Two lines. Two lines. What in the world?! How is that possible?
No. That can’t be right.
I can’t. believe. I’m. pregnant.
These were the thoughts running through my mind as I took a pregnancy test at the beginning of December and it came back obviously positive, within seconds. No waiting 3 minutes for that thin blue line to appear. It was there as soon as the liquid moved across the test strip.
This was completely unexpected. A total surprise. Not what we had planned at all.
Seriously. This was not happening. I did not want to be pregnant.
The reality set in over the next few days.
We didn’t tell anyone right away because I wasn’t totally ready to admit it to myself. I was in shock. But even though I was only 4 1/2 weeks, I knew I was already experiencing some symptoms. I tried to just shut it out, pretend it wasn’t really happening.
But, Oh yes, this is happening, my body told me in return.
I am usually a very emotional person, but I wasn’t feeling much of anything. Just shock. And guilt. What kind of mom doesn’t want to be pregnant?
How can I be upset about being pregnant when there are so, so many women who would give anything to be in my place? To get that positive pregnancy test? I’ve even been that woman, before I got pregnant with our first baby after two years of infertility.
But not this time. I was holding my breath waiting for the test to be negative, not positive. I have three awesome, beautiful, amazing children. They are 8, 6, and 3 and our life is good. So good.
We moved out of the baby stage. I had let myself grieve the end of that stage (words that seem almost ironic now) and had moved on to the next stage with joy and anticipation. We sold or gave away all of our baby stuff. We were done with diapers, sleepless nights, babies who need you 24/7 (and are attached to your breast almost as often), crawling, putting everything in their mouths, unable to dress or feed themselves.
It was such a good stage. I loved having babies more than anything. But it’s an exhausting stage for sure. And I was feeling more than ready to let the exhaustion of that stage go.
Besides, I was finding that this next stage was darn good too. Having big kids is pretty awesome. Really awesome.
Having babies and toddlers is sweet and precious. But having big kids is downright fun. I was full on embracing the big kid stage.
And yet, here we are. Two lines. Back to the baby stage. And I’m not sure how to feel about it.
I feel like I should be excited, happy, grateful. I know one day we will look back and say, of course I was supposed to get pregnant. How incomplete our family would be without this fourth child. I know that. But I’m just not there yet. I don’t feel that yet.
I decided after about a week that I had to tell people, family and a few close friends. As an ENFP I’m not good at keeping things to myself and I needed that extra moral support. As we shared the news, some of them were more excited and happy about it than I was.
Some very wise and caring friends told me it was okay not to be excited right away. To give myself grace and time for my feelings to catch up to the reality that was happening with my body and in my life. I was so very grateful for their support and advice.
And my husband, I cannot believe how fortunate I am to have such a caring and understanding husband. I cried pretty much every day for the first few weeks. As the nausea, headaches, exhaustion and just general lack of motivation set in, I crumbled.
“This.” I would say between sobs. “This is exactly why I didn’t want to be pregnant. I didn’t want to have to do this again.” I love babies. And for a long time I struggled with the idea of wanting another baby. But I did not want the pregnant part that has to come before the baby part. This is exactly why.
And he would listen, and hold me, and try to remind me that this is just temporary. He told me that I would have to grieve again. Grieve that the picture of my life over the next few years was not going to be the way I had expected.
My youngest is heading to half-day preschool in the fall. I was going to have 2 1/2+ hours to myself every morning. All my kids would be in school. I could focus on my work and writing, projects that I have put off for years, and causes I have become passionate about.
I was looking ahead at my life with an ability to focus on myself in a way that I hadn’t been able to for 8+ years, since my oldest daughter was born. It’s selfish, I know. But I was really looking forward to that time. I’d put in my time with littles at home. I was ready to move on to this next stage.
And now, this new little one is set to arrive in August, just before the kids go back to school. So I will have a babe at home with me again for the next several years. It changes everything. And not that babies aren’t wonderful and snuggly and beautiful and amazing, but it’s still a big, big change, and not at all one we were planning for or expecting.
So it is with great humility that I share our family’s news with you today.
I’m expecting baby #4 and I’m still getting used to the idea. I’m not exactly thrilled about it yet–I’m too busy trying not to throw up.* And I’m giving myself grace and time to come to terms with this new reality of our lives. Thanks for being a safe space for me to share my heart openly and honestly.
*This post was written when I was around 6 weeks pregnant, but wasn’t ready to make our news public. I’m now 13 weeks and got to hear the baby’s heartbeat for the first time two weeks ago.
I also turned a corner as I neared the end of my first trimester. Thankfully, I am feeling much, much better. The nausea, sickness, headaches, and lack of motivation have pretty much completely disappeared. I am feeling more like myself again, and I am so grateful for that. My husband was right, although I couldn’t see it at the time, what I was experiencing was temporary.
Now that I’m feeling better again, I hope to share more of my pregnancy journey with you here. Thanks for your patience as it was so quiet around here the past few months!
Oh, I can relate! I experienced so many of those feelings with most of my (6) pregnancies. And I know I would if I was to get pregnant now. I’m so glad you are sharing how you feel. That’s so kind of you–someone will read this and feel encouraged. Prayers that all goes well for the rest of the pregnancy. I will say seeing the relationship between my oldest and youngest (8.5 years apart) is truly a joy and a treasure I didn’t expect.
Emily McClements says
It’s so good to know that we are not alone in our feelings! Thanks so much for your prayers and encouragement, Nicole! My oldest and youngest will be just over 8.5 years apart (although I don’t have as many in between as you) 😉 and it is fun to see how excited all my kids are for a new sibling!
Well written, Em. Thank-you for sharing your heart. I’m excited to see how this new little one fits into your family in a beautiful way. <3
Emily McClements says
Thank you sweet friend!
It’s ok to feel like that when something unexpected comes despite your plans. You are correct that some of use would love to be in your shoes… we were due in early September with our third child, but lost it a couple of weeks ago. It was so wanted, and we can’t have kids without fertility treatments. Wanna trade? 😛
Emily McClements says
Oh Beth, I am so, so sorry to hear about your loss! 🙁 That is so incredibly difficult. My thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family during this time. <3
When I found myself pregnant with number 5, I weeped till he was almost 3 months old. I didn’t want another, then to add salt to the “wound” he was a he and the she everyone thought he should of been (I have four boys and “only” one girl). It was terrible. It was hard and mourned the life I’d dreamed about having.
That said, I would NOT CHANGE IT. He’s a blessing and beautiful and I cannot imagine our family without him.
And while I am sorry for those who experience loss or infertility they are feelings we are entitled to have. Feelings are feelings. You have them. It doesn’t change anyone else’s story. I wish you a joyful pregnancy and a big congratulations and permission to be upset whenever you need because well, hormones. We welcomed number 5 the day before school started two years ago. I walked him in my arms and wished my others a fab first day. It was great. Better than I’d hoped and I hope it’s wonderful for you too.
Emily McClements says
Gail, thanks so much for sharing your story and experience with us. It is encouraging and gives me hope to hear of others who have been in a similar situation and had similar feelings!!
Blessings to you and your family!
The sixth child for our home arrived a couple years ago. The news of her coming was met with depression and tears because the next youngest was nearing 8. I was completely in the Enjoying the Older Kids zone and happy with time to myself during the school days. I totally get that. It took so so long for me to embrace this new addition and as we sit together at the table now while everyone else is gone, she is squeezing the juice out of her oranges just to hand me the pulp. Long past her birth I had guilty feelings and thoughts of what I could be doing if she weren’t draining every minute. Not everyday… but sometimes. Our children’s ages vary from diapers to adult, so this one is super spoiled. It will be good for her though because this mom sure feels old this time around. I no longer day dream of a different life maybe without the extra, but if that “what if” slips into my head, there she is turning the glorious word Mommy into an opera. Or begging to help with dishes, laundry, cleaning of any sort. Or startling me by telling me I’m pretty right as I was about to ask her to get out from under my feet. …. these days when I get a moment to think, I’m overwhelmed with joy, and humbled by the gift of this blessing.
Thank you so much for sharing your honest thoughts. Even though I’ve passed that stage, it always feels better to have good company and understanding for life’s hurdles. Randomly finding this post has brightened this happy messy house considerably. Enjoy a beautiful August!
Hi, I just read your post because in experiencing something similar and was wondering if I was a bad person to not be excited about pregnancy. I had a tubal ligation in April of this year to prevent having any more kids and I was hit with the news yesterday that I had a blood positive pregnancy test. Needless to say I cried and was in complete shock, and the worst part is I am hoping as l go see my ob/gyn today that she says it’s tubal and it has to be terminated. I have been way out of the baby stage, between my spouse and myself we have 4 kids: 6,8,10, and 11; big kids are awesome and makes enjoying life so much easier. Needless to say my spouse feels about the same way I feel which makes this even harder to handle. On top of the fact I just left a job and an in between jobs right so we are functioning on a 1 household income. This is absolutely the worst timing, and I didn’t enjoy being pregnant the last 2 times.
Emily McClements says
Hi LaToya, you are definitely not alone. I’m sorry you’ve found yourself in a similar situation. Love and light to you as you walk this difficult path. <3