July 24, 2019

We Are Having a Baby!

FILED IN: Personal

It is completely surreal to share the news that come December our family will be growing! I AM GOING TO BE A MOM! Let me fill you in on what’s been happening in my life the last few months…

As you know I had surgery in January for my Stage IV endometriosis. I’ve had endometriosis for 14 years, but it had completely wrecked so much of my livelihood the last few years. I was constantly in excruciating pain and the side effects did a real number on my body. I can’t stress the amount of gratitude I feel when I share that luckily I was connected with Dr. Lipari at the Jacksonville Center for Reproductive Medicine. There is ONE way to get rid of endometriosis, and despite what most ill informed OBGYN’s will tell you, it’s not lupron/orlissa, ablation surgery, hormone suppression or pregnancy. It is a complete excision surgery that only 50 OBGYN’s in america specialize in. Dr. Lipari is one of these gifted surgeons. He worked with a team of surgeons and they changed my life. I just bawl my eyes out thinking about the depth of that statement. My gosh, I am so grateful.

At my post-op appointment they shared photos and surgical reports of their findings, among them the fact that my AMH fertility level was literally off the charts low. Worse than someone over the age of 45 years old. I found myself at a place I never thought I would be… at a doctor’s office with infertility pamphlets sitting in front of me. It felt devastating. I went to my friend Nicki’s house who lives pretty close to my surgeon’s office and held her new baby and sobbed, scared that I would never be able to have a family. She hugged me and told me that I definitely would, to not put too much stock into that fear and the numbers the doctors provided me. To have faith and peace in knowing that God has a plan and to trust that plan. Hunter and I had the most wonderful conversations about how we want a family, what kind of parents we want to be and we became so excited to take steps if necessary through JCRM to grow our family. Dr. Lipari told us that we would likely need assistance getting pregnant, that if in three months we were not pregnant we should come back for fertility treatments.

We were married on March 25th, my grandparents wedding date and got to planning a celebration with a few friends and family on Cumberland Island for May. We had been engaged for a year and since I am a wedding photographer I wanted things to be just right. I wanted to wait until after I surgery and recovery so I could feel well and really enjoy myself that day and not have to deal with the debilitating side effects of my disease. And just right for me also meant Cumberland Island with a few family and friends to celebrate with us. The logistics of getting to Cumberland Island as well as to the ceremony location was proving to be difficult as you can only get to the island by boat and there are no public transportation options, the place I want to have a little ceremony is a two mile hike from the ferry dock, there are limited restrooms etc. I was coordinating travel arrangements with my wedding photographer when my sister Facetimed me, like she does every day. She asked if I was pregnant yet and knew that in my excitement to hopefully make her an aunt I was taking tests once or twice a day hahaha. That day I had a negative result, but she asked me to check again just to be sure I was not. We were just chatting about this and that when I glanced down at the pregnancy test and saw a very faint line. I was completely shocked. I said “JENNY! DO YOU HAVE GOOGLE? LOOK UP WHAT IT MEANS IF THERES A FAINT LINE.”

I frantically called my surgeon’s office, as they had instructed me to call as soon as I got a positive test. They needed to get me in immediately to check to make sure I wasn’t having an ectopic pregnancy since I was at risk for that. They had me go have bloodwork taken to send them a lab to make sure I was pregnant. I showed the lab tech my test and she said “child, that line ain’t even faint, you pregnant.” Could. not. believe it. I ran next door with the test and showed Maggie with my hands shaking so much- she also told me that she definitely saw two lines. Then I had to make a quick decision as to whether or not to tell Hunter when he got home from work or to wait until the next day when I had official bloodwork results. I am the worst at playing it cool so I decided to go ahead and let him know that the odds were that he’s going to be a dad!

Because I am a documentarian at heart, I went back and forth about whether or not to video telling him the great news. In the end it felt like such an intimate, important moment that I wanted to be fully present so I opted not to film it. The second he walked in the door he said “why are you acting weird?” HAHA. He can read me like a book. I asked what he meant and he said “well, you’re staring out the window with the lights off and your coat is still on.” I pretty much just blurted out “I THINK I MAY BE PREGNANT!” It still seemed like it may be an uphill challenge with my risk for ectopic pregnancy and such, but here I am- 20 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby! We are so excited and have really enjoyed this miracle… and we still have so much to look forward to!

I did have some pretty gnarly morning sickness for about 14 weeks. Because of this we decided to put our marriage celebration on pause. We will still do something totally perfect for us as soon as things settle down, but honestly we aren’t worried about the timing of that because A) we are already blissfully married, party or not. B) no one else is worried about it, either- haha! It is honestly just how we roll in my family. My sister and her now husband got married last November and just had a little party with friends and family last month. Everyone is just excited that we have each other and this blessing of a pregnancy!

Below are a few photos that Hunter took of me (and both of us via tripod!). I think that he did an amazing job!

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