This is a sort of odd post to write, but so many people have been supportive of us for the last year, and that support has basically been offered blindly. Very few asked questions about the technicalities of what happened with Joseph, and I've only realized recently that that means quite a few now have questions about this pregnancy (which is completely fine!). I can't think of a more elegant way to do this, but hopefully the information below helps answer questions/calm worries/provide support...whatever's necessary.
With an early delivery, the first thing that doctors do is determine if there's anything wrong with the baby - the cause of most miscarriages - or the mom. Joseph was perfect (I could have told them that) so that left me. The doctors ran many tests and quickly determined that I have cervical incompetence. The Mayo Clinic can explain it better than I can, and I don't want anyone to be subjected to unattractive medical explanations agains their will, but it's a condition that's more common than you'd expect and I couldn't find a lot of online support for it when I was diagnosed, so if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.
For this and future pregnancies, cervical incompetence means that I will require a surgery after the first trimester to compensate. This is sometimes supplemented by bed rest or medicine, but so far I haven't needed either, except for recovering after the surgery. I will say that having a very cuddly puppy makes bed rest much more enjoyable, but we're hoping that I can continue without it. Also, Will is the dreamiest of dreamboats for cleaning, cooking, and caring for both of us when I was stuck on the couch.
Best of all, the doctors are thrilled with how everything looks, and the baby has been the cutest jumping bean in the last ultrasounds. I'd be dishonest if I said it was easy to focus on the scientific side of things and just trust that everything would go as it should - hormones alone are enough to thwart that. But I'm learning that "be not afraid" can be a prayer in and of itself, and we're so grateful for Joseph and his little brother or sister. God is good.
Apropos of nothing (babies?) - I think cradles like this are dreamy and am happy for a reason to window shop for places to put sleepy little ones.