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Friday, May 24, 2013

Our Story: Discovering I was pregnant

I had wanted to have kids close in age, but 2011 was going to be a very busy year. We had three overseas trips planned and a trip to the East coast. I was going to be interviewing for a tenure-track position at the university where I had been working on a contract basis since 2005. If things had gone according to the first plan, my second child would have been born at the beginning of Summer 2011, but with the busy year ahead, the second plan was to have him/her the beginning of Summer 2012.

In December 2011, E was still nursing, but it suddenly got very uncomfortable for me. I was nauseous, but not to the point of illness. I just didn't have much of an appetite. My lower back had begun to ache. I was feeling sluggish, but we had just moved E to his own room in a crib and he wasn't taking it well, so none of us was getting much sleep. It was winter, and the cold didn't do much for my exercise motivation. I figured my back hurt because I wasn't getting enough exercise, and I also blamed the lack of exercise on my lack of appetite.

Three months later, we go to Puerto Rico during spring break. I haul out the summer clothes, and I'm dismayed to discover that they are snug. If I overindulge, my stomach is the first place I show it. I was still exhausted, but that was pretty much a common state for me those days with an active toddler, a full-time job, and a dissertation to defend. Then I almost fainted, twice. Suddenly, (yes, really, it took that long) it occurred to us that I could be pregnant. J said it first. I remember exactly where we were in Ponce, PR. I had just left the Music Museum after nearly fainting. It was hot, there was no air conditioning, I could have been dehydrated... I excused it away, but J pointed out that my back was bothering me, my stomach was looking really round, and I was constantly needing to pee. The possibility began to enter my thoughts slightly, but it was still too terrifying to acknowledge.

The first day after returning home, while J was still at work, I took out the other test from the box I had used with E and gave it a try. Positive. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't get ahold of J, who was in a meeting, so I called my sister. She was excited- I was petrified. This wasn't the plan. It couldn't happen this year. I had too much going on. I was on the mini pill and nursing. I couldn't be pregnant. I had an interview later that week for the position I had been working towards for years. I couldn't start a new job by going on maternity leave.

I called my midwife's office and explained that I thought I was pregnant, but that maybe the test had expired and I should get a new one. She asked me what made me decide to take the test, and when I told her all the "signs," she just laughed and told me I was definitely pregnant. We had to schedule an appointment right away, because I didn't know how far along I was. Though December's discomfort did enter my mind, I couldn't believe I would have made it three months without realizing I was pregnant.

In spite of all my logistical concerns, I was actually pretty happy that I was pregnant, since I had wanted my kids to be close in age. Work pressures had forced me to postpone my original plan, but apparently someone else had their own plan, and she wasn't waiting for me to feel "ready" for her. She was coming on her terms. (I have a feeling this is going to be a life-long theme with this girl ;)

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