Mag_Mama's Pregnancy Story
Friday, August 14, 2009 4:34 PM
"There it was on the digital display: 'Pregnant.' We both started laughing hysterically,
flushed with joy. It was finally our turn..."
Talk of the town
When you’re in your 30s and more than four years into marriage, it’s only natural that people are going to ask when you’re going to start a family. For us, it was definitely the question on everybody’s lips—and rightfully so! My husband Jose and I were both in a place where we knew we wanted children. We had good jobs and a deep, loving relationship.
But trying to conceive was something I kept putting off—mainly because I was scared it wasn’t going to happen. I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), an endocrine disorder that’s recognized as a leading cause of infertility. Because of this, I had always assumed that getting pregnant was going to be a challenge. And through the years, everyone seemed to agree with me, from my endocrinologist to two-bit psychics who insinuated that difficulties were looming.
Expecting the worst
I created a world in my head, filled with future visits to fertility specialists, acupuncturists and adoption agencies. Other times, I convinced myself that I was a career gal who would be fine without kids. I was so sure there would be issues, I even had my husband, friends and family convinced. All the while, my desire to be a mom was growing stronger and stronger.
Trying to conceive became this giant, looming fear that I did everything to avoid. One big hurdle was coming off my medications for PCOS, which did a lot to help my symptoms, including obesity, skin and hair issues, thyroid problems, mood swings and depression. I took four different medications to treat the disorder, including a birth control pill to help regulate my hormones. The medications worked, and I was afraid to stop taking them for fear that my symptoms would come back in full force, and I wouldn’t be able to ovulate. Yet I knew I had to wean off of them if we wanted to be parents. Stuck between two places, the avoidance continued...
Sitting in church on Christmas Day, 2008, I felt it in my spirit: It was time. Aside from knowing Jose was “The One,” I had never been so sure about anything in my life, and I couldn’t stop crying. I was at peace. I leaned over and whispered it to Jose, who nodded. He knew it too.
I put my prescriptions in a little shopping bag, stashed them in the back of my closet, took a deep breath and waited for the worst to happen. While my symptoms didn’t return with a vengeance like I expected them to, I did gain some weight, shed some hair, and break out in acne, which all seemed like a small price to pay. Amazingly, my formerly erratic cycles were now like clockwork.
After waiting three months for the medications to clear out of my system, we tried. And on our very first “try” during ovulation, we conceived. We couldn’t believe it at first, after all those years of build-up and unfounded fear. But there it was on the digital display: “Pregnant.” Standing in our bathroom together this past April, Jose kept shouting, “No way, no way, no way, no way!” And then we both started laughing hysterically, flushed with joy. It was finally our turn.
Neither of us are the type who can keep a secret, so immediately we called our parents, siblings and closest friends. Jose’s mom, who lives in Puerto Rico and speaks mostly Spanish, said to me in English, “I prayed and prayed and prayed…and it happened!” My mom, who tends to be intuitive, reminded me of a dream she’d had a few weeks ago, in which I was holding an egg to symbolize fertility. “It’s a girl,” she said. “I just know it.” Jose said the same thing. Right from the start, they both knew that a daughter was on the way (and it turns out they were right).
So far, so good
I hope other moms don’t hate me for saying this, but I haven’t had any morning sickness or nausea. In fact, I was worried about NOT having it, because I heard that it can actually be a sign that everything’s going well in the beginning. I found the whole experience of pregnancy to be very surreal at first. Other than swollen breasts, fatigue, and being overly emotional (which is really nothing new for me), I didn’t “feel” pregnant yet. But that changed the first time we saw our baby via ultrasound. I’ll never forget seeing this tiny, swirling little miracle that my husband and I created together…bouncing happily and making our hearts swell. I’ve had several ultrasounds since then, and I cry every single time while Jose stands beside me, holding my hand and grinning from ear to ear.
Halfway there…and awaiting her arrival
Now that I’m about halfway through my pregnancy, I’m really starting to show…maybe a little too much. As someone who’s prone to easy weight gain thanks to genetics and PCOS, I’m trying to keep an eye on the scale, yet the pounds keep adding up. I’m already mentally preparing myself for a baby weight battle post delivery!
In the meantime, there’s a lot left on our to-do list—from figuring out what we need for our registry, to setting up a nursery, to taking a Lamaze class, just to name a few. Like many other first-time parents-to-be, we feel a little overwhelmed by all the changes, yet we couldn’t be more excited.
Our daughter Grace is due to arrive on December 28, 2009—almost exactly one year from that moment of clarity. We truly feel that it’s perfect timing. And we can’t wait to meet her.
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