By the time it came, we’d been dealing with infertility for so long that I think we’d both reached the point where we were starting to wonder if it just wasn’t ever going to happen for us. We’d always been pretty hopeful that when the time was right, it would come.
But time has a way of wearing on even the strongest and most steadfast hopes. I’d looked at pregnancy tests with just one line so many times, I almost couldn’t imagine ever seeing two lines. Maybe it just wasn’t to be.
Not even two months prior I’d had a surgery that was somewhat our final hope. If it didn’t work, we weren’t sure what the next step would be, or if there even were any other steps. My doctor had high hopes for the surgery giving us a strong chance of getting pregnant, but after so much time gone by, I was firmly in the “believe it when I see it” stage of infertility.
But I thought that if it did work, it would take a bit longer. I mean, the scars on my stomach were still feeling pretty tender, so surely it was too soon for it to make any real difference just yet. I still tracked and charted all of my symptoms and we still tried, but in my mind, it wasn’t even in the realm of possibility that I’d get pregnant yet.
When I started to feel a little off one day, it still didn’t enter my mind. A few days after that, I had an actual crying meltdown over something minor that had happened at work, and I never cried over work stuff, so I wondered what my deal was and thought maybe I hadn’t been getting enough sleep. The day after that little episode, I wondered why my stomach had been feeling so weird for a few days. And then the day after that, I realized I was behind on my symptom charting, so I went to log everything in. After looking at my chart for several minutes, counting and recounting days, I realized that I was two days late.
And that was when the thought occurred to me for the first time. “What if I’m… Could I be?”
To be honest, I think I knew then. But getting your hopes up and having them come crashing down is so hard. It was a feeling I was all too familiar with, and I was not interested in feeling it again, so I told myself that if I was still late the following day, I’d take a test.
Yeah. Right. I’ll just sit on this for an entire day and wonder.
At the same time he usually did, my husband called to let me know he was on his way home from work and asked if I wanted him to stop and pick up food. I told him no, that I’d whip up something at the house. But by the time he pulled into the garage a short time later, I knew I’d reached the point where I HAD to know. I couldn’t wait.
Up until this point, I never told my husband when I was going to take a pregnancy test or if I thought it was possible I could be pregnant. I'm sure some people might find that weird, but the emotional roller coaster of wondering, taking a test, and then being disappointed was hard enough, and I just couldn’t put us both through that every time. So I would always just take a test and then let him know afterwards that I’d taken one and it was negative.
So as he was walking through the door from work, I whirled right past him and told him I was going to pick up food. I barely even listened as he questioned me… “I just offered to pick up food!” I quickly ran to the store to pick up a test, ran to pick up food, came home, whirled back past him and headed into the bathroom.
But for a reason that I either can’t remember or can’t explain, I couldn’t take it. Maybe it was just nerves, but I shoved it in the bathroom cabinet and didn’t work up the courage to go get it back out until much later that evening.
Maurice was in his office quietly working on something and I knew I had to just do it. So I went in the bathroom and took the test. I set it on the counter so that I could wait the requisite 3 minutes and suddenly my heart began to pound so hard I couldn’t stand it. All I knew was that I couldn’t stand there for 3 minutes just staring at it, so I grabbed a tissue, covered it up, and sat myself down on the toilet to wait. I wouldn’t look until I knew enough time had passed.
And there I sat, biting my nail and bouncing my foot, not knowing what I was going to see when I lifted that tissue. I closed my eyes and prayed. I told God that no matter what that test said, it was okay. No matter what, I loved and trusted Him.
I waited. I waited longer. I knew 3 minutes had passed. Probably 10 minutes had passed, truthfully. So I finally stood up and stepped to the counter. In my heart, I just knew. My eyes welled with tears and I felt the weight of the moment so strongly. I took a deep, slow breath, and lifted the tissue.
Honestly, I can’t tell you whether 2 seconds or 20 minutes passed at that point. It was the first time in my life that I felt like time actually stopped. Everything went quiet. I eventually picked up the test and then double checked the box 11 times to make sure that two lines really, unmistakably meant pregnant.
Finally, I burst out of the bathroom holding the test and called Maurice’s name frantically - so much so that I’m pretty sure he thought I’d somehow been shot in the bathroom. But by the time he was coming out of his office with a legitimately concerned look on his face, I had reached the end of the hallway and I just stopped and held up the test.
I’ll never forget watching his face turn from confusion to realization… when it hit him why I would be standing there holding up a pregnancy test with a shaking hand. I know that at some point, I finally uttered the words I’d wanted to be able to say to him for years… “I’m pregnant.”
After a lot of tears and shock and hugging, I finally sat down at the dining room table. And that’s when I had the moment. The moment where I suddenly looked around, at my husband, our house, our dog, and realized that nothing in my life would ever be quite the same again after that moment. In a scary but wonderful way, everything had just changed.
Our whole reality was set on a new course in the blink of an eye. We’d reached the end of our long and heartbreaking road with infertility, God had brought us out of that tunnel, and now an all new journey awaited us. I was flooded with relief and joy and anxiety and wonderment.
I looked down again at the test sitting on the table in front of me.