Defying Expectations and Forcing Adaptation


expectationsLife with a 20-month-old has been a perpetual lesson in adapting and going with the flow. From the get-go, this kid has zigged when we were expecting a zag.

I was prepared for at least six months of trying before getting pregnant, and I saw the plus sign after six weeks. Knowing my weak stomach, I thought morning sickness would indicate my pregnancy, like in nearly every movie or TV show with a pregnancy that I’d ever seen. And just when I thought, “Hey, I’m feeling pretty good,” the nausea started.

Lying on the bathroom floor one weekend in between the time I found out I was pregnant and when I was able to see my doctor, sick as anything, I thought, “Maybe it will be twins, so I never have to do this again.” It wasn’t.

I thought, “Maybe it’s a girl because of how sick I am.” He’s not.

I thought, “Let’s get to week 13. Once I hit the second trimester, the morning sickness will disappear like a wand, like with my sister’s pregnancy.” I was sick every day until week 20.

I thought that I’d be able to continue the Zumba classes and light cardio I was doing before getting pregnant. See the previous line to know how that went.

I thought the baby would be early since there were so many comments about how low I was carrying. He was two weeks late.

I thought the baby would come in under the wire of my self-imposed “become a mother before I’m 30” ridiculous deadline. Instead, we now share a birthday.

The Evening Primrose oil, lunges, and jumping jacks did nothing to induce labor, so our plan for a natural delivery in the hospital’s birthing center was replaced by an induction, constant fetal monitoring, and none of the walking or water labor I had prepared and planned for. After 12 hours of Pitocin and only 6cm dilated, my midwife suggested the epidural I was too stubborn to ask for (in hindsight, it was truly the greatest 30th birthday gift I could have given myself).

The next morning, at three-and-a-half hours of pushing, the next midwife on duty called for a consult to see if I needed a c-section. Within a half-hour, one of the Labor and Delivery goddesses, er, nurses, suggested the position change that led to my son being born.

The zigging continued after birth. 

My husband has brown eyes, mine are hazel, and our son’s are, of course, clear blue. While his curls copy those we both had as young children, his dark blonde locks say, “Take that, dominant gene,” to my husband’s dark brown hair.

Nursing was tough, and pumping when I went back to work was always a slight disappointment, with that journey ending a few months short of the year-long goal I had set for myself before he was born. 

Knowing that baby boys advance slower than baby girls, I was not expecting him to be walking on his own at 9 1/2 months.  

He was routinely climbing out of his crib and needed to be moved into a toddler bed at less than 18 months, but it took him two nights to adjust and stay in bed all night.

His comprehension and language skills amaze me every day, outside of his complete defiance at “no,” “get down,” and “don’t touch that.”

He is a strong child in both physical and mental strength. While my husband and I both contributed to the stubbornness, we’re baffled at his completely boundless energy. There’s no tiring him out; he goes until he stops.

And those strong-willed ways have been exactly what I needed. I needed to be more spontaneous, less attached to how I expected things would go. I have a history of being too tied to rules and plans and what better way than parenthood to show you that you truly cannot control the future.


  1. Your beautiful, sweet Anthony is an absolute delight!!!! I look forward to many, many more occasions all together!!! Happy Mother’s Day to you!!!! xoxo

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