Pregnancy is beautiful and scary, but those two feelings can coexist. I didn’t know motherhood would make me a warrior, and I’m really proud and excited for the version of myself that’s going to come into this world once my son Wesley is born.
My husband, Jordan, and I welcomed our son on January 27, 2023. He was born at Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s & Children’s Hospital.
First Trimester Hiccups & Triumphs
Being pregnant again for the fourth time, with no living children here on earth with us, was a big shock to us. We weren’t trying to conceive, but God has a funny way of giving you exactly what you need when you need it.
From the moment the second line turned pink, we were over the moon! Every second from four to six weeks was the highest of highs! I was craving seafood and any carbs I could get my hands on. It was the perfect time to be in Key West, where we were to mark Father’s Day! Every day felt like living inside of a miracle. We nicknamed our growing baby “Little Bean” and talked endlessly about our hopes and dreams for this little one.
When we got home from our vacation, we hit a road bump. We went in for our first ultrasound, only to find out that we were way too early to see anything. It put us back for a second, but we trusted the process and took it day by day for two weeks until we went back for our second ultrasound at seven weeks.
I had some bleeding at six weeks, and it brought up a lot of memories from my past losing our other children. That was a hard day, but we both survived, and moved forward in confidence that whatever is meant to be will be. We put all our faith in God and surrendered to his will.
On July 11, 2022, at seven weeks two days, we heard Little Bean’s heart beat for the first time! It measured at 161 beats per minute. It greatest sound to ever exist in the planet. As a mom and dad to three angels, everything fell into place and we moved happily through the next weeks. Everything felt like we were living the destiny we were meant for, and we celebrated every single day.
Gender and Name Reveal
On September 3, we announced to our closest friends and family that we were expecting our second son! We named him Wesley Ernest.
Wesley is a family name on Jordan’s side, and Ernest is a family name on my side. We didn’t know until after the announcement that there was actually another Wesley Ernest in Jordan’s family lineage, Jordan’s great-great grandfather. We were gifted the first Wesley Ernest’s original social security card from the 1930s when the Social Security Administration was formed. So cool and we didn’t even know.
Our families were really rooting for a girl, like really really rooting for a girl. I for sure thought it was a girl too because my two pregnancies were so polar opposite from each other. I was wrong, and I’m so excited it’s a boy. I get a second chance at being a boy mom.
Wesley’s screening to rule out Down Syndrome was extremely important to us. Wesley has the perfect number of chromosomes and is genetically sound with zero indications anything would be abnormal.
The support I’ve received from Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s & Children’s Hospital can’t be put into a nice, neat little sentence. It started with my doctor, Mario Cardinale, MD, who met me emotionally and physically exactly where I was.
Dr. Cardinale delivered Oaklee and walked us through the hardest part of our lives. To come full circle with someone who cares so much about me, my mental health and physical well-being — you just can’t put a price tag on healthcare like that. It’s not healthcare, that’s family.
Anatomy Scan & Starting High Risk
We met with Maternal-Fetal Medicine for the first time on September 29, 2022. We were so nervous because Sheryl Rodts-Palenik MD, is like Nancy Drew and investigates everything to a T before she tell you her opinion on how the baby is doing. She’s amazing at what she does, but knowing they could find something had us on edge.
I’ll never forget she pulled in a nursing student to show off how beautiful Wesley’s heart is. She said for 18 weeks this heart is textbook perfect. I felt the weight lift off my chest the second the good news passed through my ears. “Textbook perfect”—the words every mama and daddy wants to hear passed from our doctors lips. What a glorious day it was.
Wesley passed every measurement, monitoring, poking and prodding they did on him. “He’s gorgeous,” she said. “Just gorgeous!” Then the next words out of her mouth were, he’s going to be a big boy too. Then showed us his 3D photo for the first time. It was like a movie. There he was, our son. After I took in the moment, I looked at Jordan, then looked at the screen. Well ladies and gentlemen, I’m carrying my husband’s twin.
We did our second anatomy scan at 22 weeks at Dr. Cardinale’s office on October 24, 2022. Wesley was a ham the whole time just kicking and moving around a bunch. He passed his second anatomy scan, and we just melted with joy.
Symptoms by Trimester
Honestly I didn’t have a lot of symptoms in the first trimester. I had major food aversions to raw meat and eggs and major hormonal breakouts. I had moderate tiredness. I had very mild nausea. That was it! I got out lucky!
By the start of my second trimester, the cravings started: potato salad, ice cream, and pickles. They continued throughout the second trimester, and I was still averse to eating meat. Major skin break outs continued on my face and back, and I had hip and round ligament pain. My hair became insanely thick, and really my hair has never looked better.
Into the start of the third trimester, my hips were still super painful, but it moved to my back too because baby boy is heavy. My round ligaments were stretching big time with his size, and my abs separated for sure.
Even with the physical symptoms, it’s still the most beautiful ride of my life! I am just ready for what today brings and living everyday very grateful to just be here pregnant with second love of my life.
Oregon Trip for Oaklee’s First Heavenly Birthday
I understand a little of what it is like to be a mom of two, but just differently. In my heart I have two sons. One is growing strong within me and the other is being raised by Jesus on God’s playground. It is a different kind of mothering two babies, but kind of the same too. Many of my mom friends say that you feel our heart grow to fit the love of that second baby, and I completely understand that now.
When we left that day, something changed in me. I stopped just being Oaklee’s mom, and a mother to angels, and primarily became just Wesley’s mom. My mindset shifted and so did my heart. It felt right, and like it was meant to happen when it did, where it did. God’s hand guided that day and those feelings.
After October 18, 2022, which was Oaklee’s birthday, the rest of the trip was about Wesley, and bringing him around to all the places we love so much up in the Pacific Northwest. I was craving meat pies like no other, and there is a place in White Salmon that has a gluten free bakery. I think I ate six meat pies that day! My heart was so happy.
We spent time with friends and talked all about this next chapter for us, our hopes and dreams for Wesley, and our game plan to get him here on earth. It was an amazing trip!
Caring for My Mental and Physical Health
I wish I moved more than I do, although I stand up all day for work as a stylist so I make sure to get steps in during the day. I drink water and do a lot of meditation. When I’ve had an overly stressful day and haven’t been able to get out of my head, I’ll put my phone down and go for a walk.
Looking Forward to Delivery
I’ve gained unconditional love through my pregnancy journey, the kind of love only your children can bring you, the joy of their futures, knowing them as whole people and feeling their little personality inside your body. I can’t wait for Wesley to be here with us mind, body and spirit.
Third Trimester Struggles
About halfway through my third trimester I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I had to take metformin every day, do the finger pricks and really watch what I was eating.
I was doing really great and then I wasn’t. I developed fatty liver of pregnancy and was admitted as an inpatient on the perinatal floor on Wednesday January 25.
Wesley’s Birth Day!
Two days later, on January 27, Wesley was born via C-section at 6 lb. 7 oz. I’d already planned to have a C-section, but this was sooner than we’d expected at 35 weeks and six days gestation.
We love Wesley’s birthday. Jordan and I are Catholic, and 1 Samuel 1:27 is such a meaningful verse for us: “I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request.”
NICU Stay then Coming Home
As a preemie, Wesley’s lungs were underdeveloped and he spent 10 days in the neonatal intensive care unit. It was really hard for me to leave him at the hospital and come home without a baby for a couple days. That part really rocked my world.
The NICU staff was amazing. Every single person was incredible.
We brought Wesley home on February 7, which was the 10 year anniversary of Jordan asking me to be his girlfriend. Oh my goodness – all the dates and all the meaning. And we experienced an overwhelming sense of peace being home together.
The first thing I did when we brought him home was rock him in his nursery, and it’s been a little bit of struggle and a whole lot of bliss ever since.
The Fourth Trimester: Keeping a Tiny Human Alive
I had a lot of support for my mental health and for my physical health as I recovered from my C-section, which was my second.
The adjustment from the NICU schedule to following Wesley’s cues was really tough in the beginning. I am a more is more person, but I’ve learned Wesley is a less is more person. Now he’s very chill, and we just go with the flow.
My breastfeeding journey ended after six weeks when I got mastitis and I had supply issues. We switched him over to baby formula and he’s doing great. Thank God for modern science.
We’re literally living in an answered prayer every day. I can’t believe we get to live this life.
I would tell moms who are thinking about trying again after loss of any kind that it does get better. I always recommend getting help with a therapist, finding a very good support system, and taking it one step at a time.
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