First and foremost, I wanted to extend my most heartfelt thank you for all of your love and well wishes on our announcement last week. We were absolutely smothered in congratulatory messages (and have continued to be ever since) and it is just making my heart the happiest. This baby is so loved already, and I’m a weepy mess just thinking about it.
I had put up a poll on instagram stories last week asking if any of you had any questions about what’s been going on around here on the personal front and received a ton of questions, so I thought I’d put together a blog post that answered the most frequently asked ones! If there’s anything else you’d like to know, please don’t hesitate to ask. While I feel like I’ve ventured away from the more personal side of blogging lately, I’m really missing it and am excited to get into the nitty gritty a little more. I’m an open book with just about everything, so please don’t be shy. At any rate, here we go!
“When are you due?”
We’re due at the end of March. A spring baby!
“Are you going to find out what you’re having?”
Actually, WE ALREADY KNOW! And that’s been another secret that’s been *so* hard to keep to myself. I’ve already almost spilled the beans on more than one occasion. We wanted to make sure all of our family and friends know first and foremost, and now that most everyone is in the know we’ll be sharing those details right here next week, same place same time. Funnily enough, the day after I found out I was pregnant I actually wrote in my journal “We’re pregnant!!! It’s a _____, I just know it”. And alas, I WAS RIGHT. I had the strongest feeling all along, it’s been the strangest thing.
“When/how did you find out you were pregnant?”
We actually found out the day after we came home from our trip to Paris. Though I *totally* knew before it was officially confirmed. I had a series of very strange events happen to me that month, including very interesting (and telling) dreams and crazy visualizations during some of my meditations (I won’t get into this at the risk of sounding like a total nut – but you guys it was insane). I just *knew* in my heart and in my soul that our wait was going to be over and this was going to be the month. Because I have a long and irregular cycle, I never really knew if/when my period was late, so I got into the habit of regularly taking pregnancy tests just to be sure*. And sure enough, the morning after we arrived home the faintest pink line appeared. Of course I didn’t totally believe it, so I took seven more *just* to be sure (you know, for good measure, ha). After sharing the news with Justin, who was also in disbelief after a year of negatives, he insisted we splurged on one of the fancy tests, and when that, too, came back positive we were overjoyed
*note: this habit definitely got pricy until I found these inexpensive pregnancy tests you can purchase in bulk for pennies (they totally work)
“Did you have any symptoms before you knew?”
This was actually one of my most frequently asked questions, and I totally get it. During our year of trying I would analyze, google and question even the slightest change or potential symptom that would lead me to believe that this was it. And while most everything I read each and every month stated that there aren’t any notable symptoms until you’re closer to six weeks along, the month it happened for us I absolutely noticed some changes very early on.
The first sign for me was when we were in Paris for our first wedding anniversary. We ventured over to Berthillon, at the recommendation of many, to test out their ice cream. The moment I took my first spoonful I instantly welled up with tears because it was so damn good. Don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely delicious, but I knew pretty quickly that this wasn’t a normal reaction to even the most life-changing of ice creams (important to note: my emotions have been this wildly dramatic ever since, hurrah!). If I remember correctly, I’m fairly certain I told Justin that I knew I was pregnant in that moment, days before getting that positive pregnancy test.
Following up on my whole dream thing, that same evening I actually had a dream where someone whispered in my ear “you’re pregnant”, which further solidified everything for me. It was so strange, and I still can’t explain it, but I just knew.
After that, the only other thing I noticed that early on was that days leading up to getting a positive test, brushing my teeth was making me gag. This isn’t something I had ever experienced before, but apparently when you’re pregnant your gag reflex is a whole lot more sensitive, and that was most definitely my first real symptom. I also was having crazy carb cravings, which definitely carried on well into my first trimester. Despite being in France, I had a fierce and undeniable thirst for pasta and pizza immediately.
“Can you tell us more about the “journey” you mentioned? We’re on a similar journey ourselves… How did you stay sane?”
Absolutely. I want to preface this by saying that while it took us exactly a year, which felt like an absolute eternity at the time, now that we’re on the other side of things I recognize the fact that it took a year is completely normal. Good things sometimes just take time, right? But because this was our first, because I have an (unexplained) long and irregular cycle, and because I’m a little “older”* (I turned 34 the other day! I don’t even know how that happened), there were a lot of unknowns – as in, was this even possible for us? Every month that followed with a negative test brought up a lot of sadness and worry, wondering if there was something wrong or something more we should be doing.
The biggest thing for me, however, was the control aspect. I realized very quickly that this was the first time in my life I was embarking on something that I had desperately wanted for the entirety of my life, that I truly didn’t have any say over. This was admittedly challenging at the beginning. The type A in me is (was) verrrryyy comfortable with being in full “control”. However, I’m now (and even in the thick of it, to be honest) incredibly grateful for this past year.
Without getting too spiritual on you, I tend to be of the belief that we are all here to learn certain lessons. Essentially, that life happens for us not to us. And this past year taught me the biggest lessons of them all. This journey absolutely set me down an incredibly peaceful and healing path. One where I prioritized my health, my wellbeing, really took hold of my anxiety, and recognized my overwhelming desire for control. And while I am admittedly still working on releasing that grasp on my desire for control (I recognize now that control is just an illusion after all), I am leaps and bounds further ahead than I ever would have been without this push to get my ish in order. When that pink line did finally appear for us, I had never been in a better state, mentally, physically and emotionally.
So my advice to you is this. If you are going down a similar path, please take stock of where you are in life. It is a wonderful opportunity to be “selfish” and focus solely on yourself (one that won’t be as possible once there is a tiny human whose needs must be met!) To focus on your health, mentally and physically. To be the best possible you that you can be. Trust that, while it’s the most obnoxious thing in the world to hear, I really believe that it is happening for a reason. There is a lesson in just about everything, as far as I’m concerned.
*Though I want to also clarify that after going through all of this, I personally think the age thing is bullshit. If you’re healthy, happy, and still have a cycle, no matter how long or irregular, getting pregnant is absolutely possible
“Are you comfortable talking about the ectopic pregnancy scare you mentioned?”
Absolutely. A few days after we found out we were pregnant, we booked an appointment with my family doctor who sent us to get an early dating ultrasound. When you find out you’re pregnant, they date your pregnancy based on the first day of your last period. Because my cycles are long and irregular, we couldn’t really count on my last cycle for an accurate date, however my doctor estimated that I should be about seven weeks along but sent us off to double check.
When we went in for that first ultrasound they couldn’t find anything in my uterus, but they were seeing a small spot near my ovary. Worried that the baby was growing in the wrong place (which can result in a life threatening ruptured fallopian tube, and all sorts of terrifying things), they immediately sent us to the hospital’s emergency room where we spent a long and agonizing 9 hours running a plethora of tests. Towards the end of the day, the doctor came in and told us that it was, in fact, ectopic and we were going to have to terminate the pregnancy. We were of course devastated, and had to call our parents to break the news. It was honestly awful. Awful. And I’m pretty sure both Justin and I are still struggling with some lingering anxieties over the whole thing if I’m being honest. That said, spoiler alert, it (obviously) ended up being a massive mistake.
About an hour later the OB on call, who had been in surgery all day, came in and told us that she wasn’t convinced it was in fact ectopic. My HCG numbers had doubled since the blood work my family doctor had taken the day before, which was a very good sign. And due to my long and irregular cycle she was wondering if I was just a lot earlier in my pregnancy than we thought, which would explain why they weren’t seeing what they wanted to see in my uterus.
Long story short, we ended up monitoring everything every 3-4 days or so for just over two weeks. It was, truly, the longest and most arduous 2 weeks of our entire lives (we spent between 7-12 hours at the hospital each time). But my HCG numbers continued to climb, the small spot near my ovary wasn’t growing or changing (it turned out to just be a small cyst, which is totally normal and typically goes away on its own), and they eventually saw just what they needed to see, and in the right spot. Hurrah! Baby was totally fine, and it turned out to be one big mistake. One I would have much preferred to avoid altogether, but dear lord I’m so grateful it all turned out just fine in the end.
“You’ve mentioned you suffer with anxiety in the past. How are you feeling, physically and mentally?”
I’m not going to lie, the first trimester was rough. While hormones and overall just feeling pretty unwell (the exhaustion is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before!) is par for the course, the mental aspect was by far the most challenging for me.
This post & this post sums up a lot of the tactics I’ve been using to drastically help relieve my anxiety over the years, and those tools had been helping me immensely. Everything from cleaning up my diet, to meditating (and journaling!) daily, to ensuring I get adequate sleep, to moving regularly (yoga 3x a week was my saviour) played a huge role in my anxiety relief.
But once I got pregnant, and the exhaustion made itself very well known, and then the food aversions set in, and the hormones made their appearance, everything kind of fell off, and I definitely felt it. I could barely lift my head off the pillow, let alone make my way to a yoga class. Having to wake up in the middle of the night to pee almost hourly definitely didn’t help with my sleep habits (sleep is one of my biggest anxiety triggers, which will be interesting when baby is here :). And my gluten free (and dairy free) diet, which was a huge game changer for me in so many ways, quickly went out the window when the only thing I could stomach was a bowl of pasta (and the gluten free stuff was definitely not working). Add in hormones and you’ve got yourself the worst party ever.
I definitely spiralled into a bit of a mess, if I’m being honest. It was quite dark for a little while there. Throw in the fact that this is all I had wanted so desperately for my entire life. Not to mention I know quite a few people who have struggled way longer and significantly harder than I ever had to on their fertility journey, the guilt for not being just purely over the moon weighed heavily on my mind. The negative self talk absolutely played a factor – isn’t it awful how mean we can be to ourselves sometimes? Why we often feel the need to kick ourselves when we’re down is beyond me. But I digress!
I am pleased to announce that I’m officially in my second trimester, and while I’m still not feeling 100% quite yet my energy is slowly coming back, my food aversions are dissipating daily, and I’m slowly getting back on track when it comes to taking care of myself, in mind, body and spirit. I’m already feeling a whole lot more like myself, and am looking forward to embracing this so called honeymoon stage of my pregnancy!
“I, too, have been struggling to get pregnant for some time. Can you recommend any resources or anything that helped you along the way?”
YES! So as I mentioned, this journey definitely sent me down a further path of healing and personal development, which I’m very grateful for. I definitely encourage you to check out this post, wherein I chat about cleaning up my diet, slowing down, and eliminating our household toxins, which I absolutely believe played a role.
Alissa Vitti’s book “The Woman Code” change my life. In addition, I also regularly met with an accupuncturist and a naturopath who specializes in fertility who further supported a lot of the research and things I was already implementing on my own (many of which Alissa Vitti talks about). They both also introduced other modalities which I happily embraced. Things like seed cycling (which is fascinating!), eating only whole, organic (wherever possible) foods, some chinese herbs, and some homeopathy as well.
Lastly, the podcast “Get Pregnant Naturally” (which also supports things like IVF and invitro, despite the name!) provided me with a wealth of fascinating knowledge.
“Do you think Sage knows?!”
100% yes. She has truly not left my side since we found out, and while she’s always been a bit of a suck, she is next level these days. I’m secretly loving it!
If I missed anything, or you have any follow up questions or curiosities please don’t hesitate to ask. Thank you again for all of the love! It means the world. And stay tuned next week for baby girl or boy’s gender reveal :)
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I’m loving this ..watching your amazing journey will be so fun!!!
Thanks Aunt Barb!
So happy for you & will be enthusiastically following along!! I had near identical anxiety issues but it did pass for me and wk 20-27 were amazing … then it was birth anxiety lol but hopefully you experience the same sweet spot xx!!
Thank you for sharing! It’s been really difficult – which I wasn’t expecting at all (and oh god the guilt about it all is SO real). I feel like I’m getting a little better every day, but every so often I’ll have a total setback. So fun! I’m glad to hear things got better for you <3
Congrats! I’m expecting our 2nd at the end of March too, but our first wasn’t an easy process so I can emphasize.
P.S. Rummo (they are Italian) does a delicious gluten free pasta. They can be found at Fresh & Wild. My favourite brand so far.
Oh amazing, thank you for letting me know!! Congrats on your second (and I’m sorry to hear you struggled with your first as well!)
Beautiful post Jacq. So happy for you, Justin and Sage! xx
Thanks Jules! Sage is totally in for a rude awakening haha
J! I am so, so happy for you. You are glowing! I just KNEW I was pregnant with Oscar when we were in Paris too, there must be something magical about that city. Sending so much love your way!
hahah I KNEW PARIS WAS MAGIC!
We are so pleased with the news that Mike and I are going to be grandparents!!! Every time I think of it I jump for joy. What a lucky child this is..to have Jacquelyn and Justin as parents.
Umm, those look like baby girl gifts!!! xoxo
haha so far they’ve all been pretty gender neutral, but now that we know we’re starting to get more specifically gendered gifts :)
Congrats! I’ve been following your blog for a long time now and have had a baby myself in the interim; she is now 22 months and hilarious and adorable and crazy! Can’t wait to see your nursery designs and ideas!
ahh so fun!! I seriously can’t WAIT for the hilarious and adorable stage. I think about it constantly! And you KNOW the nursery is already fully designed in my mind :)
how wonderful! You look absolutely glowing. Take care of you….. Blessings indeed!
Thank you so much Joyce!