Wednesday, April 17, 2024

From the Archives: Prego

Griffin turns ELEVEN today and having all three kids birthdays within 16 days definitely has me all up in my feels and my memories every year.  In honor of alllll the birthdays I thought it would be fun to reshare one of my most popular posts of all time (from almost ten year ago) where I highlight each one of my pregnancies.  Buckle up because it's a long (but fun!) one! HAPPY Wednesday, friends! 

When I did my "Questions Answered" post last week, someone commented that they thought it would be fun to get more info and details about my pregnancies.  I loved the idea so much I got started on it ASAP and I've had so much fun looking back through pictures and remembering the TWO AND A QUARTER YEARS I spent pregnant. ;)

Dave and I had been married for two years when we decided the timing was right to start our family. I was about to start my second year of teaching and thought that a Spring baby would be perfect since I could teach three quarters of the year, then be off from the time the baby was born all the way until the next school year.  A few weeks later and we were here...

I mean... he's been extremely photogenic right from the beginning ;)  Have you ever seen a more precious and perfect ultrasound pic???  No blob for Luke Mcanally!  He looked like a perfect little sour patch kid :)

I didn't blog while I was pregnant with Luke, and unfortunately, didn't really write a lot down - but most of my memories of being pregnant with him include MEAT.  All the meat.  All the time.

19 weeks

I remember eating eggs on toast pretty much every single morning, eating some sort of meat for lunch, coming home and eating chicken nuggets before Dave got off work and then eating more meat for dinner.  I couldn't get enough. Which is why I probably looked like this at 25 weeks (see below...)

Despite looking like I had an actual basketball stuffed under my shirt, I felt GREAT my entire pregnancy with Luke.  I will say though, that even though physically I felt great, I was a hot hormonal mess!!!  I can laugh about it now, but Dave teases me often about this one time when we had planned to have hamburgers for dinner and when we got home it was pouring rain.   Dave asked me if I still wanted to grill burgers and I go, "I'm good with whatever".  So then Dave ordered a pizza.  I immediately burst into tears and a very confused Dave tried to sweetly offer to grill burgers outside with an umbrella and I started crying even harder.  Apparently I wanted him to want to have hamburgers.  About this time our pizza arrived and I ate a slice while Dave grilled me a patty outside in the rain :)  Good times.  I thought my hormones were crazy while I was pregnant - that was until postpartum hit.  OMG.  But that's a story for another day.

We decided not to find out the gender (I know!!!), and we had the best time thinking of names, buying everything green and placing bets on boy or girl.  We even had a 3D ultrasound done and chose not to peek!  And I SWEAR he still looks like this when he's sound asleep.  Same lips and nose! 

Luke's due date was April 2nd and we scheduled an induction on his due date (I was measuring small and my belly measurement stopped growing and so the doctor wanted to go ahead and induce).

I worked as long as possible and had even planned to go in to work on April 1st, but my principal said I was starting to scare him waddling around school and insisted that I call it quits that Friday.  On Monday, March 31st, Dave and I had enjoyed a relaxing day of Sonic runs and a trip to Babies 'R Us followed by dinner together at Salt Grass and a movie.  

I was up that night with what I thought were gas pains, but after about 7 hours of "consistent" pains we called the doctor who told us to head to the hospital.  Since I was totally unprepared (I'd been working and hadn't even packed a bag), I took a shower and threw some stuff together and by the time we got to the hospital I was 6 cm dilated and 100% effaced! After an epidural and a few hours of labor, Dave was the one who got to announce to everyone that we had a baby boy and the moment was priceless! Luke arrived at 4:27 p.m., weighed 6 lb 15.9 oz and was 20.5" long. 

As I was reminiscing about his birth, I was cracking up because I can remember calling friends to tell them I had had "the baby" and that it was a boy and no one believed me because it was April Fools Day.  I hadn't called anyone before because I figured we'd be sent home, first baby and all, and when labor started full-on there really wasn't time.  The funny part is that in April of 2008 I couldn't text a picture or post anything to Facebook from my phone.  How far we've come! :) hahaha

His full head of hair and sweet little lips stole the show at the hospital nursery.

In August of 2010, during the first week of school, I found out I was pregnant with Mason.  The April baby/maternity leave thing worked out so well with Luke we wanted to do attempt to do it again :)  I went back in my blog to look for posts about being pregnant and apparently I was too tired to write - because there really weren't any. hahaha

I do remember that I took the test the morning I was leaving to chaperone the High School retreat and was too excited to tell Dave in any sort of creative way.  I was a STELLAR chaperone that trip as I was completely exhausted and slept during every break we had.

10 minutes before lunch?  I was napping.
15 minutes in between dodgeball and devotional?  Napping.
8 minutes between taking a shower and breakfast? Napping again.

Speaking of napping, at the end of October (I was around 15 weeks I think), Dave and I took a trip to The Homestead in Virginia.  It was AMAZING and the best vacay ever for my pregnant self.  Dave played golf and sometimes I tagged along and other times I took a nap, then took a bath, and slept in the comfiest robe of all time.  There was A LOT of napping.

The first week in December, I was 20 weeks and we found out that we were having a BOY!!!  It was important for me to find out with Mason because I wanted to be able to talk to Luke about whether he was going to have a baby brother or sister.  PLUS - I was over all the green ;)

Look at how chill he was!!!  And that sweet little profile - sigh.

This was me at around 25 weeks.  LOTS of belly to go around...

And then at around 31 weeks.  I had a LOT of round ligament pain with Mason and craved CARBS!!!

At about 35 weeks I had a 3D ultrasound because, like with Luke, my belly started measuring small.  I have no clue how this happened because I was HUUUUGE!!! hahaha  The ultrasound showed that he was growing find, just tucked WAY back in there.  

Around 30 weeks I started swelling.  It started off innocent enough, and I could remedy it with putting my feet up during planning periods, etc.  (like I did at Luke's bday party at around 37 weeks)...

... but it QUICKLY turned to swelling of epic proportions.  BRACE YOURSELVES PEOPLE!!!!

I warned you!!!  IT was HORRIFIC!!!
As bad as it looks, it was about 3 times as painful.  I cried every day, avoided social engagements and literally couldn't stand up after work.  You could press your finger into my foot and it would leave an indention.  For reals.  
Believe it or not, my blood pressure stayed super low and I never had protein in my urine - so my doctor's office told me to "put my feet up" as much as I could and wait it out.  Awesome.

On Friday, April 15th I went into labor.  I hung out at home that night, powered through the early labor process and tried to sleep.  We headed to the hospital around 6 a.m. and they immediately gave me my first round of antibiotics (I had Group B strep), and I found out I was about 5 cm dilated.  I got an epidural and they tried to slow my labor a bit since I had to wait 4 hours in between doses of antibiotics and I needed to have two rounds before he was born.  

I had my second round of antibiotics, pushed a couple of times and Mason West was born!

I only got to hold him for a few seconds because he wasn't breathing and was pretty "blue".  Apparently because my labor was super fast he avoided the conehead but didn't get all the fluid squeezed out of his lungs.  While the nurses were working on Mason, my monitors started going crazy as my low blood pressure suddenly went through the roof.  They started me on procardia and some other things to try to get it under control - but my sole focus was this little 6 lb 9 oz, 19.5" baby boy ;)

Postpartum I was on procardia for several months along with medication for hypothyroidism.  Mason was most definitely my hardest pregnancy physically.
Fun stuff! hahaha  

The good news is that the day after giving birth, my ankles looked semi-normal again!

Now, on to Griffin Joy!  
Sassafrass was a complete and total surprise.  I was in the throes of the first week of school, and in the summer we'd actually had several conversations about our family and my desire to have a little girl in the future and we decided that we would wait until both the boys were in school and then we'd start looking into adopting a daughter.  With babies out of the picture for several years, I did a MAJOR purge and had every baby toy, clothing item and piece of "gear" priced, tagged and ready to go to a local consignment sale.  The mini van we had purchased earlier in the summer was filled to the BRIM with stuff for the sale and, on the morning of the day I was going to drop it all off, I looked at my calendar, did some math and decided to do a pregnancy test really quick (I happened to have one left over from Mason two years previously. hahaha).  I took the test, set it on the counter, helped Luke get his uniform on and then went back to look at it, HONESTLY expecting it to be negative.  It was most definitely positive and the shock started to set in.  I called Dave in and he just kept saying "what".

We had to get to school so I left the house totally dazed and confused.  I called my mom, burst into tears, and then tried to pull myself together.... all during the 8 minute drive to school. hahaha  Then this text convo with Shay happened...

Other than my parents and Dave she was the first one to know.  We've joked on multiple occasions that my pregnancies always seem super long to her since she knows within hours of me taking the test ;)

The reality of having a third started to sink in, and we asked Luke what he thought about having a "new baby" at our house.  He goes, "That sounds great!  Where will Mason go???" hahaha

At our annual girlfriends scarf exchange I snuck a onesie into my bag and then got to watch the chaos that ensued when they all started pointing fingers at who was pregnant.  When the fingers started pointing at me I turned bright red and couldn't stop giggling - then crying.  It was epic.

Exhaustion (and nausea) hit HARD the third time around and most nights Dave found me passed out in Luke's bed when he got home from work.  Or asleep at the computer, the kitchen table and one time on our bedroom floor mid-laundry folding.

My belly popped QUICK despite the fact that I could keep absolutely NOTHING down.  I threw up constantly for the first 4 months or so.  My students knew that when I would say, "now talk amongst yourselves" it was code for, "please don't misbehave while I go puke my guts out in the elementary school bathroom.  Or in the trashcan by my desk.  Or over the railing on the deck."  (SORRY school maintenance staff!!!)

I think that my pregnancy with G was so different from the other two because the demands on me were so much bigger than they were with the previous two pregnancies.  When I was pregnant with Mason, Luke was still staying with my mom during the day and she would OFTEN keep him for me so I could take a nap.  Luke was 2.5 and was a little more self sufficient (as in - he could watch an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and stay fairly occupied) and I didn't have to carry him anywhere.  When I was pregnant with Griffin I had a four year old who had JUST started Pre-K (and wasn't having the easiest time) and a super needy 18 month old ;)  They were both at a sitter during the day and my mom wasn't at my house cleaning up for me and prepping meals on occasion. :) 

Another big difference this time around was my concerted effort to document pregnancy a little bit better than I had the previous two times.  I never did weekly bump pics or updates or anything like that (I admire people who can manage that - but it wasn't for me. hahahaha), but I did try to take more pictures and really soak it in since we were making SURE it was the very last time I was going to be pregnant.

At around 15 weeks we went to a private ultrasound place where we were told we were having a baby boy!  And trust me - if you looked at the ultrasound pictures you'd think so too :)  We sent out 100+  of these Christmas cards and I started coming to terms with having THREE BOYS!

I was a bridesmaid in my brother's wedding and was the only one sporting a cardigan to cover up the fact that my dress wouldn't zip over my bump ;)

The wedding and Thanksgiving was over and I went to my OBs office for my 20-week, regular, ultrasound.  Long story short, we found out that we were having a girl NOT a boy and we were SHOCKED once again.  I bawled like an absolute baby and once again, Dave just kept saying "what???" ;)  We snapped this picture in the waiting room and it pretty much sums up the situation.

Thankfully, when we took our family photos we didn't know the gender yet, so we took the pictures both ways.  Kelly (our photographer) was the first person to know we were having a girl since I frantically texted her in the doctors office waiting room to tell her to NOT DELETE the "sister pics".  We told the boys and my parents that day, but the next day was Shay's recipe exchange and I thought it would be fun to surprise my girlfriends with the news at the party.  I had no plan and then didn't know how to just say it, so casually, as everyone was eating someone asked about my ultrasound the day before and I mentioned that it was great, but that we had changed Griffin Henry's middle name to Joy :)  It took a few seconds, but then there was lots of squealing and a few tears.  Epic again.

I craved TONS of fruit while pregnant with G.  Oranges, strawberries, grapes and ANYTHING cold.  Crushed ice and frozen strawberry bars were on the menu daily.

I grew, grew and grew some more and I felt like I carried more "all over" than I did with the boys.


most nights looked like this as I tried to keep my feet up as much as possible to avoid the crazy swelling I had experienced before...

My students threw a surprise baby shower for me during chapel (where I got to see them chug from baby bottles and taste baby food - which was equally as good a gift as all of the sweet presents)

I continued to teach, take care of my sweet toddlers...

... and threw a super fun pirate, ,pjs and pancakes party while 36 weeks pregnant. hahaha

More growing...

... more popsicles...

... and one last day of teaching!  I ended up turning my classroom over to my sub a little earlier than I planned because I was starting to swell A LOT again.

I had my 39 week appointment on Mason's second birthday and went into labor a few hours after.  I have vivid memories of trying my hardest to do everything "normal" for his birthday while fighting through contractions.  The clock struck midnight on April 17th and, knowing that Mason and G would have their own birthdays, I gave into the inevitable and Dave and I headed to the hospital ;)

We got to the hospital around 2:30 and they put me in a room to "observe".  I was still dilated to about 3 cm despite having contractions every 5 minutes at that point.  They monitored my contractions for a little over an hour and around 4:00 I was 4 cm.  They thought it might still be "false labor" (hahaha - not sure how that's false) and instructed me to drink about a gallon of water over the next hour.  I drank the water and braved my way through the intensifying contractions and when she checked me again at 5:00 a.m I was 6 cm dilated and my contractions were coming every 3-4 minutes.  They officially admitted me, were able to get my IV started and it was a waiting game for the epidural.  I was completely miserable until around 6:00 when I finally got the epidural. HALLELUJAH!!!

This epidural was BY FAR the best one that I've had and I could feel NOTHING!  Like, seriously... nothing!   I pushed a total of 4 times and girly was here!  10:11 am and we welcomed the most perfect, 7 lb 9 oz baby girl there ever was.  Ever.

She was goopy and squashed and about 90 seconds old and already the prettiest thing I'd ever seen.

I was EXTREMELY anemic, and the epidural I bragged about left me unable to fully move my legs for close to 24 hours.  Told you it was good! hahaha

This is Mason and Griffin's first picture together and it pretty much sums up the moment, and his attitude toward his sister, perfectly.  :)  Sidenote - I'm pretty confident that it was on this hospital visit that Mason picked up strep throat.  Because what's better than a cranky 2-year old who has just been upstaged??? One who has strep.  #awesome

WOW!!! Okay - so that was the longest post ever. hahaha  Whoever it was that asked just got WAY more than they bargained for. ;)

In summary.... I LOVED being pregnant.  In some ways, I'm glad I'll never have to go through it again (I had WICKED heartburn all three times!), but I'll also never get to experience the kicks and rolls and awesomeness that is growing actual people inside of you.  The all-day-sickness and crazy cankles I could do without, but I would experience the good and the bad ten times over again to get my three sweet babies.


  1. Such a sweet recap of such a joyous time in life. I remember feeling so special being pregnant. You had the cutest basketball belly. The "4" in the title through me though. I read the whole post with anticipation of an announcement of a fourth baby. 😅
    Your "3" seem so sweet!
    Love from another momma of three!

  2. Oh my gosh, that text message! I'm so happy you have that! I feel 100% confident that if you were to get pregnant today, the same series of events would unfold. In fact, I'm going to jot down a few names right now on the off chance you take a pregnancy test today. What do we think about Buchanan for a boy? I mean, why haven't we used that one yet? It's worth you getting pregnant now at 40 just so we can use that name. Buchanan McAnally is a great name. I'll work on the middle name don't you fret. ;)

  3. I had swollen, painful feet like that too. It was awful!

  4. We're thinking about having our second so this post came at the right time!!


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