We have some news
The Noble Paperie is taking some much-needed vacation time
For the holidays we are taking some time off from work, and business for The Noble Paperie will be paused until the New Year. We will be listing our Etsy shop on vacation mode, and any orders placed on our online store here will ship out in 2019. We are even taking a short break from The Noble Paperie social media accounts as well, to refocus, reset, and recharge. So if we don’t get a chance to say it before we leave, we wanted to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and very, merry holiday season!
And before you go any further, I just want to say all the photos on this post were taken by our fabulous photographer, Hannah Mann… who managed to make every photo look professional, and got some fantastic shots despite our child being an absolute nightmare throughout the shoot. Be sure to also follow her on Instagram—she’s one of my favorite accounts.
Now for a bit more news—we’re expecting!
I’ve been keeping some news under my hat for a little while now, mostly because I have really been struggling with how to share the announcement with this community. So, I’m just going to come out with it (in the off chance you didn’t read our large, bold headline, or see our announcement photo at the top of this post) to say that we are expecting! Of course, we are elated and over the moon about it. However, I am also very sensitive to this space, and to the fact that this announcement could come as a very unnecessary blow to so many mamas struggling through miscarriage, infertility, and loss… and especially at this time of year.
I know this because I was once there too. (I mean, it’s why The Noble Paperie exists in the first place!) I was angry and upset at every posting of a new pregnancy, and ultimately jealous of all my friends and family who were sharing their good news. Because here’s the problem I have with social media—it’s just not reality. Unless a mother chooses to explicitly share the information, you just don’t know what road that mother took to carry a babe to the point where she felt comfortable enough to share with her social media community.
So that’s what I’m going to do today. I’m going to share a bit about my own journey, and more specifically, about going through a pregnancy after a loss… and a pregnancy after the one we had with our son.
Pregnancy After Loss… and After a Difficult Pregnancy
I’m hoping most of the individuals reading this have read my post on our miscarriage, and know a little bit about the background of the pregnancy with our son (both of which I have linked here). But if for some reason you haven’t, I’ll give you the ‘CliffsNotes’ version. When we first started trying for a baby, it took us a long time to get pregnant, and once we finally did, our first pregnancy ended in a missed-miscarriage. After processing all of that, we started trying again. Eventually, we were blessed enough to become pregnant again, but this time, the pregnancy was riddled with complications—I was on bed rest for the majority of the pregnancy (including being hospitalized for over 40 days), I had an emergency C-section at 32 weeks gestation, and then we spent an additional 34 days in the NICU before we were able to bring our son home.
Truly I don’t think the ‘CliffsNotes’ of our last pregnancy really does it justice for all that we went through. Even before I got pregnant again this time, I have thought of some facet of that experience close to every day. What we went through, and specifically what I went through, was incredibly traumatic:
I had constant contractions for almost 4 months straight. I was on huge amounts of medication to stop labor literally around the clock for 40 days. I was confined not only to a bed, but to one room, and didn’t step foot outside for over a month. We almost lost our son—multiple times. Even as I type this, it upsets me. I am not a therapist, but I would imagine some of the thoughts, worries, and anxieties I had were close to some sort of post traumatic stress disorder.
Which is why I initially thought I didn’t want to go through it again.
Even after 2 and a half years, I didn’t feel okay with trying again. Despite everything the doctors have told us: that all of these complications were a one-off, and my chances of having another pregnancy even remotely close to the one I experienced previously, was close to impossible… one always worries. Or at least I do. One of the main things my last pregnancy taught me, is that I literally have no control over growing a human being. I can trust my body. I can hope it does all of the things correctly to create and sustain a life… but at the end of the day, whatever happens is completely and utterly out of my control. And that can be a terrifying and harrowing thought, especially when you’re hoping for a babe with all of your being. I have spoken to so many mamas who have forgotten what the laboring experience was like, and have heard this is why we choose to go through it all again. But it’s hard to forget almost 7 months of labor… and complications… and trauma.
The hubs and I have talked about this at length A LOT. And we came to the conclusion that I would probably never feel “okay” with wanting to get pregnant again. So at this point, you’re probably asking why we did? And, that’s actually a decision and discussion that will solely live between myself and my husband.. But since I’ve now become an oversharer, I’ll share some of my thoughts on it here.
I know no matter what happens, Jonathan will always be there for me. I know this not because of things he’s said, but because he did this during our last pregnancy. He sacrificed so much when I was hospitalized, (and throughout the pregnancy for that matter) and I know what a toll it took on him both physically and mentally. Knowing that I’ll have this same level of support no matter what happens this time, is incredibly comforting. A large part of me knows that we were able to get through all of the ups and downs last time, so I don’t doubt that we will get through whatever this pregnancy throws at us. Even now, looking back at all the time we spent in the hospital, between my own stay and my son’s NICU stay, it is some of my most cherished memories of our marriage. It has made us stronger, and I think has prepared both of us for whatever the future may hold.
I also am choosing to have faith in the season we’re currently in. This is not just a decision I woke up and chose to make one morning. It’s also not something that I’m writing here to make others feel like I’m being so ‘holier than thou’. It’s something I struggle with daily. I worry every single day about this pregnancy. I go from worrying about silly things like gaining too much weight or not eating the right things, to worrying about terrible things that I don’t even want to write down…the least of which is that I’m carrying a child around that is no longer living. (And if you haven’t walked through a missed-miscarriage yourself, you don’t get to tell me not to worry about this.) My anxiety regarding this pregnancy is through the roof. Where I was over the moon when we first were pregnant with Sebastian, I think I’ll honestly admit to going through a bit of a depression at the beginning of this pregnancy. Call it hormones, call it early-pregnancy jitters… call it post traumatic stress disorder—call it whatever you want. It’s how I felt, and I’m sharing because sometimes, every second of pregnancy isn’t all rainbows and butterflies.
All of these worries and concerns are actually why I’m choosing to share this news now. I had initially told Jonathan that I wanted to wait until I was 24 weeks to share that we were pregnant on social media. For most, this seems like such an arbitrary date. But for us, it marked the largest milestone during our last pregnancy—the point of viability of life. Before 24 weeks, if there are complications that happen in a pregnancy, there are minimal things that medical intervention can do to progress a pregnancy forward. A baby that has not yet reached 24 weeks, has little chance of survival outside the womb.
During my last pregnancy, my water broke at 16 weeks. That was the first time where we almost lost our son and were told that we would need to make a decision on whether or not to terminate the pregnancy. 16 weeks was also the point where my bed rest started... and didn’t end until I delivered another 16 weeks later. As this post goes live, I am 15 weeks, and these looming milestones make my anxiety spike in ways I hadn’t ever imagined. With all of this said, I have become engrossed in this community of mothers, and regardless of our situation, I feel I need to hold myself accountable to share our story, and our journey. It’s not fair for me to stand on my soapbox and encourage so many, while denying my own fears and insecurities about motherhood.
So I am sharing this news now in the hopes that someone out there can feel some comfort in knowing our story, and in knowing that it’s okay to not feel okay at every second of your pregnancy. I think it’s okay to feel scared, or worried, or anxious about any of it. So many minuscule details have to fall perfectly into place to create a life. I think it’s natural to worry about it happening perfectly. And I think it’s more natural to worry about it when you’ve experienced the trauma of a pregnancy loss.
Maybe sharing this can help raise awareness that not every pregnancy is easy. You may not know what your friend had to walk through in order to finally get to the point where she felt confident enough to share her pregnancy announcement on Facebook. She may have walked through a miscarriage or may be struggling with some of the same worries and anxieties that I’ve shared here. I guess what I’m trying to convey is, that no matter where you are in your journey to motherhood— whether you’re walking through a miscarriage, a season of infertility, or are struggling with a pregnancy after loss— I implore you to feel how you’re going to feel, to grieve how it’s best for you to grieve.
If that means not reading this post because you know it would trigger unnecessary feelings you don’t need right now… that’s fine and I hope you didn’t get all the way down here. If it means muting certain friends or family on social media who are expecting while you walk through your own loss or a season of waiting, please feel that your feelings are valid, and that it’s okay to do that too. And if you’re a mama who is expecting, and have been blessed with the experience of an easy conception and an easy pregnancy, try to have some empathy for the mama on the other side. Not every journey to motherhood is simple.
Right now, I am so thankful for this pregnancy and where we are. I am thankful we were able to get pregnant, and I’m thankful I’ve carried this baby this far. No matter what happens from here on out, I am confident in those feelings. I love this little babe growing inside of me, and am elated for Sebastian to have a sibling. May we have an uneventful, and dare I say, ‘simple’ pregnancy. We’re due in early June, and God-willing when I make it that far, we will take another bit of time off to bond with our babe and our growing family.
I’m also here to wish you all a wonderful holiday season and know that I’ll miss all y’alls for the next few weeks. I’m really looking forward to some time of re-charging. I already have some things planned for 2019 (all of which are not baby-related), and can’t wait to share with this community.
If you can’t possibly live without us, then by all means, feel free to follow along on my personal Instagram account. Be forewarned, it will be full of toddler pictures, family strolls, and all the fabulous food (read that, bacon sandwiches) we can possibly consume over the holiday season!