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.
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.
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.
(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.