Three-Person Third-Wedding-Anniversary Dance Party

Tonight my husband, our 4 ¾-year-old son and I celebrated my husband’s and my third wedding anniversary.   To some, our night may sound unromantic, with a child in tow, but our son, originally just mine, is one of the primary reasons we are married at all.

I met my now-husband in May 2004, nine months—and six unsuccessful attempts—into pursuing my goal of being a single-mother-by-choice via insemination with anonymous-donor sperm.  I was about 30 days into the medications involved with my seventh cycle; we stayed up all night talking; and I told him every detail of my past failures, which included a miscarriage, my present medication protocol, and my future plans, if my upcoming, final insemination didn’t work. 

He was impressed by—and attracted to—my strength in not only pursuing my dream of being a mother, but also suffering through infertility, solo.

We spend the first nine days of our relationship facing the concept of me potentially becoming pregnant, using donor sperm. 

I did.

We spent the first nine months of our relationship handling not only my high-risk pregnancy, but also the range of emotions involved with our brand-new romance complicated by me being pregnant with “another man’s baby,” as his less-evolved friends referred to my unborn child.

Nine months minus one day after we met, we pulled an all-nighter at the hospital, he as my birth partner, Beatles music playing in the background, as I gave birth to my son.

Ten months into my son’s life, he asked me not only to marry him, but also for permission to adopt my son. 

He also said he’d be happy to get married over the Christmas holidays.

“This Christmas?” I asked, flattered by his eagerness, but stunned that he thought we could plan a wedding on such short notice.  I’m a Catholic girl, after all, meaning hoops need to be jumped through.  Lots of hoops.

We got married 13 months later, on December 16, 2006.  He started the adoption process on December 18, the first business day afterward.

So, my son has been part of our relationship since Day 1:  as a concept; as my primary focus during the nine months of my high-risk pregnancy; as an incredible bonding experience for us through childbirth classes and his birth; as a subsequent bonding experience when he was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for the first five days of his life; as a newborn whom I was not separated from for the first 3 ½ months of his life; as a baby; a speech-delayed, frustrated toddler; an attitudinal 3-year-old; a compassionate, funny 4-year-old; through every milestone, from first smile, to first step, to first word.

And, he is reason we lasted beyond those first few days. 

He is the reason my husband didn’t feel pressured by me, for I was not looking for a man to make me a mother; I was trying to be—then going to be—a mother on my own.

And, he is the reason I didn’t try to prematurely advance our relationship because of my blaring biological clock.  Once again, I was dealing with that issue on my own.

My husband and I are meant to be, but, if not for my son, our timing would have been disastrous.

My husband, married a month out of college to his first girlfriend, had only been divorced for 13 months when we met.  Finally free of a long, combative marriage, newly a single dad to his two sons, remarriage and becoming a father again were not short-term goals.

I, on the other hand, had suffered through 21 years of dead-end dating.  Admittedly, I had compromised as I got older, settling for less than I deserved because I wanted to be in love, to get married, to have children.  But, by the time I met my now-husband, my philosophy was “I can always fall in love, but I won’t always be able to have children.”  The fact that neither he nor our relationship was my priority was appealing and refreshing to him.

So, unpressured, he and I fell in love; I had my own baby; we got married, making me a stepmother to his two sons; he adopted my son; and now I’m 21-weeks pregnant with our fourth son.

We’re unconventional, but it works well for us.  So, tonight, the three of us—husband, wife and the 4-year-old reason we’re together—celebrated. 

My husband drank two glasses of wine, while our son and I drank water.  My husband served as deejay, selecting music on his iPod.  Our son played air guitar, air drums, and danced until he, who is never, ever tired, said he needed to rest.  Then he and my husband would jump up and dance some more.  I would have loved to dance too, but, protecting another high-risk-pregnancy, I snuggled up on the couch, sang to the music and cheered them on.

No, it wasn’t romantic, but we were blissfully happy celebrating our anniversary. 

It belongs to all three of us.

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