It was a little hard for me to hold back from sharing the early months of my pregnancy on the blog – I looked forward to the news being fully “out there” so that I could freely write about my thoughts and hopes and experiences.  And now here I sit, bump and all, wondering how in the world I’ll put my jumbled, confusing bag of feelings into words.  Bear with me.

The physical part of being pregnant has gone more smoothly than I expected – there was mild nausea, some fatigue, and a couple of vomitous incidents, but all in all, the symptoms were minor and quickly passed.  The emotional part, though?  Sheesh.  Saltine crackers weren’t going to help me there.  The first few weeks were ridden with anxiety – I tried to guard my heart through denial, to prepare myself for the bottom to drop out at any moment.  I told myself that the faint pink line on the pregnancy test was a fluke, that my HCG levels in that initial bloodwork were too low to make this a viable pregnancy, that since I wasn’t spending every morning locked in the bathroom with morning sickness, this probably wasn’t real.  We shared the news with our parents and a couple of close friends, but I always followed the announcement with, “remember that it’s still really really really early and this might not work out”.  Joy was terrifying – I was afraid my heart was too fragile to handle the blow of having to come down from a celebratory mountaintop, should things take a turn for the worse.  So I stayed down in my hole, just in case.

We scheduled an ultrasound with our doctor at week 6, as that’s the point when they can start to see development and, hopefully, a tiny little heartbeat.  I remember walking down the hall to the exam room with Shane at my side, my palms sweating and my own heart racing as I prayed a single word over and over and over.  Heartbeat.  Heartbeat.  Heartbeat.  Please, please, please, God – let there be a heartbeat.  I couldn’t help thinking of the 6-week ultrasound we’d been through 18 months earlier, where there was nothing but stillness.  Please, please, please, God – let this be different.  I held my breath as the image of my uterus flashed on the screen.  And then, there it was – our baby, looking like a grain of rice, with a fuzzy little flicker at its center.  The sonographer quickly confirmed that the flicker was indeed a heartbeat, and I grabbed Shane’s hand as tears of relief streamed from my eyes.  The first seeds of hope took root in me that day.  That hope blossomed as subsequent ultrasounds at weeks 7 and 9 and 12 showed positive development – by week 13, I had come to believe that this was actually the real thing.  I was going to be a mom.  I was free to celebrate with reckless abandon, right?  Right?  I could start digging into that pile of baby books people had lent to me, I could start thinking about converting our extra bedroom to a nursery, I could quit trying to fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans and settle into the comfort of elastic waistbands.  “Danger zone” cleared!  Happy trails ahead!  And it’s true – there certainly were moments of unbridled joy as the weight of infertility was lifted from my shoulders.  But I also found myself still wanting to stay on the fringes of baby-related conversations among my pregnant friends, and I still felt anxious when they started to talk about how fun it would be to watch our babies grow up together.  What was my problem?  I had ached for so long to be part of the expectant mothers’ club, and now that my time had come to talk diapers and daycare and maternity fashion, I was stand-offish and uncomfortable.  Some of my reticence was due to sadness for the women I know who are still in the throes of trying to conceive – it felt so unfair that some were chosen to carry a baby while others were left waiting.  I felt like I was leaving my fertility-challenged sisters behind, like it woulnd’t mean as much anymore if I said that I knew what they were going through.

And then when I really dug deep, I found that a part of me was still caught in the clutches of the sorrow I had felt over the past couple of years.  I had let the disappointment and uncertainty become an integral part of who I was, and while the presence of a baby in my womb washed much of that away, there were remnants of loneliness and worry and that were not so easily purged.  And there was regret.  So much regret over who I had become while I waited and longed and mistrusted God’s plan.   I wish I had been better at finding my joy in Him while we were still on our journey toward pregnancy.  I wish I hadn’t wallowed, hadn’t let fear take such a strong hold of me.  I wish I had been a better friend last year to the pregnant women in my life, rather than succumbing to jealousy or bitterness.

Day by day, I’m the clearing the sorrow and regret from my soul and settling into the spirit of joy and gratitude that God has intended for me all along.  The road to this place has been full of envy and tears and deep, gaping potholes, but I can’t change that.  So I’m focusing on that one very, very important wish that came true with that tiniest little flicker of a heartbeat.  I have much to be thankful for.

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  1. Pat says:

    Adorable!! Try and relax and enjoy this amazing time!!! You two will be the best parents. Keep posting the bump!!! Love it.

  2. Lora says:

    Hey, Kelly! Karann told me the wonderful news a few weeks back! Bad on me for taking *forever* to say a HUGE congrats to you and Shane. =) Enjoy every minute … now and for the rest of your life =). So excited for you!

  3. Michelle says:

    I obviously don’t have any relevant experience, but it makes sense that you’d be struggling with these things. I’m glad you can see it in yourself and respond to it, though! UGH, STILL SO EXCITED FOR YOU GUYS!