I realized I’ve never really written about my marriage and that part of my life. I was with her for right at 12 years, and while things ended about as badly as they could have, the marriage overall was pretty good. We were both kids when we met. I was 23 and she was 17. We dated until she turned 18, and then pretty much moved in together. The first three years were fun. We moved to Memphis where I went to graduate school, and we had our routines that we both loved. Our favorite was our weekly trip to the zoo. We got to know several of the animals pretty well, and some of them even recognized us when we came by.
Then, we got married, and the first thing that happened to us as a married couple was a miscarriage. She blamed me for it because we had moved back to East Tennessee after I received my Master’s, and she had wanted to stay in Memphis. She felt like the move caused the miscarriage, and maybe it did. That first year of marriage was rough.
Then, we worked things out and got back to being very good friends. We decided to try again to start a family and found out that she had some fertility issues that needed to be resolved. That first pregnancy was a total fluke. We spent three years trying with very little success until one morning, she woke me up and told me that she had a positive test. We were both elated. I bet my feet didn’t touch the ground for a week. A couple of days before Christmas, she started spotted pretty badly, so we rushed to the OB/GYN, and he broke the bad news to us that we had lost that one, too. It took two weeks for the miscarriage to happen, and having to go through Christmas and New Year’s like that was a pain I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
The next four or five months were bleak. The doctor convinced us that if we really wanted children, that was the best time. A woman’s body is very fertile after a miscarriage because it still believes it’s pregnant. So we took January off and then got back on the treatments in February, March, and April, but we had no luck. In May, we decided to take time off from the treatments. Emotionally, we were both drained, and the idea of another disappointment was too much. She continued charting her body temperature, however, and on the day of ovulation, she asked if I wanted to give it a shot.
If I wrote a book like this, it would be laughed off as too much, but of course, we got pregnant. On July 4, 2003 she started spotting again, much like before. That year, if memory serves, the Fourth was on a Friday, so we had to go the entire weekend without knowing anything. She was convinced that she was losing this one, too, but somehow, I knew we weren’t. Not sure how I knew, but a little voice was telling me that everything would be okay. Still, it was a painfully long weekend.
July 7, 2003, we went to his office for an ultrasound. That day will stay with me forever. Few sounds have ever been sweeter than Collin’s little heartbeat fluttering away at 140 bpm. I became a man that day. I was 30 years old.
I’ll write more about the next seven months later. For now, I’m gonna go enjoy that memory.