May 6, 2016

Dear Frannie Friday--How I Found Out I Was Pregnant

With my baby turning two yesterday, it's got me all shades of nostalgic thinking about all my babies and my experiences with them.  And because I have not shared how I got found out I was pregnant with any of them, I thought I might do just that for this Dear Frannie Friday.


I found out I was pregnant with Kaden in March of 2000.  I had just turned 18 the month before.  I was a little late, but I wasn't too convinced that anything was going on because I was on birth control pills.  I took them at the same time everyday and I hadn't missed any (although I later found out how seriously debilitating my strep throat prescription pills were to my birth control).  I had bought a pregnancy test after school one day (yep . . . still in high school) and decided to take the test just really quickly before I went to first period.  I honestly didn't expect anything to happen . . . but when I saw the test quickly sprout two lines, my life changed forever.  I remember being in total shock.  I called my two best friends at the time (Bekey and Amanda . . . who was Patrick's high school girlfriend at the time) and told them to meet me at Perkins, our usual hangout for ditching class.  I told them, smoked my last Marlboro Light for nine months, and headed out to third period class.  I don't remember telling my mom, but I do remember her being concerned but supportive.  I told my dad several weeks later over lunch (which automatically made him suspicious because to this day that is the only non-occasion meal we've ever had together) and he promptly kicked me out of the house.  I told my boyfriend that I was pregnant.  He asked if I was keeping the baby and I told him yes . . . and he went on a week-long drinking binge and completely disappeared.  I didn't hear from him or know where he was.  Later, Kaden ended up sharing prom and graduation with me.  Not in the plan, but clearly I wouldn't change it for the world.  


Much less of a sad story than with Kaden but no less dramatic for sure.  Like with Kaden, I was on birth control pills when I got pregnant with Conner, but had recently switched brands.  I had been dating his dad for about six months when I got what I thought were the worst cramps of my life.  I had always had really horrible cramps, but this time I was on the floor balling hysterically.  I thought my appendix was bursting!  So my boyfriend rushed me to the doctor.  They, of course, got a urine sample from me, which I thought nothing of.  There I was, sitting on the doctors table fearing the worst when a nurse popped her head in the room and, with a very chipper German accent, congratulated me on my pregnancy.  In fact, I was 10 weeks along!  I had had a cyst on my ovaries that had burst because of the growing uterus--hence the severe cramping.  Well that was unexpected.  I was absolutely dumbfounded and scared for my life.  Kaden was four and I was in what seemed to be a good relationship (I had known the guy for almost a decade prior) but we had just started dating and I was in no way ready for another baby.  But here I was--pregnant with #2!  Luckily this time, my partner was extremely excited, which helped.  And I was blessed 30 weeks later with an amazing little boy.


With Brielle, I have no excuse.  And although I did not plan to become pregnant yet again (especially since Conner was only one when I found out I was pregnant with her), it didn't come as too much of a shock as I was not on any birth control and was so busy being a mom to two boys, in school and working full time, that I didn't realize I was late on my period until I was really late on my period.  Taking the pregnancy test was a mere formality.  Although I had managed to escape morning sickness with both of my boys, we lived across the street from a Chinese food restaurant at the time and every morning I wanted to die from the smell.  I was getting sick all the time and I was really overly tired (which I actually attributed to all of the aforementioned responsibilities on my plate).  But I ran across the street to a grocery store after telling my boyfriend that I thought I was (he agreed), we took the test, it was positive and we just kind of went with it.  It is so unromantic, but that is how that went down.  However, I will say that I just knew this baby was my little girl from the moment I saw the positive on the test.  I even told her dad that.  And she is the light of my life.


Well I had previously shared on here my very sad and unfortunate miscarriage that I had right before finding out I was pregnant with Reilly.  I was so devastated and although Patrick and I continued to try and I knew that I was really fertile, I was nervous.  I didn't know if that meant that I would not ever get pregnant again, not be able to carry a healthy child to term again or, if I did get pregnant, how long it would take.  But I did know that unlike previous times, I watched my body and my cycle like a hawk.  And when I missed my period by a day, I took a test--not just any drug store test, but the fancy, expensive digital test.  When I saw the "pregnant" come up on the screen, I was alone.  I squealed with joy.  And it was five days before my wedding anniversary with Patrick.  I knew I wanted to tell him in a really exciting and great way.  So for our anniversary, I made him a scrapbook with a bunch of photographs.  And on our anniversary, sitting on a bench in the same gorgeous garden that we got married in, I gave him the scrapbook.  And on the very last page, was a picture of the pregnancy test.  And I remember the happiness in his eyes and the smile on his face.  And it was exactly the moment I had been waiting for.  And I got to do it right this time.  

This is not to say that I don't love and cherish my other kids and that being their mother and being pregnant with them wasn't each and every time the greatest joy of my life, but I wasn't ready.  For any of them.  And I robbed them of a story like Reilly's.  And I feel awful about that.  But I do know one thing--every belly hiccup, every kick in my belly, every first cry, every doctor's appointment, I loved it all.  And their stories might not be glamorous but they are unique and real and contain all the emotions I've ever had.  And I am very proud of every single moment that they have been in my life--from discovery of their existence to now.  


Dress-Gianni Bini
Blazer-Harper and Grey, thrifted

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