There is only a .02% chance of becoming pregnant with a ParaGard IUD, but on September 5th, I found myself standing in my bathroom during my 15 month old’s naptime, staring at a positive test.
How can this be possible? What in the world are we going to do? along with a thousand other thoughts began swirling in my mind.
I wish I had been composed enough to think of a sweet, creative way to tell Grayson, but instead, I burst into tears when he got home from work, showed him the test, and buried my head in his chest.
Now, isn’t that a start to this story?
I’ve rewritten this post an embarrassing amount of times, each time frustrated with my inability to convey what has been taking place in my heart over the last two months. But you see, the bottom line is simple. You can’t ask God for your entire life to give you a big family full of children and then be paralyzed with fear and complete and utter shock when He answers your prayer in His timing. I wish I had possessed the grace and discernment to recognize all that when this story began, but my heart wasn’t quite there yet.
If you do, by chance, become pregnant with an IUD, the chances of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancies are very high. It’s amazing how, no matter whether you’ve “planned” or are caught totally off guard, just the thought of a little life growing inside your womb creates a love and attachment only a Mama can understand. I knew as soon as I saw the test, that I would be completely devastated if we were to lose this little life. The how-is-this-possibles and the what-are-we-gonna-dos and the oh-my-goodness-I-can’t-believe-this-is-happenings pale in comparison to the joy in your heart when you find out that God has given you this kind of gift.
After scheduling a doctor’s appointment to confirm the pregnancy, all that was left to do was wait, think, and pray. I have seen so many friends go through the emotional rollercoaster of miscarriage and I was so afraid that would be the journey God asked me to walk through in faith with this pregnancy. So what did I do? I began praying that if this pregnancy was viable and healthy and I could began mentally preparing myself to add another little life into our family, that He give me a sign.
Jesus has a funny sense of humor, ya’ll. The next day at church, my friend Sarah said, “Katie, you’re never going to believe this, but I had a dream that you were pregnant!”
Um, okay, God…. what am I supposed to do with this? Laughing to cover my sheer disbelief, I said, “well I have an IUD, so that’s not happening,” to which she then replied that she had an IUD when she got pregnant with one of her little boys (who is a healthy, happy 5 year old now) and sometimes they don’t work. No kidding, right? We laughed about this weeks later when I was finally able to share the truth with her!
Then, the next day I ran into TJMaxx and the display at the very front of the store was all baby stuff. I literally stopped dead in my tracks and asked God outloud, “are You kidding me?!” What in the world was He trying to tell me? Was this just coincidence? What are the odds? With most stores putting out their fall decor, I would have expected the TJMaxx display right at their front door to feature fake pumpkins, colorful leaves, and signs that say things like “It’s Fall Ya’ll” and “Thankful, Grateful, Blessed.” Nope. There was a crib mobile and nursing pillows and diaper bags and bottles and baby carriers.
Looking back now, I realize that God was giving me the signs I had prayed for. Talk about an emotional rollercoaster! I could hardly wait to get to my doctor’s appointment. I wanted to tell my Mama, I wanted to know a due date. I wanted to be encouraged and assured that this pregnancy wouldn’t end in miscarriage, something 1 in 4 women experience but still remains such a lonely, taboo topic. I promised myself then, that no matter what, I would share this story. No one should ever have to feel alone in their struggles. There’s always someone who’s gone through what you’re going through before, and you have the ability to use your story for good in someone else’s life, if you can just be brave and willing enough.
When my much-anticipated appointment finally arrived, the ultrasound revealed just what I was afraid of: a brand new baby with it’s precious little heart beating away and my IUD. My IUD had been shifted out of place in my uterus into my cervix and there was no way to tell how long it had been there. It was either inserted wrong to begin with (six weeks after Landon was born) or over time it just slowly shifted out of place, but we’ll never know for sure. In fact, it was so far to the edge of my cervix that the nurse said it would have eventually just fallen out, and that of all the places it could have been in terms of affecting this baby, it was in the best place possible. The baby was measuring just a little over six weeks, which means my due date is May 13, 2018. Mother’s Day! Which also means we will be celebrating two birthdays in May… Landon and this little one will be exactly 24 months apart!
I was terrified of making the decision to have to remove the IUD. I had read so many horror stories online of women who had it removed, only to miscarry the next day. And I also read stories of women who opted not to have it removed, thought everything was going fine, and then miscarried at six or seven months… I can’t imagine the heartache. I knew if I were to lose the baby as a result of my choice to leave it in or remove it, I would feel like it were my fault. The nurse saw the hurt on my face and wiped the big tears that I couldn’t stop from falling. She explained that there was a chance of miscarrying either way and that having it removed was ultimately best for both me and the baby. So… I had it removed. It didn’t hurt near as badly as having it inserted, and it was so far towards the edge of my cervix, it only took about two seconds.
The nurse was so kind, she did the ultrasound all over again after she removed the IUD to show me that the little heart was still beating, and that because of where the IUD had been, it hadn’t affected the baby at all. She said over and over again that this baby is a miracle, and that it’s very uncommon to conceive successfully with an IUD. I appreciated this act of kindness so much, because it was something “extra,” something she didn’t have to do, but did purely out of the kindness of her heart. Then, she gave me a big hug and sent me on my way. That’s when we snapped this picture:
After sharing the news with our parents, we slowly began telling the rest of our family and friends. Everyone was so excited and surprised and we heard “Wow! God must really have a big plan for this little life!” more times than we could count. My heart slowly transitioned from a place of fear and confusion to joy and peace – the kind that can only come from a loving Father. When you release that white-knuckled control to the One who holds you in the palm of His hands, your heart can’t help but change.
In addition to just simply being overwhelmed by it all, I struggled for a while with the feeling that we were “knocking Landon out of his spot.” It sounds a little silly when I write it out, but my heart grieved at the thought of Landon having to share us with another child. Grayson kept reminding me over and over that I have to look at it as we are giving Landon the greatest gift – the gift of a sibling – and he is so right. I grew up as an only child, always wanting a brother or sister, and I’m so thankful Landon will get to experience the joy that a sibling brings. I can’t wait to watch them play together and become built-in best friends! I am also unspeakably grateful that I’ve been able to stay at home with my sweet boy, because you only have one baby one time, and I’m going to continue to soak up every minute of our time together, just my first baby boy and I.
Telling my Sunday School class was a favorite memory, for sure. On the day that I finally decided to tell them, I was 10 weeks pregnant. At the end of prayer requests, I said, “well, I have a little announcement…” and everyone squealed and congratulated me, and while everyone was listening to the story about having the IUD removed, my friend came in a few minutes late and sat beside me. I leaned over and said, “I’m pregnant!” so she would know what we were all talking about and to everyone’s surprise she said, “ME TOO!” Our due dates are one day apart! The excitement instantly doubled and we all celebrated together! It’s so sweet, walking through this season of life with my girlfriends. We’re all in this together and I’m so thankful!
I got to do the same thing when I shared our news with my Bible Study group. There are already two other girls in my Bible Study who are expecting and so, I just casually asked one night when we were all standing in the kitchen, “Wait, how far apart are ya’ll? When are your due dates?” and when they said their due dates, I said, “oh… mine is May 13th!” It took everyone a hot minute to realize the news I had just shared and then there were squeals and hugs and sweet celebrations over the three little lives that were growing inside of us.
Now that I am into the second trimester, we are so excited to share the news of our growing family and ask each of you to please pray for us in the coming months.
Every good and perfect gift is from above.
Photo by Meredith Fields