Lateefah Torrence

Meet The Mom: Lateefah Torrence

Lateefah Torrence with her husband, Frank. i i

hide captionLateefah Torrence with her husband, Frank.

Courtesy of Lateefah Torrence
Lateefah Torrence with her husband, Frank.

Lateefah Torrence with her husband, Frank.

Courtesy of Lateefah Torrence

I'm Lateefah and I'm having a baby.

What?

I know, it's crazy.

For months, the birth of our first child was something that was going to happen "later." Now the timeline has snapped me in the face like a broken rubber band.

Lateefah took belly dance classes pre-pregnancy. i i

hide captionLateefah took belly dance classes pre-pregnancy.

Courtesy of Lateefah Torrence
Lateefah took belly dance classes pre-pregnancy.

Lateefah took belly dance classes pre-pregnancy.

Courtesy of Lateefah Torrence

How did we get here? My husband, Frank, and I will celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary in July. We've been together much longer than that, but I am not the romantic one and never remember how long it has actually been. We are both nearing 40 and while I can't speak for Frank, I didn't mean to wait this long before embarking on parenthood. But if it wasn't one thing, it was an abdominal obstruction nearly killing me.

Getting knocked up was not easy. We lost our first pregnancy to miscarriage and were about to turn to the hard-core medical reproductive arts when I came down with what the professionals call a "spontaneous pregnancy."

Now there is a life-form growing inside of me. And honestly, the experience is not unlike the movie Alien. I spend quite a bit of time asking, "What the heck are you doing in there?" As this new life kicks me in the ribs and punches my bladder, I am asked to make all sorts of decisions for its benefit, and it often feels like just too much.

Living in New York City doesn't help. Want to make birth art using Birthing From Within? Is husband-coached Bradley Method the only thing for you? Can't imagine doing anything but Lamaze in a birthing tub? There is someone in NYC who will show you the way for an expert fee.

Lateefah and Frank visit the Louvre in Paris. i i

hide captionLateefah and Frank visit the Louvre in Paris.

Courtesy of Lateefah Torrence
Lateefah and Frank visit the Louvre in Paris.

Lateefah and Frank visit the Louvre in Paris.

Courtesy of Lateefah Torrence

Frank is a teacher, I'm a writer, and although I often wish we had a bit more income, being on Manhattan's lower end of middle class has certainly helped make some decisions for us. For example, we will not go into debt for a private room at the hospital. I mean, it's only two nights and the money could be airfare to Paris. Oh, I forgot — we'll be parents soon. All extra cash from now on goes into a 529 College Savings Plan for the Alien. Ah, memories of crepes on the Champs-Elysees will have to hold us over for the next 25 years.

Or not.

Finding balance has been my greatest challenge in this pregnancy. I knew I had gone over the edge when I woke up at 3:45 one morning and decided that I absolutely had to research car seats at that moment. (Note: We don't own a car.) As the sun rose over the Hudson a few hours later, I decided the only way to survive the rest of my pregnancy is by making peace with our choices. Laboring at home, yes. Hypnobabies birthing method, yes. Hospital birth, yes. Pain relief, maybe.

I hope this blog will help to remind me and other parents that we are all doing the best we can. My name is Lateefah. I lost on Jeopardy!, but I plan on winning at motherhood.

You can also find more of my musings on my personal blog: A View From The Grid.

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