Daddy and I gaped at each other.
We were a mix of every possible emotion:
excitement, fear, trepidation...
My reaction was to go buy a million books
a little calendar that illustrated what was happening
in your growth each week
("Your child is the size of the period at the end of this sentence," I remember reading. I was aghast. How could that be?)
and to worry. And oh man, did I worry.
I was so good at it!
We had a couple of blips in the early months of the pregnancy.
We went to one doctor who thought I had either a cyst or an ectopic pregnancy.
Luckily, we went to another OB for a second opinion.
He immediately took us back for an ultrasound
(a rather invasive one, I might add!)
and there, on the screen, was a little grain of rice
with a little flashing circle.
We were going to have a baby!
I spent the next eight months teaching.
I was so sick and so exhausted!
A couple of times a day I would run out of the classroom, careening down the hall and down a flight of stairs with my hand firmly pressed against my mouth.
I would crash into the ladies room, lock the door behind me and .... well, let's just say...heave.
At naptime for the students,
I would lay down next to a preschool child...
and promptly fall asleep.
Luckily for me, my fellow teachers were very generous of spirit and forgiving of me.
One of them, in fact, gave me a baby shower and is fondly called your "Auntie Robin."
At the end of the day I would come home from work,
grab a blanket and Lacey, our West Highland Terrier,
Your Dad would come home and there I'd be,
half- comatose on the sofa.
It was a fatigue almost beyond description. It was really more like being sedated.
Being my first pregnancy,
I had plenty of time to think about
and concentrate on all my symptoms and every
pain and pull.
That is a luxury that you only get once.
Of course, I didn't realize it was a luxury at all,
but in retrospect, I do.
My pregnancy with you was one of the most intimate
experiences of my lifetime.
Every little change was new and exciting,
scary and mysterious, and we went through it together.
I remember little of my pregnancies with your brothers
because I was too busy living life with you!
The other thing I luxuriated in
during my pregnancy with you
(once I stopped puking)
Oh my god, the food!
I ate Whoppers with cheese
and chocolate fudge.
I craved sweet, salty and fatty foods
and packed on the carbs.
It was a wonderful free for all!
Needless to say, of the three pregnancies,
I gained the most with you!
And look at you now.. you love carbs!
I think I did that to you.
We found out your gender early on
and immediately set about picking out a name.
We decided on yours fairly quickly:
We liked Katherine because it would allow you
to be whoever you wanted to be:
a more formal, studious Katherine,
a fun, tomboyish Katie,
a more mature, feminine Kate.
I will admit, I was totally gunning for a sports oriented, tomboyish Katie. I am not a frilly girly girl and have trouble quite comprehending people who are.
To that end, we (I) felt strongly about not decorating your room in pink and lace and frilly things.
Oh no, we were going to be gender neutral.
Consequently, your room was decorated in primary colors and trains.
Instead of dolls, we had trains and balls and puzzles.
Oh my gosh, you were the girliest girly girl around.
You got your first baby doll around the age of one and never looked back.
You never gave balls or trains a second glance.
There goes the nurture theory.
I stopped work about two weeks before you were due.
Little did I know that you would hang on
and on and on in there.
The due date I had been given was April 19.
After weeks of waiting and weekly stress tests,
an induction date was set for the beginning of May.
Late at night on April 30th and into the pre-dawn hours of May 1, I realized I was in labor.
It was time!