“So I took a pregnancy test before we left and it didn’t work and it’s killing me.”
Or some variation of that.
Our last minute trip to Pennsylvania was winding down and in an effort to make the most of every minute; Sarah (my person) & I had decided to see to a late night showing of Jumanji.
I had been feeling “odd” for the past week–I had speculated & dared to hope that for the first time in five years I had ovulated exactly ten days before. I had been trying to be patient before breaking out the test but that quickly became overrated and I snagged a box that day. Now this was all in secret because let’s be honest, I was 99.9% certain that it would be a negative. Just like always. No matter how much you hope or feel like this time is going to be different…it’s always negative. And that’s just depressing after a while. Nobody wants that on their vacation.
So I didn’t tell anybody. Not Andrew. Not Sarah.
I just peed on a stick and waited “patiently” in my bedroom for this stick to reveal what I knew to be true.
Well, the darn thing had the audacity to be a dud. No lines. No nothing. And at that point we had to go, so I left the dud test on the nightstand and IT KILLED ME. I mean, I knew it was going to be negative but I wanted to KNOW. Does First Response not understand a thing called closure?
Which leads us back to the movie theater.
While the trailers were scrolling & we were chomping on our popcorn, I just couldn’t hold it in anymore.
“So I took a pregnancy test before we left and it didn’t work and it’s killing me.”
Needless to say, after the movie we hurried home to go straight to bed because it was really late.
Needless to say, after the movie we hurried home to gather our combined collection of tests. We were going to get an answer, son. Bed was just not an option.
But this time we got serious and utilized a pee cup for a controlled experiment. I’m fairly certain that neither of us blinked. It was like high noon with the pee stick.
When it was sufficiently dipped, we covered it up so we couldn’t watch it do its thing and then we just stared at each other. It was half “I’m not sure what to say” & half “I’m inwardly girly squealing right now.” Silently hoping while simultaneously trying to not to hope too much…if that’s even possible. The alarm went off while we were already hovering over the paper, waiting for permission to remove it. Longest three minutes ever.
Deep breath. Ok!
I looked at the test. Nothing. Just as I thought. Just that one boring line. Ugh. I started towards the couch with the intent of hurling myself onto it when I heard Sarah say…”Cheryl! There’s something here. I’m serious.”
For a minute, I’m fairly certain the world stopped turning.
I ran over to look and we both stood there staring at it, trying to decide if we were hallucinating or actually seeing the faintest second line known to man.
It was too close to call.
About ten minutes later her kitchen had been transformed into a laboratory with several pee cups and a variety of tests. In that batch, we got one or two that looked like it wanted to be positive but hadn’t decided on it yet. The others didn’t reveal more than a first line…but we had hope because none of those tests were First Response tests AND if we were calculating correctly, it was very very early to tell.
As in, I was only three weeks along.
So we did what any sane women would do at 2AM.
We got in the car, went to Rite Aid, with each hand we grabbed a box of tests and headed for the checkout.
We decided to run another batch through the pee cups but at that point, we had a moment of sanity and realized we’re now using the most diluted samples possible and it would be smarter to hold off until morning. Sleep sounded like a crazy thought, so we sat on the couch and dreamed about the possibilities for a while. Finally, we resolved to sleep so that the night would pass faster and we could wake up and test sooner.
The next morning, everyone else was awake with us so we snuck into my bedroom and ran our next test.
We waited. Jittery from excitement…and I suppose from being extra tired as well.
The alarm went off…deep breath. Ok!
There was no denying it this time. The test was positive. Faint but definitely positive.
And I’m fairly certain that “shock” doesn’t even begin to cover it.
You spend years hoping for a break in the clouds, dreaming about what it might be like to be on the other side, preparing yourself for the fact that it might never happen…then all of sudden, within the space of a three minute test, there you are, dancing on the other side and your life has completely changed. All that to say, I spent the next few weeks cycling through overwhelming excitement and sheer disbelief, constantly pinching myself to see if I was actually awake. For years, all of my doctors had told me that I would never be able to get pregnant on my own. Just scientifically impossible. But it happened. Which makes it our own special little miracle.
Meanwhile, back in the moment, Sarah & I just stared at each other with crazy smiles plastered on our faces. Incredulous.
Andrew was the next person who should know. The Dad should be informed, after all.
That lasted all of two minutes when Sarah’s husband walked in, gawking at our collection of pregnancy tests. Picture a deer in the headlights. That was Sarah’s husband. Thinking that they had just had their second child only eight months ago, I’m sure.
“Is this YOURS?”
Sarah just smiled, “nope.”
Which instantly transformed the room from nervous tension to excitement.
Now you might be thinking, “Where the heck is Andrew in all of this?” Understandable. Kind of a big moment for Andrew to be missing. Well, he had spent our night of testing & girly squealing with his family in Western PA and was coming back later that day. And I wasn’t about to tell him over the phone.
Funny enough, I had been shopping at TJ Maxx only two weeks earlier and had snatched our Rae Dunn “Mom & Dad” mugs on a whim…thinking that it would make a super cute gift/announcement for Andrew if/when the time came. But I hadn’t brought them along and now I was in need of a way to share the news with him. It’s our first one after all…you can’t just TELL him!
Sarah and I spent the day downloading baby apps and preparing for the big announcement that night. In the midst of all that, I was able to share the news with my Mom—it was perfect timing since I wouldn’t be able to see her again before we flew out the next day. Six days in the year that I get to be in Pennsylvania with family and we happen to find out just in time to be able to share it with family. Nothing beats telling your parents that they’re going to be first time grandparents in person, especially when you live a few states away.
Finally, Andrew came home and I let him unwind…tell me about his trip…take a shower. All while smothering my crazy smile that would surely give it all away. My sister also popped over for the evening…just in time for me to present Andrew with a box.
I would like to say that this box resulted in kissing, hugging, and crying. That we had a dance party. That it looked like one of those cute little announcements that you see on Facebook that makes you bawl your eyes out.
But it wasn’t. It looked a lot more like confusion, shock, mentally processing…and “oh…wow.” On the scale of cute Facebook reveals, I’m afraid it would rate as a flop. And I’d be lying to say I wasn’t little put off at the time.
Yet looking back, I had had all day to process this information including the buildup to a positive test. Andrew’s life was completely switched up with all eyes on him, completely out of the blue. And the reality is it was BIG news that we never even thought to expect. It’s the kind of news that takes your breath away and makes your mind reel. It’s the kind of news that you question and doubt because it’s too good to be true and also “HOW?” I myself went back and forth on those emotions and doubts until our ten week appointment and that sweet little ultrasound that revealed it was all TRUE.
The next morning, after Andrew and I dropped in to inform my Dad of his new title, we hopped on our flight and it was like reality finally started to sink in.
Andrew looked at me with a big smile on his face, “I’m going to be a Dad!”
And ever since that moment it’s been a whirlwind of research, flipping through baby apps, not so fun things like navigating insurance and new doctors, lots of sleep & sickness (and husband’s sympathy sleep & sickness), holding in the news, sharing the news, speculating on our baby’s quirks & personality, talking baby names, Andrew stuffing pre-natals in my mouth every morning, and thinking through all the to-do & to-get lists. We’ve never related to so many pieces of fruit on such a personal level.
There’s been a lot happening all at once, not all baby related, and our lives have been chaotic & uncertain as a result. But even in the midst of all the added responsibilities and obligations, it’s hard to forget how wonderfully blessed we are to have this little one in our lives. There’s something about having a baby that gives you the courage to take on the world just so that sweet baby can grow into the best that he/she can be.
It’s like that JJ Heller song that I’ve been listening to on repeat…”the things that used to matter, they don’t matter to me.” Cue all the hormonal-pregnant mama tears.
I’ll admit I’m not sure how to land this plane because I could ramble on about our baby bean all day. Let’s just say all this blogging is working up my appetite and I’m about to go lay hands on that last lime popsicle that sounds so stinking amazing right now.
Thanks for sharing in our story, friends! I’m looking forward to sharing these next crazy & wonderful months with you…I’m thinking “bumpdates,” favorite cravings recipe sharing, and maybe a DIY or two. We’ll see where life takes us, it’s the first time that I’m going with the flow rather than trying to control the flow. We’ll see how that shakes out.
Until next time. xx