I'm going to preface this with the fact that I hate it when birth stories are in multiple parts. I want it ALL IMMEDIATELY and I hate waiting to find out how it ends!!!
But this is going to be one of those hated multi-part birth stories... Because the whole thing took that long. But it's almost John Paul's 4th birthday and I still haven't written up his birth story.
Sooooo here we go!
John Paul's Birth Story, Part I: The Preface
Back in 2008 Andrew and I had just gotten married and moved into an apartment in Williamsburg, Virginia as he started his second year of law school. Just 4 short months after the wedding, we found out we were expecting a baby! This was a little bit terrifying for us, since I still hadn't found a job and we were making ends meet through student loans, singing professionally, my two nanny jobs and my tutoring job.
Trying to keep it a secret was difficult, since my morning sickness was fairly debilitating and my sister was about to visit for Thanksgiving. The two of us normally cooked Thanksgiving dinner together and there was no way I'd be able to hide my pregnancy from her! But I was still in the first trimester and my mom always told me I should NEVER tell people I was pregnant that early on!
When she got to Virginia for her visit, I ended up showing her the "Grandpa" and "Grandma" shirts I had bought my parents as Christmas presents, and she got the hint pretty quickly ;)
We didn't think there was any way we'd be able to pull of a complete Thanksgiving dinner with our side of the family and Andrew's side without someone sensing something was up... After all, I spent most of the day curled up in a ball on the dining room floor while Sister cooked, and I'm pretty sure I only ate a couple of bites of mashed potatoes and the driest piece of turkey I could find.
Somehow, they didn't notice! We pulled it off! And we only had to wait another month before the big reveal at Christmas, at which point I would be 12 weeks along.
At the beginning of December I was offered a teaching job at the middle school down the road from us, replacing a teacher who was having a baby and leaving permanently. Hallelujah! I didn't break the news to them that I was pregnant, since I wasn't due until July.
So Christmas came and my sister rented a house for all of us to stay at near my parents, and we gave them our big news - she was going to enter the convent and I was going give my parents their first grandchild!
Much fun was had by all as I spent the whole vacation lying in bed moaning and asking Andrew to peel me an orange or bring me a bowl of canned pineapple (but it HAD to be cold, it needed to be refrigerated overnight). We managed to have a little bit of Christmas fun with our new Wii, creating characters for every member of the family including the new baby, whom we dubbed "Polycarp" in utero.
My new job started and my belly started growing:
Since I didn't know my new students or co-workers very well, I wasn't really sure how to tell them I was pregnant... So I just kept wearing tight-fitting clothing and there came a point when a student asked me, "Um... No offense, but... You just look like... Are you maybe pregnant?"
I glared at her. "You NEVER ask a woman that question if you're not absolutely positive that she's pregnant!!!"
She looked horrified. What kind of a mistake had she made???
I couldn't keep a straight face for long, and my students were ecstatic to hear that I was pregnant, just like their old teacher! The rest of the school year went smoothly (aside from the student who threatened to punch me in the stomach and kill my baby. Did I mention it was a little bit of a rough neighborhood?), although Andrew and I were still traveling to Northern Virginia every weekend for our singing job and to go to our awesome pro-life NFP OB practice up there, since we'd be there for the summer. We lined up a private Bradley class because I knew there was no way I'd be having a medicated birth - if my mom, who cries when she combs her hair because it hurts to much, could have 4 totally drug-free births, I could do it too!
I was craving some very specific things - McCain Ellio's frozen pizza, Celeste individual frozen pizzas, Tina's frozen pizza burritos (sense a theme?), boiled potatoes with cottage cheese, and canned pineapple that was as cold as possible! I didn't want to eat ANY meat, except sometimes bacon... These were the food themes for all 3 of my pregnancies, so you can imagine how angry I was when NO grocery store anywhere near us sold pizza burritos when I was expecting the twins!
(Because Katrina wanted to know!)
There was also an incident in which I cried because Andrew wouldn't buy me potato chips, but I won't go into that...
We started amassing the baby clothes (we found out at 20 weeks that we were expecting a boy), cloth diapers, and other baby gear. My belly kept getting bigger. My co-workers were convinced I wouldn't make it to my due date, and when I was about 34 weeks pregnant Andrew left to stay in Northern Virginia to start his summer internship.
It was just me, Polycarp, the DVR, and the internet.
To Be Continued...