To Have Loved...

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Our First Year

Ian and I returned to work and quickly got back into our daily routine after returning from our honeymoon. Nothing much has changed since we got married, but I couldn’t be happier being Mrs. Sarah Grant after legally changing my name on everything: driver’s license, social security card, bank cards, and at work. I’ve wanted this for what seems like forever, so even though it was a lot of work, it was well worth it.

The next couple of months have moved rather quickly and summer is nearly over. Ian has been busy with the force and because the summer was so hot and dry, he spent a lot of time assisting the fire department as well. Things have pretty quiet at the hospital considering the extreme weather, which has allowed me to continue expanding my services and now I’m in every area each week and occasionally provide services at our out-patient clinics.

“Shit…,” I heard Ian say as he stumbled back in the shower. “Turn the water off babe,” he continues. I was trying to brush my teeth and when I turned the cold water on, it turned his water scalding hot.

“I’m so sorry Ian, I didn’t even think…” I started and turned the sink off.

“That’s better,” he said with relief. “Can you hand me my towel?” he asks after rinsing and turning the water off.

“Here you go…can I rinse my mouth out now?” I ask with a smile full of toothpaste.

“You better, you’re beginning to foam at the mouth,” he laughs at me as he pulls the curtain back.

I rinse my mouth and chuckle along with him as he steps out of the tub and wraps the towel around his waist. “I keep forgetting about the water, I am really sorry babe,” I say again.

“It’s OK, I just wasn’t expecting it. I forgive you,” he says wrapping his arms around my waist from behind letting his wet hair drip on my shoulders.

“You are getting me all wet,” I screech as I tried to get out of his arms.

“Really?” he says wiggling his eyebrows.

“Oh my God Ian,” I reply rolling my eyes, pushing him away.

“I love making you wet baby,” he says with a smirk before grabbing his toothbrush, while I start brushing my hair.

“Does this bathroom seem to be getting smaller?” I ask as we continuously bump into other trying to get ready.

“Maybe it’s time for an upgrade,” Ian comments looking at me through the mirror.

“What do you mean?” I ask with a confused look making eye contact with him.

“Well…we are married; we both have steady jobs, so…”

“So…” I urge him to continue.

“So…how about we take the next step and get our own place?” he asks.

I turn around to face him, “You think we are ready for this?”

“Absolutely,” he responds grabbing onto my hips pulling me in front of him. I instantly wrap my arms around his neck.

“Then let’s do it,” I say stepping up on my toes to give him a kiss.

“I’ll call the bank today and set up a time to meet to see what kind of a loan we can get,” he says.

“If they have a late appointment available, I’m usually done with my last patient by 4:30 and could probably leave then instead of my normal time,” I tell him.

“I’ll text you when I set it up. Hopefully we can meet yet this week. Then we can start looking,” he says with a smile and kisses my forehead.

“I can’t wait,” I say excitedly.

“Come on, let’s eat before we have to leave,” Ian says pulling me out of the bathroom.

I pulled him back to me for a passionate kiss thanking him for this.

******

A few days later we met with the bank and were approved for a loan for our first house. We immediately reached out to a realtor and set up a meeting to discuss our wants and needs for the house. They were simple really: three bedrooms, two bathrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen, laundry room on the main level and central air. Anything extra would be a bonus.

She had a few on the market that met our criteria and we spent the weekend visiting several houses. The first three she showed us were OK, but didn’t pull us both in. Sure there was some old charm, but they all needed a lot of work and I didn’t want to have to put more into it right away.

The fourth house we looked at was adorable from the outside, but I noticed it was only one story. It was only a two-bedroom house, but it had a master en suite and a washer/dryer set up in a small room off of the kitchen. The kitchen was recently remodeled and very up-to-date with all new stainless steel appliances that would be sold with the house.

There was a full living room and a dining room off of the kitchen large enough for a six-person table. Off of the living room, there was a small den that we could use for the computer room and my music library and storage. There was a bathroom next to the smaller bedroom that offered a shower, vanity, toilet and shelves for towels and other necessities.

The master bedroom was a good size and would fit everything we had. There was a walk-in closet next to the en suite bathroom which had a bathtub with shower, double sink/vanity, toilet and a shelving unit. I do wish it had a third bedroom, but it had everything else we wanted and had just the perfect colors and it pulled me in as soon as I walked into the house.

The yard was decent size and it was fenced in. There was a small garden in the back next to a small deck that led from the backdoor off of the kitchen. The front was neatly trimmed and I could see us decorating for various holidays. There was a two-car garage detached from the house, but that didn’t bother me at all.

“Can you give us a minute?” I asked the realtor as we stepped back into the house from the backyard.

“Sure, take your time. I’ll be in the living room when you are ready,” she says.

“I really like this place,” I told Ian after she left us alone. “It’s a little smaller than we talked about, but it’s perfect in every other way. We can do a two-bedroom, right?”

“This is a nice place and it has all been updated so no extra work needed. There is a basement that I can finish down the road if we need more space,” he replied.

“So, do you think we can do this? I just…I can really see us living here for awhile and if we eventually have to expand, we will down the road. It just…feels like home,” I ramble on.

Ian took my hands in his and pulled me into him before cupping my face with one of his hands to make me look up to him. “If you feel this is the right place, then let’s make this our home. I agree that it is a perfect place to start our family together,” he says with a smile.

“Family?” I repeated in my head. I loved hearing that word come out of Ian’s mouth. I had planned on having a family with him, but him saying it out loud makes it much more real.

“Sarah…Sarah,” Ian called my name pulling me from my thoughts.

“Sorry,” I giggled. “What did you say?”

“Are you ready to tell her we want to make an offer?” he asked nodding his head to the realtor in the other room. I nodded my head and called for her to join us back in the kitchen.

“This is the place for us,” I started. “We would love to make an offer.”

“Wonderful, let’s fill out this paperwork and I’ll submit it to the seller and see if they accept it or give us a counter-offer.”

We filled out the paperwork offering the asking price, half of the closing costs and a home inspection. We want someone to go through it just in case, but with all the work done on it, I’m sure it is up to standards.

I really hope no one has made an offer and the seller accepts ours. I really can’t wait to start a family with Ian and this is the perfect place to do it.

A few days later, I received a call from our realtor during my lunch hour telling me that our offer was accepted and the seller was setting up the home inspection to be done immediately. As soon as the inspection was completed and report made, we would set up a closing date if nothing serious needed to be done.

I immediately called Ian and gave him the great news. I was so excited that I barely made through the rest of the day at work and could hold my breath that the inspection went great.

By the end of the week, we received another call saying that everything looked great and was up to code. The roof was still in fairly good condition, but may need to be replaced within five years and a new furnace may be needed within a few years as well. We were OK with all of that and told our realtor to set up a closing date.

We ending up closing on the house mid-September and planned on moving in as soon as possible. We had already given notice to our landlord when we started the house search and he was very understanding. There is always a waiting list for the apartments, so he’d be able to fill it right away in October.

By the first of October, we were completely moved in, unpacked and getting settled in our first home together. We touched up the gardens and planted a few fall flowers that would last for a little bit before the cold weather hit and put out some fall decorations in the front of the house. Mom and Emily helped with the yard work while Dad and Joe helped Ian with the furniture and setting up a gym in the basement.

******

Ian and I hosted Thanksgiving this year for our parents since it was only the six of us. Aiden decided to stay at school and wait to come home until winter break and Stacy and Jake were going to stay in Chicago.

Mom came over early to help me cook and Emily brought some side dishes and the dessert when they came. Dad, Ian and Joe watched the football game that was on while we finished the food. We left the TV on since they could still see it from the table after we called them into eat.

I led everyone in prayer and we continued my family tradition by going around sharing what we were thankful for this year. Ian carved the turkey since he was now officially the man of house and I couldn’t hide my grin as he dished out slice after slice. I noticed Mom looking at me and she squeezed my hand as if she could read my mind.

We ate, talked, laughed and had a great time together. As we said goodbye to our parents, I was so grateful for them and all their help with the wedding, the move and the overall support they have given us.

******

We spent Christmas Eve with Ian’s family and Christmas Day with mine this year. Aiden was home for a few weeks and spent a few days with us in the spare room into the New Year. Stacy and Jake stayed home this year as they were holding a holiday party for Jake’s company.

Vicky and Bobby had recently moved to Chicago and were staying with Stacy and I heard she may have started dating again. She deserves to be happy, so I hope this is start of something special.

This New Year is definitely starting on a high note.

******

Well, the New Year was starting off pretty good until I woke up way too early one morning in the middle of January to barely make in the bathroom on time before I lost the contents of my stomach. I sat on the bathroom floor for several minutes before I finally stopped vomiting and was able to rinse my mouth out without gagging.

“Are you OK?” Ian asked as I crawled back into bed.

“I don’t know,” I answered. “I woke up and couldn’t stop it…” I moaned as my stomach rolled again. I took a deep breath and managed to relax and finally fell back to sleep.

A couple of hours later, I was back in the bathroom and Ian followed me this time to hold my hair back for me and rubbed my back to help comfort me. “What the hell did I eat last night? Is this the flu? Why can’t I hold anything down?” All these thoughts ran through my head.

When I finally stopped yet again, Ian offered me a glass of water to rinse my mouth and I brushed my teeth for the second time this morning.

“Do you want me to call the hospital for you?” Ian asked.

“No, I can do it,” I whispered as I leaned back against him.

“Do you want me to stay home with you?” I shook my head ‘no’.

“I’ll be fine…go to work. I’ll call you if I need to,” I replied.

“OK baby, but I will be checking in with you. Make sure you keep trying to drink something to keep fluids in you and maybe try some crackers.”

“I’m going back to bed after I call in,” I said heading back to the bed.

Ian grabbed his clothes and took a shower before eating breakfast. He brought me some clear soda that we had in the fridge to try and kissed me on the forehead before leaving for the day. Kim told me to rest and per our policy, I have to be out for 48 hours after my last symptom, so it could be a few days before I can go back. “Great, I have never missed work like this before and I don’t like it,” I said in my head.

Unfortunately, I woke up for the next several mornings this way until Ian finally dragged me to the doctor. After asking several questions and running a few blood tests and collecting a urine sample, we were given the diagnosis: I am pregnant!

“Are you sure?” I asked in disbelief.

“Yes, we ran two different tests and both came back with the same result. You may continue having nausea in the morning, especially the first trimester, but you should be fine to go back to work. I will prescribe some vitamins that you should take daily, but I suggest taking them before you go to bed after eating a full supper,” the doctor told me. “I also recommend setting up monthly appointments with an Ob/Gyn and I can give you some names.”

“That would be wonderful, thank you,” I replied. Ian hasn’t said a word yet, but I think he is in shock. I grabbed his hand and he gave me a squeeze before looking at me with a smile on his face.

I took my prescription script and a list of names that the doctor handed me before heading out of the clinic. Once I got outside, I pulled Ian in for a hug and he gladly returned it.

“I can’t believe we are having a baby,” he said.

“Me either,” I replied before giving him a kiss. “But let’s wait to tell others until the end of the trimester, if that is OK with you.”

“That is fine with me; I’m OK keeping this our little secret for now,” he says with another kiss.

“At least I can now go back to work…you know I hate missing it,” I chuckle lightly.

“Yes, I know,” he groans. He has heard me whine about being home all week. “Let’s get what you need and go home. I look forward to a weekend alone with you.”

“I do too,” I reply and get in the car.

******

It was a warm April day and I was finally feeling great…I was no longer feeling nauseous in the morning; I could eat an entire meal without the smell bothering me and I was finally getting my energy back. I had just finishing up my shift at the hospital when a shooting pain ripped through my stomach and I doubled over walking to my car.

“Sarah, what’s wrong?” I heard Kim yelling from the door as she was leaving as well for the day.

“I don’t know,” I yelled back. “My stomach…” I started to say when I looked at Kim who had a ghastly expression on her face as she approached me.

“Sarah, you are…there’s blood,” she said pointing at my pants and I looked down.

“I think I’m going to pass out…” I tried to say when I heard Kim yelling for someone to help us. Thank goodness I work at the hospital as someone grabbed a stretcher and placed me on it heading to the ER just as everything went black.

I woke up to a beeping sound and I felt someone squeeze my hand. As I opened my eyes, Ian came into my line of sight and I tried to speak, but it was more of a whimper, “The baby? What…”

“Shhhh baby, I’m here,” Ian spoke. “Let me get a nurse and see if you have some water.” He let my hand go and left the room, returning moments later with a nurse.

“Hello Mrs. Grant, I’m Gloria, your nurse. How are you feeling?”

“I…I…” I tried to speak, but choked on my words.

“Here, take a sip of water,” Gloria helped me sit up a little and handed me a glass. I took a sip and handed it back to her.

I looked over at Ian and by the look on his face I know there is no good news coming to me about what happened. “What happened to me? Did I lose…” I couldn’t even finish my question.

“Let me get the doctor to answer your questions,” Gloria replied.

I looked at Ian and I already knew my answer. “I’m sorry baby,” he said quietly giving my hand a squeeze.

“How? Why? I don’t know what I did,” I asked him.

“I don’t know baby, we might not ever know,” he answered me. I know he is trained to help calm people down in stressful situations, but I can tell this is killing him as much as it is me.

“Hello Sarah…Mr. Grant,” Dr. Reynolds came into my room. “I know you have a lot of questions, and I wish I can give you answers to all of them, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to,” she told me honestly.

“I know I lost the baby, it felt like a knife went through me and the pain was horrible when it happened, but I want to know why? What did I do? Or what didn’t I do right?”

“Sometimes these things happen Sarah and it is nothing you did or didn’t do. I know you have been taking care of yourself, eating right, taking your vitamins and nothing abnormal showed up on your scans we ran when you first came in. I wish I could say what caused the miscarriage, but I can’t,” she answered me.

“Will this affect any future chances of having a baby?” I asked.

“It shouldn’t, but unfortunately there is no way to know that. There is a high risk that if you have one miscarriage, you will have another. But now that we know the risk, we can keep a closer eye on things should you get pregnant again,” she answered. “Don’t give up hope,” she added.

“Were you able to know if it was a boy or girl?” I asked, but I wasn’t really sure I wanted to know.

“It was too early to tell,” she answered. “Please let me know if there anything I can do for you and I will want to see you in a few weeks.” I nodded and she left the room.

I was able to return home that evening and I finally broke down as Ian and I went to bed that night. “I’m so sorry Ian,” I whispered as he held me close.

“It’s OK Princess, we will have a baby when the time is right,” Ian reassured me. I nodded my head and fell asleep in his arms.

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