13 May 2006


How different this is than the first pregnancy. Well, third, really. The first I aborted when I admitted I couldn’t be a student and single mother to a child borne out of love to man who left for his own adventure with prostitutes in Ecuador 24 hours after the positive result. I mourned that one for years. The second died of accidental causes 14 weeks and 4 days into a terribly desired pregnancy. The third was dear Stella. We held our hearts secreted away until we passed into the 16th week, the realm longer than I had held any child. We burst into the 5th month buying baby things practical and frivolous, no longer tense around a stockinette cap or three-snap onsie.

And now number four. I have called my parents and told some friends, but I have not jumped for joy or shed a lump-throated tear. It’s not because I’m holding my breath. We now have proof that it all works. I’m not thinking about the challenges of two. I am certain they will come. The bulk of my pregnancy with Stella, I couldn’t will time to move fast enough to meet her. Now I pray these next 8 months will be slow and gentle. And we want this baby for our family. We had regular sex despite exhaustion just to get right here.

On the cross trainer this week I read a 2005 Utne Reader essay about a father’s experience of his wife’s pregnancy and birth. In full view of the other exercisers, I sobbed on the machine and then remembered that in the coming Winter I will bear a child again. I realized I hadn’t even greeted it yet. So I balanced on the machine, placed my hands on my shiny capoeira pants and said “Hello.”

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