Thursday, August 7, 2008

spregnancy: our beginning

Though I’m confident in your understanding of the general idea of how spregnancy comes about, I’d like to tell our story – how it came to be and how we found out.

In a week, Jason and I will have been married for 9 years. During all but the first few months of our marriage, we have tried neither to avoid nor to embrace parenthood. Essentially, we’ve let the wild winds direct, and since they haven’t directed a baby into my womb, we’ve done other stuff. After so much time, though, we realized we’d need to take intentional steps. We bought a bottle of prenatal vitamins and also a thermometer to monitor ovulation. I remember a conversation with Elisha not much later in which I was producing our usual lackadaisical approach to getting pregnant. She looked at me from across the couch and said, “Um, most people I know who want a baby start doing something about it.” Yes. See, I need Elisha as my friend.

And we would do something serious….just after finishing the Pacific Crest Trail this summer. Knowing that spregnancy would certainly not hit us one month into charting ovulation, we decided to finally finish the PCT, a goal we’d been putting off because of money or other ridiculous things. We began reviewing our gear. There were shoes to purchase, food menus to assemble, plane tickets to buy, exercise to start getting. In late March, Jason went away for a long weekend to refresh his Wilderness First Responder certification. They only had one slot open, so I couldn’t get in. I stayed home and wondered why I needed to pee so much these days. I had been toying with the idea of spregnancy for a week but didn’t want to either worry or excite Jason unnecessarily. So while he was gone, I waited one more day, then one more, until finally on Sunday after church I bought a test.

I went home and peed on the stick. You know the drill. I left the stick on the counter and walked into the main room. I paced, I fidgeted, I knew it would be negative. Back into the bathroom I went and looked at the stick, which said YES+. I was dumb-founded. I looked at the stick over and over again. I went back into the main room and speed-walked around and around the pool table with my hands over my mouth, wide-eyed, crying, excited, incredulous, a bit panic-stricken I suppose, saying, “I’m pregnant. I’m pregnant. I’m pregnant.” I wanted to keep it secret until Jason knew, but I needed to tell someone. I got ahold of my sister, who was driving someplace with Cameron. They flipped out with joy. Okay, now someone knew, and I could settle down.

Books! I thought. Books about what the heck I’m supposed to do next! Jason wouldn’t be home for 8 hours anyway. Out the door I headed to Title Wave Books, and just then Jessica called. She wanted me to drop by Moose’s Tooth to have a bite of pizza with her and Kevin. I was indeed hungry and suddenly considered that I shouldn’t ignore hunger pains, so I said yes. I could make it through a quick lunch without saying anything. But as I sat down nonchalantly at the table, Kevin said, “Sooo! What’s new?!” with an unusually chipper tone. They both looked at me expectantly. I couldn’t have lied with any pretense of sincerity. After a moment’s hesitation, I said, “I’LLTELLYAWHAT’SNEWI’M PREGNANT.” They stared at me. Jess started tearing up and put her hands to her mouth, just as I’d done less than an hour before. Kevin became short of breath, red in the face, and said his blood pressure was suddenly high. It was beautiful!

Mutual friends, Jill and Dave, dropped by Moose’s Tooth to bring an anniversary cake for Kevin and Jess, and despite a long conversation, we managed to keep mum about the baby. I knew this could quickly get out of control before dear Jason even knew he was a dad-to-be. After lunch, the three of us went to Title Wave and sat down on the floor in the pregnancy section, scouring books and dreaming. A friend of theirs walked by, talked to us for awhile, and asked if Kevin and Jess were pregnant. “No, we’re not,” they said, and tried to act like this was a normal reading spot. The guy turned to me. Sigh. “Yes, yes I am.” I said, “But I just found out. My husband doesn’t know yet, so don’t say anything.” When I went to check out, the young man at the counter smiled widely and said, “I probably shouldn’t ask this, but are you pregnant?” “YES, YES I AM. BUT I JUST FOUND OUT. MY HUSBAND DOESN’T KNOW YET, SO DON’T SAY ANYTHING.” Dangit!

Home I went and didn’t call another soul, though there were some close friends I longed to tell! But Jason was absolutely going to be the next person to know. When he got home, he hugged me and said, “Well, are we gonna hike the Trail?” We already knew we were, but Jason and I tend toward never-ending decision mode. I looked him in the eyeballs and slowly shook my head no. “Why?” he asked suspiciously. I took him by the hand and lead him toward the bathroom. He looked at the stick, then back at me. “How could it be?” he asked quietly (and has kept asking throughout the spregnancy).

That very night and the next day, we began calling our out of town family and close friends in Anchorage, because a) we didn’t feel like keeping it in for the traditional two or three months until you’re sure everything’s okay, and b) everyone was expecting us to leave within a few weeks for the Trail. One of the phrases we heard often was “This is the best news I’ve heard in a long time!” That made us feel so special and happy, knowing people are on board with us.

So, how? Well, God’s timing is beyond ours, and we have to trust that. But also, here are some wild and silly winds blowing during the time of conception:

  • We were renting the basement apartment of an older couple we know who had 7 children. He is Protestant; she is Mormon. Either way, there’s a rich history of child-bearing going on in that household, and it could be catching.
  • I was working part time at a Montessori school, surrounded by children in a very nurturing environment.
  • My other part time work was an office job, replacing a woman on maternity leave.
  • I had taken 11 prenatal vitamins in one month’s time, which averages one every 3 days. I counted after I knew I was pregnant. (Incidentally, after the news was out, Chloe, who is 4, often asked me if I'd taken my vitamins today. She was on it!)

And that's how our little one came to be.


tamie said...

thanks for sharing the story. i'm DEFINITELY on board with you guys. and you are definitely loved. hey...can you define "spregnancy"?

lori lls said...

Tamie - - spregnancy is pretty much like pregnancy but a lot springier and boingier and life-ier.