There was something wonderful that happened to me the day I suspected I was pregnant. We weren’t planning it, and if I was to be completely honest, to that point we hadn’t been the picture of fairytale romance, either. But something happened to me nonetheless the minute I thought I could be pregnant. I had the typical thoughts of someone in that situation…”What kind of mother would I be?”, “What will our child look like?”, “Can I even DO this?!”…pretty standard stuff.
Every mom has been here that didn’t start out trying to conceive, one that isn’t married. The thoughts of how to bring it up, should you take the test without him and tell him or tell him and take it together (but what if you freak him out/get him excited if it’s nothing..), what if he’s angry, what if he doesn’t want it? It’s a frightening place to be for a woman. You may have been together for awhile, talked about having children, but that doesn’t mean he wants one right this very minute.
I sat on my knowledge for about a week. One of the longest weeks in the life of someone that can not keep a secret to save their lives. The day I sat down with him and told him, I knew. The stick I peed on was positive and I knew it would be. I took the second one on the insistence I may have done the first one wrong but I already knew. My life as a self absorbed individual was over. My life as a mother had begun. I had to make changes and I had to make them fast. I had to let things solidify for Christopher, he hadn’t had my week to digest. This was all rocketing from left field for him. Yesterday he was planning his Friday night out and today he was going to be a father. I watched his face as he experienced my last week in a matter of minutes. After he had caught his breath he looked at me-very calmly-and said, “It’s going to be okay, we can do this.”.
I had never loved him more than in that minute.
Being pregnant was something that I enjoyed. The rules were a little strict but the feelings were amazing. I was never alone. I always had my little boy with me. I was certain he was a boy, even from the very start. I have always wanted a son. So at my 20 week sonogram I was unsurprised to find I was having one. I thought it was meant to be, perfection at is finest moment. But the night before my sonogram I was also up half of the night worrying. I had researched and read about how many disorders could be seen on them and while many woman sit and enjoy the experience I was unbelievably terrified. I spent a good amount of my pregnancy terrified. I would try to convince myself that I was crazy, that woman had healthy babies all of the time. Several babies, in fact. What was my problem? I began doing research on every possible thing that could go wrong, I was obsessed.
Then, at 31 weeks, I went into labor.
I was up all night with uncomfortable cramps. I felt icky, but not wake-Chris-up-and-go-to-the-doctor, icky. In fact, when he woke up for work at 6:30, I was just getting out of the bathtub (since it was the only place I felt half decent) complaining of cramping and I tried to send him to work. I told him to go, if I felt worse later I would go by myself but I really just wanted to try and sleep. I laid down and winced with pain. Off to the doctors we went. When I was checked in my contractions were a minute and a half apart and I was 4 centimeters dilated. They pumped me full of drugs that made me woozy, made me feel warm. The said many things, names of drugs, plans of action, pros and cons. It was all a blur, really, but a very nice and honest hematologist that drew my blood told me, “There is no way they are going to be able to stop your labor, you are too far along.” So when 20 minutes after my labor stopped it started right back up I knew what was coming and I wasn’t scared. They did an ultrasound and he was a glorious four pounds. There had never been such wonderful news in my world, I could live with that. It wasn’t huge but it wasn’t as tiny as it could be for that gestational age.
One of the the worst parts of preterm labor is that you probably don’t have your OB and that is terribly frightening. You are scared and everyone in the room is a stranger. I did have one lovely nurse that saw how at unease I was and put her face right up next to mine and warned me that I may not hear him cry. His lungs may not be developed and that would prevent him from crying but not to worry because the best doctors and nurses were going to be working to make sure he was okay and that at this age he had excellent chances of a long and happy life. But I knew all of that. I had done my research.
A few minutes and a scar for life later I heard my tiny but beautiful son cry. It was such a little sound, much like a newborn kitten, but it resonated with such importance in my ears as though it were a lion. I got to see him for one brief minute before they whisked him away to neonatal at another hospital better equipped to handle preemies. I was shocked at how little he looked like me, even though my husband is Hispanic, and how much I just wanted to hold him. It was like they were ripping away my soul in that moment and it broke my heart to watch him leave the room in an incubator much like the ones I had seen on TV.
It took me barely two days to convince the hospital to let me go. I walked, refused pain medication, anything that would convince me I was ready to go, ready to be with my newborn son. The draw that was there was undeniable, even then. Every piece of my world was about to change. Some things that I expected but more recently, things that I did not. But every piece has been worth it and that journey is what this blog is about.
I'm just living minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.