Giving up Surprise
My son came screaming into the world when I was 17 years old. It took only 4 months from the time I lost my virginity for me to become pregnant with him, and the pregnancy was really easy. I knew from a young age that I wanted children. In elementary school, they used to ask us what we wanted to be when we grew up, and while the other kids in school were giving answers like a fireman or a police officer, I always said the same thing, I want to be a mommy. And then in middle school when they asked the same question, the other kids now wanted to be doctors or lawyers but I still wanted to be a mommy. So, when my son was born it felt like my dreams were coming true. I wanted kids young, that was no accident, and I always said I wanted 2 kids, 2 years apart by the time I was 20. Sounds crazy right?! But I was lucky enough to meet my soul mate at the age of 13, so it wasn't such a far-fetched idea.
So here I was, 17 years old with my first born child. Life was amazing. It was hard, don't get me wrong, but it was so rewarding. I finished high school, graduated in the top four of my class to be exact, I had a job, and I lived with my fiance and our child. As six months turned into one year, and one year drew close to two years, my desire to have another baby grew stronger and stronger. But despite not having been on birth control for over a year, I still was not getting pregnant. I did not think much of it because I was only 19 so infertility isn't something that someone my age has to worry about. Boy, was I wrong!
As one year turned into three years and three years turned into five years I watched with a broken heart as those around me grew their families while mine stayed the same. I had been to my doctor numerous times and they never gave me any answers as to why pregnancy just was not happening. I was only 22 years old, I had plenty of time, at least that is what I was always told. When I talked to my family and friends about how devastating it was to have a negative pregnancy test every month they would chuckle and tell me I was too young to be saying things like that. But in my heart, I knew that I desperately wanted a second child and it had already taken much longer than it should have if there were truly no issues.
And then one day I went to my primary care physician because I had a horrible cold. She was reviewing my medical records and casually mentioned a PCOS diagnosis that was noted in my chart two years ago. I was floored. Never once had I heard those words. Never once was I told that I had this diagnosis. Why didn't anyone tell me? What do those letters mean? I wanted answers. My PCP recommended I make an appointment with my gynecologist to discuss this, so that is what I did.
Two days later I asked my gynecologist what PCOS was and what that meant for my fertility issues. It was only then that I was told that PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and that this was likely part of the reason I could not lose weight. She told me that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for me to conceive another child. I was destroyed. How could this be? I had been told for years that there was nothing wrong. I had tests done that showed I was healthy. How did this happen? It was explained to me that PCOS usually presents itself when a female is in their mid to late twenties, but because I had my son at such a young age, the changes in my body and hormone levels during pregnancy pushed the onset of PCOS to begin sooner. I should be thankful that I was able to conceive when I did, and I should consider myself lucky to have one child.
I did feel lucky to have my child, but that did not mean I was not devastated by this news. My heart was broken as I saw my dream of having two children go down the drain. I felt terrible that I would not be able to provide my son with a sibling and I wondered how lonely life would be for him without one. At this point, he was seven years old and was vocal about the fact that he wanted a sibling. There was not much that I could do, other than try the medication they wanted to give me. But it made me so sick. I was on it for over six months before I couldn't deal with the sickness anymore and stopped taking it. It was at this point that I gave up. I was tired of being sick, I was sick of seeing negative pregnancy tests, and I was just done hoping that maybe this month it would happen. I accepted the fact that I would only ever have one child, and I felt grateful that I had him.
Fast forward two years. I was 26 years old and my son was 9. Now that my son was doing well in school and more independent I had started working. I had recently started a job that I really enjoyed, and life was moving right along. The heart-wrenching sadness was no longer there when I saw a pregnant woman or a newborn baby. I still felt a pang of sadness, but I was used to it, and it didn't affect me the way that it used to. It seemed that I had finally wrapped my head around what was meant to be and I was embracing the life that I had instead of wishing for something more.
On my husband and I's 7th wedding anniversary, in Agust 2014, I decided to take a pregnancy test. I wasn't expecting anything, I had grown accustomed to taking a test once a month because my periods were non-existent and I always wanted to be sure I wasn't pregnant because I smoke cigarettes and occasionally drank alcohol. So, it was just another routine at home pregnancy test. But then it wasn't. It was anything but routine. As I waited and waited for the test results to pop up (it was one of those digital pregnant, not pregnant tests), I never imagined I would see the word pregnant. But then I did! Right there in front of me was a pregnancy test, results screen reading "Pregnant, 3-4 weeks"!! I screamed for my husband and he came rushing in to see what was the matter. I handed it to him and he just laughed.
My mind was racing. How was this possible? It had been over nine years with no birth control and now I was pregnant? This had to be a mistake or something, there was no way I was actually pregnant. And then came the fear. Oh my gosh! By the time this baby is born my son is going to be ten years old! Will we even remember how to take care of an infant? Could we handle this? It was such a surreal feeling. I didn't even allow myself to feel joy at first, because this could not be right. The doctors had said it was not going to happen. We had tried so hard for so many years, so it did not make sense that I was pregnant.
And then my husband wrapped his arms around me. He was so calm but I could tell he was excited. It was at this moment that I fell apart. I cried harder than I had cried in years. It was a mix of happiness and relief. I was going to have my second child after all. Granted it was way more than two years between my children, but that didn't matter anymore. I had mourned the loss of this dream for so long, it just felt amazing to let go of all of that sadness.
Our second child was born in April 2015 and our son turned 10 years old two months later. And my fears on if we still knew how to take care of an infant were unfounded because we never missed a beat. It came so naturally to us all, even my 10-year-old fell right into the routine. I felt complete, like my family was finally whole and a piece of me that was missing had finally been found. Imagine my surprise when seven months later I took a random pregnancy test, just for the fun of it, and found out that I was pregnant with our third child! Fast forward two years and here I am, watching my three-year-old and almost two-year-old play together while my almost thirteen-year-old is upstairs playing in his room.
© 2018 Danielle Jackson