Well, I alluded to sharing some fun news on the blog later this week, and the day is here!
Yep! Mikey and I are having a baby! We can hardly believe it and it’s been an exciting 12 weeks full of incredulous glances at one another, lots of joyful moments shared with friends and family and adjustments to what is already a new body!
The backstory is the neat part of this experience, however…
Mikey and I have known for a few years that we’d like to start a family, and particularly when he finished filming “How to Win a Tickle Fight” and was able to see our friend Brock in action as a dad even while dying from his cancer, Mikey decided he wanted to take this plunge. Before this, we’d been on the fence about kids, thinking it would probably happen but not pursuing it as our lives have been very full, active, and away-from-home since we’ve been married; it would be a lot of changes to think about! We even had some very full and epic summers we called “The Summer of Mike and Bon” where we packed in lots of adventure hoping for a pregnancy over the fall.
That was in the summer of 2015. …then we had another “epic summer,” hoping THIS would be the last of just the two of us. Well, fast forward a few months and nothing was happening. “Give it a year,” we’d heard so many times before, and so we did. It was after a year of trying that I went to my doctor and asked if they could do some tests. After having a few ultrasounds where we thought there was an issue with my uterus, we finally decided to also have Mikey tested – after all, it takes two! 😉 The day we found out my uterus was normal and the issues were an error on the screen of the picture, we also found out that 100% of Mikey’s sperm have abnormal heads, meaning they are unable to penetrate and fertilize an egg. It was hard to be excited about my news when we were letting Mikey’s news sink in; it was like a cancer diagnosis 9 years after the first one, and it hit us hard. A “0% chance to conceive naturally”, probably due to a late effect from his cancer treatments, is what Mikey was told after they went over his numbers… We were devastated, and Christmas was hard, especially as we tried to celebrate Mikey’s younger sister’s recent pregnancy.
We haven’t lived very conventionally since we got married… And things haven’t always “worked out” like they (seemingly) do in others’ lives. The truth is, you can’t compare one of your days to another person’s – we all live different stories and have to trust God with how he’s directing our stories. Look around the world; some people don’t have clean water to drink or live in addiction; others are orphaned or poor and live without much hope of a future. Still others prosper and accomplish much, buying second homes and vacationing a few times a year. We just can’t compare journeys, and as this was happening it seemed to fit our story – cancer comes back and rears its ugly head, just like we’ve seen it do so many times in our friends’ cancer journeys. I didn’t lose hope, but I was disappointed (that’s an understatement); I knew that God could make one of those sperm healthy but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. Others, in the meantime, prayed for us to conceive naturally. I remember vividly a week before we found out crying at our friends’ Ben and Christy’s house, finally opening up about our desire to have kids after trying to move and think in a very different direction. Ben said something I’ll never forget:
“Friends are there to pray for you when you can’t pray for yourself.”
We couldn’t pray about it. We just couldn’t talk to God about it. And Ben’s statement floored me; if this is what friends do for you in your life, friends are awesome. And they are! And our parents are! And other family members and friends who were praying for us in this journey!
That’s why this very unexpected surprise feels like a direct answer to prayer. I can’t tell you how many people have said, “That’s what happens when you relax and take the pressure off!” …but I know it’s more than that. Medically, this wasn’t supposed to happen. Furthermore, we’d been pretty relaxed for some time, having stopped trying for several months before we got the news in November. I think new life is truly a miracle – SO many things have to come together for a baby to be created! – and this is, without a doubt, a very real miracle in our lives! God moves in ways we won’t always understand; I know others right now dealing with miscarriages, infertility, the death of a young child; loss that I cannot comprehend. And yet I know that God is faithful and always working, we just can’t predict what it will look like. He is always on the move…
So…how have I been feeling?!
It’s been a wild ride! But mainly I’ve been feeling pretty good! I’m super grateful to say that I haven’t felt any morning sickness or nausea at all and aside from fatigue in the first few weeks, where I’d come home and nap in between clients or at CityFit, I’ve been feeling good! I did have a migraine with accompanying vomiting for the first time ever this week (oh man, those of you with chronic headaches, I don’t know how you do it!), but besides that I’ve mainly had to eat more often and sleep a little more. It’s been crazy to watch the changes take place in my nutrition, movement and body: I’ve had aversions to meat and vegetables and have been very happy to eat doughy carbs like pizza and bagels; I’ve full enjoyed our outdoors adventures (been skiing twice on the hill and had our 5 day backcountry ski trip) but have struggled with more “traditional” workouts, modifying as I go and opting for lots of walking; and my body is already starting to change, having quite the visible bump at night and definitely losing those “morning abs.” 😉
And I’m okay with all these changes! The nutrition isn’t ideal, but I’m not worried about the baby’s health and know it will go back to a more balanced diet soon, and the movement is what it is – I want to stay fit as much as possible but have already come to terms with my core changing (strength-wise and physically!) and am happy to move as I’m able and not try to keep up any standards from before pregnancy.
So, that’s the big news! We are so excited for this journey, aren’t sure if we’re going to find out the gender, had our first ultrasound at 8 weeks (to see if we were having twins, which are in my family; nope! Just one baby!) and are working with midwives! I think that might cover any of the extra questions that might pop up. 😉 Excited to share the journey with you guys and thanks again to so many of you who have been praying for us!
Live well & be well,
Mike, Bonnie & Little Blob*
*(“Little Blob” came from the ultrasound – the baby was so small then, and I asked the technician, “Which blob is the baby?” lol! I’m sure another nickname will appear, but on my pregnancy app, Little Blob it is!)