/ #Pregnancy 

Surprise! You’re gonna have a baby. Take 3.

Or how I’m coping with an unplanned pregnancy

It was supposed to be a routine check.

Based on my tracking app, my flow was delayed by two weeks. My first pregnancy test just one week before turned out negative. So I was expecting it would be negative again.

After all, it wasn’t the first time my period was delayed this long. I’ve been religiously tracking my cycles for the past 4 years and we’ve avoided pregnancy for the past 11.

I wasn’t too worried that I’d get a positive result. Okay, maybe just a little.

But I was fully expecting to see just one pink line on that stick before I threw it in the trash. Just as I always did.

Except this time, the stick showed two.

At first, they were a little faint and I thought (and hoped) that second line would stay faint.

But as seconds ticked by and both lines got clearer, I felt a wave of panic sweep over my chest.

Two clear pink lines.

I woke up my husband and made a cross sign with my index fingers.

Positive.

And the tears started streaming down my face.

--

I’ve always had this typical scenario of the perfect new mom in my head.

You know, that woman who has always wanted or planned to have a baby. She would religiously track her cycles so she and her husband can make love on the perfect day.

Once she misses her period, she takes out a pregnancy kit and does the test. Excited. Fingers crossed. Expecting to see a positive result.

Once the two pink lines appear, she covers her mouth in disbelief, eyes teary… you know like those beauty queens right at the moment when they win their Miss Universe crown.

She cries and cries. And oh my God, she is SO happy.

She starts to think of the most amazing pregnancy reveal so she can surprise her hubby.

Oh what a wonderful day.

And so goes the story of the perfect new mom whom, in my eyes, is everyone else.

But me.

Because this has never been the case for me.

Not with my first. Now with my second. And still, not with my third.

--

I first got pregnant when I was 24, which by today’s standards is still a relatively young age.

I was in the middle of what I thought was my dream career.

I panicked at the thought of being a relatively young mother. I was scared beyond my wits.

But accepting the responsibility was my only option.

I made my choices, no matter how "unwise" they may have been at the time. And I had to own up to the consequences.

When my firstborn turned nine months old just a few weeks after our formal wedding ceremony, I discovered I was pregnant again with our second child.

I was already four months along and I didn’t even know it.

On hindsight I realized that’s why, no matter how much I worked out, my stomach still stuck out a bit in my wedding dress.

I felt shocked.

I thought breastfeeding was supposed to be a natural contraceptive?!

What was I thinking? I’m still figuring out how to do this motherhood thing and yet here I am with another baby on the way.

But I put on a brave face.

Told myself and everyone around me that it’s okay, at least it’s like raising twins. I only have to go through each of the childhood phases once.

I can do this.

It didn’t take long before my mask cracked though.

Before my second child turned a year old, I spiraled into a deep depression.

Looking back at it now, it almost felt like a delayed manifestation of postpartum psychosis.

All the sadness, anger, fears, frustrations and worries I carried for the past two years seemed to explode inside me and I thought I was meant to have a different life. And I was going to change it.

It took a lot of prayer, inner work and healing but I survived. I came back to my family a new woman. Like the old me had died.

From then on, I resolved to grow more as a wife, mom and human being. I embarked on a lifelong journey of personal and spiritual growth.

And with this new lease on life as I saw it, I decided that I’m already complete as a mother.

I have two beautiful girls. And they were enough for me.

I always told everyone, even my kids, when the subject of having another baby came up, "I have two eyes. Two ears. Two hands. Two legs. I have two kids. And I’ve got enough."

Sometimes when a new niece or nephew came along, I wondered what it would be like to have another baby at this point in my life.

After everything I’ve been through, knowing what I know now, how would I mother differently?

But I’ll quickly dismiss the thought and tell myself it’s better this way. I can hold babies whenever I want and when I get tired, I’ll just give them back to their own mothers.

Sometimes some people would tell my husband and I to have a third child and "try for a boy".

Since my husband is the only boy in his brood of three, he is automatically assigned the unspoken task of passing down the family name and making sure it survives through succeeding generations.

My response was always, "Unless you can present me with a guaranteed technique to conceive a boy, the answer is no."

And that’s why for a good half hour after seeing those two lines, I cried and cried. All these voices and memories came crashing down on me.

I didn’t care so much about what other people would say anymore.

I only cared about being able to raise our new baby.

Can we… Can I really do this again?

My husband, bless his heart, was calm and tried to comfort me. He said he felt it could be positive and he had already prepared emotionally a week before.

I knew I needed space and time alone to put things in perspective.

And so for the next half hour, I sat in silence.

At the end of my meditation, the word that came to me was "Surrender".

That no matter how much I want to control or plan my life, things won’t always turn out the way I want or expect.

And when that happens, I need to learn how to surrender.

To know and trust that when I surrender to love, it will be for the highest good. I’ll be guided and provided for. I’ll never have to face things on my own.

This gave me an incredible sense of peace and calm. Something I desperately needed for my next challenge: telling the kids.

--

Later that morning, when the kids were fully awake, my husband and I started to slowly break the news.

"So Mommy took a pregnancy test…"

"And it’s negative, right?" My eldest one chimed in.

"No, it’s positive. Mommy is pregnant."

And what followed seemed like an endless stream of "Is it true?" "Are you joking?" "Is it real?" "You’re joking, right?"

And I told them it’s true and they can see the stick for themselves.

My youngest went to the bathroom with me and I showed her the two pink lines.

Her disbelief slowly turned into excitement.

Ever my little optimist, she said, "This baby is a blessing."

And she wondered, would it be a boy or a girl? Oh wouldn’t it be cool if we had a boy. But we’d still love her if she was a girl.

My firstborn, my little big pragmatist, burst into tears. She who studied the reproductive system. She who knew all the complications and problems that could happen with each pregnancy.

She was scared of how it will turn out knowing I’m much "older" now than when I had her and her sister.

I told her it’s perfectly normal to be scared. And that knowing all those information can actually be a good thing because that awareness will help us to do everything we can to ensure the baby is happy and healthy.

"How can you be so calm in all of this?" she asked bewildered. "You’ve always told us the two of us were enough."

I actually cried earlier that morning, I admitted, but I knew worry and fear won’t do anybody any good.

I explained that no matter how careful we try to be, pregnancy is always a possibility. And you just have to accept that things will not always go according to your plans.

But you can always choose to do the best you can with whatever you’ve got.

The night before, she proudly showed me the collection of quotes she wrote in her journal and that one quote that really struck her. I never realized how apt that quote would be until then.

"Remember last night, the quote that you showed me where Albert Einstein said, ‘There are only two ways to live your life: as though nothing is a miracle, or as though everything is a miracle.’ Well, this is a perfect example of that. This baby is a miracle."

And she understood.

Later on, we were talking about baby names and house chores. Since we no longer have a helper, the girls knew they had to step up and help more around the house.

The eldest one volunteered to be baby carrier and the youngest one promised to be the diaper changer.

Big changes are coming.

But right here, right now, all is well in our world.

And though I haven’t met him or her yet, I know this baby is gonna bring us so much love, joy and magic.

Our little miracle.