After announcing our pregnancy, we couldn’t have been happier. It was so nice to let everyone in on the big secret, not to mention how fun it was to see everyone’s excitement for us. That night as our family headed home, we definitely had full hearts (and full tummies – I may have eaten a ton of yummy barbeque food and cupcakes!). I didn’t feel very well as we climbed into bed, but I thought it was just from overindulging so I brushed it off. But I woke up the next morning and still didn’t feel well. It seemed that my morning sickness decided to start the day after we announced our pregnancy; how fitting! I was just about six weeks pregnant then.
I had always thought that when I was pregnant I might be sick occasionally and feel cruddy, especially in the morning, but I had no idea that it would be as tough as it was. I was not only throwing-up, but I was so nauseous all day long that I could barely get off the couch. When we went to a general meeting for new midwifery patients a few days later, we went around the room introducing ourselves and saying how our pregnancies had been so far. As I sat there listening, trying not to run to the bathroom because I felt so ill, one gal went on and on about how great she felt, not a lick of morning sickness. I’m pretty sure I thought about punching her in the face (not really! well, maybe a little).
Over the next week I tried to stay strong, but after my intake dropped to a popsicle or two a day, I realized I needed to make some changes. I started taking a prescription antiemetic and though that helped with being sick and allowed me to eat and drink more, it didn’t touch my nausea. I remember each day feeling like it was the worst day I had ever had. Wasn’t pregnancy supposed to be this wonderful time where you just glowed and were happy all the time? Goodness! I ended up feeling sick up until about week 19, then it finally started getting better. I did still have to take the antiemetic though through the day I delivered. I tried often to quit taking it, though that usually resulted in me being sick (like the time I threw-up in the middle of the bakery at Whole Foods). All in all it was a rough few months.
T H E F I R S T U L T R A S O U N D
The first week of June brought our first ultrasound appointment. Mr. Deer was gone doing more training exercises, so my mom came with me. I had already gotten a quick glimpse when we peeked with a portable ultrasound at my first appointment, but she was super super teeny and you couldn’t make out much. This was my first time really seeing her. It was so amazing! I couldn’t believe that in 12 short weeks I could already see her profile. She was moving around a ton the entire time and practically doing somersaults.
Not long after that appointment I was laying on my back on the couch trying to take a nap one day. I remember feeling a teeny little fluttering sensation. It sounds weird, but it kind of felt like there was a little butterfly inside me. I realized I was feeling her move, and I just laid there with my hand on my stomach taking it all in. It was still many weeks before Mr. Deer could feel her, so whenever I felt her move we had this little hand sign I would do to let him know she was wiggling around. Goofy I know!
2 0 W E E K S C A N
It seemed to take forever, but finally week 20 was upon us and we were going to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. I was so excited! It was going to make the pregnancy that much more real. I was even more excited that Mr. Deer was finally able to come along with me to an appointment and see the baby. I didn’t have a feeling if it was a boy or a girl the whole pregnancy up until the day of our appointment. I remember waking up and feeling sure it was a boy. The ultrasound appointment went well, and everything checked out. I was so thankful for this. Working at a children’s hospital, I have taken care of many children with genetic abnormalities and different syndromes, so to see that she had all her major organs and everything was where it was supposed to be was such a blessing.
There was one small problem though… one thing they couldn’t see. The gender! Silly baby sat cross-legged the whole time and wouldn’t give us a peek. The ultrasound technician said she was pretty sure it was a girl, but she couldn’t really get a clear shot. I wanted so badly to be excited and to think of her as a girl, but what if she ended up being a boy? We had already planned for all our family to come over that evening to tell them the news.
Mr. Deer was so great at cheering me up and telling me that he believed the ultrasound technician was right — Baby Deer was a girl. I decided to go with it and be happy too, though I was still a bit reserved. We stopped at a local cupcake shop and got some pink cupcakes, then grabbed some pink balloons. Once home, our family arrived and we pulled our niece into our bedroom. She was just 4 years old, so she was pretty excited to be involved (and to be the first to know!). We told her we were going to have everyone close their eyes, then she could come out with the balloons and yell, “It’s a girl!” She did it perfectly and it was such a fun moment to share with everyone.
The following week I found a place that offered gender check ultrasounds for $70. I decided it was worth it, so we went in. The appointment was extremely quick — within about ten seconds of putting the probe on my tummy she was declared to for sure be a girl. It was such a relief to finally know and to be able to think about her as my sweet baby girl.
C H O O S I N G A N A M E
When it came to thinking of a name, we had a pretty difficult time because I’m already pretty terrible at making decisions. Before we knew she was a girl we had a pretty solid boy name, but we just could not agree on one for a girl. Every time I really liked one, he hated it, and when he would find one he loved I didn’t like it at all. I knew I didn’t want it to be a popular name, but other than that I had no idea what other criteria I had. I just knew I wanted to get a good feeling from it. Finally, when reading one of many baby name lists, the name Lucy caught my eye. It had such a sweet feeling about it. I told Mr. Deer and he liked it as well, but wanted to think about it. We sat on it for a bit and then finally decided to go with it. We liked that the name Lucy means light. We also chose Grace as her middle name because of the grace God has shown us. I can’t tell you how good it felt to finally know our sweet little girl had a name, Lucy Grace. It was making everything that much more real.
T H E T H I R D T R I M E S T E R
The end of the second trimester through the third was a great period. I was feeling a lot better, back at work full-time, and getting into a groove with being pregnant. The beginning of October, Mr. Deer’s ship set out for 6-week long training to get ready for their deployment. He’s been gone that long may times before, but being that pregnant made it tough (I believe that was during week 31-37). I just remember rubbing my tummy and thinking please don’t come early baby; we need daddy to be here! It was definitely hard having him gone because he was always so sweet at picking up my slack with me being so tired and sick. I always felt so well taken care of. But we were fortunate that all of our family lived close by and were able to come over and help while he was gone too.
B A B Y S H O W E R
I had my baby shower at the end of October and it was so wonderful. My sister-in-law, mother-in-law, and mom worked really hard to make it happen. Being surrounded by friends and family, playing games, eating yummy food, and getting just about everything Little Deer needed that day… I couldn’t ask for more. One game we played was guessing how Mr. Deer had answered baby trivia questions (so not necessarily the correct answer). It was so much fun, especially when we found out that my mother-in-law had video-taped him answering the questions. I was missing him terribly then, so to see that tape was really special. Not to mention that some of his answers were pretty hilarious!
T H E L A S T M O N T H
Finally, Mr. Deer came home a little before Thanksgiving. It was so great to have him back! And for him to see how much I (she) had grown. The last month of pregnancy was about the point that I was starting to get really uncomfortable. Up until then I had just dealt with the nausea and some back pain, but at the end it seemed like everything began to swell up. My hands, feet, face… it was not cute! The Crocs I wore to work and my Hunter boots were about the only shoes that fit my feet. I wasn’t feeling at my best to say the least. Since I was feeling pretty self-conscious, I hesitated to have maternity photos taken. I knew I would regret it if we didn’t though, so I kept putting it off. One day a friend of ours from church asked us if she could take maternity photos for us. She was looking to get practice as a new photographer. It worked out perfectly! We met her at our favorite park, and although it was a wet and windy Seattle day, it was so much fun and she did a great job. Looking back at these pictures makes me so glad that we took them. I’ve already forgotten how big my tummy was, my goodness!
My due date was quickly approaching: December 15th, 2012. It was a pretty special day because on that same day just 5 years earlier, Mr. Deer had proposed. I was feeling pretty tired and really wanted to spend time with Mr. Deer before he deployed in January, so I decided to start my maternity leave the week before my due date. I am so glad I made that decision. It was awesome to be home more, not to mention working 12 hour shifts was getting pretty tough on my swollen feet! Every day I would wake up and think today could be the day, though I had a feeling she would be on the late side. I really hoped she wasn’t though, because each day she was late was one less day that Mr. Deer would get to spend with her before deploying in January.
Thanks for sticking with me through our pregnancy story! Up next, the birth story…
How was pregnancy for you all? Were you happy and glowing or was it a pretty difficult time?