…then ends abruptly.
I had wanted to write a poetic post depicting the changes of life, as Aria transitions fully into toddlerdom with her first birthday, and my little baby is a distant memory, but at the same time a new life was beginning. On Aria’s first birthday I knew I was pregnant. I didn’t have confirmation yet, but I just knew.
I had wanted to be pregnant so bad, and had that nagging thought in my mind for a long while… in fact, more than I had wanted to be pregnant the first time, as I now knew what I was asking for.
I think the first time I had the craving was my first day back to work after maternity leave. I was walking in and I thought to myself, ‘I wish I was pregnant.’ That could be explained away by the fact that the last time I had been to work I had been pregnant, so it was rather a comfortable feeling, unlike the newly empty belly and breast pump bag thrown over my shoulder, which became my travel companion for the next year.
The next time I felt it was when I finally fit back into my regular clothes and was putting away all of the maternity clothes. Funny, they had grown loathsome to me because I had a limited wardrobe and everything had started to rub or pinch or be too tight or was tiresome to look at anymore, and I couldn’t wait to be rid of it.. but when I was folding it all neatly away I thought to myself, ‘I can’t wait to wear these again.’
As soon as I got the green light from my doctor, when Aria was nine months old, I started trying again. Because of the c-section I was not allowed to try before then, so as soon as that day came I went off birth control. I had my first period in such a long time, and when it went and another came I didn’t let myself get discouraged, that was just the first try. Then another came and went and this time I was a little sad, but didn’t worry about it. Finally, the next period did not come. It was my hope that I could tell Eric, on our anniversary, that I was going to give him another child. However, the test came up negative, and I was super depressed and violently moody, and knew that I was pregnant anyway, screw the stupid test and its wrongness.
I had scheduled an appointment to see my doctor because I’d had some weird cramps and pains in my lower abdomen, and when I showed up my period still had not. They asked some questions and when it was discovered that I was a couple weeks late they gave me a test there, and sure enough, it was positive. All of the procedures to determine what was wrong with me went out the window, as now pregnancy was more important. I think my doctor was a little miffed at me, as she basically said, “well now we have a lot of work to do..”
I went and had the necessary blood work done, and was told to wait a little bit longer for the ultrasound so that there would be something to see. So I did, waiting until I was roughly nine weeks along to go in. It was Eric’s first day back to work, so I went alone, but I had done so many of these before that I was completely ok with that, and I was thinking to myself that I would make him come when we hit the 20 week mark and could see what gender it was.
The only thing that was different was that this time I had to have an internal ultrasound, because of the earliness of the pregnancy. It was a little uncomfortable, but I still got to see the delicate and beautiful little heart beat, and learned that based on the size the baby was actually a few days shy of eight weeks, which bumped the due date to early April.
Aria has my sister’s birth month, and this new baby would have mine, 21 months apart. I was going to have my sister and myself. I was a little giddy.
She gave me my sonogram picture with the word “Baby” written on it and I went home to work from there. It was Friday.
Denise had been watching Aria, so as I walked in I announced to her, “happy Friday!” and showed her the picture. She was happy but didn’t seem too surprised. I told her it would be ok to tell family, but that was all, as it was still so early.
So she did; she went home and told Mal, who then told everyone that I think he determines falls into the category of “family.”
That night I had a little spotting and some mild cramps, but was not too concerned as there had been an internal ultrasound and that seemed like a normal consequence. Plus I had been having mild cramps on and off throughout the entire pregnancy so far.
Saturday that pattern continued, until the evening came. All of a sudden the spotting became brighter.. and heavier.. and the cramps a little more pronounced. By 10:00 pm it was bad. Bad bad. I was scared. And in a lot of pain. Eric convinced me to call the on-call doctor, who told me to come in if the bleeding was excessive (not going to go into details) and told me to go into the office first thing Monday morning.
That night I didn’t really sleep, and Sunday I just writhed around in pain from what felt like really intense period cramps, and was pretty useless all day long.
Monday morning I had an appointment already scheduled, so I just went to that and they started with the usual pregnancy paperwork. I stopped them with, “what if there isn’t a pregnancy any more?” To which the shocked attendant responded, “oh.. ok let’s wait on this until you see the doctor.”
When I was taken to my room and my nurse came in, it started along the same lines, “let’s go over the usual questions, just like last time,” to which I tearfully responded, “I think I had a miscarriage.” She looked me in the eyes and said, “I’m so sorry,” to which I responded, “I’m sorry too” because she had just gone through one as well.. hers at eight months and my compassion for her was so much the greater because I had a glimpse of what she endured. I had learned about hers on the last visit – she had told me she was pregnant right before I had Aria, and I had remembered and had enthusiastically asked her how her baby was to which she had solemnly replied about her loss.
The doctor came in and started asking questions about what I had experienced. She was completely unconvinced I’d had one, which made me feel so weird inside. I was torn between sadness and a resolve to come to terms with the loss, and a hope that maybe it had just been a rough weekend and everything was ok. It was like my brain and emotions were warring and it was causing me to tremble because I was confused and unable to know how to feel or what to believe.
“Your blood work was perfect, the ultrasound was perfect, everything is right on track so the chances that you actually had a miscarriage are about 3%.”
She sent me immediately to get an ultrasound, at the same place I had just been three days before. She called over so when I walked in (right down the street) they were expecting me. The technician remembered me and asked what was wrong. I told her and then said, “I don’t want to see, if the baby isn’t …” She turned the screen away then we began. I lie there waiting to be told something.. all I could hear were the clicks of her taking her measurements on the computer, and the sound of the air conditioning.
Then she said, “ok, get cleaned up, and I’ll call the doctor.”
When she walked out of the room I started crying. I had to go wait in the waiting room for what seemed an eternity before the doctor called back. She advised me that it was all gone. My body had done all of the work of removing the pregnancy, and I didn’t have to go and have anything else done, except to go get blood work done to make sure my hormone levels were coming down.
I walked out to my car, and bawled. It was over. I drove to the other place, had my blood work done, and cried some more.
I went home and by then it was around 10:30 am, and Denise stayed until Aria was ready for her nap, then she left and I attempted to get some work done but ended up sleeping a good portion of the day.
I am ok though. I might catch myself tearing up when I have a thought, such as, “now I can drink, eat, or use whatever medicine I want without having to worry about anyone but myself…but I’d rather have the baby.” But otherwise I’ve been able to be myself during the day. At night is a little harder, because my mind has time to wander and I think about things like how much I wish there was a tiny baby lying next to me on the bed, snuggled up against me like my little snuggle monster had when she was itty bitty. Things like that set me off, but Eric has been so sweet, patient and kind during all of this and will just hold me.
I know it’s all part of God’s plan. I’m hopeful that He will let me have another baby, but for now this is where He wants me, and what He wants me to see and experience. And I’m ok with that. I do really want a baby, and I was really excited about that one, but something else is in store for me in the mean time, and He has given me strength to endure this, as well as the most adorable little girl I could ever ask for.
He’s also providing in the most unusual ways. Aria was sick last week with a really high fever. She’d never had one that high before and had no other symptoms. The pediatrician couldn’t find anything wrong with her and just said to keep an eye on her and make sure she had fluids. So Aria is outwardly just fine, besides the fever that first day, but ever since last Wednesday she has been so incredibly cuddly and clingy. I think if this had not all happened, I wouldn’t enjoy or appreciate her new found attachment to being held and carried. But now, I adore it. My little snuggle monster has reappeared, just slightly heavier and a little more vocal about her opinions, but has the most beautiful smile and can give me kisses now to tell me how much she loves me.
Thank you God for giving me your peace and comfort in trials, for surrounding me with more loving family and friends than I could have asked for, for one beautiful child already, and for using opportunities like this to teach me, grow my compassion, and for giving me an opportunity to be your light in the world.
Aria has been following a few instructions for a while now, such as, “let’s go for a walk! Let’s go get in your trike” to which her response is to run to the back door where we go out onto the porch and put her in her trike, with her bobbing and happy. I’m pretty sure she’s understood this one since shortly after learning to walk, because I would get her to walk all the way out there by herself.. at first it was me leading her but it quickly turned to her leading me.
Other commands, like “don’t touch that, it’s yucky” are hit or miss, while, “get down from there” never seems to work. One that she definitely gets is, “let’s go eat breakfast/lunch/dinner,” which inspires her to either hover around her high chair or climb on the stove to watch preparations (there’s a drawer at the bottom with a handle that she stands on while holding onto the oven handle.. it’s not ideal but she’s determined to see for herself). And of course there’s, “let’s go night night” which means she’ll come over to me to want up, then will say, “bye bye dada” and wave night night to him.
She can also understand a lot of other things, like hold mommy’s hand, or pick out the next book, or come sit in my lap. I’m pretty sure she understands most of what I say to her now, it’s just whether she wants to do it or not 🙂
One of my favorite, however, is “let’s go bye bye! Go get in your bye bye car seat!” which prompts her to scramble over to the car seat sitting on the floor, clamber in, and await being buckled in. This one used to be understood, but she would be hesitant or unsure, or maybe even wary, and would require some assistance. Not that she needs assistance getting into or out of the car seat, its permanency on the floor has ensured it’s part of the array of things to climb on, play in, or recline in while drinking a bottle. No, it was more of uncertainty of when I wanted her to get in, how long she’d have to sit there while I bustled around gathering up articles for the diaper bag last minute, and whether she really wanted to go wherever I was taking her. Eric would admonish me that I’d tell her too early to go get in her seat, and that I should wait until I was really ready to go, because sometimes she would crawl in then back out again before I’d make it over to buckle her in.
But lately it’s been pretty consistent, despite however long it takes me to get ready. I usually start telling her we’re going bye bye well enough in advance to get her to stop whining or clinging to my leg so that I can get together whatever we need, and it gives her something to do and to look forward to. So now I just say we’re going bye bye and she goes and waits patiently in her car seat without me having to do anything. I’ll walk into the room and there she is, ready and waiting. I buckle her in and off we go. It’s just so cute.
It’s not going to last much longer though.. she’s getting too big for the infant carrier and we need the next step up and that will be affixed more permanently to the car, so she’ll have to walk or be carried out.. but for now it’s precious 🙂 (and very heavy)
She’s also following the lead without anyone saying anything. She’s definitely in a mimic stage right now.
This weekend I was straightening up and there was a diaper wipes package that was dried up, with only two wipes left in it. I pulled them out and Aria took one from me. I wet the other and started using it to clean with, including wiping down the coffee table. Aria was watching me closely and came over and started wiping the table with hers as well.
If you pick up toys she helps. And she’ll continue even after you’ve stopped, until all of the specific toy is put away – like the foam letters that are supposed to be bath toys but she loves the container and foam letters so much they’ve become downstairs toys. There’s a bunch of them (letters, numbers and shapes) and they end up everywhere, but if I start putting them back into their container she’ll help, and if I stop she will look around until she’s found every one she can see and will put them away by herself.
We have to be really careful though, because she does watch everything. We were in the kitchen one evening and Aria was playing with the little robot dog her grandparents gave her. She knows how to push the button on its back to turn it on and off, but otherwise ignores most of the buttons on it. Eric was leaning against the counter and reached out with his foot to tap the button on top of its head, which would make it play music. Literally seconds later Aria was lifting her little foot up, trying hard to get her leg high enough while balancing, so that she too could touch its head with her foot. Eric quickly remedied the situation by leaning down and tapping the button with his finger, saying, “look I’ll push the button with my finger..”
It was so funny and amazing. What a little sponge.
There are two things that Aria has expressed a great love for (besides food, books, etc.): Dancing and water. And if combined, it’s exponentially better.
She loves going to places with crowds, especially if there’s music. We recently took her to an Italian Festival held by Eric’s mom’s church.
There was music and dancing and it was here she learned a new found love of bobbing.
She also discovered a love of water.. a deeper love of water. I believe I once had this great love of water, as my mom says I would be swimming in the lake at our lake house in March when the water was still really cold. Aria doesn’t care if the water in the pool is cool, she just wants to splash and stomp. When I finally started giving her a bath in the tub (long story, but she was still taking baths in the baby tub in the kitchen sink for most of this year) she thought she was in heaven! She can’t sit, she has to stand and explore and touch and point and splash and giggle.. I turn on the shower head at the end of her baths and she thinks its glorious.
This also extends to rain. She had her first opportunity to run in the rain at that Italian Festival (usually when it’s raining we’re rushing to get from car to inside, or something similar, but not standing around outside in it), but she just loooooved it. Especially because her daddy was getting all soppy wet with her.
And of course there’s nothing more wonderful, after getting cold and wet and tired in the rain, than to snuggle up on the couch with your favorite blankie and drink a warm bottle of milk in a dry outfit. Followed by a delightful warm bath.
My adorable little tot has managed to make it through her entire first year of life, with many an accomplishment, and only a handful of hospital visits (rabies vaccine from the bat scare). She’s met and exceeded every milestone placed in her path, and even those that weren’t supposed to be considered yet, like learning how to run, climb, and open and close containers, all before she was even close to a year old. This girl has some serious gumption and drive. And curiosity. And mischievousness. And cuteness.
We’ve also determined that she has a one track mind. But that doesn’t mean tunnel vision.. she can still be distracted, but not often swayed.
- We were outside playing in her baby pool and she was having a blast climbing in and out of the pool and handing me things. At one point she was climbing out of the pool on a mission to give me one of her toys, and started to fall a bit as the pool edges are a bit high for her short, chubby little legs. She caught herself from falling, and I watched as her eyes focused on something near her hand, then she clambered over to me, handed me the toy, then went back to investigate what she’d spotted. It was a slug. It had to be very quickly removed from her hand before it could be examined with other parts of the body.
- Sometimes she just wants to run around the coffee table. It’s like a track, or something. And all kinds of things will get in the way, like her toys, other toys, or more of her toys. So she has to weave her way around, but will continue on her laps until she has met her exercise quota that she’s set for herself.
- She is bound and determined to get into some things, and no matter how much you distract, cajole, scold or pick her up and move her, she will relentlessly make her way back to whatever it is that she’s determined must be explored. Like the trash can. Or climbing onto furniture.
She’s still such a social butterfly. She might be a tad weirded out by someone new in the house, and may stand five feet in front of said new person and stare up at them with her mouth agape, or might attach herself to Eric’s or my leg to observe this person, but it usually doesn’t take long before she’s bringing them a toy or some other peace offering (like slimy cheerios). And if we’re out in a crowded place, especially if there’s music, there’s not an ounce of shyness left in her tiny body. She LOVES places with lots of people. You can actually watch her face light up once she sees a gathering.
When we took her to see her first fireworks in July she was so excited at the crowds of people that when I set her down she just bolted, flying through crowds of people without ever looking back to see if I was with her. I was right behind her but she made me so nervous I refused to let her stand on her own two feet for the rest of the evening.
And of course she got to eat her first cake with icing at her birthday, which was apparently something she’d been missing out on her entire life! 🙂
So this year was book ended by my mom. Mom came to visit when Aria was born, and was here for her first birthday. I think that’s really neat, especially because of how much she’s changed in that time.
It’s hard to imagine, fathom, or explain how much I love this little cupcake. She’s so sweet and adorable, she’s able to get just about anyone to smile. I always just want to squeeze her. 🙂