The first picture of “us”

I don’t know if foreshadowing is the right word, but I don’t know how else to describe it.  I haven’t told anyone else besides my husband this story so I don’t know if it will make sense but here it goes…

I want to write down all the reasons why it boogles my mind that I got pregnant the month I did.  You would think I would be used to it by now but at alllmost 12 weeks I’m still trying to comprehend it and not take any moment for granted.  Part of me feels like I was finally settling into being sub-fertile and I wrote many of the reasons that prove I was settling in was way back here, right around the time I wrote the first draft of this post.

But what really, really made me think I wasn’t pregnant was because Monday, my P+12, I took a pregnancy test.    And it was negative.  That’s pretty conclusive, right?  Negative test on a month you take HCG?  Only, I didn’t take it hoping it would be positive, I took it because I had a weird feeling.  My husband and I got into an argument that weekend, during which I realized in our quest to be a mother to imaginary children, I had been doing a pretty horrible job at my first responsibility, being a wife to a man here and now.  And so I realized what had to go.  We had had our surgery, which was our deal – fix the things that can be fixed no other way – but somewhere in there we started along the treatment path with the HCG, which I admitted made me more emotional and difficult than I already am, requiring so much out of the people closest to me.  So that’s what made me take a step back.  No more treatment, I said.

Only, there was still the issue of that month.  So that’s why I took a pregnancy test that month.  After deliberatly deciding and praying to God that this was not where we were supposed to be focused right now and that we needed to turn it back to the basics, I actually feared that I might be pregnant – because that would screw it up.

Yes, for the first month in 2 years, I decided that it was better if we weren’t pregnant.

A day after the fight I got that feeling…that what if I just prayed for the exact wrong thing and God’s messing with me and I’m actually pregnant feeling.  So on peak+12 I took that third pregnancy test, just to know it was negative and I could move on.  Of course the negative line showed up and I went about my day, not surprised at all.

Around that same time was the announcement of the perfectly planned pregnancy on Facebook, complete with a backlog of “belly pictures” dated from the beginning of the the pregnancy.  For some reason the thought occurred to me how much support those few pictures garnished, that she had such proof of her short time of ‘waiting’ and evidence of the changes she had been through.

So I threw myself a great big pity party of 1 and decided it would be a great idea to take a ‘belly picture’ of me, alone, with a flat belly and a caption of X weeks waiting and still exactly the same.  So I calculated it out and I came to the number 99.  99 weeks waiting was where I was at.  99 weeks of waiting and nothing.  I actually purposely waited a bit before executing the solo photoshoot because I realized that I was being snarky and probably idiotic in taking such a picture.  But after that negative test on P+12, the next day I thought what better time than now, right after doing some morning yoga.

But a strange thing happened and I guess this is why I’m bothering to share this story with you at all.  I took a series of pictures and something crazy happened on the second one:

I promise those are in order and not photoshopped.  I took the third one after I looked at the second and saw the bright light illuminating the background, despite doing nothing different.  I took it to see if it would happen again, if maybe something was wrong with the way I positioned the camera.  But no, it went back to exactly the same as it was before.  I’m pretty sure such a malfunction only happens like, 1 in 1000 shots, where the shutter closes too quickly or something.  But for it to happen at this exact moment?  When I positioned myself to stand alone under the “Michael <3’s Alison” sign for the ultimate pity shot?  When I was feeling as alone and isolated as possible, only to have the backlight illuminated so brightly and intensely that my first thought when looking at this picture was Dear God, how can I be so selfish to ignore you?  You make it so evident you’re here with me even in my most pitiful moment.

So, I decided not to post the pictures with my snarky post.  I realized that even if I think its just me and my husband trying alone and waiting without the acknowledgement of the world and friends, God would still be there with me.  That picture was my little miracle and proof that when He wants to, He’ll make Himself known. I don’t need to proclaim announcements on Facebook or be jealous of those that do…this is enough for me.

The picture developed a whole other meaning looking back after what I found out about a week later.   I can now look upon that picture as a miraculous picture as the first “belly shot” of me and my child, at only 2 or 3 days post-implantation.

99 weeks trying...unknowingly 3 weeks pregnant

My husband got chills when I told him this story after we found out we were pregnant.  I was almost too embarrassed to tell him let alone the whole internet how far my self pity had gone that week.  But, there it remains.  And I don’t think that because I went to the brink, I somehow “caused” this pregnancy.  It amazes me when people think they can cause or earn such good fortune and this is no different.  This was just a little moment where I feel that God literally reached out to me to make Himself visible at a time He knew I really needed it.  I can’t pretend to make sense of God’s plan and I feel to try to would be to belittle His omnipotence.

Still praying for those who’s reality is harder to ‘just accept’…God is with you even if there’s no proof in the moment.

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34 thoughts on “The first picture of “us”

  1. Oh Alison, I’m just going to repeat what everyone else has already said: what a beautiful, remarkable story. Thanks for being brave and sharing it. God uses such creative ways to communicate his love for us. You never know what he’s going to do to surprise us.

  2. Oh my gosh. I have tears in my eyes and chills as I read and see this beautiful picture! What an amazing story! How incredible that the Lord works through our “snarkiness” (which, by the way, I thought was kind of brilliant!!!) That is such a beautiful picture. I hope you frame it for so many reasons. What an incredible reminder!!!

  3. Alison. This is such a beautiful, beautiful story. Thank you for putting yourself out there to share it. God really used it to speak to me today in a way I really needed. Just last week, I miscarried the baby I was finally pregnant with after about a year and a half of trying. (Knowing how much you’ve been through to be able to say you’re 12 weeks pregnant now encourages my heart so much.) The biggest thing I’ve been learning is to desire God’s presence more than his “presents”, even a baby. Your post says it so well. Thank you. And thanks for making me feel less alone in this crazy world of sub-/infertility.

  4. (Oops just realized the last sentence of the above comment sounds weird; I know you’re no longer dealing with sub-/infertility but you did for so long and your posts still continue to speak to my heart, even though you’re [thankfully] not dealing with subfertility yourself now.)

  5. What a beautiful story. We went through a similar ordeal in many ways – we tried for over a year, I went through those same snarky and angry moments – particularly at a cousin (with PCOS) who got pregnant by accident (had to bump up their wedding day) only to come to the conclusion that God was trying to tell us that we were supposed to be focusing on other things. A week after that cousin gave birth to her daughter I took my first test and told the little person who I now know as my son that I loved him. For almost two weeks there was a little pressure spot one side of my body there, as if God was giving me a reminder that yes, there was something there.

    9 months later we found out there was a reason why it took so long to get him and that our chances for ever conceiving were/are under the 40% range and that, thanks to a large patch of endometrial stroma, that spot where I felt that pressure is essentially the only functional ovary I have. We know now that the challenge and struggle was part of the process.

    Enjoy this time!

  6. I love this. And I love your thoughts about it – which would be my exact thoughts. I also dislike when people retrospectively say they somehow “willed” pg on themselves by giving up, wishing it wouldn’t happen that month, etc. but you have the right outlook here.

  7. Thanks for sharing this story with us. I was wallowing deep in self pity all last week, and just could not be cheered for anything. It’s so beautiful to “see” that even in our our dark, self-focused moments, God’s love is all around us.

  8. Oh, this is so beautiful! I have been super busy lately and haven’t dropped by in a while, but your name caught me on the sidebar of Elizabeth’s blog and I saw the title of this post, and thought, “I have to come over and check in on her!” I love what you say, that we get this superstitious sense of power over our futures by any kind of action, when God is the one in control. It’s so true. Hugs, hugs, and God bless you!

  9. Pingback: The story of a house | Matching Moonheads

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