In part-interview and part philosophical discussion, fellow first time mama-to-be and all-around inspiring lady friend Shadea took some time to have a talk with me about pregnancy, vulnerability, identity, support, and options.
E: HI SHADEA.
S: HELLO EMILY!
So, first — will you tell anyone reading a little bit about you and your lovely husband, and basically about becoming pregnant for the first time?
Ah well. This will be hard not to run down a romantic memory lane and gush all over everyone in the most sickening way.
IT IS SO GROSS.
NO, it’s lovely!!! You two have such a luminous relationship. I went there, I said luminous.
I’ll try to be brief because we have a lot to talk about – Davis and I met in college working at the same coffee shop.
I was madly infatuated with him and we fell in love in the winter during a snowstorm. My power went out and I stayed with him for a week.
OMG IT’S SO SAPPY.
Within a few months of dating, we made plans to travel together in the summer. We went to few countries in Europe and then lived in Morocco for a month while I studied Arabic and did some research for my senior thesis.
See, I can’t start from anywhere but the start!
Anyway – Long story short, we hit all the major testing points before getting married – we traveled together, lived together and lived away from each other.
Right — I think that’s why you want to start at the beginning — you formed such a deep, strong relationship before babies or even marriage were on the table — that’s super important, and I feel similarly about Shaun and me. It’s so important to have a strong foundation to build upon.
And you got married when?
We’ve been married for 3.5 years (4 in May).
JESUS. Time flies.
Good, you remembered your anniversary. Points.
So — now you’re knocked up, like me — which to me is a really cool experience to have together since we’ve known each other so long.
For background to anyone reading– you and I have known each other since fourth grade which GOOD LORD.
Here is my favourite elementary school memory of you and me —
Competing over how many books we read?
Because I was thinking about that last night.
The only reason I eeked out a win in 5th grade was because you had *literally* read every book in the library and there were no more left for you to take tests on.
For some weird reason, we were the only ones in 5th grad Social Studies GT, and on Thursday afternoons, we scampered off to GT all by ourselves — and I was SO AWKWARD that year, with the Horrible Glasses and Tragic Bangs and a tacky church camp beaded necklace I would never take off. And you had that — knee thing? The issue with your knee and you wore a knee brace that made your one leg straight all the time, so you had to hobble?
And you were super tall and I was super short, and I would help you hobble off to GT where we tried to convince Mrs. Brown to let us email the White House.
OMG. OMG OMG
I completely forgot about that!
We were such an amazing pair.
We really were — I think we were the quintessential Weird Eccentric Girls who grow up to be Cool, Empowered Women. (I hope, anyway.)
For the record – I was mostly in awe of you, because I thought *I* read a lot.
My other favourite memory is EVERY TIME someone cast us in the high school play together and we couldn’t get through ANY SCENE without laughing, and on dress rehearsal, we laughed so hard, your mom yelled, “SHADEA!” from the audience.
I cannot even with this reliving shit. I’m crying over here.
I KNOW, it makes me weep thinking about it.
Anyway — back to babies — so you started messaging me shortly after I announced that I was pregnant. Which — you are actually 2 or 3 weeks ahead of me, correct? But you announced later than I did. What week are you/what’s your due date?
I’m in week 17, so I’m like 2 weeks ahead of you.
Yes, good. (I’m 15 weeks.)
And going back to that (hopefully) Cool, Empowered Women thing — we’ve had a lot of conversations about being pregnant/birth/parenting, and it’s been nice because we’re similarly minded on a lot of topics, which can sometimes be hard to find.