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Our Family

Chapter One - We're Pregnant!

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We're Pregnant!

"I don’t think it counts if you just rip the ribbons on purpose Robyn." My mother said laughing. I was at my wedding shower opening gifts and someone had just told me that I’d have one child for every ribbon that I ripped while opening the gifts. I don’t normally buy into that stuff, but it made for a fun shower to rip all the ribbons I could get my hands on in the hopes of a big family. I kind of chuckled as I thought back on that shower.

Here I was, newly pregnant with my second baby after 3 years of marriage to my husband Kris. Our first was Gavin. My energetic little guy who was always older than his actual age. I couldn’t believe how fast he was growing now when it seemed like it took an eternity for him to reach 1. Now he is 2 and soon to be 3. Calculating out the months, that puts him 3 years and 7 months older than his to-be sibling. That was OK. It seemed a little old to me as I had wanted my kids to be much closer together than I was with my siblings. I was very happy to be pregnant though.

Finding out that I was pregnant was a huge shock. We had started trying for a second in May. Kris was less than enthusiastic about it. He was happy with the one child. Kris loved me, though, and if I wanted a ton more, well, he could at least go along with one more. May did not work for us and I was a total mess after that first month of failure. Crying and hopeless, I leaned against Kris’s shoulder worrying about how I just knew I’d get struck by infertility for the second baby and Gavin was going to end up way too old for a sibling. That’s when the adoption idea struck. If we adopted a child that was younger than Gavin but not a baby, not only could I get a girl, but I could get Gavin a sibling much closer to him then what I could do if I were to get pregnant myself. For some reason I had thought there was a whole world of parentless children out there in need of a good mom and dad. I mentioned this to Kris. He was, once again, less than enthusiastic.

I managed to talk him into it and we spent the month of June going to adoption orientation programs and reading about adoptive parenting. We also spent the month using condoms because we were not doing the pregnancy thing now. Near the end of the month, we were informed that there was a waiting list of over 300 families in MN alone for toddlers and there was no way we’d be able to adopt one. I was extremely crushed. All of the adoption books and all of the hopes I had were crushed. I felt like I had miscarriaged a baby that we were looking forward to and now couldn’t have. We once again awaited the end of that cycle so that we could start trying for a pregnancy again.

The days passed and still, no period. The weeks passed and nothing. I couldn’t believe I could be pregnant considering the use of condoms the previous month. It was just too hard to believe. I had bought some home pregnancy tests just to see what I could find out. At the store I found a box with three tests. Once bonus one was included. I figured that the more I could get the better because after this month I was going to be trying again. I also bought a new thermometer on that trip so I could start charting my waking temps again. I got home and immediately opened that package and took the first test. It was negative. It was negative, but as I watched it, maybe there was a slight shadow of a line there. No, that is just my imagination telling me there is a line where I think one would be. Two days later and still no period, I took another test. Same result as the first one, same imagined shadow. The next morning I took the last test. I thought that maybe my problem was that I wasn’t using that first morning urine they talk about in the test. This one had the exact same result as the other two.

At this point I called the doctor’s office to ask them for a blood test. I was fed up with not getting my period for so long and if I wasn’t pregnant, I certainly wasn’t making any progress on the goal this way. I got in for the blood test and had to wait all weekend for the result. This morning, Monday morning, I called the office and had to leave a message. I carried my cell phone with me everywhere today. Finally around 4 PM I got a call from the clinic. The long awaited answer was… I was pregnant! I was also scheduled for an ultrasound to find out my due date because all those negative home tests made me think that it wasn’t going to be as easy as finding my LMP date.

I was standing outside my work waiting for Kris to come pick me up as we had started riding together. As I sat there with this exciting news, I had to share it with someone! I could tell Kris in person when he picked me up so I called my mother on the same cell phone I had just gotten the news with.

"Mom, I’m pregnant!"

"You are? Well congratulations." She was never really one for getting terribly excited about this stuff. The last she had heard was about us adopting so I went through the whole story with her about it. While talking with her, Kris shows up so I tell her I’ll talk later and hang up.

I had always wanted to come up with some really special way of telling Kris when I was pregnant. With Gavin I just pretty much blurted it out. I’m not really big on keeping secrets. All the excitement of them gets me too worked up. Following tradition, I just turned to him and told him the big news once again. His subdued yet positive reaction was much better than the "I didn’t know you were at risk for that." Which he said when he saw that I had purchased pregnancy tests earlier.

"Well, I guess we’ll need to start looking at houses now." We didn’t have another bedroom in the upstairs area where Gavin’s room and ours were located. I didn’t want to put Gavin downstairs and I didn’t want to have a baby down there either. We were going to need to do something about that. Move, remodel, we weren’t sure. Our current house was in sore need of fixing up as it was. We had moved into it when Gavin was one because it had 3 bedrooms. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why I thought that it was OK that one of the bedrooms was downstairs. The whole house was covered from floor to ceiling in wallpaper. Not just any wallpaper either, but hideous, makes your eyes water kinds of wallpaper. The windows were leaking and the carpet smelled of an aromatic mix of cat urine and mold. We had been slowly fixing it up as we could afford it, however if we were to move, it needed to be presentable now.

All of that was work we could figure out though. I was just so excited that the whole worry of trying to get pregnant was behind me. 3 years, 7 months… yes… I could handle that. It wasn’t the 2 years that I had really wanted between my children, but it worked. We called Kris’s mother to tell her the news and then a few other relatives. I planned on spreading the news further at Gavin’s birthday party, which was coming up soon.

Now, maybe it is that this was my second pregnancy, or maybe it was those few extra pounds I had all on my own, but one thing that tipped me off on the pregnancy was my not so confortable clothing.  I decided that I was just going to be comfy and I didn't care that maternity clothing wasn't really meant for people that were...oh... who knew how far along I was anyway.  A quick stop at the local Target and I found a cute tee-shirt to wear at Gavin's 3 year party to give out the news.  Just a little grey thing that said "Let's have some chocolate. -The Baby"  The response was a lot of fun that day.  We had planned a park birthday for that mid-July day.  It was really beautiful too.  When we first got there, Kris did the setting up while Gavin and I went walking on the trails.  When the family and friends arrived, there were hugs and congratulations all around.  I even found out a friend of mine was expecting nearly the same week as I was.

The fun had begun, and I was excited to participate in every last second of it.  I did not want to rush this pregnancy.  (Heck, we didn't even know what we'd do with a baby just yet.)  I just wanted to enjoy it.

Chapter Two