Expecting the Good

I’m 23 weeks pregnant today.

I can feel our little baby kicking and twisting and turning. I legitimately never thought I would be able to experience this sensation. I had accepted that I would never feel a baby move inside me and maybe I’d never even be a parent at all. Life had thrown me a deep curve ball, and it took a lot of years to come to some sort of acceptance about that. I had to readjust everything. My expectations. My plans. My ideas. My thoughts. My home. My values. My work. My purpose. My meaning.

And now, I find myself doing the same. Readjusting. Questioning my expectations. Moving around my plans. Changing my ideas. Reviewing my thoughts. Remaking my home. Shifting my values. Moving my work. Choosing my purpose. Claiming my meaning.

Like the little baby inside me, I’m doing a lot of kicking and twisting and turning.

I think we’re never just settled, right? Maybe we’re not meant to be. I wrote an essay once about how infertility taught me to let go. And it has. Letting go makes room for so much more. But it’s not a singular process. It’s the journey of a lifetime. So I continue to let go. And I try to remain open. Open to the possibilities. And, especially right now, I’m trying to remain open to the GOOD possibilities. Because, unfortunately, infertility also taught me to expect that bad stuff will happen to me. It’s true sometimes. But it isn’t true at all times. With the bad also comes so much good. Probably even more good than bad.

And really, every time I feel a little nudge from baby, I’m reminded about the good that awaits. And I’m open to what that good will actually look like. Because nothing is ever really what you think it will be.

So maybe with that letting go, there’s also a little bit of hanging on — to hope, to life, to self, to others. Just as you can’t have bad without good, you also can’t have letting go without hanging on.

I love you so much little one. I can’t wait (well — actually — I can) to see what more you teach and reteach me.

It’s not what it seems.

This photo is a reminder to me that there is always WAY more going on in a person’s story than what we see from the outside.

From the outside, we look like two blissful expecting parents. What can’t be seen is the seven years of infertility. The fertility treatments. The start and stop. The attempts to adopt. The acceptance that maybe we will never be parents. And the returning to hope again and again.

When looking at us, you might not consider that the moment we finally saw a pink line was at once shocking, exciting and terrifying. You can’t see that I’ve felt more anxiety in the past few months than I’ve ever felt before. Day and night I worry about losing this little one. From the outside, you can’t see how much work I’m doing daily to manage that anxiety.

This photo certainly doesn’t portray how much guilt I’ve felt that after seven years of wanting (and knowing so many who want what I have now) I can’t just be the blissful expecting parent I look like here. I want that more than anything. But, hey, real life is real life.

All of this to say that everyone has a complicated story. And almost nothing is as it seems. Especially on social media. So, let’s be gentle and give each other — and ourselves — endless amounts of grace. We are fully complex humans — not 2D squares.

Also, buying this maternity dress was an exercise in hope and belief. I’m trying hard to not let anxiety drive my life. So, here’s to trying (again and again) to embrace the present.

Seven Years

Seven years.

They say that over seven years, every cell in your body becomes new. Essentially, every seven years, you are a new person.

For seven years we have hoped, prayed, cried, wished, planned, worked, lost, given up, revised, fought and hoped again and again. It’s been hard. Really hard. And beautiful at times. Really beautiful.

I’m not sure I understand why it’s taken seven years — or even that I’m looking to understand — but I do know the last seven years made us into entirely new people.

Little one, after a long and transformative seven years, we can’t wait to finally meet you in five short and shape-shifting months.

We are genuinely filled with both gratitude and shock as we get to announce that our Baby Attermann is — at last — due January 2020.