August 18, 2015

Dear Baby Pass,

I woke up at 4:45 a.m. this morning to find out if you existed. Your dad and I were planning to go to the gym before work, so I wanted to have plenty of time to let the little test strip do its thing before we left.

I ran downstairs, grabbed a plastic party cup (ain’t no party like a pregnancy-testing pee party), ran back upstairs, and peed. I dipped the little cheapo test strip in for three seconds, then set it on a Kleenex and distracted myself from looking at it by brushing my teeth. It had five minutes to sit before it would tell us whether you were there or not.

“Boo… BOO! Wake up!” I said to your dad. “We have to look at the test!” He woke up, foggy with sleep, and moved ever so slowly into the bathroom. We looked at each other. This was it. This could be the moment our lives would change forever.

We looked down. We saw the control line. And we saw a faint, but distinct, second line. Could it be? You were really in there?

I immediately started shaking and crying and burying my face in your dad’s shoulder as I hugged him. My breathing got fast and shallow. He kept saying, “I don’t believe it! I don’t believe it!” I couldn’t believe it, either. I mean, we know how babies are made. We did the right things on purpose. We wanted this so very much. And yet, when we truly realized it worked, we made a baby, it was so unbelievable.

We dipped another cheapo strip into the cup to double-check. Another line. Then we busted out the big gun — a fancy First Response Early Result test — and dipped that as well. Almost immediately, two clear, dark lines appeared. I was definitely, definitely, definitely pregnant.

I snapped a photo of all three tests lined up. It was 5:15 a.m.

We still went to the gym, believe it or not. We were pumped full of endorphins by the news, so working off some of that energy just made sense.

According to the app I had been using to track my periods, I was exactly four weeks along that day. That means you had already done the following in your short little life as a zygote/blastocyst/embryo:

– Visited Chelan with our friends, including going mountain biking, swimming, and tubing.

– Gone to the Taylor Swift concert, aka the most amazing concert ever. I promise I will take you to one when you’re on the outside, too, so you can better appreciate it.

Visited Michigan and hung out with all your extended family members on your Grandpa and Grandma Snodgrass’ side.

– Visited Chicago, watched the Air & Water Show, and ate a ton of amazing food.

– Had dinner with your Grandma and Grandpa Pass, who said they would totally know when I was pregnant. I guess they didn’t! (We didn’t even know at that point.)

I downloaded a new app, Ovia Pregnancy, to figure out when you were due: April 26, 2016. My mom would be getting a grandchild for her birthday (April 30) next year! We got so excited to tell our parents about you, but decided to wait several weeks to make sure you would stick around. It would be so, so hard to keep you a secret until then.

Your dad left the gym before me, since he leaves earlier for work, and I got teary-eyed as I walked home and caught a glimpse of the beautiful sunrise. I wished I could get a good picture of it, but I only saw the edges of pink and orange light peeking above the hills of our town. I always wanted to remember the sunrise on the day we found out we were going to have you.

Later, when I got to work, I checked Instagram and found that your dad had seen the sunrise on his bike ride to work. He had snapped this photo and captioned it, “What a beautiful morning.”

Baby Pass, this is what the sunrise looked like on the morning that we experienced the happiest moment of our lives — or at least the happiest moment until the moment we meet you.


We’re Having A Baby!

I’ve neglected this blog every so often for the past few years, mostly out of laziness, but this time it was for a very good reason: I’m pregnant! Aaron and I are expecting a little Baby Pass in late April 2016!

We are so incredibly thrilled!!!

There was no way I could write about working out and/or eating healthy for the last few months, as nothing has been even close to normal on either front. But now that the secret’s out, I plan to resume blogging and share this whole crazy experience with you.

I’ve always loved reading other bloggers’ posts about pregnancy, even years before I was ready to become pregnant myself. Recently, it was especially helpful to go back and reread some of my favorite bloggers’ posts from their early weeks of pregnancy to know that what I was experiencing in my early weeks was completely normal.

So, consider this fair warning to jump ship now if you’re not into pregnancy talk! This blog has always been about sharing my efforts to live a healthy life. Sometimes that has meant writing about training for a marathon; sometimes it has meant writing about losing the extra pounds I gained while traveling. In this stage of my life, it means sharing my efforts to have a healthy, happy pregnancy and, ultimately, a healthy, happy baby.

Ready? Let’s get into it!

I’m going to do this Q&A style, even though no one has asked… well… anything yet. It’s not lame if I admit it, right? Shhh, it’s fine. Just allow the gratuitous oversharing to happen.

When am I due / how far along am I?
I am due April 26, 2016, and I am currently 13 weeks pregnant. Almost out of the first trimester!

Do we know if it’s a boy or girl?
Not yet, but we’ll find out at our 20-week anatomy ultrasound in December. We just had a 13-week ultrasound to check for early signs of chromosomal abnormalities (everything looks normal on that front), and the ultrasound technician showed us a view between the baby’s legs but wouldn’t comment on it either way. We had no idea what we were looking at. The suspense continues!

Do we have names picked out?
Yes! Aaron and I have a boy name and a girl name that we both like. I’d say the girl name is 100% solid and the boy name is 95%. If we find out the baby is a boy, I’d do a bit more exploration to make sure something else doesn’t strike me, but so far I haven’t found anything I like better. (I say “I” here because Aaron is currently 100% on this boy name; I just need to catch up!) Either way, we plan to keep the name to ourselves until the baby is born.

Were we trying to get pregnant? Did it take long?
Yes, we were trying, and no, it didn’t take long. I know that many couples struggle to conceive and part of me was terrified that we would, too. You just never know until you try. For some reason, I figured we would either get pregnant the first month or it would take several months — or years — of trying. We feel so lucky that our case was the former; we don’t take it for granted for a second. I can’t pretend I know what it’s like to struggle to conceive, but I know the feeling of wanting a baby so badly, and my heart aches for those who struggle. 

I have a few friends who got pregnant right away, so I made sure we waited until we’d be truly ready if it did happen. For me, that meant the end of this summer, after I was able to enjoy several fun trips (Napa, Las Vegas, Michigan/Chicago) with my body as my own — meaning I could drink, not be nauseous, not deal with food aversions, etc. It worked out perfectly!

Part of the timing was luck, of course, but a lot of it was due to tracking my periods using an app called Ovia Fertility. After I stopped taking birth control pills in February, I started tracking my periods out of curiosity to see if they’d naturally get on a regular schedule again. Miraculously, they were super-regular almost right away. The app is great because it analyzes the length of your cycle (everyone is different, y’know) and predicts the “fertile window” that is ideal for baby-making. I’m sure it’s not perfect, and it’s probably much harder to identify your fertile window if your periods aren’t regular, but all I can say is that we followed the app’s guidance once we were ready and it clearly worked!

How did we find out?
I first had an inkling I might be pregnant near the end of our trip to Chicago in August. I went to the restroom at breakfast one morning and thought I had gotten my period, which was so odd because I wasn’t due for it for about four more days. Like I said, I was used to getting my period either on the exact day predicted by the app or the day after — never early.

I bought tampons just in case it was my period, but wound up not using them because there was no more blood after that one instance. That’s when I realized it could be implantation bleeding — a bit of blood that indicates a fertilized egg has implanted into the uterus. I stopped drinking alcohol after that day, just in case!

Sure enough, when we got back home, I missed my period on the day that I was supposed to get it, and took a pregnancy test first thing the next morning. It was very clearly positive! I have a whole other post written about that experience that I’ll post next. It’s kind of mushy, since that was the most exciting, life-changing moment of our lives so far. 🙂

How have I been feeling?
For the past month or so, I have been feeling much better! Almost too good, to the point where I was worried that something was wrong until we had our first ultrasound and heard the heartbeat at 9 weeks, and then again until we had our second ultrasound at 13 weeks. Other than feeling tired (and sometimes completely exhausted) most days, I seem to be done with significant nausea and food aversions (of which I had plenty, from weeks 6-8). And I haven’t puked yet. Knock on wood.

I’ve been taking (really brief) notes on how I’ve been feeling since week 5, and Aaron has taken a photo of me each week since week 9, so I’ll do a quick first-trimester recap with more info/photos and post it next week, once I’m officially done with it!

And for more updates/weirdness/whatever in between official blog posts, you can check out my Instagram @devonpass

Thank you for reading and coming along on this adventure with us!