I knew that I had noticed a Duane Reade drugstore when I got on the train, headed to my first day of work in over 7 years. New York City, one of my favorite places, and I was getting my hustle on with a 2 month contract position! This was going to be a huge transition for my family, but since ODC is such an awesome husband and father, I knew that we could ensure that the Gs would maintain stability in their homeschooling and overall care. There was only one thing that was keeping me from completely embracing the opportunity and being happy about it. My period. It was late. I had been talking big trash to ODC about how I didn’t need to take a pregnancy test, because my body would eventually would tell me whether or not I was pregnant, blah, blah, blah. Well I wasn’t waiting any longer, trusting my body worked good in theory, but I had to know. It was the one thing that was keeping from actually enjoying being ALONE in such a fun city.
I guess there are no Dollar Trees in NYC. I went into the Duane Reade store, picked up the test and a few items and headed back to my hotel. As I’m walking, I start having a conversation with God. “You know we trust you right? We have surrendered this area to you, right? You wouldn’t have us deal with this NOW, would you? Things are finally looking up, we are going to have some money and we can really start to turn things around, it’s not time for a baby!” I had pretty much convinced myself that God loved me too much to set me up like that. I had four cycles since G4 and one of them had been around the 30 day range, so it was reasonable to think that this cycle was similar. I’ll spare you all the logistics, but I stared at that stick, and my heart started racing, that line, it was coming….no way, no way, no way!
Why was I even surprised? Every pregnancy has been ‘unexpected’. Of course I know how these things happen, but birth control has not been our MO over the years and more recently we have been convicted about using it, hence G4. 🙂 This time, however, I thought I was being mindful. I guess not. The first thing I do is call ODC. Here I am alone, in a hotel room, in NYC, after my first day of work in over 7 years, and I have just found out that I am going to have a 5th child! The phone rings, and goes to voicemail…FOR 2 HOURS!!!! Now, there is no way I can call and tell anyone, before I tell my husband. I flick through the channels, scan Facebook, and keep trying to call every 5 minutes. Two hours later, I finally get him on the phone. “Hey…I love you”, “What’s wrong?”, “I’m pregnant”. Silence. I think this was the first time I had every told him that he said “I’mma need a minute”. Regardless of how much you believe in something, it is important to acknowledge that you are human and doubts and fears can be real. I wasn’t offended and within about 30 minutes, we talked, and ODC was like, “okay, we’ll be fine.” But something was different, for the first time, I didn’t cry about being pregnant (and I’m not talking happy tears). Instead, I called a girlfriend and told her the news and all my ambivalent emotions and ended the night with some New York pizza and buffalo wings. Yum, comfort food! The next morning, I got up, got dressed to workout, and was like…”Here we go!”
The next few weeks involved me going back to NYC for about 3 days each week. Life was crazy busy! I had the chance to tell my family and few close friends, but another first was that we did not immediately make a huge announcement. The major reason was because I was working, and I wanted to complete my project before telling my coworkers that I was expecting. With all the traveling and maintaining my workouts, I started to realize something was different. I wasn’t feeling that severe exhaustion that has been present with every one of my pregnancies. I was still nursing G4 but I wasn’t experiencing any breast tenderness. That was odd. I even begin to joke with people and say that I wasn’t really pregnant, I was just going though menopause. (I was only slightly joking. I had read (Google is dangerous) that a false positive pregnancy test could be the result of menopause.) “Every pregnancy is different”, “It’s just because you are too busy to notice”, and the one that silently made me cringe; “Maybe it’s a boy!” (more on that here).
The week before Thanksgiving, I made an appointment to see a new midwife. ODC and I decided to back to what we knew and loved; homebirth. The connection was immediate, even just over the phone. The thought of another homebirth started to get me excited about this baby. I was going to finally do EVERYTHING I wanted. Video, professional photographer at the birth, labor in my jacuzzi tub…okay, it was time to focus on what I knew; I LOVE babies!
I love the fact that midwives allow you to talk and they really listen. I shared with her how I wasn’t thrilled about being pregnant. She told me that was very normal, even for some people who are actually “trying”. She said normally, the exception is women who have dealt with infertility. I felt guilty for not being “happy”, but this was normal for me, and with her assurance, I reminded myself that I always get past it and start to look forward to having a newborn. I also shared with her that I didn’t “feel” pregnant. She offered to check the heartbeat with a doppler, even though this just a consultation and not an official prenatal visit. Then she realized that her car was gone and her equipment was in the trunk. We would check it on my next visit. At this point, I’m about 10 weeks pregnant. We end our visit (ODC and G4 are with me) and I tell her that I will get back with her when ODC and I make a decision. I could barely get my seatbelt on before telling ODC that I wanted to use her. He just looked at me. I knew he liked her too, but he never likes to seem eager to pay anyone! A few minutes down the road, I realize that I had left my cell phone at her house. I called her to let her know that we were coming back and she told me that she realized her car was at the house (her husband had parked it further back) and if I wanted her to check the baby’s heartbeat she could. I ran back in and and she took me into her examining room. I got on the bed and lifted my shirt ready for the cold gel to hit my puffy belly. Now, even though I didn’t “feel” pregnant, my body was already taking shape. I definitely had a thick midsection! The midwife started moving the doppler around. I nervously waited for the big confirmation.
To be continued.