Friday, May 1, 2009

Souvenir from California

This time last year I was out in California with my boyfriend of just a few months, visiting old friends, and celebrating my 23rd birthday. This time last year I was unknowingly changing my life forever. 

We spent our days exploring Balboa Park and Sea World, or just nursing horrendous hang-overs by the pool. Less-than responsible activities filled our nights. It was a care-free, very amusing way to escape the obligations waiting back home.  Life was uncomplicated. 

In retrospect it is glaringly obvious that despite the relative "ease" of that life, it was empty. I worked my ass off studying to become an architect, and working at jobs with no future; At the end of the week I would blow off steam with a few drinks (most often more than a few). My passion for architecture had wilted. Partying became this superficial answer to any problems I was facing. I still wanted to do incredible things with my life, but I found myself getting too comfortable in this lifestyle, in just working fairly menial jobs that pay the bills, and partying with friends on the weekend. 

Upon returning from our California excursion, we decided to begin a month of sobriety. Coincidentally, that was perfect timing, since we unknowingly brought back more than just your typical, tacky souvenirs. Three of us were returning home. By the end of May, the morning-sickness had kicked in, and so I didn't resume drinking. I still did not realize I was pregnant. I had just started birth control in April and was told to expect side-effects almost identical to pregnancy. My menstrual cycle has ALWAYS been screwy. Sometimes I only get my period twice a year. Therefore, not getting my period for several months raised no pregnancy concern. I was showing no signs of a bun in the oven until early August. Luckily, I had been so nauseous from the morning sickness, and throwing up at the thought of ingesting anything, that I had not been drinking all summer. A few times I would attempt to drink a beer, or enjoy a refreshing margarita, but they just came right back up. 

August came, and with it a tiny little bump. So, I took a home pregnancy test. One little word had changed everything. I wanted to cry hysterically. I was petrified. But we were going to my boyfriend's sister's house for dinner. So I had to suck it up, and bite my lips to keep them from shaking right off of my face. When we got back to his house, I burst into tears and led him out to the nearby duck pond. As we sat on the bench, I somehow choked the words out. Then something astonishing happened. He looked right into my eyes, held me tightly, and said "I know that the timing is terrible, but this is actually really cool. I am so excited that you are having my baby." 

His first gut reaction floored me. I was elated beyond any elation I had ever felt. Still terrified as all hell though. On August 8, 2008 we went in for the confirmation test and ultrasound to determine the date of conception. I was still unsure if I was going to keep the baby. He was sure he wanted to keep it. We had a long discussion before the appointment trying to figure out what we would do once we had more information. We both realized that although the timing was far from ideal, would there ever be an ideal time? No matter where we were in our lives, we would always be able to come up with a million reasons to not have a baby. That uncertainty was instantly eradicated when we saw our baby spiritedly kicking around inside of me. He grabbed my hand so tight. Suddenly, I wasn't scared. I was going to be a mother. We left that office as a family, and went to buy prenatal vitamins. 

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