Early in the morning on October 17, 2015 I took a pregnancy test. I had taken one the day before and got a negative. So on that Saturday morning when I awoke with terrible heartburn (for what felt like the hundredth day in a row) I wanted to take some medicine but thought I should take one more test to rule out pregnancy before I took any medication.
I was expecting a negative since I had gotten one the day before, so I took the test and watched it for a few seconds. I didn't see a second line so I walked out to our hall closet and picked out some heartburn meds. A minute or two later I walked back in and looked at the test again.
THERE WAS A SECOND LINE.
It was faint, but definitely there. I could hardly believe my eyes! I let out a squeal and shouted out from the bathroom to Michael that it was actually positive (I had already told him it was negative) and he didn't believe me so I ran in proudly holding that pink stick. Then I panicked because I remembered I had just taken heartburn medication. I was so excited I couldn't think straight. For the next 30 minutes or so Michael got ready for work and left and I had so much energy/excitement that I literally didn't get anything done.
I called the hotline through our insurance to speak to a nurse to make sure it was okay that I took the heartburn medication. Once she told me I'd be fine I let out a huge sigh of relief and was able to just be excited.
About two years ago I would have been filled with dread as this positive pregnancy test did not fit into my "plan." But you can read here why I was filled with pure joy when I saw that second line. Not to mention that Michael and I weren't trying, but we weren't not trying and it had been at least six months since we had been not not trying and I was starting to get a little anxious.
I had to be at a bridal shower at 11 so I got ready extra early with the amount of energy and adrenaline I had and set out to run an errand or two. I was bursting with the news; I'm surprised I didn't tell store clerks and random strangers.
Michael suggested that I not tell people right away, and I always thought I'd want to wait to tell people for awhile. But once I knew I was pregnant it was like I had to keep my hand over my mouth at all times so I didn't spill it. I was carrying the best kept secret and it's like having the juiciest bit of gossip ever that you want to tell everyone.
By November 10th, the morning of our first ultrasound, a lot of people knew we were pregnant and we were planning on announcing it later that week if everything went well. With the amount of people that knew already we were worried it was going to start leaking and then we wouldn't have the joy of announcing it ourselves.
But the ultrasound didn't go as planned. We went in thinking I was around 8 weeks 3 days pregnant, but the baby was measuring closer to 6 weeks 3 days pregnant. My original due date was June 18th, but they moved my due date to July 2nd. Thank the Lord there was a heartbeat. It was 102; slower than they'd like for an 8 week baby, but perfect for a 6 week baby. After the ultrasound we waited almost an hour to meet with the midwife, who said with no emotion, "It's about a 50/50 chance with pregnancies like these. Some go on just fine and it truly was just a miscalculation, but about 50 percent are not viable." I just sat there trying not to cry as she left the room. I was devastated and also outraged with the way she had shown no compassion.
So we left that ultrasound feeling very unsure and insecure. We scheduled another ultrasound for the following week to monitor growth and I called off work and cried for a couple hours.
After pouring over my charts and researching online I was feeling a little bit better that maybe the due date was just miscalculated. Michael and I had my dad take a couple of announcement photos the night before the ultrasound because we thought we'd be receiving happy news the next morning and announcing the pregnancy even though it was still a little early.
Suddenly I was back to being only six weeks pregnant and facing a lot of unanswered questions and fears. Michael and I decided we were still going to announce our pregnancy for several reasons:
- First and foremost we believe life starts at conception and we are living in a world that no longer values the life of unborn children the way it should and the way God intended. By announcing our pregnancy early I felt like I was taking a small stand against the evil of this world.
- If something was wrong with our baby we really wanted prayers for our sweet little one.
- If everything turned out to be fine, our early announcement pleading for prayers would turn into a testimony; as we could come back with a healthy baby in our arms several months later attributing that precious life to the prayers of God's people.
- If we lost the baby we would have a much larger support system if we announced our pregnancy than if we didn't.
Not only do I not regret announcing our pregnancy earlier than when society says it's okay to, I am thankful we did. So, so thankful. If we had not announced our pregnancy when we did on November 12th, three days later we would have been in the same whirlwind of heartbreak and agony, yet with a much smaller support group. Yes, it was hard to come back not even a week later after announcing to everyone that we were pregnant that we had lost our sweet baby, but I truly think it would have been a lot harder to have kept the pain private and not let anyone in to help us bear our burdens. Some of the sweetest support I received (and am still receiving) came from those who I did not personally tell I was pregnant, they found out through our announcement on Facebook.
Let me tell you that while it is great to have so much support during your pregnancy, it's pretty much vital to have support when you lose your baby. God laid it on the hearts of many to swim into my grief to help keep me from drowning those first several weeks. I couldn't have done it on my own. I felt lost in a sea of pain and was utterly heartbroken, I don't think I could have pulled myself out of that initial grief and shock without the loving support of His people offering their own strength to keep me afloat.
With much more certainty and conviction than before I was pregnant and miscarried, I believe that God very intentionally creates each and every baby. He never makes a mistake. He never sees a woman take a positive pregnancy test and think, "Oops, that one must have slipped through." God alone opens and closes the womb. Man may try to prevent or aid conception, but God ultimately has the final say. And if God intended to bless us with a child, no matter how long He intended that child to be with us, I want to share the blessing and miracle of life we were so, so, so beyond blessed and privileged to have!
I am 100 percent thankful for our child because she changed me for the better. I am different because of those few short weeks that I carried and sustained another life inside of me. They say (and I might have mentioned it before on this blog) that a woman's heart is far more fertile than her body. And I couldn't agree more; I loved our child before she was conceived. Before we were pregnant I dreamed of children, and once we were pregnant it was all I thought about. I had so many hopes and plans that were unexpectedly dashed. It is truly amazing how much you can love someone you never even met.
I am still heartbroken that we lost this baby, and I know I always will be to some degree. No future baby will ever take the place of this one.