Thankful for Our Fourth

Before we ever got married Joel and I made the decision to leave the timing and number of our children in the Lord's hands. While our last two gaps were very similar (2yrs 5mo between Levi and Malachi - 2yrs 4mo between Malachi and Cora Mae), we're also realistic in knowing that the Lord's timing doesn't always follow patterns. So in early August when I started having waves of nausea, random hormonal headaches, and extreme fatigue, I was certain that I was pregnant. My cycle was late so I tossed a pregnancy test in our next grocery delivery but I honestly felt like it was just a formality. I began looking up "4th child announcements" and thinking about another Spring baby. I was 5 days late when I finally tested and was shocked to see only one line show up and even more confused when my cycle restarted 2 days later. 

I continued to feel rough and very similar to when I'm 1st trimester pregnant and even took another test just to be sure. The next couple months were very confusing with unexplained symptoms and doctors appointments without any real answers. In Sept I even had a faint positive pregnancy test but the bloodwork showed 0 HCG and an ultrasound confirmed no baby. My cycles had become completely irregular and I was really just baffled by it all. I was due for a colonoscopy anyways (because of family history) so my GI scheduled a colonoscopy and endoscopy for Nov 12 to see if that gave us any answers. 

By the time that week arrived I was incredibly desperate for answers as the last month had been so much worse. My stomach was always a wreck, the fatigue had me on the couch most afternoons and evenings, and the back
and hip aches were keeping me awake many nights. On Nov 10th I went to Walmart to get my preparation supplies for the procedure and threw a pregnancy test in the cart. I even told my friend who was with me "I don't think there's any chance I'm pregnant but I'm late and I know I'll have to assure them for my procedure that I'm not pregnant." 

The next morning (Nov 11th) I woke up dreading my colonoscopy prep (if you know,  you know) and remembered I  needed to take the test. Even as I took I said again to Joel, "I don't think I'm pregnant but I'll have to tell them for sure tomorrow...." and literally as I finished that sentence I immediately saw a dark 2 lines and said ".... and it's positive." Cue the surprise and confusion. I wish I could tell you we joyfully celebrated in that moment but after the "false positive" (or whatever that was) in September and all that had transpired since August we were honestly just baffled. 

My mind was all over the place. I couldn't start my colonoscopy prep and have that procedure if I was pregnant but I certainly didn't want to cancel it and lose my spot if I wasn't actually pregnant. I immediately started making phone calls to try to get in for an ultrasound somewhere that day. I eventually found a place up in Wilmington that could get me in around lunch time. Joel worked from home so the boys could just stay here and watch TV and my friend Liv rode with me so Cora Mae could get a nap and stay in the car. 

I went into the ultrasound still fully expecting to be told there was no baby there and that maybe the cyst on my right ovary was causing the positive test. But as I lay there looking at the big screen in front of me, I saw the tech type "gestational sac" and then "fetal pole" as she started measuring. I noticed a flicker and realized that was my baby's heart beating before my eyes. I said "so I am actually pregnant?"
"Yep! And your baby is measuring right on track. 6 weeks 5 days." I'm pretty sure I laughed out loud. Excitement. Shock. All the emotions. She handed me photos and told me Congratulations as she left the room. 

I stopped in the entrance of the medical build to call Joel and tell him the news that I actually was pregnant and nearly 7 weeks along ha. I don't remember all of his next response but it definitely included: "No way. That's crazy. Another squishy baby." Noticed the completely shocked theme we have going here haha. It only continued as I got to the car and held up my ultrasound photo for Liv saying "Meet Baby Miller #4." 

On the trip home I called to cancel my colonoscopy and got to enjoy lunch (a much more minimal welcomed surprise in my day). Once I got home and let Joel see the photos, we together told the boys. Levi was so excited lit up and covered his head with a blanket while saying "are you serious?!" Followed by "So that's why you've not been feeling good. I was thinking that was the problem." HAHA. Malachi stayed was incredibly quiet until I asked what the thought. He responded "Good!" ha and then when we asked if they thought it was a boy or girl he jumped in quickly with "BOY"... to which Levi of course agreed. Cora Mae still doesn't fully understand but she is learning to say the word baby and the boys have been teaching her to point to my belly when she's asked "where's the baby?" 

It's taken week or two for it to really sink in this time but we are so very excited and thankful for another sweet blessing from the Lord! The gift and miracle of getting to carry a child in my womb is never lost on us. We are praising our amazing Creator knowing that every good and perfect gift comes from Him. Every time I'm pregnant it brings me back to the months we longed and prayed for a child and makes me feel even more blessed that God didn't just give us one child but now 4 precious gifts. If you're reading this and heart is mixed with joy for us but ache for you as you wait for a baby like we were 7 Christmases ago please know that you're thought of and prayed for even as I write this. I know we'll never fully understand the Lord's timing but I hope you know that He hears your prayers and sees your pain and loves you deeply. 


A Few Common Questions: 

Are the boys excited? 
VERY! Malachi has expressed more excitement over time but Levi is over the moon. The kid is always talking about "the little baby in your tummy" and calculating our number of family members. "Mommy we have 2 babies in the car with us." He loves to talk to the baby saying "Good morning Little Baby." "This is your first Christmas." He's a hoot. He also informed us that, "Since you and Daddy got to name Cora Mae, me and Malachi get to name this baby." He was quickly corrected haha. 

When are you due, how far along are you, and what's your gap this time?
July 2nd and Cora Mae will be a couple months shy of turning 2 (Sept 22) and I'm currently 9 weeks and 3 days (we found out almost 3 weeks ago) 

How are you feeling? What about the other health issues? 
Honestly I feel really rough. I've been incredibly nauseous this time and extremely tired. I think it's been more intense because of whatever else is going on with my body given that I already didn't feel well but it's been nice to be able to mentally attribute some of the yucky feeling to this very welcomed blessing. 

I'm still getting some tests done to figure out the rest of my health. My liver and spleen are enlarged which we want to get to the bottom of. I have an appointment with a new integrative medicine doctor on Jan 4 and I'm hoping they'll be able to look at the whole picture and find some answers. Please pray with us that whatever is going on doesn't affect my pregnancy or the baby. 

Do you have any guesses Boy or Girl? Will you be finding out? 
Well you already know Levi and Malachi's vote (BOY). Joel is voting girl. I don't have a real preference either way. I love the thought of Cora Mae having a sister close in age but I also love that we still have a strong "boy feel" in our house so I'd be thrilled to add another son and Cora Mae be the only girl for a bit longer. I constantly say that I'm so glad we don't have to choose and the One who knows best has already decided. I'm currently very much craving salty/savory food which more so mimics my pregnancies with the boys but it's still pretty early in the game to be guessing. 

We will be finding out. Now that we have one of each I would be slightly interested in being surprised but Joel has no desire to wait ha. He's offered that he could find out and me not know but there's no way that would last. We plan to find out around 20 weeks with the anatomy scan. (We opt not to do the early genetic screening.) 

Why do you share so early? 
This is actually the latest we've ever shared. Mainly because it's the latest we've ever found out and I've been way too tired to stay up and night and write this announcement. But I wrote this when we announced our first pregnancy at 6 weeks and while this is slightly different because we're clearly no longer struggling to conceive, it captures the reasons we've decided to share our news before I'm out of the first trimester. Plus there's no way my boys could keep this secret hah. 


I think that's all for now. I'm going to try to keep up with my every 5ish weeks updates but we'll see how that goes. Thank you for sharing in this joy with us and for those of you who've already been praying for my health and this sweet baby! 



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