Ebb and Flow

I’ve attempted to write here in the aftermath of the previous posts, but it all seemed simultaneously overwhelming and trivial.

This year has been so, so hard. Probably the toughest of my adult life.

From finding the sodden and stiff body of our healthiest cat outdoors one February morning, to watching my closest, dearest grandfather cry, “IT HURRRRTTTSSS!” as his last comprehensible words before he passed away in front of our eyes, I think I’ve cried more this year than any other.

When you add the death of my husband’s last grandparent, just days after we had visited with her perky self, and the very unexpected death of his 40-year-old cousin from complications incurred from her service in Iraq, AND the death of my last childhood pet, our dear dog Porter, on top of the miscarriage, ugh… The inevitable understanding of grief that we all must struggle with in our lives came roaring to our door in 2015.

That’s made the moments of levity in between all the more worthwhile and treasured. The laughs shared with my posse at the gym. The lighthearted commiseration with coworkers. The spades sunk into the soil of our darling little garden. The drinks toasted with friends in backyards and forests and weddings and pubs. The bike tires spun over Portland’s side streets. And Sean. There is always levity and light with him, no matter how down we are. Our shared black humor makes so many things more bearable.

That also makes the recently-announced news that we’re expecting our first kid that much more poignant. As I write this I’m nearly 14 weeks pregnant, and it’s still such a strange, fascinating thing to believe. I’m like my own biology experiment, and the changes that have already happened to my body constantly blow my mind. They also underline the fact that human bodies are weird and amazing and gross and there’s no way any of us can go through life with 100% dignity in tact.

We’ve passed the benchmark where the risk of losing the pregnancy is much, much lower, but the wariness from our previous experience remains. I’ve given in to the fact that a bunch of my clothes already are either too uncomfortable to wear or just don’t fit, and have a number of maternity clothes now in my wardrobe (side note: maternity pants are fucking legiiiiiiiiiit), but buying other baby things at this point just seems too… presumptuous? Like we’re taunting fate? Just too early.

But that hasn’t stopped enthusiastically loving people in our lives to already begin gifting us with baby books and tiny stuffed animals. We don’t know where to put the things yet– they just live in limbo on a bookshelf in the office that will eventually turn into a baby’s room. And while we begin grasping with concepts like losing almost half our income while I take maternity leave (side note: fuck the American parental leave system) and balancing our identities as individuals vs. parents and CREATING A HUMAN and everything in between, we kind of… wait. In this hopeful window that gets a little bit brighter as every day passes.

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