Party of 5
I've been told the things that surprise you can be the most exciting.
I've never been a fan of surprises. I'd much rather be the one on the surprising side that knows the details. It's easier to modify your expectations. Expectations and parameters are the key to never being disappointed, but that's not how life works.
We moved home from Chicago where we lived in married housing because we wanted to start a family. Over a year into trying, we were defeated and nothing was happening. I walked around watching friends of friends get pregnant by the wind (or so easily it seemed). Green with envy and wishing it were instead morning sickness, I waited. Month by month.
September 2016: PREGNANT. Blissful. Minimal morning sickness, felt the most beautiful I had in all my life. Mid-Master's Degree and giddy through the entire process. (no idea now how I pulled that off). May 14th, 2017 at 9:55 am Aiden was born at home. For about 30 minutes I was ecstatic. But, Aiden's birth was traumatic. Recovery took forever, or so it felt.
Aiden and I had the most AMAZING ten months together, and we decided to try for another.
Less stress, I figured it wouldn't take as long. And it didn't- 6 months and I was pregnant again. I entered into it with the same blissful naivety I had in the first round. Two weeks later, something that I never thought would happen to me, did. We lost the baby. While Aiden's birth was traumatic, this is a completely different kind of trauma. I had believed that God had promised me many children, and this felt like a direct hit at that dream. Things like that change you. There is no possible way to turn back time and play the following pregnancy with the first's naivety. We waited like what seemed like enough time to process, and then we began tentatively trying again. It took a year. Which is a long time when you're both hopeful and tentative. We've had 3 total miscarriages, and I never expected to be in the boat of that statistic. But this next one stuck.
February 2019: Pregnant. Nervous. Anxious. Fearful. Timid excitement coming around the corner. More morning sickness. About 3 months into my pregnancy with Remi we decided we wanted to live outside the city, which was the exact opposite of where we'd lived. So we
listed our house and two weeks later we received an offer above asking price. So we fixed the things that needing fixing, packed up and on our Anniversary of August 2nd, we moved into our new home...or so we thought.
See, the place was a dump. The whole thing needed to be redone. So, a very pregnant me and our 2.4 year old daughter moved into my parents house while my husband lived on a mattress at the new place with our two dogs. It took a long time to finish the house, but the time with my parents couldn't have been sweeter. I still cherish sharing a big bed with my little peanut, snuggling every night to the Great British Baking Show. Some seasons of life you wish you could revisit- this was one of mine.
Late in September of 2019, we moved into our new house as a family. I was in labor for a week before we had Remi at home on November 8th, 2019 at 6:30 am. His labor was long, but birth was quick and I recovered much quicker than the first time. What I hadn't anticipated was the transition from 1 to 2 children. People don't talk often about the guilt that comes from having to split your attention. Especially when your firstborn is a very understanding and compassionate child, you feel even guiltier. It took about six months for us to even begin to find a new normal.
In the mean time, right before this incredible pandemic hit- and I mean right before- my grandfather (Papa) passed from a two year battle with cancer. We still haven't been able to grieve normally because there is no normal. Today it has been one year since he passed and it still feels like an echo to which I cannot find the initial yell.
Throughout Covid, our family has found routine. We've developed systems, timing, and processes that have kept us (somewhat) sane. No longer nursing, I have the ability to (somewhat) dictate my schedule to a greater degree, I have a sense of autonomy again and it's wonderful.
February 2021: Pregnant. Nauseous. Exhausted. Matt cried (again) when I told him. Happy tears. Remi and the new baby will be 10 days +/- shy of two years apart. Aiden couldn't be more excited. I think what I'm gathering is that the fear that comes from having had multiple miscarriages is a conduit to suck the joy out of pregnancy in general. I'm old enough now not to let anything in life take my joy away.
So I will bask in the morning sickness, be gracious in napping when I'm able, and know that if my grandfather were here he'd absolutely tell me: "Enjoy the ride. Everything has a season and it won't last forever. It'll go faster than you think".