"If this isn't love" Part VII

Life wasn’t all peaches and cream during Baby Davin’s first couple weeks of life. On the day of his two week checkup, I packed the two of us up and, we left to spend the next six weeks of my maternity leave at my parents’ house…six weeks that were supposed to be exciting and full of new things.  Sadly, that wasn’t the way it turned out.
Everyone knows that newborn babies bring about joy and excitement. Unfortunately, new babies, also, bring on stress and altercations.  And let me tell you, Mr. Marcus and I had our share. It was the week of Christmas and I felt that we should be spending it together as a new family. He felt as if he needed to split his time between his brand spankin new baby boy and his 8 year old baby sister. I just couldn’t understand why he didn’t think that it was important for him to be present at his four week old son’s first Christmas. He couldn’t understand why I didn’t think that it was important that he spend Christmas with his little sister. We even had a huge blow-up about it, in front of my dad. And even though my dad tried to play mediator, and Mr. Marcus may have had one or two valid points, I still felt as if NOTHING was more important than Daddy being with Wifey and Baby for Christmas…not to mention, baby’s first Christmas.
Oh, this wasn’t the only disagreement during those six weeks. It was only one of several. Our perfect partnership was crumbling before my eyes. I began to resent him, and notice that every element that created the foundation of our relationship no longer existed. We weren’t spending time together. We weren’t communicating. We weren’t clicking. It turned complacent…mediocre…bland…everything that I had said would never describe a relationship that I was in. Our growth had just driven up to red light.
I developed this nauseating, gut-wrenching feeling...a feeling that I dreaded. I was beginning to feel as if we weren’t going to make it. Just six months to a year before, everything was perfect. But all the stress and disagreements had gotten to a point where I just couldn’t deal with it any more. We lost the heat that kept our hearts warm. We were, now, sitting on ice. You know…the thin kind.
 It was two nights before the New Year was about to roll in, and I still couldn’t shake that horrible feeling. It wasn’t that I feared us breaking up. I feared that there was a chance he didn’t care. From what I had seen up until that point, he hadn’t really shown me otherwise.
Then, there was phone call. He questioned me: what are you thinking? Why aren’t you saying anything? For the past two weeks, I’ve been the one to say ‘I love you’ first. Why? Is there something you have to tell me? At that point, I couldn’t hide my true feelings. I was calling it quits. I had to tell the man that I loved that it just wasn’t working out. I wanted to tell him how I felt as if I was alone…how I felt as if Davin and I weren’t his first priority…how I felt that if he wasn’t in the mood to be a daddy and boyfriend anymore, then I was more than willing and prepared to do it on my own. I wanted to say all of those things…but, I couldn’t. I barely said a word. I didn’t have to…he knew.
I felt like a failure. I felt like I failed my son, and took away his chance at having a family. I have to tell you, that was the most excruciating pain I had ever felt in my life. On New Years Eve, as the world counted down to the year 2009, I held by baby boy in my arms and cried. Cried, because I wished I was being held by the arms of his father. My son was only four weeks old, but he looked me in my eyes as my tears fell against his blanket, and he seemed to be telling me that everything was going to be ok. Little did I know, my son would have the most honest eyes known to dwell within any human being.

"If this isn't love" Part VI

At the end of part V, I gave a small "warning" for today's post. Well, honestly, I left a few things out of the last post. I only gave you part of the story...the part that was funny and filled with love and sunshine. I, purposely, failed to mention the situations that lied just beneath the surface.

Before we realized that me moving back wasn't the best option for us financially, we actually did have talks about getting married. Of course we had always talked about marriage, but once a baby was in the picture, we had real grounds for discussing it. At least, I thought we did.

Remember when I said that I had an almost perfect pregnancy? Now, every bit of that was the truth. But the real reason I praise God for it, is because I was so focused on trying to get married, that I didn't always make the baby my first concern. Wait, don't get me wrong. After the fear wore off, I was beyond excited about having a baby. But I was in love and, not to mention, not getting any younger. The baby was on his way and I wanted us to be a family. There was going to be Daddy Hamilton, Baby Hamilton...and Mommy Burgess? It wasn't fair. I felt as if I was being left out.

I voiced my concerns to Mr. Marcus and he understood me completely. I told him, if we got married before the baby came, then I wouldn't need a big, elaborate wedding and reception. I would've been completely happy and satisfied with a small ceremony with just us and our parents with a small dinner afterwards. Honestly, we could've gone down to see a justice of the peace and then hopped over to Mickey D's, for all I cared. I just wanted to get married.

Every other day, I discussed the plans and tried to figure out the best day, time and location for everything to take place. I planned out an amazing small-fall-wedding-maternity ensemble. I even made arrangements to drive down so that we could meet up to get the marriage license. I had it all together and thoroughly planned out. All I needed was for Mr. Marcus to give me the green light.

I waited patiently, not wanting to put pressure on my honey. Then, after a while, I'd start to, inadvertently, bring it up in conversation every couple days. But, soon, I began to realize, my honey was no longer responding to me. It was almost as he was avoiding the subject all together. I thought to myself, "Maybe, I should just let him bring it up when he's ready." So, I let it rest....and waited. And waited. And WAITED. AND WAITED!!! Weeks, upon weeks, went by without him saying two words about marriage. I was fast approaching my 8th month of pregnancy, when I came to the heart-breaking realization that we, probably, weren't going to get married. At least, not before the baby came, anyway.

I was beyond disappointed. I was hurt. All I could think about was why? Why wasn't he as excited and anxious to get married as I was? Why wasn't he making it a priority the way I was? Why wasn't he planning our future the way I was? I couldn't understand. I didn't get it. But, I stayed quiet. Never brought it up again. Just kept wondering why.

It was the day before I was scheduled to give birth, and he still hadn't said a thing. I, finally, told myself on that day, that that was the last time I was going to think about it. It was no longer an issue. As long as we took the marriage license back before the expiration date was up, I was fine. (FYI: It takes both parties to get a marriage license. Once in hand, you have 60 days to either 1) get married, have it signed by the officiator, and send it back to the state office to keep on record; or 2) not get married and send it back to the state office. If you fail to send it back before the 60 day deadline, the state can issue a warrant for your arrests! Just thought you'd like to know that tidbit of info.) That night, I had the best sleep I'd had in a long time. And by the next evening, I was holding our precious son. Everything was perfect the way it was. We were a family. And not because of our last names...but, because we were together. Mommy, Daddy, and Baby.

I was at peace with not getting married. I, now, had better things to think about. We had just gotten home from the hospital, and we both sat looking at the wonderful blessing that we had been charged with, by God, to take care of. Without all of the hustle and bustle of the hospital, it was the first quiet and serene moment we had shared since Baby Davin's birth. Mr. Marcus sat down in the chair beside my bed and proceeded to speak these words: "You know, I was thinking. If you still want to go ahead and get married, we can gone and do it."

Now squint your eyes and say this with me, "What?" What did he just say to me? Did he just say that we could go ahead and get married now? That can't be what he just said. I know that's not what he said. That better NOT be what he just said. I'll be d*#@ed if that's what he just said. Ok ok, just kidding. Sort of. Nah, not really.

I was utterly dumbfounded. Was that a proposal? I mean, the whole point of getting married before the baby got here, was to get married before the baby got here. Now that the baby's here already, why would I rush and do it right now? Uhh, I wouldn't. And since we didn't get married before the baby's arrival, the only acceptable way to do it, is the way I've always dreamed it! I'm talking about a well-thought-out proposal, a big wedding with my sisters and all my friends as bridesmaids, my daddy walking me down the aisle as I wear the dress of a lifetime, and fat reception that will have all 200 of the guests talking about it when they woke up the next morning.

So, I, kindly, turned to the love of my life and said, " Naw, that's ok. I can wait now."

Come back for more juiciness in Part VII. I promise you, it gets better!

"If this isn't love" Part V

So, now I'm pregnant. NO, not NOW!!! Then! Back then, NOT now! Just to be clear, I am not currently pregnant at this present moment in time as you are reading this right now on today I am not pregnant.

And before I get too far into this post, let me say this: I didn't read the famous book, so I didn't know what to expect when I was expecting. Now realize, I'm a very bright and intelligent person...but nobody knows what it's like to be pregnant until they actually are, or until they can't be separated from it (shout out to those brave people that stick close to the prego ladies). Sure, you can read all the books and articles that Amazon can sell you. You can even listen to the many self-proclaimed "experts" that exist today (mama's and grandmama's included). But even with that huge wealth of information, nothing can prepare you for the feelings or emotions or physical evolution that your body goes through. Ok. Now...off the soap box, and back to our regularly scheduled programming...

So, we're having a baby. As I sat there contemplating whether or not I would even tell my parents, Mr. Marcus was already on the phone with his mom telling her the news. Apparently, this lady had been waiting on a grandchild for twenty years, cuz she couldn't have been more excited. (I may have even heard an "it's about time!" come through his speaker.) Hoooowwwwever, telling my parents is a whole different story. Too long of a story, actually. Let's just say there were tears...and not tears of joy.

So, what do we do? What do I do? Do we go ahead and get married? Do I go ahead and quit my job and move back? Where do we go from here?

NOWHERE!!! WEEEEE...didn't go anywhere. I was now in a brand new, yet amazingly boring city, living solo with no friends or family, boo-less...and PREGNANT! That's right. I stayed at my job. Remember me telling you about those unheard of benefits? Well, those things came in handy for a pregnant lady. You see, if I had moved back to live with my honey, I risked the chance of 1: not finding a job (worth taking, that is) and 2: not having any medical insurance. Yes, we could've jumped an gotten married right away and he include me under his company supplied insurance, BUT...it was so expensive that it would've left us with little money to live off of. Me staying was the best financial option we had. And maybe ended up being the biggest catalyst decision that determined the course of the rest of our relationship.

Long distance relationships are hard all in themselves....but a long distance relationship during a pregnancy? Really? For the sake of keeping my boyfriend, I tried to keep the whining, tears and outbursts to a minimum. I did pretty good, til one day, I spotted one of God's curses to women...

STTRRRREEEEETCH MAAAAARRRRKSSSS [insert loud clap of thunder and horror movie music here]

Don't you hate Eve for what she did to us!?!?!?!? I'm just kidding...I know men get em too. : D Anywho, I had one small stretch mark that was a little over an inch long, glowing in the lower right quadrant of my humongous belly. It was my first one, so I might've made a "small" deal about said stretch mark in a conversation with the boo. I wanted to know if he would still love me at the end of this pregnancy if I just so happened to amass a whole family of stretch marks (I'm talkin aunts, uncles, and 2nd & 3rd cousins). I wanted to know if he would still see me as the beautiful woman he'd met two years and a ball player's body before. I was only looking for more of those calm, reassuring words that he was so generously handing out about six months prior. And this is the response he gave me:


And now, to this day, I regret ever mentioning the words stretch marks.

Oh well. At least I could praise baby and grown-up Jesus that I had an almost perfect pregnancy. There was no morning sickness, no fatigue, no swelling. I might've had a slight case of constipation and an even smaller case of heartburn, but that's it (remember, I'm not mentioning s.m. again). I worked out all the way up until I hit my 7 month mark and even ate healthy til around then too. After that seventh month hit, though, all I wanted was McDonald's chicken nuggets and cake with no icing. You know, now that I think about it, that may have been what led to my slight case of high blood pressure in the last weeks of my pregnancy...which may have led to having my labor induced. Maybe.

After 12 hours of labor, dilating up to 8 cm, and an unnecessary (in my opinion) c-section later...

...Baby Davin was was joyously welcomed into this world. He signified the end of one chapter of our lives and the beginning of another.

We're almost done with "If this isn't love..." Be sure to come back tomorrow for part VI. Things are about to get real live in here.

"If this isn't love" Part IV

So tell me, have you ever been high?......off love, of course. You know, high in the clouds that you can't see anything or anyone but your boo? So high, that you have no awareness of all the chaos that's going on around you? That amazingly euphoric feeling that has you so spell bound that you pray that it never wanes? It's love. Pure unadulterated love. That "I am he and he is me" love. That's where our perfect little partnership rested. High.

Well....high, until around the time of my college graduation. It was two weeks prior to the most glorious day of my life, and I was, literally, handed the perfect job opportunity. I'm talking salary pay, unheard of benefits, cross-country all-expense paid travel. The works! But my little bubble exploded when I realized that my perfect job offer came with a side of grief. I found out in my interview that I would have to pack up my life and relocate it more than two hours away. Now, would you believe me if I told you that I cried? Yes...in my interview. Well, I did...right after my prospective boss told me that I couldn't accept the job without accepting the move. I was hurt...my feelings were hurt...my soul was hurt. Taking my dream job meant giving up my most prized possession...my high. I would have to give up the feeling with which I had become so passionately acquainted. I would be sacrificing the very foundation of our relationship.

We talked, we prayed and needless to say, I took the job. I had only one condition: we had to promise to see and spend quality time with each other every weekend. (And I might have had one tiny secondary condition that I would only keep the job for 3 months. I mean, that was more than enough time to get in, get some experience and get out. Don't you think?). Anyway, we came up with a plan and decided that we'd rotate weekends: I'd drive down one weekend, and he'd drive up the next. This way, we only had to make it through a span of four days without laying eyes on each other. It was the best we could do....and at that time, we had no other choice.

And so, it began. Every Friday evening, I was either racing home from work to get my place ready for my honey's arrival, or racing down I-40 on my two hour road trip to his place. But then, on every Sunday, I was either making my slow and dreadful return back up I-40, or I was painfully watching my love load up his truck and wave to me "good bye." (Now, you see? I never said it was a perfect plan.) In between those painful goodbyes were hundreds of text messages and phone calls that were hours on end. And just an FYI...no, those calls were not always filled with none-stop conversation. You're bound to get plenty of dead air time when you put a TV junkie on the phone with an XBOX game head. But, even through that, we did all that we thought we could do to keep things above and out of harmful water.

To our delight, the first two and half months sped by faster than we ever thought. And although I really liked my job, I was still ready and prepared to call it quits after that 3 month mark. I was in a brand new, yet amazingly boring city, living solo with no friends or family, and boo-less. I had left my entire life behind, and I was ready to go back and pick it all up again. But then...just when I was about to start my search for a new job...the unthinkable happened....

I was impregnated!!! (little bit too much Valentine's Day activity...[insert nervous giggle here]). Can you believe it??? I couldn't!!! At least I didn't want to!!! It was just too much! I already lived 2 hours away from my boyfriend (now future baby daddy) and almost 5 hours away from my closest relatives, and had no local friends to speak of (mainly due to the fact that almost all of my coworkers were 10-15 years my senior)! Now I'm pregnant?!?! JEEESSSUUUSSS!!!!!

"OK, now, how is this supposed to work?" "I just graduated from college 3 months ago!" "I just started my job 3 months ago!" "We're not married." "We're not even engaged!" "What are we going to do?" "How am I supposed to feel?" "Are we ready to have a baby?" "Is he happy about this?" "How do I tell my PARENTS?" "How do I tell ANYBODY?" "My parents are going to KILL me!!!" "Calm down...I'm grown." "Wait a minute...am I grown???" "Does this mean I can move now, or will I be stuck in this place for ever?"

My mind was racing! I felt like crying. I felt like laughing. (I think I did laugh. Hysterically, at that.) I felt like panicking. I felt like running. Where? I don't know. I was paralyzed. I was scared. I didn't know what to do. But then, I remembered to check in with the other slice to this pregnant sandwich...he was, in fact, the one that had to read (and reread) the results of the test to me.

"Don't worry about it. It's going to be ok." Those were the words that my love spoke to me.  Those calm, reassuring words...words that I so desperately needed to hear. To hear not only then, but several times during what was to come.

I hope these posts are as fun for you to read, as they are for me to write. Especially since there's going to be a part V. Be sure to come back to see what happens next!