I think about the person I was then, and I almost can't even remember. I spent that summer working as a nursing assistant at the heart hospital downtown and was completely terrified about going every day. They actually allowed me, an 18 year old with just a nursing assistant certificate, to pull sheaths out of peoples' femoral arteries after their hearth cath. procedures. What?! I would never let a stupid teenager pull something out of my femoral artery! I spent my free time hanging out with friends and boyfriend of two years. I was excited to start college but anxious about leaving my family and said boyfriend. My world was so small then.
Ten years ago, when I pictured my life at ten years down the road, my vision was very similar to this. Husband- check. Kids- check. House- check. Nursing degree- check. The foundation is all there. But this structure isn't at all what I had in mind... I was so naive then. Completely and blissfully naive to all the things that life can give you in one minute, and take away in the next...
Seven years ago, my roommates and I had just returned from three weeks in Europe. We'd been in college for three years and our world was definitely bigger, but still so small. Dave and I had been dating for just a few weeks.
Six years ago, Dave and I had just graduated college and moved into our apartment. Real life. Paying bills. On our own. Dave started his job right after graduation and I spent almost a month studying before I was able to take my boards. Looking back, I can't believe how ridiculously easy our life was then. But I was bored. I was ready to start work, and I was ready for babies.
Five years ago, we were just one week out from our wedding. Five years already.
Four years ago, we were in the midst of fertility treatments. I was a month away from Clomid. At the time, I was convinced that infertility would be the hardest thing we faced. I was terrified we would never have kids, never thought twice about all the drugs and procedures it would take to get there.
Three years ago, I was pregnant. Three years ago, Maxer was on his way. I never imagined anything would be wrong with our child. After all, he was a little miracle.
Two years ago, I was pregnant again. This time with twins. On June 4th, 2009, we went to the fertility clinic for a confirmation ultrasound and saw two beating hearts. We were told baby B- Bee- wasn't strong enough, that we'd only end up with one. I refused to give up an ounce of hope for Baby B, until I had proof that Bee was gone. So, two years ago, I was pregnant with twins.
Last year... well this was last year...
This day last year, I was still blissfully ignorant. I thought the worst of life was behind us. Fertility treatments, one miscarriage. I thought we'd paid our dues. I thought we were free and clear. I thought everything would be rainbows and puppies from then on out. Even though nine years had passed, I'd been married, through a medical crisis of sorts, spent three years taking care of kids with cancer, watching those kids die, and had two children myself, I was in many ways, just as naive as I was the day I walked across that stage. I thought we'd have a couple more kids (IVF was old news by then...) and sail off into the sunset. Happily ever after. I didn't know that life doesn't owe you anything. Just because you've had a "rough" road, doesn't spare you from it in the future.
Last year, I would have never guessed that our life would be what it is today. Dead babies and autistic toddlers weren't really on my radar. I mean, I knew they were out there... I knew that other people had to get up everyday and face it without their child. I knew people had special needs children. I knew people walked around with shattered hearts. But those people weren't us. At least I didn't think they could be us...
Life is funny. Not ha-ha funny. But holy-shit-how-in-the-hell-did-I-get-here? funny.