I remember it like it was yesterday. It was 5am, my hands were shaking uncontrollably, and silence filled our tiny, one bedroom apartment. Fear, Joy, uncertainty and other weird mixtures of emotions were consuming me. I took a deep breath, tried to steady my hands and somehow managed to collect enough urine on the pregnancy test. I waited the longest two minutes of my life, for proof, I was almost already certain of. I remember picking up the test and immediately seeing two lines. Suddenly, all I felt was joy. Ready or not, at age 22, I was going to be a mom.
I quietly crawled back into bed next to my sweet, sleeping husband. I gently woke him and told him the news. I think I said something like, “I took a pregnancy test and it was positive.” I think I was slightly nervous for his response…but that quickly subsided when he took me into his arms and told me how happy he was. We both threw on some sweats and walked to the local Cub Foods (which was right next door to us) to buy another test. (We were naive…we didn’t know how accurate those things were!) I took another test and it revealed the same. We were going to parents. Jon, still a student and me, working at my big girl job. (Gosh, I am thankful that we were confident we could live on love! LOL)
Over the next 9 months, I experienced it all…morning sickness, tiredness(I took naps in my car on my lunch break), hormones and my 22 year old body becoming soft and curvaceous. I was kind of a miserable pregnant girl but loving it all at the same time. I made it through (although almost hyperventilating) asking my boss if I could work part-time after the baby was born, buying our first house, and Jon interviewing and getting his first job. Looking back, it was slight chaos, but remember we were living on love…not on a plan or bank account.
In late January, I woke up from a dead sleep to some strong contractions and knew it was time. I excitedly showered and got ready to go! We didn’t know the baby’s gender and I remember specifically thinking I would know if the baby was a boy or girl soon! I let Jon sleep as long as possible and then waited as he got ready to go. My contractions weren’t too notable but they were still consistent. We rushed down to Mercy Hospital and got all checked in. After a few hours of monitoring and seeing if I would progress, they admitted me. It was a slow, long labor. I didn’t write a birth-plan (I didn’t think it was necessary) but I did not anticipate such a long process!
Finally, things started to really progress, somewhere in there I got an epidural, which for me was a beautiful thing! I relaxed and was fully dilated in no time. It was time to push…I spent the next 3 hours pushing. I remember about 2.5 hours into it the doctor started discussing a c-section with me. The baby’s heart rate was not responding well with the contractions. I told her I didn’t care…if a c-section meant a healthy baby then so be it. She and my nurse got me fired up to try a few more pushes. For the next 20 minutes, my nurse and Jon became my biggest cheerleaders. I still vividly remember reaching down and feeling my baby’s head as he/she was trying to enter the world. A few more pushes and a tiny baby was laid on my chest. “It’s a big, baby girl!” the doctor announced.
I don’t know that I have ever been more overcome with joy, love and emotion. I had just experienced a miracle…a real-life miracle. I was immediately captivated with this tiny girl. She was beautiful, and perfect, and she was mine. My soul was singing! I remember looking up at Jon’s tear-stained face and wishing time could stop. We announced her name, Hallie Kate, and just stared at her in awe. I was a mom. Jon and I were parents. We did it…God did it! Together with Him, we would start this amazing journey of parenthood