18 September 2010

4 years ago.

the last shot.
Originally uploaded by Luna Soledad
Four years ago, I was as big as a whale and counting down the miserable seconds until I would have my body back again and the yet unnamed alien being housed within my stretched-to-the-max belly would be unleashed upon the world and take his first breath...

It's almost impossible to image now and seems so foreign to remember a time before Liam.

My first pregnancy crept up on me like a quiet thief. Like many first-time unintentional breeders, I was clueless as to my condition until I was entering my second trimester. I had been told by a couple of different docs that I would likely never conceive as my uterus is basically somewhere up in Egypt.

Well, I sure showed them.

1997-98: I had a typically healthy pregnancy, was 5 months along before I graduated to maternity clothes, progressed well, gained only 20 pounds or so altogether, ate well, slept a lot, had crazy dreams, kept Tums in business, and drank more milk than I had in the entire rest of my life put together... and I hated every moment of being pregnant. --Besides being bitchy and miserable from inconvenience and heart burn however, I gradually got over myself and was able to wrap my mind around the idea of being a mother before I was due to pop -- and secretly even began to look forward to the whole mommie/baby experience.

Then came Isabel.

No one enters parenthood for the first time fully prepared for what is in store. But absolutely nothing could have prepared me for the journey of having a child with special needs...

Don't get me wrong, life with Bell has left me with no regrets and I love her more than I ever imagined, but Holland is much, much different than Italy after all.

I never dreamed I would have another child. But nine years later the reality slapped me across the face like a frozen ham. I knew instantly. Before the pee-stick would even collaborate. And I was terrified.

My first call wasn't to my doctor nor to an OBGYN. My first call was to the UNC Genetics Clinic... I was over five months along (and showing) before I even told my family, friends, and coworkers. Five months along before our fears were finally laid to rest and I learned that I was carrying a healthy baby boy.

In retrospect, I can only guess that those around me must have thought I was really packing on the pounds because, unlike my first pregnancy, well, let's just say I was a healthy as a horse, and quickly grew to the size of one as well. --My God, by the time I hit my third trimester, I had no knees.

I craved red meat like there was no tomorrow and let me tell you, there were quite a few life-or-death steak emergencies. Kevin jokes that no hooven beast was safe around me, but it was nearly that bad. And Tums, yes... I devoured them by the handful around the clock. I drank ridiculous amounts of milk and Oreos never tasted so good.

To this day, probably the ugliest fight Kev and I have ever had involved my midnight Oreo craving and finding the empty cookie bag left atop the refrigerator. But I digress...

2006: Because of the difficulties in my first labor, I was scheduled for a second cesarean (which was perfectly fine by me!) I remember joking with the anesthesiologist as my beautiful, wonderful surgeon made her first incision.

"You doing okay?" he asked.

"Yeah, why?"

He indicated that they had begun and I let out a loud, "Oww!"

My doctor overheard and nearly had a heart attack... I'm not sure she forgave me for that one. Oops. =)

After what seemed like an eternity, I heard Dr. Jackie Newlin exclaim, "Well hello handsome!" and I knew that he was here.

I can still hear his incredibly pissed siren newborn wail in the recesses of my mind... and it still makes my heart flutter to replay it.

1st photo., originally uploaded by Luna Soledad.

Four years ago tomorrow, I became a first-time mom all over again.
...And every day it blows my mind. =)

Happy Birthday baby boy!

"When I was a young man, I didn't think about having a family. My wife and I were too poor to have babies. Then all of a sudden, one came along and scared the hell out of us because we had no money. Once the baby arrives, you make do somehow. You fall in love with the baby and life adjusts itself. You find you don't need as much money as you thought. When that happens, you can ask the questions that should have come before the baby."

...Ray Bradbury

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