Wednesday, April 2, 2014

finding out about #4

Keeping the theme of this in-utero babe going on the blog with a bit of a novel for your Wednesday. 

(WARNING: this story is way too long and contains certain terms similar to that of a birth story, if you no likey, no readie)

Last November I read a post by Katrina and by the end of it was in a little emotional tear puddle, and since the post was her retelling the events leading up to finding out she was expecting her second son, I naturally began to wonder if my emotions right then weren't being dictated by growing another little babe. I really, really wanted to be pregnant. Mike and I were being  "open", which on all other occasions had resulted in being "pregnant", but since one of those pregnancies had ended in miscarriage, I wasn't assuming anything. But I did purchase a pregnancy test.

You see, I have this little problem, it's somewhat of an addiction- an addiction to taking pregnancy tests when there is even the slightest possibility I am pregnant. I am an innocent victim of the marketing schemes of all the pregnancy test companies claiming they can "detect pregnancy 5 DAYS EARLIER than the leading test". I, the gullible consumer, put my faith too often in their promises and always take tests way too early. (sidenote: I do know about various bulk tests online, and used to be a frequent customer, but they only serve to feed the addiction. If they are there I will take them. All of them)

Such was the case in early November when, spurred on by Katrina's prose, I took a test one morning, way too early and hoping so much that it would be positive. Here is where I give a little helpful hint to any woman who will ever take a pregnancy test: do not take the test back out of the trash 15 minutes after you've taken it and seen that it is negative to just make sure, it's not a good idea. But that is exactly what I did. I took it, it was negative, I threw it away, I came back 15 minutes later, dug it out and low and behold: a faint line!! I must have just missed it the first time, and I was sure I was pregnant. I woke Mike up and told him about it, I had him check to verify that it was there and he did see it too. I was thrilled, absolutely overjoyed and spent the rest of the day planning and plotting for a probably July baby. BUT! It was just a faint line so naturally I had to run out and buy another just to be sure. So I did. I bought several more, took them all, and they were all.....   negative (I told you I have an addiction).
^ Pictures taken the day of the false positive, sure that there was another Hahn coming.

I just chalked it all up to it being too early and waited a few days to take some more, I think I probably spent somewhere around $50-$75 on pregnancy tests that month. That is even more embarrassing when I read it typed out. Long story short (NOT!), it ended up becoming abundantly clear within a week that I was absolutely not pregnant and that faint line was a result of breaking the rules and looking at the test way later than you're supposed to.

It was nevertheless devastating, it really felt like I had lost a baby, even though I know that is not what happened in that case. In addition to being so down about not being pregnant right then, I was so scared to go for it the next cycle because that would be the exact timing of the conception of our miscarried baby. I was terrified of history repeating it self, even though I know that that is not how God works, but I still couldn't get it out of my head.

Almost done... sort of.

(Important back story) Throughout all my cycles in the 2013 year I had been having a whole lot of sharp abdominal pain associated with the fertile time (sorry, you were warned). I know that can be totally normal (i.e. Mittelschmerz) but mine had gotten rather debilitating during the ovulatory time and I was starting to worry. So after found out that I was not actually pregnant, my mind went immediately to the worst case scenario involving infertility and all sorts of trouble conceiving in the future, it's just how my brain is. I was prepared to not conceive for a while, and certainly not the very next cycle.

But then... we did!

We had one leftover test from the host of tests I had purchased the month prior and, per my request, Mike literally hid it from me until an appointed calender day that would actually be acceptable to take the test. I took the test on December 16th (too many details? I know) just 2 days after the test I had taken when we miscarried 2 years prior. It felt a lot like dejavu, or like I was reliving a dream. The test was positive and we were ecstatic.

I went to our local pregnancy center to get proof of pregnancy and got the due date of August 20th (again, 2 days after the due date of the baby we had lost). On the one hand I felt like this was a second chance or a new beginning or something, since after the miscarriage my appreciation for my fertility and for new life grew a thousand times, but on the other hand the pain in my lower right side was scaring the crap out of me.

We traveled to Steubenville for Christmas break and decided to tell our families that we were expecting, even though everything in me wanted not to out of fear of losing the baby and uncertainty about the continued pain. We got through Christmas with no issues and I was feeling more and more pregnant, which was great.
 ^ A picture from Christmas break, because I need to break this ridiculously long post up a little

However a few days after arriving back home the pain had gotten worse and worse and on New Years Eve was finally accompanied by spotting. It was horrible and I was so terrified and convinced that it was either ectopic or I was miscarrying. On New Years day the pain had gotten a little better but no doctors were in and since I was only spotting, I didn't want to fork out the cash for an ER trip and waited until the next day.

When I finally got an appointment for an ultrasound, it felt exactly like it did when we found out we had miscarried. I went into that dark little room with the same heavy heart, convinced of the same outcome.. I do not think the ultrasound tech was expecting the flood of emotions about to descend upon her when she started, but when I saw the heart beat thumping on the screen, it was like finding out again that we were expecting, only waaaay more intense since I was so sure we'd lost this baby. It was really beautiful.

At my latest ultrasound, the baby was measuring bigger and got his due date bumped around and moved to the exact day that our lost little baby was due. We had named that baby Ignatius, because I had a strong feeling it would have been a boy, and in a lot of ways this feels like a second chance, or at least a new opportunity to welcome new life with greater joy and love and appreciation for the miracle that it is.

If you made it all the way through this please go get yourself a stiff drink or some chocolate, for the love of all things good.


  1. Search "pregnancy test strips" on Amazon, and do your budget a favor and buy the 50 pack next fall! (Only $18.99 for 50). !!!

    (From one test-addict to another).

    And, yes, they work - that's what I used to find out we were expecting this time, and a few days early, too.

  2. haha - I was about to post the same!

  3. I too am a pregnancy test addict. If my cycle is so much as an hour late, I take one (or three) convinced we are having another baby!

    Congratulations again, what a great outlook on this babies due date partner! I am sure this little guy is mirroring his sibling for a good reason! It is so hard not to worry after having lost a baby, I admire your strength and am praying for you and yours!

  4. Ok so a little tidbit of info on the amazon test strips. They are super sensitive and the line will go from very faint to bfp over a few days and if you were to miscarry early (not that you will! But i have a very similar mind!) The line would begin to fade as the hormones decrease. So if you get a positive and begin to spot you can test and compare darkness of lines over days. So there. Even more reasons to be a serial tester!

  5. Also congrats! Babies are awesome. :)

  6. So glad that there are other women.out there who take as many tests as me! I thought I was all alone.

  7. Haha, just came to comment about the 50 pack of Wondfos, but looks like someone beat me to the punch! I can also confirm they work early!

    1. Haha, I love that we all need these bulk packages of tests, it is good to know i am not the only crazy test taker. And yes, they definitely work.

      I think the key for me from now on is having Mike be the test holder until a date that is realistic to take one so that I am not taking tests like their my daily multivitamin, which is exactly what I was doing with those bulk ones. If they are there, I will take them allllllll!!!!

  8. When we were trying for our daughter, I bought those pregnancy test strips off of Amazon and I think I took 2 or 3 each day from about a week after ovulation. Which is, you know, CRAZY. We actually got pregnant that first cycle, but I think it was only because God took pity on my husband and didn't want me to lose my mind.

  9. I love that heartbeat. I, too, go a little crazy until I can see (and hear) that tiny heart doing its job.

    At my first appointment this time around, the doctor checked the size of the baby and the location of the placenta, and even though those are important, I was going *crazy* just waiting for that heartbeat!

  10. I am the exact same way about p-ing on a stick...if I had them in bulk, they would be gone in three days. I buy the pricy digital tests (then there's not guessing, is there a line or not?) and then my husband makes me promise that I will take them at least a week apart. And I'm also totally weird about buying the tests at the store...which I shouldn't be...but I'm always super awkward about it. Last time I basically threw the test at the checker lady because it slipped out of my hands. And I also bought Maple Bacon chips and frozen yogurt at the same time.