One year ago (on Feb. 29…there isn’t one of those this year) I saw that little smiley face for the first time. This told me that I was ovulating that day, and it was time to start trying to get pregnant. I remember that feeling, it was pure elation, anxiety and terror. I wondered how many months I would have to try, or if the father would change his mind, or if this would be quick and easy, or if it would work at all. So many feelings combined into one big feeling of excitement. 

(Sorry in advance if this is TMI, to whoever may be reading)

We inseminated 5 days in a row. I would wake up and be so excited to see that smiley face again and again, trusting my body and being so aware of how real the whole process was. I remember clutching my silver fertility goddess amulet in my fists and praying over her. I wanted a baby so badly, more than anything I have ever wanted in my life, and I finally had a shot in the dark. 

The days following the final insemination were longer than hell. I think I may have been creating symptoms just so I could spend all my time on Google, tricking myself into believing everything was a very, very early sign of pregnancy. I knew there was no way of telling but I needed something to hold on to. I compulsively checked my email, waiting for the reproduction clinic to let me know if we could move our appointment up just in case this didn’t work, and so on and so forth. I was obsessed, to say the very least. I bought several boxes of pregnancy tests and took almost all of them. I knew they would be negative and there was no way anything would show if it were too early. I took them anyway.

On March 13th around 2pm (I’m telling you, I was obsessed) I was drained. I had been losing sleep for a little over a week thinking about nothing but the inner workings of my body, what the hell was going on in there? My arm is kinda numb, does that mean I’m pregnant? Wait, what in the hell? Google it anyway. 

Allie and I got into an argument. I was so emotional. She couldn’t deal with it (and I don’t blame her) and I knew her entire family was about to come over and I wouldn’t be able to face a single one of them. She left the house to run to the gas station and probably get the hell away from me and I went upstairs to our bathroom and I cried. There was one pregnancy test left in our cabinet and I said fuck it. Why not disappoint myself again?

I peed on the stick. I waited a few minutes. I couldn’t look. I didn’t want to. But of course, I did. I got ready to study the hell out of it like I always did, but this time, the faintest second line in the world had appeared, and I think my heart may have actually stopped. My hands began to shake. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. I always imagined how I would act when I found out I was pregnant, and I always thought there would be tears and smiles and euphoria. Instead, I almost broke my neck to turn and stare at myself in the mirror, I was looking for confirmation, reassurance, anything at all from my reflection but she looked terrified and I didn’t know what the hell I was doing or thinking but god damnit I think I’m pregnant. 

I called Allie and I said “babe, I think I just got a positive pregnancy test, I need you to come home now.” There wasn’t happiness in my voice. I don’t even think I smiled. It was that huge. It was that surreal. I was in shock and denial. I took maybe 20 at home pregnancy tests. I am so serious. I didn’t believe it for weeks, but then I was nauseous. My boobs hurt. I was exhausted. And then, in the midst of that first trimester hell, I was in bliss. I saw the first ultrasound, I heard her heartbeat, and that sound comes second only to hearing her cry for the first time. I still cannot believe it. I cannot understand how I got so lucky, and I know that sounds cliche, but it’s true. This baby girl is the center of my world. She was so anticipated for so many years of my life, and she certainly didn’t disappoint…she’s the happiest, sweetest most beautiful little angel and I thank God for her every day. God is not someone I talked to before I found out about her. I knew nothing of God before I became a mother. Now I can’t understand how he couldn’t have had something to do with her. 

The point of this story, is that my life changed one year ago at just the thought of having a baby. Just that tiny glimmer of hope in the fact that I saw a smiley face on a stick because it meant my dreams may soon come true, or they may not. Either way, I was along for the ride, and it’s truly been the ride of my life. 

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 “So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.” ―Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

There have been moments in my life that I have wished away a thousand times. I think about the times my heart hurt so badly I didn’t want to see the sun. 

I think about the time I was locked out of the house for an hour, and the time I was stuck in traffic for two hours, and the time I drove all the way to Marietta to get into a club just to have to turn around and drive home because I didn’t have my ID. I think about being young and having to tag along with my parents to wherever they went, being so mind numbingly bored and wishing the day was over. I remember the time I lost my cousin. 2 uncles. 2 great grandmothers and my great grandfather. Several friends. All of my pain in my life, all of the minor and major annoyances, they had to happen exactly as they did. Everyone’s lives had to coincide with mine in exactly the manner they have in order for you to happen. 

The good had to happen, too. I met your mother. I fell in love. We grew up and made a home together and we decided on you. A lot of things happened in between falling in love and having you, and it wasn’t all good. But it had to happen. 

If any moment had ever been slightly altered, you wouldn’t be here. It wasn’t until you were born that I came to understand “everything happens for a reason”. You are the reason. 

Some days go by where I feel so overwhelmed I can’t see straight. Then there are days like today where I look over and see you sleeping so soundly. I know that you want for nothing. You have a full belly, you’re comfortable and warm and content. And then I know that every day I do right by you is a day I should be proud.