Our Daniel

If you ask someone how they felt when they first became a parent, I hope their response to you is similar to mine: the ultimate. I fell in love with my son instantly, and I'm talking from the moment I laid eyes on his snowy, black and white, kidney bean-shaped body on the ultrasound screen at 10 weeks gestation. A deep, undying, unconditional kind of love that I never knew I had within me to give. What a blessing in disguise.

Shortly before I found out I was pregnant, I had been feeling very strangely; I was noticing things about my body that I never noticed before (I am very in tune with my bodily functions and feelings, as it were). I even asked a friend, who was newly pregnant at the time, if the things I noticed happened to her right before she found out as well. She didn’t think so. So what was it? It wasn’t until I started experiencing light cramping that I knew something was off: I only cramp when I’m already ON my period, and my monthly friend was still MIA. That night, or maybe a day or two later, Gary finally told me to do a pregnancy test. Over and over I said no, I’m not pregnant, but finally I took one and oh, hello “pregnant”. Took two more tests and well, look at that, a + over the blue line. I cried. An ugly, horrible cry. I even said something along the lines of my life being over. Somewhat obligatory for a unmarried, fresh divorcee recently graduated from college but unable to secure even an interview, don’t you think? But once that was out of my system, I rejoiced. I’m going to be a mother! It didn’t happen when I was a teen, or with my previous husband, or anything else deemed socially taboo. WOOHOO!

Daniel was born on November 22, 2011 at 2:45 pm. I had contractions pretty much the entire day before he was born, but from the time I was admitted into labor and delivery to the moment he was born was less than 12 hours. I labored medication-free and delivered him after pushing for under an hour. My entire pregnancy was just as textbook and uneventful really, minus the severe heartburn I experienced during my second and third trimesters (which I'm sure could be argued as textbook, too). All day, every day until he was born, acid reflux so severe that even room temperature water triggered it. I popped an acid reducer in the morning and never went anywhere without my container of Tums, which I took 2 at a time after every meal. I guess it could have been worse; I might have had severe nausea the entire pregnancy like some women do… anyway.

"They" talk about some women feeling intense connections with their unborn children early on, which I think applies to me quite well. I felt so connected in fact, I knew he was a HE even before we really found out. I was so sure that by the time our 20 week ultrasound was done to check that all his tiny organs had their T’s crossed and I’s dotted, I was completely unsurprised when the technician said it was a boy. I simply turned to Gary and said “I know”. I was meant to be a mother to this soon to be beautiful specimen of a baby boy, so of course he was going to be XY.

Of course, it goes without saying that had I been wrong and the little “appendage” we saw on the ultrasound was actually like, her hand or something, I would be have still been all kinds of thrilled. But because he was born as we planned, a boy, I stand by my previous clairvoyance. Besides my newfound psychic ability, my son has taught me SO much about myself in other ways too. Love so extremely beyond me and also fear. Along with that fear, a strength to let him grow as much on his own as my heart can allow. Patience I never knew I was capable of, for nearly every aspect of my life. Every day, I am blown away at the magnificence of raising a child as loving and gentle yet such a firecracker (and sometimes rather volatile) as my dear Daniel.