Today marks ten years since my son came physically into my life. He had a stronghold on me way before I held him in my arms, but September 21 was the first time I could put a face to the person that until that moment I blamed for all of my personal discomfort. He was squishy and red and looked too damn much like his dad that I was actually questioning whether he was actually mine. He didn’t come into the world easily (I had a c-section) but I would have done it a million times more just to be able to finally hold him and squeeze him tight…
My husband and I were never going to have kids. We were way too happy being DINKS (double income, no kids) and had already managed to travel to many wonderful places and put roots down in a smallish house in a quiet suburb of Denver. I could sleep until noon most weekends and not have to worry much about anything at all. It was heavenly and boring at the same time. As I got older and neared my mid-thirties I had a revelation that convinced me that I would really be unhappy with my life if I could never be a mommy. All of a sudden it became a driving force in how I lived my life and what I wanted to do with my future. Of course it takes two to, ahem, tango and I wasn’t sure how the hubby was going to respond to my desire.
To my absolute delight he told me that he was ready to think about having kids and I was a pleased as I could possibly be. We had this,oh so important, conversation while cruising the Peak to Peak Highway in our two person sports car (sickening, right?) and spent our stop for lunch in Lyons, CO, discussing important child rearing questions like: Are we going to pay for his car when he’s 16 or will he have to get a job and buy his own? Maybe 50/50? What if he’s a teenager and turns into one of those kids that won’t put a heavy coat on when it’s a blizzard outside? Maybe I’ll just get him the $200 coat he’ll want (because everyone else will have one and it’s cool) if he promises to actually wear it. You know, important crap like that. God, we were idiots.
After the big discussion it felt like I needed to get pregnant, like, right now because I wasn’t getting any younger and, quite frankly, I thought we would end up changing our minds. Like millions of women before me (I suppose) I started thinking about all of the cute clothes I would want to buy him (yes, it was going to be a him–I wasn’t prepared to do girl’s hair) and how I should decorate a nursery. Forget about thinking about stuff like how was I going to afford him or whether or not I had the temperament to be patient and nurturing to a new human being–I just wanted to think about the good stuff.
So we tried and tried and nothing was happening. We went on a vacation to Ireland and I secretly rubbed the belly of a statue that was in an old castle that was supposed to help with fertility (Newsflash: It didn’t do a damn thing) and felt like a complete lunatic for doing it. I started reading books about infertility. I started to get pissed about all of the contraception we had paid of over the years that probably was never needed in the first place. I mean, the money saved could have funded a pretty nice Hawaiian vacation. (Hmm, maybe I’m giving away too many family secrets here.) I was a basket case. Reading about infertility after trying for four whole months. Did I ever mention that I’m not very patient?
Time kept passing and I was making myself sick with the stress of wanting to have a baby. I had to remind myself that life was very good for us and regardless of what was in store for us in the future, everything was going to be okay. I stopped worrying and we stopped trying so hard. I think you can guess what happened next. The hubby and I took a wonderfully long Mexican cruise over the Christmas Holiday and…you fill in the blank. When I say that I had stopped worrying about having a baby I really meant that I stopped thinking about it completely. It was no longer a thought in my head and I was already moving on to other things.
Which makes the day I found out I was with child so extraordinarily exciting and very, very terrifying! The night before I found out, I had a VERY vivid dream about throwing up. I mean, I woke up in the middle of the night feeling queasy and when I went back to sleep I dreamed that I was walking around my house throwing up into everything I could see. It was very disarming to dream like that and it made me a bit uneasy when I woke up the next morning. Still, I had no freaking clue. The hubby was off to work already and I was stumbling around trying to gather the things I would be wearing after I took my shower. I don’t remember what I was looking for but in the cabinet under the bathroom sink I found my package of pregnancy tests (I must have peed on about twenty sticks my that time) and saw that there was one still left inside. With absolutely no reason for me to do so, I peed on that one as well.
I took a wonderfully long hot shower and probably thought about my day. I just don’t remember. All I can say for sure is that I wasn’t thinking about the pregnancy test. I had forgotten all about it and was rather shocked to see it sitting there waiting for me when I got out. The room was very steamy and I really couldn’t see a damn thing (I am so completely blind without my glasses) but I picked up the test and squinted at it. My heart stopped beating. My flesh immediately got goosebumps. My hair stood on end. I dropped the test in the sink and took a huge step back and ran into the towel rack so hard that it broke. Did that thing say what I thought it said? Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit! What am I going to do now? I crept toward the sink and checked again. Yep, I had really done it this time. I literally couldn’t breathe. Or maybe I was breathing too much. I don’t know, I just thought I was dying.
As I had been perusing all of the pregnancy books my library had to offer (before this very special discovery) I had read a million different cute stories about how women tell their significant others that they are expecting: Placing a hamburger “bun” in the oven, sending a singing telegram, making a special t-shirt that revealed the big secret…I personally wanted to do a special dinner featuring baby carrots and Baby Ruth’s for dessert (he would never have understood anyway) but I wasn’t patient enough to put anything like that together. I spent the morning chasing down a doctor close to my work and sneaking in for a second opinion on my condition. Yep, I was preggers. I was tingly and light-headed and scared as hell. Time was up, I needed to tell the hubby and I needed to tell him now.
I grabbed my phone and went out into the library parking lot. I paced up and down one of the lines marking a parking space and called him. How was I going to lead in? I would have to break it slowly, he wasn’t going to be expecting it at all…He picked up the call and I blurted out “I’m pregnant.” No exclamation point. No whoops of joy. No chance for him to brace himself for impact. I wish I could have been a little more smooth, but that isn’t me–not by a long shot. There was dead silence on the other end and then some kind of reaction that was between shell-shocked and shell-shocked. Life was officially different. We didn’t have much to say to each other after that and we went back to work and finished up our work day. The heavy duty stuff would be waiting for us later. (And boy howdy!)
That night we sat and talked about things that seemed important and began to plot our plan of attack. No one was going to know until at least three months in (but I’m sure my mom knew because I had never been a sickly person and I had reverted to puking all of the time) and we needed to start restructuring our house. We revealed the big secret to our families and basically shocked the hell out of everyone. It was really fun letting everyone in on the secret and we began planning in earnest. We did learn it was a boy (of course) and I was ready to live the life of a woman growing another human being. It was really weird the first time I felt him move and it was sobering to really realize, I mean REALLY REALIZE, that I had a person inside of me and that person had a penis. Let’s just say that I didn’t need to be on drugs to feel I had entered an alternate reality.
I baked that kid until he was well done. I lived through a terribly hot summer by laying on the floor under the swamp cooler we had running in the upstairs hallway in only my underwear. It just shows how hot I was by how many times I actually did that–it was hell trying to get back up again! I couldn’t sleep on my stomach anymore (my favorite way relax) and my arms kept falling asleep. I couldn’t get the pricklies out of my skin (I know that you know what I mean) and my arms ached and my back hurt and I was so hot and miserable and would this effing kid just be born already?!
The little nerd was a week late. Did I mention that I’m not patient? I wanted to scratch out the eyes of my doctor when she told me that there was nothing to tell me and that I should just go home and wait it out. I cried while I put books in order at the library. I cried when I was in my car eating lunch. I cried at night when I was in pain and I had to “sleep” in the recliner. We went to the doctor that last day and she noticed I had elevated blood pressure. She knew I had had enough by that time and found an open spot at the hospital for me and that they would start to induce me. Hallelujah. It was finally happening! We grabbed all of our stuff, said goodbye to the dog and rushed off to…Wendy’s. Yeah. It tasted good though. It tasted real good.
I checked into the hospital and got strapped in to every machine I possibly could. They inserted a special pill into my cervix and started the inducement process. It was all very easy and calm and I tried to fall asleep. A tinge here and a tinge there and then bigger pain here and bigger pain there and then, holy shit, I peed all over my bed! What was going on? What in the hell was going on? I summoned the night nurse and she informed me that my water broke. Oh, is that what it was? Progress. Yay! It was really happening!
The little man just didn’t want to cooperate and by the afternoon of the next day he wasn’t anywhere near being born. The doctor gave me the option of going in for the surgery. I was ready to get things rolling and said I would do the c-section. The hubby didn’t get a vote because I couldn’t find him anywhere (oh, I’m sorry, he was having coffee with this sister, and not even in the hospital). I instructed him rather forcefully (ahem) to get back quickly because we were going to be parents really soon. An anesthesiologist stabbed me in the back (I hated him so much) and I was prepped for surgery. The hubby rolled in and got dressed in his scrubs. My pain went away (I loved him so much) and I got rolled into the operating room. It was an interesting and scary experience. That’s all I have to say about that.
I went into recovery and didn’t get to actually hold my bubba for one whole hour. I guess that wasn’t such a bad thing because I was so damn exhausted and I probably wouldn’t have known what to do with him anyway. But then there he was and I was so very complete. I checked his fingers, his toes, his face, his boy parts and I was happy. I was happy. I was so, so, so happy. I didn’t know what that little booger had in store for me and I was eager to find out. I knew that it was going to be like nothing I had ever known before and I was ready to go…
It’s been a long time since I’ve really thought about that time in my life but it seems like the perfect time to reminisce because my boy is now just one year shy of his double digits and it is so hard to believe that the tiny person I gave birth to then is the little man/boy I have now. I love him so much and I can’t imagine what my life would be without him. (I mean, yes I can, but I’m trying not to think about those awesome vacations because it kind of makes my head hurt.) Nine years later and I am sharing these memories with all of you. It seems a dream. Life is going by far to quickly and I’m starting to get scared about the future. Big stuff is coming soon and I’m not sure I’m going to be able to handle it. I’ll give it my best shot, but I just don’t know.
So, happy birthday to my little love. You make life so fascinating and you make me laugh all of the time. You piss me off quicker than anyone I know and you make me want to lock you into your room forever. You made me learn about Pokémon and LEGOs and you’ve learned how to get your way. You make me feel like I have accomplished much in this world and you make me feel like the stupidest person on the planet. You are the best thing I have ever done and I hope that you become a good man; a content and happy man; a man with good values and dreams that reach beyond the sun. I hope that daddy and I have taught you how to deal with adversity and how to be confident. I will stand by your side forever and I will always be grateful that you came to me. Happy, happy birthday, my baby. I love you much.
© DRB 2015