This is the blog post I’ve waited three years to write. And here I am (tears streaming down my face as I type this), at a loss for words. I’ve envisioned this momentous day in my head for such a long time and now that it’s here I feel like no words will give justice to how I’m feeling. So let’s get on with it…
WE ARE HAVING A BABY!
Yep, I’m officially 16 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby. Our sweet baby Finn is due to arrive on May 4th, 2020.
Video – Our 3 Year Journey To Parenthood
If you have been following our journey to become parents, then you know that Finn and I experienced a devastating miscarriage around this time last year, as well as two more chemical pregnancies. I actually documented our entire IVF and infertility journey through video and it’s hard to believe that I finally get to share that video today (I was waiting for that happy ending to put on the end of it!).
I pretty much cry every time I watch this video (and don’t get me started on my mom…like legit blubbering when she watches). But it really gives you a good behind-the-scenes look at the daily struggles, constant pain, and emotional toll that this process puts on a couple. You can watch the video below or over on Youtube here.
- :00 This song is what was playing during our embryo transfer with our baby that we miscarried last year. It still makes me cry every time I hear it.
- :29 Finn kept super detailed spreadsheets of all of our meds and shots.
- :54 Starting back on treatment prepping for a second egg retrieval.
- 1:21 The bruises are no fun.
- 2:31 Drugged up Casey after surgery (but somehow still able to give a thumbs up!)
- 3:13 It’s hard for me to watch this part because it was a very low point. We found out none of our embryos survived. Our only hope was the fresh embryo we put in a few days earlier. I thought it was all over.
- 3:58 Worth the wait.
As you probably noticed in the video, we have clips from our old condo, time when we lived at my mom’s house, and then finally being here in our house. And that’s because our journey spanned such a long time! I’ve been gathering clips for three years now.
Questions about Baby Finn
Because you guys probably have so many questions for me right now, I wanted to answer some of them here today…
When did you find out?
We found out at the end of August, right before moving into the house. It’s funny because Baby Finn has been with us since our first night sleeping in this home. I truly believe getting a fresh start with this house helped bring our baby to us.
How did Finn react when you found out you were pregnant?
I’ll let him answer that one…
For most people, the surprise of finding out you are pregnant is a life-changing event and something you will never forget. For me, this time around, it was wonderful to hear but it came with so much caution and fear. I was afraid of losing another baby. I was afraid if we failed this time around, the impact on our lives and Casey’s well-being would be too painful to bear. I was so happy to hear we were pregnant and the levels were great, but I had been there before. We have the scars to prove it.
When the days continued on and Casey’s levels began to exceed the minimum thresholds and concern level, the feeling became something else. Now, I started to think there was really light at the end of the tunnel and maybe THIS was different….maybe this pregnancy would be normal. Then we had an incident that forced us to again face the reality that we may have lost the baby. Casey will share more later in the post, but it involved 14 hours at the ER and the assumption that we had miscarried. All I could think was, “Here we go again, back in this painful and crushing moment, surrounded by darkness, anger, and a lack of comprehension as to why this is so difficult for us when we want it so badly.” This brings me to the moment I will never forget…
When we began our ultrasound around Week 10, I remember Casey saying that it would be different. She mentioned how babies can grow so much week to week early on and to be prepared. I had been at every appointment, except week 9, so I was on a two-week delay, which meant I was in for a real surprise. Up until then, we had seen early-stage ultrasounds where body formations and actual development had yet to take place. We had never made it this far. The first moment the camera showed our little baby, moving and squirming all around, I knew it was REAL. At that moment I felt the rush of uncontrollable joy and relief. It was a feeling you can’t fake, explain, or replicate. It was the purest form of bliss I had ever felt and it lasted for what felt like an eternity. I was witness to a blessing, the true miracle of life. We spent almost half an hour just watching our baby move and wave to us, I could have watched forever (granted I was not in the doctor’s chair…). Our baby seemed so enthusiastic to be here with us and be a part of our family, I knew that was our baby and now, our entire world. That was when I felt the moment of being “pregnant” and when I knew we were embarking on a whole new journey together.
Little one, I love you so much already and I can’t wait to be your dad!
When did you tell your family?
When you’re actively going through IVF, it can be difficult to keep it from your close friends and family because it’s a huge life change. We had to do another egg retrieval (more details in Thursday’s blog post) and had a few family gatherings where we had to run to the bathroom for shots. So, our family knew we were going through the process again. We ended up telling our parents as soon as we found out and then waited to tell our siblings until about eight weeks. We figured if something happened again, we would want their support (that’s why we didn’t wait until later on in the pregnancy).
Since then, we started telling close friends as we’ve seen them over the last month or so. It’s funny because a few of my friends said they had an inkling because I just “seemed so happy” on Instagram stories.
Was it hard to keep Baby Finn a secret?
Yes! Especially from all of you! Over the last couple months, I have been showing my face (and body!) on the blog and Instagram stories every single day and I had to be strategic with positioning the camera. Ha! I also haven’t done any painting, spray painting, or getting on tall ladders, so Finn has been handling that and I’m sure some of you guys noticed (why is Casey not partaking in any of her normal DIY activities?!). Finn really hasn’t let me do much at all and he insists that he handles all the heavy lifting around here.
At around eight weeks of pregnancy, we tackled a one-day wood wall molding project in our first-floor bathroom. Our plan was to document the entire process in one day on Instagram stories. Things were going great and when we were about halfway finished, I started bleeding really badly (I was hysterical and immediately assumed we lost the baby). We went to the emergency room and spent the next 14 hours (!!!) there. Thankfully, the baby was okay and I had a subchorionic hematoma in my uterus that was causing the bleeding. I got lots of comments from people that day asking why we suddenly stopped the project and it was hard to come up with the right thing to say.
Also, I’ve had lots of mocktails and alcohol-free champagne on Instagram stories over the past few months, which may have thrown you off my scent. So I’m incredibly relieved that now everyone knows about Baby Finn and I can just be open about it.
How are you feeling emotionally?
Overjoyed, terrified, giddy, anxious…so many conflicting emotions. When we found out we were pregnant, of course, I was happy, but then fear immediately crept right in. I was just waiting for my happiness to be taken away from me and for something bad to happen again. I think this is typical for many women who have gone through infertility or a miscarriage. You’ve experienced so much pain in the past, that you can’t imagine things going well for once.
Luckily, I have weekly doctor’s appointments with my specialist and I have an ultrasound every time. I’ve had close to 20 ultrasounds for this pregnancy and seeing Baby Finn each week always gives me reassurance that things are okay. As I’ve entered the second trimester, I’ve started to let myself relax a tiny bit, but I would be lying if I said I was completely at ease about this pregnancy.
How are you feeling physically?
Great! Like really, really great. No morning sickness, no overwhelming tiredness, no food aversions. I really have zero complaints. I know many women have fatigue in the first trimester, but I’m on a steroid with my reproductive immunologist and it acts as a stimulant. So I really don’t have many days of napping all the time!
The subchorionic hematoma (SCH) at eight weeks was absolutely terrifying. We were at the ER and I was sure that they were going to tell me that we lost the baby. But luckily, Baby Finn was doing just fine in there! I was put on bed rest for a week and was told to only leave bed to go to the bathroom and shower. Putting your feet up and drinking water is supposed to help the hematoma reduce in size and eventually go away, so it doesn’t hurt your baby. I followed the doctor’s orders (even though it was torture for me to stay in bed!). And I strategically hid it from all of you on Instagram stories (my guess is it was a light week of content. ha!).
Over the next few weeks, I was told I could do very light activity and absolutely no chores. I am busy almost every minute of the day, so that was tough. Because of that order, we decided to hire a cleaning service to come every two weeks and that really helped me.
Now, I’m 16 weeks and the SCH is long gone. I was given the all-clear to workout again a few weeks ago and to resume my normal activities. I’ve never been more excited to workout. Ha!
Are you still on lots of meds & seeing the doctor all the time?
Yep. I see my reproductive immunologist (Dr. Kwak Kim) weekly and her office is where they do the ultrasounds and blood work. It gives me regular reassurance and if anything starts to go the wrong way, I know they’ll be on top of it! I’ve started to wean off some of the drugs she had me on (progesterone, estrogen, and prednisone), but I will be on the blood thinner shot (lovenox) until giving birth.
I see my OB just like a “normal” pregnant lady, so I’ve only seen her twice this pregnancy.
Can you provide details on how IVF finally worked for you?
There are lots of details to share, so Thursday’s blog post will cover all of that. I know many of you are still on your journey to parenthood and you want the scoop (and I totally understand. I was the same way!). I’ll share everything in that post!
What’s your plan for upcoming content?
The DIY Playbook will always, first and foremost, be a blog about our home. But it would feel crazy to not discuss the biggest part of any home…the people in it. I am in no way turning into a mommy blogger, but I will be sharing Baby Finn and details about our family, sporadically. I’ll have a few maternity posts scattered throughout the next five months. Oh, and I cannot wait to start the nursery design in early 2020!! I have big plans for our empty room upstairs…
Next week, I’m revealing the gender (we found out at 10 weeks!) and more details on my first trimester. So be on the lookout for that.
My Fellow Infertility Warriors
And to my fellow infertility warriors out there, I see you. During the last three years, anytime I would read of someone’s pregnancy announcement, I would have the same reaction…happiness for them and sadness for me. I didn’t know if I would ever get to have a pregnancy announcement and I’m sure many of you are feeling the same way. This is a difficult journey and you’re a badass for taking one step forward every day. Keep fighting for that family you so desperately want. In one way or another, you will be a mom. And I totally understand if you need to stop following for a little bit (no offense taken, I’ve certainly done it). Focus on doing and reading things that lift you up!
I speak for both Finn and me when I say we really couldn’t have gotten to this point without support from each and every one of you. The love and generosity so many of you have shown us over the past few years has not gone unnoticed. From the moment we announced we first had an infertility problem to last year’s miscarriage, you guys have been with us every step of the way. The emails, the messages, the letters, the good luck charms…I’m pretty sure I’ve cried tears every single week over the last three years because of the kindness of this community. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS.
Now the countdown to Baby Finn is on…Casey&Finn
*All photos by the talented Jenny Grimm Photography.
Our Infertility Journey
- Seeing a Specialist
- Tips for IVF
- Chemical Pregnancy #1
- Finn’s Side of the Story
- Losing Our Son
- Chemical Pregnancy #2
- Helping a Friend Through Infertility
- We’re Having a Baby
- Our Successful Fresh Transfer