After getting married in December of 2016 I couldn’t wait for our honeymoon! After all the planning, all the events and all of the stress leading up to a wedding day, a honeymoon is MUCH needed. Agreed? Well my husband and I had worked with a travel agent and decided for what we were looking for and our budget, Costa Rica was our best choice. Let me tell you, it certainly was. Going to Costa Rica for 10 days was literally the trip of a lifetime and probably something we may never experience again. The bliss of being newlyweds was in the air for sure and just having one another, no distractions and a sense of freedom in a beautiful place was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. But we had no idea what our trip would have in store for us.

After our wedding we had discussed babies and if and when we thought we would be ready. We were thinking later in the summer to start to “try” but of course, my jump to the gun mentality was struck with, wait, why wait? My husband and I decided, the day before we left for our honeymoon to stop preventing. Anxious, nervous and excited that we had that discussion, I quickly had a rude awakening as soon as we exited the plane into Costa Rica and seeing images of pregnant women and the word ZIKA. Literally as I can remember it was plastered EVERYWHERE and a feeling of panic took over my mental as soon as I realized we didn’t bring any condoms (lol. Yes we used condoms). I tried to be all cool calm and collected and just not think about it and have a carefree honeymoon as planned, but it was always in the back of my mind. Spraying myself with bug spray non stop and thinking every bug bite I got would be my gateway to the ZIKA virus.

Exploring an unknown place and enjoying every second was our main goal and boy did we do just that! Coming home was so bittersweet as we quickly realized that our dream life was short lived and coming to an end. Driving home from the airport I remember this awful cramping feeling and not knowing what it was. I had just had my period before we left so I knew it couldn’t be that. A few weeks went by and I finally decided to take a pregnancy test I was actually excited at the idea of being pregnant but then again what about ZIKA? Nervous, anxious, freaked out I peed on a stick and almost immediately it said negative. A sigh of relief hit me and also disappointment. I wanted to be pregnant but at the same time I was so scared (I am extremely indecisive as you’ll learn later). The good news is, it was bound to happen sometime since we weren’t preventing any longer, so I wanted to make sure I’d be safe from ZIKA. I had an appointment the following week (now I’m 2 days late on my period) to get checked for the Z.

Sitting in the office I was anxious just to know if I was in the clear or not, although I knew I wasn’t pregnant. Because, well taking a pregnancy test and having it say negative means you’re not pregnant right? I GUESS NOT! Come to find out after testing my urine they said well it looks like you’re pregnant, but it must be too early tell. Wait, looks like? How does something “look like it”. I was so confused. I obviously hadn’t had a belly at that point, or any pregnancy signs so how in the hell can it “look like” I was pregnant without an actual definitive answer? The doctor told me that when I went next door to get my blood drawn to be tested for the Z they would test my hormone levels for pregnancy as well and I’d find out tomorrow if I was pregnant or not. Tomorrow?! Ugh. But what about ZIKA how long does that take to get the results back?? 14 days at least, the doctor told me. After getting my blood drawn, I went out to my car and immediately began to cry. I knew I was pregnant. I just had the feeling. I had that cramping and something didn’t feel normal. A huge rush of guilt came over me. Not because I had unprotected sex, because of course he was my husband, that’s what you do right? But because I had possibly allowed myself to get pregnant and cause my unborn child to have deformities.

My mind raced as I drove home in silence. I called my husband and he was so excited. But I just couldn’t get myself to be happy. I felt so horrible. Isn’t this supposed to be the happiest day of my life, I thought to myself. But instead of happiness, I felt guilt, sorrow, regret and anxiety. How could I let this happen? (I’m literally crying as I write this… Damn hormones)

Weeks went by and I just kept waiting for that phone call to let me know if I had in fact been infected with the Z. I called and called and they told me keep waiting. After about a month, I called the office to demand for my results once again and question where they were. They told me they would have the nurse call me back. That was NOT what I wanted to hear. I just wanted to know it. YES OR NO. Did I or didn’t I have it?! The office called back and OF COURSE I missed it! SHOOT. There was a voicemail. Listened to the voicemail and I heard an angel I swear, “Erin everything looks great with your results. You are in the clear.” GOOSEBUMPS! IMMEDIATELY! I was so relieved to hear that.

After living as a real life stress ball for around a month, I couldn’t believe how my mentality changed almost immediately. I began to get excited, I began to think of myself as really being pregnant. I began to think of myself as a mom. I couldn’t wait to tell all of my closest friends and family at that point because I wanted to keep it a secret just in case something was wrong. The excitement continued in my journey, but another bump in the road came head on. For that, you’ll have to continue reading.