I started this blog when I was already six months pregnant with Tessa. So I didn’t ever really get to share my journey to becoming her mommy. I have been meaning to put this story down in writing before time erases the details, and figured I would share with you, my Domestic Geek family.
It’s kind of random, and I will confess I cried like a baby in reliving the details and putting them down on digital paper, but it’s a story that I’d rather not forget. I debated whether this would go up on my blog, but I always think clearest when writing for an audience, and as many of you are like-minded moms with similar stories, I think this is as good a place as any.
This is the story of my first pregnancy.
Jonathan and I have been together since we were both 23. We had decided that by the time we turned 28, if we still did not have a child, we would actively try for one – regardless of our finances. Having a family is such a huge priority in our lives and we did not want to wait too long to get started, and we truly felt that God would provide for our needs when a child came along.
So when our wedding rolled around in October of 2012, we figured, hey, it’s so close to our 28th birthdays, we should just see what happens. Not try to get pregnant, but not NOT try either.
I have always used the “Pink Pad” app on my phone, that charts your menstrual cycle and ovulation, and I saw that I was set to ovulate on our wedding night and honeymoon. While I knew this increased our chances of pregnancy, I didn’t REALLY think I could get pregnant right away. So I didn’t give it much more thought other than, “If we have a honeymoon baby, that would be kind of cool!”
The Honeymoon and the Missed Period.
We spent the wedding night in a beautiful historic hotel in the French Quarter, and spent the rest of the week on an excitement packed cruise to Cozumel and the Yucatan. It was the best vacation of my life, one I will forever ache to repeat. We gave no thought to “being careful” and didn’t even consider we would / could be “getting pregnant” while, er, spending time in our ocean view cabin.
Well, the honeymoon came and went. Later that month, the week before Halloween I took the train down to Southern California to attend a friend’s wedding reception. It was horrible timing, because I was due for my period the same day I hopped the train. I am extremely regular on my periods, almost always on schedule to the day. So I was stressing because I’d forgotten to wear a maxi pad, and the ones I packed were in my suitcase.. which was stowed under the train! The entire trip I kept feeling my period start. There were light cramps and I could swear I felt my period, but it would just turn out to be lots cervical mucous, like when I’m ovulating. It was.. odd.
I was also bloated and extremely gassy. I also had to pee CONSTANTLY. After about five hours into the trip with frequent trips to the loo just to see that Aunt Flo had not arrived, the thought entered my head for the first time, “Could you be pregnant?” I thought about the having to pee constantly as being a sign, but then brushed it off because wasn’t that only when a baby is large enough to squish on your bladder? And while the gas and bloating seemed unusual, I didn’t have a clue if those were pregnancy signs, and to my mind it didn’t seem likely. So I just shrugged it off.
The week progressed, and still no period. While the gas, bloating and excessive cervical mucous continued, I also began to feel tired. Bone achingly, soul wrenchingly tired. I couldn’t focus on anyone’s words, I didn’t want to get up and move my feet, even eating was a chore. I just wanted to sleep and sleep and sleep. I even fell asleep in the middle of a conversation with the friend I was visiting while sitting on the couch. This is so unusual for me, you have no idea.
By the time I was five days late on my period, I started seriously considering that I might, possibly, be pregnant. I texted Jonathan to tell him of my suspicions and requested that he buy a pregnancy test for me. I told him I did not want to take the test without him there and would wait till I got home the next day – which happened to be on Halloween! (Talk about trick or treat!) When he asked what kind of test to buy, I told him, “A dollar store one.” Part of me felt so silly for even asking for the test, I didn’t want to buy a “real” test. That would mean I was serious for thinking I was pregnant.
Taking the pregnancy test.
So I arrived home the next day around noon. It was now six days past my expected period and I was getting nervous tummy tickles and a quickened pulse just thinking about taking the pregnancy test. I texted Jonathan and said I wanted to take it as soon as I walked in the door. He said no, wait till the next morning, he had read online that it’s more accurate using first morning urine.
But I put my foot down and demanded that I take the test right away. We had plans to go to a friend’s Halloween party that night, and I wanted to know if I could drink. Plus, not knowing a moment longer was going to drive me insane. No way could I just nonchalantly go to a party NOT KNOWING!
I intentionally held my urine all morning, and was practically peeing my pants on the final steps to the front door. So I walked in the door and without breaking stride, I grabbed the test, still in its Dollar Store bag, and headed straight for the bathroom while tearing the box open.
Well, I took the test. And… well, nothing really. The control line came up big and bright. The test line only had the faintest little pink streak, that you could only really see if you focused long and hard on it. So, that means no. Right? I tossed the test in the trash can, walked out of the bathroom, and – surprised at how disappointed I was – announced that no, I was not pregnant. Which was a good thing.. I mean, we weren’t really financially ready for a baby. And while it would have been fun, it just wasn’t the right timing.
But my disappointment at not being pregnant was startling. I guess I really really wanted a baby. More than I even knew.
We decided to go eat at El Pollo Loco and talk about our little “thought we were pregnant” adventure. Me, being ever the Google detective, spent our fast food dinner Googling what could cause you to be late on your period, if not pregnancy. Because if I wasn’t pregnant, maybe something was wrong with my cycles?
While Google searching, I read that you should rule out pregnancy with a test, and while I was in the process of scrolling down, (been there, done that) my thumb froze because I read, “ANY color in the test line indicates pregnancy. If you are not pregnant, the line won’t show up at all. Even a hard to see faint line is a positive.” I showed the article to Jonathan. We both scarfed down our food and headed off to buy a “real” test.
I picked out a ClearBlue digital. At this point I wanted a clear text “Pregnant” or “Not Pregnant” answer. When we headed home and walked in the door, Jonathan had to use the restroom. When he walked out, he had my test that he’d fished out of the trash can. “Gingi, look at this.” …. The test line had darkened in considerably, but it was still translucent and faint. What did this mean?!?!
As I headed in to the bathroom to take the ClearBlue test, some friends arrived to get ready for the Halloween party we were all headed to in a few hours. Not in the mood to sneak around, I announced, “Hey, I gotta take a pregnancy test, brb.” I didn’t want my hubby waiting out with the friends in the living room, so I pulled him in the bathroom with me.
So. I peed on the stick. The digital hourglass started blinking. I looked at the package and read, “It says to allow 3-4 minutes for an answ…. JONATHAN.” Before a couple of seconds had elapsed, “Pregnant” had popped up on the digital display. Jonathan looked, his face lit up in the most gorgeous smile that I will always and forever have etched into my memory and he hugged me in a bone crunching squeeze. I was shaking uncontrollably. I couldn’t help it. We were parents!!
I don’t know how long we were in the tiny bathroom, but it must have been a small eternity, because our friends started asking us what was up. I walked out of the bathroom and announced, “I’m a mom.”
We’re having a baby!
We considered waiting to tell others the good news, my friend mentioned, “You might have a miscarriage.” But I chose to share our good news. What will happen will happen, I figured. And if, God forbid, we lose our first child, I would like the support network of friends and family to help me through that loss rather than suffering in silence.
I told my friends I wasn’t drinking that night at the party, and why. I told my dad, who was so happy it made my heart want to burst with joy. I announced it on Facebook by posting a picture of the “Pregnant” digital test.. and all of my friends thought I was pranking them!
I couldn’t sleep that night, not because I wasn’t tired (all I wanted to do was sleep!) but because Jonathan kept rubbing my belly and saying, “I’m a daddy.” I’d roll over and find him Google searching pregnancy and fatherhood on his phone at 1, 2 and 3 in the morning. It was precious and I felt so happy.
We lost no time getting things ready for the new human in our lives. I verified my pregnancy at the doctors and we started my prenatal vitamins, blood work and genetic screening. We sold my two seater Mazda Miata to buy our current sporty mom van of a Ford Escape. I cut out coffee completely – which is really saying something if you know me! I charted my progress with a pregnancy progression journal, and every day came with more and more excitement. I still couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I was carrying a tiny human! I kept feeling like it was unreal. Too good to be true.
Losing Baby Freeman.
Weeks passed. Aside from a lack of morning sickness, everything seemed to be okay. Then one day, (my pregnancy journal calendar said I was 7 weeks and 4 days pregnant) right as Jonathan was leaving to go to work, I used the restroom to find blood. Lots of blood. I knew, right then and there, that I wasn’t going to be having this baby. The world went dark. I fumbled around, desperate for a glimmer of light. Of hope. The hospital. I needed to get to the hospital.
Jonathan called off work, and took me to the emergency room. They rushed me back, and drew my blood. I waited. Feeling increasingly terrible cramps, shaking with fear and feeling the gnawing ache of loss, we prayed for a miracle. We waited for the doctors, and I made another trip to the restroom. Clots. Lots of huge bloody, fleshy clots. What looked like a tiny bloody balloon. I knew what my body was flushing out was our first child, my precious Baby Freeman.
I was too numb to cry or gasp or think. I flushed the toilet, watching the bloody mess spiral down with unblinking eyes. I looked into the mirror as I washed my hands and saw a stoic, emotionless face, white as a sheet looking back at me. I walked into the room where the doctor had arrived and was talking to Jonathan. Her face looked so sad as she told me my HCG levels were at 0. I’d lost my baby. I told her I knew.
I remember calling my dad to tell him the bad news. Or maybe Jonathan called him. I guess I don’t really remember. I remember coming home and then breaking down into sobs that left me breathless. I remember getting angry. I remember getting sad. I remember the “do something about it” trigger going off like it always does when I’m confronted with things I don’t like.
I began to feel the fire of wanting to try again. I kept worrying if it was somehow my fault. Did I do something wrong? Was my body not healthy enough? Yes, we lost our first child through miscarriage. But I was determined to do my research and try again. Only days after my return from the emergency room I dove into the world of TTC (trying to conceive) forums online and my whole world revolved around my future baby..
I’ll have to finish up my story of how we found out we were having Tessa sometime next week.. this story turned out to be a bit longer than I’d realized it would be! Thank you for listening to me share.