For the past several months, I’ve mentioned having medical issues. And that’s really how I see it – a medical issue. But that’s not completely true, either. (Be forewarned! This very long post has almost nothing to do with sewing.)
It has certainly been a health rollercoaster, and I got the news in the hospital, barely two weeks after slicing my finger open on a beer keg and getting my very first stitch. I also had some other health issues in the background, including worsening hip pain – I have (mild?) hip dysplasia, but had been feeling excruciating hip pain for months and was tired of it. So I went to the doctor to see if I finally had arthritis in my hips. Plus, I think I had a followup to my physical scheduled anyway, because that’s how my (amazing, awesome) primary care doctor rolled. Though I suspect it’s been my obesity that has allowed her to schedule indefinite followups for me – under the guise of checking my weight – more so than her doctoring habits, I’ll take all the fattie wins I can get. They are generally thin on the ground. (pun! intended!)
Anyway. I’m pregnant.
I found out really early on, in September, at that followup/hip consultation, at almost 240pm on a Friday. I was scheduled to start work at 3pm at my night job. I was late to work that day; not because of the shock, but because the hospital was on the other side of town and even in an Uber it took more than 20 minutes to bridge the distance. I worked my shift with confusion in the back of my mind. At 2pm I wasn’t, to my knowledge, pregnant, but at 240pm, I was. Could that happen? Was it real? It was all kind of like a dream.
Ever since I was a girl of single digit age, I wanted to have children. Specifically, I wanted to get married, move into a house with my husband, and have our family there. He would work in an office as a businessman and I would write novels from home, alongside my philanthropy of mentoring teenage girls in the foster care/at risk pipeline. It was a clear and attainable dream, though I was aware that becoming a novelist famous enough to earn a living would be difficult. And I was ugly, so I knew I wasn’t going to be the first picked for marriage. But otherwise, it seemed like a good, solid practical plan – the only good, solid practical plan I’d ever come up with, and the only vision of my future I had. It allowed me to avoid a 9-5 job, which seemed suspiciously like school, and gave me room to write and love others freely: the two things I wanted to do as a child, but had no outlet for. It was a dream perfectly suited to me.
Dreams don’t come true.
Instead, dreams elude us. And by us, I mean me. I spent my whole life wondering if my newest crush was the person I would marry and settle down with. I endured years of well-meaning people telling me I could and should aim higher than marriage and motherhood, they didn’t know any men (that they were willing/able to introduce me to), marriage wasn’t all that great, motherhood wasn’t all that great, they didn’t think I’d be able to handle marriage and motherhood, and they doubted my desire because how could I want marriage and motherhood when I had never experienced them? In short, I got no support for my dream and it never came to pass. I cried a lot as the years slipped by and I remained single and childless. All I wanted to do was give love. Why was I being denied this simple thing?
I had an emotional breakdown at the age of 31 over being unmarried and childless while everyone else in the world seemingly got knocked up and married within months of meeting someone. WHY NOT MEEEEEE? I read infertility message boards to find the only people in the world who could understand the pain of childlessness, but those women had partners. I searched the web deeper, for personal testimonies from single, childless women who wanted to be married mothers. I screenshotted and bookmarked comments on articles and blog posts, saving the words of people who understood my pain. I cried some more.
Then 2017 dawned bright and cold as it does in New England. I would turn 35 in August. It was time to bury my dream and find some other purpose for living. It took months, but I realized nothing would prevent the painful gut punch when I saw couples, pregnant bellies, strollers, families at graduations. Even funerals hurt. Who would come to my funeral if I died? My parents, my best friend. Who else mourns a single, childless woman? I was the end of a bloodline. My life represented death. I decided that if I was dying anyway, I might as well spend my time healing myself mentally, emotionally, and physically rather than continuing to suffer. I entered into food therapy, and that caused the oddest of chain reactions culminating in that stunning September day.
Why have I shared this darkness? To help you understand how surreal this pregnancy has been. I’ve literally spent almost three decades wanting something, only for it to fall into my lap without warning. Also without preparation, information, money…well, you get the idea. I ain’t ready. But I am pregnant. And it’s been interesting. All the things I wanted to experience, I’m now experiencing, and I’m less than impressed. I downplay the process and make it a punchline. I hope no one asks how I got knocked up because I feel stupid and kind of ashamed about getting pregnant outside of marriage with a man who wasn’t a wise choice at my advanced, should-know-better age. I mourn the fact I didn’t go the sperm donor route years ago. Having a baby daddy complicates things.
But you know what? If I’m honest – which I always am when I write – I am TERRIFIED. And so. damn. happy. I am having a son or a daughter. Even if it’s just the two of us, I finally have someone to shower in love. It comes with all sorts of other responsibilities, hence the terror, but…all my dreams can finally come true. I can finally nurture someone and watch them grow. I can finally make sure that one person on earth grows up loved, supported, and encouraged. My baby won’t care how many degrees I do or don’t have. My child won’t be fussed over my lack of romantic relationships. My smelly teenager might care that I’m older than all their friends’ parents – but my young adult will sail into the world, confident that this old lady has their back 100%. People. I am so pumped about this. A little afraid to be so happy, but I am happy. Really happy. I want more kids! (Even though pregnancy really does suck and is terrible and is probably the worst thing in nature and we should really work on being able to lay eggs instead.)
Next month is Me Made May. My biggest challenge for MMM has always been finding a mirror to take selfies in; I’ve sewn prolifically enough that I wear me-mades daily, and sometimes I’m in head-to-toe me-made outfits. But this May, I’m making a baby. Or at least, making a baby come out. Hopefully at the end of the month. It could decide to come in June, as karmic payback for me taking my sweet time to enter the world, but we shall see. I think it’s fitting for someone who is sewing obsessed to have a baby during a month that celebrates the stuff we’ve made, don’t you?
PS: Happy birthday, bebum <3 LYLAS forever and always <3