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Challenge: Summer Fun

Who says being pregnant during summer is miserable?

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I do! Ok, maybe I’m not miserable just yet, but it’s still early. The dog days of summer are on the way. I’m new to this game, so all I know is whatever I feel right now – will get worse. At least that’s what I’ve been told by many a mom. My baby bump will get bigger. My skin will stretch beyond my wildest dreams. My weight could equal my husband’s. Oh and eventually, I won’t be able to see my toes. Doesn’t exactly sound like my best summer yet. But in reality – it is.

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I’ve spent most of my life with a to-do list of goals that didn’t include having a baby, until I was in my mid-30’s. From cable news to network news, it’s been an exciting adventure of cameras, travel and living the dream. But when I met my husband that dream changed. I was finally ready for kids. Honestly, that biological clock people talk about started to tick a couple of years ago when I froze my eggs as a precaution. Once we said our “I do’s” it was ticking so loudly, I literally couldn’t sleep. I worried about everything. How hard would it be to conceive? Am I too old to have a healthy child? Are we even doing it right? I know that last one sounds crazy, but between ovulation predictors and internet searches, you start going insane.

Then came that glorious day when my pregnancy test turned positive. Thank the heavens above! I wasted no time downloading all the pregnancy apps and started tracking our baby’s growth week by week. When it was finally time for our first doctor’s appointment, my husband and I couldn’t wait to hear the baby’s heartbeat. Only, there was no heartbeat. I went into shock. The magnitude of what we had just been told wasn’t registering in my head. I looked over at my husband, who had turned pale. What happened to our baby? Make that… babies. Plural. You could see on the ultrasound monitor that there were two. We were having twins and didn’t even know it. Now, we had none. Our babies were gone. The last time I cried that hard was when my father passed away of a sudden heart attack. My husband and I barely said anything. It was a cold, snowy day in November. We just held each other and cried.

No one knew, except immediate family. At work, I tried to hide my pain but the tears wouldn’t stop. I cried in the bathroom, behind closed office doors, any place where no one would see. Visine was my go to weapon for disguising my swollen, bloodshot eyes. I was dying inside, but still determined to have a child. Once we got the all clear, the thought of trying again didn’t seem exciting. It was nerve wracking. By now my biological clock wasn’t just ticking, it sounded like an emergency siren. I wasn’t getting any younger and I was afraid this was the beginning of an uphill battle. If we couldn’t conceive on our own quickly, I was ready to thaw out the eggs I had frozen and get this baby making factory up and running. While that option took a little of the edge off, in my heart I really wanted us to do this the old fashion way.

Experts say the best way to conceive is to chill out and enjoy the process. Sounds like fun right? Yeah, that wasn’t happening. After a couple of months and nothing but negative pregnancy tests, I went into full freak out mode. One day, I looked at my husband and said, “Maybe you should get checked. Perhaps, there’s something wrong on your end?” He started laughing and said, “You were just pregnant.” Told you, I was losing it. He tried to reassure me that miscarriages happen to a lot of people. “Just relax. We will have a baby.” he said.

Miscarriages do happen to a lot of people. The U.S. National Library of Medicine reports 15-20% of pregnant women will miscarry. I believe that number could be higher, as many women don’t discuss miscarriages because it’s a deep source of pain and loss. So my husband was right. About everything. That next month I was pregnant again. All the prayers, all the tears, all the heartache – I felt so blessed. So very lucky.

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Right now, I’m just over the half-way mark in this incredible journey to our baby’s big debut. Last week, the flutters in my belly felt like there’s a little acrobat in there. The fact that we’re really having a baby is beyond exciting. It’s surreal. Am I nervous? Yes. Do I still worry something could go wrong? All. The. Time. I live for doctor’s appointments when we can hear the heartbeat. It’s the most beautiful sound. In those moments, I feel as if I can breathe a bit easier knowing he or she is still alive and well.

When I think to the moments when today seemed so far from reality, it reminds me of the saying: “Don’t trade God’s timing for your deadline.” So if that timing means I’m going to pack on the pounds in the middle swimsuit season, then hand me another doughnut. I wouldn’t trade places with anyone right now. Most of life’s greatest achievements require sacrifice. And while we have yet to meet our little bundle of joy, I know this small sacrifice is well worth it. So bring on the heat, the humidity, even the heartburn. This will still be my best summer yet!

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