Family

Final Reflections: Preparing for Baby

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They say the last few weeks of pregnancy are the longest. Agreed. Nine months of anticipation, change, belly flutters, and then…waiting (cue “Final Countdown” by Europe). I’ve seen my body transform — wide hips, a growing chest, swollen feet, cellulite, and (of course) a growing bump. My body didn’t fully take on its pregnancy shape until 30 weeks, around the time a stranger could safely ask, “when are you due?”

A Changing Body

Embracing a pregnant bod has been one of my biggest challenges. It wasn’t until the third trimester that I truly fell in love with my body and all of the changes. At that point I felt more at ease with our pregnancy and the baby’s health. I know there are other women out there that have felt the same way. Trusting your body can be so incredibly hard.

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What I’ve learned is that pregnancy looks and feels different for everyone. We are entitled to our emotions and our thoughts (positive and negative) and have the right to blame the hormones that make us do and say crazy things 🙂

IVF and Fertility

While prepping for our second IVF transfer in March I felt a wave of emotions from the injections and the constant thought of “can I do this again?” My body felt so foreign. I cried, gained weight, and sought support from other women to cope, learn, and feel at ease with all of the changes.

Having undergone retrieval and IVF I am much more in tune to women’s bodies and the many ways we are all unique. Getting pregnant is not easy. Being a mom is not easy. We all have various reasons why we may or may not be able to carry a child, give birth naturally, or breastfeed. I had breast reduction in 2011. I am still unsure if breastfeeding will work for us, but I’m in the “go with the flow” (no pun intended) group.

With fertility treatments, many couples struggle silently, and few have the resources to seek further treatment. IVF and all of the various medications can cost upwards of $20,000, varying of course by your treatment action plan. Yet 1 in 8 couples struggle to conceive or sustain a pregnancy. It pains me that so many loving couples will have to face the “when are you having kids?” question and not have an answer. I choose to tell our story, connect with other moms, and support others in any way I can. We are grateful for our first rainbow baby and know that in a few years, we will be doing it all over again for baby #2.

Final Preparations for Baby

The first time I heard a due date of November 30th it felt like a lifetime away. Yet here we are. The nursery is ready, our bags are packed, and Macaroon (our dog) looks at me suspiciously everyday. The waiting game has begun.

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My husband has been my rock throughout this entire pregnancy. There have been many ups and downs and changes, and without him I don’t know how I could’ve made it this far. I’ve loved my husband for six years years, but seeing your partner in “daddy” mode is an entirely new kind of love. He’s going to be an incredible father.

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I don’t think anyone can properly prepare you for parenthood. I’ve read hundreds of articles and spoken to family and friends, but nothing is more amazing than holding your baby and figuring it out on your own. We can’t wait.

The last 40 weeks have been mentally and physically draining, but they are also some of the most rewarding and memorable moments of my life. I can’t wait to meet and hold our healthy baby for the first time. I can’t think of anything more amazing than that.

Wishing you lots of love on your journey to parenthood. Keep an eye on Instagram for Baby B updates and pictures to come.

Xoxo,

Erica

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