06.24.2015

Then There Were 3 (plus a fur baby)

freshly picked moccasins {Baby Moccasins: Freshly Picked}

Some exciting news for the iBi family!…

Come December 28th (but I am guessing that will not actually be the day) our little family of 2 (and 1 fur baby) will be 3 (and still 1 fur baby) with the addition of a precious little baby girl!

We found out I was pregnant (it still feels weird to say that) the day we returned home from Europe, and since then it has been a whirlwind of emotions… particularly for me. And that is where I would like to start with this post… because I think it offers the most genuine insight into what I have been experiencing for the past several months. I know that most woman who find out they are pregnant become absolutely ecstatic with joy. Which is only a natural expression of raw emotion. Yet, for me I went through the following:

Shock (two lines?? TWO LINES??)

Nervousness and fear

Excitement

And I have vacillated between the last two for the past several weeks (well, basically since April 26th). When I am with my friends and when I tell people for the first time I become all excited inside. Yet, when I am alone and reflecting on where my life is headed I become nervous. Scared. Apprehensive if you will. Am I a bad woman, or any less of an “almost” mom because of that? I sure hope not. Let me explain… and to explain I would almost need to go back a couple of years… so please bear with me, this may be long.

In March of 2013 TJ and I decided, having been married for 3 years, that we would start trying for a baby. So off of birth control I went (after 10 years due to irregular periods and pretty extreme PMS) and waited. Waited for my period to arrive. I didn’t really miss it though (I mean, who WOULD) and assumed it would reappear as soon as my body’s hormones were able to level themselves out. Yet, when December arrived, and nothing yet, I decided it was time to visit the doctor. The doctor casually explained that this was all normal, called it annorehea, and went ahead and prescribed me progesterone to kick start my body. I asked questions. Am I healthy enough? Do I take in enough calories? Do I work out too intensensly? She said all was normal and assured me all would be fine.

Starting the projesterone sent me on a whole other adventure… I soon learned more about the female reproductive system than I thought I had learned in 6th grade sex-ed (this is meant to be funny). I realized that having a period and ovulating (which, HELLO, was essential if you wanted a little baby) were two totally different related functions governed by two completely different hormones. To make a very long story short, I became frustrated with my doctor, switched doctors, liked the new doctor and started a combination of projesterone and clomid (I swear this was the “witch” pill for me). Within one “cycle” I was “ovultating,” bloated like an oompaloompa , and raging like a witch. Who had I become??

I remember coming home from a Hawaii trip  and at this point thinking to myself, “Am I really ready? What am I really looking for right now??” The answer came clearly after a lot of relfection and prayer. What was looking for wasn’t a baby (right now) but to be able to have regular funtioning hormones….  I knew I would have to have an honest conversation with TJ, and I knew that would put us at odds for what we were wanting. I am so happy we talked about it, and that our communnication was strong enough to hear each other’s perspectives. We decided to start with the little fur baby, enjoy as much time together as we could, and when it was meant to be we would “feel” it. So I quit the clomid-projesterone cocktail, let my doctor know I was going to wait on my friend “period” to come naturally, and that I would be in touch. That was May 2014, one year after the initial thoughts of starting a family.

So, we did what we do best. Planned more trips. It was after we returned from Cabo (in July 2014) that I began feeling nauseas all the time, bloated, gaining weight (8lbs over the course of 4 months), incredibly fatigued, and irritable constantly… and low and behold my period finally arrived… and it was then that the roller coaster of hormones began…

If you read this blog with any regularity, you will recall me talking about a lot of stomach issues I was having. I firmly believe that they were related to my completely out of whack hormones. The stomach issues began two weeks before my body “naturally” began to work (and have since subsided after I found out I was pregnant). I can’t tell you how frustrating it was to always feel “icky” all the time. And, my cycles were an unheard of 70 days long! The only option Western medicine had to offer to regulate my hormones was to put me back on birth control (um, no thanks!), or the projesterone-clomid cocktail (again, I’ll pass, thanks though). So, I began exploring alternative, more natural medicinal options and decided to try acupuncture.

My acupuncturist assured me what I was experiencing was normal. She told me to temporarily eliminate dairy, poultry, avocados, and the nut family. I went twice a week and diligently followed my eating plan. I was desperate to find some relief to the crazy feelings of my body. I just wanted to feel “regular” again.  After one treatment my cycle slashed in half to 40 days (hey… at least we were moving in the right direction)… but more importantly, after 6 months, I wasn’t feeling all the relief I was looking for AND was so frustrated with the constant acid reflux and lethargy.

I decided to take a break from all of it this past April. I was stressing out too much about what I was eating (or sorry, avoiding) and felt like a break might kick my body into gear (hey, it did the last time…). So off we went to Europe… and then the shock of my life with a positive test when I returned.

Now that we are back in present time, you are probably wondering, after all of that, how I can be nothing but ecstatic, elated (!), that I am pregnant… And the truth is, I am scared for how my life it going to change. I love my marriage, what we have created, that we were able to see the direction we were going in and decide to change it when we realized we weren’t exactly ready. I love our wine nights, our spontaneous weekend getaways, the nights we stay up late listening to music, deep in conversation, and then sleep in on Saturday mornings.

I’ve had time to talk with some amazing friends and family who have gone before us into parenthood. I trust their advice. They have assured me that life will change, but that the foundation TJ and I have built is there. I have watched as they have all made the transition from a family of 2 to a family of 3. I love how one of my girlfriends and her husband continue to travel and go out on date nights with the little one in tow. I am so appreciative of the advice one of my oldest girlfriends provided me with when I shared my fears. She said, “It is not always easy, but look at is as an adventure. It’s a new adventure that you get to experience with your best friend.” My mom and dad have been a constant source of guidance and reflection. For all these people, I am truly grateful.

So… as TJ and I sat in the doctor’s office Friday afternoon, preparing for our second ultrasound, I started to get the butterflies in my stomach. As the ultrasound tech let us know she could inform us of the sex with 95% certainty, we looked at each other and said, “Please! Tell us.” She explained how she came to her conclusion, and let us know we would be expecting a little baby girl. That’s when my tears started to flow. That’s when it all started to feel so real. I don’t know why, but it’s the moment where excitement took away my fears, and I knew that “we” would all be okay.

I know this is a journey. It’s not a destination. That in the next 6 months, I will continue to have moments where I can’t believe that TJ and I are going to be parents. I will have moments of pure excitement and anticipation… and I am okay with that. It’s real, it’s genuine, and that’s one thing I hope to pass down to our little girl someday… to allow herself to feel and to be honest about those feelings.

So, I guess the point of this post was two-fold. The first? Getting pregnant isn’t always as easy as it’s made out to be. If that’s you, you’re not alone. Secondly, for those women who experience emotions other than excitement in those beginning months, I was right there with you, and again, you’re not alone! And.. if neither of these situations pertains to you, then I hope you will join us on this new journey we are embarking upon!

Comments

  1. Congratulations!!! So happy for you guys, but completely understand the emotions. Took us 3 years with lots of testing, acupuncture as well, and a trip to Europe also before we got pregnant. So worth it in the end! And, a little girl!!! They are the best:)

    • Shannon&Allison says:

      Thank you so much! That is so wild that our stories are so similar to one another… there must be something in the European water (I mean, wine…)!

  2. Mallory says:

    Congratulations!!! What wonderful news!!!

  3. Wow congratulations!!! I already know that I am going to be one of those people who is excited but absolutely terrified at the same time so I am honestly so glad that you shared your real feelings in all their raw-ness.

    I love how you are looking at this as a new adventure, you and TJ have always loved adventure and I am sure this will be no different and that you will be wonderful parents!

    Can’t wait to follow along on this next step!

    xo Mary-Katherine
    http://www.goldhattedlover.com

    • Shannon&Allison says:

      Thank you so much for your sweet words! It really is such an amazing time… but filled with so many different emotions. I think honesty is so important… to yourself and others!!

  4. Anita Haagsma says:

    Congratulations! You two will be wonderful parents! I can tell you have a great family to walk along side of you and support you all along the way! God has truly blessed you and is preparing you for this awesome journey into parenthood. There is nothing like it when you hold your baby girl for the first time. Just pure love and joy!

    • Shannon&Allison says:

      Thank you so much! I am so blessed with an amazing family, husband, and friends who will all support me during this journey! I have heard that it is an indescribable feeling the first time you hold your baby :)!

  5. So incredibly excited for your expanding family — what a wonderful European souvenir 🙂 We recently began trying to conceive and omg, there is so much to learn, all while praying your body gets with the program. Here’s to a happy pregnancy and a happy, healthy baby girl! CONGRATS!

    • Shannon&Allison says:

      Thank you Marcia. I truly appreciate your kind words and best of luck to you and your husband 🙂 Prayers are definitely a life saver during this time and helped to keep me grounded!