Anyone who knows me well, knows that I have always wanted to be a Mum. I am so excited to say that this is happening! I am just over 12 weeks pregnant with a healthy little baby and I couldn't be happier.
Reid and I have always agreed about wanting a family, it's something we've talked about for years. I probably would have had at least two kids by now if I had my way, but we decided to wait until we had our own home and felt more ready to take on the huge responsibility of becoming parents.
In February this year, I visited my Doctor to make sure I was doing all the right things to prepare my body for growing a baby and after getting the all clear, I started on prenatal vitamins so that we could start trying a few months into the year. We were incredibly lucky in that it didn't take us long to fall pregnant at all. I truly feel for anyone who has struggled/is struggling to fall pregnant, it is such an incredibly emotional time and is so all-consuming. I found myself becoming quite obsessed at times which didn't make things pleasant for myself or for Reid. Thankfully it wasn't a stress for me for too long, I feel truly blessed and am so thankful this is happening for us.
In the last week of June I had started noticing some funny things. One day I simply HAD to have cheddar cheese. Like, right now! I rushed to the supermarket on my lunch break and sat at my desk for the rest of the afternoon literally chopping chunks of cheese off a huge block and eating them. I had also started noticing a few little changes within myself and my body. But I tried not to get my hopes up too much. On 1st July, I was only one day late, but just couldn't wait any longer to do a test. I knew it was potentially too early to tell even if I was pregnant but I couldn't help myself. I came home from work and went straight to the bathroom. I took the test, then paced the house for three minutes, refusing to look at it before then. I walked back to the bathroom, heart pounding, and was so incredibly excited to see two clear pink lines - positive! I screamed and laughed and continued to pace the house for a few more minutes, shaking and in shock. Reid wasn't home from work yet and we were going to my parents' for dinner. I knew I would have to keep it for a secret for a few hours (which nearly killed me!) so I wrote Reid a little note saying "you're going to be a Daddy! I can't wait for this new adventure with you. Love always, Katy and your baby xoxo". The next few hours were excruciating, but I didn't want to tell my parents before Reid knew, and I wanted to share that moment with just him. As soon as we got home, Reid was getting changed and I told him I had something for him. I handed him the note and he stared at it for a minute before looking up and swearing (in a good way haha). I handed him the pregnancy test and he broke into a huge grin and gave me a big hug before kissing my belly. It was a sweet moment and is something I'll never forget. At this stage I was just over 4 weeks pregnant.
The first person I told was my big sister. She had just arrived home from a year long working trip in Darwin and I popped in to see her for a coffee. I didn't say anything for a while but she went to show me something in her bedroom and I just sort of blurted it out "guess what? I'm having a baby!" She was very excited and I was just sooo happy to have her home to share this with. We went to parents' place again later in the week and I had written them a card, saying to "Save the Date: March 6th 2016" (the predicted due date based on my last period). They were so excited, even my Dad shed a tear. They are already wonderful grandparents to their other grandchildren and we are extremely lucky to have their love and support. We visited Reid's Mum the same weekend, with a similar card, and she was so excited as well, bursting into tears from the shock and excitement - our baby will be her first grandchild. We could have kept it a secret for a bit longer but it was too hard to not tell our immediate family, so we told our brothers and sisters the following week as well, so much love and support has been shown to us already. We are truly so blessed to have the families that we do. I also told my best friend the same week, she was so over the moon and can't wait to be Auntie Sammy!
We went to see my Doctor when I was nearly 6 weeks pregnant and we got a referral and an appointment within a few weeks with the Obstetrician that we wanted (we had heard excellent reviews from our sister-in-law and one of our close friends) so we were really relieved and happy about that because she is so popular and hard to get in to! Our first appointment with her was booked when I would be just over 9 weeks by our calculations. My blood pressure was quite high when my GP took it, so this is something I will need to watch. Both my Mum and Grandma had high blood pressure when they were pregnant so it is more than likely something I've inherited. Overall though, I was still feeling good at this stage. No morning sickness or anything, just fairly bloated and tender boobs, but that's about it. Reid started calling me Mama Bear this week, and our little bub has become affectionately known as Baby Bear ever since <3
Towards the end of my 6th week, things became incredibly emotional when Reid's Nan suffered from a massive stroke. We had been so excited to share this news with Reid's Nan and Pop especially, and one of the first things Reid said when I fell pregnant was that he was so happy that they would get to be great-grandparents. We had planned to go and see them the previous weekend, but I had a horrible virus and didn't want to risk them catching it. (I went to the doctor for this and once again had really high blood pressure.. thankfully it settled a little bit by the end of the appointment). It was all really heart breaking. Reid told the rest of his immediate family this week, he wanted to share some good news amongst all the sadness at the time. I was at work when he broke the news, but they have all been amazing. I really have the best in-laws. Family is so important to Reid and I and having their support means the world to us. Nan had surgery and came out of it OK, she was breathing on her own although was paralysed on her right side and couldn't speak. She was able to make sounds though and it was clear she could understand what we were saying. Reid told her about our baby and she sounded so excited, so we are so glad she knew. The next two weeks were a blur of working, then going straight to the hospital for a few hours, and visiting on weekends as well. Unfortunately she deteriorated, and we were told that she wasn't going to get better. She passed away on 22nd July in her sleep, having been surrounded by family in her final days. Losing Nan was such a blow to our family. She was our matriarch. She loved us all so deeply and did so much for everyone. We will make sure her memory lives on and Baby Bear will be told all about her <3
Week 8 is when more symptoms started to appear. I began to feel sick all day, every day. The only thing that helped was to keep my blood sugar levels steady, which meant constantly grazing when absolutely no food appealed to me whatsoever. Not only that but I started a new role at work, so I was working really long days and trying to take in a lot of new information when I was more than a little preoccupied! Weeks 8 - 11 were definitely the hardest having just lost Nan, starting a new job and feeling like I was hung-over all day every day. Reid was really incredible during this time. He did the majority of the cleaning and cooking (sometimes I just couldn't eat what he cooked which made me feel terrible, but I couldn't help it!) and making sure I went to bed as early as possible. We told a few more of our close friends this week as well. There is so much excitement and love for this little baby already and we couldn't be more grateful.
Food aversions are a crazy side effect of pregnancy. I still can't stand the thought of beef mince, this particular type of chewing gum that I was obsessed with before falling pregnant, or my Mum's home made beef stew that I normally love. Just give me all the carbs in the world and I'll be happy! Although I have been making myself eat a more healthy and varied diet than that :)
Our first obstetrician appointment went really well. I was so excited to see Baby Bear for the first time and to make sure everything was OK. I felt at ease with our OB straight away. She is such a calming presence, definitely the type of Doctor I need. We did an ultrasound and saw our precious little baby, legs crossed above his/her head and heard a beautiful, strong heartbeat. I started to get a bit teary at this point - it all felt so much more real. We went through a few routine things and then met with a midwife who gave us some more information and I got a flu-shot. It was all a really pleasant experience. Baby bear was measuring at 8 weeks and 5 days, which made our official due date 9th March 2016.
The next few weeks were just sickness, tiredness and work. I had to really push myself but at the same time make sure I wasn't over-doing it. It's a balance I'm still trying to find. We had our 12 week ultrasound on 27th August. This was the appointment I was most nervous about. Baby Bear did not behave for this appointment - we ended up finding it quite amusing. He/she was lying upside down, just chilling on his/her tummy and no amount of rough poking and prodding from the radiographer would make him/her budge! At one point she zoomed right in on his/her little face and then pushed me really hard and we could see Baby Bear throw his head around in what looked like annoyance. It was so adorable but obviously frustrating for the person trying to get all the measurements done. We heard another beautiful heartbeat and eventually all the right measurements were taken. We met with the Doctor there who said everything was going really well and looked very healthy. We were both so relieved!
We felt comfortable to announce our pregnancy to everyone else at this point (by this I mean we did a Facebook announcement haha) and we were so overwhelmed once again with love, support and heartfelt congratulations.
We are over the moon to be becoming parents It is all starting to feel more real by the day - there is a little human growing inside me and he/she is going to be so loved. I am so excited to be experiencing pregnancy, it is such a beautiful, amazing process and I'm looking forward to more changes in the second trimester. I love this baby so much already, there really are no words to describe it. I'm looking forward to every part of this exciting adventure, we can't wait to meet our Baby Bear and start our own little family xoxo.