So 2011 is rapidly coming to a close, and it always brings me to a place of reflection on all that has taken place in my life over the course of a year. Sure, this past year has brought us the death of Osama bin Laden, the murder trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor, and Charlie Sheen doing a lot of “winning.” But 2011 also brought a lot of huge changes for me and my family.
We started out this year with plans for Erikka to have surgery in mid-January. Little did we know that a short month later we would be making our first attempt at insemination and pregnancy. It was a long five weeks before we would find out that our one, and only, attempt was positive and that a new little life was on its way. Noah turned eleven and won the spelling bee for his elementary school for the second year in a row. I couldn’t believe that he would soon be going into middle school, and Nicholas would be turning 20 in August, and that we would have a newborn baby not too long after that. I was going to have three only children, practically….wow. We also had been planning for a trip to Disneyworld, just Erikka and I, in May so that we could use some airline vouchers and Disney dollars that were about to expire. I wondered how that would work once we found out that Erikka was pregnant, but she did great and we had a wonderful time getting away – knowing it was probably one of our last getaway trips for a long time. We managed to getaway one more time in July for our anniversary, where we went to our favorite bed & breakfast in Little Rock for a weekend, promising when we left to come back with the kids next time.
I think that by June, it had been discovered that Erikka had developed gestational diabetes, so we went on a drastic diet change to accommodate all of the many doctors and their demands of her. The days got hotter and her belly got bigger, and we shopped and planned and dreamed about this baby that we still couldn’t believe was going to be here by the first of November. Once we found out that we were having a girl, the excitement got even more strong because Erikka had always wanted a girl, and I had only experienced life with two boys. I turned 41 in August, and started to panic about having a new baby – I felt OLD. We soon got into high gear and launched into a season of baby showers, nursery painting parties, and furniture-putting-together gatherings. The room that had, for the year that we have lived here, been the middle, guest bedroom was slowly turning into a beautiful Dr. Seuss nursery for the little baby girl who would have everything.
By the time that October arrived, we were battling with blood pressure issues along with blood sugar issues. Doctors were on the case and we were going every week to one doctor or another. Erikka was registered at the hospital, and her c-section was set for November 1st…only this baby and Erikka’s body had other plans. She was put into the hospital on fulltime bedrest around the 18th of October, and late on the evening of October 24th we welcomed our beautiful baby girl – Harrison Sinclair Jayne-Anne – into the world (during the 5th game of the World Series where our Rangers were playing!). The world as we knew it previously was changed forever. We had some complications for the first few weeks, with Erikka and her body getting used to all of the drastic changes, but then by Thanksgiving were sharing our new addition with the world. Nicholas enlisted in the Navy shortly after Harrison was born, and married the love of HIS life on October 31st. It took all of us by surprise, but because we love him (and her, too), then we support them as best as we can. I anxiously awaited for Christmas and spending time with family – both Erikka’s and mine.
And now here we are, looking at the tail-end of 2011 over our back shoulder; looking forward to 2012 and all of the adventures and experiences it will bring to us and our family. I pray that 2012 will bring to us new legislation that will write equality into existence where it was not before. Every year should bring change, for without change there is no growth. It may be small change over a long period of time, or it may be big, life-altering change that happens in a blink. Either way, change is growth, and growth is good.