So I’m pregnant. This is something I never saw coming and didn’t think was possible. In fact, Ronnie and I have gone to countless doctors and had numerous specialists tell us that the likelihood of us conceiving on our own was pretty much impossible. For those of you who don’t know our history, we went through Infertility for about 6 years and conceived our twins through In-Vitro Fertilization. It was a last-ditch effort for us after years of other fertility treatments that had been unsuccessful. We were so thankful when we found out we were pregnant with twins! And we actually still have one embryo left that is frozen in a cryobank back in Texas; we plan to use it someday down the road. Waaay down the road :). So when Ronnie and I found out we were pregnant back in March, we were in a state of complete shock. Don’t get me wrong, we were thrilled with the news and happy about it, but we just couldn’t wrap our minds around the fact that we had naturally conceived a baby.
Around the time we discovered the pregnancy, Rory and Reed had been sick with a stomach bug. I figured that I just got whatever they had because I was also feeling under the weather. But then my stomach bug never went away and seemed to be getting worse. I began to have a few other weird symptoms and my jeans began feeling tight whenever I tried to button them. This was especially discouraging because Ronnie and I had just finished an Advocare 24-Day Challenge and I had lost weight, so I was upset that I was seemingly gaining it back. I remember telling Ronnie, “You know, if I didn’t know any better, I would think that I was pregnant. The way I’m feeling is exactly the way I felt when I was newly pregnant with the twins. But since that’s impossible, I just wish I could figure out what is going on with my body.” Well, what was going on with my body was that there was a human being growing inside of it. After my cycle was about a month late (which is not unusual for me), I decided to just pick up a cheap pregnancy test at Target while I was there getting a million other things. I can honestly say that I thought nothing of it when I picked it up and put it in my cart. Anyone who has dealt with Infertility can tell you that after a while you just go through the motions. You buy pregnancy tests, you take them “just to be sure,” they are always negative, and then you throw them away and move on. So when I got home, I casually took the test, set it upside down and nearly forgot about it as I washed my hands and began to walk out the bathroom door. Then I saw it out of the corner or my eye and thought I’d give it a quick glance and just toss it, knowing exactly what it would say. So when I looked at that digital pregnancy test and saw the word “pregnant,” the world seemed to stop turning for a moment. I couldn’t breathe. My heart began to race. I got all shaky. And I just stared and stared and stared at it.
I didn’t know what to do next. I opened the bathroom door where Rory was standing there, greeting me with a smile. So I handed the pregnancy test to him and told him to go give it to Daddy, who was hanging out in the kitchen. Rory decided to listen to me and took it straight over to Ronnie, who gave him a weird look, clearly not recognizing what exactly he was handing to him. When Ronnie finally held it in his hands and he read the same word I had just read a few minutes earlier, he just looked up at me wide-eyed, also in a state of shock. We just stared at each other until he finally said, “What does this mean?” I shook my head and said, “I don’t know. But I think it means I’m pregnant…” We just stared at each other for the longest time and then just began to laugh saying things like “Seriously?” “What?” “Is this actually happening?” “Is this real?” It was so much to take in and we didn’t know how to process all of the emotions we were feeling inside. We sat on the couch while the boys climbed all over us and continued to just stare at each other, not knowing how to react to this news. Of course, we were excited, but we were just so surprised that we didn’t know what to do or say. The rest of the day is kind-of a blur. I had taken the test right before we were supposed to leave the house to go meet up with some friends. Terrible timing, I know, but you don’t think about timing those situations right when you think you know what the outcome will be. So we gathered up the boys and drove to meet up with our friends, kind-of dazed and just floating through the motions. I do remember the drive into town… it was a beautiful chilly, sunny evening and we kept looking over at each other, smiling, and sharing our feelings about the news we had just learned. It was an authentic reaction to overwhelming news, and I love that we just got to share that experience with each other. We confirmed that I was pregnant through some blood work on base the following day and quickly got set up with OB appointments and began to go through all of the motions that pregnant women go through. Even though I ended up getting Pre-Eclampsia in my last pregnancy, for now I am not high risk, so that is definitely something to be thankful for. Although, it was fun to get all of the extra sonograms and special attention from the docs with my twin pregnancy ;). Now I’m just “one of the masses,” which is really quite okay.
We kept our pregnancy a secret for quite a while. Part of the reasoning, for me, is because when you don’t think you can have children naturally, there can be a strong fear that something is going to go wrong. I still struggle with this fear, thinking, “You were never able to get pregnant naturally in the past. Surely something is wrong with your body and something is going to be wrong with the baby, or this might not end well for any of us.” I imagine a lot of previously infertile women struggle with these same thoughts and emotions. Of course, in my heart I know these words are not from the Lord because He does not give us a spirit of fear, but honestly, it’s a daily process to try and drown-out those negative lies. Ronnie and I also just wanted to keep this to ourselves for a while because it felt special to have that secret that only the two of us knew. It was amazing how much closer this pregnancy brought us and helped us to feel so much more connected to each other in the midst of a season where previously we had been experiencing some disconnect. I don’t know, it may have been the whole “parenting twin toddlers” thing… But this has been an exciting new season for us as a couple and as a little family. After a while, we felt like we needed to share our news with our closest friends here in Alaska, because the pregnancy quickly began to take over our lives. I became really sick, really quickly. Like, 10 times more sick than I was with the boys. Like, throwing up 10 to 15 times a day sick. It was difficult to get out of bed and function, much less follow through with commitments, spend time with friends, do play dates, volunteer at church, etc. I was beginning to experience a sort of pre-partum depression because my sickness became all-consuming. I also began to show more quickly than I expected. We decided to share the news with our friends here so we could have some support and also explain our reclusive behavior. The positive and excited reactions we got from all of our friends were more of a blessing than I ever could have hoped for. None of them had walked with us through our previous journey through infertility, and they have only known us as parents. But they did know about our past and were so gracious in sharing this miracle with us. That helped me feel so much more joyful in a time where sickness was really taking its toll on me emotionally, mentally and physically. And thankfully my OB was able to give me some meds that helped me at least function and be a [somewhat] decent Mom to my boys.
I am feeling much better now and only occasionally get sick. It’s amazing how much more alive you feel and how much brighter life becomes when you are not spending your entire day hunched over your toilet. The twins keep me so busy, that I even forget that I’m pregnant some days until I can’t sit in a certain position or get a dizzy spell. As challenging as the beginning of the pregnancy was for me, once I had my first sonogram, I really fell head over heels in love with my baby. That appointment was really a special time for Ronnie and me. He sat next to me and held my hand, and we got to look at our precious little one on the screen for 45 minutes while measurements were taken. There were a lot of smiles and a few tears from both of us. I think it really just hit us that we were becoming parents (again), but in such a miraculous and unexpected way. And yes, there is just ONE baby this time ;). We have our ultrasound picture hanging on our fridge and as I look at it numerous times a day, I am reminded of God’s mercy and abundant blessings in my life.
We were so excited to finally share the news with all of our family and get to see the shock on their faces as well as the excitement they felt for us. This baby is already such a joyful addition to our entire extended family and I know it is dearly loved. Once we shared the news on Facebook, it made my heart almost explode to see how genuinely thrilled everyone was to hear about our news. Thank you to everyone who sent us well-wishes and who has shared in our excitement. We are thrilled and so thankful for this new little one, due to arrive around November 3rd. We find out the gender of the baby at our 20-week ultrasound in less than 2 weeks, so we will be sure to let everyone know. For now, I am just enjoying the daily little kicks and flutters I am beginning to feel in my womb. I am also trying to cherish this time I have with my boys before their entire world changes. I am honestly a little terrified about having 3 children ages 2 and under, but I know that others have done it before, and somehow we will figure out how to survive. I wouldn’t have planned having children this close together, but I am continuing to learn that God’s plans aren’t always our plans. His plans are better and I trust that He has an amazing purpose for this baby’s life and for our family.
And I will leave you all with this Doxology hymn, which floods my heart every time I think about this new little life… “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow; Praise Him all creatures here below; Oh Praise Him, Hallelujah; Praise Him above ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost; Oh Praise Him, Oh Praise Him, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.”