“My Story…” Monday: A- The Infancy

(You can catch up on A’s story right here: The Pregnancy, The Birth)

 

I remember the day we went home with our precious son.  It was a sunny Saturday in January and I recall looking at my husband, looking at our baby, and then giggling at the fact that I think they made us jump through more hoops to take our cat home than this baby!

 

He was beautiful.  And perfect.  And easy.  Everything you hope for in a child.  Good eater.  Good sleeper.  I spent my days changing diapers, singing lullabies, and adjusting to life as a stay-at-home mom.  I remember feeling as though I needed to explain what in the world I was DOING with my day when my husband would get home from work.  He never doubted that I was busy; it was my issue entirely.

The days went on and we realized two things with certainty:

  1. Our son was very, very big.  Off the charts for height and weight.  Over and over, I answered the question, “How much did he weigh when he was born?” and listened to men proclaim him a future football star.
  2. We would be leaving Virginia.  Following the birth of our child, we both wanted to be closer to family.  My father-in-law had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and we wanted to be near him.

 

We traveled to Indiana and bought a home.  We sold our Virginia house in a single day for over our asking price, with waived inspection, and a 100K cash down payment.  (Don’t throw things at me- it was a different time and a different economy.)  Things were looking pretty rosy!  We moved when A. was four months old and, when he was five and a half months, we drove out to Newport, RI to spend a week in a cottage on the beach.  We were a happy, happy little family.

 

The day we got back to Indiana from our vacation, we drove to my in-laws to celebrate my father-in-law’s 62nd birthday.

 

It would be the last birthday we would celebrate with him.

 

Less than a month later, standing at his bedside in the ICU, I leaned down to my husband’s father.  And I shared the news that we had yet to tell anyone else… I was pregnant.

 

A. was six months old and there was another on the way.  My husband had yet to find a job in this new state.  My father-in-law was dying.

 

In the midst of all this, I had noticed something else about my sweet, sweet boy.  He was on the late end of hitting his milestones.  It wasn’t enough to concern the pediatricians and they often blamed it on the fact that he was so big- 24.5 lb at six months (that’s bigger than my almost-two-year-old right now.)  It was enough for me to close that darn “What To Expect The First Year” book forever, though, as it became a source of worry rather than comfort for me.

 

My beloved father-in-law died the day after they thought I was miscarrying our second baby.  I held my chubby-cheeked, thunder-thighed boy through the funeral.  My husband’s sports jacket he wore to the wake still bears a spit-up stain from our firstborn.

 

Thankfully, a job opportunity came up and we were no longer dealing with living off our savings.  It didn’t come with benefits and it was a two-hour commute each way but, hey, it was a job.  I am married to a man who takes his role of provider seriously and puts our needs well ahead of his own pride- I am so grateful for this and I know he gets it straight from his dad.

 

I did not miscarry.  I was home, pregnant with number two, caring for an infant, and lonely way out in the country in a state I didn’t know much about.  The months swirled by.  A’s nine month check-up came and went.  Before he would hit eleven months, I would go into premature labor and he would become a big brother.

 

That Christmas, just shy of his eleven month birthday, he was not yet eating table foods.  He was not yet walking.  He wasn’t even crawling yet, really.  He was not yet talking.

 

No one gave us any indication there was need for concern… he was still within “normal” range.

 

I continued to love on my baby boy while praying for my newborn daughter.

 

to be cont…

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