We have gone back and forth on when and whether to share the latest happenings in our family. A part of us holds it tight for selfish reasons. Maybe even fearful motives.
We also are so mindful of our many friends in our community that have navigated similar voyages or have met loss and pain on these roads we now travel. I have blogged before about such announcements. How they can surprise us with emotions they can bring to the surface. How they can bring up reminders of loss or yearning. The despair we flirt with lies just below the surface and I do not want to be one to uncover it for you, I want to offer a sustaining relationship with hope instead. We are not unaware and in no way want to seem insensitive to the many we have talked with, ministered to and even more so, forged priceless relationships with over the last 7 years of infertility.
Not to mention again, FEAR. Fear that if I share this publicly, I lose credibility to ministry, to my words. Fear. If I share this and we experience another loss, I will have to share that too. The first 12 weeks, I mentally prepared myself, every bathroom break, not to panic if I saw blood. The reality is that the two lines on a stick does not equal a promise or a guarantee of holding a child in 9 months. The words, “there is no longer a heartbeat” have pricked my heart and stolen our joy and hope twice. True, I do not want and cannot live in fear of these words; but I do realistically recognize that it can happen again. I am trying to walk this balance of being fearful and simply holding myself in check on what I put my hope in. On how in the midst of loss or waiting, we can unknowingly limit our definitions of God’s faithfulness.
God is faithful. Period. The lesson he has graciously taught me the last 7 years is his faithfulness is not demarcated by the “good things” in my life. He is faithful when there is no longer a heartbeat, he is faithful when stupid cancer takes away a last breath of a loved one, he is faithful when families move, lose jobs, get mental health diagnosis, fight, etc. This pregnancy announcement does not have the hashtag Heisfaithful, because he was faithful every time there was just one line on a pregnancy test for the last 7 years, every time the fertility medicine didn’t work. He was faithful when we came home and grieved our lost children never held in our arms. God is faithful. The reality is not all infertility stories end with a pregnancy. But the hope we anchor to is that he can carries you through it all and redeems the story.
I took 4 boxes of tests for me to really come to terms; I might need google the number for the obgyn. I bought two different brands of test because I assumed that maybe one whole lot number could possibly be contaminated and that is why it showed a positive. The Hubs squeezed my hand tightly at the first ultrasound. Hand in hand, watching a little heartbeat, staring with amazement at the life forming inside.
You guys, I have thrown up so much. At first, I remained positive and steadfast in my optimism. “Oh this means lots of hormones! YAY!’ But by the time I ended up in the ER with fever and dehydration from vomiting every little thing I tried to swallow, I must confess I was cranky, emotional and sick of being sick. Finally, things are settling down. While my breakfast of champions is still Saltines, my appetite is growing and at last, there are signs of a belly!
Our first round of non-invasive pregnancy testing has thrown a little curve ball our way. We have met with genetic counselors and our little baby now has its owns perinatalogist. We opted out of more invasive testing, therefore, the results we can find out at this point are a bit limited. I love the team of doctors we work with at our hospital. While discussing all the possibly chromosome aneuploidies in the genetic consulting room, the doctors sat around the little round table and with sober faces confessed they could not rule out Trisomy 21 as the possible “issue”. I could not help the smile slowly forming on my face and replied, “don’t tease me!” This left them with tilted heads and confused gazes. I brought out my phone to display pictures of our two chromosomally enhanced kids and showed them off with great pride, grinning ear to ear, sharing how they are my greatest joys.
While we may not get definitive answers on this side of things, we do get to find out more with each ultrasound and have another set of blood work pending to result soon. We firmly believe that this life is valued, no matter how many chromosomes are eventually counted. We are honored we get to be mom and dad. At first, we wondered, is this different from Carter and Niyah? Is it different when it feels like there is no choice this time? BUT WE ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE. The choice whether to move forward in fear or in knowing that we want to try to offer our best for this child. To offer our hearts fully. And we choose YES. The same way we did with Carter and Niyah. This little life deserves and gets our yes. We choose to hand over our hearts in the face of fear. Little surprise baby- you get our yes!
When we falsely interpret fear or unworthiness as the permission to say NO, we miss out on the abundance in the YES.
So we decided to go ahead and share with you our latest YES:
We are pregnant with Baby Durham #3