And then there were 3... (Mom's Perspective)

January 6, 2018

And our journey continues. This time with an unexpected change of events...

PEACE & CONTENTMENT:

I had once again reached the point where I was at peace and content with our current (non-pregnant) situation. I almost came to the point of feeling numb about the idea of pregnancy as it just seemed like a far-fetched idea, and the thought of it actually happening seemed out of reach. I came to the conclusion that there was a reason we weren't pregnant yet (whatever reason that was), and to just trust God and his timing. We had learned to enjoy every day we had together, whether it was traveling to new cities, playing hide-and-seek with our fur baby Miya (yes, she really does play this game), going on walks, running errands together, having pizza date nights, reading books by the fire, or just playing one too many games of competitive cribbage. I even had a renewed surge of energy for my blog. After many prayers for motivation and the time to be able to focus on it, I actually made a lot of progress (18 pages in 6 days, go me!) on my blog after taking a long hiatus, due to many factors outside of my control. Things were looking good, and life seemed to be better than ever! We even started planning our Europe spring trip!

Feelings of peace and contentment were becoming the norm, as the realization that we were not in control was ironically completely freeing in itself. Our day-to-day life continued, but this time with an unexpected turn of events. After talking with some other friends who have had similar experiences, I guess this is not all that uncommon.

WEEK OF CHRISTMAS:

To catch you up to speed, fast forward a few months to December 20th...the week of Christmas. It was again another week of ovulation. I started a few new natural remedies that month that were recommended to me by a fertility nurse (such as Acai berry vitamins, Vitamin D3 and a few other vitamins). Everything else was pretty consistent as I continued to track my ovulation with the Kindara app and the Clear Blue ovulation tests. I just realized I actually forgot to take the progesterone pills my doctor had prescribed to me as well. I guess there's always next month...

Since it had been over a year of intentionally trying with no avail, hubs and I made additional appointments to run more in-depth tests. Hubs had a semen analysis where the results came back with decreased mobility by 8% and volume. Not the end of the world, but still a concern. I had my appointment scheduled for the following Wednesday to run a variety of tests and discuss the next steps in our journey.

INKLINGS:

During the next two weeks, I had a slight inclination that I may be pregnant, but my practical brain told me there was no way. Randomly, I had a few unpredictable cravings. Case in point, I do enjoy olives occasionally, but for whatever reason, one night at around 2AM, I went to town on a jar of olives and ate half the jar in one sitting. I also had a few different unexplained pains in my stomach which I just couldn't figure out exactly why. I subsequently was waking up a lot more throughout the night and early in the morning for potty breaks, like I did the first time in June. Hmm... something wasn't adding up.

OH PARENTING BOOKS...

I previously made a joke to my hubs that maybe God was waiting until we took the parenting books and advice seriously. Realizing there could be some validity in that joke, I took that joke to a new serious level. I decided that if we were going to bring a child into this world, it was our responsibility to be the best parents we could be... so it was time to brush off the dust and crack open those books. 3 days later, I finished reading the aforementioned "Parenting" book (by Paul David Tripp) and my husband was halfway through it himself. If the fact that I went through 3 highlighters before I even finished the book (with almost every page now basically a neon yellow tint with almost everything highlighted due to the extent and depth of the profound insight and knowledge), then that might be a good indication that I'd recommend this book without reservation. The book was not only extremely informative but also humbling and convicting. Hubs and I had a nightly discussion for each chapter, and we both realized just how much we didn't know or would have possibly done wrong when it came to parenting.

Crazy enough, apparently God has a sense of humor. A few days after I finished the Parenting book, I was a day late on my period. Being down this road many times before, I learned to curb my enthusiasm and keep my expectations low to avoid the inevitable feelings of disappointment and approached it pragmatically with the thought that there was no way I was pregnant and that was Ok! Not only were the last two weeks around Christmas filled with stress on new levels, but I hadn't been taking care of myself in terms of eating well, getting proper sleep, and even had mimosas on Christmas Day along with a few other sips of alcohol throughout the last 2 weeks. The night before I was up until after 4AM working on my blog, followed by 0 sleep on Christmas Eve, so in no way was this healthy for a baby...

RULES OUT THE WINDOW:

For whatever reason, I let go of my prior rule of waiting until my missed period to take a test. I started with the cheap pregnancy litmus tests 3 days before my Aunt Flow was expected to arrive with negative results each day. Come Saturday, my period still hadn't made its annoying appearance.

I MUST BE SEEING THINGS...

Even though I figured there was no way I was pregnant being only a day late and not having any luck the last year of trying, I had an extra urge to take another test, this time the more accurate, Clear Blue test. Much to my surprise, a cross formed...meaning I was pregnant! My first thought was that this was a horrible April Fool's joke as not only was it not April, but this was a pretty cruel joke to play in general. I then blinked a few times to make sure I was seeing things correctly and read and re-read the instructions to make sure I was understanding the result properly. I still couldn't wrap my head around this news.

Shrugging my shoulders in disbelief, I concluded it must be a faulty test, so I did what any semi-normal girl would do... Took another test, this time a 'First Response' test. Two lines later... Yep, still pregnant. A flood of emotions immediately swept over me. Anxious, excited, scared, happy, unbelief, loss of words, back to happy, flashback of my not-so-healthy last two weeks, terrified, fast-forward of my future in the next 8-9 months...all these thoughts and more flew through my head at a racing speed... If this was any precursor to the roller coaster of emotions that was to come during pregnancy, I'd say it would be a fairly accurate representation, based on what I've heard...

I 'almost' cried a few different times but not quite. I still couldn't believe the test results actually showed positive. Part of me wanted to be thrilled, but part of me was anxiously scared. Both of our families have had difficulties conceiving and with pregnancy, and this was only just the beginning of an unknown future ahead. My pragmatic self warned me to be cautiously optimistic as miscarriages were still a real possibility at this point, and there was no reason to get all excited for potential heartache and future despair.

At the time hubs was lovingly making me a breakfast burrito downstairs and had been calling my name for the last 10 minutes to let me know it was ready and getting cold... My mind immediately raced to the inside joke card and ornament I had purchased for my husband over a year ago in the hopeful anticipation of one day being able to give it to him once we were pregnant. I wrote a quick message on the card, wrapped his ornament and the test results, and headed downstairs.

SURPRISING HUBS...

I came down the stairs with gift in hand, trying my best to conceal my emotions (but I couldn't get the smile off of my face, no matter how hard I tried). I asked hubs to open his belated Christmas gift. He looked at me funny and asked me why he was getting a present... I told him it was a belated Christmas gift and/or early birthday present, however he wanted to look at it.

Watching the expression on his face was priceless. It started with skeptical uncertainty, turned into surprise, transitioned to unbelief and shock, and finally resulted in the biggest grin I have ever seen on him, followed with, "Are you SERIOUS!?!? Wait...ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!" question shortly after reading the first two lines of the card... I let him open the remainder of the gift (the 2 positive pregnancy tests because you can just never rely on one these days, right?!) and his penguin 'family of 3' ornament (explanation coming shortly).

In case you were wondering...the inside joke is that I always ask for a "1-minute massage" which assuredly turns into a much longer massage. He is also a twin, so this card had multiple funny meanings.

Penguins have always been "our animal" which started almost 8 years ago when we first started dating (hence the penguin ornament that is now yellow and cracking from 2010...). We also have a memory tree that we started over 8 years ago too with ornaments from various vacations and memories created together. Here's a quick shot taken from my Holiday Decorating page...

I let hubs do the honors of placing our new penguin 'family of 3' ornament on our memory tree, since after all, January 6th is still in the window of acceptable times to have your Christmas tree still up...

HERE COMES THE TEARS...

Apparently my tears were just waiting for the floodgates to open. Once the tears came, the waterfall didn't stop. Everything made me tear up. The fact that my husband is currently on Pinterest looking up Pregnancy info just made my heart smile, and another tear of happiness fall. An hour later he let me know he had finished writing a letter to our future child which was one of the most heartfelt and sweetest letters I've ever read. It not only touched my heart but touched my soul as well. Words can't even begin to express how thankful we are for our answered prayer and how lucky our future child will be to have such a loving and caring father. Read Hubs' sweet Letter here.

After I read his letter, he let me know he was also writing a blog post from his viewpoint about this life-changing moment, so that we could always look back and remember this day from both mom and dad's perspective (and all the details and subsequent emotions that came with it) fondly for years to come. Check out his post from a husband's perspective, "I'm going to be a Dad, now what?!" for more.

DAD DUTY BEGINS...

To lighten the mood, I have a quick admission. Dad duty (aka "good hubby of pregnant wife" duty) has officially been kicked into gear. A little bird may have requested an oreo M&M Cookout milkshake at 8:00pm...perfect timing since the Duke game started at 8pm as well. Am I the only one who would be craving ice cream when it's 20 degrees outside?! My husband rose to the challenge and came home with not 1, but 2 milkshakes. (I of course shared the other milkshake with him!) #hubbyforthewin After my first bite, I looked at him with the biggest smile and said, "Mmmmm, baby likes..." :) He at least got a chuckle out of that one.

1ST "OFFICIAL" FAMILY PHOTO:

Since we couldn't leave out our fur baby (after all, she will become a big sister), we had to take the obligatory 1st family photo...

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS...

To wrap up this post and land this plane, a few quick thoughts. Maybe the maternal instincts in me are already kicking in... Sometimes even when we 'think' we are ready, God may be busy preparing our hearts, minds, and bodies so we are not only prepared for our little ones to arrive, but we also have a new found appreciation and patience for the little blessings when they come. Those all-night screaming fests, 3AM feedings, countless doctor appointments, selfless sacrifices, toddler meltdown Target runs, days of no sleep (along with no clean hair or makeup), and sibling squabbles (albeit at the most inconvenient times) are handled much easier and with more grace when we are reminded that this journey was the result of ultimate patience, prayer, and persistence. Sometimes all it takes is a little change in perspective to provide that extra ounce of courage, glimmer of hope, strength to get through the day, patience in the most testing of times, and unconditional grace to make the most of each parenting challenge and the many "teaching moments" to come.

Thank you for reading and following our journey of our little answered prayer.

Click Below to Read MORE:

Previous: "Our Pregnancy Journey - The Roller Coaster of a Ride While Trying to Conceive"

Next: "I'm GOING TO BE a Dad...noW what?!" (Dad's Perspective)

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