That's exactly how much time has passed since the second best day of my life. The first, being the day Baby N was born. Is it wrong that May 2nd, 2011 trumps our wedding day on October 14th, 2006? I think Jamie probably feels the same way.
I've been asked bunches and bunches of times what Nya's name means. Apparently if you google it, it means, "Purpose", or "To give Purpose". That fits nicely, but that's not where we got it, or why we chose it. I've told the whole story to my family and a few friends, and I originally told Jamie, "I don't WANT other people to know her "name story"...it's too special! And it is. But now that a year has gone by since the Day Happiness Started, I think I can be less emotional and actually talk about it (or rather, type about it!) without tears. Well, probably not, but hey, a few tears never hurt anyone! So here goes.
*** Word to the wise...if you'd rather not know any details about my ovaries, probably stop reading now...
Late April 2009, we decided to start "not NOT trying" for a baby. You know, when you want to start "trying", but you don't want to officially SAY you're trying, because you don't want to jinx it? Yah...that was us. About 10 months went by, and nothing. This was around the time that I turned from "normal wife", into "crazy wife". I had rules...I had charts...you've heard of Bridezilla? I was Ovulationzilla (yah...it's a thing!). This went on for about 10 MORE months. This brings us to December 2010, when we finally decided to see a doctor. At that point, we had decided to request that our next transfer with Jamie's job be to an isolated community in Northern Labrador (where we currently live!), so I was felt like if we needed help (and it appeared that we did!) we needed it RIGHT then, because very soon we'd be moving to Nain. And in Nain, there isn't even a general practitioner...much less a doctor specializing in fertility treatments! We got a referral, and made an appointment to see a specialist in early April of 2011, about 3 months before our big move to the North.
Up until this point, there was not a whole lot I could focus on other than babies. Jamie was fantastic through the whole thing, but men simply don't experience infertility the way women do. I can remember sitting in our car the parking lot of Swiss Chalet in St. John's (not sure why I remember that little detail, but I do!) crying my eyes out, and saying, "If you tell me to 'just relax; don't stress!' ONE more time...!!!"
If you don't know my husband, then I have to tell you: he's my opposite. Where I'm stressed, he's calm; where my feelings and emotions are always made well known, he can very easily keep a relaxed demeanor. I cry over Tim Horton's commercials and country songs; I've seen HIM cry exactly ONCE in the 8 years since we met, started dating, and were married. During the "Dark Days" of trying to make a baby, as I so fondly refer to them, when I would be sitting on the couch in my sweatpants and a bucket of ice cream and tears, Jamie was just say, "Bub, it's going to happen in it's own time."
My response was usually to throw something at him (but not my ice cream...that just would've been wasteful).
Point being, if you've been in this situation for ANY amount of time, you know the feeling of having a total one-track-mind. So, when I would pray (and my, was there a LOT of praying!) it was to be pregnant. THAT month. None of this, "Your Will be done" business...I wanted a baby, and I wanted one NOW, and I didn't see why I shouldn't be pregnant that very month.
I think with infertility, whether it's a struggle for two years or for ten, there's usually a Part That Sucks The Most. And I think it's different for everyone. Maybe it's TV commercials about pregnancy, or being invited to another baby shower that isn't your own. This never bothered me...I never felt anything but genuine happiness for my preggo friends...I was just also very anxious for the day when it would be me. For me, the Part That Sucks The Most was this: Waiting, every month, for "Day 1" (if you've never tracked your cycle, Day 1 is when you get your period, or, if you're trying to get pregnant, the day you WOULD'VE started your period). The day when either your hopes crash and burn for another month, OR (hopefully!), the day when you finally achieve two little red lines instead of one. At least...this is how it should work in theory. Instead, here's how the majority of my months would go:
Day 1: No period by 10am...pee on a stick. Negative. Pee on another stick at 4pm, because that one was probably defective. I think I was holding it wrong. Negative again.
Don't sleep all night.
Day 2: Still nothing. Buy more pregnancy tests. Convince myself I feel a little nauseous (which was probably caused by not sleeping all night). Take two more pregnancy tests, at the same time. Drive to a friends house, to see if she can see a second line on one of them, or if it's just my eyes playing tricks on me. Have her reassure me that no, it's just my eyes playing tricks on me.
Day 3: Consider calling the clinic to have bloodwork done, because I'm SURE this is the month, and ALL the pregnancy tests I bought seem to be defective. Remember how I usually black out when I have blood taken, and chicken out.
FYI: Regardless of how many times you take a pregnancy test, and how many times it's negative, you will still WITHOUT FAIL feels like like little window is actually showing you THIS:
Typically, this would go on and on until about Day 7 or 8, when all my excitement and hopes would crash down faster than you can say, "Midol", and I would pull on my well-worn sweats, schlep out to the couch, and let Jamie know that "I Wasn't"...usually by burying my face in the couch cushions and mumbling, threw sobs, something akin to "Stupid, worthless ovaries". And he would kiss my forehead, and go get me the ice cream.
So, THIS was The Part That Sucks The Most, and the part that I DID NOT UNDERSTAND. What I DID understand, despite my anxiousness and tears and anger?
I knew I would get pregnant exactly when I supposed to.
I knew that God's timing was not my own.
I knew that good would come of that time of waiting.
What I DIDN'T understand? I didn't understand what good could possibly come of me getting my hopes up, every month, for those few days, only to have them dashed again and again. That part made absolutely no sense to me, no matter what way I looked at it. So that month, I had a new prayer. I stopped praying to be pregnant, and I started praying for "an answer". An answer, pregnant or not pregnant, on DAY ONE...not seven or eight days later. And there were days when I was so frustrated that those two words were the only ones I could get our in prayer. An Answer.
This is what I prayed, night and day, for the entire month of April.
Around the first of April, we had met with our fertility specialist, and since all our previous tests had come back pretty normal, I was scheduled to go in mid-May for a Dye test. If you've had a Dye test, then you know that they're about as much fun as sticking your face into a vat of burning grease. I had a few friends who had had them done, and one friend actually described it as more painful (though much shorter!) than labor contractions. So obviously, I was very much looking forward to this. But on a serious note, I WAS anxiously awaiting it...in a way (and this might sound awful) I almost wanted them to find someone wrong: something small, something fixable. I wanted someone to point at something in my life or body and say, "THERE! That's what's preventing them from making a baby! Let's fix it!"
Because I had tried everything that I could do in my own power. I had looked into acupuncture, relaxation therapies, herbal supplements, just to name a few.
Want me to give up coffee? I'll give up Pepsi, too.
Oh, I should try cutting out all meats? NO problem.
You want me to try standing on my head and chanting ancient fertility prayers? I'M ON IT.
If even ONE blog mentioned it, I was ready to try it. And now I had reached the end of things that I, personally, could do...and to be honest, it was a relief to know that someone else was going to take the reins.
Little did I know, I had never even HAD the reins.
May 1st was Day 1. It loomed in my mind, and I wanted it to take a long time to arrive. I needed a few more days to prepare myself, emotionally, before my monthly roller coaster ride.
May 1st came and went, no period. I went to church. I went to the home of two of my lovely friends, for a photo session of them are their two adorable Bambinos. I tried not to think about babies. I didn't take a pregnancy test.
May 2nd was a Monday. Jamie was on a day-shift, at the detachment right next door to our house. A little before lunch, I was having a coffee (having decided that when I finally got pregnant, it would probably NOT be because I was being rewarded for my lack of caffeine intake...) and reading my bible, and I remember that the Ellen show was on TV on mute, because I remember looking up and thinking that I liked the dress one of her guests was wearing I was reading in James, and was growing a giant ball of frustration inside of me, because IT WAS DAY TWO. Day 2, and no period. No ANSWER. And I got mad. I hadn't prayed to be pregnant that month...all I had asked God for, was not to have those in-between days, of trying not to hope, but secretly hoping. I was mad that it was happening again. I was mad that it was Day 2, and not only was He not giving me a Baby, He wasn't even giving me my Answer.
And then I came to this verse, and Ellen and my coffee and the pretty dress and everything else in the room all disappeared from my mind.
" But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord". (James 1:6-7)
I've never understood that term, "It felt like the air was sucked out of the room". But that was literally how this felt. Because I realized. It was DAY TWO. I had prayed for An Answer on DAY ONE. He had given me that Answer, and I was too expectant of disappointment to see it. I asked, but I didn't believe.
And that was literally all it took. I remember setting my Bible and coffee on the end table, and saying aloud, "I'm pregnant..."
And then I got in my car (in my sweatpants...) and drove to the pharmacy there on Bell Island, and bought a test, and drove back home.
To be honest...I didn't need the test. Looking back, EVERY other time I had taken a pregnancy test (Ooooooo and there were many!), I just knew. I knew it wouldn't be positive. Even when I would strain my eyes to see a second line, or a plus signed, or that darned little smiley face (seriously, can we imprison whoever invented THAT little gem?!), I still knew I wouldn't see it. But THIS time...it was so, SO different. I remember peeing on the little white stick, and glancing at it after about 30 seconds, and only seeing one line, but thinking, "That's ok, it'll show up in a minute. Or maybe it's too soon for a test." And I was so calm. That's not like me. But the calmness fled immediately when I looked at the test again after about 90 seconds.
Then I think I started crying.
I've always imagined how I'd tell Jamie we were pregnant: Maybe a romantic candlelight dinner, where I'd give him a wrapped gift, and it would be a pair of little baby booties (or something equally cute), and then he'd look at me with his surprised-but-so-happy face and we'd both cry and then maybe he'd kiss my belly.
Instead, it went something like this:
I ran up and down the hall about five times, and then into the living room to find a phone, and had to try dialing Jamie's work number THREE TIMES because my hands were shaking so badly, and when I finally managed to press the right buttons and he picked up, I yelled something like, "AAAHHHHHH I PEEEEED!!!!AND IT SAID YEEEEEEEESSSS AHHHHHHHHHHH". And he said, "Ummm....what? I'm coming home." So then he came in the door about 60 second later, and I was shaking and crying and repeated my eloquent speech I gave him on the phone, and he said, "SHOW ME THE TEST!!!". And I looked down at my hands...and I was only holding the phone. And I looked in the bathroom, and it wasn't there. And I looked in our bedroom, and the kitchen, and the living room, and I could. Not. FIND IT.
So at this point, Jamie probably thought I was doing a really dramatic, really mean, really LATE April Fool's Day prank on him, and I thought I was losing my mind. I finally retraced my erratic steps and found it, right where I left it...in the cordless-phone charger. Riiiight.
I handed him the test, which he looked at and, in astounding wisdom, said:
"Oh, I don't know Bub...don't the two lines have to be the same color?" (one was a little darker than the other).
Me: "Um, no. A line is a line. ANY line means pregnant."
Jamie: "Well where does it say that?"
Me: "Are you aware of how many of these I've taken in the past two years? Trust me when I say I KNOW HOW IT WORKS!!!"
I think I only then realized that I wasn't the only one sick and tired of getting my hopes up, and having it end in disappointment. And this time, it wouldn't.
So. The original point of my story. How we found chose Nya's name.
Exactly 24 hours after the two red lines appeared, I was on the internet looking Baby Names (because I'm nothing, if not someone who jumps the gun). I found one website that listed names for both boys and girls alphabetically, and if you scrolled to the far right it gave the origin of the name, and it's meaning. I was throwing names out left and right, and Jamie's responses went something like this:
"I hate it"
"I hate it"
"Sure, if our baby was a dog"
"I hate it"
"Is it for a boy or girl?...nevermind, I hate it for both"
"That's not a name; that's just a sound"
Easy to please, that husband of mine!
As I scrolled down through the "A" names, I saw the name "Anaya" (pronounced "A-nEYE-ah". I said it to myself a couple times, and then asked Jamie if he liked it. He though for a minute, and then said, "Yah...but I like it better if the first "A" is dropped."
Naya. I liked it too. But Naya is a bottled water, so I thought we'd have to also drop the second "a", leaving it spelled as "Nya"...which the site actually listed another version of "Anaya". Hmmm...a name we both liked. I decided we must be having a girl, because we had actually found a name we both liked.
Then I realized I hadn't scrolled over to see the meaning. I grabbed the mouse again, thinking, "PLEASEpleaseplease don't let it be something stupid, like 'Goddess of Wind' or something else equally embarrassing..."
From ancient Hebrew.
Forms include Naya, and Nya.
Meaning, "GOD ANSWERED."
Like I said at the top of this post...a year has gone by since we found out we were pregnant. Our Little Doll is 4 months old today, and I'm able to talk about this without bursting into tears...although I still feel as though my heart may just burst out of my chest with joy.
When we were going through our two years of "dark days", I was incredibly blessed to have close friends walking the same path. Obviously I wish they hadn't been, as no one wants people they love to experience this, but I do believe God placed certain people in my life who could understand and relate.
Other than a few close friends and family members, this wasn't something we shared with people. I didn't want people to be uncomfortable; I didn't want people to be afraid to invite me to baby showers or announce to me that they were pregnant again. And I really, really, REALLY didn't want people to say any of THESE things to me:
I don't know if these are meant to be funny, but that's how most of them seem to me! You know...not "haha" funny, but funny in a, "Are people really that dumb?" kind of way. Oh, but wait...I know this already! Because here are just a couple little tidbits of wisdom I had thrown my way by people who weren't aware of our struggle to conceive:
"Have fun on your trip! Hope you didn't forget to pack your pills...no one wants any little accidents happening in Costa Rica!"
"I don't believe in fertility treatments and all that crap. I think if God wants people to have a baby, they'll just have one...and if they don't, maybe it's because they wouldn't have been very good parents anyway" (It is astounding to me how I managed NOT to high five this person. In the face. With a chair.)
"Ugh...I'm SO stressed. We've been trying to get pregnant. For a MONTH. There's probably something wrong with me."
Somehow though, I still preferred these fantastic comments to the 'pity look'. But mostly, I didn't want to look like a failure. Getting pregnant is supposed to be the most natural thing in the world: all I could think was that I was doing something wrong; that this was somehow my fault. I'm not sure what the stats are in Canada, but I'm sure it's very similar to the States, where infertility effects one in every EIGHT women. It's so incredibly hush-hush, and there is NO reason for that. I'm fine with the fact that we kept our private life private at the time. But now, I'm okay with sharing our story. And it can encourage just one person, then my two hours of writing it and missing Modern Family are completely worth it.
So this is my daughter's name, and the story of how she got her name. I had prayed for an Answer. Every day, every minute...when I thought I was praying for an answer to my frustrations, I was praying for HER. As if I needed more proof that this was God's perfect timing. As if I needed more assurance that this was HIS ANSWER.
James 1:17 says that "Every good and perfect gift is from above".
He gave me patience, when I felt I would lose my mind with anxiousness.
He gave me peace, when I felt like throwing a chair threw the wall.
He gave me faith, when every single fiber of my being wanted to give up and find something easier and more attainable to wish for.
He gave me a my Answer, and a name, and a daughter.