I can't believe this is happening!
Buttercup is the first miracle of my life. Max and I had been married for (exactly) 4 1/2 years before she came to our family. Almost three of those years were spent "trying" to have her. I had all but given up on having a child of our own. Things just weren't working for us. And back in "those days," if you wanted to use LDS Family Services for adoption, you needed a bishop's interview. Well, we did the interview, got the little slip of paper signed that said we were worthy to adopt from LDS and I was just waiting for the monthly visitor to come before I made the appointment to talk to a social worker.
I waited and waited.
The monthly visitor never came!!
I remember the day I found out I was pregnant. I had no idea that I even could be. I went to the doctor because I felt pretty terrible. He asked me some questions and then said he wanted to do a blood test to see if I was pregnant. He said a blood test was mostly fail-proof and that it would tell us without a shadow of a doubt, if I had a little tadpole inside me germinating. He felt like it was better than a urine test.
My blood was drawn. With a promise to call me as soon as the results were in, I was sent back to my place of employment. I was a teller in a local bank.
I honestly can't tell you how long I waited. Did I get the results that afternoon? Or did I have to wait a day or two? I'm pretty sure I found out later that afternoon. But here's the interesting thing. I don't remember being on pins and needles while waiting. I really didn't think I could be pregnant, so there was nothing earth shattering to wait for. When the phone on the teller-line rang, I don't remember running for it or anxiously waiting for someone to call my name and hand me the phone.
What I do remember is a voice on the other end of the line confirming that my dreams were coming true. That I really was going to be a mommy!
And I remember I screamed! Right there in the bank with my co-workers and customers looking at me in confusion. After I hung up the phone, I ran to the basement (thankfully the stairs were two steps away) and started bawling!
When I was a little girl, all I ever wanted to be was a mommy. I never aspired to any great powerful careers like a doctor, an astronaut, a teacher. All I ever wanted was children of my own to love and be a mommy to. Now that dream was coming true.
Max was in the final year of his accounting degree at the university. With a baby on the way, the pressure to find a job and a career intensified. We had visited Portland, Oregon earlier that spring and fell in love with the area, so we concentrated all our efforts on looking for a job there.
I had a very easy pregnancy. I threw up only once, on accident, as I brushed my teeth one morning. Oh, I was nauseous and ate a lot of saltine crackers, but it was very manageable. I was so excited to be pregnant that I went out immediately and bought a bunch of maternity clothes and when I was 12 weeks pregnant, started wearing them... whether I needed them or not. People had warned me that complete strangers would walk up to me in the grocery store and rub my belly and I was looking forward to that. I wanted the big pregnant belly with the poked out belly button. I wanted to feel as big as a house. I wanted there to be NO DOUBT that my dreams were coming true.
Of course it didn't happen. I only gained about 20 pounds and only got a little thicker around the middle. Of course, my feet grew from a normal width to very w i d e and a little bit longer (they never reverted back to normal) but my belly never expanded. No one rubbed my belly but me and Max. No one asked "when is that baby due?" The stranger walking down the street couldn't tell I was pregnant!
As graduation loomed, Max found a job in Portland as an accountant at a company that owned nursing homes throughout Oregon. He graduated from college in May 1992 and was scheduled to start his job on June 8.... my due date. We felt so blessed to have a job, that we sent him to Portland. I stayed behind in Guilder, at my parent's house, with the promise that I would call him the minute I felt any twinge. His employer knew he had a pregnant wife back in Guilder and promised him that he could come when I called. I continued working my job at the bank and we waited.
And worked....(Inducing labor wasn't as widely practiced back then either!)
Finally, when I was 9 days overdue, I told my boss that I was done working. I had reached the end of my rope when a customer came in and whispered to another teller, "Is Valerie pregnant?" I WAS 9 DAYS OVERDUE AND YOU CAN'T TELL IF I'M PREGNANT?!?!
I spent overdue day # 10 at my mom's house. I had gone to the doctor and he finally made an induction appointment for me the next morning at the local hospital. Max had been called and he was leaving late that afternoon for the 12 hour drive home.
On the evening of June 18, 1992, I remember sitting out on my parent's deck eating dinner. Nothing was agreeing with me. And I had a terrible stomach ache. "Mom. Why does my stomach hurt? Am I getting sick? I can't get sick! I'm supposed to have a baby in the morning."
Mom looks at me and smiles. "Why don't you go take a shower and then walk around the house?"
"But Mom, I DON'T FEEL GOOD! I just want to go lie down."
Again that smile.... it's that mother's all-knowing-smile.
"No, I think it's just best that you go walk for a bit. I think you might be having a baby sooner than you think."
I was in labor?
(To be continued.......)