Legally, my name has been changed only once in my life, but in January of this year, my name changed again. This change did not come with a marriage certificate, a new social security card, or a new driver's license photo. No, this name change came with a birth certificate and a permanent attachment on my left hip. I am no longer just Ashley. Now, I am fondly referred to by most as simply, Layla's Mommy. Don't get me wrong, I love my new name and everything that comes with it. I especially love the little blue eyes that light up every time I walk into a room.
The last 8 months of my life have brought on the most change in the shortest amount of time. My life before Layla (we will call that BL) changed but over months and years, but life after Layla (we will call that AL) rapidly changes every single day.
Looking back on my childhood makes me feel as though it went so slowly and stayed relatively calm. High school and college carried on seamlessly, and post college had some rough spots, but maintained consistency and order, for the most part. Meeting Chris, dating him, and getting engaged to him only took a mere 8 months (the same amount of time I have now been a mommy), but that time feels like it took 100 years in comparison to this new life I have, AL. In my life BL, Chris and I had a wonderful engagement, a beautiful wedding, and 2.5 years of marriage that were absolutely amazing. But something was missing, something was unbalanced, something inside of us wanted more. We wanted more love, more hugs and kisses. We wanted one more person. Thus, we commenced to the "trying" stage of our marriage.
In our minds, I guess we thought, "OK. We will start trying for a baby." Thinking this would take 3 or 4 months, or maybe more, we went on with life. About 9 weeks into this process, I realized something had been missing for the entire 9 weeks. When I finally clued in, one Sunday afternoon, I called Chris and asked him to pick up a test while he was at the store. He brought it home, I excused myself, and several minutes later, I emerged. With hands shaking and tears in my eyes, I revealed the results to Chris. He didn't believe me. After the initial shock, he said to me, "There were 2 in the box. Go take the other one." So, I did. When the second one turned positive almost immediately, our suspicions were confirmed. During the following week, I called the doctor, took about 5 more tests, and thus commenced the first step of the inevitable name change...