17 Week Pregnancy Update

IMG_9837Hi everyone! Today seemed like a good day to check in and give you an update on what’s been going on in my life recently. I am so happy to tell you that I am 17 weeks pregnant right now and getting more and more excited to meet our new baby in March.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been feeling any better, quite possibly even worse than in my first trimester, so please understand why I haven’t been posting many new recipes, answering your questions and comments, and have pretty much disappeared from social media.

As you know from my previous post, I had a PICC line put in and get IV fluid infusions every day for 6 hours. I’m still not able to keep much food down.  I’ve figured out that I feel a lot better if I don’t eat, LOL. Of course, there are the downsides of weakness, losing weight and stressing out that the baby needs to get nutrients. I do still cook once in a while, the only problem is that it makes me really nauseous and then I can’t eat what I cooked. Last weekend, my sweet husband helped me make a gigantic pot of Chicken Broth and I’m really enjoying sipping on it throughout the day. We made it really concentrated and I also added a whole bunch of veggies to it, so at least I’m getting some nutrients in me.

Chicken Broth-1-2

Sipping on Chicken Broth

I’ll be honest, it’s been really hard lately. I haven’t been able to work for awhile and don’t have any energy at all. I’m a task oriented person by nature, so it’s very difficult for me to not be able to check things off my to do list. It’s torture for me to just lay around in bed or on the couch, but I feel so awful most of the time, that I don’t even have the energy to mope about it too much.

In addition to all of that, last weekend, I ended up being hospitalized, since I got a blood clot in my arm where I have the PICC line. Hospitalization-1-2Blood clots are a risk if you have a central line, and since my protein levels are very low, that put me at an even higher risk. I am so thankful that I didn’t have to be hospitalized any longer and got to go home on the second day. Even though I am really glad to be home and thankful that it wasn’t anything serious, I now have to get shots twice a day for the next 3 months, or possibly for the rest of the pregnancy. NOT fun.

Going home! Best news ever.

Going home! Best news ever.

Anyway, I just wanted to be honest and fill you in. It really helps to have an incredibly supportive and loving husband, who takes amazing care of me. There’s also a wonderful outcome out to all of this. This time, with all the IVs, poking, hospitals and doctors, I at least have something great to look forward to. I know it’s only temporary and I will be back to my normal self before long. I can’t be pregnant forever, and I’m almost half way there.

There are 4 things that I’ve discovered that help me when I feel discouraged:

1. Don’t beat myself up about feeling down.

As human beings living in an imperfect world, there are both good days and bad days. I have to realize that sometimes it’s ok to cry and feel discouraged. Dark days are part of life and that’s normal. As long as I don’t wallow in self pity and depression for too long, it’s ok to have a good cry now and then, like last weekend when I was ordered by my doctor to go to the hospital. Beating yourself up about not staying positive 100% of the time is discouraging and tiring in itself. Besides, it’s not realistic.

2. Don’t expose myself to negative people, media, books, etc.

I’m sure most people are very caring and don’t mean to be malicious in their comments. They probably don’t even realize how much their words can hurt. I’ve had to learn to shield myself from it as much as I can, especially when I am very vulnerable. That is not the time to try to stay strong.

Talk to people who are encouraging and will lift your spirits. When you are strong and feel good emotionally, then you can try to be an encouragement to others, but don’t try to be a hero when you’re weak yourself. It will only make you feel worse. I just talked to both my Dad and Mom on the phone yesterday, and they were so positive, that I felt ready to tackle the world and especially to work hard and take care of our precious baby for the next five months.

3. Don’t compare myself to others. It’s so easy for me to have a pity party if I compare myself to others and wish that I was “normal”. Why can’t I just enjoy my pregnancy like other people? Why do I have to go through so much every day? I wish I was a normal wife to my husband and he didn’t have to come home from work tired and still have to help out with housework and have to know how to manage all my medical care.

Sergi could pass all the Nursing Skills tests with flying colors because he’s practiced them all on me. Sterile dressing changes, hooking up IV fluids, flushing PICC lines, giving shots – piece of cake! That’s not counting all the other stuff he had to learn 7 years ago when I was in much worse shape. I love that he is so smart and we can be mostly self sufficient. The home health nurse only comes once a week to get my bloodwork for labs, but it would be so much better if I didn’t need any of it at all.

My refrigerator has become a pharmacy as well. IV fluids for the next 5 days.

My refrigerator has become a pharmacy as well. IV fluids for the next 5 days.

I wish I could make dinner like usual, have a clean home and go out on fun dates with my husband instead. Sergi reminds me that this is “our normal”. Yes. It is. That is why it’s so important to NOT compare myself to others and instead count all of my blessings and realize how awesome it is that I am alive and doing so well. That green monster can just get out of my house, because the comparison game is too costly for my emotional and spiritual frame of mind.

4. Remember all of God’s promises and all that He has done for me already.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits” Psalm 103:1,2

It’s incredible for me to think back to everything that I’ve already been through and see how God miraculously saved my life and gave us the strength to endure everything that was happening. He has been with us through much more horrific circumstances and He will be with us every step of the way now too. We are so thankful for our miracle baby and I thank God every day for modern medicine and knowledgable physicians.

Thank you for all your prayers and your care and concern! We really appreciate it. 

In other exciting news, Sergi and I DO know the gender of our baby! We found out much sooner than most, because I’ve had to be monitored much more often to make sure the baby was developing properly. Thanks to the grace of God, the baby is growing perfectly. Even though we didn’t care if it was a boy or a girl, it’s very special to know who it is. I think we can connect to the baby much more now. We even have a name picked out. We had a fun gender reveal party for our family and got it on video too:). We are keeping it a secret for now, but will share it with all of you soon.

Gender reveal party for our family

Gender reveal party for our family


  • Yelena

    Prayers! You are such a strong person, I pray that God blesses You and helps you feel better! You are such a beautiful person inside and out!

  • Marie

    oh no:( look into spirulina for high protein content and other health benefits; alfalfa herb helps with dilution of blood (but shouldn’t be used with other medicine)… these this are also rich in vitamins and minerals… very nutritious! I drink alfalfa tea, nettle tea, and red raspberry leaf tea. all are great for pregnancy! look into those. good place is wellnessmama . com blog

  • ashley

    I hope you feel better soon I look forward to looking at your recipes they always give me great ideas and spins to my own creations. I pray your baby is healthy and happy, and has a great heart like you and your husband.

  • Olga

    I use your blog daily for the wonderful recipes that you post. My husband asolutely loves the home cooked meals that he comes home to, and the ones I pack him for lunch. I am so excited about your wonderful news, especially after everything that you have endured with losing your first baby. I find myself saying little prayers for you and your baby, while I’m cooking in the kitchen. May God bless you, give you the strength and health to carry your baby to term. I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers. Hugs, kisses & many many blessings!

  • Olga G.

    I’m so excited to find out the gender of your baby! You have been in my prayers since I found out that you and your husband are going to have a baby. You have so many prayers warriors on your behalf! Praise God for people that love without expecting anything in return. God Bless you guys. 🙂

  • Maryna

    Stay strong! I know how it feels to have a hard pregnancy. I have had eczema my whole life and so when I got pregnant my whole body got covered with a horrible rash. It seems like something bearable but no sometimes I couldn’t even walk. I had to put on bag balm on my body the whole time which got my bedsheets so greasy I still can’t wash it out. My family and church kept me in prayer and when i was about 30ish weeks pregnant the rash went away! I praise God for this miracle because I know it was nothing that I did that helped. The doctors told me to just live with it as well so it wasn’t the doctors either. God bless you and your little miracle baby 🙂

  • Irina

    Hi Olga. Thank u so much for this post it’s been an answer to my prayers. As I had a big pity party for myself this week, asking the same questions as why I’m not normal like everyone else. May God bless you and give you strength to go through the rest of the pregnancy.

  • Natalya

    Olga I love your positive energy! I have read your story and was deeply touched. Praying for your health and the precious baby throughout this pregnancy!!

  • Mila

    Reading your story’s I always have to hold back the tears, they are so touching and encouraging. God bless your little family and give you strength and health. One thing I know for sure is God is going through your life with you and He is our father, He will ALWAYS take care of you. Many times we think we are in such hole that we can’t get out but God says “trust Me 100%” because my hands are holding you. He dose not give us a path that we can’t handle, and even in the paths that we can handle he still holds our hand to make sure we don’t fall. Stay strong darling.

  • Tatyana

    Keeping you in warm thoughts and prayers. May God wrap you in His arms and give you strength. It’s hard but what a blessing awaits you in just a few months! 🙂 Thank you for sharing! Keep trusting God!

  • Anna

    Olga! I cried reading while reading this post- you are so inspiring. You may not think so, but you are one strong woman! Thank you for being so transparent in your struggles, it serves as a big incouragement to me. The Lord is truly working through you and your story. And I couldn’t agree more about the comparing- our stories and lives are our own written for a greater purpose by the One who scripts our lives-He DOES know best. It’s just hard to remember that sometimes amidst the trials of life. Be blessed sweet sister, I am praying for you and your family!

  • Mila L.

    Thank you for sharing your experience and do know you are normal. My pregnancies were nothing like yours (had some struggles with migraines, thyroid and gestational diabetes) and I too had my pity party and wasn’t able to do as much. So you are not alone. Pregnancies are hard for some women and we just have to our best and its Ok to have others to help. I’m glad you have a husband who is caring and helping you through this. I so wish your pregnancy was easy so you could enjoy it more but as you have said, it is so worth it to have your miracle baby and you will in few month get to hold him or her. I know that baby is so loved already and is blessed by such a loving parents. Will be praying for God to continue to give you strength, courage, peace and heal your body. Your blog is inspiring so many of us and we just want to take time to encourage you. May God continue bless your family!

  • Anna

    Here are some songs that encourage me when days are tough…
    When I cry-Gaither vocal band
    One day at a time-gaither vocal band
    He already sees-collingsworth family
    Through-gaither vocal band
    Be blessed Olga!

  • Angelina

    You are such a sweet, inspiring woman. Thank you for keeping us all updated. Can’t wait to find out the sex of the baby!

  • Tanya

    Praying with my family for your health and for the wonderful day when you and your husband will hold your precious baby, a miracle, and a wonderful gift from God!

  • Lana

    I am praying for you, your husband and especially your miracle baby that God may keep you all safe and healthy and give you the strength to go through the pregnancy. Be blessed as you have been blessing others through many different ways!!!

  • Natasha of Natashaskitchen.com

    Olga thank you for sharing these glimpses into your life. The pic cline clot- yikes! I’m so glad you’re ok. I sure hope you start feeling better soon. It’s so hard to feel normal when you can’t eat and nothing sounds appealing and to have to do IV fluids on top of it all – you are amazing to handle it all with so much grace. I think we’re the hardest on ourselves. Our readers are much more forgiving and understanding than we think. I beat myself up with similar thoughts of comparing to others while I felt like a miserable slug in the first trimester. I wish I had read your post then; it would have helped me :-). Anyway, I’ll be praying for you and yes you are almost halfway there!!!

  • Alina

    Olga! I’m so so happy for u that u r pregnant! God bless ur baby and ur family!
    I love ur recipes – I just found our that u r pregnant today:) and just read ur blog today that u know the gender of the baby! I so so want to know who u r having- please please tell me:)
    I feel like it is a girl:)
    I have 2 boys:)

  • Nely

    Olichka, you are an amazing woman and wife, God loves you so much He answered yours and many others prayers, if He gave this child for you to carry, then He will help you through it all, just give it all to Him, trust Him completely. God Bless you sweety we are praying for you.

  • Venera

    Dear Olga, I’ve been reading your site for about two years now (I think), and let me tell you – you are such an amazing young woman! I wish I knew you in person. I’m so happy that our Lord blessed you with a pregnancy! I cried so much while reading what happened to you seven years ago, and your adoption story, and foster parenting – all your life, your faith, your strong spirit is just so beautiful and inspiring.
    I can also relate to you, as I know exactly what you’re going through now. I have two daughters, and both of the pregnancies were high risk (I also had a miscarriage a year ago) . Not able to keep any food or liquid down, going to emergency room because of dehydration, blood clots in my leg due to my blood disorder, Lovenox injections twice a day for MONTHS, bed rest and on, and on… It felt like a nightmare! My husband, just like yours, was an angel sent from God, and I don’t know what would I do without him! I know exactly that feeling when you compare yourself to other pregnant women and all those miserable thoughts, feeling guilty deep inside because of being a “patient”, not a wife, for the husband… But now, watching my girls playing, hearing their voices, their laughter, I feel so blessed, and all of my awful sufferings are paid off!
    Olga, I keep you in my prayers, and know, that our God will guide you through this hard time! Blessings!!! Venera.

  • Shirley David

    Dear Olga…..I loved this post. I M FEELING SAME. My first pregnancy was a breeze and second…….I Mean this one is horrible.
    I m 16 weeks pregnant. I start bleeding any time. I m hospitalized thrice.
    Whatever u wrote I feel the same…….why I m not normal……why I cannot clean my house..,…grocery shopping….. Weekly menu……I miss so many things that I used to do. I am only allowed to go to hospital and clinic for routine checkup. Doctor didnot allow me to leave my house. I cannot go out. I cannot hold my 4.5 year old son…..I have to take rest .most of d time. My sister-in law is also pregnant but she is enjoying her pregnancy…,….
    when I start bleeding I have fear of loosing my baby…… Do u know I use pads…any panty liners n sometimes I don’t feel pregnant coz I feel how can I bleed I pregnancy….
    Then shots….IV and IM…..but I think the same …I know it’s only temporary and I will be back to my normal self before long. I can’t be pregnant forever, and I’m almost half way there……
    Sorry for long comment…..u r not alone……and if u remember me…..I m Shirley from India, Asia.

  • Lena

    Dear Olga,

    I would like you to know that you are in my prayers, and I am so sorry that you are not feeling well. The grace and composure you are showing during this difficult time is very inspiring. I hope and pray that your pregnancy will be less stressful.

    God Bless!

  • Kel

    Olga – you are a trooper! Praying for you and the baby. Keep your spirits positive and it will all be worth it. Thank goodness for modern medicine to treat you and the baby. A big hug to you!!

  • Galina O

    Olga, I have been following your two blogs from the very beginning and just wanted to say that you are both super strong individuals and your faith in God is seen throughout your life! Please don’t feel guilty not posting new recipes as I am pretty sure most of us haven’t tried making most of the recipes and need more time to catch up. 🙂

  • Liliya

    YOU ARE A WARRIOR! First for The Lord and now as a momma. It is a season and it will pass 🙂 Just look ahead at the blessing that will soon be in your arms! Praying for you and yours and cannot wait to hear the gender! Its such a precious time that you will miss it when its over (crazy, I know!)

  • Tracee Moore

    So stinkin’ excited for all of u!! I saw u are struggling with getting protein. There is a product I continue to use everyday for the past 10 years! It’s called Unjury. BEST tasting protein on the market…believe me, I tried everyone out there! Look up their website because I use it for malabsorption issues. They have choc, vanilla and strawberry! They even have one with no flavor that is perfect to add to your soup or coffee! They do offer a trial pack with all flavors. They also have an awesome recipe section! U can use milk or water with it. I do have to be careful adding it to hot things…but Jerome and Martha are awesome and will address any concerns u might have! Good luck and blessings!

  • Anna

    God bless you, get well soon! Thank you for all the recipes you share, I really appreciate it! Stay strong and God will follow through, He is always there for us!

  • Aneta

    I can’t tell you how excited I was to read the good news. Although I have never posted a comment before I have been following your blog for several years now. I have cringed reading your past ordeals and always wished and hoped you will one day have the family you and Serge imagine. You are such a sweet and positive person and deserve to be the wonderful mother I am sure you are destined to be. God bless you and the little angel growing inside you.

  • bozhena

    Be patient, almost there, some pregnancies are tough, mine was too. I felt sick and couldn’t cook and etc. It was not amazing I say, but now my son is 3 and he is the best sunshine of my daily joy. wish you best wishes, stay cool and calm.

  • Angelina

    Once again, your just so encouraging! May the Lord bless you aubundantly Olichka! He indeed is so good! May He help you through dear! May we always be: Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…Hebrews 12:2

  • Georgene

    You are the cutest and most inspiring couple. As I read your posts, I can feel the love you have for each other. Know that God loves you and your baby and He is looking out for you. Though we won’t be hearing from you quite as frequently, Olga, I want you to know I will keep you and your family in my prayers. I wish you happiness and good health.

  • Tamara

    Praying for you Olga. Don’t worry now about new postings. Take care of yourself and your new blessing from above. We all love you and bless you with many many blessings from our God.

  • Erica

    Honey remember things get worse before they get better ALWAYS! So hold in there! God is your ROCK and you will get through this! Soon you will tell stories of your hard time to your little precious baby. You are a blessing to so many women and you deserve to be blessed with all the happiness in the world. I hope things will be better, but if not this is worth it for the little miracle that you are carrying. Thanks for sharing your journey you are such an amazing person!

  • Elina

    You, dear sister, are an INSPIRATION…let those words sink in:)
    And yes, stand firm on every amazing promise of our amazing Daddy God…
    All will be well 🙂
    Excited to see who you’ll have!!!

  • allison

    Olga! I am so happy to hear about your pregnancy news. Hang in there. I also had difficulties in my pregnancies, difficult c sections, and colicky babies. It was sooooooo hard. When I would share those things with my friend she eventually told me something encouragement. May be it will help you. She said that every one has problems, every family. Some people have a terrible selfish husband who makes even the easiest pregnancy seem non enjoyable because of his behavior. A husband who doesn’t get involved in kids lives and lives for his own pleasure. Other people have a hard time with pregnancy, childbirth and sick babies. But at least their husbands are loving, caring and involved. I am sure you are the second example, just like I am. So other people can compare their husband to your caring husband too and start to feel sad that their husband is the opposite, but like you said, DON’T COMPARE. Every one has something they are dealing with.

    When I had my last so far, in the delivery room, I just went through soo much, a bad c section, they cut my organs, lost tooo much blood, etc., I was miserable. I could barely move. I hurt sooo badly and I had a three year old and an almost two year old at home to take care of. I didn’t know how I was gonna do it. This one lady came to take my blood test and she was an older lady, she looked very lonely. She was very sad. She saw in what situation I was in and she said, AT LEAST YOU CAN HAVE KIDS. I CANT. I NEVER EVEN WAS ABLE TO GET PREGNANT…. She probably wished to be in my place……

    So hang in there. There is always some one out there who has it better than you, but also many have it worse. Many can’t even dream of being pregnant with their own child. You are a strong woman. May God give you even more strength….

  • Lena

    May God keep you and baby healthy and strong. Speak life to your baby, “bible reading out loud”… bible is living and powerful and will nourish you as well, because a person don’t live by bread alone. If you can, try to eat fruits and veggies. An apple or any fruit will keep your vitamin level stable, I have been looking into raw foods diet, its very interesting… You are doing awesome, staying positive and strong, and your husband is amazing.. I will keep you both in my prayers…

  • Shinee

    Olga and Sergi, I’m so incredibly happy for you! What an amazing miracle! Olga, one of my favorite quotes is “God will never give you more than you can handle!” Stay strong and positive! Sending you lots of love, positive thoughts and strength.
    PS: I can’t wait to know if it’s a boy or girl! 🙂

  • Julia Mikhaylov

    Dear Olya,
    I just want to let you know that you are in my prayers. I know that going through hard times sometimes discourages us, but I believe that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us every minute of our lives. It’s amazing how much God has done in your lives. I pray that you will have a good, safe labour and a healthy baby.
    I sort of had hard pregnancies (out of 4 only 2 survived. One miscarriage at 12weeks and one full term still born boy. 2kids a girl, and one healthy boy. So when I look back I am still thankful that God gave me an opportunity to have all 4, but since He called 2 of them home I am looking forward to seeing them again one day.

  • Liz


    May God bless you and keep and may his light shine on you and be gracious to you and your family; now and forever.
    You are all in my prayers.

  • Inna

    Olichka, your story is so inspiring! I pray and hope all the best for you and your family!! May God always watch over you and the baby that’s growing inside of you. You’re so strong!! Best wishes

  • Katia

    Dear Olechka,
    First of all congrats on the little miracle in your tummy. 🙂
    With my 4 th pregnancy I was sick for 28 weeks, like never before, and it felt like a very long time, but then it got better.
    In the beginning of my pregnancy, every food made me sick. I could only take liquids, even one though of eating one, tiny baby carrot made me sick. Then towards the end I gained 15pounds, and had a healthy boy. My doctor even said, that the sicker you are, the healthier baby you will have.
    Will be praying for you, and your pregnancy to go full term.
    Thank you for taking time to do photos and posting recipes, love your website.
    God Bless!!!

  • Yelena

    You are an encouragement to so many. Thank you for you r honesty. May God bless you and your wonderful husband and your baby boy. I don’t know you, but you are a sister in Christ and I love you!

  • Sally

    Hello Olga,
    I love your blog/website/recipes, but most of all your sweet and happy spirit. I study Russian language as a hobby, have been to Russia twice, and love to try ‘Russian’ recipes. I am praying for you, Sergi and Valentin, and hope that you will be feeling better very soon!

    All best!

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