It was just another hot, sunny Tuesday morning in July. Kevin had been out of town in San Francisco for a couple of days, and Penny and I were planning on rendezvousing with him on Thursday in Detroit, where we would spend the weekend celebrating my sister Amanda and her soon to be husband Brandon’s wedding. Penny was sleeping in past 7, a rare occurrence for her, and I really had to pee, yet lingered by the bathroom sink, carefully reading the instructions on the test. It had only been 2 days since my period should have come. Nothing, really. Way too early to get my hopes up. And yet here I was with the test in my hand, contemplating whether or not I should just go ahead and take it. If it was negative, I told myself, there was no reason to be disappointed. It was still so early, and we had only been sort of trying for about a month. I decided just to go for it.
Heart pounding the whole time, I took the test, then waited the recommended 3 minutes to look at the screen. It was just as torturous as I had remembered. I killed time brushing my teeth, and then finally glanced over at the stick lying face up on the counter. Two lines. I looked again, this time more closely. I must have looked ten more times to be sure. Although faint, there were definitely two lines. Thoughts and feelings immediately washed over me- shock, excitement, giddiness, balanced with a sense of peace and calm, almost as though a part of me had already known what the test had just confirmed for me. After the initial jumping up and down and taking deep breaths stage, I was faced with a dilemma: how would I tell Kevin? And how could I possibly wait until Thursday? Could I really keep this very big secret all to myself until then? Of course I would have to. I had to tell him in person, and I would just have to find a way to do it without letting the rest of my family in on it; they had enough to think about with the upcoming wedding.
I lasted one day. On Wednesday, while sitting down to lunch with Penny, I caved. It was just too big, and I couldn’t keep it from him any longer. I rationalized that it was better this way- we would have time to process the information and talk about it without being surrounded by people rushing around in a hectic flurry to get ready for the wedding. So, after typing out a text message to Kevin and debating over and over whether or not to send it, I finally just hit send. My phone rang what felt like mere seconds later, and I had a very shocked and elated husband up the other end. I couldn’t see his face or hug him, but I knew that both of us had huge smiles on our faces that we couldn’t contain.
The months since then have been a whirlwind of sharing news, doctors appointments, nausea, exhaustion, and excited talks about plans for our future as a family of 4. The time has flown by, and I suddenly find myself 19 weeks pregnant, only days away from finding out the gender of our baby, who we currently refer to as our little peanut. In exactly 9 more days, we will be able to call this child by his or her name, and it feels too good to be true.
Truth be told, this pregnancy has been harder on me than the last one. Not physically- I remember being nauseous and exhausted during the first trimester with Penny as well. Rather, It’s been harder emotionally. Perhaps last time I just took my pregnancy for granted, assuming everything would turn out fine, but this time I feel so much more paranoid that something will go wrong. I think it’s because now I know just how much I am going to love this baby, how insanely all consuming having this child will be in the most wonderful way possible. I thought I knew last time, but I couldn’t. And now I do, which makes it more exciting but also so much scarier.
It doesn’t help that we had a little scare a few weeks back, when Penny was sick with hand foot mouth disease, and I found myself sick as well. I had to have blood drawn to see if I had in fact had the virus, because apparently it can cause complications with the fetus if a mother gets the virus this early on in the pregnancy. I was told I would have to wait 2 to 3 days for the results of the blood test, and in the meantime I foolishly read up on what the complications could be on the internet. They weren’t good- words like stillborn and miscarriage and anemia popped out on the screen, and I immediately felt like I was going to pass out. I spent the next couple of days trying not to think about it, because when I did, I convinced myself that of course I had the virus. And so, when I got the call from my midwife telling me that I was immune and there was nothing to worry about, I started crying, I was so relieved.
The weight that was lifted after hearing that news was huge, but I couldn’t help but feel worried. It all felt so fragile this time around. I even started to become nervous when I wasn’t sure I had felt the baby move yet. In the back of my mind there continued to be this feeling of doom. And then yesterday morning, lying in bed with Kevin and Penny, it all turned around. Kevin reached down to kiss my belly and say good morning to our peanut, and then Penny did the same. Suddenly I felt a little flutter. And another. And another. And I couldn’t help but smile and feel content to be in that perfect moment with my sweet family.
I have felt my baby’s tiny movements several times since that morning, and it is the most wonderful and reassuring feeling in the world. All is well, everything is as it should be, and the end of March will be here before we know it.