June is a funny month for me. It's one of my favorite months, and has been since it became associated with the end of school. And while that no longer applies to me myself, I admit I will be relieved when Jacob's school year is over. I will appreciate the break from mandatory homework and the mountain of backpack paperwork. I am determined to keep Jacob reading, though, so creating some motivation for him is high on my list of summer to-dos. Anyway, June is usually when the weather is consistently good (though this year is a little iffy--lots of rain lately and not super warm) and it's usually when life in general shifts into a more relaxed summer mode (not relaxing, mind you, but relaxed). I like summer and June is the start of it, so I've really always loved this month.
But as an adult, June has taken on a life of its own. Each year around this time I tend to recall significant emotional happenings that took place during this month, happenings that each quite literally changed the course of my life.
Twelve years ago, I spent the month of June counting down to my wedding. Last minute details, last minute planning before two weeks away from work, and so much excitement! And let's not forget--counting down to my first vacation in 15 years that involved a plane ride! It was definitely a huge event to look forward to, and a life-changing turning point to commit my life to another person. Besides the emotional changes, we had some logistics to work out, too. We had to look into living arrangements (my apartment lease was up a month after the wedding), figure out how to co-habitate (and do it for a month in a small apartment!), and prepare for all of the changes that marriage brings. As nervous as I was about the event itself going well, I was completely comfortable with the idea of marriage itself, which was very reassuring. It was just a time of anticipation and excitement, and I still smile at how excited I'd get when I'd sneak my wedding ring out of the box and put it on with my engagement ring! I suppose I take that view for granted these days, but when I recall how happy I was to find the right wedding band and then imagine having it on my finger every day, it puts a smile on my face even now.
The wedding went fantastically, and even 12 years later there isn't a whole lot I'd change. A couple tweaks here and there, but the day was really beautiful and our honeymoon was wonderful (aside from the canceled flight on our way home that stranded us in Chicago and left us in a three-hour cab line at O'Hare after midnight). What a June that was, though.
Fast-forward five years, and we were eagerly anticipating the birth of our first child. We had no idea what we were in for--two people with minimal baby experience, in an age where "What to Expect When You're Expecting" was THE main source of pregnancy/baby advice (oh, how blogs would have helped!). This blog was in its infancy. In case you were wondering, seven years ago today I pondered the end of our childless era. A couple days earlier I had taken the last picture I'd get of me pregnant, a full 10 days before delivery. We didn't know the baby's gender, we had no idea if I would go early or late, and we had no clue what to expect once that baby made its appearance. By the time June hit we'd pretty much finished up baby classes and were trying to get the nursery set up. Ideally that would have happened sooner, in particular before the summer heat hit, but a couple hiccups with the furniture pushed that back. I was also insistent that we sort our shower gifts thoroughly and make our returns/exchanges/new purchases before we really got going on the room, since I wanted to have the big picture of everything that would need placing or putting away before I got started. It was such an exciting time, though admittedly scary since we were heading into the unknown. I remember feeling those conflicting emotions, and at the time, the fear almost overshadowed the excitement. But knowing that such a big change was coming was exciting, and each sign that things were happening made my heart beat a little faster.
It turned out that my water broke more than 11 days early, with little lead notice aside from the fact that I was dilating a little more each week. I had very little of the discomfort I had with Carter, so everything ended up pretty unexpected. I had to be induced, pushed for three hours, and ended up with a sunny-side up baby boy who needed to be vacuumed out at 2:40 in the morning. And four hours later he was whisked off to the special care nursery to begin the longest week of our lives, as Jacob was treated for fluid in his lungs, low oxygen levels, and jaundice. I was exhausted and stressed out, and had a mid-week breakdown caused by hormones, sleep deprivation, and the challenges of breastfeeding. We finished out the month by bringing Jacob home just in time for our anniversary, and this blog has documented most of what has happened in the seven years since. But what a crazy month that was.
Finally, three years ago, we were finally coming to the end of a very long year of trying to figure out what the heck my body was doing. After putting off baby #2 for an extra year, thanks to Jacob's trying behavior and the fear of paying for two kids in daycare, we discovered that my body wasn't going to be very cooperative the second time around. We actually got lucky when I got pregnant with Jacob, because things were actually already screwed up then. We just didn't realize how screwed up, because I randomly ended up pregnant before we had to do any major digging. But it was clear the second time around that something was up, and subsequent doctor visits showed that I had a mild case of PCOS that was affecting my cycles and made it almost impossible to time anything out. So, I took Clomid as directed, and this weekend marks three years since the day I got a hormone shot and was sent home with directions to....well, you know. And sure enough, a couple weeks later we got a faint positive test. A week after that we got positive bloodwork results, and a little more than seven months after that we had Carter. But the emotions surrounding a year of trying, the relief of getting an answer, and the almost immediate decision to give the Clomid a try were pretty crazy, and it made that June such a whirlwind. And, of course, I spent the next few months feeling like crap, so that summer as a whole was a mess!
It's no wonder this month holds such mixed emotions for me. So many major life changes. They were all good, of course, but life-altering nonetheless. With each change comes a certain degree of wistfulness for what has passed, and an excitement for what's to come. After three pivotal Junes in the last 12 years, I'll take some comfort in the relative ease of this one. Of course, I have a birthday to plan in the next couple weeks, so that will keep me busy enough! I can't believe my first baby boy is going to be seven!