Things moved so quickly.
Our beautiful October wedding suddenly became a July wedding when one-quarter of our wedding party was given orders to be sent overseas.
While most of life went on as usual, Brock and I started working out at the gym every morning, and wedding planning was nearly all I thought about. I say nearly all, because I also worried about money, and how to get pregnant after nearly a decade of being on birth control pills, and being the right size and shape within my human body, and also the stress that I was carrying every single day at work.
Cakes and flowers and locations and dresses and photographers. For someone who wasn’t interested in getting married again, I felt like I was overwhelmed with choices and decisions that I didn’t really know how to make. I wanted to hire out planning to someone else. I wanted ‘simple’ and ‘elegant’ but most of all, ‘small’. I had already been married once, and while it was a private wedding on a beach in Hawaii, I carried a lot of shame about being married for the second time at 25.
We decided to have our wedding at Brock’s family’s church, and the reception at his parents home on the lake. I scoured the internet for photographers that had a photo-journalistic style, and picked the one I loved most. We hired him despite his price tag being just over half of our entire wedding budget, and chose the package that had engagement photos included.
July crept nearer and nearer. I was informed that there was an opening downtown at the Maternal Fetal medicine clinic – high risk OB. My dream job. I knew I had only been working in ultrasound for two years, but one of my work friends encouraged me to go ahead and apply; the worst that could happen would be that I wouldn’t get the job! I was nervous, and felt unworthy, but I went ahead and applied anyways. I had been happily scanning at my local OB clinic, loving my patients while frustrated at the workload… I wasn’t in a huge rush to leave but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take that step forward.
I was massively surprised to be offered the position at the end of May. It was rough timing; I had to work through my two weeks notice at the clinic, and then work for two weeks at my new job… then take two weeks off for my honeymoon. I was unbelievably excited – and scared quite shitless. I felt like I was definitely out of my depth. The only real faith I had in myself was that I had been able to rise to every occasion before this… I shouldn’t believe this one to be any different.
We had our engagement portrait session, and it was simply phenomenal. Our photographer was fun and friendly, and we shot – of course – at the lake. At the end of our shoot, Logan (the photographer) told us how fun it was to shoot two people who were so obviously in love.
I started my job at the MFM clinic and immediately loved it. I was made so welcome, and treated so well. The doctors were kind and incredibly smart. I learned, and learned quickly… there was just a phenomenal amount to learn. Each of the ladies that I worked with were encouraging, helpful, and friendly! I was overwhelmed, completely so, with the amount of paperwork that was required. I knew that I would get the hang of it – the scanning was my strong suit. I loved working with patients, I loved talking with new moms and dads, and I loved showing them their babies. The only part of it that was uncomfortable for me was answering the question, “Do you have any children?” It almost felt as though my patients thought I shouldn’t be working in babies when I had no babies. I was so afraid I would have no babies.
We were counting down the days to our wedding, and the stress was getting to me. I felt sicker and sicker. I started losing weight. I was worried about all of the guests coming in, and worried about paying for everything, and worried about catastrophe. Starting an intense new job on top of all of that just felt like overwhelm. I felt like I might be breaking down completely.
Seven days before our wedding, I bought a pregnancy test on a whim. I was absolutely certain it would be negative, as I had never taken a pregnancy test before and there was some part of me, on a very deep level, that was SURE I was infertile. I wouldn’t be pregnant. I couldn’t be pregnant. It was going to take us months and months (and months) to get pregnant.
Pregnancy didn’t happen quickly.
I sat down on the toilet to pee on the stick, and I wasn’t even nervous. I read the instructions, peed, counted the appropriate number of seconds, and pulled the stick out to look at it. I could tell that it was positive before I had even gotten it horizontal… I didn’t know before that moment that pregnancy tests could read positive so quickly.
I had bought a two-pack, so of course I pulled out the other test and squeezed out a few drops on to that one too.
I sat on the toilet in shock. Complete shock. I didn’t know what to do. Who do I tell? Do I tell anyone? Do I keep it a secret? MY WEDDING IS IN SEVEN DAYS. I started crying with a mixture of joy and fear.
I called my mom. (When in doubt, call mom.) She picked up the phone and I blurted it out. “Mom, I’m PREGNANT.”
She laughed. I guess I had expected her response to be surprised, or upset, or possibly even concerned, but she replied with, “See, Mandy? I TOLD you that you could get pregnant.” And she was right. I could.
Brock was supposed to be getting home from work any minute. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to tell him, or if I should tell him, or if he would be upset that I told my mother first. It was at that exact moment that I heard his keys in the door. The tears were still wet on my face.
To be continued.
Where is Part Thirteen?