There are several moments leading up to Silas’s diagnosis that seem to have frozen in time for me. To understand the first “moment”, you need to know that Silas’ pregnancy was not planned. It wasn’t planned because we had just had a baby. Ruby was three months old, and Daren and I were adjusting to being first time parents.
I was also adjusting to a postpartum body. So one morning when I started to bleed, fast and heavily, I wasn’t completely alarmed. Several other mothers told me that the first few menstrual cycles would be crazy and unpredictable. After the initial bleeding, nothing else happened. My mind chalked it up to being that “crazy” postpartum cycle, and yet my spirit told me something different. The last time I experienced bleeding was implantation bleeding almost exactly a year earlier. So when this bleeding came and went so quickly, a very scared part of me knew that I was pregnant. While a deeper, hidden, part of me knew something was wrong.
My mind chalked it up to being that “crazy” postpartum cycle, and yet my spirit told me something different.
A couple days later, we were off to celebrate Christmas in Iowa. My husband, little sister, three month old, and I piled into a rental and headed north for the holidays. In Daren’s opinion, this was a crazy idea. Being from Arkansas, the idea of going from flip flop to parka weather was outrageous. It turned out that his opinion was quickly validated. Three hours into our ten-hour trip, we pulled into Pauls Valley, Oklahoma and stayed there for two days to wait out a major ice storm.
After too much take out and cable TV, we finally made it out of Oklahoma and back on the road. We were happy to finally be safe and sound at my parent’s house, but things didn’t get a lot better for me. I just wasn’t feeling great. The combination of a stressful trip and rapidly changing hormones sent me into a full-fledged migraine on Christmas Eve. I laid in my childhood bed all day, the windows covered by quilts Daren hung to block out the bright snow reflected sun. I listened as visitors came and went, some dropping off gifts for my parents, others meeting Ruby for the first time. I listened as meals were being prepared and gifts were being wrapped. I listened as my nieces played and my baby cried. I laid there all day, in a dark cold room, through the pain of a migraine, and just listened. And finally the house was silent. Everyone had headed to church for the Christmas Eve candlelight service. There in the silence, I thought quickly about the baby, the “maybe” baby, that was inside of me. And as quickly as it came, the moment was gone and I finally fell asleep.
The next moment happened on the drive back to Texas. The events of our trip to Iowa, pale in comparison to the events of our trip back home. Laura, my little sister, was sick. When I say “sick”, I mean “pulling the car over every few miles” kind of sick. Laura was convinced that she caught the stomach bug that our older sister’s family had during the holiday. I’m still convinced it was the taco pizza from a gas station. Either way, it hit and it hit hard. Luckily, for us, our brother in law, Matt, is an ER doctor. So after telling him our location in Kansas, he called in a prescription to the closest CVS. As we pulled in and Laura got out, I asked Daren to grab me a pregnancy test. I had been fairly tongue in cheek about being pregnant until this point. I’m pretty sure Daren was happy to buy it so I would stop joking about another baby on the way.
With the pregnancy test in my purse, I headed into CVS. The bathroom was empty, thank God, so I grabbed the first stall. And almost as soon as I completed the test, two blue lines appeared. Pregnant. I stood there, dazed, alone with my “maybe” baby in a CVS bathroom, somewhere in Kansas. I am definitely pregnant.
I really can’t go into any more detail about the rest of the day; it is one big blur. I know that I went back to the car. I know that I told Daren and Laura that I was pregnant, pulling out the test to prove it. I know that I texted the rest of my family, calling them would mean that I was really pregnant. I know that we made it back to Texas. I know that I fed Ruby and laid her down for the night. And I know that I sat next to Daren on the couch and bawled.