Man. I just have not been blogging much here. I really wanted to blog more, to remember more about this pregnancy and share more and I just haven't done it. I really couldn't say why. And today we enter the third trimester and we're into the last chapter and I want to try to remember and record more. I think I'll regret it later if I don't. And yes, that includes the bad stuff even, like my gestational diabetes diagnosis yesterday. I'll get to all of that soon - but I think to truly get the story documented from beginning to end, I should kind of explain how we got here in the first place. I think it's good to look back and see the journey. This could get lengthy so bare with me, but maybe it'll help everyone understand how we got to where we are now.
So as I've shared, we've been together 15 years. And in those early years of dating, we used to imagine our future together, we talked about marriage and we talked about someday having kids. We always said we'd have a boy and a girl, because isn't that how all idyllic daydreams work? We used to give them names and everything. We planned to be married immediately after college and to be done having kids by the time we were 30. Yes, this was those blissful days of the late 90's/early 2000s, before 9/11, before the economic downslide. We were pretty young and clueless back then.
Eventually we realized life doesn't always work out exactly as you plan it. It took Nate a lot longer to get a full time job post college than it did for me, even though he finished his degree two years earlier than I did. But he did finally get a job within the year after I graduated and while the dream fall wedding I always wanted didn't end up reality, we were able to be engaged by about a year after my graduation and then married after another year. And we were blessed to be able to buy our house right away. We figured even with a slow start, our life plan was still working out fairly well. Getting married at 24 we figured still gave us time to at least have one child before turning 30 and still take a couple of years to enjoy life as a married couple.
Of course the first year of marriage was a little shaky - whose marriage is smooth sailing the entire first year anyway? Nate losing his job a mere three months into our marriage was one of the most frightening things to ever have happen, especially when you just closed on your house. But we still weren't planning kids in the first year no matter what, so it just kind of went in the "Someday" file for that time. Thankfully that unemployment stint was short lived, he started contract work after only four months of being out of work. As we approached our first wedding anniversary things felt good and stable and I thought "we can wait awhile on the kids thing, why rock the boat now?"
Two things happened then that following summer after our first wedding anniversary (2007). One of my friends from church had her first baby and I visited her and fell in love with her little guy. And then suddenly we had a rash of people around us slowly start to become pregnant. Somewhere in all of that I caught the baby bug. I knew I didn't want to be pregnant until after Gina's wedding in the spring of 2008 though as I was the matron of honor and wanted to be able to fit my dress and be able to party and have a good time like we did at our own wedding. But, I couldn't shake the desires I was feeling, so Nate and I had a conversation and decided, we'll spend the next 8-10 months starting to work on getting ready and as soon as that wedding is over, we'll start trying. And you know that saying "We plan and God laughs."
I had everything falling into place and I was seriously ready - and then Nate lost the contract job he had. And while that had happened two other times previously, this time the agency didn't get him a replacement position. Even with him calling and checking in with them, it was like they suddenly didn't want him any longer. So he started looking for permanent work, which would prove to be a more daunting task than just pestering his agency. It was the bottom of the economic downturn. No one was hiring. And due to that and other things around me - namely HUGE changes at our home church - I fell into a bit of a depression in 2008. Early on during his unemployment we decided that I'd still quit my birth control pills because your cycles can take awhile to come back and we'd just use other means (TMI I apologize) to cover ourselves until he started working. So we did and then the final nail in the coffin was learning I had some female problems that would not necessarily make my reproductive life easy. And actually, I didn't learn this news until after he had started working again - but somehow during those months he was out of work, having a baby started becoming less important to me. Those months took a strain on our marriage and so once Nate started at MasterSwitch it seemed at the time we needed to rebuild and reconnect with each other. So poof, we stopped worrying about having kids at the end of the year.
I stayed off the pill and we just continued on our other forms of birth control and as time progressed I realized, my "must have kids before 30" timeline was really quite silly. What was so special about the number 30 anyway? And we finally settled into a comfortable life - one that I selfishly just wasn't ready to give up. We started going with a one day at a time approach. We simply decided, let's revisit this topic around or just after we turn 30. There is nothing wrong with that.
The closer we got to that big birthday, the more I started wondering if we really should or needed to have kids. We had a good life, we were fulfilled and happy. And then Nate had his own rough year with work and stress and ugly stuff right around the time we actually did turn 30, so my focus was very much on getting him through that. Shortly after his grandfather passed away in early 2012 we started talking about kids again though - truly, seriously talking about kids for the first time in a couple of years. And it was becoming very clear, while I was feeling more hesitant - he was very much ready. And I just wasn't sure that I was - or that I ever would be. And that wasn't fair to him, it was always a part of the deal when we got together and got married that someday kids would be a part of the greater picture. I will admit to being very selfish and sort of lost inside myself at that time. But, he was right. So very quietly without telling anyone - even my very best friends whom it killed me not to say anything to and I hope they will forgive me as I just really had to struggle through that time on my own - we decided to "not try, but not NOT try." This was around March of 2012. And again - I have female issues. My cycles are WACKY. And it seems the minute we decided to throw caution to the wind, they decided to be at their wackiest for awhile. Which basically meant - again TMI here - I was on the rag more than I was off. That isn't very conducive to making babies, I'll tell you that much!
So we just kind of had it in the back of our heads, but didn't stress about it too much and just kind of focused on enjoying our time together. We had one what I will now call "scare" in October 2012, I was so certain that I was pregnant at that time, but it was just more wackiness. After the 1st of the year I thought long and hard about it and I decided I didn't want us to be much older than about 32 or 33 before this actually happened. We had planned to go to Duluth for a beer festival this July, so I told Nate, after that festival, we can start getting more serious about this trying business. Deep down I was finally getting that motherly feeling back and I realized that I think it was something that I did still want for us. And maybe coming to that realization and feeling peaceful about it is what allowed it to finally happen - ironically on our 15 year anniversary of being together. I can't help but think that someone upstairs knows more than I do.
So that's the first part of the journey. I will share more about what happened when we finally learned we were expecting - it wasn't all sunshine and roses which I'm a bit ashamed of now, but at least I know that this all has a happy ending - I am beyond thrilled and blessed and overjoyed at this little guy growing inside of me and that's the part that matters most now!