Some Big News

Jess Ann Kirby shares the news that her family is growing.

I can finally share why I’ve been MIA for the last almost 7 weeks…I’m pregnant.

A few months ago I went to New York City to speak on a panel. As many of you know I had an anxiety attack while I was there. What I didn’t know at the time is that I was almost 6 weeks pregnant. My body was trying to tell me something and I was missing all the signals. When I got home from the trip I was exhausted and nauseous all day everyday. I thought it was weird but figured it was just stress. After three days of nausea and my period being pretty late (which wasn’t totally uncommon for me) I realized I needed to take a pregnancy test. It was positive. I took two more tests, they were positive. 

When I told Craig I thought I was pregnant he had the biggest smile I’ve ever seen on his face. When I showed him the positive test he had a look I’ve never seen in our 14 year relationship. He radiated with happiness. He’s a pretty low key guy and it was a lot of emotion pouring out. I don’t know how to describe how it made me feel other than his joy was infectious. He’s never pushed having kids, mainly because he didn’t want me to do something I didn’t want to do. He said he was fine either way, but that look on his face told a different story.

A lot of the fears and doubts I had about being a parent sort of melted away in those first moments of finding out.  Maybe it was Craig’s reaction, maybe it was hormones, maybe a combination of the two. It’s hard to explain how you could feel a certain way for so long and in a moment that changes. I went from never having a desire for children to being terrified of losing something I never thought I wanted.

The same week I found out I was pregnant I ended up in the emergency room for severe hydration and was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (you may have heard of it because of Amy Schumer and Kate Middleton). I spent weeks in bed. I could barely lift my head off the pillow or even sit up. Some days I went with no food at all because I couldn’t keep anything down and the doctors and nurses said I needed to prioritize staying hydrated, so I lived off pedialyte freeze pops. I became so weak at one point I fainted. We made multiple trips to the ER and Urgent Care. I had migraines sometimes for days at a time. I was physically, emotionally and mentally drained. Some days I just cried on and off for hours (if I wasn’t crying I was asleep or had my head in the toilet). I felt alone (even though I was not). I felt guilty for not being happy. I felt an enormous sense of shame that I wasn’t more grateful for what I had, especially knowing how many women struggle to conceive. Eventually I started doing a daily gratitude practice where I would say one thing I was thankful for everyday, doesn’t seem like much but truthfully it was all the energy I could muster.

By week 12 I found a combination of medications that helped me keep some food down. By week 13 I was able to get up and walk around and even leave the house for a little bit (30 minutes is about my max). I am happy to be pregnant and I am excited to be a Mom. It feels a bit strange to say because it wasn’t something I ever thought I wanted. The truth is though, the journey to this place wasn’t straightforward.  The last two months were some of the hardest of my life. I couldn’t have survived it without Craig. His compassion and selflessness got me through the worst of it. He was up with me all hours of the night. He did the cooking (a lot of it because what I can eat changes every 24 hours), cleaning, caring for the dogs, groceries, errands, house projects and everything in between. He’s been to every doctor appointment, blood test and ultrasound. Sat with me for hours in emergency rooms and urgent care. He’s done anything and everything just to make me feel comfortable. We’ve been together for 14 years and in the last two months I’ve never been more grateful to call him my partner. Craig is going to be an amazing Dad.

It feels good to be back but it also was really nice to step away. The thinking and reflection I was able to do when I took a break brought me a lot of clarity that I’m not sure I would have found otherwise. I have some things I want to talk more about with all of you, but I’ll save it for another day.

It’s such a huge relief to share this news. It has been hard to keep it a secret. I owe you all a heartfelt thanks. There were many days when I was so down, and I’d get a message saying “thinking of you” or “take all the time you need, we’ll be here when you’re ready to come back.” There are truly no words to describe how much that meant to me. Your compassion got me through some of the toughest times. While I was sick I did absolutely no planning or research. I know I need to start reading books and figuring out what we need. I will surely look to all of you who have done this before for guidance and advice. It’s quite overwhelming and I hope I can cut through some of the noise.

Despite many times thinking I couldn’t, I made it through what I hope is the worst of it and I’m so grateful to be on the other side. I still have some rough days but at this point I feel like I can handle anything (famous last words). I’ll leave you with something I came upon the day I found out I was pregnant. It was exactly what I needed in that moment but I think it’s relevant for all of us at one point or another…

“Take a leap, not from your logical mind but from your intuition…Instead of focusing on the what-ifs, ask yourself- what’s the best that can happen?”

– Spirit Daughter
Jess Ann Kirby's dogs share the news that they are expecting a baby brother or sister.

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40 Comments

  1. William Butler wrote:

    Such great news. I’m so happy for both of you in your new journey.

    8.1.19 | Reply
  2. Chiara wrote:

    Congratulations from another Rhody preggo! I felt very similar to you when I found out I was pregnant, though our circumstances are different. I’ve suffered from a whole slew of reproductive diseases (PCOS, Endometriosis, Endosalpingiosis, you name it…). I never fully anticipated being able to become pregnant, so when my husband and I pulled the goalie, I wasn’t really expecting much. I’m not sure if I have always been ambivalent about having kids as a means of protecting myself in case it wasn’t an option for me, or if I was just genuinely satisfied with how my life was with my husband and my dog.

    I’m 34 weeks along, and I still haven’t quite hit the euphoric feeling everyone had been telling me about (granted, I was on Diclegis for the first 5 months to combat nausea/vomiting). With that said, I didn’t realize how badly I wanted her until we thought we were having a miscarriage at about 10 weeks. I was an inconsolable wreck, even though everything turned out to be fine. Weird how quickly that love/fear kicks in.

    I’ve been trying in general to cut down on materialism, and I have a hard time staying out of the “baby industrial complex.” It seems like you’re just expected to buy, buy, buy everything and anything for the baby, and only the most expensive will do. It’s so hard not to get caught up in that (and so bad for the finances). I anticipate you may have it a bit easier as an influencer as I’m sure companies will want to gift you things, but I know it’s something I’m trying to be super mindful of. I avoid the Nordstrom sale and have unfollowed a lot of bloggers specifically because I feel like it just encourages me to be wasteful/unsatisfied with what I own. But throw in all the subtle mom-shaming, and it’s a bit harder to resist the temptation.

    With that said, if you’re planning on giving birth at Women & Infant’s in Providence, I recommend taking some of their classes and taking a tour of the hospital. It made me feel a lot better about what to expect since I am entering foreign territory (I have never even held a baby before).

    I apologize for the ramble. I didn’t know I had this many *feelings.* Wishing you all the best!

    8.1.19 | Reply
  3. Isel wrote:

    Congratulations on your pregnancy!🎉🎉 And happy you are feeling better💕

    8.1.19 | Reply
  4. Ali wrote:

    Congratulations! I am so excited for you and your little fam. Glad to hear you are feeing a little better and hopefully things will only go up from here! It’s still hard even though it’s all worth it in the end! We just announced today, too! Can’t wait to go through this at the same time 🙂

    8.1.19 | Reply
  5. Jenny wrote:

    Huge congratulations – bummer about the complications (glad it’s getting a little better) but I am so happy to hear this news rather than something else, less positive in nature.

    I am a newer follower, and an infrequent commentator on any blog I follow, so I hesitated to post this….but decided wth? A small chunk of wisdom (not advice) or just a reflection from a mom (and her best advisor) who’s children have grown up in a blink.

    Books, websites, pediatricians, readers (haha) and friends are all great resources. Take in everything, store it away for reference. However, don’t second guess your own instincts and inner voice. (Almost) everyone can be a great parent and they come in all styles and methods. Your kid will be fine 🙂

    The most important thing you will ever teach them is respect….of themselves, their elders, instructors, peers, pets and this earth we all share.

    My former daycare provider shared that little piece of wisdom with me after I had decided to change careers and no longer needed regular childcare. She was/is the most influential person in my parenting life. My kids are now 19 and 16.5 yrs old and I still send her birthday cards and drop off treats for special occasions; and I’ve even called for teenage parenting advice, lol.

    Best of luck in this new journey.

    Jenny

    8.1.19 | Reply
  6. Rose wrote:

    Congratulations!! So happy to hear you’re happy about it. I’m selfishly very excited to see stylish ‘cool mom’ inspiration. Hope you continue to feel better!

    8.1.19 | Reply
  7. So happy for you and your family!!! Such exciting news! And so happy you’re starting to feel better!

    8.1.19 | Reply
  8. Emily wrote:

    Oh, Jess, I’m just so very happy for you!!! Big congratulations. Sending love and I’m happy you’re finally feeling better. Keep staying strong! xx
    Isn’t That Charming.

    8.1.19 | Reply
  9. Nesh wrote:

    This was such a beautiful read, I am delighted for you, Craig, Nora, Fuji and Hunter. Wishing you the very best on this journey. As someone who wasn’t sure whether I wanted kids to now being 33 weeks pregnant with my first, I completely understand your feeling xx

    8.1.19 | Reply
  10. Katie Gill wrote:

    I’m crying! Jess, I am so happy for you – this is already one of my favorite blog posts from you – and not just because of the news, but your story behind it. As one of your long time readers, I have always felt similar to your thoughts on having kids, and not really sure where that put me, and if it was ok to feel on the fence about such a huge topic. It is so cool to see you on the other side of it, feeling so sure of yourself, your relationship with Craig and this next chapter of becoming a Mom. Can’t wait to hear more. XO

    8.1.19 | Reply
  11. Abby wrote:

    Congratulations!! I am SO happy for you and your family. This post totally made me cry – your baby is going to have some pretty incredible parents.

    Hope you feel 100% soon!

    8.1.19 | Reply
  12. court wrote:

    Tears in my eyes reading about Craigs reaction after having the pleasure of working with you both a few times and imaging a smile that big. Your honesty is so refreshing. I hope you continue to feel better and wish you both so much health and happiness through this journey! I can’t wait to follow along <3

    8.1.19 | Reply
  13. Andrea wrote:

    Congrats! You guys will be great!

    8.1.19 | Reply
  14. Hannah wrote:

    Congratulations Jess!! Sending all the best happy thoughts 🙂

    8.1.19 | Reply
  15. Krystal wrote:

    That’s exciting news! Congratulations & it’s great you’re feeling better!

    8.1.19 | Reply
  16. Jenn Lake wrote:

    Congratulations! Such wonderful news. Hope you’re feeling better soon!

    8.1.19 | Reply
  17. Jenelle wrote:

    Congratulations Jess!
    Recent new mom of a one month old boy. I feel like in the past month I’ve gone through every possible emotion, but I can say that motherhood is the most amazing thing. It’s scary, overwhelming, and extraordinary all at once! You will be an amazing mother. Hope you are feeling better!

    8.1.19 | Reply
  18. Stephanie Mussell wrote:

    Congratulations!! And I’m so sorry you’ve been going through all of this. What I half-jokingly always tell new parents (based on my VERY limited experience) is to just lower your expectations. In everything. You’ll be much happier that way. But now I’m realizing that is kind of a negative way of looking at life. What you quoted is a much more positive spin. I’m going to change my advice to… “What’s the best that can happen?!” Love that…thank you for sharing with us. Can’t wait to follow along!

    8.1.19 | Reply
  19. Angie wrote:

    Thx for sharing. I was worried about you! One day at a time😚. Love the quote it brought tears.

    8.1.19 | Reply
  20. Mags wrote:

    Congrats! I’m currently pregnant with my second and not sure what to wear lol! I am not digging the outfits I wore during my first pregnancy. So I can’t wait to see if you’ll do outfit ideas for maternity!

    8.1.19 | Reply
  21. Lynn wrote:

    Oh Jess, I was so worried about you when you first said you were sick. I missed your posts. Sometimes they were the only things that got me through my days this year. I’m so happy for you and Craig and I’m sad to hear that you were so very sick. I had a little nausea with my first, but I was very healthy with my second. This is a wonderful journey and an amazing experience to fall in love with your child. It’s such a deep protective bond. Wishing you better days to walk in the Sushine and enjoy the rest of your wonderful journey together. He’s a keeper for sure. Love is an action and he loves you so much.
    Sending hugs and love! Congratulations ❤️❤️❤️
    Lynn

    8.1.19 | Reply
    • Allyson wrote:

      Congratulations!! I’m glad to hear you’re starting to feeling better. Thank you for your honesty – I think it’s understandable that you weren’t feeling grateful when you were so, so sick! It’s instinctual to want to feel better. I just found out I am pregnant again after having a miscarriage. My mind has been going round and round with the “what-ifs” and I’ve been stressing about all the things that need to be done, but that lovely quote you ended with is a reminder to focus on the best, most positive outcomes. Thank you so much for sharing your story and good luck!

      P.S. Craig sounds like an amazing partner!

      8.1.19 | Reply
  22. Lynn wrote:

    I’m so happy I’m writing two posts. The longer one is at the end of the other great ones. I didn’t realize I would cry and be so touched by what you wrote. It’s an amazing story and I feel so badly that you have been so sick. It really isn’t always so extreme. So happy that you have come through the other side now. Congratulations! I can’t think of better parents! Sending love and hugs❤️❤️
    Lynn

    8.1.19 | Reply
  23. I’m so happy for you both! You will be incredible parents, and I can’t wait to see your motherhood journey unfold.

    8.1.19 | Reply
  24. Polly wrote:

    Jess! This is amazing! I just did two rounds of IVF to freeze my eggs back in April & May bc my company pays 90% and I thought why not? I have no idea if I would ever want kids but interesting to read what you shared and I feel happy that I got myself through all that IVF crap so that by age 55 (I’m 38 now), I can make up my mind. Keep taking time if you need it. We love you and support all the rest you need. But omg I am beyond excited for y’all ❤️

    8.1.19 | Reply
  25. Anne-Finley Kimmett wrote:

    I am genuinely thrilled for you and Craig. It feels strange to be so happy for people I have never met but through your blog, I do feel as if I know you (not fair that it’s one sided 😉). It’s quite obvious what incredibly caring and nurturing you and Craig from your love for your fur babies so this human baby is SO lucky to have you as parents!! Congratulations and many many blessings to you JessAnn!! ❤️😘

    8.1.19 | Reply
  26. Wendi wrote:

    Congratulations! You are going to be such an amazing mom. 🌺

    8.1.19 | Reply
  27. Allison wrote:

    I am so happy for you, Jess! I am so happy to hear that Craig had such a great reaction. I am wishing both of you the best, and a healthy pregnancy. I can’t wait to follow along on this next chapter!

    8.1.19 | Reply
  28. Jen wrote:

    Just to say I have been there. Reading your story made me well up. Thanks for sharing. HG is one of the hardest things I have ever experienced/survived. I used to be a midwife and have looked after many women with HG but I can whole heartedly say you cannot imagine what it is like unless you have been there. Keep going day by day. You are stronger than you know. It was worth every sleepless night (which was every night 😆) of that first year of my daughter’s life, and all the days since. Being a parent is hard but so wonderful. Congratulations to you Craig, Fuji and Nora x

    8.2.19 | Reply
  29. Lynn W wrote:

    Wow! Talk about dropping a bomb girl…lol. I love how you describe Craig’s reaction to the news and then your reaction to his. That said it all…you two are ready to be parents and you didn’t even know it! Enjoy the journey, hope you start feeling better soon! xo

    8.2.19 | Reply
  30. A huge congratulations on your pregnancy, that’s such amazing news! Sending prayers and happiness from North West England!

    I hope you have a great Friday,
    Michael
    https://www.mileinmyglasses.com

    8.2.19 | Reply
  31. Nancy wrote:

    What wonderful news! Congratulations to you and Craig!

    8.2.19 | Reply
  32. Grace wrote:

    Congratulations Jess, Craig and fur babies! I wish you the very best. I was a little worried when you weren’t posting and hoped nothing bad had happened. This news is wonderful news. All the best to you and your family.

    8.2.19 | Reply
  33. Susannah Everlund wrote:

    Congratulations to you both. Thank you for sharing 😃

    8.2.19 | Reply
  34. Dana wrote:

    Congratulations!! I’m just a few weeks behind you so I can’t wait to keep up with your blog during this exciting time 🙂 Nora and Fuji will be the best siblings ever (Nora’s face is classic in that last picture)!

    8.2.19 | Reply
  35. Melissa wrote:

    Congratulations! I’m late to the news, but super excited for you. Your story is similar to mine…34, first one was a surprise, didn’t necessarily think I wanted kids until I was pregnant. But it’s all so great and you’ll be a terrific mom. First time commenting (I’m more of a blog lurker), but also wanted to mention I like the direction you’re taking the blog in terms of mindful consumption and sustainable living.

    8.3.19 | Reply
  36. Alexandra wrote:

    I recently had something amazing happen to me but it was not planned and I wasn’t really ready for it. While very grateful, it’s also taken me some time to adjust. (I’m a planner lol). All this to say that don’t beat yourself up if there’s some ambivalence especially when you feel terrible.. but also congratulations!!

    8.3.19 | Reply
  37. Jill wrote:

    Congratulations, Jess! Growing your family is so exciting! I’m sorry you have been so sick and I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes more smoothly. Hang in there!

    Jill
    https://jilliancecilia.com/

    8.3.19 | Reply
  38. Ellen Gilbert Bacigalupi wrote:

    WONDERFUL NEWS FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES! Congratulations to you and Craig, and the furry babies 😉. I hope you continue to feel better. Hope you will share baby bump from time to time and your baby bump styles. Again, so happy for you and Craig. He does have a beautful smile, you both are glowing. 👍

    8.5.19 | Reply
  39. Liz dyson wrote:

    So so so happy for you. Love following you and can’t wait to see you walk this new journey with grace and strength. So sorry you’ve been sick, that stinks. But motherhood is a beautiful, crazy, twisted adventure & you’re going to be fantastic.

    8.6.19 | Reply