WE'RE HAVING A BABY!
Yessss, you read that right! Mitchell and I are having a baby!!!!!!!
Baby Lee is 14 going on 15 weeks and will be joining our party of two in May 2020! It's been so surreal and so special to walk these past 3 months knowing that I'm carrying a little babe inside of me! We recognize that it's purely by the grace of God that we're able to make life out of the love we have for each other and to sustain this little life thus far. We've enjoyed keeping this little secret between us at first and then slowly sharing it with our friends and family in the span of 2 months. Every single time we announce our baby on the way, we keep getting more and more excited to meet our LEEtle one!
HOW WE FOUND OUT
If you know us irl, you'll know that we are planners. Even before we got married, we knew that we wanted to invest a few years into our marriage before welcoming a little baby into our love story. I also knew that I wanted to pursue my career as much as I can before transitioning into being a hot mama (yes, imma be a hot mama!) Heck, I walked through a year-long journey of being unemployed before landing a job in my career again, so I definitely wanted to enjoy every minute of it.
When we felt ready most ready to start trying, we did the beautiful thing that makes beautiful babies and next thing you know, 2 days after Mother Nature was supposed to come hand me a red envelope, she didn't. And I then knew I had to take a test. So I told Mitchell about it, we bought a pregnancy test, I took it, we waited, and when we found out, we were both SHOOK. Like shook because as hopeful as we were to conceive right away, we recognize that complications could happen. So the whole time between us doing the beautiful thing and me waiting for Mother Nature not to come, I was praying for a baby and also for peace if a baby doesn't come right away. And in writing this, I recognize that God is so good. Not because we were able to conceive right away, but because He is no matter what. God is still good even if our journey took longer.
THE FIRST 8 WEEKS
The first 8 weeks were the most foreign 8 weeks of my life. Growing up, I'd heard about morning sickness and nausea in the first 3 months of your pregnancy and I had none of that. So being someone who jumps to conclusions for fun, I immediately thought to myself, "Am I even really pregnant?", or "Is something wrong with me or my baby because I'm not throwing up?" Like real talk, there was this huge cloud of anxiety over me every day that passed that I didn't get "morning or afternoon or evening sickness". But even though I didn't get morning sickness, I got heavy heartburn. And I've never experience heartburn in my entire life, so when I started getting heartburn I didn't even have words to describe how I was feeling. I swear I'd text my husband everyday with things like "I feel like I didn't fully swallow my food and it's formed into a rock and it's stuck in my chest". I eventually Googled what that feeling was like and lo and behold, it was heartburn.
I've also never felt soooooo exhausted (for doing the least amount of external physical labour) in my entire life than I did the first 8 weeks. You see, I'm an Enneagram 3 - The Achiever. And not being able to (physically) achieve things and cross things off my To Do list was a HUGE struggle for me. Everyday after work, I'd take a 3-hour nap, wake up for dinner, which my husband has selflessly prepared after his own long day at work, then I'd go back to sleep. No time and no energy for the things I enjoyed doing - working out, calligraphy, even seeing friends! I swear I caught up on all the sleep and relaxing I've deprived myself of because of my over-working nature. There were many days I'd cry because I felt useless for not even having the energy to help with the dishes, let alone go to the gym. But I thank Jesus for my husband who never failed to pray with me when all I could do is cry, and who never failed to remind me of the precious life my body is creating internally.
HOW WE TOLD OUR FAMILIES
Our first ultrasound appointment was around the 7-week mark and in that appointment, we got to see the baby and listen to the heartbeat! I can't even put in words how joyful we were to be able to listen to our baby's heartbeat. I'm crying right now from just recalling that feeling! Leading up to the appointment, we had already started planning how we were gonna tell our families about our baby.
Thanksgiving was the week after our ultrasound and we were gonna spend it with my family so we knew our props had to make that deadline. We had this idea of using Village Ice Cream to share the news with my family because 1) I love ice cream, 2) I love Village Ice Cream, and 3) my whole family loves ice cream and Village Ice Cream. If you've ever had Village Ice Cream, you'll know that their pints have watercolour illustrations of people on them. So I contacted Amanda from Made By Meli to illustrate a photo of Mitchell and I in watercolour (photo on the left) but change it so that we're holding a baby onesie in the middle (photo on the right). I then got my VA, Lea (whom I will introduce in another post because she is thaaa bombbb), to basically recreate the Village Mini Pint with our own illustration and with some tweaks to it to make it unique to us. So anyways, come Thanksgiving after we've had dinner, we told my family that I landed this gig with Village Ice Cream where they'd feature my watercolor portraits non their mini pints next year and that they sent us samples of what the mini pints would look like with my work on them - which was all a lie. One by one, Mitchell starts handing out the mini pints - first to my parents, then to my siblings. It didn't take long for one of them to notice the baby onesie and next thing you know, my sisters and my mom were all crying and cheering and jumping and crying some more! My brother in love, with his quick videographer reflexes, grabbed his camera quick and captured all the crying and cheering and jumping.
A few weeks later, we were getting together with my husband's family for my father in love's birthday, and at every family gathering we grub on some good Chinese cuisine. So figured it'd be fun to make custom fortune cookies with our baby announcement and get it served at the end of our meal (instead of getting the restaurant's actual fortune cookies). The one catch is, Mitchell has 4 brothers and a sister, so announcing the coming of "Baby Lee" could mean that it could be any one of this brothers'. So when it came time to order the fortune cookies, we had to get real specific with the fortunes we were writing. And by real specific, I meant we had to emphasize a fact that was unique to Mitchell and I, and that's the fact that we're both engineers. At the end of it, we came up with 3 different fortunes:
1) A mini engineer is coming in May 2020
2) Engineers in Training, Parents in the Making
3) Toyota 4Runner, Subaru Outback, Toyota Sienna...?
The first 2 were an easy giveaway; the last one, however, was a little more tough to unpack. Toyota 4Runner and Subaru Outback are the cars that we currently own and Toyota Sienna is the van that Mitchell would get if we were to get a van when baby comes (side note - I'm still resisting the idea of owning a van). Anyways, the guys in Mitchell's are car guys. They all enjoy talking about and working on cars, so we figured one of them would get the car reference. But here's the plot twist: after dinner, the owner himself hands our table a plate with our custom fortune cookies, and the ladies in the family end up getting the cookies with the car references on them!! So needless to say, it took a while to decode that fortune. Meanwhile, my father in love (who got Fortune #1) and my brother in love (who got Fortune #2) slowly get they fortune and once all ears were on them, everybody started cluing in to the fact that Mitchell and I are having a baby!
Both videos are up on my IG page if ya wanna check it out! Click HERE!
BABY ANNOUNCEMENT PHOTOS
Like I said earlier, Mitchell and I are planners. We (I mean, I) knew what I wanted to do for our baby announcement photos, and we knew we wanted to wait until we've told both families before getting it done. So after sharing the news with our family, we hit up our photographer-friend Joy Breitkreutz for a photoshoot date and idea, and I bought all the things a pregnant woman with a vision and with a budget could buy. I bought giant gold balloons that spelled BABY, a helium tank, gold confetti, and a PREGGERS shirt from Etsy (which was one of the shirts Beyoncé wore when she was preggers with the twins). I had envisioned a white space with the gold balloons floating in the back, and Mitchell and I throwing confetti and celebrating our little baby on the way! Except sometimes, things pop out of nowhere and you're forced to come up with a back-up plan. The thing that popped this time was the "A" in "BABY". Right before our shoot. I remember being so emotional about the balloon popping and being even more emotional when I found out that Mitchell literally called every single dollar store in Red Deer and that none of them carried a gold balloon A. In spite the million emotions running through my body that afternoon, both Mitchell and Joy convinced me to just write the letter A in calligraphy because DUH, I'm a calligrapher. I eventually snapped back to reality after my husband specifically said, "I like that the A isn't a balloon and that it's in your writing. The photos will still be beautiful, Gian. If anything, they'll be more beautiful 'cuz it's more realistic and less Pinterest-y." And he couldn't be more correct. When we got the photos back from Joy, all I could focus on was the fact that we're having a baby! Not the balloons, not the calligraphy, heck not even the lashes on my left eye that were starting to come off. All I could feel when I look at those photos are excitement and joy and a little dash of impatience because I just wanna hold our little baby in my arms already!
And exhale! Talk about a novela script for my first blog post. If you made it this far, thank you for sticking it through and reading all the way! I've sincerely enjoyed writing about this journey thus far and I'm sure this won't be the last of my blog posts! If you're a mama or a mama-to-be, I'd love to know if you shared the same experience in terms of heartburn and exhaustion or if you had a different experience than me! If you're an aspiring mama-to-be, I'd love to know how you stay hopeful in your journey! This new season of my life has given me sooooo much more appreciation for the strength women have and I'm sure that'll be another topic to write about. Until then, peace out queens!