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!