Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ella Was Right

(I pray that I not cause anyone pain through this post. If you're not at a good place to read this now, I completely understand, and I pray that you feel God's comforting hand today and always.)

My mom claims that intuition runs in the women in her side of the family. My mother-in-law also claims that the women in her family are intuitive. Ella must have gotten a double-dose of intuition, because I still can't explain it, but she indeed knew I was pregnant four days before I tested.

Yes, my two year old was right. I am pregnant.

And I'm still in a state of disbelief.

I really didn't think that it was possible this month. I even picked up Starbucks for myself for the first time in more than three years on Thursday, the day before I tested, in defiance (and in need of a pick-me-up for a busy end-of-the-semester day at work). By Thursday night, I had developed a cold, and desperately wanted to take some cold medicine to get me through the last day of work before my vacation. I tested on Friday morning, just to be safe, convinced that the relief that would come from the cold medicine would be a nice consolation for "wasting" a test.

Oh my God. Oh my God!! As I watched the line vividly pop out at me as the liquid moved across the test, that was all I could think. Oh my God!! Followed quickly by Thank You God!! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You God! There was no second-guessing the results this time. There was no holding it up to the light and tilting it just the right way to double-check and see if there was really anything there. This time, the test line appeared darker and earlier than the control line. Ella was right. There was a baby growing in my tummy. Oh my God!

When I got to work, I called my doctor's office, and was told that they would prescribe me progesterone, but that they wouldn't test betas. A moment of panic ensued, but then I started thinking that perhaps they were right. My betas doubled with all four of my previous pregnancies--including the three losses. Betas really don't tell the doctors--or me--anything. Sure, they give me some initial reassurance, but I know, as so many other women know, that even doubling betas can end in heartbreak.

Aside from telling my very-dear friend and some other women whom I trust and asked to pray for me, I managed to keep my news a surprise from my husband and my family through the weekend and all the way up until the very last gift on Christmas morning. A pregnancy test fits perfectly in a pen box, so I wrapped it up as the last gift for him to open. Never having peed-on-a-stick before, it took him a moment to recognize what he was holding, but the joy on his face was priceless when he figured it out.

For my parents, who arrived on Christmas night, and my brothers who arrived yesterday (and later today), I unwrapped the calendars of Ella and my niece, added a sticky note in August saying "Anticipated Due Date of Baby", and rewrapped them. My mom noticed the announcement right away but kept her excitement subdued while my dad skipped over August, citing that we don't have any family birthdays that month. My husband had to coach him a bit to help him find the neon-green post-it. My sister-in-law found it right away yesterday...we'll see if my youngest and most oblivious brother picks up on it later today.

I'm sorry that I waited so long to share my news here. I know that so many women are hoping and praying and wishing for me, and I am so appreciative. Thank you for understanding that I wanted this chance to have a little fun surprise for once.

I know that many women wait for a heartbeat or some other confirmation before telling friends and family, but what do I have to lose? They know my history and love me just the same. I'm no longer afraid of the stigma associated with loss. I need all the love and support, prayers and understanding that I can get.

I didn't do a true due-date calculator. With my track record of losses, I don't want to know an exact date. It was right around this time last year that my very-dear friend found out she was pregnant with my godson, so I'll use his birthday, August 22nd, as an estimated due date. My very-dear friend, by the way, claims that she knew that I was pregnant when I was with her in Florida (days after I must have ovulated) and is also convinced I'm having a boy. Perhaps intuition runs in her family too.

My first appointment is January 2nd. I believe I'll be six weeks. I don't believe they'll be able to see anything quite that early. A tiny part of me hopes that my really-light cycle in November wasn't actually a cycle at all and that they'll discover I'm actually ten weeks pregnant...but I won't hold my breath.

I am hopeful, and I have a peace that passes understanding that I'll be okay, no matter what happens. I've been feeling rather crappy lately. I don't know if this is pregnancy, psychosomatic, or just nerves. I don't remember feeling like this with Ella. And I still have the cold.

I'm blessed to have the chance to try this all over again. I'm blessed that God heard my prayer and created life within me. I'm blessed that He can create miracles when I think things are impossible.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

According to Ella...

According to Ella, there's a baby growing in my tummy.

I don't know what prompted her to make this declaration this morning, but she seems to think that I'm pregnant.  Maybe it's from hanging out with my very-dear friend's baby, or maybe it's because we've been talking a lot about the birth of Baby Jesus.  Whatever it may have been--she very tenderly told me, three times this morning, that there is indeed a baby growing in my tummy.

I, on the other hand, doubt it.  It's still too early to test, and I can't even tell you if or when I ovulated.  I spent almost a week in Florida around the time when I may or may not have been ovulating, so I wasn't focused on anything other than enjoying my vacation time with my very-dear friend and her boys.

If she is right, it would be an amazing Christmas miracle (who of us hasn't dreamed of wrapping up a positive test for our husband?).  If she is right, I'll let her pick the numbers in the next big lottery (though maybe I should wait until she can count higher than 16). 

Today's blessing is the chance to bake.  We're having our office holiday party tomorrow, and I'm excited to make my mom's coffee cake wreath.  I have fond memories of helping my mom, so I look forward to having Ella help me.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Ella and I took a trip to Florida to visit my very-dear friend and her boys.  You may remember that her older boy is two weeks younger than Ella, and her new baby had some health concerns while in utero and during the first couple of months of life.  You may also remember that she asked me to be his godmother, which was the most touching request I've had in a long time. 

It was so wonderful to be able to spend time with her. She is one of those few women (Ella's namesake being the other) with whom I feel that we can have a true and deep friendship, regardless of our flaws.  In a weird way, she and I are struggling with opposite problems.  I'm still struggling with getting pregnant again, while my professional life is flourishing; and she's struggling with balancing her professional life now that she has been blessed with two little ones.  I love that we're in completely different places, and yet still get each other.

It was equally wonderful for Ella to spend time with her "best buddy".  When we were pregnant, I stenciled the words "Best Buddies" on onesies as a gift for my very-dear friend's baby shower, and we did our best to get some cute photos of them together.  Two years later, she suggested a "then and now" photo shoot with our toddlers. 

I also got in some quality snuggle time with my godson, who is 3-1/2 months and as sweet as could be.  He is such a sweet baby; and dare I say, he seemed so much easier and more content than Ella at that age.  But maybe that's just because I've had more sleep and (finally) know a little bit more about how to care for an infant.  At the same time, it was also a very good reminder of just how much work a baby can be.  I've said all along that I trust God--but I guess I had one of those little "ah ha moments" when I realized that God indeed knows what He's doing and He knows my limits better than I may think I do.

It was such a blessing to be able to visit and help out my very-dear friend.  I admit that Ella kicked me out of bed each night, and refused to nap on the plane, but it was still a wonderful trip. I'm also equally blessed to find out that she's going to come home for Christmas to get some rest and continue to work on her work-life balance.  So I'm so blessed that I'll be able to see her again soon as well. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

We Have to Wait For Our Turn

We're trying to help Ella learn the concept of taking turns.  It happens daily--whether it be playing a game, turning into traffic, or saying prayers at the dinner table.  She seems to get the concept--and tells me (and even sometimes signs to me still) that we need to "wait". 

It dawned on me this morning that I could still use a toddler-lesson in waiting my turn.  I want to be pregnant again, I want to have another baby, I want to join the growing list of moms who are expecting their second child...and yet, we have to wait for our turn.

My most recently cycle quietly appeared the night before Thanksgiving as we were packing, on Day 31.  I say "quietly" because it was the lightest, strangest cycle I've ever had.  I kept waiting for it to turn into something more substantive, but it never did.  You know me--I hoped it was a "fake" and that I was miraculously pregnant, but a test at my doctor's office during my annual exam confirmed I was not. 

I brought up my concerns with my doctor, but she cheerfully assured me that it's completely normal to go a year without conceiving.  I tried to argue that it had been two years--but she doesn't count the year that I was nursing Ella (which is understandable).  When I was pregnant with Ella, I totally appreciated my doctor's cheerful enthusiasm.  Now that we're trying again...I don't appreciate it nearly as much.

But she's right--I'm having mostly normal cycles, I'm keeping a healthy weight through diet and exercise, and I'm still on the Metformin.  She cheerfully believes that we'll be able to conceive on our own again--but invited me to come back in 5-6 months if it doesn't happen by then.  I know that I could go back to the RE and advocate more strongly with my doctor--but part of me just says "she's right--we have to wait for our turn". 

My blessing from this weekend was that I got into a little accident, but the woman was completely forgiving.  It wasn't even a "fender bender"--it was really just a tiny scrape, and I think that I was more at fault that she.  But she assured me that it was so minor that she didn't want to complicate things.  It could have been so much worse, but God is good.