Friday, September 14, 2012

September 14th

Today is a very special anniversary.

A year ago last evening, Brian and I were nearing the limits of our patience on the Montana hills. For days I'd tagged along behind him as he hunted for an elk... ANY elk. And not one elk did we see.

Mountains near the hunting location


It was September 13th. We had five days before our flight home. Should we stay where we were, sleeping in the car, dragging ourselves over mountains and through woods, searching for signs of elk and finding none? That day, we'd spoken to another hunter who told us the "area news" - all the elk hunters were striking out.

Or should we give up on the elk and head back to our friends' house, five hours away, and spend the rest of our time with them, heading out locally to hunt for mule deer during the day?


These LOOK like rolling hills but were a BEAR to climb

The morning of 9/13/11 - still a bit hopeful

Desperately I wanted to go back to our friends' house. I hadn't had a shower or a good night's sleep in a few days. The hunts were wearing me out as I was discovering that this hunting business was NOT for me. I was tired and cold and dirty and very emotional, sad that we weren't finding elk! And one of my best friends was five hours away with her two little girls and I very much wanted to spend the rest of the time with them.

Still, this was the trip Brian had looked forward to for months, imagining himself next to a trophy bull elk he'd taken with his bow and arrow. I didn't feel like I could in good conscience convince him to throw in the towel before he was ready.

I was so thankful when he decided to go back to our friends' place!

Waiting in the car

He wanted to get in one more trek through the woods before nightfall. I went back to the car early, made myself some Ramen noodles, and rested. At dusk, I saw him walking up the slope. No sightings of elk. It was time to leave. We began the five-hour trip back to Cutbank.

Brian was beat. I knew he wanted to hunt that next morning for a mule deer, and we had the GPS, and I wasn't as tired as he was. So I demanded he let me drive. Once we were near the highway, we switched, and he fell quickly to sleep.

The darkness of the Montana night and the empty highway made for a very peaceful drive. But I was not in the least bit sleepy.

You see, I had a pregnancy test stashed away at the bottom of my backpack.

I felt in my bones I wasn't pregnant, as badly as I wanted to be. I knew my period was due the next day and I was sure it would come in the morning. But I had a digital test that had expired in July, a couple months earlier. I wanted to get my money's worth out of that test. So, period or not, I was going to take it that next morning. I would take it first thing, before that dreaded next cycle began.

And yet... there was a chance.

But I was so sure I wasn't! I'd had no symptoms at all, trekking through those mountains and eating dehydrated food. Or if I had, they'd surely been disguised as hunting fatigue. But driving along that winding highway, darkness spreading out for miles on every side of our rented car, my mind flipped back and forth.

And then... I felt a very small symptom. I won't say what it was, because even though I've already (I'm sure) crossed the line into TMI-land, I'd like to not make it worse. But it's a very common pregnancy symptom and it WASN'T normal for this time of the month. Was it in my head? I wondered.

Maegan, you're not pregnant.

But maybe... maybe I am.

Please, please, please, God, I prayed. Let it be positive.

As Brian slept peacefully in the passenger seat, I continued this internal dialogue until the lights of Cutbank loomed on the horizon. All I thought about was taking that test the next morning.

(I'd had a bit of a test obsession over the first five years of our marriage. I'd never seen a positive one.)

We parked, finally there, and Brian got out of the car. "Let's unload it tomorrow morning," he said.

"I have to get my backpack," I said.


"I just want it. No big deal."

It was around 2 AM. We showered and fell asleep in their warm, soft, impossibly delicious guest bed.

Five hours later, I woke. Seeing the light coming through the window, the first thought that popped into my head was the test.

I ever-so-quietly lifted my backpack and brought it with me into the bathroom. I fished around in the bottom until my fingers found the wrapped test. I unwrapped it, did the deed, capped it, and set it on the floor. I looked the opposite way, at the wall. I know it's going to say Not Pregnant. I don't want to watch it pop up.

Then I changed my mind. I know it's going to say Not Pregnant. Might as well know as soon as possible.

I looked down at the test. A tiny hourglass was blinking on the digital screen while the results unfolded internally. Blink, blink, blink. As it blinked, I whispered in rhythm, Not Pregnant, Not Pregnant, Not Pregnant.

Blink, blink, blink.

And then, Pregnant.

I gasped! And you know how it's possible to shout in a whisper? Well, I shout-whispered! "Oh my word! Oh my word!" I jumped up and down and I caught a look at my face in the mirror above the sink. My eyes were huge and my skin was pale and my smile took up half my face. More shout-whispering. "Thank you, God! Thank you, God!"

I crept back into bed. All thoughts of acting casual, waiting for the perfect moment to eventually present itself during the day, fled. I shook Brian's shoulder. "Hey honey, there's one good thing about this trip," I whispered - probably a bit hysterically.

"What's that?" he asked very groggily.

"Well, we're bringing a little buddy home with us," I said, holding the test in front of his face with a shaking hand.

It took his a bit of time to adjust his eyes, recognize what it was, and read the word on it. "Did you just take that?" he asked incredulously.

"Yep!" I said, with tears in my eyes. He hugged me. He had a huge grin on his face.

We prayed together. We dedicated the pregnancy to the Lord; I wanted to give Him all of my fear and worry, so that I could enjoy every moment of carrying that baby. I kept saying, "I'm so happy!" I couldn't stop smiling.

And a year later, I can't stop smiling at my chubby baby boy! What would it be like, I wonder, to go back and do it all again, knowing that it was Will in there? How amazing that would be!


1 comment:

  1. Beautiful story Maegan. NEVER is what you share TMI, NEVER. Keep it coming baby, I love how you write and can literally 'see' what you are describing. Of course the pictures help :) Love you guys SO MUCH!