As the winter fades and the sunnier weather warms me, I can't stop thinking back 10 years ago...to the time just before our first son was born. I think back to who I was, what our marriage was like, where we lived, and the adventure we were about to begin.
10 years ago....we were married nearly 4 years. I was just 26 and The Husband was 31. We lived in a Barbie-sized, one bedroom apartment that I loved with all my heart. It had gorgeous hardwood floors, sliding glass doors, a giant backyard, a non-deadbeat landlord, and a perfectly reasonable $700-a-month price tag. I didn't even mind how small the kitchen was. And it was. Small, that is.
As in, "I'm about to open the stove, so you'll have to move yourself to the living room."
As in, "Please don't open the fridge until I get out of here cuz I'll be trapped until you close it again."
As in....when I DID lean over to open the stove, my butt was in the hallway while my torso was in the kitchen. And this was the. only. way. to do it.
Get the idea? It was little. But we both worked all day and slept during the night, so for the 5 hours a day that we were home and conscious, it suited us just fine. We were happy there...Ruso the cat, Page the dog, Nick the Husband, and me.
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When my first niece was born in 1981, I was 8 years old. And since I have 5 siblings all close in age, the babies seemed to arrive fast and furious after that point. When my sister's son was born, I was in 8th grade...prime babysitting age. Suffice to say that I had a boatload of childcare experience by the time I graduated from high school.
After I graduated, I moved 1700 miles away to become a live-in nanny. At that point of my life, I was unsure of...well....nearly everything. The only thing I was dead sure of? I was not ready for college. So I started fresh with a new town, new state, new culture, and my very first job. That is where I got my first taste of juggling 2 kids and keeping up a household all at the same time.
So by the time Nick and I got married, I was quite the childcare "pro" (which did come back to bite me in the ass at some point). On paper, it looked like I would be the ideal candidate for motherhood. It didn't take long after the wedding for me to start the "Let's Have a Baby" campaign. Luckily, The Husband was far smarter than me and he shut me down with a solid NO....until sometime just before our 3rd anniversary, when he changed his mind. So we decided to start our family....me, with my oodles of experience, and him, with the patience of a saint. In the coming years, we would learn that my "experience" meant nothing, but his patience meant everything.
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One day in August of 1999, I took the test. And it came back positive. And I might have panicked a bit.
Good GRIEF, woman! What have you DONE to yourself?! You're PREGNANT! You're gonna throw up all the time and eat weird things like pickles-and-liver sandwiches and then get FAT and you'll be all waddle-walking and then you'll have to GIVE BIRTH! AND THEN YOU'LL BE SOMEONE'S MOM! Is it too late to change my mind???
(For the record, that's how I reacted with ALL of my pregnancies.)
But I was over-the-moon happy, too. We were going to be a family!
And the pregnancy was great. Yes, I drove the porcelain bus...but only a few times. The biggest nuisance was being nauseous all. the. time. Yes, I ate weird things....like pasta sauce. "Hold the pasta, please. I'll just be having an order of sauce." And mint-chocolate-chip ice cream. And oranges....washed down with orange juice. Yes, in the last trimester I got fat (and LOVED it) and waddled a lot. Sleeping in bed was so uncomfortable that I spent the last 4 weeks sleeping on the couch every night. Tiny Boy spent his days head-butting my ribs and tap dancing on my bladder (he was breech). And hiccuping. Sweet mother of Abraham Lincoln that kid had the hiccups at least 3 times a day. But it was all okay. I tolerated the aches and pains and counted the weeks until I could meet my little boy.
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10 years ago....I was waiting.
I wanted to see his face. I wanted to count his fingers and kiss his toes. I wanted the aches and pains to go away and I wanted to be a Momma. I wanted to be his Momma.
10 years ago...I knew he was likely to be a big boy and I knew that he would arrive via c-section. This didn't bother me. I just wanted him to be safe. His due date was April 17th, but our doctor scheduled his delivery for April 10th.
So we waited....until the day when we would meet him.....10 years ago.
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Part 2 will post tomorrow.