At the onset of this pregnancy I joined a Mom's group for May 2017 Babies on Facebook. It's been a weird experience - there was nothing like it when I was pregnant with the older kids, and I have at times really appreciated being a part of it and at other times been very frustrated with it. One of the things I do truly enjoy is what we call our "Mom of the Day" posts, which is basically where we share our own personal stories about ourselves, our partners, our children, family and lives in general. It's actually been really fun learning about all these ladies across Canada who are sitting in the same pregnant boat (at roughly the same stage of things) even if we're all at different points in our lives otherwise.
Recently it was my turn so I decided that I'd post here what I shared there. This blog is all about our family so I'm taking this chance to go right back to the beginning and sharing the basics of how we became the Corner Table Family. So...
My husband (Heli Dad) and I met shortly after I turned 16 years old. He was just shy of his 17th birthday and both of us had been ‘hired’ as volunteer Jr Counsellors for a summer camp program run by the local YMCA in nearby national park. At the end of the camp we exchanged phone numbers and within a week had plans for our first date. Despite living in two different small towns and attending different high schools, we quickly became an exclusive couple and most everyone who knew us viewed us as high school sweethearts.
We stood beside one another as we both lost grandmothers to old age and disease, and Heli Dad was one of my key supports when one of my oldest, closest friends passed away unexpectedly. Through teen rebellions and acting out, high school drama and arguments, we stood firmly at each other’s back and counted on the other for constant support. It’s safe to say that we became one another’s best friend at the same the same time we were falling in love with each other. I’m not sure whether anyone expected that we would stick together for the long haul, but as with many high school romances it was a highly emotional, intense relationship during those days that was very often swamped with both high and low points, punctuated by periods of drama, depression and sometimes out of control hormones.
After our respective graduations from high school we both ended up living in the same city where he went to work full-time in construction, and I jumped right in to full-time studies at the University working towards my (BSc) Biochemistry degree. We moved in together shortly after I finished my first year of university and began to further meld our lives. Heli Dad began his training to become a commercial helicopter pilot about the same time I decided to take a year off of school to work full-time and to try to further pursue a career as a professional dancer through auditions and a more intense practice schedule. That year was busy and full of many wonderful and heartbreaking things. Both our older sisters got married, I suffered a major injury that effectively ended any chance of a professional dancing career, and my grandfather died from pancreatic cancer and liver failure. At the end of that year we decided that we needed a fresh start in a new place and decided to move away. We ended up in BC's lower mainland and there is where our life as we know it now basically began.
Not long after our arrival in BC we learned that I was pregnant and we both faced a number hard choices. We knew that any flight job he would be able to get at the completion of his training would have him away from home more then he would be there and in BC we were completely cut off from family support after the birth of our baby. Ultimately we made the decision to move home before the baby was born because at least that way I would have both our families around to help me if needed while he away for work. Our daughter Princess was born in May 2004 with all her grandparents, aunts, uncles and assorted other family members waiting anxiously in the waiting room.
Heli Dad and I became engaged on New Years Day 2005, after months of conversation, argument, joy in the form of our little Princess, and the extreme surprise that despite using both birth control and condoms I was pregnant again. We were ready and excited to be married by this point (we’d been together for more than 5 years already) but discovering that another baby was on the way certainly played in to the timing. Losing that baby just days after becoming engaged put a damper on our enthusiasm, temporarily, but we came accept the loss and moved as best we could. After our wedding in August 2005 we decided that we were ready and wanted to try another child.
Our son Gamer Boy was born in October 2006 and rounded out the family nicely. When we learned we were pregnant again in late 2007 we were surprised, but couldn’t think of anything more perfect than another baby in the family. Angel Face joined our ranks in August 2008 and made us a crew of 5. I was lucky through each of my pregnancies and deliveries not to have any serious problems or complications, however my doctors were concerned after Angel Face's birth about the toll 3 pregnancies in 4 years had had on my body and strongly suggested that Heli Dad and I not even consider more children for a few years. Which honestly at that point with a newborn, a 4-year old and a not-quite-2-year old, was a suggestion we were more than happy to comply with.
And life continued. Unable to find and maintain full-time flight work, Heli Dad turned again to working in construction and continues in that field to date. For myself the course has been somewhat more fluid - full of curves, u-turns, detours and even completely new roads. Through the years being home as much as possible with the kids has been the primary goal and objective, but I have worked outside of the house as: a dance and gymnastics instructor, cheerleading coach, waitress, a call-center customer service rep, receptionist and office manager. I’ve been an aspiring author for about a decade and have been blogging for almost the same length of time. These days I primarily work remotely from home for my family’s farm and my mother’s massage therapy business doing office and book work, marketing, and advertising. I’m an Avon Sales and Leadership Rep running my business from home, and I also continue to work diligently on my writing always with the goal of publishing my work (hopefully sooner rather than later).
Now here we sit: a couple of 30-somethings who’ve been together more than ½ their lives with a nearly 13-year old, a 10 1/2-year and an "almost"-9-year old, and we’re about to (re)embark on the incredible journey having a baby again. More than once we’ve been asked “Are you crazy?” or “You were more than ½ done with the parenting of kids gig, why are you starting all over again?” All we can say or do is smile, shrug and tell them that we enjoyed the first round so much we decided to give it another go around – at least one last time.