In honor of Mother's Day this week, I am feeling nostalgic. Please join me as I take a trip back to those early days...days of hope and joy, and fuzzy-headed (rather large) miracles...and also stories of sadness and loss, and months of fragile hope and darkness. The jumble of emotions and stories which pave my journey to motherhood.
I still remember the plastic "thunk" the pregnancy test stick made as I placed it on the small sink. My husband and I were spending the summer working at the same summer camp where we'd met 10 years before. Funny enough, our cabin was named "The Bachelor Pad"--a name leftover from its previous stinky boy bachelor days. Well, not just the name was leftover...the tiny, spartan cabin looked just like its name--no matter how many cutesy rugs and throw pillows I bought. This little cabin was where I'd spend my first pregnant days. Days so far back now, that I barely remember many details past that first momentous day...
I balanced the pregnancy stick on the sink. This same process I had done so many times before, so many months. Yet, each time I still hoped. Through thin walls, I could hear camp announcements blaring, and the gravel crunching as little tennis-shoed campers made their way to lunch. All the world happily marching past our cabin. Inside, I was in my own world. A world I was sure was just about to break my heart again.
I almost didn't believe my eyes when 2 pink lines showed up. Instantly they showed up. I had no idea they could even show that fast. I was so shocked, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. So, I just sat and stared at the lines and began uttering words I didn't even know were there, "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, God. Thank you. Thank you!"
And the tears came. Joyful tears. Thankful tears. Smiling tears. Tears of sweet relief. Tears of plans and dreams so long stuffed and trampled. Tears soothing down a broken heart.
I stood up and looked in the mirror. I saw a tear streaked face, already glowing with a big, goofy grin. I wondered if any magic had happened and I looked different? I looked down and watched my hands rub across my belly. My flat, smooth belly (frankly, that I really miss!) Again, I cried tears of joy and relief as I rubbed my magic belly. I prayed out loud right there, "Lord, thank you. Please, please let me have this baby, please. Please let this baby be healthy. Thank you. Oh, thank you, God!"
I found those 3 words were my main prayers in those first, always uncertain, weeks. Please and thank you. Always uttered with a mixture of urgency, relief, and gratitute.
As I rinsed away the tears with cool water, I tried to think of a creative way to tell my husband. I had already planned out every You're a Daddy Now scenario on so many sleepless nights. Yet, when my husband walked into our cabin minutes later, I did what I always do. I just cannot keep a secret from that man. I grinned and he said, "What?" The most fanfare I found in that moment was a grinning, "Guess what?"
My voice caught in my throat a little, as I hiccupped "I'm pregnant!"
"Really? Are you sure?"
"Yes I took a test and two lines showed up right away and that means I'm pregnant so I guess that means you're gonna be a daddy!" Deep breath. A giggle, and a tear.
And, then I got to see my husband's little boy grin. The big grin I'd first experienced when we were dating. The shy grin that replaces words when he's speechless.
As he wrapped his arms around me, I could tell he was still grinning behind my back. I was grinning, and he was grinning, and we had a baby in my belly between us.
...To be continued...