So here’s an update on this neglected blog of mine: last month, I had a baby. My daughter — Emilia — is healthy, super chill, and incredibly beautiful.
I haven’t posted here since January; I’m happy to say I had the most positive, pleasant, and active pregnancy. Maintaining my workout routine was really important to me, and doing power vinyasa yoga almost daily to my 38th week kept me mentally and physically healthy, happy, and sane.
I looked forward to labor and the experience of childbirth, but unexpectedly, I ended up scheduling a cesarean birth, as she was breech for over a month and, despite the things I tried to get her to flip around — acupuncture, chiropractic care, moxibustion, headstands at the pool, breech tilt exercises, hypnotherapy, and an unsuccessful ECV (external cephalic version) — she didn’t budge. While it was not the birth experience I’d originally envisioned, I was totally at peace with everything in the end. Ultimately, I just wanted her to be safe and healthy — it really didn’t matter how she got here.
Five weeks later, I’m recovering well and making more trips out of the house — even if it’s simply taking a walk around the garden — and Nick and I are slowly adjusting to our new roles as mother and father. It’s been weird, challenging, and life-changing: new parts of me have emerged, while others are no more. I’m grateful for this gorgeous little human, but also find myself mourning the life I had. I’m off from work until the end of the year to adjust and focus on her, myself, and to settle into this next chapter of life. I’m not sure what the next months (and years) will bring, but I already sense a shift in my priorities and goals.
Surprisingly, I’ve also felt more of an urge to write, in small bursts and Instagram captions typed out in the middle of the night after a 3am feed — but that’s much more than I’ve expressed as of late. So, perhaps that’s a sign of more musings to come…
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Enjoying this book so far, from the blogger at The Ugly Volvo. Nick has read a few hilarious bits aloud, and I love the way Emilia’s head feels against my chest when I laugh, even though it hurts as my incision heals. As we enter week 3, I’m tired, emotional (omg, do NOT binge-watch This Is Us after you’ve just had a baby), and physically limited to our small house, with short strolls in the garden. I’ve left the house twice since coming home from the hospital—for pediatrician visits—and was exhausted after both trips. Not surprisingly, I miss yoga and working out, and realize that where I’m sitting—on my sofa surrounded by a gazillion pillows—is the center of my universe right now, as my body recovers and we find our rhythm. In moments I sit quietly, I’ve been thinking about a lot of things. I think back to when I first met Nick: how young we were, at least compared to now, and how we bonded over traveling, writing, and so many other things. I remember the epic night we met, first drinking and smoking at an empty Zeitgeist, then at the Toronado, talking about how I didn’t want to have children (I’m not sure how we ended up talking about this, but we did, amongst everything else). I’ve thought about how our paths first crossed on the internet (thanks to travel blogging), the thousands of miles between us in the beginning, our shared trajectory, and our evolution as individuals and as a couple. I think of how we now have a daughter, who looks like him when she’s wide awake, and who looks like me when she’s asleep. I think of his Twitter avatar from years ago, when I knew of him only through his travel writing from Egypt; in the photo, his face was covered with a blue head scarf, and all I could see was his big blue eyes. I remembered this photo the day Emilia was born—Nick came into the operating room before my surgery, and I looked up and saw him, his beard and part of his face covered with a sterile mask in the same shade of blue he wore in that profile pic. Once again, I saw his eyes—and the face I first encountered and fell for years ago. It was a weird, special moment, as if the past 8 years flickered before me in the minutes before we met our baby.
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One of the interesting things about having a baby has been accumulating so much stuff in the past handful of months. Just three years ago this summer, we moved up to Sonoma County and into our tiny house on wheels—and had given away most of our furniture and belongings with the intention of living in 131 square feet. We didn’t know how long we’d live in the tiny house, but we were sick of San Francisco and how we’d been living at the time, thirsty for something different. We lived in it for one year, until we stumbled upon this little house on this beautiful property that we live on now. Two years later, we have this tiny human—something at once planned yet surprising. I continue to evolve as a person—sometimes I look around and wonder how I got here, but then I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and remember it’s ultimately still me. Our guest room, above, will eventually be Emilia’s room. For now, all five of us, including the 🐱🐱, sleep in our bedroom full of newly bought stuff, creating a symphony of baby grunts, cat purrs, and human snores. So, life doesn’t look like this at the moment—it’s much more cluttered 😆 Still, it’s nice to be able to catch my breath in quick calming moments around the house and garden—I’m grateful that it’s so peaceful here with the trees, the birds, the quiet, the light, the space.
Follow me on Instagram @cherilucasrowlands.