Today I am joining with Bloggers Unite to blog about a subject very close to my heart. I'm supposed to blog about a baby that I love.
Today I'm going to tell you not about my baby that came too soon, but about my baby that came late.
I was 19 when I found out I was pregnant. I remember when the nurse exclaimed "You're pregnant!" to me over the phone. I couldn't speak. Dead silence. I remember before I had my blood drawn I kept wishing, even praying, that I wasn't pregnant. It just seemed like the worst thing that could happen.
In all honesty my boyfriend and I had only been dating about seven months. I barely knew him, really. He was a great guy, but I wasn't sure I was going to spend the rest of my life with him. I was only 19 after all. I petrified to tell him. When I did he seemed happy, but I knew deep down he was freaking out like I was.
I was especially afraid to tell my mom. She got pregnant for me when she was 18, and I knew that wasn't what she wanted for me. Especially when I hadn't been dating my boyfriend that long, and especially because he was 35 years old and had a 9 year old daughter! Not exactly the dream you envision for you teenage daughter.
My mom was mad, but she quickly got over it. I'm sure she was just trying to make the best of it.
I had a relatively uneventful pregnancy. We never did find out the gender, but I knew it was a boy. I read stories about women who loved every minute of being pregnant. I was not one of those women. Although I was excited to be pregnant, I did not like the aches and pains that pregnancy brought. I especially did not like it when I watched my due date come and go with no sign of labor. Then the next week. Then the next. I was ready for the baby to come, but he had other plans. Apparently my uterus was quite comfy in those days, because I ended up have to be induced when I was 42 weeks pregnant.
I honestly don't remember much about labor. I think I've blocked it all out. I remember looking at my mom and asking her, "Why didn't you tell me it hurt this much!?!" She said, "Would that have stopped you?" Good point, but I didn't find the humor in it at that moment. I was so shocked by the pain of labor (sorry if I'm scaring anyone!) that I forgot about epidurals, drugs, everything. I closed my eyes and tried to sleep through it. Didn't work, but I tried. I'm told I did ask for an epidural when I was about 10 centimeters dilated, but obviously they wouldn't give it to me then. I don't remember that.
All I remember is the doctor tell me I could push. I remember feeling his hairy little head when it was crowning. I remember seeing his body come out of me, and it all felt surreal. A human being was coming out of my vagina. I could not wrap my head around it. Honestly, I still can't believe it.
And then, there he was.
My son. I instantly fell in love with him. It was instant. I was not prepared to love him as much as I did. I knew I'd love him, but I didn't know I'd fall in love with him. It was an immense feeling I'd never felt before.
He was born without a name. We still didn't have one picked out. That night, after everyone had left, we thought about names and picked out Brendan. It was a name we both liked. His middle name was Jack, after his grandfather who had died the summer before.
I loved being a stay at home mom. I look back on those days as the best days of my life. I loved every minute of those days. His father and I got married. (We just celebrated out eleventh wedding anniversary.) It was not all sunshine and rainbows the entire time. There were good times and bad, but it's true what they say: you forget the bad. I don't really remember the times I was sleep deprived, or deathly ill, or angry. I remember the times we laughed, the sweet times, the love we felt.
I fondly remember when Brendan was a baby I would think ahead, to when he would be twelve and not being able to picture it. I couldn't imagine what it would be like to have a 12 year old.
Well, here we are, 12 years later.
I never pictured my son would have longer hair then me! I didn't know he'd have a love for music, or be a math wiz. I couldn't imagine that he'd have a great sense of humor.
I guess that's the part of motherhood I didn't expect: the unexpected. We have dreams for our children, but they have thier own dreams. The hardest part of being a mom (for me at least) has been having to let go and let him spread his wings. I want to keep him little forever.
But he'll always be my baby.
Today, while I think about him, and my other baby Brenna, I will also think about the other babies who, like Brenna, were born too soon. Please join me in the fight for preemies.