Gifts for Mom, Grandparents, Besties and YOU🎄 ➔

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

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

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.

Having a Late Preterm Baby Is Hard Too

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding infant, color photo

I see you, mama, who holds her breath while they bag your brand-new baby. Asking “is she okay?” and being met with “everything is fine” when you know that everything is not fine. The baby who was due in just a few weeks. The baby, who just a few hours earlier, you joked “wanted to surprise us early.” The baby who was fine on the monitors just minutes before. I see you, mama, when they tell you they are transporting your baby to the NICU. The baby you held for five minutes before they took her to the nursery for...

Keep Reading

Dear Loss Mom, Grieve Your Baby In Heaven Without Guilt

In: Baby, Grief, Loss

My third baby was due on October 19, 2019. Instead, she was born into heaven on March 24, 2019. Not only do I grieve her more in October than in other months because of her due date, but I also grieve for so many other parents who have also lost their children.  RELATED: A Letter To My Mama From Your Baby In Heaven Pregnancy loss is such a strange journey to walk through. I’m years into it, and there are still days when the grief hits and the tears come and I can’t breathe. On other days, I am so...

Keep Reading

1-Year-Olds Are Wonderful

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
1 year old baby smiling

Newborns—who doesn’t love them?  The captivating scent of a brand new baby, their fragile little bodies laying so delicately on your chest. Everything that comes with a newborn baby is just absolute magic. But have you ever had a 1-year-old? I used to think the newborn phase was my favorite, nothing could ever be better than having such a tiny helpless little human rely on you for absolutely everything. I could hold my newborn for hours, soaking in every tiny little detail before it became nothing but a beautifully distant memory. But I’ve realized it’s 1-year-olds who have a special...

Keep Reading

Here In the Struggle of Motherhood Are Tender Moments I’m Afraid to Miss

In: Baby, Motherhood
Baby in mother's arms looking up

I didn’t realize the fear I would feel going into the operating room. My hands trembled and felt as if they were not in my control. The delivery I had planned had gone up in flames and a C-section became my only option. My baby’s heart rate was dropping, and the life I dreamed of flashed before my eyes.  This was not the way it was supposed to go. When I arrived at the hospital that Wednesday evening the nurses boasted about how well my baby boy was doing, how strong he was, how active he was, and how good...

Keep Reading

There’s Light At the End of a Hard Pregnancy

In: Baby, Motherhood
Newborn lying on blanket, color photo

That little pink positive mark hit me. Hard.  The pregnancy test revealed the news that I guiltily hoped was negative. The idea of another pregnancy—the hormones, the weight gain, the lack of sanity and sleep—seemed to overcome me. HOW? HOW could I possibly do this AGAIN?  Full of shock, I broke the news to my husband. I was like a broken record, repeating to him with tears, “Are we going to be okay?” He tried to reassure me, but I felt the uncertainty, the darkness.  In the next months, I was depressed. Focused on trying to make it through the...

Keep Reading

Every Time I Put You Down, You Grow a Little More

In: Baby, Motherhood
Black and white photo of baby sleeping with pacifier in his mouth

You’re six months old today.  Everything about you is so much bigger now—including the personality that’s showing through. But today? I want to soak in the littleness.  It’s a weekend, so I get to put you down for your naps. Your daddy took your brother to the store, so it’s just you and me.  It’s quiet. You have my full attention with no distractions.  As we rock, your eyes start to roll back in your head. You sigh and put your hand on my chest—as if to make sure I’m still here.  Sweet little one, this is the only place...

Keep Reading

This is the World of a Preemie Mom

In: Baby, Motherhood
Preemie baby foot with monitor attached

You came into this world much before your time. Your daddy and I weren’t ready for you, but that didn’t matter—you were determined to make your entrance at 27 weeks gestation. The first time I laid eyes on you, I was taken aback. You were wrapped in clear plastic bags with wires sticking out from all sides of you. You were so small and fragile—990 grams and 983 grams—the size of a pineapple I might buy at the grocery store. Your daddy took pictures of you, but I wasn’t sure if I would show them to anyone. You didn’t look...

Keep Reading

Secondary Infertility Took Me By Surprise

In: Baby, Faith, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother holding toddler by open door

Selfish. Unfair. Guilt stricken. Shameful. Those were just a few of the words that regularly stabbed my lamenting heart as I longed for a second child. Yes, I was grateful for my healthy, beautiful boy who made my dream of motherhood come true, but why did I not feel complete—was he not enough? Was I doing this motherhood thing all wrong and didn’t deserve a second child? Why did I long to give him a sibling so badly knowing millions were aching for their first—how could I be so insensitive? So many questions, so many buts and so many whys....

Keep Reading

I Used to Feel Shame for Having PPD, but Now I Just Feel like a Mother

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mom holding toddler by window

I had my first son when I was 23 years old. My husband and I named him Isaac, which means laughter. The first few months of his life brought me anything but laughter. It felt as if for the first five weeks, my son cried constantly. It seemed if he wasn’t crying then he was sleeping. It was a really stressful time for me. I cried, he cried, and in the end, we’d both be so exhausted we’d fall asleep. I remember telling myself “I can’t do this” over and over and over again. Eventually, those thoughts manifested into actions....

Keep Reading

The Smell of Dreft and Hope

In: Baby, Motherhood
Woman folding baby onesie

My husband and I sink onto our living room couch at the end of the day, cocooned within distant, sound-machine ocean waves while our two toddlers sleep in their respective rooms. We’re trying to decide whether to watch another episode of 30 Rock or not.  “Let’s have another baby,” I say suddenly, hopefully. The past several months have brought those familiar pings of longing again, and it’s exhausting trying to pretend they don’t exist.  My husband isn’t surprised—we have some version of this conversation at least once a month. He pauses before speaking, picking at the couch cushion. “I still...

Keep Reading