We had our first ultrasound today and heard the baby’s heart beat. One healthy, strong heartbeat…yes, one, as in one baby. And a sigh of relief. A coworker is having twins and my sisters were twins and the idea of twins right now is well, unbearable or laughable. As we left the doctor’s office, we gave each other a high five: one baby. We can handle one baby. I think.
Drum roll, please…
Please meet our precious baby at 8 weeks old! Baby’s first picture.
Jeanne and David hosted a lovely party for the Cardiology fellows this past Sunday night, July 11th-a welcome barbeque at the house. It was great and the best part was a catered BBQ spread of ribs and chicken and pulled pork and pork n’ beans, cole slaw. Delicious!
I ate ribs with extra BBQ sauce-I ate too many. Yum! Later that night I was not feeling well, in fact totally uncomfortably irreparably nauseous.
That nausea stuck with me day in and day out, mildly there for the next several days, that turned into a week, then two, then I lost count. It seemed to just be there, stay there and linger. I would feel hungry and nauseous at the same time and eating didn’t make it go away, nor did I ever stop feeling hungry. Somewhat of a torturous dynamic.
It is beginning to occur to me that this might not be about the BBQ ribs afterall…
I laid down a lot. Before long, my mild nausea was accompanied by near death fatigue and piercing headaches. I typically would heal this with falling to the couch after work and staying there until it was acceptable to put pajamas on and get in bed.
I needed to hear our news from a licensed professional. After all, all I did was pee on a stick. How accurate, scientific or official can that be?
That Monday, July 5th, I had the day off of work and we had wanted to go explore Brian’s new campus and have breakfast Uptown to get a feel for what our life might be like living near campus. Brian started work that next Friday on the 9th and our idea was to love close to campus when we moved her and got settled.
As we drove to campus, we decided on breakfast at the Oak Street Cafe and dreamily talked about the possibility of our new life as parents. Elated and unsure, I was not ready to fully go there. After walking around campus on our way back to Old Metairie, we stopped at Walgreens thinking it would be, well, prudent to get more pregnancy tests.
I took two more tests, both positive. Time to call the doctor.
On Tuesday afternoon, I called the OB/GYN deptartment at Ochsner and asked to make the soonest appointment, that I thought I might be pregnant. And in my normally chatty, overly sharing ways, I launched into our life story about how we had just moved from Denver and didn’t have our own doctors yet and weren’t planning to get pregnant…the lady who answered the phone interupted me mid-babble and asked if I had taken an at home test. Yes, I had. Was it positive. Yes, it was. Actually I took three. Were they all positive. Yes, they were. Well, congratulations! Silence.
Well, can I still come in to see the doctor? I am sure you all have more sophisticated, official tests that I need to take. No, our tests are the same as those at home tests, essentially and they rarely give you a false positive. Very rarely three. Oh, okay, thank you.
We set up an appointment some three or four weeks later on July 19th. At that appointment, I get checked in under the premise that I think i am pregnant (I have strong stubborn genes) and wait, then get weighed in, pee in a cup, and wait for the doctor. Regular exam, any questions so far? Um, no. The appointment is coming to a close. And I start to think, maybe I am not pregnant. So, I launch in…
I’m sorry, Dr., so am I pregnant? I mean, do you need to take a blood test or something? Oh, yes, you’re pregnant, congratulations!
Oh, um, how do you know?
Sometimes the truth sets in slowly.
Roughly fifteen minutes after we found out we began envisioning our life as something totally new and different- a life of three instead of two…and a cat and golden retriever. Mid-way through this conversation my mother in law called from the beach. When Brian answered the phone, her first words, “Do you have something to tell me?” “What???” he thought to himself. Does she know something? Does the Facebook have a new mind reading feature and has already announced our news live?
She proceeded to tell Brian about the dream she had had the night before that we were pregnant.
Talk about a mother’s intuition. Whoa!
After that call, I began talking about how it could be a false test. That we needed to take it easy. Talk to a doctor. Take a dozen other home tests. Then go to the doctor and have them run several other tests. I realize now that I was simply not ready to face this irreversible, totally amazing, overwhelming, wonderful, life altering, frightening, beautiful news. I needed to hear it from the doctors lips.
The morning of Monday, July 5th, I had the day off and it was the last week before Brian started his new job at Tulane (he started on Friday, the 9th) and we were planning to get breakfast uptown and walk around his new campus.
I had expected my cycle to start on Tuesday, June 29th-Brian’s birthday and it hadn’t come yet. A few days late, I told myself that it was stress or normal or that I had miscalculated my cycle. A few days later I stopped drinking alcohol as a measure of caution. But on Monday, I woke up obsessed (where was it?)
I got up to go to the bathroom and the pregnancy test box that was left over from the year before when we had spent a month “trying” to get pregnant was staring at me. In a hurry I opened it followed the instructions verbatim. I set it on the counter and washed my hands trying to fool myself into being calm…blasé even. Staring at the clock for 3 minutes felt like an eternity, willing myself not to look at the stick until the full time had elapsed.
Time’s up. Two pink lines. Pregnant.
Pregnant! Pregnant? Pregnant!
My mind started a flurry of thoughts…like how do I tell Brian? I didn’t even warn him that I was taking the test this morning-I did it out of impulse and fear and excitement and curiosity and the stubborn pursuit of truth. How could we be pregnant? We hadn’t really even tried. My mind was overloaded and numb at the same time.
I ran to him in the next room.
The look of our future on his face and in his eyes-the same expression he had as I walked down the aisle to meet him on our wedding day-will be tattooed in my memory forever.
I have been seeing our future in his eyes since we were 17 and today that indescribable knowing feeling came true, some 12 years later: he’s the father of my children.
Let the journey begin…