I suppose the best place to start would be at the beginning. Because I believe the beginning is before birth, I'll start there. You know what? I'll start with before conception because that's really where the story begins.
Dear husband and I had talked for a while about starting a family when we lived in Maryland. After going back a forth for a few months whether it was the "right" time or not, I announced that it was, indeed, the right time because I said so. Fast forward 1 year. We moved to Arizona. Hadn't used any form of birth control. Still no baby. No sign of a baby. Nothing. This shouldn't be. So I scheduled an appointment. We were just going to have some tests done. Without giving away everyone's business, and since this is the clean version, we were told sometime around Feb. 13 that we were welcome to keep trying but the chances of me getting pregnant the routine way would be very slim. Closer to none.
In a way, I knew this. I knew something had to be wrong. But, we figured it was in God's plan, so we took the news, took our options, and went home. We were going to pray and talk about our options and make a decision later.
The next weekend was my birthday and my parents were coming to visit, as we had moved to across the country a few months earlier. They may or may not have known of our plans, but we decided it would be a good time to tell them they might not be getting any grandchildren from us. They were understanding, supportive, and clear that whatever decision we made would be the best one. I remember my dad said, "You don't have to be a mother to be mommy and you don't have to be a father to be daddy." This difficult, yet easy, conversation took place on my birthday, Feb. 22, over dinner. It was a Thursday. Earlier that day, on a whim, and since babies were on the brain, I took a pregnancy test since it was about that time and I thought a positive test result would be the best birthday present ever! Of course, not surprisingly, the test was negative.
Friday came, but didn't bring my anticipated monthly visitor. By Friday night, I was getting a little suspicious. Saturday morning, when there was still no sign and officially late, I took another test. I was letting it "simmer" while I brushed my teeth. I didn't have my contacts in or glasses on my face, so as I was brushing (foaming at the mouth), I was squinting to see any results as they appeared. I thought I was going crazy so I called dear husband (DH) to come check things out. As fast as I could, I spit the toothpaste out of my mouth and scrambled to find my glasses while DH peered over a little stick. He said, "I don't know, E. It looks like 2 lines to me." Indeed. There WERE TWO lines on the stick and we were going a little nuts. My parents were still visiting. My mom had been asleep on the couch downstairs so we raced downstairs, waving the urine-soaked stick in the air. My mom quickly figured out what was going on. My dad, hearing the commotion, came downstairs but was a bit confused as to why we were all looking at a pink stick and crying. Finally, my mom explained what it was. Already, we had beat the odds. You can imagine a few weeks later, visiting the same doctor who had said "good luck" and making him eat his words. It was a great feeling.
Pregnancy was smooth. We opted for no prenatal testing since a) we thought we were low-risk. No birth defects in either family. No diseases, we thought, on either side and b) it wouldn't make a difference anyway. This baby was so prayed for. When the nosy people asked "Were you trying?" I liked to say "It was hoped for but unexpected." (BTW - Don't ever ask that. It's NOYB.)
Samuel was due on October 30, 2007. Then he was due on October 28, 2007. On Saturday, October 28, I dressed up as a bag of Jelly Belly jelly beans for our church/community harvest party. I was so big it just seemed to fit. I won first place in the costume contest. I think they just had pity on me for dressing up when I was due to give birth that day.
On Sunday, October 29, my dear friend Audrey came over and took pictures of my big preggo belly. It was a nice way to pass the time.
On Monday, October 30, someone (who will remain nameless) called my phone at 6 AM to ask me "Have you had that baby yet?" Um, no. And thanks for waking up a pregnant lady. Thanks a lot. Since I couldn't go back to sleep for some minor contractions, I went to Chick-Fil-A and got some chicken biscuits for me and DH and a chocolate milkshake for Samuel.
For most of the rest of the day, I napped on the couch and waited. Didn't have any of the minor contractions I had experienced that morning for the next several hours.
I don't want this to be really long so I'm going to pause here to allow for reflection. Or maybe just a break. Stay tuned for the rest of the story.