Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My Pregnancy: The Reveal

My brain was a jumbled mess.

I am pregnant.

And nobody knows.

(To fully understand the context of this post, you may want to read my previous post first.)

That morning, I was by myself at work for a few hours. It was the slowest shift ever.

God must have done that knowing I would need some time to think!

It was sort of agonizing. My mind was going in a thousand different directions. I was trying to sort out what could have possibly happened. Was my home ovulation test faulty? Was there a chance the lab test was wrong, or maybe it was someone else's results? How far along was I? Do I tell someone? Do I tell Chris?!

I never imagined that I would have to tell Chris over the phone that I was pregnant. And I hated the idea of it. He was in an area where there was poor cell phone reception, so there was no guarantee that I could even get ahold of him to tell him. And I was imagining me trying to tell him the news and then the phone cutting in and out. It would be so awkward and anti-climactic. The other option was to tell him through text message.

Really?!

I couldn't stand the thought of having to tell him that way.

I knew he would call me at some point during his training, even if that meant borrowing someone else's phone to call me. So I would eventually have the opportunity to tell him.

But after all we've been through, this long journey to get here, I just could not bring myself to telling him without it being able to be in person, just him and me. I wanted him to be able to focus at training. I knew he would have a ton of questions, just like the ones racing through my mind.

I then realized I had a third option.

Don't tell him at all!

For a second, I though, no, that is too selfish.

But I realized it would actually be more selfish to tell him while he was so far away. And he had just started his 4-week training.

I decided I would keep it a secret until he came home and I could tell him in person. I would have more answers then, and he would have NO idea that I was pregnant. He knew I was about to get my period when he left because of the medicine I was taking.

I have to admit, I did slightly consider the fact that I might have been pregnant a few days before he left. I just kept those thoughts to myself. We had gone through so much disappointment and so many negative pregnancy tests that I figured once again, I was just making things up in my mind.

Ok, so I made one decision.

Soon the next person would be coming into work, and this news was already eating away at me.

Should I tell other people?

Would that be fair to Chris that he would not be the first one to know?

Could I really go 4 weeks keeping this secret from everyone?!

I decided that I would tell a few people at work. I'm sure that my pregnancy symptoms would be hard to hide, anyway.

So I told a few girls at work.

It seemed so weird to have those words slip through my mouth: I'm pregnant.

I never thought I'd actually get to say those words.

Of course, I was still in complete disbelief. I'm not even sure I believed the pregnancy tests. I thought they were faulty.

But it made so much sense with the pregnancy symptoms I had. It just didn't make sense on paper.

I left a message for my doctor. I was a little concerned that I was taking Provera while apparently pregnant. I assumed, like drinking alcohol during early, early pregnancy, that it was nothing to really worry about. Lots of women do things that are not considered healthy for a pregnancy before they realize they are pregnant, and the babies are just fine.

A few days went by, and no call from my doctor. I left another message, and called another number and left a message on that line, too.

The weekend went by, and by Monday morning, I was frustrated.

Zero communication.

I finally called the appointment line, and had to leave a message there as well.

What?! Who has ever had to leave a message on an appointment line?!

I was realizing that I was going more crazy than ever. I decided that I would tell my neighbor; she is a mother herself, and I decided it would be smart to tell someone nearby in case I needed help. She told me that all you have to do is go to the clinic (where my PCM is) and ask to do a pregnancy test. And then you will have one on file and the doctor should call you. And sure enough, when I got a call back later that day from the appointment line (STILL nothing from MY doctor), she said the same thing.

I was too late to do a pregnancy test that day; they only do them during certain hours. So I went in the next day. I was talking with the nurse about how this pregnancy came about, and how I was getting frustrated by the lack of communication with my doctor. As I was talking, she was taking my vitals. She was looking to write down my blood pressure from the display on the wall, and her eyes bolted to mine. She said, "Is your blood pressure always high?" I said no. She said it was really high, and she said, "Just try and relax a bit. I'm going to test it again".

I told her it's probably because I'm stressed. I was telling her that I was interested in getting a referral to see a different doctor because I just wasn't happy with all that we had gone through with the one I have.

And then I started crying!

That never happens to me. I was clearly stressed, upset, and pregnant!

The nurse was so great and sympathetic. Her tone instantly changed, and she offered me a tissue. She told me that there are plenty of great doctors in OB that I could switch to. She seemed surprised that my doctor hadn't called me too. She answered as many of my questions as she could, and she told me she would call me as soon as the lab test came back.

I did feel a little better after talking with her. I finally got a few of my questions answered, even though I still didn't know how far along I was or what had happened with my medications.

I had been spotting the last few days, just a brownish-colored discharge, and I had read that was pretty normal. But when I woke up the next day, I was spotting pinkish-red. And I was crampy.

I got a little scared. I couldn't get ahold of my doctor. WHY WOULDN'T SHE CALL ME BACK?!

So. mad.

The nurse called me back, just like she promised, and said the test of course came back positive. She said it would take 3 days for the results to be sent up to OB, and then someone would call me to make my OB orientation appointment. I told her about my bleeding, and she said she would quickly talk to my PCM and call me right back. 5 minutes later, she did. She recommended that I go to the ER to get checked out.

Blech. I had never been to the ER before. Well, that's I lie. Once when I was 3, but that doesn't count.

I talked to my neighbor to tell her what was going on, and she graciously volunteered to take me, even though it meant bringing her baby with us. I was hoping she would say that - I was a bit scared to go alone.

Fortunately, all of my appointments are on post at the hospital, which I live just down the street from. So it only takes a few minutes to get to the ER. Fortunately, we didn't have to wait long to be seen. I was taken back to a small room to talk to a nurse to discuss what was going on. The tone in her voice made me feel like I was overreacting. She wasn't really very warm towards me until the end when she was cooing at my neighbor's baby. We were sent back to the waiting room. I figured we'd have to wait for awhile - there had been an accident involving a semi with a load of iron beams and at least one other car just off post. And they were all brought to the ER on post. But I was taken back within 5 minutes!

To make a 4 hour story short, I had a few exams done, some blood and urine taken, and an internal ultrasound. As I was wheeled over to the ultrasound room, the ultrasound tech said with a smile, "You know it's Tuesday, right?" I smiled back and said "yeah..."

Then he said, "It's TWINS Tuesday!!"

I sorta laughed and said, "OH no! I don't think so!"

All the staff was great. He wasn't allowed to talk to me about what he was seeing on the screen. So he made small chat about other things. I laid there in the dark room, wondering what he was seeing. Was it ectopic? Was everything ok? Was there a heartbeat? Was it too early for a heartbeat? Was I pregnant at all? I still was in such doubt of all these tests; I was ready for some physical proof.

I was wheeled back to my exam room. The doctor came back in; he was an older man with a very gentle spirit and was a soft spoken and warm person. He said that the ultrasound came back fine - everything looked as it should. He said my numbers should double every 24-48 hours or so, and compared to the blood test from my pregnancy test in the clinic 3 days prior, my numbers hadn't quite doubled yet. But the baby was growing in a normal place, and the heart rate was 153.

The heart rate! The baby's heart was beating! The baby!!

He then said I was measuring 6 weeks, 4 days.

I felt a big smile spread across my face. That was enough proof for me - I AM PREGNANT!!

He did a quick exam and then gave me his adorable speech, that went something along the lines of this: "Now, we aren't quite sure why you are bleeding. Sometimes that just happens. Some women continue to get bleeding like a period each month throughout their pregnancy, and everything turns out just fine. Now sometimes bleeding just happens, and unfortunately there's nothing we can do about it. Only the Lord will decide when it is going to be a miscarriage; we just don't know. Only the Lord can decide."

He reminded me of a sweet grandfather. He was the perfect doctor with a calm disposition and a great bedside manner. I thanked him so much for his care, and he responded with a thank you of his own for being so patient and waiting for so long.

I was then discharged with instructions to not work for the next few days, go to the clinic for a follow-up blood test in a few days to check on my numbers, and to return if the bleeding increased in volume.

I.

Felt.

SO.

Much.

Better.

My neighbor said, "You feel a lot better now, huh?"

Why yes I did.

So so so thankful for the staff working in the ER that day. I could not have asked for a better experience.

The bleeding stopped in a few days. Whenever I wasn't at work, I put myself of bed rest. I didn't do ANYTHING. I decided that was best.

Chris called a few days later; it was REALLY hard not to tell him what was going on. We tell each other everything. I got really good at subtly changing the subject when I felt the conversation was getting too close to what was going on with me.

I spent the next few days avoiding most food, drinking sprite and ginger ale, and trying to find food that actually tasted good. Lots of evening nausea, but thankfully no vomiting. For about a week there were only a handful of things I could stand to eat. And I made only one trip to the grocery store and bought a lot of what sounded good; going to the grocery store was awful. I could not stand to look at so much food. It made my nausea worse.

By the next week I didn't want ANY of the food I had just bought. Such a waste.

I didn't really do any cooking the whole time Chris was gone. Saltines made me want to vomit when I had nausea. I survived on bananas, frozen pot pies, ginger ale, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. My appetite had definitely changed, and I had a TON of food aversions. Mint gum, goldfish crackers, and sipping on water helped me survive at work.

(Now I hate goldfish crackers. I bought a huge box from SAM's Club and I won't touch it.)

As time got closer for Chris to come home, I was thinking of how to tell him. There are a million ways to do it! Did I want it to be funny? Or sweet? Should I do it in front of everyone once he got off the bus? Or did I want it to be more private?

I finally decided that since it was such a confusing fact that I was pregnant, and we had been trying for so many years and gone through such struggle, I decided that telling him at home, just the two of us, was the way to go.

I never really thought that we would be able to be 100% surprised by a pregnancy while taking fertility meds. We would always know that a pregnancy was coming. Or at least could come. We both had it in our minds that a pregnancy would not happen for us this cycle. There were facts to back it up.

I decided that he would find out the same way I did: a simple positive pregnancy test. I left one on the counter in the bathroom. I knew the first thing he would want to do when he came home was to take a shower. So I was sure he'd see it right away. I wanted to recreate the same shock and feelings that I had. Just like he wasn't gone at all.

Then I put some things up in the soon-to-be baby room. I borrowed a banner from my neighbor, who welcomed her husband home from deployment after their baby was born. He met his daughter for the first time when she was already several months old. I put the banner up on the wall.


I had also been keeping a "Daddy Diary" in which I documented each day that Chris was gone - how I was feeling physically and mentally, so he didn't have to miss a thing. I taped those to the wall as well. The pages wrapped halfway across the room!

I also knew he would be just as confused as I was about me being pregnant, so I also printed off some calendars and filled in some things and worked backwards to figure out when we conceived. I calculated our due date using an app on my phone - July 5! (At a later appointment, I was told it was actually July 4th!)

I found a few cute gender-neutral things to put up on the wall to make it cute.


All that was left to do was wait.

His bus arrived on a Sunday morning. I drove to his troop to meet him, but they were still waiting on their bags and weapons that were being transported in a semi. So we sat right next to each other for a few hours, in a room with leadership, without me being able to say anything about it to him. Lots of small talk, lots of sitting quietly while listening to the stories of the training, and the occasional talk of when their bags would arrive and how soon they could be released.

I was surprisingly calm. I was just glad he was home; I knew we'd get our time soon enough. It did feel a little strange to be sitting right next to him with this big secret that was going to change our lives forever.

I ended up leaving to go wait at home, and then I awaited his call to come back and get him.

And things went just how I planned.

He immediately went upstairs for a shower. I followed him up there. I sort of hung back and stood around the corner in the bedroom doorway in hopes of catching a glimpse of his face as he saw what was on the counter.

I felt so sneaky.

And then he walked back out of the bathroom and started chatting with me. I walked into the room, not hearing anything he said. I just stared at him.

He didn't see it! I was sure to take everything off the counter so he would HAVE to see it! 

He usually puts his towel on the counter, right where I put the test! My plan did not work!

So I had to call him out on it.

I asked,
"Did you see what's on the counter in there?"

"Uh huh, it's one of your ovulation tests." (I used these many times, the digital ones look practically identical to the pregnancy test.)

I didn't know what to say.

(I had lied during a previous phone conversation and said I had taken Clomid and it would be time to try when he got home.)

So I just went with it.
"Did you see what it said?"

He walked back in the bathroom, and I followed like a little puppy to the bathroom doorway.

I stared at him with my hands at my mouth.

He picked up the test.

"Pregnant", he said.

"Pregnant...?" he said again, and he looked at me.

"You're pregnant?!"

All I could do was smile and nod like a crazy person.

"Yes, I'm pregnant!"

The next few moments were both hilarious and adorable. As he was trying to make sense of it all, I could literally see the wheels in his brain turning.

"Wait, how can that be?" and he would scratch his chest and scrunch up his face. Then he would smile at me, and repeat "You're pregnant", like a statement, rather than a question.

"Wait...so how far along are you...like 3 weeks...?"

His poor brain.

I said, "No, I'm already 8 weeks."

"Wait, you've been pregnant this whole time I've been gone?!"

I quietly said "yes."

And we smiled.

I decided I had tortured him enough and took him by the hand and led him into the baby room. The room was empty except for what I had put on the walls, and I had dug out a few of my baby things from storage. I started to explain everything to him, how Provera didn't work because I was already pregnant and I had to go to the ER but everything's fine and that's how I know how far a long I am.

"You aren't mad that I kept this from you, are you?"

"No! Not at all!" he said excitedly. "We're going to have a baby!!"

Yes, we are.

Stay tuned for Part 3!



2 comments:

  1. Katie, thank you for sharing your story! Korey and I went through a very similar experience, even the part of about the crudding doctor interaction...

    I agree that it's a good idea to share these stories. It gives future moms hope and comfort.

    Blessings on your pregnancy! And CONGRATULATIONS!

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  2. i seriously love reading this!!!! :)

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