Trying to conceive is a roller coaster: Our pregnancy journey

Two. Pink. Lines.

Well, actually, the first test I took that day (at like 5:30 a.m., because I was so anxious) had one blue line and another very faint one. (I think it was Clear Blue?) This wasn’t the first time I googled “faint lines pregnancy test.” But this time, I was 97% sure they were both there, and that I was looking at a positive pregnancy test.

I remember even holding the test up to the light to see if I could see the line better.

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I went back to bed smiling like an idiot. Cristian was in Orlando for a business trip and would be coming home that evening.

The night before, he had a meeting with his national consultant and was FINALLY given the OK to expand and start up his own marketing office again. It was the news we had been waiting to get ever since we got married. We talked on the phone right after, both so excited for what was to come next. We weren’t sure where we would be going to open the office, but there was a good chance for Denver. I didn’t tell him that I was planning on taking a pregnancy test in the morning.

I had a plan. I knew I wanted to tell Cristian right away, and his coming home was going to be perfect for it. I wanted to make him a “Welcome home, Dad” sign. So I spent the afternoon shopping for the supplies and another pregnancy test, since I didn’t have any more, and I wanted to be SURE.

I knew that the best time of day to take a pregnancy test was in the morning with your first “pee” of the day, but there was no way I was going to miss out on the perfect opportunity to tell Cristian he was going to be a dad. So my plan was to drink a ton of water and not go to the bathroom until I came home.

The line still wasn’t PINK pink, but it was definitely there. Plus, I was testing like the very earliest I could (at 6-5 days before my period was supposed to come). I knew this was it.

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I made the sign and put it on our bed in the studio apartment we were still living in (because I knew that’s where he’d see it right away after coming in) with two mugs I’d been saving/hiding from him that I’d bought from Target soon after we starting trying to get pregnant.

His reaction was priceless.

I kind of wish I had continued filming, but I was SO nervous/excited and also wanted to share the personal moment with him. I mostly wanted to get his initial reaction.

It was August 15th. EXACTLY one year after his baby with his ex-wife would have been born.

As many of you know, Cristian was married before. In Spring 2016, his then wife presented him with divorce papers, just a couple of weeks after they lost their baby at 20 weeks. They had also had a previous miscarriage.

Fast forward a little bit to last Christmas, when Cristian and I had been married for almost two months. We were visiting his family in Nebraska, and woke up one morning and just spent time talking in bed. It was chilly, and we were all snuggled up.

“Crishy, I think we should have a baby.”

“Right now?” he replied.

I then explained that yes, I felt impressed that we should start trying.

He said he needed some time to think about it.

At first I was confused — why wouldn’t he want to try right away? We had talked about having kids before we got married and established that we wanted a big family, and we both knew we didn’t want to wait very long. He’s 32 and I just turned 26.

Then I realized how fresh the grief from losing his other two babies was. He wasn’t the one that had been carrying and growing them, but still. He was their father.

He also explained that he wanted time with me. We had been apart for 6 long years, and had just barely found each other again.

I understood as much as I could, and we agreed that he could have a week to think and pray about it before we had another in-depth conversation.

I had also just started a new birth control pack, so I told him it would be a waste to just not use it (since it was expensive), so he technically had a month to decide.

The days went on, and I struggled with not pestering him about it. He felt a little lost and frustrated, because he wasn’t getting the resounding YES answer that I had. Then, because he wasn’t getting the answer he wanted, I started second-guessing my impression. It was not fun. But, we prayed and prayed. Together and personally.

He finally came to the conclusion that we should go for it. That Heavenly Father was telling him it was a good thing, and that he needed to trust that.

So we started trying in January.

The months passed.

We knew that for most women, it takes three months for the birth control to leave the system. So we kept that in mind but still went ahead with trying.

So, once the three months passed and I still wasn’t getting pregnant, it was so hard for me not to worry. We were doing everything “right,” (I was even using a fertility app and tracking my most fertile days) and I was the healthiest I’ve ever been.

I starting worrying that there was going to be something wrong with me and that I wouldn’t be able to give Cristian the baby he yearned for.

We both felt so sad seeing all the young families at church in sacrament meeting with all their babies.

I got mad seeing so many pregnancy announcements, with quite a few being from couples that had been married for an even shorter time than me and Cristian.

I wondered why/how teenagers get pregnant their first time having sex and I couldn’t get pregnant on a freaking schedule with my loving husband. I wondered how women could get pregnant while on their birth control and/or using condoms. Or how the worst candidate for parenthood (like drug addicts and abusers, etc.) could get pregnant but it wasn’t working for me.

Then, in June, I had what was most likely a chemical pregnancy. I didn’t get a positive pregnancy test, but my period came with the worst cramps of my life. And it only lasted two days. We were driving to Utah from Portland when it started, and I was bleeding. So much. I remember sitting in the passenger seat while Cristian was driving, and we were still in Idaho I think. My cramps were so bad that I had to hold out the waistband of my sweatpants from my stomach — it touching my abdomen was too much.

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Some of the couples pictures we took with Sadie Banks Photography during our visit to Utah in June.
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Another month came, and I made the scariest yet best decision of my life and went off my antidepressant/fibromyalgia drug, Cymbalta. The side effects of going off of Cymbalta are similar to heavy-duty drug (like meth and heroin) withdrawals. And I had experienced a taste of them the October before, when just a week or so before our wedding I ran out and couldn’t get more for a few days. So going off it indefinitely was so scary. However, I knew that I was going to have to stop taking it as soon as I got pregnant anyways, since it’s dangerous to take while pregnant (doctors don’t know what the risks are for the 1st and 2nd trimesters, but it can cause birth defects in the 3rd).

I was also so afraid because it had taken me some 8 years to find an antidepressant that worked for me, and I was no nervous my depression would come back full force. I was afraid of the intense nerve pain that would surely come back as well. Before Cymbalta, my fibromyalgia was so bad that I had it in my hands and feet.

So I went down to a lower dose, then started taking one every other day, then one every few days, and then one a week.

Within a month of starting that weaning process, and once I hadn’t taken a dose in a few weeks, I got pregnant.

We’re not sure if that had any major affect on me getting pregnant but I felt like it was Heavenly Father telling me that it was what I needed to do to make my body the most ready and safe it could be for that child.

Going off the medication was not easy, and it still isn’t. I still miss it. My depression is still here. My fibromyalgia is still here, and pregnancy causes some pretty bad flare-ups.

But I have our miracle.

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Our 9 week ultrasound
My emotions since getting pregnant have been all over the place.

I’ve worried about losing the baby. Especially since that’s happened to Cristian before, I was so paralyzed with fear that it would happen again.

I’ve even felt guilty. Guilty that I have my healthy pregnancy, and so many (including close friends and family members) don’t.

Guilty that my 1st trimester made me so sick I lost 10 pounds, when you would literally do anything to get morning sickness if it meant you had your baby growing safely inside you.

You may read our story and say, seven months? It only took you seven months to get pregnant?! I’ve been trying for a year and a half. Or two years. Or five years.

And for that, I’m truly sorry. I can’t even begin to describe how sorry I am if seeing my pregnancy announcement or reading this story has made you sad, angry, frustrated or hurt. That it only took me seven months to get my baby and you’re still trying.

I love you.

I can only understand so much, and can only relate to a fraction of your pain.

But everyone’s pain and hurt from fertility issues is different. Even if it had taken you and me the same amount of time to get pregnant, I’d only be able to relate to you so much.

Please know that I think about you every time I post about my pregnancy on Instagram or Facebook. Please know that I too, have ripped open a pregnancy test down to just the strip to see if maybe, I could get a better look. That I too, have cried myself to sleep, wishing and hoping for that baby and trying desperately not to be angry with God.

But mine and Cristian’s pregnancy journey has taught me (and will continue to teach me) so much about hope, faith and trust. Listen to your body and listen to the Lord.

We have been truly blessed. Like I said, my pregnancy so far has not been easy, and I’ve cried and cried over feeling so bad for this baby because it’s sometimes hard to love being pregnant when it’s making me so sick. Which then, in my mind, means I somehow don’t love my baby.

But oh my, do I love that baby.

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Thank you, from the very bottom of my heart, for all of the support, love and prayers for us. A select few knew we weren’t having the easiest time getting pregnant, and checked in on me once in a while. And the excitement and support since announcing our pregnancy has been overwhelming.

We can’t deny that THIS was when we needed to have this baby… we’ve moved into our first house together AND Cristian got promoted and is now owner of his office — both within my 1st trimester.

And we are so thankful.

 

 

 

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Hi! Welcome to our blog — The Joubert (Joe-BEAR) Den. We are Cristian & Sonja, a newlywed couple navigating married life while adventuring along the way. Here we share bits and pieces of our every day lives, travel, fashion and our faith. Stay a while!

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