It took us about an hour to adjust to the idea that we were really having a baby. Once the initial shock had worn off of this major curve ball in life, I couldn’t be more thrilled. I was so surprised by how instant the love for my baby was. Just twelve hours ago being a mom hadn’t crossed my mind and now I wanted it more than anything I had ever wanted in my life. I wanted this baby. Our baby.
My pregnancy went by at a snails pace. I was sicker than a dog almost every single day since I had hit my 8th week. I had to quit at Cafe Rio because the thought of it made me want to puke. I couldn’t go near the place. I continued working full time at the mortgage company and when I got home at 6:00, I would climb directly into bed. My darling husband would bring me ramen noodles or cereal (his specialty!) every single night for dinner.
We were thrilled to find out we were having a girl, although I already knew in my bones that’s what we were having. Brady was thrilled to have a little girl and the way he lit up talking about it made me weak in the knees.
Two weeks before I delivered Harlo, we moved from our Duplex downtown to a tiny little cottage-style condo that was built in the 50’s and was buried in Ivy. There were two bedrooms, wood floor throughout and the entire backside was floor to ceiling windows that overlooked a garden and a grassy valley of mature trees. It had a cozy little fireplace and a teeny tiny kitchen. It was perfect. I spent our first days there doing all the baby girl laundry, folding it neatly and placing it into her newly assembled drawers.
December 17th at 1:10pm, when I was 37 weeks 3 days pregnant, my first contraction hit, and they kept coming every 2-3 minutes for the rest of the day. It was a snowy night, the first snow storm in years, when my nervous husband arrived home to a laboring wife. There was still so much I needed to do before our baby arrived, so there I was unpacking boxes, doing the last bouts of laundry, putting the bascinet together. If this baby was really coming tonight, we had some work to do. We stopped by Target on the way to the hospital for nursing bras, a robe and slippers for the hospital and some snacks for Brady during labor. Twice in Target I had to stop and bend over the cart through my contractions, so we picked up our step and rushed over (carefully — snow storm, remember?) to the hospital. We arrived at 11pm at night and settled in for a sleepless night of checking, moinitors and nerves.
At 2:50pm the next day, 26 hours after my first contraction, we successfully delivered a healthy, gorgeous, viviacious little girl. My Harlo was here. She was head-to-toe perfection.
Moments after she was placed on my chest, I looked up at my husband with complete adoration and look what we just did written all over my face. I didn’t think it was possible to love this man anymore than I already did, but somehow my love for him seemed to have expanded by what seemed like the thousands. My heart was so full it practically ached with love.
Watching Brady hold our tiny little girl for the first time was almost surreal. Here was the man that I loved deeply, whom I had created a life with, who was now holding and admiring our little girl with the same love and adoration on his face that I felt.
A few days later we cozied into our little cottage with our new little family. We were completely smitten. After several days off, Brady headed back to work, coming home as frequently through the day as he could manage, and I had settled graciously into my life as a new mom. I loved marveling at my wee little one, nursing her near the fireplace during the day, reading all the parenting, baby and birth books I could get my hands on.
I was truly amazed by how sweet and fulfilling my life was. It was my first real testiment as to how good and faithful God is. I knew that I was living the life I was created to live. I felt so blessed, so happy, so loved. Even though my life was completely different than I had imagined it being, it was worlds better. In fact, I had never ever dared to dream of a life so sweet.
Six months after Harlo was born, I was working a couple nights a week waiting tables and spending the rest of my time as a happy mama. We were completely outgrowing our tiny cottage. You had to step over the baby swing, the bouncer, walk around the dog bed, climb over the high chair just to get a drink of water. It was time to move. Again.
We found a quaint little house near the back of my sister’s neighborhood. It was a modest, cozy little 3 bedroom home. Plenty of room for everything with a little growing room. It was down the street from the restaurant that I worked, and close to family to dote over our baby.
We settled in to our new home, feeling like real grownups. We had a happy little family in the suburbs. And even though we were happier than our little hearts could handle, it became apparent that something was missing.
“I think I’m being asked to have another baby,” I told Brady one summer night after successfully rocking our baby to sleep. While I’m sure he was a little stunned at the bold statement, he was used to the fast-pace style of our life by now and nothing that came out of my mouth seemed to catch him off guard anymore. “Let’s think about that for a while,” he answered and with that started a lot of praying, thinking and planning.
I knew it sounded crazy, we just had a baby. But that couldn’t stop the nagging feeling I felt to deliver another little one. It felt so right. I knew this is what I was meant to do. I started praying, “God, I feel like you’re calling me to have another baby. If this is what is right for my family, please help me and my husband get on the same page and make this decision together.” Before long, Brady was on a board.
We were a little nervous to actually plan for a baby since our last baby came without any planning at all. I’ve had some medical issues where I had to have one of my ovaries removed and even though we now knew I could have a baby, we still weren’t sure what to expect for a “trying” period. I mindlessly got off birth controll on October 24th, taking the first step in our preparation. I was nervous. For years I had dreaded the thought of wanting to get pregnant and not being able to. It’s probably why I was previously putting off being a mom altogether for so long.
On November 24th, one month to the day since I got off birth control, we found out we were pregnant. Ha! All that worrying for nothing. It confirmed for me that this really was God’s will and what we should be doing.
The next day was Thanksgiving, my first time cooking the holiday dinner, and in our own home. I became overwhelmed by my blessings. After all that I had been given in the last year, I was being given more. It was hard for me to wrap my head around, but I was so grateful.
We had a wonderful dinner, my favorite Thanksgiving to date. That night we laid in bed, still on a high from discovering our pregnancy the night before (which we hadn’t mentioned to family yet) Brady was still a little skeptical because the second line on the test this time around was fairly faint. He wanted to wait and take another test before he let himself really get attached to the idea. I knew this was my husband’s way of protecting himself from disapopintment, as he was completely thrilled to be having another baby. I humored him and took another digital test the next day. PREGNANT, it read. He sighed a huge sigh of relief. I wrapped my arms around that man and smooched his sweet face.
“I want to have this baby at home,” I revealed the second part of my calling from God now that the timing was right. Brady, like any caring husband and father, had his reservations about the unfamiliar territory, but agreed to check it out. The following week we started interviewing midwives.
We left our first midwife’s meeting, even though she wasn’t the right fit for us, I was feeling hopeful and excited about the possibility of having this baby naturally, in our own home. Brady settled into the car next to me, looked at me and said, with utmost certainty, “We’re doing this. We’re having this baby at home.” I knew that my prayers about us being on the same page were being answered. I was so thrilled and excited to experience this next chapter of our lives, together. I swore to myself I would have a hundred babies with this man if he wanted me to. I knew the experience would be big, but the reality of how immensely it would affect our marriage and our lives, I could have never dreamed of.