I was groggy, out of it. Stumbling around the bathroom, my eyes half closed. Knowing I shouldn't wait another day to take the test, but not sure where it was. And not sure why I was taking it- they're never positive anyhow. The last cycle was strange. I can't even remember now when it started. And there was strange bleeding in the midst of it. And then Sunday... nausea... and fatigue such as this often sleepy woman had never known before. But too tired on Monday to remember to take the test. So Tuesday morning it was. I almost didn't find the one test remaining from the box of three we bought some time ago. I almost gave up. But then... ah ha!
Stumbled to the toilet. Peed on the stick. Pulled it out and immediately, IMMEDIATELY a plus sign appeared. How many times over the past three years have I stared at those stinkin' sticks for 10 minutes waiting for a plus sign? How many times have I pulled them out of the trash just to be sure nothing had appeared in the 10 minutes since I gave up? And today... after two months of definitely not trying... after at least two months of no longer taking the prenatal vitamins... today it popped up immediately. And I laughed. Sarah laughed. Not an uproarious laugh mind you. A snort. No, more than a snort, a chortle. A disbelieving scoff. Now?
I am expert at counting to nine on my fingers and so I did. December. December... end of my first semester in a Ph.D. program. Well, that could be just about the only month in the next year that would make any sense. And I won't be leading a congregation through Advent this year, won't be preaching at 11:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Just yesterday I told Kev I was looking forward to holidays being holidays again. Maybe I'll have a babe in arms as he plays a Christmas Eve service this year.
I came down and showed him the test. The line was faint, but it was definitely there and I said repeatedly that it was there immediately. He was cautious. I was cautious. He asked at breakfast how I was feeling and I wasn't quite sure. I had random thoughts flitting through my head. "Better look for a house that would be good for a home birth." "Guess I won't be wearing a size 12 to Theresa's wedding." Can't remember what the other random thoughts were now. But as I reflect many hours later I realize that even though I wasn't giving in to sheer joy I was assuming I was pregnant and would be giving birth in Nashville in December.
Before breakfast at which I shared the flitting thoughts I stretched and prayed and listened to my pray-as-you-go podcast- today the reading was the stoning of Stephen. Stephen... a name we love. I never realized before how aggressive Stephen's preaching was. I thought "An 'I-statement' or two could have saved your life." At least he prayed mercy on those killing him.
I went straight to my doctor's office.Her receptionist was notably pregnant. I didn't have an appointment, but I asked for a few minutes of her time and I got it. She jumped up and gave me a hug as soon as I shared the news of the positive test. She assured me that the tests are remarkably accurate and so I probably had reason to be quite happy. She was the one who wrote infertility in the box for diagnosis and sent me spiraling into sorrow. She hugged me at least twice today. Her only sadness today was that I wouldn't be having the baby in Lowville. She sent me down for blood work immediately.
I waited in line to give my blood. I have sat in that waiting room so many times ready to stick out my arm and turn my head. Seated next to me in the waiting room was a woman who was quite pregnant and looked miserable. I have had this very blood test done so many times before, but today was different. The draw went terribly smoothly once I finally got in there.
And then off to the office to wait. I managed to write my pastor's report for session tonight before the call came from my doctor offering me "the best news of the day". My numbers are high, solid, no question we're pregnant. None. In fact, she suspects I'm at least six weeks along. Other cycles I would have been able to tell you precisely just how far along I am. Not now... no clue.
Called back the friend with whom I had been speaking when the doctor called. Called Kev. He seemed happy, but cautious yet. Called my sister, she was thrilled. And then I tried to plan worship. No I didn't try. I did. But I didn't work too hard at it. Sort of slapped the service together. Hope the Spirit and synchronicity kick in. I called my new fertility doctor, also an OB doc who works with midwives, to share the news and seek an appointment. I returned a call to a woman who usually swallows a good hour, but managed to keep it to 10 minutes. And then I went out for lunch- opted for protein. My sister has told me many times how important protein is in pregnancy. Mom called during lunch. I booked lunch with her for Thursday, before my afternoon appointment in Syracuse. Since we can tell her in person, I'm telling her in person. Rebecca, seminary roommate, called during lunch too and I got her nausea management tips. And then came home and did a bit of calling, a bit of working.
The doctor's office called back and we scheduled an ultrasound for Thursday- that's two days away- one now. Ultrasound, lunch with mom (maybe with dad and bro too if I can pull it off without making folks too suspicious), then the original appointment.
Talked with a friend for a good long time. She was giddy for me.
Planned the class I'll be teaching on Saturday.
Went upstairs to rest, but called a few more friends. I know. It is too soon to tell people. But... if anything goes wrong we are going to need some serious support. I'm not making a public announcement. I'm telling only one family in our small town. I'm telling family and people far away- for now. I'm doing this on purpose.
Went to my meetings and kept my mouth shut. I did say I was doing great in my check-in, and perhaps that raised eyebrows or stung as I should be sad to be leaving. But... I told the truth without telling it all.
I spoke some more with my sister, the apprentice midwife. Then I went to see the Adsit family. I was just going to tell Kelly and Tony, Kelly especially who has wept with me more than once through this struggle. But the kids were curious. And they've been sworn to secrecy and the need for the secrecy was thoroughly and carefully explained. So the whole family knows. And I feel good about that. Tony told me to drive home safely. We live a few blocks away.
And now I'm wide awake. In the middle of the night. I learned today that antihistamines are out of the question for the first trimester so my preferred sleep aid is out of the question. I figured I'd start a baby blog. Maybe there will be no baby. But... there's a better chance tonight that there will be a baby. And I'll be keeping a record of the pregnancy, etc. here.
As my sister said at least once today, "If nothing else, you've done it. You've finally conceived. Your ovaries are working. Your uterus is working. Kev's sperm are working. You're pregnant. You really are. And should anything happen, not that it will, but should it... you're having this experience now."
I really am. We really are. Praise God.