I've told Carly's story many times, how she got here, why she got here, how long, how much, what, why and when. It's significant because it's not the usual way, not the normal thing. It's a wholly different experience from the first time I became a mom. Special in its own way.
But the first time around has a story, too.
Josh is the answer to a prayer we didn't know to say, that's the best way to describe it.
Eric and I got married after a year and a half of talking to each other online and on the phone. We only spent physical time together 4 times, about a week each time. And then we were married. We moved across the country for our honeymoon, leaving my family behind and jumping both feet into being together. All the time.
You might say there was a vicious learning curve.
At first, we were honeymooners. We fought like puppies in a box without enough room, but we loved each other too. I was the first one of us to bring up having kids. Right now. We'd only been married a couple of months and although we both wanted kids, someday, Eric was not on board with someday being today. But he gave in and I stopped taking birth control.
Four months married and we were expecting. It was easy and quick. It's not really unusual in LDS (Mormon) culture to pop out kids right away, but Eric's parents were not amused. In fact, his mom was pretty dang mad and had some choice words.
But, it's not like the situation was going to change and before long she was mostly on board. It would be her first grandchild after all.
I got really sick. That's how we found out we were expecting in the first place. I couldn't go in the car without throwing up. Food smells made me throw up. Trying to eat, throw up. Prenatal vitamins - iron still makes me feel sick. I spent six months getting to know the toilet really well. And fighting with my husband. Puppies in a box with claws and a baby puppy on the way. It wasn't fun. In fact, if not for that coming baby, I am fairly certain Eric and I would no longer be married.
And so Joshua was the answer to that first unspoken prayer. He saved our marriage before he even left the womb.
We found out we were having a boy. We floated names around. Thomas for my dad, but not as a first name. We considered Joseph Samuel, but it wasn't right. Eric brought up Joshua Courage. But I had to have Thomas in there and I wasn't sold on Joshua. Eric's mom started calling the unborn boy Josh, though, and before I hit the eight month mark the baby was Josh, like it or not. Eventually, Joshua Thomas Courage became his name. JT. Joshy boy. Chibby. Josh Bosh. Bug-a-boo. Those all came later.
I finally stopped throwing up. That was so nice. I never really appreciated smell and taste before that. The baby shower came and went. We moved into our first place. False labor abounded.
And then it was time.
Oh. My. Gosh.
It was horrible. Pain everywhere. Misery. And drugs that didn't work. The hours would never end, the boy would never move, it would never be over.
And then it was. He was here. Of course, there is more to the story, but that's not the point today.
He was born in the afternoon.
When Josh was almost one, Annie and Sam (Poppa) started taking care of Josh on a daily basis while I was at work. Josh and Annie were like peas from the same pod. She could talk to him, understand him, soothe him in ways that were pure magic. I often felt like I shared custody with her, she frequently requested he just stay the night during the week and often asked to keep him on Saturday and Sunday too. I didn't mind that much. It was kind of lovely, in its way. And gave Eric and I time to get to know each other better. Puppies in a box, making room for each other.
Annie started to get sick when Josh was about two. Alarmingly sick. Quickly sick. Frighteningly sick. But she still watched him every day. And then three days a week when I started working part time to lighten her load. He would sit on the floor and play while she laid on the couch. She was literally dying, but she wouldn't be parted from that boy. She took care of him, he took care of her. She was terribly sick, though she hid it. Finally, near Christmas, she received the gift of life from a liver donor. She shouldn't have made it through, actually. Her other organs were failing. But she lived for her boy, her Josh.
She got better. For a while, until her body grew to heavy for her angel spirit.
But, without doubt, Joshua gave us 4 more years with her. He saved her, he saved me, he saved us.
Every new baby is a miracle, no matter how them come. I've been blessed with two. My first became a teenager, officially, just this afternoon.
Blessed baby boy, suddenly 13. I swear he only arrived yesterday.