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A Father’s Day Tale (1/3): 2015

After Danny and I got married, I had a list of places I wanted to travel to before we had kids; memories I wanted to make just the two of us before we jumped into the next chapter of our lives. It consisted mostly of places Danny had traveled to and enjoyed and places I had wanted to see: Myrtle Beach, Universal Studios, London; just to name a few. On our one year anniversary, we decided to check one of those locations off of my list.

I took another step into adulthood and booked our Myrtle Beach flights and hotel. The pride I had felt quickly diminished when we boarded the airplane and I realized that I did not book us seats sitting next to one another. We were separated by an aisle. I could not reach over and grab his hand every time there was a tiny bump in our flight (an indication the plane is going down). Danny had a subtle look of relief as he realized he would be able to enjoy this flight. I, however, must have had a look of sheer panic as my seatmate leaned over and offered me a Xanax before the flight even took off. I declined.

It was after this trip that I let go of my list of destinations before a baby. I quickly realized that we would not survive a flight to London. I also acknowledged I didn’t want to wait any longer to start our family, and neither did Danny. That Fall we set out to make our family grow.

With unspoken expectations, we naively jumped in. The first month came with negative results. We heard that it could take several months, so we were bummed but not bothered. The next month… it’s hard for me to put into words.

November 4th had been marked in my planner for weeks. It was the first day I could get an accurate pregnancy test for that next month. I was planning on taking one that night when I got home. I went into work distracted by this little anticipation. After seeing my morning students I checked my phone; I had received a text from my oldest brother. My dad had visited with our childhood pastor and was not doing well. I left work and went straight to his house.

My dad was battling lung cancer. He had gone into remission shortly before our wedding the year before. But it came back, and very aggressively. We were told he didn’t have much longer to live. I was coming to terms with what this meant.

When I arrived, he was being transferred to hospice via an ambulance; something I was not expecting. My heart dropped. Within hours he was surrounded by family and in passing, relieved of the pain he had been experiencing. I spent that night with my mom and brothers in mourning.

The next day, my brothers and I visited with family and made preparations. Mentally and emotionally exhausted, I went home at the end of the day. The pregnancy test was lingering in the back of my mind and I took one before hopping into the shower to wash off the past couple of days. I was anticipating another negative month and wanted to rip off the band-aide while I was still feeling emotionally raw. I fell to my knees and cried loudly and hysterically when I saw the positive sign. I couldn’t reconcile this news with the events of the previous day. I was a mess.

I knew I couldn’t navigate the loss of my dad and the news of being pregnant alone. That night I threw out the plans I had made to surprise Danny and told him. There was excitement and mourning. Joyful anticipation and tearful remembering. The next few weeks were difficult as I went about life with half of my emotional state known to others and the other half kept secret. But I had Danny. He comforted me when I needed comforting. He celebrated with me when I felt like celebrating.

We were blessed with a healthy pregnancy. Each week was exciting. I read about the baby’s development and enjoyed each new change of my growing belly. At Christmas we announced our pregnancy and celebrated with all of our loved ones. We eagerly awaited our little fire cracker’s arrival in July.

June eventually came. I went to my last monthly appointment at 35 and half weeks. It was at this visit we discovered that Olive was breech. I tried a couple of internet recommendations for getting a baby to naturally flip. Shockingly, none of them worked. (hopefully you can sense the sarcasm). But I had to try.

Four days later, I found myself reflecting on my first Father’s Day without a dad, while also looking forward to seeing Danny with our little Olive. There were tears and anticipation. I was 36 weeks and we had only one month to go. These thoughts and more were swimming in my head when my water broke.

Olive Evadean Lindsay was born June 21, 2015 at 1:22 PM, 7lbs. 1oz. She ushered in the first day of summer and spent her and Danny’s first Father’s Day together while bringing a brighter light to my first without mine. She is a beautiful blessing that brings us so much joy.

There is more to her birth story, which I will share in a later post. But this is a part of her story, our story, that I’ve wanted to share. A part that I’m not sure many are aware of.

When I shared my story of how Danny and I met, I said I didn’t feel that it was by chance or mere coincidence; but an example of God’s hand in my life. For me, this part of Olive’s story is not a coincidence either, but another example of God’s hand in my story. It connects me to my dad. It connects me to God. And I hope sharing this story, it helps me to connect with you.

God is good.

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