And I feel like some bird of paradise
My bad fortune slipping away
And I feel the innocence of a child
Everybody’s got something good to say.

-PJ Harvey, Good Fortune

I could tell you all of the “bad” things that have happened to me in the past few years, things I may have brought on myself in some ways, self-destructive patterns getting the best of me, and some just plain old bad luck, the kind that drags you down for no karmic reason and keeps you feeling bad about yourself and anxious for years.

But tonight, I want to share the two things that have actually blessed my life in the past few years, two experiences that stand out and shape my life for the better.

When J and I started dating after several years of being friends, things just slipped into place. With both of our lives falling apart around us, we would stay up late, drinking tequila, opening bottles of wine when we should have been going to bed, talking for hours, and eventually, well, not talking. It was magical. We would listen to an XX song and feel like it was about us. We would lie around for hours on a Saturday morning, sharing our knowledge
about psychology and architecture, respectively, feeling like we were tripping off of the dopamine and oxytocin our brains were making for each other. When J left for Europe for three weeks she left me a secret package full of gifts to tide me over, and sent me handwritten letters from her hotel rooms in the Alps. We weren’t sure what would happen, both coming out of long-term relationships and J, about to move to LA. One night when we were talking about this, I told her how lucky I felt, how I would never walk away from something so obvious, how I didn’t even feel like a good or gracious person, but somehow I had been graced with her love.

The second fortunate thing happened today, when I got our genetic testing results. I’d been refreshing my email frantically on my phone whenever I returned to my desk, knowing they’d be coming soon as they were already several days late. One of those times I was rewarded with an alert from Kaiser notifying me that the results were ready. I called J but she was at a meeting on a business trip in Arizona, so I opened the email myself (we had decided this would be okay ahead of time). The email said that our results came back negative for any type of Downs Syndrome or other chromosomal abnormality, and that the baby is likely a… GIRL! I’m ecstatic. I really felt like it would be a boy, simply because I wanted a girl so badly that I had jinxed it. I read it over and over again to be sure I wasn’t imagining it, but it really said a girl! A healthy baby girl, growing inside me! I’ve wanted a little girl for years. Of course I would’ve adored a boy and instantly been excited about him, too.

Soon I will let myself fantasize about names and clothes and so nursery, but I’m still a little cautious. For now, I just want to hug my baby but as she’s still inside me, I’ll settle for holding her tight in my belly.

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