Wednesday, October 27, 2010

*Loving Joshua*

Since Lucy was born 4 months ago, I've grown to appreciate and love my relationship with Joshua a million times over. While all we have to do to make Lucy happy and stop crying is bring Chris into the room, I realize now how he once felt with Joshua doing the same for me. It's been a magical journey from start to finish, with many bumps along the road, but it's still been a miracle for me. It all started after a long, 6 hour drive home from Vermont...

When I was 16, I was told I would never be able to have children. I suffered from severe endometriosis. I had tried many forms of birth control to try to adjust my situation and had had many surgical procedures done to try to repair and minimize damage, but nothing stopped or slowed the process. I was heartbroken, but by the time all of this came around, I was accepting of the situation and would deal with my wanting children when the time came in the future. Fast forward 4 years... I remember sitting in the bathroom, crying my eyes out, on the phone with my dear friend Taryn Denoncour. She wanted nothing more than to be right there by my side, holding my hand, but being in Orono over an hour ago, a phone call had to do. I clutched that test and told her how scared I was to even go to the bathroom, let alone look at the results. But I knew I had to, I knew life had to change one way or another regardless of the outcome. I was starting a new job the next day. I had just gotten out of a relationship not 8 hours before knowing that something like this could happen. Yet I was anxious in ways I couldn't explain. Seeing that "Pregnant" mark was something that caught me off guard. I thought, well, maybe I could be... but I never imagined it would actually come out a yes, yes Katie, you are going to be a mother. I cried. I cried myself to sleep. I cried all morning getting ready for my first day at work. I had to be there at 11. Before I could go to work, I needed to stop at the local Family Planning office, where my friends mother worked, to get tested for sure by a professional. I was scared, but I knew that the outcome wasn't going to change from what it was 8 hours before. I got my conformation, told them I planned on keeping the baby, and headed for my moms work. I sat in the parking lot writing a letter to my father, I knew there was no way I could tell him to his face what I had done. I was 20. Single. Living with my mother, and for another 2 hours, unemployed. Until I began work at 11 am that morning I did not have a job according to the US Government. I was so scared.

My mom left her teller post and came into the conference room and I broke down. I remember the look on her face as she said "Katie... are you sure? Are you for real? You mean it?"... and then she broke down. My mother had never told me she loved me in such kind and understanding words, and in such a meaningful way. She said she'd do whatever I needed her to do, and that we would do this together, and we would get through it and we could discuss more over dinner that night. She knew I needed to get to work, and I knew she needed to get through her day. If I had stayed any longer at that point neither one of us would have made it through that day. So off I went... my father was next. I went inside to talk to him, and had a normal conversation, the entire time wondering "does he see a difference in his baby girl? do I look different to him?"... odd, I know, but he's my daddy and he has always known when something is wrong, or different, or changing. When I left, I kissed him and hugged him, and handed him my note. I asked him not to read it til his lunch break, and he promised. I left in tears, and arrived to my first day of work a mess, but I made it. I received a phone call from my dad on his lunch break, but I was in training. His message was a mess of emotions, tears, and I love you's. My parents hadn't ever come together for anything in my childhood, but I knew that for this little baby, this tiny being inside of me, they would bond stronger than before, and help me. They both wanted to know who to kill first, but then after a few moments of "this isn't something we can change" thoughts, they took responsibility for my faults and supported me. What I got that day from my parents was something I had needed my entire life, and was more than enthusiastic to receive at that point.

It was a rough road. A really rough road. This was October. By Thanksgiving morning/all day/night sickness had set in, and Christmas was an utter nightmare. Half of my family wanted to help, and half was ashamed of me. I was unwed, uneducated, and hardly employed. I had to leave my new job halfway through my training for recovery from the sever morning sickness, and eventually rejoined the company in January. The end of that month brought a milestone I will never forget.

Along with my mother and my next door neighbor Tammy, I geared up for my sex finding ultra sound. I was so nervous, but had picked out my names and was certain I'd be happy either way. Joshua Joseph, or Sierra Lee. I was ready. I remember sitting in that room watching the screen for over half an hour before the tech finally uttered "Well, would you like to know what you're having?"... I almost said no! Can you believe that? haha... so I shook my head, tears streaming down my face because I had spent the last 30 minutes staring at that child, arms, legs, heart beating, head, nose, toes, fingers... and finally, a penis. A baby boy. My Joshua Joseph. Until his birth, this became the best day of my life.

My due date was always estimated at June 19, 2008. One of my best friends birthdays is that day, and we thought it was perfect. The closer I got, the more anxious I was. I couldn't believe I was going to be a mother. To have my own little boy, a baby, a joy, a responsibility like no other, but I was beyond ready. A few months before Joshua was born I got sick again, and couldn't work. I was out of work for 2 months starting in late April, and was soaking up the time sleeping, sorting through baby gifts, and readying myself, our home, and my life for my son. My due date came and went. 5 days later I had an ultrasound appointment to make sure everything was going fine. The rest of that day feels like 10 minutes to me, because everything happened so fast.

I was taken out of the ultrasound room and into a waiting room. The doctor came in and said "Well Katie, are you ready to have this baby?"... I was shocked. In awe. Surprised. Taken back. Any way you put it, I was beside myself. I was not ready for this! I was rushed to the hospital and taken straight into Labor and Delivery, hooked up to monitors, blood drawn, IV set, and sent down to the OR before you could say "hocus pocus!"... To make my moments in the OR go a little smoother, I got lucky. My mothers cousin, Susie, was working that day down in the OR and she never left my side. Through the spinal, the needles, the blood, the pain, the tears, she was right by my side... with camera in hand. I have some amazing pictures from Joshua's birth that some people just don't get. I have the memories in photo form, because I know I was way too out of it for any of the memories to stay in my mind. I fell asleep shortly after Joshua was delivered and sent back upstairs with my mother. What felt like days was actually less than 2 hours before I got to hold my little angel, go back upstairs, and see my entire smiling family waiting for me with open arms ready and willing to accept Joshua into their less than perfect world.

I brought that little bugger into the world not knowing what I'd get out of it, but over the last 2 1/2 years, my life has not only changed but improved drastically. Joshua continues to amaze me every single day. Right now he's walking around with "daddy's" hat on watching baseball playoffs and naming his colors. He snuggles with me at bedtime, kisses me every chance he gets, and loves to tell me "I love you mommy." He breaks my heart and puts it back together with a smile. He is a blessing, and I wouldn't have had it any other way!

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