The first hurdle

Hubs called it our line in the sand. I equate it with the first big hurdle we need to make it over.

Our 12 week scan is in three days. I’m torn between excitement and abject fear. Charlie didn’t make it to 12 weeks. But 12 weeks was when we found that out. I keep telling myself that everything is fine. I keep logging every pregnancy symptom I’m still having, even though I know that’s certainly not a fail-safe. I keep writing letters to March baby. I’ve told my dad about the new baby; a difficult conversation for us both, but one that I think was good to have had.

I like to believe that I’ve come a long way, fear vs. hope-wise, in the almost nine weeks that I’ve known March baby exists. For most of my days, I’m able to be content in my pregnancy — at least as content as I can be right now. But there’s always at least just a moment, sometimes more, each day where the fear slips in. Where getting to the appointment means knowing something I may not want to know. And I wonder how I would get through losing our baby again. Losing Charlie changed me, profoundly, in ways I didn’t know were possible. What could happen this time?

Now, I try to push the fearful thoughts away, and tell myself it could just as likely be that we get to see March baby lively and active with a strong beating heart. I try to think about October, when we would know whether the baby is a boy or a girl. I try to think about the holidays, when we’ll be preparing for their arrival. I try to think about March, when the baby will be screaming at the cold, harsh air in the hospital room and it will be the best sound I’ve ever heard.

But first, we need to clear the hurdle.

Send us some good thoughts, universe.

Strange new land

The first “official” week back at school (mean the students were in attendance), was so strange for me. It was quiet. I didn’t have 25 small humans around me constantly needing something every moment of every day. I did a bunch of paperwork and made a bunch of phone calls and took a bunch webinars for test administrations. It was so odd. And though I’m grateful, because less hectic = less stress at the moment and less stress = better for the baby I’m trying to successfully grow, part of me was sad. I felt misplaced. I felt like I was supposed to be doing something, being somewhere, but I wasn’t.

Having lunch duty with the seventh graders was the most difficult part of my day. I only have them for half an hour, but they’re just so self-centered. Entitled. I know that partly that’s their age. But I feel like, for better or worse, we need to teach them not only academics but how to be good human beings. Because, at least for my school, most of them don’t really get that character education at home. And I feel like if we send them out into the world knowing Pythagorean Theorem, but being awful people, we’ve failed them in a way. I’m trying to figure out, in my small slice of time with them, how to get through to them (while also making sure they know damn well I will not be taking their shit — they don’t like this about me already, haha).

I’m looking forward to tomorrow, because I get to start pulling the kindergarten students to screen them for ESL services if need be. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been excited to test anyone before. I’m just very excited to when I’ll finally be able to pull small groups and work directly with the students again, and the screenings are the first step towards that.

Also, I’m finding that most people don’t actually understand how much work goes into being an ESL instructor. When I was describing to a coworker everything I had to do before I could even think about beginning the screenings, and then what would need to take place after, etc. she got this astonished look on her face and said, “Oh. So, you’re actually, like, really busy?” Which makes me chuckle, because it’s the same as how most people don’t actually understand what hard work goes into teaching Pre-K or Kindergarten. It’s amazing, really.


Start now, start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling, but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just…start. — Ijeoma Umebinyuo