Saturday, April 28, 2018

Motherhood is a Choice: Part 4

Wednesday, December 22 - Aruba

Our cruise had been a much-needed oasis for both of us. We splurged on the spa, excursions, and a balcony cabin. We ate lavish food, drank expensive wine, and sipped cocktails before dinner each night.

We met a couple from Virginia who shared our table with us each night, and we got along with them wonderfully. It was great to be away from our lives at home - to escape the all-too-familiar surroundings that reminded us of that empty home with a waiting baby room and no baby.

That morning, I gazed across the ocean from our balcony - I stood, to quote Tennyson, "ringed with the azure world." No matter how many times I visit the Caribbean, I am struck by the beauty that surrounds me. As I breathed in the tangy air, a soft breeze warmed my face. I needed to try and get a cell phone signal.

Since leaving Fort Lauderdale five days earlier, I had been unable to call for any voice messages. I was still without a period, but I decided that likely this was more of the usual PCOS nonsense. I was enjoying my cruise, alcohol and all, but that niggly voice in the back of my head was cautioning me to call one more time.

As the call went through, I pressed "one" to get my messages. The time stamp said Friday morning. What was going on here? I had DEFINITELY not had any messages when I left Florida on Friday afternoon!

It was the doctor's office.

"Hi Sarah, this is _________ from Dr. _______'s office, calling to tell you that you had a weak positive result for your pregnancy test. You will need to come in after Christmas and the doctor will talk to you about ... " 

I don't remember the rest of the message.

I stood on the balcony, stunned. How could this be? How could I be going through this again? Did I even WANT to go through "this" again?

I glanced back into our stateroom. Ian was lounging on our king-sized bed in a bathrobe watching TV. 

What would I tell him? How would I tell him? Should I tell him?

I knew exactly what to do.

I walked into the room and climbed on the bed to give him a gentle kiss. Then softly, I started singing.

"I'm having your baby.
 I'm a woman in love 
 and I love what you're doin' to me..."

*     *     *

The first people we told were our new friends. I am still friends even now with Johnna. Things didn't work out with her and the man she was with, but she has become tied to me forever - she was the first one I told about our miracle: baby number three of 2010. The one I wasn't ready for. The one I didn't want. The one that caught me off-guard and changed my world forever.

I started feeling nauseous before the cruise was even over. It was a relief to get home and prepare for celebrating Christmas with our family. While I didn't want to tell anyone yet, I knew I would need their support to get through this pregnancy, whether I lost this baby or not.

On Boxing Day morning, as is our tradition in the Rowan family, we all met at my mom's place for brunch. As we sat around the table, enjoying "dirty lasagna" (my nephew Anakin's name for breakfast-casserole-of-deliciousness) and drinking sparkling peach juice, I waited for my mom to notice the tiny card I'd set by her plate.

When she opened it at last, she just looked at me.

"Read it out loud," I said.

"Merry Christmas, Momma. Little Gumdrop is due to arrive on August 28, 2011 - just in time to share a birthday with you, Grandma!"

*     *     *

Becoming a mother was never really a choice for me. When I tried to become a mother, I was blocked at every turn. Then, when I had finally walked away from any possibility or desire to be a mother, a tiny life took hold. My Little Bean - my Coco Lucille - my Lucy. She is commemorated by ten or so pages in a journal, a medical band from my ER visits, a day lily named in her honour in my garden, and some rose petals that will one day belong to her younger sisters.

The story of my next pregnancy might require another very long, multi-part series of blog posts. I know many of you already know the story. I promise to share it with my new readers soon. My heart needs some time to heal.

For now, I leave you with this thought: 

*     *     *

September 2010 - Pregnant with Little Bean and heading to a friend's 1970s-themed 40th birthday party.

*     *     *

Ian and I on our cruise in 2010 - world weary

Boxing Day 2010 - Cautiously happy, but knowing we have each other for the journey.

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