How I spent my morning 11 years ago. And you?

It was 6:40 in the morning. We should have been up already. Dave had to get to work. Fortunately, he was usually pretty fast at getting himself together and out of the door. My nearly two-year-old son was mercifully still asleep in his crib when I stirred, realizing I had to pee.

I lay on the bed lazily an extra ten minutes before I remembered the test. I was supposed to take a test this morning! And, with that, I jumped out of bed next to a still unconscious Dave and bolted to the bathroom. I’d left the box on the counter the night before to remind myself in the morning. I had to pee pretty badly by this point so I was very glad that I was no longer a novice to these tricky little packages. Far from it actually. At that point in time, I’d probably broken the seal, fruitlessly, on at least four dozen of them. So I tore into it and got to work, careful (I think) not to pee on my own hands. When I was done, I set the life-altering plastic stick on a square of tissue on the back of the toilet. And then I left the room.

Over the years, I learned that it was not a good idea for me to linger in the bathroom, staring at my fate. It was painful to see the all-too-familiar single line spreading across the window. I was better off back in my bed with my eyes closed, preparing myself for the probable disappointment that I’d come to know so well. So I returned to my bed and fished the old stopwatch out of my night stand and clicked the button. I decided to wait five minutes this time, instead of my usual three, just so I could be really sure. I hated trying to interpret whether or not a fuzzy line was actually there. It was just cruel. I closed my eyes but found them fluttering open to check the clicking of the numbers on the LCD screen about every thirty seconds.

4:57 … 4:58 … 4:59 …. 5:00.

I stood to return to the bathroom, braced for the usual negative result. I didn’t even bother to wake Dave up for these things anymore. What was the point really? He could spend that time sleeping, instead of consoling a monthly basket case. I walked into the bathroom and approached the back of the toilet. The room was still a little dim in the early morning light so I opened the window shade. And, blinking my sleepy eyes, it was so obvious. There was no interpretation needed. It was like someone had taken a Sharpie and scratched in that second line.

“Holy crap,” I remember whispering audibly.

Then, as an uncontrolled smile pealed across my cheeks, I grabbed the urine-soaked stick from the back of the toilet, ran back in the bedroom and flung it at a still-sleeping Dave. (In retrospect, it probably wasn’t the most hygienic decision I’ve ever made.) He woke immediately and thankfully was able to, through his sleepy fog, put everything together.

And he shared my joy, which made it all the better. It was clear he’d be late for work that day but he didn’t even seem to mind. He hugged me and we lay there, talking quietly about our big news. Telling our little boy, our families, our friends. Calculating the arrival date. And fantasizing. It was a wonderful little moment in our lives.

Until he reached for the remote to turn on the morning news around 7:50. After that, we decided to wait a while to share our news. It was such a strange time in the world.

* * * * * * * * *


Oh, but I love my girl so much. And I’ll never forget the morning I learned she was coming.

* * * * * * * * *

That’s how I spent MY morning on September 11, 2001.

What about YOU?


17 responses to “How I spent my morning 11 years ago. And you?

  1. What a beautiful way to start the day (even if it meant Dave got a little pee in his face). That’s really great that you had some time to take it all in and enjoy the moment the way it should be before reaching for the remote.

  2. Wow…..

    I had a friend giving birth on 9/11….here in NY…..such a dichotomy of emotion…..especially when the hospital goes on alert for incoming wounded….and no one came….

    I hate this day….

  3. I hear so many stories like this. It’s nice to know that amidst all the tragedy there are stories of life. It’s a crazy universe we live in.

  4. It’s good to hear stories like this on a day like today.

  5. Incredible story. I love the picture of ODNT Jr. Such a sweet outcome to a crazy day. Thanks for sharing!

    Here’s my day, since you asked:

  6. Goose bumps. What’s amazing about 9/11 is that there are still so many beautiful things from that day and that week. I got married four days later on 9/15 — it’s strange to have my own anniversary of happiness tied up in an anniversary that means only loss for so many people. (

  7. I know the point was the anniversary we mark today but you captured the disappointment and dread-to-hope of infertility which consumed a decade and a half of my life, too. Thanks for your beautiful story.

  8. I was waking up to head to Woldenburg park as we were going to map out “Fox Field” which was a Super Bowl event to be held Friday and Saturday before Super Bowl XVI. We immediately stopped and watched and the next day we had to change everything due to security concerns. First was the logo which was Mardi Gras themed but now you know it as the flag type logo. We had a parade scheduled to go from Jackson Square to the Dome that was cancelled due to security.

    well that is my story

  9. Thank you for sharing. It is nice to associate this day with something so beautiful and wonderful.

  10. This gave me chills.

  11. Awesome story! Thank you for giving me a new memory to associate with September 11th! Flinging a pee soaked pregnancy test strip at your husband, classic!! Definitely snort and chuckle worthy!! 🙂

  12. what a good story. sad day for many so any small bit of hope and happiness is good.

  13. And what a fantastic child !!!

  14. What a polarized day that was for you! I remember trying desperately to reach Jeff who was just across the river from the World Trade Center in New York. Cell phones seemed useless that day until you called to let me know he was okay. I’m actually teary-eyed right now as I realize that you put letting me know that my son, your brother, was okay over telling me that we were going to have an addition in our family.
    What an emotional roller-coaster!! First of all, I thank you for lightening my load that day, but I also thank you for giving me one of my greatest gifts ever, my little Vivien who is beautiful in so many ways. I love you all. ❤️

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