Belly photo

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We’re on full-fledged Baby Watch 2015, and in honor of my pregnancy that is now 39 weeks 1 day, I’m publishing a post from September that’s been sitting in my drafts folder.

The lasting affects of miscarriage  |

I can see my feet if I’m sitting down and I swing them way out.


After I wrote this post back in March I intended to write an entire series on my experience with miscarriage, but then, I got pregnant. (Maybe part of it was that I didn’t feel emotionally ready to talk about miscarriage and “out myself” until I was able to start trying again.)

Since I had a history of miscarriage, my midwifery practice let me have an early ultrasound at seven weeks. This is about as early as a heartbeat can be detected. When I was pregnant with Adelaide I didn’t get that reassuring ultrasound until 12 weeks and that’s one of the factors that made my first miscarriage so devastating–I didn’t find out the pregnancy wasn’t viable until 12 weeks into it.

For those of you who haven’t been pregnant before, you’re considered about four weeks pregnant when you miss your period (depending how regular your cycles are) and that’s about the time you can get a positive pregnancy test. Doctors and midwives usually track your pregnancy by the first day of your last period. Most women don’t know the exact date they conceived, but the first day of your last period is a date most women can figure out (especially those actively trying to conceive). So, when you ovulate, you’re already “2 weeks pregnant”–at least for tracking purposes.

Anyway, I say this because between the time of getting that positive pregnancy test and then getting that early seven-week ultrasound, is about three weeks. Three very long, anxiety-ridden weeks. Weeks where you figure out your due date and think about all that would mean, while at the same time trying not to get your hopes up, trying not to think too much about the future, trying to stay “in the moment.”

During those three weeks I thought a lot about mindfulness. Primarily I thought about how little I know about mindfulness and how much I’d like to learn. During those three weeks I told very few people about the positive pregnancy test. Of course, Tim knew. He has been at my side through it all. I even made Tim and Adelaide take photos with the positive pregnancy tests. Adelaide didn’t know what she was holding up for the camera, so no harm done. I also made them do this for the two miscarriage positive pregnancy tests–I’ve kept those images, but they’re hidden on an external hard drive because they just make me sad.

Then, I told my sister (she lives far away but provided moral support over the phone). I also told my friend Brooke. Brooke has been my pregnancy confidant. She is the little sister of my friend Amy who died of cancer a few years ago. Brooke is the same age my sister, and we became friends when Amy got sick and Brooke moved to Philly. Although Brooke doesn’t live here anymore, she has been a great email pen pal. She has been through more than her share of heartbreak and loss (both early and late pregnancy). She was also pregnant this summer and a great voice of positivity–staying positive and thinking about the end result. The mantra: This is the perfect pregnancy. I’m so blessed for my two happy, healthy children.

So, we had that early ultrasound at seven weeks. Unlike my miscarriages, all three components were there. There was 1) a gestational sac 2) something in the gestational sac, and 3) that something had a heartbeat. It was one of the most nerve-wracking days knowing that after the ultrasound we would either be devastated once again or completely ecstatic. The news was good, we were flying high and the next day I had a doctor’s appointment where the midwife said now that a heartbeat had been detected, my chance for miscarriage went from around 25-30% to only 1 or 2%.

Fast forward to now and I’m 26 weeks pregnant. The genetics testing is over, even our 20-week anatomy scan showed “nothing of concern.” Each month at my midwife appointment they check the heartbeat and it has always been great.

Still, I worry. The result of having suffered miscarriage is that I no longer have the naivety of not knowing any better. I know first-hand what loss feels like, and I have witnessed stillbirth once removed as it happened to my dear friend.

A couple of weeks ago, at 24 weeks, I found myself worried to tears over the fact I didn’t feel as if the baby had been moving as much as the several days prior. I know you’re not even technically supposed to be tracking kicks as early as 24 weeks, and I assume that’s because it’s unpredictable. Still, I worried. I worried something was wrong. I worried I would lose her.


Now that I’m 39 weeks and anxiously awaiting “the day” at any time, I still worry. I find myself stopping my excitement and holding back on wanting to fill the empty drawers with Adelaide’s hand-me-down newborn clothes. I want to meet this little girl as soon as possible because while pregnant I feel so completely out of control. I want to hold her in my arms and know that she is okay.

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Adelaide had her two-month check-up yesterday. Our little baby is 14 lbs, 11 oz which puts her in the 97th percentile!  We asked the doctor if this was okay, if we had any reason to be concerned, and she said, “No, it’s breast milk. It’s not like you’re feeding her Oreos.”

She’s no longer that wee infant we brought home from the hospital. She’s almost doubled her birth weight at this point, and looking back at the photos from the first few weeks, I am amazed by how much she has grown and how quickly the last few weeks have passed.  I never posted the last weeks of belly photos, so with these final images the collection is complete.

36 weeks

37 weeks

38 weeks

Apparently I like to wear purple.

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More belly

In on honor of the fact that our due date is exactly one month from today, I wanted to post my most recent belly shots. This brings us up to date – 35 weeks!

31 weeks

32 weeks

33 weeks

34 weeks

35 weeks



By “over-due,” I mean that the photos are old and should have been posted weeks ago, not that we’re past the baby’s due date. Tomorrow I’ll be 34 weeks, and as a teaser to the belly I’m sporting these days, I’m posting weeks 27 – 30.

I’ve been really good about using my Canon Rebel XSi to take a photo from the same spot in our living room every week. I use a tripod and automatic timer so I can do it on my own and adjust settings accordingly. Often the natural light is low, and the tripod comes in handy for those low-lit days. To save time, I put the timer on a continuous setting so it takes 6 photos at a time and I can change my hand positions without having to reset the camera after every photo.

More belly pics to come soon.

27 weeks

28 weeks

29 weeks

30 weeks



My due date is exactly three months from tomorrow, and I surprise myself every time I catch the reflection of my profile in a storefront window.  It’s like getting your hair all chopped off and hardly recognizing yourself when you look in the mirror.  What’s happening to this body?  It’s still crazy to me that it just grows on its own. I don’t have to really “do” anything. The baby and my belly just keep getting bigger and bigger.

I always wondered what I would look like pregnant.  Turns out I look a lot like this:

24 weeks

25 weeks

26 weeks



Here’s a photo of me and the blueberry at 18 weeks. Except now, the blueberry is the size of a large heirloom tomato. As of yesterday, I’m 20 weeks. Half-way there! I’ve been feeling well. I’m still really tired. I had heard that you get all this energy back in your second trimester, but not so much for me–at least not yet. My friend Margie told me she didn’t start to regain energy until around week 22, so there’s still hope. Plus, I just started to feel a little baby movement in the last week or so–exciting! Tim asked me what it feels like, but it’s hard to describe.  It feels like a flutter, a snap or a pop.  Snap. Crackle. Pop.


Here’s me at 14 weeks, taken on February 13, 2011.  Tomorrow, I’ll be 18 weeks, so this was almost a month ago now.  I have been taking photos every week, so I need to post an updated one.  I already feel so much bigger.