What a difference a year can make. It’s a saying that may be heard quite often, but in this case, it really holds a lot of truth. One year ago, on April 9, 2012, I found out that I was pregnant. (Confession: I still have the positive test in one of my bathroom drawers.) When the little pink line first appeared, I wasn’t even sure it was a positive test. It was barely there. I had to hold it up to the light, just to be sure that there, in fact, was something there. I was only 11 days past ovulation, so I knew it was early (but possible) to get a positive test.
I was excited, but after miscarrying in January, I was a little hesitant to get too excited. Knowing that Porter was already growing inside me at that point makes me feel a little badly about that now, but I’m sure it’s pretty common among women who have miscarried.
I’ve told the story of how I told David I was pregnant the first time, but I don’t think I’ve told the story about the second time. Of course, I didn’t want to make as big of a deal the second time around. Yes, it was a big deal, but it was difficult for me to celebrate after our first loss. I knew that I wanted to tell him in some way without actually saying the words “I’m pregnant,” but I wasn’t sure how. Eventually I settled on buying a book with a silly title. I don’t even remember the title exactly, but it was something along the lines of My Boys Can Swim. So I bought the book and hid it away for when the time came to use it. I thought for sure that if I gave him the book that he’d understand what I was trying to tell him, but it didn’t exactly work out that way.
Let’s rewind a little bit. On the morning of Monday, April 9, I did take a pregnancy test but it was a big fat negative. David had stayed home from work that day because he had gotten severe food poisoning over the weekend and was still recovering. I came home from school and immediately went to the bathroom to take another test–I had been holding my pee for several hours by this point. I had purchased a huge pack of pregnancy test strips off of eBay, so I had plenty of tests to spare. I took the test and waited a few minutes and saw the fainest of pink lines. I didn’t know what to do. I stayed in the bathroom for several minutes. I wasn’t mentally prepared to tell David, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to NOT tell him. I located the book that was hidden away in my nightstand and walked into the living room where David was watching tv. I handed him the book and sat down next to him on the couch. He looked at the book, literally said, “Oh, thanks,” and continued watching tv. My plan failed. I thought to myself Now what? I sat there for a few minutes and went to the bathroom to retrieve the positive pregnancy test. I came back out into the living room and with a smile on my face threw it at David’s chest. He picked it up and said, “Is that a line?” and I said, “Yes!” About 15 seconds later he said, “Oh, is that why you gave me that book?” I laughed and said yes and he replied with, “Oh, I thought you were just giving that to me to read.” So my plan didn’t go exactly as planned (Do plans ever go exactly as planned?) but it ended up being special in its own way.
I’m about to get TMI here.
I started bleeding the very next day, and my doctor sent me to the hospital to get a quantitative pregnancy test. After getting the numbers back, I was told that the pregnancy was likely not viable because the number was too low. My number was an 11, and a 10 is a negative pregnancy test. Since I was already bleeding, the nurse on the phone said that it was likely an early miscarriage. I was told to go back in 48 hours to get re-tested and to see if my number at least doubled. My second test only came back as a 44. I thought this was good news (it quadrupled instead of doubled) but the nurse said that according to the first day of my last period that my number should be much higher than a 44. Again, they warned that the pregnancy may not be viable. I continued to bleed for a few weeks and when the bleeding increased, we were sent to the hospital for an emergency ultrasound when I was about 5 weeks pregnant. A sac was visible but nothing was in the sac. However, this was not abnormal, as a perfectly fine pregnancy would not show anything in the sac at 5 weeks. I continued to bleed for a few more weeks, and we were never sure if I was miscarrying again or if I was bleeding for some other unknown reason. I continued to take a pregnancy test every day until I was 30-some days past ovulation, and I loved watching the line grow darker and darker. However, this was not complete reassurance since hcg (what a pregnancy test tests for) stays in a woman’s system for awhile even while and after miscarrying. It wasn’t until I was about 8 weeks pregnant when the bleeding decreased and eventually stopped. This was also around the time that we heard Porter’s heartbeat for the first time.
Despite the worries early on, we didn’t keep our secret to ourselves for too long. My sister’s birthday was the weekend following the Monday I tested positive and I was planning on going down there to help her celebrate. I knew that she would be suspicious if I wasn’t drinking, so we decided to tell our immediate families later that same week. The memories of telling our families are some that will stay with me for a long, long time, and it was a great feeling to be able to give Karin such a wonderful birthday “gift.”
So…long story (not so) short, a year ago today was the first day of this journey called motherhood, even if I wasn’t sure it would end up that way. As I reflect on the past year, it seems to have gone by so quickly but so slowly at the same time. I am so amazed by what has happened in the past year. I am amazed by what my body achieved and was capable of; I am amazed by David and his natural abilities to be a good father; and every day I am amazed by Porter.
We are blessed.
Disclaimer: This picture was NOT taken one year ago today, but it was taken a few weeks later. I am holding the first positive test in the picture, though.