Sunday, October 27, 2013

for real

Hello, friends...we have quite a bit of catching up to do.

We had our last IUI (intrauterine insemination) in August. It was a "hail Mary" cycle. We knew it wouldn't work. It never had before. We were fixing our eyes on IVF and this IUI was our method of killing time until we could take the plunge.

I didn't get a beta (blood pregnancy test) done after the two-week wait because I never do. Those beta days are the worst. I'd much rather find out that I'm not pregnant at home, in my own bathroom, by myself than over the phone with a nurse I've never met. But my period was late...and then later...and later.

One morning, while Andrew was finishing up his night shift at the hospital, Harriet and I went to Walmart for a pregnancy test. I got there just as they were opening and I seemed to be the only one in the store besides the two young check-out girls. One of them attempted to put my purchase in a bag, and I told her I didn't need a bag.

"I bet you're going right into that bathroom to take it," said the other.

"Yes, I am," I replied.

"What are you hoping for?"

"I really, really want it to be positive," I said, and I told them a little bit of my story.

I entered the bathroom, set Harriet down far away from the toilets and told her not to touch anything. I unwrapped the pregnancy test with shaky hands and left the stall door open as I did my thing. The digital hourglass blinked and blinked and blinked...forever. And then I saw something flash onto that screen for the very first time - pregnant.

And then I sobbed.

"Mama's crying because she's happy. Mama's crying because she's happy," I told my concerned daughter over and over.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you," I told a less-than-concerned God.

I composed myself and walked out of the bathroom where the two check-out girls were nervously waiting.

"It's positive," I said, and they seemed very happy to be the first to know.

I strapped Harriet back into her carseat while taking deep, tear-filled breaths and settled myself in the driver's seat before deciding that I needed to go back in for donuts. But first, I texted Andrew...

Just got my period. What a bummer. 

We were going to meet him at a playground, so I quickly planned a fun way to share the news. I'd have Harriet at the top of a curly slide and he'd be at the bottom to catch her. But rather than sending her down, I'd slide the pregnancy test down. Well, like most plans that involve children, this one never panned out because Harriet was zonked in the back of the car when he got to the park. Instead, I just took the test out of the waistband of my shorts and handed it to him.

"You're joking," he said. And he cried.

The next day, I had a beta drawn. Two-hundred-something.

Two days later, I had another one. Four-hundred-something.

We scheduled an ultrasound for about eight weeks but I couldn't wait that long. My doctor agreed to see me just short of seven weeks. Unfortunately, Andrew was hiking the Superior Hiking Trail with my brother and we hadn't told our families yet. Also, hand foot and mouth disease was hitting our community hard around that time, so all of my babysitters were out of commission with sick babies of their own to care for. I had one option - to bring Harriet with me.

She fell asleep on the way to the appointment, so I picked her up and carried her into the clinic. I had called the front desk to warn them that I was bringing my daughter and to ask if it would be possible for me to be taken directly back to an ultrasound room if one was available. I've never brought Harriet to an appointment before and I fully support the no kids allowed rule, so I wanted to be as respectful as possible under the circumstances. There wasn't a room available, which I found odd since the waiting room was empty. I stood there in the fertility clinic waiting room with my lovely little daughter sleeping soundly in my shoulder and (hopefully) another baby in my belly. And all of a sudden, I was that woman...something for another day, another post...something that has been on my heart so heavily during this blogging absence.

They called me back and I managed to somehow undress and situate myself on the table, all the while snuggling my sleeping dear. In came the doctor and ultrasound tech and I told them what I always tell them, "As soon as you have any information, tell me. I get really freaked out when you're silent."

I couldn't really see the screen because Harriet's head was in the way, but I did see the ultrasound tech flash the doctor a sideways peace sign, and that was enough for me to crank my neck around the top of Harriet's head to see two black blobs on the screen, each with its own teeny heartbeat, fluttering away.

More tears. More gratitude wrapped in disbelief.

The next twenty-four hours were tough because I couldn't get ahold of Andrew over the phone and I didn't want to tell him we were having twins via text. The next day, Harriet and I drove up to Duluth with the rest of my family to meet Andrew and my brother for a weekend away. They still didn't know I was pregnant. When we got to the hotel, I pulled Andrew into the bathroom and told him that I wanted him to see the ultrasound picture before we shared the news with my family. I took the grainy photo out of the envelope and handed it to him. He stared at it for a few seconds before the "twin A" and "twin B" labels clicked. "Nuh-uh," he said and stared at me with wide, wide eyes. More tears. This time, some laughter too.

So, that's what's been happening during my absence. Oh, and I took (and passed...whew) my final licensing exam. And we moved three days ago. It's been an intense couple of months, and I'm finally starting to feel like I'm catching up with life. I swore off blogging during my studying period and it was pretty much impossible to get any writing done during the move, but I know that the real reason I put off posting about this pregnancy is the fact that I have been waiting for similar announcements from my blogging friends. I have been praying and dreaming that somehow, someway Caroline, Amanda, Risa, Suz, Liz, Annie, Jessah and all of my other dear friends online and in "real life" would be able to make announcements of their own first. I knew it couldn't happen - not for all of you and not all at once - but every time I sat down to type this post, I couldn't get your faces out of my mind. I am so glad that I have returned to the blogosphere now so that I can at least offer some support and encouragement. I am with you in this.

So here I sit - thirteen weeks pregnant (but looking about twenty-five), in a new home (which I love but still feels like someone else's), with tears in my eyes because as silly as it sounds, in posting this entry, I truly feel like I'm coming home.

55 comments:

  1. Oh Em, I am so happy for you! This is wonderful, amazing news! My heart was beating so fast as I was reading, and then when I got to the part about twins I almost squealed :) So excited for you, friend.

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  2. Oh. My. Goodness! This is the BEST NEWS EVER!!! I'm crying tears of happiness for you! I literally am in shock!!!! So amazing! Eek! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

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  3. i am elated. just so so thrilled. this post warms my heart from top to bottom. you truly deserve this!
    and little mama - please feel free to call me if you are in a bind and need someone to watch harriet! she can tell my dogs what to do and help feed crue :) shes going to be one heck of a big sister, you know!
    i cant wait to read your journey during these next months - and after! congratulations my dear :) xxo

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  4. Tears!!!! I so incredibly happy for you! Welcome to the twinkies club. It's pretty incredible. Hugs!!

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  5. Wow! SO exciting! Congratulations!

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  6. Oh Em, I'm so thrilled for you guys!!! What an amazing story and fantastic news!! Love, love, love this post and all the good news happening in your family!

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  7. I have been wondering and wondering and wondering where you've been. And here you are! What wonderful news! I'm so so so very happy for you and Andrew and big sister Harriet. Oh congratulations, my dear.
    xoxo
    T.

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  8. OMG, Em! That is SO awesome! CONGRATS! :)

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  9. Wow, twins! Congratulations on a successful Hail Mary!

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  10. Two words: wow and yay!!! Over the moon for you guys!!

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  11. Oh my Lord, Em!!! I've been thinking about you all week and debating whether or not to send an email to check in b/c it'd been so long since I'd heard from you. I'm in MN for a last minute trip and even thought about demanding a face-to-face meeting. ;-) I am SOOOO thankful that this is the post you came back to write - and so happy that things are working out like this! CONGRATS!!!!

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  12. Oh wow, Em!!! Congratulations!!! How exciting!! TWINS!?!?! No excuses-- get back to blogging, missy!!

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  13. Yay!!! I've been busting to tell someone all week! I don't know how you kept it a secret! I'm so excited for you Em! Thank God for Hail Marys! I'm glad you're back and can't wait to hear how you're doing! Love you friend!!!

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  14. Congratulations! twins, what a wonderful, if overwhelming, gift!

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  15. Yay!! So excited to read this and SO fun to see your post! So glad that you are doing well and congrats on the test and the new house, God is doing awesome things!

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  16. Oh Em I am so incredibly happy for you!!!!! and twins?? I wasn't expecting that twist!! Congratulations girlfriend :)

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  17. I am so happy for you!!!! And twins!!!! :) :) The best news ever! We found out we are expecting as well. Resting comfortably at 15 weeks, so right there with you! :)

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  18. Awww this is such wonderful, exciting news!! Ive been thinking about you since youve been quiet lately and no we know why. Congrats on all these blessings in your life, you totally deserve them!

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  19. This is INCREDIBLE news! I am so happy for you! I can't believe it!

    It's always the cycle we think won't work. ALWAYS. Matthew's cycle, in my head, was a bust - and Bryson's was never going to work because it was our first one on our journey for #2 and it took 3 IVF/FET cycles to get Matthew. Being down in the dumps and having little hope helps with implantation, I believe ;)

    TWINS! You're going to be busy!!!!! How exciting!

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  20. I have been patiently (maybe not so patiently, lol) for this post!!!! I am so incredibly happy for you and now can't wIt to follow your TWIN pregnancy! I sincerely doubt you look 25 weeks. Just wait until you DO hit that marker! That's where I'm at right now - 25 weeks. Oy! I'm so, so happy for you.

    By the way, I'm looking forward to that post about "that woman."

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  21. Congrats lady! I totally knew you must be pregnant....quite the disappearing act. haha! Enjoy every last second of it. SO glad you don't have to go down the IVF road again! Wishing you all the best until the finish line!

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  22. Congratulations!!! That is terrific, awesome, wonderful and fantastic news! I'm so excited for you and your family. I hope you are keeping well and I can't wait to follow your journey!

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  23. I am so, so, SO happy for you!!! Praise God!!!

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  24. Aw this is just awesome news Em!!! Congrats on TWINS!!

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  25. Oh my gosh, oh my gosh OH MY GOSH! I can't believe you're pregnant with twins! I'm crying happy tears over here, congratulations! TWINS!

    Oh, and congrats for passing your final exam!

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  26. I have been waiting for this post ever since I heard the news! PRAISE GOD! I am VERY excited for you and your family!

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  27. Ahhh!!! Amazing news! So thrilled for you and praying for a healthy pregnancy!

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  28. Oh I have been waiting for this post! When you hadn't posted for a while, I SO hoped this was the reason!! It may sound crazy, but I think I was almost more happy to find out you were pregnant than when I found out I was pregnant! (And I am EXTREMELY happy to be pregnant!) We are so very excited for you guys! And twins, how exciting!! I'm currently 14 weeks, and right there with you in looking much bigger! Congratulations, you guys will be in our prayers :)

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  29. First of all...CONGRATULATIONS!! What amazing news!! I am so, so happy for you and can't wait to read all about this pregnancy with...twins? WOW. So, so happy!!

    Secondly, you are an amazing writer. I read this whole thing while holding my breath. What a great, great story!!

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  30. Yay!! It's official!! Congratulations (again)!! I'm beyond happy for you. This wonderful news could not be happening to a more fabulous gal!

    I love reading the story of how you both found out. It's so incredibly sweet. Biggest hugs, my friend. xoxo

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  31. This is awesome! Congratulations!!!

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  32. SO WONDERFUL!! May God continue to bless you with two healthy babies and a happy pregnancy! :)

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  33. I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOUUUUUUUU!!!!! When I started reading your post, I thought oh, noooo!!! You tricked us :) This is wonderful news!!! You are in the safe zone, time to CELEBRATE!!!!

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  34. Congratulations! Twins are the best. And I'm not one bit biased. ;) so very happy to hear this great news from you!

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  35. Yay Em. I've been wondering where you've been. So glad you're coming back to us with such good news. Congrats.

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  36. Oh my goodness Em!!!! I am soooo happy for you!! I was in tears of happiness throughout this entire post, hoping from the title that this would be the news the whole time. Yay!!!! So wonderful! AND twins!! Amazing! Sorry I didn't get here to congratulate until now.. for some reason your post just showed up in my reader right now. Odd.. but YAY!!!!

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  37. Crying happy tears (x2) for you!!! So incredibly thrilled for your family, Em!

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  38. Wow, so happy for you! So glad your "Hail Mary" did the trick, and two!!!!! So amazing!!!

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  39. Oh, Em, congratulations! It might seem funny to be so happy for someone I don't really know that well, but I AM! What an amazing journey twins will be!

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  40. Congrats!!! What amazing news! I am late to finding out, and was just nominating you for The Stork Award when I found out- I am so excited for you!!!

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  41. Congratulations Em! I'm so happy for you!! Twins! When we got pregnant with Bean it was our sixth and last IUI before IVF. I didn't expect it to work and what a wonderful surprise it was when it did. I know I said this already but I'm just so very happy for you!!!

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  42. How exciting for all of you! It's in those moments when we are close to losing hope that is always seems we are surprised with great news! After an endless battle with infertility we are expecting our little one in April and just hit 18 weeks so I totally get being "that woman". We are foster parents of two young little ones (7 week old girl and 14 month old boy biological siblings) and foster care attracts a lot of individuals with infertility issues (not us but that's a whole different story) so sharing the news with many of them who have or are going through infertility just about rips my heart out. Here I am so excited about our little one to be but at the same time I know what it was like being in their shoes having my friends around getting pregnant and feeling excluded from the group like a guinea pig going through infertility treatments with no luck. It's truly amazing the "survivor guilt" that can overwhelm me at times as I know the feeling of loss and hopelessness then suddenly we are on a new bandwagon of giddy and excitement leaving behind those who are still struggling. Thanks for keeping it real and again congrats x2 on your little ones!

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  43. oh WOW WOW WOW! That is incredible. What an incredible story. I loved reading it bit by bit, and was so glad it happy all the way through... Thank you for sharing and CONGRATULATIONS!

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  44. Congrats!!! Twins are the best! I look forward to following your journey of a twinkie pregnancy.

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  45. I was thinking about you today and was wondering about an update. Somehow this post never came into my reader... and I was so so surprised and happy for you! This is the best news ever! I hope that you are doing very well with your twins and things will sail smoothly for the next six months.

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  46. Hi, Em,
    Congratulations! This is wonderful news!
    (By the way, did you make it to the state fair this summer? I was wondering because I found some invitations for my daughter's birthday party with a "state fair" theme -- ferris wheel, striped tents, and all. The brand is "Munki Munki" and the pattern is "state fair" in case you're interested.
    Rich blessings to you and yours--
    Take care,
    Em
    : )

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  47. Such a beautiful story of God's faithfulness! So excited to follow your journey!! :)

    Ashley
    Man and Wife and Two Fur Babies

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  48. I, like all the others, am so happy for you Emily!! I follow your blog and pray for your family so often. CONGRATS!

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  49. I am soooo happy for you guys!!!!!!! You have no idea how much your blog has helped ME and given me hope.. May God be by your side through out the whole pregnancy! Thank you so much for your blog and for sharing!

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  50. I'm late to comment, but I was so very, very happy for you when I first read this, and continue to be so today. What a beautiful update.

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