Back to It

When I found out I was pregnant and due early November, I realized I would be in my postpartum period over all the holiday goodness. Thankfully, Isla’s birthday was close enough to the holidays that it’s still acceptable to rock stretchy maternity jeans.

I told myself that I wouldn’t start worrying about trying to lose baby weight until after the holidays and until Isla had established a good eating schedule. Since this is the last maternity leave that I’ll ever get, I also promised myself that I wouldn’t do anything but cuddle my new baby for two weeks after she was born. Done and done. For two weeks, I didn’t lift a finger. It was amazing.

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Even though I didn’t really contribute to any household chores during that time, I still couldn’t sit still. The weather has been wonderful for this time of year here in Wisconsin, so we managed a few family walks those first few weeks. Once the weather got cooler, I was on my own. The cool temps felt so refreshing after being inside all day. For the first few weeks I kept the mileage to about two miles or thirty minutes of fast walking. At about four weeks postpartum, I was feeling pretty good and started to add some running in there. Talk about humbling. I stayed pretty active my whole pregnancy, so for that reason I wasn’t expecting it to be so difficult. My legs itched like crazy and my lungs hated me. Not to mention my lower abdominal strength being completely gone. I have some work ahead of me.

I’ve been getting out as often as I can and running the treadmill during nap time and it is getting a little easier than that first time a few weeks ago.

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On Sunday, my sister and I laced up our running shoes and headed out for a run by my mom’s house. It was my first “real” run. We had a distance goal and got it done! We set out to run 3 miles and it felt really good. We ran around Humbolt Park…

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and by the time we got back to my mom’s we were at 2.3 miles. So we ran around a few blocks and during that last stretch of distance, I was running close enough to my old pace again that I was hopeful it won’t be much longer to be back to where I was.

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And I celebrated my first glorious postpartum run with grandma’s 75th birthday cake…

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My first “race” will be a 5k in January. I’m excited to see how I do and where I am as far as speed goes by then. Now that I’ve added cardio back into my life, I’m looking forward to take a barre class next week! My sister and I are doing the last blast of 2015 (75 minute cardio class), but I’m hoping to sneak in a regular barre class before then.

How do you celebrate a really great run?

Any advice on returning back to running after pregnancy or an injury?

What’s on your schedule as far as races go in 2016?

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

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The Past 6 Weeks…

We are alive! In case you were worried 😉

Life with a brand new baby & a very active 3 year old tends to be highly exhausting, but I now feel like we are on the upswing and settling into our new life.

Sleep. So apparently we got lucky with Madelyn who was sleeping through the night at 6 weeks old. At Isla’s one month appointment, her pediatrician asked if I had any concerns. I said, “She’s still waking up every hour and a half to 2 hours to eat.” He informed me that it was completely normal and when I told him about Madelyn’s sleeping patterns as a newborn, he told me to consider myself lucky. Her sleeping has definitely gotten better since the first two weeks of her life. We used to have staring contests in the middle of the night during which I would sit and ask her why she wasn’t sleeping. Now, I put her to sleep around 7:30pm, feed her again around 10, last night she slept until 3:45am, I fed her and then she slept until 7am. I’ve noticed that my diet also affects her sleep (gassiness). I’ve pretty much cut out dairy and last week, while I was indulging in Christmas cookies, her sleep was really off as well. When I decided to spend one day eating “clean” she actually slept better, waking up only once. If that’s not motivation to eat well, I don’t know what is.

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Madelyn.  Overall, big sister is very happy to have Isla in her life. Whenever Isla cries, Madelyn tells her that it’s going to be okay and that mommy’s here. I love it when she calls Isla sweetie or honey. Within in the past few weeks, she has been acting a little naughty when she sees me feeding Isla. I don’t know if she’s jealous or if she’s bored because I’m not entertaining her at that moment. Probably a little bit of both. We’ve been making sure that if one of us is with Isla, the other parent is spending time with Madelyn. For the first 6 weeks after Isla was born, we sent Madelyn to daycare. I didn’t want to interrupt her life too much, she likes going there and I was still adjusting to being up during the night and resting when Isla slept. Now she’s home with me until the rest of my maternity leave and we’ve been able to get some fun stuff done this week-like gingerbread houses and Santa visits.

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Life. Life with two littles changes in every aspect possible. I have yet to go out in public with just the two of them by myself. I’m still getting used to having one in the car seat carrier again. I did run into the mall the other night after the three of us left my mom’s, but we were in and out of one store…10 minutes tops so I don’t really count that. Some days, I feel really onto of things and that I’ve got the hang of this, and then there are the days when I don’t get out of my pajamas until after noon. Those are the days when I have to look around and realize everyone’s alive and happy and that’s all that matters today. A new baby can also put stress on a marriage. Larry helps out a lot (Thanks babe!!), but with his schedule I can’t help but sometimes feel like a single parent and that I’m doing a lot of the hard stuff by myself. I get that right now this is my “job”, but soon I will be going back to work as well and probably still getting up in the middle of the night to feed this little milk monster. It’s hard not to feel a little resentment when you’re up all night and your spouse gets to sleep 4+ hours uninterrupted. I just keep reminding myself that this is just a phase and that “I can do hard things.” I look at Madelyn on the floor playing dress up with her dolls and then I look at Isla sleeping away on my chest and it feels like it was just yesterday that Madelyn was the little baby sleeping on me. It makes me want to cry sometimes when you realize how fast time goes.

As far as anymore babies go, we both are in agreement that Isla is the last chapter in our baby book. I love my kids to the end of the Earth and back, but I’m done. As much as I enjoy being pregnant, this last labor pretty much sealed the deal that I don’t want to do it again. We are perfectly happy with our two little girls and are looking forward to what the years ahead of us will bring.

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Pregnancy #2 Weeks 29-33

IMG_4175So far this third trimester is just flying by. The month of September was a busy one for us. I’m hoping October settles down a bit so I can finish up some projects around our house before little bebes arrives, but our weekends are filling up. When I look at how close we are to the end, it freaks me out a little bit. Soon we’ll have two little lives to care for and nurture. Yet, when I look back at when I first found out I was pregnant, I feel like I’ve been pregnant forever. It’s a strange feeling, but I cannot wait to meet this little peanut!
Aversions: Nothing really new since I’ve been sticking to what I know works for me. Coffee smells in our house still get to me. I don’t really get this one since I have no problem drinking it, but the smell of someone else making it, makes my stomach turn.
Cravings: Still going strong with burgers and sandwiches. Carbs & protein…it’s what the baby’s craving. I’ve definitely been eating more red meat than usual and I haven’t had any problems with my iron levels this pregnancy. I’m pretty sure that has something to do with it. On the flip side, a cinnamon roll from Cinnabon has been high on my list the past few days. I haven’t had one of these probably since my BMT graduation, roughly 12 years ago.
Workouts: Things are definitely slowing down over here. I still feel good, but I’m not as mobile as I was just a few weeks ago. Exercising while pregnant is a very funny thing and varies from person to person, pregnancy to pregnancy, day to day. While I was pregnant with Madelyn I could walk 2+ miles every day with no problems. I walked (er, waddled) nearly 3 miles the night I went into labor with her. With this baby, walking can be uncomfortable one day and perfectly fine the next. I walked for 20 minutes last week outside and I had such horrible round ligament pain and cramping. But two days prior, I went to a bootcamp cardio class and had zero problems. I’ve been missing running like crazy as of lately and I’m already scoping out races to do in January. I’m still attending spin class at least twice a week and doing barre and the elliptical for cardio. I walked into spin class a few weeks ago and the instructor (whom I’ve never had before) came over to me and asked how far along I was, if I’d done spin etc., etc. He’s like “Well I’ve delivered babies before so if you go into labor, I’ve got you covered!” hah! Thank you sir for that. I plan on pedaling away until baby’s born if all goes well.
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Madelyn: We did a big sibling class with her which was fun. It gave me a chance to see where I will be delivering since we’re at a different hospital this time around. Madelyn enjoys walking into the baby’s room, looking around at everything and saying, “This is where I’m going to rock and feed the baby. This is the book I’m going to read to the baby. This is where I’m going to change the baby’s poopy diaper.” haha! I can already tell that she is going to be a big help.
Energy: Sleep the last few weeks has become a fleeting memory. I’ve been waking up at least 2-3 times a night to use the bathroom and when I get up, baby’s having a dance party in my belly which makes it hard to fall back asleep. Somewhere between midnight and 3 am. So that’s fun. I’ve been making it a goal of mine to get to bed every night NLT than 9pm. I’ve also been trying to rest on the days I have off of work while Madelyn’s napping/resting as well. Nap time in our house has also become a fleeting memory. Sometimes they happen, other days they just don’t.
sleepingpackerfanWhat’s new these past few weeks? We found two doulas we really liked. Decided to go with one and then decided I didn’t need one. I was having a hard time justifying spending the money on one when I’ve had an all-natural birth without one. I’ve been doing lots of research on pain management in labor and I’m pretty confident that Larry, the nurses and I’ve got this covered. Also, the acupuncturist I’m seeing offers acupuncture in labor and delivery. It’s $100 to have her come to either your house or the hospital and spend up to 3 hours with you while in labor. A much easier pill for me swallow as opposed to the $600 + I was about to shell out for a doula. I got the clear from my midwife that I’m allowed to have an acupuncturist come in while I’m laboring in the hospital. Baby’s car seat and bases have been washed and are ready to be installed into the car. I’m still gathering stuff for my hospital bag and slowing putting the finishing touches on the baby’s room. I feel like we’ve made a lot of progress on things the past few weeks, but we still have a lot to do and time is ticking away! As it gets closer I’m getting more excited but yet a little more nervous to go into labor. I’m actually looking forward to giving birth again, just more nervous because you never know how it’s going to happen. I also had a dream that she turned out to be HE. So fingers crossed there is indeed a girl in there or else this little boy will be wearing a lot of pink 🙂

Pregnancy #2 Weeks 25-28

29 weeksAnd here we are in my third and FINAL trimester of pregnancy! For the most part, I feel like this pregnancy has just flown by, but when I stop and think to myself, “I’ve been pregnant since February!” then it seems to be taking forever. Especially when all I want on a hot summer day is an ice cold beer. Soon enough 🙂 For now, I’m enjoying all the movements and acrobatics going on in my belly and embracing my growing bump. This will be our last, so I’m doing my very best to enjoy every minute of it. Even the not so great parts that come along with it. I’m just thankful that I get to do this again.
Aversions:Hard boiled eggs 😦 I just can’t at all. I took one bite into one and I fought to choke it down. This makes me sad because this is the easiest and quickest way to eat them. The good thing is that I have access to a kitchen at work, so I usually cook them over-medium when I get into the office. Good news is that salmon is back off the aversion list! Hallelujah! I took a gamble and tried a salmon salad at The Cheesecake Factory last week and it was amazing and I was so happy! After spending the weekend eating birthday cake, my body was craving something healthy and nutritious.
Cravings: I’ve been craving sandwiches more than normal. I could probably eat a sub sandwich every day for lunch if I let myself. About a week ago I started getting nauseous again (I hear that can happen at the end of pregnancy as well) and the only thing that sounded good to me was carbs, carbs and more carbs. So I’ve been consuming a lot more bread than what’s normal for me…which probably explains why I’ve had the biggest weight gain I’ve had all pregnancy between my 4 week appointments.
Workouts: I’m still feeling really good. Although I’m starting to slow down a bit and trying my hardest not to waddle, I’m still working out about 4-5 times a week. I’ve found that it cuts down on the crankiness and just makes me feel better overall. Running as been put on hold until after the new year and I’m okay with that. I’ve been spending a lot more time on my bike and I’ve found a new appreciation in biking. Spinning class has now taken over for running. I can still work up a great sweat without the high impact that running has. I’ve also taken some HIIT classes at barre which still feel great. I tend to hang out in the back corner because my moves are very modified these days 🙂
biking28weeksMadelyn:  She falls asleep and stays asleep on her OWN!!!! The first few weeks were rough but we stuck to our routine and now she goes doesn’t require one of us to lay there until she falls asleep. I have the best of both worlds. I can choose to get up once we’re done with our bedtime routine or I can choose to lay there with her for a bit and she’s content either way. This makes my life a million times easier. I think she has some idea of what’s coming to her. She’s been very clingy to us which is unlike her. I assembled our bassinet so that I could clean it up and when she saw it in the basement she says, “This is the baby’s bed? Awww cute!” LOL She’s a character.
Energy: It could be worse, but it could also be better. Sleep is becoming more of a challenge. I wake up every night either having to use the bathroom or because turning over is getting harder and I have to literally sit up to turn to the other side. Annoying. I take advantage of Madelyn’s naps on the weekends and take some time to take my own little siesta.
What’s new these past few weeks?
-I’ve been having some increased SI pain at from about 26 weeks. A trip to the chiropractor will be made this week and I’ve scheduled an appointment with an acupuncturist who specializes in pre-natal/post-natal care for the following week.
-Nesting has hit me with full-force. I don’t remember being this “nesty” last time. But I’ve gone on rampages to de-clutter as much as possible. One Friday night I spent over an hour rearranging our linen/medicine closet. I felt a million times better after I threw out all the old medicine and reorganized.
-We’re looking for a doula. A little late in the game because we still haven’t found one :-/ Last time I was in labor, our doctor was incredible. She stayed with us for about the final 3 hours and directed Larry on what to do to help me feel more comfortable. This time, it’s just him, me and our midwife. I don’t expect she will be that hands on, especially if she has other patients to attend to. And I really want to try for a natural birth this time around as well. I’ve met with a few and have a couple to meet with this week, so I’m confident that we’ll end up with someone.
-I’ve been watching birthing videos and reading books to help wrap my mind around the fact that I’m going to be doing this again…
Some things I’m looking forward to in this final trimester? Feeling more and more baby kicks, the cooler weather, and signing Madelyn up for a big sibling class at the hospital. It will be a fun to see what they teach the kids and we also get a hospital tour with it so she can see where the baby will be born 🙂 It will be nice for us too because it’s a different hospital than last time, so we’ll know what to expect come delivery day.

Pregnancy #2 Weeks 20-24

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And here we are, finishing up 24 weeks. The second trimester is cruising right along very smoothly and I have zero gripes or complaints. So much so, this is the last pic I took…21 weeks-Whops! I’m savoring every minute of this because I know that in just a few weeks that can, and probably will, change.
My energy levels are still relatively high/normal. I’m really motivated to get the baby’s room organized and redecorated. I’ve been carrying bins of clothes down from our attic to see what baby girl #2 will need. It’s nice that we’ll get to reuse a lot of stuff, but because Madelyn was born in August and this baby will be born in the Fall, the first few month’s of clothes and sizes don’t match up with the seasons. So I’ll be doing some shopping and rummaging in the next few weeks to see what I can find. I was able to score 2 Aden & Anais blankets at a rummage for $6! A pack of 4 runs about $35 in the store.  Since not really much is new in the last few weeks of this pregnancy, I want to talk about being “Team Green” until the very end versus finding out the baby’s sex halfway through.
I’ve been fortunate enough to experience it both ways. When I was pregnant with Madelyn, we (or rather I) elected not to find out. Hubs wanted to find out but I won that battle and we waited until she was born. Best. Decision. Ever. Now I know what that surprise feels like and there’s a lot of stuff that we can reuse because the every day stuff (sleep sacks,towels, blankets,etc…)are all gender neutral.
Common questions I received while being Team Green: How are you going to decorate the nursery? How do you not want to know?! You’re going to have so much green & yellow! Last one’s not really a question, but you get the point. I LOVED Madelyn’s room. I had a lot more time during my first pregnancy to get quite a few DIY projects done. This time around? Not so much. And OF COURSE I wanted to know! It was killing me but fun at the same time. I had one person tell me I was carrying this way so that meant I was having a boy and then I’d turn around and someone else would tell me I was carrying another way that meant girl. I got more joy out of watching everyone else try to guess what she was. Another reason I didn’t want to know because I felt as adults, it’s the one last “good surprise” left in life. It was one surprise I couldn’t ruin for myself and I liked that.
When we found out we were expecting baby #2 husband right away said that we were finding out. I was reluctant, but I knew it wasn’t fair to hold out again when I knew that he really wanted to find out. In marriage, there’s this thing called compromise…it got the best of me and I gave in. I said to him that I didn’t want to know at the 20 week anatomy scan with the ultrasound tech, that if we were finding out it had to be with our family in a fun and exciting way. Enter silly string party.
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You guys, thinking of that day makes my eyes well up with tears. The emotions I felt in a matter of minutes was insane. I went from nervous to calm, to excited, to happy that everyone could be there to know that we were having another girl. It was amazing and fun and I wouldn’t take that back for anything. We got to hug our family right away and they got to share in the moment with us.
Some pro’s about finding out midway through
Being able to prepare!! Going through all of Madelyn’s stuff and purging what we’re not going to use, has been wonderful. We’ve also slightly altered the room colors. The old room was painted a turquoise color and was staying that way regardless. If we found out baby was a boy we would add in more navy blues and greens. Now that we found out she’s a girl, we are adding in coral and gold. I can’t wait to see how it all comes together.
Deciding on a name. We’ve never had an issue coming up with a girl name, but boy names are always an issue for us. Thankfully, we will never have to have that argument.
Preparing Madelyn for a sister. I can’t wait to see these two together. We keep asking her for name ideas, even though baby 2’s name has been decided. The one thing we are keeping secret until the birth. Even from (especially from) Madelyn.
Cons of Waiting until the End
Even though I’m so happy that we were completely surprised the first time around, there were some cons that came along with it.
Not knowing the whole 9 months. I was pretty confident that Madelyn was a girl from the very start. I had several dreams where she was a girl. I just had a gut instinct. And then all of my friends started finding out they were having girls and I thought there was no way we ALL were having girls. So I became undecided again. I drove myself nuts.
Texting our family the news. My mom and sister were at the hospital when Madelyn was born so they knew right away at 3:29am she was a girl. We had to wait until a more reasonable hour to send people a text letting them know she had arrived. This time around my friends called and congratulated us and we were able to share the news with our family and see their reactions.
The moment you find out. Maybe because I was just so tired and stunned at what I just did, when hubs told me she was a girl, I didn’t have the same reaction as I did when we found out via silly string. I was just happy that our baby was here and that she was healthy and that I was done giving birth. Nothing else mattered.
I thought that finding out the baby’s sex during pregnancy would make me less excited to meet her/give birth etc. But that’s not the case AT ALL. I think of her every day. How she will look. Will she get my curly hair? Will her eyes stay blue or will they turn green like Madelyn’s? Will she have more olive-toned skin? Things like that. I think of her personality. If she will be quieter/calmer than Madelyn? Will Madelyn be super bossy and will this little lady stand up to her sister? She’s quite active in there, but I remember Madelyn being non-stop in utero-a personality trait that carried on into toddler life. I’m just as scared for labor/delivery as I was the first time around. Maybe even more so because I know what I’m getting myself into. I keep thinking that the L&D will be the same as last time, but that I can clearly not be the case. In the next few weeks, I’m going to brush up on laboring techniques, as I’m hoping to another all natural birth.
Moms out there, where you totally surprised or did you find out the sex of the baby? Mom’s of two or more children, were your labor and deliveries the similar or completely different? 

Our Baby Reveal Party

A few weeks ago, we had a baby reveal party with our family and if you follow me on Instagram, you already know that baby C is a….GIRL!
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We are so excited and thrilled to be blessed with another baby girl this fall. Since finding out, one of the top questions from people’s mouth is “Another girl, are you excited?” Followed by, “How does Larry feel about having all girls?” We are both very excited. What matters to us most is that the baby & mom are healthy. Yes, it would’ve been nice to have one of each but at the same time I’m so close to my sister, I really wanted Madelyn to have that special relationship in her life and I knew this would be the only shot at that since we both agreed that no matter the outcome, two kids is our max.
We had our ultrasound on a Wednesday. Baby girl was breech so the tech told us right away that sometimes they can’t get a great look down there because of the position. Everything looked healthy but she wasn’t cooperating to get a great profile picture, which should’ve been our first clue we were having another girl! She kept arching and stretching her head back. Madelyn was the same way, moving around so much that we couldn’t get a good picture. But when it came time for the tech to get a look at the “goods” she said the baby moved her legs and she was able to clearly see what we were having.
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 Hubs and I looked away from the screen when she was in that area so we had no clue. The tech wrote the baby’s sex on a thank you note I had planned on giving to my friend who was helping us out the following day. She wrote it and then sealed it up. That night, hubs went to work while that envelope sat in my purse. I was so tempted to open it so many times I had to put it in my car to forget about it! I’m notorious for ruining surprises for myself.
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 That Friday, I went out of town with my girlfriends for the weekend, which was a nice distraction to try to get my mind off of it. However, Saturday night all I did was toss and turn because I knew on Sunday we would know what we were having. I can’t remember the last time I was so excited about something that I couldn’t sleep. I felt like a little kid at Christmas again.
That Sunday evening we had our close family over. Larry grilled brats, we had some sides, and of course there was cake. I decided it would be fun to find out via silly string. I had thought about cupcakes/cake but figured Madelyn would get a kick out of silly string…

062815_Campbell_007To pull off the silly string reveal, I went to the dollar store and purchased 11 cans of pink and 11 cans blue (for the number of people we were having). I gave all the supplies to my friend, told her how I wanted them wrapped and said to keep the unused silly string until I saw her afterward so I could return whatever we didn’t use(sidenote-Dollar Tree only does even exchanges, not returns). She was nice enough to deliver the cans to our house on Sunday afternoon when I got home from Door County and even made this cute little box to put them in.

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After everyone got there, we ate dinner and did the reveal afterward. I was waiting for my friend, Jenna, to come over and take pictures since I figured everyone else would be preoccupied. I really wanted someone there to capture the moment. Jenna works with us and is starting up her own photography business so she was the perfect person to ask.

She was able to get some really great moments and definitely captured the emotional roller coaster it was. I was so nervous the whole day. Why? I’m not really sure. It was probably more excitement than anything. Madelyn, Larry and I stood there as we faced our family and I explained on the count of three everyone shoots their silly string.

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The initial reaction when something is coming at you is to close your eyes.

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When I was finally able to open them and saw it was pink I was like “Oh it’s pink. Pink means we’re having a girl. Madelyn you’re having a sister!” As soon as those words came out of my mouth I started crying.

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I was so excited and after I hugged my husband and daughter, I gave my sister a big hug. I was crying out of excitement for having another daughter as well as having our family there with us to share in the moment this time around. It was so much fun and something I will never forget.

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Along with the silly string reveal we had a few other fun things at the party. We took votes on whether the baby would be a boy or girl. It was pretty much split until we asked Madelyn whose vote is in yellow 🙂

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We also needed help naming the baby and asked for both boy an girl suggestions. And then we did an old wives tales symptoms thing. I don’t normally believe in those, but the majority of the symptoms pointed to girl. 062815_Campbell_027People with kids out there, did you choose to find out or wait until the baby was born? If you found out, how was it revealed to you?

 I’ll be back next week to give a pregnancy update and to talk about my feelings on finding out vs. waiting having now experienced it both ways. Have a great weekend!