About a year ago, Geoff and I had given up on trying to have another baby. After Eliza was born, we tried for a few years with no luck. Actually with bad luck. I had an ectopic pregnancy when Eliza was two years old. After two weeks of being treated with medication, my tube ruptured while I was driving home one night. I passed out at the wheel and, thanks to manual transmission, the car stalled. A quick ambulance, a close hospital, and an excellent doctor meant that I made it through. The experience left me shaken, but wanting more than ever to have another child. I miscarried two more times. After that we finally gave up. I’d become obsessed with the idea of another child, and it was making me miserable. Geoff and I decided to move on and enjoy our small family. This included our decision for me to apply for the Fulbright. “This is the kind of thing,” we thought, “that people with only one kid can do easily.” Eliza can go to school, Geoff can write, and we can travel around this beautiful country on the weekends. Imagine our surprise when we found out our adventure would include having a baby overseas.
I had been feeling a little off throughout the orientation in D.C. I was tired and thirsty all the time. I attributed this to hot weather and the excitement of getting ready to go abroad. A few weeks later, I was still not feeling good. Turns out I was pregnant. I did the math and realized that my due date would be right near the end of our time in New Zealand. Because of all our bad luck in the past, we waited to tell anyone until we were fairly sure I wouldn’t miscarry again. When I did make the announcement, everyone at Fulbright was so great about it. They extended my stay in New Zealand by a month to give me some time with the new baby, and put me in touch with another Fulbrighter who had a baby while completing her work in New Zealand.
The reality of everything is setting in. Every day I feel some combination of excitement and anxiety about living, studying, and having a baby on the other side of the world. Now, when I see it in writing, that seems totally normal.