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It’s your turn Maya.
Since Tre came early, we figured you would too. You didn’t. Since Tre’s birth was so wild, we figured yours couldn’t possibly compete. It did.
More about that later…
I’ll say upfront that this was a new experience for me in many ways. For one, it was my first time trying to be pregnant. My first time being pregnant on purpose.
It felt odd and scary.
Odd because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing.
Scary because I felt like the Universe would work against me. Things were pushed onto me with Tre, without my asking—actually, with my explicit repelling. But that now that I was asking, surely the Universe was going to make it hard for me.
It turned out that the Universe made it hard on me in different ways than I had anticipated.
We wanted your birthday to be around the same time as Tre’s and your big cousins, if possible. So we decided to start trying around the end of 2018. (I realized how naive this plan was after a few weeks of trying.)
Around the last weeks of December, my fertile time was approaching, which meant it was time to get to work.
Then on New Year’s Eve, I got a phone call that changed everything. My best friend since the 6th grade had passed away.
I couldn’t think or feel or anything really. And I certainly couldn’t be concerned with conceiving a child, given the circumstances. In my mind, I accepted that we would have to put this on pause for the foreseeable future.
I did, however, keep tracking my basal body temperature every morning. A few weeks later, my temperatures looked like they might be trending upward, which can be a sign of pregnancy. So I found an old pregnancy test I had lying around and I took it.
Is that…..a faint blue line???
I didn’t get too excited because I’d heard that blue dye pregnancy tests are notorious for false positives. Plus, I figured since we didn’t try to conceive throughout my full fertile time, the odds of getting pregnant weren’t as high as they could’ve been.
Anyway, to double-check I headed to Family Dollar and picked up a trusty First Response.
I took the test again. Positive. Triple-checked. Positive.
I sat on the bathroom floor and cried and cried and cried.
These weren’t the same kinds of tears that fell when I found out I was pregnant before.
These were tears of relief. Of joy.
But also tears of grief.
According to my temperature records, I had ovulated on December 31.
It was almost too much to take. You were conceived on the same day my dear sister left this world. God brought you to me on the same day he called our angel back home. It’s why you share your middle name with her.
I don’t remember much about her service. Honestly, I try really hard not to think about it. But as I write this, I can hear the pastor who eulogized her repeating over and over again: The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. The Lord taketh away, and the Lord giveth. It was more true than I realized at the time.
I didn’t tell your dad for a few days. I wanted to do the whole SURPRISE-I’M-PREGNANT thing since we planned on this being our last child.
I obsessively took several more tests over the next few days, while I plotted with your godmother Auntie Tima about how I was going to tell him.
I decided to take an old Amazon envelope with his name on it, put the positive tests inside, then reseal it and act like he had new mail.
He was definitely surprised when he opened it and I’m pretty sure I saw a few tears.
Postpartum depression is a hot topic right now. But I rarely thought about depression during pregnancy.
I wasn’t formally diagnosed but I probably should have been. The combination of pregnancy hormones and sudden, painful loss were too much for me to handle.
I was doing the bare minimum for my business and has very little interest in anything.
I knew that I wanted to take time off for a maternity leave so I took an extra gig to save money specifically for that. And it took some of the pressure off my business because I didn’t have the mental capacity to push it the way I had been.
Towards the end of the pregnancy, I got to a place where I was coping better and was looking forward to meeting you.
A few closing thoughts before we get into your birth story.
- Tre was REALLY excited for you. He wanted a little sister.
- I was under the care of midwives at the Atlanta Birth Center. We all thought you might come early and expected you to come fast. But not nearly as fast as you did.
To be continued…