Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

The Last Day Before Being a Mom, and Then

On the last day of normal, my husband took a photo of my swollen belly, just before we went to dinner.

New Parents, are you ready? I

All of the photos he takes are blurry.

We ordered extravagantly from the chichi menu at our non-kid-friendly favorite restaurant. “Can you believe that tomorrow, at this time, we’ll have a baby?” I said.

“Let’s keep us,” he said. And I agreed.

Before Children

But the us that we knew no longer existed, and once we met our son, we forgot.

We became a new us.

New Parents: Baby poop will surprise you for months and months

On the last day of the world, my son was two weeks old, and my husband stood in front of the mirror, post shower, with a towel wrapped around his waist. I went to kiss his shoulder and froze. The mole that I’d traced over and over, for the past however many years and lifetimes, had become black and flat. “You have to go to the doctor. Now.” I said.

He did, and the doctor said that there was no time to wait. It was cancer.

It was the end of the world when my husband had surgery while I tried to function on two hour bites of sleep between baby feedings, worries, and wondering how I’d raise our son if his father died.

On the last day of normal, we went to the hospital, and I cried, and told my husband’s cancer doctor that I cannot do this without him and to just fix him.

And, he did. Enough, for now.

It was the first day of our new world the day that somebody told me “It’s NOT just a speech delay.” It was the last day of the world when I spent years trying to figure out whether my son has autism or developmental delays or both or something different from either. Of trying to figure out whether what he is or why he’s delayed matters, when it comes to how we’re helping him. It doesn’t, by the way. Every day is the first day of the world. Milestones, progress, and life. For all of us.

It was the last day of the world when my son started mainstreamed kindergarten, and I cried the kind of tears that leave unseen scars in your face, worrying about him. It was the first day of the world when I found Grace There.

It was the last day of the world when my son was three months old, and, while sitting on my front porch, alone, praying to the stars, my past kicked me in the face. It reminded me of the night – years and years ago – that I prayed to all of the Gods, saying “Please. Give my life to a woman out there, dying, who has children because I never will be able to.”

That I sent that prayer out there… That’s the end of the world.

That I do not know how to take it back is, as well. It haunts me and causes me to wake in chills and sweat, from deep sleep in the middle of the night.

If you know how to take back a prayer, meant at the time but not meant now, please tell me because it becoming true would be the end of this world, for me. And I’m not ready yet.

After all, my world has only just begun.

On the first day of the world, a child was born.

On the first day of the world, my child was born.

New parents at home with baby boy

I became more than I was and a part of the place between stardust and hope and fear and all of the scary but humbling and magical betweens.

The first day of the world was today, when I woke up and realized that it’s the first day of the next part of everything and that whatever I regret and whatever I miss and that whatever I frown over is from yesterday, and that all of those things are part of the last day.

I sucked a little bit today. Tucker came home from school two hours early, and I had to work. I felt guilty when I was with him and I felt guilty when I was with my keyboard and my conference calls.

Tonight, though, on the first day of the rest of the world, I’m going to say fuck that, and know right now is the last day of the world.

And that because it’s the last, it’s also the first.

The last day of the world is often the first - Finding Ninee

***

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post, where writers and bloggers gather to complete a sentence. This week’s is “When it comes to the end of the world…”
Your hosts: Me (Kristi from Finding Ninee)
Co-hosts: Nicki Gilbert of Redboots and Jena Schwartz of Jena Schwartz. Jena’s this week’s sentence thinker-upper. She runs writing groups (you can sign up on her site – the groups are wonderful), which is where this sentence came from. Please take a moment to check Nicki and Jena out if you don’t already know them. They’re super fabulous.

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  • Nicki - Sigh. I can’t get enough of this. I’ve read it over and over… then and now again. Such a beautiful, calming perspective. I feel like I can breathe for the first time today after reading this. “The first day of the world was today.” Thank you darling Kristi.
    And how wonderful it is to host FTSF with you and Jena. Love and gratitude. xxxApril 16, 2015 – 10:04 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw thank you Nicki! Love and gratitude to you and Jena for agreeing to co-host. Truly, thank you. I hope the first day of the world was a good one for you today!April 17, 2015 – 8:23 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - I totally get the first and last days of the world situations — we’ve had a few of those and they can be both really, really good and really, really bad. Either way, it’s like you said: the last day of the world is often the first. Yes, so true! And your pictures above? Always a treat, especially the one with the thought bubbles. 🙂April 16, 2015 – 10:26 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Yeah, to the really really good and really really bad… Thanks for liking the photos 🙂 And for your awesome-as-always comment 🙂April 17, 2015 – 11:09 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - I have just recently started thinking of lasts as firsts – do you think that comes with age? How breathtaking to follow you on this journey of your life that you tell with your words.April 16, 2015 – 10:35 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Dana,
      I dunno if it comes from age but probably. When we’re young, it’s so easy to just focus on the next first, or on the heartbreaking ending of what’s last that is hard to remember later… or something like that.April 17, 2015 – 11:11 pmReplyCancel

  • Sarah - OK, Robert’s mole. Never knew that, and though it seems entirely beside the point, could the timing have been worse? Good that it’s fixed. Enough for now.
    Yeah. Birth is the end of one world. A familiar and easier one but not one I’d want back either.April 16, 2015 – 10:35 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Sarah,
      Yeah, the timing was horrible. It’s okay enough for now… which is enough, for now. Isn’t it weird how having a baby changes us so much? I guess it’s not weird – it’s how It Should Be but still… the things we think we’ll be like…April 17, 2015 – 11:20 pmReplyCancel

  • La Dale - Ugh, this got me thinking so much about how Johanna’s birth was the end of so many things for me, including my mother’s life, but the beginning of Christ pouring down his grace into my life. And then there were tears. Darn you lady for making me sob! Great post!April 16, 2015 – 11:01 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Sorry for the tears, La Dale! But it’s true right? I mean the new beginnings are so much more blessed than the last days. The last days should be loved and appreciated too, but the new ones? Are now! 🙂April 17, 2015 – 11:28 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle AKA Crumpets and Bollocks - I too have had many last days of one world before beginning another, and all 3 of my girls coming into this world was one of those days. Great post. So glad you were able to notice your husband’s mole. You probably saved his life.April 16, 2015 – 11:03 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Michelle,
      Thanks! I know about the last days – you’ve had a lot. I’ve had a lot. I guess we all have and yeah, I’m really really REALLY glad I noticed his mole, too. Even if the timing kinda sucked.April 17, 2015 – 11:29 pmReplyCancel

  • Jena - I am so lucky to be here with you. On the last day, and the first. You inspire me so.April 16, 2015 – 11:07 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I’m so lucky you said yes to co-hosting, Jena. Thank you. For you, for your groups, for your words.April 17, 2015 – 11:30 pmReplyCancel

  • April G - Beautiful. So touching. I’m still not sure which way I’ll take this prompt. I can definitely agree that the birth of my son really changed my life and the last day of my old life was gone and now my life is anew.April 16, 2015 – 11:17 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - April, you took the prompt exactly where you should have – to you and your life and your sweet baby’s photo! And yeah, birth changes us, so so much…April 17, 2015 – 11:31 pmReplyCancel

  • ruchira - Wow! just plain wow!
    I so absolutely loved your take on this prompt.

    So beautiful and so apt and so everything!

    xoxoApril 16, 2015 – 11:36 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you so much Ruchira! I’m so happy to read that you loved it. That means the world to me!April 17, 2015 – 11:32 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me - You always manage to express what I feel. Spot on, my friend. I like to look at life this way. ..every end is also a beginning. I have found that to be true over and over many times.April 17, 2015 – 1:08 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I love that we feel the same feels, Lisa! We MUST meet up at Dutch Wonderland this summer! And yeah, I like to remember that each ending is a beginning as well. It makes them easier and more beautiful, I think.April 17, 2015 – 11:33 pmReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - I read this shaking my head and getting this so very much. Seriously, it was most definitely the first day of my world when I had both my girls. And the guilt on days when they are off or out early is so real,but also starting to see more and more worthy of me walking away from work to just enjoy being in the moment.April 17, 2015 – 2:05 amReplyCancel

  • Kelly McKenzie - “And that because it’s the last, it’s also the first.” That is just the very best way to look at all of this exhausting, hilarious, inspiring, mixed up chaotic craziness that we call life. As for your prayer – well, damn. May it be eons and eons before it comes true. When you’re ready. And on your terms.April 17, 2015 – 2:08 amReplyCancel

  • Kathy Radigan - You really got me with this one Kristi. I so relate to that feeling on so many levels. Just beautiful!April 17, 2015 – 2:19 amReplyCancel

  • Jessica Herndon Worgul - Powerful and beautiful. Also, I love the pictures of your family!April 17, 2015 – 3:45 amReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Rogers - It’s already taken back. These things don’t get held against you – it’s gone. Done. Finished and dealt with. That’s kinda the point.April 17, 2015 – 6:09 amReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - Those words!!! The last day of the world is often the first. Wow. This was so beautiful. I wish I had thought of such a way to finish the sentence. Smh at the awesomeness of this post and the meme. Love it.

    Btw we’ve talked about this before about how we think unrationale and the worst of things might happen, so I totally felt for you when Robert had his surgery. I know you were thinking way beyond necessary. 😉April 17, 2015 – 6:41 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Kenya! Still time to link up, my friend! And um what is smh??? Gawd, I’m a moron when it comes to that stuff. You, however are fleek (on fleek??). It’s true though right? I mean the last day stuff? And I know what you mean about thinking about the worst of things and thank you for getting where I went with the dumb thoughts… yup. Exactly.April 17, 2015 – 11:35 pmReplyCancel

  • Bev - This is just absolutely gorgeous. There’s so many things in life that can completely change the course of things, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. It may feel like the end of your world, but it can also mean the beginning of a new and different life. Beautiful take on the prompt!April 17, 2015 – 7:14 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you, Bev! I LOVED your take on the prompt and thank you for your sweet comment. It’s so true that the end of our worlds are the beginnings of new lives.April 17, 2015 – 11:39 pmReplyCancel

  • Allie - Kristi! How adorable are you with the big ole belly?!?!?! And I don’t think I’ve ever seen a picture of your husband? So handsome. And, as always, beautiful words. Succinct and eloquent – and inspiring. I kind of needed them today. Today is the first day off crazy season, and I shall change my attitude and be grateful for the chaos. Now I’m off to the special Olympics, in the rain. And I will not curse the powers that be, as the rain pelts down on me, for not cancelling. Should be interesting – according to B’s teacher, everyone is complaining that B shouldn’t be able to rub the 50 yard dash this year, because he’s now a professional!April 17, 2015 – 8:43 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Allie! Are you kidding that people are saying Bear can’t run because he’s now a “professional???” People are so weird (and mean and stupid) sometimes. Argh! Sorry about the rain though. It’s not fun any time you have to be out in it unless it’s on purpose (like if you’re drinking wine and decide to dance in it which I only maybe did once in NYC with my friend and it wasn’t dancing, it was running in Central Park)… You’ve never seen a pic of Robert? Wow. He is handsome. 🙂 And thank you!April 17, 2015 – 11:41 pmReplyCancel

  • Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom - Another moving post. I related most to your husband’s cancer. I just had a wide local excision to have an evolving mole removed. As I went to the doctor’s appts and outpatient surgery and then recuperated, I could only laugh every time I remembered what one doctor told me. “You will not die from melanoma now,” he said. “Because you will find it early.” Double edged sword, that.April 17, 2015 – 9:14 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Katy,
      I’m so sorry about your mole removal recently. It’s SO scary and finding it early… well… yes, huge double edged sword.April 17, 2015 – 11:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Anna Fitfunner - Thanks for this post. It makes me use my brain in unaccustomed ways. I agree that endings can be beginnings, and that is how life progresses. I’m not sure about your momentary conversation with God. I don’t think that we can trade away our lives like that. Each of us has the power to be a blessing to the world, and owe it to ourselves and our families to explore and realize our potential. You are certainly growing and inspiring!April 17, 2015 – 1:11 pmReplyCancel

  • Chris Carter - No worries about that prayer, sweet friend. It is already gone, with your first breath of hope. I’ve had that same prayer many times…

    Every end of the world can take us to new heights of living really. Funny how that happens- from the deepest depths to the greatest heights. I’m so glad your hubs is okay. And You found grace and giving in Kindergarten. And that Tucker is growing up beautifully, just as he is. And for second chances… oh there are so many of them that feel like the first day of the world. Thank God for them.April 17, 2015 – 2:37 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Chris! You’ve had that same prayer???? Thank you!!! For real???
      And yes, from the deepest depths to the greatest heights. I love that expression. I’m glad that Robert is okay too and that we did find grace in kindergarten. I wasn’t sure that’d be the case, but it’s been wonderful. Thank God for all of the first days. And you.April 17, 2015 – 11:54 pmReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - Love the pictures so much! And “the last day of the world is often the first” is an amazing statement, full of all kinds of layers and interesting ways it can be applied to life. Love it!April 17, 2015 – 4:26 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Elizabeth! Here’s to life and all of the first days ahead of us!April 17, 2015 – 11:55 pmReplyCancel

  • Anne McMullan Erickson - I love the see-saw-ness of this post, Kristi. Captures the way life is made up of so many fits and starts. I also appreciate the touches of humor in the pics, and how the pics you share here bring it all full circle. xoApril 17, 2015 – 7:17 pmReplyCancel

  • Marcia @ Menopausal Mother - You never cease to amaze me with what you write from these “finish the sentence” prompts. This is another example of one of your thought-provoking, beautifully written, poignant posts. I hope that from now on, every day will feel like a new world, filled with love and so much happiness!April 18, 2015 – 12:29 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Marcia, you should link up with us one of these weeks! I need to post the new schedule… sigh. I’m so behind. Anyway thank yoU!!April 18, 2015 – 11:02 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ Golden Spoons - Beautiful, Kristi! Interesting to think that each and every day could be the last day of something AND the first day of something else – maybe something better. And, that. sometimes, what we think is the end of the world really isn’t – just the beginning of a new one. I don’t talk much about religion, but your line about taking back that prayer got to me. The God I believe in doesn’t do “take backs” because he doesn’t have to. When you prayed that prayer, he knew what was in your future – he knew about Tucker and what a strong, beautiful mama you would be. He knows now that you didn’t mean that prayer – or that you don’t mean it anymore. He hears the spoken and the unspoken. He knows. No need for take backs. Let that go, XOXOApril 18, 2015 – 9:03 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you Lisa! I think it’s true – what feels like the end of the world, at the time, is so often the beginning of whatever’s coming next, but also can be scary and painful. Thank you too for your thoughts on prayers and “take backs” and how He doesn’t have to… I’m trying to let that go. It’s hard though, that I ever even thought it… but again, thank you.April 18, 2015 – 11:34 pmReplyCancel

  • alisa/icescreammama - love this. so touching. it’s all about the firsts and the lasts.. but there’s also a lot in the middle. 🙂April 18, 2015 – 9:16 amReplyCancel

  • Katia - Wow.
    I just read this with my breath held, as I often read your posts, and you made me feel so many things that I feel depleted of words. I think that this is such an incredible interpretation of the prompt and every word hit home. I believe the old prayer was forgotten or dismissed. My child prays for so many sily things as have I. Those we pray to understand. Giant hug to you.April 18, 2015 – 7:52 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Katia,
      Giant hugs to YOU and thank you for the reminder of what we pray for as children and adults and for getting it. Sigh. Thank you.April 18, 2015 – 11:36 pmReplyCancel

  • Kim - It seems like every stage of like brings us a new first day and another last day. Some of the first days bring great new adventures and some of them aren’t so good.
    I feel like I’m reaching a point in my mom journey where the lasts are coming too fast and the firsts are all about letting go.April 18, 2015 – 8:17 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Here’s to new adventures and to the journey. GAH, though to the lasts coming too fast. To letting go. Sigh. Also huge stuff though.April 18, 2015 – 11:37 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - Ack, the mole!! So, so glad he DID go to the doctor.
    There was never an us to keep.. we were married and then I was pregnant. I don’t know an us really – we’ve been out of order and building it now.
    It’s kinda fun actually.April 18, 2015 – 9:21 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Yeah, ack the mole. FKFUKFKKK. But yeah, so glad he went. You’ve had an us. I promise. It’s maybe just harder to isolate now that you’re so much a we, and that’s perfectly perfect, too, ya know?April 18, 2015 – 11:38 pmReplyCancel

  • My Inner Chick - **If you know how to take back a prayer, meant at the time but not meant now, please tell me because it becoming true would be the end of this world, for me. And I’m not ready yet.**

    If I wasn’t married, I think I’d want to marry you…Um, your writing that is!!

    Xx
    from MN.April 19, 2015 – 1:06 amReplyCancel

  • Roshni - Every day something new! This made me think of all the endings that were beginnings in my life too!
    I’m sure your prayer was canceled then and there because!!April 19, 2015 – 2:51 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Isn’t it amazing how the endings are beginnings? Pretty cool when you think about it… thanks, Roshni!April 19, 2015 – 6:56 pmReplyCancel

  • Joy Christi - This is so beautiful, and so true. The only consistent thing in life is change, the end of That way, the start of This way. Not what we expected, but what we learn to live with. Then as we’re getting the hang of it, it changes again. But like you already know, there is beauty and perfection in all of it.April 19, 2015 – 9:57 amReplyCancel

  • Nina - Oh this made me SO nostalgic! I loved it!April 19, 2015 – 12:37 pmReplyCancel

  • Seana Turner - What an eloquent post! We all have these firsts & lasts… over and over, don’t we? As for the prayer, no need to worry on that one. The Spirit intercedes for, so God knew what you felt at that moment, but also what you would feel in a future moment, and He’s not stuck in time:)April 20, 2015 – 12:57 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Seana!
      We do have the firsts and lasts over and over… I appreciate the reassurance that God knows and is not stuck in time.April 20, 2015 – 7:52 pmReplyCancel

  • [email protected] - The beauty of this post is in the rawness of it. Beginnings and endings often meld together, and it’s hard to know which is toughest to manage – the beginnings or the ends.

    I know for a fact not all prayers are answered, and isn’t that a great thing? If all prayers were answered, I’d have married Kim Plato from Diff’rent Strokes when I was 9 and I’d never have had the three beautiful daughters I have today.

    Much love to you.April 21, 2015 – 11:31 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks for putting it all into perspective, Eli. If my 12yo ones were answered, I’d have alimony and a few babies from Billy Idol now, and if my 19yo ones were, would be living with Lars from Metallica. Here’s to your beautiful daughters and my amazing little boy and to our unanswered prayers.April 21, 2015 – 10:26 pmReplyCancel

  • Tarana Khan - Kristi, this gave me goosebumps because I could feel your emotions seep through your words. Thanks for sharing your story, and never stop writing!April 22, 2015 – 2:02 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you thank you, Tarana! I really really appreciate your encouragement!!April 23, 2015 – 7:48 pmReplyCancel

  • Deb - You! You always write such amazing, inventive posts with Ftsf. I wish we could always realize the end of one world so we could savor the last moments the way you did at dinner. Perhaps that’s an argument for savoring every moment. HmmmmApril 22, 2015 – 2:09 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I wish we could remember to savor the moments and thank you, sweets!! Thinking about you!April 23, 2015 – 7:49 pmReplyCancel

  • Kimberly - And I’m going to say Fuck That too.
    God I love you to the moon and all the way back. I hope that you know that.
    I needed to read this. xoxoApril 22, 2015 – 4:39 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Kim my sweets! The words Fuck That are just awesome. Freeing. And I love you huge – maybe even to Pluto which now I can’t remember if it’s still a star or it went back to planet or back to star from star to planet but it’s far away and I love you that much. xxooApril 23, 2015 – 7:50 pmReplyCancel

  • Meredith - This was SO beautiful Kristi! I seriously loved it. Great job articulating the fragile nature of this life, and being a parent. 🙂April 24, 2015 – 7:27 pmReplyCancel

  • Stephanie Smith Sprenger - I feel like weeping now. Those photos of you made me smile huge and also get teary. You are SO beautiful, and I love seeing snapshots of your life before I knew you. And also, you are so freaking wise and amazing.April 24, 2015 – 9:52 pmReplyCancel

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