I’ve kind of already written up about the day we found out that we were turning into a family of three, but I want to write it up without my sister’s part taking up the first half of it. Plus I just think it’s one of the most wonderful stories I’ve ever been a part of, and I hope someday our child reads about one of the happiest days in her/his parents lives.
Life was hard for us in November. Your dad and I were both emotionally worn down. I was struggling with what I thought was the onset of depression again. Your mom is no stranger to depression, but I’m pretty good at identifying and dealing with it. I was having a harder time doing so in November. We had lost your brother or sister very early on in late September. I had ‘planned’ for a number of outcomes, but I hadn’t ever really entertained that one and it threw me. The journey to have you had been tough even before we lost your sibling. While I had been thrilled to start IVF and get that much closer to meeting you, I reacted poorly to most of the medication. I had tried to keep in the forefront of my mind that all the upheaval my body was going through now was to bring life into the world later. The bigger picture. When we lost the first pregnancy, it kind of knocked the wind out of our sails. Your dad sometimes has to be strong for both of us when I’m struggling, and he was just that. He never wavered in his faith that we would meet you at some point, or at least he never vocalized it to me. I started to doubt. As time continued to tick on and we didn’t seem to be getting any closer to having a baby, my emotional health started to plummet. The struggle started to feel too overwhelming and my fear that we weren’t going to get to be parents grew. By the time mid-November rolled around, and your aunt announced the arrival of your cousin, I was devastated. I couldn’t see the joy in her announcement because I was so angry that over a year after we started trying for you, we weren’t any closer to meeting you. I missed you and you were still just a dream. I missed your sibling and didn’t understand why we lost that pregnancy so quickly. I didn’t know what was in store for us. That you were in the wings, waiting.
I went to our doctor November 14th. We work with a pretty amazing doctor who has helped me many times when I was discouraged. He’s probably the driest guy we’ve ever met, but I appreciate his sense of humor and overall lack of emotion (most of the time). He never gave up, and even went so far as to tell us that he was making us his success story for the year, before you were more than a thought. When I went to see him that afternoon, it was because we were in a weird waiting game to start the next transfer and I wanted him to help us get the show on the road. He did an ultrasound and ordered blood work to give us an idea of when, or if, we’d be able to do a transfer before we went back the States for the holidays in December. I left thinking there was still a chance we’d get one in right before leaving. It wasn’t necessarily ideal timing, but it would be better than waiting until January or February. Usually I check my blood work papers, in fact I think I’ve checked them every single time I’ve ever had blood drawn (which by this point had happened a lot of times), but that day I was feeling so down, I never even bothered to check. If I had, I would have noticed he was checking my HCG levels, something that hadn’t been checked in awhile, including when I had been in his office two weeks prior. I left his office, after he refused to let me pay for the visit (told you he’s a good person), and slunk down to the office for my blood work. Depending on what the results were, I’d have to come back the following day to take some crazy set of pills to help get us ready to transfer.
The following morning I called his office. It was bizarre because I usually call and am directly given to my doctor. This time, I was transferred no less than 5 times before finally getting ahold of him. He answered the phone, and after my strong American accent made it clear who I was, he told me to sit down. At this point, I thought he had more bad news for me, so I groaned and said, ‘Oh no, now what?’. I was nervous and honestly, I didn’t know how much more bad news I could handle. That’s when he said, ‘You’re pregnant!’ and the world changed as I knew it. I was shocked, completely and utterly in disbelief. It had never occurred to me that I could be pregnant. That just wasn’t on the table for us. We’d been trying for you for closing in on 15 months at this point. Nearly 12 of those months had been with our fertility doctor with medications, monitoring, a surgery, and finally, IVF. We’d never naturally conceived that entire time. I couldn’t even begin to process that you were in my belly and I hadn’t had any idea. Apologies for the alcohol I’d been drinking. And Xanax that I may have taken.
I didn’t do much of anything for the rest of the day. I realized that my upset tummy was not due to trying out a vegetarian lifestyle, but because that’s my first symptoms of pregnancy. I’d had it the first time as well but never put it together that that was what was happening again. I spent the rest of the day not working and scheming to surprise your dad, although to be fair, your dad was going to have a heart attack no matter how I told him because he sure wasn’t expecting this! We had a friend in town visiting and I had her run out to the American candy store to buy a couple boxes of Reese’s Pieces. She also grabbed the onesie I had bought back in July, just for this moment, and met me at the train station that afternoon. I’d made a little card that attached to the Reese’s Pieces that said ‘I already love you pieces, Dad!’ and on the back was my estimation of your due date (July 22nd). We put that and the onesie in a gift bag (the onesie said ‘The little embryo that could‘ and I stuck a post-it on there that said, ‘and this one REALLY could’). As soon as we got to the apartment, I ran to the bathroom to take a pregnancy test, just to make sure your dad really understood what I was telling him, and didn’t think I’d officially gone off the deep end with my sister’s news. Those two lines came up within seconds and were the darkest lines I’ve ever had. I stuck the test in the gift bag before bringing it out to your dad. I told him I had gotten him something because he’d been so supportive over the last couple days, which he had. Our apartment was stocked with my favorite candy, snacks, and wine–which I would not be drinking anymore. Your dad is kind of easy to surprise because he never suspects anything, and so was the case with this. He opened the bag and pulled out the pregnancy test first. His first words were, ‘Oh, a thermometer!’ before realising what it actually was. He face completely changed and he kept looking from me to the test and back to me again. He opened the rest of it, and found the candy with your due date on it and I think that’s when it really clicked. He thought I’d done a transfer without telling him, so when I told him you weren’t an IVF baby, he was shocked all over again. This process had been hard on your dad too and he couldn’t believe you were in there. It took him a solid two hours before he really realised that I was actually pregnant. It was one of the funniest nights we’d had in awhile and we were both giddy with excitement. We just kept saying we couldn’t believe you were in there. We already felt like you were as close to a miracle as we’d ever get in our lifetimes.
Your dad and I were struggling–not as a couple, but in our own ways with the stress and disappointment of trying to have a baby. We wanted you so badly and every set back started to feel so personal. We felt like the universe sometimes just hated us. Your dad told me afterwards that he had even started praying because he just didn’t know what else to do. It felt like nothing would ever go right for us, and then there you were. Your existence gave us hope, because honestly, its amazing you are here. The timing of it all, it was incredible. You’d been waiting for us to find you, all that time. The heartbreak and the pain–we had to go through it all to get to you. We already loved you before we knew about you but our love grew infinitely more that November 15th day.
I wrote a quote down in a post in October that I had seen that had given me some hope. When I went back and re-read it after finding out about you, I couldn’t believe how true it rang for us.
“…when a lot of things start going wrong all at once, it is to protect something big and lovely that is trying to get itself born-and that this something needs for you to be distracted so that is can be born as perfectly as possible.”
Could those words be any truer?
You’ve only just barely started growing. Your heart should start beating this week, if it isn’t already. Isn’t that amazing? We’ve never been so excited to hear a beating heart in our lives. We know it’s still really early. Despite all that, you feel so meant to be. Every day I get a little calmer. Each night I talk to you and we do some meditating together (or as close to meditation as I can get, which to be fair, is not that great). You’ve started making your presence more known as food has started to become less and less of a friend to me, except for carbs, which I didn’t eat much of before now. You insisted on nachos last night, so I know you’ve already got fantastic taste. Afterwards, we slept for three hours on the couch because I’m also starting to feel the fatigue of you growing. It’s the best thing in the world. I’ll take it all day, every day, for the next 34ish weeks. All we want for you is to be happy and healthy. And for you to always know how insanely loved you are already. Thank you for coming to us at the most wonderful time.