SURPRISE! That’s just about how I felt most of this year. My January started with a surprising sense of accomplishment. We had done very well for Christmas. Then came the realization later in the month that my mini-pills were the cause of a very cruel and unusual “cycle” (let’s just say I felt like I’d been attacked by vampires, leeches, and mosquitos over the course of three and a half weeks). I threw caution — and my pills — to the wind, took extra iron supplements, and tried my best to bring myself back from the undead.
February brought a sizeable tax return that paid down a lot of credit card debt. My card balances were all at 35% or lower. One day, my mp3 player suddenly stopped working (RIP Pip). Surprise! It was time to buy a new one. I decided on the Creative Zen 8GB model with an SD slot. Then we found out my in-laws’ van was out of commission. Surprise! It was time to return the favor for helping us out financially many times. We forked over about $800 of our return.
On Valentine’s Day, Brian and I decided we’d try the whole “nice, quiet, romantic” evening thing again, barring any more stupid neighbor incidents. Luckily, the evening came and went over dinner, a bottle of wine, and quality time — no flames shooting out of sliding glass doors or standing outside in the cold in tears with scared children. However, an odd feeling of “uh-oh” crept over me for the next two weeks. Ten days later… SURPRISE! — I got a big, fat positive. The biggest surprise of the year was coming in the form of a human baby. About that time, a mixed feeling of excitement and panic set in. I’d been through two c-sections and wanted no part of another. I had tried for a VBAC with my daughter in the hospital, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I had almost come to a place where I would be at peace with just the two kids. After all, we had one of each, and the economy certainly didn’t look good. Yet here we were, having a little boy who just wouldn’t allow us to recind our promise to have a three-child family.
March came and went without much ado. I interviewed a pair of midwives who practice out of Gainesville and were rumored to be VBAC-friendly. I knew they weren’t my only option because I’d also heard of one who practiced out of Dunnellon, but they seemed more practicle for my needs — they lived right here in town. By April — SURPRISE! — I found out they didn’t want to take me on as a patient so as not to risk their reputation with the hospitals in case of transfer. Feeling rather jaded, I was about to abandon all hope of avoided an unnecessary repeat surgery and the opportunities that come with having a natural birth. No doctor in town would even entertain my aspirations, and the doctor who performed the surgery at my daughter’s birth wouldn’t even take me as a patient (I guess a scarred uterus is a scary uterus in the big world of ligitation and liability).
Luckily, one lovely day in April we saw a Pandorus Sphinx moth hanging out on our balcony. We had no clue what this surprising visitor was, so I set to work searching through several google search results. I really don’t know how I’d survive without Google — or the internet for that matter.
(SURPRISE! I need to get a new layout with good coding because this image isn’t embedding into the text properly. Fortunately, this will look better at a later date, but for now I’d like to at least get through this post before making any drastic alterations. I needed another set of coding in my style sheet to make this picture with caption look presentable.)
At the end of April, my doula contacted me with some very interesting news. SURPRISE! She got one of those positives, too. I swear, something’s been in the water because people have been conceiving babies around here like crazy. After encouragement from one woman who had a great experience with my midwife, I called her and asked for an interview. Guess what? She surprisingly didn’t see any reason why I wouldn’t be a good candidate. Talk about a relief! So, I hired her in the middle of May.
In June, Brenda Della Casa shared a link to Goldin Universe, where I took the colorgenics test. My result was an eeriely accurate description of my life and my thoughts at the time. Several of my friends noticed the same thing. It’s amazing how a sequence of colors can tell so much about your life.
July brought a couple of surprises. First, I had that home birth consultation and sign-off, where I was surprised to meet an OB who practices evidence-based medicine (as opposed to defensive medicine). By this time, we still could not think of a good girl’s name in case the baby was a girl, and we were going to wait until birth to find out. Instead I went for an ultrasound to both locate the placenta (I wanted a medical reason to do so, and that was a good enough reason) and find out what we were having. SURPRISE! We had a baby boy on the way. The stars must have been aligned perfectly because we had two boys’ names and a girl’s name picked out before we had our kids, and we got exactly what we wanted.
In August, we realized that next August won’t be a good time to move. Brian Jr. will only be about 9 months old, and it’s just too much of a hassle to even think about moving with a baby, let alone a baby and two older kids. So I asked our property manager if we could go ahead and resign for another year at that point even though it was still a year away. She gladly drew up the lease renewal addendum and signed us in at a great discount — $120/month less. It was a fabulous deal.
September brought the unpleasant surprise phone call that my mother-in-law was rushed to the hospital after collapsing. She had the flu and got pneumonia as well. The doctors weren’t even sure she’d make it. Luckily, she not only pulled through, but she also quit smoking. The doctors warned her that she couldn’t start smoking again after leaving the hospital, so she’s been smoke-free ever since.
Obviously, November brought the biggest surprise of the year — all 8.5lbs of him. Brian Jr. was proof that the consulting OB knew what she was talking about when she recommended watching my bad carbs for the duration of the pregnancy. He’s been a very welcomed, pleasant surprise, and I’m so glad he decided for us that we were going to complete our family of five after all. I sure hope those beautiful blue eyes aren’t going to hypnotize me into buying him everything he wants because I just might be in huge trouble if that’s the case!
Now that this surprising year quickly comes to a close, I can only wonder what 2010 will bring.