I thought I was in perimenopause. I really did. I googled. I read. I matched symptoms.
I mean, really, what else could it be?
This is what I told my friend on the phone over 4th of July weekend. Maybe I also mentioned that I had a tough time getting through my 8 miler a few days before, and that a three miler almost killed me that morning.
I'm sure I told her I was six days late, but after being five days late the month before, surely this meant I was, you know, getting old?
That's when she suggested the P word to me. I believe I said something profound in return, possibly Fuck Off.
But I did drive down the street to the store to pick up a pregnancy test. The kind that says Pregnant or Not Pregnant. I waited until Sage was down for her nap and David took Sawyer to the park to learn to ride his bike without training wheels.
Who knew I'd be the one unable to keep my balance.
I peed. I laughed to myself. Then I looked at the stick.
GAAH! Yes. That was my exact word.
No more denial. I was almost six weeks pregnant. With my third.
I had to sit down. This was not supposed to happen. I mean, I know HOW it happened, but the timing...let's just say it didn't seem possible. But there I was.
Happy? Not at all. I was in, possibly, the best shape of my life. I had just run my second marathon the month before. I was going to run my third in December.
I turn 40 soon after that race. I was going to enter the next decade strong and fit and ready to go back to the Cayman Islands for a little child-free R&R with David to celebrate.
That was my vision.
So let's just say it's taking me awhile to wrap my head around the change in plans.
Everything was turned upside down.
Sawyer and Sage are finally at the age where they don't need me so much. They play together. They can get dressed. They're potty trained.
I'm SO done with the baby phase. I had no interest in entering it again.
Then there's the issue of logistics. Where would we put the baby in our tiny house? We'd already outgrown it with the four of us. How would we afford another college tuition? Forget retirement. David will be 62 when this kid is 18.
It just didn't seem real. Soon the relentless nausea and fatigue set in. As did the worry; once you've had a miscarriage, you never really feel comfortable that the pregnancy will stick.
I went in for an ultrasound a couple days after the positive test and, to my surprise, saw a strong, fast heartbeat.
The weeks went on. My training partners started to increase their distances. I couldn't keep up. I watched them, through tears, as they ran ahead of me, til they were out of sight. Soon, they decided to run near their homes. I haven't run since.
A big part of my life for the past couple years, the thing that had finally made me feel like more than "just a mom," had ended.
A couple weeks ago I took the kids with my to my 12-week checkup. I had just told them that I had a baby in my tummy. They were beyond excited. So we went, and their eyes widened when they heard that distinctive "wockawockawocka" of the heartbeat.
They have been astonishingly sweet. Sage kisses my belly and, when she fell off our bed the other day, she cried and fearfully asked "Did I scare the baby?" Sawyer talks to it and asks if he can hold the baby when it's born.
He also asked whether my stomach would crack in half for the baby to come out. Imagine his expression when I told him exactly frow where it would enter the world.
So I will live though their wonder. I will remember that the creation of life is a miracle and a blessing. I will remind myself that soon we will not be able to imagine our family without No. 3.
Another journey. Not the one I had planned, but sometimes, those are the best trips of all.
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