It was May 5, 2017 – Cinco de Mayo. It seemed appropriate for us taco fanatics to have more than just tacos to celebrate this day. I can’t even tell you the excitement and rush of adrenaline when those two pink lines appeared after those excruciatingly long 3.5 minutes. It was REAL. It was HAPPENING! Somehow, this dream of mine was now a reality. A baby! Our baby.
I wish I could tell you that this story was about that baby. I wish I could tell you that baby girl, our Aria Rose, was upstairs, playing with her little sister right now. I wish I could tell you that it was perfect and everything we ever dreamed of. But this is not that story. I carried our little girl for 23 days after that. I experienced morning sickness. We even got to see her wiggling, and her little heart beating at our first ultrasound. Just a few days after that, our great God called her home to him. One day, I’ll tell the rest of that story, and the grief that follows. But today is not that day.
3 months later, we got another surprise. This time it was different. I didn’t want to allow myself to feel that rush of excitement again. I wasn’t sure if I should be happy. Since there was no explanation to why we lost our first baby, I was scared it would happen again. Those first few weeks dragged on until our first ultrasound appointment. Again, we saw our wiggling baby with a heartbeat. I laughed when they printed the photos and it looked like a little frog. I began calling our baby “Kermit,” affectionately of course. After learning that most miscarriages happen within the first 10-12 weeks, I looked forward to the next appointment at week 12.
Finally, that day came. I was so terrified that they wouldn’t be able to find a heartbeat. It took a couple tries, and then I heard it. I heard our baby! Tears started falling from my eyes. I had hope once again.
I ended up switching doctors after that appointment though, because they had really rubbed me the wrong way after losing a baby. The hospital experience was horrible. I was called a liar on more than one occasion. So I felt the best thing was to switch to another local practice and deliver at another hospital. Thankfully, there are many to choose from around here! Let me tell you, that was the best decision I made! All the doctors at the new practice were so friendly, supportive, and actually helpful.
At my first appointment there, I was reassured they would do everything in their power to keep me and my baby healthy (and alive.) AND I was able to schedule our anatomy scan. That’s just a fancy term for “ultrasound to make all baby’s body parts are functioning” AND finding out if it’s a boy or girl if you choose.
I definitely wanted to find out, and so did Jonathan. Our appointment was scheduled for black friday. They were only doing morning appointments that day, so we got the earliest and went for 7am! After eating much thanksgiving food the day before, it was not the easiest getting up that early, but I’m so glad we did!
We were having a girl! I was super happy! Jonathan was a little disappointed that his firstborn wasn’t a son, but he quickly got over that and was thrilled to have a baby girl. I had a family photo session scheduled around lunchtime that day! When we got home after the ultrasound, I hurried up and packed my bags and headed to 7 springs! Our families were on pins and needles all afternoon, but it was worth the wait.
My pregnancy was not easy by any means. I ended up with sciatica. I slipped and fell a lot. But the worst part was that I had gestational diabetes. I had heard of people having this when I was younger. No one in my family did though. My husband is a diabetic so I figured it wouldn’t be too hard to figure it all out. The hardest part was having to test my glucose levels 4 times a day. I have never minded needles, but after a week of this, I was not okay. Then, I had to add on insulin because my body just wasn’t reacting well enough to my new diet. So now I was up to 5 needles a day. It took some serious will power to keep going, but knowing that this was keeping my baby girl healthy, and me healthy, I did what I had to do.
Then it came time for my baby shower! Our baby girl wasn’t due until April 12, but because of my gestational diabetes, they would induce me a week early. We planned the shower for Sunday, March 4th thinking that would be enough time to get the nursery set up afterwards.
Since this was our Rainbow baby, I wanted a rainbow themed shower. I searched pinterest for weeks trying to find the best ideas, but wasn’t a huge fan of what I found. I had planned on decorating the nursery with muppets and rainbow colors, so we decided to do a “Rainbow Connection” themed shower! If you’ve never seen the original muppet movie, stop what you’re doing, and go make sure you get a copy to watch asap. It is one of my favorite movies!
My parents so graciously opened their home to our 100+ guests. It was a wonderful day with so many wonderful people coming to shower us with love and gifts for our baby girl! We decided to have an open house, and asked our guests to bring their gifts “unwrapped” and hand them right to us when they walked in. It was the best idea! Everyone came at different times, and we got to share our joy with each one of them as we saw what they had brought for our baby girl! We had so many wonderful compliments on doing this! After we viewed their gift, they were invited to share in some snacks and drinks our families so wonderfully prepared! Everyone mingled for as long as they wanted, and then they were able to go if they needed! It was perfect.
I knew the one thing I wanted was a rainbow balloon arch. I watched so many tutorials on how to make them. In the end, I only used 4 colors instead of all 6. When the guests arrived, they walked under the rainbow to find us and present their gifts. We also had a wishing well so people could leave little notes for us and our baby! Our guests were able to guess the date, weight, height, and name of our baby girl as well. My favorite name guess was from my Uncle Paul. He wrote “Goldfish,” which was the name I had picked out for my cousin Zeb when I was 3 years old.
We had family come in from out of state, and family and friends from all over PA. It was a joy to be able to celebrate with them all!
The friday before the shower, I made a (jokingly) desperate post on facebook that we had run out of taco seasoning! I said if anyone coming to our baby shower wanted to bring us some, our baby loved tacos too! LOL Two people actually brought us taco seasoning! It was awesome.
Later on that evening, we took the balloon arch outside for some photos of just me and Jonathan. It was super cold, but I’m so glad we did.
I was almost 34 weeks here. The days that followed were a mad rush when we found out our baby was coming much earlier than expected! But I’ll share more about that when I post her newborn photos.
The majority of these photos were taken by my sister: Kara Abbey <3