my man, who is almost 30 (welcome to my decade)

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My husband is a really good man. I feel so happy for our son that he gets to have such a good, loving, funny, creative, and thoughtful dad. For some years in my twenties I wasn’t sure I’d find the right partner to be a parent with. I considered mom-ing it solo.

And then I met Greg. Five months into our relationship we decided to move in together (the actual moving in together didn’t happen for  a few more months, but we made the decision 5 months in). Around that same time, my mom was dying, and Greg brought up the idea of getting married before she died. I didn’t want to– I wanted my mom’s death to just be about that, and for our eventual wedding to be about us, and not about rushing it so that my mom could be there. But it was so incredibly touching and beautiful to me that he offered.

We both knew that this was it early on. Maybe my mom dying made things get serious more quickly, but really I think it was because we were both ready. We recognized our partner in each other, and we were ready for it. With open hearts. A year and a month later Greg proposed in Paris. I said yes.

unnamed-7.jpg Here we are at a friend’s wedding in September 2015. Little Smokey was already a tiny cluster of life in my belly, about a month and a half along (the same age as our new marriage), but we hadn’t told anyone except our parents and siblings.

I love being pregnant. I love our growing family. I love my husband.

Here’s to seven and a half months of marriage. Seven and a half months of baby in belly. Three years and four months of being together.

Here’s to this almost 30-year-old dude who makes me smile, laugh, and love better.

April 7 is his actual birthday, and by that time I’ll be even more pregnant (exactly one month from our due date), making him bring me drinks and food and rub my feet. I’m just feeling very grateful that he was born, and wanted to say so now.

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baby heart self portrait

baby heart self portrait

One day in December my OB called me. She had looked at the scans from our 18 week ultrasound and saw a calcification in the left ventricle of our baby’s heart. When she said those words I started tearing up and my heart thumped, I thought, This is it, another thing. My baby is sick– first Lee then my mom now my baby what am I gonna do fuck fuck fuck. She said everything was probably fine, but we needed to go see a specialist in Springfield and have another ultrasound. So we went to Springfield. We sat in the ultrasound room, which wasn’t really a separate room, just three walls and then the fourth wall was a curtain drawn across to block the hallway. The room was dim, the kind of dim like when you watch a movie in school and they turn off all the lights and it makes a kind of calm. It was quiet, the sounds of people walking by and talking beyond the curtain were muffled.

The ultrasound tech came in and we got to watch our sweet baby for a while as she took some pictures. “These heart structures are perfect,” she said, “and look at that beautiful spine!” This made me feel proud. I made that heart, I grew that spine, all of it inside my own body.

The specialist doctor came in and quickly told us how common these calcifications are. “It’s ten in the morning and I’ve seen two of these already,” he said. He told us the baby is fine. Most likely, the calcification means nothing. If we showed other markers, it could be a sign of Downs Syndrome, but there weren’t other markers. He said we could have further tests if we wanted, did it matter to us if the baby had Downs? Would it change anything? No. It wouldn’t change anything. We’d still go through with the pregnancy. So, no more tests. Our baby was fine. “Nothing you did caused this, or could have prevented this,” he said before leaving.

We felt relieved afterwards, and stopped in Northampton for burgers at Local Burger, where I had Greg take a photo of me which I drew this portrait from.  Our baby is okay, I thought. I was exhausted. I wanted to remember what I looked like on this day.

“I guess this is what it’s like to be parents. We’re going to be worried forever,” I said to Greg.

the end of romance in america

Bucket Seats This is an old comic from 2012 that feels very pertinent to Valentine’s Day. My parents taught me about love. Watching them and being part of their family is how I learned to give and receive love, how to argue in a healthy way, how to work together, how to take care of each other.

I learned about this from my sister too, and still learn it every day. And now here’s an old comic about her farting on the train:gas leak