And you know what the saddest part of all of that was? I had to do the math to figure out how old I was. Several times.
I know that when people are really busy and thinking about a million other things, personal matters like birthdays and how old you are can fall by the wayside. But that's really only a small part of my problem. You see, in my mind, there's actually a missing year of my life.
We got married barely two weeks before my birthday, and six weeks later found out we were expecting. The sickness hit almost as soon as we knew, and then the next eight months until our beautiful little girl came into this world were just one long, never-ending nightmare. For many months I was living hour to hour, and on my worst days I just tried to get through one minute at a time. Do you have any idea how long it takes for a day to pass when you are living like that? Each new day was an eternity that I just wanted to forget.
The human mind is a wonderful thing. They say that women forget how difficult childbirth is, and that's why they have more children. For me the birth was a breeze and something that I spent many months looking forward to - it's the pregnancy that needs to be forgotten. Seriously, I would happily give birth 10 times as long as someone else carries the baby to term.
So that was my lost year. The first two months were just trying to get into a routine after the wedding, learning to live with my new husband and how to have a happy marriage. Then there were eight months of darkness and despair (and no, I'm not exaggerating). Then the remaining two months I had a newborn and was trying to regain my health and strength while also taking classes to finish my university degree. In my mind, it's like that year of my life never happened. I was never 22 years old.
On the other hand, it was the most difficult and the longest year of my life - and I don't remember a lot of it. As I said, the human brain is a wonderful thing. You forget things like pregnancy and childbirth so that you do stupid things like have more. Children are wonderful and all, and I now find myself in a position that I am willing to try for another one (I'm still not sure why I'm so willing). I am making sure to remember enough of what I went through so that I can be prepared for the future and so that I don't underestimate how sick I can get and get proper treatment at the first sign of a problem.
So happy birthday, Devorah...however old you are this year.