By Justine Manzano
This is my first Thanksgiving since the birth of my son. Logan’s first Thanksgiving. It’s almost a shame that he’s not quite old enough for some turkey and gravy. But he has the opportunity to experience so much more about the holiday. He has the opportunity to experience family togetherness. And so do I.
When I look back on where I was last year on Thanksgiving, it was the second best day of my life. The first best day of my life was August 1st 2009 – the day my son was born. The third best day of my life was July 7, 2001 – the day I married my husband. And the second best day of my life was Thanksgiving of last year, when I woke up at 5 in the morning having to use the bathroom and decided that it was time to take that pregnancy test I had been thinking about for a week.
You see, my maiden name is Minners, and the weekend before Thanksgiving is always when the Minners Family and their significant others sit down for our dinner. This is a long standing tradition. At that point I had been nauseous for two weeks and we had been trying, so I was almost positive I was pregnant – despite the fact that I had taken a test a couple of mornings before that had come out negative. But I felt really weird. So, sure I was pregnant (and my family would have been really pissed if I hadn’t been), I let the cat out of the bag and told them I thought I was. After all, my family doesn’t always get to see a lot of each other, and I would want to tell them in person – when would I get another opportunity like that? So I did, and my family made me promise to let them know as soon as I knew for sure.
So I decided, before I packed up and headed out to my husband’s father’s house, I would probably want to know for sure. Still having a pregnancy test left over from the box I had bought the week before, I woke up to pee and decided rather than waste the pee, I should pee on the stick of destiny. So I did – while Ismael was putting up new shower curtains in my bathroom. Hey! No judgment! Peeing in the same room as your husband is doing chores is a luxury that belongs to a married couple with no kids! But I digress.
Three minutes later, we were freaking out. The test read positive – I was pregnant! So I began to systematically make plans to see everyone so I could tell them all in person. And only two people guessed what it was all about – my sister-in-law Jeannie, who asked me on the spot, and my friend Kat, who told her boyfriend Will what I was going to say before I said it.
So, that’s where I was last year – I had just found out I was pregnant and I was jazzed by the possibilities and daunted by the nine month wait before I would get to meet my little Ziggy (Ziggy the Zygote was what I nicknamed him before I knew he would be a Logan).
So much has changed since then. My husband Ismael and I, if possible, are even closer and more on the same wavelength than we have ever been. We have developed an understanding and an ability to listen to each other like we have never had in the past. Our families and friends have gone through a lot. Since getting pregnant I have gone to weddings, discovered other pregnancies, and had the best Baby Shower a girl could ask for. I graduated college and was the maid of honor in my best friend’s wedding. I have learned a lot about my friends and family I had never known. Wounds have been made, wounds have been healed. I have seen friends find new homes and I have seen friends mend their broken ones. Pregnancy made me a more outgoing person, because I had a built in subject to talk about and that led to a friendship with two of my closer friends now. I have relished in the people who have made themselves Logan’s honorary aunts and uncles.
So here I sit, one year later. I have a baby and my baby has one mommy, one daddy, one great grandmother, many great aunts and uncles, four grandmothers, three grandfathers, twelve aunts, eight uncles, and six cousins (a great deal of aunts, uncles and cousins are honorary). And I am thankful – for each and every one of them and for every blessing I have had in my life in the last year. Things have changed, relationships have changed and things have moved forward. And I have been blessed.