It didn’t feel like it was supposed to happen at times. In fact, I went out for dinner with my mum four days before finding out and I told her that I felt like I might be ready to see a specialist. I was opening myself up to the fact that this is a hard thing to do no matter how much effort and love and belief you put into it. It isn’t a straight path for everyone.
Almost six years ago I moved to New York. Upon arriving in New York, I found an apartment and quickly moved all of my belongings into it. My mum came down to help me move in and as we were exploring my new neighbourhood, we stumbled upon a store that had a tree growing inside of it. Attached to each of the branches of this tree were colourful ribbons with black writing printed on them – Brazilian wish bracelets.
Originally worn around the neck, these silk ties, or fitas, were used to hang religious medallions and holy images. They were decorated with silver hand writing on them, reading “Lembrança do Senhor do Bonfim da Bahia” – In remembrance of the Saviour of Bahia. It was said that the Saviour of Bahia was a provider of miracles and a granter of wishes.
What started as a religious ritual has transformed into somewhat of a modern day miracle bracelet. The way it works is that usually someone has to ‘gift’ you the bracelet. In this situation, my mum gave me mine. The person gifting the bracelet ties three knots and with each knot, the person receiving the bracelet makes three wishes. Traditionally it is said that these can be any wish, goal or dream you may have. The bracelet is to remain in place until it falls off on its own. At the point that the bracelet falls off, it is said that the three wishes will be granted.
You’re probably wondering how this fits into everything but sometimes its the things that make the least sense that make the biggest difference.
The wishes I made that day very much came true but it wasn’t until Jeff and I decided to give out these bracelets at our wedding almost four years later that we realized how special they were to us. As a small gift to all of our guests we included bracelets in our thank you notes with instructions on how to use them. At the same time we tied two new bracelets on each other without sharing what we both were wishing for. I’d like to think of this one as my lovefest bracelet.
Almost two years later to the day, Jeff and I went camping for the September long weekend with some close friends. When we arrived we dropped off our bags into the tent (which our friends had very nicely already pitched!) and got changed to go for a hike in the area. After walking and hiking for a few hours, we went back to our campsite, changed into our bathing suits and went down to the river to go for a swim. A combination of wildly rushing water and slimy rocks made it difficult for any of us to really want to dive in. We decided to head back to the site and start getting dinner ready.
As I was putting back on my shorts and shoes I felt something fall off my wrist. I looked down and there was my ratty, dull, pink Brazilian wish bracelet staring back up at me. I slowly bent down and picked it up. My heart sort of jumped out of my chest for a minute and I slowly turned around to see if Jeff had noticed what just happened. He was staring right at me and just sort of smiled.
We walked back up to the site and started a campfire. We all got changed and got cozy by the fire and opened up some drinks. In the back of my mind I just felt something shift. As much as I wanted a beer, I just wasn’t sure I should have it. It was the weirdest feeling. All in the same moment I felt like this thing I wanted so badly absolutely was not going to happen but yet I sort of knew it was happening. I could hardly sleep that night.
I woke up about an hour before everyone else and threw my shoes on and went for a walk. On that day I posted this picture and wrote this post. It started pouring as I was out so I ran back into the tent and we started to get all of our stuff together to head home. Jeff turned to me and we both said that when we got home I should take a test.
Twenty-four hours after my bracelet fell off I was looking at two pink lines. There was no part of me that could believe it. We both decided I should wait and take another test the following day to see if it was still positive. At 4am I woke up and took the second test. It’s like those companies know that you need the second one in the pack just to confirm a negative or positive. One is definitely not enough.
It was positive. I crawled back into bed beaming. There were no words to describe how I was feeling. I woke Jeff up and told him what had happened. We just hugged for a really really really long time.
Most people will ask, did you feel any different? Had you noticed anything that was unusual? For someone that is so in tune with their body I had definitely recently been feeling some breast tenderness, which was unusual for me. It isn’t a normal symptom for me when I get my cycle (which I hadn’t had for almost six months at this point) so I knew that something was going on, but never in a million years did I think I could be pregnant.
Ten urine tests and one blood test later we confirmed what we wanted to know. Somehow, someone out there was listening to everything that I had been doing. Somehow, my body was receiving all of the goodness that I was giving it. Somehow, magic happened. I was testing for ovulation, I was hoping for cycles, I was doing all of it and none of it showed itself positively to me until that moment.
You might think I’m totally crazy now for believing in wish bracelets and thinking that it had something to do with me getting pregnant. I think having something to believe in, something to have faith towards, something to dream about and think about that’s higher than me is really important and has absolutely been helpful through this journey.
When I was in Tulum in August I was asking for help each and every day. I was reminding myself how strong I am, both physically and emotionally so that when the time would come, whenever that was, that I would be ready. I have to think that the efforts I put in over the past two years helped me to get where I am today. It gives me so much hope and so much love that I want to share all of it with you. No matter where you are on your own adventure, just know that when you’re ready to go the extra mile to make magic happen, there are a lot of awesome things in the universe that are out there to help you out. You just have to ask.
[ And if you want a Brazilian wish bracelet, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll happily post one to you where ever you are in the world]