it's been exactly one year since i found out i was pregnant with our precious baby niels. when we found out, i downloaded a pregnancy app that said he was roughly the size of a grain of rice, so we called him our little rice nugglet for those first few weeks. until he was dubbed with the womb name thor. and now we are so, so happy that he has grown into our chunky, tall, giggly, drooly baby niels.
it's also been a year since i wanted to share exactly how nicolaus and i found out i was pregnant. but it didn't feel right to write about it, without sharing the whole story. and i just haven't felt ready to do that until now. so here goes nothing...
first, let's take it back to december 2012. nicolaus and i were not planning on starting our family until we were both done with school, so you can only imagine our surprise when we learned i was pregnant. after the initial shock wore off, neither of us could wipe the grins off our faces. we were terrified but so excited at the thought of a little babe joining us. we couldn't wait to share the news and told both of our parents the same evening we found out. then we spent the rest of the night talking about the future and how we thought our lives were going to change.
the next morning we spent trying to figure out insurance and all the not-so-fun stuff about pregnancy. i also started to notice some slight cramping/nausea and thought it was all in my head, because i had just found out that i was pregnant. so i sent nick off to work and went about my day. the cramping kept getting worse and worse and at that point i knew something was wrong. then i started bleeding. nick came home and we went to the doctor where they confirmed that i was pregnant and that i was miscarrying.
it was the most miserable and heart wrenching thing to go through. after experiencing that pain and disappointment, i can't even imagine what women feel when they are further along in their pregnancies. it was such a quick and whirlwind thing that nicolaus and i went through, that sometimes it almost feels like it didn't happen. especially since i can probably count on my hands how many people we told that it happened. but the ache is still there and from time to time i think about how our lives would be if we had a little 2 year old running around.
this is something we've kept private for so long because i couldn't handle the follow up questions to people finding out i had a miscarriage. especially the "then when are you going to start trying again" question. because right when it happened, nicolaus and i thought as soon as we had the go-ahead from the doctor that it was time to start trying. but after the three-month mark (when they say it's safe to try again), reality had gotten the better of us. we had realized we were in a pretty terrible insurance situation to have a baby, and were both so busy with school/work that we didn't know how we would take care of one.
so life kept chugging along, and i graduated and started working full-time. baby making was a conversation that we threw around now and then, and the conclusion we came to was that if we stopped not trying to have a baby in december 2014, that the earliest we would have one would be september 2015 and nicolaus would graduate in august 2015. i thought that sounded a bit insane to try to juggle, but we figured it usually takes people up to a year of trying before falling pregnant.
so last year, one snowy day on january 8, 2014, when we had just barely returned from australia, i did not think that i was pregnant. but since i had left work early due to a snowstorm and had time to kill, and was a few days late in getting my period, i figured i may as well go take a pregnancy test. i remember being bothered at the drugstore when the only tests left were the fanciest/most expensive ones. i almost didn't buy one, since i didn't think it was going to be positive and would probably just be a waste of money. but curiosity got the best of me and i got one.
i went home and took it, and started reading a book while waiting the few minutes for the result. i got wrapped up in my book and almost forgot it was there. but eventually i remembered and when i looked down at it, a glaring YES+ was staring back at me. i dropped to the floor and held it closer to make sure my poor eyesight wasn't tricking me. but there was no mistaking that fancy test's clear 'yes' with a positive sign.
i mostly just hyperventilated a little bit and starting laughing...by myself. ha, kind of a strange reaction, but it just felt so surreal. nicolaus was still in class and although i was dying to tell him right away, i lied and told him i hadn't taken the test yet, when he called when he was on his way home. i wanted to tell him the news in person.
i tried to pass the time by reading my book, but i couldn't focus on it one little bit. so i spent the next few hours daydreaming and looking at cute, little baby clothes online. what felt like a million years later, nicolaus got home. i had hidden the positive test under a blanket in our family room, so when he walked in, chatting away about who-knows-what, i asked him to pass me the blanket covering the test. he passed it to me, without even noticing the test under it. haha i started laughing and told him, 'no, the other blanket.' at this point he just thought i was a weirdo for my unexplained giggling, and asking for another blanket that didn't exist. he scanned the area and started to say, 'what other blanket,' but before he could finish, he spotted the test.
he picked it up and turned to me and asked if that was what he thought it was. i told him i didn't know what else it would be. ha, he was so cute and shocked and looked so tender and elated all at once. and he came over and immediately started talking to my belly. it was pretty adorable, even though i told him i thought the babe was still a bit too little to hear us yet.
after a few minutes, we hit a moment, of well, what's next? is this going to be real this time? how long do we wait to tell anyone? are we supposed to make a doctor appointment? we were overwhelmed with about a million questions and insecurities about the pregnancy. it was pretty terrifying to get our hopes up again. but we eventually did, when we felt like it was really going to stick this time. we let ourselves be vulnerable to the possibility of this new little addition to our family. and i can't express the pure joy i felt the first time we heard niels' strong little heartbeat. or the relief when he was born.
why am i choosing to share this now for anyone to read? because it was a personal trial at the time it happened, and we didn't feel comfortable with just anyone knowing. but niels has helped heal the hurt and we're okay talking about it to any/everyone now. i know some people have had it a lot worse than me, but miscarriage is a terrible thing to go through under any circumstance. but it also doesn't need to be something to be ashamed of or kept a secret if that's not what you want. and if you're someone i'm close to in real life and you're reading/learning about this now for the first time, sorry i didn't tell you in person. but it's not really something i know how to work into everyday conversation. but feel free to ask me anything you want to about it.
and if you have experience a miscarriage, i'm so, so sorry. and i want you to know that you're not alone and if you need someone to talk to about it, i'm just an text/phone call/email away.