Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Why Taking this Picture Made Me Cry

It's just a couple of car seats, right?  Why did taking this picture reduce me to a wet blubbery mess? 

It's because of another picture.  The pic in question was taken way back before diapers, strollers, and pediatricians - before midnight feedings, unexplained rashes, and apnea monitors - before the heart wrenching three months in the nicu, the terrifying night in the hospital, and the agonizing weeks of bedrest leading up to it - before the first glowing months, the elation, the nausea and sore joints happily endured.

Four days before our recommended pregnancy test date, we gave in to the urge and I peed on a stick.  It showed two lines.  I peed on another stick.  Another two lines.  We kept buying sticks and orange juice, and I kept peeing.  The results were all the same, and we wound up with several pictures like this one:
This isn't the picture.

Blood tests confirmed a strong pregnancy.  After a few weeks, I went in for my first ultrasound.  I had much experience with ovary ultrasounds, but none with pregnancy ultrasounds.  Still, when I saw two distinct black pockets in the sea of grey, I had an inkling what that meant.  My heart stopped as the ultrasound nurse said, "Here's your twins.  They look fine.  I'm just checking to see if there's a third baby in there."  The room was silent for a little bit, then Hubby said, "Wait, you're not kidding?  It's really twins?"  Apparently it was obvious from my blood tests, so the nurse thought we already knew.  I will always remember that day, which gave us this photo:
This is not the picture that makes me cry.

Later that day, Hubby said that I had not stopped smiling.  He had never seen me look so happy.  I said, "I'm having two babies!"  He took a photo of me, to always remember my "having two babies" smile.
Despite the desperate unflattering-ness of the photo, it is not the one that makes me weepy.

This one is.

I believe this picture was taken two days after the ultrasound.  Suddenly we needed things.  Strollers, cribs, changing table, a larger place to live . . . the list seemed endless.  We knew, however, that hospitals don't let you take the babies home unless you have a car seat.  Hubby found a sale and we bought these.  It was in this moment, seeing the infant seats unpacked in our apartment, that we began to realize that we were going to be parents.  After all these years, it was going to happen. 

Up to this point, we had spent TONS of money trying to get pregnant, and had made lifestyle changes to support a pregnancy.  We had not, however, bought anything or prepared anything for any actual babies.  The moment we made this purchase was the moment our life changed.  From this point on, everything we do is for or about the babies in some way . 

Now the boys are outgrowing this first purchase.  As I unpacked our new car seats, I remember the day we bought the first pair.  We knew we were embarking on a difficult yet wonderful journey, but we really could not have anticipated all that would transpire over the next year and a half.  We did not yet know our little men, or even that they were little men.  We did not even know if my body would accept a pregnancy, never having been through one. 

So much has happened during the life of those infant seats.  I wonder what experiences the new car seats will see us through.

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