I so love having a little girl. I get to dress her up whenever I want! For a little while, she was wearing little knee-high white socks and some pink shoes… I didn’t get a picture of it though. Maybe I should get her dressed in it again another time, before she outgrows the dress. Hmm.
Anyhow! Last Friday was our first Easter dinner, with Chris’ mother’s side of the family — sort of. More like his aunt-by-marriage’s side, which meant a ton of people we didn’t know, and maybe ten that we did. Ten may sound like a decent amount, but when you consider that there were THIRTY PEOPLE there, it’s not really. And with that many people, Maia was pretty overwhelmed. She definitely had a rough time for the first few hours we were there and I felt horrible; she was crying, didn’t want anyone but me or Chris holding her, screaming whenever someone would get in her face and try to make her happy (what is with that, btw? if you were upset and scared, would you REALLY want a stranger getting in your space, making faces and being loud?). After dinner — which of course I spent in a separate room with her, nursing, and no one thought to bring me my dinner plate, which just sat at the end of the table getting cold (and someone stole my bread off it!) — she calmed down a bit. And in fact, she let other people hold her! One lady that I’m not particularly fond of, the mother of those two boys from Thanksgiving, actually held Maia for a long while, bouncing and walking around the house with her. It was surprising, but awesome.
When we went to leave, Maia was actually good when we set her in her carseat. Usually she’s pissy in the carseat but happy once we get into the car. People crowded around and cooed at her, and she let them see her BIG, dimpled smile.
So then when we got into the car… she was okay, wide-awake though. She stayed awake, watching the shadows play over the roof of the car, looking out of the back window at the streetlights. Of course, this couldn’t last; I was waiting on her to fall asleep, but she decided to start crying instead. I tried a few different things to shush her, but no dice. Eventually we had to pull off the highway so I could feed her. Why she was hungry again after having just been nursed before we left the party is beyond me, but whatever, it worked out.
So Sunday, we were heading to Easter with Chris’ father’s side of the family. The house was literally 15 minutes down the highway. Again, Maia was fed before being put in her carseat, and she was happy; again, she started wailing when we got on the highway, where we encountered massive traffic. Stop-and-go driving does not make my baby very happy. Eventually Chris put his fingertip in her mouth and she suckled on it long enough for us to get to the house, which was kinda nice.
This gathering was MUCH smaller — there were 10 people altogether. One of Chris’ cousins, who has been a nanny before, totally loved Maia and took her out of our hands for most of the night. This was great… I actually got to eat a warm dinner! AT A TABLE!
But guess what happened when we left? Yep, the baby started to scream again as we encountered traffic … on the highway… at 10pm on a Sunday night. If we managed to go 10mph, it was a triumph. Seriously? We’re 15 minutes down the road on a normal day. I managed to quiet her down a little with a rattle, but mostly I just tried to hold her hand as Chris pulled off the highway and zoomed down back streets.
I’m not liking this whole “happy in the carseat, pissed in the car” thing. Especially with the prospect of our trip out to Connecticut in another two weeks!
I’ve not been having the greatest day — just feeling very hormonal and restless.
But earlier today, as we chilled on the couch together and I whined about how none of our potential New Year’s Eve plans sounded interesting, Chris said, “Well, we could just stay home and relax tonight.”
Of course, I whined, “Every year it’s just you and I, it’s boring.”
And he answered, quietly, with a smile: “Next year it won’t be.”
2009 is going to be surreal…
This pregnancy is unplanned. It happened because I screwed up on my birth control, and we didn’t “play safe”. Unplanned, but not unwanted; every day, I dream about this little life we’ve made and I feel deeply at peace. For several years, I had no desire to have a baby — ever. Ever. Then Christmas 2007 rolled around, two weeks before my 25th birthday.
Every December, my mom sends me a Christmas ornament; every year, those ornaments sit in a box waiting for a tree to be hung on. Chris and I never buy a tree. Those ornaments never come out. I remember how much pride my mom took in her tree, with all of its mismatched old ornaments, lopsided garlands, and unevenly distributed tinsel — as we sat in Chris’ aunt’s house, with her perfectly manicured fake tree that could have come straight out of an L.L. Bean catalogue. It had been four years since I’d spent a Christmas with my family. I missed my cousins running around, I missed all the pets playing together; I missed the green bean casserole, the yams with marshmallows, the stress of preparing the house for dinner guests only to realize, once everyone was sitting together laughing, that blood is more important than the dust bunny in the corner that we missed.
I realized… for both Chris’ family and mine, the “new generation” hadn’t started yet. My mother’s house would be getting quieter every year as my siblings and cousins grew up, becoming more mature, carrying on more adult conversations. Most of us had grown out of sitting at the kid’s table.
I wanted a baby then, sitting there staring at this “perfect” Christmas tree with my husband at my side.
It didn’t seem right to want to bring a life into this world when I had hardly started my own — I have no “higher” education, nor do I have a job. Blame Immigration, whose red tape has kept my hands tied behind my back for nearly five years now. I didn’t tell Chris how my mind had changed; he didn’t say anything to me about wanting to start a family. We just coddled the dogs and spoiled each other. Still, our parents seemed eager for grandkids and the comments started coming: “I don’t want to push you, but when…” “That’s a big backseat … now all you need is a baby back there!” “I don’t think I’ll ever be a grandma…” We smiled and bore these comments, shaking them off with a casual “Oh, maybe someday!”
We didn’t intend to become parents for at least another three-four years. I needed to get my residency status here in Canada, get a part-time job, start school, get some sort of diploma/degree, find a career, and THEN have a baby. Our life just didn’t seem stable or adult enough to fit a child into, and I felt confident in our plan.
Sometimes women know when they’re pregnant. I knew within the next week. Something just clicked in my brain; maybe it was more that there was virtually no way I could not be pregnant (we are a hyper-fertile couple). I knew, when I went to a friend’s birthday party weekend at the beginning of June, that I should avoid drinking. When I went to visit my family in mid-June, I hadn’t taken a pregnancy test, I wasn’t suffering from any symptoms of pregnancy other than a vague fatigue in mid-afternoon, but I knew. My period was late. This, in and of itself, wasn’t a worry to me; I had never kept track of my cycle and figured that I was just remembering the week incorrectly. So when Chris, via MSN Messenger, asked if I’d started my period yet and then, in a shaky follow-up, “When should we start worrying?” I had already settled in my heart that I was pregnant: A few days ago…? I replied.
“What do you want to do?”
Long ago, I had made up my mind: unless there were extenuating health-related circumstances, I would not abort my husband’s baby. We’re adults. If we make the choice to have unprotected sex, then we make the choice to bear all consequences. I hate the word “consequences” in this context; it sounds like a punishment. This isn’t — our baby is a blessing. So I told him this.
And all he typed back was: “Okay.”
Then, being the man that he is, he immediately tackled the finances, rebalanced our budget, and started looking for a two bedroom apartment. I honestly thought he was unhappy about the decision, but our communication was all online or through brief phone calls while he was at work, neither of which are conducive to in-depth conversation. But when he came down to pick me up, our eyes met, and he hugged me fiercely as if he hadn’t seen me in months rather than 10 days, I knew he was ecstatic.
We’d had sex under the pretense of ignoring basic biology while both delighting in the possibility of creation. And we want what we’ve gotten.
So, to you, the little gymnast that has been kicking my abdomen with a fervor that makes me think you want to meet us as much as we want to meet you — you are already the best thing that has ever happened to us.
We love you.