Monday, June 28, 2010

happy birthday, gram-mary

You were the glue that held our family together. You were the laughter, the sunshine, the spark. You were the reason birds gathered at your kitchen window, why flowers nodded as you walked past them in your yard, why popsicles melted all over our faces and poolside barbeques felt like a day spent in heaven.

Thank you for loving me so enthusiastically. Thank you for listening intently to everything i had to say, as if every bit of it were of utter importance. Thank you for the porcelain dolls, named Mary, Laura, Carrie and Grace. Thank you for checking the closets before tucking me in at night. I'm sorry Papa Dick let me have soda instead of milk at the diner that day; i rarely drink soda at all anymore (just thought you'd like to know). And thank you for stressing the importance of acidophilus; since then i've always eaten lots of yogurt - especially now that i'm pregnant.

Welcoming my own child into the world is a strange feeling without you around. I have lots of mixed emotions about it, as with every major event that's happened in my life since i turned 14. It's hard to imagine you not knowing who i've fallen in love with, or that i got accepted to a good college (even though i didn't go), or that i've been to Colombia 5 times, or what career path i want to follow. But i know that you'd have been just as captivated by each of these things as you were by my losing a tooth. Because that's just your wonderful, grandmotherly way.

I think you'd be proud of me, and i know you'd be proud of my mom. She's still my best friend. She's amazing, and i can only hope to be half the mother she's been to me and my brothers.

I hope your memories of us are just as warm and beautiful as ours are of you. Save a place for us next to you in heaven's backyard...we've got lots of good stories to tell.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

a little miracle

This year, one beautiful day in the month of my very own birth, Jeremy and i found out that we were pregnant.

Sitting there in the bathroom, waiting to find out what my fate would be before Jeremy returned home from work, my chest was filled with butterflies. How many women, whether hoping for a positive result or not, come face-to-face with this moment each and every day, their bodies nearly numb as that throng of emotions starts to take over? One life, or a pair of lives, forever changed by the presence of one or two pink lines on a stick.

Two pink lines.

I think my heart swelled, and my skin tingled, and my mouth went dry. Sounds like the symptoms of an illness, i know, but these were good symptoms. I was happy. I was BEYOND happy. I was ecstatic, and scared out of my mind.

Jeremy walked in within minutes, leaving me very little time to contemplate matters on my own - which i think was a good thing. We were thrilled...nervous...content...anxious. More than anything, it just felt surreal. Naturally, we spent time trying to let the news seep in. But pregnancy doesn't change your life too drastically until you start to grow and feel your baby moving inside you and suddenly you're ready to deliver. The first few months (unless you spend them hanging over the toilet, which i, thank God, did not) are spent doing the same old things you did before you got pregnant: Going to work, cooking meals, playing outside, etc. You often look at each other and wonder, "Is this really happening? Are we sure the test was accurate? Is there really something growing inside here?" Because you don't look much different, and if you're lucky like i was, you don't even FEEL different.

So you book your first appointment with an OB/GYN. I've done lots of reading about what to expect during each appointment, and i've talked to a lot of women who are pregnant or have been pregnant, and i've come to the conclusion that these appointments are simply different for everyone. I chose a midwife as my doctor, and i felt comfortable with her right away - which was a huge relief for me. She gave me a blood test and a urine test and a papsmear, and she felt my cervix...but she never actually told me i was pregnant! My husband and i left saying, "Well, she didn't say we're NOT pregnant..." which is kind of funny, but i wonder how many other women out there leave their first prenatal appointment without confirmation of their pregnancy!

Finally, four weeks (and 4.5lbs) later, we got our confirmation. We were supposed to have our first listen at the baby's heartbeat, which my midwife attempted to find with a Doppler device. This little instrument works just like a stethoscope, except you don't have to put it in your ears to hear. It's a little handheld box connected to what looks like a tiny microphone by a single wire. You lie down, the jelly-like stuff goes on your stomach, and your doctor rubs the microphone around, trying to locate the heartbeat. Except that MY doctor couldn't. She kept rolling the microphone all over my belly, saying "that's your heartbeat...that's yours...that's you too" until Jeremy started to look nervous. It didn't occur to me at this point that anything could be wrong or that nothing was in there (i kind of assumed it was just too tiny), but apparently it was occurring to him. My midwife informed us, however, that sometimes the uterus still hasn't risen above the pelvic bone this early, and that she would send us to the ultrasound technician. Now THAT was a lady i couldn't wait to meet!!

Her room was small and dark, and i'd never seen an ultrasound done before (maybe on TV, but you don't really pay attention to these things until they happen to you). The machine looked like a giant copy machine with a monitor on top. Onto another table, more jelly stuff, more microphone-rubbing. Suddenly, there it was...our baby, moving around on that computer screen like it was learning how to dance. "You've got an active child here," the technician said, "it's no wonder she couldn't find the heartbeat!" And Jeremy held my hand and we watched the screen in complete awe and adoration. Here was the little miracle we created together, alive and active and well. Bouncing up and down and kicking its tiny legs up in a pool of amniotic fluid. Oblivious to anything going on outside of its safe, secure, perfect little world. Completely unaware that we were watching it, and falling in love.

The picture we received doesn't do our baby justice. Nevertheless, i haven't stopped staring at it since it came home with us that day. It's the last thing i look at before falling asleep each night...which makes getting up every three hours to pee a whole lot easier to endure. :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

beach day one

Anyone who knows me and Jeremy knows that we have "beach days" all year round. But Beach Day One is a title belonging only to the worthiest of first true beach days of the year - and that, for us, was today. Though the weather was slightly fickle for our taste, it managed to stay hot and sunny long enough for us to enjoy the best of what our favorite beach has to offer - privacy, a little sea-glass hunting, and a lot of fishing.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

shooting stars

Does anyone ever feel like everything's exactly where it's supposed to be in their life? That everything around them is moving in one fluid motion towards the same goal?

I can remember when life was perfect; i don't think i knew it at the time, because when you're a kid you don't really ponder the meaning of your existence or whether or not everything's going according to plan. There is no plan. You just ARE. And when everything's perfect, you don't necessarily realize it, you just feel happy. I had lots of these moments as a kid. They involved fat, juicy slices of watermelon...the scent of cotton...laughter, often followed by grass stains...the cool splash of water and a loving pair of arms to wrap you up, dry and warm and safe.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of these moment in the adult life (the only difference being that perhaps the loving pair of arms are now yours). But still, not everything is in sync. And it seems a little backwards, because as soon as you become an adult, a time when you're supposed to have a lot more control over everything in your life, it suddenly appears that you have absolutely no control at all. You can make decisions, you can say yes or no to this or that, you can ignore a phone call or take a vacation or plan certain events in a day. But you can't control the weather, and that's a metaphor that transcends much of the brain power i use to try and comprehend that fact.

What do you do when life throws you a curveball? Do you try to dodge it? Work around it? Swing at it? Or curl up and the plate and cry?

Timing is everything, and yet it's a big part of that uncontrollable weather that dominates us. It's waiting a very long time for something you really needed months ago, and all you can do is have faith that there's a reason it's not here yet. It's enjoying something right away when the rest of the universe hasn't quite caught up to share it with you. And it's figuring out how to pretend you're oblivious to it all, like when you were ten years old at that huge family cookout one hot summer day not too long ago.


My name is Audrey. I'm just a twentysomething learning how to master the arts of cooking, cleaning, working and being in a relationship, same as you.In between all that, I like to collect sea glass and salvaged furniture. Occasionally, I cut and paste scraps of paper together. In the end, I am hoping that all of these things together will somehow amount to something good. This blog is a journal of my efforts to get there.


thesalvagedbride at gmail dot com