March 11, 2010: A day I’ll never forget. It was the first day we lived knowing that MG was coming into our life….And yet….we still had so much learning to do.
Once again, this pregnancy started like the last one. I had symptoms nearly immediately, but wouldn’t let myself believe I was pregnant until I had proof. I woke up early that morning after a restless night of sleep. The very first thing on my mind was that I had a doctor’s appointment that day. Since I suspected pregnancy, I wanted to have something firm to tell him so that he could give me advice. I decided just to take the test, even though I knew it was early. At least if it was negative, he might be able to give me hope.
After waiting the required five minutes, I stared at the test. I tilted and turned it looking at it from every angle. Two lines stared back at me. One dark, bold one next to a ghostly faint one. Was this it?
N agreed to examine it with me.
He wasn’t convinced. Neither was I. Deep down, I ached for it to be true. But everything was different now. There would be no tears of joy, no joyful celebrations until we heard with our own ears that tiny, beating heart. The miscarriage had tainted everything.
I found I was even nervous to bring it up to the doctor that day. I was too scared to admit it might be true. He wasn’t scared for me. He clapped my back and shook my hand and said, “Let’s check your blood work!”
We waited and waited for that phone call.
I’ll always remember where I was when I saw his number on my cell phone. It was during the school day, but mercifully, I didn’t have any students at the time. And he spoke those wonderful words, “You’re pregnant! But just barely. Come back in on Monday and we’ll test again to make sure your levels have raised.”
I couldn’t wait to tell N. We celebrated, cautiously. On Monday, my levels had in fact risen and we scheduled an ultrasound.
We prayed and prayed over this new life that was forming in me. Time c r a w l e d until that first ultrasound and every time I had to use the bathroom, my stomach knotted up wondering what I would find. Each time there wasn’t blood, my heart did a little victory dance.
We were so “young” then. We knew what we wanted, but we didn’t really know. We knew that we loved this baby forming in my body, but we didn’t really know how much more we would grow to love her. We knew we were ready to be Mama and Daddy, but we didn’t really know how much of us those roles would require.
Thankfully, God gave us MG anyway.
“To know that I was known by a new living being, who had not existed until she was made in my body by my desire and brought forth into the world by my pain and strength – that changed me….I would feel milk and love flowing from me to her as once it had flowed to me. It emptied me. As the baby fed, I seemed slowly to grow empty of myself, as if in the presence of that long flow of love even grief could not stand.” Wendell Berry, Hannah Coulter