Slowly but surely I will document your story. I hope I don’t forget too quickly how magical it was.
As I mentioned here, I loved being pregnant, especially at the end. You made me feel beautiful, and excited, and hopeful about life. In part, I wanted to be pregnant forever so your dad would keep doting on me and I could finish my finals. On the other hand, however, I couldn’t wait for you to come.
The end of the semester was busy. I was taking a full course load, teaching American Heritage labs, working as the MPA recruiter, tutoring with Conexiones, and sending your dad off on many interviews. Taylor was working full time as a researcher at BYU, as well as part time as an ACT tutor. We worked hard all day, and then came home exhausted, just crawling into bed. Looking back, it was a beautiful time in our marriage. We were able to go to school together everyday, and have lunch together, and come home together. We would return to a warm home full of indicators of a pending baby, light a candle, make hot chocolate, snuggle together and talk about you.
|Date night to the Salzburg Marionette|
|Enjoying the BYU experience running from my home in the Tanner to my vacation home in the library.|
|Home made cinnamon rolls on cold evenings.|
In order to survive the busy semester, I had to carefully schedule every minute of every day. And, even though it wasn’t probable, I tried to schedule you. I needed you to come after I conducted the last MPA info session (Thursday, Dec 5), taught my last American Heritage Lab (Friday, December 6), finished my program evaluation project, and gotten a manicure. I hoped you would come sooner than later, however, so your Grandma Hardy could come take care of us before she left on a Christmas cruise (December 21). Your Grandpa Hardy told me that he was very busy with Holiday parties and political functions, and that Sunday, December 8 was really the only day that worked for him. He instructed me to go into labor on Sunday morning, and then deliver that night – after he had time to arrive.
Even though I hoped you would come in that time frame, I didn’t think you would. I still felt pretty small, and I had no feelings of labor. I felt no real contractions, very little discomfort. The doctor had given me a range of December 12 – December 20 for your due date, and I was sure you would come closer to the 20th.
So we went about our merry way. I love winter at BYU – it feels like Hogwarts, with lights everywhere and Christmas trees in the buildings. I taught my 8th and final American Heritage lab, which was significant. We tried to put together your bedroom. I worked hard to tie up loose ends.
Then came the most perfect Saturday (December 7). We woke up to a winter wonderland. The snow fell fluffy and landed crunchy. The air was bright blue and crisp. I met my best college friends, Jenny and Jamie, in the beauty studio in the Wilkinson Center to get our nails done. During the appointment I kept joking about how my goal was to have you that very same day. Then I rushed to the Tanner to work with my best MPA friends, Christa and Angelica, on our program evaluation project. I returned to the Wilk and pampered myself, getting my hair cut and my eyebrows waxed. I talked on the phone to your Grandpa Hardy for a long time, keeping your name a secret despite his pleas. I ate a chimichanga on campus. I felt relaxed and happy.
Later that snowy evening, your Dad took me on the most wonderful date. We went to a German Christmas Market on Center Street. It had snowed so much that we nearly had to hike to get there. The lights were bright, the shops adorable, and every smell smelled of Christmas. We held hands and stayed warm and laughed about how all the walking would put me into labor (haha). We shared a Navajo taco and drank hot chocolate and munched on candy canes. We got papusas from an El Salvadorian restaurant, and I smeared hot sauce over everything (still hoping to persuade you to join us). We were so in love. Over and over we commented to each other – “wouldn’t this be the most perfect day for her to come?” I never thought you actually would – it was too perfect.
We went home and I was energized. I never felt so much energy to get things done! I was running around, cleaning the house and adjusting Christmas decorations. It was times like these I loved the pregnancy mood swings- I felt so high! Your dad wanted to continue the fun date, however, so we compromised. We put on warm pjs, made hot chocolate, and watched “It’s a wonderful life” while I wrapped tens of presents. It was the quintessential Christmas evening.
And then I felt a sharp pang.