Sunday, September 10, 2017

Life + Pregnancy Update.

I know it's been awhile and to be completely honest I don't even know where to begin. I've been stuck in a spot where "I" {the girl who shares everything with everyone and holds nothing back} HAVE been holding back just about everything and not ready to share whats been going on again and again. When I first found out I was pregnant I had everything set up a certain way and my mind envisioning everything to go as planned. I even wanted to start a YouTube channel to share my pregnancy week by week! I couldn't wait to start doing fashion posts with pre-baby ideas and pregnancy looks. I was ready to start putting things together for an exciting time in our lives, especially after everything we've gone through in the past. I thought this journey was going to be what I had envisioned and dreamt about over the years. Boy, was I wrong...

The 1st Trimester:
I knew {or had a good feeling} I was pregnant before I missed "that time of the month." I was not feeling good, tired and sore from the beginning. This was something that I didn't mind, considering that feeling sick is a typical feeling when pregnant. It wasn't until my first ultrasound that the stress and anxiety started to creep in. I was already nervous going in because of what happened last time {back in 2014 I was pregnant but the little one never made it to the point of having a heartbeat & I had an early miscarriage}. So going in this time and seeing a tiny little baby WITH A HEARTBEAT made me and my family cry with happiness. I had a feeling that I never had before and almost didn't believe this was actually happening. Although, soon after that we started hearing things that weren't as exciting. Aside from all my other health issues I found out I was part of the 2% of women that have a uniquely shaped uterus {you really only know about this when you're pregnant}. It's called a "Septate Uterus" and basically makes it hard to get pregnant and then when you are it makes it hard to actually carry a baby. So while most woman get the green light after 12 weeks, I could potentially have a miscarriage at anytime or deliver early... which is why I'm so shocked that I've even made it to full term! On top of having that I also found out that I had a chronic hematoma, which is basically blood clots that tend to be more common during the first trimester of pregnancy. This did cause pain in my abdomen and increased the risk of miscarriage and early pregnancy even more... which for me, made my stress and anxiety feel as though my cancer was back. I was about to go on yet another crazy medical journey.

The 2nd Trimester:
Going into the 2nd trimester was definitely something that brought positivity into my life. The first couple weeks felt as though nothing was going to change but then around week 15 I started going from all day sickness to just morning sickness. I started getting my energy back and feeling better. But, around that time I found out some pretty unfortunate news. At one of my ultrasounds they said they saw something that wasn't suppose to be there... and it just so happened to involve his heart. YUP, his heart... which immediately made me think of my brother and having to go through all of that again. Luckily it wasn't nearly as bad as what my brother had but it would require treatment after birth and a high possibility of heart surgery. They decided to wait a couple weeks and let the little guy develop and become bigger. After that, they wanted me to come back in to have an actual heart doctor do an ultra sound and look closer to see what was going on and what he thought it could be. It just so happened that the heart doctor is one of my brothers doctors and has worked with my family in the past... small world, right? With all of that I was completely stressed and worried about everything and what was going to happen. I knew I needed to keep myself busy and actually decided to venture out and look for a job that I thought I would like and something to keep me busy and not think about all the crazy medical stuff going on in my life. This lead me to getting a job with my favorite clothing company and place to shop... can you guess where?!... Nordstrom! Yup, this has always been my favorite place to shop and probably why most the clothes I have linked on here go to their website. Apart of me was nervous that working for that company might make me change my mind on how I felt about it or learn things that made me decide it wasn't the place I thought it was. Let me tell you, working there has only made me love the store and the people that work for them even more. I have never worked for a company that cares about their employees like Nordstrom and treats us with true compassion. When I first started I thought it was going to be just a short summer job until baby B made his debut, but not anymore! This is a place I want to go back to and stay on once I'm ready to work again. With all of that I can't wait to start getting back into my fashion posts and share with everyone what I've picked up for fall and even winter!
Working there definitely helped keep me busy and take my mind of everything else going on. I ended up going to see the heart doctor around week 25 to find out the best news I could possibly hear. It was a false diagnosis and when doing the ultrasound that was based on the heart and getting up close and all around it the doctor said everything looked normal and how it should be. Although, nothing can be 100% so once little B is born we will get another check up to verify that everything is still looking good!

The 3rd Trimester:
As I started moving into week 30 I felt as though my body was moving back into the first trimester with feeling tired and even nauseous here and there. I was having a really hard time sleeping throughout the night with all of the back pain I was having. Luckily for me knowing that the baby was doing great helped push me along and keep me going. Then it happened... during week 33 on Aug. 3rd my body said enough was enough and decided to have one of my grand mal seizures. I was hoping to make it through the pregnancy without this happening but unfortunately it did. It happened right before I was supposed to go into work and luckily Carter was there with me. He even got to ride next to me in the ambulance as we went to the hospital. I didn't remember much of what happened but luckily once things settled down I finally started to come back and realized what was going on. After that we learned that baby B was doing great and everything was looking good, despite what had just happened! I was able to go home later that night and pretty much stayed home and on bed rest for the next couple weeks.
August was a fairly relaxing month and I kept things pretty easy going. It wasn't till these last couple weeks I got a burst of energy and decided to do a little more than I should have. Part of me realized that despite needing to rest it was almost time for baby B to make his appearance. This made me think I needed to finish up basically everything along with all the last minute pick ups. I was actually feeling better than ever and never felt more ready for what was about to happen... aka bringing little baby B into this world! These past 9 months have been pretty hard but I knew once I saw his face it would all be worth it. Then it happened. Despite the fact that I could go into labor at anytime, my body wanted to throw in one last surprise before the big day. Yesterday morning {Sept. 9th} as I was getting ready for work my body decided to throw out one last big scare. Luckily this time wasn't like my normal big grand mal seizures but rather a partial seizure. With this type of seizure I didn't loose conciseness and didn't go into crazy body movements. But with being pregnant we knew it was better to be safe than sorry and ended up heading to the hospital. I spent most of the day there and went over just about everything to make sure things were looking good. Our last goodbyes ended with the fact that our next trip there would be us leaving with little baby boy. So despite what just happened I honestly feel happy knowing that he is doing good and almost here!

Like I said in the beginning this has been yet another journey with a lot of ups and downs in not just my health but our soon to be little boys health too. I feel so lucky to say that as of right now after everything that has happened me and baby B are doing great and ready for the big day! I'm not going to announce the day till it happens but just know it's very soon!

Thank you to everyone for being so understanding and sending all the prayers and love, it means more than you know! I love you all xo

This is probably my favorite picture of him... sticking his tongue out! lol

 

... More pictures to come! ;)

** I'm sorry if my grammar isn't the best! That along with my speech hasn't been the same ever since my surgery and even gets worse during the days after my seizures! On top of all that I'm having a pregnancy brain these days ;) So please understand and if you have any questions always feel free to ask! Comment below or e-mail me at ashley02bell@gmail.com 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

It's a BOY!


I still can't believe the little one inside of me is a baby boy! I thought for sure it was going to be a girl. I know my body isn't like the average one but almost every "old wives tale" pointed to a girl along with my intuition and our families guesses. Clearly we were all wrong lol. As of right now everything is going great and he is developing right on schedule! Which has made my stress and anxiety go down a couple notches. 

I started doing "chalkboard pictures" the week after we had found out. Since I love art I thought this was a cute way to watch the baby develop and my belly grow from the outside. During the first trimester I was doing it every other week since there wasn't that much of a change. I also wore the same outfit with just a sport bra so you could really see the little bit of change that was happening. Once I moved into the second trimester I started doing the weekly pictures and will continue doing that from here on out! 

I thought I would share the ones I've already done on here since there are so many, but from here on out I will starting posting weekly updates on Instagram and then probably do a round up post on here towards the end! 









As of today I'm 17 weeks and 5 days along. Which is crazy because that means I'm just about half way! We have our next ultrasound around then so keep the good thoughts coming :). ALSO... last but not least I found out some great news. Earlier this week I went in for my MRI and meeting with my radiologist. It looks like nothing has changed since my last one {in the fall} which means I'm still in remission and things are looking good! I was nervous about going considering what happened last time I was pregnant but I'm so happy I did now, it is such relief! Along with that I won't have to have my next one until after I give birth. So things are looking good from here on out!

I hope everyone has a Happy Easter!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Little Baby Bell.








SURPRISE! 

Little baby Bell is coming this September! I feel so happy to be sharing this with all of you and still can't believe it is actually happening. As of right now I am about 14 weeks, so we have a lot to catch up on! Having a baby is something both Carter and I have been wanting for a while, we love kids! But with our lives and what was going on it was hard to even make that happen. Baseball has always made us hold back on starting a family, along with that we wanted to wait until he finished up his degree at Oregon State. Since he was drafted his junior year he's always had about a year of school left. This past year {or so} he started classes again and is just about done and graduating in June!

As for me, all my health problems have been a big issue. My doctors have told me from day 1 that I can have children but actually carrying them myself could be dangerous. Since pregnancy causes a crazy release in hormones and body changes it could potentially give my cancer cells a boast in growth and development. So we have always had that in the back of our minds. But me being me and the kid lover I am, having a baby and the experience of doing it outweighs the risk of what could happen. Having kids has always been my biggest dream and probably why I ended up with a degree in child development! Even if I only get to experience this one time it will be something I never regret. Along with that, I am so lucky because I have one of my closest friends and a cousin who have BOTH volunteered to be my surrogated, if needed. I still can't believe they would do that and it shows me how much love and support they both have.

Aside from all of that this pregnancy has been hard. I have kind of mentioned it in the past but never really talked about it. Since it's been a couple of years now and with a baby on the way I feel okay talking about it. Back in the Fall of 2014 we had found out I was pregnant for the first time. This was not expected but we were still so excited. About two weeks after hearing the good news we found out my cancer was back and had been slowly growing for a couple of months. This was devastating because I would either have to go through chemo while pregnant or take a huge risk of waiting then going straight into treatment after I had the baby. It was only a couple weeks after that when I had the miscarriage. That was one of the hardest things I've ever gone through. To make things worse I knew I was going to have to start my cancer treatment shortly after. Looking back I think it was meant to happen for a reason. But after going through that it has been hard and even scary to think about loosing a baby again. On top of that doctors thought it would be a lot harder to even conceive after going through chemo and radiation.
But sure enough it happened and we have finally gotten some GOOD NEWS and are so excited!

While the good is definitely out weighing the bad, things haven't been easy with this pregnancy. I am already at high-risk for everything I have gone through but on top of that I found out some issues I have that have nothing to do with my cancer or anything related to that. I honestly don't feel ready to deeply talk about that yet BUT I thought I would share because the more prayers and good wishes the more confident I feel and believe it truly does help. I have been hesitant on sharing this and even the fact I'm pregnant but feel like the love and prayers outweigh not sharing it and keeping it in. So thank you to everyone, I greatly appreciate it!
As of right now the baby is growing and looking amazing! As for me... I have been MIA and spending most my time at home... which is good! That just means the baby is developing and things are right on track so I will definitely take it. This past week the nausea is getting better and I can actually get out of the house so hopefully the symptoms continue to decrease as the weeks increase!

I wanted to share what's been going on each week with the symptoms I've been having:

Weeks 1-4
Boobs were hurting
SO tired!... Which was the reason I decided to take a pregnancy test!

Week 5
Still about the same
+ the nausea started coming

Weeks 6-8
Boobs still hurting
Even more tired
Morning Sickness ALL DAY sickness
Sense of smell went crazy, was not prepared for that lol

Weeks 8-10
Still about the same
Aside from nausea my appetite increased big time

Weeks 10-13
Nausea only in the morning and a little a night
Boobs not feeling as sore
Still pretty tired

*Cravings? Haven't had that many... more than anything I've just been non stop hungry and wanting food more than ever. I will say this though, I have been wanting lemonade every single day, multiple times a day... did anyone else have this? I've also been pretty into Chick-fil-A lol their cobb salad has been a highlight to my afternoons

*Weight gain? Give or take 5 pounds

*Physical changes? Well, comparing the "old wives tales" with the way my body is going I have a feeling baby Bell is going to be a girl! Along with the horrible morning sickness I have gotten a crazy breakout on my face {it hasn't been like this since puberty! ek} and {I hate to say it...} but, I've been a pretty moody girl and feeling grumpy... SORRY CARTER! haha

This has been a lot to share on just one post but I will start doing weekly ones now that I'm feeling much better and have announced the big news! If you have any questions you are welcome to comment below or e-mail me! *which is on the contact page!

THANK YOU again to everyone for being so positive with all the love and support on yet another crazy journey for the Bell family!
 

design + development by kelly christine studio