Monday, July 23, 2012


the last time we talked about my ovaries, i shared some struggles, but the general consensus was that things were looking up.  i didn't really get into specifics, but one of the reasons that i felt so much better when i wrote that post is that i had scheduled surgery to (hopefully) help deal with some of the fertility struggles i had been experiencing. i started the month of june feeling very calm and at peace. there were barbeques with friends, popsicles on the porch and a few water fights with the hose. we celebrated birthdays, father's day and the maritime nuptials of some good friends. we visited with local friends and friends from afar. we shared drinks and jazz music and raspberry beer cocktails. we explored the farmer's market and local nature trails. we drank up summer, like it was a hand squeezed glass of lemonade, poured from a pinterest-worthy beverage dispenser. it was heavenly. it was glorious. it was just what i needed to remind me that even though not everything in my life was exactly as i had hoped it would be, i am truly blessed to be surrounded by a wonderful husband, an amazing son, a loyal and supportive group of family, friends and colleagues who make each day an adventure worth living. it was time of thankfulness for all the good there is.

the days flew by and suddenly it was june 24, the sunday night before my surgery, which was supposed to take place on tuesday. john and i were sitting in the living room, and john was doing that thing he sometimes does when he's very nervous. you can tell he's thinking about something, but he's not sharing his thoughts and he's making nervous "bird lips" (which can't necessarily be described accurately, but are definitely unmistakable if you know him at all). "i'm not going to be able to sleep tonight... or tomorrow night," he noted. i interrupted him with a dose of sarcastic humor, which is how i most comfortably deal with uncomfortable moments. "you better sleep!" i laughed. "i am going to be a very demanding patient after my surgery. i will need you to fast forward through commercials on breaking bad. i will need you to bring me snacks and beverages. i will need you to bring me pillows, and blankets and other provisionals. in fact, you should get to bed now to prepare. you're in for a lot of work." "no, i'm serious," he persisted. "what if we're making the wrong choice?" and i instantly knew what he meant. the surgery wasn't too risky or horribly complicated, but with anesthesia there is always the fear that you won't wake up, that something will go wrong, that a seemingly routine procedure goes awry. i understood what he was saying because i had thought it myself. what if it was better to accept the struggles we'd faced and celebrate our one son than put myself at further risk? the silence in the living room was loud. unspoken words passed between us, and i immediately thought back to meeting john in college, and how much had changed since that time, and how we had been through worlds together. i started to feel teary eyed as we hugged, but somehow, there is this pact between partners, that when one is falling apart, the other needs to be strong, and so i put the emotions aside and said what i really believed, "everything is going to be okay, john. it just is. it has to be. i promise." i wasn't really nervous; more than anything, i was excited to start a new chapter and put some of the issues behind us. i went to bed that night and slept like a rock. i was calm and relaxed and happy. john, on the other hand, tossed and turned and, he told me later, didn't sleep a wink.

when i awoke on the morning of june 25, i laid in bed feeling very refreshed and pondering the dream i had just had. in the dream, i was carefree and laughing and wearing a long maxi skirt. my fingernails were manicured and painted a bright red. i was sort of gracefully prancing across an overgrown field. and i was pregnant. the picture in my mind's eye was a glamorous maternity shoot, the likes of which wistful women pin onto their "pictures to take" boards on pinterest. the message was less fluffy, just a simple feeling that i was with child. it was silly, though, this feeling. we had been instructed not to try to have a baby this month because of the surgery. when my doctor had told us that, i had been relieved. i had felt a wave of calm wash over me. i had been granted a reprieve from counting days and worrying and anxiety and the feeling that i would never again feel a baby kick me from the inside. june was the first month in a year that i had not kept charts with detailed notes, taken my temperature, peed on sticks or worried about "cycle length" and my "luteal phase." i had completely abandoned my campaign to get pregnant, so there was no way the dream was anything other than the result of too much pinterest browsing. i grabbed my bathrobe and started down to the basement to shower and get ready for work.

as i walked past the bathroom on our main floor, i was overcome with a feeling that i needed to take a pregnancy test. i cannot describe it any more accurately than this, but i actually felt physically pulled into the bathroom. i was arguing with myself, like, "THIS IS SILLY! YOU ARE NOT PREGNANT! YOU COULDN'T BE PREGNANT! YOU HAVE SURGERY TOMORROW!" but i thought, "what the heck, i only have 30 unused pregnancy tests sitting in my medicine cabinet." i pulled one out, peed in a cup and dipped it in. and though i've peed on countless sticks over the past year, each one negative, i found myself in complete shock as a second line popped up almost immediately. i shook my head back in forth, the way you do the first time you're drunk and you're all consumed by the weird gravity-free feelings taking over you. i pinched my arm. i scanned the bathroom. was this my house? was this real? surely, this second pink line, the result i had long awaited, had not just appeared without the expending of so much energy to accomplish it. i went racing up the stairs, so fast i almost tripped. i ran down the hallway and threw open our bedroom door and turned on the light. "john! john! john!" he sat up in bed, sleepily, "what's the matter? what is going..." i interrupted him. "HOLY SHIT, I am pregnant." "no, you're not, you have surgery..." i waved the test in front of his face.

we were both shocked.  gleeful, giggling, giddy, completely shocked.  we were hugging, and i was crying and feeling like this couldn't possibly be happening right now.  just a week ago, i had been to the doctor for my surgery pre-op appointment.  i had been put on an antibiotic to prepare for surgery, and after the joyful celebrating in our room that morning, i immediately thought there had been a mistake.  the antibiotic must have caused a false positive.  i turned to google, but nothing was calming my nerves.  of course, i had two court hearings first thing in the morning and couldn't run right to the doctor's office.  WERE THOSE EVER THE MOST AGONIZING THREE HOURS OF MY LIFE!  i was trying not to pee so that i would have the most concentrated urine possible when i arrived at my doctor's.  between the thoughts swirling around in my head ("HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?" "IS THIS REAL?"  "WHAT IS GOING ON?") and the intense pain in my bladder,  i was DYINGGGG.

before i could really process what was happening, the nurse was confirming the pregnancy and giving me the whole "no lunch meat, take your prenatals" speech.  it was insane.  i am serious when i say that i have never been so shocked in all my life.  her words were floating around above me, and i kept feeling like i was going to faint.  i was staring at the "stages of pregnancy" poster on the wall behind her left shoulder, and all of the sudden, i interrupted, "are you sure i am pregnant? are you SURE this isn't a false positive?"  she laughed, and said it wasn't a false positive.  "but i'm supposed to have SURGERY tomorrow!?" i exclaimed.  "well, i guess you don't need it," she laughed. "you are with child!"

her words echoed in my head as i had blood drawn at the lab.  i was having a baby.  john would be a dad again and jack would be a big brother.  wait... WHAT?!  what the EFF was going on here?  it was a wonderful, yet agonizing week.  i was SO ecstatic at this unexpected news, but also worried that it couldn't have happened "so easily" (which phrase i obviously use somewhat loosely since it did not necessarily come easily at all).  i pored over stories on the internet... stories of pregnancy loss, miscarriage statistics and pain.  i agonized over one woman's story: she had tried to conceive for EIGHT LONG YEARS and finally got pregnant, then lost the baby at 15 weeks.  she went on to have four more miscarriages after that.  it was hard to be completely happy because under the surface, i kept feeling like i had wanted this for so long, it couldn't just be happening like this.  there were so many people who were more... deserving? of a baby than i was.  i thought of that woman who had lost five babies.  if she didn't have a baby yet, why did i get to have one?  it didn't seem fair or right.

but also, it was hard to deny that i was pregnant because I. WAS. SICK.  so even when i tried to convince myself that maybe there was no longer a little bean growing in there, a fierce wave of nausea would overtake me and i would feel some reassurance that i was, indeed, with child.

last friday, we had our first ultrasound and heard the heartbeat of the little bean that has taken up residence in my uterus.  jack was sobbing hysterically because he thought i was being hurt.  i would have been crying if i wasn't trying to calm him down.  in the midst of all the chaos, i felt like i had closed the door on a year of worry and anxiety and i could breathe easily.  i am not done with the first trimester yet, so in terms of statistics and horrible stories... i guess you could say that i am not out of the woods yet.  but because of my exuberance (and also my horrible morning sickness), i feel that it's time to share the news.

a new bundle of joy will be arriving on or maybe before march 3, 2013.  thank you for all your well wishes, your kind words and your amazing support as i traveled this road.  i love you all, and i am one big mushy ball of hormones right now.

june 25, 2012. 
only the shock and joy of pregnancy could make me hold a urine-soaked stick so close to my face.


  1. I'm covered in goosebumps. What an amazing journey. You look radiant. I'm so happy for you.

  2. Favorite blog post ever! I'm so thrilled for you guys!!!Its been 3 weeks since we hung out. Can we please hang out again soon? :)

  3. I came across your blog after looking at your pinterst page, Congrats!!!! That is super exciting news, 2 new babies in your family:) March 3rd is my birthday so I am pulling for that date!