Please note: I wrote the following post before we had the chance to announce our pregnancy. Tim never got to do his wildly clever announcement video, but he will one day. I am posting this in tandem with my post on miscarriage because I think it is important to do so, and everything we have felt and experienced is still valid. It is heartbreaking to post this now, given the circumstances, but it is also helpful for me to remember the joy I felt before we knew we had lost the baby. It encourages me to be brave to try again and not be afraid of death. Maybe it will help someone else, too.
In case you haven’t seen my husband’s insanely clever announcement yet, we are pregnant!
While we have known for a little while now, it is fun and exciting to share the news with everyone we know and love. Having been on the pregnancy sidelines for several years, I must admit I had no idea what this would really feel like. I have walked alongside many friends during their pregnancies, and have heard all of the good, the bad, the ugly, and the downright terrifying. I have known for a while that every mother and every pregnancy is truly unique, and (just like in every other area of life) comparison is a killer. I thought I would be pretty prepared when my time came and go into things with an open mind and a full heart.
Everything changed the moment I saw those four pink lines (I took two pregnancy tests back to back. I just needed that assurance.) I had my suspicions. For a week or two prior to peeing on those two fateful sticks I had been experiencing nausea, sore breasts, and changes in appetite. This is something Tim and I both wanted, but were not sure we were ready. I know, I know, no one is ever READY, but our current circumstances are still really unpredictable and we are not exactly sitting on a pile baby fund money. We live in a tiny apartment, we have one reliable car, and at the time we found out we were pregnant both of us were only working part time jobs. Neither of us have health insurance. I am a part of a faith-based, cost-sharing network for medical needs. On paper, we are far from ready to be parents.
The whole reason we even started trying to get pregnant was because we were sure it would take MONTHS, or if it would even be possible to get pregnant at all. I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) as well as Hashimoto’s Disease, which both greatly affect my endocrine and reproductive systems. I was convinced, for many solid medical reasons, that my dream of being a mom would be a long time coming. So you can imagine our mutual shock when we saw two positive tests after just one month of trying!
After the first test, I came out of the bathroom with my hands over my mouth and tears in my eyes. I could hardly form the words to tell Tim that it was positive. Tim wanted to be the one to check the results on the second test, and his reaction was nearly the same. We held each other, cried, and prayed. We were completely overwhelmed with so many emotions!
Now, please know I say this with great compassion for those who are and have been trying to get pregnant for any length of time. Just a few months ago I wrote another post about entering the world of infertility and all of my fears, questions, and concerns about what may follow. While I did everything in my power to try to make my body “conception friendly”, I have known the whole time that I am not in control of this process. I changed my diet and lifestyle, started taking prenatal vitamins months ahead of time, and attended to any medical and health issues. None of this however would reverse or eradicate my present medical conditions. I just wanted to do my part. And I know there are MANY, MANY women who are going above and beyond to do the same.
I can’t tell you why or how we got pregnant as soon as we did. I have been praying for so long that God would entrust me (and then Tim and I) with the gift of children and allow us to conceive. Once we knew we were pregnant, we decided to go ahead and tell our families so that they could pray alongside us for a healthy baby. I know most people wait longer to tell anyone out of fear of miscarriage, but we had a lot of long conversations about this and we decided we wanted our families to be with us to celebrate if things went well, and with us to grieve if something were to go wrong. We also just found it really hard to keep such a big secret!
As we prepared for our first prenatal appointment, we found ourselves filled with so many thoughts, emotions, questions, cares, concerns, thrills, and fears. We are STILL filled with all of these and more. I am going to let Tim take over soon to share his side of the story. He is already an INCREDIBLE father, and I can’t wait to see him hold our little bundle.
I want to share our story as it unfolds and be honest about our process. Pregnancy is a hot and sometimes taboo topic, and I want to create a space to tell the truth and help relieve some of all that shame that seems to surround families who are having babies. I have incredible friends who have been super honest with me about all aspects of their pregnancies, and I am so thankful for these women. If I can be an encouragement or support to someone else along the way, then I will consider it a very sweet privilege.