Our Gender Reveal! (And a story of my first ER visit…and subsequent surgery while pregnant)

First off, thanks to everyone who voted on my Twitter poll or on Facebook – it was so fun to see what everyone thought our babe will be! We are so excited to share this gender reveal with you all! Secondly, this post has been delayed TWICE because I actually ended up in the ER and admitted to the hospital on the day of our original 20 week ultrasound. And then while I was writing up this post I ended up needing to go in for surgery. Now, don’t worry, baby and I are both doing fine! But let me tell you, it’s been rough.

Gender Reveal

We headed off to our 20 week ultrasound and on the way there I started having some pain in my right side. We arrived at the doctor’s office and during our 15 minutes of waiting, the pain got SO much worse. It was this intense and constant stabbing/aching/burning feeling right underneath my right ribs and wrapping around to my back. No position changes or anything helped. And then the vomiting started right there in the waiting room and I knew it was probably not good. (Also, enjoy some random pics from our UK trip scattered throughout this post since I’m not really sure what sort of pictures to put here hah)

Gender Reveal

The nurses whisked me back and did a quick scan on my baby just to make sure that I wasn’t in preterm labor and that baby was in fact healthy and okay. Which it was – normal heartbeat, normal cervix, normal fluid, everything. Phew! But at that point they wanted to get me into the ER – clearly there was no way I could complete the 2-hour anatomy scan and fetal heart echo (which was required for us as an IVF pregnancy). However, I couldn’t leave without knowing what gender my baby is – we were looking forward to this day for weeks and Nate took special time off work and I just couldn’t leave without knowing! So they did a quick scan, let us know, and sent us on our way. So while I was super happy finally knowing what my baby is, I was also in excruciating pain (like 10/10 on the hospital pain scale) and wanted to get seen as soon as possible to prevent further harm to myself or the baby.

Gender Reveal

I was in the ER for around 6 hours. They gave me pain meds and Zofran to stop the vomiting. I was pricked/poked/prodded/had an ultrasound on the area where the pain was. After several hours of waiting and lying in discomfort on a gurney (while still periodically vomiting) they came in and told me I had gallstones and was having an attack. Gallstones?! Apparently it’s not uncommon for pregnant women to get them, but it doesn’t usually happen till the 3rd trimester or postpartum. I fit none of the usual markers (no family history, not overweight, not eating a horribly fatty/crappy diet, etc.) – the only things I fit were that I was a woman and was pregnant. Awesome.

Gender Reveal

I couldn’t keep water down so they had to admit me to the hospital overnight. First ER visit and first hospital stay for me…. yayyyy. More pain meds, more fluids, and just hanging out in semi-pain/discomfort. Apparently there isn’t much you can do for pregnant women with gallstones besides that. So it was basically just pain management and waiting to see if I could eventually keep some food or water down. I had people coming in to check the baby multiple times, which gave me peace of mind every time I heard the heartbeat or felt movement. At least the little one didn’t seem too bothered by all of this, which is such a big blessing and relief.

Gender Reveal

Looooong story short, they kept me all the next day, finally releasing me around 6:30pm once I proved that I could keep food and water down and that I wasn’t in too much pain. So what do I do now? All the info I was given was – “try to eat a low-fat diet and take pain meds if you feel like you have another attack coming on”. Welp, I had another attack a week later. So my doctors recommended surgery and they wanted me in for it the next day. SURGERY. At 21 weeks pregnant. I was terrified and basically cried all day because I was so terrified. They normally don’t like doing surgery on pregnant women for obvious reasons, but in my case they felt the benefits outweighed the risks because I was risk for developing an infection or blockage, which would be really serious.

Gender Reveal

So I ended up going into surgery on Veteran’s Day morning. I’ve never had proper surgery before either (so many 1st’s with this pregnancy… hah) and I was a.) terrified of being put to sleep and b.) I was so worried about anything happening to my baby. Apparently it is a fairly common surgery for pregnant women to have (when it’s necessary at all) and the best time to have it done is in the 2nd trimester, like I am, but of course that doesn’t do much to assuage fears. So I prayed and prayed and prayed like never before and told family and friends to pray and pray like never before. And once again, God showed up. We made it through surgery, and in my post-anesthesia haze all I could ask is “how’s my baby?” The brought in a doppler and the heartbeat was strong and clear. Praise Jesus!

I was discharged later that night and I’ve been healing up at home ever since. It’s not easy to go through surgery (and the recovery) while pregnant, but I’ve been managing because of my amazing husband and the friends and family who have brought us meals while I’ve been laid up. I’m still in some pain and discomfort, but at least I don’t have to worry about having more attacks or the complications from those anymore! And baby is a strong little fighter and that just gives me so much hope. That and the fact that people who have had gallbladder attacks say the pain is worse than labor, so I’m hoping that labor will be a breeze compared to that – right? Right?!

Anyway, that story is not what you guys came here for. You came here to for the gender reveal of our baby! Well, since the first scan was so fast, I had them double-check the gender at our rescheduled appt. just to make sure before I announced it to the world. The first tech was indeed correct and we are so excited to announce that we will be welcoming a:

gender reveal

That’s right! A sweet baby girl!

I definitely had a feeling that she was going to be a girl – a sort of gut instinct, and it was cool to see that I was right. And of course the first thing I had to buy her was gold glitter shoes that she probably won’t be able to wear until she’s 5 😉 Now it’s time to pick a name, register, get the nursery going, and BUY ALL THE THINGS! Our original gender reveal day may not have gone as planned, but at least we will have an exciting story to tell our daughter someday, right? (Also, it’s so weird and so cool, and happy cry-inducing to be able to say ‘our daughter’ <3) I’m absolutely convinced that me already being at the hospital when the initial attack took place was a God thing. He helped me be in the right place at the right time, and at the right time in the 2nd trimester to get me and baby girl(!) through both the attacks and surgery. So far this hasn’t been easy – from IVF, to pretty intense morning sickness, to this, but this little girl is so, so worth it. Definitely feeling very very blessed right now and can’t wait to meet our daughter in March!

What are your fave baby girl products and must-haves??




  • Karisa says:

    Crying. So much love to you and this baby girl. God has you and this pregnancy so tight in his hands. I’m so thankful to Jesus he’s taking care of you through all these trials! And I’m SO EXCITED FOR BABY GIRL!!!!!! Being a girl mom has stolen my heart in ways I couldn’t have guessed. Even more so when i had hoped to only have boys! Ha! I’m so excited for you guys!

    • Erica Sooter says:

      Aw, thanks so much for the love, Karisa! It’s definitely been a really tough time, but God has shown up so many times and brought us through so much – I’m forever thankful! Can’t wait to bring this sweet baby girl into the world in March <3

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