Last week, I wrote a post for WhattoExpect.com, the website spawned from the infamous “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” pregnancy bible that’s on every woman’s nightstand who’s “with child.” It was a dream for me, the chance to write on such a big platform, and I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to come up with anything compelling. But life is funny like that. Always changing and twisting and turning until you remind yourself, again, that nothing is predictable. Nothing. Even your period.
As I headed to an out-of-town conference, I was certain my Aunt Flo would be along for the ride. Cramping, a touch of moodiness, weeping at insurance commercials. I packed along my “supplies,” a bottle of Advil, and traveled along my merry way. But then, nothing happened. Not the first day, not the second day, not the third day. Hmmm…that little momma voice in my head told me I could be pregnant, but a Clear Blue Easy told me I wasn’t (in a Wal-Mart bathroom, no less). I returned home, informed my husband of my odd situation, and resumed life as normal. Except, how can anything be normal when this question is looming over your head. I took another test. Then another. Then another. By the fifth late day, I was certain a growing baby wasn’t the reason for this delay in my period. It must be my new-found running routine. But, just to assure myself of this one more time. I took another test. In the middle of the day. While my girls were at daycare, I was working, and oddly, my husband was at home. He didn’t have a job site to attend, so we were alone. I administered the test (aka peed on a stick), and went to heat up some leftover pasta for lunch while the hourglass churned away on the results window.
Plastic bowl in one hand, bite of pasta on a fork in the other, I strolled back into the bathroom, ready to confirm my non-pregnant suspicions.
“What the crap?!” Yes, those were the words that came out of my mouth when I saw that my expected Not Pregnant was in fact Pregnant. Then, my whole body went numb, as a tear managed to well in my eye, and a wobbly smile formed on my face. I set the bowl down on the counter, and with shaking hands, picked up the test. My husband, fortunately, was already in a seated position when I found him in the living room. I’m not even sure if I said anything, other than, “Look.”
Shocked. That’s the only way to describe how we felt. Yes, we know how these things happen, and no, we weren’t taking every measure possible to prevent it, but we were still shocked. I only have one tube after all, and obviously, my prime time for conception fell much later in my cycle than normal. It was a recipe for…a happy surprise. And happy we were. Genuinely happy. But not “jump up and down and slap your momma” happy. Cautiously happy. Because a later-than-normal positive test is exactly how our first pregnancy started, the one that ended too soon. The “surprise party” couldn’t last for long, though, because I had work to do. I sat back down at my laptop, all tingly and other-world feeling, and saw this email: “Your Article Titled “What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting But Wish You Were” Has Been Published.
Oh, well that’s just hilarious. Great timing. Feeling like a fraud, I shared the article on my networks. The story may have ended accurately at the time, but I wanted to tell the “rest of the story.” Awhile later, just for grins, I decided to take another test. Because that’s what we do, right? We just can’t quite believe it, so we have to see it appear…again. I must not be very patient, and instead of waiting around for THREE WHOLE MINUTES, I returned to my desk (aka my bed) to continue clicking away on the laptop. A length of time went by, and I’d honestly forgotten about the second round, when I heard a gentle knock on the door.
“What’s with the pregnancy test in the bathroom?,” my husband asked as he stuck his head through the door. I laughed and poked fun at my own doubt, only he wasn’t laughing with me. “It says not pregnant.” I stared at him for awhile, before I could find the words. “You’re kidding me? Tell me you’re joking. Quit messing withe me.” He wasn’t. It wasn’t. I wasn’t. Or was I? Here we were again. In the forest of uncertainty, unsure of which direction we were heading. I called my doctor. Blood was drawn. And we waited.
I got the results of my HCG back in the morning. 15. Barely considered pregnant, but pregnant still. But now the not-so-fun part began. More waiting. And more blood tests. Finally, wonderfully, I heard the news from my OB that I’d been hoping for. My levels had risen to 190 in only four days, which meant more than likely, a healthy pregnancy was beginning to take shape. And while I still have more testing to undergo, and there’s always an increased risk for loss in early pregnancy, I just couldn’t keep this news to myself. There’s a tiny life beginning to form inside me, and it’s changing our life in a big way. And hey, while we weren’t exactly planning this one, we know God’s plan trumps all. It may have been a surprise, but it’s a blessing. And I’m a mom blogger, so maybe I’ll just name this little one “Fodder” for now.