Before we go any further, I feel it’s important to go back a few steps and tell the story of how we got where we are today. First of all, the story of Kaden cannot be told without some mention of the extremely traumatic pregnancy that led to the miracle of his birth. Second, his mommy is somewhat of a frustrated writer who’s probably never going to actually write that memoir she’s been contemplating since age 12 and she could use a little cathartic release at this point. Finally, and most importantly, it’s possible that someday another woman who is going through an extremely difficult pregnancy (perhaps involving cleft lip and palate) will happen upon this blog and take some comfort in knowing that she’s not alone – the way I did when I searched the internet for something (anything) that would make me feel a little better during the most gut wrenching and transformative time of my life.
Briefly, here’s the back story. Kaden’s father and I met in college 12 years ago and have been together ever since. We’re both lawyers, though I no longer practice, and we finally settled down in New York after several years on the West Coast. Though I always wanted to have children in a vague sort of conceptual way, there always seemed to be just a few more things we needed to do before I would be “ready” to be a mother.
We found out that I was pregnant in November 2007. I thought I had a virus. My husband looked at me with a big smile and said “You’re pregnant. I bet you.” He was right. Though it took us by surprise, we were both extremely happy. I had all these neurotic reservations up until the time I knew that I was pregnant. They all just melted away in the fog of happiness that ensued. We did all the nauseating things that expecting couples do: talked to my belly, bought baby name books, made plans to convert the spare room into a nursery. I remember going out to dinner with my best friend when I was almost 5 months pregnant (just starting to show) and telling her how extremely happy I was, how, for the first time in my life, I was feeling totally and completely happy. I should have known to be suspicious. Things were just feeling way too good . . .