Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Twinkle in My Eye

I am borrowing the inspiration from my friend Sarah Hoffman to take the time to record the story surrounding the birth of my daughter, Naomi.

Daniel and I always said we wanted to be married for at least 2 years before we had kids, and when our second anniversary came and went, I started feeling "the itch". But it wasn't until a year ago Christmas that we sat down and had the talk. The talk that resulted in our saying that we were ready to be parents whenever God wanted us to be, but that we were just going to let things be. Not that we would be trying to start a family, we would just stop trying not to. Besides, if it took a long time to conceive, even years, possibly, then we wanted to be prepared for that. This was Christmas of 2009. In January 2010, we began our plan.

Two short months later: March of 2010, Daniel and I took our Concealed Carry gun safety class out in the boondocks in Oklahoma. I knew I was a few days past due for my period to start, and that whole day, it was all I could think about. In between the stories of the times it's good to have a gun concealed on your person, what to do if you get pulled over while you're carrying, how to load a derringer, what the law says about who can shoot whom, and when and where, all I was thinking was why hasn't my period started?

We both passed the class after each going through an entire box of ammo on the shooting range, and came home. The next day was a Sunday, and Daniel and I went to church as usual, came home, and laid down for a nap, also as usual. But I was just restless. The day before, I had told Daniel about my obsession about wondering if I was pregnant, and he had told me I should wait until I was a week late before taking a test. But I couldn't stop thinking about it. I told him, "I'm going to the store for a pregnancy test, just for peace of mind's sake. I'd like it if you'd come with me." He did. We went to Walmart, and picked up a few grocery items while we were at it. In line at the checkout, Daniel looked at our basket with pickles, peanut butter, chocolate, and a pregnancy test, and laughed that the cashier might look at our food and say we didn't need that test after all!

We got home, and I read the instructions three times, nervous as all get out. I didn't want to take any chances with the "mid-stream" option, so I chose the "swirl and dunk" cup method (using a disposable cup, of course). Daniel was right beside me, and distracted me the entire three minutes' exposure time. He timed it on his cell phone because, again, I didn't want to take any chances. Now, I had done the research and knew that, though false negatives were common (due to low amounts of the pregnancy hormone HCG), false positives were extremely rare. So when the second blue line showed up, I knew it was for real, at least, after triple-checking that two lines means "pregnant". We were both star struck. In awe. In between bouts of hysteria, of course. Life as we knew it was about to change drastically!

Now because of my health issues with Ulcerative Colitis, I was on medications that I knew needed me (and baby) to be monitored much more frequently than the typical pregnancy. I also knew something like 60% of miscarriages occur in the first trimester. So we waited until after the first trimester and after we'd had a couple of good doctor's appointments to tell anyone except my parents. They came to visit just a week and 1/2 after we'd found out, so we were able to tell them face to face, as well as get their help in praying for health and safety!

My parents and Grandma have long called me "Shelley Bean" and my super-skinny man "string bean", so the new one became our "bean sprout". I prayed for our baby constantly. The very first time I saw the heartbeat on that little screen, it took my breath away, despite the prodding of the condom-covered, KY-coated ultrasound wand. It was April 1st, and this little bean sprout was no joke!

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