Madison blogger, crafter and micro-influencer, Kyla Charles is a busy mom of three boys under six years of age. In March Kyla discovered she was pregnant again.
Speaking from her home in Wisconsin, Kyla says this pregnancy will be her last. “All of my other pregnancies were planned, but this one was a huge surprise to me and my husband!”
During the first 10 weeks Kyla experienced intense morning sickness. “Each pregnancy has been a little different but with this one, my nausea has been much worse than the others. I’m so busy and I have not had much in the way of patience, particularly in dealing with the constant nausea.”
Kyla’s husband Alan works from a home office and the two of them have been sharing childcare and homeschooling duties since the first shelter in place orders were issued.
Their three boys, David, 6, William 4, and Arthur, 2 keep the couple’s hands full. The youngest, Arthur was born with Persistent Fetal Vasculature (PFV) which resulted in him having a prosthetic eye, and Kyla is also an advocate for childhood eyesight testing and support.
With Baby number 4 due in November, Kyla recently had a gender reveal party where she invited family and friends to join in remotely as she, Alan and the boys discovered the sex of the baby.
In dealing with this very “different” time to be pregnant, Kyla chose to take an early gender test from home. Most of her family and friends cast votes that she was carrying a girl, but given she already has 3 boys, no one was greatly surprised when the results came back as male.
“We were hoping to experience a girl, but our boys are great – amazing. They play so well together – broken bones, fat lips – lots and lots of fun, and they are each other’s best friends.”
Kyla and Alan chose to do NIPT screening checking for major disorders. “The geneticist called us with the results… which was concerning because we had elected to be notified through e-mail. She led the conversation with a, “First, the results were NORMAL! But I knew that you said that you did the early at-home gender test and found out that it was a boy… well our clinical test came back as a FEMALE.” From there, tears ensued and we prepared to tell our friends and family the surprising change of news.”
Cue Gender Reveal Virtual Party Number 2!
The difference between being pregnant now and pregnant prior to Covid19 “I can’t imagine what it would be like if it was my first time being pregnant, especially for pre-natal visits. I know the drill. Now you can’t have anyone in there with you to listen to the heartbeat for the first time… Not being able to see your doctor smile or reassure you – especially if it’s a new doctor – it’s so different and weird. All of the extra precautions and anxiety. For me, pregnancy is a time of heightened anxiety and during a time like this, it’s much worse and scary.”
Coping mechanisms: “My favorite way to stay healthy and sane is with exercise: Strength training, yoga and the barre.
It was hard in the first trimester, but I’m looking forward to starting again soon.”
Tips for keeping kids occupied: “I feel like we are all struggling in one way or another – nobody planned this or is good at it, but my biggest tip is sticking to a routine and a schedule. Not treating it like summer vacation.
My kindergartner was on the cusp of going to school – he is learning to read. He really enjoys the mental stimulation and the structure. We are now debating whether or not to keep the school routine during summer.”
Advice to first time moms: “Recognize who your support system is and use it! It took me four pregnancies to be comfortable really voicing my thoughts and emotions – but your team of doctors, your family, and your friends are here to support you. So when I send my husband a screenshot of my worried face with a mask covering half of it and text “this is weird,” he’s right there responding with reassurances.
Don’t hesitate to FaceTime during your ultrasound or when looking for the heartbeat. Everyone is rooting for you!”
Check out Kyla’s Instagram page where you can see both of her gender reveal events.