Overall, I've been less active on my blog and in the general blogosphere over the past several months. But I have a great excuse and one that will probably fuel several new entries in the months and years to come.
My husband and I are actually expecting. As you've probably guessed from the title of this post, it's not a package in the mail or an inheritance that we're expecting, but a person. To spell it out, we're pregnant. And this is my, our first.
In large part, my decreased activity in the blogging world can be attributed to being bedridden for almost two months due to severe nausea and pregnancy sickness. As I have entered the second trimester (I'll be 17 weeks tomorrow), the sickness is beginning to ebb ever so slightly. I still feel nauseous 24/7, but it's not as severe, meaning that I can actually move around now and sit up straight for an extended period. Yay.
So, that's the big news.
As you can imagine, being pregnant and the prospect of being a mother opens up a whole new realm within the--to utilize some psychobabble--adoptee psyche.
In some ways, I haven't wanted to think about what I'm feeling or what this means to me. But of course, it's inevitable. I can't not think about it. In one way, I was so sick that I couldn't think about it. In another way, I think I needed my own time to process, to linger, to ruminate.
But now that the misery of pregnancy sickness is beginning to lift and as I'm getting more in touch with what I'm feeling, the emotions are flooding forth.
In all honesty, it is not easy to find the words to express how profound this experience is for me. Giving birth is profound for any human being. Yet I do believe there is an added profundity that is unique to the adoptee.
First of all, for the longest time, I never imagined myself having children. And well, with that said, I never thought I'd get married. Well, obviously, I got married. And now, I'm going to give birth to a child in less than six months. As an adoptee, at least for me, both of these experiences are incredibly startling and transformative.
A while back I posted an entry titled, "Did meeting my biological parents diminish my desire to conceive biological children?", in which I began to delve into the psychological reasons--both the healthy and not so healthy reasons--as an adoptee specifically, of wanting to have children.
Now that I'm here, pregnant and awaiting the arrival of our child, it becomes so evident--as usual--that you just can't ever be fully "prepared" for certain life events, whether marriage or reunion, whether death or birth. No matter how much I tried before the fact to imagine or anticipate what I would be feeling and how being pregnant would affect my life, and in particular as an adoptee, none of it could substitute for the reality of being in the midst of it all.
I find myself thinking of my Omma and feeling this inextricable connection to her as I experience pregnancy. I can imagine all the more clearly what she must have been feeling--all the fear, the loneliness, the isolation. I asked her in a letter if she suffered serious pregnancy sickness while she was pregnant with me. Indeed she says she did. Knowing her now and experiencing pregnancy help me to have a depth of understanding that otherwise eluded me.
And then, of course, there are my own fears that begin to seep out. I am having recurring dreams of an eery and despairing vividness, in which I find myself weeping and pleading with my husband, Michael. I'm on my hands and knees, gripping his pant cuffs in my hands, begging him not to leave me, as he stands there so unlike himself--cold and aloof, unmoved by my pleas. A deep and unshakable sense of doom and desperation permeates the dreams making them feel so real and so true.
Fortunately, I slowly awaken to the sound of my own audible sobbing and to the embrace and consolation of my husband, telling me that it was only a dream and that he will never leave me. Although I've had dreams in the past of Michael and me getting into arguments, they have been few and far between and did not involve him leaving me. Yet ever since becoming pregnant, such dreams have increased in frequency and intensity, each time, Michael is leaving me, his decision inevitable and unchanged.
It is no surprise to me, however, that I am harassed by such dreams. I have had conscious thoughts in which I fear experiencing the same fate as my Omma--that some unanticipated event will unfold resulting in the tragic separation of Michael and me, and ultimately, leading to the demise of our dreamed future together as a family...
Yet simultaneously, I experience awe and wonder that I am carrying a child within who will bear my DNA and hence the DNA of my Omma and Appa, of their mothers and fathers, that will emerge with likenesses and characteristics that only those of the same flesh and blood can share. My eyes fill with tears when I contemplate that this child will be the biological child of my husband and me--that this child will be able to know from whom and where he or she comes--and in full.
I cannot wholly grasp how profound it is that this child of ours will know both his or her American and Korean grandparents. Our child will have the fortune of growing up knowing who he or she is. Our child will not know what it is like to not know the basics of his or her identity. And this brings me to tears in a way that it would not if I were not an adoptee.
I cannot fully comprehend what this means to my Omma and Appa, who lost me over three decades ago, and yet to whom I have now returned. They will now know the child of their lost child in ways that they could not know me. And our child will know my Omma and Appa in ways that I could not know them. Just the simple fact that our child will grow up knowing that my Omma and Appa exist and who they are is surreal and incomprehensible at the moment...
I ponder how I automatically think that I will need to explain to our child why "Mommy" has both Caucasian and Korean parents, yet realizing that initially our child won't think anything of it--to him or her this will be normal, this will be the way it has always been. Life will always have included Grandpa and Grandma and Haraboji and Halmoni. To our little toddler, it will be simple and uncomplicated. It will just be.
Realizing this makes me wish that it could be so simple and so innocent in my mind, in everyone's mind.
It brings forth even more poignantly and more urgently the deep longing, the relentless hope onto which I hold that all of the ones I love could be one family one day. I imagine our child, still innocent and unaware of man-made divisions and discriminating love, playing in a room where all of my family, both the Americans and Koreans, have gathered together to overcome the separation and fears that I hope our child will never have to know...