Some Big News

How To Wear A Tunic Sweater
By Jess
1 Aug 2019
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. For weeks 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 I fainted, multiple times. 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 13 I found a combination of medications that helped me keep some liquids down. By week 14 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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