Throughout my pregnancy I went through many emotions, most of them negative and motivated by selfishness. With my then youngest just turning 9, I felt depressed at the idea of starting over with the demands of an infant. I was convinced the lives of my older children were ruined, because so much of our family's focus was going to have to shift to accommodating the many needs of a little one. Once I worked through that, I began to wrestle with the nagging fear that something would be wrong with the baby. I knew there must be a reason for us to be having a child at this point in our lives. The small part of me that wanted to be optimistic latched on to the belief that we were to be blessed with a daughter--something John and I both hoped for. When the ultrasound proved otherwise (I was so angry with the ultrasound tech for pronouncing the baby a boy that I wanted to punch him--as if it was all his fault) I became increasingly convinced that this baby was being sent as a trial for us. The closer my due date grew, the more I pored over every ultrasound image, looking for some defect, in a panic that something even worse than autism was in the cards for us. There were moments when I was able to set that all aside and allow myself to feel happy anticipation, but I was so afraid to get my hopes up, feeling that I would just be that much more devastated in the end. My midwife actually told me that she thought I was subconsciously blocking my body from going into labor because of my fears.
But then the fateful day arrived. Even then, my body resisted full blown labor; starting and stopping through the day until they threatened pitocin. Less than an hour later, my Oliver was born, dazzling me with his blond-haired, cherubic perfection. I examined him thoroughly; there was simply nothing to cause alarm. All the despair and fears of the previous nine months washed away in an instant and were replaced by the kind of joy only such opposition can create.
The past year has been amazing. There have been huge challenges to be sure, but even more than that there has been a renewal of my faith in God and my faith in myself. Oliver has brought so much more to our family than I ever feared he would take from it. I can't believe I nearly closed the door on the chance to be a new mother again at this point in my life.
|Sharing his food|
|Oliver is definitely a Tigger kind of guy|
|Which one to throw first?|
|One year old and already can't wait to drive|
|Examining his percussion set|
|It was a race to get them all lit before the letters started to melt|
|The cake was barely put in front of him before he grabbed it and took a big bite|