Back in 1997, I remember going to the obstetrician. He told me I was pregnant. We had been trying to get pregnant, and I went on medication to help. Hearing him tell me I was pregnant was surreal. I wasn't expecting it at all. Two days later I miscarried. I had been excited about being pregnant finally, but it hadn't really set in and then it was over. Three months later, we got pregnant again. Jacob was born on January 25, 1998, Superbowl Sunday, and, yes, it was actually on in the delivery room. Jacob was born right after the first touchdown of the game at 6:36 p.m.
I didn't know anything about taking care of babies. The nurse at the hospital had to teach me how to change a diaper. I had never, in my entire life, changed one. I learned quick, though. Jacob learned to crawl at 7 months of age. Within a few weeks of that he pulled himself up to standing. Once he did that he was walking. He was only 8 months old. We didn't encourage it. I would have enjoyed watching him crawl and not getting into as much as he did once he learned to walk just a little longer, but there was no going back. Maybe my future children would walk later, like at 12 months, I secretly hoped.
We got pregnant with Nathan right before we moved out of our house in Ellwood City. He was born 9 months later on Friday, March 3, 2000. I was so ready to have him. He had been lying on my sciatic nerve for most of the second half of my pregnancy. If I laid or sat too long I couldn't walk when I got up. So, for him, we scheduled induction. I got up that morning, took a shower, had breakfast, did my hair and make up, went to the hospital, had a baby at 1:06 p.m., and then had lunch. All in a day's work. Nathan did wait a little longer to walk. He was 9 months old. There was just no stopping these children! When he was 18 months, he was scaling our kitchen cabinets to sit in the sink.
We had Paige on Friday, November 30, 2001. I had gone into false labor with her twice. After the second time, I said, "My water needs to break before I go back to the hospital." That Friday, I got up to do my typing. A little while into it I started having contractions. They weren't so bad, so I ignored them and kept typing. As they started to increase in severity, I tried all the techniques that were suggested by the doctors and nurses to relieve discomfort, especially if they were false contractions. No such luck. They kept coming. I didn't want to call John home from work or call my sister-in-law to come watch the boys. I just didn't want to inconvenience anyone if it wasn't true labor. I called the doctor's office. The nurse told me I should come to the hospital to be seen. I called John; he raced home. His sister came to watch the boys. By the time John made it home, my contractions were between 2 and 3 minutes apart. He sped the whole way to the hospital. Thankfully, we made it there in one piece and still pregnant. I think it was probably 3 more hours before I had her at 7:33 p.m.
As she was being delivered, the doctor told me to stop pushing. He began counting - 1...2...3...4...5 - and his eyes and the nurses' eyes got bigger as the numbers got higher, but they wouldn't tell me what he was counting until she was born. The umbilical cord had been wrapped her neck 5 times. He said that most of the time when a cord gets that long it knots on itself and cuts off the nutrition to the baby, and the baby is usually stillborn. Paige was perfect. She is our little miracle baby. I watch her grow and see the strong will she has and, while I am not too fond of it at the present, I know that God will use it to his glory as she gets older. By the way, she walked at 9 months, too. Ugh!
I loved why I was pregnant, but I didn't really enjoy pregnancy. I loved feeling each of them move inside of me, but pregnancy was hard and long; I'm not a patient person. However, I LOVE being a mom! I love teaching my kids. I love nurturing my kids. I love playing with my kids. I love, I love, I love.... I could go on and on and on. I am truly blessed with the children I have, and I know I will one day see the one I lost. I pray we all cherish every moment we have with our kids. It really does go by so fast. People used to say that when my kids were younger and I had had hard days. I hated hearing that because that particular moment wasn't going fast enough for me. Then people would say, "This too shall pass." The hard times do pass. The kids grow up and mature. We, as parents, learn more as we parent, and we, hopefully, parent with more wisdom than at the beginning. My kids are 13, 11, and 9 now, and I am truly enjoying the stages they are all in right now. I look forward to even greater times in the future...but not too quickly!