We are so overjoyed and grateful to share that we’re pregnant!!!! We’ve been waiting for you, Baby Awtrey! What a journey this has been – so so thankful for your prayers, support, and love.
We can’t wait for this little baby to join us March 2021!
I shared this on Instagram and I’ll go into more detail in this fun blog post but I wanted to start off sharing a bit of our heart and journey with you and how the Lord was at work in all of it!
A few years ago, Thomas and I went on a walk and the “baby” conversation came up. I’ve always wanted to be a mom, have lots of children, and raise a “team” with my best friend/husband – I just didn’t want to be the one to bring it up knowing that when the time was right, Thomas’s heart would also be stirred.
Months and months went by, periods still happened…throw in a few negative pregnancy tests when we thought they might be positive and entered the feeling defeated, loss of hope, and settled into a place of disappointment. Thus began our infertility journey. About two years, family history came to our attention and we wanted answers to our questions. With the help of our amazing doctor in Birmingham, we went through tests to find them.
Back in March, he performed a laparoscopy and found (and cleaned up) endometriosis and gave us the “next step” in clarity we had been waiting for.
Shortly after my surgery, Thomas left for Officer Training School which gave me room and margin to rest, pray, hope, and dream again. Thomas came home, life went back to a “normal” for us, we continued to pray and hope but mainly surrendered this next year of “trying” to the Lord.
Shortly after this moment of surrender, we found out we were pregnant and were able to link arms with friends and family, praise God for His faithfulness, and giggle over the timing of this fulfillment. Here’s the thing: we wanted to be pregnant coming into this season of pilot training for Thomas.
We just had no idea the training would be delayed, canceled, rescheduled, etc. We forgot that God holds our desires close to His heart and that He is a *perfect* father that wants to give us good (and perfectly timed) gifts. What we thought was a “delay” or “infertility” or whatever label we were told that season (2 years) was, it wasn’t. It was a “not here,” “not yet,” “just wait, there’s better” that we needed to be reminded of.
He wants to give us the best, not good. Excellent, not “that will do.” He wants to swoon, surprise us, blow our minds. He does and He did and He will for you, too.
Once we shared this story on Instagram, there were a lot of questions about our journey of TTC (trying to conceive), how we shared with family, my first trimester, and more fun things that I want to share with you, here!
“Are you going to find out the gender before you give birth?”
Yes! We plan to find out the gender – we’re not much for surprises
“Any names you’re considering?”
We’re keeping our list private for the time being but have beautiful family names we’re drawn towards
“What’s your due date?”
March 11, 2021 I’m currently 13 weeks!
OKAY SO HERE’S THE STORY:
Thomas and I have been trying to start a family for a while (see story above) and we had to take a few months of hiatus when Thomas went to Officer Training School (in March). When he came back in May, we really went back into “trying” much more relaxed and surrendered with how we ever approached it before. Sure enough, at the end of June, I started feeling “not like myself.” That’s really the best way I know how to explain it. Maybe TMI but my breasts were super tender and I had some cramping but I chalked it up to maybe starting my period in a few days and typical PMS symptoms. I didn’t want to entertain the thought of maybe being pregnant and being let down again.
Okay, fun interjection that I want to remember forever: Thomas’s parents visited us a few days before we found out we were pregnant. We invited them to visit Birmingham one last time before we packed up and moved to Columbus, Mississippi for Thomas’s pilot training. Funny part was, they thought that we may have invited them to tell them we were pregnant. When I heard this, I giggled and told them “I’m not pregnant and if I was, I’d be too early to tell.”
That same day, a friend texted me that I haven’t spoken to in a little bit and said, “Rachel!! I just had the most vivid dream about you being pregnant last night! So real, I thought I might text you!! Hope all is well with you!! Miss your fun spirit! ”
I couldn’t believe it but it planted a seed of hope that, if I was actually late and felt “pregnant,” I would muster up the courage to take the leftover test we had sitting in our vanity that always stared back at me when I opened the drawer.
A week past and I was a day “late.” This has happened so many times before so I didn’t think anything big of it. We flew to Savannah, GA for the fourth of July with some friends and it was so daggum hot. We walked 11,000 steps that day, I sweat my tushy off so when we got back to the airport to get back on the plane, I told Thomas “I do not feel great, I need a moment in the AC before getting in the plane. I feel a little whoozy.” hahaha dehydration, heat exhaustion, pregnancy or all of the above?
That night, we chatted about the possibility, had a “come to Jesus moment” about needing an answer if this was legit and we promised to take the test the next morning. I was so excited.
We’ve gotten asked, “how did you tell Thomas?” but Thomas was there along with me the whole time – literally opened the test for me I did the thing, we set the test on the counter and promised not to look at it, I think we covered it up with a hand towel. I changed my mind and told him I wanted to watch the process and sure enough, as soon as the test creeped up to the pink lines, they both turned bright pink. No “faint” about it!
We couldn’t stop laughing, we hugged immediately and lots of tears were flowing. We couldn’t stop giggling as we got ready for the day and went to get breakfast at one of our favorite Bham breakfast spots. We talked about the future of baby, timing of baby, when we think the due date may be, talked through dreams and really just felt the permission to fully dream about something we’d always dreamt about.
There was already a plan in place, before we found out, to visit my family in South Carolina before moving – so we also planned how we’d tell my mom. Typically, we have Chinese takeout when we visit so we found it appropriate to order custom fortune cookies to share the news with our family from a super cute Etsy shop.
We had Thomas’s parents meet us at the airport when we landed to give them “a gift” (or really a onesie hehe).
No matter how “early” we were, it was important to us to tell our family as soon as we found out to 1. celebrate 2. have them be praying intentionally with us but 3. with our history of trying, we wanted to fully feel supported in that moment.
FIRST TRIMESTER OVERVIEW:
I’ve really felt great! I haven’t gotten sick or felt sick. I’ve had a few moments of “ehh, I just don’t feel ‘good’” but I haven’t been sick. I kind of compare these little spells to a carsickness feeling. Really, the biggest kicker for me has been fatigue. I mean, my GOODNESS! I could truly sleep 18 hours of the day during my first trimester (ask Thomas). I didn’t have the luxury of napping a ton during the first part of the first trimester since we were moving. I was packing, helping move, unpacking, etc. It took us so long to get fully unpacked (and we still aren’t) after moving to Mississippi because I couldn’t even think about opening boxes – absolutely zero motivation.
It’s felt really good to move and sweat as opposite to the above statement sounds I’ve started tennis lessons, swimming, going on walks and it brings me so much rest and joy!
There’s no “bump” yet, at least we don’t see one. Sometimes at night, a little one will pop out but I wake up being flat again. It looks more like a large amount of bloating or a big meal at my fave Mexican restaurant. Which leads me to cravings! At the beginning, I could eat alllll the salad kits, berries and veggies! Every once in a while I have to have a Coke. Like have to.
Thomas was able to go with me to my second appointment, first one here in Mississippi, we were able to see baby and hear their heartbeat. WOW! Soo cool! Baby was so squirmy, was moving all around for us, feeling their face, sliding down the side of my uterus, balling up, and springing back up to do it again; so fun to see!
We are just so excited and can’t wait to welcome this little nugget into our life. Remi is excited, too. I swear he knows – he lays on my belly, is super gentle with me and naps with me when I get the chance. His world is about to get flipped upside down! Since the baby is due in March and we’ll be here until January 2022 (minimum), we’ll basically return back to Birmingham with a 9 month old! AHHH!
Any other questions you have, I’m happy to answer! I’ll be doing a few more updates here and there just to share the fun stuff!
With all of this being said: I know what it’s like to see a pregnancy announcement when you’re waiting on one of your own. I’m sensitive to you and want you to hear me say that you have the permission to do what your heart needs. If that looks like needing to leave this corner of the Internet, I totally understand and had to do the same thing, too. Just know that this is okay and you will be welcomed back with open arms when you’re ready.