Tag Archives: pregnancy test

Pennies from heaven

23 Jan

If you know me, you know that I have a thing for feathers.

They mean something to me;

they serve as signs from the Universe and they remind me that my lost loved ones are near.

They are a part of my deeply superstitious nature,

and I believe in their power.

But, feathers are not the only symbols that have a deep, profound place in my being.

There are, in fact, many signs that I keep an eye out for,

to let me know that my angels are watching,

or that strength is near

or that everything is going to be OK.

So, while I’m on the lookout for feathers,

my eyes are also peeled for pennies.

My Nanny also had a thing for pennies.

When she’d find a heads up penny on the ground, she would call them “Pennies from heaven”.

I wrote about this in my college Thesis,

entitled, “Just a Little Bit of Dancing: A Cubist Family Portrait Through Writing.”,

which was a collage of love and life and loss in my dad’s family.

My Nanny’s love of pennies was something that many family members would mention when interviewing them for my Thesis works.

It was something that I held on to.

I grew to love pennies,

and to check them out, whenever I would spot them.

In the weeks leading up to my finding out that I was pregnant, I saw scores of feathers;

They were everywhere I’d look. I knew that they meant something.

But, just in case I needed a little extra proof, my Nanny left me one extra clue,

not only to let me know that yes, I was expecting,

but that she would be there for me,

and with me,

every step of the way.

The night before I was to receive my pregnancy test results,

I was jumping out of my skin. I could focus on nothing else, especially not the graduate work that I had to complete. But, I had to do some reading for a “Vernacular writing” seminar, and had not yet been able to find the book I needed, so I put all of my energy into the quest to find it.

Finally, I was able to track it down at my local library, but only in large print. Fine.

That would do.

I perused the large print book shelves until I found the title that I needed, and when I grabbed the book, I noticed that there was a slight space between some of the pages.

I folded it open to find that there was something stuck in page 36.

A penny.

Heads up.

From the year my husband was born.

Nanny was telling me that she was with me. That it would all be OK.

And it was.

Nanny came around throughout my pregnancy, leaving feathers to let me know that all was well.

One, most powerful instance came when she visited both me and my dad.

In trying to find something to wear, I reached into the back of my closet and found a sweater that she had bought for me before she passed away, nearly 12 years earlier. She allowed me to pick it out from the Adult GAP, which was, of course, a really big deal at the time. And, because it was something I needed to grow into,

it still fit.

I wore that sweater on a date night with my husband.

He brought me, on a whim, to a neighborhood sushi restaurant.

He didn’t realize that it was the sushi restaurant I had always gone to with my Nanny and Poppy. It was our special place. They were the people with whom I tried Ikura and green tea ice cream, and it was just our thing.

So sitting there, in that back room,

at the same table that I had shared with my Nanny,

in the sweater that she had bought for me over a decade earlier,

I felt her.

I felt her presence.

I felt her excitement.

I felt her love.

I was anxious to tell my dad, and called him first thing the next morning.

My mom picked up the phone, so I began to tell her the story, unable to contain my emotions.

As I was saying the words, “Nanny is around.”, my dad picked up the phone, interrupting us,

saying the exact same thing.

“Bex, Nanny came into my dream last night.”

And he went on to tell me that she was in the dream, at the hospital when the baby was born, and that he saw her holding my child,

a little girl,

with blue eyes.

I cried.

She was, most certainly, around.

At that time, I said, “Well, I believe it. But, let’s wait and see how my baby turns out to be. We will see if Nan was right, after all.”

5 months later,

my baby was born,

during a scary, unplanned C-Section

as my Nanny’s favorite song filled the room,

having come on the radio,

just in time for her to wail along.

She is a girl.

She has blue eyes.

Nanny was right.

She always was.

And so, this week, when I started to see pennies around, I didn’t have to question whether or not it was my Nanny.

I just knew.

So, it didn’t come as a great surprise to me when my father picked up the phone in the morning,

to tell me that Nanny had visited his dream once more, and that he got to watch her playing with my daughter.

Nor did it come as a surprise to him when I told him that I had been feeling her around.

That I had been seeing feathers.

And pennies.

One of my students even brought in a book for me to read, about a grandparent and grandchild, and their love for lucky pennies.

Okay, Nan.

I get it.


But, no sign was as powerful as the one she sent me last night,

as I saw my daughter crawl over to an object on the floor and begin to play with it.

I ran to grab the small trinket from her hands,

before it found it’s way to her mouth,

and had to gasp when I saw what it was.

A lucky penny.

Held heads up.

From the year that I was born.

A penny from heaven.


If you know me, you know that I have a thing for my angels.

They mean the world to me.

I depend on them for strength and I believe that they watch over my daughter,

as she plays each day

and as she sleeps each night.

And no matter what you believe,

I know, in my bones,

that there is a reason why these signs appear for me;

they keep my loved ones alive,

and let me know that they are not missing anything about this most special time in our lives.

And for this, I am not only blessed,

but I am also



One Year Ago, Part 3

13 Aug

Tonight, as we placed the baby in her crib,

and she stroked her own full, delicious cheeks with her tiny delicious hands,

I couldn’t help but to realize that she was wearing a very special nightgown;

This gown was the very first anything that my husband and I bought for the baby.

It is butter soft, and filled with beautiful designs, in neutral colors (of course. We didn’t know the sex back then!)

with tan owls, green trees, and a hot air balloon, floating towards a most placid cloud.

This was her first gift,

as it was the first tangible representation of her presence in our lives.

But, weeks before we stumbled upon this most precious nightgown,

I had been going crazy over a faint line.

Well, 2 faint lines, to be exact,

as I had taken 2 pregnancy tests,

each identical in faintness,

and in 2-line-ness.

Yes, I had a box of digital readout pregnancy tests stored in my closet,

and yes, I was far too nervous to use them.

The idea of seeing “Pregnant” or “Not Pregnant” spelled out so concretely was still too frightening for me.

I preferred to live in a state of paralyzing anxiety and unknown for several days,

of course

That’s just the way I roll.

The weekend (FINALLY) rolled around into Monday,

and it was time for me to get my blood taken.

Of course, just as my arm was being pricked,

the courier came to pick up the blood for analysis.

I. missed. the. pick. up. by. two. minutes.

This meant an extra 24 hours of waiting.

In those 24 hours I panicked

I watched the Sex and the City Movie

I bawled

I ate Mommom’s Sweet and Sour Meatballs (what? Spoiler Alert: I was pregnant, after all)

I paced

I ran to the bathroom every 7 seconds

I prayed.

And so, on that Tuesday, having waited days since my first two-liney pregnancy test,

I could wait, no longer.

I would be hearing from the doctor’s office that afternoon,

and I could not spend another day pacing around the house,

so my mom took me out to be distracted.

We ended up at Home Goods and TJ Maxx. If those places couldn’t distract me, nothing could.

And, it worked.

Kind of.

I walked the aisles,

(and used their potties, several times)

and watched the clock,

willing my phone to buzz.

As I paced sightlessly up and down the aisles, I stroked my ears.

It sounds strange, but even though I had seen so many feathers that week,  I still needed a little extra dose of strength, so I wore my sacred good-luck earrings,

two hanging, silver feathers,

that my husband had given me for my 22nd birthday.

They gave me solace that day (just as they continued to do at every doctor’s appointment I had from that point on. But, I’m getting ahead of myself).

Finally, at 3:17 pm,

I felt my phone vibrate

as my heart fell into my stomach.

It was the doctor’s office.

It was time.

I will never ever forget what I heard on the other end.

“Hello?” I answered, shaking in my hands, my voice and in every other part of my being.

“Rebecca?” the nurse, Beth, asked.

“Yes?” I could not breathe.

What followed was one simple word–

a word that I can still hear, as clear as day, as if I’m still holding up my phone, quivering, in the little boy’s aisle of TJ Maxx.


Full disclosure, I can’t even type this without crying.

I remember that she read my HCG and Progesterone levels to me.

I remember that, at that moment, I turned around to see my mom peering over a display of clothing, and I smiled at her.

I remember that we both started to sob, instantly.

I remember that Beth, the wonderful, amazing nurse, came to my first ultrasound, just because she was so excited for us and our miraculous news.

I remember that when I hung up the phone, my mom told me that if I had a son, I would have to name him “Max” in honor of good old TJ’s.

I could barely get my fingers to work, but I dialed my husband at work.

He was waiting for my call.

He barely choked out his greeting.

“Love….are you ready to be a daddy?”

And then, he told me the most amazing thing. Lying across his desk was a giant, brown feather. Yes, a feather, indoors, in his office, in the middle of August. He immediately sent me a photo, so that I could see his marvelous sight. We took it as a sign. Not only was I pregnant, but our loved ones were with us, telling us that everything was going to be alright.

Now, before finding out I was pregnant,

I had these elaborate plans of how I would tell my family members.

I had dreams of “Grandparents” greeting cards,

sappy toasts at family dinners,

and oh, I don’t know, surprises,

but, I couldn’t wait.

Let me tell you, none of my fantasies involved a scorching hot parking lot of TJ Maxx. But, that’s the way life works. You plan, and then life kicks in.

So, on that afternoon, one year ago,

I could have never imagined the most beautiful, angelic baby, that would soon be mine.

I could never have pictured the happiness that I would soon know,

nor the craziness that would also be born in me.

I could never have dreamed that so much beauty could have been hatched

out of something as simple

as a few feathers.

One Year Ago, Part 1

10 Aug

One year ago,

I peed on one little stick,

and two little lines appeared.

I was pregnant.

Easy peasy.

Except, not.

One year ago, my husband and I packed for the shore.

I tucked a box of E.P.T.s in with my u.n.d.i.e.s, because I hadn’t been feeling quite right.

I had been having dizzy spells,

and extreme fatigue,

and there were two very specific parts of my body that were very, uncharacteristically sore.

Plus, that week, I had seen a few feathers.

And by a few, I mean dozens.

And, when my sister and I had met that week, and cuddled up in a dark movie theater for a day-time showing of “Julie & Julia”, she just so happened to have rubbed my belly and gasped.

But, she recoiled, and zipped her lips.

It was then, she later told me, that she knew I was pregnant. She said that when she felt my stomach that day, she felt


In any case, we went down the shore, to my family’s beach house,

and I decided to casually take a pregnancy test.

Except, it wasn’t casual, at all.

I was a wreck.

Shocking, I know.

I felt like that month, every star had aligned.

I felt like that month was the month.

Did I mention that when my mom became pregnant with me,

her first child,

a daughter,


the first day of her last cycle (sorry, TMI, but really, you have to hear this) was

July 11?

Did I also mention that the first day of my last cycle,

on this day,

last year,


(you guessed it!)

July 11?

Something was just meant to be.

I can remember, so vividly, waking up before sunrise,

and creeping into the bathroom to,

(why is there no delicate, literary, beautiful way to say this?)

pee on le stick.

I then,

not so quietly,

scurried back into the bedroom,

hopped on my husband,

and begged him to wake up,

to get out of bed,

and to check the test for me.

I could not bear to look.

I think that the next 90 seconds were some of the longest 90 seconds in my memory.

I sat, perched at the edge of the bed,

as he waited in the bathroom

for a line,

or two,

to appear.

With every rustle,

my heart stopped.

I knew that I would know the answer by the way he walked back into the room.

And so, can you imagine how I felt when he walked in,


and asked,

“How long is it supposed to be before the test is ready?”

I was deflated.

I melted.

“So, I guess that means there was just one line.”

I could barely get the words out.

He walked back into the bathroom.

“Wait,” he called out. “There is a second line. It’s very faint, but it’s there.”

I sprang out of bed and ran towards him,

towards that little, white stick….

Stay tuned for part 2,

where one faint line causes one big meldtown.