After years of wanting and months of trying…
DH and I have been TTC (trying to conceive) for six months. TTC was much more emotional than I thought it would be, for several reasons.
- Tracking my cycle, nutrition, and exercise every day
- Remembering to take ovulation tests
- Waiting throughout the two week window (between ovulation and the end of the current cycle) to take a pregnancy test
- Refraining from dangerous substances throughout the two week window such as alcohol and – the hardest for me – Advil, because of my TMJ struggles.
- Buying pregnancy tests and watching the cashier’s expression (I look young).
- Getting negative pregnancy tests month after month.
- Wondering if something is medically wrong.
- Praying the same prayer over and over.
- Watching friends and acquaintances announce their first, second, or third pregnancies, feeling both happy and jealous.
- Taking care of other people’s children and wondering what it would be like to care for my own child.
DH and I were friends for four years, then dated for four years, and now we’ve been married for four years. Our relationship is solid, and our faith is strong. Although our finances worry me, I know God has a plan to provide.
My college degree is in education. I’ve worked in middle schools, high schools, summer camps, and daycare centers. I worked in an infant room at a daycare for over a year, taking care of 8 babies at a time ages 6 weeks to 6 months, caring for 16 different infants throughout my time there. I’ve nannied for a family who had a 3 month old, who was 3 years old when I resigned. I now nanny a 12 month old. I love caring for kids, especially one-on-one or in small groups, but it made me long for my own.
This past week, I noticed I felt differently than I normally do at the end of my month. Normally, I am starving and so irritable, I stay away from people because I know I’m more likely to snap and say mean things. This time, I felt nauseated and emotionally stable.
Tuesday, January 13th, 2015 (7:15am)
I got up for work and decided to take a Dollar Tree pregnancy test since I felt suspicious, even though I was only 11dpo (days past ovulation). The test instructions were to read the results at 3 minutes and discard the test after 5 minutes. There was absolutely no second line at 3 and 4 minutes. As I picked up the test after 5 minutes, I saw the faintest little second line. When it comes to pregnancy tests, a line is a line. I was still unconvinced, however, because the line did not appear until after the test had expired, although that had never happened to me before. I didn’t want to take a second test that day, since first-morning-urine is the most concentrated, and if that line was that faint with the highest concentration, I knew I’d get nothing on a second test.
As you can imagine, that day moved so slowly, and I felt so impatient and obsessively thought, “Am I pregnant? Am I really?” As the day continued on, I started feeling more and more tired, and I also noticed that if I hadn’t eaten in the past hour, I felt nauseated. I still wasn’t convinced I wasn’t symptom spotting, but since I had such a strong suspicion, I ran out the the Dollar Tree for one more cheapie test and a Baby Congratulations card for my husband, just in case. I spent the rest of the evening perusing babycenter.com.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 (3:00am)
I couldn’t sleep. At 3am, I needed to get up to go to the bathroom (which never happens to me). I decided to just take the test right then and get an answer to my obsessive questioning. I took the Dollar Tree test, and I got that same, super faint line… but this time, I got it at the three minute mark instead of the five minute mark. The line was faint, but obviously there, yet I still could not believe it. I decided to take my expensive digital test that I had been saving all this time for this very occasion, which has a timer on it to let me know when it is done testing. As I was trying not to stare down the timer, my cat came in the bathroom, and I was thankful to not be alone. Her purring filled the silence, and I tried to focus on petting her to calm my nerves. I glanced at the test, and there it was, the word “Pregnant.” For me. Not for someone else. For me. I shriek-whispered to my cat, “Kitty, I’m pregnant! I’m pregnant Kitty!”
After sitting on the bathroom counter in disbelief, I hid the two pregnancy tests in the bathroom cabinet and returned to bed… where I lay wide-eyed until it was time to get up for work.
While my husband prepared to go to work at the church office next door, I went about my morning as a nanny – playing, then breakfast, then diaper change, then singing/rocking and nap. During her nap time, I moved the pregnancy tests to an end table drawer in the family room, and prepared the congratulations card.
My husband and I have received many Christmas cards and gifts from the people in our church congregation where my husband is a vicar (intern), so I’ve been writing many thank you notes. My plan was to hide the congratulations card with another card from a church member, and have him open them while I was literally writing thank you cards. I wrote “Vicar” on the card envelope like the church members have done, and I did it in cursive to mask my handwriting, since I usually write in print.
Nap time was over. Next came play time, then lunch time. My husband came home to eat with us, take a short break, and then head out to visit church members who are in nursing homes and hospitals. Finally, it was time for the afternoon nap, and during that time, my husband came home. I couldn’t wait any longer. As I heard him come in the back door, I quickly turned on the hidden camera, then continued writing thank you cards and asked him to open the mail.
Finally, I heard him say, “Wait… what? What? Really?”
I looked up at him and said, “Yeah, really.” I took the tests out of the drawer and showed him, and we both sat on the couch and hugged and cried. He was so shocked, he didn’t even notice me turning off the hidden camera and didn’t realize I had recorded it until several minutes later when I started watching it.
Once I was done working, we began calling our parents and siblings. After that, we started calling our friends. Once all the excitement was over, reality kicked in. Will I be a good mom? Can we support this baby financially? I also started getting very light twinges of cramps, which completely terrified me. I do not feel prepared for pregnancy. Pregnancy scares me. I suddenly felt scared and overwhelmed and trapped. I started shaking uncontrollably and feeling sick. My panic attacks normally last a few hours. Thankfully, I was so exhausted from the previous sleepless night and from the excitement that I passed out after only having a panic attack for 20 minutes. I have a feeling pregnancy and clinical depression/anxiety will be challenging. But God is with me always.
I am now 4 weeks and 1 day, according to my Ovia Pregnancy App. I feel much less anxious, and much more excited.
We have announced the pregnancy on FaceBook with this picture:
We’ve announced early for several reasons:
- We’re simply too excited about our first pregnancy.
- If something tragic happens, we will need the love, support, and prayers of everyone.
- If something tragic happens, our baby would deserve to be recognized and mourned.
And my most important reason:
- All life, no matter how small or young, deserves to be celebrated!