Holding Onto Hope, Anticipating Joy

Julie Davis

One wife's journey on the road of infertility and missionary living. Real life ~from Small Town, Missouri to Prague, Czech Republic.

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The Second Trimester Continues...

Since our sweet baby is due in March, I felt it fitting to start off with the saying that usually comes with each March. If March comes in like a lion, It goes out like a lamb.



Well, that is exactly how my Second Trimester has gone and is going. People told me, once you get into your Second Trimester, you will feel much better and you won’t be as sick…people told me that, as my head hovered over the toilet. To say my Second Trimester has been “much better", are not the words I would use. It was actually the hardest. I believe my best shining moment was one night as we were going to bed, I took my prenatal vitamin and was drinking water beside the bed. All of a sudden, I was gagged by the pill and I started coughing. I covered my mouth, to no avail. The next thing I remember is Aaron applauding “My wonderful and most amazing throw-up show he’d ever seen". (He used the word “spectacular", …boys?!). ...That is, until I burst into tears. He quickly jumped up, got a towel for me. Shooed me to the bathroom to “finish up what had just started", as he cleaned the bed, the room, the curtains and whatever else the shrapnel hit. …in the end; new sheets were added, tears were dried and there was even a little laughter. …roar….


Four months in…pregnancy sickness plus a cough and cold, not a great combination.

BUT! The last week and this week, they have been great. As I am coming to the last week of my 5th month, with one more month in my Second Trimester to go, I am hopeful that, “it will go out like a lamb". …bahh….

It has been a fun an different experience being pregnant. I have waited so long to be in this place, and yet, it is sometimes just unbelievable. Aaron and I will be lying in bed about to drift off, when one of us will exclaim how great and exciting and nerve wrecking it is!

It all became even more real, when we found out our sweet miracle is a GIRL! Now, I will admit, I wanted a little girl so bad. However, after trying for so long to conceive, I was happy with whichever God would give us. In fact, I was pretty certain it was a boy! My Pinterest Board was full of girl things, then it started to become full of boy things, because I was so convinced.

As long as Gender Reveal Parties have become a “thing", I have wanted one. I told Aaron and Amy (my most wonderful and best friend and missionary colleague), that if we became pregnant, this was the one thing I wanted to do. Then…we got pregnant. I started thinking logistically about how it would work and look, who would come, on and on. I basically told myself, I wasn’t going to happen. The amount of work to have something like that was daunting. I told Aaron, then Amy…and they both said, NO! This is the one thing you said you wanted, and we are going to make it happen…and I am so glad they put their collective foot down!

Here in the Czech Republic, the Gender Reveal Phenomenon has not appeared. So, we knew it was going to be an uphill battle. I had contacted a bakery after one of our appointments, where we knew the date we would find out the gender. As I have mentioned before, I am an organizer and planner…so, I wrote an email with pictures and as detailed as I could. The baker, did not understand…and didn’t really want to understand, if you get my point! So we would have to go about this another way. Let’s just say between Amy, the bakery and I…there were about ten or more email exchanges. …finally at the reveal. We just hoped we had something pink or blue. And not white, purple or green!

The next step was to explain to our Doctor, …try explaining how, “I want to know, but not really know, but write it down in an envelope so our friend can know."…in a foreign language! When we went in for our appointment, we reminded her that we needed her to write it on a paper and fold it up. We tried to explain the idea of the party, and she just smiled and said ok…have a fun party. She started the ultrasound, and told us when she was looking for the gender. Aaron and I both turned our heads. After the ultrasound, she went over to her desk to write the gender. She was whispering to her nurse in Czech, and Aaron quickly spoke to her in Czech. He said, “We understand some Czech, so make sure to not say it is Czech because we will know". They looked at us in surprise and laughed. They said they are excited to see pictures from “our party" at our next appointment.


Our Doctor’s Office, Canadian Medical Care. We are blessed by our great, caring and friendly Doctor.

Our party was really more than I could have hoped for…of course, having our family and close friends in attendance would have made it the greatest, but God blessed us with being surrounded by people we love here. Amy (Chris, Gideon and Karis too), met us in Old Town Square with the cake. It looked so great. We all kind of joked that if we cut into the cake and it was white, Amy would just shout out the gender…no matter how clear or how much we think we explain things, they can always get lost in translation. We found a little table in the extremely crowded area, and then were surprised by some other great friends and fellow missionaries from Hungary; Rick, Lori and Zsolti. There were a few tears on my end…I mean come on, how wonderful to be surrounded by people we love and not feel alone at one of the happiest times in our lives. I texted our parents and family to make sure they were on, and ready to watch (we did a Facebook Live Video, so everyone in American could join us). Once we received word they were, it was show time…I was so so nervous. You can tell by how Aaron had to prod me to talk during the video. However, when I started to cut the cake and saw a little sliver of pink, I just couldn’t believe it! Of course, no-one else was able to see, not even Aaron, so once I got over my initial shock and excitement..I continued. Afterwards, we had the most amazing Mexican food (it’s what I crave the most) we’ve had in Prague, as we all celebrated together.

Here is a link to watch our Gender Reveal, if you missed it!


My first moment of seeing the “pink", and forgetting to continue cutting the cake for everyone else to see.


It’s a GIRL!

Our sweet and wonderful missionary family sharing in on our excitement and miracle.

We have started on the nursery. We have a crib put together, we have a few other pieces of furniture. We are slowly finding things that we are liking for the decorations (I am trying to stay off of Hobby Lobby website, but boy oh boy, how I wish they would open a store here). We’ve bought some cute dresses and stuffed animals (Aaron’s favorite thing to buy). We are planning for both of our parents to come shortly before/after her birth. Things just keep progressing and moving forward…


Shopping at Ikea for our sweet baby! This is the chair that each photo has been taken in…except this one was part of the display.


Putting the crib together. One of the easiest pieces of IKEA furniture to ever put together!

In fact, last week, I was able to feel her first kick! I have been waiting for it. I was laying on the couch after dinner, watching some tv with Aaron, when I felt this little flutter…well, just a little more than a flutter! It took me a minute to realize, it was a kick. I shouted to Aaron, I am pretty sure I just felt a kick. What, he exclaimed…yep, a kick. It was another great, joyful and tear-filled moment. Really, one of the best feelings ever. I am looking forward to when she kicks more aggressively, that Aaron can feel it. He loves her so much already, and is going to be the best daddy!

Next Tuesday, we have our 2nd Trimester Ultrasound, where we will see our sweet baby’s organs and how she is progressing. It will be the first time, we get to see her, knowing she is a her! It is amazing to be able to watch her grow and progress from a little blob on the ultrasound screen, to a little blob with a head, to arms moving and legs kicking…to soon, being our sweet little Magnolia (Maggie) Joy, held in our arms.

-Julie


Our Sweet Maggie.

Let the Second Trimester Begin!

It is hard to believe that the second trimester is about to begin. What a crazy whirlwind the first trimester has been. Around the beginning of the third month, I had quite a bit more energy and wasn’t always sick. The last week, it has returned a bit…as Aaron was bringing me water as my head was in the toilet, his words were, “How much longer does the sickness last?" I said, hopefully this will be it. Praying it is true. I mean, I am sure after going downtown last week in the 80+ degree weather with no relief (no air conditioning in this country!)…and Aaron carrying my purse through Prague because I was so dragging so bad…he is praying for relief too.

Aaron’s Third Month Portrait of Me…he caught a fun candid moment.
We have known we are pregnant since July, however, in the Czech Republic, it became official last week. (more on this later!) I mentioned on the last update that we had an interesting doctor’s visit (as in, not so great!), we were hoping on our second run at it would be a bit different. After looking at the receipt for that first appointment, it was to consult and confirm pregnancy, this visit was to be the First Trimester Check-Up. We won’t mention that the confirmation was two weeks away from the beginning of the Second Trimester and we were pretty sure the IVF was successful after three home pregnancy tests, blood tests and three ultrasounds :-) …but that is how they do it here. Yes…we needed to confirm I was truly pregnant. I’m glad we got that sorted out.

This time, we had a nicer doctor, who spoke much better english. The nurse took a bit of blood. (and by a bit I mean a bucket.) Of course, while they are taking it, she is explaining all the important information to me. I was just looking at Aaron, hoping he was getting it, because I was focused on not screaming with a massive needle in my hand and I was starting to get a little woozy…could have been nerves, may have been blood loss.

She explained quite a few things. On my next appointment, I will choose between her and the first doctor (…no thank you!) However, whomever we choose will be our doctor, it will change to our delivery doctor around the (garbled and unintelligible) week. While her english is great, languages are funny…Americans have trouble when we speak Czech with 9, 19’s and 20’s because they sound very similar. For Czech people they have trouble saying their "13,14,15’s" and “th" sounds in English, so when she said we will choose our upon the 13th week…it's suspect!!! We started playing detective in our conversation and questions to figure out if she really meant 13th or something else…turns out, it was something else. in this case 13th meant 30th. We will choose or delivery doctor on the 30th week.

The hospital that our clinic works with, will send about 4-5 delivery doctors over. They come for a few hours each week, and from them, I will choose the delivery doctor. Thankfully, they will come to the clinic for our check-ups and we won’t need to travel to the hospital, until we are 9 months in and, “we hear that train a-comin’, to quote Aaron’s favorite Johnny Cash song. All good information to know and understand. Then, I had an ultrasound…it was my first stomach ultrasound…which was pretty exciting for me. Our sweet little miracle, popped up on the screen. Baby Davis even jumped up and down a few times for us…it was quite amazing to behold!

Baby Davis in-between jumping up and down.

After the ultrasound, we went back to the desk to continue our discussion…this is when we received our “Pregnancy Book". it’s a small paper booklet, about the size of a passport, but the finish looks like a brochure you might see for a Branson resort in the lobby of a Springfield IHOP (Did I mention that their strawberry cheesecake pancakes are on my pregnancy brain?!) …anyways, I was told to carry this book with me everywhere I go. At each visit, the nurse will add new information about where I am in my pregnancy and other important information…I’m thinking, in case of an emergency. The interesting thing about all of this was, the doctor and the nurse both congratulated me, several times each, about receiving my Pregnancy Book. They were smiling, shaking our hands and thrilled to hand it to me.
Me and My Pregnancy Book!

This was an interesting thing to me. When we started talking about it later, we laughed a little, as we thought…here in the 11th week, they have officially declared that we are going to have a baby. Not because of what they see or hear on the ultrasound, but because I got “the book". It is a bit of odd thinking to us. From the moment we learned we had a positive test, we knew there was a sweet little baby growing inside of me…we didn’t need to wait until that sweet miracle looked like a little person, we knew immediately.

Now, even though the book seems odd to us…it does come with a few magical powers. All I have to do is flash this book on the metro or bus, and someone has to give me their seat. I can also receive preferred parking in some areas of the city as well. Not too bad…I guess I can carry the book around if I need to.

-Julie

This month, I have experienced some cravings. One being, MEXICAN! Partially, those frozen bean and cheese burritos. No such luck finding them here, so Aaron and I searched the city and found a little Mexican Store in the back lot of a side street, behind buildings. There, we found most of the makings for a BURRITO ENCHILADA STYLE…pretty much like The Ville (Mexican Villa)! Other cravings have been, Strawberry New York Cheesecake Pancakes from IHOP…again, found a copy cat recipe, and produced it. It is fun trying to make new things…especially when, you mind and stomach just won’t let it go. Thanks to my awesome husband for going above and beyond to make them happen, I am ever so thankful…and so is Baby Davis.

Our Journey (so far)…in Photos!

As we started this journey, this specific IVF journey, we decided that along the way we would document important events with a photo.

So, today, I will share some photos, as well as a bit more of where we are in our journey.

Our First Visit to Gennet, Our Fertility Clinic was in April. We were unsure of a lot of things; about the facility, about the procedures, about the prices, about the doctors, about the steps…on and on I could go.


This photo shows a lot about what we were feeling…there is excitement, question, uncertainty. This journey, is a journey we are on together. It doesn’t just affect me, it affects us both, and this photo shows that.

After a month of going to the clinic for testing and check-ups, the time came for us to meet with our IVF Coordinator. So, last week we meet with our coordinator, and started the steps towards our IVF Procedure.


While there, we got our IVF plan.

Now, I am a very organized person…in fact, I LOVE ORGANIZATION! Take me to an office store, and I will want to buy everything there to make things nice and put where they should be.

In fact, on a recent ministry trip, Aaron snapped a photo of me before getting on the plane. I looked quite excited in the photo…do you want to know why I was so excited…I was so excited because of the folder in my hand. I had all of our travel documents and information in that folder…and I was so happy to have it all in one place and accessible, that I asked Aaron to take a photo of me with it! (True Story)


However, this plan that we got Karolina, was quite a bit more intense and very specific.


This is our IVF plan. It hangs on our refrigerator…mostly because, some of the medication is refrigerated, and it won’t get lost there! We have dates and days. I have medication to start and take (at the same time each day). I have medication to take now, some next week, and then more and more to be added. Every night at 8pm, Aaron gives me a shot. A SHOT! I set an alarm on my phone to go off at 8pm, so we won’t forget…and believe me, 8pm will sneak up on you. Today, we will add another shot, and he will give me 2 a night. He is so good to get it ready, sanitize the area and say, “I love you"…all right before he pushes the needle in…he doesn’t really like to see me in pain or hurt. Plus, have I ever mentioned...I don’t like shots!


Today, we also had a follow-up ultrasound, to see how the medication is working. I got a smile and an excited, “Things are looking good, and the medication is working well." Plus, that little right ovary that seems to hide…was nice and big because of all the follicules that were present!

Here is the Czech Republic. We have learned to celebrate little victories…whether, it is having a full conversation in Czech, getting the right food at a restaurant…or in my case today, having 7 follicules!


Now, you might think…what is the big deal, you got a Dr. Pepper and a bag of Doritos…well you see, you can’t just go get these at any store. You have to go to a special import store…that happens to be on our way home…so, celebrate we did! We also won’t talk about how much they cost…because we are celebrating!

Towards the middle to end of the month, we will have a few procedures to have the actual IVF. For the most part, the plan is in place, however the dates are “in the air" depending on how my body responds.

We would love to ask for your prayers.


Please pray for my body continues to respond to the medication in the way that it needs to.
Please pray for me. as well as Aaron, as my body and mind become a little crazy from the medication.
Please pray for the doctor to be guided each step of the way.
Please pray that God will bless us in the end, with a positive result.
Please pray with us, as we are "Holding onto Hope and Anticipating Joy!"

-Julie