If there was a race, a race for your heart
It started before you were born
Hellos all around! It's been a while since I've posted on my blog, but for good reason. Because...
It's with a full heart that I share the wonderful news that Mango and I are adding a little one to our lineup this fall (!). Yes, I'm beyond excited to say that I'm more than halfway through my pregnancy (22 weeks!) and absolutely thrilled with this unexpected -- but very much welcome -- surprise. I've written before about my strong desire to have a family of my own, so I feel incredibly blessed to have my dream shaping into a reality. I frequently pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming, and when I realize I'm not, I can't help but smile and feel like the luckiest person on earth.
As I power through my second trimester and the reality of parenthood looms in the near future, I find myself enjoying every step of this crazy journey Every single damn step. One second I'm questioning how to create a proper work/life balance, another I'm baking a massive batch of ginger snap cookies at midnight, another I'm drowning in browser tabs to websites touting the "greenest" diaper option, another I'm fretting over my recent trip to Chernobyl (phew), and another I sit with my eyes closed and hands on my belly feeling my baby's gentle kicks. But it's every second that I thank the powers that be for this baby. Never once have I cursed or questioned my pregnancy, not even that time my oatmeal breakfast made an encore appearance in front of a crowd of strangers.
I must admit that, while completely and utterly delightful, my pregnancy hasn't been all puppies and rainbows. My first trimester was marked with physical and personal struggles, from months of barely eating and sleeping that left me ragged and hollow, stressing about my job/income scenario but unable to do anything requiring more energy than watching Frasier reruns. Then, the blood came, so much and so suddenly that I found myself in the ER alone and scared shitless one morning, bleary-eyed as I waited for doctors to break the horrible news to me. Fortunately, my little lima bean was a-okay and an ultrasound revealed them bouncing around with a strong heartbeat. Phew. But I wasn't out of the woods yet, as I experienced light spotting for a month afterwards, copper-colored reminders of my darkest fears. During that time, things got a little Grey Garden-y as I barely knew anyone in town and hadn't shared my news with family and friends yet, meaning my support system was non-existent; I turned myself into an invalid, too scared to leave my apartment or do anything strenuous; I found myself with no place to live, as I'd taken my landlord up on his kind offer to let me out of the lease as I was in a second-story walk-up unit; depression settled in like an unwelcome house guest at the invitation of my isolation and inactivity. Yet, despite these challenges, deep in my heart I felt only gratitude and love towards my baby and future and I knew we had everything we needed for this journey; whatever surprises arose, we'd figure it out. I was reminded of Henry Miller's opening quote in Tropic of Cancer: "I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive."
My equally-pregnant friend Megan and I had fun doing midway pregnancy shots at The Fields Park downtown (yes, I promise I'm pregnant, although to the untrained eye it looks like I just signed off on Olive Garden's Never Ending Pasta Bowl)
I'm happy to say that I've come a long way since those darker days, and I've managed to find an amazing network of single mothers and mothers-to-be in Portland (pregnant women gravitate towards each other like kids to an ice cream truck, and speaking of ice cream...). Friends and family I've shared my news with have been thrilled and supportive, something I'm extremely grateful for. I'm working on a few exciting writing projects, I've moved into a gorgeous sun-drenched apartment in a better part of town (with an elevator!), and I stay busy educating myself on intervention-free childbirth. My child's biological father has chosen not to be involved and, while disappointing, it in no way diminishes the love and excitement I have for my baby; every chance I get, I promise my child that I will always love, want, and provide for them, and I intend to keep these promises I've written on my heart.
Onward and upward, the journey has begun.