Follow the Journey of a Soon-To-Be Mother

Everyday people face the impossible. The beauty of childbirth can be a series of impossibles that must be overcome. Here, we will follow the journey of Ellie Pettus, one soon-to-be mother, as she tells us about the experience of carrying her first child.

Week 8

1st Ultrasound Visit:

My first ultrasound/doctor visit was unbelievable! Before seeing the doctor, I received a vaginal ultrasound, which was a little surprising. I figured it would be over the stomach with that gel substance like you see on TV. But, it wasn’t a big deal at all, especially, once I saw my baby for the first time.


The nurse found the baby immediately, measured him/her and found his/her heartbeat within the first 30 seconds. When I first saw what the nurse said was a baby I thought something was wrong. He/she didn’t look like tiny baby or even a gummy bear like I thought he/she would. It looked like a blob and it wasn’t moving, except for a twitching in the center.


The nurse explained to me that the baby was in a weird position, but that was totally normal. She told me the flicker I was seeing was the baby’s heartbeat – a perfectly healthy heartbeat of 139bpm and that it was too early to detect movement. So, thank goodness, everything was normal. By measuring the baby, the nurse was also able to give us an approximate due date: Baby Pettus, due October 30, 2014!


1st Doctor Visit:

After the ultrasound, I headed to WOMEN Obstetrics and Gynecology for my first doctor’s visit. I handed my completed paperwork to the smiling receptionist at the front desk and I turned around, startled to see a famous – and very pregnant – singer/actress walk through the lobby into the back. I thought to myself, “If she chose these doctors and this place to deliver her baby, then they really must be the best.”

In no time, a nurse called me back, weighed me, asked a few questions and had me pee in a cup – which my app tells me to get used to. When Dr. Schlechter came into exam room, I was immediately drawn to her. She was so nice and knowledgeable and immediately put me at ease. It felt like I had known her for years. After a quick “get-to-know you” chitchat, she asked a few general health questions and some regarding family history. She then took a lot of time – at least ten minutes – to answer every question I had.


I’m beginning to think “pregnancy brain” is real because my memory is unusually terrible right now. So, thank goodness I had kept a note in my phone with all the questions I had. Some of these included: “Can I go on a mission trip this summer to Jamaica?” The answer was “no,” the biggest reason being, I would be in my 3rd trimester; so, the flight and conditions there might be too dangerous. The other question I had was, “Can I go to Disney World over my spring break and if so, what rides can I ride?” This answer was surprisingly “YES” and that I just needed to heed the warnings of the rides. If there was a sign that said pregnant women shouldn’t ride, then I shouldn’t ride, because I am pregnant! That makes sense.


Overall, my first ultrasound and doctor’s visits were perfect. I really am pregnant and the baby is healthy. Dr. S made me feel so comfortable and like any question was the first time she had heard it, when I KNOW she’d probably heard it 10 times already that day. I am so thankful and confident I chose her as my doctor!


How far along? 8 Weeks

Total Weight Gain: None

Maternity Clothes: No

Stretch Marks? Nope

Sleep: Like a rock!

Best moment this week: The ultrasound. The baby wasn’t moving yet, and honestly he/she looked like a blob to me, but I could definitely see the little heart beating. The heartbeat was 139bpm and he/she measured right where we expected.

Miss anything? Playing basketball on the weekends.

Food cravings: No. I don’t like food this week.

Anything make you queasy or sick? Everything. I know I sound like a broken record, but why they call it morning sickness is beyond me. I have been sick morning, noon, dinnertime and in the middle of the night. Maybe I shouldn’t have claimed to not have morning sickness so happily last week.

Gender: Do not know yet

Labor Signs: None

Symptoms: Constipation and Peeing a lot. New this week is major acid reflux.

Belly button in or out? In

Wedding rings on or off? On

Happy or moody most of the time? This week I’ve definitely more moody. I ‘m happy, but a bit moody.

Looking forward to: I’m already looking forward to feeling like normal again. I feel like it is way too early for me to feel like this, but there is seriously no denying it this week.



Week 7

Most everything we’ve read says it’s time to choose a doctor to help bring our little miracle into this world. We already knew we wanted to deliver at Saint Thomas Midtown. From our research, we found they are the baby hospital in town and have lots of different birthing options, as well as highly-trained experts and accommodations if something, God forbid, were to go wrong with me or the baby during delivery. So I asked my sister – who works in healthcare – for recommendations. She didn’t skip a beat and suggested her own OBGYN, Dr. Nicole Schlechter, with WOMEN Obstetrics and Gynecology. She has amazing reviews online and the practice is located on the Saint Thomas Midtown campus. Perfect.


We have our first ultrasound appointment with Dr. Schlechter next week. I am feeling very excited, also a bit nervous/anxious. The test says I’m pregnant, but I don’t feel pregnant – whatever that feels like. I just have this terrible feeling I’m going to walk into the appointment and they’re going to say, “Sorry. You must have misread the test. There is no baby in there.”


I mean, you always hear of the dreaded morning sickness and being super tired. You also hear about babies moving and kicking. But, I don’t feel much different than before and definitely don’t feel anything moving around in my belly. I have some nausea, but it’s not always in the morning and I figured it could be the prenatal vitamins causing it. I have been sleeping great except when I wake up in the night to pee.


Because I have so many anxieties and have no idea what goes on during the gestation period, I downloaded an app called, “What to Expect,” that has already been extremely helpful. This week, the app says that at our first appointment, they will do an ultrasound where they identify the baby’s approximate due date and should also be able to identify the baby’s heart rate. Oh, I really hope there is a baby in there and that he/she has a heartbeat.


How far along? 7 Weeks

Total Weight Gain: None

Maternity Clothes: No, my shirts and pants fit fine. I ordered a belly band, but I haven’t needed it yet.

Stretch Marks? None that I have spotted

Sleep: Great! Except when I have to get up to pee in the middle of the night

Best moment this week: realizing that I get to see my baby on an ultrasound in less than a week!

Miss anything? Multiple cups of coffee

Food cravings: I have really wanted fresh fruit this week.

Anything make you queasy or sick? My prenatal vitamin

Gender: Will think’s it a girl. I don’t really know!!!

Labor Signs: NO

Symptoms: Peeing a lot and constipated

Belly button in or out? In

Wedding rings on or off? On

Happy or moody most of the time? Happy

Looking forward to: Seeing this little human next week! Whoop!!



Week 6

How far along? 6 Weeks

Total Weight Gain: None

Maternity Clothes: Nope

Stretch Marks? None

Sleep: Great

Best moment this week: We decided to go ahead and tell our families this week. We figured if anything happened with a miscarriage or we weren’t really pregnant, we would tell our families anyway. We’re excited and we want our family to be in on the secret.

Miss anything? Not at all.

Food cravings: No

Anything make you queasy or sick? Not at all

Gender: No idea

Labor Signs: None

Symptoms: Still peeing quite often and a little constipated. I read that this is possibly from the prenatal vitamin.

Belly button in or out? In

Wedding rings on or off? On

Happy or moody most of the time? Happy

Looking forward to: I’m still looking forward to the first appointment. I feel like I can’t get 100% excited yet because I want to make sure there is REALLY a baby in there. :)


Week 5

How far along? 5 Weeks

Total Weight Gain: None

Maternity Clothes: Nope

Stretch Marks? None

Sleep: Like a baby!

Best moment this week: Finding out we were having a baby! Although I didn’t get to tell Will the way I wanted to. He found the test in the trashcan before I had a chance to give him what I made.

Miss anything? No

Food cravings: Saturday night, before we knew we were pregnant, I was really wanting some chocolate chip cookies. Will was outside and when he came in, I was standing on the counter looking for brown sugar so I could make some. I think it was at this point that both of us were thinking we might actually be expecting.

Anything make you queasy or sick? Not at all

Gender: No idea

Labor Signs: Nope

Symptoms: Peeing a lot!

Belly button in or out? In

Wedding rings on or off? On

Happy or moody most of the time? Happy

Looking forward to: The first doctors appointment. I just want to know for sure that I AM pregnant. I know pregnancy tests aren’t known for giving false positives, but I don’t feel any different.



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