But first, an interesting banana read for you! You gotta check THIS out. Strangely enough, bananas were my #1 consistent craving during my pregnancy with Eleanor. Hmph. Food for thought...Wink Wink.
I hesitate writing this. One because it's personal and two because other than heart burn and swollen feet, I was blessed with a great pregnancy. I read a ton of pregnancy related books and baby articles galore but I also scoured the internet for prego blogs and vlogs to track our baby's progress with the experiences of others to compare mine. It was entertaining and TMI at times but somewhat helpful I guess. For example, if I had just completed week 16, I would search for week 17 so I would know what to expect. I would often listen to a vlog during my commute to work too. With all that said, in an effort to help another soon-to-be mommy with her pregnancy comparison and continue my journaling to remember these things later, here's my pregnancy story:
We're Pregnant: The stick said I was pregnant but I pee’d on 2 more to be certain. I skipped down the hall to the kitchen and did a quick sweep with my eyes of the pantry. I needed a bun! There’s a bagel. That will do. I shoved it in the oven and stuck a positive pregnancy test in it and slammed the oven door shut. I ran into the living room where Lee was watching the news and told him that I needed his help with the oven pronto. I told him something was growing inside it! He looked at me like I was a crazy woman and reluctantly came my way into the kitchen. When he opened the oven door he peered in a little closer and looked totally confused. “Babe, why is there a bagel in the oven? Oh. Oh! Wait. Are we? Are YOU pregnant? Hey! Cool!”
Me: “We didn’t have a bun so I improvised. Would you mind running to the store to get another brand of tests to be sure?”
He did. And after a total of five tests, we were confident that I was in fact pregnant. I got a picture of four:
It was late so we celebrated the next night by going out for dinner and buying a baby book on the way home.
The first doctor's appointment: We were so excited. The appointment was especially eye opening for Lee seeing how he had never been to THAT kind of doctor's appointment. I had a hard time keeping my composure at first with Lee's presence. The look of bewilderment on his face during my exam was priceless. When the time came for the ultrasound things got real. It was hard to believe we were about to see our baby bean for the very first time. Isn't technology incredible? I cried. We laughed. We grasped each other's hand. It was a moment I will never forget. We knew it was too early to determine gender, but we felt it was important to go ahead and note in my chart that we didn't want to know our baby's gender unless it should be twins. The nurse smiled thoughtfully at our request and we made some light joke of how you would need to know the gender if it were twins so you could prepare! It wasn't a minute later that the nurse was waving her wand on my belly that she suddenly got quiet and started to squint at the screen. Lee and I looked at each other in a mild panic. He gulped something out of his mouth along the lines of asking if everything was OK while I nervously held my breath as I always do when I'm nervous. We have this next moment on video when the nurse said, "Guys, you're having twins."
We now had two gestational sacks that were quickly given the names Baby A and Baby B. Baby B was behind Baby A. The nurse was struggling to get a good look at Baby B so she asked that we make another appointment to take a better look via the fancy ultrasound machine. It was in another room and wouldn't be available until later that afternoon. The time lapse between those two appointments was almost unbearable. We were about to break ground on a new home, close on the sale of our current home and now we're having twins. We were overwhelmed and in awe. Our "can-do" attitude acquired during Lee's 349 day deployment swept over us both and we had a sudden calming excitement take over for this double blessing.
When we returned to the doctor's office for our pending appointment with the fancy machine we discovered that Baby B no longer had a heartbeat. It was explained to us that "these things" happen from time to time and "it" happens more than you think. I put on a brave face but the thought of Baby B beginning to vanish hurt my heart. It's probably hard to fathom how one could be distraught over barely knowing the idea of someone for the time lapse between appointments but I felt loss of what could have been. That was still my Baby B. It also scared me for Baby A. Will he or she make it? Will we come back to our next appointment to find that Baby A would vanish too? It took several appointments for me to gain back confidence and lean on my faith that the blessing in my belly was in God's hands and out of my control.
Pregnancy Reveal: Other than close friends and family, we waited a bit longer to share our news than most and until today, I have shared Baby B with very few. I felt vulnerable in the beginning of my pregnancy and it scared me. But once I got my happy back, I was ready to tell the world about Baby Stauss. The positive feedback, words of encouragement and excitement for our growing family boost my spirits more than I could have ever imagined too.
As we neared our due date and my belly grew, I received a comment from a coworker that got under my skin. "Are you sure you're not having twins?!" Followed by a chuckle, I know she meant no harm and wasn't being spiteful but that really cut deep. Pregnant women everywhere receive ignorant comments. When that ignoramus left my office, I broke. My mind immediately drifted to Baby B. Choose your words carefully, folks. Your baby jokes aren't funny.
Keeping the gender a surprise was especially important to me after losing Baby B. Praying solely for the health of Baby Stauss took on a whole new meaning for me. Boy or girl, I was excited to find out but my delivery date was months away so we had fun filming reactions as we revealed our pregnancy! We told Lee's mom via a Happy Birthday, Grandma card. We told my parent's by placing a sweat pea in each of their hands and telling them that is how big there grandbaby is that week. My grandma's reaction is hands down my favorite and most special. Heaven welcomed her home before she was able to meet Eleanor. I wish so much that she could have held her at least once before she left us so suddenly but I take pride in knowing that she's watching over us every day. I would like to think her spirit hugged us tight and gave us strength when Eleanor was in the NICU too. Grandma had the best laugh. I'm so glad that it was captured in this short clip:
Glucose Test: I didn't take this test seriously. It was a very busy day at work and I had only had a handful of purple grapes for lunch but I had a window of opportunity open up in the afternoon so I went by the lab to have my blood drawn. It had barely been 2.5 hours since my last grape but I didn't think much of it. However, my OB's nurse called soon after my lab results were received and told me I had to try again because I had failed my glucose test! Crikey. I didn't pass. I went back to the lab first thing Saturday morning and I was sure not to eat anything beforehand. A 3 hour retry is NO joke and a lot of blood. I was so relieved, hungry and tired when I finally finished. I celebrated with a maple bar donut on the way home. Take that, sugar. The nurse called on Monday and told me I passed this time.
Baby Shower: We are seriously surrounded with the sweetest friends and family. Baby Stauss received a great haul! I truly felt so special at my baby shower. My hostesses went above and beyond to make sure of it too. I gifted them each with this Kate Spade bangle. I thought it fitting since they all have hearts of gold! There were flowers arranged beautifully on burlap skirted tables everywhere, yummy mounds of food and lots of laughs while guests took pictures with their predictions of whether or not we would have a baby boy or girl. Majority guessed boy!
The food may have been my favorite part! You might not know how much I love breakfast-like foods but that craving was heightened during my pregnancy. Having a celebration brunch was right up my alley! I'll be forever thankful to those that shared our excitement in welcoming our little one.
Nursery Prep: Honestly, I didn't do much to the apartment as far as decorating a nursery. We setup a changing table on a dresser in the 2nd bedroom of the apartment but the spare room was mainly used for storage for all things baby to simplify moving when our house was move-in ready. The wall opposite of the dresser housed a closet and corner that had a heaping mountain of boxes filled with baby gadgets and gizmos.
Lee sanded and painted his cradle grey from when he was a baby. Selecting a color from 50 shades of grey was a little tough!
We replaced the hardware with gold and selected THIS simple, white fitted sheet. It's really soft and I highly recomend it if you're looking for that size. We paired it with THIS cradle pad. I read a lot of reviews and this seemed like the best fit and buy for what we needed. It's hard to compare it to anything since it's our first cradle pad buy! They all seemed so thin but SAFETY FIRST! We kept the cradle in our room of the apartment and the size was perfect. This cradle is probably my most favorite baby related accessory. It's just so...sweet. And isn't Cooper just the cutest guarding it in this picture?!
I'll be sharing Eleanor's nursery reveal in our new house very soon! Stay tuned!