I wasn’t expecting the twists and turns you’re currently reading, believe me. God, though, has a knack for
driving His people insane keeping His people on His toes. My thought, though, is if I have to go through the madness, then so do you. You can thank me later. 😉
Let us review: Why did we halt our adoption?
The simplest answer is because we cannot afford to pursue adoption and surrogacy at once.
*For more on why we before 3 weeks ago we never dreamed surrogacy would be an option, and how we were both finally at peace with moving forward with our adoption plans, please see Part 1.
*For more on the Facebook message I received 3 weeks ago from practically a perfect stranger that would rock anyone’s world, please see Part 2.
*For more on our surprisingly spirited 1st reaction to that message, please see Part 3.
*For more on the questions we both had, and the emotional struggle I went through, once the surrogacy option was presented to us, please see Part 4.
*For more on the initial, God-filled meeting I had with the woman who strongly felt God may very well be calling her to be our surrogate, please see Part 5.
*For more on the extremely disheartening news we received the day after I met with the woman who appeared to be an angel sent by God to carry our biological child, please see Part 6.
*For more on the strange, but strong, intuition I was feeling just a little over a week after our dream of surrogacy seemed to be slipping from our hands, please see Part 7.
Everywhere there were signs.
Leading up to our trip, my mind was hourly consumed with once again the question, “Why?”
This time, however, the question was being posed about my body, not my current circumstances.
“Why am I so edgy? Why is every little thing John does driving me insane?”
“Why aren’t my work-outs relaxing me?”
“Why am I late?” “I’m never usually late, and have never, ever been this late.”
“Why does my bra seem too small for its throbbing friends?”
“Why do I keep smelling things?”
“Why do I feel like my abdomen is getting harder?”
“Why do I feel in sensory overdrive?”
“Why am I not hungry one moment and famished the next?”
“Why am I going crazy?!”
“Why do I feel so…pregnant?”
“Why is my mind tormenting me so?”
This supposedly “relaxing” trip we were going on was going to be anything but relaxing for me.
By this point, over a week after I started feeling symptoms, I knew I needed to tell John my concerns. Like I suspected, every time I brought it up he chalked it up to me just being ultra hormonal (and rightfully so) after everything we’d been through this past month. We’d been using protection; there was nothing to worry about. I just needed to relax. He was confident by the end of our little getaway, I’d be bleeding away and back to normal. He was looking forward to it. I’d been rather oddly irritable lately. We had gotten into a huge fight just the day before, Good Friday. It ended with me saying, “I think you just need to leave,” something I’d never uttered in our entire relationship. I meant it, too. I was ticked off and wanted nothing to do with him. My usual stay-mad-for-five-minutes-and-then-apologize-and-want-to-make-up self was long gone. He left for the store without me, and I could honestly care less. It wasn’t likely me to be so edgy, to not care that he just left without me because I made it clear that’s what I wanted. We did end up making up later that day after I got home from work, but it wasn’t more than five minutes after we made up that I was once again irritated and having to apologize for barking at him. Oops. What was wrong with me?
Now it was twenty-four hours later, I still “felt” pregnant, and had my mind on nothing else.
After the trip to the mall where I could smell the roasted almond counter before we ever even came close to it, by dinner I was more convinced than ever I was eating for two my Tour of Italy dinner from Olive Garden. John still wasn’t buying it, or if he was, he was using his poker face to throw me off. When we prayed before the meal, he did ask the Lord to give us wisdom to face the road ahead, whatever that may be. I knew he was starting to wonder, even if only a little. We actually talked a little at dinner about what if I was pregnant, but it still seemed too surreal for him, for even me. Talking about it just seemed silly in one way, but incredibly real and exciting (at least for me) all at the same time.
I was well aware if I was pregnant, it certainly wasn’t just going to be a shocking, joyous revelation. In our unique situation, it would also be a rather, well, scary one. Remember – we weren’t actively trying to conceive. We certainly weren’t abstaining, but safeguards were definitely in place. The medication I was on wasn’t exactly pregnancy-friendly, hence why we weren’t jumping on the “let’s have a baby” train. We wanted to still be a family, though, so we were adopting and that was that, remember? Well, we were, until about a month ago a woman I barely knew contacted me out of the blue through Facebook to ask me if we’d ever thought about surrogacy. I proceeded to tell the supposed sweet-but-nosy messenger that of course we had, but due to several reasons it just wasn’t going to work out, case closed. I couldn’t have fathomed that she would respond back by saying God has been in fact been speaking to her about possibly being our surrogate. You know, because that happens every day.
Then, upon receiving that message one Sunday morning before church, immediately getting into a fight with my husband about money (the Godly thing to do), and experiencing several days of emotional turmoil while trying to understand what God was up to, I actually met with this mysterious woman supposedly sent to me by God Himself. After the initial meeting I had with her, and seeing she was completely sincere, we were on cloud nine. We were completely at peace, and in awe, about God moving us in the surrogacy direction; life couldn’t get any better. That is until we found out just the very next day that, due to misunderstanding our insurance coverage, we actually couldn’t afford to go through with such plans. Now, a week and a half later, we were still left trying to process what all had happened and felt as if God’s will was the furthest thing from clear.
The past month had been enough to drive anyone to their emotional breaking point. I wasn’t crazy. I was just emotionally, and even in some ways physically, spent. I just needed to give myself grace before I had an emotional breakdown. There was no baby. I wasn’t pregnant. I was just overwhelmed.
That night in our suite, I did my best to try to get my mind on something else. It was a lost cause.
As I watched Ohio State completely choke and lose their game (what’s new), and then as I ate my custard at Culver’s next to our hotel to mourn the loss, I couldn’t think of anything else but “the baby.” I had caught myself praying for “our baby” for a few days now – the baby that, as far as we knew, didn’t even exist. I was clearly a hormonal whack job. I kept telling myself there was a logical reason to all of this. No, I didn’t know exactly what that was at this point, but it was still there, nonetheless; it would reveal itself in time. I went to sleep feeling more pregnant than ever.
I woke up on Easter morning and couldn’t take it anymore. It was time to bust out a pregnancy test I convinced John to let me buy the day before. I had one at home the only friend in whom I had confided had given me on Thursday, but I’d chickened out and didn’t bring it. By Saturday, though, I couldn’t take the thought of not knowing until we returned home. The “Early Response” 2-pack claimed to be able to give you results up to 6 days before your missed period, and I was already 4-5 days late, so I was confident I should get a + without a problem, if my intuition didn’t let me down. I opened the package, did my business, and after yelling at John for moving the test while it was in process (can someone say “hormonal?”), I waited for the two pink lines I knew I’d see.
I’d be sending a text message to that close friend (who is having a baby in October) that said “Happy Easter from the Paynes” with a picture of the positive test in a matter of minutes. Or not.
The test was negative.
John was instantly convinced I wasn’t pregnant.
After all, the test said so. Game over.
I, however, was not.
I desperately wanted to let it go, but I couldn’t.
I couldn’t shake how I felt, though I’d just tested too soon, and was convinced it was a false negative.
“Those happen, you know,” is what I told John.
We packed up and headed home. I knew the next day (Monday) I had a scheduled appointment with my transplant team in Columbus. I hadn’t seen them in over 6 months and knew, if I didn’t start my period that night, I’d have to tell them about all of this. I was scheduled for an x-ray, and you can’t (or shouldn’t) have one of those if you are knowingly with child. I wasn’t going to take that risk, even if a $4 pee stick had just told me I had nothing to worry about.
An “all-knowing” stick that changes colors couldn’t measure how I felt. I knew I had never felt this way before, and no one, or $4, flimsy test, was going to convince me otherwise. The 2-pack would allow me to re-test Monday morning before I left for my appointment. By then, I’d surely get the concrete evidence I’d need for others to start believing what I had known all along. If not, the blood work my doctor would inevitably order would be my emotional salvation. In that moment, I firmly believed it was a miracle. I was pregnant. Life had come full circle. I knew it, and pretty soon the world would, too.
Going to sleep that night, I once again prayed that the Lord would protect “our baby,” if I indeed was pregnant like I suspected. I asked the Lord to be merciful and just take the feelings away, if I really wasn’t pregnant. I couldn’t take feeling insane and totally out of character anymore. It was all becoming too much, even for me.
As I had done so many nights in the past month, I prayed,
“Not my will, Lord, but Yours be done.”
I was far from prepared for what happened next. Part 9 to come.