“Don’t test until the clinic sets up a blood work day” – this is what I was now being told. Okay, like that was going to happen. After all, I was a professional pregnancy test taker, a veteran of testing some may say. Boom! There it was: a teeny tiny whitish-pink line. It was there, but not. It was the type of line that you need to take a negative picture on your phone to see. It was the most beautiful positive negative I had ever seen.
We wanted to be excited, and don’t get me wrong we were. But something in the back of our heads was blocking happiness from coming through fully. We had a constant paranoia hovering over us. The first couple of weeks we were treading carefully. I would power dial my doctor’s office every second day to check what my HCG levels were at, and whether they were doubling. My arms looked horrible from all the blood work I had to do. We were considered a high-risk pregnancy. To ease all the fears, we were called for an early ultrasound.
As I lay there staring at the ceiling of the doctors’ office, my tummy exposed, feeling dizzy and fearful, the ultrasound technician came in. My husband and I probably looked like ghosts: white and pale making ourselves sick with anticipation. Of course all the articles I read about Ectopic pregnancies pointed in the direction that if you have had one, chances are you can have another. So as I lay there I thought to myself why does my tube hurt, why do I feel bloating, why is my abdomen hard, why am I not having cravings, or why am I driving my husband crazy. In the midst of all my whys, the ultra sound technician pointed to a little pea snuggling into my uterus.
That walk out of the clinic felt like a slow motion movie moment, our hair blowing in the wind, looking amazing, with smiles from ear to ear. Life finally felt like it was going on the right track. And now the fears started settling in. What was I going to do? I was so scared to be a mom. I didn’t know anything. I can still remember that being my biggest fear. Not being the amazing mom, which my mom is. How did she know how to do all that?
The months to follow were full of doctor’s appointments, and planning for the future of our sweet pea. My husband would watch with awe, admiring his healthy pregnant wife and child – the most amazing feeling. Things were just getting better every day, and every day we got closer to meeting our baby. At our 20 week appointment we decided to find out what the sex was – there was no way I was going to keep it a surprise. A little context: as kids my brother and I used to rip the sides of presents before Christmas to see what we were getting, then re-tape them, so as you can see surprises are not my forte.
Needless to say the tape was ripped!
It took a while, and our baby was stubborn. It kept closing its legs, wriggling and hiding. Then a quick moment with a big stretch and the big reveal happened: we have a little girl. My husband was in shock. He was white at that moment, and he knew he was never going to be the same. I wish I could have captured that moment. Men and little girls are always different than when they have a son.
So as he did his spring-cleaning in the house and removed anything he thought was not appropriate to women (music, calendar in his garage, etc) I made a pit stop at the paint store. It was time to create the place our sweetheart would call her room. I would open the door every now and then sit on her rocker and imagine her laying in her crib. I spoke to her about what was to come soon enough and how much we already loved her. Sometimes as I sat there, I felt like it was a dream, then I would get a swift kick to my ribs and realized that finally our dreams were coming true.
The topic of her name had been a week dispute. We decided to go shopping and stopped at the Italian store to grab some fresh bread. As we were walking past the olive section I blurted out Olive? My husband looked at me and smiled. After mounds of names we did not agree on, finally our baby had a name…Olivia. My husband, being the weirdo he always is, didn’t stop there. He felt that because her name started with an O she would always be picked last in school and extracurricular activities, so he added his touch and we changed it to Alivia – only a man would think something like that, and of course daddy didn’t want his girl to be chosen last.
Once we gave Alivia her name everything became much more personal. I could address her and felt the pregnancy was complete. She was healthy, we were as well and life was amazing. I can honestly say my pregnancy progressed beautifully – but there is one thing I need to vent about: Gestational Diabetes! The one time in my life I felt I should be allowed to eat anything, anywhere, anytime was taken away from me. I was robbed of sending my husband to the store at midnight to grab me something gooey and greasy. It’s not like fast food has portion-controlled steamed meals.
I spent the last of my pregnancy controlling my diabetes with diet, rather then taking insulin. Don’t get me wrong, maybe a month before Alivia was born, I tried to cheat the system: I would have a big bowl of ice cream before bed. I figured I didn’t have to test myself until the next morning, so what heck, lets indulge. It’s amazing how that little finger pricker can be so mean. My fingers were so swollen by the time I had her, it would take me 5-10 min of psyching myself out before I could get a reading.
Last but not least, Alivia loved to play at night. I was advised to sleep a lot because when the baby comes you will need it. Good luck with that piece of advice. Even my best friend the snoodle pillow was not helping us rest easy. Push come to shove, it was really quite the experience. Having a little being growing inside you and having the thought of creating something that will look up to you and need you forever was another new experience that words cannot describe. Maybe I’ll add a couple wedges of lemon in this lovely lemonade. There will always be a couple speed bumps along an amazing journey.