Just after Joel and I were married in 2007 we found out we were pregnant. Not exactly planned, but we shifted gears and the excitement grew. A few weeks later I was having terrible hip pain and some bleeding. I went in for an ultrasound and the docs were surprised to see a strong heartbeat fluttering away. Things were likely going to be ok. But then they weren’t. Within another week or two I started bleeding heavily, went to the ER and lost the pregnancy. The kind and gentle handsome ER doc said the fetus was just sitting at the edge of my cervix. I remember asking if he could just put it back inside. But there was nothing that could be done. When it was over he asked me if I wanted to see, and I did.
This past August he or she would have turned 10 years old. I’d be lying if I said that this experience still haunts me, or depresses me when I think of it. It’s been a part of my life. Deep in my heart I know there was far greater meaning to what caused it, why it happened, something I’ll ever be able to understand, and I’m at peace with that now.
But this past August I was counting down the days and weeks, hoping to make it to the 2nd trimester.
‘Were you trying?’ So many people have asked. We weren’t trying, we were letting. Letting life be simple, and seeing what could come of it. As time passed we wondered if maybe we were too old, or that maybe we weren’t meant to be parents, and to us, that would be ok too. We were afraid of the unknown, afraid of a lot of other things, but we were also hopeful. A sense of family is something I’ve longed for, for a very long time.
Fast forward to today and I’m almost 6 months along. Over halfway there. It feels like years ago when I took that pregnancy test, but it was just June. I was preparing for a SUP expedition in Norway and felt like my period was going to show up any second. But for months we had been letting things happen, so every month there was a question of whether or not this would be the month.
I was convinced there was no way. The timing was off, and I had terrible cramps, and the PMS. It was a typical, if not worse, pre-period week. Joel was off fishing for the day, and that morning during a text conversation with my pregnant friend, she asked, “So what about you and Joel? Anything?” “No, my period is about to start any second.” She convinced me that this feeling was actually a sign of pregnancy (seriously, everything is a fricken sign of pregnancy), and suggested I take a test. Later that morning I thought, eh why not, and picked up a 3 pack of tests at Stop and Shop (I chose Stop and Shop because of the self checkout option, obviously.)
I came home, ripped open the box and willed myself to pee, disappointed in myself for giving in to buying the tests when I knew my period was about to start.
Immediately there were two lines, one bold, one faint. I put my glasses on and looked again. Still there. I took a picture with my phone, it was there too. I brought it the test to the light that shone in the living room to really be sure. It. Was. There. Holy smokes. I didn’t know what to do, who to call, or if I should tell anyone. Joel was out of reception range at sea. So I texted my best friend back.
The last time I’d had a positive pregnancy test I immediately hopped into my car and drove to my mom’s condo with the stick in my purse. I let myself in, ran up the spiral stairs to her bedroom where she was sitting at her computer playing mahjongg. I shoved the positive stick into her hands. That time, she was the first to know.
This time, after texting my friend I tried texting Joel, hoping he’d have some signal. I couldn’t wait until he came home. “Hi honey, how’s your day going? Eventually he responded. “Really good, beautiful day on the water.” I responded, “is it POSITIVELY GOOD? ++++??”