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Oh, baby! It's a plot twist!

Monday, June 17, 2019

My dearest Green Bees, you may have noticed that over the last few months, I've only been posting a few times a week.  It isn't because my commitment to the planet and the people/critters on it has decreased.  If anything, it's increased ten-fold.  I've just been so golly gosh darn tired. 

It turns out that growing a human requires quite a bit of energy, and winding down the school year as a middle school teacher kind of zapped all of it.  For real... school has been out for several weeks now and I'm just now barely starting to get some of my juju back! 

I wanted to take a brief opportunity to talk a little bit about my pregnancy journey so far, because honestly, after life in Germany and Vegas, I never really thought I'd end up having kids.  Now that one is most definitely on the way, I think it's worth it to get some thoughts out into the world (also, I have a journal and everything and fully intend to write in it on the daily... it just keeps magically not happening...).  

I first remember myself wanting to have children when I was about 20 years old.  I was home from college for the summer and ended up spending quite a bit of time babysitting 5-month old twins.  It was in this year in school that I'd really become aware of all of the issues within the world (i.e. pollution, waste, homelessness, famine, etc.) and I'd been voraciously devouring information about these issues and spent the twins' nap time watching documentaries, reading books, and brainstorming ways to heal the planet.  With these thoughts in mind and while feeding two babies at the same time, 20-year old me felt like a superhero.  

At that point, I'd been in a serious relationship and it was kind of assumed that we'd graduate, get married, and start having kids right away.  That didn't happen.  Life took me to new corners of the world and to a new relationship in which compromise didn't often happen.  It was really his way or the highway, so I gave up on thinking that marriage or a family would ever occur in my future.  I focused on surviving, doing what I could to improve the environment, and having a career.  

Now that I've been in the field of education for a decade (7 years as a para or non-school teacher and 3 years as a full-time teacher), I'm still no closer to knowing what I want in a career (teaching is draining, but I love being able to help people), but I've managed to stumble into a relationship that feels just about as solid as the earth under my feet.  I wasn't looking for it, but it just kind of happened.  SunStars legit walked into my life when I very least expected a relationship to happen.  Because communication and compromise have been key and because we've both dedicated years of our lives to people who placed conditions on most things, we got engaged just 7 months after meeting. 

... and then I think we had a bit too much fun... and now there's a baby on the way! 

I'm a total planner (and possible control freak who has also been told sporadically for the last decade that the ol' plumbing was wonky and conceiving a child would be quite difficult), so this baby has simultaneously been a complete shock and the most wonderful surprise.  

Not to share too many details, but I've always had inconsistent periods, so when mine was 5 or so days late, I wasn't too concerned.  I'd felt a bit like I was catching the flu for a week without ever actually having caught it, but the straw that broke the camel's back sent SunStars to the store for a pregnancy test (y'all have no clue how grateful I was that he took care of this... I was terrified) was that we went for coffee one Friday morning before school and two sips in I nearly vomited (and I haven't been able to sip a latte ever since).  We still waited a few days to take the test, but on Easter evening, our nerves got the best of us.  

I took the test and sat shaking on the couch while SunStars went to check it.  Honestly, the next few moments were kind of a blur.  What I do remember is that he cried happy tears, and I cried tears of terror.  Over the course of the following week I did what all control freaks did: I got a doctor's appointment and started planning out the nursery.  I love to decorate, and even though we're already flipping SunStars' condo, I jumped at the chance to plan out a new room.  This was an easy gateway to making  registry (please keep in mind that I was all of 5 weeks pregnant at this time), and I'm slightly ashamed that the prospect of "getting things" is what got me to move past my stage of initial freak out (for real, the minimalist in me is ashamed), it moved me to a place of excitement. 

We then started telling family members and our closest friends and while just about everyone was thrilled, I got a bit of backlash that sent me back to the freakout stage for almost two months, but the support outweighed the negative backlash and I started to truly wrap my head around all of the changes to come.  I've been incredibly lucky with symptoms.  I've had about 12 nauseous days (we quickly nicknamed this sweet babe "Tater Tot" because it was one of the only things I could eat on queasy days) and some food aversions, but I somehow managed not to ever throw up (yet)... even when I've craved ridiculous things like school cafeteria tacos.  Legit, when we told the doctor, even he cringed! I just had touch of heartburn! 

 SunStars has been nothing but amazing.  He keeps finding just the right things to say when I feel gross or am frustrated at my lack of energy.  He has indulged my cravings, which haven't been weird, but have sometimes been immediate... and he's even left the house just before bedtime to get me something that I "really, really want, but can live without... I think."  He is a prime back/foot massager.  He tells me that it's ok when all I want to do is lay around and then praises me waaaaaay too much when I manage to get off the couch to do yoga or a quick workout.  On a particularly rough day, he even showed up at my house with my favorite flowers. 

... oh yes... we are still living in two places... that'll get fixed next month when the condo is flipped and my lease is up... 

It's been an absolutely crazy, unexpected journey.  The planner in me has definitely learned to start letting go of control and the yogi in me has gotten more into allowing the Universe to run its course.  In less than a year, my life has completely changed.  Things I never thought would be part of my future fell into place without my even trying (unless you count all of the anxiety and panic attacks that preceded my move to Colorado).  The last handful of months have restored a lot of my faith in the Universe and they have renewed my dedication to improving the planet.  

On that note, I will say that I know we used a plastic bottle and a disposable diaper in our announcement photo and I promise that I'm working on finding more sustainable solutions for Tater Tot.  Since SunStars and I are both teachers and were saving for new cars, a house, a wedding, and a honeymoon when TaterTot decided to exist, we went on a bit of a freebie rampage (you can snag them at Target, Walmart, Buy Buy Baby, Amazon, Babylist, etc.).  While these goodies are all super useful, they tend not to be the most sustainable, so I've been searching for better alternatives and would love tips, if you've got them!  We want to do as much second-hand, eco-friendly, and fair trade as possible! 

I plan to keep my focus here on the sustainable aspects of life, but since a baby is, well... life, I think I'm going to need to open up a bit of space here to talk about this experience as it unfolds!  

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