Disclaimer: no detail is spared in this post, so consider this your TMI warning, and also an apology for the length!
In case you missed it on Friday, Luke and I are going to have a baby! And it's pretty cute if I do say so myself!
Cutest little peanut I've ever seen, that's for sure! But I may be a little biased.
I am getting ahead of myself! Let's back up to the beginning. It's hard to decide when "the beginning" is. I have been dreaming about this baby for as long as I can remember. When I was 5 or 6 years old, my bedroom was full of baby dolls, and my favorite thing to do was pretend to be "mommy." Forget Barbie or stuffed animals!
But perhaps that is going a little too far back. Let's fast forward about 22 years to this fall. I think that is the perfect starting point. I had just finished a summer of intensely healthy eating. My body was working better than it ever had. My allergies were gone, my abdominal pains that had been plaguing me for 3 years had subsided, and best of all, I was ovulating after 2 years of many hormonal problems. My cycles were still between 40-50 days long, but at least I was ovulating at all.
After some debate, when grad school began this fall, Luke and I decided that we were not going to continue to "try" for a baby, but we weren't necessarily going to prevent it either. We were just going to let God orchestrate things the way He wanted.
Well the semester began, and immediately everything in my life was crazy. I had no time for anything but school work, clinicals, classes, reports, and lesson plans. Every once in awhile, the pang for a baby would hit, but for the most part, trying to conceive was the furthest thing from my mind. However, I was still charting my cycles because my chiropractor wanted me to. Luke and I had plans of really kicking the whole "trying" thing into high gear in the fall of 2013 when I was within 9 months of graduating, so she wanted to try to get my body right on track before that time (little did we know we'll have a newborn in the fall of 2013!)
So anyway, I was charting. And I had a mini panic attack one Tuesday, on exactly cycle day 15, when my temperature skyrocketed, meaning I had probably ovulated the day before. Let's just say Luke and I had "celebrated" the Ohio State win on Saturday ifyaknowwhatimean, so I immediately panicked, knowing that the timing would have been perfect (sorry Moms, that is way TMI). All I could think was, "I never ovulate on time! I can't get pregnant right now! Not during grad school!" But there was a voice shouting above all those thoughts, saying "I might be pregnant! I hope I'm pregnant!"
The next week, Halloween week, was so busy! There was a lot of stuff going on at school, plus hurricane Sandy hit, and Luke and I had 80s night at church, and a wedding on Saturday. I was so busy that I honestly barely thought about the fact that I might be pregnant.
But then 6 days past ovulation (when you've been trying for this long, time is measured by what cycle day it is, or how many days past ovulation you are) I started feeling this pain and tingling in my chest (again, TMI). After all I've been through, I know my body backwards and forwards, inside and out, and that has NEVER happened before. For the 3 days after I ovulate, yes. The first few days of my period, yes. But never a week after ovulation like that. Of course I started to get my hopes up at that time, like I had many times before.
There were other clues that I might be pregnant during the 2 week wait before I could take a test. Namely, on my birthday (which fell on election day) I couldn't stop crying. I guess my hormones were getting kicked into high gear already. Also, it just FELT different this time. I just had a gut feeling that I was pregnant. However, I didn't let myself believe it, because I had been let down so many times before.
Fast forward to Saturday, 12 days past ovulation (DPO). I've read that the most sensitive pregnancy tests can pick up a positive at around 10 DPO, but most suggest that you wait for your missed period. I usually start my period 15-16 DPO (I have long luteal phases, probably because of my hormonal issues) and there was NO WAY I was going to be able to wait until Tuesday or Wednesday to take a test. Luke was working, and I had to go grocery shopping anyway, so I picked up a 2-pack of digital tests.
Now, anyone who knows the first rule about peeing on a stick knows that you're supposed to do it first thing in the morning, especially if you're taking the test early like I was. This is because the hCG (the hormone you produce when you're pregnant, which triggers a positive on a home pregnancy test) needs to build up in your urine. So anyway, I knew that taking the test in the middle of the day wasn't the best idea. I even chugged a Diet Coke on the way home so I'd have to use the restroom!
So basically, I was about to take this test, and I was about 90% sure that it would be negative, even if I was pregnant, because I was only 12 DPO, and I didn't think I would have enough hCG in my urine to trigger a positive response anyway. I had bought a 2-pack knowing that I would probably take the second test in a few days if the first one was negative (I know, I'm ridiculous. What a waste of money).
So I took the test, set it on the sink, washed my hands, and walked into the kitchen to start putting the groceries away. When I thought 3 minutes had passed, I slowly walked into the bathroom, praying that God would comfort me when it was negative. I slowly peered over the counter, waiting to see the words "not pregnant" like I had so many times before.
...But the word "not" was not there.
I closed my eyes tight and opened them again, thinking that I just wasn't seeing it right. But there it was: "Pregnant". Oh My Goodness.
I proceeded to grab the test and scream. I was jumping around, screaming, shaking, and tears were streaming down my face. I was completely shocked, to say the least! After taking about 500 pregnancy tests in the past that were all negative, I stopped thinking that it could ever possibly happen. And when it did, there is no way to describe how it felt.
Once I calmed down a bit, I texted Luke, asking him what time he'd be home. I obviously couldn't wait to tell him, and normally he gets home around 1 or 2 on Saturdays. It was 12:15, so I figured I had just over an hour or so to wait. Here is his response:
So I had 6 hours to kill. It was the longest day of my life! I wish I could say I spent it coming up with some adorable, elaborate pregnancy reveal for Luke. But nope...I spent it reading "What to Expect While You're Expecting" that I borrowed for free on my Kindle Fire, and watching episodes of America's Next Top Model. Yep, random.
I started getting butterflies in my stomach around 5, and looking out the window for Luke's truck around that time. Of course he didn't get home until after 6. When he FINALLY walked in, exhausted after his long day, I waited for him to come in the kitchen, and then I just blurted out, "I'm glad you're finally home, because I've been waiting ALL DAY to show you this!" And I shoved the pee stick in his face with shaky hands (I always swore I'd never take a picture of my pregnancy test, or use it as part of a pregnancy reveal, but you just get excited and don't care in that moment!)
I had not even indicated to Luke that there was a possibility that I might be pregnant. I did this for 2 reasons: I didn't want him to get his hopes up and have to worry about it, and I wanted him to be totally blown away just in case I really was pregnant.
Well blown away he was! He just kept saying "no way!" and he finally scooped me up and we just celebrated and enjoyed the moment.
...One of the first things he said was, " I guess you can't ride the new ride at Cedar Point this summer then!" Ha! He would think of that! I'd say it's a very small sacrifice to make! Ha!
And that is basically the story (the long version, obviously). In the past month we have enjoyed surprising all of our family and friends with the news. I have to say, I think the celebration was about a million times sweeter than it would have been if it had happened 2.5 years ago like we wanted it to. I know I'm appreciating every moment a lot more than I would have if I hadn't had to wait so long.
I admit that I've even praised God in the sick moments. The first trimester has not been kind to me. On my best days, I am battling nausea almost every minute, and on my worst days, I am vomiting 2-3 times and barely able to leave the couch. Some days I'll even feel okay, have a craving, give into it, and then end up huddled over the toilet, violently throwing it up 5 minutes later. Baby cannot decide what he/she wants! (I'm kidding...I know the nausea is because of the hormones).
On top of that, I've bitten my husband's head off for nothing a few times, and have certainly cried over some silly things (the other day I heard an 'N Sync song and cried because it made me miss the innocence of being 13. I kid you not).
I've always had basically no sense of smell, especially in the past year or so with all my sinus problems. I am now smelling things that I didn't even know had a scent. Sometimes it's amazing, and sometimes it has me running to the bathroom.
And perhaps the most surprising symptom is the fatigue. I'm going to be totally honest and say that I used to roll my eyes at pregnant women who complained of being so tired in the first trimester. I thought they were milking it, and just looking for something to complain about. But it is no joke! I have never been so tired in my life. It is like someone literally sucked every ounce of energy from me. I feel energized for about an hour after I wake up in the morning, but after that, I am battling the urge to take a nap all day long. (Or sometimes not battling it, like Friday when I slept from 2-4 on the couch with the cats. After sleeping for 9 hours the night before. I figure I have to sleep now while I have the chance!)
I am not saying all that to complain. I just simply want to record all of my symptoms so that I can remember everything! Plus I want documentation for the peanut when he/she gets older of just how sick he/she made me in the first few months!
I will admit that I have complained my fair share to my family, especially to Luke and my mom. But the truth is, I am secretly glad I'm feeling so terrible. It is proof that my baby is in there growing and developing just like he/she should be.
On Wednesday I actually woke up and felt completely normal. No nausea at all. I immediately started panicking, and prayed that God would make me feel sick so I'd know that baby was okay!
...stupid, stupid, stupid! He certainly answered my prayer later. And then some. Next time I have vowed to just thank him for the temporary relief!
Thursday was our first appointment, and obviously we were able to have our first ultrasound! It was one of the highlights of my life. We saw the baby swimming around a little bit! Then I saw a little flickering thing inside the baby's body. "That's the heart beating!" the ultrasound tech explained to us. I didn't know we would actually be able to see the heart beating! It was the most amazing, beautiful thing I've ever seen in my life. 167 glorious beats per minute.
Based on my last period, I calculated that my due date was July 22, and I was 8 weeks, 3 days pregnant at the appointment. Well during our meeting with the amazing nurse practitioner (I don't get to see my actual OB until 10 weeks) she said that the baby was measuring exactly 8 weeks, 3 days. "Exactly on track! That almost never happens!"
In that moment, I just felt God's hand on this whole thing. I have had irregular periods my whole life, and obviously had trouble ovulating, and have probably never had a normal cycle where I ovulated on day 14. And somehow, I had ovulated right on track and my baby was the exact right size, to a tee. Textbook. I felt so silly for all those times I had tried to control things in the past 2.5 years. God had a plan, and it was going to be executed with 100% perfection when the time was right. Oh, if only I could have seen into the future during all those months!
So there you have it: God took a heart and a body that were both hopelessly broken, and He fixed them both in His perfect way. I probably look at that ultrasound picture a minimum of 3 times per hour to remind myself of the miracle that He has brought forth in my life.
I hope my story gives you hope if you are still waiting for your miracle, no matter what that might be!