After I found out I was pregnant in late April 2017, I wanted to tell everyone right away! I read a blog from a couple who suffered multiple miscarriages, and they told extended family immediately after finding out they were pregnant. Their philosophy was that they didn’t know God’s plan for each of their babies, and wanted to celebrate their life every day possible. That stuck with me so strongly. Now having had a miscarriage myself, that will also be my philosophy if God blesses us with another baby.
We wanted to tell as many of our family and friends as we could in person. They had all come alongside us in our infertility journey… praying for us, crying with us, and giving lots of hugs and advice. We wanted to see their reaction and enjoy this with them.
Nine short days after finding out we were going to be parents, I received a call from my Dad that I have dreaded my entire life. My beloved Grandpa passed away peacefully in his sleep on Friday, May 5, 2017. If there was anything more unexpected than getting pregnant naturally, it was that my Grandpa would be called home to heaven this year.
My Dad called that morning while I was cutting strawberries for our lunches. I dropped to the floor in my kitchen, screamed “no” repeatedly, and hazily watched Steven grab the knife from my hand. I was devastated.
The phone calls started flying in and out as all us cousins were in communication about driving down to see Grandma and being together that day.
I had to pull myself together long enough to hold my first prenatal appointment that morning. It was a phone call with my nurse to collect family history information, plan my next appointments, and determine what type of information/tests she would need to prepare for me. Meanwhile, Steven called off student teaching, packed our bags, and loaded the car. We hit the road to see Grandma who was in the hospital at the time.
The day was a blur of hugs, tears, tissues, why’s, “you need to eat”, and ended with my cousins staying with us at our hotel. As Steven and I walked the dogs that night outside the hotel, we debated on whether now was the right time to tell everyone our news. I didn’t want to detract from the extreme loss our family was experiencing, didn’t want to appear insensitive in any way, and certainly did not want to cause any problems. We eventually decided on telling our two cousins that night and leaving it at that.
We got back to the room, and Steven found the perfect chance to work it into the conversation in such a casual way. They immediately turned to me with jaws dropped, and I nodded my confirmation. It was the perfect way to share it with our best friend/cousin who has been by my side every single day of this rollercoaster journey.
Over the weekend, we shared the happy news with all my family near and far. After talking with my cousins that first night, I realized that Grandpa would want us to share this and enjoy every second possible.
Each reaction was nothing short of loving and priceless:
Pretending to show her a picture of our “new front yard” (yeah, right… everyone knows it is a cray cray mess), I handed my phone to my mom with a picture of our positive pregnancy tests. My youngest sisters looked over her shoulder with wide eyes. My mom remained in speechless utter shock while all my sisters hugged us. My big sis hugged me, rubbed my belly, and thanked God for a miracle. My nephew spent the afternoon intermittently coming up to me, placing his hand on my stomach, and saying, “baby”.
My aunt screamed and jumped for joy – literally jumped from a bench – and hugged me tight as we both cried thanking God for this baby.
My grandma’s eyes got wide and immediately filled with tears as she hugged me. She told me that Grandpa knows in heaven that I’m finally pregnant. I held her hand and asked her to get well and come home, because I needed her to help me tell my baby all about Grandpa.
My dad was one of the last to know. We waited late at the hospital until he arrived from out of town. When he got there, he tried talking to my Grandma, but she just looked past him to me and said, “tell him already.”
“Tell me what,” he said as spinned around.
“Are you ready for a Chandler/Rodriguez baby?” I replied.
He screamed so loud in that hospital room that we all collectively shushed him since we were there past visiting hours. He was so happy. I replay that moment in my head often, and pray for the day I get to see it again.
I sent SnapChat videos to two of my sisters living out of state before going to sleep that night, and woke up early to a phone call from my youngest and her husband. I could hear them happily screaming on the other end of the phone, and my sis crying happy tears with me.
As we said our goodbyes that Sunday, our hearts were overwhelmed with every emotion on the spectrum. Why did God think I could handle such immense grief and joy at the same time? I called my stepmom to let her know that we were leaving town, and sobbed with her as my heart ached with the thought that my grandpa would not know my baby.
It was a bittersweet weekend if there ever was one, but I know that God had a plan for us even then. Looking back to that weekend, I can see how he was already preparing our hearts for our miscarriage. He led me to tell my entire family our happy news, because he knew how much I was going to need each and every single one of them when that news turned terrible.
With my entire extended family in the know, we spent the next few days searching Pinterest for the best way to tell Steven’s parents. We wanted to wait until Mother’s Day. This was going to be the first grandbaby for my in-laws, and we wanted the announcement to be a special surprise.
My heart breaks to this day when I remember how my mother-in-law heard the news… stay tuned for my next post in the Baby Rodriguez Series.
Until then, remember that no matter what trial you are going through right now… God loves you, he is looking out for your best interest in his bigger plan, and he has a beautiful future just for you. It may be incredibly hard right now. You may wake up each day wondering how you will survive to see dusk. Call on Him. He’s working in your life, and he cares deeply.