When I look back at my life over the last year all I can say is "Wow, I didn't see that coming."
In September 2010 I was preparing to mark six months since my mom's death. Slowly I was shedding all the stress and tension that came along with cancer, the stuff that had changed me into a person that I didn't recognize or like. Have you ever been 100% conscience of your bad behavior but unable or unwilling to stop yourself? That was me. And while the journey back continues to be longer than I ever would have expected, one year ago I was on the road and headed in the right direction. Approaching six months down without her I patted myself on the back for a job well done. That was until I realized that all the big firsts, like her birthday, my birthday, my dad's birthday, their wedding anniversary, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, blah blah blah were all going to be back-loaded into the second six months. Fuck.
So I started getting myself all worked up, because of all the firsts that had not yet passed. I was back to counting exactly how long it had been, though honestly, I'd never really stopped.
The plan was to give myself a year to grieve and breathe and recover, to find a new normal before plunging back into fertility treatments. I did not want to jeopardize a pregnancy with fresh grief -- I knew it would be hard enough to have a baby my mom would never hold.
And then one year ago today, the day before the six month anniversary of my mom's death, I found myself pregnant by surprise, from baby-making the good old fashioned way. It wasn't that getting pregnant on our own was impossible, just not very likely. Thirteen married years without birth control + an active sex life + lots of figurative standing on our heads trying to make a baby and here I was with an unplanned pregnancy. It was as funny as it was welcome.
And in the moments that followed the stick screaming pregnant I heard my mom saying she'd given me my silly six months and enough already! You want something to count? I'll give you something to count! Count how pregnant you are, and then when that's done, count how old he is.
This is Callum. Today he is 4 months, 2 weeks, and 5 days old.
He has blue eyes that everyone agrees look like the kind that will stay blue, the blue eyes that my mom always teased about.
"Why don't my grandchildren have blue eyes? Our family all has blue eyes!"
"I married a redhead! Okay, a redhead with brown eyes, but still...what do you want me to do? He's English, he's Irish, maybe even Scottish. Hell, we're practically inbreeding here."
Fourteen pounds of delicious blue-eyed baby love. Funny how you make plans only to have them tossed right out the window, and the life you didn't orchestrate turns out so much better.
For those of you trying to figure out the math he was born straddling the prematurity line amidst mucho drama. But that's a story for another day.