A Christmas Gift Like No Other

Update: New photos of Claire on Flickr!

One year ago today I learned I was pregnant. For those who haven’t been reading my blog long (or who might have forgotten), here’s the back story. After two miscarriages in 2005, we tried in 2006. I became nervous about the lack of progress, and Husband and I decided to see a fertility specialist. (My husband is ten years younger and had not the sense of urgency I felt about the waning opportunity.) On November 13 we met with the doctor, who advised that because of my “advanced maternal age,” the likelihood of successful in vitro conception with my own eggs was less than 10% per attempt. In other words, my eggs were old, tired, dried up, and probably rife with genetic misinformation. Those were bad odds, so I made peace with the idea of using egg donation. We agreed to have testing done (for both of us) and begin in January.

A week later I had another FSH hormone test done which showed the levels to be normal (the previous one had been a “tad” high at 11). The specialist wanted another, more invasive test done to check the health of my uterus, but my HMO insurance would not cover it because the specialist was out of network. No problem; we switched to a more expensive PPO for 2007 and would wait to do the test then.

Then we proceeded to just live. My period came and went at the end of November. I relaxed knowing we would be doing something constructive in the near future and focused on preparing for my favorite holiday.

On this day last year, I was having tea with Eileen. I had not been feeling my best the previous week. I felt bloated, tired, a little green around the edges sometimes, and had to pee every five minutes (at least, it felt that often). During tea I confided to Eileen and wistfully said, “I really wish I were pregnant. These are the same signs from past pregnancies. I would prefer not to go through the torment that is in vitro.” She agreed that this would be a preferable, happier outcome.

After tea I came home to a letter from our landlords asking us to vacate the house by mid-February. This was completely unexpected. We knew the house was intended for their son someday, but we had the impression that “someday” was years off. Yet we’d also been talking about moving, because the house was one room shy of enough space for a child. Well, this was a fortuitous kick in the pants to get started, because…

I still had one pregnancy test left from the last package. That night on a whim I took it. My attitude was: Well, I may as well use this up. I’m not pregnant, I’m sure, but what the heck. Then I saw. TWO LINES!!! Holy macaroni! Oh, the confirmation line wasn’t strong, but it was there. I was stunned. I ran into the other room waving the wand in Husband’s face. He was tentatively thrilled. We agreed, though, that we’d act like this wasn’t a big deal and say nothing until after we’d passed eight weeks (the latest I’d miscarried). But my oh my, look what a present I ended up with!

Later in the week I took two more home pregnancy tests, each with a stronger result. Then one day I had cramping and spotting. I resigned myself to the probability of miscarriage. It turned out that was implantation bleeding, and this was a good thing. We departed for Syracuse to spend holiday with family, and upon arriving home December 30th, morning sickness arrived full-blown and all day long. (We house-hunted throughout that time. You don’t think Pixie will be hearing about that in later years, do you?) It wasn’t until we saw the OB in my 11th week that we fully relaxed into the reality of this, but we didn’t share the news with family officially until after week 12 (some from my side guessed during the holidays at week 6, but we did not discuss it), and with the rest of the world until after week 18. It was very difficult to remain mum about this, but I’m glad we did; it made the sharing quite enjoyable.

So this year, I’ve decided I want a million dollars. Just one million will do. 😉

(Not really. I wrote about what I want for Christmahanakwanzayule.)

In closing, how fitting, then, that this evening I’ll attend the baby shower for my friend Nathania, who knew about my pregnancy losses, my fear, my hope and my joy, and who in her second trimester assisted my labor and the arrival of Claire.

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