Dave and I became so happy when we thought I could be pregnant in December of 1991. New Years Eve came around and we did our best to keep it a secret hoping it was true. We celebrated at our friend’s home with another friend and Dave’s sister Tracy. I rang in the New Year with some sparkling grape juice and the hope that I was really pregnant with our first child. Our hope was a reality one week later when it was confirmed that I was really pregnant. Dave and I were very excited and surprisingly calm about becoming new parents so soon after we were married and only 23 and 24 years old. There was never a doubt that we couldn’t do this well or that we might not be ready.
We went right out to buy the famous “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” book. I read it many times, and I read parts aloud to Dave. I followed it like it was a Bible. I ate what was good for us, I exercised as I was supposed to, I never chewed gum containing aspartame, and I refused to take a cough drop when I caught a cold. I swore to my baby that was growing inside me that I would protect and take good care of her/him with all my effort. Still, it seemed as if all odds were against this growing baby. Prior to finding out I was pregnant Dave and I had booked a trip with his sister, Tracy and some of our friends to Columbia. The timing of our trip would have me at 2 months pregnant and I had the go ahead from my doctor.
During our vacation we took a snorkeling day trip out to some islands. The boat that took us there was small but powerful and the driver went incredibly fast. The waves were huge and the ride was painfully bumpy. I grew very afraid and I turned to Dave and said “I am afraid this will make me lose the baby”. He tried to cushion me from the bumps the best he could and replied “It’ll be okay we are almost there”. I returned with “but we still have the same ride back”. Dave just smiled and pulled me closer to help me ride out the bumps. We arrived and we began snorkeling, enjoying the sunshine, the sea, the salt water and then another omen� I was horrified to see a huge group of jellyfish approaching our group. I reacted quickly and braced my feet against our male friend and kicked off him as hard as I could to push myself and my baby out of harm. I still got stung on my arm and across my abdomen, but poor Wayne and Dave were covered with stings! Later everyone had noticed that whenever we were served food my chicken or beef always needed to be sent back because it was bloody and undercooked.
About a month after our arrival back home my tummy was bigger, our baby growing along with our excitement. On my way home from work on evening my car slid on black ice and I hit a cement light post, hard. At the hospital this Friday evening I was told I would need to wait until Monday to have an ultrasound to check the condition of the baby. The doctor then added there was really no hurry as the child was presumably dead after such an impact! I am sure you could imagine mine and my mother’s reaction to this… an ultrasound technician appeared that night and I was assured the baby was alive and well.
Finally I began to relax and really enjoy this pregnancy without too much worry. I loved to listen to “Enya” and rock in the rocking chair, I read to my tummy and held it constantly rubbing it gently, and I often day dreamed of how our baby would look and be like. It was pleasant, so pleasant to be pregnant and know that Dave and I would be someone’s mommy and daddy. At night however, I was often plagued with nightmares of leaving my newborn in the trunk of our car with our groceries, leaving our baby on the roof of the car and driving away, having him/her kidnapped from us and a few others that woke me in a sweat, and filled with fear. For short periods after waking startled I would question my ability to actually be a parent to a real person but it never lasted. I was determined to be the best mom I could and I knew that would be good enough because I wanted to give our baby all the love and respect any child deserves and that is always enough. As the months past, my confidence grew and I had no fear and couldn’t wait to meet our baby. I enjoyed every roll, kick and flutter in my belly. I was even happy to discover the tiniest of stretch marks that apparently only I could see! I was also given one strong kick on my right side one day while having dinner. The kick stayed stretched our and I was able to see our child’s tiny foot and hold it for a few seconds before it disappeared. That was a moment I will never forget, it was wonderful and really cool. Dave and I attended child birth classes and none of it frightened me, I was ready to be a mommy.
Our family gave me a surprise baby shower, we were spoiled. The day just added to the excitement of having a new baby, a first baby, first grandchild, first great grandchild, first nephew or niece and even a first great, great nephew or niece. This child was going to be loved… little did we know that he would be the one teaching us more about love than any of us ever knew.