15 November 2011

Commonly Uncommon

During both of our pregnancies, James and I have talked about how mind-blowing it is that one day, Ewan did not exist. One day, Austen did not exist. And suddenly -- one day -- two cells met and fused and then ... they did. They existed, the fact of their existence impossible to undo. Each entirely unique and unrepeatable, even were we able to have thousands of babies.

A couple of months before we became pregnant with Austen, my soul ached. I found myself despairing, weeping inconsolably over the fact that another month had passed without becoming pregnant again when it seemed like everyone around me was. I laid back in the bathtub the night I knew for sure there was no baby inside me again and let the tears run down my face. There was a way in which this grief seemed silly to me, but another in which it made perfect sense. I was grieving the child that could have been -- the one who never would be and now, never could be. I grieved the loss of the potential life that existed only in my mind, and said goodbye.

But that loss created a path to something -- and someone -- else.

I remember waking up on the morning of Tuesday, May 3, knowing that this day would be another moment of truth. If my temperature was elevated this day, chances were I was pr-- ... I could hardly let myself finish the thought. James was in Orlando and if I wasn't now, it would be several months before I could be. I was anxious as I pressed the digital thermometer under my tongue, waiting for the single beeps to conclude with a series of three rapid triple beeps indicating my temperature was ready.

98.8 degrees Fahrenheit. That's elevated, alright. So I took a pregnancy test (and several more in the days that followed).

positive pregnancy tests

The pregnancy test told me what I was sure I knew after seeing my temperature: another baby was on the way. I snapped a picture of the positive test with my BlackBerry, sent it to James in Orlando, and hopped in the shower. In a few minutes, the phone rang. Dripping wet, I answered it anyway, congratulating him. We were ecstatic I called my parents and my grandma, excited to share the news. When I told my sister and a couple of friends later the same day, they didn't quite believe me.

I didn't know yet who it was, but that was the day I found out Austen was with me.

25 weeks pregnant

I had jury duty in Seattle that day. I rode the bus into downtown feeling giddy and light, not minding the fact that I was about to sit in a large room of strangers again that day wondering if we would be called to sit on a trial or not. I really didn't care.

Babies are conceived and are born every day, all over the world. So why the giddiness? Why the cause for celebration? Because someone is here who never has been or will be again -- someone who cannot be repeated or replaced. Someone who, like me and you, is an entirely unique and human individual. Someone who has a story and something to contribute. It inspires both humility and awe to consider that without James or me, neither she nor Ewan could exist -- and maybe I'm biased, but I think it's a pretty good thing that they do.

But she is here. Isn't that incredible?

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Team Ewan Friends -- How did you feel when you found out you were expecting your children? Was there anything special you did to mark or cherish your pregnancies? How did you feel after they were born?