‘For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to him.’1 Samuel 1:27
I’m writing a few posts about becoming a mom. They will be about different aspects of my mommy journey like falling pregnant, my pregnancies, births, etc. I’m writing them more from a journalling perspective but if I can bring hope or encouragement to anyone who may come across them, that would be such a great bonus! This post is about finding out about our pregnancies.
So, as I mentioned in my previous post (Are we ready?), I believed God had told me that I was going to fall pregnant. To honour the Word He had given us, we decided to come off the pill. I fell pregnant in the next cycle. I had bought an early detection test. Even though I was confident that I was pregnant, I took the test when Andy was out. When the second line appeared, it was quite like watching a movie for the first time but knowing how it ends, so I didn’t really react much. The excitement came for me when I told Andy.
I had bought a little onesie and packed it in a little box with the test and a few pieces of paper that went I’m sorry for… all the tears… the bad moods… it’s not my fault… blame the baby. I gave it to him and he was overjoyed.
Telling our family was also fun. We invited my mom over for dinner. I had decorated a plate that on the base of the bowl, said ‘You’re going to be a grandma’. I dished up for her and waited for her to finish her food so that she would see the message. She was talking so much that it took her forever to get to the bottom of the bowl. I was dying inside but her tears of joy made it all worth it.
Next, we told my dad’s side of the family. We were going away for Christmas so we were having ‘an early christmas’ celebration at his house. We gathered around to hand out the ‘gifts’. We designed custom calendars for the adults- each month had a different verse from Ecclesiastes 3 on it. For August, we put a photo of Andy and I holding the positive pregnancy test, with the caption, ‘A time to be born’. For my brother and sister, we made ‘Aunty’ and ‘Uncle’ vouchers. Disappointment at the boring Christmas gifts delayed the surprise which made it more fun for us. My brother was the first to catch on but he played along and sat squirming in silence while he waited for the adults. Eventually, after much coaxing for them to look at my wonderful design work, my gran was the first to get to August, just before my dad. My sister eventually caught on too as the family celebrated the good news. They were even happier when we gave them their ‘real’ gifts.
We waited to get to Cape Town to tell Andy’s parents. We arrived at their house and also gave them the calendars. We then sent a photo out to the rest of our family and close friends.
We waited for our 8 week scan before sharing the news with everyone else. This was our social media announcement:
Nolan wasn’t as simple. Without the bells and whistles, we were not so sure how long it would take us to fall pregnant. The month that we started trying, I became a serial-tester. I spent so much money on pregnancy tests. Because my cycle had been irregular (one month it would be 21 days, the next could be up to 40 days), my app was not very accurate at predicting ovulation or my menstrual due date. I started testing from as soon as an early detection test would pick up-based on my predicted menstrual due date. One morning, I tried a digital test from a local pharmacy and it showed up as positive. I got Caleb to deliver it to Andy and we were all so ecstatic. I later took another test to make sure, and it turned up negative. I spoke to a friend who echoed everything I’d always been told, ‘I’ve heard that there’s no such thing as a false positive, the negative test must be wrong’. I decided to go for a blood test, just to be sure. The blood test came out negative. I was in shock; I honestly didn’t know what to believe until my period came-over a week late. I then began to worry so I booked an appointment with my gynae to figure out what was going on. About 2 months later, reports were released that the digital test I had used had been recalled as there were numerous reports of a batch showing false positives-just my luck.
To make matters worse, I was leaving for the UK with Caleb the next month for just over 2 weeks- right over the time that my app was predicting that I’d be ovulating- and Andrew was staying behind in South Africa. I made peace with the idea that I wouldn’t be falling pregnant that month but I flippantly said to Andrew, ‘if God wants us to have a baby, he’ll move my ovulation out’. When I got back from the UK, I was expecting my period. I got swept up in planning and hosting Caleb’s second birthday party and starting a new job. After about two weeks, I realised I still hadn’t had my period. I used many pregnancy tests and they all came up negative, but still no show. Eventually I went for a blood test- still negative. So I put it down to my irregular cycle and carried on with life. A few days later, I wasn’t feeling myself. I was in the middle of a project for work but I decided to try a pregnancy test (confessions of a serial tester). I was so convinced it would be negative, especially because it wasn’t an early detection test and if the blood test just a few days prior was negative, no normal test would be positive, that I peed on the stick, closed the cap, dried it off, brought it downstairs, laid it next to me and carried on working. After a while, I glanced down and saw two lines. I was in shock. I ran upstairs and did another test… 2 lines. I got in the car, drove to the shop and bought two more… 2 more positives. God had pushed out my ovulation date by 2 weeks!
I was too surprised to even plan something for Andrew. He came home and I threw all the tests at him. His emotions reflected my own. Caleb was so excited too! We were seeing my dad, brother and sister later so I wrote ‘BIG BRO April 2019’ on it. When I took him out the car, I gave him one of the pregnancy tests and told him to give it to my dad. We then Face-timed my mom and Andrew’s parents later that day and did the same- told Caleb to show them his shirt and the test. We then sent a pic of Caleb’s shirt to family and friends. Once again, we waited for our 8 week appointment to make the news public. Nevertheless, we were so grateful to be adding another little member to our family. I phoned my gynea and changed my appoinment from a concerned consult to a pregnancy consult.
From complete conjecture with Caleb to absolute disbelief with Nolan, the days I found out I was pregnant with my boys will always be 2 of the best days of my life.
I am so aware and so grateful that I was able to fall pregnant within 2 cycles with each of my boys. Some of my best friends have and are facing struggles with falling pregnant.Friends who love my boys as their own. I celebrate with those whose mommy hearts have been filled with the blessing of spiritual, adopted and even natural children. Equally, my heart longs for a day that those who are in the struggle will stand on the top of these mountains of dreams, tears and prayers, with full arms and full hearts. These women possess a strength, perseverance and faith that I admire and am so inspired by.