Changes

2016 has been one helluva year to date.

My father passed away after a 10-month battle with leukemia. My business moved to a brand-new office building, uprooting me from my home-away-from-home for the last 14 years. And the biggest life change – my husband and I are expecting our first child.

I know this post is long overdue, but where to start?

My dad, an Ecuadorian who moved to United States in the 1950s to attend university, had a spectacular life. A mapmaker by trade, he lived 85 years and remained positive throughout his last year, despite his terminal diagnosis. He died in February, and I was fortunate enough to spend several days with him and my mother the week before he died. At that time, I shared our news – that he would have a grandchild.

My dad was thrilled. He couldn’t get over it, as I’m the youngest of his four children and I’m what the medical community politely refers to being of advanced maternal age…a geriatric pregnancy.

You see, my dad and my pregnancy are linked. I don’t like to talk about it and hesitate to share even here, but it’s time to take a leap of faith.

The day I found out dad was sick, I also learned I was pregnant.

The day I helped tell my father he was dying, I learned that my pregnancy wasn’t viable.

The day I learned dad’s chemotherapy had stopped working I also learned I was again expecting.

Less than two months later, he passed away in my parents’ Pennsylvania home.

Dad was what I’d call a true gentleman and an incredible storyteller. He was quirky (who isn’t?) and intelligent, but lived for his loves – most importantly my mother. He was dedicated to his job and would have been honored to see dozens of former co-workers from across the country lovingly share stories as they attended his memorial service.

I know he is still with me, as I can feel his love and guidance regularly. I am heartbroken that he will not be able to hold his grandson.

As for me, I’m nearly done with the second trimester.

The first trimester was physically exhausting. The second was mentally draining with all the changes and adjustments, but I’ve been blessed with a wonderful network of family and friends who have simply been incredible.

Since just before dad passed, I’ve felt good – the energy returned when I most needed it and I’ve slowly realized I need to slow down a bit –  and I have.

Vic at nearly 25 weeks. Almost to the third trimester!

Vic at nearly 25 weeks. Almost to the third trimester!

In mid-April I outed myself at work, as I could not longer hide my rapidly-expanding waist. I also launched a new series about prenatal fitness, starting with yoga.

Now, I’m looking forward as my husband and I prepare for the birth of our son. I’m blessed to be able to share the journey with my cousin Keith and his wife Laura, who are expecting their first child (a girl!) in July, and my brother-in-law Andy and his wife Diane, who are due in September.

We’ve been purging the house of unneeded items. We’ve been preparing the nursery. We’ve been spending time together, relishing our last months as a couple.

It’s a whole new world.

24 thoughts on “Changes

  1. We are going through a lot of changes in our house too. I can completely relate! My husband started a new job and I’m pregnant with my 2nd (need to announce that on my blog). It can be so stressful.
    Congrats on a baby boy! They are the best!

    • Thank you so much Kimberly and congratulations to you! Changes can be tough and I am doing my best to embrace them!

  2. Oh Vic thank you for sharing such a beautiful, personal story. You are going to be an amazing mother, and your dad will be an extra angel watching over you and your family. Congratulations, again!

    • thank you Cyanne. It took me a while to feel enough at peace with all that happened to even put it down in words. Thank you so much for your beautiful words. My dad was totally watching over me today as I was driving…after I drove over a screw he led me to a mechanic shop with my grandfather’s name. Much love to you! How is your foot?

  3. Wow, you certainly dealt with so many ups and downs this year. However, expecting your first child is such a blessing and I know you will embrace motherhood. Your Dad will be watching out for you and your son. I’m so sorry he won’t be there for his arrival.

    • Thank you Pam. It’s been quite the year, as yours has been. Your own daughter’s strength in sharing her recent loss helped me feel comfortable enough to share this. She is an amazing woman – much like her mama. Congrats again on your recent London Marathon.

  4. Such an incredible journey. Thank you for sharing. Your dad will always be part of that journey. He sounds like he was an amazing man.

  5. I am so sorry for the loss of your dad, he will definitely be your son’s guardian angel. Wishing you much happiness as you continue this journey to motherhood!

  6. I am so very sorry for your loss. At the same time I think it’s wonderful and amazing that you are expecting your first child! I wish you a healthy coming up third trimester and a crazy easy delivery. Good luck with all of your amazing changes!

  7. Victoria, when Jody told me your were pregnant ok was thrilled for you! You look great. Thanks for sharing the story. Sorry about your loss. Your father did have a full life.

    • Thank you Elena. Jody was so excited to share the news with you! (and please send along your mailing address when you have a moment – vfreile@hotmail.com

      And yes, dad had an incredible life for 85 great years. I’m thankful for those memories and all he gave us. xo

  8. Victoria! What a bittersweet blog. My condolences for your dad. And congrats on your pregnancy and soon-to-be status change to parent. You will love it, after you and Jodi get over the whole shock of it all.

    And it is shocking. Seriously, I was all, “Yeah, yeah” when I was pregnant and then Ian was born and I was all, “WTF?!?!??!?! Wby is he hungry again? Oh! I just changed that diaper! Why is he crying now? Damn, I’m tired.”

    And then he turned 13. Now he is 13.5 and … just like that.

    It literally goes that fast. One day you’re bitching about cracked nipples and the next you’re getting in the car to pick him up from a track meet. And your neck hurts because you keep whipping it around, wondering where all the time went.

    It’s all good.

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  10. Your dad sounds like an amazing guy, and I’m so glad you got to tell him about his grandchild. I’m sure he’s watching over you both, and I know that you will regale your son with stories of his grandfather.

    • Thank you for your kind words Megan. That’s a beautiful image and I will certainly share maaaaaany stories of my dad with my son. Dad was quite the storyteller, so it’s beautifully fitting!

  11. I’m sooooo behind in the blog so therefore out of the loop! Many congrats to you in your pregnancy! I may be biased with 2 boys, but I think they are the best! I’m sorry to hear about your father. He sounds like he was an amazing guy.

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