19 September 2009

Begin again

I didn't mean to leave a cliffhanger of a post up for nearly three month. Will the heroine and her Mister stay in Barcelona? Will they move to Bloomington?

But I did. And one of the reasons that I did is a little six-inch person currently doing somersaults in my belly.

Yes, the Mister and I are expecting a baby!

In fact, that last post, the one that's been sitting on this page for eons, was written just a couple of weeks after we found out I was pregnant, before we had even told all of our immediate family. When I said that I missed the Mister, I *really* meant it: I had never imagined that I would tell my husband the big news over Skype! When I said that I was tired, I *really* meant it: I was both travel weary and first trimester weary.

I had only just begun to experience the bizarreness of pregnancy, that sensation of being taken over by something other than myself. Although I had only a couple of days of true nausea, by the time I got to Washington, DC I was continually hungry yet uninterested in foods that normally are my favorites. I would have moments of bone-crushing exhaustion and painful episodes of indigestion, interspersed with periods of general malaise and achiness that made me glad that at least there was a good reason for it all. And that made me glad that my mom was taking care of me. Through all of this, the Mister and I (over skype!) were trying to make major life decisions about where we would live for the upcoming year, and where we would (gulp!) have our first child. Barcelona meant living in our own home, being close to family, and access to guaranteed medical care. It also meant staying where neither of us had a job. Indiana meant a job, for me at least, but beyond that all I saw were insurmountable hurdles.

By the time I had hitched a ride with my brother and sister-in-law up to Boston, collected the Mister from the airport at long last, and driven to Vermont, we were surprising ourselves by leaning towards an Indiana baby and had begun to search for a university visa for him and housing for the fall. Plus, as I turned the corner from first trimester to second, I began to feel much more like myself again, and we made the most of our week alone before the rest of the family arrived, working as much as we could but also enjoying the jaw-dropping gloriousness that is a Vermont summer.

That next week with my parents, siblings and nephews was a delight: we climbed Mount Mansfield, ate outside with views of the same, splashed around in wading pools, made trips to Burlington and Stowe and poked around in the meadowed corners of the state. This all happened with special intensity this year, because it was our last vacation of that sort for a long time, as my parents have rented out their house and moved to Washington, DC. In fact, as much as I spent time outside, I spent an equal amount of time in the basement, sorting through the boxes that represent my entire life from childhood through graduate school, as well as the bulk of my personal library. The fact that I consolidated the boxes from 30 to 22 does not sound as impressive as it should, given the hours of organization and the ruthless culling and the aching back bent over endless piles of paper and books.

By the time we flew to Barcelona, we had solidified most of the details of our move to Indiana, not that the prospect was any less frightening. We spent two weeks at home, furiously cleaning out our apartment for a renter to move in--a friend, thank goodness, meaning we only had to truly move our things out of the bedroom and the bathroom, although we did undergo a thorough cleaning and reorganizing process for the rest of it. We enjoyed a few precious days at the seaside, had our first ultrasound glimpse of baby, saw as many friends and family members as we could to say goodbye, then *poof* once again we were on our way back to Boston. The next morning, we began our drive out to Indiana with my parents' car--they've generously loaned it to us for the year-- stuffed full of our suitcases and miscellaneous donated items from my family, me a bundle of nerves the whole way.

And so here we are: I've settled back into the rhythm of teaching, which I suddenly remember that I truly enjoy (except the grading part, harrumph). We've outfitted our little rental with donations from friends, craigslist purchases and yard sale finds, and are enjoying the gorgeous, still summery fall weather. There's the farmer's market to look forward to every weekend, the walks to campus, the forgotten perks of a quiet small town existence.

The Mister is currently in Europe, because he had to finish up the visa application process (we were sort of late to the game, you see) and attend a couple of conferences. It's been surprisingly hard to be away from him, given how accustomed we are to long separations. But we had just settled into a lovely rhythm of life here, and I can't wait for him to see how his baby's tiny knobby knees can already poke hard enough to feel from the outside.


Astrid said...

Congratulations on the pregnancy and the move to Indiana!! Wow, I'm so impressed that you have basically turned around your life twice in a year. Moving to Spain, moving to the US and giving the world a new citizen :) When's the due date? We're basically ready to go, with only three weeks until due date.

You sound so happy though and your post is making me smile from ear to ear in this moment... So I send you a big hug and yet more congratulations!

Robin said...

Thanks so much, Astrid! Yeah, it has been quite the year, hasn't it??!!! I loved seeing the pictures from your blog, too...so exciting how close you are! I'm due February 8--today I'm exactly halfway!

kateisfun said...

Oo, Congratuations! I'm thrilled for you guys! It sounds like you are enjoying each moment as it comes. And, of course I'm glad you're writing again here- I've missed you!

Robin said...

Thanks Kate! I've been enjoying your blog and looking forward to telling you that I'm in the pregnant boat too!