(Part 1) A Baby, Really?

The Life-Changing News

A standard well-woman exam ended with a life-changing surprise. When I saw my doctor in 2009 he had asked if my PCOS diagnosis in Wisconsin had been confirmed with an ultrasound.  It had not been, but he said he couldn't get me in to radiology that day so I decided to wait to have an ultrasound.  My doctor was an hour's drive away and I just wasn't in any hurry to get an ultrasound.  I ended up putting it off until my appointment in March of 2010. 

During the initial obgyn exam with Dr. M. I had mentioned that it seemed like I had skipped my period in March, but that didn’t seem too unusual for my body. Dr. M. mentioned that my uterus felt a little enlarged and I asked what would cause that.   "Fibroids" was the only response he gave me and said he would have the ultrasound technician check it out.   He ordered an ultrasound and I was able to get one immediately.

Off to radiology I went. I didn't realize I needed to have at least a gallon of water sloshing around in my belly.  Tracy, the nurse, gave me two bottles of water to drink and then I had to refill them. With all that  cold water poured into my stomach I nearly felt sick. I was so cold and water-logged.  As I sat in the waiting room I noted that almost everyone around me was expecting.  I felt a little out of place.

The technician, Heather, had me get comfortable on the bed.  I explained we were just checking for cysts today and that Dr. M. thought my uterus was enlarged.  I wasn't looking at the screen at all as she began the ultrasound.  Almost immediately she turned and looked at me and asked “Have you had a pregnancy test?” My mind began to race as to why she was asking me. “No, why?” I asked. She turned the screen toward me and showed me a little dark spot and said “That’s a baby. You’re pregnant!” Tears came to my eyes as I tried to take it all in. I was utterly unprepared for a surprise like that. We had assumed we just couldn’t have children. She was so excited for me that it helped me process this major turn of events. I was so overwhelmed with the news. She confirmed that the baby was 7 weeks old and it was a November 5th due date!

Abby's very first picture!

I was sent to the lab for additional tests afterward and that’s where Dr. M. and Tracy met me. They both gave me big hugs and were so happy for me. Dr. M. is a grandfatherly man who must be pushing 80.  Their excitement again helped me as I was still feeling a bit dazed.  It all seemed so surreal.

I really wanted to let Jeff know, but didn’t want to tell him the news over the phone. We had a brief conversation and I told him the appointment went well and that I would be home in a few hours.  Cell phone reception in SW Minnesota is poor so I had a good excuse for keeping the phone conversation short.  Unfortunately, I still had to return to work after the appointment.

Later that evening I arrived at our house with my ultrasound picture in tow. I slipped it into a shopping bag. Jeff was upstairs in our office. I told him that I got something for him while I was out.  I wanted him to think it was something I purchased at a store. I had him sit in a chair and close his eyes and then held the picture in front of his face. When he opened his eyes he just stared at the picture. There was no reaction. It seemed like ages and I didn’t know why he wasn’t reacting. "Whose baby is that?" he asked with a puzzled look on his face.  I pointed to the corner where my name was and then he looked up at me and asked “We’re having a baby?” He still seemed a bit shocked as neither one of us had expected this turn of events at all.

I had been extremely emotional that week.  That was very strange for me as I'm not a weepy woman, but I was under a lot of stress in the midst of planning a big fundraiser so I assumed it was due to that.  I remember Jeff and I met for work that week and I sat in the car with him and recounted how one of my co-workers was making my life difficult (she was also pregnant) and I began crying.  Jeff just looked at me like "Uh, what's wrong with you?"  (He hates when I cry as he always assumes it's his fault.)  I also had difficulty getting to sleep and Jeff had just gone out and purchased a bottle of nighttime Ibuprofen to help.  I typically couldn't count to 30 before falling asleep. I had no other symptoms. I wonder how long it would have taken me before I would have realized this on my own.

Within 24 hours Jeff’s excitement level began to increase and he become very excited at the prospect of fatherhood.  After 5 1/2 years of marriage we both began to realize how much a baby would change our lives.  It was especially fun to share the good news with family.  My parents were so thrilled to finally have their first grand-baby on the way.  Then the news went viral on Facebook.  I thought about waiting to share with the world, but just couldn't keep the good news silent.  We had a baby on the way!!!!

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