Is This Real Life?

We’re pregnant!

I just sat and stared at that sentence for several minutes because I can’t believe I actually get to write it. Even after five days it feels so surreal to me that I say it over and over again to myself to savor the way it sounds: we’re pregnant. We’re pregnant. We’re pregnant!

From start to finish this embryo transfer felt completely different than the last. Throughout the “two week wait” we stayed as busy as possible, trying not to dwell on what may or may not be happening as we went about our daily lives. Friends of ours helped to pass the time while they stayed with us for a few days, and then with most of the wait behind us, we took a quick trip to Connecticut to visit my younger sister who is currently working with the belugas at Mystic Aquarium.

The day before we got The Call, Karis got us “backstage passes” to meet Juno the beluga whale. Despite the rain and chilly New England weather, it was the perfect distraction to get us through our last day in limbo. Kyle and I took turns touching the top of the whale’s head, “shaking hands” with him, and even putting our hands inside his mouth to pat his tongue. We were also able to signal for him to make different sounds or mimic behaviors. As college students in Boston, we loved visiting Mystic on weekends, so getting to meet Juno was awesome, but deep down I wondered if we’d still be feeling so excited the following day.

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2007: As college students visiting Mystic Aquarium (about one year into dating).
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Anxiously waiting to meet Juno the whale.
Shaking hands with Juno
Shaking hands with Juno.
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Kyle giving Juno a tongue pat.
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Juno posed with us perfectly for a photo!

Earlier in the week, our test day had been moved up a day to Wednesday at 12dp5dt (12 days past a five day transfer). That morning I woke up from a dream that we had received a call from our nurse who told us that we were having a baby girl. Still in my dream, I excitedly sought out Kyle and found him walking the beach and looking for sea glass, something that his grandmother had loved doing. As soon as I woke up I shared my dream with him, wishing desperately that it had been reality.

A few hours later we headed back to the aquarium for a second day, not knowing what to expect other than waiting by the phone and meeting my sister over her lunch break. At 11:13am my phone began to vibrate, and even though I knew it was coming, I felt terrifyingly unprepared. Standing between the seals and the sea lions, I quickly answered the call.

“Congratulations!” our nurse exclaimed, “The test came back positive!”

It was too much to process. All I could do was nod dumbly at Kyle and hope he understood. I guess this actually does work, I remember thinking. Is this real life? At the end of the call Kyle folded me into his arms and we stood there together, crying and yet not caring who could see us. Later it struck me that we had had the exact same reaction to both a failed transfer and a successful one: to hold on to each other.

The exact spot I stood when I got the call.
I stood on this exact spot when we found out we are pregnant.
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I happened to be standing in front of the monarch exhibit during the phone call, which felt fitting since we raised monarch butterflies throughout my childhood.

Over the last couple days I’ve tried to think of a way to put into words how it feels to find out we’re expecting after three and a half years of infertility. Like finding something you were sure you’d lost forever? Like seeing clearly for the first time in years? Like experiencing the first taste of freedom after being trapped for so long? Nothing even comes close. Words have utterly failed me. We are feeling so many emotions– some of which are completely contradictory– that it is impossible to find a way to accurately express them. And while I can’t say that I don’t feel pain at the thought of not being the one to carry my child, I am experiencing a kind of joy that I have never known.

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Following a celebratory lunch at Olde Mystick Village (a favorite place of ours) with Paddington.

We’ve loved having the ability to finally tell our family and friends that we are expecting. Several years ago I had promised Karis that she would be the first to hear that we were pregnant, and strangely enough we were with her the day we found out. There was no time to plan a special meal, set up a photo shoot, or put together a Pinterest-worthy announcement. We had no ultrasound photos or positive pregnancy test pictures to share. Years ago when I dreamed of sharing our news with loved ones, I didn’t imagine it all happening within two days time. Back then it would have been a surprise and we would have been having the first baby in our immediate families. Now so much has changed that ours will be the third. And honestly, none of that really matters; I don’t care at all.

As of today we are 5 weeks and 2 days into our pregnancy. The remaining 34+ weeks stretch out beyond us into a future we cannot imagine. Anyone who has been through infertility and/or loss knows that with these experiences comes a loss of innocence. We know all too well that our fight is far from over. Despite our underlying concern, we are trying to enjoy every moment with the understanding that losing this child will hurt whether we live in constant fear of it happening or not. This is the farthest we’ve ever come and it may very well be the only pregnancy we get to experience; so, I have decided that even though I do not feel able to throw myself into it with complete abandon, I want to savor each day we’ve been given.

From here Elle will continue to have blood tests to check her beta levels and make sure they continue to double every 48-72 hours. On Friday her levels were 397.6 up from 212 on Wednesday, which indicates that we are right on track. Tomorrow morning she will have another test and we will be anxiously awaiting the results throughout the day. If everything continues to go well, an ultrasound will be done as early as next week.

There is no way to adequately thank Elle for what she has given us. I will never forget that she is the reason this child is in existence. ❤

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Paddington is waiting for you, Baby Anderson!
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41 thoughts on “Is This Real Life?

    1. Thanks, love. I am so sorry about this. The only thing that could make it better is if we were able to celebrate together and I have been thinking of you guys every day. I didn’t know how to post and wanted to give you a few days but I know that doesn’t make it easier. I haven’t responded to your post yet (your husband’s honestly made me cry) but know that you are in my heart. You have not been forgotten. Love to you and Chris. 💗

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  1. This news just makes my day extra special !!! I do not have words to express how much happiness I feel for you & kyle !!!! Congratulations 🙂 Tears of joy are flowing!!!!!!!

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  2. We are both thrilled and thankful with your good news and look forward to meeting your little one (and our grandchild!) face to face. Our prayers are with you and Elle for health and strength each day of this pregnancy. Xoxoxoxo

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    1. It really is! Wow, it is so amazing. I really had believed that this might never happen and I will never forget how much of a blessing this is for us. I think that being faced with the possibility of it never happening and being forced to work so hard for it makes you so much more appreciative of it. I’m sure you can relate. I’m glad we’ll be going through this together 🙂

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  3. This has been such a long, long journey for you – I don’t have the words to express how thankful we are and how meaningful this time is in our lives. May God richly bless you each step of the way. I love you.

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  4. What beautiful news to hear-Congratulations!! Such exciting times; I cannot begin to imagine how elated you guys are right now!!
    By the way, I’m in love with Juno, it must have been so much fun 😄I spent ages sat watching the beluga whale in Chicago’s aquarium, they have fascinating personalities.

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    1. Thank you so much! I have a feeling that you won’t be too far behind me, and I hope you get your little dual-citizen soon! 🙂

      And I agree, I love to just sit and watch the belugas– they are amazing. One of the belugas at Mystic is on loan from Chicago, actually! His name is Naluark. Juno is also on loan (from Sea World in Orlando, FL). They are both there for the breeding program and have been for several years (I guess it’s taking a little while… I can totally relate to that!). If you’re ever in the CT area you should visit Mystic. You would love the exhibit they have, plus (and I may be biased since my husband grew up in CT and I grew up in MA), I happen to think New England is one of the best parts of this country. Definitely take some time to check it out if possible; I can help you plan your itinerary 😉

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  5. My heart is positively overflowing with gratitude and joy. My prayers continue on throughout this pregnancy and birth. I love you all so much! Gram XOXO

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  6. HOOORAY! How incredibly wonderful, special, awesome, great, beautiful and as many other positive adjectives as there are!!!!!!!!! I am so thrilled for you guys!!!! Here’s to a happy and healthy pregnancy and baby! 🙂

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  7. I just keep coming back to read this because it makes me so happy!!!! Can’t wait to meet my new niece or nephew! 😍

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    1. Thank you!! It is so surreal to experience this after truly believing that it wouldn’t happen. I agree, I will find myself momentarily forgetting and then smiling when I remember. It is so wonderful! Wishing you a healthy and happy pregnancy!

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