I gotta say, it’s really nice not to hide my enormous stomach anymore. I don’t understand how it got so big so quickly?! I heard that with each subsequent baby, you show earlier, but I definitely didn’t expect to look like I was close to birth at the end of my first trimester. Regardless, I’m soooo excited that I can finally share the news with you all.
I found out that I was pregnant in late March after a very fun girls weekend. Thank God I got to enjoy a few delicious margs before I kissed them goodbye for nine long months. I can’t really say I was shocked. I’d had this overwhelming desire to procreate and really felt like a baby was coming for us. I don’t know if it was mother’s intuition or wishful thinking, but I had a very strong gut feeling. I took a couple of tests around the time I thought my period was due (obviously I tested before drinking!) and they were all negative. I was disappointed, but still felt like there was a chance. I waited a few more days before I tested again and boooom, positive. Even though I knew it was a possibility, when those two pink lines showed up, I felt alllll the feelings. Shock, excitement, anxiety, joy - a real mixed bag. I’m not one of those people who can plan a cute little surprise to share the news with their partner. I immediately ran downstairs, interrupted Andy’s meeting, and asked if I could borrow him for a minute. I blurted out that I was pregnant, we looked at each other stunned, shared a hug and a kiss, and then went back to our business. I guess that’s what it’s like the third (actually the fourth) time.
It always takes me a few days for the reality to really sink in for me. I racked my brain trying to remember all the ‘rules’. I spent hours googling ‘can I get a spray tan?’, ‘best non-toxic shampoo’ and ‘what foods spread listeria?’. I started to imagine who this little person would be and how excited I was to have another one, and then I was hit with an overwhelming wave of anxiety. I guess that’s what happens after miscarriage. It was the same with James (to the absolute extreme), it was there during my pregnancy with Elle (albeit a little less intense), and I found myself experiencing it again this time.
I took multiple tests each day to make sure the line was getting darker. My google searches switched to miscarriage statistics and signs of loss. I often wonder what it must be like to go through a pregnancy without worrying that something will take your baby from you. Without waiting for bad news at every appointment. I thought that after two healthy pregnancies I might feel slightly more hopeful but alas, the feeling was the same. I never really let myself get too excited, as if it would somehow protect me from the pain if something weren’t right. It’s a sad way to experience something so beautiful, but I guess it’s human nature to want to shield yourself from heartache.
This time around, the morning sickness hit fast and hard. I told myself that it was a good sign and that the hormones were strong, which helped make the nausea slightly more tolerable. When the time came for my six week appointment, I was a mess.
Just like each pregnancy before - my heart raced, my blood pressure was high, and when I stepped into the ultrasound room, it felt like everything was moving in slow motion. My first pregnancy was a missed miscarriage late in the first trimester, so I know what it feels like to have someone tell you that there’s no heartbeat without any warning. It’s such a vivid memory that resurfaces every time I set foot in the doctor’s office.
Since I was seen quite early, the baby was still tiny but there was a flicker! I was flooded with relief, but automatically became anxious when the HR was only 100. I told myself it was too slow and that it was surely a sign that something was wrong. Even though the doctor reassured me that it was perfectly normal for this gestational age, my mind went elsewhere. I thought of my first experience with a slower than normal heartbeat, and the very insensitive doctor who told me ‘it could go either way… don’t put it on Facebook’. I was exhausted by my anxiety, so I leaned in to the love and support of my husband. I tried to accept that things would happen just as they were meant to and none of it was in my control. I reminded myself that if I didn’t lose that first baby, I wouldn’t have my James or Elle. It definitely helped me curb the constant whirlpool of negative thoughts in my head.
What a mindf*ck. The most natural thing in the world and yet we have absolutely zero control over the millions of biological processes that have to take place perfectly for a healthy baby to be born. Wild.
The next three weeks were the toughest by far. I felt unbelievably ill. I also felt like I was failing as a wife and mother to my other children. I couldn’t tell people why I was hiding, I couldn’t get my brain to function well enough to write or even think properly, and I felt like a dark cloud was hanging over me. It’s such a strange concept to feel so awful, but to understand the need for gratitude given that so many people struggle to conceive or carry children. I shed many tears over that time and survived on orange juice, English muffins, and Pirates Booty. Coffee made me want to puke, and I couldn’t stomach any of the healthy foods I usually crave. It was especially hard when my kids kept asking me what was wrong. I told them that I had a tummy ache but wasn’t ready to explain why. James knew something was up and kept asking me if there was a baby in there (maybe the rapidly growing belly had something to do with it). Andy and I decided that if the 9 week ultrasound looked good, we’d share the news with them. To my great relief, the baby was growing and seemed healthy, so we told them they were having another sibling. James was beside himself with joy - it was definitely one of the best moments of my life. In usual Elle fashion, she was nonchalant. God I want to be like her.
From 9.5 weeks, I started to feel a little better each day. What a blessing to have those nasty symptoms ease before 12 weeks. We were awaiting the genetic test results, so the anxiety was still there. It felt like an insidious little termite trying to burrow in and ruin things, but I did my best to keep it under control. I was able to go back to meditation (something I reallllly struggled with when I was feeling so nauseous), and I found myself feeling *slightly* more hopeful. When the results came back as low risk for genetic complications, I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Not only did I feel so much better physically, but I started to let myself believe that this was really happening. That I would get to raise another little person. Despite one slight setback at 11 weeks (F U pneumonia!!!!), I really felt like I was turning a corner.
As I write this, I’m a different person to the one who couldn’t get out of her sweats 6 weeks ago. Although I still have moments of nausea, it’s completely manageable and my energy has returned to pre-pregnancy levels. I’m still scared of course. I know that so many things can happen between now and 40 weeks. I won’t let those fears rob me of my joy, though. I’m so thankful for all the love and support I’ve received and I can’t wait to share this journey with you all. Now someone drink a cocktail for me!
Photo by Tatuna Skryabina.
Leave a comment
NNatalia Bartesaghi | 08.24.2023 | 05:47PM
Claire, I’m so happy for you. Also drinking a cocktail for you from Uruguay. Love ❤️
EElizabeth | 08.10.2023 | 06:51PM
I’m so happy for you and I wish you nothing but the best. ❤️
TTaela | 08.10.2023 | 07:00PM
Definitely relatable. You never stop worrying.
I’ve just had my third baby, and I’ve never had a miscarriage. But even so, every single day of my pregnancy, every single time I used the bathroom, I would hope there would be no blood on the toilet paper.
I couldn’t help to think of all the things that could go wrong. It happens to too many people, and you’re right, there is nothing we can do to prevent it. What will be, will be.
Third time round it was the tiredness that got me, running around after a two and four year old while pregnant gets to ya! But it did go super quick. He’ll be here before you know it!
I wish you all the best for a safe delivery of your little man x 💙
AAna | 06.20.2023 | 12:18PM
“What a mindf*ck. The most natural thing in the world and yet we have absolutely zero control over the millions of biological processes that have to take place perfectly for a healthy baby to be born. Wild.”
not really, it’s called God. He is the One who creates what is inside you.
CChaima | 06.20.2023 | 12:18PM
I love you so & congrats for the baby wish you the best ✌️❤️
JJames | 06.20.2023 | 12:18PM
I don’t know what it’s like to be a woman, let alone giving birth. But given your description you made me realize that it was not easy, between abortions and joyful healthy births. Concerns etc. But I just want to tell you that I admire you, and that I thank you that there are women like you who tell about how the gift of life happens. I really like how you describe situations. I think you should write a book. I can only hope that you can have a long life and a prosperous and peaceful life. Self-confidence, you create it when you think about the well-being of yourself and your heart.
AAna | 06.20.2023 | 12:18PM
This post hit home. I felt every feeling. I won’t tell you my story,
but your words are heard and describe so well everything.
SShubham Bhagat | 06.20.2023 | 12:18PM
Of course you got this…..Tons of blessings and wishing greatness!
PPandora | 06.20.2023 | 12:18PM
Thank you for reminding me it is normal to worry about baby in first trimester.
You are absolutely amazing!
SSohalîa | 06.20.2023 | 12:18PM
Thank u so much for your share 🤍 you are an amazing women ! You are bright ☀️ and I am sure that your child will be sublime! Good luck! You are my model
DDenise | 06.20.2023 | 12:18PM
Thank you for being so real with us! Love this post
AApoorva Appu | 06.20.2023 | 12:18PM
I love you rebekah
JJill Gonzalez | 06.20.2023 | 12:18PM
I’m sending You ALL THE POSITIVE LIGHT!!! Are You Ready to Raise Another Little Girl ?! That’s usually where to sickness and Huge belly comes from. Especially by the The Third healthy Baby !! If You Didn’t Already use a pregnancy girdle, Do So. You’ll thank me afterwards!!! When I was pregnant with mine, I had to Literally lift my belly so I could find Relief!!! Feel free to message me anytime and ask Anything!!!
CCourtney | 06.20.2023 | 12:18PM
Wow! Beautiful post! Made me tear up if I’m being honest, those are such huge fears and felt by so many, myself included in that. Thank you for sharing this amazing journey with us! You are one heck of a mama!
SSheneaka Turner | 06.20.2023 | 12:18PM
You got this beautiful your amazing and strong woman and you are the best mom this little nugget is going to be love by the mom in the world and her name YOU!!!!
MMiko | 06.20.2023 | 12:18PM
The mixed emotions is just.. WOW ! Glad ur able to share your story with us💗
CCessy | 06.20.2023 | 12:18PM
Well, this was beautiful and painful to read. I follow you from a log time back, and I have never known about the miscarrige (dunno if you had shared it before though) Anyways, it was really sad to read all your journey with this pregnancy and your anxiety (I can relate with anxiety) and I’m happy you are feeling better and trying to enjoy this pregnancy at its fullest. Always remember it’s normal to have feelings, and it’s ok. You got this woman, I know God it’s with you all as a family and with this beautiful new baby!
SSkye | 06.20.2023 | 12:18PM
CONGRATULATIONS CLAIRE SENDING LOVE FROM ENGLAND ❤️❤️
AAllie Elliott | 06.20.2023 | 12:18PM
I was so scared when I first found out that I was pregnant with my son (I had him in 2019). I didn’t really have the excitement for that pregnancy. I lost my first son I had him at almost 42 week because my doctor want me to go into labor myself. I did and had him on September 12 2017 but there was some complications and I had to have a emergency c-section. But he didn’t make is he was deprived of oxygen and when he was born he was brain dead so we made the tough decision to take him off life support. Then in February of 2018 I had found out I was pregnant with twins and lost the a week after seeing my doctor. But I still had hope when I found out I was pregnant in July of 2018 and it was just fine. But I was scared for a while think I was going to lose him too but he was born health in March 20 2019.
BBrittney Veres | 06.20.2023 | 12:18PM
I love this! I’m actually going through my first pregnancy and I’m scared as hell! Lol even though I’m also going through the phase of nausea and feeling sick every day. I love my little one. I’m also waiting for my genetic testing results praying everything is okay but congratulations on your bundle of joy!
SSherlyn lizama | 06.20.2023 | 12:18PM
I hope you get a lot of rest for your baby never do hard work by your self and love your children with all your heart ❤️
NNatacha Jimenez | 06.20.2023 | 12:18PM
Congrats and best wishes on your journey once again.
VVeronica Charry | 06.20.2023 | 12:18PM
You’re an inspiration. I am ttc and really find myself thinking about babies and when it’ll be my time every day. Thank you for your candor about the anxiety and mixed emotions. I’m very happy for you and your growing family 🥰
MMargaret Travis | 06.20.2023 | 12:18PM
Each baby got worse for me too! My third was brutal nausea. Glad you are on the mend from that at least!
RRahat | 06.20.2023 | 12:18PM
I always find pregnancies to be so beautiful and fascinating so thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, stories and allowing us to accompany you on this journey. Sending lots of love and prayers for you and your baby to turn out healthy and beautiful.