Tonight, as we placed the baby in her crib,
and she stroked her own full, delicious cheeks with her tiny delicious hands,
I couldn’t help but to realize that she was wearing a very special nightgown;
This gown was the very first anything that my husband and I bought for the baby.
It is butter soft, and filled with beautiful designs, in neutral colors (of course. We didn’t know the sex back then!)
with tan owls, green trees, and a hot air balloon, floating towards a most placid cloud.
This was her first gift,
as it was the first tangible representation of her presence in our lives.
But, weeks before we stumbled upon this most precious nightgown,
I had been going crazy over a faint line.
Well, 2 faint lines, to be exact,
as I had taken 2 pregnancy tests,
each identical in faintness,
and in 2-line-ness.
Yes, I had a box of digital readout pregnancy tests stored in my closet,
and yes, I was far too nervous to use them.
The idea of seeing “Pregnant” or “Not Pregnant” spelled out so concretely was still too frightening for me.
I preferred to live in a state of paralyzing anxiety and unknown for several days,
That’s just the way I roll.
The weekend (FINALLY) rolled around into Monday,
and it was time for me to get my blood taken.
Of course, just as my arm was being pricked,
the courier came to pick up the blood for analysis.
I. missed. the. pick. up. by. two. minutes.
This meant an extra 24 hours of waiting.
In those 24 hours I panicked
I watched the Sex and the City Movie
I ate Mommom’s Sweet and Sour Meatballs (what? Spoiler Alert: I was pregnant, after all)
I ran to the bathroom every 7 seconds
And so, on that Tuesday, having waited days since my first two-liney pregnancy test,
I could wait, no longer.
I would be hearing from the doctor’s office that afternoon,
and I could not spend another day pacing around the house,
so my mom took me out to be distracted.
We ended up at Home Goods and TJ Maxx. If those places couldn’t distract me, nothing could.
And, it worked.
I walked the aisles,
(and used their potties, several times)
and watched the clock,
willing my phone to buzz.
As I paced sightlessly up and down the aisles, I stroked my ears.
It sounds strange, but even though I had seen so many feathers that week, I still needed a little extra dose of strength, so I wore my sacred good-luck earrings,
two hanging, silver feathers,
that my husband had given me for my 22nd birthday.
They gave me solace that day (just as they continued to do at every doctor’s appointment I had from that point on. But, I’m getting ahead of myself).
Finally, at 3:17 pm,
I felt my phone vibrate
as my heart fell into my stomach.
It was the doctor’s office.
It was time.
I will never ever forget what I heard on the other end.
“Hello?” I answered, shaking in my hands, my voice and in every other part of my being.
“Rebecca?” the nurse, Beth, asked.
“Yes?” I could not breathe.
What followed was one simple word–
a word that I can still hear, as clear as day, as if I’m still holding up my phone, quivering, in the little boy’s aisle of TJ Maxx.
Full disclosure, I can’t even type this without crying.
I remember that she read my HCG and Progesterone levels to me.
I remember that, at that moment, I turned around to see my mom peering over a display of clothing, and I smiled at her.
I remember that we both started to sob, instantly.
I remember that Beth, the wonderful, amazing nurse, came to my first ultrasound, just because she was so excited for us and our miraculous news.
I remember that when I hung up the phone, my mom told me that if I had a son, I would have to name him “Max” in honor of good old TJ’s.
I could barely get my fingers to work, but I dialed my husband at work.
He was waiting for my call.
He barely choked out his greeting.
“Love….are you ready to be a daddy?”
And then, he told me the most amazing thing. Lying across his desk was a giant, brown feather. Yes, a feather, indoors, in his office, in the middle of August. He immediately sent me a photo, so that I could see his marvelous sight. We took it as a sign. Not only was I pregnant, but our loved ones were with us, telling us that everything was going to be alright.
Now, before finding out I was pregnant,
I had these elaborate plans of how I would tell my family members.
I had dreams of “Grandparents” greeting cards,
sappy toasts at family dinners,
and oh, I don’t know, surprises,
but, I couldn’t wait.
Let me tell you, none of my fantasies involved a scorching hot parking lot of TJ Maxx. But, that’s the way life works. You plan, and then life kicks in.
So, on that afternoon, one year ago,
I could have never imagined the most beautiful, angelic baby, that would soon be mine.
I could never have pictured the happiness that I would soon know,
nor the craziness that would also be born in me.
I could never have dreamed that so much beauty could have been hatched
out of something as simple
as a few feathers.
Tonight, as we placed the baby in her crib,