Surprise!

Inspired by the comments and emails I’ve received from people telling me that their lives would be empty, wasted shells if I were to stop blogging, I’ve decided to be brave and stick around. Thank you all for your kind words. I had no idea this blog gave all your lives so much meaning. (In all seriousness: thanks for the encouragement!)

The following is both a dramatic recreation of why I’ve been absent and a sign of things to come. I’ve struggled a lot with whether or not to publicize this, because it’s hard, fast proof that I am moving into a vastly different life than I ever could have imagined for myself when I started this blog two and a half years ago. However, I really do loving blogging, I love this space and the people I’ve connected with, and if I were to not share this, I might as well give up on writing here altogether. So, here goes:

On November 7th 2014, I left home for a four-week work trip around the UK. I was touring with an exhibition I’d spent the previous several months curating research for, and so I packed a month’s worth of underwear into a suitcase, said goodbye to my boyfriend, and flew out of Southampton. I was exhausted.

On November 16th 2014, I stayed up working until 3am and woke up five hours later with a vicious head cold, which was both terrible timing, because I was deep into my UK tour, and really surprising, because I hadn’t been sick for over a year. I was exhausted.

For dinner on November 27th 2014, nearly three weeks into my UK odyssey, I ate a “jacket potato,” which was basically a baked potato covered in Heinz baked beans and is essentially a totally justified way for me to eat as many carbs as possible in one sitting.

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Vomit.

 

Then I stayed up until midnight in my Birmingham hotel room and Skyped with my entire family for Thanksgiving – the first I’d ever missed. Seeing everyone (and the amazing Southern California weather and all the food) was both really wonderful and also super sad, and I ended up balled up in my rented bed, sobbing like a maniac. (I had the decency to end the Skype conversation first.) I was so emotional. I was exhausted.

On November 28th 2014, 24 hours after devouring my jacket potato, I glanced at the photo I’d taken and almost threw up. No exaggeration. A food I’d gleefully forked into my face on Thursday had become totally repulsive to me on Friday. Given my sudden, intense food aversions, my ever-present fatigue, my recent crippling head cold, and the fact that I had grown out of my bra, I figured something might be up. Feeling a little suspicious, and in an effort to shut up my boyfriend and Fertile Myrtle, who are both saints who tolerate nonstop text messages about my various (real and imagined) ailments, I took a cheap pregnancy test in my hotel bathroom. I left the test and went to eat an apple, content that the result would be exactly what every pregnancy test result had been for all the years I have frantically taken pregnancy tests.

Despite the symptoms that encouraged me to invest in some £3.85 pregnancy tests, I knew with absolute certainty that they were a waste of money. The tests always had been and always would be, because my insides were made of sourdough bread and dust. So, as you might imagine, I had a complete emotional breakdown when I went back into the bathroom and found this:

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And then later, this:

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On Black Friday, 5,000 miles away from my family, alone in Birmingham, England after being on the road for three weeks, in a hotel room that shared a very thin wall with my boss’s room, knowing there was still a full week before I could see my boyfriend again, I found myself holding a positive pregnancy test for the first time. The insanity of the situation was not lost on me. The Universe is nothing if not consistent.

Right this minute, I am thirteen weeks pregnant. I AM PREGNANT. I am pregnant and living in England and starting a PhD.

Never a dull moment.

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17 thoughts on “Surprise!

  1. Ah! Yay! Congrats!!!

    First: I’ve been meaning to comment on the last post about how I hope you stick around in the blogging world because I’d miss your posts – but I didn’t want to sound insane… as I often think I do. So I’m so glad you decided to stick around!

    Second: Yay!!! I can’t wait to read all about everything! I hope you update us on this pregnancy and how you’re feeling. I hope you update us on Fertile Myrtle and the Fieces. And I hope you tell us about the boyfriend! Does he have a cute British accent? How did you tell the family and how did they take it? Also, what I’ve been hoping to hear about: how’s the PhD program going? (See: I sound INSANE! But I’m not intending to sound like a crazy stalker – I just hope all is well and you’re loving life!)

    • Haha! Thank you! You are not a crazy person. At all. I think as bloggers, we are all, by nature, total attention-loving voyeurs. (Is that a terrible thing to say? Basically, what I mean is that you never have to apologize – I love it. 🙂 )

      It’s so strange to have decided to talk about all of this. I’ve kept most of the personal developments locked up tight, I guess in an effort to be respectful because it all felt like it was too soon. The boyfriend is Irish, so he’s got an even cuter accent. My family is THRILLED. And I’ve literally just finished my first week as a PhD student, and it is terrifying. This program is only three years long, so it’s essentially jumping directly into a research project (no taught courses or required teaching first). I have six months to define a research question and write a literature review, and one week in, already I’m thinking: SIX MONTHS of this? How am I going to survive six months of not knowing what I’m doing? It’s making me nuts, and it’s been five days. 🙂

      By the way, I haven’t commented in ages, but your daughter is ADORABLE.

      • I can totally understand the thought to keep it private – because you never know who is reading or what random trolls may say – but I’m glad you’re opening up and letting us random strangers celebrate it!

        Irish accent – nice!!!! Absolutely cuter! I’m guessing your little human isn’t getting any hope of olive skin/not being blinding to others in the sun. I say this with love though, my kid is transparent.

        Yay! So glad your family is thrilled!!!

        I’m sorry the program isn’t rocking your world, but don’t worry, you trained for this, didn’t you? Wasn’t the end of your Master’s program a big waiting game? I feel like you’ve been well prepped for scholarly insecurity, but what do I know? I wish you luck though! I can’t wait for all of the updates! 🙂

        Aw thanks! I love her squishy, little face.

  2. HOLY CRAP!!! I had some weird feeling this may be the case…don’t ask why I thought that or what gave me the impression…it’s just something weird I felt!

    I’m so excited for you 🙂

    You are entering your second trimester in a week and I’m just leaving it today! Hope you are feeling well and I can’t wait to read more!

    • I think I am psychic only about people being or becoming pregnant…it’s a gift that doesn’t work on anything else but pregnancy, I swear. Probably all the years of being incapable of becoming pregnant that and I grew super powers as a self defense mechanism!

      • Hahaha! That is amazing. I actually think I have the same gift. I guess it means that if all else fails, we could always work at carnivals. 🙂

        I’m so, so happy for you – I have been silently lurking and am just thrilled. It really is incredible how things work out!

  3. Never a dull moment, indeed! I am brimming with questions about the whole PhD plus baby thing. But since you’re staying on the blogs (unlike me as of late) I’m sure I’ll read an update now and then.

    I am just so struck by the irony of all of this. As I’m sure you are. Whiny baby seems so appropriate right now, doesn’t it? But look at how you got here! Such an adventure. Congrats!

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