Monday, October 09, 2006

Happy Anniversary

Seven years ago, I married my best friend. We became partners in life, friends forever.

Husband proposed to me a few weeks after I graduated from high school. We got married when I was just 19, he was 22. We met when I was 14, a freshman in high school. He was 17 and a senior. We dated all through my high school years and got married after my first year of college. By then he had graduated college an was working full time. The week before we were married, we signed on for the condo we would then live in for the next 18 months and started to move in.

The day of our wedding. dawned cloudy with a chill in the air, as most October mornings do. This was a little unsettling as we planned an outside wedding on top of a hill, overlooking the splendor of a New England autumn. I woke early to go over to the hairdressers with all my bridesmaids in tow. It took 3 hours to get everyone finished. Then it was home to get dressed and meet the photographer. Then it was off to the church, where we waited while all the guests who were busy milling around outside, preceded to move indoors. My husband was getting nervous waiting for me, while all the while, I was outside waiting to come in. By this time, the sun was pushing its way through the clouds.

The ceremony was nice, although I have to admit, I don't remember much of it. We didn't have a flower girl, but we did have an extra little guy. He presented both of our mothers with a bouquet of roses. Apparently, in all the excitement, someone forgot to feed the little guys because during the ceremony, one of them was trying to eat his corsage! We were being pressed for time by the limo driver so we made our way to the reception, delaying our receiving line until the end of the reception.

We arrived at the reception location and took over an hours worth of pictures. Then made our way to where the guests were waiting. I'd like to say dinner was nice, but I didn't get to eat most of it. Halfway through dinner, my 15 year old sister fell down the stair and needed to be taken to the emergency room. Unfortunately my mom had to go with her. This is the first of many act that we are unable to ever forgive her for. I hated not having my mom share this special time with me. It was my one and only special day and I will never get that time back.

My husband and I wandered amongst the guests thanking them for coming. Somehow, we did this apart, both starting on opposite sides of the room! We danced and before we knew it, it was time for cake. The cake was delicious! My mother-in-law saved the cake top as the traditional "first anniversary" dessert. I think it is still in their freezer.

Right as we were getting ready to leave, my mom arrived back. I was able to say goodbye before we left for our honeymoon.

We spent the first night as man and wife in a hotel across from the airport. We had a 5 am flight to sunny St. Thomas! Our honeymoon was unforgettable. We soaked up the sun on the white sand beaches, we snorkeled amongst private coral reefs, we went underwater in a submarine. We visited nearby St. Johns and took a tour of an old sugar cane factory. We dined on true Caribbean fare. We drank the most amazing Banana Daiquiris (and for that reason alone, I would go back in a heartbeat!). The weather was sunny everyday with a few afternoon storms. Our hotel room over looked the crystal clear bay. I was sad to leave when our 10 days was through. One of these days, we will go back to the most beautiful place I've ever been.

I remember having pictures taken. I remember celebrating the day with family and my childhood friends. I remember my nephews playing in the sandbox and husbands cousins playing horseshoes.

Our first anniversary, we spent the week in Niagara Falls. We visited both sides of the falls and had a magical time. We stayed in the US, but made daily trips to the Canadian side. Next time we go back, we will stay on the Canadian side. We visited the falls, too a boat under the falls, walked through the Cave of the Winds, and visited several historic forts in the area. We celebrated our anniversary with dinner in the revolving Skylon Tower. We also had another reason to celebrate. We were just leaving our first trimester of pregnancy behind.

Sadly, three weeks after we returned home, we found out that we miscarried our first child. We spent the next few weeks mourning our unborn child. To this day, I still wonder if it would be the son I never had. But all things happen for a reason. This pregnancy was an uncommon condition called a partial molar pregnancy. We had to wait 6 months before even considering trying again.

Two months after the loss of our unborn, we brought our first house. It was much bigger than what we needed and had plenty of room to grow. And grow we did. We still live in that same house and some days it seems like we are busting at the seams.

As my due date approached, we were given the go ahead to try again. We conceived Einey the same month our unborn was due, our first month of trying. Because of the first pregnancy, we received extra prenatal care the first months. We waited to tell our friends and family. The next eight months passed uneventfully and I had a perfect pregnancy. Then at 36 weeks, my water broke. Eight hours later, on Christmas Day, Einey was born. A beautiful, brown haired, gray eyed 6 1/2 pund bundle of little girl. The next morning, husband told me how easy it was and he wanted to "try again"!

Six months later, we decided to try again. It took us 3 months of trying. One month after finding out we were pregnant, I was sent to the Emergency Room with severe stomach pains. Pains I had experience occasionally in the past, but silently ignored. They were the worst pains I had ever experience in my life! I was diagnosed with gallstones, but due to my pregnancy, my OB decided to hold off surgery. We agreed to his decision and followed his instructions to a T. I was put on a strict no-fat diet which was unbearable. But I did it. I did it because I knew my unborn child's life depended on it. To have surgery was risky. To ignore the Dr.'s warning was opening up the possibility for preterm labor. Even so, I went into labor at 32 weeks. This was trip to L&D #1. It took a long time to stop labor and I was very close to being transferred to a neonatal intensive care facility an hour away to await the rest of my pregnancy. They were able to stop it and I was put on turbutaline for the month and told to take it easy. This seemed to help. I was given 2 doses of steroids for the baby in case she decided to come early. At this popoint, I was 2 1/2 cm, 80% effected and at zero station. Trip #2 happened at about 35 weeks along. I experienced a gallbladder attack and this triggered labor. It was eventually under control and I was released a few hours later. The middle of the night, I was back at L&D. This trip lasted another day. My OB scheduled an induction at 37 weeks, 2 days to help me out. The baby would be past the critical stage at this point. Baby didn't want to wait! At exactly 37 weeks, baby wanted out! Husband had just come home from working night shift and went to bed. An hour later I woke him and told him it was time. He tried to brush me off, but I knew it was different. It felt like right before Einey was born. We went to the hospital again where we discovered I was only 6 cm. He threatened not to leave the hospital without a baby this last time! But baby was right there and the water was buldeging. My OB broke the water and said we would have about 1/2 hour. He left to do some paper work and get our room ready. Not true. Meenie wanted out! We called our doctor in and the nurses came running. The wheeled me out of triage and down to our room. They were prepping the room still and my doctor was washing his hands when Meenie started to appear. My doctor literally dove across the room, cursing all the way. Total time I was in actual labor with her: 15 minutes. She was a scrawny 6 pounds at birth. Because of her fast entry into the world, she swallowed some meconium as the nurses and doctor didn't have the suction right there. So they had to suction her out and she was on oxygen overnight as a precaution. Right after she was born, we were notified that my in-laws and daughter had arrived to bring husband lunch as we called before the excitement began. So the two sisters were able to meet within five minutes of her birth! Six weeks later, I had surgery to remove my gall bladder.

Six months later, we got the surprise of our lifetime, we were expecting baby number 3. This pregnancy was so different from the rest. I was tired all the time and had extreme morning sickness the whole pregnancy. And in the end, she was breech, so we needed to try to turn her. She wouldn't budge. We were able to deliver her vaginally (thanks to a wonderful doctor who let us try as opposed to the hospital's rule of c-section only for breech babies). 45 hours later she decided to enter the world. She too was only 6 pounds. She was my only blue eyed baby.

We had planned on going away for our fifth year anniversary, but the birth of Moe three weeks prior (she was due 2 days after our anniversary) took precedent over the trip. Maybe for our tenth!

We are thankful to have had the same doctor deliver all three of our daughters. Without him, we feel we would have had to have had a c-section with Moe.

Eight months after Moe was born, I had to have part of my thyroid removed. Thankfully, it was benign.

This past summer, we experienced the first hospitalization of one of our children. Meenie came down with viral enchephalitis. I hope you never have to experience a child being sick. Thankfully, she has recovered fully from this ordeal.

Luckly, I have never really had to work. I went to school full time after we were married and when I graduated, I worked part time. Eight months after Einey was born, I quit my job to became a stay at home mother. This arrangement has served us well the last 4 and a half years. This past fall, with the impending hospital bills and school tuition, I took a job as a substitute teachers aid at the public school system in the town that I live. It has worked out well as I tend to work mostly while my husband is home. It is nice to get out of the house, but I miss my girls. Growing up, I never even considered being a stay at home mother. I just assumed I would work. I have enjoyed spending time with my girls, nourishing their minds, their hearts, their bodies. I enjoy teaching them all I know about the world. I love exploring new things with them. Most of all, I love hearing them laugh. And I know this new time apart is good for them and each day I work, I am a little less sad. Hopefully tis is temporary, but who knows, I may decide to stay on one or two days a week, when we don't need it.

I know people don't understand our hectic schedule, and I don't expect them too. My husband works rotating shifts, days and nights. He doesn't always get holidays off. But we have learned to accept it as it is. It is one on many sacrifices we have made that are necessary for our family (one of them being foregoing vacations to exotic - and not so exotic- places). We don't think of holidays as the day, we think of it in terms of when we are all together. We will celebrate Christmas a few days late and as long as we are all together, that's all that counts. The kids have all accepted this, but it is all they know. We know that as they get older, it will be a bit harder for them, but we know that we can come up with a solution that fits.

Over the past seven years, we have experience joy at the births of our children, sorrow over the passing of his grandmother, laughter and tears. We have made many sacrifice for our family in hopes of providing of rour children the best that we can. We may not always see eye to eye, but we always know how to come to an agreement. I hope to spend many more years with the one I love!


Kristen said...

Wow, that was an amazing re-cap of the past seven years. You guys have been through so much in a short time. We have similar issues - strange, busy schedules, people not understanding it, etc. You have to do what works best for your family and let everyone else get over it. :-)

ECR said...

Happy belated Anniversary! Sounds like you've got a keeper ;)