And then we were... / by Rebecca Tillett

Last February, I found out I was pregnant.
Here’s what happened next.

We were looking for a house, then we were buying one, then we were moving, then we were spending every spare moment fixing what needed fixing, customizing what needed customizing, settling, settling, settling, then we were buying for and building a nursery, then we were designing and mailing invites for our bash the following year, and of course attending hospital tours and baby classes and orthodontist appointments (because braces...while pregnant, yay), then I was getting promoted at work (woo!) then we were having a baby, then we were navigating the crazy intense, physically exhausting world of new parenthood and breastfeeding and having a few troubling sleep-deprived meltdowns, and cursing my body for how slowly it seemed to be healing and how some things had just stopped working correctly (“I just want my body back!”), then my grandmother died and the patience necessary in dealing with my aunt regarding her estate has been absolutely awful (which is still ongoing), then I was having inpatient corrective jaw surgery 8 weeks after childbirth—2 days in the hospital and an excruciating recovery in which I was sure I wanted to die, absolutely sure, and eating through a syringe and avoiding the bruises in the mirror and wallowing in guilt for not realizing such a major surgery could kill my breast milk supply and just wishing I could sleep just a little longer than 2 or 3 hours at a time and dropping weight like flies because that’s inevitable when you have a splint in your mouth for months and you’re eating through a syringe, then I was returning to work and acclimating to my new life at home, and then we adopted a puppy (my first dog ever), and then we were planning our celebration and doing backbreaking work in the yard every damn weekend so it’d look nice for our summer bash, then we were celebrating with friends and family who visited our home from all over the country, and then after swearing that after the party we wouldn’t do a damn thing but try to take it easy we decided to refinance our mortgage, and then we actually decided to move forward with our plan to turn our lovingly renovated RV into an AirBnB (because we absolutely need the money now), so we spent the remaining weekends in July prepping it for that and creating the listing just hoping we’d get a few bookings (with the exception of 2 days, August is now fully booked and 2/3rds of September is booked), and now I’m rushing home from work each day to change the sheets and launder the towels and clean up and get it ready for the next guest who’ll be checking in less than an hour, and sometimes doing it with my daughter strapped to my chest, and then feeding her dinner, (she’s totally mobile and feisty now btw), and spending a few brief but sweet moments with her before giving her a bottle and putting her to bed, and then eating dinner myself and getting in bed to savor the sweet hour or two alone with my husband if I’m lucky, catching up on emails or text messages I never responded to, or writing excruciatingly long diatribes like this one, or just watching something together (we actually finished Stranger Things last weekend, I’m so damn proud!) before we both pass the fuck out for about 4 or 5 hours, hoping and praying that it’ll be one of those rare Hallelujah-Mina-slept-through-the-night nights before getting up again at 5:30am to do it again.

There has been some tears, some resistance, some weakness during the most notable points of transition, times of exhaustion and frustration and exhausted frustration and doubting and second-guessing in quantities I’m not at all comfortable with. And there has been some big big gratitude I’m not even certain our universe could house for long. Big big big. Sleep and time deprived big. Nearly always eclipsing the difficulties. Nearly. I’m unapologetically imperfect and there are days I have to cry or force myself out of bed to do it all over again.

But here’s the thing. Our guests have been leaving the sweetest comments in our guestbook. Reading each new one is one of those insignificant, but wonderfully sweet little moments I cherish in my day now...feeling so proud of us for this beautiful little home others now get to enjoy, the home we created when we were still planning our escape into a nomadic and unconventional life, and so proud of us for this beautiful bigger home—and family—we created when we decided to live a much more conventional one—for now.

Who knows what our future holds.
But oh kids, mama’s tired.