Christmas Gift, 1998
We shared a ski house rental in Vermont in 1996 with a group of friends. We drove four hours every weekend in our Range Rover each way to party and ski near Mount Snow. It was a fabulously fun winter with great conditions each time we were there.
We’d been married for 10 years and struggled to conceive a child. We made the most of our freedom and double income by taking a lot of vacations. We were still able to leave the dog with my parents on the weekends.
After four rounds of intra uterine insemination and fertility drugs I became pregnant in the summer of 1996. I was fearful for the first trimester having lost three pregnancies early in the past.
At the 6 month mark, I became restless and bored. Feeling restricted physically did not agree with me. I missed skiing.
So I went ice skating. I quickly lost my balance and fell face first landing hard on my very large, pregnant belly. I imagined doing serious harm to my unborn child.
I told the doctor about the mishap at my next visit and everything checked out fine. Turns out, babies are very well protected before they are born.
On April 13, 1997, I gave birth to the world’s most beautiful baby boy. We were all healthy. We celebrated our eleventh anniversary that November.
Life was very good.
I was able to be a stay at home mom and enjoyed it immensely, especially after years of struggle to have a baby.
It was our baby’s second Christmas when my husband gave me what I thought was a peculiar gift.
It wasn’t hard to guess it was a pair of skis by the shape of the wrapping. Boots, poles and skis. For a new mother with an 18 month old baby.
The look of confusion was obvious to my husband after I opened my gift. I didn’t want to seem ungrateful, but I couldn’t help wondering if he thought we would be able to drop the baby off with the dog and continue to go to Vermont to ski.
He didn’t exactly think that, but we clearly had very different ideas about what life would be like as new parents.
I know there are plenty of women who continue to go skiing after they have children. That was not my focus after I had a baby.
I never used the skis. I had a debilitating stroke on Valentine’s Day in 1999 during the sixth month of my next pregnancy. My husband had cancelled a solo ski trip that weekend because of last minute pangs of guilt at leaving his pregnant wife alone on Valentine’s Day. That cancellation saved my life as well as the baby’s.