A very good place to start.
I believe that every story of new life is worth telling, no matter the number of cells, heartbeats or breaths. For some mothers, those precious, early moments are all we hold of our little one. Arms empty, our grieving hearts tenderly cradle the few memories we have. I look back on my pregnancy with nothing but pride. I am completely overwhelmed by the fullness of emotions as I remember tiny feet kicking or little hiccups rippling across my belly.
Some are afraid to ask about what happened, scared that they’ll cause more pain. But for me it’s more painful not to talk about it, to feel like I’ve forgotten one of my wee ones, to ignore the pregnancy that gave us two of the most beautiful little boys. Like any mother, I am eager to share with you about my sons, to share our story. To give even a small glimpse into the redeeming work of Christ in our family.
To tell the story of Landon and Alistair, one must go back to the very beginning. Our little family only had 31 short, beautiful weeks together and as such, I cherish each memory until we can all meet again.
Andreas and I were one of the stereotypical Christian couples who get married in their early 20’s and end up pregnant within their first year of marriage. We weren’t trying to get pregnant – in fact, quite the opposite. We were on a five year plan. I figured that 5 years would give us enough time together as a couple to enjoy and “figure out” marriage, pay off some debt, travel the world and eventually become mature adults capable of raising a little being.
Going into the marriage I had a sinking suspicion about two things: 1. We were going to get pregnant before our first year anniversary and 2. I would at some point in my life, have twins. Neither of those options were appealing to me and I was determined to do everything in my power to prevent it from happening.
I decided that my best bet to avoid an early, surprise pregnancy was first, to make sure I faithfully took my daily 8 PM pill and second, to pray and pray hard! Negotiations with God began a few months before the wedding; I wanted to make sure that He really understood my stance on the whole baby thing before I hopped into bed with my husband. “God, just give my husband and me one year baby free,” I pleaded furtively.
Several of my friends were confused as to why I was so concerned about the effectiveness of birth control. “It works – you won’t get pregnant,” they guaranteed me.
But these assurances didn’t help. They didn’t know of the promised baby that God had whispered in my heart. A foretold promise that I was selfishly and desperately trying to avoid until I was “ready.” But ready or not, it was not in my hands. The start of this pregnancy was very clearly as divinely coordinated as the ending.
January marked our 8th month anniversary and Andreas’ 24th birthday. We celebrated the New Year by watching Andreas dash into the freezing Pacific Ocean as part of the annual “Polar Bear Swim.” (I chickened out at the last minute, despite significant bribery on behalf of my father if I’d go in.) Around the middle of the month, I began experiencing what I assumed was the beginning of flu symptoms: nausea, stomach pain, cramping and an overall tiredness. Little did I know that I was 4 weeks pregnant.
The day after my husband’s birthday, a curious thought crossed my mind while at work. “I should take a pregnancy test.” As I looked at my reflection in the mirror, I laughingly imagined myself with a bulging belly. Sure, I was a few days late and I had missed a pill on New Year’s Day but… I couldn’t actually be pregnant. Could I?
A gentle voice whispered, “Take the test.”
Upon arriving home, I pulled out a pregnancy test from under the sink and sat it on the edge of the tub while awaiting the results. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a little pink line streak across the test. WAIT WHAT? There were most definitely TWO pink lines. The second line was faint but still sitting there, proclaiming the presence of what I knew had been coming – a baby.
I hurried out to the kitchen and waved the test in Andreas’ face. “Tell me, what do you see? Two pink lines? There’s a second line on this – right?”
Andreas nodded nonchalantly as he chopped onions. “Yeah. Two lines.”
No, no, no, my good husband – you are not responding as I assumed you would be. You must not be getting this. “Andreas, two lines means that we’re pregnant. Preggo. Having a BABY!” We were both in denial, this couldn’t be right.
The next morning, I called the doctor’s office, praying that they could squeeze me in before the weekend. We were still convinced that there had to be something wrong with the tests I had taken the night before. There was no way I could wait until Monday to find out the truth.
Andreas and I sat in the doctor’s office that afternoon, still in shock, as we waited for the results. Afraid to believe I truly was pregnant in case the doctor said it was a mistake, we nervously cracked jokes about it being “the longest wait of our lives.” The doctor strode in wishing us congratulations and we could only blink at her, stunned. The thought of being pregnant was scary and completely not part of our plan, but now that it had happened, I was determined to hold tightly onto this little miracle in my belly.