Christmas,  Ezra,  Pregnancy & Birth

A New Life Begun

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My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

(Psalm 139:15-16)

I am a firm believer that human life begins at the moment of conception. Based on this belief, our Baby Ezra has been alive for a whole year now! I’d like to take this blog post to share a few memories I have of the first few weeks of Ezra’s life that were not covered by my previous blog posts.

We had been, well, not really, but kinda…trying for a baby since Russ came home from Afghanistan in June of 2009. We weren’t really in any rush…well Russ wasn’t in any rush! I had baby fever pretty badly! Each month that passed with no baby I felt more disappointed that it would never be my turn!

December came upon us, and I quickly realized that, should I be pregnant, I would be able to know for sure during the week of Christmas. My mind was racing with the possibilities of being pregnant…yet still trying to remain calm as I had no assurance that I was indeed pregnant! But, I had this feeling… And soon, my “feelings” started to be matched with very early pregnancy symptoms.

To keep my self busy during the “two-week-wait” before I could take a pregnancy test, I began to plan how I would reveal my “secret” to my husband. I got a random email from Kroger (of all places!) about a website where you could plan “Phonecalls from Santa” for your children. I thought that it would be a hilarious way to reveal my pregnancy to Russ! But of course, I wouldn’t know for sure until literally a few days before Christmas. I contacted “Elf Annie” and explained the situation to her. She let me pay for the phonecall with the assurance that, should I not be pregnant, I’d get a full refund.

In the midst of the excitement, Russ started hounding me about his Christmas gifts. I started to give him VERY vague hints about his “gifts”…gift 1 being the baby, and gift 2 being the phonecall from Santa about the baby. Of course, I had no guarantee that either would work out, so I kept reminding him that I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get his gifts or not. I gave him hints about each, but he was entirely confused and bewildered, which made him ask even more questions!

For more on this, here is an excerpt from last year’s blog. The “project” mentioned here is the gifts 1 and 2 from above:

I’ve had a lot of fun this Christmas season buying gifts and working on surprise projects for Russ. He has also had fun teasing me about his surprise gift. Being a one-income and very closely-involved-with-eachother household, this fun has had to be shrouded in a cloak of secrecy and a tad bit of fun dishonesty here and there. I’ve had to promise not to check the credit card online, and Russ has had to promise to stay off of my email. Russ was constantly teasing me by going to my email but not really looking at anything, with a mischievous grin on his face.

Well, all of Russell’s gifts had arrived but earlier this week I started working on a project for him which required further online inquiries. So once again I had to request some privacy as far as my email. Later on on Monday evening, as we were discussing this matter, I revealed to him that the emails were “inquiries” and that I was awaiting some responses…So he declared that he just KNEW I was emailing his mother. I just smiled and neither affirmed or denied. He proceeded to get out his cellphone and CALL his mother so that he could confirm the information with her. He said something like “I’m just calling to let you know that Aprille is here and waiting to hear back from you on those questions you asked her…so here she is.”

My mother-in-law just graciously laughed. For the first part of the conversation we played it up as though Russ was right, that we secretly were collaborating with eachother. This of course convinced Russ that we were probably lying. So then we revealed that we WEREN’T collaborating, and that it was all a big hoax…he then was convinced that that couldn’t possibly be true. Again a gazillion questions: “Are you sure?!?! Come on Aprille…look me in the eye and tell me you didn’t email my mother!” Which I did…and it gained the response, “You’re so lying!!!!”

So either way, I was lying. After the laughter and such finally died down I finally made him realize that I WAS telling the truth…I hadn’t emailed his mother, or mine for that matter. He felt so foolish (and hates the fact that I’m including this on my blog HAHA!) and was left feeling even further confused.

So later on that evening as we were lying in bed, facing each other, I asked him very seriously: “Russ, do you wanna know who I emailed?” He responded with a yes to which I replied quickly, cutely, and with a HUGE grin on my face….”SANTA!!!!!”

He was so frustrated that I wouldn’t tell him (he thought for sure that I was being serious!) and begged me for more information. But since then he has been so overcome with my cuteness that it has become our newest inside joke…he asks me all the time “Who did you email?” and I always respond the same way…”SANTA!!!!!”

This is so hilarious to me, because, I actually DID email Santa!

Well, the questions and begging for hints continued till finally, the Saturday before Christmas, with one of my hints, Russ got the idea that I might be pregnant. He looked at me with wide eyes and said “Is it a baby?!?!” I begged him not to ask and told him he was ruining everything! He said, “No Aprille this is a BIG DEAL, and I need to know! Are you pregnant?” I explained that I didn’t know, it’s too early to tell! So he drove me out in the snow to buy pregnancy tests and forced me to take one anyway!

Of course, it was negative, because it was too early. I was kind of disappointed, but kind of glad because it calmed him down enough to not mention it anymore…and my Santa secret was still in tact.

Monday (the 21st) arrived, and after Russ left for PT I took another test. I saw a VERY FAINT line! I was shocked and excited and afraid I was imagining things! So after dropping Russ off at work I told him that I was going to do some Christmas shopping–and went to the hospital for another test. They gave me the equivalent of a home test and declared it a faint positive (which was actually fainter than the one I had done at home!) Due to having a previous miscarriage, and wanting to be SURE, I asked for a blood test. I got my blood drawn and then had to wait for the results.

All that afternoon, no phonecalls! UGH! I called and asked for the results and they said they didn’t have them yet, but that they would call me soon. And again I waited, and again, nothing! I was on pins and needles!

So Tuesday morning I called again. They told me that my HCG number was a 9…which is very low, and that they wanted me to follow up with another blood test to be sure. Any number under 5 is considered not pregnant, over 25 is definitely pregnant. My number was in the stage that they call equivocal, which can often happen if there is a pregnancy, but it’s either too early for the numbers to be that high, or the pregnancy is not viable and will result in miscarriage. They expected the number to double within 48 hours, if I was indeed pregnant with a healthy pregnancy. I was hopeful but scared at the same time.

I kept my spirits up and went ahead with the phonecall from Santa. That evening Santa called my husband with the news. He wasn’t as surprised as I had wanted, due to the early revelation. But Russ told me he was glad that he had a little bit of warning. I explained the issue with the low hormone count, and the next morning (the 23rd), Russ took me at 7AM to get my blood drawn again. I was praying that the number would double so I would be SURE! Well, two hours later my PCM called me with the results. Her voice was strained, and in her Indian accent she said, “Well the number is still vedy low…” My heart just sank. I asked what it is, praying it would be at least 18 but not very hopeful. She said, “Ees feefty five point seben…” 55.7!!! That’s quadruple what it was on Monday!! I just about jumped out of my seat with excitement!

Now, we just had to tell my family! I was hoping to keep it a secret until Christmas day after we opened presents. It was so hard to wait, and I was SURE my mom would figure it out. I had already gained 20 pounds (just after my husband came home from AFG…nothing to do with pregnancy.) One of the first things my mom said when we got up to Chicago was “Yeah I can tell you have put on some weight!” AHHH I felt like my belly was screaming “THERE’S A BABY IN HERE!” But no… We managed to keep the secret, even after I threw up Christmas Eve morning. (Mom was outside snowblowing the driveway HA!)

We had ordered a Christmas ornament for my parents that said “Perfect love sometimes doesn’t come until the first grandchild.” I signed the back of it “From Russ, Aprille, and Baby.” We wrapped it up special and Russ gave it to my dad as the last gift. The funniest thing was that my mom was sitting across from my dad, so as he opened it, she saw the back! And before he could even finish reading the ornament and realize what it meant, she was crying and hugging me!

And so Baby Ezra’s little life was begun! It has been quite a journey since then. Full of love, laughter, tears, and a bit of heartache. But it’s all been worth it.


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