The Day the Test Turned Positive
Pregnancy. It’s a topic that I have felt eager to avoid for the majority of the past 4.5 years. When Ross and I got married, I was 22 and about 6 weeks away from opening my Pure Barre studio. When people asked me when we wanted children, I widened my eyes at them in desperation thinking, “Do you not see everything else I have going on right now?!” I felt like my entire life had been uprooted, and a baby felt far too mature and adult-like to wrap my head around. I’ve always wanted children, but I was the girl who never saw herself marrying young, so the thought of a baby in my early twenties sounded worse than the ice bucket challenge on repeat.
About 2 years into our marriage, my stance on getting pregnant hadn’t really shifted. If anything, it started to get worse, but not because I was afraid of the responsibility. Rather, Ross’s life was taking a downward spiral. He was battling depression, extremely stressful business situations, and broken relationships that were impacting us both. My marriage felt like an impenetrable wall from 2016-mid 2018, and I was terrified that the man I had already known and loved for a decade was too lost to come back to his old self.
Recently, I heard Annie Downs say that resurrection isn’t what we ask for when we want the same thing back in our lives - it’s what we ask for when we want God to make all things new. After all, when Jesus rose from the tomb, Mary didn’t recognize Him at first because he wasn’t the same. In the summer of 2018, I saw God start to resurrect my husband again, and after a lot of therapy on my end, I could feel the shift that was coming.
Towards the end of 2018, Ross stopped traveling all the time. And truly, I mean all. the. time. I remember one month when Ross was home 2 days out of 30. It was commonplace in our household to receive a text that he had to help a customer in New York and would be driving away from Colorado that afternoon to make the trek. We’d go weeks without seeing each other, he was always on the move trying to scramble and fix elements of his business that felt out of control, and neither of us were happy. When he eventually closed his company and started his marketing business (where he could work from home), it felt too good to be true for months. I had lived for years with no stability - we could never make plans as a couple or enjoy any semblance of a “normal” life, and to finally have consistency was a godsend.
And in 2018, all of my Colorado friends started having babies. Our small group exploded with children, and four friends welcomed baby boys within the same month of one another. One of my greatest fears around pregnancy had always been the thought of “going first”. I was the first one of my pre-Colorado friend group to get married, move away, own a business, etc. The thought of diving head first into parenting felt heavy. But, God was working on my heart. All of my Colorado friends began to shift their lives towards these little ones, and I was finally able to think about when it would be my turn.
In late February 2019, we went on our annual ski trip with our best friends Michael and Emily to Crested Butte, CO. In the car, the conversation came up about next year’s vacation (2020), and Ross and I both found ourselves stumbling over the words of, “Well, we might want a kid/be pregnant/have a kid at some point next year.” I think we shocked ourselves because, while Ross had told me time and time again how much he wanted a baby, I had never publicly said that it could happen in the near future to anyone. All week long, I mulled over those words. It was the perfect trip, so relaxing, and perfect quality time with our people. I remember thinking, if this is our last big vacation without kids in the mix, at least it is a perfect trip.
A couple of weeks later, right before my 27th birthday, Ross and I had the biggest, um, whoops, of our married lives. If you can’t read into that statement, revisit the topic of this post. It was the wrong time of the month for that kind of mistake, and there was nothing planned about it (at least, not on my end). We talked about it jokingly, but in my gut, I knew something had just changed.
For the next 2 weeks, I thought about the potential of being pregnant constantly. Now, if you know me, you know that I have always believed I would get pregnant by accident, but I also assumed that I would be wildly upset if it happened by accident, and this was different. I began having vivid dreams, having some other pre-period (or early pregnancy) type symptoms a little too early, and when I was home visiting my new niece, I kept thinking about a baby that would be mine.
The night before I left for Lexington, which would have been the 28th day of my cycle, I took a pregnancy test, and it was negative. My cycles have always been a little bit longer, so I knew it could have been too early, but I also believed it and just shrugged away some of my weird feelings. But, when I returned from Kentucky (day 33) with no period, I haphazardly told Ross I would take another as I was getting into the shower. I took it, hopped into the shower for about 3 minutes, and stepped out to look at it.
There was a faint, but definitely visible, second line.
I think I blacked out at this point.
Ross came into the bathroom, and in typical male fashion, stated that the line wasn’t that dark. I rolled my eyes and explained that negative pregnancy tests have no second line. Period. This wasn’t something to just mess around with. I had him go to the store to get me more tests, and within the next 12 hours, I took 4 more. 4 of 5 (including a digital test that just said YES) were positive, which I didn’t question too much, because I knew that if I was really early, I would have a limited amount of the Hcg hormone in my blood. Since my cycles are longer, I assumed that I had just missed my period. I also knew that having faint lines could mean the hormone was leaving my body, which is a sign of a very early miscarriage, also called a chemical pregnancy. It’s called a chemical pregnancy because it’s too early to detect on an ultrasound, but your body did conceive and lost the baby within the first 4-5 weeks.
For the next 24 hours, I was pregnant. My entire world shifted. It’s true what they say in all of those, “I found out I was pregnant stories” - you begin to imagine everything in your life changing. I only told my best friend & studio manager Danielle, who cried and celebrated with me. She had told me she was pregnant 2 days after her positive test, and it felt right. I downloaded baby apps (my baby was the size of a poppyseed) and calculated my due date (December 3, my studio’s 5th anniversary). I called my doctor to make an 8 week appointment, and if any of this surprises you, you have not met me in real life. Planning is my middle name.
And then, that Monday night, April 1, 24 hours after the test, I came home from teaching an Empower class, and I started bleeding. Not light bleeding, either. I knew what that meant, and while Ross tried to comfort me and not jump to conclusions, I shut him down. I went to bed at 8:30 pm sobbing, confused, and shattered.
No more baby.
I am writing this post on April 14, two weeks after the fact, as I sit in the airport waiting to board for Vancouver. I have wrestled with a lot of emotions throughout the past couple of weeks, and it’s not a topic I’m ready to share with the world yet. My mom and best friend Emily also know, but no one else does. I’ve had 3 friends tell me they’re pregnant this week, which has been a little strange, and I’ve found myself on a rollercoaster of pain and excitement for the future. More than anything, I have found myself trying to control the future. I think it’s my way of protecting myself and pretending that this event didn’t happen to me.
Maybe it was 24 hours of my life, and if I hadn’t taken the test, I never would have known. I would have thought my period was a little late, but I did take it, so I know. I was pregnant, my body knew it, and then I miscarried. This happens all the time, and I know that. I live in a world of women, and I’ve seen miscarriage break hearts at much later dates than 5 weeks. But, this was my body, my baby, and my husband that I had to break the news to. I had felt God usher me into a new season, and immediately after the joy, it felt cruel to see it ripped away. Even still, I know that God is good, but I don’t know how to reconcile some of these feelings right now. I don’t know why God would so intensely place this on my heart, when the longing wasn’t even there before, if He wasn’t going to see it through.
Before I took the positive test, Ross and I talked about trying to have a baby and the fact that we were going to start “casually” trying because that is how much of a shift I was feeling. After the miscarriage, I can say that I feel a little less casual about it and as hopeful as I can be, considering. I do believe without a doubt that part of the reason this happened was so that God could open my eyes to something that I couldn’t see before. I want this, in a very different way than I’ve ever wanted something. This baby isn’t something I can achieve, it’s not a business I can build or a relationship I can cultivate. It’s a miracle. It will be a miracle, and I’m believing for that. This might be a really long road, or it might happen immediately. I don’t know, but I know that I want to remember this part of the journey, which is why I’m writing it down. I want to be able to tell my future baby that I prayed for him/her, I wanted him/her, and there was another little baby that never made it into our family. But, that was the baby that changed my heart for any and all of the future ones to come.