Monday, November 18, 1996, was a beautiful day. Sunny, clear, not too cold, not too warm. Perfect. And it was the day that my life changed completely.....
Rewind one year to November 1995. Dh and I had been living in a small, two-bedroom apartment for a year and a half, since our wedding. Tired of being cramped, dealing with difficult neighbors, and doing without things like a washer and dryer - we decided to look for a home to purchase. Our price range was very limited, so it took awhile to find something we could afford that was also worth the investment of what little money we had.
That November, we found a suitable place and bought it. It was a small, three-bedroom, one bath, ranch-style house. It had a very dated kitchen, dark paneling throughout, and really old carpet... but, it had a laundry room, which was a huge plus for me. And, it had other quaint features that made it appealing to us. We were eager to make it "home". People teased us that we would soon fill up those extra bedrooms, and we laughed. We intended to wait at least 5 years before we had children, so we could finish college and all that kind of stuff.
In March of '96, I got sick. Like, really sick. I thought I had a miserable case of the flu that just wasn't going away. Then I started having other weird symptoms. When I talked to my mom, she said, "Well, are you pregnant?" No.... I certainly did not think that was the case. That wasn't our plan, after all. I wasn't even 21 yet, and still considered dh and I to be newlyweds. Children would come later, I thought. Yet, the symptoms would only get worse, and eventually, curiousity got the better of me.
I nearly croaked when I went to buy a pregnancy test at Walmart that day. I was so embarrassed! (ha!) And I was a basket case when I came home and attempted to actually do the test. I was just a nervous wreck.
Both lines immediately turned dark. My jaw hit the floor.
I was so scared. I spent the rest of the day bawling my eyes out and trying to figure out how in the world I was going to tell dh. I had not even told him that it was a possibility before then. I don't know why, and it seems so foolish now, but for some reason I was afraid he was going to be upset with me. Finally, I made a 2nd trip to Walmart that day, this time to buy two little baby outfits. One was blue and it said "Daddy's Little Prince" across the front. The other was pink and said "Daddy's Little Princess". I wrapped them in a little gift bag, and tied a "Welcome Baby" balloon to it. When dh came home from work, I nervously presented him with the gift.
Then we both sat there and bawled. Tears of joy, in utter amazement, that God was blessing us with our own little surprise miracle.
Lots of preparations had to be made in the following months. Our little fixer-upper of a house suddenly had urgent changes that had to be made. Dh and his brother and another friend hung sheetrock in the room we planned to use as a nursery. Then they replaced the old, storm windows with new insulated ones. I spent weeks painting and wallpapering. I sewed curtains, a pad for the rocking chair, and refinished an old changing table. My father-in-law made a beautiful cradle. Friends from church, as well as family showered us with everything else we could possibly need for the baby. For a couple of young kids with no clue about how to be parents, we were pretty well set as far as necessities went.
The pregnancy was uneventful, aside from the 24-hour-a-day sickness. We were attending childbirth classes, but I pretty much slept through the whole part about c-sections, since I didn't think it applied to me. On October 24th, I found out that my baby was in a breech position. And if he didn't turn, I'd have to have a c-section. He never turned around. My due date was November 21st, however my doctor agreed to deliver the baby a few days early. See, dh's dad's bday is November 18th, and what better bday gift could he possibly give than a new grandchild?
Having never been in the hospital before, and certainly never having had surgery before, I was extremely nervous when I checked into the hospital that morning. I won't get into all the details, but let's just say that it didn't help me to feel any better to have a student nurse attempting to start an IV. After the 3rd or 4th try, the other nurse took over. Fun. It did get better after that. Especially when I heard those sweet cries for the first time, and the doctor announced, "It's a BOY!"
We had no insurance, so we had not had an ultrasound. We had no idea whether the baby was a boy or girl, until then. What joy!!! We were absolutely elated!! He was beautiful and healthy and strong. Dh went up to the nursery with the nurses and our new son while I stayed in the O.R. to get sewn back together. *smirk* After some time in recovery, I was able to see my baby boy up close, face to face. How can I describe such love? Those cheeks were so sweet. Those eyes - mesmerizing. Everything about him was perfect, from his head to his toes.
At that point, dh and I couldn't imagine having it any other way. We were young and we had a LOT to learn, but we were ready and willing to learn it. I've always said that our first baby taught me how to be a mom. And he really did. And he also showed me what it's like to have a little piece of my heart walking around outside of my body, because that's exactly what it feels like to have a child. In hindsight, we see God's hand in all of this. We needed that baby, right then. It was perfect timing, and God knew that.
We're so blessed to have this child, now an eleven year old young man. And I am still smitten with him, even though I complain sometimes about silly things that bug me. I could never ask for a better son. I thank God for him every day!!! I pray that God will give us many, many more years together.
Happy Birthday, Son!