The page that i wanted to quote from my journal has fallen out & been lost... but i remember writing it as clear as if it was yesterday.
The end of Peyton's pregnancy journal documented what i described as "large set back after small set back after set back..."
The beginning of *your* journal was a different story. i wrote about "large leap forward after small leap forward, after leap forward..." Daddy got offered a promotion as soon as he started working & within that first year, he got offered a second promotion. We loved our new house & community - & dad loved his work.
The trade off was that he was gone a lot - but i figured as long as he was happy - i would take what he could give & that would be enough.
i remember one time walking in on your big sisters playing a game they called, "Neil & Paige". "Neil's" cell phone rang & Sloan (playing Neil) said, "Oh, no, it's work". Cai, (playing Paige) in a disappointed voice said, "Let's pretend it wasn't..."
It resonated with my lonely heart.
It was a big year for me too, buddy... Daddy was working a lot - & your big sisters were growing. When i was pregnant with you, Cai was in kindergarten. i knew within the first couple of months that we would become homeschoolers. The thought terrified me - & got me kind of excited - both at the same time. Poor little Cai was completely out of her element at kindergarten. She was physically little - & even though academically, she has always excelled - she just wasn't socially ready for the rigours of kindergarten. We spent our mornings at kindergarten... Me with the little girls & my growing belly - trying to comfort my eldest & help her to feel apart. She tolerated going - barely... but was relieved & grateful when i told her that she wouldn't be joining her class for grade 1.
Your pregnancy was a happy one for me. i felt relaxed & hopeful & excited for you to come... & more confident in my body than i had been in my previous 2 pregnancies. i went to less doctor appointments & loved feeling you move around inside. We swam a lot during my pregnancy - & it was eventually swimming that i think encouraged you to turn from breech at the beginning of my third trimester.
When i was 34 weeks pregnant, i went out for coffee with some girlfriends. It was something that i rarely did - i've always found it hard getting out & about - being a bit of a hermit... Daddy really encouraged me to go. Before i went, nesting instinct in full force, i cleaned the house. i arrived home to dimmed lights & noticed some papers sitting out on the table... i was immediately irritated with papers being out of place - till i turned my head - & saw something huge and black in the corner of my living room.
i felt like i could hardly breathe.
i walked closer and saw an amazing sight...
A beautiful, ebony baby grand piano.
Gently i touched the keys - not wanting to play to wake the children - & yet completely stunned with the extravagance that stood in front of me.
i sat heavily on the bench - speechless in my silent house... & then daddy came tip toeing around the corner.
"What... did... you... do?" i finally got out...
"i want you to remember all the things you do & you are besides just being a mama... You're an amazing musician, Paige - & you deserve this instrument."
Charter, i'm gonna tell you a secret.
Now, 8 years later, i play that piano like an old friend. i bang & i shout, i cry & i moan & i play to my heart's content...
But for the first several months that that new black friend sat in my living room - i could hardly play it at all. i felt so completely unworthy - & so awed by your daddy's gesture of love. When i played, the notes sounded thin & tentative - & i wasn't sure i would ever love that instrument.
Daddy says now that she was worth every penny.
i'm glad he thinks so.
i want you to remember this story if you ever have a wife that stays at home with your babies... Remember her passions - & encourage her in her gifts.
Your daddy is an incredible husband. i want you to be one someday too.
A couple of days later, friends of ours had their second baby. Dad came home from work & as he walked in the door, i told him about the baby's arrival.
"What did they have?" he questioned.
"A boy." i answered.
"Oh." & just in a look that flashed across his face, i saw a flicker of hope & i burst into tears.
"i'm so sorry i can't give you a son!"
"How do you know?" He laughed - the look completely gone. "i don't care anyway - i love our girls. We'll have what we'll have & baby will be perfect."
But i knew from that one look that he longed for a little boy.. little did we know...
Time flew - & before i knew it, your due date had arrived.
Granny arrived a few days after your due date.
And we waited.
6, 7 & 8 days passed. The hospital policy was to not allow pregnancies to progress further than 9 days past dates. i started to worry that you were running out of time - as my doctor told me that in the morning of the 9th day, i would need to phone the hospital for an induction.
i woke at 2:15 am, stood up & my water broke.
i immediately felt a huge sense of relief. You were choosing your own birthday!! My contractions started up right away, so we headed out to the hospital. We arrived at 3am & i laboured holding onto the back of the bed or on my hands and knees. By 4am, i was ready to start pushing. For whatever reason, after i delivered your head, your big ol' shoulders got stuck. i remember daddy leaning over & begging me, "Please, babe, push harder, please honey, please..." After a herculean effort on both of our parts, the rest of your little body was finally delivered.
"It's a boy!" i heard daddy sing, "A big, one honey - it's a big boy!"
i asked them to give daddy oxygen because i could tell he felt worse than i did... They said he would be fine. You & i both burst blood vessels in our eyes, we had worked so hard.
It was 4:26am when you were born & you were my biggest baby, weighing 9lbs 1oz.
Oh, honey - you were perfect...
& you are the perfect little guy for our family.
Today you came up to me in sweet mock competitiveness & said, "Momma! i sure wish that baby would come today, 'cause if baby comes tomorrow, i'll lose my RECORD of latest baby!!"
i'm writing this on the eve of baby's 10th day past dates.
You're losing your record, babe.
But, you'll always be our only sweet little chew man.
& we're so grateful you came.