Change of Plans?

I was once someone who always needed a plan.  A plan made me feel secure and made me feel like I was doing the right thing.  Go to school, go to University, get your first job, take no time off.  As a people pleaser I did what everyone expected of me and making them happy, in turn, made me happy.

In high school I proudly wore my promise ring from my high school boyfriend of three years.  I honestly thought that I’d end up marrying him and build a life in the small town where I grew up.  My parents met in grade ten and stayed together so why would that not be my fate?

When I went to University, my high school boyfriend and I broke up.  I dated a bit in my 20’s and always remained a happy and committed partner to whomever I was dating.  When I met my ex-husband, we were great friends for about three years before we dated.  He proposed on my 30th birthday and I had a plan. Sure I had wanted to get married at the age of 25 and had a mini meltdown on my 25th birthday when I was not engaged to be married, but by 30, I knew that I was sticking to a plan. 

We moved into a beautiful house, both had jobs we loved, and even had a bulldog named Hudson.  Things were going according to plan until they weren’t.

One year after getting married, my ex-husband and I spilt and it shattered my world.  In life, if you did everything right, you would be rewarded. Right? If you created a plan and worked hard to follow that plan, everything would work out. Right?

Looking back, I can’t believe how naïve I was back then. Having a plan made me so secure but it also sent me into anxiety mode when the boxes weren’t being checked off perfectly. With a plan, I was expecting way too much of myself as well as expecting too much of everyone around me.

After my divorce, I wanted to get a tattoo so I got the word “change” on my wrist.  The purpose of the tattoo was to constantly remind myself that change was a good thing.  There was a time where anxiety filled my stomach when someone mentioned the word “change.”  In going through my divorce, I realized that change was actually a blessing. 

It’s funny how often I’ve looked at my tattoo because change has been such a prevalent part of my life. For someone so scared of it at one time, I feel as though I have really been tested to accept that change can and will occur and the best way to deal with change is to be open to it.

In fact, my tattoo of “change” has never been as meaningful as it is right now – in being seven weeks pregnant as a future Choice Mom.

There is this commercial on television for a car and when things don’t go as planned it just says “recalculating” and I have to laugh at it because I feel like this describes my life. Another person once told me to just yell “plot twist” when something unexpected happens. Instead of getting mad at myself or anxious about my life I just try to say the words “recalculating” or “plot twist” and it tends to make me feel better.

In telling people that I am pregnant, they really want to know the “plan”. When will I leave work? When will I return to work? Will I move in with my parents? Who is going to help me? Will I stay in Toronto? Where will I live? Can I afford Toronto as a single mother? Should I leave Toronto and try to get hired by a new school board?

So many questions and unfortunately, I don’t have the answers.

If a couple people ask me these questions, I can usually just breathe through the questions.  It’s almost as though I need to help their anxiety because they are worried about me and are searching for some kind of plan. 

The issue is that I don’t really have a plan.  The old Sarah, would have never have been able to deal without some sort of “plan.” I would have had a plan as well as five back-up plans and I’d be checking off lists making sure that everything was going according to plan.

When I planned to have a baby in the past, I always just assumed it would be in a detached home with two extra bedrooms – two babies (the perfect family). 

Now I live in a beautiful condo but it is small and I am not exactly sure where everything is going to fit. But it is okay. I am okay and baby will be okay.

Things are going to change.  As of right now, I think I’ll be staying in the city but I have no actual idea what will happen between now and one year from now. Do any of us, really? When I had a plan in life, nothing went according to my plan.

A couple summers ago, I went on a wine tour and about ten of us were sitting in a bus.  My friends were kind enough to humour me in a game that I always love to play.  Instead of the game “truth or dare”, I created a game called “truth 1 or truth 2.”  Truth one is full of silly questions such as “what is your favourite food?” while truth two questions are often very deep such as “what is the scariest moment you have ever had in your life?” As someone who prefers really deep questions, I always hope that someone will say that they are willing to answer a “truth 2” question.

One of my friends said they’d like to tackle a truth two question that was later open to the entire group. My question to my friends was “do you feel as though your life has gone according to plan? Did you ever think you would be where you are right now in your life?”

Every single person said “no.”

I was absolutely shocked.  On that drive I listened to friends discuss how they weren’t where they thought they’d be when it came to relationships, work, finances, children, etc. 

So my question is, if nobody’s life is really going according to plan, why do we all feel like we need to have a plan?

My “plan” is to try to bring this baby to term.  All I am trying to do right now is to have a healthy pregnancy.  Unfortuantely I can’t share the logistics of where I am living, where my baby will go to daycare, what sort of support system I am going to have, etc.  I honestly just want to live each day as it comes.

You know who has a plan? The universe.  I know that sounds a bit crazy and my sister absolutely HATES when I mention the word “universe” because she thinks it is so bizzare but I really feel like we are all being taken care of.

When you see a pregnant Mama or hear that someone is pregnant, maybe we lay off the questions because it can be too much.  Maybe we just ask “how are you feeling?”  That’s a great question to start with. Don’t get me wrong – this is the pot calling the kettle black. I ask so many questions to people but I am going to start trying to check myself.  I am going to ask myself “is this a question to help the person or is this just a question because I am nosy? Do they actually need my “help” in bringing up this question?”

Sometimes questions can just really add up and for me, it is starting to feel like a lot. I feel like I am not able to please everyone and that maybe I am doing something really wrong because I don’t have a plan. 

Then I have to stop and remind myself that I am okay. Things will work out and no matter where I live, which daycare my child will attend, or where I will work, this baby will be so loved. In the end, all that really matters is that there is a whole lot of love.

Wishing everyone a great week and if you don’t have a one, five or ten year plan, join the club! We are all just trying to get by and sometimes living without a plan can be the most rewarding thing you can do for yourself.

The Results Are In!

Wed June 12th 2019

I was standing in the line waiting to pay for my two pregnancy tests and the man behind me wanted to chat.  For the first time in my life, I didn’t want to chat.  I had tunnel vision and all I wanted to do was get home and take a pregnancy test.

“How does this watch work?” asked the man holding up a watch from the store. Who knew that Rexall Pharmacy sold watches? Not this girl.

“I have no idea” I said (totally lying).  Normally, nothing gives me greater joy than to help someone out but I was on a mission and I needed to know if I was in fact, pregnant.

Once home, I decided it was time.

Yes the nurse told me not to take an at home pregnancy test.  Yes I googled about how one should not take an at home pregnancy test after taking fertility meds as it usually results in a positive.  Yes I was having my blood test at 7 am the next morning but I didn’t care.  

I needed to know the results.

I also didn’t want to see the results on my own.  I have promised to share everything with you on this journey and thought it was fitting that you were with me in that moment as well.

RESULT TIME

After the test I called my sister J. I facetimed her with the positive pregnancy test beside my face.

“No way” she said.

“Way” I laughed. 

I then went on to explain that this was hopeful but didn’t mean I was necessarily pregnant.  I didn’t want to get too excited and wanted to keep all of my feelings in check.

But I wanted to celebrate.

I took the pregnancy test and decided to sleep beside it. 

I couldn’t put it under my pillow because I was afraid I’d break it.  My logic said that if I slept beside a positive test in the night it would be positive in the morning. If you haven’t realized it yet – the fertility process makes you lose your damn mind. Fully aware that I sound like a lunatic. 

Thursday June 13th

Just before I was about to leave for the fertility clinic at 6:30 a.m., I realized that I still needed to take the pregnancy test.

I took it but nothing showed up.  I didn’t really have to go pee so the stick wasn’t fully pink (turns pink when it is fully wet).  A little too much TMI?

I kept checking to make sure that my cycle hadn’t started and went off to the clinic with a smile on my face. 

Something told me I was pregnant.

After getting my blood taken, I stopped and got a decaf coffee. I was finally able to use the restroom and in Café Dineen, I took the pregnancy test.  After that, I put it in my purse.  I couldn’t wait to look at it until I got home, I checked it and it was positive.

Cafe Dineen – the perfect place for a pregnancy test.

Then I waited. And waited.  And waited some more.

By 4:00 p.m., I knew that the clinic was closed and all of the calls were made for the day.  How could the clinic not tell me whether or not I was pregnant?  This was a true test for a really anxious person.  I had the vision of telling my family on Thursday night and I couldn’t tell them, or could I?

After arriving home from work at 9:30 p.m., I decided it was time to call my parents.

“Congratulations” they said.  They were so happy and I recorded the whole thing.  My super kind and talented bro in law promised to make me a video of all of the reactions. My parents were so happy and also a little worried since I hadn’t heard from the clinic so they were afraid to celebrate too much.

Then I called my bro-in-law D and sister E.  They completely freaked out and I was so happy to record their faces.  E indicated that on this date two years ago, she told D that she was pregnant.  That made me cry (again for the 100th time). E said her little one was crying and I begged her to let me see my niece.  The camera revealed that my niece stood up in her crib for the first time.  Then my niece saw me on the phone and started to blow me kisses.  It was the sweetest moment and something I’ll never forget.

My other sister J was sending me a lot of messages and I spoke with her explaining that there was no news but that I was really feeling like I was pregnant.

That night the Toronto Raptors won and there were so many celebrations outside my apartment.  Everyone was cheering and fireworks were going off.  The game brought everyone in the city together and nothing made me happier than falling asleep to the sound of so many happy people.  It was a great night.

Friday June 14th

I woke up and got ready for work and saw that the clinic was calling at 7:00 a.m. (right when they first opened).

“Sarah….the test is positive” said the nurse.

“For real?” I screamed.

“For real” she laughed. She then explained that I needed to wait until Saturday at 10:30 a.m. to take my final test to make sure my levels were high enough.  She said that levels should be anything above 50 and that my levels were at 200 so everything looked “really good.”

On the way to work, Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All” came on the radio.  It was part of a mash-up of songs on 92.5, and I started sobbing.  If I were to have a baby, it would be the “greatest love of all” and it was “happening to me.”  HOLY EMOTIONAL.

That’s when I decided to start telling people.  I wanted to tell my closest family and friends before they found out on my blog or Instagram so I decided it was okay to start telling people.

My co-worked filmed my sister J’s reaction and the reaction from my parents.  Hopefully one day I can share that video with you.

Every person I told was so happy.  Every person had believed in me so much. Every call gave me the greatest joy. I laughed and mostly cried when I got to speak to some of my favourite people in the world.  Life was so good. 

Saturday June 15th

I went to the clinic at 10:30 a.m. and every time I went to the washroom I kept checking to make sure that my cycle hadn’t started.  Truth be told, it just felt too good to be real.  Getting pregnant after your second IUI was something that I never thought would happen.

Fertility is completely a game of chance and I have so many friends who have had such difficult journeys in getting pregnant.  I have locked eyes and smiled at so many women in fertility clinics who go there every single day. I have watched as several of my friends have struggled through miscarriages.  I have heard so many stories and I didn’t expect to be lucky.  Yet here I am. Please know that I am fully aware of how lucky I am. I feel so blessed.

When I went to the clinic it was completed deserted except for one other woman wearing a “Mama Bird” t-shirt.  I loved it and realized that if I am a Mom, I am going to wear all the Mom t-shirts and have all the Mom mugs. 

“Sarah?” asked the nurse.

I went into the room to get my blood taken and wondered if it would be my last time in the clinic not knowing 100% whether or not I was pregnant. Then I got teary eyed.

When I flipped my arms over to expose my veins, the nurse said “wow….you are really bruised on both arms. You have had a lot of blood tests done.”

“It is so worth it” I beamed.

From there, I went to the LCBO and bought my sister J and her husband D some champagne.  Little did I know that they had champagne and the cutest sign for me at their place.

Not sure if I am laughing or crying here. HOLY EMOTIONAL.

When I got in their apartment they popped the champagne and J made me a sparkling non-alcoholic drink but put it in a champagne glass.

“Thank you so much for supporting me on my journey” I said as we toasted.

About thirty minutes later my phone rang.

“Sarah?” asked the nurse on the phone.

“Yes?” I said.

“You sound really worried” said the nurse.

“I am so worried” I admitted.

“Everything is great. We will see you in three weeks for your first ultrasound.”

I cried.

It felt amazing.

The world seemed right. 

I AM GOING TO BE A MOM.

My baby is due in February 2020!