As the sun dipped below the earth,we scooted down the windy Pennsylvania roads and slid into Maryland where we stopped for gas. My hands shook uncontrollably as I handed the money to the cashier for the power bars and coffee I knew we'd need for energy for the journey, as I looked out the window and saw your Dad pumping gas. His eyes darted, and I could tell he was making lists in his head and trying to check off everything that needed to be done.
My body felt like I was shivering, but I wasn't cold. I stepped back in the car and nervously smiled at your Dad. There were so few words in those moments between the two of us, because there just didn't need to be- we both knew how the other felt. Words couldn't do it justice, the look in our eyes said everything.
We took the camper back to the storage lot, and without saying a word simultaneously got out of the car and pushed the camper into the space. We hurriedly rushed back into the car and sped home, talking on the way about the plan. Your Dad had to go into the attic to get the carseat and stroller- we'd hid it away weeks ago after yet another failed match. I didn't want to look at it, the smiling baby face on the side felt like a mockery to my lack of motherhood in those dark weeks.
I had to run into your nursery, which was complete but far from organized, and grab whatever I could. Luckily we already had clothes packed (and overpacked, because, well, you know me- the classic overpacker) from the camping trip, but I grabbed even more. I threw baby toys and blankets and bibs and pacifiers into random bags. Then I saw it draped on your changing table- the owl blanket.
The week before while walking through Target, I grabbed that blanket and couldn't put it down. There was no reason for it. We had no match on the horizon, but for some reason I just felt compelled to buy it. And of course, sweet little one, as you well know- it was pink.
We threw everything into the car and hit the road. As we pulled onto I-95, we suddenly couldn't stop talking... is this real? Are we really doing this? Did we seriously just pull onto a major highway to drive into the night with no idea about what lies before us? The nerves started to subside, and it felt like a giant adventure we were embarking on, just the two of us...hoping it would end in three.
I drove from Maryland to North Carolina, and your Dad slept. In those moments all I could think of was you...what did you look like? How were you doing? How was your first Mom doing? Was she okay? We were getting updates from the social worker, but I wanted nothing more than to not be driving on that road- but to be by her side. I wanted a time machine so I would know how it all turned out, so I would know if we would be driving home with the car seat still in the box, or with you in it.
One thing that I will always remember about that drive was the moon. It was enormous, and it lit up the entire highway. At one in the morning when nothing else was lit up on the long stretch of road,the rays of light splashed over the asphalt. It always seemed like it was right in front of us, guiding us to you.
We switched off driving duties in North Carolina, and when I got in the passenger seat I grabbed the pink owl blanket from the back of the car. I wrapped it around my arms and held it close, clutching it to my beating heart. I took a deep breath in and out into its soft fibers, and I prayed for you. I prayed for your first Mom. I prayed you'd be alright, and she'd be alright, and that everything would be alright.