Pregnancy Journey + Meet Lucy!

A lot happened in 2022, but the biggest event that took place for me was welcoming Baby Shin into the world!

So I wanted to put this blog post up as a way to recap and document my pregnancy journey, not only for me, but for friends, family, and Baby Lucy to have to revisit.

As you may already know, Hoch and I are wanderlusters at heart. We LOVE travel and were always unsure if we wanted to start a family or not. Plus, if I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to get pregnant!

A little back story on that: My menstrual cycle has been so irregular my entire life (like really bad, I’d go an entire year without one!) and so I’d been on the birth control pill since I was 18 in order to regulate it. Back in 2020 I decided I wanted to get off the pill to see what would happen and when I did, my cycle went back to it’s old ways. That’s when I realized the pill was just a bandaid and I wanted to get to the root of the problem. Not because I wanted to get pregnant, but for my own health and well-being. So in 2021 I started seeing a functional doctor who specializes in gut and hormone health to take a more holistic approach. Working with her helped me to slowly regulate my cycle.

Of course life has a way of surprising us and even though Hoch and I were being careful and I was tracking my cycle, clearly I did something wrong (or right!) and we conceived anyways.

It all started back in March 2022. I had flown to Virginia Beach to visit a couple of girlfriends, including my friend, Sherry, who recently had her daughter, Carson.

While hanging out with them, I remember thinking how chill Carson was and that I could handle being a mama if I had a chill baby girl like her. I believe that single thought manifested Baby Shin because as soon as I returned from that trip was when we got pregnant!

So here’s a RECAP and timeline of how it all went down: 🙂

The Day We Found Out: April 8th, 2022

I had a feeling something was up since I had been tracking my cycle. Hoch wasn’t too worried about it, he assumed it was probably a false alarm. I kept talking about it and he was finally like go ahead and take the test!

So I did… Hoch looked at it first and was like, “what does this mean?”

I confirmed what he was thinking, that it was a positive test! It was the first test above, so the second line was very faint. We reconfirmed with a second test 2 days later.

Our First Ultrasound: April 27, 2022

To be honest, even though we had already gotten into baby planning mode, things didn’t feel official until that first ultrasound. The doctor confirmed that we were in fact expecting and that the heart beat was strong!

I had done the math and was guessing that the due date would be December 18th, but the doctor measured her at 8 weeks and gave the official due date as December 6th, 2022.

The Day We Got Married: May 3rd, 2022

We decided to get married at the local courthouse in San Marcos, TX in early May because that is when we always celebrated our anniversary and…keep reading.

(Fun fact, we’ve been together 9 years!)

It was just the 2 of us and the judge on a Tuesday afternoon followed by a dinner celebration at our favorite Italian restaurant.

The very next day, I left on a flight for Vermont (due to travel plans that were booked prior to knowing we were expecting).

Hoch made the comment, “of course, we would get married and then spend the next 2 weeks apart!” 🤣 Clearly we aren’t the traditional type!

Baby’s First Trip Abroad: May 21st, 2022 – May 28th, 2022

After a couple of weeks visiting friends in Vermont & family in NC, I met Hoch in NYC and we flew to Croatia for a week long catamaran cruise with friends! It was a previously planned trip that we didn’t want to miss. (More beers for Hoch!)

I was around 10 weeks during that time. And luckily had no nausea or sea sickness. We had a wonderful time baby mooning around the Adriatic Sea!

You can check out the full blog post of that trip HERE!

Croatia Photo Shoot: May 24th, 2022

We wanted to take advantage of being in such a beautiful place and planned a mini-photo shoot to use for our marriage/baby announcements and website 🙂

Yes, Hoch was awkward, but it was also a lot of fun! Thank you for taking all the photos, Julie!!

Honeymoon: May 28th, 2022 – June 3rd, 2022

Instead of flying back home after Croatia, we wanted to check another country off our bucket list. We added Portugal to the itinerary and it was just the 2 of us so we decided it would count as our honeymoon!

We visited both Porto and Lisbon as well as wine country in the Douro Valley. Don’t worry, I stuck with sampling Hoch’s wine!

I was around 11 weeks during this time.

You can check out the full blog post of that trip HERE!

Mama and Baby Trip: June 3rd, 2022 – June 22, 2022

After Portugal, Hoch headed back to the states while I headed to Spain to visit a girlfriend for a couple of weeks. Again…all pre-baby planned.

I officially entered into my second trimester while there and was feeling great so we did a lot of exploring and hiking in northern Spain. We ended our time with a relaxing beach weekend followed by a couple of nights in Madrid before I headed back home.

I started taking baby bump pics along the route. The above photo was taken in Pico de Europa National Park and I was about 13 weeks.

You can check out the full blog post of that trip HERE!

Gender Reveal: July 7th, 2022

I was at a yoga class when the doc called, so when I got out and saw the missed call I rushed home to be with Hoch so we could hear the big news together!

And the results….
Baby Shin is a ….. GIRL!!

We recorded the call below!

All tests coming back negative, all systems are go.

I am 18 weeks in the video!

Anatomy Ultrasound: July 28th, 2022

I had started to feel baby movement the week prior to the ultrasound which was really exciting. However, they were still too subtle for Hoch to feel.

So we were both looking forward to checking in and seeing how the baby was doing.

Once it started, Hoch just sat quietly the entire time, mouth gaping under his face mask, while the technician took baby measurements.

At the end, he was like, “we need one of these machines at home!”

The doctor said everything looked PERFECT! Baby Shin weighed in around 1 lb 2 oz (in the 90th percentile) and her heart rate was 143 bpms.

I was 21 weeks during this Ultrasound.

29 Week Maternity Shoot: Sept 22nd, 2022

I planned one final trip to NC before Baby Shin arrived since I knew I’d be missing the holidays with family.

While in town, Stephanie and I were able to sneak away from my nieces for a maternity shoot. Most of it was shot at Lake Wylie right down the street from Stephanie’s home. I had never posed or done any sort of professional shoot and Stephanie never shot photos of me like this before, so it was very special and a lot of fun!

Funny story: Towards the end of the shoot, we were posing at the edge of the water near a tall, grassy area. I had my eye out for snakes the entire time since that was their breeding ground. When we were finished, I let my guard down as we were walking out. And of course that was when we see a big ass black snake slithering towards us. Stephanie starts screaming bloody murder and running and of course I follow suit. Luckily I had put on a black bandeau (I had been posing topless prior!) because as we were running out of the tall grass, we came across some of Stephanie and Jaisen’s family friends who were wondering what the heck was going on. We explained it to them and of course all started laughing at the whole ordeal after the fact! 🤣

Check out all the photos from the shoot HERE!

Surprise Baby Shower: Sept 24th, 2022

Initially I wasn’t planning on having a baby shower. Since I’ve lived in several places, all my close friends & family are pretty spread out… so I thought it would be easier to skip it.

Buutt as I was approaching my third trimester, I started to second guess this decision.

I wondered if I’d regret not celebrating this phase & transition in my life… Plus Baby Shin deserves to be celebrated! As do I!

(Celebrating myself is something I’ve always tended not to do.)

Luckily my family knows me well enough and planned a last minute one anyways. And I am sooooo GRATEFUL that they did!

It was such a special & intimate day with people I love, brunch, and of course some manifestation & well wishes thrown in the mix. ✨

After I shared what I was wanting to manifest for my birth experience, my family shared what they want for me as well. (As you can imagine this was def an emotional part!)

Afterwards, we sealed our manifestations by me symbolically stepping into this next phase of my life & motherhood. (I actually hopped into it!)

Thanks to everyone who was there, those who sent gifts, and those who reached out to me even if they couldn’t make it. I felt so special and loved and so did baby girl!!

Ice Bucket Challenge: Oct 18th, 2022

When I initially created this blog post, I completely forgot to add a couple of videos including the Ice Bucket Challenge! So here it is!

Our friend, Pauline, who recently had a baby girl, sent me a Tik Tok/Reel of a challenge in which you submerge your hands in ice cold water for one minute to prepare your mind for the intensity of labor contractions.

We also did this as part of our Birth Labor Class, so if you’re expecting or planning on it in the future, keep this challenge in mind!

Hoch and I both did it! Watch the video to see how we fared:

I am 33 weeks in this video.

If you look closely at the white board in the background, you can see a long list of baby names we were considering. Lucy was always a top contender at the top left of the board!

Halloween Fun: Oct 27th, 2022

Even though the Mets (Hoch’s fave baseball team) lost in the playoffs, I had this costume idea for Halloween for like a full month. So I decided to still do it and surprised Hoch when he came home from work on the Thursday before Halloween.

Here’s a short video of the process and his reaction:

I am 34 1/2 weeks in this video.

I know pregnancy is different for everyone and every baby, but I thoroughly enjoyed being pregnant and showing off my preggo belly. I honestly have never worn so many belly shirts!

35 Week Ultrasound: Nov 1st, 2022

At the beginning of my third trimester, Hoch and I officially decided to switch from our OB in San Antonio to a Midwife in New Braunfels. We made this change because the more I learned about labor and my options, the more I wanted to experience a very intimate & unmedicated birth experience without a ton of hospital protocols.

Plus the birth center and midwife was a quick 20 minute drive verses the hour plus drive it would take to get to our OB and hospital in San Antonio!

Anyways, once we did that, we started seeing our midwife and decided to do one more ultrasound just for fun before the baby comes.

The ultrasound technician told us Baby Shin had a full head of hair and was weighing in at 6lbs 11ounces! She also confirmed that baby was in an ROA (head down) position which was great news since I was striving for a natural, vaginal birth.

37 Week Maternity Shoot: Nov 14th, 2022

At the last minute I decided I wanted to set up one more maternity shoot so that I could get some photos with me and Hoch. I found a local photographer and set up an indoor shoot this time.

It’s recommended to shoot before 35 weeks just in case baby comes early, plus mama is more comfortable, but I am glad we did this one later so I have some professional shots of me at about as big as I was gonna get!

Check out all the photos from our shoot HERE!

Baby Shin Arrives: Nov 27th, 2022

Baby girl surprised us all and made her debut 9 days early! (remember her due date was 12/6)

Long story short, my water broke around 2am that morning. We called my midwife to let her know. Everything seemed normal so she instructed us to go back to sleep and get as much rest as we could. So I tried my best, even though I was feeling excited knowing that baby girl would be here soon. 🙂

I immediately started to feel stomach cramps and the urge to go #2 (a prelabor sign since the body is preparing for baby to come thru the birth canal!). The cramps were pretty spread out though so we tried our best to go about our day like normal. Hoch made french toast for breakfast, we went on a couple of walks outside, watched Home Alone 2, and finished any last minute packing for the birth center.

Things were a bit slow going, but then started to pick up around 4pm on our afternoon walk. I actually had to pause to breath through the contractions which made our walk much longer. We spoke with the doula and midwife and were instructed to eat a good dinner and get as much rest as we could that evening. But then my contractions really started to pick up, becoming more intense, and that was when I realized there was no way I was gonna get any sleep.

At 9:30pm, I finally decided it was time to head to the birth center soon. Our midwife needed some time to set up and told us to arrive at 10:30pm. In the meantime, our doula came to our apartment for additional support and to help get me loaded into the car when the time was right.

At this point, contractions were really intense. I had gotten past the transition phase and my body was wanting to start pushing. So this made the 20 min car ride a bit difficult, but eventually we made it and Hoch breathed with me the entire ride.

At our arrival, I was checked to see how much I was dilated and it was… 9.5cm !!

(Ain’t gonna lie, I was sooo glad to hear that number. If it would’ve been like 3cm or something, I’m not sure what I would’ve done!)

After that, my midwife told me she wanted me to listen to my body and push as I felt called to. So that’s what I did. And Baby Shin was born around an hour later at 11:45pm weighing 7lbs even!

I remember feeling this huge relief once I pushed her out! If you’ve given birth, you already know, but it really is such an empowering feeling. Women are freakin’ badasses!

Hoch was able to receive her and then they placed her immediately on my chest. She started crying right away while the other midwife checked her heartbeat and made sure everything was good.

Once I birthed the placenta and Hoch cut the umbilical cord, our team helped me to get cleaned up while Hoch had some father daughter time.

After everything was said and done, we were left to rest with Baby Lucy by 1:30am, and were back home in our own beds the next morning.

Funny story, Hoch forgot the diaper bag in our rush out the door (he grabbed his laptop bag by mistake). Luckily they had some diapers to spare, but we ended up wrapping Lucy in some comfy PJ pants for the car ride home!

If you’d like to hear the full birth story in detail, watch the video below:

Anyways, there you have it! A full breakdown of my pregnancy journey!

I hope you enjoyed it and I’ll leave you with some newborn photos of our little love, Lucy Ramsey Shin!!

4 Day Old Photo Shoot with Stephanie: Dec 1st, 2022

Stephanie bought last minute flights to come and meet Lucy ASAP! Check out the full album HERE!

2 Week Old Photo Shoot with Meredith: Dec 13th, 2o22

Meredith McCann is the same photographer that I had to do our 37 week Maternity shoot. Check out the full album HERE!

You can also check out her website HERE if you’re local to the area and looking for a photographer!

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