With every inch that Phoenix grows, both in height and the size of his ridiculously large feet, I think more and more on this child's birth. The birth that made me a mom. Each of my six children came into the world in very different, very special ways, but Phoenix was extra special. It is a story I didn't tell anyone for a long time, concerned that people would think I was crazy. As I've gotten older (I am 40 now, you know) I have cared less and less about what people think. I'm ready to tell you what happened.
We have to start with a sad part to the story. Hubby and I decided that we were ready for a baby in February of 1997. Young and naive that we were, we thought it would happen right quick. Hubby had dreams of taking care of the baby during the day, while I was teaching, and finishing up his last year of school by taking afternoon and evening classes. Alas, it wasn't that easy. It wasn't until the first of December that I finally got that positive pregnancy test.
A mere week later, on my dad's birthday, I was at school when I started bleeding. We headed to the doctor's office, where an ultrasound showed that there was no heartbeat. I was having a miscarriage. Hubby was so upset. He actually got very pale and almost passed out. The doctor made him lay down on the floor and got him some juice to perk him up. I learned later that yes, he was upset about losing the baby, but mostly, he was scared and worried about me. The thought of me being in pain and going through this sent him over the edge.
That night, the pain started. The cramping hurt so bad, and knowing what the cramping meant made it even worse. The whole night I sat and worked on a 1,000 piece puzzle, alternating between crying and trying to ignore it. Poor Hubby just let me be, having no idea what to do with me. I honestly don't know what he did or how he dealt with it that night.
But it was December, with lots of time off school, visits with family over the holidays, and a vacation to Disney World with Hubby's family. I was able to put it out of my mind a bit and enjoy the moments, mostly because we hadn't told anyone about the pregnancy in the first place.
Then Martin Luther King, Jr. Day rolled around. A three day weekend in which Hubby and I did absolutely nothing. Just a nice, relaxing weekend. After reading before bed, I turned out the lights. Before I fell asleep, something happened to change me forever.
I was just trying to fall asleep, when I got this funny feeling. It started at the top of my head and went all the way down to my toes. My entire body was tingling and jittery. And then, I heard a voice. Out of nowhere I heard, "You are pregnant, and this time you will be OK." Then the tingling stopped, and I was left to wonder what the heck just happened.
I had absolutely no reason to suspect that I was pregnant. I just had a miscarriage five weeks prior, and my cycles had not resumed, but I believed that voice. I felt an odd, excited, weird kind of calmness that all would be well.
Funny, I didn't wake Hubby up to tell him. I went to sleep, savoring the moment, happy.
The next morning I told Hubby that I was pregnant. I said that I would take a test if he wanted proof, but I was going to buy some prenatal vitamins at the same time, because this time it was for real. You can't even believe the look on his face when I said this, but he trusted me. It's not the first time I've had a "feeling" that turned out to be correct. (Another topic, another post.)
I took the test, and it was positive.
A mere week later, I was at school when I started bleeding. The exact same scenario was playing out, but this time I had some hope. I will never forget sitting on the little elementary school toilet, crying my eyes out, scared to death, while praying/accusing/hoping and repeating over and over, "You said it would be OK. You said it would be OK. You said it would be OK."
Back to the doctor's office we went. Same doctor, same office, same ultrasound. Except this time, there amongst the fuzz of that old ultrasound screen, we could see a teeny, tiny little heart beating away.
We really and truly were going to have a baby.