I have always wanted to find out I was pregnant during Christmas time. There is something about the Advent season, the glowing lights, the deep longing, the great expectations. There’s so much hope and joy felt, I can’t imagine a better time to find out you’re pregnant.
For two Christmases, I’ve been met with all of these sugar-plum pregnancy dreams dancing around in my head, praying by the next Christmas it would not be a dream anymore but our reality. Christmas 2018 was especially hard because we were going through a lot of fertility treatments then. It was exhausting, confusing, and oddly a cold, impersonal experience. We felt very far from that Christmas miracle of ours.
So this last Christmas in 2019, our third Christmas TTC (trying to conceive), I walked into it as level headed as I could, but I knew it would be really hard on me if we weren’t yet pregnant by the time the 25th came. I felt like I was walking on a tight rope while holding all my hopes, optimism, and dreams in one hand. And facts, statistics, and reality in the other. All the while just trying not to fall off the rope. My ovulation calendar predicted my period would start anytime between December 23 and 27. Of. Course. So I was doing my best to prepare for what was to come – both physically and emotionally.
I told myself Christmas would be okay, that me and Stevie had each other, that we’d have a wonderful time with family. We brought ALL the things down to Mississippi with us to help me through the endometriosis pain, and we had fun things planned to keep us busy and in the Christmas spirit. “This will be great,” we’d say with forceful positivity.
The day we were set to hit the road to Mississippi for Christmas vacation, I felt absolutely awful and incredibly fatigued. This sometimes happens with endometriosis, so I took it to mean my period was on its way. After an impromptu nap, I woke up and we hit the road. Although Stevie said I could keep resting and we could leave the next day instead, I felt like the situation was only going to worsen as time went on, and I was determined not to miss out on our Mississippi Christmas. I thought it’d be better to get down there so even if I was sick in bed at least Stevie wouldn’t miss out on Christmas with his family.
Over the next couple of days I continued battling fatigue like I never had before, and then the cramping set in (along with some intense emotions too. #thankshormones) I tried participating in all the Christmas activities. I wanted to so badly, but it was like my mind and body were in such a fog. I was feeling so depressed knowing my period would start any time, and I just wanted to sleep. I was completely moody – going from feeling upbeat and truly enjoying our activities, to crying about not having a baby here with us and wanting the physical pain and exhaustion of my period to be over (figuring it had barely begun at that point). Basically Stevie was the real MVP those few days and got me through it somehow.
December 26th, still feeling miserable, we made the decision to head home early so I could be more comfortable when my period actually started. I felt like I was ruining Stevie’s Christmas vacation, but I leaned into his care for me. He really thought it would be best for me to be home when the pain inevitably worsened in a day or two. That drive was brutal, but we made it. Now I could brace for impact at home, stay in bed, and completely rest for a few days. Christmas was over. There was no baby. And I was trying to just move forward the best I could. I reminded myself how abundantly blessed I already am, that me and Stevie have grown so much closer through these hard times, and that God had an appointed time for each season in our life. But still, it just plain sucked.
And then, on the 27th, something weird happened. Or didn’t happen. I started feeling a lot better despite my period never hitting. We were confused. I’m sure you’re thinking, “Helloooo, why not just take a pregnancy test already?!” To which I applaud your common sense. However, for us, that had become a very hard thing to do because we had been let down dozens upon dozens of times. The anticipation of waiting for the results, the disappointment seeing the single pink line. It just became too much emotionally so we rarely tested anymore. (Plus, those tests ain’t cheap!) We got to where we just waited to see if my period came. And it always came. However, when I started feeling better, we scratched our heads, took a look at the calendar, and realized how late I actually was. We figured it was time to take a test after all, so we made a deal with Aunt Flo: if she didn’t show up by the next morning, we’d take a pregnancy test.
She was a no-show.
I woke up (super early) and went straight for the test. Stevie was barely awake when I announced I was going for it. Nothing like a “I’m peeing on a stick now!” declaration to wake a man up at the butt crack of dawn. He shot up, and we sat on the bed together and waited. Stevie encouraged us that no matter what the results were, we had each other, God’s timing was perfect, and we would be okay. Stevie is a classic Enneagram Type 7 if you haven’t figured that out by now. He was right though, and I took a deep breath in agreement.
When a few minutes had gone by, we nervously got up and slowly crept towards the bathroom counter. I felt like I was a kid tip toeing into the living room on Christmas morning, wondering if I’d see all the presents under the glowing tree that Santa had left. Or if I’d get that pit in my stomach discovering Santa hadn’t come yet, see the empty space under the tree, and be forced to go back to bed and wait. Those few seconds felt like an eternity.
I made Stevie walk in first while I clenched onto his hand, a pace behind him. When we approached “the stick” I saw a blank look come over Stevie’s face, and he leaned down closer to it. I was further away from it than him, and I only saw one bold pink line and took that to mean we weren’t pregnant. My shoulders slumped as the disappointment and heartache hit, but for some strange reason Stevie was still inspecting that dang stick awfully close. Didn’t he know what one pink line meant after reading so many of them?
He squinted and leaned in even closer, “Wait…. Boo Boo… What does that mean…?” He kept looking back and forth between the stick and the paper instructions that come in the box and tell you what the symbols mean. He looked up at me with a hesitant, disbelieving smile. Finally I leaned in closer too, staring hard at the results, and there I saw it – a second pink line. Though it was faint, it was mighty.
We. could. not. believe. it. No, really, we couldn’t. We didn’t know how to trust the ridiculous news of what that little stick was shouting at us. We couldn’t comprehend it. We went from crying, excitement, praising God, and hugging to confused, in disbelief, and utterly shocked. It was the most insane mix of emotions I’ve ever felt.
So then we did what any crazy couple in our shoes would do. We threw on clothes, went to Walgreens, and bought 5 more pregnancy tests. After lots of water and gatorade, by mid morning all the tests had been used. And an assortment of smiley faces, plus signs, two lines, and “PREGNANT” sat on our counter. What on earth. We were pregnant!
We spent the day processing all the aforementioned emotions and asking each other a thousand times, “Is this real life?!?” Our faces were stained with smiles. But it was still so hard to trust and accept the good news. And it took a few days (and a couple rounds of lab work at the OB’s office!) for it to really sink in. That night we went to a Christmas event in Nashville and spent time taking in all the pretty glowing lights, in addition to the news of our little miracle babe.
I realized that December night that I finally got my Christmas wish. And looking back, it was the best worst Christmas ever.