I've said before that I'll never really write about my miscarriages because I can't do the pain justice. I'm not sure I can do the joyful times justice, either--but I’ve since decided that I owe it to my babies to tell their stories. Plus, Danny’s been asking me to write about them—and there’s not much I wouldn’t do for that guy.
It makes sense to start at the beginning, with Baby Celis #1. I’ll give you Part One today—the one year anniversary of my first positive pregnancy test---and Part Two on November 27th—the one year anniversary of the day we said goodbye to our first baby.
I'm allowing myself one hour to write this because if I fiddle with it until I think it's good enough for my baby, I may never finish it.
Part One. Ready, set, go.
When I took a pregnancy test during my lunch hour on Thursday, October 27th, 2011, I was only kind of surprised to see two lines appear. I obviously bought the test for a reason. We all know how babies are made. Plus, I thought my period was late (I never kept close track), and moreover, like with my pregnancies that followed, I just knew.
I didn’t tell Danny immediately because I wasn’t going to tell him something so momentous over the phone. Also, this is ridiculous, but I wanted to make sure I was pregnant (by peeing on a million more sticks). I didn’t really allow myself to think about the baby in my belly that afternoon. My main focus was Danny and what his reaction would be. Just two weeks prior to this, he’d told me that he didn’t want to start a family for at least 5 years. We didn't know it, of course, but I was already pregnant when he'd said that. Life's funny, I guess.
When I got out of work, I took another pregnancy test--a fancy digital one this time--and sure enough, an undeniable "pregnant" appeared on the little screen in a matter of seconds.
My hands shook as I walked out of the bathroom with my positive pregnancy tests. I found Danny, who was on some weird muscle man diet at the time, in the kitchen, browning some ground beef and making hard boiled eggs. I said, “Now, don’t freak out—but I took this test at lunch, and there are two lines, and I took this test just now, and it says ‘pregnant.’ It must be true."
The color drained from his face. He grabbed the tests and examined them, then he grabbed the wall to steady himself. He managed to squeak out, “I have to sit down. I have to get some air,” and ran out the front door. I followed.
And that’s when it happened. As we sat outside on our stoop on that sunny fall day, freaked out and wondering how the hell we were going to handle this, our hearts opened up and swallowed that sweet little life we'd made together. We fell in love with our baby, just like that.
We were going to be parents! We were going to raise and nurture and shape and love a human being who was going to be the best of both of us. Yes, we were terrified--but we were also ecstatic. We made a baby, and on June 27th, 2012 (I'd already used an online calculator to figure out our estimated due date), we'd be able to hold him or her in our arms. Because isn't that how it always works?
We knew our lives would never be the same. We just didn’t know in what ways—or to what extent.
We ran down the street to tell Danny’s mom (yes, I live 7 houses down the street from my mother-in-law), and she laughed and cried—and we laughed and cried. I wasn’t sure how she’d react since Danny and I weren’t married yet. (Not that it’s important, but let the record reflect that we'd been engaged for 5 months.)
|My favorite engagement photo. I was actually pregnant with Baby Celis #1 when it was taken--but didn't realize it until 4 days later. An 11x14 of this photo is hanging in our living room, and I consider it a tangible memory of our first baby.|
But she was elated. I remember her saying, “How did this happen?? Well, I know how it happened,
but how did it happen? Oh, it doesn’t matter!” And we all hugged, and laughed and cried some more.
Now, 3 people in the world were head-over-heels in love with Baby Celis #1.
We decided to visit our best friends, Josh and Sarah, who have a house full of kids. We needed them to tell us we’d be okay, that we were perfectly capable of raising a baby, and that nothing in the world compares to being a parent.
As soon as we shared our news with them, that's exactly what they told us. Cue more tears and laughter and hugs.
And even more love for Baby Celis #1.
Afterward, Danny and I went to our favorite pizza place to celebrate. I remember running across Detroit Avenue, hand in hand, laughing our asses off and bursting at the seams with excitement. We wanted to shout our news from the rooftops, but we settled with just telling our server. (For the longest time, we avoided that restaurant because I was afraid she'd remember us and ask about our baby.)
Remember the hard boiled eggs Danny was making? We learned that night that if you boil eggs for 3 hours, they explode all over your face and ceiling when you touch them. Hard boiled eggs will forever remind me of our first baby--in a good way, I think. We were so thrilled to be celebrating our baby that we forgot about everything else. It's sweet.
We spent the following weeks falling more and more in love with Baby Celis #1. (Oh, and we ran to the justice center and got hitched.)
|So much joy. Reading the letters we wrote to each other on our wedding day. They're primarily about how awesome it was going to be to be parents. (If I ever feel like sobbing until I puke, I'll bust these letters out and read them.)|
The happiest memories of my entire life are from when this baby was here with us—Danny rubbing my belly and talking to our sweet baby, poring over names and nursery photos, unabashedly buying cute baby stuff, brainstorming fun ways of telling the world our news, dreaming of traditions (ice cream-and-bookstore Sundays, cupcake-breakfast birthdays), writing our baby letters, wondering who our baby would look like, who our baby would be.
Our joy eclipsed any negative things going on in our lives at the time. Nothing else mattered. I remember laughing so much those days. I remember crying (happy tears, sometimes tinged with overwhelmed tears) until I laughed and laughing until I cried. It sounds corny, it sounds trite... but we were on top of the world.
I don't think I'll experience unbridled joy like that ever again. I know I haven't since, despite all of the wonderful things that have happened to us. Now, my happiness is always varnished with a thick layer of skepticism. I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Not then.
If there’s anything I want people to understand (besides the horrendous pain that came later), it’s that I do have happy memories of our first baby. I really can look back at those days and smile (even if it is through tears most of the time).
My first pregnancy is divided into two distinct parts—the happy and the sad—so that’s how I’ll divide Baby Celis #1’s story. I’ll end Part One here, on a happy note.
Again, let me reiterate, we were so, so happy.
Added 11/27: Here's Part Two.