Monday, August 31, 2009
I've written a lot about my birth story- what happened shortly before I went into labor, what C's dramatic birth was like, and all about the scary hours and days that followed. What I haven't addressed yet- and what I sometimes get questions about- is how I felt when I found out I was pregnant with my second child.
I mentioned once before (when discussing a few of my thoughts on gender) that it took me fifteen months to conceive my first child. That's the blink of an eye for someone truly struggling with infertility but, for me, it felt like forever. I guess because, like most women, I just assumed that once I WANTED to get pregnant, I just would- right away. It's not that I didn't realize that plenty of couples struggled to conceive right away... I just figured I wasn't one of them. Anyway, that's all water under the bridge as that child is now 4 1/2.
Because getting pregnant had not been "easy" for me, I didn't think much about it after my son was born. He was growing and thriving and I recovered beautifully. Life went on.
When he was 5 1/2 months old, I was just starting to get back into my work-out routine. I felt great, albeit a bit more tired than usual. But, after all, I had an infant. This was to be expected. One evening, my parents, my husband, the baby, and I prepared to go out to Red Lobster for dinner. As my husband held the car door for me, I remarked, "I don't know what I'm going to order... shrimp just doesn't sound good to me." Only one other time in my life had I been opposed to the idea of shrimp...
"You're taking a test," my husband said under his breath as he closed the door.
Well, that I did. Shortly after we got home from the restaurant (I ended up eating mozzarella sticks, if you were wondering). I took the second test out of the "twin pack" we'd bought when I had found out I was pregnant with my son. I didn't think anything of it- I was sure it would be negative.
It was positive.
I left it on the counter and went back out to resume the card game with my husband and parents. I didn't say a word.
When my husband used the bathroom, he saw it on the counter, but he had no idea what two lines meant. He searched frantically for a box or instructions but could find neither. He ended up waiting a couple more hours until we were getting ready for bed.
"So... two lines. That's negative?" he asked.
I shook my head from side to side, wide-eyed and scared.
His face broke out in a wide grin and he caught me in a huge hug.
I dissolved into tears.
What would people think??? My first baby wasn't even a year old yet! Heck, he wasn't even six months old yet! We had recently moved to Indiana to be near my father-in-law as he battled cancer and my husband hadn't yet found a job. How were we going to afford this? When should I tell people? Would people expect my firstborn to "grow up" faster? Was he being displaced as the baby too soon?
Question after question raced through my mind.
"Isn't it wonderful that it wasn't such a struggle this time?" my husband asked.
And he was right.
I've felt guilty in the months and years since... guilty that, while I faced my first positive pregnancy test with pure and utter joy, I faced my second with trepidation. I wasn't sure it was the "right time". I wasn't sure it was the "best decision".
But I was always sure I wanted that baby. Wanted her as much as I could want anything in this world.
I didn't know then how hard we were both going to have to fight in order for us to be where we are today. But I knew I was ready to embrace my closely-spaced babies... my "two under two".
Who knew I was expecting a miracle?