After the adoption agency…
After visiting an adoption agency, I knew that adoption wasn’t meant to be a part of our plan. At the very least, we were not supposed to have our first child through adoption. Realizing this isn’t want God wanted for us was like being punched in the gut. I can’t have children “naturally”, adoption felt wrong, so what else was there? Were we not supposed to have kids? I have to admit I might have thrown a few “well you can just fuck right off if that’s the case” His way. All I knew was that infertility sucked.
I took a break obsessing over growing our family. The disappointment was just a little too much to handle, if I’m being honest. I was having the same feelings I’ve always had, but more intense. Feelings that my body had betrayed me and failed to do the one thing everyone tells you growing up it’s supposed to do. Women have babies, it’s what we do. That’s how the story goes, right?
Well, obviously that’s a ton of bullshit. Plenty of women can’t, plenty of women don’t want to, but it’s something our mothers, grandmothers, and aunts all tell us growing up. It starts with the baby dolls, the movies, the barbies. It’s all about family and having children. Screw that.
Giving up, but gaining control.
In April I decided to get my PCOS under control, focus on me and my health rather than the void in our family. I went to the endocrinologist and was put on Metformin, a drug used for people with pre-diabetes (not me) and PCOS (me). I’ll admit the drug was nice. I had fewer cramps, lost a few pounds, and my facial hair (sexy, I know) was slowing down. The only downside was I was spending just a little too much time in the bathroom.
In May I was offered a job in Michigan. I accepted the position and moved my life ten and a half hours away. The only reason this is really important to this story is I stopped taking Metformin. I stopped taking my magic pill for the simple fact that the bathroom was basically right next to everyone in the small campaign office and I wasn’t interested in running to the bathroom every ten minutes when #thepeopleswork needed to be done.
After two months in Michigan, the party moved me back to Minnesota to work on a more competitive race. It made me so happy to be home! I didn’t start back on Metformin, I wasn’t even thinking of it. I was too busy to think about anything other than getting my candidate elected. Ryan and I had a casual conversation about starting the foster-to-adopt process after the cycle ended, but that was about it. I was too busy to be consumed by my infertility, something I’m actually very grateful for.
It felt like something was killing me.
Come September I’d gained back all my weight lost from Metformin and Michigan (where I lived off of Quest bars, slim jims, and 7 Eleven slurpees), was working way too many hours, and traveling way too much. Typical campaign things, so I wasn’t shocked when I began to feel achy and sick. But I was getting so sick and feeling so out of it I was convinced the campaign was killing me.
I remember being in Duluth and falling asleep at my desk with my back aching while also feeling like I was about to throw up. It was a nightmare. I looked at one of my staffers and asked if they’ve been feeling sick lately. He had, and he’d been traveling around the district a lot lately too, so he thought it was because of that. It was probably the same for me. I had been running on fumes for a while at this point. My body was clearly telling me to slow the hell down.
On my way home from Duluth I decided I needed to talk to my campaign manager about taking a day or two off before we entered the last month of the campaign. For my own health (and so I didn’t kill anyone) I needed a day to hang out naked on my couch while binge watching tv, and I wasn’t too proud to admit it.
But before I blamed the campaign, I had to make sure it was the culprit.
I stopped at the Shopko in North Branch on the way home and picked up a pregnancy test.
Why? I struggle with infertility, why would I do that? Who knows. I like to think it was optimism.
I almost took the test at Shopko but had this moment of “if this is real, and if I’m pregnant, I’m not going to find out in a random Shopko in North Branch. That will not be a part of my story.”
So I did what I’ve done every other time I’ve taken a test. I shoved the box in my bag as soon as I got to the car and when I got home I ran upstairs and took the test without telling anyone. It would be negative, like it always is, and I’d rather not have Ryan ask me why I tried when I know we can’t have kids. I just wanted to avoid that conversation and have a casual pity party alone on the toilet.
This time it was different.
This time it was positive.
I immediately ran downstairs to Ryan. I think I was numb. No, I was terrified. Terrified it was wrong, because it had to be, right? This had to be a false positive. That was a thing, wasn’t it? I held it up and told him “I took a test and it’s positive.” Ryan was not impressed. He was certain I was playing a joke on him and his response was “Sammantha, that’s not funny.”
But then the waterworks started and he knew I was serious.
This, this was serious.
Five pregnancy tests, eleven ultrasounds, a trip to the emergency room, a switch from an OB to a midwife later, and I’m sitting here writing this post at 23 weeks pregnant with a healthy little girl. I will be 24 weeks tomorrow. There isn’t a day that I’m not terrified I’m dreaming, or that it will all be taken away from me. But, today I am pregnant and for that I am grateful. I am grateful for the miracle God has given us. I don’t know how or why he has entrusted us with this gift, I know it is not deserved. But, today I am pregnant and for that I am grateful.