9. The first Trimester with Lil Sprout
Updated: Jul 19, 2020
Who is Lil Sprout? I'm sure you can guess... yup, that's what we call the baby. The name originated from one of the flowers I was growing in our backyard. I planted about 7 bulbs along the fence. All but one grew around the same time. I nearly gave up but continued to water it and about a month later, the last one sprouted up from the ground. Similar to our Lil Sprout who came along a little later than expected, it confirmed for me that good things sure are worth waiting for!
The first three months were an exciting time. It was amazing how quickly our daily conversations and considerations changed from the two of us to a family of three (plus Darla, of course). We downloaded apps to track the phases of growth and development from the size of a poppy seed to a lemon. We discussed our favorite names for boys and girls. I was surprised to discover that Kara had thought a lot about these already and is a huge fan of last names for first names. We also bought the baby prep bible "What to expect when you're expecting" and more than doubled our weekly purchase of fruits and vegetables to make sure Lil Sprout gets all the nutrients he/she needs.
At the same time, I couldn't shake the lingering feeling that this was all too good to be true. How could this have worked for us so quickly? A part of me was too afraid to fully accept that this is happening. Kara reminded me frequently that our positivity played a part in us getting here and honestly, what other choice did we have? We remained hopeful and cautious through the first three months as it is a fundamental period of development for the baby. There's so much happening and a lot can go wrong. We took it one day at a time.
We were thrilled with the care and attention we received from the Texas Fertility Center (TFC). They kept a close eye on their patients (both mom and baby) for the first two months of pregnancy. TFC monitored Kara closely. They were extremely responsive to questions, kept Kara's blood hormone levels within the ideal range and made sure Lil Sprout was growing and developing as expected before we graduated to an Obstetrics and Gynecology physician (OB/GYN).
Our fertility specialist strongly recommended the Austin Regional Clinic (ARC) OB/GYN. They are supposed to have an excellent team of providers to guide us through the rest of Kara's pregnancy and the birth of Lil Sprout. When our time was up with the Fertility Center, we had our first appointment with ARC on June 3rd, Kara's 9th week of pregnancy.
Kara had a pretty easy first trimester, no nausea or food aversions, just exhaustion. Due to the pandemic, we've both been working from home for the last few months. This has been a nice change from Kara's daily commute. Instead of trekking 20 miles there and back through downtown Austin, she goes from the bed to the computer and the computer to the couch. After work naps are a key part of her day.
5/11/2020: 6 weeks pregnant at TFC
The blurry blob with a strong heartbeat
This was our first look at Lil Sprout through a vaginal ultrasound. At this point, it's just a cluster of cells starting to form, storm and norm to create all the necessary body parts and systems, starting with the heart. We were lucky enough to hear the little one's strong heartbeat at 173 beats per minute. WOWZERS. Kitty Kat (Kara's mom) says that strong heart beat is an indication that we've got an athlete in there.
5/26/2020: 8 weeks pregnant at TFC
The Gummy Bear
This is our second look at Lil Sprout through a vaginal ultrasound. He/she is growing like crazy, starting to form arms and legs and at this point, strongly resembling a gummy bear. Cute, right? We even got to see a full gummy wiggle during the ultrasound.
Goodbye Texas Fertility Center, Hello Austin Regional Clinic!
6/3/2020: 9 weeks pregnant at ARC
At 9 weeks we are able to view Lil Sprout through an abdominal ultrasound! It's harder to see the shape of the baby here but we were assured that body measurements and heartbeats were on track. The wiggling this time was out of control! If this is any indication of what our little one will be like out in the world, Kara and I really need to step up our cardio routine.
7/2/2020: 13 weeks at ARC
Oh, there you are, Lil Sprout!
At 13 weeks, Lil Sprout really starts looking like the little bundle of joy we hope to hold one day. It's crazy to think that he/she is only about 3 inches long and weighs 1 ounce. At this stage, all the major body parts and systems are in place and will continue to grow and develop over the next six months. We'll be watching!
Brianna and Darla Update
Darla and I spend an inordinate amount of time together as we stay home during this pandemic. We are working on being helpful around the house and providing support to Kara as she carries Lil Sprout. This pic was taken as I was working in the kitchen and Kara was taking a nap. Darla is not supposed to be on the couch but as you can see, she is quite comfortable there. I'm learning a little bit about my parenting style and realizing there might be some things I need to work on.