Sunday, May 22, 2005

Ethan Part 1: The Prequel

I'm not sure where else to start except at the very beginning. So I will.

Jete and I married with the intention of having children - someday. Family was very important to us, so we discussed having kids even before we got married. We wanted at least 2, less than 10. We aren't good organizers and didn't have a plan like some couples do - "We'll buy a house and spend 2 years traveling and having us time, and then we'll start trying." Trying. Start trying, get pregnant, have baby. Even though I hadn't mapped it out formally, that's how I always thought life was supposed to be.

Oh, how wrong I was.

We started looking for a house just about as soon as we got married. We had been "living in sin" (as my in-laws probably say) for 3 years and were ready to stop renting and start owning. We found a house in our price range that was the ultimate fixer upper. Every room in the house needed major work. But we loved the potential we saw in it, and were prepared for the effort. Our bid was accepted and we moved in only six months after the wedding. The realtor's last statement to us on closing day was "You know the old saying, 'New house, New baby'!" We all laughed.

Our first few weeks in the house were constant work. We would come home from our paying jobs to a never ending list of fixes. Jete had been a carpenter for a few years, so he did the bulk of it. We patched the hardwood floors, repaired the walls, ripped out carpets and repainted the entire house. The bathroom needed major updates and the kitchen was atrocious. Jete's next step was to start ripping out the existing kitchen. What started with a little work on the cabinets eventually led to gutting the kitchen down to the studs.

In the midst of all this work, I noticed I was a little "late". I checked the calendar and realized I was actually a week late. Yikes. I am never late. But I chalked it up to the stress of moving and working on the house. Besides, I couldn't be pregnant. I honestly couldn't remember Jete and I ... being intimate ... for weeks. When did we have the time?

But as the days went by and still no sign, I started to worry. I found myself getting sick at every meal. I couldn't stand to look at even my favorite foods. The last straw was a Sunday dinner at my parents' house when I was so sick I could hardly make it through the meal. My sister knew something was up and pulled me aside. I told her my situation, but that I didn't want to worry my mother. She hatched a plan where she would stop by my house after dinner with a pregnancy test. Just to put my mind at ease, of course. I was obviously just making myself sick with worry.

Sete came over at 9:00 that night with a test. I was shaking as I went into the bathroom. The box said to pee on the stick and then wait 5 minutes to get the results. Two blue lines would be a positive. I went, then quickly looked at the stick. It didn't even take 10 seconds. Two bright blue lines appeared. I felt sicker than ever. But somehow, completely relieved. Terrified and thrilled, all at the same time.

I ran out of the bathroom and called them in. I couldn't say anything. I showed them the stick and they were both stunned. Even though we had come this far, we couldn't believe it was actually happening. Sete kept saying "Oh-My-God!" and Jete just smirked and laughed to himself. I asked how he was feeling, and he said, "I thought I'd be nervous, but I'm really not. I'm happy." We sat on the couches in stunned silence. WHOA.

The rest of the night was a blur. We called my parents, who were thrilled. My mother's family is very close, so it was only a matter of minutes before everyone knew. I got calls from my grandmother, aunt and cousin. It was late, so we planned to tell Jete's family at a holiday party the next day.

We were so taken by surprise by this pregnancy. We weren't practicing regular birth control, but even so, I still couldn't figure when it would have happened. Even though we had talked of that elusive someday, we never wanted to piggyback "buying a dump of a house" with "having a baby". Ripped out walls and gutted kitchens were fine for the two of us, but not for an infant. But somehow, we knew we're both the type of people who would go on and on with our lives without ever getting around to the planning part. So really, this was the perfect way for it to happen.

At the same time, I am a very cautious person and didn't want to get too excited yet. I had known people who had miscarriages and I felt like I had to prepare myself for that possibility. I didn't want to tell anyone outside of the family until things got a little further along. We looked ahead at the next 9 months with excitement and trepidation.


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