As parents we watch our kids closely. My parents still speak up when they are concerned about me. They are watching me closely too, making sure I'm okay. I talked about that in the last post, when they mentioned concern over not seeing me happy. I do the same for MY Zach.
When a parent is "watching their kid(s)" it usually means making sure they are safe. We watch them play and speak up if they are getting aggressive, we watch them climb and run to them if they fall hard to make sure they are okay, and we watch them as they learn new things making sure they understand.
Sometimes, I just find myself watching Zach. Just watching. They are fleeting moments I want to hold on to. Moments I want to close my eyes and relive when he's a teenager and long past these days. Little everyday moments that make me catch my breath and stop me in my tracks. It's not because of WHAT he's doing, it's because he's here to do it.
I have mentioned my three miscarriages and two years of trying before. The last two miscarriages happened when we were trying to get pregnant the first one is, well, it is an experience I still see vividly. Here's a refresher. The first miscarriage happened when I was 21 in college. I didn't know I was pregnant and thought I still was getting my period. At 13 weeks development and timing I miscarried. I never took a pregnancy test. I remember the intense cramps and bleeding as I took the 2 hour drive back to school on a Sunday night as usual. I will never forget the ER doctor saying "if you're not pregnant why did I just pull a fetus out of you?" I also will never forget my Mom driving over to see me the next morning when I told her. She spent the day with me making me feel a little better. I'm still haunted by the question, "was it a boy or a girl?" As I've said before, I was pregnant with this baby at my Grandmother's funeral. It's wasn't the best semester to take "Life Span Development". We weren't ready for a child then but we had been engaged for a little over 2 1/2 years and knew we wanted kids in the future. Miscarriage was my only way out. I never would have emotionally been able to handle abortion or adoption.
When we had decided to start trying to get pregnant but hadn't started yet this haunted me. It was a nagging worry, will it happen again? The second miscarriage happened at 7 weeks but was so faint it didn't appear at home and it happened before the blood work the next day. But I remembered vividly what a miscarriage was like and know what an embryo looks like. That was in the second month of trying so it's possible it was still effected by the birth control pill's lingering effects on the body. It can take three months for the body to return to normal.
The hard part was the time after that (November 15, 2006) until the time I got pregnant again (February of 2008). I tried everything and worked hard with charting to get pregnant. I did a blog post on how to chart (below). That's what I did for all that time. Some of it can be found on that Fertility Friend link within that post (it's the closest to our sex life I'll be talking about).
In February of 2008 I spontaneously took a test. I had been taking Clomid and thought I got my period so I took it again but when my temps didn't go up for ovulation on a hunch I took the test (that chart is in a link in the blog post above). But at 8 weeks I miscarried for the last time.
In the following six months I tried to think about other things. We didn't use protection but we had basically started living like there won't be any kids. We started playing casual versions of different sports like tennis and that's when I really got into gardening the first time. That magical day that I planted my first Hyacinth bulbs is the day Zach was conceived. Somehow, I knew but didn't believe it while planting them. Just like I knew when I met Josh he would be someone important to me I just didn't know what yet. As a Sophomore in High School "future husband" isn't going to be your first guess.
I had charted for so long even when not charting I knew when my period was expected. That Columbus Day I was two days late and nauseous. I took a Dollar Tree test then asked the fateful question to Josh "how many lines do you see?" two lines, Pregnant. This time I started at a fertility clinic with weekly ultrasounds and blood work. I also had to take a neon yellow Progesterone pill and shove it up my who-ha until 15 weeks. At 10 weeks they sent me to my regular Gyno. I had other issues during the pregnancy such as Gestational Diabetes but am grateful he was such a kicker, it wears you out but at least you know all is good in there. Zach was healthy and only 12 days early thanks to bed rest after a labor scare at 32 weeks.
I remember as a newborn he would do this thing where he would sharply bend his left knee and kick it strait, several times, HARD. Suddenly, I knew what he was doing in there. Josh and I couldn't stop laughing at that revelation. I would watch him sleep frequently and watch his belly rise and fall with breath and listen to the magical sound that is his heartbeat.
I watch Zach because I love to see him alive, here, being a regular kid. For so long it didn't seem like it would ever happen. I still have moments when I can't believe he's here, he's alive. I'm the MOTHER not just a babysitter, friend, or Aunt. We CREATED him. WOW!!! As I watch him do regular things like eating or playing I can't help but think of my suffering to get him and feel amazement that after all that time having given up hope, he's here. I put my trust in God that everything will continue to be okay.
A couple of days ago I was walking by a field in town. It's a town field for the junior league (Middle School) that does football and baseball. It was night and I decided to detour on my walk and instead go hug my parents. On the way there, I saw that field. I found myself pausing and envisioning something else. Zach, eight years from now, standing on the pitcher's mound pitching. Another vivid image. An image that ever since has made me hold on to the images I am seeing now. Playing outside will mean something different then. I will be watching then as I do now. A parent never stops watching.......and remembering. Grateful isn't a strong enough word to describe how I feel about having him in my life. Now I watch him transform Arcee (Transformers: Prime figure). A little moment I will cherish forever. Just like I cherish the feel of him in my arms, at peace.