An Ode to my Son- Personal Essay

From Outgoing to Mom
No matter what night of the week it was. I was out. Whether it be kick boxing, boot camp, concerts, bars or parties you could count on me. Always out going and always looking to network and better myself through the presence and experiences of others. School was a hobby and a passion of mine, any class I could get into or was interested I took to enrich my personal knowledge as well as further my career. Not sure at that very moment which path I would take but always wanting more. 

As work was well work, a much anticipated Cuban vacation awaited. A week full of fun, sand and many drinks that neither of us would know could be our last one as just Tara and Jason. Once home and destressed from situations at a hostile work environment as well as the adjustment to our new neighborhood which the Westmount reputation supersedes itself another monkey wrench was thrown into our daily lives.

Days passed after the magical vacation we had where I wasn’t feeling quite myself. Fatigue 24/7 nauseas and just an overwhelming feeling of no longer being able to control my emotions. Multiple doctors gave me the green light of health yet I still did not feel any better.

Always being paranoid I have taken my fair share of pregnancy tests. So I though; for shits and giggles let’s do this. With the bathroom light broken there I am squatting over the toilet while my fiancé held a flash light to the stick. And for the first time in my life there it was. Nice big pink positive.

Emotions ran high as my mind and heart raced. Looking up to my sturdy rock for a sign of what to do or what is to come a sort of serene smile and calm demeanor was portrayed.  From my point it was scrambling, crying, and a lot of swearing.

Life seemed to have handed me one sour lemon. I finally reached a body image I adored 118 pounds of muscle abs included. Was all of this about to change? With my head spinning I cried myself to sleep wondering what to do. 

Reaching out to friends and family was the farthest thing from my mind but I did find solace in one person who seemed to lean towards the idea of erasing this blip from my life and moving on. But still I struggled. 

We didn’t own a house, we weren’t even married after almost 4 years of engagement due to mountains of car and student loans. We were destined to be together or so I believe from the time and patience it took for us both to realise we were what each other had been looking for all along. 

The questions, the pros and the cons circled around my head like a storm cloud never letting up for me to see the clarity to sit and make a decision or even to see the miracle that may lie ahead.

Being a complete chicken and terrified of the answer I took to emailing my mom. The shock that went over her was clearly translated in the response but left me with no more answers than I had begun with. The point had been really driven home by the simple fact that I had always said I did not want children. Yes it is selfish but I enjoyed the life I had of being spontaneous and forever ready and longing for an adventure. 

Could this be in fact reality and actually happening right now, a pressing thought that always loomed in the back of my mind? To make matters worse I was just offered a promotion at work the week before and everything seemed to crumble between my fingers.

After much contemplation, the party shoes were hung up and put away. The thought of having gone through and erased what fate seemed to have handed me was not an option anymore. The overwhelming guilt and anger over terminating what could have been a fantastic life would have consumed me.

My parents were not an example to lead by. Father never wanted a daughter especially as a first born child. Once the second came along (his son) I was left out of the picture. Many years or torment ensued in this marriage between my parents with me being at the brunt of his rage. Finally my mother decided to pack up and leave. You would think life would have been easier and better then. Well it got worse. Between courts and custody battles over my brother again I found myself alone.

Years went by and I seemed to have turned out to be a pretty decent person. Great grades, university degree, stable job and finally a stable relationship. No thanks to my father but learning to grow up alone and raise a little brother when needed definitely shaped the person I am today.

Not wanting to put any one else through that I had decided long ago, children were not in my future.

Then there was you… first ultrasound in October showed the tiniest of speckles right there in the middle of my tummy. The overwhelming feeling of joy and awe consumed us completely. From that day on, we knew the choice we made was the right one.

Yes things will change but just because we will be parents doesn’t mean were dead right? As my pregnancy became more and more apparent those at work found out. Some were shocked some loved and some hated. The following 9 months were going to be an uphill battle I had never expected.

We still did go out to hockey and baseball games, a concert or two but nothing like before. This is when the adult brain started to kick in. money was no longer spent on shoes, purses and clothes yet saved to pull us out of debt and be able to provide for our little one.

Telling the rest of the family was a bit trying. Nanny seemed to have had a stroke the moment she found out. That emotion quickly subsided as my tummy grew and the gifts seem to be pouring in with love for the family’s first grandchild making her a great grandmother – to her chagrin as she said she is too young for that title. 

The in laws were more than over joyed and over the moon at our exciting news. There were no crazy creative baby announcements for the nervousness and stand offish way we felt. Nothing seemed to be going as it does on tv or as you see on the internet. This is life it is not a movie or a Hollywood creation and sometimes things don’t always go as planned. 

As the months passed the anticipation grew. Boy or Girl? I always saw myself with boys, no rhyme or reason just a passing thought in my head that it would be as such. The days slowly went by as we impatiently waited to find out the sex of this little speckle. Bets were made on both sides no one seemed to be sure what I was carrying.

The fateful day came in December. I remember lying on the ultrasound table sweating from every part of my body just waiting for the answer. And there it was OUR LITTLE BOY. The tears were flowing with joy as we bounced and skipped out of the doctor’s office to go home just delighted and screaming at the top of our lungs with excitement. That was probably the first time true joy and normality in this situation was felt and a sense of relief that we could do this arose. 

But it was not all peaks in this story. There were a lot of valleys. Being one of the only persons in our group of friends who was about to have a kid caused a lot of controversy. So called best friends seemed to have dropped off the map while others kept throwing in my face the fact that I said children weren’t in the cards for me. 

People do change and those who will be there for you all your life start to get weeded out as others who have fallen to the waste side have resurfaced. It’s truly amazing what a baby can do to people. Unresolved issues seem to fall away with the impending arrival of a new life as others turn their backs.

The love and support that we received was incredible. Even though I was stressed most of the time due to work related issues I loved my little – soon to be ginormous- belly more and more as the days went by. Every morning I seem to be changing into a bigger and bigger version of me. Nights became earlier as sleep became a must but not before talking softly and caressing my ever growing stomach. 

Not everything about pregnancy is bliss. Yes I had the glow or so I was told. But I also had aching bones, sciatica and multiple health issues. Taking over 10 pills a day I found myself in a funk that nothing had been going as planned at all. From anemia to hypothyroid the problems kept piling up as we kept chugging alone as one pregnant round being. 

It became clear very quickly that no one talks about the other side of pregnancy. The ups the downs and the woes. Not being able to attend certain shows or go to certain venues because of safety issues or simply just plain old fatigue or morning sickness that followed for the close to 10 months of this pregnancy.

Hearing other women say “oh you will see you will miss this when it’s over” sounded like a complete pill of nonsense. Yet here I am today writing all this down and missing the feeling of kicks and wiggles and rubbing my tummy that eventually because my table for everything. It was a feeling of being special that only you could understand and that you are untouchable because a life was growing right inside before everyone’s eyes.

Then came time for the baby shower. What a nightmare. The so called best friend never even brought it up which left me to rely on fellow coworkers who did a fantastic job helping my mother yet still did not comprehend it was supposed to be a surprised and I was not supposed to spend all my money on this day – which ended up happening stress included. The idea of keeping it a secret that I knew all along started to take its toll especially knowing I would have to fake surprise.

Luckily I can always count on one of my friends who goes by her own Latina clock to be late and show up with me to break the tension. The love and the gifts that flowed that day were more than anyone could have ever asked for. A bit awkward at times but a great day all in all followed by a few days of assembling little chairs beds and other items for the prince to be.

Finally it was here. My last month at work. And what a month that would be. From the levels of stress due to me leaving and no one being able to “effectively take my place” to a joke gone wrong and blown out of proportions by others the time seemed to slowly tick by. There it was my last day. I do not think I have ever felt so relieved in my life for a chapter to close and my waiting and relaxation period to begin.

A month had gone by and still no baby. Days were spent in bed as my stomach was so big I could barely move. Every week a doctor’s appointment with more disappointing news that we were no closer to meeting the angel that was forever attached to his mommy. Due date came and went to where the doctor had decided one week later I would be induced.

Again nothing goes as planned or as we see it being portrayed in the media.

The call came and out the door we rushed with our bags already packed and waiting in the car we were off to meet our son that day or so we thought. After being induced and in labor for 38 hours, the choice was finally made. From the epidural not working on half my body to his heartrate and breathing diminishing we pushed on through. An emergency caesarian was performed at 130 in the morning… and then it was 2:04.

The words happy birthday will never be the same for me again. At that moment a little baby cried and here he was. Our prince charming and the light of our lives. Aidan Frederick O. He was born perfect minus all the complications and my wanting to know if my heart burn was actually for a good cause. And it was. What a full head of hear he had and he was just gorgeous. Looked just like his father after I carried him for so long but that’s ok. Perfect is what they called him.

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