I can’t think of any other way to open this BIG shocking surprise and starting off my new blog, than with the announcement that I’m pregnant.  Actually more like, having a baby in 14 days from today.  ME!  US!  My family of five received the biggest, surprising news that my husband and I  NEVER.EVER.THOUGHT. we would experience.

We were expecting!  Expecting a baby without spending thousands of dollars, no needles, no blood tests, no ultrasounds, no hormones, no disappointments, no heartaches, and no devastating tears happened this time in trying to have a baby.

It was the old fashion pregnancy discovery….I think I’m late.  I counted the calendar days, recounted the calendar days and went to the store to buy the test.

Now, I’ll take it back a little…. actually WAY back!

I’ve never kept my infertility a secret, the dark years of infertility that began shortly after we were married. It was  6 weeks after we were married when we found out we were pregnant.  Unfortunately, the pregnancy didn’t stay.  We heard miscarriages were common…it was almost not shocking in losing the first pregnancy.  But for us, it was shocking.  It hurt our hearts. We were devastated.  And there were no words that could ease the pain in losing the baby that we heard the heartbeat of.  We felt empty.

We didn’t waste time in trying for our next baby.  We tried over and over and over again.  And we failed over and over and over again…we failed for over a year.  After the year of not being able to have a baby, we made the decision to get help from a fertility clinic.  It was then that I became what felt like a human science experiment with the amount of tests that were done; in attempts to figure out why we weren’t able to have a baby.

There wasn’t an answer, there just wasn’t.  The only way to put it was I felt broken as a woman and there was wasn’t a fix.  I couldn’t have a baby on my own and there were no answers to our questions of why.  We were devastated yet again.  It was during the process with the fertility clinic, we were sensitive to stories we heard on the news…stories of babies and children that were in constant state of neglect, abandonment with parents battling drug addictions and what nots….but yet WE….couldn’t have a baby on our own.  The big question of WHY couldn’t be answered and has never been answered.

We surrendered to our infertility and accepted the process we would have to go.  The process to have a baby would entail thousands of dollars, feeling like a human pin cushion from the countless blood draws and hormone shots, the highs and lows of scheduling the ‘trying to get pregnant’ process down to the day, hour and often minutes.  When you’re infertile and trying to get pregnant, NOTHING is left to chance. Every day in the cycle has a purpose.

Our first attempt to get pregnant, we were fortunate and got pregnant.  I remember that discovery vividly.  I remember the phone call from the fertility clinic that announced I was pregnant. It was actually a factual phone call from them, kinda systematic….giving me the information for the next round of blood draws, ultrasound monitoring and progesterone process to keep this pregnancy.  It was during that phone call that I broke down crying in finally hearing that I was pregnant with a rush of love and happiness that flooded my husband and I.  God had finally answered our prayers and given this to us and 8 weeks later learning we were expecting twins.

Two years after having the twins, we decided to try again and found ourselves back at the fertility clinic  trying to have another baby.  But this time, this time it wasn’t as easy.  We tried 3 times and failed 3 times.  And each time we failed felt like the first year of failing in having a baby.  Having the infertility experience before didn’t make this any easier.  It hurt just as bad as it did the first time.  But after the 3 times of failing, I was done…I was emotionally exhausted.  We knew we couldn’t keep going through the disappointments, for ourselves and our daughters.  We agreed to trying one last time but after that attempt we needed to accept that our family was complete with our twin daughters.   To our surprise, our fourth and final attempt we were pregnant with our son.

We were a family of 5, then.   A perfectly imperfect family of 5.

Now fast forward 6 years later to December of last year.

It was at the end of my busy season.  I was sitting on the couch late one night.  It was then that I realized I hadn’t had my monthly girlfriend visit.  What was hard in figuring this out is that I didn’t keep track of my cycles…I only tracked my cycles when I was trying to get pregnant with the clinic.   And from what I was guessing, I knew I was at least 30 days late.  In all honesty, I had gone through these scares before…hopeful scares…dozens of times since I had my son and not one ever worked out.

The next day, I told a close friend that I thought I was late.  This friend knew my infertility process as she helped me through those emotional years.  And while she was probably thinking, “okay you’ve been through this before and it’s never ended with a pregnancy”….she was supportive in me getting that pregnancy test done as soon as possible.  I told my mom and her reaction was little more funny, but equally supportive.

The next morning, I took the test.  I experienced what I truly never thought I would…a positive at-home pregnancy test.  I was pregnant. It was unplanned. It was unscheduled and it was a surprise.  After 11 years of being infertile and 8 months away from turning 40 years old…I was pregnant.

IT was a shock and I felt completely out of control.  I was excited but also trying to stay realistic that this could be a miscarriage.  I didn’t want myself to get too excited until I had tests done that confirmed I was pregnant and a good pregnancy.   As soon as my family doctor’s office was open, I was in that waiting room for my blood test.  That afternoon, I had my OB/GYN schedule me for an ultrasound the following day.  Every test showed I was pregnant but only time would tell if it was a healthy pregnancy.  We had to wait and the waiting was was painful.   My husband and I were excited, we were excited to start this new phase in our lives.  But don’t get me wrong, every day we would catch each other in the daze…the daze that screamed, HOLY SHIT we are having a baby!  We are having a baby at 40.

And more importantly, we were dying to tell our kids but wanted to wait until we knew it was safe.  We waited three months and once we announced we would soon be a family of 6, their reactions made this pregnancy the biggest event in our lives. The time in our lives that we’ll never forget.  We were all screaming, jumping around and hugging each other in the kitchen.

We’ll tell this story over and over again, remembering all the details.

 

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We….the 5 of us…we’re having a baby!  And just like that, the biggest surprise of our lives just became the biggest blessing to our family.

It’s hard to put into words the emotions felt.  I’ve hidden away for the past 8 months just trying to comprehend all that has transpired over the past 11 years in failing to get pregnant, since the miscarriage.  I wondered how did this happen.  Why now?  God has decided to give me this blessing unasked for and in just that simple thought, I find myself in tears while feeling grateful, unworthy and yet so honored to hold and welcome our baby into my perfectly imperfect family.

There have been countless moments of sheer panic, tears cried, questioning if I can do this, wondering how we will do this and pure giddiness that we were given a baby to totally shake up this family and bring a new life into our lives.  In 14 days, we will be holding the baby we’ve gotten to know and fell in love with for the last 8 months.

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{Photograph by Laura Winslow Photography}

My questions of why’s and how’s….are gone.

The only question now is,  what was life like before our baby?

 

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