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Finding out you’re pregnant after previous loss is a whole new emotional war to conquer. Placing your heart and soul on the line of duty with no control over the outcome brought panic, pure joy and genuine relief: all rolled together with the worst anxiety I had experienced as an adult woman.
I once again took my heart and passed it to the Universe saying “take this, all of this, and don’t break it”
You hope and wait and try and hope and wait and try and when those pink lines confirm “yes, it’s here, it’s happening”: the trying concludes but the hoping and waiting continues- waiting for heartbreak to strike whilst hoping for a first-time success story to begin.
The morning of my third positive pregnancy test was like most. I awoke before my husband, admittedly slightly groggy from the evening prior, grabbed a hot coffee from the kitchen, ran my toes a hot bath, and sat in stillness and silence as per my regular morning routine. It was a Saturday- and we had plans.
Firstly, my sister in law and new baby niece were in town and I was going to get to meet her for the first time. Only 1 week old at this point and albeit the dynamics of the timing of my last babies loss and her birth, I knew holding any newborn babe would bring surges of oxytocin and lighting strikes to the ovaries.
Secondly, it was my baby brothers graduation day- amongst a pandemic- after losing our Dad. No parties or cheering crowds were in the plans for this academic and athletic superstar, no hugs and Hi-Fives from Stu would be given: but our family did our best to make the day special. We had a party bus and loads of booze waiting so we could celebrate him in style. When they say you’re allowed ONE vehicle at a drive-by grad: leave it to my family to take that to another level.
Knowing my day would be jam-packed with emotion and booze, led me to take a test on a whim that morning. Day 30. Only 2 days late.
Taking a pregnancy test first thing in the morning had been my go-to routine: the first pee of the day not only contained the highest amount of HCG for pregnancy detection, but it was a time I was usually calm, alone, and ready to deal with the outcome of 1 line or 2. So, I went for it.
I retreated my feet from the side of the bath and scrounged up a small dented cardboard box that contained a wrapped exam from deep under my bathroom sink. Without huge emotional investment and without waking my husband: I peeled the wrapper, peed on the stick and automatically tossed the test back into the small box to marinate for a few minutes. The lump in my throat and pounding in my chest began as it would ANY time I took a pregnancy test.
Any woman who takes a pregnancy test- whether with complete knowledge she is or isn’t pregnant: gets anxious as fuck. It really should be part of the instruction manual at this point: whether 16, 26 or 36- the bodily response tends to be universal.
Piss on the stick- put it to the side- contemplate your entire life and future for a solid 2-3 minutes– then view your results. That shit should be included in the fine print.
I sat on the bath-ledge for the delegated time and then grabbed the box. I squatted down on the closed toilet seat and peered into the black hole of my future fortune and noticed not one but TWO open pregnancy exams sitting inside.
“For fuck sakes” I thought, “I kept my old test in this box too”
The last time I had a positive test was 9 months prior and I had kept it under the sink for that length of time. Now, my angel babies positive pregnancy test was accompanied by another stick- holding my current future by the presence or absence of 2 millimetres. The kicker: I had no idea which test was which. 4 pink lines. I now needed to see FOUR pink lines.
Grabbing these tests from the box felt like choosing a prize on some reality TV or game show. The destiny of everything you want in that moment coming to you in one flash.
I quickly snatched one of the tests from the box and saw 2 pink lines.
My brain quickly went into scarcity mode “this is the old test, you’re looking at the old test, do not get excited”
And without hesitation, deep breathes or time to think- I quickly pulled the next test from the box.
2 pink lines.
My eyes hovered over both tests simultaneously: shifting from one exam to the next. The faster my eyes shifted the faster the realization that I WAS, in fact, pregnant in THIS moment moved from my head and into my body. My finger tips quickly shivered as if I was holding the winning numbers to the Lotto 649.
Naked, on the toilet, in the bathroom, at 6am on a Saturday: I learned I was pregnant.
Oddly enough, I never woke my husband. I didn’t rush him or scream. My reaction was different than it had been in the past. Naked, shivering, vulnerable, confused, relieved, scared, happy.
The first time I was pregnant- when the doctor told Rob and I we were expecting: it was pure shock. No time to cope. Pure disbelief. White noise and unfamiliarity filled the room instantly.
The second time I was pregnant- I rushed to wake my husband while still in the lottery-stricken shock phase. I remember standing naked in our bedroom as I awoke him from his sleep saying out loud “Robbie…Robbie… omg, wake up…. I’m pregnant” (not the romantic surprise you see on Instagram to say the least).
This time. I felt somewhat collected. I needed to think. To process. To gather my feelings. I placed one of the pregnancy tests back in the box and the other next to the sink and completely bypassed the bath ledge to sink my whole body into hot water this time. Fuck just the feet: The the full body experience was needed.
I laid in that bathtub letting the realization factor register with the water raised to chin level. Hot, sweaty, still shaking. My eyes welled up with happy yet fearful tears as my body relaxed and tensed at the contradicting thoughts that were now running rampant. I’d place my hands on my stomach in reassurance then shake my head in disbelief all in a matter of seconds. I began whispering out loud to Stu,:
“don’t give me this gift if you’re going to take it away, Stu”.
I pepped talked my angel-dad into giving me reassurance that this positive test was meant to be.
“If you give me this baby and then take it away I’ll never forgive you”- I was now warning him of the hurt I’d be left with if things went astray as I was convinced this baby was heaven sent.
I guess you could say Stu was the first person I told about this rainbow baby: although, he already knew. Between him, me and God, the master plan had begun.
I stepped out of the bath, into my housecoat and never entered the bedroom that held my sleeping baby-daddy. I slipped the test from the sink into my housecoat pocket, grabbed my now-cold coffee and headed outside where the summer air and chirping birds greeted me. I sat with more paradoxical thoughts as I swung on my backyard swing.
Without much hesitation, I FaceTimed my older sister.
When she answered: she saw me starring at her without words. Fixated on the screen as if frozen in technology time.
“Helllllo?” she questioned over the sound of her two littles.
Without words, I grabbed the test from my pocket and revealed it to the screen so she could clearly grasp the reasoning for my early morning FaceTime call.
After a “OMG” and slight screech, we began a more formal conversation.
With a family as close knit as ours: it would be a rarity to keep a secret for long so I assured her I’d need her help to navigate the entire day of party busses and shots that were ahead of us.
“ I want to wait to tell mom and the kids until after Jackson’s grad” – the goal was to focus on my bro that day, not on my news, but my lack-of-drinking and celebration would be a dead giveaway: so I needed her support.
I went on to verbalize my scarcity mindset, my fears of being heartbroken again and my new reassurance of our angel-Dad now looking over me. Although never experiencing miscarriage or infertility herself, my sister got me. She always gets me.
A polar opposite to her extroverted and say-it-how-it-is younger sister, Noel has always been a source of understanding and calmness. My 5’1” 100 lbs. “big” sister. Our energies pull opposite on the pendulum of universal vibration- which as adult women has allowed us to find a common ground in the middle. She’s a safe place, a leader, a best friend and killer fucking mom.
“Ok, so what did Robbie say?” she now questioned.
Well, as of that moment, he hadn’t said much. My sleeping beauty husband was still tucked in tightly awaiting his weekend alarm: unknowing to the fact that his dreams of soon becoming a Daddy were already in the works.
I didn’t want Robbie to find out by noticing my lack of participation in the daily festivities ahead of us. I also knew damn-well my energy and excitement would come through at some point and I wanted to share the news in somewhat of a calculated fashion.
Oftentimes, the best part of being happy: is sharing it. You double-down on the happiness that way. I needed to tell.
With the positive test nestled into my housecoat pocket and moments before any weekend alarm sounded: I got off the phone and tiptoed into the half-dark bedroom and crawled back into bed with my husband.
This required a shuffle and push of our bedmates, Louie and Arnold- who were occupying 50% of the open real estate left on our queen size mattress. Louie, our soft coated Wheaton pup, and Arnold: our Guinness world recording holding sized cat were now nestled at the bottom of the bed.
Undoing my housecoat and pressing the naked front-half of my body against his shirtless back. I spooned my husband skin-to-skin anticipating his awakening.
Although usually a ploy for an intimate moment, THIS intimate moment was far from sexual.
We laid in silence as my breathing quickened and my heart raced faster against Rob’s posterior chain. I could feel a dampening of stress-sweat trickling the small of my neck as Robbie awoke from his Friday evening slumber, now leaving my brain to formulate the perfect sentence of surprise.
After turning towards me, pecking me with a good-morning kiss and opening his eyes fully to the world, I smiled in response with a large sigh and the best in-the-moment verbiage I could conjure.
“Look at our family” I stated outwardly, as my eyes peered to the bottom of the bed where our fur babies continued to dream.
“All 5 of us in the bed” I then said with a smile.
Robbie grinned. Looked down at our animals, then back up to me. He must’ve done a quick count in his brain, then peered into my eyes for reassurance.
“5?” he soon questioned with a squint- his head already tilted against his pillow.
And without a further response, I tucked my left hand behind me and into my housecoat pocket to reveal the positive pregnancy test to my husband.
“Yes, 5” I confirmed with a smile.
The squint of his baby blues instantly grew into wide eyes now glossed over with shock and awe as the news registered and his head quickly arose from his pillow.
The scarcity mindset and fear that registered in my body hours prior didn’t seem to be hitting him the same. Just pure joy.
I could only see a massive smile and teary eyes and happiness on my husbands face- the only emotion I needed to see in that moment. He believed in me. He believed in us.
And in that moment those eyes showed it all.
Those were the eyes I fell in love with when he walked to my front door to pick me up for our first date.
Those were the eyes I locked into as I walked down the aisle to marry this man and devote my life to him.
Those were the eyes that held me in solitude after 2 miscarriages, the loss of Stu, and the downward spiral of misfortune we experienced the 9 months prior.
Those were the eyes I shared my dreams, my fears, my values and my deepest secrets to.
Those were the eyes that would guide me through the anxiety, the joy, the scary moments and the celebration of the greatest journey we would ever take together.
Because I wasn’t just looking into the eyes of my forever partner, the rock of our family, or the best looking man I had yet to see walk this Earth.
I was now looking into the eyes of my daughters Dad: and those happened to be my favourite eyes yet.
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