I will preface this by saying that I am still pregnant. 🙂
I haven’t written in awhile and I feel like I left some of you hanging…especially those of you that aren’t friends with us on Facebook. Mama M and I have had quite the roller coaster of a pregnancy that I feel the need to catch you up on. The last update I provided said that we were finally pregnant!
Now sit back, grab a drink (if it’s wine, have some for me!), and enjoy this recap of the past 3 trimesters!
First Trimester: We found out we were pregnant about three weeks prior to our planned move to South Korea. At the time, our lease was ending and there was a short, 8-day gap before our flight departed for Seoul. Our friends, the G family, offered to let us and our 2 dogs stay for the week in their guest room. Little did we know that this offer would turn into the BEST decision that we had made in a long time.
When I notified the military that I was pregnant, they changed the day that we needed to report to Korea to the second week of September — essentially the end of the first trimester. We had to make a decision at this point about where to live — do we continue to impose on our very welcoming hosts, or do we find a place with a short term, furnished lease. Remember, by this time, all of our household goods (minus the suitcases that were coming on the plane with us) had either been put in storage, or were on a ship making the trans-pacific journey to the land of the Morning Calm. After sounding like a broken record for a few days with our friends….”Are you sure it is okay that we stay?”……..”No, really, are you sure we aren’t imposing?”, Mama M and I decided to continue to stay with our friends, their four kids and their 2 dogs for the entire summer. It was like one BIG happy family — Mama M, Mama D, our two dogs, our friends, T and J, their two dogs, their four kids, and our little one in utero (Shim — a term created to mean she and him since we weren’t planning on finding out the gender). What could have easily been a recipe for unhappy disaster turned into the best summer of our lives. Not only did we get to stay in the United States during a trimester riddled with “all-day” sickness, a diagnosis of hypoglycemia, and just general fatigue — but Mama M and I became part of the extended G family — and intend on maintaining that family relationship for the rest of our lives.
Second Trimester: In September, it was time to pack up our bags (and by bags I mean 8 – 50 lb bags, 2 large dog crates (for our 2 smalls dogs) and our 2 carry on bags…total of 12 bags) and fly to our next duty station in South Korea.
We might have over packed…..
Upon arriving, and spending 5 days in limbo waiting to find out if we were going to be staying at Yongsan (Seoul) or Camp Humphreys we finally found out that we were going to be stationed at Camp Humphreys, a larger base located about 90 minutes south of Seoul, in a city called Pyeongtaek. We again packed up our 12 bags and headed down to Camp Humphreys. We quickly found a house, got settled into a routine at work, and slowly started planning how Shim was going to fit into this life of ours that we were creating on the other side of the world. A nursery started coming together, we were set up with a wonderful OB team at the U.S. military hospital in Seoul, and we started exploring this beautiful country that we had the privilege of living in for the next two years.
Visiting one of the oldest and largest temples near Suwon.
Spending the day at the Yellow Sea, which is very similar to Monterrey, CA.
During this trimester, I continued to have pretty much every pregnancy symptom in the book.
Continued nausea? Check.
Rib Pain? Check.
Back Pain? Check.
Trouble Sleeping? Check.
Heartburn? Quadruple Check
Hemorrhoids? WTF Check!
The list could go on and on, but essentially, this pregnancy was proving to be difficult for me. I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia at around the 12-week mark after failing a 3-hour glucose test. Most women fail this test by having glucose levels that are too high. I, however, was a rare case of the opposite — my glucose level was at 31 at the 3-hour mark. This level was considered critical and the staff at the OB’s office has no idea how I was still standing, let alone able to walk out of their office and drive myself home. At our 20 week ultrasound, we were devastated and worried sick when we were told that Shim had developed calcium deposits on his/her heart. We were sent to a local Korean hospital within two weeks to have a more in depth exam done and, thankfully, the spots had disappeared during that two week period. Whew!
Third Trimester: The homestretch of this pregnancy has definitely felt like the longest. We were lucky enough to start it off with a trip back to the United States, both for Mama D to work, and for both of us to take a few days off and visit with our families and friends. Baby Shim was definitely spoiled with multiple gatherings and showers to celebrate his or her upcoming arrival.
Our Colorado Girls!
In Denver, Colorado, the place where all of the magic took place to create Shim was the first stop on our trip. Our “Colorado Girls,” as Mama M calls them, hosted a wonderful brunch and baby shower to celebrate Shim. The highlight was having everyone create homemade bibs for Shim to wear when s/he is a wee bit older.
After Denver, we were able to visit with Mama D’s family in Chicago. Her cousin, Kate, opened up her home and her heart to all of us. It was so nice to see everyone together in one place, celebrating the addition of another cousin to the family. Shim is so very lucky to have quite the extended family living throughout the Chicagoland area!
Shim’s Chicago family
Our final stop on our trip to the United States was to visit Mama M’s family in Southern California. How blessed Shim will be to not only have wonderful grandmothers around, but also his/her great-grandmother, Quyen. We can’t wait for Quyen, Mama M’s mother, and Mama D’s mother to make the trip out here to Korea sometime in the the next few months to meet our new addition!
The last highlight of this homestretch was our trip to Pyeongchang to witness some of the 2018 Winter Olympics. When we found out that we were being stationed here, we knew that we had to see at least one event —- even if I was 36 weeks pregnant! We were lucky enough to obtain free tickets and transportation to the Final Women’s Luge event. So, with Shim in tow, we went out the event, braved the bitter cold, and got to witness amazingly strong female athletes in action. Definitely a once in a lifetime experience and one that I will never forget. Plus, we can tell Shim that s/he was actually at the Olympic Games a month before being born!
That, my friends, is the Cliff Notes version of the past nine months of our lives. We are looking forward to having Shim join us in this world, creating memories and adventures together, and, in the next week or so (hopefully!) introducing all of you to the long awaited baby Shim!
Shim at 32 weeks, partially blocked by his/her hand, but still, an adorable chunky monkey