Pregnancy Retrospective: Letters to Baby Girl - Part I

Friday, August 12, 2016

November 3, 2015

Dear Baby,

You were a complete surprise! The month after our second baby left us, my body was all kinds of messed up. We didn’t even get to do our third IUI because the timing and my hormones and basically everything were wrong. Your dad and I had chalked this month up to being a complete bust. Then two weeks later, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was pregnant. You were already telling me you were here, and I barely believed you. When I took the home test, I fully expected it to be negative. I was brushing my teeth while the test developed, and when I looked down after I was done and saw that faint second line, I nearly passed out in our bathroom! It was October 8th, a Thursday. I decided to keep it a secret from your dad until our 3rd wedding anniversary, October 14th. It was the hardest secret I’ve ever kept! Even though I knew you were already there, I took nine more tests between the 8th and the 14th. It was a little crazy, I’ll admit it. I just loved seeing 2 lines and knowing you were there!

The day after I found out about you, I had my hCG tested and the number came back a little low, at 50. Four days later, it had to be over 200 to be good news, and it was 404! The next day, Daddy and I went to dinner, and at dessert, I gave him the box full of positive tests and a teensy pair of socks that someday you’ll wear! He was so happy! The next day, my hCG it had to be 800 or more, and it was 973! You are so strong! We were scheduled to see you the next Monday, and we were so excited. On Monday, we saw the sac you live in, and the yolk sac that’s feeding you, but you were nowhere to be found. It was so scary when Dr. Sondheimer said he couldn’t find you. I thought that it might be because you were just too small. After 10 agonizing minutes, Dr. Sondheimer realized that I was only 5 weeks pregnant, a mere 3 weeks after you had come into existence, so it was totally normal that we couldn’t see you yet. I made the doctor tell me three more times that you were okay in there, and I spent the next 9 days freaking out that you might leave us like your siblings did before you. I was so scared.

The next week, I was so anxious waiting for Wednesday. While your dad and I waited for Dr. Sondheimer to come into the room, I felt like I might throw up. When he finally came in and started the scan, I could barely look at the screen because I was afraid that nothing would be there. Right away though, he said, “Oh wow, everything looks great!” I turned to look and there you were! Your sac was so big, and you were right behind the yolk sac. You were 6.1 mm long, right on track, and we even got to see your little heartbeat, flickering away! Your dad and I almost cried when we saw you. We’ll get to see you again next Wednesday. I can’t wait to see what you look like then!

When I first found out that I was pregnant with you, the only symptoms I had were exhaustion, sore boobs, and I was hungry all the time! The only thing I craved for a week and a half was hummus, and I ate so much of it. In the middle of the fifth week though, hummus started to sound disgusting and I started to get nauseated. Now, at almost 7 weeks, I’m not craving much of anything except water and sleep. Growing a human is hard work, it turns out. I’ve had to get out my bigger bras, but most of my pants still fit. I did order 2 pairs of maternity pants because they were on sale, which was a big step for me because it meant that I thought you would be around long enough for me to have to wear them. I also have been thinking about your bedroom, and how I want to decorate it. But mostly, I’ve been thinking about what it will be like to meet you. Daddy thinks you’re a boy; I’m not sure what you are yet, besides a little miracle.

I know that it’s not a guarantee that I’ll ever meet you in this life, but I have felt different about you since you made yourself known. You are a fighter, little one. You surprised us all, and I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next. Keep on growing, getting bigger and stronger. I don’t mind being tired and sick if it means that you are getting what you need. On Monday, you’ll be the size of a raspberry! It’s really amazing. I’ll write again soon, my darling. Mommy and Daddy love you very much.

Love always,

November 25, 2015

Dear Baby,

It’s been a busy few weeks! You are now the size of a kumquat; 10 weeks! You dad didn’t know what a kumquat was, so I had to Google a picture a show him. We saw you 2 weeks ago on the 11th, and you were doing great! Dr. Sondheimer said that I could stop coming to see him and could start seeing my new obstetrician, but I was really nervous about not checking on you between now and when my appointment would, on the 30th. Thankfully, Dr. Sondheimer said that it would be okay if I came in for a quick scan on the 23rd.

The week before the ultrasound, I had a dentist appointment to get molds made for a night guard. I was so nauseated that I ended up throwing up on the dental assistant and the dentist! It was really embarrassing. Fortunately, the dentist and her assistant were both really nice about it, and I didn’t have to go anywhere after my appointment. Other than that, I haven’t thrown up many times, but I’ve been very nauseated! It’s not really a fun times, but I know that you are safe in there, so it’s worth it. I keep joking with Daddy that you are made of peppermint tea, dry Cheerios, and peanut butter sandwiches, because that’s all I can eat right now. I’ve also been keeping peppermint Altoids with me, and I got some hard candies that are supposed to help with morning sickness. (Also, morning sickness is a terrible name. I am more nauseated at night than any other time!)

At our 10 week ultrasound, one of the fellows, Dr. Sullivan-Pike, was there. The doctors at the reproductive endocrinologist’s office usually don’t see babies as big as you, so everyone was very excited. You must have woken up when we started looking, because you were wiggling around like crazy! You dad was so excited, and kept pointing out things he was seeing, like your heart, and your fingers and toes. We got some nice pictures of you, too. You’re already so cute!

Now we’re just waiting for next week’s appointment with Dr. Gearhart, who is my new doctor. Both Dr. Sondheimer and Dr. Goldstein, my psychiatrist, said that he is a great doctor. Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and Daddy and I are going to New York to have dinner with Dad’s best friend, Pete and his family. It should be pretty exciting. Then on Saturday, your dad, your Uncle Levi, and I are cooking dinner again for 10 people! We still haven’t told a lot of people about you, but we think we will soon.

It’s crazy to think that this time next year, you’ll have been here for 5 months! I hope you like sweet potatoes as much as I do. They’re really yummy, I promise.

Anyway, I’ll write again soon. Oh, also. I think you are a girl. Daddy still thinks that you’re a boy. One of us will be right, but really, we just want you to be here and healthy. We love you!


December 10, 2015

Dear Baby,

Just a quick note this time, because medical school is keeping me really busy with the end of the semester! You are now the size of a lime! You are growing so fast, and it’s strange to think that you’re in there, moving around, and I just can’t feel you yet. Keep up the good work!

I met Dr. Gearhart on the 30th and he was very nice. Daddy couldn’t come with me because he had to work, but that was okay because it was mainly an appointment for talking and getting lots of information. I didn’t get to see you, but Dr. Gearhart was able to find your heartbeat! It was so fast and strong; it was beautiful. It made me teary! (Hormones are crazy, little one!) My next appointment won’t be until December 29th, which feels very far away.

Your dad and I decided that we wanted to have prenatal genetic testing done, just to be sure that you’re okay in there. We also wanted to find out if you are a boy or a girl before I was 20 weeks pregnant. It’s pretty cool that the lab can draw my blood, then process it and look at your DNA that’s floating around in there. The results should be back in one or two weeks, and I am very anxious to know that everything is okay. We’ve been asking our friends if they think you’re a boy or a girl, and it’s pretty split. Daddy is still sure you’re a boy, and I’m still sure you’re a girl. I guess we’ll see!
We’re hoping to tell people about you before Christmas, but we’re going to wait until we have our test results. I am getting anxious because I haven’t heard you for almost 3 weeks. I know that there’s no reason to think that you’re not okay, but I guess I’m just going to be worried about you forever. I borrowed an at-home Doppler from my friend Maria, and she said she used to listen to her baby’s heart with it all the time. The battery needs to be charged, and I’m afraid to use it because if I can’t find your heartbeat, I will lose my mind. So I’m trying to wait. It’s not easy!

For now, I have to get back to studying. Just another couple of weeks and I’ll be on winter break! It’s not very cold yet, which is weird for New Jersey. I’m not too upset though, I don’t like the cold! It’s nice to know that you’re nice and warm in there, though.

Love always,

December 20, 2015

Dear Baby,

Hello in there! You are now the size of a beet, or a large lemon, (depending on which app you look at, haha), and I am 14 weeks pregnant. We’re officially in the second trimester, which means that you’re going to be doubling your weight EVERY week! Right now, you are around 3.4 inches long and weigh 1.5 ounces. According to the internet, that means you weigh a little bit more than an average slice of whole-wheat bread. Congratulations? Daddy thinks it’s very silly that my apps compare you to foods, and he often makes up funny comparisons. It makes me laugh; your dad is very good at that.

This is my first week off from school for the break, and I really need it. The semester was hard, but I think I did well. I am looking forward to baking cookies, watching movies, seeing friends, and taking lots of naps. We’ll also hopefully be finding out the results from your genetic testing this week, so we can tell people all about you! Also, since we’ll know if you’re a boy or a girl, we can start thinking about your name. I always thought that picking out names for my pets was hard, but picking out a name for a new person is a whole different thing! Don’t worry, we won’t name you something weird or silly, like Apple or Blanket. (Yes, there are kids out there with names like that. Celebrities are weird.)

Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing Dr. Salva, one of Dr. Gearhart’s colleagues, next Tuesday. Your dad will be on vacation from school, so he’ll be able to come with me. I’m hoping they will do an ultrasound so we can see how you’re doing. I miss seeing you! The doctors say that in a couple of weeks, I might start to feel you moving around, but not to be upset if it doesn’t happen for another month. I’d rather you didn’t make me wait that long, haha. The last couple of ultrasounds, you’ve been measuring a few days ahead of schedule. Your dad was a big baby and weighed 10 lbs, 1 ounce, so I keep telling him that you better not be that big. I don’t know where I’d put you! I was a little baby, and only weighed 6 lbs, 10 ounces. We’d like you to be somewhere in between there, so do what you can, okay? Don’t worry, we’ll love you no matter what.

Pregnancy symptoms have gotten a lot better recently, too. I am not nearly as nauseated as I was, but I’m still really tired all the time! Also, it’s getting difficult to get comfortable at night to fall asleep, and I wake up at least once to use the bathroom. Guess you’re sitting on my bladder! I’ve been wearing maternity pants since 10 weeks, even though I don’t really look pregnant. I have a tiny bump, but most people don’t notice it unless they’re already looking for it. I can’t wait until I have a nice tummy, so people will know that you’re in there! The cats for sure know that you are in there, which is pretty funny. They all want to lay on my belly, like they’re going to keep you warm or hatch you like an egg. It’s very cute. I can’t wait for you to meet them! Keep growing, little one. Daddy and
I love you very much.

Love always,

December 22, 2015

Dear Baby,

It’s been an exciting couple of days here! I finished my fall semester of my second year of medical school, and your dad will wrap up his school year before the break tomorrow. Yesterday, I spent a lot of time on the phone with Quest Labs and the Maternal Fetal Medicine office, trying to get a hold of the geneticist to tell me your results! At one point, I called Quest and they said that the doctor who had ordered the test had to call them because there was a question about one of the labs, and I immediately thought that it meant something was wrong. Fortunately, my friends talked me down from that one!

Eventually, I got our genetic counselor, Rose, on the phone, and she told me that all of our screening was negative! Genetically, you look pretty good from here, little one! Daddy and I were so excited to know that you are doing well. I asked Rose not to tell us if you were a boy or girl, because I wanted to find out when I was with your dad. I had her seal the results in an envelope and I said I would pick them up today. I had them with me all day, from 2:00 until I saw your dad at 6:00, and we were so excited to open the envelope when I finally got home. Your dad opened the envelope and I got to read what the paper said.

You’re a little girl!

I knew it! I didn’t rub it in your dad’s face too much, just a little bit. We are both so excited, and it feels so much more real that we’re having a baby! You’re like your own little person in there. We’re working on picking out some names, but so far, we don’t agree on very much. I really wanted to name you Esme, but Dad says no way. We’re pretty sure that your middle name will be Jane, after my Mom-Mom, who was very special to me. I’m sad that you won’t get to meet her; she would have loved you, I’m sure. Other than that, we have no idea what we’re going to call you. It’s a good thing we have 6 months to figure it out! I can’t wait for Tuesday when we get to go to the doctor’s office again. Hopefully we’ll have an ultrasound so we can peek in and see how you’re doing. Keep on growing! Daddy and I love you very much.

Love always,

The night we found out we were expecting our Baby Girl!

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