Memorial Day weekend signals a new beginning in the Zuidema house: the beginning of summer, a.k.a race season. Lane drag races during the summer and the first big race of the season always falls on Memorial Day weekend. Every year, this weekend is filled with sunshine, great friends, and fast cars.
Being at the race track, with the sweet smell of race fuel in the air and feeling the deep, growling rumble of power in my bones, I'm reminded of another beginning, my favorite beginning.
This is the story of how we found out I was pregnant with Norah.
It was Thursday, June 30th, 2016 and I was exhausted. Like – just ran a marathon, couldn't keep my eyes open, exhausted. Sitting in front of a computer for eight hours a day is not exactly the type of job that should leave you feeling as if every cell in your body has missed nap time.
I tried everything I knew to fight the fatigue, but after almost falling asleep at my desk, it was obviously time to leave. I refused to be sick over the weekend because, just like Memorial Day, the weekend of the 4th of July is another big race weekend.
Friday came and I still felt off but was at least functional, running purely on Friday-with-fun-plans adrenaline.
That afternoon, a thought popped into my head:
"Take a pregnancy test."
I tried to ignore it, but for some reason just couldn't quite shake the urgency I felt, so when Lane and I left a car show near the track that evening, I told him we needed to stop at Target. I tried to hide what I assumed was just my usual pregnancy paranoia, but we were running late and "getting snacks" apparently wasn't a good enough reason to stop. (Probably because we were running late to DINNER with friends. Excuses aren't my forte, ok? We can't all be good at everything).
"I just have a really strong feeling that I should take a pregnancy test."
"Alright then. To Target we go."
Despite my urge to take a test, I was still 99% positive that it would be negative. I was certain I didn't have any obvious signs of being pregnant. (#oblivious #firsttimemom)
After we ate, I grabbed the test and we took the four-wheeler over to the port-a-potties.
Yep. I took my pregnancy test in a port-a-potty.
Because I refused to spend 3 additional minutes of my life in a port-a-potty, I wrapped up the test and hopped back on the four-wheeler with Lane. The dumpster was just a short drive away, so I figured by the time we'd drive over there the test would be ready to toss.
Yep. We drove around a campground on a four-wheeler with a processing pregnancy test just hanging out between us.
"What does it say?" asked Lane.
We had gotten to the dumpster and time was up.
I unwrapped the test and saw the results.
"What does it say?"
After another moment, my first tender, loving, and gracious words spoken as a mother finally escaped my mouth:
Yep. I said that.
(The heavy cocktail of fatigue, hormones, extreme happiness topped off by a healthy dose of fear really does a number on ones ability to speak eloquently.)
I guess my cells hadn't missed nap time.
They were just busy CREATING A HUMAN.
Friday's test was verified the next morning with copius amounts of liquid and multiple test types across various brands, because, you know, science.
Both tests turned immediately positive.
The biggest moment of my life (at that point) was not quite the Instagrammable, Pinterest-perfect reveal of my dreams.
My reveal was at a racetrack.
On a 4-wheeler.
Next to a dumpster.
With words I could never write in a baby memory book.
But guys, it was so perfectly Norah.
It was so perfectly us.
This version was SO much better.
From that very first moment, Norah made it clear that our 'plans' were irrelevant.
She and God came charging into our lives with their own plans for us, plans unlike anything we could've ever imagined.
Lane and I drove around the track campground on the 4-wheeler for a while after seeing the test results to let life soak in for a bit.
As we were driving, Lane summed it all up so perfectly when he said,
"I just can't stop smiling."