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Monday, February 21st, 2011

Transparent Me (Part 3)

In August, while we were traveling to Hawai'i we discovered that I was pregnant. Because of the meds I took and our lack of birth control I was used to taking pregnancy tests monthly. I had gotten pregnant just before we'd left. What a miracle! Because I'd neglected to take the pregnancy test instructions with me, I was unsure how to read the test. Was it supposed to be 2 lines meant positive or a plus sign meant positive? Well, even a negative is 2 lineshow was I to know? I was in the bathroom for quite a while looking at those 2 blue lines questioning the validity of what I knew in my heart of hearts to be true. Richie popped his head into the bathroom and asked if I was okay. My response was classic, as usual, "I think I might be pregnant?" He stammered a bit, looked at the test and said "You're pregnant!" I argued with him. I can't get pregnant remember? I don't ovulate remember? It can't be right! So, off to Wal-Mart we went to buy another pregnancy test. When we got back to the hotel we left the car in valet while we ran to the room to do the second test. This time it was a plus sign type test and it took less than 5 seconds for that to show up in the window. We were both in shock.

We had a whole day planned full of activities. We were going to the shopping center, Hilo Hattie's, and planned to drive up the windward coast. While we were in Hilo Hattie's we chatted about being pregnant and how neat it was to find out there in Hawai'i. We were still in disbelief. Richie broke down, right there in the store. He began crying and explaining to me how though he'd said all along that he'd trusted God he never really had faith that it (having children) would happen for us because of all my medical problems and all that doctors had told us. He explained how bitter he'd been because of the scorn and mistreatment he'd suffered at the hands of "good" Christian people. He felt in his heart that God was telling him, "I told you to trust me." There were things that he was holding onto that he didn't even realize he was holding onto until the very moment we discovered our little blessing. He was so open and honest about his feelings and all the confusion and anger he'd had all these years. He said all he ever wanted was to be a dad and never understood why he couldn't have that. It wasn't the "I told you so" moment that everyone thinks it was. It's not about "I told you so" comments. It's not about what anyone else believes or thinks. It's about us, our faith, our belief, and our ability to truly let it go and let God handle it. It wasn't until that moment that Richie had true revelation about all the things he'd been harboring. Part of God's plan in this was to reveal all of this to Richie so that he could heal from his past hurts. This baby turned out to be a blessing for so many more reasons than we could fathom.

We are both unable to explain, adequately, to anyone the negativity that had been place in our minds and lives with regards to children. When seemingly average and normal solutions to a common problem are not actually options, it makes infertility much more difficult to deal with. You hear it said all the time that actions speak louder than words. It's true, and that is equally true for life experiences. If you experience infertility for 6+ years and that is followed up by several different doctors confirming and explaining the infertility then you believe that is the truth. We were learning to deal with that. The implication that we lacked faith was offensive and insulting. The "I told you so" comments that subsequently came after finding out we were pregnant were hurtful beyond words, like a double edged sword. We always had faith and belief that it could happen, otherwise we would have followed doctor's orders and would have never allowed ourselves the opportunity to get pregnant. We hoped every month that I took those pregnancy tests that one time, just one time it would come back positive. You can't have that type of hope without faith.

Although we'd cleared the hurdle of infertility our troubles and challenges were not over. Not only was I dealing with type II diabetes but there was the issue of blood clots as well. All the information I'd been given and research I'd done indicated that with the extensive combination of my medical problems the chances of me carrying to term were slim to none, and add to that the fact that I'd already miscarried onceodds weren't looking good. Though we were apprehensive following the first doctor's visit we were holding out with a small ray of hope that God had this under control. I was not afforded the luxury of a worry-free pregnancy. Richie and I were not allowed to enjoy the joyous and immediate announcement of the pregnancy. We were filled with negative information from well meaning doctors who wanted to shield and protect us from the potential reality of my medical conditions. We never had the immediate, truly blissful experience of "I'm pregnant" because of medical problems. Because I was blessed with a wonderfully morning sickness free 1st trimester I found myself forgetting that I was pregnant at all. I had to remind myself; Richie had to remind me. I struggled with the diabetes and the new medication they gave me. I was doing twice daily injections for potential blood clots. I was micromanaging my blood sugars and not really allowing myself to fully be absorbed by the joy of pregnancy. How was I supposed to be fully absorbed by the joy? We spent so many weeks waiting for the dream to end. It was too good to be true. We can't be pregnant, we don't get that blessingwe spent some time waiting for the ball to drop because NOTHING is this good! But the ball never dropped; we never woke from the dream, and I carried through my first trimester and passed all the tests and the milestones.

On November 3rd I felt 'the quickening' for the first time. That was amazing. It felt like a little soap bubble had popped in my belly. I had finally stopped losing weight and began leveling out and maintaining. On Thanksgiving, while cooking in the kitchen, I felt the first true kick of the baby! It was on at that point! December 6th gave Richie his first experience to feel the baby move. To this day we sit in amazement as this little one moves, squirms, kicks and flutters around in my belly. There isn't a belly jump or jiggle that doesn't cause us to smile from ear to ear. There have been so many spiritual revelations during this pregnancy.

I told Richie one day that I was truly amazed at how much he loved me. I explained that I always knew he loved me, and that he loved me with all his heart. But never did I realize to what extent that truly was until I got pregnant. He didn't understand what I meant. I reflected back on all the conversations we'd had about not having children and reminded him of what he used to say. He remembered and agreed that yes, he'd said many times he loved me and was okay with not having children. Then I said, "But you tell me now you feel complete because we're having a baby." He just smiled and said that was true. I said, "You love me so much that you were willing to give up your dream of having children for me and because of me. You love me so much that you were content with a life with just me." That is extremely overwhelming. A love that surpasses ones' own desires. He loves me so much he was willing to sacrifice that desire for me. That only happens in fairy tales.


3 Comments
ppike
Sweetness.
pegi   Wednesday, February 23, 2011
sandd
Beautiful and so special. Share this with your child one day. The love that you and Richie share is real, true love. How many married people would so willingly, unselfishly, and uncomplainingly give up their greatest desire for the good of their union? Not enough.
sandd   Tuesday, March 1, 2011
RAGrise
I am trying to figure out how to preserve these writings for our child to have later in life. I am not sure if I want to do some sort of "book" or scrapbook....or some other way to keep photos and writings together. I suppose it will depend on how much effort and time I put into it as to how exactly it turns out.

I never got to take beautiful belly bump pictures to have a photo collection like some, but my writings are something I can share with our little one. We have some photos from the beginning, before I looked pregnant, and some from now, that there's no denying I'm pregnant. :)

These weren't written 'just for' the baby. It was important for me to tell our story. It is important to share our trials, challenges and how we overcame all of it through the grace of God.
Richie & Ashley   Tuesday, March 1, 2011
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