Hello Third Trimester – 28 Week Update!

Hello third trimester! We are nearing the end, guys! Time just continues to fly by, especially now that we are seeing our OB every 2 weeks  opposed to every 4 weeks. Baby girl’s kicks are getting stronger and more frequent and we are all getting super excited to meet her. I have an update on our last 8 weeks below but I thought I’d share a little more this time. Entering into my third trimester has us feeling so blessed and lucky. I can honestly say I have enjoyed being pregnant, even through the rough first trimester. But having a baby was not easy for Zarin and I. I’d like to share the story below. My husband shared it with me a little while ago and I thought it was a beautiful way to look at a difficult situation.

Elephant

An elephant and a dog became pregnant at same time. Three months down the line the dog gave birth to six puppies. Six months later the dog was pregnant again, and nine months on it gave birth to another dozen puppies. The pattern continued. On the eighteenth month the dog approached the elephant questioning, “Are you sure that you are pregnant? We became pregnant on the same date, I have given birth three times to a dozen puppies and they are now grown to become big dogs, yet you are still pregnant. Whats going on?”. The elephant replied, “There is something I want you to understand. What I am carrying is not a puppy but an elephant. I only give birth to one in two years. When my baby hits the ground, the earth feels it. When my baby crosses the road, human beings stop and watch in admiration, what I carry draws attention. So what I’m carrying is mighty and great”. Don’t lose faith when you see others receive answers to their prayers. Don’t be envious of others testimony. If you haven’t received your own blessings, don’t despair. Say to yourself, “My time is coming, and when it hits the surface of the earth, people shall yield in admiration.”

Aside from a few close friends and family members, only Zarin and I knew our daily struggle of trying to have a baby.

Yes, Zarin & I struggled to have a baby. We struggled month after month for about a year and a half. 

I hinted at this in our first post but looking back, I wasn’t completely open. Zarin and I decided to share our journey when we learned we were expecting. Having a baby is something we both wanted so badly, and we wanted to share that journey with the world. I didn’t think it was fair to omit everything that happened leading up to this amazing blessing. So, we are doing that now.

Infertility and loss are such hush topics in our society. As a woman, there is a feeling of shame or embarrassment that you are ‘unable’ to create life. After all, we are all taught that you fall in love, get married, have children, and live happily ever after, right? But that’s certainly not the case for everyone and certainly not something that always happens as easily as it does in fairy tales. Not only have we experienced the struggle of trying to conceive, but we know many others who have had similar struggles. Many that only came to light when we shared our own struggles. It’s heartbreaking but something that needs to change. I remember feeling so helpless. My husband, time after time, would tell me, ‘Our time is coming,’ and I would nod and halfheartedly believe him because the uncertainty and fear of not being able to have children was too much to bear.

There’s a level of vulnerability in sharing something so personal with the world. I feel it right now typing each and every one of these words. But, as I mentioned, Zarin and I chose to share our journey  and with every little kick I feel from Baby Z, I am reminded of the beautiful blessing growing inside of me that I at one time, thought may never be.

Our Story

Zarin and I were married in September of 2014. We were crazy in love newlyweds who wanted nothing more than to add to our new family. But, we also knew that we were okay waiting for a bit so we could enjoy our new marriage and travel. And we did just that. About a year after being married we decided that we were finally ready to add to our family.

We started trying. I had been off birth control for about a year before that because I was told that sometimes it can take a woman’s body that amount of time to ‘get back to normal’ after birth control. Of course, at first, it was fun playing the waiting game. And then month after month we were met with the reality that it hadn’t happened. After about 6 months or so I started to worry. I looked up information and read different articles and posts. Most of what I read was to give it a year. So we did. I downloaded a fertility tracking app and we tried for another 6 months with no success.

After a year, I felt like something had to be wrong. I went to go see my doctor. She did a few tests and had an ultrasound done. She ended up diagnosing me with polycycstic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a hormonal disorder that causes small cysts to grow on the outside of a woman’s ovaries and in turn, causes irregular cycles, and failure to regularly release eggs. It also came with a bunch of other glamorous side effects like weight gain, acne, fatigue and facial hair. I had noticed all of these symptoms slowly start when I got off birth control so it started to make sense. Birth control regulates a woman’s hormones and helps prevent conception. Once I got off birth control, I no longer had that regularity and my body basically couldn’t regulate my hormones the same. The ultrasound my doctor performed also confirmed I had PCOS. The only silver lining in it all was that my doctor explained PCOS is very common in young women and treatable. She encouraged me to eat more healthy, increase my activity and prescribed me a medication called Metformin to control my hormones.

I started the medication in July of 2016. I continued to eat healthy and increased my activity even through the fatigue. I started feeling better. My doctor did advise me that it could take 3-6 months for my body to start adapting to the new medication. And nonetheless, we continued trying with no success. The end of the year came and Zarin and I began to talk about our aspirations and goals for the new year. We decided we’d take another year to travel, grow, and put the stress of trying to have a baby to the side for a bit. After all, I would be turning 30, we had 5 different weddings to attend and we still had some time. We decided to make 2017 the best year yet.

And we did. Accidentally. 🙂

In March, as a complete shock and surprise, we found out we were pregnant! Almost 2 years of trying,  all the ups and downs, the tracking, the uncertainty, and just like that, we were pregnant! It just goes to show that sometimes, when you least expect it, an enormous blessing can come your way. When you are able to live and let go, amazing things can happen.

Every milestone during my pregnancy has been a complete blessing. Every kick, every inch I grow, every heartbeat we hear, is a true example of what I almost lost hope in.

So there it is. Our real story. My hope is that this may help anyone who may also be going through something similar, to not lose hope.

I also know how hard it can be, especially as a young married couple, to constantly hear, “Still no kids?” Yes, it may seem like a harmless question. I can’t even count the number of times I was asked that after my husband and I got married. But everyone has a different battle. I wanted to share the below story I found during the time we were struggling. No matter what side you find yourself on, I think there’s a lesson to be learned.

“Somewhere there is a woman: 30, no children. People ask her, “Still no kids?” Her response varies from day to day, but it usually includes forced smiles and restraint.
“Nope, not yet,” she says with a chuckle, muffling her frustration.
“Well, don’t wait forever. That clock is ticking, ya know,” the sage says before departing, happy with herself for imparting such erudite wisdom. The sage leaves. The woman holds her smile. Alone, she cries…
Cries because she’s been pregnant 4 times and miscarried every one. Cries because she started trying for a baby on her wedding night, and that was 5 years ago. Cries because her husband has an ex-wife and she has given him children. Cries because she wants desperately to try in vitro but can’t even afford the deposit. Cries because she’s done in vitro (multiple rounds) and still has no children. Cries because her best friend wouldn’t be a surrogate. “It would be too weird,” she said. Cries because her medication prevents pregnancy. Cries because this issue causes friction in her marriage. Cries because the doctor said she’s fine, but deep inside she knows it’s her. Cries because her husband blames himself, and that guilt makes him a hard person to live with. Cries because all her sisters have children. Cries because one of her sisters didn’t even want children. Cries because her best friend is pregnant. Cries because she got invited to another baby shower. Cries because her mother keeps asking, “Girl, what are you waiting on?” Cries because her in-laws want to be grandparents. Cries because her neighbor has twins and treats them like shit. Cries because 16-year-olds get pregnant without trying. Cries because she’s an amazing aunt. Cries because she’s already picked out names. Cries because there’s an empty room in her house. Cries because there is an empty space in her body. Cries because she has so much to offer. Cries because he’d be a great dad. Cries because she’d be a great mother, but isn’t.
Somewhere else is another woman: 34, five children. People say to her, “Five? Good lord, I hope you’re done!” And then they laugh… because those types of comments are funny. The woman laughs too, but not in earnest. She changes the subject, as she always does, and gives the disrespect a pass. Just another day. Alone, she cries…
Cries because she’s pregnant with another and feels like she has to hide the joy. Cries because she always wanted a big family and doesn’t see why people seem so disturbed by it. Cries because she has no siblings and felt profoundly lonely as a child. Cries because her Granny had 12 and she’d love to be just like her. Cries because she couldn’t imagine life without her children, but people treat her like they’re a punishment. Cries because she doesn’t want to be pitied. Cries because people assume this isn’t what she wanted. Cries because they assume she’s just irresponsible. Cries because they believe she has no say. Cries because she feels misunderstood. Cries because she’s tired of defending her private choices. Cries because she and her husband are perfectly capable of supporting their family but that doesn’t seem to matter. Cries because she’s tired of the “funny” comments. Cries because she minds her own business. Cries because she wishes others would mind theirs. Cries because sometimes she doubts herself and wonders if she should have stopped two kids ago. Cries because others are quick to offer criticism and slow to offer help. Cries because she’s sick of the scrutiny. Cries because she’s not a side show. Cries because people are rude. Cries because so many people seem to have opinions on her private life. Cries because all she wants to do is live in peace.
Another woman: 40, one child. People say to her, “Only one? You never wanted any more?”
“I’m happy with my one,” she says calmly, a rehearsed response she’s given more times than she can count. Quite believable. No one would ever suspect that alone, she cries…
Cries because her one pregnancy was a miracle. Cries because her son still asks for a brother or sister. Cries because she always wanted at least three. Cries because her second pregnancy had to be terminated to save her life. Cries because her doctor says it would be “high-risk.” Cries because she’s struggling to care for the one she has. Cries because sometimes one feels like two. Cries because her husband won’t even entertain the thought of another. Cries because her husband died and she hasn’t found love again. Cries because her family thinks one is enough. Cries because she’s deep into her career and can’t step away. Cries because she feels selfish. Cries because she still hasn’t lost the weight from her from her first pregnancy. Cries because her postpartum depression was so intense. Cries because she can’t imagine going through that again. Cries because she has body issues and pregnancy only exacerbates it. Cries because she still battles bulimia. Cries because she had to have a hysterectomy. Cries because she wants another baby, but can’t have it.
These women are everywhere. They are our neighbors, our friends, our sisters, our co-workers, our cousins. They have no use for our advice or opinions. Their wombs are their own. Let’s respect that.”

(Credit: Nadirah Angail.) #9Today

28 Week Update!

20170819_160826

20 week update here. | 14 week update here.

SYMPTOMS

Smooth sailing for the most part! From 20 weeks on I’ve felt pretty good. I’ve had a few days here and there when I’m just super exhausted. Normal tasks like cooking and cleaning leave me feeling extra tired and my feet have started to swell just a bit. The last few weeks I have really started to feel the pregnancy weight and belly start to drag me down. Sleeping has also started to become a bit more difficult.

BABY SIZE

Baby Z is the size of an eggplant, about 16 inches tall, and weighs about 2.5 pounds!

TOTAL WEIGHT GAIN

22 pounds!

BODY CHANGES

Belly! I wake up every morning and strut in the mirror. I love this growing belly of mine. I’ve noticed it’s dropped a bit over the last few weeks and my belly button continues to get smaller and smaller. It hasn’t popped yet but with 12 weeks to go, we’ll see what happens! Bending over has also become a challenge lately. Lot’s of shoe putting on and taking off help from my dear husband and Ziggy Bear. 🙂

MOVEMENT

Lots! By far the most amazing part of pregnancy is feeling my baby girl move. I first felt her kicking around week 22. I didn’t realize it was her at first but after feeling the same thing for 2 days, I knew it was her. She loves moving around at night and is already showing to be very punctual, being the most active at 9:30 pm on the dot! The movement has gotten stronger and I can feel her rolling around now too. We’ve got an active one on our hands, I can feel it! 🙂

FOOD AVERSIONS

None, hallelujah!

FOOD CRAVINGS

All the sweeeeeeeeeets! Although, I try to limit them as much as possible.

WHAT WE’RE MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO

We did a hospital tour about a week ago. It started to make things feel more real and made me come to the realization that very soon this little one is in fact coming out of me. As much as we can’t wait to meet out baby girl, I’m going to miss having her inside. She’ll never be closer to me than she is right now. I’ve really loved being pregnant but can’t wait to see her and hear her for the first time. We also have our baby shower coming up and we are super excited to celebrate our little one with our loved ones. We’ve started working on the nursery and nesting is in full effect around the home. 12 weeks to go!

xo,

zarinandzo

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