As I sit here closing in on 17 weeks, I still can’t believe I’m typing those little words: we’re. having. a. baby.
Patrick and I started dating when we were 18 year old, babies ourselves, and still we talked about kiddos for about as far back as I can remember. Those of you who know us well can likely even recall a conversation with P where he spoke of the “soccer team” he hoped to have one day.
After getting married in 2014, we took our time. We traveled. We built careers. We built a home. We traveled some more. I always assumed we’d settle into building our own little league crew quickly, but as time went on, we found ourselves calling time outs, feeling we weren’t quite there yet.
We spent my 29th birthday in the car tackling a seven hour drive up I20 to Ocean Isle Beach to catch the solar eclipse with my family (spoiler alert: it rained). I spent a solid three of those hours working up the courage to broach the subject that we’d assumed was a given nearly a decade earlier. Somewhere past the Augusta line, I finally blurted out the words “I think I want go stop taking birth control” Patrick laughed at me. His response “you’ve been holding that in for three hours haven’t you?”
And off we went. Whether it was the Catholic guilt, that scene in Mean Girls or the stellar sexual education I received in middle school, I had it in my head that once you stop preventing pregnancy, there it is. Wham. Baby. So when weeks turned into months, turned into a year, it took its toll.
For those of you who were along that journey of crazy with me, God bless you. I’m not sure what I would have done without your calls to ask how it was going, to be a shoulder when I needed to cry on or to be the ear that listened when I just felt like screaming at the world. You’ll never know what those conversations meant to me. “What if” followed behind me like a lurking puppy and it if weren’t for your questioning when I’d fall quiet, your prayers and your encouragement, I would have punched that puppy in the face. This thing I’d be told would happen if I as much looked at a boy just would. not. happen.
This past fall, we started the journey of testing to get some answers. By early October, after a flurry of testing appointments, I had my first ultrasound appointment that started with the tech asking if we were “coding this as infertility” and ending with a cheerful sendoff of “I hope to see you here for another reason next time!” Gulp. Here we go.
Following that visit, when my doctor didn’t have too many clear answers for me (things looked a little off, but not so off to warrant medication), we talked about what was next (P getting tested), what would be next after that (a potential surgery in the new year) and we would go from there. While it was overwhelming, felt ready to brace for the impact of what could be a longer road that I could have ever imagined sharing with my 18-year-old self.
Then low and behold, two days after Thanksgiving and five days after a missed period and in the midst of terrible cramps, I took a test. A test that I hadn’t even purchased for myself. I hadn’t needed to. A test that had been sitting in my medicine cabinet for nearly a year (expired? who knows?) and after a few minutes, that one little word emblazoned on it: pregnant.
Boy does God’s timing just get us sometimes. Just a few short weeks later, we were back in the doctor’s office and this time I think my doctor was the one ready to cry — happy tears. We were expecting. Here are a few examples of what we would have missed if it happened just months, even weeks, sooner than it did.
- I wouldn’t have celebrated the making it through in-Restaurant days with my work bestie by clicking champagne glasses in Chicago (literally my last glass!)
- We couldn’t have had a care-free trip filled with pisco, penguins and endless hikes to South America with my brother.
- I wouldn’t have lead the launch of quite possibly the biggest project of my career at Chick-fil-A.
I woke Patrick up to tell him, he asked to go back to bed and I headed out the door to yoga, thinking, “gosh, there is no way.” After picking up new, not questionably expired, pregnancy tests at Target, we confirmed it was indeed a thing.
The weeks that followed were the most anxiety inducing of my life. I clung to every Google search for what could been happening in my body convinced this could not finally be true after so many years of dreaming.
We had the chance to tell both sets of parents, together, on Christmas eve and they were over the moon. Our requests to keep the news a secret from our large families lasted approximately eight minutes. We would tell our friends and our coworkers in the weeks to come, each hug a little sweeter than the last.
So that brings us to today. Today we’re nearly 17 weeks along with this little one who I’ve affectionately named nugget, mostly as I ask he or she to behave as I’m dying to run up Mount Kilimanjaro that until a few months ago was only the neighborhood hill on Skyland. Today, I’m still nearly as nervous as I was 18 months ago but even more thrilled than I could have ever imagined 12 years ago.
Patrick and I can’t wait to add a little adventurer to our crew in late July – girl or boy, we don’t intend to find out until he or she makes an arrival onto this earth. We pray that things continue to go smoothly, but if they don’t, we pray for understanding and trust that God has us exactly where we are meant to be, no matter what life might throw our way.
To our littlest nugget, my prayer for you is that you come into this world ready to tackle the next adventure by our sides. I pray that you’ll be ready to be the leader of the pack, God willing, because we think the world is waiting on you. I pray that you’ll always keep an open mind and a curious heart towards those around you. And finally, I pray that you know that you are so, so loved beyond measure.
To anyone reading this in a season of waiting, a season of miscarriage, or a season of what feels like endless non-answers, gosh, I. Am. With. You. We are thankful that our story has continued with easier answers than expected, but I understand that is not the case for everyone and gosh, I can’t even begin to fathom what you’ve each experienced. I can’t begin to imagine how every story is different and I wish I could lift each and every one of you up in hugs, share with you a glass of wine and even respond to that feeling of I just want to punch my ovaries in the face. If someone can ever do any of the above for you, let it be me, I’m your girl.