April 18, 2013

So… It’s been quite a year. I have a good excuse for being absent, I promise.

My life changed forever on Thursday, April 18 when this happened.

positive

I know what you’re thinking… Weren’t you adopting?

In a word, yes. That was the plan.

While we weren’t officially diagnosed with infertility issues, we had been trying to conceive for close to three years. After the first year, we decided that we would pursue adoption since that was part of our family plan (though initially we were going to wait until after having a biological child or two) and then determine what infertility issues we were dealing with. I wasn’t sure what we were up against, but my cycles have always been crazy sporadic (some cycles would come every 25-35 days, others would be closer to 60 days. My longest was about 75 days…). When we first started trying to get pregnant (and I didn’t quite realize the extent of my sporadic cycles having been on birth control for many years…) I would get my hopes up after about 35 days of not getting a period. I can’t tell you how many pregnancy tests I bought – first the expensive ones and then resorting to dollar store cheapies. (I was always paranoid that the dollar store tests wouldn’t work. Believe me, they do…) After a couple months of trying, I stopped getting my hopes up if it had only been 35 days or so, and I wouldn’t test until I hit 50 days.

At the beginning of April, I was waiting (and waiting…) for my period. I kept thinking “today is it!” because I thought I felt cramping. About the second week of April, my “50 days” was approaching (the 50th day would have been around April 15) so I went to a dollar store and bought a pregnancy test.

As I mentioned, in the beginning I would take a pregnancy with great anticipation thinking “this is it! I’m pregnant!” Once I understood that my body was very unpredictable, I still couldn’t wait till “day 50” when I would allow myself to take a test. But this time was different. Nothing led me to believe that I was pregnant. It was just routine at this point. If anything, I was just taking the test to make sure that I wasn’t pregnant. I wanted to make sure if I had a glass of wine or a beer, that it was safe.

I had read that you should do a pregnancy test first thing in the morning. I had the pregnancy test for days, but I kept forgetting to take it. I would get up, go to the bathroom and then think “oh crap, I forgot to take the test again… I’ll do it tomorrow.” Pregnancy was not on my mind, the test was just something I was going to do to ensure the casual social drink was safe.

On the Thursday morning, Mark left for work. Depending on my day, sometimes I would still be in bed when he left for work, but on that particular morning I remember getting up with him and saying bye to him at the door. Then I saw the test on the counter and thought “yes, I haven’t peed yet!” At the beginning of our journey to grow our family, I would pee on the test, start my 2 minute countdown on my iPhone and try to keep myself from peeking at the stick too early. This time, I peed and nonchalantly started the timer out of routine.

I can’t remember whether I waited the full 2 minutes (unlikely…. I never could wait the full 2 minutes!) and usually it was evident pretty quickly that a test was negative. It wasn’t negative this time. I remember glancing down as the second line started appearing, first faintly and then clear as day.

I can’t describe how I felt. I didn’t have any expectation that it was going to be positive. It’s not that I was hopeless. I was just used to the single line. This test was just a routine if anything. And by this time, Mark and I were waiting to be matched with a child through adoption. If anything, I was almost afraid to see a positive… You see, when Mark and I first decided that we wanted to grow our family, I was so discouraged when I didn’t get pregnant right away. It was very emotionally draining as I went through the mental shift of trying to get pregnant to realizing that our first child would be adopted. It was hard, but I did it and was eagerly and hopefully waiting to be matched with our son or daughter. Since we were adopting through our local Children’s Aid Society, the likelihood of being matched with an infant was highly unlikely. We were waiting to be placed with a toddler, and while we were sad to think that we would miss so many milestones we were so excited at the idea of beginning our lives as parents to an older child.

So I looked down. And saw two lines. I was shocked. Absolutely shocked. I had no expectations of seeing two lines. I had no physical side affects that made think “hmm… Maybe I’m pregnant, I should take a pregnancy test.” I think this picture, albeit blurry (maybe my hands were shaking!?), says it all…

IMG_1577

I pulled out my phone and did some math. I calculated that I was very early in the pregnancy maybe only two weeks. And then I remembered that I took a dollar store test… Could I trust a dollar store test?!

I had a meeting later that morning at around 11:30 or so. By this time, I think it was just before 8 AM. I threw on some sweat pants and a sweatshirt and headed to the closest store that I could think was open, a nearby Walmart. I walked through the store and felt like I had a glowing neon sign on my chest that flashed “I’m pregnant!!!” I thought for sure everyone could tell something was different about me. I grabbed one of the most expensive tests, the one that calculates your hormone levels to show approximately how many weeks pregnant you are. I had been waiting for years to see a positive test, and I was going to be sure it was positive before telling anyone.

I got home and threw out my “first pee of the day” theory and immediately peed on the new test. Because (according to the math I already did) I thought I was only a couple of weeks pregnant, I was shocked when the digital words “Pregnant 3+ weeks” appeared almost immediately. Now I knew without a doubt that I was pregnant.

Enter a range of emotions… My first three thoughts (I can’t recall now which order they came…) were:
1. I drank 2 beers this past weekend
2. I got a nose piercing 2 days ago…. I probably shouldn’t have done that while pregnant…
3. I can’t have sushi for 9 months….

I have to admit… Just as I transitioned into adoption mentality and struggled with the idea that my first child wouldn’t be biological and that I wouldn’t first experience pregnancy, at that moment I struggled with feelings of disappointment that my first child wouldn’t be adopted… To those of you reading this right now and struggling with infertility, I feel guilty for even writing those words. I too struggled for a couple of years trying to get pregnant. Every time someone would announce a pregnancy, part of me would be sad that it wasn’t me. And yet, I was so invested in our adoption journey, so excited to love a child so desperately in need of love. We had endured financial cost, tears, invasive questions, etc. to adopt. We were in it for the long haul. And in that moment, I was disappointed that I wouldn’t see it to the end (or at least in the near future).

Seeing the 3+ weeks on the pregnancy test confused me until I realized that I did my original math wrong… (I blame the shock of it all). My original math had me expecting just before Christmas. I redid the math again, this time using the app I have for tracking my cycles. And what appeared on the screen took away all my doubts about being pregnant and our adoption plans…

IMG_1584

December 2 was the projected due date. December 2 is also my birthday. This is when I started crying. This is when I realized that God had it all in control, because I sure didn’t! This is when it sunk in that I was pregnant and finally going to be a mom.

There is so much more to the story, but it will have to wait another day. I am taking much joy in reliving this moment in my life.

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