With Heart on Sleeve

Baby-mama excitement

Dhaka, Bangladesh: “I will (I hope) never forget the ride from the airport to the hotel.”
  • Dhaka, Bangladesh: “I will (I hope) never forget the ride from the airport to the hotel.”

Address: http://withhearto...">withheartonsleeve...

From: San Diego

Blogging since: 2008

Post Title: Crossing over

Post Date: March 2013

You know that feeling when you are about to make a massive change? When you sense that things won’t be the same again, but you can’t really fathom all the ways it will change you?

This is a feeling I’ve come to appreciate. Actually, more than appreciate. I think it’s a feeling I think I even crave now. I crave it because you know in that moment of making and committing to the decision, you have conquered fear.

I remember the hot and humid late afternoon I arrived into Dhaka, Bangladesh, where I’d committed to living and working for a year. I will (I hope) never forget the ride from the airport to the hotel. I remember staring out of the window at the dust and dirt, the bare faces and feet, the abject poverty and the rubble. A million thoughts passed through my mind on that drive, but two overwhelming thoughts were: What the hell have I got myself into? and How can I possibly survive a year here? But I knew even then, as fear poked at my heart, that I wouldn’t — I couldn’t possibly — quit. I was scared but I was also excited. I felt alive with anticipation... Maybe more alive than I’d ever felt before. I knew the year would be one of the most challenging times in my life, but also the most rewarding.

Which is exactly what I keep being told about the precipice that lies directly ahead: motherhood.

I’ve been watching my sister and friends, who have become mothers before me, with utter awe and amazement. I see them (and their husbands) doing incredible jobs raising their children and wonder how they make it look so natural and easy. I remember with all the clarity of yesterday, answering my phone at a dark hour of the morning in Cambodia two years ago to hear my sister, from her hospital room in England, tell me she had given birth to her son. I could barely speak through my tears to congratulate her and ask how she was feeling. Louder in my mind than our voices was the thought that she had crossed over into a place that I did not — and could not yet — fully understand.

But, very soon, I will understand. Very soon I too will cross over into parenthood.

And this time, unlike Bangladesh, it isn’t just a year-long foray into self-discovery and realization.

This time it’s permanent. This time it’s not a journey I’ll take on my own because this time I’ll cross over with a husband I’m certain will be an incredible father and we’ll navigate the challenges and rewards of parenthood together.

And I just can’t wait! I can’t wait to see our baby girl’s face. I can’t wait to hold her little body against mine. And I can’t wait to feel alive with this new love that arrives with a child of our own.

Post Title: The Future Career of Our Unborn Child

Post Date: January 2013

(Driving home from dinner one normal Thursday night in San Diego)

Husband: What do you want her to do in her career?

Me: I don’t know, baby. I haven’t met her yet. I don’t know what her interests or talents are. Maybe she’ll be an aid worker or a diplomat or an artist. I don’t know. Whatever she likes. (pause) What do you want her to do?

Husband: I’d like her to be a doctor.

Me: What sort of doctor?

Husband: I don’t mind. Up to her.

Me: Well, I’m glad she has some option there…

Post Title: The Moment Everything Changed

Post Date: January 2013

The gel feels cold on my skin. I hold my breath and wait for the image to appear on the monitor.

Suddenly, it appears — a tiny little body with little hands, little feet, a little nose! And there it is, a strong little heartbeat. This is really happening. This is our baby. This is our beautiful baby.

I look over at Z... Life, we both know, will never be the same after this moment. Now it is bigger than the two of us. It’s bigger than the love we have for each other.

[Posts edited for length]

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