Finally, some long-awaited details on Dumplin'! Along with a picture and why I didn't announce our news sooner...
Once we made the decision to try again on September 13, 2009, I had to have some blood work done. I drug my feet because I knew we shouldn't try until November. Dr. Joe had told us to wait a year from my c-section. I got the blood work done in early October during my girls' Fall Break. Dr. Joe tested me for all sorts of things, including clotting disorders. All of my labs were normal so we got the green light to start trying.
I prayed that I would get pregnant quickly. I know myself very well, and if it had taken me a long time to conceive, I would have constantly second-guessed our decision...even though I felt that it came straight from the Lord. On the second month of trying, I had a positive pregnancy test.
I was honestly shocked.
I found out I was pregnant with Dumplin' on Sunday, December 20th. This was just two days before I came down with the monster H1N1 flu that knocked me off my feet right through Christmas. I didn't go to the doctor because I couldn't take Tamiflu. I took the bare minimum OTC meds (approved by my doc) just to help me feel like I might live. My fever was high, and I was scared silly that this baby wouldn't make it through such fever and sickness. Gib was worried, too. There was lots of prayin' going on while I was on that sick bed!
I had my first ultrasound at 6 weeks on January 6th and was completely overwhelmed emotionally. I was going to have my HCG levels checked, and they told me that if they weren't busy they would sneak a peek at the baby. However, when I walked into the office, they were so busy that I sat on the floor because there were no seats. I resided myself to the fact there would be no ultrasound that day. Fun thing was that I saw a blogger that I met at the Atlanta MckMama gathering, so we had a little time to chat...you know who you are! :)
After Nanci (Dr. Joe's nurse) drew my blood, I was walking out the door and she went the opposite direction toward the ultrasound room. UH-OH. I wasn't prepared to go in there again. It was the same room where I learned Grady no longer had a heartbeat. I hadn't been back in that room since that horrible, life-changing day. Nanci hugged me and talked me through my anxiety...
As I sat and waited, I cried. And cried. And cried. And I so badly wished I wasn't there alone. I relived every moment of that November 12th morning. I was so scared I would get more bad news that there was no heartbeat with this one, too.
When Dr. Joe did the ultrasound, it was VERY hard for me to see a heartbeat. With Grady, I saw a tiny circle with a heartbeat. This one literally looked like a line or pole. I strained hard to see the heartbeat. Dr. Joe insisted things looked good and I trusted him. After all, this is his area of expertise. But I wasn't 100% sure.
I have had an ultrasound every two weeks since. Dr. Joe always checks my cervix with vaginal ultrasound because of my history of prematurity, and yesterday was the first time he didn't peek at the baby. I was fine with that because he didn't look at Grady every time either. I'm feeling much more consistent movement which is unbelievably reassuring. I was actually convinced for a few days that this baby had died...
I felt Dumplin' move for the first time on Monday, March 15th. This is super early to feel movement as I was only 15 weeks and 5 days. It was BIG movement, too. I was lying in bed that morning and felt the baby on the outside of my abdomen. It was such a bittersweet moment. I was overjoyed to actually feel this new life inside of me. But the last time I felt movement was with Grady...
I was very teary when I went to wake the girls for school. Jessica was still asleep when I told her I felt Dumplin' move for the first time, so she didn't say anything. But little Emma Grace, in her sleepy slumber, said "Mommy, that means he's not dead".
More tears..."Yes, baby, you're right".
I felt tiny flutters when I was still and had an appointment two days later. Everything was fine. However, after my appointment and for the next 3-4 days, I felt absolutely NOTHING. I tried to trust and not be scared. But I was. I didn't call Dr. Joe. I waited it out. I was convinced this baby had died too. I think it was on the following Saturday that I felt another tiny flutter. This put my mind a bit more at ease but not completely.
Things are going well. I'm just HUGE! I am a little over 20 weeks along and yesterday I measured 28cm! For those of you who might not know, you should measure the same number of cm as you are weeks (20weeks=20cm). A little variation is normal, but 8 weeks is a lot to be off. This same thing happened with Grady, although with him I measured 26cm at 20 weeks. I'm a bit bigger this time. I didn't measure this way with the girls, so I'm a bit puzzled as to why I'm this way with my boys. Dr. Joe will watch me closely. With Grady my fluid levels were always normal and his growth was on track. He was a little bigger than average but not too terribly much. I expect the same for this one, too.
Finally, here's a picture of our little Dumplin'. He's waving to all of you!
This was actually taken at 12 weeks and 5 days at my first high-risk appointment. I have some recent pics but they aren't nearly as good or clear as this one.
This post is already much longer than I intended. I'll post about why I waited to share another time.
Thanks for your kind words, cards, phone calls, emails, and most of all your prayers. This is an exciting time, but not an easy time. And it's not blissful excitement. It's guarded excitement. This is not a replacement baby for our Grady. He will always be our third child. And while we are able to find joy in our lives, the love we have for him and the hole he has left in our hearts will forever be with us all.