Here we are, Mark and Kristin…and our furry baby, Chickie, at the very first moment we realized that we are on this journey, each posing with the positive pregnancy test.
My pregnancy went on, no real challenges, I was so tired though. I remember going out to my car to nap on my lunch break and asking my boss to wake me if I didn't come back in time. Sometimes she did, and sometimes, out of pure compassion she covered the front desk long enough for me to stagger in with pillow creases on my face. She was so understanding. There was the occasional mild nausea as well, but otherwise, it was just fine. I accepted all the changes and minor discomforts pretty easily, I don't remember complaining much.
Ok, one thing I would change…the clothes. I envy the way women who are expecting today can still, pretty easily, maintain their own personal style. At that time, the belly was not accentuated in pregnancy fashion….it was draped. Granted, I could not afford to shop much at the fancy shops, like Motherhood and the like, but even the one boutique dress I remember buying for the holidays was a giant black swathe, draping down from the widest part or my body, making me seem even wider than I felt. I had changed enough from before pregnancy, true. I had added a little weight above and beyond the baby, true. But these clothes…were an abomination, you can't tell but the leggings are covered in roses on a blue background.
Style demo: Before and during pregnancy.
Cut me some slack on the left, it was the 90's.
Left is about a year prior to pregnancy, right is about 8 months pregnant, early 1996. In an effort to try to show off my bump underneath all my drapes, I look like I'm about to pee my pants requiring me to hold it in manually. I'd also like to point out that due to my fear of exposing my baby to chemicals…I invented the concept of "Hombre" in 1996.
Also, I'd change the bathing suits. I wish I had a picture of that monstrosity. Picture this….Black, Halter style top that would cut off the circulation in my neck trying to hold up my heavy pregnancy knockers. Then, in a style they probably called "empire waisted" from under the breast, a "dress" drooped over my beautiful bump and ended right at the hip, accentuating my larger thighs. Under that was bottoms that, although black, were nothing short of shiny granny underwear, additionally covering the belly. It was actually dangerous because when I went in the water, all that excess fabric floated up around my neck, I could have died. I honestly can't believe that my rebellious nature didn't reject these prescribed ideas and rock a bikini the way Mama's do now…it makes so much sense. Ok, fashion rant over.
We planned and were lucky to be able to have a home birth. It didn't go exactly as I had planned it, but I would not change a thing about it. This one is easy. I would go through labor again, without a doubt. I sometimes wish that I could take a shift while I'm attending a woman in labor…I'm sure they wish it too in the moment. But honestly, the challenge of the contractions was never something that I even wished away. I felt prepared for it, and unafraid. I had taken 12 weeks of classes with Mark, we had read and practiced and I felt confident. Plus everything went normally, and I had (I suppose) a level or perception of pain that was manageable.
Hanna joined the world and our hearts grew to envelop her. It was the most wonder-ful Springtime of my life. My darling Markie had to return to work after only a couple days, working as a young carpenter he only had one week of vacation per year and paternity leave was not a thing. I cherished my time at home, taking Hanna and Chickie on long walks to visit Daddy at work for lunch. Four months flew by in an instant. Again, my boss was very understanding. Beth Norton, Customer service supervisor at Edmark Corporation had created a flexible, 3 days per week schedule for me with a promotion to managing the front desk and data entry staff. No one else in the company had a gig like that. She also knitted Hanna a sweater. I was grateful, but it wasn't enough for my heart. I asked Mark to take these pictures the night before I returned for work. I never wanted to forget how I felt. I really didn't want to go.
That's the next thing I would change. Our town house was little and lovely. No yard to care for, easy to live in. A community (usually empty) playground right outside our door and a pool/hot tub that we did not have to maintain. What could we have been thinking….or, if I were honest, what could I have been thinking…because Mark did not want to move as much as I did. We agreed though, that we would fix up this dumpy little house and sell it, but then we got pregnant again and I was less helpful that we had anticipated.
|Me, expecting again with Hanna asleep on my lap and Chickie at our side, as always.|
It was all I had AND my son would have nothing to do with the sling.
He survived and his hips are just fine.