Nothing in this world, or any other for that matter, could have prepared me for the change my life would undergo when my lovely wife first found out she was pregnant towards the beginning of 2007. We had discussed children before we were married and we had decided that we both wanted to have at least one child together; most likely, two. We had discussed these things with an eye cast far upon the future. The same future in which I was going to be a successful writer (or musician, or something else that makes good money without the mandatory college education), and she was going to be able to stay at home and rear our offspring. She came out of the bathroom holding that plastic pregnancy test with a smile, or a blue line, or four dots, or whatever that particular brand used to signify that your human mating ritual had succeeded in furthering the species. I remember feeling clearly terrified and exhilarated at the same time. This was a monumental event. This was an event so important to the Ragsdale family that the patron would one day write about his feelings of it to six people on the internet. My wife seemed to have the same fear and joy in her eyes as we hugged and discussed what we would do and pondered how our lives would irrevocably change. We had no idea.
Fast forward to the summer of 2007 and we had purchased a new home about 10 miles from where we were living. We had outgrown our original homestead and since we were bringing a small person into the world, we thought it would be a good time to upgrade to something bigger and closer to what would end up being our primary childcare provider; my in-laws. Throughout that summer I worked a full time retail job, played in my classic rock band (http://www.classicwaxx.com ) packed up all of our possessions and moved my wife, myself, and our three dogs. It was hot. She was very pregnant and not always in the best of humor due to the heat and the being very pregnant. It was, most assuredly, not our best summer nor our easiest or most fun. Life is hard. That is one thing that I can never again underestimate. We celebrated our one year wedding anniversary in August of 2007, but our minds were much more intent on the future than the past. Life was moving quickly.
From 2003 until 2005 I was absorbed in my selfish little world. I worked between 25 and 40 hours a week for most of that stretch. Like any early 20-something I spent a few nights a week at the local watering holes. My wife was the same way. We spent so much time focused on ourselves and our friends that I believe we really had no idea how to be 100% devoted to another human being. Not to intimate that we weren’t in love or weren’t faithful – we were. We were absolutely head over heels for each other. I cannot recall a single day from the time that we decided we wanted to be together until August of 2009 that we didn’t see each other for at least a little bit every day. I knew from our first date (which was a blind date we set up through MySpace) that there was something special about her. As the days and weeks of her pregnancy rolled by, I truly began to understand the love and adoration that we shared for each other. She was making the tremendous sacrifices of having her body bent and shaped to the will of this thing growing in her and having, some days, wildly uncontrollable mood swings. It’s worth mentioning that her entire first trimester she stayed sick and dehydrated and exhausted. (Ladies, I know you ALL make sacrifices.) I realized that she was going through these things so that we could have a family. She was dealing with all of this stress and pressure (and working a new job) so that the dream we had of our future could begin to come true.
(To be continued...)