It’s not every day that it snows in Seattle. We are accustomed to rain. Lots and lots of rain. This isn’t to say it never snows in Seattle. But, like the South, many residents just don’t know how to handle, or even
drive, in the snow. When a major snowstorm hit Seattle in 2008 (we are talking mere
inches people!), it practically shut down the city.
Being from the East Coast, you can imagine our shock when
the airport car service I booked weeks in advance didn’t show up on Christmas Eve
morning. Snow hadn’t fallen in days. I called to see
what the problem was. I was told the car couldn’t make it up our tiny hill, the one I
drove up and down every day, snow or not. I was informed I would have to call a
cab or drive myself.
Panic began to set in. We had two hours until our flight
from Seattle to Philly. I was exhausted after a long month at work. All I
wanted to do was see my family for Christmas. I was going to make it come hell
or high water.
We threw our bags into the car and speed down to SeaTac
Airport, a 45-minute drive on a normal, dry day. Somehow we made it in time.
The problem was, there was no parking available. This being Christmas Eve and
all, every spot for miles was taken. We didn’t know what to do.
I hopped out of the car while my husband continued to loop
around airport parking trying to find an open spot. We would pay a premium for
a week in self-parking at the airport garage, but I didn’t care. I was getting
out of there.
I ran to the airline ticket desk to ask if the flight would
be delayed, or if there were any seats on a later flight. “No can do,” the agent
told me in a flat, unfeeling, very un-elf-like voice. I was devastated. As I
watched our flight time come and go I admitted defeat. I cancelled our plane
tickets, took the cancellation penalty and tried to hold my head up as I stomped
back in the car.
My husband tried to help me look on the bright side. We
would have so much fun just laying around the house, getting projects done and
unpacking (we had recently moved into our very first home). My spirits were
down in the dumps. We didn’t even have a tree! Our friends had all left town to
visit their families or were busy in town with them. My Christmas spirit was nonexistent.
I just wanted to crawl under the covers of my warm bed and hide until New Years.
We decided to run to the mall to buy at least one present for
each other. This way we would have a little something to open on Christmas
morning. My husband even bought a small strand of lights to hang up. It helped
a little, but I still found myself crying on Christmas morning, because I had
missed opening presents with my parents, sister, aunts, uncles and cousins. I
love having tons of family around. This two-person Christmas stuff was bullocks!
I slowly walked down the hallway. I looked at my husband and said, “ I think we are going to have a baby.” His grin was all I needed.
All Christmas day we watched movies and unpacked. I fell
asleep on the couch. It wasn’t like me to nap in the middle of the day, but, like I said, it had been a busy month.
The rest of the week we vegged out, caught up on sleep, and I
found myself taking a two-hour nap every afternoon. I was just so exhausted I
didn’t know what else to do. While my hubby played video games, I would pass out
next to him. He didn’t complain. He had the TV all to himself. Maybe I was
getting sick. It would be just my luck. Ba humbug.
New Years Eve came along, and we toasted in the New Years
with friends. I had a sip of bubbly, before we all called it a night, and I
crawled back in bed. This cold was beginning to bring me down. I didn’t want
to push it.
The next morning, I woke up and began to question all of this
exhaustion. Sure, we had been busy at work and buying a house, and yes, maybe
it was that cold coming on. I wasn’t sniffly and my throat felt fine, sure
signs of one of my annual winter “could be a sinus infection” sick spells
flaring up. Then again, we’d been trying to get pregnant for six months. We
hadn’t been successful, but we weren’t panicking yet either.
I plopped down on the couch next to my husband and suggested
we head to Target. Once there, we stood in the pregnancy test aisle for hours it
seemed like. I had no idea which one to get. No one ever tells you these
things! We grabbed two that seemed reputable. We had at least heard about them on
Back home, I peed on that stick with excitement and
trepidation. I didn’t know what I wanted it to say. We wanted kids, but I was
terrified of giving birth.
I set the timer for three minutes like the package told me.
I turned back to the test, and there were already two pink lines. What?! Wait.
Did that mean I was pregnant? I scanned the directions again. Could those lines
really pop up that fast? Was I that pregnant?
Apparently I was. I took the other test — a digital one — just
to be sure. No sooner had the pee hit the stick did it say “Pregnant.”
My tragic Christmas story ended up being one of the best moments of our lives.
I slowly walked down the hallway. I looked at my husband and
said, “ I think we are going to have a baby.” His grin was all I needed. He
gave me a big hug. I told him I had to call the doctor’s office. He reminded me
it was New Years Day. We sat for a while. I panicked inside and out loud. Could
we really do this? Well, it was a bit late now.
My doctor confirmed what I knew was true, and she set me up
with the best OB/Gyn I could possibly ask for in Seattle. She answered every
insane question I had. (Can you give birth naturally with a broken leg? Yes.)
She shared silly YouTube videos with me when I was freaking out in the office
about what was to come.
What ever happened to those New Years Eve plane tickets back
east? Well, we decided to surprise our families with a quick weekend visit to
announce I was pregnant at the end of January. Thanks to off-season prices, I
ended up paying $20 more for our tickets. Better yet, my sister was leaving for
India in February to teach for six months. I got to tell her she was going to
be an aunt for the first time shortly after she got back. She was thrilled, and
we couldn’t have thought of a better way to announce our news.
My tragic Christmas story ended up being one of the best
moments of our lives. I know exactly when I realized I was pregnant with my
oldest son. New Years Day is a hard date to forget.