2012 was an extraordinary year…
It was the year in which I bought my own car for the first time. It snowed in August. 2012 was a year of unprecedented music concerts for us in Johannesburg, with incredible shows by U2, Coldplay, Linkin Park and Kings of Leon (among others). I even made a commemorative bookmark with photos of us at each concert.
It was the year that SuperDad and I decided to move in together after three years of dating and the year that Blake made his appearance on a small sonar screen, but that’s only the end of it.
I had been very ill for a long time.
I had been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease a couple of years prior but had also been battling debilitating vertigo for some time. It was so bad that I hadn’t driven on the highway for years and it reached a point in 2012 where I couldn’t walk along a passage without holding on to the wall.
A series of treatments and doctors, trials and medications had eventually led me to having a major sinus operation in May 2012. After having been a stinky smoker for fifteen years, I decided that this would be a good time to quit and I did that on the day before the operation. I will save you the gory details of the operation and recovery but I can happily say that 6 years later I am still stinky smoke free!
For my birthday that year, SuperDad planned a wonderful surprise and with three other couples we went to Zebula Lodge in the Waterberg for a weekend. Four years later, this would also be our wedding venue! It was a strange occurrence for me to have two glasses of wine and go to sleep, missing all the fun of my own birthday celebration, but soon enough we discovered the hidden reason for this strangeness. The arrival of a little baby was the last thing we had planned, especially considering the drama I had been through with my health and the stress that came with all that.
Relationship wise we had had our ups and downs.
SuperDad and I faced our fair share of challenges… we are vastly different people, who came hobbling into an unexpected relationship each with different injuries and scars. It took us a considerable amount of time to get used to eachother. With enough love to eventually manage to pull off the bandages layer by layer, we have painstakingly built a life over the years that we will not give up on. Gosh, we have been through some things…
So, not too long after the birthday that I will never remember, came the news that we had a little baby on the way. It was an enormous shock to the system. With a daughter about to enter her matric year and a little three year old Wade, just having started to settle into this modern family vibe we were completely unprepared for this.
The “feels” caught up with us as we went for the scan and saw the little bean, took the leap in happily sharing the news with the family. This all happened very quickly.
My memory fails me then, until I was next in the doctors rooms listening to her telling us that I was having a miscarriage. To lying curled up on the floor in agony. To watching the snow fall through the window from my bed. I vividly remember the pain, physical and emotional. For a while after that there was nothing to be said. No way to make it better, no way forward (back). I was distraught. When eventually there was something to be said, it came in the form of a firm decision that we may be better off not having any more children.
Knowing Blake, by the time we sat down to have this conversation, he had stomped right back to heaven and cried until they agreed to let him come back. Obviously they couldn’t refuse. Two weeks later I discovered that I was pregnant again! This was probably around 8 weeks after the miscarriage and telling SuperDad (again) was really not the easiest thing to do. We decided to go the traditional way this time and not say anything until the first trimester had passed. Not being the biggest person in the world, this would prove to be nearly futile as my tummy started growing practically from day 1! Not easy to hide!
As it happened, we had two possible days to choose for the C-section – my birthday and the next day. I wanted Blake to have his own birthday and so, in 2012 I received the biggest gift ever on the day after my birthday. This time the entire experience was completely different. You can read about my first birth story in my letter to Wade here.
I had a spinal block and was awake to see Blake make his entrance into the world. It was something I will never forget! As soon as they had weighed, measured and tested him, they brought him to me. It was amazing how he calmed down immediately as he was placed on my chest. The doctors zipped me up and Blake didn’t leave my side again. We got to latch and breastfeed right away and what an adventure it has been since then…
He lights up the room
The next two years were eventful to say the least. Those are stories for another day though. Once thing is for certain and that is, that we couldn’t possibly imagine a life without him. He wears his heart on his sleeve, always! He’s clever and funny, bashful and adorable, he’s Mommy’s boy through and through. That gappy smile just lights up a room and he is just so beautifully unique.
Since birth, he has always loved playing with my hair. He still comes to my bed most nights, to stroke my hair for comfort. I cherish the special cuddles, comforting him on my lap, holding his little hand and hearing his laughter. To me, he will always represent my new beginning, second chances.