Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Counting The Ways To Where You Are

A year can seem so short. 365 days. One birthday. A few holidays. But the reality is that so much can change in a year.

One year ago today, I got that flashing digital readout.
My hands were shaking so badly that I had to take this picture over and over, and this was still the best I could do.
I was home alone. Shane was picking Luke up at my parents' after work, and I took advantage of the quiet to test--feeling in my heart of hearts that I'd throw it away, disappointed. I didn't. I ran up and down the stairs looking at the test saying OHMYGOD over and over. I don't know why I ran up and down the stairs (and to one up any of you from making the joke, yes, perhaps I WAS preparing to eventually have a baby on said stairs), but it seemed like the right thing at the time. Then I called Keely and continued to OHMYGOD all over the place. I didn't think I was pregnant because I spotted a few days before my period was due and then really spotted the night it was due. It was Election Night, so I shrugged off the lack of pregnancy and drank a margarita (okay, three) to celebrate the election. Then the spotting stopped. We went to visit Shane's dad in the hospital the next day after a knee surgery, and I remember wanting to vomit at all the hospital smells. When we left, I mentioned to Shane that it smelled, and he said he didn't notice anything. That was my first inkling of a maybe. I took a test, really though, because I was throwing Shane a surprise party (by the way, today is his birthday and if he wasn't so old that he doesn't have a twitter or a blog or ANYTHING except Hotmail, I'd tell you to go wish him happy birthday) and wanted to make sure I could drink. Ironically, that's the same reason I tested with Luke. Most people get drunk and then get pregnant, I just find out I'm pregnant when I'm thinking of getting drunk.

I was scared but hopeful. We usually wait until we see a heartbeat to tell, but Shane drank too much at his surprise party and told my parents. So then we told his parents. Everyone at the surprise party guessed when I was all, No, thank you, I would not like a Jaegerbomb. Instead I will enjoy this delicious ice water. And then Beth found out. I liked it, though. When we finally saw that flickering heartbeat at ten weeks, I was relieved but thankful for all the love I'd felt up until that moment.
I took my first belly shot at 13 weeks. When I got pregnant, I made a vow to myself that I was going to be a cute pregnant woman, and I hope it's okay to say this, but I never felt more beautiful than when I was pregnant with Tommy. Not even on my wedding day. When Beth did my maternity shots, Keely told me that I looked more beautiful than in my wedding photos, and you know, I think she was right. There was just SO MUCH LIFE inside of me, and I relished every single moment.
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At the end, I didn't want to stop being pregnant, I just so badly wanted to meet my sweet baby. At 36 weeks, I had my first dream about the baby, and do you remember that I dreamt that I had a baby on the kitchen floor? I didn't remember until I started writing this post and looked back in my archives, but oh my goodness, I was off by about five steps! Then he was here, and it was the craziest, sweetest, most surreal seven minutes of my life. Sometimes I still can't believe it.
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This was our very first photo, taken with my phone. Tommy was still under the warm blankets , cuddled against my bare skin (does this count as posting a naked photo of myself? Because I was. Totally naked.). That smile is perhaps the most genuine smile I've ever had. I was scared, you know. I don't talk about this much, but I was scared. I was frightened we'd get to the hospital and they'd take him away from me. I was frightened they'd take him to the nursery and poke and prod him, but they didn't. Frightened they'd judge us, frightened someone would yell at us for not leaving on time (when deep down I knew that it happened much quicker than anyone could have anticipated), just so scared of what would happen. When we first came into the ER, a doctor came running over and started to peel back the blankets, and my sweet EMTs shooed him away. I owe so much to those women and to the nurses who let me hold my Tommy for hours and nurse him and love him before anyone even suggested weighing him or examining him.
And then, the outpouring of love that followed. The emails from my girls. The visits that morning. The hugs and joy and even the tweets and emails and comments from all of you. I've never felt so lifted, so surrounded with love in my life.
The sweetness that has been in my life for this past year is overwhelming, and life? It just keeps getting better and better.
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(Same wall as in my maternity photo. I'm so clever. Also, please don't judge my footwear. We'd just been hiking.)

I don't know what I've done to deserve this past year. I'm not sure that I really do deserve it, but oh, am I ever thankful for the blessings of the past 365 days...and all the blessings that are yet to come.

27 comments:

Crooked Eyebrow said...

What a beautiful year it has been!

and happy birthday Shane!

Katy said...

You know, I really and truly feel inspired to become a mother when I read your posts.

Ryley said...

oh man... please don't make me need to have another baby!!!
I seriously felt the uterus ache... What a beautiful post. You are so blessed! :)

Cameron said...

I love this post! What a great year it's been for you! I love that you dreamed about having the baby on the kitchen floor, that is so crazy! :)

Sharon - Mom Generations said...

This is your most lovely post ever... and there have been hundreds of lovely ones. Your joy in motherhood began somewhere way, way back through many generations and much time. And it's all here now, through every word and each breath. Your boys (all 3 of them) are lucky, lucky guys to have you surround them with such a great big circle of great, great warmth and LOVE!

casadekaloi said...

Absolutely love this. Thank you.

DiPaola Momma said...

What a year.. My oldest turned 16 on Friday and it just took me like a storm, how short those years seem in retrospect. You tweeted "I love my post" and guess what I LOVE IT TOO! Of course I hate you for looking so good IN A HOSPITAL BED! I looked a hot mess for WEEKS afterwords!

Erin said...

God has richly blessed you and your family. Funny thing is, none of us deserve the blessings we have in life, but we are thankful for them anyways!

I can't wait to experience the joy of being a mother! :)

Mrs. Cline said...

So beautiful! The story, you, your family! I had such warm fuzzies reading this post, Erin.

And then I LOL'ed at Shane having HOTMAIL.

Happy Birthday, Shane!

Bobbi Janay @When did I go from a kid to a grown up? said...

How Sweet.

~Mendie~ said...

You have such a wonderful way with words! This brought tears to my eyes, another example of the kind of mother I hope I will someday try to be.

Happy Birthday to your hubs!

melissa said...

OHMYWORD! The stair baby was YOU!! (I read that story after clicking over from Beth, but I just subscribed a few weeks ago, so I never made the connection!)

The Fritz Facts said...

This was such an emtionally wonderful post. Your year has been wonderful, so blessed and full of love. I hope the first year of Rocket Man's life is just as full.

Such The Spot said...

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, sounds like you know just what to be thankful for. And, from the looks of it, there's no shortage.

Kim said...

Oh this is such a beautiful post Erin. I love it, I've loved getting to know you in the last year and sharing this journey with you. You are amazing.

Beth at I Should Be Folding Laundry said...

I have been a big, weepy mess these past few days and you aren't helping me out in any way.

I LOVE this post.

and I also love your footwear because athletic shoes are AWESOME.

Emilie said...

I wasn't judging your shoes (in fact I think they're great) - I was judging your gorgeous post-baby body (and your gorgeous little baby). In a good way ;)

Bacardi Mama said...

You absolutely deserve it! This was a beautiful post. So beautiful that I had to read it twice. Happy Birthday to Shane too.

InTheFastLane said...

What a great year!!!
And I am so jealous of how good you looked and felt while pregnant. what a blessing.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

You totally and most certainly deserve it all and more to come. Love this post.

Steph

Stefany said...

Of course you deserve every second of happiness you have had and every second to come.

mommy boo of two said...

Here's to another wonderful 365 days to come!

rebekah said...

Such a great post - I really enjoyed reading it.

Haley said...

This post is phenomenal! What a beautiful year it has been indeed! :-)

Mel @ A Box of Chocolates said...

Such a beautiful post! I love how you got the pix in front of the same wall. The current picture is gorgeous! What a blessed year you have had. Have a great weekend.

Elaine A. said...

What a beautiful and reflective post that I'm sure you'll love to read over and over. Not sure how I missed it originally, but so glad I came back to it.

You are a pretty pregnant lady Erin! :D

Kaycee said...

Beautiful story, gorgeous pictures.