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Journey to Parenthood

A look at RAK Editor, Monique Seleen’s pregnancy experience:

My husband and I are so excited to become first-time parents in 2022. Our little boy is due in February and we know we are in for the adventure of a lifetime. Here’s a little inside glimpse at our journey—everything from our experience trying to conceive, what my pregnancy has been like, to our plans on how to manage it all once baby arrives.

Journey to Conceive

Our road to becoming pregnant was a bit bumpy. While we didn’t seem to have any trouble conceiving, having a viable, sustained pregnancy was more difficult. We had a miscarriage in late 2020 followed by a chemical pregnancy (which is often considered an early miscarriage) in spring of 2021.

This created a lot of confusion and I began questioning my ability to stay pregnant. But, as the saying goes, sometimes good things happen out of bad situations. Because of our miscarriages, I requested to have hormonal tests, blood work, and an ultrasound done in order to ensure everything was functioning like it was supposed to. I was not pleased with how the OB’s office I was going to at the time was treating me like just “another patient”. I felt like my questions and concerns weren’t fully being addressed.

A friend of mine had told me about the midwife she had been seeing and recommended I see if I could get an appointment with her to get a second opinion on everything.
That ended up being one of the best things to come out of all of this. The moment the midwife stepped into the room and introduced herself, I immediately felt comforted and at ease. She listened attentively, did not rush me, addressed all of my worries and concerns, and created an action plan for some next steps that we could take—making sure I was comfortable with it all too.

My husband and I walked out of that appointment and found ourselves instantly calling to have all my medical records transferred over to the midwife’s office.

Two weeks later, I found myself back in her office, only this time it was because we had gotten a positive pregnancy test result. Having known my prior pregnancy history, my midwife ordered all sorts of tests to have things checked out right away to make sure things were progressing like normal. Her concerning, yet calming approach, took away a bit of my anxiety and I allowed myself to just trust in her medical expertise and advice from there on out.

Chris and Monique Seleen of Mesa with an ultrasound of their baby boy.

Pregnancy Journey

Apart from the anxiety that comes with being pregnant after two losses, I have had a very uneventful and smooth pregnancy. I consider myself one of the “lucky ones” to have pretty much escaped morning sickness (although, sometimes my lack of symptoms created worry).

I did have some food aversions and found myself pretty much resorting to a diet consisting of carbs and cheese that first trimester. My biggest complaint early on was my overwhelming fatigue and exhaustion. I wound up sleeping 11 to 12 hours a night and still needed one or two naps each day, just to function.

Eventually, that all seemed to clear up around week 13 and I felt back to normal—so much so that I would often forget I was even pregnant. I began feeling little tiny flutter sensations at 14 weeks which was the most exciting thing for me! The more movement I started to feel, the more my anxiety started to loosen up.

Around that time, as things started to feel a bit “safer”, we started announcing our pregnancy to our friends and family. While I was nervous to do so, it also helped me relax a little bit and I started getting excited about it all, which I realized I hadn’t fully allowed myself to do yet.

I spent a lot of the second trimester figuring out what exactly we needed to do to start preparing. Which room would become the baby’s room? What did we want the baby room to look like? What should we include on our registry? (Check out the article on this). Where did we want to go on a babymoon? (See my tips for planning the perfect babymoon).

Once I had that stuff figured out, my husband and I spent many days clearing out a space in one of our spare bedrooms that would become our nursery. We began painting, building our online registry, and took our babymoon trip at the start of the third trimester.

As I write this, I am currently 32 weeks along and feeling like time is just flying by! We still have so much to do—finishing the room, taking some basic “preparing for baby” classes, an upcoming baby shower, picking out a pediatrician, building a crib, stocking up on diapers and wipes, and packing our hospital bags—and only 8 weeks left to do it all!

The Journey Ahead

While I know that we will never be “fully prepared”, I’m doing my best to prepare as much as I can because I know that things will be hectic.

My goal is to make and freeze some meals before baby’s due date and I’ve also been researching some meal prep delivery services so we have some easy, yet healthy options when we’re too tired to cook. For Christmas, we also asked for and received some gift cards to some of our favorite restaurants (with take-out options) and are keeping those tucked away until baby gets here.

My husband and I are lucky that both of our parents live nearby and are willing to help with childcare so we are planning to arrange some set days and hours that they will be able to watch the baby for us. With my husband working full-time and in school full-time for his doctorate, I know I’m going to need lots of help when he’s busy.

In between all the planning and preparation, we are also doing our best to savor the present moment—sleeping in while we can, squeezing in a nap here or there, taking lots of little date nights, and just enjoying the calm before the storm—but mostly, we’re just excited to meet our son and officially become parents!

Monique Seleen is the Editor for RAK. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from ASU and a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from GCU. She spent 6 years as a middle school English teacher where she shared her love for writing with her students. Monique and her husband live in Mesa and are excited to become parents for the first time to their baby boy, due in February.



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