(see yesterdays’ post for part 1)
So there I was, at about 4:30 pm on Monday February 13th, alone in the bathroom with a peed-on, positive pregnancy test in my hand. My heart was racing, my face felt hot and happy. I looked at myself in the mirror. I am looking at a pregnant woman, I said to myself. I have a baby inside me.
The wheels started turning–how was I going to tell my husband?
He was due home at about 6:30 pm, and of course one option would be to run into the hallway screaming as soon as I heard his key in the lock “I’mpregnantI’mpregnantI’mpregnantI’mpregnant!”
But there was a small hitch–we had friends coming over at 6:30 as well. I was going to be making dinner, which incidentally I really needed to get a move on. No, I didn’t like this scenario at all. There was no way I was going to let him walk in the door, shout “I’m pregnant!”, run back to the kitchen to make sure the eggs weren’t over-poaching, and then have our friends come in 60 seconds later as the astonishment was still playing all over my husband’s face.
Uh-unh. That wasn’t the way I wanted to make my revelation or have our first precious talk about the joys ahead.
I’ll just wait, I told myself. The next day was Valentine’s Day, and wouldn’t that be a perfect and memorable day to tell him? I knew I could keep it to myself for 24 hours, and I actually started getting excited about having this wonderful secret that no one could guess at–and it would be just mine. For one day.
Anyway. My husband came home. I acted normal. It was kind of fun, actually, modulating my speech to sound like I thought I would under regular circumstances. He noticed nothing, which is incredible since he really can normally detect the smallest change in my behavior or tone of voice. Our friends came over shortly after (Hi Felipe! Hi Rebecca!) and we had that awesome Tomato Kale skillet over rice. We talked, we laughed, we had fabulous madeleines courtesy of Rebecca’s baking skills, and all along I held my secret in my heart like a precious treasure.
The next morning I glowed on my ride to work. I could feel the happiness radiating from my face as the train rocked me back and forth, as the bus made its starts and stops. I’m having a baby. No one knows, no one can tell, but I’m having a baby.
I stopped in at Walgreens to buy another pregnancy test on my way to work, and took it in the little bathroom as soon as I got to the office. Why, you may ask? See, I was afraid that some funky thing with my body may have given a false positive. I’d recently watched a ridiculous (and hilarious) episode of 30 Rock in which Liz Lemon gets false positives on a whole bunch of pregnancy tests because of a whacko ingredient in a bag of Mexican chips she’d been inhaling. And since I had just started juicing in the morning that very Monday, what if all those micronutrients that my body wasn’t used to came out in my urine and tricked the test?
Irrational, yes, but I had questions. I had doubts. Thankfully, the second pregnancy test still showed a line. A little faint for my taste (it was the cheapest test), but obviously there. I was relieved, and let myself feel a little more excited.
Will you laugh at me if I admit that I took yet another test a few days later–just in case?
Anyway, that same day while I was still at work, Tuesday February 14th, I called my insurance company. I asked question after question until I had a firm grasp on my benefit package. What’s included, what the deductible is, what doctors are in-network, if midwifery is covered. Incidentally, the first person I told “I’m pregnant” was the Blue Cross Blue Shield customer service rep. She said “congratulations.” Thanks, customer service rep. I’m sorry I don’t even remember your name.
I read up on the midwife group at Swedish Covenant Hospital and made an appointment with them for March 28th, when I would be at the end of my 12th week. The woman who answered the phone said anywhere between weeks 8 and 12 was normal for a first appointment, so based on that I had no qualms about waiting that long.
I wanted to wait a little longer anyway to get in to a medical professional–that may seem odd–but I figured that if I was going to have a miscarriage (which is more likely to happen in the first trimester) then I would prefer not to go to the doctor beforehand. Because that just makes pregnancy seem more real. And the more real it seemed, I reasoned, the more pain I would feel if I lost the baby. Does that make sense? Anyway, right or wrong, it was simply the way my heart was reasoning.
Valentine’s Day evening, I got home from work. I started dinner. My husband got home from school. We filled each other in about the various events in our days. I was bursting with my news, but the moment wasn’t right yet and I let my husband think that I was just really excited to give him my Valentine’s Day gift. I suggested that we eat dinner in the living room (way more intimate and snuggly) and give each other our Valentine’s Day gifts there. He had written a card I wanted to read nice and slowly, and I had personalized a mug that I bought at Starbucks, which had been hiding in a dresser drawer for a few weeks. That very evening I had filled this very tall mug with a bunch of Ferrero Rocher chocolates, and buried the positive pregnancy stick in the middle.
I brought out the cup. I handed it to him. He read it slowly, turning it around in his hands (it’s a cup with a long list of all the nicknames I have for him, in case you were confused).
My heart was beating hard, and I noticed my hands had started shaking. Am I nervous? This was not what I was expecting to feel.
Then he started rummaging in the chocolates, and pulled out the stick. “What’s this?” he asked, genuinely confused. And then he thought for a moment and looked at me. He was still looking a little perplexed, so I squealed “I’m pregnant!”
Embraces, tears, and an evening of dreaming out loud ensued. I forced him to sit through an out-loud reading of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” weeks 1-6.
Of course, the next step was to decide when to tell people. Some people would have picked up the phone immediately, but we decided not to. I was experiencing no symptoms, no morning sickness yet, nothing, and the “miscarriage” refrain kept singing in my head. So we decided to wait until the risk was more minimal before sharing with our families or anyone else.
Needless to say, that plan didn’t work out so perfectly. Because that very Thursday, two days later, my friend Carrie came over to hang out before Bible study, looked me in the eye and asked in a no-nonsense tone: “Are you pregnant?”
We’ve been pretty open about our cycles, our dreams and our hopes with each other, so this wasn’t an altogether unusual question. I wasn’t planning on telling, but I hesitated a second too long with my answer.
And in that split second, she had my number. I didn’t even have to say anything before she was embracing me and saying “Oh my gosh!!”
So she and Eric were the first to know, and have been faithful friends in prayer about this baby ever since.
Since I have many women in my life who wouldn’t hesitate to ask a direct “Are you pregnant” question, I had to prepare an answer that wouldn’t be a bold-faced lie but also wouldn’t give away something we had decided to keep private for a little longer. Our solution was “well, no news yet,” which yes–I totally had to use on my Mom. Sorry, Mom.
Despite our efforts, the news slipped out to a few more people–some church friends (especially after I almost fainted in front of them), some people in our Bible study, etc.–but I’ve enjoyed the slow and gradual reveal.
So there you have it! As of today, the first trimester is over. I’ve been dreaming about baby James a lot. I had my first appointment one week ago, and there will be so much pregnancy and baby talk on this blog that you can’t possibly be ready.
More soon, and thanks for accompanying me on this journey!! I’m excited to share it with you all.