We met at the Italian Village.
It was a small family owned restaurant with simple tables and wood paneling. There was a salad bar and an arcade in the back. You went there for thin-sliced pizza and spaghetti.
We met Wayne and Cathy at one of the vinyl booths. Nervousness hovered over the table. We were excited, but couldn't help feeling nervous. If this didn't work out, then what? The clock was ticking. We weren't unreasonable but not willing to compromise.
Their daughter, Kelsie, was with them. We loved that. They were unable to have a second child after her and that's why they were considering adoption. Kelsie was charming. Over breadsticks and spaghetti, our concerns were laid to rest.
We found our parents.
We told the social worker. She started the process. We still had many months to go, but at least we knew where we were going. The hard part was over. We had a destination. Now to get there.
We told friends but, for the most part, kept the pregnancy quiet. She hid the growing baby bump in baggy sweaters and sweat pants. We kept our daily schedule, kept up with college, and signed up for Lamaze classes. Childbirth was still quite a bit natural at that point. This was before epidurals were vogue. There were drugs but we interested in avoiding them as much as possible.
The classes mostly taught us what was going to happen. There was a mucus plug. There was water that would break and 100% effacement and 10 cm of dilation. There was breach, the umbilical cord, a travel bag that needed to be packed. There would be pushing. But first, there would be breathing.
Breathing was our main defense.
A series of short breaths and cleansing breaths. I would coach her through the labor pain, help her focus, keep her present, feed her ice chips, rub her legs, her back, her arms, hands, neck, whatever she needed. She would be on the front line. I would be support.
We made it through the semester. When he due date neared, we returned home. Heather's mother would fly back from Arizona for the birth. In the meantime, she stayed at her dad's house. I slept at my parents. There were some difficulties with those arrangements, but all in all we received the support we needed.
Michael arrived in June.