This is our story of love and loss. Our journey with this experience isn’t anywhere near over which, I think, makes it that much harder for me/us to process and get through. I have days where the sadness overpowers the pain and days where the hope triumphs over everything. Days I can’t wait to try again and see what our future holds and days I can’t imagine risking another heartache on this level. Days where I feel so unbelievably broken I don’t think I’ll ever be myself again. I know that isn’t true, not completely anyway. I am struggling right now but, with time, I will find a way to be a new version of myself. A stronger version for having gone through this heartbreak, even if I’ll always be missing a piece of myself.
I invite you to read on, if you’d like, but know this is my raw and real account of pregnancy loss.
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I remember the moment I found out so clearly…
It was a Thursday afternoon. December 13th. And it was one of my days off.
I spent my afternoon out shopping and running errands. My boobs had been quite sore for the past week and, on that Thursday, I was two days late. I honestly didn’t think anything about being two days late. Though my body is usually pretty regular with a 28 day cycle, on occasion it would surprise me and throw in a 30 day round just for fun. I expected my period to start that night or first thing the next morning. But, in my errand running, I picked up a box of pregnancy tests. You know, just to be on the safe side.
While I was out and about, I sent my then-boyfriend, Jimmy, a text complaining about how sore my boobs were and that I felt like I’d spent all day groping them in public. He responded by sending me a picture of a jar of spaghetti sauce…the Prego brand of spaghetti sauce. He thought he was being funny. Little did we know.
Let’s back up for a minute…
The week before, Jimmy found out he had been selected for promotion. He is a Marine and this promotion was one he had worked very hard for and deserved even more. We knew he would be up for orders once he was selected for promotion but, due to how close he is to retirement, we both thought he’d be staying in southern California.
On Monday, just three days before we found out we were pregnant, Jimmy received his next set of orders. Against all of our expectations and wishes, his orders were for three years, unaccompanied, in Japan. JAPAN. For three years. Without me. We were not happy about this, but we were going to make it work. I LOVE my job, so I quickly made peace with staying behind and continuing to work. I had it figured out. I could regularly work overtime and planned to visit him often. Four times a year, or something to that effect. I was full of optimism. We could do this. So, when he sent the picture of the Prego jar, my only response was “haha wouldn’t that be something.”
As it turns out, it really was. 💕
When I got home from running errands that Thursday evening, I decided I would go ahead and pee on a stick. I had to go anyway, might as well make it useful. I sat there and watched as the urine soaked across the results window. The test line immediately appeared. And, just before it, a faint pink line did too. I set it on the bathroom counter, walked away for a minute thinking I must’ve been seeing things, and returned. I was definitely seeing things but I was not mistaken. There was, without a doubt, a second pink line.
I looked in the mirror and saw a reflection of myself, eyes as big as saucers, jaw completely dropped, and with my hands over my mouth. To say I was surprised would be an understatement. I was definitely surprised. And, elated! The happy tears started welling up in my eyes. I grabbed my phone and immediately called my brother, Dan. I’m not entirely sure I let him answer the routine questions like “hey, how are you?” before I started in with “I’m pregnant! At least I think I am. The test looks like it’s positive to me. I’m really pregnant!” In hindsight, the reality of it was still setting in while I was on the phone with my brother. And it didn’t quite settle in for many more days.
The thing you have to know is that I’ve wanted to be a mom my entire life. I don’t mean my entire adult life. No, I mean my entire life…at least since I was nearly two, when my brother was born and I thought he was “my” baby.
Finding out I was pregnant and having this lifelong dream come true was a dream come true. Though obviously an unplanned pregnancy, and quite the surprise, I could not have been any happier. Beaming from ear to ear and talking a hundred miles a minute to my brother in full giddy excitement, I started planning how I would tell Jimmy that we were pregnant.
In years past, I always imagined when this moment would come, I’d stay cool & collected and that I would find some super cute and special way to tell my person he was going to be a dad. As it turns out, this was not the case. I was so excited I couldn’t contain myself.
I nestled the positive pregnancy test in the branches of my Christmas tree and snapped a quick photo of it. Then, I printed two copies using my HP Sprocket mini printer (which felt like it took an incredibly long time to do). I had previously purchased a tiny “H” monogrammed Christmas stocking, thinking he could use it to decorate his place (but also too scared to give it to him because I thought he might read more into it than I intended). I grabbed the picture and put it inside the stocking. I packed it along with a loving card I had picked up at Target before I knew I was pregnant, my just-opened-the-night-before bottle of Maker’s 46 whiskey, a bag of homemade cookies and fudge, the positive pregnancy test, and an extra pregnancy test (in case he needed further proof). I hopped in my car and immediately drove to his apartment, an hour north. I knew he lived far away but, that night, the drive felt longer than it ever had. We had already exchanged keys and he always said I never needed to ask permission to come over, so I ran with it. I arrived sometime around 7pm, walked to his front door as casually as I possibly could while trying to stifle my smile just a little bit, unlocked his door, and startled him when I walked in. He definitely was not expecting me. He stopped what he was doing to get a hug and spend some time with me. I had him sit down in his big chair and told him I knew he’d had a stressful week (thanks Marine Corps & orders to Japan) and I wanted to give him some treats to make it better.
I told him to close his eyes for each of his surprises. First, I gave him the cookies and fudge. Then, the card. When I got to the tiny stocking, I told him to close his eyes and that this surprise was for his promotion. I placed the stocking in his hands and he opened his eyes. He felt the stocking and could tell there was something inside it, a gift card perhaps. He pulled out the photo of the positive pregnancy test, looked up at me and said, “you’re pregnant?” and immediately (and I mean immediately) stood up and gave me a huge hug and kiss. He was excited, too. 💕 The last piece was the nearly full bottle of Maker’s 46. We both laughed because he had also recently purchased the exact same bottle. Another sign that great minds think alike.
The rest of the evening is a bit of a haze. We sat in the chair together and exchanged an untold number of squeezes, kisses, and belly rubs. Still in shock, I would look at him every so often, eyes wide and smile even wider, and say, “We’re going to have a baby!”