Friday, April 15, 2016

Three positives.

I have had the "oh my God, I'm pregnant" moment three times now.

Almost four years ago, Justin and I started "trying" after I returned from a summer adventure, visiting family and friends in Europe with my mom.  I lost five pounds in three weeks due to all the walking and my mother's lack of a desire for lunch.  My period was late and I was so excited to take a test. Negative.  I waited a few more days.  Negative.  I called my OB (who was Dr. B's colleague at the time, though about to go on maternity leave) who suggested ordered a blood test.  A nurse called and said, verbatim: "You're not pregnant."  I cried.  I saw the very pregnant OB who said I most likely wasn't ovulating due to the weight loss.  She suggested trying to gain some weight and to cut back on my running mileage.  I stopped at the store on the way home for Cheetos and ice cream.  I gained five pounds but the period didn't return, so she started me on progesterone.  Still, no period.  I asked for the next drug, but was told that I needed to take a pregnancy test first.  I laughed at the nurse, told her no way could I be pregnant.  She repeated that I needed to take a pregnancy test.  Justin was in Brazil for work, so I went home and enjoyed a glass of wine.  In the morning, I peed on a stick again, waiting for that negative sign so I could call the doctor's office and say, "Now can I please have the next drug?"

And it was positive.  (And to reiterate, my husband was in South America).

After tossing a Purdue onesie at my husband when he returned home from his trip and getting relentlessly teased that my mom was the first to know I was pregnant (not my fault my husband was out of the country and who wants to tell their husband on the phone that they are pregnant?), I was called into the office for more blood work, to try to figure out how far along I was.

The results came in ridiculously indeterminate: somewhere between four and twelve weeks.
I switched to my very own Dr. B, who wanted to do an ultrasound.

"We're not going to see anything," I told Justin. "It's too early."

But we did see something.  A fully-formed baby.  I was ELEVEN weeks along.

I was pregnant the whole time.

I have no idea the date of that positive test, though it was right before Labor Day.

So, eleven months later, when my period was late, I didn't think much of it.  No doctor (and no googling) had ever been able to explain to me WHY those pregnancy tests came back negative, including the blood test which is supposed to be 100% accurate.  My HCG levels must have been low, even though it was a perfectly healthy pregnancy, but why?  I asked Dr. B if I could expect it to happen again, when I got pregnant again.  She had no idea.

So I kind of laughed at Justin when he suggested I take a test.  "It's not like it means I'm not pregnant if it's negative," I told him, "And it's not like it's going to be positive."

But I still had a test remaining from my tests for Ben (after all, who takes only one pregnancy test?  I bought the three-pack).  So I took it.  And it came back with a book on it, which apparently meant "follow the directions."  Is there an incorrect way to dip a stick in pee?  (And yes, I counted).

A day or two later, I asked my neighbor friend if she might be able to loan me a few of the cheap tests she got on Amazon.  I had ordered my own but was impatient for them to arrive.  With an eyebrow raised, she handed some over.

The next morning, I was pretty sure if I squinted a little, I could see a faint second line.

That was April 15, 2014.  That's when I learned Lydie was on the way.

Gratefully, my husband was in the country this time - just down in the basement, running on the treadmill.  I wrote about our reactions, in a love letter I wrote to Lydie, here.

And my third positive pregnancy test was my rainbow girl, my Josephine.  I had less than a three month break from pregnancy.  I  surprised myself by barely reacting.  I texted my mom and sister and my sister responded, "yaay!" and it pissed me off.  I responded "no yaay,  just a positive test."  Later that week, Justin said something about me being pregnant and I snapped, "I am NOT pregnant!  I just had a positive pregnancy test!"  Woah.

And I don't know the date of that positive pregnancy test either.  Late February or early March 2015?

Those milestones of my pregnancy with Lydie mean more to me now than they do with my living children.  I don't know the date of the positive test with Ben but I do know that he was crawling at six months and walking at ten.  I don't know the date of the positive test with Josie but I know that she cut two bottom teeth last weekend.  I know that Ben's favorite food is pancakes with peanut butter and syrup and I know that Josie doesn't care for rice cereal.  I know how Ben likes to curl up in my lap, with his head on one knee and his legs tucked up underneath him.  I know that he's getting to big to do that, but he keeps trying anyway.  I know how Josie covers my cheek with kisses and how she looks when her eyes flutter as she fights sleep.

I know Ben's hair lightens up with blond streaks in the summer time, but is darkening as he gets older.  I know Josie's hair is looking quite blond.  I know Lydie was born with dark, dark hair like her daddy, but I don't know how it might have changed as she got older.  I know Ben was born with blue eyes that turned brown and I know Josie's have, so far, stayed bright blue.  I don't know what color eyes Lydie had, and I don't know if they would have changed or not.

I know, two years ago today, I learned Lydie was on the way.

I know my life has never been the same since.

I know how much I love her.

And I know how much you can miss someone you never even got to know.


  1. I was nodding along as I read this, Heather. (Although the part about all the negative tests that became Ben is crazy!) It also reminded me that I intended to go back and comment on your "I can't imagine..." post, although really my comment is just an emphatic YES. I know people often mean that respectfully, but it's such a trite cliche and it does more to imply, "I don't want to think about..."

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  3. I thought this post was going to be about how you took 3 pregnancy tests just now and they were all positives! My heart was racing with.. I don't know what!! But yes, I can barely remember taking the pregnancy test with my one on the way and it was only months ago. But N's in July 2013 is crystal clear to me. The first words I said to my husband as I waved the test at his face was 'we have a problem' (N was unplanned)! What I would give for that problem now. Those memories are utterly precious, our babies.

    1. You mean you thought that I am pregnant again? Holy shit, no. After 3 pregnancies in 2 1/2 years, I want a little break. A little break with a little wine.

    2. Also I just read my comment and realized it sounds as if we intend to try for a 4th child. No idea on that one but a blog post for another time.

  4. I remember each time you told me you were pregnant. Ben = a phone call of excitement (and disbelief since you had only found out recently!); Lydia = Ben running in with a Big Brother t-shirt and then you all looking at my face waiting for the light bulb to go off; and Bowie = right before walking to lunch and it taking me about 15 seconds to process what you just told me. A lot of emotions since those moments, but nonetheless, memories of your precious babies.

    1. Ah, I remember each of these moments too! But it's so nice to hear them from your point of view. You cried when I told you I was pregnant with Bowie, which was actually quite perfect. You got it, all the complexities. Thanks for sharing this, friend.


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