Thursday, June 14, 2007

Happy Mother's Day to me!

Today is my Mother’s Day.

We didn’t celebrate the national holiday with the rest of the country last month, and we won’t be marking Father’s Day this weekend either. Instead, we chose our own special day to celebrate parenthood: June 14, the day we found out I was pregnant with Ladybug.

We had been trying for years to get pregnant and ultimately ended up seeing a fertility specialist for help. Our first round of treatments didn’t work, and by the time we started on the second round I was afraid that we would never be able to have children.

But a week after we had completed the second attempt, I went to visit family out of state and just knew I was pregnant. It was the end of May and I was huddled under layers and layers of quilts, shivering so hard the bed was shaking. This must be the start of the hormonal changes they talk about, I remember thinking. I was anxious for the week’s visit to end so I could go home and see the doctor.

When I finally returned home, the 24 hours between the pregnancy test and the doctor’s phone call seemed like forever. But when the nurse finally called the morning of June 14, 2005, everything passed in a blur.

“Your test came back positive. You’re pregnant,” she said.

Even though I was on the phone with her five minutes, that’s all I remember. I was crying, jumping up and down and hugging my husband. I was such a basket case that my husband had to talk to the nurse to get the next instructions.

In my excitement, I grabbed the camera, scribbled “We’re pregnant! June 14, 2005” on a piece of paper, and pulled my husband onto the sofa with me. We held the camera out in front of us, each of us holding a corner of the paper announcing the news.

It’s an awful picture. My unbrushed hair is pulled back in a barrette, my eyes are red and puffy behind my glasses, and my normally strong husband is staring at the camera with a sheepish grin, a lost look on his face.

To celebrate, we ordered pizza – a two-for-one special in a superstitious attempt to ensure twins. As much as we wanted at least two kids, we weren’t so hot on having to go through pregnancy multiple times. Why not knock out all of our family planning at once, we thought?

But alas, we only had one.

Ladybug was born on the day my husband and I met 13 years earlier in a Paris bistro. He was with his military buddies for a night on the town before heading out on deployment; I was out with my girlfriends for a break from our study abroad.

His group was gathered in the corner in front of the ladies’ bathroom, and I kept looking that way hoping they would move before I had to use it. He thought I was looking at him. So when nature finally called and I headed toward the restroom, my husband met me halfway.

That was almost 15 years ago now.

I’m reminded of that night each time I look at Ladybug and see the mix of her features: my smile and blue eyes, his nose, ears and left dimple.

And as far as I’m concerned, I’m glad my husband thought I was checking him out instead of the toilet.


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