About three weeks ago, we experienced an “oops.” A lovely condom that didn’t work as well as it should have. At the time I was cramping and could have sworn that dear old Aunt Flo was right around the corner. A little alarmed that our accident might have larger repurcussions than a messier than usual clean-up, we discussed the “if’s” afterwards. We both decided not to worry about it at the time because hey, if I was pregnant, there was nothing much we could do about it.
Two weeks went by and no Aunt Flo. I started to get fidgety. And tired. And HOT. I mean, sweating like a stuck pig HOT. It was insane.
This past weekend I went to the Atlanta area to visit some distant relatives I hadn’t seen in awhile. Wanted to take the test before going but my ever so brilliant husband told me that I should probably wait until I got back. By waiting I wouldn’t be tempted to tell everyone and would enjoy the weekend instead of introspectively tearing myself apart with all that “what if’s and OMG’S!”
Turned out he’s really a smart cookie. He bought two tests on April 29th (don’t you just love those two packs?!?!) I had to pee before he got home so I went ahead and peed in a cup because I didn’t want to have to wait any longer than I already had.
I dipped the first test, capped it, and laid it down. It started to work and the negative line showed up first. I started to celebrate UNTIL I saw the positive line showing up. (it was a +/- test) At first I thought nah, it’s just an evap line – nothing to worry about. Until it started getting darker!
I fumbled furiously for the second test and nearly knocked the pee into the sink. (UGH!) I dipped that one, capped it, and laid it down. In mere seconds, another positive sign showed up, this one even darker than the first. I was in tears. And I am about to explain why.
We already have two beautiful little girls. Our first daughter, Alli, is nearly 3 years old. Our second daughter, Charlotte, is just 13 months old. Both pregnancies weren’t easy: 6mos morning sickness with Alli, 4 mos furious morning sickness with charlotte, I had severe pelvic pain with both, and suffered from Postpartum Depression after both births as well. One bout went treated, the other untreated (first one). To top things off, Charlotte was born with a rare condition, Pierre Robin Sequence, which is a combination of a recessed jaw, cleft palate, and a tongue that can block the airway, interfering with breathing and eating. She had jaw surgery at 9 days old, a feeding tube placed at 21 days old, cleft repair at 5 months old, and ear tubes & a MIC-key button placed just one week after her cleft repair. I exclusively pumped for her for 7 months. I also ended up in a mental ward at an area hospital as a result of a bad match with my meds for postpartum OCD. I am finally in therapy and will be for some time, especially now that I am pregnant again. In fact, the first thing I did Monday morning was call my therapists office and see if we could move up my appt to earlier in the week!
After I got the positive result, I handed kid duty over to Chris and went and laid down. Alli tucked me in and after they left, I got up and got my copy of “What am I thinking?: Having a child after postpartum depression”. I had it not because I had been thinking about having another child but for women in the peer support group I now run for women with postpartum depression. I read half of the book by the time the girls were in bed. The one thing Karen Kleiman states in the very beginning is that fear at a healthy level, is good. She worries more about mothers who are not afraid of relapse after an episode of PPD than mothers who are afraid, again, at a healthy level. Obviously being fanatically fearful to the point of it being interruptive within your life is not a good thing – in any situation, let alone pregnancy.
So I am afraid. And not afraid to admit that I am afraid. However, I am in a much better place than I was with either one of the previous two pregnancies, have done my homework, have access to a therapist, have educated my immediate family, and have access to the Postpartum International Coordinator group because I am now a Co-Coordinator for the state of Georgia and help women from all over the state. Our level of support is much higher this time around. I have also chosen a new OB who is more sensitive to PPD and his nurses even call new moms to check in on them. So even though I’m confident in that department, I’m still scared. What if there is something wrong with the baby? What if things are worse this time around? What if Chris can’t find a new job making more money? What if….
I have learned to give everything to God and I feel that He is testing me yet again. And as a quote from Mother Theresa – “I know God trusts me – I just wish he didn’t trust me SO MUCH!” We had decided we were done unless God had other plans for our family. Apparently He does and we are now along for the ride.
Make it a good one, God. We know You’ll be there with us and we thank You for this unexpected blessing.