But our kids only turn two once, and those Minnie Mouse decorations and special birthday sprinkles weren’t going to be delivered to our house before her party.
As soon as we tucked our daughters in for bed, I left – queasy stomach and all.
I parked the minivan in Row 10, turned off the ignition and walked inside. Apparently post-toddler-bedtime shopping is the thing to do around here because EVERYONE was doin' it.
I took a deep breath and convinced myself I couldn’t get sick for my daughter’s birthday. Moms can't be sick for their children's birthdays, amiright?
Once I walked into the store, I grabbed a disinfectant wipe, swiped it across the shopping cart handle and off I went.
First stop: Toilet bowl cleaner. Because who wants dirty toilets with company in town?
Crossed that off the list.
Then I got a whiff of some guy wearing far too much cologne. Whew. It was so overpowering, I nearly hurled myself over the metal wires of the cart and onto the toilet bowl cleaner I had just thrown into it.
And then it happened.
As my eyes scanned back and forth searching for my husband’s shaving cream, they stopped point blank at the white boxes: PREGNANCY TESTS.
I got hot. My cheeks felt like they were burning. I felt myself breaking into a sweat in the dead of winter.
BUY ME. BUY ME.
The more I stared at those white cardboard boxes, the more they jumped out at me.
My mind raced.
This couldn’t happen again, could it? My cycles hadn't been regular since giving birth to our daughter nine months ago.
Plus, after all those years of infertility treatments, then adopting two kiddos and spontaneously getting pregnant with our third all within three years…
Nah. Couldn’t be.
I scanned the prices listed for those white boxes, picked up the cheapest store brand and threw it in the cart. It could apparently detect a pregnancy up to five days before a missed period (whenever THAT would be), and it was only $3.94 so no big dent in the pocketbook if it was all in my head.
I buried the box underneath my husband's shaving cream, the toilet bowl cleaner and party supplies so no shoppers could see it.
I went through the self-check-out line (again, so no one could see it).
And when I made it home that night, I discretely brought it up to our bathroom so no one could see it.
I chugged water and waited. Chugged more water, and waited.
It was just me and that white cardboard box in the bathroom. My hands shook as I opened it up and read the directions.
I unwrapped the plastic test, let my stream hit the tip for a few seconds, and then I set it down.
I blinked, and I saw the plus sign.
IT WAS THERE.
I did a triple-take. I didn’t have my glasses on and thought I surely wasn’t seeing straight.
That can’t be a plus sign, can it? It’s faint. Oh my God, it’s dark.
IT WAS THERE.
And so here we are. Pregnant.
Our fourth miracle child is on its way, and we couldn't be more excited and terrified and grateful for this amazing gift.
In the coming days -- and months -- I'll be writing more about the chaos and real-life experiences of expecting our "littlest little" while raising our still-little daughters; I know we've got our hands full here. I know this is CRAZY. I also know God has a sense of humor because we most certainly would've never dreamed of a family like the one we've been blessed with.
Also, as a side note: I understand this news may pour salt in wounds for my fellow infertility warriors; I fully understand some you reading this will feel angry or sad or bitter, and I want you to know however you're feeling about this is okay. It really, truly is. While I hope you stick around, if you decide to step away and unfollow my blog or Facebook page, please know that's okay. I recognize the difficult season you may find yourself in, and I believe self-care is important. I've chosen to embrace this pregnancy, just as I did the last one -- yes, the nausea, fatigue and impending gestational diabetes -- because I fully comprehend this gift does not come freely for many of you, and I so desperately wish it did.
Our hearts are incredibly grateful for the ways we have been able to grow our family, and I hope our twisty, non-traditional journey to happiness offers you much hope.
Our Journey to Addison
Wishes For My Third Daughter
Announcing Our Pregnancy
Many thanks to Tess Irene Photography for photos of the gorgeous + proud big sisters.