It was probably too early to tell, I thought, as I sat on the toilet and peed on another pregnancy test. I hadn’t missed my period yet, but the early test promised results “six days sooner” than my missed period. To be honest, I had spent an embarrassing amount of money on pregnancy tests over the last few months. But I needed answers. I needed to know. These little pink lines would tell me our future. 

See, my husband and I had lost our first baby a few months before.

It had been a whirlwind of emotions from the beginning. Are we ready to try for a family? Will we have trouble conceiving like our parents? This shifted to Oh my gosh, we’re pregnant! How did it happen on our first try? Are we ready for this?

There was a mixture of excitement and uncertainty. No one talks about the shock of a wanted pregnancy, but we had taken a leap of faith. Everyone says you’re never truly ready for kidsmy friend even said it’s a lot like jumping in the deep end of the pool. 

We were cautiously eager.

We of course told our parents right away. This was the first grandbaby after all, and we had to share the news. I made an appointment with my family doctor to confirm it. I peed in a cup, and we waited in the treatment room to hear the result. “You’re pregnant!” she said. We looked at each other in amazement. Outside in the parking lot, we hugged and marveled that it was really happening. 

The next step was making the first OB/GYN appointment at eight weeks. We booked the appointment and waited. After an eternal few weeks, we were finally in the ultrasound room, ready to see our firstborn. My husband squeezed my hand as the tech moved the ultrasound wand. We waited.

“Well,” she said, “I’m not seeing anything yet. The development matches with six weeks, not eight. But the dating on the weeks could be off.” I had been feeling some symptoms (fatigue, changes in appetite) and sometimes the dating of a pregnancy can be different based on ovulation. We felt assured that our doctor would shed more light on the situation. 

In the treatment room, though, we didn’t hear what we had hoped for.

“We’re not seeing a fetal pole, there’s not a heartbeat yet,” the doctor explained. “It could develop into something. We’ll have to do blood tests to see if your hormone levels are increasing.”

My husband’s eyes teared up as the phlebotomist extracted a sample for testing. “It’ll be OK,” I had told him, feeling matter of fact. “Sometimes this happens and a baby doesn’t develop. We’ll be able to use this to encourage others who have lost babies.” 

My levels did not increase, and at the next appointment, the doctor talked through my options: medication to induce miscarriage, D&C, or letting my body naturally remove the “products of conception.” Since when was a baby called a “product of conception”? I couldn’t bear the thought of anything invasive or medical, so we opted to let my body process it on its own.

Part of me, too, wondered if the doctor was wrong, and if so, I didn’t want to medically intervene if this baby was going to live.

The doctor was not wrong. Within the next few weeks, I had cramps and bleeding. A follow-up ultrasound confirmed there was no baby. We left the appointment in tears. I hadn’t realized until then how much I had wanted that baby, how much I wanted it all to be true. 

And here I was now, staring at a pregnancy test and hoping for two pink lines of hope. A second pale, pink line appeared. I tested again a few days later, and the line was darker. We had an ultrasound, and there was a heartbeat and a baby. We dared to hope again. 

Originally published on the author’s blog

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Larkin Witmyer

Daughter of the King, wife, mom, and writer. Larkin enjoys spending time with her family, especially her feisty one-year-old daughter. In her free time, she enjoys reading and daydreaming about her future dream house.

I Wasn’t Sure You’d Be Here To Hold

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother with newborn baby on her chest in hospital bed

I stood naked in my parents’ bathroom. Even with the tub filling, I could hear my family chattering behind the door. I longed to be with them, not hiding alone with my seven-month round belly, sleep-deprived, and covered in pox-like marks. For three weeks, I’d tried Benadryl, lotions, and other suggested remedies to cure the strange rash spreading over my body. No luck. By Christmas Day, my life had been reduced to survival. Day and night, I tried to resist itching, but gave in, especially in my sleep. At 1 a.m., 2 a.m., 3 a.m., the feeling of fire ants...

Keep Reading

No One Warned Me About the Last Baby

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding newborn baby, black-and-white photo

No one warned me about the last baby. When I had my first, my second, and my third, those first years were blurry from sleep deprivation and chaos from juggling multiple itty-bitties. But the last baby? There’s a desperation in that newborn fog to soak it up because there won’t be another. No one warned me about the last baby. Selling the baby swing and donating old toys because we wouldn’t need them crushed me. I cried selling our double jogger and thought my heart would split in two when I dropped off newborn clothes. Throwing out pacifiers and bottles...

Keep Reading

My Second, It Only Took a Second To Fall In Love With You

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother with newborn baby on chest, black and white image

You were the second. The second child who, as a mother, I wondered if I could love as much and as fiercely as my first. It’s true, I’m ashamed to admit. As much as you were so desperately prayed for, I was scared. So, so scared. I was scared I was going to fail you. You were the second. And already so loved. But, you see, your brother was my whole entire world. My everything. He made me a mother and gave me all the firsts. My lap was only so big. My heart was only so big. There was...

Keep Reading

Dear Helmet Mama, It’s Not Your Fault

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mom holding baby with helmet, color photo

I’m a helmet mama. It’s something I never thought I’d say, but there it is. And I’m not going to be ashamed of it. Of course, at first, when the doctor referred us to see a specialist for “flat head,” I thought, “Oh, please no. Not my baby.” I’ve seen those babies, and I’ve always felt bad for them and wondered how their heads got that bad. And I’ll be honest, I’d usually pass judgment on the mother of that baby. So how did I end up with my own baby having a helmet on his head? It’s called torticollis—and...

Keep Reading

Thank You to the Nurses Who Cared for My Baby First

In: Baby, Motherhood
Infant in hospital isolette, color photo

I wish I knew who she (or he) was and what she looked like. Was she young or older, experienced or just starting out? How had her weekend been? Was she starting or ending a work shift at 2:30 a.m. that Monday morning when they ran me into the surgery room? The first few days after my son was born, he was kept in intermediate care as we recovered from an emergency C-section that saved both our lives—his by just a few minutes. I occasionally managed to shuffle over to see him, but was pretty weak myself, so the nurses...

Keep Reading

Hey Mama, This Is Your Labor & Delivery Nurse Speaking

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding newborn baby looking up at labor and delivery nurse and smiling

First of all, mama, I want to congratulate you! Whether this is your first baby or not, I am honored to be here with you through this experience. Before you ask me, no, I do not care if you shaved your you know what. There are plenty of other things I’m thinking of, and that is not one of them. I’m so happy to be here for the birth of you and your baby, but most importantly, I’m happy to be here for YOU. It doesn’t matter to me if you want to breastfeed, it doesn’t matter if you want...

Keep Reading

My Baby Had Laryngomalacia

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding baby on her shoulder

Life’s funny, isn’t it? Just when you think you’ve got the whole motherhood thing figured out, the universe throws a curveball. And, oh boy, did it throw me one with my second baby. There I was, feeling like a seasoned mom with my firstborn—a healthy, vivacious toddler who was 16 months old. Our breastfeeding journey had its hiccups, an early tongue-tie diagnosis that did little to deter our bond. Fourteen months of nurturing, nighttime cuddles, and feeling powerful, like my body was doing exactly what it was meant to do. Enter my second baby. A fresh chapter, a new story....

Keep Reading

A C-Section Mom Simply Needs You to Hear Her Story

In: Baby, Motherhood
Newborn baby crying in doctor's hands

As an expecting mother, I was told all about the sleepless nights. People made sure to give their opinion on whether I should bottle feed, breastfeed, or exclusively pump. I was told which swaddle to buy, which sound machine worked best, and when to introduce a pacifier. They told me about sleep training but that it really didn’t matter because I wouldn’t get any sleep anyway. Whenever I would mention how scared I was to give birth, I’d always get the same response: oh. honey, don’t worry, your body will know what to do. I remember listening to calming meditations...

Keep Reading

Feed Them—and Other Ways To Help NICU Parents

In: Baby, Motherhood
Parents holding hands of premature baby in NICU

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about our reality as NICU parents to a healthy, brilliant NICU graduate. Our child was born very prematurely and spent weeks in the NICU so he could grow and stabilize. My first experience as a mother of a baby was shattered in so many ways. Trauma still lingers, but I am so grateful for all I have learned from our time beside our little baby in his isolette bed. One thing I learned was that some people who really want to help support NICU parents really don’t know how they can. Here are some...

Keep Reading

From Baby to Boy

In: Baby, Motherhood, Toddler
Toddler boy asleep with legs tucked under his belly

The sweet snuggles and sighs are slowly making way for more crawling climbing and exploring each day. And just when I think my baby is gone, you snuggle into my chest, convincing me I’m wrong. I watch as you excitedly chase after your sis and giggle as you share with me your slobbery kiss. RELATED: They Tell You To Hold the Baby, But No One Warns You How Fast He Grows Daytime hours bring playful adventures as I watch my baby leave, but then a sleeping bum curled in the air makes me believe that these cherished baby moments haven’t...

Keep Reading