When I was probably 3, I knew I wanted to be a mom. It’s always been my most wanted thing in life. If you know me at all, you probably already knew that. The most common question I’ve gotten since announcing this pregnancy has been “how did you find out?”and in some round about way or another, everyone wants to know if she was planned or a surprise. And the answer is both.
So here’s that story.
We knew when we got married that we wanted kids soon, and about 4 and a half months into marriage (the day after Christmas 2020) we decided we were as ready as we’d ever be.
I’d known since I was a teenager that I would probably have fertility problems. Only because I knew my body, and I knew something wasn’t right. But of course they don’t do the tests until you’ve been trying for a year or more. I warned Chris that I didn’t expect it to happen fast. I expected to come to that one year mark with no baby in sight but of course I still hoped…
….And of course that hope was smooshed month after month.
Sure enough that year mark came.
I had at least expected to have a miscarriage or two, but not a single positive test came. I eventually stopped testing. I did all the blood work and painful procedures to find out why. I even thought I might not want kids after that painful procedure (cause if I can’t handle that, how can I handle labor?). We found out I needed trigger shots and potentially medication to be able to get pregnant. That wasn’t the worst news in the world. They weren’t suggesting IVF or anything crazy hard yet. Hearing what I already thought was true, that I couldn’t get pregnant 100% naturally, was still hard to hear. I was depressed. I didn’t know if I wanted to have kids anymore. I didn’t know what I wanted in a career or life anymore. I was in a waiting period. Waiting for inspiration, waiting to find a life goal, waiting for something to enjoy again.
I stopped posting anything personal. I stopped blogging because I didn’t have anything to say anymore. We didn’t go through with the trigger shots or medication. I just didn’t feel ready for that. I didn’t even feel ready to have kids anymore. Financially it wasn’t right anymore, we still have millions of improvements we needed to do to our house that we couldn’t afford yet. I tried my best to enjoy our chickens and ducks. I tried to enjoy living in the country (which is hard when you really don’t like the outdoors). I tried going along with the homesteading direction that our life seemed to be headed in… but it wasn’t working. I was miserable. So we went on with life, while my body acted like natural birth control. I’d had back issues that the doctor wanted me to get fixed before getting pregnant anyways so I spent most of my time at physical therapy (which left me in more pain than when I began).
Until finally something seemed wrong. I started having the worst period cramps of my life. I would be perfectly fine one second, and then on the floor, unable to breath, unable to speak or yell for help. I was nearly fainting from the pain, until it vanished a couple minutes later. It kept happening almost every day. In the moment, I knew I needed to be at the hospital. But once it passed I was perfectly fine. I just kept thinking “my period will come tomorrow and then it’ll be over in a week”. After 2 weeks and the pain was worsening, I knew something was wrong. I was going to call the doctor and make an appointment but I knew their first question would be if I was pregnant. Knowing I wasn’t, but not wanting to deal with the questions I decided “I’ll stop on my way home and get a pregnancy test and take it first thing in the morning before I call to make a doctors app”. Stupid me spent $50 on fancy probiotics that night too because the muscle relaxers I’d been taking for my back pain had got my system all messed up. I had nearly thrown up everyday that week.
We woke up early the next morning (the day before Chris’s birthday) because a new episode of some Star Wars show came out and Chris wanted to watch it before work. Of course I told him “give me one sec I gotta pee” knowing I would call the doctor about the pain as soon as they opened. If you’ve ever taken a pregnancy test, you know you have to pee on it for a certain number of seconds and then let it sit for a couple of minutes before it turns positive or negative.
It was bright positive before I was even done peeing on it.
I gasped and flung that test up to look closer, flinging the pee on it across the bathroom in the process. Of course Chris was yelling from the other room “what is it?” Because I had gasped so loud. I wanted to scream for him but I realized I needed to finish peeing… priorities were hard to distinguish at that point. I eventually came out of the bathroom and showed him the test. There was no screaming or jumping up and down. At that point I didn’t really believe it yet. I was trying to convince myself not to be excited in case it didn’t last. We had tried for so long and given up. It didn’t seem real.
The doctor had me come in ASAP thinking it might be an ectopic pregnancy due to the pain I was experiencing. We had our first ultrasound and I measured 5 weeks + 5 days. No heart beat yet but I expected that; it was too early. It was not ectopic and bloodwork was good. Turns out the pain was from endometriosis and as my uterus grew, my scare tissue had to be ripped off the surrounding organs. The doctor came in with her hands in the air cheering for us, knowing how long we had tried to conceive. I had been told so many times to expect a miscarriage that I told the doctor I wasn’t ready to celebrate. I didn’t want to get my hopes up yet. In my mind, it was an unfortunate sickness that I couldn’t get rid of, that might end with a beautiful baby in my arms.
A couple miserable weeks went by. I was so sick I couldn’t even sit up to eat. I literally had to lay down just to be able to eat and keep the food down. We had told our parents and siblings at that point, but I still wasn’t ready to fully celebrate. I kept hearing that I shouldn’t tell anyone yet because I might miscarry. But something told me to at least tell one of my good friends. Because that’s one person I know will celebrate even if I tell her not to. And I knew I needed it. I needed to celebrate.
I told her we made a friend for her recently born daughter. And I told her how I wasn’t ready to celebrate, but also kind of wanted to. And she said something that changed my entire outlook on pregnancy. “Anna Grace, this baby deserves to be celebrated no matter how much time you have with it”. That’s when I realized, that if I miscarried, I would have never celebrated this baby. If I only had a few weeks with it, then it deserved to have my love and affection for those few weeks, along with anyone else’s love that I wanted her to have.
I’m currently 21wks pregnant with my little girl. I still know that something could go wrong, but I’m celebrating her and loving her everyday. Praying for a healthy baby and that she makes it to term. We are both more excited than I thought possible (but obviously scared out of our minds also).
My opinion might change if I ever experience a miscarriage. For those of you who have, this may not be how you feel. But for now, I know it’s what I need, to celebrate her, despite the possible outcomes. Turns out we didn’t need the trigger shots, or medication. Yes, there was evident problems for why I hadn’t gotten pregnant before, but I’m pregnant now. I don’t feel right calling it an “infertility journey” considering that we were one of the lucky ones. If you are going through infertility, I got a short glimpse into the frustration that you feel. The disappointment that your body isn’t working right, the confusion about what to change in your lifestyle, or even just the grief that comes with not getting pregnant. It is far more common than people let on. There is nothing anyone can do or say to make those feelings stop. I feel like I’m one of the lucky ones. It took awhile but I did get pregnant naturally. There is no telling what will happen in the future, if I will need fertility assistance with future pregnancies or not. For now, I’m focusing on our sweet little girl and thanking God for her everyday. She is a happy little surprise that came when we least expected it, but most wanted it.
I’m still in the season of waiting. Being pregnant and becoming a mother cannot be my only goal in life. I will need something outside of motherhood to spend my time on at some point. But for now, this is the season I am in. The season of excitement mixed with an overwhelming fear of labor.