Preggers

One Will Become Two

“I wonder everyday as I look upon your face, Everything you gave, And nothing you would take, Nothing you would take. Everything you gave…Did I say that I need you? Oh, did I say that I want you? Oh, if I didn’t I’m a fool you see,..No one knows this more than me. As I come clean”

~Eddie Vedder

Dear Isabella,

In about 7 weeks, you and I will meet in person. You are the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thought on my mind when I go to bed. I cannot imagine that will change for the rest of my life. I truly believe that the day I die, you will be the last thought on my mind. I hear music now, music I have heard for years, and it all reminds me of you. You are a classical masterpiece, a sonnet, a love song. You are Pearl Jam, John Butler, Dave Matthews, and the Lumineers. You are Jay-Z and Kanye West. You are Alicia Keys. You are hip hop and rock, heavy metal, country and a lullaby all wrapped into one.

Before you were, I was alone. I have always been alone. Then, one day, I learned that you were growing inside me and that feeling of being alone, that feeling that has always been in my life was gone. People have asked how I dealt with this whole pregnancy alone. The thing is that I have never been alone in any of it. It has been you and me from day one. We have shared tears and laughter. We have shared ice cream and steak. We went to concerts and Phillies games. We even ran a half-marathon together. We traveled across the south and we did it together.

I want you to know that I will never regret making the decision to keep you. It has been an honor to spend the last eight months carrying you with me wherever I go.  It has been my joy to be one with another human being as miraculous as you. Although I know that you and I will have many memories together in the future, there is a part of me that is already sad about that day that is coming in a few weeks when we will be physically separated. It will be so exciting to finally hold you in my arms, but hard to let go of the us that is one so that we can become two.

Someday, several years from now, you will venture off on your own and I will not get to hold you in my arms every day. On that day I will remember that you are the only other human being in this world that was ever a part of me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I will remember this and be forever grateful for the blessing of being chosen by you to be the vessel that brought you into this world. And on that day I want you to know that it was this time, this crazy 40 weeks of my life, which I will always cherish as the best of my life. I love you.

Love,

Mom

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Preggers

pity.

When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.”   ~Buddha

In the last week, I have heard the following statements from people:

“My heart breaks for you”

“I am so sorry you have to go through this”

“I pity you.”

“This is going to be so hard for you.”

“It hurts us that you are going through this.”

STOP THE MADNESS AND STOP THIS PITY PARTY!

I beg you. I do not have cancer. I am not dying. I am having a baby for goodness sake! Do you understand how incredibly exciting and wonderful that is? There is a beautiful perfect human life growing inside me right now. She wiggles and squiggles and she is a miracle. There is nothing sad or ugly or bad about that. Nothing! I am not a victim, I am a mom. And, although I did not ever plan to be a single mom, I still chose this. I could have given this baby up or terminated the pregnancy months ago. No one forced this on me and there was always a choice. If I have given the impression that I want you to feel bad for me, please know that that is the LAST thing I need right now.

There are millions of starving people this very moment. There are people living on the street and losing their jobs. There are people fighting for their last breath because cancer has once again taken over another undeserving body. I was not raped or beaten or shot or stabbed. I, like more than 13 million other people in this country, and millions of other people around the world, am a single parent. This is not a new concept and it is not even a permanent condition. Just because my experience is different than yours does not mean that it’s any less wonderful.

If I was married and this baby was planned, I would still have trials and tribulations. I might end up with a husband who is no help at all or who cheats on me or who unexpectedly dies. There are no guarantees in this world and in this life. We cannot plan out a perfect little life and know that it is going to just happen. If that was the case, I would have been married years ago, my dad would have walked me down the aisle and he would have given me my first dance at my wedding. He also would have never had cancer in the first place.  I would be a star on Broadway and run a school in Kenya’s Mathare Valley so every child there could have a solid and free education and food on the table every night. That is not reality though.

How many people actually experience everything working out exactly how they planned and expected? Are you married to the person you expected? Are your kids exactly how you dreamed they would be? Are you working in the job you dreamed of having and living in the house that you used to sketch as a kid? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean your life is bad. Most of us are running with Plan B or even C!  Even the children who are starving and have lost their parents to disease and violence find a reason to throw their heads back and laugh once in a while. I know because I have seen it with my own eyes. Life is unpredictable and we can roll with it, love it, and laugh about it or we can be bitter and ungrateful and blame everything and everyone else for our unhappiness. I am only 35, but I have felt heart break and disappointment and fear. I know that no matter what happens that is out of my control, my happiness is the one thing that is in my control.

You want to be there for me and support me? Then join me! This is fun stuff. Ask me how I’m doing once in a while. Come paint with me or hang a picture or two in the baby’s room. Laugh with me when I talk about hemorrhoids and stretch marks and my crazy hormones. You feeling bad for me will not get us anywhere and frankly it’s bumming me out.

For those of you who get this, thank you! The encouragement I have received through messages, phone calls, cards and gifts has been beyond what I could have ever imagined and far outweighs the pity. I leave you with two of my favorite quotes from friends in the last week. Both of these men pulled me out of a funk when I was freaking out and what they said was perfectly said and perfectly timed.

“Nothing about this is bad. How this happened is not bad. You have done nothing wrong. You have actually done everything right. The initial shock of it all was scary and hard, but there is nothing bad or wrong about your situation. You eat all the right foods, you take vitamins, you go to classes and do research. You are preparing for the baby in every way and have been taking care of yourself. This is all good and everything about it is good. If people can’t see that, then that is their problem.”

“You’ve got this. Ever since I met you, I’ve thought you were brave. I wouldn’t expect anything other than you keeping this child and taking on the challenge of raising her because that is who you are. You wanted to go to India, so you did. You wanted to leave PA and go to Chicago by yourself for college and you did. As long as I’ve known you, you say you are going to do something and you do it. Why should this be any different?”

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