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.
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.