The Day: It had been a very long day. Thomas had a late night at school and I was so stressed and impatient for him to get home. He was usually home around 10:30PM but it seemed like it was taking forever for time to pass. I called him at 9:45PM to make sure he was on his way and he had actually left a little late this particular night. I felt frustrated but I hid it.
When he came in, he seemed to be in a good mood. I told him that something was wrong with the toilet. Then I asked him to go check it out. He walked in the bathroom while I sat in the bedroom holding Joey in my arms and then came back in. He said, “I didn’t see anything wrong.”
“Go look again” I stated in a calm but authoritative voice. He turned around and went back into the restroom. I heard him remove the toilet lid and set it down. A few seconds later, I heard him replace it and he returned to the bedroom.
“I don’t see anything wrong,” he reiterated with worry in his eyes as if he knew I were about to get angry. I put my head in my hands and rubbed my temple.
Two Weeks Before This Day: It had been a long time since I got on my knees and prayed to God. It wasn’t that I stopped believing, I just felt like He wasn’t really listening anymore. I had prayed so hard, believed that He would heal my Eli. He said no. I prayed so hard for Joey, that he would see. God said no. I always believed that if you asked for what you wanted, if you believed, if people prayed and believed, how could you think God wouldn’t provide? I had been feeling like I just didn’t want to pray. I was hurting. I was angry. I was sad. I was feeling guilty. I still feel these things on a daily basis.
But on this particular night, I felt like there really was nothing else I could do. I couldn’t help myself. I couldn’t protect myself anymore. The only one who could help me…wasn’t me. It was God.
So on this night, I got down on my knees and I sat there. My mind was empty. I felt as if I had forgotten how to pray. I didn’t know how to say thank you for this, or please pray for this family, or all the things I used to say. I didn’t know anymore. So humbly and weakly I felt the words creep out of my throat, “God? I don’t know anymore. I know you’re there, but I just don’t feel it anymore. There’s something wrong with me. So God, if you could, if you would, please…Would you just let me know that you still hear me? Would you show me somewhere, somehow, that you are still there, listening to me?”
Then I got up, climbed into bed and drifted off to sleep. I honestly didn’t dwell on my prayer or think about it again.
This Day, Back to the Toilet Issue: I looked up at him with an unemotional smile and repeated slowly and quietly, “go…look…in…the…bathroom…verrrrrry carefully.” He turned and sulked back into the restroom without saying another word.
For about a minute, all I heard was silence. I was sitting so still, the television was muted, the baby was asleep. I could hear my heart pounding. He better see it this time! And then I heard it…a small laugh, then a longer chuckle. He walked into the bedroom and his cheeks were bright red and on his face was the happiest smile with glistening eyes. Oh yeah, he saw it.
“Whhhaaaaat?” he sang, “Is it true?”
I smiled warmly, “yes…it is.”
The Morning of This Day: I felt as if something were off with me. I had been so stressed. I told Thomas that morning that I was “late” and he confirmed my thought that I had been so stressed lately and there was nothing else it could be, “you’re just stressed honey,” he said and I knew he was right. I had been overwhelmed with anger, sadness, guilt, worry. It made sense.
That day at Target, I had Joey and our helper Leslie as I was picking up a few things…diapers, wipes, I can’t even remember what else. We walked down the aisle with the pregnancy tests. I have bought so many of these in the past few years. We went through fertility procedures for 2 years, lost one baby and then had the twins. It brought back a lot of feelings but I grabbed the cheapest 3-pack I could find and nonchalantly tossed it in the cart, trying to avoid any memories. It happened so fast, I don’t think Leslie even noticed. I knew this was just for peace of mind because I was told I could only get pregnant with “help” from a doctor.
When we got home, I began putting up the groceries and ran across the test that I had already forgotten I purchased. I knew I should wait until the morning but I also knew that I just wanted to take one test now anyway. I knew it would be negative and then I could go on with my day as planned. I told Leslie I was using the restroom and left Joey with her.
I took the test out, following directions as I had time and time before. Every test reads differently, two lines mean one thing, a line and a plus sign mean something else, a dark line and a light line mean another thing. Immediately, both windows on the test grew lines. I honestly had no idea what it meant so I pulled out the directions and found the section I was looking for.
Are you kidding me?
I read it again. I held the test next to the paper for comparison. Ok. Hmmm…
I walked out into the bedroom and over to Leslie, “What do you see here in these windows?” I asked her assertively as I held the stick in her direction.
“Two lines,” she replied assuredly.
“Two lines?” I repeated in a question.
“Yes,” she said. I stood there wide-eyed staring at her. “Oh my god,” I whispered, “I’m pregnant”.
Leslie’s eyes got wide and a smile grew on her face, “oh my gosh, that’s so wonderful! Wow!” For about the next five minutes we went back and forth saying things like “wow” and “oh my gosh” and “I cannot believe”.
I went downstairs and drank a bottle of water very quickly. I came back upstairs and sat down with Leslie. We were quiet and we were playing with Joey. I got up and took another test. Positive. I came back in and told Leslie, “I took another test.”
“You did?” she smiled.
“It was positive again.” All of a sudden my mind started going crazy. I’m pregnant. I have a six month old baby and I’m pregnant. Joey! How will I care for two little babies? How will I make sure Joey gets all the attention he needs? How will I love this baby? What if it’s a boy? Can I handle that? Am I cheating on Eli? Oh my gosh, we don’t have the money for this. My car isn’t big enough. Thomas is in law school at night. How will I do this alone? What if something goes wrong again? What if this baby is sick or has different issues? How will I manage two sick babies? How? How? How?
I began to voice all these concerns to Leslie and all I can say is thank heaven she was there. If it had not been for sweet wonderful Leslie, I may have had a small nervous breakdown. Her repeated words were, “this is a blessing, Andi”. She was right.
A little while later, I took the third test. I was starting to feel excitement about this new realization. I half expected it to be negative because I was getting excited. I was actually beginning to feel some joy. It had been a long time since I felt joy in my life. This test was also positive. I lay the third test next to the other two on a tall table I have in the bathroom. There they were. Three positive tests.
Throughout the day, I kept going in the restroom to look at them, still in disbelief, still feeling joy. After Leslie left I talked to Joey about it. I told him that I loved him so much, that nothing would ever change that. I told him how sorry I was that his brother wasn’t here. I told him he was going to be a big brother and I knew he would be the best big brother ever. I kissed him and hugged him. I cried a lot, out of guilt and from joy. It was a complicated evening emotionally.
I was very excited for Thomas to get home. I didn’t want to tell him over the phone. So I left the three tests in the restroom and I would let Thomas find them when he came home from school. It was going to be the longest wait ever.
Four months from this day (December 3rd): I had my appointment to find out the gender of the baby. I have gone through so many emotions. I wanted a boy so he could share a room with Joey, be his best friend, talk about things throughout their life that only they would feel comfortable sharing. But I felt like I was cheating on Eli. It hurt to think about having a boy. So I wanted a girl. She could be Joey’s best friend, she would be sensitive and kind to Joey, help him understand the ladies. Finally, it didn’t matter anymore. God knew what would be best for our family, what we needed, what our future held. I knew I would be happy no matter what.
When I arrived for the ultrasound, the technician was a little worried that it might be too soon to tell. She hoped we would but if not, we would try again the next week. So I lay there looking at the screen, nervous and hopeful.
And this little baby turned its rear towards us and spread its legs for all to see that it was a…..girl!
Joey is going to have a baby sister! I can’t believe it! I am so joyful about this! She is due May 25th but we will most likely do a repeat C-section a week before that. My obstetrician is taking many precautions with me. I am not lifting anything over 20 pounds. Joey is thankfully around 15 pounds. I had a cerclage placed a couple weeks ago. A cerclage is a stitch closing my cervix to avoid any early dilating. Because I never lost the weight from the twins and then turned around and got pregnant so quickly, I am a huge chubby girl now but oh well. It is what it is. I don’t go out much thankfully because Joey is homebound, so I don’t have to worry too much about impressing people. I will worry about my weight later on I guess because I obviously had to get off Weight Watchers (which I was only on for 2 weeks) once I found out. Apparently, it’s a bad thing to diet when you’re pregnant. I still have a lot of worries, anger, sadness, guilt about so many things…but I finally found some joy.
And most importantly I realized something. God is listening to me. He never stopped. He is very patient and loving towards me. I sometimes wonder why. But I am so very grateful. And so very excited that we have a baby girl on her way in 5 months!
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