For the introduction to this series, click here.
I was all set to go. Bags were packed and ready to be loaded into the car: mine and Seth’s right away that morning, and Jim’s later that day.
The plan was for Seth and I to leave Nashville and drive to Louisville, KY, to visit with my friend Daina and her twin boys, Ari and Greg. When Jim would get off work that afternoon, he would drive up to Louisville, and pick Seth and I up, and we’d continue on to Ohio, leaving my car at Daina’s until we made our return trip the following weekend.
And wouldn’t you know it? Complex as it was, our plan went off without a hitch.
Seth and I had an uneventful trip to Daina’s. We even got there early enough that I was still in coffee mode, and Daina brewed me a yummy cappuccino. We visited, in spite of Seth climbing all over the baby paraphernalia and said Ari and Greg being a smidge cranky.
We broke for a McDonald’s run around 12:30 – a quarter pounder for Daina and a 10-piece nugget meal for Seth and me to share. I remember sitting in the drive-thru, debating Coca-Cola or Sprite? Coke or Sprite? I went with Coke.
Daina’s husband Jeff arrived home from work early enough that we got to spend some time visiting before Jim arrived. Holding one of the twins, while I held the other, and Daina prepared dinner bottles, and Seth ran underfoot, Jeff began to chuckle.
“I’m going to laugh my *** off when you get to do this [meaning handle an infant and toddler] all over again in August.”
I didn’t think it was funny, and told him as much. It was no secret to Daina and Jeff that I was still getting used to the idea of this unplanned pregnancy.
“Jeff,” I told him, “if I could undo this, I would.”
Several hours later, as Jim and I drove northeast towards Ohio, we decided to detour to Carrollton, KY. We stopped at Burger King to change Seth and get him into his pajamas, and to grab dinner.
I casually mentioned to Jim as we ordered that I couldn’t remember feeing the baby move much that day – even after my caffeinated Coke at lunch – and that he should probably buy me a strawberry milkshake – you know, to wake up Itty Bitty.
Around 11:00 PM, when we stopped for gas and Mt. Dew at our usual exit between Cincinnati and Dayton, I mentioned again to Jim that I still wasn’t feeling much movement, and we brushed it off as Itty Bitty’s way of killing time on the boring drive up I-75; after all, if I hadn’t agreed to help keep Jim awake, I would have just gone to sleep, too.
Jim and I talked about everything and nothing as we completed the last leg of the journey home – our future plans to adopt, what we might name our second son (not Sawyer; sorry, Jen), the never ending sell-the-truck-to-get-an-SUV debate, the itinerary for our week in Toledo.
The last 150 miles fell away under the tires of the F250, and we pulled into the driveway just as the first raindrops of the early morning began to fall.
We settled Seth into his crib in the back bedroom, and collapsed into our own bed at precisely 1:00 AM (which had been our goal all along). I knew Jim would drift off to sleep almost immediately, but as the thunder began to boom and lighting flashes sent shadows bouncing across the sheet under which Itty Bitty rested, I turned to my husband…
“Jim….I still haven’t felt the baby.”
He didn’t respond, and I didn’t repeat. It was easier to let the silence speak for us both.
To be continued…