Between about 6 and 9 weeks along in the pregnancy I had the worst morning sickness. It was way worse than with either of the girls. I admit I used to think some women were milking it when they acted so sick, or had those insane cravings. My pregnancies were nothing like that, and I couldn't understand. But now I do. I could barely eat anything, and when I did, it was a miracle to keep it down. Not eating much gave me the worst headaches along with the nausea. So I apologize to any women I have ever known pregnant, that I thought you might be exaggerating your sickness. It really does seem impossible to function some days when you are going through that! Ben's dad and step-mom came out for a visit during my sickest time, so it was pointless to try and keep the secret. Lana said all it took was one look at me, and she could tell I was pregnant. So they were the first to know.
We did a good job of not telling anyone else until Christmas. My doctor told me we would know at my January appt. if I was out of the woods as far as likelihood of miscarrying again. So I wanted to wait to tell the rest of our family. But Ben thought it would be hard to keep the secret for 10 days of being with both of our families in Utah. I was starting to show a little, and was still a little sick. He said my sisters and mom would probably figure it out anyway. So I grudgingly agreed to tell everyone while we were in Utah. Ben had these shirts made for the girls that say "big sister" and their names across the bottom. We put them on after we got off the plane, and agian when we drove down to Provo. I have to say we were surprised how long it took for people to figure out the shirts. Vicky saw Kara's and Ben pointed out Kiersten's, but she said, "oh. hers says little sister." So it took a little hinting for everyone to catch on. My mom, my sister Chris, and Ben's sister Katie were the only ones who saw the shirts and just figured it out on their own!
my ultrasound was scheduled for last week. We were really looking forward to it, when we got a phone call from the dr's office. I was told that my blood test came back with an elevated chance that the baby had spina bifida. So they canceled my ultrasound and rescheduled me at a different place with more sensitive, newer machines to get a better look at baby. I have been so concerned and worrying about this ever since. But having Kara around being so excited about the baby really helped. She predicted that the baby would be a boy, and also declared that it will be named "Punkin". She has been having a hard time understanding how much longer we have to wait before the baby will be here. The new ultrasound was scheduled for today, and finally the day arrived. I woke up totally nervous, and anxious to find out if the baby is okay or not. I had a hard time getting ready and pouring the girls' drinks because my hands wouldn't stop shaking. Our friend Jean was so nice to watch the girls for us. Ben dropped them off at a McDonald's to play and have breakfast. Then he met me at the ultrasound place. It was the longest ultrasound I've had, but it was fun to watch because we could see everything so clearly on the screen. We didn't get to see our other girls in so much detail in their ultrasounds. I tried hard to check out the spine, but didn't really know how to recognize an opening in the spinal cord, so I also watched the tech's face to see if she looked worried, since they aren't supposed to say anything if they see and issue. But she kept a straight face the whole time. Here is the picture we got of the front of our baby's face. She couldn't get a good profile shot, because the baby just wouldn't roll over. But I kinda like this slightly creepy, alien-ish picture. I did get to see a few cute profile shots during other parts of the ultrasound. We both got a kick out of the tech calling our baby, "punkin" like Kara has been for the last 2 months. Kara was really creeped out and confused when I showed her this.She couldn't get a good look at the genitals, as the baby kept closing it's legs. But when she came back in the room after going over everything with the dr, she decided to look again to see if we could tell. She finally got a few glimpses, and said she thinks it is a girl! She looked a few times, and never got too good of a look. So she made sure to tell us she might be wrong, but it looks like a girl. The picture she sent us home with does look very similar to Kara and Kiersten's "it's a girl" pictures, so I think she is right. I have thought it was a girl, but you can't really know. And all of our family has been guessing or hoping for a boy, but I'm solidly convinced now, that we are having a little girl! One of the doctors at my dr office said to me, "I hope you're having a boy, because I have 3 girls, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone." I thought that was pretty funny. But we are excited and happy to have 3 girls. I think she'll fit right in with our family.
After the ultrasound, we met with the genetic counselor, who finally told us that there were no signs of spina bifida! It was so great to finally hear that! For the last two weeks I haven't even been able to care about the gender, or think about anything other than getting that good news. Most babies have a 1 in 1000 chance of having it, but our baby had a 1 in 500 chance based on bloodwork. so although those numbers remain unchanged, the ultrasound has cut her chances of having it to 1 in 10,000, which is great! So we obviously turned down the option for amniocentesis. We both feel so much better now, and we can just be excited about the baby again, and look forward to July. I do need to have another screening at 30 weeks, to make sure the numbers aren't still elevated, but she said don't even worry or think about it, baby is basically in the clear now! Kara was pretty excited when I told her about her new baby sister. I thought she might be disappointed, because she has insisted it was a boy. but she didn't say anything except, "well, maybe we will have to name her Love instead of Punkin. Or we can name her Nice." That was super cute.