The moment that second line appears, your heart flutters. Excitement, nervousness, elation, apprehension. Pregnant. In that moment, there’s no going back.
It’s crazy how our hopes and fears regarding pregnancy so drastically change over time. For so many years, we fear getting pregnant and having a baby too soon. We’re not ready. Even when we think we’re getting close, we question. Will I be a good mom? Can I handle two? Can I really do this right now?
Then, there are times where people finally feel ready… and it doesn’t happen. Or every so often, even when we think there is no going back, whether we’re ready or not, we are brought back to the beginning without even really getting into the story.
Just shortly before Christmas this brief chapter began for me. As the second line began to form before my eyes, that familiar feeling of OH-shit-how-exciting-am-I-really-ready-can-I-handle-the-no-sleep-again-?!?!-my-daughter-is-still-so-young-my-God-a-miracle! washed over me.
It was not something I’d planned like I had with my daughter. My plan was to wait until my daughter was 3 years old AT LEAST. But as that second line really began to appear, it was a reminder of what I knew deep within – they always come when they’re ready, in their own time. Whether it’s our plan or not.
Maybe this one was just ready to come sooner, I thought. We can try to control our children, or we can truly trust in their own soul’s path. (Or as many call it, God’s timing.)
Mother’s intuition, I’ve learned, always whispers, even if we can’t exactly hear it.
About a week before I’d done the test, I dreamed a dream that I couldn’t really remember in my mind… something like holding a sweet baby in my arms. The signs were all there, and I guess in my heart I’d already known it to be true anyway.
With my daughter, I’d very intently written about her in my journal before she was actually conceived. Her name, what I imagined her to be like. Beautiful, healthy, strong. An easy baby, of course! One little unique dimple on her cheek, just like her dad’s. All oddly similar to my daughter of real life.
I’ve always entertained the idea that our children choose us before they arrive. That the “essence” of who we are is no accident, not a random lottery drawing, and certainly not a spark of creation at conception.
Weeks before, when my daughter had asked me to randomly write down: “Elaina…then a ❤️ …then boy” on her drawing board, I didn’t think anything of it at first. But when I looked at it again a strange feeling washed over me…it hit me like my intuition always does… that it might be a sign my friend was having a boy. Did it really mean something? As the days passed though, I couldn’t help but think… maybe she’d been referring to me?
I know also that kids often sense more than we give them credit for. Right as I stood beside the fridge wondering about my daughter’s unintentional prediction and whether or not it may be true, she again randomly blurted out, “Boy! Boy!” As if reading my mind.
Indeed, that day we found out my friend was having a boy. Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not.
In retrospect, I know now that intuition will always whisper.
In the back of my mind, I could hear my mom’s words of warning not to share too early. Advice we are often given with 1 in 4 pregnancies ending in miscarriage.
But this time, this was advice my mom left out. She was excited. Friends were excited. My husband was excited. My excitement began to grow on me, as the little speck of a human grew too. I could totally, for sure do this! Christmas miracle arriving in August!
Confession: I’m a terrible secret-keeper. I couldn’t help but share this Christmas miracle, especially as friends sipped brews around me as I drank water and stuffed food into my face. While I didn’t exactly shout it from the rooftops, I wasn’t too good at not telling anyone either, although I did my best not to open my big mouth.
Excitement. Apprehension. Trust.
Why these thoughts crossed my mind a few days later I’ll never really know… but as I stood at the park watching my daughter run and play, I very clearly remember the words popping into my mind:
I’ve told a lot of people. But if I do end up having a miscarriage, I’ll be okay. I will be a voice of hope for others.
I continued to feel a strange sense of peace in it all. What will be will be, and I won’t worry about what I cannot control. I can only take the best care of me – of us – that I can.
It wasn’t until a day or two later that my thoughts began to sink into reality. The signs, this time of miscarriage, were all there. My back and stomach ached, but not too bad. The spotting was there like my last pregnancy, but maybe a little deeper red.
I went to sleep, not really certain what was happening, only to jolt awake in the middle of night. Torn from a dream I really couldn’t remember in my mind.
Yes, yes it’s happening. No, no it’s not. While my intuition told me yes, I clung to the peaceful sense that no matter what happened, everything was okay.
The next morning I set my emergency appointment with the doctor, just like I’d done with my daughter. I remembered the huge sigh of relief I felt seeing my little girl’s heart beating for the first time on the ultrasound. As similar as it felt, this time, I knew things were different.
As I sat in the waiting area reading about John Stamos’s bliss, expecting his first baby at the age of 54, I watched the women come and go, their bellies cute and round. And even in knowing I was there for a very different reason, I continued to feel at peace. (Because there is always hope, even when things seem so incredibly hopeless).
As the doctor confirmed what I’d pretty much known and felt already, she also assured that there was nothing I’d done to cause it.
It wasn’t because I missed out on prenatal pills from the beginning or because I drank at the wedding just before my positive pregnancy test. Not because I bounced around on the trampoline at my daughter’s gym or had her lying on my belly after a 5am nightmare. Not because of fun times that appeared to trigger not so fun times. It was not the light exercise I did after I thought everything was fine. It was not just because there was something wrong with growth, as the doctors often reassure us.
They always come when they’re ready.
As Oprah stood atop the Golden Globe stage she so boldly stated the words: “What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we have.”
My truth may not be feel exactly right for you, but what I know for sure is that all too often, women will suffer a miscarriage, and then suffer more in silence. The hope that was once growing may give birth to fear and guilt.
What I feel is that pregnancy may be a sort of science, but it’s really so much more than that: it’s a miracle, one we are ALL a part of. We come into this world and it’s as if the planets and the stars aligned, just for us. Because they did. Who would you be, if you were born in January instead of May? Would you have been the same? Would the others around you have been the same?
What I know for sure is that our child’s story and our story go hand in and hand. Together, we are writing this book.
What I know is that sorrow is a part of life, but I ask that you please send hope. Hope to the women who have almost lost all hope. For those hanging by a thread of hope, nearly ready to drop. Every person’s story is different, yet the structures are sometimes oddly familiar.
Listen as mother’s intuition whispers. You may hear another little voice, so faint, off in the not so distant future, but for when, we can’t really say…
Mom, I see you. I love you. Please have faith that I will be there, soon, when I’m ready. Until then, remember that you are wonderful. You are special and please do not worry, because I choose you.
“Adayln. Sienna. Boy,” my daughter said, listing her friend’s names with a giggle.
“Boy? Who is boy?” I asked.
“Hiding,” she added, pointing to her pink owl chair.
I laughed along with her, but I couldn’t help but wonder who she kept referring to. Who? I wasn’t quite sure… But what I do know is that things don’t always have to make perfect sense. We simply have to trust and hold onto our hope that when the timing is right, everything in life falls into place.