How I Found Out I Was Pregnant
Before I go more in-depth about my personal miscarriage story, I wanted to start by sharing how I found out I was pregnant.
I have shared here and on Instagram that I had a miscarriage at the end of February. I have made the decision to talk about it openly because I believe it is something that isn’t talked about enough.
Unfortunately, it’s very common, so there shouldn’t be a stigma around it. Sharing my story has been incredibly healing for me, as well as for other women who are currently going through this physical and emotional pain.
I’m so thankful to have connected with women who have also suffered a miscarriage. It is so helpful to talk to people who understand exactly what you’re feeling and know what to say, and what not to say.
I started journaling the day I found out I was pregnant, because I had so many thoughts and emotions and had to put them somewhere, but really couldn’t talk to anyone yet. Although my pregnancy didn’t end up the way I hoped and prayed, I am thankful to have some of these precious memories to look back on, especially from the day I found out.
January 14th, 2020 — the day i found out
I had a physical with my primary doctor that morning. I get one annually, so I was just checking that off my list. I had recently seen my eye doctor, asthma doctor, and had a dentist appointment coming up. All of my preventative exams happen around this time of year.
I had been having some chest discomfort the previous few weeks, so I planned to ask my doctor about that while I was there. I discussed it with my asthma doctor a few weeks earlier who attributed it to my acid reflux — which I’ve had for years — and he switched me to a stronger medication.
The nurse that was checking me in for my physical was asking all the normal questions. “Any recent changes in medications? Any new concerns? When was your last period?”
I replied, “Well, funny you ask. I was planning to talk to the doctor about that today”.
I had just stopped taking birth control the month before, and was patiently waiting for my cycles to return. I was on the birth control pill for many years, so the fact that I missed my first period off of it wasn’t alarming to me.
I know women my age who got theirs back immediately, and others whose periods didn’t return for 6-8 months, or even longer. I just assumed my body was still figuring things out, and it was nothing to think twice about.
I told her when my last period was, and the date that my most recent period should have been (which was just one short week before this appointment). I joked, “Assuming I’m not pregnant now, ha!”
Note: I was 1000% joking. Could not have been less serious. !!!!
She replied, “Well, let’s find out, shall we?!”
“I’ll get you a cup!” Her enthusiasm was humorous to me at the time.
I nervously laughed and said “okay”. I went to the bathroom and did the deed. Peed in the cup. To be completely honest, I didn’t think much about it.
I’ve peed in cups at the doctor’s office many times throughout my 27 years. I guess none of them have been for a pregnancy test, but at the time, it didn’t faze me.
I left my pee cup in the bathroom, per the detailed instructions posted on the wall, made my way back to my exam room, shut the door and started scrolling on my phone waiting for my doctor to arrive.
A few minutes later, the door opened, and my doctor walked in.
Before she could close the door behind her, the nurse quickly poked her head in and excitedly said, “IT’S POSITIVE! CONGRATULATIONS!”
I looked at her, absolutely STUNNED, and said, “Excuse me, what? It’s WHAT?!!!!! Are you serious?!”, with my voice cracking between words.
I immediately started bawling. Now my doctor was just standing there watching me attempt to digest this new, huge, totally unexpected, life-changing information.
She asked, “Do you want a minute?” And I said, “No, no; I’m okay”, and then kept bawling. “Okay yeah, give me a minute, please”. She left, and I just sat there on the exam table, in my gown, in complete shock.
I stared at the walls, put my face in my hands and cried, totally unsure how to feel. Excited, nervous, ecstatic, anxious, happy, shocked, TERRIFIED? Mostly terrified.
I eventually poked my head out to let her know it was safe to re-enter the room. I had gathered myself. She came back in and I remember saying, maybe more than once, “Ethan is going to lose his shit”. LOL. Thankfully, she laughed.
We weren’t trying to get pregnant, but we weren’t NOT trying. That’s what they all say, right? We had planned to start trying fairly soon, but this was just totally unexpected. I was just there for a freaking routine physical, and this happens!?
I told both the doctor and the nurse that we had a lot of big life changes coming up. Moving into our new house, plus a new job for Ethan. We weren’t exactly ready JUST yet. Were we?
They both assured me, that’s always how it goes. You’re never FULLY ready for a baby. So ready or not, here we come.
5 weeks and 1 day pregnant
According to the date of my last period, they said I was 5 weeks and 1 day pregnant, but we also did a quantitative hCG (pregnancy hormone) blood test along with my normal bloodwork for a little more accuracy.
It’s been an hour or two since I learned this news.
I’ve already been calculating which day we can tell our loved ones, the due date (which apparently will be during the most eventful month ever, September).
In September we have Ethan’s birthday and our wedding anniversary. It also happens to be my brother and sister-in-law’s anniversary. And Ethan’s best friend’s wedding anniversary, if we want to add any other special events to the list. ; )
Before I left the doctor’s office, I asked if I could take the test home. The little stick where the two lines boldly appeared. My first ever pregnancy test I’ve taken in my whole life. And it was positive.
Thankfully, at a time that I was actually okay with it being positive. More than okay.
waiting to tell ethan the news
Now I’ve been sitting, anxiously waiting for Ethan to get home to tell him. I’m terrified. I have no idea how I’ll say it, or what I’ll say, or what HE will say or think.
I’m expecting, hoping, for (happy) tears.
We aren’t totally ready, but we will make it all work. Right?
It’s all going to be okay. *inhale… and exhale…*
A FEW HOURS LATER…
I told him.
I’m not sure why I was so nervous to tell him. Nervous to see how he’d react.
His reaction was 1000x better than I ever could’ve expected or hoped for.
He got home from work and I was sitting in the office at my desk facing the front windows, so I saw his truck pull up to the house.
My heart started pounding, hard and fast, immediately.
But I had a plan. I had the pregnancy test from the doctor in my bedside table drawer, so I quickly relocated to our bedroom, sat on the bed with my laptop & continued to work.
When he appeared at the bedroom door I acted totally normal (or so I thought). I asked how his day was while he put things away and got organized. It was lunchtime, so he was hungry, and when I went to the bathroom, he started heading down to the kitchen to find something to eat. I wasn’t able to stop him before he left.
I quickly texted him to come back. When he returned, I told him to shut the door. He did as he was ordered and I tossed the plastic baggie with the pregnancy test inside to the end of the bed.
After I tossed the pregnancy test over to him…
He said “what is it?”, picked it up, and turned it over, and the moment he realized it, I cried, “I’m pregnant” and he jumped toward me in a huge hug, tears in his eyes and enthusiastically said, “I KNEW IT!”
I’ve been replaying that moment over and over in my mind ever since.
I’ve never loved him more than I did right then. His genuine, raw excitement and joy was exactly what I needed from him. That’s when I knew it was all going to be okay, no matter what.
I walked him through what happened at the doctor, how I found out and how I’d been feeling since. He said he thought I was acting funny since my appointment, since I didn’t text him right after to tell him what the doc said about my chest pain.
I don’t think I was acting strange, but somehow, in hindsight, I feel like we both had this weird hunch. He said he also thought about it the week before when I didn’t get my period. Who knew men could be so intuitive? ; )
We cried, and hugged, and cried and kissed and hugged some more.
feeling all the feelings
We were both so excited. Nervous as HELL, but mostly excited. We are in this together and truly, that’s all that matters.
We are already thinking about how we will tell our friends and family right after we move into our new house. (Because I will be 12 weeks the week after our move-in date. God’s timing is perfect…)
However, we also know that miscarriage is very real, and that it’s super common for first pregnancies. Unfortunately, we have witnessed several close friends suffer through it.
While we don’t want to keep that at the front of mind, we also don’t want to ignore that possible reality. We can’t predict the future or control really any aspect of this growing life, but what we can do is pray, and be hopeful and trust in God’s plan for us and our family.
*NOTE: I wrote all of this the day I found out I was pregnant. Unfortunately the fear of miscarriage was on my mind from day 1.
I have journal entries from almost every day of my pregnancy, leading up to my miscarriage, and after the fact. I will probably share excerpts here and there as I continue to share more of my story.
I just thought it would make more sense to start from the beginning, and also post something a little more lighthearted first. I hope you enjoyed reading how I found out I was pregnant, even though it didn’t end in a happy way.
That was still such an exciting, joyful, life-changing day that I’ll never forget and I wouldn’t change.
if you’re grieving a miscarriage, you are not alone
Unfortunately, pregnancy loss is all too common, and I believe women should know what the process really looks like, coming from someone who has lived it. I have personally found it so helpful to hear other women’s stories, so I hope my story can do the same for someone else.
Thank you all so much for your outpouring of love, support and prayers for us during this difficult season of life. It is appreciated more than you could ever know, and we have faith that our rainbow will come.
If you are struggling after a miscarriage, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you need someone to talk to. Also, please check out my post 7 Ways To Deal With Grief — it also includes resources like books & podcasts for grief. I hope it will be helpful for you.
Thanks for sharing your story. Your story hits really close to mine. Found out on 1/17/2020 that I was 5 weeks pregnant. Due date was 9/17/2020. Also the month of my wedding anniversary. As I read your story the similarities make me not feel so alone. I’m so sad you had to go through this. I don’t wish this pain and grief upon anyone. It has been such a roller coaster of emotions. I’m so thankful you shared your story. There have been many times when I felt so alone through this process && connecting with others who are hurting somehow makes it easier to bear. Our rainbows will come! And it will be so worth the wait!
Oh, Becky — I am SO sorry you’re going through this too. It’s crazy how much our stories have in common. “Emotional rollercoaster” is definitely the most accurate way to describe it. Still SO many ups and downs, even 7 weeks later. I’m so glad that sharing my story helped you feel less alone. Other women’s stories have really helped me too, so I knew it was important to share mine. You’re so right; they will come. : ) I just know it. Thank you so much for your message. Prayers for healing for you. <3
I laughed and teared up while reading this. Thank you SO much for sharing these vulnerable & intimate moments with us! I always fear I don’t have the right words to say, so know that I LOVE YOU. And I am praying for you two right now!!!
Aww, thank you so much Hill. I appreciate you taking the time to read it and I’m glad it could make you laugh and smile. : ) “I love you” and “I’m thinking about you / praying for you” and “I’m sorry” are some of the best words people can say. 🙂 That means a lot – I love you, too, babe and so appreciate you!!! XO
Thank you for writing this — both because it’s good for you but also because it’s good for all of us to know that your baby, regardless of how small, exists and matters and is loved. And in addition to that, you’re a mama now. You may not have a baby to hold in your arms but you were a mom for a time, and that makes you a mom now, no matter what. We are keeping you and your husband in prayer, that God would grant you children and giggles and pureed peas spread across high chair trays for many years to come.
Thank you, Adriane – that truly means more than you know. I appreciate your prayers; bring on the pureed peas! ; ) Have a great week <3
Thank you Shanna so much for writing this post. I can only imagine how hard it’s been, so I appreciate you being vulnerable and sharing your emotions on here. We are starting to plan our little family, and reading this calms my anxieties and let’s me know it’s all going to be okay (I have endo amongst other issues conceiving) I pray that God gives you and Ethan the peace of mind you need to patiently wait for your rainbow baby (Philippians 4:6,7)
Hi Ellie, thank you so much for reading and for your kind words. I’m so glad that my story could help calm some of your fears. It truly is all going to be okay — eventually. I appreciate your prayers, and I’ll send some right back your way as you begin to try to start your family, too. Thank you!!! XO