Skip to main content

The First Moment

December 1st is one of those days for me. I don't know if all mothers mark this day, but for me it is one that I will never forget. This was the day in 2004 when I realized I was pregnant.

This was not an easy journey. We had been trying to get pregnant for over three years. Many medical tests, fertility treatments, and months of disappointment later, we had essentially given up. The doctors had said that without major medical intervention (i.e. in vitro or use of an egg donor), we would probably not get pregnant. 

I wasn't ready for that battle. My body was tired. I was emotionally tired. We didn't have the money and I didn't feel like I could handle the emotional ups and downs of an in vitro process.  In early 2004, we decided that our best option was to pursue adoption. Roger and I enrolled in foster/adoption classes with a local agency and we had started what we thought was our journey to parenthood.  I put away the pregnancy tests and we started talking about home studies and domestic vs foreign adoption.  

Because of the way my crazy female body works, my doctor had put me on hormones to regulate my cycle. I had previously been on birth control but that now seemed ridiculously superfluous.  I needed to take these drugs every two months if I didn't have a period. So, before beginning my round of drugs, I needed to take a pregnancy test. 

Early on the morning of December 1st, I awoke for work as usual. I stumbled off to the bathroom and set about peeing on that stick. I had done this dozens of times, never receiving a positive result.  I was just getting ready to throw the test in the trash when I saw it. The plus sign.  I was in shock.

I went to tell Roger. He was in the other bathroom, also trying his best to wake up for the day. 
Me: "Um, Roger? Can you come out here?" 
Roger: "I'm kind of busy. I'll be out in a moment."
Me: "Um...ok." (I wait 5 seconds) "Can you hurry?"
Roger: (clearly annoyed) "Just. A. Minute."

I showed him the test. He said, "Do it again!"

We didn't have a spare test in the house so I sent him out, to Wal-Mart of all places, for a pregnancy test.  In my defense, it was the only place in Ashland open at 6:30 in the morning.

I set off for work but I took the test again during my mid-day break. Still positive. 
Photo by Joe Marinaro
I was cautiously optimistic, knowing that it still must be early. Coming off of the Thanksgiving break, I now understood why I had been so tired. I had chalked the fatigue up to holiday travel, overindulgence, and too much work. I also now understood why my boobs had been hurting for over a week.  Yes, in retrospect it seemed pretty obvious.

At that point, I still didn't know anything about that little bean that would become my Charlotte. She was a peapod, a speck. I didn't know her personality, her charm, or even her gender. 

But that was the day that she entered my heart. That was the day that she found a place in my life.  It is a day that I will never forget.   


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Remembering the Normal

Science tells us that human memory is faulty . We want to think that we will remember certain moments forever like they are encased in carbonite. In reality, we look back on events and retell our stories to friends and colleagues. The story always shifts a little in the process and by the time we have told the story 1000 times, it has changed. It's not (usually) an outright lie. It's just that our brain betrays us. Even our collective memories of major national events that are witnessed by millions of people can be faulty. One study suggests that up to 40% of people changed certain elements of their remembrances of 9/11 as time passed. Something to seriously consider as our recent national discussions about history have claimed the center stage and we continue to live in "unprecedented" times.  Side note: anybody else yearning for some precedented times again?    Fifteen years ago this week, Charlotte Jennie was born. I recounted a lot of her birth story on this

The Stages of Grief: COVID Edition

It's 2020. It's almost Christmas. We're still in the middle of a pandemic. In fact, we are experiencing what appears to be an incredible surge that is exerting tremendous pressure on our healthcare and social service system. The headlines are clear: we're not done with this madness and December 31, 2020 will not magically be the "end of it".  Earlier in the year, our family thought about whether we might be able to travel at this time. We thought that maybe the curve would be flat enough that we could take a few days away from home during the Christmas holidays. We realized that the pandemic would still be happening, but with the right protections and with prolific mask usage, we could get a much-needed change of scenery. During what is now (clearly) a delusional thought process, we booked a stay in Gatlinburg, Tennessee for the week of December 19th. Spoiler alert: we canceled the trip almost two weeks ago.  Canceling this trip was not a tragedy. In fact, I

Life is short. Do all the things.

As I spend my 2nd Mother's Day without my mother and my 10th Mother's Day without my One of my favorite multi-generational pics of me, my mom, and Charlotte.  first-born, I'm probably more reflective than usual. I blame the burgeoning pandemic . I'm still struggling with survivor guilt and an irrational, imaginary pressure to be more productive than I should be in a time of stress. I try to balance managing the influx of information for both my mental health and my need to be well-informed. I'm managing a new household with kids learning from home, replacing rehearsals and school with online tutoring, drum lessons, and playdates; none of which, by the way, are adequate substitutions for the real thing.  I'm trying to embrace the new opportunity for more restful weekends (much needed) with my desire to still do as much as I can to be a force for good. I'm reminded of one of my favorite quotes by E.B. White:  "I arise in the morning torn between a