The word “shocked” doesn’t even come close to how I was feeling when I saw two little lines on the pregnancy test.
Just like most things in life, finding out that I was pregnant did not go anything like I imagined it would.
Justin and I have been trying for a little while. When we started, I would buy the “tells you 6 days sooner” pregnancy tests and take them even though I wasn’t even close to my period date. Naively, I thought it would happen right away. Why wouldn’t it?
Many months in to the trying, and facing the reality month after month that we did not conceive, I stopped buying pregnancy test. I did not give up on getting pregnant, but I had to stop teasing myself with the little glimmer of hope that a plastic stick could give us.
Justin and I went to an unhelpful “infertility*” consultation appointment with my gynecologist in January. She immediately suggested I get on Clomid, which I was relatively apprehensive about, and didn’t have much else to offer besides that. We left wondering why there wasn’t going to be a little bit more investigation into both Justin and I before I started taking a medication to help me ovulate. What if Justin is sterile? Or it isn’t an ovulation issue with me?
(*I use the word infertility here only because that is what the appointment was called. Even before finding out that I’m pregnant, I would not classify Justin and I as “infertile”. It just took 14 months to conceive.)
I heard a lot of negative things about Clomid, but I also heard that it worked for a lot of people. Based on an awful experience with a hormonal birth control, I was very nervous about taking something that would alter my hormones again. I had two horrible migraines the month I was trying birth control, many years ago, and I wasn’t sure if that would happen again on Clomid.
I told that doctor that I would follow up, which I never did, and decided to purchase ovulation sticks from Amazon to see if I could track down when/if I was ovulating. THEN we could move forward. I needed a little bit more information before I started taking anything.
I happened to be traveling almost every weekend in March for both business and pleasure, so I decided to start tracking my ovulation in April.
My period had been arriving a few days late every month, which made it hard to know when to expect it. So, as the days passed in April, I waited for the 13th to arrive–which should have been when my period began. Well, it was late. And I thought it was rude. I remember telling Justin, “My stupid period is late. This is so annoying. I just want it to get here already so I can stop thinking about it.”
Well, it didn’t come. And I did not wonder if I was pregnant. I was gone for so much of March, the odds of us concieving were less than any other month we had been trying. It truly didn’t even cross my mind.
Monday morning, April 15th, I fished out a pregnancy test that came with my ovulation kit.
I read the instructions, which told me I needed to dip this test in a cup instead of doing the traditional “pee on a stick” method and I decided there was no way I was going to go through that hassle just for a negative test. I used the “wrong” method (for this test), set it on the counter, and returned to my home office to continue working.
A few minutes later I had forgotten about that test, and I hopped up to go “confirm the negative” result.
I walked in the bathroom and saw two pink lines.
“Huh. Weird. These tests are opposite from the store-bought ones. Usually two lines mean positive but it must mean negative on these. . .”
I picked up the instructions and saw that two lines meant positive.
And I stood there. Heart pounding. Praying, “Lord, protect my heart please. This has to be wrong.”
I checked the test about 56 times, making sure there were, in fact, two lines. And then I was annoyed that I hadn’t even taken the test correctly! (irony at it’s finest)
So I conclude that it was probably a false positive, and I need to get my heart rate down by taking a Clear Blue Easy test. So I guzzle as much water as I can, run out to the drugstore, come home, and take that test following every rule I possibly could.
As it was processing, I continued to pray. “Lord. Please protect my heart. I know this isn’t real. It’s never positive.”
As the plus sign began to form on the Clear Blue Easy test, I put my hand on my heart and looked at myself in the mirror.
“I might be pregnant.”
I took a third test just for extra confirmation and that was positive too.
So there I stood, with my cats snoozing on our bed in utter ignorance of what was happening, with this realization that everything just changed. Forever.
I sat on my bed and thought, “What on earth do I do next?” It’s such a strange feeling to learn you are pregnant, but notice that nothing in your day to day changes at all. Justin was at work. I had blog work to do. Justin had homework to do later.
But everything was different.
So I begin to think of a way to tell Justin, and get that ready. His birthday was just days away, so I went out and bought a card for him as an “early birthday gift”.
The day crawled.
I decided to tell Justin later that evening, closer to bedtime, since he had homework to do that evening. I couldn’t exactly bombard him with the information that our lives are forever changed and then say, “okay, have fun studying!”
He walks in the door, and I’m in the kitchen making dinner.
“How was your day?” He asks.
“Fine. You know, the usual. Blog stuff. . .” I reply. I’m a pretty good liar.
We continue to chat as usual over dinner, and then he gets ready to do his work. I had a meeting with a friend that night, so I kept that on the schedule so nothing looked suspicious.
I returned home, ran upstairs to grab the card, and as I walked down the stairs my heart started pounding.
I paused for a distinct moment to thank the Lord for this moment.
I handed him the card, and sat there almost in tears. He opens it slowly, suspecting nothing, and starts to read it.
The front of it said, “For your birthday I’d like to give you the world. . .”
And the inside read, “But my heart will have to do.” I crossed out “my heart” and wrote “our baby” beneath it and followed that with “I’m pregnant! Oh my gosh! I love you! Happy Birthday!”
He looks up at me quickly with his face full of shock and emotion.
I said, “I’m pregnant!”
We hugged, I cried, and he got up from the couch to go sit on the stairs (because that makes sense. . . right?).
He looks up at me and says, “We have so much to do!”
“We’ve got 9 months. We have plenty of time!”
The rest of the evening we just smiled, looked at each other, and sat in silence as both of our minds raced. We’d chat a little bit about how crazy it is to find out this news. How we are the only two people in the world who know. Such a strange, but special, feeling.
The next day we told both sets of parents and our families. Everyone was thrilled for us, and it was such a gift to hear their reactions.
And now, already into the second trimester, I can still remember that night like it was yesterday. I feel immeasurably blessed by God that we were able to conceive naturally. Through the year of trying, I heard from more women than I could imagine who were unable to conceive without outside help, and knowing that has truly magnified what a gift this really is.
*I’m aware that many people have differing opinions on using outside help to conceive. This can be a tough subject to talk about, so all I’d ask of you is to be sensitive and considerate in the comments.
Edit Update: Just to clear up any possible confusion, we did not stop trying in March. I was traveling a lot, so we just were not able to try as often as we did other months. I don’t believe in the “just relax and you’ll get pregnant right away” theory. I believe in God’s timing.