Friday, January 16, 2015

A Very Long Story, Part I

This time last year we were a few weeks into our month-long initial pursuit of a healthier lifestyle via a paleo diet.  I started writing a post about that last year (and it is still sitting there, staring at me, in draft mode) because it was a really awesome experience.  For those that know me closely know that I suffer from intense headaches, sometimes migraines, and they are at times hormone-driven, weather-driven, seasonal-driven, or unknown-driven.  Whatever the case may be, I would have one of these headaches at least once a week and usually more often than that.  So can you imagine my shock when after going through the initial sugar withdrawals (and accompanying headaches) for the first few days of the paleo diet, I had zero headaches for 30+ days after that?  That's right, folks.  Nothing short of a miracle.  So clearly food (processed food) plays a role in my health.  I think most people can speak to that, especially if they've ever tried a strict change like we did.  Our friends were really supportive, too.  Our Bible study group that was meeting then even cooked us (and everyone) paleo meals!  We even vacationed to Savannah with my best friend and her husband, stayed at a bed & breakfast, and still managed to be really strict (I think we may have cheated with Leopold's Ice Cream? and some cheese). Really, I had never felt better.

Okay, so that was all of January.  In February I remember being at work and I kept thinking my period had started. But at the same time I didn't think it was starting.

(Okay, let me back up a little bit. This will get a little TMI but whatevs.

At the beginning of our marriage we were using hormonal oral contraceptives as a birth control method. Then I kinda hated that. It just seems to go against everything natural.  Being that I had, up until that point, an extremely regular and predictable cycle for about 15 years, we decided to use a fertility-awareness based method. Jonathan was freaked out by this at first, but hey, we managed to go four years without issue!)

When we started using our fertility-awareness based method, even though my cycle continued to be extremely regular, I was always thinking I was pregnant.  Like, always. So I eventually bought these cheapie pregnancy tests from Amazon. You literally have to pee in a cup and dip the strip yourself.  They were the cheapest thing, and even though we weren't yet ready for children, I found myself going into freak-out mode each month, just convinced that I was pregnant.  I would often tell Jonathan that, too.  Like so often that it pretty much became a joke.

In December 2013 I finally ran out of these pregnancy strips.  I had decided to stop being a crazy person and refused to order them again.

So in February when I was having these back cramps / achyness that were kind of like the beginnings of my cycle yet it never came, I was highly suspicious.  When I officially missed my period (or at least thought I missed it - I honestly couldn't tell you when I had it in January...I don't really keep watch of it because it is very reliable), I knew that we needed to order more pregnancy strips. Because who goes to Walgreens when you have Amazon Prime, right?

I remember being at work having these now-normal menstrual-like cramps, yet no menstruation.  And I remembered that our shipment should arrive that day, so I planned to take the test when I got home.  Around 8:00pm I walked in the door, and Jonathan was cooking dinner.  I saw the brown box sitting on the coffee table, so I snatched it up (I don't believe I had told Jonathan I ordered more strips -- I knew how ridiculous he thought it was) and headed to the bathroom. Really, I wasn't surprised that it showed a positive test (two pink stripes).  Jonathan doesn't believe me, but I swear I know the day that we conceived. I know it because we had been using this fertility-based awareness method for four years. And I know when we had one too many bottles of Riesling at dinner one night in Savannah that we weren't being very careful about our methods.

(Was that too gross for you to read? Sorry.)

Anyway, so I walked out of the bathroom holding the test behind my back.  Jonathan was still in the kitchen cooking dinner. I know most women like to surprise their partners, and it isn't entirely uncommon to keep the secret to themselves until that perfect moment where you buy them a t-shirt that says #1 Dad or something on it... But how I could I keep this secret from my best friend? Plus, I knew he wouldn't believe me (because I say the same thing every month), and I was excited to win for once.  Point for Amber!

Except when I told him, he didn't react the same way as usual.  Maybe it's because I said, "hey guess what? I'm pregnant." Instead of, "hey I think I'm pregnant!" Yeah, that was probably it.  I remember Jonathan having this goofy smile on his face, I showed him the test, and then he made me retake it.  This was while he still finished cooking dinner.  Don't take that man out of the kitchen when he's at work!

One of the questions in the baby book I am working on asks what we did to celebrate.  And honestly? I don't know.  I remember us sitting at the table eating dinner (don't even ask me what...but considering we were still eating paleo, I imagine it was likely roasted brussels sprouts and grilled spicy chicken) and kind of giggling to each other, almost acting shy? It reminded me of how we behaved on the night Jonathan asked me to marry him.  Except this time neither of us had the immediate desire to tell the world. It was kind of fun keeping this secret to ourselves.


1 comment:

Alex Oliver said...

This is a sweet and precious story. And your commentary made me smile :)

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