Saturday, March 17, 2012

This is our month!

Dec. 22nd was an incredibly special day for us.  Two years ago on that day, Andy had asked me to marry him.  This year, already in the Christmas spirit as I was loving the magic and joy in the air, I had a sense of calm over me... This is our month.  I just "knew it" for some strange reason that is truly difficult to explain, but it helped me in trusting that Santa was going to be especially good to us this year.

Oh, I should mention that I've wanted children my whole life.  I've dabbled in a handful of different careers (ok, 2), but the one career I always knew I wanted to have was that of a mother.  So naturally I had fears going in (and still do!) as to whether or not this process would be an easy one for us or a difficult one.  Working in the childbirth community and seeing so many beautiful births unfold, I often heard that fearful voice inside saying, "what if you don't ever get to do this?  What if you can't even get pregnant because you WANT to so badly?"  For years I've wondered this... "would MY body know what to do?"  I always worried that it may take me a long time to get pregnant (for no other reason than fear), so I did a lot of studying and research on fertility well before it was time for us to get crackin'.

You see then, that it comes with great joy and gratitude to say that we didn't have to try for long.  We actually decided we would start trying in November but the idea of "trying" quickly became stressful.  As any good little student of FAM (fertility awareness method) I had been charting my temperatures for months in preparation for November.  Like clockwork every month I would ovulate as I suspected, but then in November... just when I was relying on that very clockwork for our perfectly timed 'baby dance', suddenly I wasn't ovulating at all!  Everyone knows that stress can effect ovulation, and our work became such a chore that I quickly felt like my body just couldn't do it.  All of this coupled with my eventual ovulation date landing on Thanksgiving, while traveling no less, made for a month that we quickly wanted behind us so that we could start fresh!

But then something happened in December.  One day Andy and I were sitting watching TV and we just turned to each other smiling and said, I feel it... this is our month.  In agreement  we were now able to enjoy this process, somehow knowing this was it.  I continued to temp but only periodically.  I enjoyed some wine here and there with dinner and decided to have fun with this rather than stress (cause hey, baby-making should be fun, no?!).  Sure enough, as my fertile week approached, I took an ovulation predictor test and got a positive result the day before Dec. 22nd. (These tests usually 'predict' your ovulation 24-48 hours in advance).  "How exciting", we thought, "two years to the date that we were engaged we might just conceive!"  Like good little students we continued to do our homework* in those next 24 hours and hoped that it would pay off!  The next day (dec. 23rd) my temperature rose indicating that I had indeed ovulated!

*Our "homework" was actually still quite detailed in a somehow relaxed environment. (haha!).  From FAM,  to doing the baby dance every other day, to using Preseed, to ovulation predictor kits, ligament releases, fertility massage, red raspberry leaf tea, keeping my pelvis propped/tilted for approx. 30 minutes, and lots of prayer, positive thinking, and laughter etc. etc. ETC., we were by no means expecting a one hit wonder!

Naturally the next two weeks of waiting before we could test dragged on, though we were lucky to have Christmas and New Years filled with traveling, family, and friends to keep us more distracted than usual.  After charting for as many months as I had, I knew the usual pattern of my luteal phase (the period after ovulation leading up to menstruation) and what it usually did and didn't look like.  So sure enough, on Jan. 2 (only 12 days past ovulation and expected menstruation still 2 more days away) I took my temperature at my usual time of 5:30am.  As I gasped sitting up in the bed,  Andy asked, "what did your temperature do?"... I quickly responded, "it stayed up!".  Now this little tip-off was no sure sign for pregnancy by any stretch of the means, but usually my temp started to take it's little nose dive by this day before my expected period would arrive.  I shot up out of bed and said "I can't take it.. I have to test!".  So I quickly ran to the bathroom, grabbed a test, and wee'd away.  Both of us stood in the bathroom staring at the darned thing with hearts (ok my heart) pounding.  Within about 20-30 LONG seconds I could see the start of a very faint line BESIDE the control line!  "THERE'S A LINE!" I squealed... "um, I can't see one" replied Andy.  "BELIEVE ME, I KNOW WHAT THESE THINGS LOOK LIKE WHEN THERE IS NO LINE... THERE IS TOTALLY A LINE FORMING I TELL YOU!"  After another few minutes there was no question... a definite second line (though still lighter than the control line).  Andy turned to me saying "so wait.. this is it? Is this REALLY it??", as we giggled and jumped up and down hugging in the bathroom.  I quickly suggested (of course) that we take another test.  Andy said we should wait a day for my hormones to increase.  I agreed but I was BUZZING with energy and my mind was racing a million times a minute.  "Great"... I thought, "it's 5:30am and I have NOTHING to do for hours and NO ONE to tell!"... this was gonna be a long but inarguably amazing day!

{I can barely see that second line in this fuzzy picture, but I promise it was there!}

After about 2 hours of laying in bed, heart pounding and eyes wide open,  I finally fell asleep for a little while.  I woke with that all too cliche feeling of pinching myself to see if this was really happening.  I had a full bladder again and I couldn't take the suspense, so I quickly scrambled to the bathroom and decided to use one of those fancy digital tests.  Sure enough, before the allotted time was over, the word Pregnant was staring me in the face.  I immediately took a picture and texted it to Andy saying, "I couldn't wait.  Believe it now?" :)


So at the end of the day who knows if it was all the hard work that we put in that did the trick, or if we would have conceived just as easily with a one hit wonder... but knowing all that I did know about fertility, I couldn't just sit back and not try just about everything!  I can say that we did have a lot of fun this time around (even if the laundry list of to-do's sounds daunting!) but perhaps that was because we just knew, somehow, that we wouldn't be working on that to-do list for very long!

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