I did it.
I left everyone and every safety net behind and moved to the coast.
We ended up in Bluffton, SC which is just over the bridge of Hilton Head Island so we weren’t ON the Atlantic coast but we were on a coast of some type. We rented a cute little ranch style house in the back of a neighborhood. Our fence less backyard ended at the edge of a pond. Home of “Snappy” the alligator. Sweet girl picked his name.
At one point, we had three alligators living in our pond but Snappy was the first and the largest. He never came into the yard but I still had to throw out the phrase, “Hey Sweet Girl, don’t go outside without an adult if you see Snappy.” It’s not something you ever get used to saying.
So there I was. Playing stay-at-home wife and mother. The Man with the Plan started his new position and hit the ground running. I was unpacking, organizing, and settling into the new town. I found the grocery store, the grocery store that had the good cheese, gas station, target, everything a basic chick needs. It was about two weeks before I thought, I gotta get a job.
I hit my first snag, childcare! I didn’t know anyone and so I would need to find a daycare. With a daycare, comes daycare hours so I needed a job that was your typical 8 to 5, Monday to Friday gig! Surprisingly enough, I found one! I talked my way into a job that I was under qualified for and had no interest in. Turns out, I don’t have a huge passion for insurance, or sitting at a desk all day. I was, however, a fan of the 5 minute drive to the beach which became my go-to lunch spot!
I lasted about a year before I slipped back into the dark world of food and beverage. The Man with a Plan and I worked it out where I could work day shifts and two night shifts, gave me my spirit back and with it came that weird strange family.
We made a few friends. Sunday nights turned into our new family night. We would cook way too much food, eat until we were plate-ago then stay up way too late to start our week over again. It was a vicious, delicious, bad cycle that I still miss every Sunday night.
We were in Bluffton just a few years. We built a small community and continued on with life. We got married down there and in true “us” fashion our the biggest expense was the food. Huge oyster roast, low country boil, and a pulled pork BBQ. There was other things on that day but really, it’s always about the food.
Photo by Jill Johnson Photography
Since we were such a “traditional” type of couple we went full cliche on life. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby number two since baby one came as a package type deal and now we’ve finally put a title to everything.
I got to work on growing baby number two. True to his nature, before he was even born, he already was giving me trouble. I couldn’t stay awake past 6:30 at night. I would fall asleep mid-sentence at the table. The Man with a Plan would leave me to take a quick 45 minute nap drooling all over a place-mat while he chased the toddler.
If I wasn’t sleeping, I was eating. All. The. Time. I would out-eat the Man on a regular basis. I remember one time, I went back in the kitchen for an entire plateful, for the fourth time. It was a pasta dish and it was amazing. He saw my plate and in shock, not judgement, he just said, “wow, really?”
He can be pretty stupid for such a smart man sometimes. But, he learns quickly and never acted surprised again. He grew a strong poker face and he only broke it one more time in the entire pregnancy.
I was sitting on the couch and something tragic happened. I started screaming like someone was setting the house on fire. The Man ran in from the other room in a panic, trying desperately to get me to explain what had happened? Was I hurt? Was the baby ok? Was I in pain? Where? Where is the pain? He was trying to remain calm while obviously freaking out trying to figure out what happened to his beloved wife. Finally, I managed to scream out, “WATER” sniff sniff “SPILLED!!!!” sob sob sniff sniff while pointing on the floor.
The Man stood straight up and looked confused. “Wait, wait, you’re ok?”
“NO!!!! I KNOCKED MY WATER OVER!!!!!” hysterical sobbing continued.
“But, you’re ok? Nothing happened? Everyone is fine. You aren’t in pain?”
Louder sobbing from me was the only response he got.
By now, it’s clear, I knocked my water over. And it’s the worst thing that has ever happened in the history of the world. Nothing would ever be right again. Water was everywhere! Well, as far as you would expect around four ounces of water to go when knocked over from a plastic cup. I can’t drink water out of a glass cup, that’s just weird and I don’t like it. Not to mention, I knock things over too often to be trusted with real glass, pregnant or sober.
The only thing that could drown out the sound of a crying hysterical knocked up chick is the roaring belly laughter from a huge 6’2″ giant man. I’ve never seen him laugh so hard, let alone at my expense. You would think it would hurt my feelings but it made me realize that I was losing my mind over knocking over my own water. It didn’t stop my crying though.
Ever have one of those out of body type experiences? I was floating above us, watching this whole thing unfold. There I was, looking about 6,000 months pregnant because all I did between my naps was eat, sobbing and screaming like a certifiable lunatic. Standing in front of me was a usually sensitive, stoic as a rock in an emergency Man, laughing in my face. Laughing hard in my face. Because it wasn’t an emergency. It wasn’t even an event. All I could think was, “for all that is good and holy in the world woman, GET IT TOGETHER!!!!!”
But I couldn’t. I just kept sobbing. The Man finally pulled himself together enough to sit down next to me and pull me on his lap, where I continued to sob while he laughed for a good ten minutes. He asked me if he could make me something to eat and I realized I was too hungry to continue to cry and lead him into the kitchen to wait for my 18th meal of the day. Not snack, meal. Because I’m an American and portion control is for quitters.
The Man has never brought it up but I know, anytime someone complains about their wife turning into a crazy pregnant person, he’s giggles.
There we were, biggest problem in life was spilled water but of course, that lasts all of three minutes and you guessed it! The Man was promoted again.
He comes home one day and announces, “We’re moving to Charleston!”
Dude, What?? I’m growing what I think is a human. I mean, he’s measuring small but I am certain that I’m giving birth to a full grown elephant. I can’t breathe, I can’t sleep, I can’t move without every internal organ in my core yelling at me.
I remember it was a Thursday. They wanted him to start on Monday. All I ever wanted was to live in Charleston. Now, I could have my dream and if I could stand up without assistance, life would be golden. I was happy and excited for the chance to move but I was also 36 weeks pregnant. I had some doubts and expressed my concerns in a calm, mature way, like I usually do.
Good news is, I was always tired and out of breathe so my ranting didn’t last long. My endurance was low. Of course, he had a plan. He explained that he would go and stay in a hotel, the Sweet Girl and I could follow whenever we were ready. He negotiated movers into his contract so I wouldn’t have to pack, load or unload anything. He had a plan, everything was under control! Everything except my bladder that this “human” I was growing kept using as a trampoline.
We talked about it and decided to take the lesser of two evils. I wanted to move while weighing a metric ton instead of moving with a newborn and recovering from giving birth. Between his plan, and my ability to power through and figure it out, we would move in two weeks. I knew I wasn’t giving birth anytime soon, the boy hadn’t quite killed every organ inside yet, we had time.
So there we were. Finally getting our dream of moving to Charleston, SC with just a few, minor, gigantic baby sized bumps in our way. The move was the smoothest move we ever have done. It should have been a warning for the mess that awaited us in our city we would call home.