Since I am now officially considered “full term,” I thought it would be fun to go back and look at the timeline of this adventure. With only 3 weeks (give or take) to go, we have gotten everything ready and are just waiting on the little man to make his big arrival. It is scary and exciting at the same time. For someone who thinks that life can be controlled through organization and lists, this is definitely a challenge for me. Unfortunately, I can’t really plan for the whole birth thing! Goose-frah-bah is my new mantra when anxiety and stress take over my brain and/or body. Name that movie!
Just for kicks, let’s start at the beginning.
September 2000 - My roommate is having a birthday party and we go out to meet friends at Chelino’s in Bricktown. Her longtime friend, Susan, brings her boyfriend, Adam, who brings his best friend, Carey. After everyone arrives, we go upstairs to eat. Carey grabs the seat in front of me (literally – he stepped in front of my best friend to get the seat). He makes fart jokes at dinner and I instantly start to become interested in his sense of humor. Little did he know that fart jokes around the dinner table were part of my childhood. We spend the rest of the night hanging out and he asks me out on a date. A few days later, we go out on our first date to Pearl’s in Norman. I don’t think there were any fart jokes at dinner that night, but he made me laugh. I was hooked and we never looked back.
July 2001 – We had officially been together for about 10 months, and we knew that we wanted to spend our lives together. I was getting ready to finish my degree at OU and was working at a childcare center in Norman. During the summer, I ran the school age program and took the kids to the pool every Friday. When I came back from the pool one day in July (wearing my tie-dyed Rib Crib shirt with no make-up and a ponytail) Carey was at the school. My boss was standing outside the door with a camera, but I didn’t put the pieces together right away. After asking Carey what he was doing at my job (because that is always a little uncomfortable when your boss is around), he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. The kids were all gathered in the doorway…a very “Meet the Parents” style moment…without the misspelled words. I said yes and we got in his Cavalier (a.k.a. the Cavalac) and drove around in silence with big grins on our faces for a minute. Looking back, I’m not sure why we did that. I think we were just in shock! I found out later that Carey had driven to Tulsa that morning to get my dad’s permission, so my parents were anxiously awaiting the call.
June 2002 – Our wedding was chosen to be on a show called Life’s Moments. It was a show about life changing events in women’s lives. Someone from the church we were getting married at gave them our name and we agreed to be filmed. The crew actually came out to our house in Norman a few weeks before the wedding to get some “B-Role.” They filmed us playing with our dogs, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and putting together the wedding favors. At the time, my grandpa owned Bethany’s Gourmet Popcorn & Nuts, so we were giving all of the guests boxes of mixed nuts. We got in trouble during the filming for making too many weird comments about “grandpa’s nuts.” I guess they didn’t think that was appropriate for TV! We were married at Asbury United Methodist Church on June 15, 2002. I thought I’d be nervous that day, but I was actually pretty calm. It was a small event with lots of friends and family. The wedding aired on TV a few months later. Carey and I watched in horror as we were preceded by a story of a woman fighting breast cancer. Our PB&J wedding didn’t seem so important compared to hers, but it is something we’ll have to show our grandkids one day.
May 2004 – Carey graduates from UCO and we move back to Tulsa. I go to work for Miss Helen’s Preschool and Carey gets a teaching job at Cascia Hall. We live in a 600 square foot apartment…with two German Shepherds…and a fat cat. We have to drop our dogs off at my parents house every morning just so that they have some room to run. It was rough!
March 2005 – We buy our first house in Midtown and decide that we never want to live in South Tulsa again. There is a certain charm about Midtown that you can’t get in the burbs. Plus, we lived within walking distance of TU Campus and Merritt’s Bakery (not that we ever walked to get donuts…driving was just more convenient!). We loved to walk our dogs around campus as the sun was setting and the campus lights were turning on. The view of the setting sun over downtown from the TU library is pretty serene.
August 2007 – We find out that Carey has testicular cancer. After listening to the Lance Armstrong story one day, Carey decides to go in and get checked. His doctor finds and abnormality and sends him to a Urologist. The Urologist tells us that day that he does in fact have cancer but isn’t sure if it is benign, if it is malignant, or if it has spread. Only blood tests could answer those questions. That was a rough weekend of waiting. My dad had passed away in December of 2005, so my mind immediately jumped to the worst possible scenario. The next week, we found out that the cancer had not spread, but that he had to have surgery right away to make sure that it wouldn’t spread. A few days later, he had the surgery and has been free and clear ever since. So guys, if you’re reading, check yourself for cancer and see your doctor if you find anything weird!
February 2010 – We never thought we wanted to have kids. I don’t know if it because we both worked with kids or if it just wasn’t the right time, but we started to change our minds right around this time. We figured that we would experiment to see if it was even possible. We thought that the radiation treatments Carey had to go through might have ended our chances of making babies, but we were open to the idea of adoption if it didn’t work.
October 2010 – After my annual visit to the lady doctor, we found out that Carey wasn’t the problem in the baby-making department. It was me! I had cysts and endometriosis and was scheduled for surgery in November. I then had to take hormone pills and shots to make everything work again. Let me tell you, going to the lady doctor for fertility issues is SO much fun…and it is not pricey at all. Kidding! It sucks and it is expensive. But, we didn’t have to go as far as many people do with IVF.
February 2011 – I took the fertility shots. Sticking a needle in your own stomach is an interesting experience. I usually look away when the doctor or nurse gives me a shot, but that isn’t possible when you’re acting as the doctor or nurse. We followed the doctor’s instructions (no further details needed here) and I went back in for the pregnancy test about a week later. The nurse called that night to tell us that it was positive and that I needed to come back the next day to confirm the results. We were elated. It is strange to be so excited about something that scares you so much. I went back in for the confirmation test and patiently awaited the call, but it didn’t come. At about 5:30 that night, my cell phone rang, and I heard Dr. Nilson’s voice on the other end. He told me that the first test was a false positive. We were not going to have a baby after all. I didn’t know how to respond. How can you mourn the loss of a child that wasn’t ever really there? Is it even okay to do that? I’m glad that was during the time that school was closed for the ice storm because I stayed in bed for a full day. It still brings tears to my eyes today (maybe that is because my hormones are all out-of-whack right now). The good news is that the false positive wasn’t a false positive at all. We had just taken the test too early, which gave strange HCG readings. About a week later, I took another test…just to make sure…and found out that we were in fact going to be parents. Crazy!
March 2011 through Today - The last 9 months feels like it has flown by in the blink of an eye. We moved into our new home on February 28 and have been working to get it ready for Grayson’s arrival ever since. I can remember at the beginning how it felt like this process was going to take for-e-ver. Now, I look at our baby countdown chart and can’t believe that it is just 3 weeks away. The room is ready, the hospital bag is packed, the car-seat is installed. Everything that I can check off of a list has been checked off…except for the one item that says Have a Baby. I guess I’m going to have to give up on trying to control that scenario and just enjoy the adventure.