Friday, October 21, 2011

6 weeks pregnant: 1st OB appointment

We drive to the familiar office to see my trusted doctor.  When we arrive, I see him in the hallway and he greets me.  "I hear you have some exciting news!"  "Yes! We're so happy!"  And I am happy to get this final confirmation.  A doctor's appointment.  The nurse says, "Yup, you're pregnant!"  My doctor does an ultrasound and even at just 6 weeks, we see the fluttering heartbeat on the screen, and we hear the strong beating.  This is early, yes, but it is a very good sign that there is a strong heartbeat.  For the first time, I feel there is a fourth family member with us.  I'm not simply pregnant. I have a baby in me.  A baby that is doing something on its own.  Beating its own little heart.
The appointment gives me a focus.  I'm not just a barrel of pregnancy symptoms (yes, I have more morning sickness this time, and yes, I have heartburn already).  I'm a vessel of another life, and it is an awesome feeling to remember that again, amidst the play-dates, toddler songs, My Gym classes, games, and trains.

We put up the picture of our little lentil on the refrigerator.  That is our baby.  That is the fourth member to our family.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Telling the family

Oct 16, 2011

Since I am visiting my parents at their house when we learn our exciting news, I don't wait long to tell them.  I'm not going to walk around a house, visit with family, avoid wine, and keep this a secret.  The first pregnancy, there was no way to tell them in person, but this second time, I'm here, and I'm not going to wait.  Mike completely agrees and encourages me to tell them as soon as I can.

Of course, this second time around telling family seems to take a bit more time...My mom and brother are at the house after church, and I get Mike on skype so that we can tell them together.  He is leaving for a conference in Boston in an hour and won't be very available for the next several days, so this is our chance.  But my dad is still at church.  We stall, Mike talks to D on skype, we lose the connection a few times, we wait.  Finally, my dad returns home and we get to share our exciting news. They are very happy for us, of course, and it is great to see my mom's excited reaction in person this time!  It feels good!

At dinner out that night, I tell my brother's wife and my niece and nephew (then a few days later do a scavenger hunt for them leading to a baby surprise treat), and now there is only one brother and sister-in-law left to tell.  We call and skype several times, but are never able to reach them at the same time.  Finally, weeks later, he is available on the phone, but my SIL is painting and he says she can't talk.  Mike and I are together and we decide we will tell them anyway, and my brother can pass on the news to my painting sister-in-law!  And so we do!  And this time, unlike the first time, my brother hasn't guessed in advance what we are about to tell him.

We decide to wait until we are together to tell Mike's parents in person.  I wanted to tell my family so quickly, we didn't plan an elaborate way of telling them (although D helped us by announcing, "Mommy is pregnant!" And no, he doesn't know what that means yet).  So I looking forward to finding a creative way to tell them.  However, adjacent to the news of our baby, Mike receives a job offer that while exciting, also requires a good deal of global travel.  He is talking to his mother one evening when Mike and I are still hundreds of miles apart, and mentions our concern of his travel in light of our...he hesitates. He realizes he is saying too much...his mom fills in the blank, "Tara is pregnant?"  Mike stutters, then conference calls me in quickly, and tells his mom the news.  She congratulates us and gets Mike's dad on the phone.  Mike gives him the news (he is excited, as well of course).  Not exactly as we had planned to tell them, but as in life, we roll with all of it!  And now we have many months ahead of us to simply enjoy the news with all of our family.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Those two pink lines...

It's 11 o'clock on a Saturday night and I decide to take a pregnancy test.  I took one a few days earlier--the morning I was leaving with D, my 2 1/2 year old son, for a week's visit upstate to see family.  It was the last chance I had to discover if I were pregnant while Mike was with me (he didn't come upstate with us).  But of course, I saw that annoying single pink line, taunting me. Ugh. I hate that single pink line.  Anyone who has been trying to conceive for, oh, more than one month, probably hates that single pink line.  Or blue minus sign.  Or however your test tells you.  But they all mean the same thing.  The thing that the digital pregnancy test will tell you straight up--no lines or math signs, but in solid English: Not Pregnant.

I also hate the pregnancy test companies who tell you that you may (keyword: may) be able to know that you're pregnant up to (key words: up to) 6 days before your missed period.  It's a good marketing campaign because, really, how many women will take a test every day, for 6+ days, waiting for that single line to turn into two?  And at $8 a pop, that's not a small sum of money to spend in a week for the same single-lined result.  But this is the second time around the pregnancy ride for me, and I'm not about wasting money.  At least, not too much... I knew the chance was slim to find out this early.  Still, I had hoped.

But two days later, here I am again.  I tell myself I should just wait another day to take another test.  I am 99% sure I am not pregnant because, while we have been trying...well, I honestly don't feel pregnant.  I'm waiting to feel the same way I felt when I was pregnant with D.  But I don't.  Mike takes me at my word when I tell him that (sigh) I highly doubt I'm pregnant.

But.  I take the test.

Single pink line.

Ugh.  Stupid test.

I set it aside, deciding I'll throw it out in a minute.  I take a shower, not even giving it a second thought.  It's late.  I need to get to bed.  I have church with my parents tomorrow morning...

But when I get out of the shower, I suddenly think--What if it says pregnant now?  What if it just needed a bit more time (I know I only waited about one minute instead of five)?  What if I'm pulling a Carla in Scrubs here?  I am sure it will still be a single line.

But I look at it.

Eyes widen.

Two pink lines.
Two pink lines!

And here is my movie moment.

I look up.  I whisper.  "Are you serious, God?  Really?  I mean, are you serious?  Am I pregnant?"

I look at it again.

He seems pretty serious.

"Thank you, God!"

I blink.  A few times.  In a dramatic made-for-tv fashion, as is appropriate at a time like this.  I smile.  I think I even shake my head a little and laugh.  I say a quick prayer for the baby's health, for my pregnancy, and then I want to tell Mike.  Mike...Right...He is 300 miles away from me...I resist the temptation to call him immediately.  I need to dry off, get dressed. I need to be comfortable for this conversation.  I snap a quick picture of the test on my ipod, throw on some sweats, and slip into bed.  

"Hey, babe," Mike answers.

He picked up.  Good.  Okay.  I immediately send the picture from my ipod to his email.

"Hey, Mike.  Can you check your email?"  I cut right to the chase.  I try to sound natural.  Apparently, I do well enough, as he's expecting a video of our toddler or something.  Remember, he is entirely convinced I am not pregnant.

"Okay," he says.  He might hum something or make some little filler sound.  I can't say anything.  My heart is beating so fast.  My palms are sweaty.  I couldn't eat a thing.

There is that beautiful pause.  Then...

"No way!" I hear a voice with delight.  "Really?  You're pregnant?!"  He laughs.

"I guess so--right?  I mean, you can see it too, right?"

"Yeah! There are two pink lines. The picture is fuzzy--"

"It's from my ipod--"

"But I can see it."  He laughs again.  "I'm pacing around the room."

We're both grinning the metaphorical ear to ear.

"You're pregnant!!"

"I'm pregnant!"

"We're having another baby!"

"Yeah we are!"

I had wondered, when we would find out for a second time that I'm pregnant, would we be as excited as the first time?  For now, tonight, I know the answer.  Yes.  Yes, we are.  And yes, it is still as surreal as it was the first time.  There's a baby in me.  A poppy seed.  A little dot of a life.  But a life.  There are technical worries that creep into my mind--we only have two bedrooms, how will our toddler, D, adjust, how hard is it going to be carrying a car seat and walking with D up all those flights of stairs to our apartment...but I tell myself, Not now.  Don't think of those things now.  Enjoy this moment.  Appreciate every second.  Because this precious excitement, this wonderful surprise, is now.  And I will enjoy it.  I do enjoy it.  I barely sleep that night, but I enjoy it.