Six years ago today, I gave birth to my youngest child.
Before that day, we were a family of three. We had “tried” to have another child several years earlier, but nothing ever happened, and since we were happy the way that we were, we didn’t really get upset that nothing ever happened and sort of forgot about it. It didn’t really occur to us that we were still “trying” (ie, not using birth control). Nothing had happened so far, so I guess we just assumed that nothing was going to happen. And we were fine with that.
And then one day, I had a pooch. I was walking by a mirror at work and I stopped short.
“What the hell was that?! ”
I slowly back up to the mirror again. You know what I’m talking about. When you catch that little glance of something in the mirror as you walk by, something that’s just not quite… right. And you take those few timid steps backwards, wondering what the hell you’re going to discover when you get in front of it again. And sure enough, my “work pants” weren’t fitting just right. Those of you who have designated “work pants” in your closet know what I’m talking about. You wear them often enough that you know exactly how they fit you and exactly when something isn’t quite right with them.
Of course, my first thought was, “Oh, I’m bloated.” But that thought very quickly turned to, “Bloated… wait a minute… when HAVE I had a per… OH MY GOD! I’m fucking pregnant!”
And just that quickly I knew with certainty that I was pregnant. That was all it took. One look in the mirror (I know my body pretty well). I knew there was a pregnancy test in the medicine cabinet at home (left by a guest, but that’s a long,drawn out story that I’m not telling right now) and as soon as I walked in the door, I made a beeline for the bathroom. I wanted to confirm my suspicions before mentioning anything to Hubbo. As it turned out, I didn’t have to tell him anything. He was in the bedroom and I swear, the man has supersonic hearing, he HEARD me tear open the wrapper on the pregnancy test, in a split second surmised that it wasn’t a tampon wrapper because I wasn’t on my period, realized that the only other thing in the bathroom that would make that particular noise was a pregnancy test, and busted through the bathroom door yelling,
“Are you taking a pregnancy test!?!”
I swear that’s how it happened. He HEARD the paper tear and knew I was taking a pregnancy test. So, there I sit, pants down, peeing on a stick, with my husband busting into the bathroom, yelling about pregnancy tests and grinning like a damn fool. And three minutes later, there was a tiny, light blue line across the “pregnant” window. (There are currently two [one from each kid] old, peed-on pregnancy tests tucked away into a drawer upstairs because I never could bring myself to throw the away… Is that weird? I think that might be weird.) But, there were supposed to be TWO blue lines across the window and we don’t take chances on getting excited around here, unless there’s actually something to get excited about. So, I dig the instructions out of the trash and call the help hotline number listed on the packaging.
“[Name of test] hotline, how can I help you today?”
Me: “Hi. I just took a pregnancy test and it says there should be two lines in the window, but there’s only one. So, does that mean that I am pregnant? I need to know.” (Like everyone else who calls her after taking a pregnancy test doesn’t NEED to know.)
Operator: ‘If there is any blue line in the window at all, then you are 100% percent pregnant.”
Me: “Woo Hoo!” (I throw the test in the air like it’s a freaking graduation cap.)
Operator: “Oh, it’s so nice to hear someone whose happy about it!” (I guess most people who call the hotline for confirmation of the test results aren’t hoping to hear that the test is actually correct.)
And so, nine months later, we learned a little something about balance that we didn’t know that we didn’t know yet. (You follow that?) Before she was born, our family was made up of myself, Hubbo, and A-Man and we were quite happy with that configuration. One beautiful little boy who looked and acted just like me. Perfect, right? And it was. But then, then we had this beautiful little girl who looked and acted just like her daddy. Well, that just goes beyond perfect, that’s downright serendipitous. She balanced us. 2 girls, 2 boys, 1 family. And she’s been teaching us about balance since the day she was born.
A-Man was due on September 5 and born, 6 days late, on September 11. Mags was due on July 11 and born, 6 days early, on July 5. Balance.
A-Man weighed 8 lbs. 6 ounces. Mags weighed 6 lbs. 8 ounces. Balance.
A-Man looks and acts just like me. Mags looks and acts just like Hubbo. Balance.
A-Man loves science and math. He wants to create video games when he grows up. Mags loves fairy tales and imagination. She doesn’t want to grow up. A-Man is cautious and calculating (like his Mama), he plans, he saves money, he’s a Virgo and will keep his feelings to himself a lot. Mags is a daredevil and spontaneous (like her Daddy), she acts before thinking, she spends the last penny in her pocket, she’s a Cancer and she wears her emotions on her sleeve. Balance.
I knew that siblings could turn out to be very different people, but you still sort of think that if they come from the same genes, they must be somewhat similar, right? Wrong. These two kids couldn’t be anymore different from each other, or anymore like each of us. They provide a living, breathing, visual representation of balance for me everyday. And I can’t wait to see what they teach me next.
Happy Birthday, Baby Girl.