Forgive my self-indulgence in dispelling all the details of this discovery process. Millions of women in the world go about this, go about pregnancy, birth, motherhood. And here I am, elevating my story so that the simple phrase "I'm pregnant" becomes the epilogue to some kind of long-lost undiscovered sequel to The Iliad.
But, as a dear friend once told me, the best stories are those that end in redemption. In transformation.
The day after I found out I was pregnant, we celebrated the life of my grandfather. As part of his elegy, the pastor talked about the blessing of grandparents, parents, children, grandchildren, and the grandchildren yet to come. This was the first moment I connected with this strange foreign element in my body which folks would soon start referring to as "the baby."
Ironic. Saying good-bye to the last of my grandparents. And now, a new person in the making. This is big.
The last two days that I spent in Minnesota were glorious. I mean that as no disrespect to the memory of my grandfather, as it was his death that brought me home. But somehow, his death - and the passing of other wonderful members of our family in recent years - were, in one weekend, made examples of the greatness of the cycle of life. I shared some precious moments with Alaina and Maddy, my nieces, as they - upon learning I had a baby in my tummy - made sure I was pampered with arm massages and a stylish new hairdo (NOTE: if you haven't yet experienced a make-over by a 6-year-old, put it on your bucket list). Great moments with my brother. My sister-in-law. My best friend Bridget. My father.
And of course, my mother, who both grieved and celebrated with supreme sensitivity and love.
Exhausted, nauseous and completely over-run by a new set of thoughts, I boarded the plane back to Amsterdam.