to get pregnant. The feeling kept becoming more and more obvious to my mind and heart, and one weekend I prayed about it and felt the impression that trying to get pregnant was what I should be doing at this time in my life.
This was scary for me. I told Heavenly Father that I was relinquishing all control and handing it over to him, which was very scary to me. I am someone who likes to control everything in my life and plan things. I like to know outcomes and if I do A+B I will get C. So to hand my life over to God and just have complete trust in him and that things would work out and be okay, well, it wasn't easy for me. But I was trusting Him.
I waited another day to be sure this was real and not just a fleeting feeling, and then I told Will that I was ready to start trying for a baby finally. He was excited, and not to get too detailed here but the opportunity was not too long after that. It took us 1.5 years to get pregnant with Preston, and Taylor was a surprise. So I had really no idea how long it would take to get pregnant with #3. I did tell Will though if we did get pregnant on the first try, it would be an act of God.
Stars were seeming to align. The very next day after giving my will over to God, two big things happened with my music. My promoter from Scotland emailed me to tell me that things were happening and we could start setting dates for the castle tour. At this point, it had all been "talk" and not set in stone and so this was a big deal. It also confirmed to me that it was something the Lord wanted me to do. A music library from NY also contacted me asking to include my music in a catelog for licensing too, which was a big deal.
After that, we filmed my music video and also went to the Olympic peninsula to go camping for 5 days. During our camping trip, I remember being so tired and falling asleep in the car everywhere we went - which was not normal for me. I just figured it was because we had worked so hard the week before with my music video and such. I mean I was really busy. I had also some other weird things like a metallic taste in my mouth, and some sore chest muscles when I hadn't even worked out. But still I did not think I was pregnant. In fact, I went hiking and had tons of energy and felt great.
The week after we got back from our camping trip I decided to take a pregnancy test though just because I didn't want to have to wonder. I got a test that was an early detection test (up to 6 days before your cycle), and I took it and it was negative. I admit, I was a little bit bummed. My first thought was "Well, maybe getting pregnant is going to be a longer process than we thought, this could take several months."
Yet, days went by and my period was late. I decided to retest. I had just come home from the gym and trying to round up kids for bedtime while running around in sweaty gym clothes. I hurried and took the test and set it aside while trying to get other things done. I watched as the first line showed up, and then a..2nd faint line! I thought, no way, is that really a 2nd line? After a few more minutes the 2nd line got darker and darker. Unbelievable! I started freaking out and saying "Oh my goodness this is really happening!!". Of course the first thought in my head was how God performed this miracle.
I went out to the garage where Will was cleaning out some things and showed him the test. He was just as surprised but we were both very happy. I couldn't help but think this child, whomever he/she was, must have been waiting a very long time to come into our family and finally got the chance and they were SO ready that Heavenly Father made this all happen immediately. It was very evident in my heart and mind that this was all meant to happen.
I felt great for the first couple of weeks and was still going to the gym and doing everything I usually did. It was my goal that I would continue to stay active (again fearing the weightgain). But around 6 weeks or so I started spotting. This worried me because I never spotted with my first two pregnancies. I asked Will to give me a Priesthood blessing one night, and I don't remember everything he said but I do remember that he was very positive and said things would be well. After the blessing he said he had this feeling of joy, like we should be celebrating this pregnancy. It made me feel very reassured.
I continued to go about life as usual. The following Friday I cleaned the entire house, went to the gym, and also went shopping at Costco. The next day I was so tired I slept most of the day, and then around 3:30 in the afternoon I had a major amount of bleeding all of a sudden. So much it really scared me. It just kept coming, and I thought this is not just "spotting". This was scaring me, and I was wondering if I was having a miscarriage. I called my doctor and since it was Saturday there wasn't anything they could do unless the bleeding got massively worse. They said I would have to wait until Monday and then be seen.
The bleeding stopped around 8:30pm that night. I started googling "Miscarriage at 7 weeks pregnant" and saw all sorts of disturbing images. I knew I hadn't seen anything like that come out and so I wondered did I or didn't I have a miscarriage? Will gave me another blessing, but this time he didn't say all the joyous words that he did like the blessing from 2 weeks prior. I asked him how he felt, and he said he just didn't feel joyous like before. I mean it wasn't negative though.
The entire weekend I was a mess, crying, and worried. Monday morning I called my doctor's office as soon as they opened at 8am and made an appointment to get a ultrasound at noon that same day. Elizabeth (Will's sister) took the boys for us, and so Will and I were able to go to the appointment together.
I was so nervous and emotional. I didn't know what to expect. I didn't want to get my hopes up. I had read/seen so many stories of this happening and then in the ultrasound there was nothing there or a baby with no heartbeat.
Well we went into the ulrasound room, and the tech began the ultrasound and the first thing she said was "Well, there is the baby, and there is the heartbeat.....140 bpm." I have to say I was completely shocked. I didn't know what they would find, and so to find an alive baby with a good heartbeat, well, I was surprised. I honestly thought, "Baby, you survived all of that?!"
As she continued the ultrasound she couldn't find the source of the bleeding which was very weird. But she did find that the gestational sac was irregularly shaped and enlarged. It was supposed to be round, but it was tear-drop shaped and was measuring a week and a half larger than it should have. Both signs of concern.
After the ultrasound, we met with one of the doctors. (Not my regular doctor). The doctor explained that I had a "threat of miscarriage" because of the irregular shaped sac and the bleeding, but because the heartbeat was strong it raised the chances that the pregnancy could still work out. She asked me if I wanted to have weekly ultrasounds to keep an eye on things and I said yes.
So I had to wait a week, and duirng that week I put myself on bedrest. Many of my girlfriends I talked to who went through something similar told me I needed to rest and not do anything, and so that is what I did. I laid in bed all day long every day for a week, only getting up to eat or pee. Normally this would drive me crazy but because I was also dealing with TERRIBLE morning sickness, it was not really that hard to stay in bed all day long. I just slept, watched movies and felt absolutely miserable. I found myself crying in the shower, praying to Heavenly Father to please just tell me that things would be okay. Or at least tell me that they weren't going to be okay so I would be prepared for it. But I felt nothing. To be honest, I felt so alone. My kids were away, Will was at scout camp, and I was at home not knowing if everytime I got up to go to the bathroom what I would see. I was worried, stressed, etc. And I couldn't help but thinking if this pregnancy was so inspired to me (the inspiration to get pregnant right away), and Heavenly Father helping us to get pregnant right away...why would then this all be happening? Those were the thoughts running through my head.
Eventually though, towards the end of the week, I came to the realization that what was going to happen would happen. If this baby was meant to thrive, it would. And if not, then it wasn't meant to be. And I hate to say this, but I was SO sick and feeling SOOOOO awful physically, emotionally, I thought for a split second maybe I was glad this might be over just so I could find some relief. I did NOT really wish it was going to end, but it just goes to illustrate how sick I was.
(during bedrest week, Will completely thoroughly cleaned the kitchen and it looked amazing!)
The following Tuesday, Will and I went to the next ultrasound appointment. Again, I did not want to get my hopes up. I hadn't allowed myself to bond or connect with this baby because I just didn't know what would happen.
Well, we went in for the ultrsound. Right away she found the baby with the heartbeat...170 bpm. Even stronger than the previous week. And then she measured it, and it was measuring perfectly right on schedule for 8 weeks. At that moment, my heart literally leaped for joy and I felt this overwhelming warm feeling come over my body. This baby was real, and he/she was going to make it, and it had a purpose and time here.
The BEST part was that the gestational sac was ROUND and normally shaped, and no longer enlarged. I know that so many people were praying for me, and several people put my name on the temple prayer list. I really know that because of all of these prayers and faith that a miracle happened and that is why things improved.
This was after the ultrasound as we were waiting to meet with the doctor. I just sat there staring at this little picture and smiling. It was the first time I allowed myself to bond with this baby and accept that this pregnancy was real and lasting. Look at that little perfect baby with a perfect heartbeat and a perfect sac. :) What a trooper!
The following week I still dealt with extreme nausea all day, every day. I cried that I was just so tired of feeling so miserable all the time. But towards the end of the week, I slowly day by day started to feel a little bit better. And now for the past couple of days, I haven't been nauseous during the day (just nauseous in the evenings, right now actually!). Looking back, I think the nausea was a way Heavenly Father made me stay down so this baby would thrive. Knowing that I'm normally a busy active person, it would have been hard to be on bedrest. Also seeing how much I had done the week leading up to the bleeding, maybe the bleeding was a sign telling me I needed to slow down and take it easy?
Both Will and I have both felt like this baby was meant to come at this time, and has a strong will to live and be here. We feel very blessed, and feel the Lord's hand in everything. Thank you to those who offered prayers on our behalf.
I've been feeling so self consious that my upper belly has been poking out and I'm not very far along yet. But I remembered my doctor's have told me I am very sort-waisted and have hardly any room and so everything just goes OUT. Right now all of my intestines and stomach is getting pushed up and out. Lovely. This happened with Taylor's pregnancy as well, and I was even 30 pounds heavier at this same stage in the pregnancy with him but had the same belly. Will and I actually have the same length of legs, but then as you can see he goes straight up from his waist (I am 5'7", and he is 6'0").
Also, I forgot to say that during my bedrest I read the August Ensign and a big theme in it was personal revelation. This seemed to be very relevant to me at this time as I was wishing God would please tell me what was going on and what was going to happen. One thing I learned was that God reveals things in His own time, not in ours. Part of that is so that we can learn to trust and have faith.
Pregnancy is hard for me, yet again. I know that this is my ultimate sacrifice in life. The two things I was most worried about (weight gain and music) I've already had to temporarily give up on. I haven't been to the gym in almost a month and know that it is for my best interest though. I have had to cancel a few music videos that I was really looking forward to. BUT, I also know that pregnancy is temporary and it brings the blessing of a beautiful child into our family. I can do that. I can get my body back later, and my music career is in it for the long haul and I am fortunate that the directors and promoters I am working with have told me they can wait until I am ready -which I feel very blessed about. anyway I am not complaining, I am just explaining that it is truly a journey of faith and sacrifice for me but I am excited for the end result.
Taylor's 3rd Birthday
Something else big happened, and that is that our little guy just turned 3 years old!
It's funny how children are so different. Taylor is our little fireball, very stubborn (these will be great qualities as an adult...?). What can we say, he has both of Will and I in him. He is a people lover. He would much rather play with people than toys, and often can e found following us around the house. He loves to snuggle, and give kisses. And he calls helicopters "hakadudoo". Haha. He loves music and whenever I play the piano or violin, he comes in and intently watches me and then mimics me. He looks up to Preston so much and they usually play together very well most of the time. Though, I would say Taylor teases and provokes Preston way more than the reverse.
For Taylor's birthday, he didn't seem to grasp the whole concept or care about it really, and so we just kept it really low-key. We went up to my parents house on Camano Island and went kayaking, and then afterwards had a BBQ where he opened up a few presents and we had brownies (stuck 3 candles in one that he could blow out). It was a really great day!
Here are the photos...