About two years and four months ago, I sat on a slightly reclined bed while an ultra sound tech put jelly on my belly, slid a wand over it, and looked at the screen. “I think I had a miscarriage,” I said, “But I still have pregnancy symptoms.” Pause. “You’re still pregnant,” she said. “Listen, you can hear the heartbeat.” Wop-wop-wop-wop. On the screen was a little wriggly mass.
How could this be? A week and a half earlier, I had a miscarriage. I knew it. All sorts of emotions of sadness, failure, yearning, and weirdness swirled around in my head. But there was nothing to be done. I started drinking wine and coffee again. I went to NYC with Justin to visit my brother. On the way there, I barfed. I felt gross, exhausted, and everything I had been feeling while pregnant. What was going on? (Come to find out later, I probably miscarried a twin. But I’ll never know for sure.)
I could not believe I was still pregnant. It was an unseasonably warm day in March. I biked over to Milk and Honey Market, feeling free as a bird, and sat outside with an iced mocha. I called Justin. Called my mom. Called my sister. Texted the two friends I had already told. That feeling of sitting outside with my iced mocha and sharing the good news (again) with family and friends will never leave me. It’s one of those memories that is burned in my mind.
Today, I biked to the central library with Evelyn. It is my favorite branch. Going to the central library makes me feel like a city girl because it is grand, bustling, and close to downtown. Evelyn loves going to the children’s section. Sometimes we go to story time; today we were just going to get books for our upcoming trip. We took the steps down and counted them: “Wan, too, free, fo, fai, sick, seb’n, eight, nain, ten!” I paused at the bottom and picked up a few Dr. Seuss books. Evelyn grabbed one too and ran down the hall to see her favorite indoor fountain with large goldfish swimming in it. I followed behind. I grabbed a few other books, set down my backpack, and heard her chortle in her deep voice: “Wah ha ha haaah!” I turned around and saw, with horror, the hardcover Dr. Seuss book floating in the fountain. She was pointing to it with delight. “Nooooo! We don’t put books in the water!” I fanned it out and hoped it would dry. The kind librarian said don’t worry, it happens all the time.
Afterward, we walked up to Milk and Honey, the same place I had gone two plus years ago when I found out I was still pregnant with her. I had told Evelyn we were going there to get a mocha, and that I had brought some peaches for her. She calls them apricots (“ack-cots”) and she was very eager to eat them. I ordered my mocha and a croissant and we sat outside in the warm sun and enjoyed being together.
It is strange to think back to when she didn’t exist. She makes life both hard and wonderful. Everything takes extra effort with her. But when I truly see her (which, thankfully, is most of the time) everything is extra special because of her. At almost two, she is an even mix of dependency and independence. She delights in making messes. She also delights in helping to clean them up. This morning, she was standing on her stool and doing dishes (read: playing dumpy dumpy). I bent down to put something away, then stood up and she was in the sink. Whoops.
Tomorrow we set out for a week-long vacation. Deep Creek Lake with my in-laws for three nights, then camping in upstate New York with my family for three nights. There will be many hours of driving filled with Dr. Seuss and BabyBug, wiggle waggle finger games, soothing fussy tears, and snacks. Traveling without a toddler is easier. Traveling with one is so hard, but so worth it. I am glad she’s here.
Homemade Iced Mocha
Brew one shot of espresso, or stove top espresso, or about 1/4 cup of double strength coffee. Let cool for a bit. Heat water to boiling, and use about two tablespoons of it to whisk into 2 tablespoons of drinking chocolate (as opposed to hot chocolate mix that usually has powdered milk added). When you have a paste of water and chocolate, add espresso/coffee. Fill a glass with ice, add coffee chocolate mixture, and finish with whole milk.
Here is what else has been cooking in my kitchen
– American Sandwich Bread (used half whole wheat)
Thanks for reading, and have a great week.