Another year huh? It seems I barely get used to a new year and it's over. I probably just shouldn't get too comfortable when a new year rolls around because it's always the same. It arrives with much fanfare, but bit by bit, it slips by me in a blur. Or maybe, and I'm not sure I'm wrong, 2009 was just one of those years that makes your head spin.
I think it (2009) started out pretty well. All my loved ones made it safely into the new year, everyone here and accounted for. I think maybe some of them rang in the new year in far flung places, but that's not so unusual. January was uneventful and not really too memorable. At least that must be true since I can't remember anything big happening around that time. Likewise, February started out pretty well. What I can remember is my sister and me phoning back and forth, planning our ski trip. We were so excited. It had been so long since we had traveled anywhere together and probably even longer since we had skied together. Yeah, it was going to be great.
What started out as a perfect getaway ended up as one of the major turning points of my life. Yeah, I know. It was just a ski trip, but it kicked off a year long karmic ass whooping that I'm not embarrassed to say really rung my bells. To start off, the mountain chewed me up and spit me out. Granted, I am no daredevil skier, but I'm also not one of those skiers that jumps on a black and snowplows all the way down. I can ski, I just don't tear ass down the mountain like some people I know. Anyway, for some reason, I was using every skill I ever had to get down the blue run from the top. It was so steep and my vertigo (crippling fear of heights) was really kicking in. I made it down the run several times, but a little after lunch, I called for a ride back to the condo. As an aside, my skiing buddies were having some issues too. Erin bit it a couple of times and Michael ended up in the creek. But, luckily, no one was hurt (in Michael's defense, he was snowboarding and that bridge was really narrow).
That night, for some mysterious reason (this is foreshadowing), I was a bit nauseous and didn't much feel like eating. This nice little affliction carried on through the night and I really did not feel like skiing that next day. OK, no worries. I had a three day pass, so the next day would be great for skiing. Uh, no. I was much sicker the next day. If I weren't such a lifelong devotee of biscuits, I do not think I could even look at one now. I just remember eating a tasty, flaky pile of heaven and then running full speed into the bathroom to surrender it to the porcelain god.
Yikes, I thought. I must be getting so old that I can't deal with the altitude anymore. In retrospect, it is so funny to me that I would have been willing to diagnose myself with Ebola before pregnancy ever even crossed my mind. I was so sure that it was impossible for me to get pregnant (damn your sweet lies Mirena) that my mind didn't even go there. My sister even flippantly said something like, "Maybe you're working on baby number three, hooker" (this is how we talk to each other. It's all in good fun). No, I said, it's not possible. According to Mirena, I have about a .001% chance of getting pregnant. Ha, ha, not an issue.
So, February closed with me expecting my third baby. This would not have been a really big deal if I hadn't just had my second baby. I mean, I have my pride and it definitely took a beating when people would see my large self, my four year old and my infant around town. To me, it seemed that everyone was judging. Is that lady crazy? Doesn't she know how this happens? As an aside, has that particular "joke" ever been funny? Maybe if you are not the pregnant one... I admit, not happily, that I actually at times arranged outings so that I only had one of my kids with me. I guess I thought maybe people could be happy for me if I only had one other small child. Add another baby and all I got were inquisitive stares and curious onlookers. The same looks usually reserved for fat ladies in terry cloth tube tops and goth kids with face piercings. Or, maybe I exaggerate. But, that's how it felt to me.
The rest of the year was a blur. There were trips to Austin, Ft. Worth and Gulf Shores. We had a great time visiting friends and family. The girls had a wonderful time on the beach in Alabama and Blake and I sat in the sand and took in the view. I'm fairly sure that there is very little in life that can compare to watching your children, happy and fearless, running headlong into the surf. Sitting there, I think I was a bit jealous of their unencumbered joy.
In my memory, the summer days passed quickly. But, I suspect that at the time I felt that the heat would never end. I know that being pregnant during the hottest part of the year was difficult for me. Remember, I was still carrying Vivian around for much of the time since she only started walking in April or May. So, she preferred being carried. If you are keeping score, that would mean my old bones were lugging around at least forty extra pounds between the baby and Vivian. And, not that you need reminding, it was at least 95 degrees most days!
Once September hit, the year skipped a few beats. If I think about it, I feel like I was tooling around at a normal speed and then Whoosh! I hit warp speed. Before I knew it, I was told to go to the hospital because Penny was on her way. I was ready, but then maybe not. We dropped the older girls off with a friend and headed for St. Francis. This time though, I was playing it smart. Determined not to languish in the hospital begging for scraps, I demanded to be taken somewhere to eat. All you first timers out there beware. No one will feed you once you go to the maternity ward. So, be sure to hit Taco Bell before you check in. My particular poison was Popeye's. I had a tasty chicken strip meal complete with mashed potatoes and a biscuit (this biscuit thing seems to be a theme).
I think I checked in some time after lunch and Penny arrived at 10:37pm. Most of you know that story, so I won't retell it. But, I guess it was a fit ending to a pregnancy that started out all drama. I'm finally alright with the ordeal, but I wasn't for quite a while. I will boldly admit that I often discounted new moms' feelings of inadequacy or disappointment when their pregnancies ended with C- sections. Oh how I hate it when life chooses to correct my assumptions and destroy my feelings of security. I can truly understand and empathize now. Yes, karma, I have been taken down a peg. You win, you temperamental little bitch.
But, all's well that ends well. If I take stock now, I can say that I started the year with a wonderful husband and two lovely girls. I end the year with that same wonderful husband, three lovely girls, a seven inch scar across my lower abdomen, a healthy fear of ever feeling like I have life figured out, and a really nervous and upset mother (her girls really wore her out this year). I look forward to the future and to an exciting 2010. Because really, if I admit it, 2009 wasn't a bad year. It was a good year disguised as a life lesson and I survived it, mostly intact.