I am of the belief that you will never actually be ready to have kids. I don't care how long you have or haven't been trying (I mean I do care, but you know what I mean...). What hits you when you have your baby is something that absolutely no one understands until you experience it. I recently posted a quote on a friend's facebook wall who just had her first baby. It is one of my absolute favorite quotes because it really captures the essence of motherhood.
"Making the decision to have a child- it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." -Elizabeth Stone (I don't know who she is either, but she is spot-on with this)
Matt and I got married November 17, 2006. We had previously discussed children (which I most definitely recommend prior to marriage... you think I'm joking, but I'm always shocked at the couples that just don't talk about the big stuff). We actually had a very serious conversation before even getting engaged. Around age five, I had really bad kidney reflux issues, kidney infections, etc. I had emergency surgery where they discovered peritonitis (basically an infection of the tissue surrounding my abdomen and other organs), and I ended up having my appendix out as well (for no major reason, it was totally fine. They were just in there already and why not). Since then, my doctors had warned me that I have a lot of scar tissue, which could most likely affect me getting pregnant (I know... Laughable now). So growing up/in the dating world, I considered this a possible dealbreaker for my future husband. Matt and I had a long talk about the possible difficult journey of getting pregnant, what we would do, adoption, and the like. As we had discussed, we did want to have kids relatively young so we decided to not prevent it as of Matt's birthday on February 25, 2007. We figured we could see how things went, knowing that most fertility places don't even see you until you have been trying for a year.
So three weeks after making this decision to 'see how things go', I was just so beyond tired. I was working as a bartender at the time, and all I wanted to do after my day shift was go home, snuggle up on the couch with a glass of wine and read my book. So there I am, 22 years old, married for four months. Now when you aren't trying to prevent pregnancy, you (or maybe it's just me) think you are pregnant, like, constantly. I knew my issues but I just couldn't get past it... I'm talking I would seriously get pregnancy tests in bulk from Costco. I had taken several over the last few days (I just felt uncomfortable having anything alcohol-related without knowing for sure). All three in the past few days were negative so I just pushed it out of my head. As I sat reading my book waiting for Matt to get home, I finished my first glass of wine and decided to go for a second. As I poured it, I decided to go take just one more test. I really didn't think anything of it. I actually left the bathroom to go finish up the dishes. I returned. And that second line appeared. My heart started racing. I quickly dumped my wine down the bathroom sink. This couldn't be true. I had been preparing myself my entire life for this to be a long, difficult thing. We just got married. I am only 22. Why were my tests negative the last few days????? I am so excited. Holy crap. I don't believe it. OHHHHH wait, why are all of these tests in the trash POSITIVE?!?!? I guess that is why they tell you to wait a full three minutes for the results. I am such an idiot. Who really takes pregnancy tests wrong??? This gal. I have a living alien inside of me. Oh.My.Gosh.
With four positive tests in front of me, I still didn't believe it. I grabbed my purse and raced to the store. I got another pack of tests... and diapers. Don't ask me why. I was freaking out. After drinking about a gallon of water to make myself have to pee again, yet another test confirmed what the previous four had.
I was pregnant.
Happy tears streaming down my face, Matt came in the door and saw all five tests (and the diapers) lined up on the table (don't worry, I washed it after). His face was priceless. He looked at me and just said, "Are you serious??????" Even though it was a totally boring way to tell him, it was a perfect moment.
Nine months, 47 pounds, (aka, far too many TGI Friday's Fried Green Beans) later, I gave birth to the most beautiful little person I had ever seen in my life. I will admit that labor was most definitely horrific. We got to the hospital far later than we should have (I was 8cm before I got an epidural which only ended up working on the left side of my stomach. Not helpful). Summer was way too big and was in serious fetal distress. They discovered meconium was present (she pooped in my uterus and it is majorly toxic for babies to inhale that) so a NICU nurse was brought in. I just couldn't get her out until my mom whispered to me, "Your sister (Joy) did it. Can't you?" She clearly knows me and my competitive streak because that is all it took for me to go psycho and push her out. She was limp and blue, and they immediately cut the cord and ran with her. All I heard was counting, what sounded like suctioning, rustling of tools... but no crying. All I kept saying was, "Why isn't she crying?" Thankfully I was quite unaware of how serious it was. Her one minute APGAR score (what they rate infants based on how well they are doing post-birth) was a 2, which means she required immediate life-saving efforts. She was intubated and resuscitated (I found all of this out later) and what felt like years later, I heard that first cry. And then, finally, they gave her to me.
You are my Sweets. You are wise beyond your years. You have the memory of an elephant. You are smart, you are beautiful. You are the biggest snuggler in the world, and would sleep in mommy's arms every night if I let you.
You were talking before a year. Full, articulate sentences by 18 months. Your 'Summerisms' are famous on Facebook. You were and still are my buddy. We were pretty much inseparable.
You went to every bar around. You got a passport at four weeks old to go to Mexico for your Aunt Stacey's wedding. I had to lie you down on a white sheet to get this picture of you. (Try getting a four week old to look straight forward with their eyes open and hands not in their face. Good luck.)
You loved the beach and water from day one.
You love Emmie. And she is your one and only 'big sister.'
You are silly.
You are kind. You love everyone and everything. You are shy at times but the life of the party at others.
You are hard-working.
Your ability to empathize with people and animals is absolutely incredible. Your preschool teacher when you were three said she had never seen a child with so much compassion.
You love your Redskins and Caps.
You absolutely adore your sisters and take such good care of them.
You are our amazing Summer Grace.
You were the best first-born I could imagine. In fact, you spoiled us.
Before we had you, I couldn't imagine life with you. And then, all of a sudden, after that day, I couldn't imagine life without you. You were my world. You were my craziness. You were this little person, who I just met, who I could just stare at all day long and think, "You. You were just inside of me. This is nuts."
You made us a family. Thanks for being ours. We love you more than all of the chocolate in the world. And you know your mommy... that is a ton.
And ps... I.Hate.Snow.