I stared at the white stick and I just couldn’t believe me eyes. It was turning pink… in two places. Just like the box said it would if you were pregnant.
How could I be pregnant? The doctors couldn’t believe I managed to have two children. How could this just happen with no planning? My heart was beating fast, and I wasn’t sure how I felt.
One thought ran through my mind–my parents are going to kill me.
This was a strange thought. I was hardly a teenager. I was 39, married, and owned my own house. Yet I was terrified of what my parents would say.
I responded to this surprise like I do almost anything else in my life, I laughed hysterically.
My husband was waiting outside the bathroom for me. I walked out with the stick in my hand laughing… and he knew I wasn’t going through early menopause like I thought I was.
His huge smile and the look of complete joy on his face helped relieve some of my fear. Although I could list them in my head.
Would I be able to carry this pregnancy to term? Even though we had two children, I still had the memory of my past miscarriages. And my children’s pregnancies had been monitored so closely even before I conceived, testing levels, adjusting hormones. I did not want to go through the pain of another miscarriage.
Would I be able to physically handle this pregnancy? My pregnancy with my daughter had been fairly hard and had entailed taking Heparin shots to control a blood-clot disorder that the doctors had found I had after we had our son.
To make things a bit more interesting, the shots caused a painful allergic reaction that meant I needed prednisone. The prednisone caused an ulcer.
Could I go through all of that again? Would I be able to do all this and care for my two children?
And what about that? My oldest was almost six, and he was doing beautifully, but it had required a lot of work. We had been working with speech and occupational therapists to help him deal with some learning differences.
My daughter? She was two-and-a-half and getting a host of therapies. Yet we still had no answers as to why she was not talking or reaching other developmental milestones.
I knew why my parents were going to kill me. They didn’t want to see me go through all of that again. My mother, as well as a few of the doctors in my high-risk pregnancy group, told me to get my tubes tied after I had my daughter. That was the prudent thing to do.
But when my ob-gyn told me he felt I could handle another pregnancy, I let my pure love of babies cloud my judgment. Plus I figured I could only get pregnant with medical intervention. Any other way of conceiveing just seemed like a fairy tale that happend to other people. This was nuts.
Thankfully that night it was just my husband and me. A rare night alone since the kids were having a sleepover at my parents house. Joe was so happy, and so was I. I was thrilled. All logic went out the window. This just wasn’t another baby, it was a secret wish.
As I write this I am struck by how I felt the wish for a third baby needed to be a secret. I realized it seemed impractical because a pregnancy did take so much out of me physically and I had so much on my plate. I knew that I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to try to have a third, which made it all the more special. After working so hard to have two babies, I was getting a bonus child. I felt like I won the lottery.
But I still wanted to be seen as the good girl. To make the choices that seemed measured and responsible. To never make a misstep. To never risk my parents or anyone’s disapproval. I was almost 40 with a lifetime of experience behind me. Yet I felt like a teenager. The adult voice I had worked so hard to achieve and felt so comfortable with was suddenly caught in my throat.
My pregnancy with my youngest son taught me so much about myself and had me question my deep need to live my life for others. I changed.What others felt was right became less important.
I enjoyed my pregnancy knowing that this would be my last. When I finally held my gorgeous baby boy, I knew this surprise was meant to be.
Now my secret wish is a beautiful six-year-old. He is an amazing child who makes me laugh everyday. His smile melts my heart and he balances out our family perfectly. I simply could not imagine my life without him.