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Monday, October 21, 2013

How I got here. Part 4

Sorry for the delay with How I Got Here, Part 4.  I honestly didn't think it was going to take 4 separate blog posts to get this story told but apparently I am very long winded!  Plus Dan and I snuck off to Charleston, S.C. on Friday morning for a long weekend away and I'm never very good at planning my blog posts ahead of time.  Our weekend away was heavenly but now I 'm back and ready to pound out this rest of this story....

In case you missed it, here are the other installments:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

As of this past summer, I was pain free!  I had stopped taking Lyrica  but was still taking Tecfidera and Carbatrol to insure that I remained pain free. We were still doing Natural Family Planning (or our crazy version of it, anyway) to insure that we didn't have any more kids.  Because, after all, I was still taking two medications.  One of which was listed as doing known damage to a human fetus and the other is listed has having shown damage to animal fetuses but there have been no controlled studies on humans.

And even though I was still walked around most days feeling like our family was one short, I  no longer had any desire to  adopt.  I felt that perhaps God had finally answered my prayers about adoption by taking away any thoughts of it. It was no longer something I thought about or pondered. 

Much like my pain spells, thoughts of adoption had disappeared.

The summer was going along as planned.  Lots of time at the swimming pool and lots of play dates.  That's the beauty of having a best friend who works and has 4 kids...her kids are always available to play.  And I love having her kids around.  They occupy my kids and honestly, having her four kids around all the time seemed to fill the void that I felt.

The end of July arrived and it was time to go to Cape Cod for our annual summer vacation.  We stay in Dan's family home which is small.  Three bedrooms, one bathroom, a family room, and a kitchen - your typical Cape Cod style home.  And there were going to be 6 of us staying there with the potential of up to three more on a couple of different nights.  And we were going to be gone for almost two weeks.

I checked my fertility software and realized that we were on the hairy edge of the "safe zone" but I felt like we could probably safely engage in some adult fun before we left and still be okay.  Because I knew that there would be no, um, activity, while we were crammed into a tiny house, I felt like it was important that we go for it!

Typically if we were any where near the unsafe time, we would be refraining, but I suppose I felt like it would be okay to throw caution to the wind just this one time.  Besides, we were going to be gone 12 days. That's a long time.  wink wink

We had a great vacation, came home, got back to life as normal and I checked my fertility software because I thought I was about time for my period.

But alas! My period was late!

WHAT????  There was no way I could be pregnant.  I was almost 44 for heaven's sake.  We had been so careful for 9 years.  I was taking medication that could be harmful for a baby.

I calmed down by telling myself that surely menopause is right around the corner. I did some Googling and felt like perhaps my period was just a little late thanks to perimenopause and not pregnancy.

Even though  I had always wanted another baby, by this time, I was enjoying the freedom that life with a 9 and 10 year old bring.  I was looking 10 years down the road at a nice future with my husband.  I was looking backward at all the diapers, sleepless nights, and firsts that come along with a little one, and I wasn't wistfully looking back either, it was a happy look back.  I was glad that those crazy days were in the past.

I waited a few more days but Aunt Flo never came.  I reluctantly decided that I should probably get a pregnancy test during my next trip to Wal-mart.

I got up that Saturday morning and tried to get out the door to the store without any helpers tagging along.  I knew I would be getting a pregnancy test and didn't want to have to explain that to anyone.

But Sarah was adamant that she go to the store with me so off we went.  As we approached the section with the pregnancy tests, I quickly spotted a cheap pregnancy test from distance. (I think it was 97 cents to be exact).  I grabbed two of them as I sailed past the ovulation kits, condoms and more expensive pregnancy kits and got them off the shelf and into the cart and hidden underneath some other items before Sarah even noticed.

And because I absolutely knew there was no way I could possibly be pregnant, I grabbed a box of tampons, because after all, it was going to come any day now.

We got home and I got all the groceries put away. I knew I needed to go ahead and take the test and get it over with so I grabbed them and ran upstairs and locked the bathroom door.

I opened the first box and quickly realized why they were only 97 cents.  There was a tiny test strip and a tiny plastic dropper.  I said a few choice words under my breath, hid the items, ran back downstairs, grabbed a red Solo cup, ran back upstairs and locked the bathroom door.

I then proceeded to pee into the red Solo cup, suction some pee out of the cup with the tiny dropper, place a few drops of pee onto the test stick and decided that it would have totally been worth paying $4 for the pregnancy test that did not require your own cup.  There really is something to be said for being able to pee directly onto the stick.

And then I waited.  But I didn't have to wait long.  Two stripes appeared almost instantly and I'm not going to lie, my heart sank.

What the heck had I done?  I was pregnant.

I was disappointed and upset.  My heart was heavy.  

I went downstairs and did what most women do when they find out they are pregnant.  I started canning salsa.  We had a ton of tomatoes that were going to spoil and I had to get them canned.

And as I chopped and stirred and canned, I was a mess.My  mind just kept  thinking about all the work that was ahead of us.  All the sleepless nights and dirty diapers.  All the bottle feedings, the potty training, the spoon feeding.  Teaching this new little one to walk, how to run, how to tie their shoes, how to ride a bike, how to read.

I could not get past the thought of all the work that is involved with raising a helpless human into a semi-helpful 10-year-old.

And then what about the health of this baby?  There was so much that could be wrong with it based on my age and the medication I was taking when I got pregnant.

So, as my tomates stewed, I stewed.  And then it struck me.   

give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

This verse popped into my head and I felt like such a jerk.  This is God's will...not mine.  He has given me this gift of a new life, one that I had wanted for so long, and what do I do immediately after realizing I had been given this precious gift?

I complained.  I whined.  I worried.  I fretted.

So I stopped my work, I bowed my head, and I asked God to forgive me for my selfishness and I thanked God his gift.

It wasn't an eloquent prayer.  It wasn't even very long.    But the nice thing about God is that He knows exactly what is in our hearts.

After I said the prayer of thanks, I headed downstairs to the basement where Dan was working.  I pulled the two pregnancy tests out of my pocket and held them up.

He looked at them over the top of his glasses that were pulled down over his nose so he could see what he was working on. (Don't worry, he has bifocals now.  And yes, we are that old!) He gave me a confused look, shook his head, shrugged his shoulders and said, "What are those?

"I'm pregnant," was my simple reply.

"What?  How's that even possible?" was his incredulous response.

And much to my relief, he was excited.  Thrilled, even.  Which is good because it made up for my less than stellar reaction.

We waited about a week and told my parents and much to my excitement, they were even more happy than I expected.  My mom jumped up out of her chair when I told them, pointed toward my father and said, "I TOLD YOU SO!!!!"

Which I think is hysterical, because why in the world would she think her 44 year old daughter was pregnant?  She said it was mother's intuition.  Whatever, I was just glad they were excited.

And after I got over the intiail shock, I can honestly say that I am excited as well.  At first, I was very worried.  But I have covered this baby in prayer (as I know so many others have as well) and I believe that if this baby is supposed to be born healthy it will be.  I have also come to accept that if this baby is not healthy that God will help us to do everything we can for him/her.

I know deep in my heart that this baby is a true gift from God.  A gift that I will love, appreciate, cherish and by thankful for for the rest of my life.


Mari said...

I literally have goose bumps after reading this. What a wonderful story of how you got here.
God has a plan for this baby. I know he/she is going to be a huge blessing to all of you and others too.

Jamie said...

What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing and for reminding us all to be thankful in every circumstance. My favorite line out of all four parts was: "I went downstairs and did what most women do when they find out they are pregnant. I started canning salsa." That laugh was a great way to start my morning! Your precious baby, your family, and you are all being covered in prayers from many people. Praying for a healthy pregnancy and delivery and for your family to adjust easily to... basically, starting over! :)

Busy Bee Suz said...

It was meant to be! I love your story and how this miracle baby came about.
I literally LOL'd at you going from peeing in a cup to making salsa are FuNnY!
I hope you are feeling well.

Ferrell Boys Mom said...

What an awesome story! I'll be praying for your baby and for you in the coming months! I'm excited for you! My last baby cured me of the desire for any more. He filled that empty spot in our family to almost over-flowing! He's such a character. God bless you and yours!

Billie Jo said...

Oh dear friend...thank you for sharing this wonderful, beautiful story...

I loved reading every single part of your story and cant wait to meet your new blessing! : )

deborah said...

I love your Mom's reaction!!!

God has a plan for you all and your kids will just have so much fun with this baby!!

My "baby" is 10 and I confess I would feel like you described your reaction, if we had another baby on the way. I love how you worked through your thoughts and feelings and knowing that God has a plan!

Colleen said...

I think every Mom must have that reaction to a positive pregnancy test...even if they are trying! It's such a rush of emotions, and after the initial shock, sooooo exciting!

Unknown said...

Congratulations! My husband and I are thinking of trying for one more baby in the next few months. I'm 39 and your post makes me think that I'm not too old. I hope you have an easy pregnancy.

Kim said...

wonderful story. My mom always knew when I was pg too.

congrats on your blessing

Aimee said...

Oh, I love it. Love, love,love it. This was beautiful, I'm so happy you shared it with us.

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend! xoxo

Dwija {House Unseen} said...

I'm so glad you shared the whole story with us! Just wonderful.

Jessica said...

Every baby should come with some 10 year olds! This is going to be your easiest baby yet, you almost have built in baby sitters! They will hold the baby so you can shower and dress the baby even if you don't want them to, and in a year or two they will be setting him/her up with a show on Netflix...You are set. Congratulations! You and your family are in my prayers.