First of all, you all overwhelm me, with the good wishes and the prayers and the joy. Reading through the comments has added an extra measure of goodness to this already amazing experience.
Second of all, my hit count has gone up exponentially over the past two days, and while I’d love to think it’s new readers coming in swarms, I’m guessing it’s really just a lot of you hitting “Refresh” over and over because you want details.
You know, if I wasn’t pregnant you would have had details long ago, because it is pregnancy that is totally kicking my butt and making it nearly impossible for me to sit upright for more than twenty minutes at a time. On the other hand, if I wasn’t pregnant you wouldn’t need details, because there would be no details. Hopefully you’re just glad that there are details instead of being mad that the details have taken so darn long.
(To those who are easily bored, or those with a Y chromosome: these details are actually not very interesting. I have tried but there is no way to make them so. Consider yourselves warned.)
So, it’s the night before Valentine’s Day. Cycle day 33 for me, and I’ve never seen a cycle day 33, so that in itself is an achievement (although of course the whole time I’m thinking “my cycles are finally going wonky; I’m probably developing PCOS or some such”). I’ve had two days of cramps (cycle days 28 and 29) and started spotting immediately afterward, but no new cycle has emerged, so I’m starting to think something is up. My plan is to wait until Bryan gets back from DC, which will be cycle day 35, and then tell him and maybe test on day 36 if I’m still holding steady.
But we’re sitting there at dinner and I suddenly realize there’s no way I can wait two more days; I’m going crazy. So I tell him that I suspect something, and he suggests testing, and we pick up some tests on the way home. Now, I know that evening is not the best time to test, and I drank four glasses of water with dinner, so I’m kind of expecting that I’ll get a negative either way.
Bryan’s waiting nervously on the bed when I come out of the bathroom. The test is negative, but I’ve been peering at it and I think that I can see a very faint line from certain angles. So I have him peer at it too, and he admits, probably because he wants me to stop tugging on his arm, that there might be a line there.
So now we’re in possible-positive-pregnancy-test limbo, which is, as those of you who have been here can attest, nearly as much fun as oral surgery. And there is not a thing we can do except wait, and test again. It’s Monday evening now, and we decide I’ll wait until Wednesday morning to test again. Very sensible (also very ridiculous, but everything seems more reasonable when I’m talking about it with Bryan).
Tuesday morning he leaves at zero-dark-thirty to catch a flight to DC. I pull myself out of bed to make our eight o’clock Adoration slot. And all I can say is, thank GOD (literally) that I had Adoration that morning, because I don’t know how I would have gotten through the day otherwise. I just sat there for an hour, repeating over and over again “God, I trust you; God, I trust you.”
Then I go home and try to distract myself for an entire day. I am fairly successful; I think there are at least a couple fifteen-second intervals during which I don’t think at all about the possibility of being pregnant.
That evening I talk to Bryan on the phone, still determined to wait until the next morning to test. I hang up and get on the Consumer Reports website to find the best pregnancy tests (they recommend First Response, in case you’re wondering), then I go to the store and put them in the cart along with grapes, bananas, and those Cheerios with dried strawberries, because I really need to eat and none of the food in the house looks good to me.
I get home and realize the pack of pregnancy tests has a bonus test. Three instead of two. Which gives me exactly the excuse I need to test right. that. minute: I won’t be wasting a test! I’ll take it and there will still be two in the box, and it’ll be like I never tested at all.
I call Bryan’s cell phone, which he has turned off for the night, and leave a jubilant message, and he calls me back very early the next morning. We spout gibberish in our joy, and when Bryan gets home that evening he holds me at arm’s length to see if I look any different. (I don’t look different, just tired, as tired I am now and forever shall be, world without end.)
Slowly, over the next days, we tell our families and close friends. Everyone is thrilled. Most of them are aware of how long we’ve been waiting for this, how much heartache the wait has caused us. It is a blessing to behold their happiness on our behalf.
Of course there is no perfect fulfillment this side of the grave (I often suspect I will not fully learn that until I am on the other side of it) and I quickly learn that I had not been prepared for how scared I would be. I feel like I am wrestling with demons (and do not rule out the possibility that I am). At one moment, convinced that I am miscarrying, I am actually a tiny bit relieved, because now I won’t have to fear it any more. I write this post.
But slowly I face my fears, slowly because there is no other way, because there is no quick fix for things like this. I pray, hard, the same words over and over. Sunday morning during the offertory I mentally place everything I have, everything to which I am holding tightly, on the altar. Lord, no matter what happens, I trust you. I do it because I know it is right, I do it because I desperately want to be released from my fear, and I do it because experience has taught me that all solutions but surrender are merely illusions. It helps. It begins the process.
That evening as we’re driving home Bryan and I talk about the wonder of the new life that I am carrying. We pray hard that we will have the chance to meet and raise this little one, but whether we get that chance or not, everything is different now. He exists. In future years our children may come to us in many different ways, but this is how the first has come and so these days are the birthplace of our family.
It’s slowly sinking in. I’m still scared, but as my father writes to me so wisely, “Now is the time when hope is most important.” I’ve learned over the past years how to deal with the hard, barren side of hope, and so this rich, fertile side is a bit bewildering. But it is wonderful, and the One who got me through those years has certainly not abandoned me now. Absolutely not. I am, as much as ever, in the palm of His hand.
Please, of course, pray for the safety and well-being of the tiny new member of our family.
And REJOICE with me! The time for rejoicing has come.