I’m still debating how much detail I should go into here. Probably not much. Not sure everybody wants to know that much about me.
So, two weeks ago today was a Saturday. (Comment added during proof-read: This post was started on a Saturday. Hence why “today” would be Saturday.) I noticed I was feeling differently, physically and emotionally. I looked slightly different, so I decided to take a random pregnancy test. (I’ve found that as a married woman, it can be handy to have a pregnancy test on hand for the couple of days where I start to worry and wonder.) I can’t say I was worried about the results, more anxious than anything. Maybe a little scared, too. While I waited the two minutes for the results, I didn’t bother to get dressed yet. I just paced back and forth in the bathroom. My husband, Christopher, was already up in the living room watching sports on the big TV (and quite possibly on his laptop as well). Once I had the results, I sort of stood there, staring at the stick.
I was 100% pregnant. Either that or I had cancer. <~ That’s a reference from the movie Saved! with Jena Malone & Mandy Moore.
Announcer on TV: Coming up on Lifetime: Valerie Bertinelli stars in Bitter Harvest, a sensitive portrayal of one woman’s struggle with cancer.
Lillian:Oh, this looks good.
[many minutes later]
Valerie Bertinelli:There was a feeling of twilight in the air. All honeydew and lilac. God wasn’t just smiling down on me; he was…jumping up and cheering! And then, well…I thought I was pregnant. I’d been throwing up every morning and I hadn’t had my period in two months, so I took a home pregnancy test.
Woman, off-camera:What happened?
Valerie Bertinelli:…found out I wasn’t pregnant. It was the cancer.
Mary: She found all that out from a home pregnancy test?
I have always wanted to be a mom. My biggest, life-time fear was that I wouldn’t be able to have children of my own (if that happened, I had already thought a lot about adoption of a child, not necessarily a baby). A lot of people don’t know that. My “hero” or the person I looked up to most as a kid was always my mom. She did such a great job raising my sister and me (and even some of my friends), and I wanted to be just like her when I was kid (yes, Daddy was a great dad as well, but I remember a lot more with Mom because Daddy traveled a lot for work). I sat down on the closed toilet with the test in my hands. (Yes, I washed it!) My husband and I weren’t planning on a baby, but we weren’t exactly “careful” either. I just never thought it would happen the first time. I have heard of perfectly healthy women who have never been on birth control and it takes them several months of trying to become pregnant. And then I’ve heard of plenty of perfectly healthy women who get pregnant the first try. I just assumed I’d fall somewhere in the middle.
I had a million and one thoughts rushing through my head:
- There goes the idea of getting a puppy.
- Should I get a job?
- We can afford life perfectly well with just the two of us, will we be able to afford a baby?
- What is Christopher going to say?
- Crap, I have to stop taking my meds. (More on that in a little bit…)
- Good thing I’ve been taking prenatal vitamins since the wedding! (Does wonders for my hair and nails!)
- Hmm…. My sister is pregnant.
- Are people going to think I’m just being a copy cat again like I was when I was a child?
- Is my sister going to be angry if I take her spot light away?
- I wonder if I’ll have a boy or a girl.
- I really want a girl.
- I really want a girl for me, but I also know Sherry (Christopher’s grandma) really wants a granddaughter.
- I kind of want a boy.
- I’ve never had a baby boy in my life except for my nephews that I didn’t get to see enough and except for Tyke. I’ve had boy toddlers and young boys in my life (church families and Riley), but not a baby, infant, or toddler.
- I wonder if Christopher really wants a boy as much as he says he does.
- I wonder how he would be with a daughter.
- What’s Daddy going to say?
I really could go on, but I’ll stop for now.
I didn’t know how to tell Chris. Would he be upset? I know he wants kids, but he wants to be more “financially stable” than we are now. Then I thought about a girlfriend of mine (and her boyfriend – who is also a good friend) who is currently pregnant. She is due in October. Completely unexpected (not the irresponsible way, though), but they seem to be affording the doctor’s visits and all the baby stuff just fine. So, back to “how do I tell Chris?”
I’m just going to say this before I explain how I told my amazing husband that he was going to be a father: Each couple is different. They have different dynamics, different inside jokes, and different ways of reacting to certain things.
I took the (clean and dried) test into the living room. He was looking at his computer, and saw me out of the corner of his eye. I called “catch!” and tossed the test at him. I knew this would work because he has such amazing reflexes, he would catch anything I threw him before he even bothered to look at what it is. As soon as it left my hand, I left the room. I went to the bedroom to put on my weekend clothes so I could lounge on the couch. I hear him mute the television and call to me “Does this say what I think it says?” By the time I’ve found my clothes, he is standing in the doorway of the bedroom with this worried smile on his face. I’m so afraid he’s going to be angry at me. (Comment added during proof-read: Why would he be mad at me? He loves me, and he’s not the type of person to get mad at a situation like this. He’s a wonderful person and husband.) I reply with “Yes, I’m pregnant. Are you mad at me?” He laughs and asks why he should be mad at me. Overall, he’s happy, but wants me to confirm it with another test soon. Since I didn’t have another test, and we weren’t going shopping anytime soon, that was going to have to wait.
So what’s the first thing I do?
I texted my best friend. I told her my fears of shadowing my sister (which she confirmed were unfounded). She was ridiculously and deliriously happy. She is my “sister from another mister” who during a text conversation typo became my “sister from another mustache” since we both find mustaches “interesting”. She has a son (who calls me “Aunt Micki”) and can’t wait to be an auntie, give advice where needed, go shopping (if possible), and meet Baby Allbee, whom she will spoil rotten I’m fairly certain.
I then sent a picture of the test to my sister and my mom within the same text message. I assumed they were both at church waiting for church to begin. I found out Mom and Dad were camping and Michelle was indeed at church. Apparently Dad had Mom’s phone because he asked if the picture was an electric toothbrush (!!). I asked him to give the phone to Mom because she would know what the picture was. Michelle and I just laughed and sat there in disbelief at Dad’s question. Sharing the good news with my sister and mom was the highlight of that day. They were both extremely excited for me and wanted to talk more, but each had places to be: Mom a meeting, and Sister was at church.
After I told my family, Christopher and I sat down and talked about everything. I called my psychiatrist and left a voicemail telling him I was pregnant and wanted to verify if I should stop taking my medication. (He called back on Monday confirming that.) At the time I was on two different anti-depressants that were really helping the situation. I’ve been diagnosed as clinically depressed, bi-polar II, with adult ADHD. — I don’t mind talking about it, because I think more people need to be aware of the symptoms of untreated depression and bi-polar II. (Basically, I’ve been told the difference between bi-polar and bi-polar II is how quickly it affects the person. Before treatment, I would be in the best place of my life (thinking I knew the answers to everything, nothing could upset me, I could get things done faster than fast, etc) one day, and the next day or week I could be ready to commit suicide and hating my life. Someone who is bi-polar will have the same effects, but spread out over a longer time frame. – At least, that was my understanding of what my doctor told me – I’m not an expert!) So not only am I expected to have hormonal mood swings, now I’m going to be going through withdrawals of my medications and the effects of not being on my medication.
About a week later, we made the phone call to my in-laws. We wanted to be 100% sure that we were pregnant. This might seem a little weird — waiting to call my mother in law, but my mom, sister and I are extremely close. If the test was a fluke, I knew they would be the ones to help me through that, and I didn’t see any reason to unnecessarily upset my in-laws. They were all very excited. I think my favorite phone call made was to Chris’s grandma, Sherry. She squeals when she giggles when she is super excited, and it just makes me giggle and gives me a smile that just won’t stop.
Everyday since, I’m smiling and very happy. Yes, I can feel the lack of medications which normally act as “mood stabilizers.” But honestly, one thought of me being pregnant is a mood lifter all on its own! I had a conversation with my sister the other day, and just thinking about it makes me smile:
Sister: Do you forget sometimes that you’re pregnant?
Me: Every time I look in the mirror: “Man, my face is broken out. Stupid hormones” or “Man, I’m skinny… Not for long!”
Me: Every time I move and I feel back or boob pain: “Stupid expanding uterus.” or “Stupid growing boobs.”
Me: Every time I pee: “Geez, I have to drink a lot of water.”
Me: Every time I’m walking and I look at my toes: “Well, soon enough, I won’t be able to see you at all!”
Me: Every time, every time, every time… I’m always reminded. Maybe because it was such a surprise and I still haven’t gotten over the excitement of being a first-time preggo and a first-time mom-to-be.