When I found out, I was shocked and thrilled that we had conceived so quickly. The average time is usually between 6 months to a year and this had just been our first month trying. I speculated that I MIGHT be pregnant when I was back in my hometown at my moms house. I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high (or take a preg test there…because that’s kind of awkward). In addition to that, Clayton was back home in Lubbock so I didn’t want to do it without being able to tell him ASAP. So I impatiently waited until I went back home to Lubbock at the end of the weekend.
When I returned, it was April 24th. I took a test that I had stored away. POSITIVE!! I then rushed out and bought 2 more. All were POSITIVE!!! I was ecstatic! I cried happy tears, had uncontrollable shaking that wouldn’t stop, and tried to quickly brainstorm what cute way I was going to tell Clayton the news. We were just a few days past his 24th birthday in which we had taken a birthday trip to Austin with our friends. He thought that was his only present, and it was supposed to have been!, but now I had another HUGE present to give so I took advantage of the timing!
I tried my best to act normal as I came into the living room and told him I had to run a quick errand and would be right back. (Of course this is the one day he wasn’t gone at the station when I needed him to be so I wouldn’t seem so sketchy 🙄 haha.) I then ran quickly to Walmart and bought a ‘Happy Birthday Daddy’ card, a baby onsie, an ‘I love my Daddy’ bib, and one more pregnancy test because I was honestly still a little in denial and wanted to be superrrrr positive! I had–luckily–already ordered a t-shirt I planned to give him when the time came as well. I wrapped all of the announcement goodies in a sack and headed home feeling super lightheaded and giddy. After the final test being very positive, I presented Clayton with his presents and watched anxiously while he unwrapped them.
He was surprised (as was I with how quickly it happened for us!!!), excited, and in shock! He kept repeating, “Really?! Seriously??” over and over again until it (somewhat) sunk in. We were thrilled to be beginning our next stage in life together as parents!
We called our doctor the next day to see if we needed to come in to have it confirmed. They said that, without a doubt, we were pregnant if that many tests said so! Things were starting to feel more real!! We were just 4 weeks along at the time we found out. We then scheduled an initial appointment at about 8 weeks.
We decided to wait 2 weeks past finding out to tell our parents. Our moms were coming into town then for Mother’s Day and we wanted to tell them in person! We had onsies made for our moms and Clayton’s dad. Then, we waited impatiently and tried our best to keep our exciting secret between the two of us!
When the time came, we handed them their little boxes and watched as they were unwrapped. Their reactions were priceless and we all wrapped each other up in hugs of celebration. We then wanted to be sure we hurried and told Clayton’s dad soon after so his mom wouldn’t have to hold on to that secret! So the four of us made the 2 and a half hour drive to Abilene to do so in person! He was confused as ever when we came strolling in and handed him a little present, but happy and excited when he realized what was inside! This was going to be all of our parents first grand-baby!!
We told a few other family members after that point and just a couple of our closest friends. We brainstormed with our parents about what they would be called by their grand-baby. We made plans for the nursery, plans for our future, and thought of baby names for our little one. I even switched jobs partially for the pregnancy (I was working with horses at the time in a job that had me on my feet and walking all day every day and it was getting harder on me physically). Everything in our lives was changing and being rearranged for this amazing little bundle of joy that we were so thrilled to be planning for.
Everything pregnancy-wise went pretty smoothly. I had just one week of nausea where I never even got sick, I just constantly felt like I was going to be. But as far as I’ve heard, I was lucky by just having that little bit. The first appointment went fine, though we were disappointed to learn that we wouldn’t see or hear anything from our baby at the time. The 8 week appointment was more so just where we went in for info, to ask any questions we had, and to be given a ton of paperwork and pamphlets and hospital options.
From then on we just went on impatiently waiting for our 12 week appointment where we could see that sweet baby! We excitedly couldn’t hold our tongues very well and let it slip more and more every day to people that we were expecting. Honestly, the closer we got to our 12 week date where you’re supposedly ‘in the clear’, the safer we felt and the more people we told! One of my best friends got married not long before our 12 week mark and I was a bridesmaid. She suggested another one of her bridesmaids, that was also a photographer, take a few announcement pictures for us on her big day since the backdrop was gorgeous and because I would already have my hair and makeup professionally done as well as Clayton and I being all dressed up for the occasion. So I took her up on that great idea!
Everything was approaching so soon and I couldn’t wait to share our news with the world! We had our announcement picture all ready and were ready to tell people the day of our ultrasound when everything came back perfect and normal.
We knew from very early on that we didn’t want to know the gender. I wanted this to be the biggest, most amazing surprise of our lives. After all, what’s more exciting than that?! I also knew, though, from very early on that I was having a baby boy. A lot of moms say that they ‘just knew’ when it came to what gender they were having, and that’s exactly how I felt. I had a deep, deep down gut instinct that was telling me this baby was 100% a boy and so from that moment on, that’s what Baby Longmire was to me in my head whenever I daydreamed of him and our future.
We had just recently passed the one year mark of my dad passing away unexpectedly. It was the hardest thing I had ever been through but I was able to get through it a little easier knowing how excited he must have been looking down on us at this time in our lives. It was bitter sweet because I know how amazing he was with kids and how happy he would have been to be becoming a PawPaw and it broke my heart approaching this chapter in my life without him being there for it, but I knew still how excited he was for us looking down and seeing it all play out. We knew even before I was pregnant that our baby would have my dads name as a middle name, regardless of the gender. The day after Father’s Day was our ultrasound appointment. I felt like the timing was my dad saying he was there with us for it all.
We went in on the 20th of June. Anxious and nervous and giddy, we waited for the technician to speak as we looked on the screen at our baby. She wasn’t saying anything though. She said she would be right back and left the room. Clayton and I later discussed how we knew then that something wasn’t right. When she came back she had a doctor with her. He then continued the ultrasound and continued to take measurements. We saw our baby. We saw his body, head, arms, legs, fingers, and toes. But we also saw the look on the doctors face. It wasn’t good.
He told us that there was no heartbeat. Our baby had stopped growing and developing at 8 weeks 5 days. We should have at this point been at 12 weeks 5 days. We were in shock and completely devastated. Yes, we knew that there was always a risk of miscarriage. You hear occasional stories about them. But you never think that it will ever happen to you until, all of a sudden, it does.
We had what is referred to as a missed miscarriage. That is what happens when your body doesn’t realize that the baby it’s growing is no longer viable. My body just kept continuing on as if it was still pregnant. That’s why I never had any signs that things had gone wrong and no reason to assume anything was less than perfect. I was mad at my own body for betraying me and letting me go on thinking things were okay with our baby for a whole extra month when they indeed were not okay.
I had to take this horrid medication that caused my body to go into an unnatural type of labor. I don’t think that day could have been any more awful than it was. From then on I was a grieving mother. I became depressed and withdrawn for a piece of time. All I could do from that point on was just try to keep living. That’s all I was doing really was just surviving.
I eventually somewhat came out of my funk (though I don’t think it is something I will ever really fully get over). I still had the urge though. The strong, strong urge to be a mother. That hadn’t gone away. If anything, I think the urge and want and need to be a mother became even stronger because I had a small glimpse of it. I wanted to try again.
Apparently, when some women get pregnant they lose their immunity to mumps, measles, and rubella. That’s not something you want to go without having. So I got that vaccine again. The catch here was that you have to wait to even think of getting pregnant for 3 months after getting this vaccine or it can lead to problems for baby. Now, 3 months doesn’t seem like such a long time. But to me, it was devastating and just another huge set back in becoming pregnant again. I’m an impatient person in most things in life and this was no exception at all. I wanted our family. The one we had hoped for, prayed for, and planned for. I knew it wouldn’t be the same because of our loss and that it would in no way replace what we had lost in our first sweet baby, but I also knew that I was ready to try again and when we couldn’t it was hard.
So we waited those three months and continued to learn how to live after this awful loss. I never got mad at Clayton or at God, like I’ve heard are both sometimes common in this case. I kept praying and kept looking forward to our next shot at starting our family.
Our baby’s due date is now rapidly approaching. He was due this coming December 30th. This is a hard, unexplainable season in life and I can’t even begin to verbalize all the emotions that we’ve been going through and will be going through on that actual day. I don’t know if the hole in my heart will ever go away or if, like it did when I lost my dad, it’ll just become a more manageable pain that I carry with me forever. But I do know that when our baby boy opened his eyes, he was greeted by The Lord and by my daddy up in heaven. And I know that I’ll meet that sweet little boy someday and that, until then, my dad will be raising his grandson just like I’d always pictured he would be. 👼🏻