Finding out that I was pregnant was one of the more surreal days of my life. And that state of mind has not stopped since. I literally walk around in a daze that resembles a drunken stupor, one that should not permit me to do things like handle other people’s money or partake in civilized conversation that makes sense, two things that I am required to do at my job on a daily basis. Never mind the fact that I was given the-option-without-actually-being-given-the-option to step down from my leadership position there (lots of people would have drawn the DISCRIMINATION card without a second thought), I will be the first to admit that me in my first trimester does not a stellar employee make. While I am annoyed with myself that I didn’t review the pregnancy protection laws a little more closely before I went into those conversations, I have come to the conclusion that I am thankful that I made the decision that I made and I don’t have to think too hard about my work while I’m there, or at any other time for that matter. Come January 10, it won’t matter anymore. I’ll have a new leadership role to tackle.
But back to the initial reaction/shock/disbelief/out-of-my-mind fear. It was Tuesday, May 12 when I first knew that something wasn’t quite right. I was at work trying to decide what to eat for lunch, and NOTHING sounded good. And I mean nothing. Which is ridiculous because I LOVE the food I get to eat at work. I would think about putting any given item in my mouth and I wanted to hurl, save one thing, and one thing only: a grilled cheese sandwich with bacon and potato chips on the side. My first thought was, “Why is it that I want to toss my cookies at the mere thought of eating pretty much anything right now, but the one thing I do want is CHEESE, BACON AND POTATO CHIPS?” If that isn’t a surefire sign that something is wrong, I don’t know what is. A couple of my co-workers immediately assumed that I was prego, and I just waved my hand at them and laughed it off. What a LUDICROUS IDEA. Who are these crazies, suggesting that I’m pregnant? THE GALL.
The next day, however, I was more than a little concerned. When I realized that my last period was at the end of March, that my PMS-style symptoms had been dragging on for nearly two weeks at that point, and suddenly I was enjoying wave after awesome wave of nausea, the possibility that my co-workers weren’t evil, conniving baby-pushers but perhaps had a point hit me right up side the head like a wrecking ball. I drove straight to Walgreens, where I was accosted by the cosmetics clerk after she noticed the pregnancy test I was trying so hard to carry discreetly to the register (when you’re not trying to get pregnant, it feels strangely similar to buying tampons when you’re thirteen, or buying hemorrhoid cream at pretty much any point in life). I found myself standing there listening to her talk about her 28-year-old sister’s current pregnancy, and how kids are such a blessing, and she never had any of her own but really wanted some, and how she is in her 50s, and how everything will be wonderful if I am pregnant, and all of that was totally weird because I am 28, and my siblings are also in their 50s, and gee, I might be pregnant too. I walked out of there and went back home, where I took the test and awaited the results, pretty nonchalantly because these stupid tests always come out negative anyway, and I have to get to work soon, no need to panic. The first pink line showed up like it always does, and then seconds later, a second line. A SECOND LINE. Or is that just the fibers lining up in a perfectly straight, pinkish pattern? A fluke? There’s no way this is happening. The line is so faint anyway, maybe it’s wrong. Sure… that’s all it is. Because I had no idea what a faint line even means, and it didn’t mean a whole lot to me because I WAS 100% IN DENIAL.
I left for work and called Cody. I didn’t really know what to tell him so I just came out with it. He tried so hard not to sound concerned but I knew him better than that and he was terrified out of his mind at the possibility that yes, we might be with child. Funny thing is, not even a week earlier, we had a whole discussion about how we wondered if we would ever be ready for kids, that, in fact, we were so NOT ready for kids that maybe we would just be OK if we didn’t have any, but we probably will someday, in the distant future, like after we were 30 and bona-fide grown-ups. Because God knows we are both on the threshold of 30, and we don’t feel any older than, say, 20. My nephew just turned 20, and it feels like I was just there too, celebrating my own 20th birthday. Then I feel so old saying that my 20s just flew by, but I digress. Point is, whether we feel ready or not, we apparently are completely ready.
When I got to work, strange things started happening. This couple came in and grabbed a couple of menus, and sat down for a few minutes before jumping back up, practically throwing the menus at me, and apologized for having to run, but their daughter just went into labor and they had to get to the hospital. I almost wanted to say, “Let me guess, she’s 28?” but they seemed to be in a bit of a rush. Five minutes later, this lady came up and ordered some food, and started talking about how she is a doula and my boss was there and she started talking about how her friend is a doula and just delivered a baby in Chile or something. And of course I’m such a novice at this baby thing that I had no idea what a doula even was. Then my dear friend came in with her family, including her daughter, who was unplanned at the time, and one of the scariest prospects of her life, but the single best thing that has ever happened to her, and one of the most precious and sweet 8-year-olds I have ever known. So glad that seeing them was how my work shift ended that day.
I went home and took the other test in the package I bought, this time with Cody there to face reality with me. Two tests with a 99.9% accuracy rate later, the second line was loud and clear: I was indeed pregnant. We went to bed in shock that night, May 13 marking the day that changed our lives forever, and the day I entered the perma-stupor that plagues my existence in this first trimester of the life of our child.
The one thing that has kept me going through all the uncertainty that lies ahead of us is that God did this- He wants it, He orchestrated it; God has a plan and a purpose for this little life growing inside of me right now, and we fully respect that. We didn’t plan this, nor were we ready, but we know that if God is going to give us this child, He is also going to provide for it, and we must be much more ready than we thought. We find joy in the fact that we don’t know this little person at all, but this person is who he or she simply is because God is knitting this person together and knows everything that he or she is supposed to be for Him. Psalm 139 has such profound meaning to me now that I am experiencing a pregnancy for the first time. For every person on this planet there was a pregnancy, and each and every one was a miracle, and each and every person made for a purpose. As much as I float through life these days feeling like I’m in a dream, I know this much is true: I can’t wait to see what God has in store for the little life He has entrusted to us. And I don’t doubt for one single second that we will love this child more than we ever imagined possible.