Not the Pregnancy Announcement We Dreamed of Sharing


I've been away from the blog lately & it hasn't been without good reason.

Several times I've said to Ryan, "I wonder what it'd feel like to pee on a pregnancy test & see two lines!" Never in my life had I stood over the bathroom vanity with a pregnancy test in my hand & felt that ecstatic feeling when two lines appeared. [We found out we were pregnant with Magnolia by a scheduled blood test.] I've shared before that we have a desire in our hearts to grow our family & that our prayers are always for God's guidance & grace. I'm still breastfeeding Magnolia & after my surgery for endometriosis our doctor told us that IVF was the route we needed to go if we wanted to have a baby. Those are two big factors that would lead one to believe natural conception wasn't going to happen for us. After having Magnolia, despite exclusive breastfeeding, my menstrual cycle returned when she was about six months old. The pain of my cycles was gone! I believe God answered our prayers of healing from the endometriosis. Ryan & I weren't necessarily "trying" to get pregnant, but it was certainly something we very much wanted.


On the 21st of February, Magnolia & I were stuck in the house thanks to the ice storm. I hadn't got my period yet, but I thought it was just late because of breastfeeding. My cycles have always been clockwork, but I had an excuse in my head as to why I hadn't started yet. I wanted to be pregnant, of course, but I always protected my heart from that idea. I had some little dinky pregnancy test sticks in the bathroom. Honestly, I didn't even want to pee on it, because I hate the feeling of never seeing that second line. It gets old after a lifetime of the same results. Due to our boredom I decided to pee on the stick. I stood in the bathroom, over the vanity, holding the stick for about a minute. Nothing. Nothing, as usual. I went into my usual self-talk to make myself feel better. For whatever reason when I get a negative test my heart always thinks of the teenage girl on the other side of town that got two lines & is sobbing on the bathroom floor. I don't know why my mind does that, but it's what I do each time, and that is what I did on this afternoon. My heart went out to all the moms-to-be that were hurting for the extreme opposite reason. Something told me to just wait one more minute. I stood there staring at this little tiny test & all of sudden I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. I started to see literally the faintest second line. I didn't jump up & down for joy as I had always imagined I would. I didn't believe it. I went into a state of shock. I went to the living room, picked up Magnolia, I fell to my knees half laughing & half crying. I started to thank God for what I thought I may be seeing, to which I said "no matter what I'm seeing, thank you God, thank you God for this possibility, for this possible miracle!"

For one minute I considered waiting until Ryan returned from his business trip before telling him the "possible" news. I thought I could do some elaborate announcement for him. And then the next minute I realized there was no way in the world I could wait three more days to tell him! I called him & no answer. I then messaged him to tell him to call me. I never ever do that. I always just say what I need to say in writing if I can't get him on the phone. When he called me back, I said, "babe I think I might be pregnant!!!" He said he already knew that's what I was going to say. We've been on the same wave length since the day we met.

I tested again the next day, and the line was still there & a tad bit darker. I called my doctor & scheduled a blood test. We got the call back on a Friday afternoon to confirm the news, I WAS PREGNANT! We spent the entire weekend smiling from ear to ear & we talked about having two babies under two. We imagined Thanksgiving & Christmas with two babies! We told Magnolia she was going to be a big sister. We did inventory of all the baby stuff we already own & we thought about how awesome it would be to only have to a buy a few things for this new baby. Baby names we discussed. All that we learned with Magnolia gave us this special level of confidence. We shared the news with our closest family & friends. I conceived naturally for the first time & it was a miracle, nothing short of a miracle!


The following Monday I went back for the second blood test to confirm my levels were doubling. And they were. They tested a few other things & everything was in normal range. We continued to celebrate this miracle. To be honest I was still in a state of shock. Considering my history with endometriosis we did an early sonogram to rule out a tubal pregnancy. The gestational sac was in my uterus & all was well. I went back for weekly sonograms & at the 6 1/2 week sonogram we saw the flicker of the heartbeat. In that moment I sensed a little hesitation in my doctor's reaction to the screen. It was so small he was unable to get the beats per minute, but he did say it appeared slow. He told me they start slow, but sometimes that is also a sign of a non-viable pregnancy. I left that appointment with hope in one hand & fear in the other. I Googled it despite my best judgment. I spent the next two weeks going back & forth between anxiety & optimism. I spent time in prayer & I tried my hardest to calm my worried heart. I had several dreams that the baby was healthy & strong. My belly was growing much faster than it did with Magnolia, and I looked three months pregnant. It's true that a woman shows faster with her second baby.



My next scheduled sonogram was at 8 1/2 weeks. Ryan knew I was a nervous wreck, but he kept my hopes high. We knew if all went well at this appointment we could share the news. I hate keeping secrets & I was ready to tell the world about this baby. The night before our sonogram we discussed how we wanted to announce our miracle pregnancy & he asked if Magnolia was going to wear a "Big Sister" t-shirt. I remember feeling hesitant to talk about it, but I did anyway. We had a fun plan to share our news, but I was still quietly guarding my mama heart. The morning of our sonogram arrived & it was storming heavily outside. Our backyard was flooded & we lost power for several hours. I took a candlelit shower & I did my makeup on the dining room floor with the cool glow of the morning light. It rained the whole way to the hospital. When we got to our doctor's office Ryan rubbed my hand in a way that always calms me down & I sat next to him praying to God that our baby was strong & healthy. We went back & waited for what felt like forever for the doctor to come in. Before he did the sonogram he mentioned that we saw the heartbeat at the last sonogram. As soon as I saw the screen I saw the gestational sac, but I couldn't see a gummy bear sized baby. I think time stopped in that moment. I only remember the doctor saying "I'm sorry!" & I felt Ryan's hand on mine. I just laid there quietly. The next thing I remember was the doctor telling me to sit-up so he could talk to us. I held in the tears & the panic & the pain. The baby's heart had stopped sometime between the previous sonogram & this morning. I managed to listen to the next steps & I held it together for a few minutes. My biggest fear, my worst nightmare was really happening right there in the same exact room that we were told IVF was the only way I would get pregnant & in the same room that we saw Magnolia's strong heartbeat on the same screen.

This isn't the pregnancy announcement we dreamed of sharing. I know this may make some feel uncomfortable & I know the topic of miscarriage has been taboo for years. I just know that when I found out we conceived naturally it was a miracle & that no matter what happened I had to give the Glory to God for blessing us with another baby. I don't understand why we were blessed with this miracle only for a short time, but I do know that I cannot out dream God. Our baby found it's way back to Heaven & my heart will always ache for this child. When the trees start to turn warm with the colors of fall, and when the cold winds start to blow in, my heart will ache for the baby that I thought would be in our arms in late October. My heart & faith are trusting in God's plans for us & our family.

Now I know what it feels like to stand above the bathroom vanity holding a pregnancy test that shows two lines. Now we know I can conceive naturally & although our hearts are broken at the moment, I know with time they will heal with hope. I'm holding Magnolia closer than ever before!

There's always a rainbow after the storm.

XO
The Smiths
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Wendy Correen Smith
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2 comments:

  1. I don't think I can ever express myself as eloquently as you Wendy. My heart aches for your sadness right now but I have no doubt there will be more rainbows, more sunshine and sweet baby snuggles in your future dear friend. Thank you for sharing your soul in this blog - I know your words definitely comfort and inspire reflection for others. Love you!

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  2. You're the kindest Amy, thank you. I appreciate your love & faith so very much. Magnolia & I are looking forward to seeing you soon. xoxo

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