The morning light is filtering through the windows, the orange glow fading to a cool blue. Bean is sleeping soundly on my chest as we rock quietly to the Christmas carols sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. In the corner of my eye, the tree sparkles. Christmas feels magical this year, much like it did when I was a child. R let me sleep for six hours, and now it’s my turn to watch over our fitful sleeper. When I lifted Bean from her arms, I felt the weight of her tired little body. She’s here. No longer imagined. No longer out of reach. What a gift.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.
We are depersonalizing and decluttering our house in preparation for selling it. We’ve slowly taken down all the art work, family photos, momentos, and much of the household kitch. I put together a bag of books to sell at one of my favorite local stores. The book buyer gave me $33 in store credit and I spent an hour I didn’t have browsing books for Bean. I bought three – Beautiful Oops!, Awake to Nap, and Mommy, Mama, and Me. The first one comes highly recommended by one of my favorite two year-olds, whose mother pointed out that the book has a beautiful message for adults. It’s all about how to find beauty in mistakes. And boy is that a lesson I could use!
I bought Awake to Nap because Nikki McClure’s woodcuts will always remind me of the Pacific Northwest and I want Bean to have some familiarity with or fondness for this place even if s/he never lives here. I love that Nikki made the woodcuts while her newborn son slept, and left off at N, when her interest in her increasingly active son outweighed her interest in finishing the book.
And Mommy, Mama, and Me is a sweet illustrated board book about a two-mom family doing typical family things.
It’s R’s favorite. I’m inclined to vote for Beautiful Oops!
I’m cooking up a longer post on the curiosities of being a mom/mom duo in the world of pregnancy and childbirth. The square-peg-round-hole effect is most obvious when I’m reviewing hospital and OB clinic websites, or reading pregnancy books from the mid-1990’s, which are clearly written for mom/dad duos. And by ‘clearly written,’ I mean the books have cute little call outs called “Tips for Dad” that suggest he/I do things like: vacuum the carpets without being asked or do some of the “heavy lifting” around the house.
I have a feeling we are in for a lot of coming out experiences in the next few months. I wonder if I should try to butch it up a little to fit in with the other dads? More details to come! For now I’ll tide you over a photo with a photo that pretty well captures our hers & hers household these days.
Hers & Hers Breakfast of Champions
Last Friday R woke up and turned to me and said “Wait, that really happened, right?” I think we both feel as though the good news was just a dream. After so much bad news and so much struggle, it’s hard to reorient. It’s like we were in this epic tug-of-war for two and half years and we shoved all other needs aside to just keep pulling with all our strength and all the strength of our close friends and relatives and then suddenly the opposing team just dropped the rope. After so much effort to pull, it’s strange to be met with no resistance. It feels downright unnatural. And now we have to retrain our minds and muscles for a different task.
It’s truly a shock, and I’m still absorbing it.
Our friends and family have been so celebratory. I’m so humbled by the love we’ve received and the joy over our little Beans. Yesterday we received a sweet card from R’s mom, henceforth known only as “Mimi,” a book of photos and my blogposts from my mom, henceforth known as “Jams,”* and a beautiful receiving blanket and festive garland from my neighbor, Amanda, who’s been so supportive along the way. The garland said B-A-B-Y, and came with three extra letters (I-E-S). Until we know for sure (Wednesday!) I’m choosing to believe both our little Beans made it and are nice and settled in utero. So I’ve switched out the letters and strung the garland in my office, where I can see it while I work fast and furiously on my dissertation.
I even bought the Beans their first present from me, a book by Nikki McClure, whose illustrations always make me smile. The book is called Mama, is it summer yet? and it’s the perfect book for our Northwest babes.
Card from Mimi, book from Jams
Blanket from Amanda
Book for Beans
PNW summer is all about delayed gratification
Love the illustrations
*When my brothers were teenagers, my mom used to tease them (and make them laugh) by doing a goofy dance (or “jam”) in the living room to prove she was “hip.” My brother, BK, began calling her Mammer Jammer, and then Jammer, and then, just Jams. That is the grandma name the family chose for her.
The doctor’s office called R at noon. We debated whether she should conference me in to listen the voicemail together on her lunch break, but we were each too afraid to get bad news alone. She decided to leave work early so we could finally end the agonizing wait. At four pm we laid down on our bed, held hands, and pushed the voicemail button. The nurse’s tone was neutral. Professional. My heart sank. And then she said,
“Congratulations you are pregnant.”
I began sobbing. Sobbing so hard and for so long that R feared I was actually unhappy about the news. She shook me and said, “Please tell me you are happy about this?!” I managed to utter a garbled response, and continued sobbing.
Our long struggle is over.
I feel so much gratitude. I am so humbled by the scores of people who have prayed for us, hoped for us. Earlier this month I had a visual reminder of all the prayers and good wishes when my mother spilled an entire bowl of prayer beads on the living room floor. When I laughed about the ridiculous sight of three adults crawling around fetching hundreds of tiny beads she said, “This is how many prayers are being said for you right now.”
Thank you thank you thank you. Oh my goodness thank you. I’m so grateful.
My sweet Bean(s), I can’t wait to meet you. Until then, you are held in the light of so many wonderful people. We just can’t wait for you to arrive.
Well friends, the curtains are drawing on the two week wait. At the crack of dawn R will head to the lab to have her blood drawn and four hours later, her beta hcg level will be faxed to Dr. A’s office in Ohio. The nurse will call and leave a voicemail on R’s phone to tell us whether our little embryos hung on for the ride. So many of you have dreamed and prayed about those little buggers, and we feel deeply honored to be held in your good intentions for the last few weeks.
Your friendship and encouragement has sustained us through a very difficult time, and we are so grateful. Tonight we are going to hunker down and enjoy some quiet time over cupcakes, delivered by our sweet neighbor. We have such an amazing network of friends and family, and I know we could not have come this far without you. So thank you for waiting with us, for hoping with us, for dreaming with us.
This morning I shook out the cobwebs by assembling my vision board, which is now resting on our kitchen table. Clockwise, from left: two cuddly babies*; fabric my mom bought for The Beans; a boy in a mustache blanket and a girl in pink chevrons–uber hipster, just like us; a nursery decorated in soothing shades of white, grey, and butter; twins in a heart shaped blanket (a little too cutesy for me, but I couldn’t resist); some fabric I’ve been using to make burp cloths and baby bandanas for other people’s babies, and am saving the rest for mine; an owl from the fabric mom bought; blue onesie that says “buy one” and a pink onesie that says “get one free” (we will of course put Girl Bean in blue and Boy Bean in pink)**; snapshot of a fabric I will buy to make something cute for The Beans; a happy little cloud toy–necessary for cloudy, grey PNW; a cute cute cute pair of shoes that I’m hoping a Grandma will buy; a tree from my favorite fabric.
I love having this sitting next to me as I work, something to hold onto as I wait.
*The Beans will be cuddlers. Their biological mom comes from a long line of cuddlers, and I’m sure it’s genetic.
**Whenever we’ve mentioned the possibility of twins to our friends, they’ve said something like “Hey, what a deal!” so I thought these onesies were so perfect for our “Twofer”