Here We Go

This is what I am wearing the day we drive from Connecticut to Maine: a pink and camel-colored sweater, soft and narrowly striped. Outside, it is sunny and bright and memorably cold. It is the morning after Thanksgiving.

We leave later than we said we'd leave—we always leave later than we'd said we'd leave—and drive through the main artery of the small Connecticut town where we met. We divide and conquer. I order our breakfast sandwiches at the deli Sean used to go to in high school; he gets our coffee at the Dunkin Donuts where he gave me his number, next to the restaurant we went to on our first date. As we merge onto the freeway, our past recedes in the rearview mirror of the car. Our future is tucked deep into one of the suitcases in the back.

********

The day is a question mark. Should we do it here?

No, too weird.

What about if we get off the freeway here, at this rest stop?

Do you really want to find out at a rest stop?

No, I guess I don't.

The beach where we met had felt like it might be poignant, in a providential sort of way, but the restrooms are locked for the winter. Halfway to Maine, we stop at Walden Pond and I think about it there. Seems like it might be romantic, until I see the place I'd actually have to do it.

It's okay, I say. What's a little more waiting? 

*******

We bought it a week ago, the night before I left California for the East Coast. Actually, we bought two. Different brands, just in case. It was raining and we ran across the Target parking lot holding hands, heads bowed and hoods up. In the brightly-lit aisle, we filmed each other giddily for posterity, nervous and jumpy as schoolchildren looking at something they don't feel old enough to look at.

But the next morning, I'd changed my mind. I don't think it's worth me doing it, I said. I think we'll only be disappointed.

I boarded the plane to New York, left the Target bag in the bathroom cabinet. A few days later, I called Sean in San Francisco, caught him right as he was packing for his flight out to meet me.

Actually, I said. Could you bring them? 

*******

It's been dark for a few hours when we pull up in front of the B&B in Maine. We climb the stairs to our attic room, put down our bags, and look at each other. 

We should do it now, I say. Should we do it now?

The bathroom is small and white and clean, with sloping ceilings. Sean sits on the bed, starts the timer on his phone. Ready? I say. Ready, he says.

I leave it on the edge of the sink and walk out into the room and wait. 

*******

Hours pass. Days, months, years. Suspended together in a weird fissure in time, we make the jittery small talk of people in elevators. The wait is a void of nothingness, a lacuna between before and after. The timer goes off on Sean's phone, and we give it another minute, the present wrapped around us like a security blanket. Then we rise off the bed and cross the threshold into the future. 

*******

There are two, I say. 

Definitely two, he confirms. 

There they are. Two pink lines. 

*******

But what do you do after that? We don't know what to do. We'll do another one, I say. Just to be sure. We'll do the other kind, the one with the word. 

We tiptoe down two flights of stairs and make tea in the living room of the B&B. I drink the two small bottles of Poland Spring that have been put in our room. I've barely brought the second test out of the bathroom before the word flashes up at me, consolingly.

Well, says Sean. Looks like it's true. 

********

After dinner, we drive to the flagship LL Bean store in a blissed-out bid to make the night stretch on even longer. It's almost midnight, and alone in the vast metropolis of the children's department, I pick up miniature scraps of seersucker and fleece. I need something tangible and tactile to commemorate this, something physical to make it real.

I choose a tiny cableknit fisherman's sweater in navy blue, and when the cashier rings it up, I ask for a gift box. I don't know why. It feels like a gift. The whole thing feels like a gift. 

******

There is a picture of us I love, taken the next day on an empty, windswept beach, our old life blown wide open into something uncertain and new. There we are, huddled together, the sole two keepers of our precious secret. We look terrified. We look awestruck. We look thrilled. 

1
April
Feb 19, 2013

Congratulations! You'll be great parents!

2
march hare
Feb 19, 2013

OMG OMG OMG.

I am a long-time lurker. From India, no less. But if this doesn't call for a delurk, I don't know what does.

Congratulations, you two! Go and have yourself one kick-ass baby. KICK. ASS. :D

3
Lauren
Feb 19, 2013

Congratulations! What a beautiful journey you both have started on :)

4
robin
Feb 19, 2013

Congratulations! What an exciting new adventure. Can't wait to hear more

5
Marguerite
Feb 19, 2013

Oh Holly, congratulations, what wonderful news! Can't say I didn't have a bit of feeling after our dinner a few weeks ago in Berlin! I hope you have the loveliest and calmest of pregnancies!

6
Shilpa
Feb 19, 2013

Congratulations, Holly! What wonderful news, and what a wonderfully written story!

7
Luisa
Feb 19, 2013

Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So excited and happy for you!! It's a marvelous adventure, full of so much love and happiness and absolute wonder. Hope you have an easy pregnancy in the meantime. Yay!!!

8
Liv
Feb 19, 2013

Congratulations, Holly and Sean! I'm so thrilled for you both!

9
Liz
Feb 19, 2013

So exciting! Yay. Just yay.

10
Nicole
Feb 19, 2013

Best "we're pregnant" story ever!

Congratulations Holly and Sean :)

11
Raewyn
Feb 19, 2013

Congratulations to you both,so exciting!

12
Sandy
Feb 19, 2013

How exciting!

Congratulations to both of you and your families (first grandbaby, can't imagine the excitement!)

13
Valerie L
Feb 19, 2013

So happy for the both of you! Congratulations!

14
Christina
Feb 19, 2013

Congratulations!! Longtime reader here. Brought tears to my eyes. Another beautifully written post.

15
Chaya
Feb 19, 2013

Congratulations! That's wonderful. Enjoy the ride!

16
Cristina
Feb 20, 2013

Never commented here before though I have been reading for a long, long time. But I wanted to say congratulations and wish you all the best.

What a delightful read!

17
Valery
Feb 20, 2013

Ack! I just audibly gasped reading this at 2 am hilding my own "precious gift". :) I'm so thrilled for you two that I had to break lurker status!

My son (my first) was born six months ago and several(!) times during the pregnancy and his life I have read your blog and thought about this (likely with the same impatience as your mother who gifts you vintage strollers), if only because I just know this will be the most stylish bad-ass baby (and nursery) ever! Can't wait to follow along!

18
Annabel Via
Feb 20, 2013

Weeeeeeeeeee! How exciting. You'll be ace. Xx

19
Robin
Feb 20, 2013

This just... makes me happy.

The way you write it is breathtaking, and the for a long-time reader, the news itself is breathtaking. Congratulations!

20
Alicia cp
Feb 20, 2013

Holy crap! EVERY single time I see a post in my feed I think "maybe she's pregnant" EVERY time, for the last year. At least. I almost commented on the last post about Safeway, thinking you were going to say so but didnt want to be the insensitive jerk to my imaginary Internet friend.

So.....

Whioooooooo -hooooooooooooo!!! Congratufreakinglations!!!!!!!!!!!

21
AlisonC
Feb 20, 2013

Hooray! This is weirdly exciting for me seeing as we are complete strangers.

22
Nicole
Feb 20, 2013

Ohmigosh, this brought tears to my eyes, too! I've never read a more beautiful announcement (of really any kind)! CONGRATULATIONS to you both!!! Such happy news!

23
Thesaurus
Feb 20, 2013

Long time lurker, first time commenter - I have been waiting for this post for ages - does that sound weird? Anyway, congratulations! Wonderful news. Can't wait to virtually meet Baby Slinsky!

24
Catherine
Feb 20, 2013

Brilliant, brilliant news. Congratulations to you both and hope you're feeling well! It's a thrilling and terrifying time, and one during which cute baby animal YouTube videos is perhaps best avoided, but oh, the chocolate-eating opportunities...

25
Jo
Feb 20, 2013

Oh my goodness, so exciting!! Congratulations to you both, what fabulous news. So beautifully written as always, it may sounds weird that I even got a bit goosebumpy as I read this over in New Zealand. Long time reader and occasional commenter saying 'wooooohooooo' :)

26
Helen
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! And what a lovely way to announce it.

27
Kathleen
Feb 20, 2013

I read this on a dark morning walk with my dog and felt myself grinning ear to ear. Weird to say since I don't know you or Sean beyond this site, but I am positively beaming and so happy for you both.

In a few minutes, I am going to quietly open the door and interrupt my 8-month twins' chatter and squeaks, get them out of bed and start their day. They are the best thing that has ever happened to our little family - congratulations!!

28
Isobel_A
Feb 20, 2013

Hey! Congratulations! So happy for you.

29
Christy
Feb 20, 2013

Deklurkibg with tears streaming to say beautiful story and many congratulations to you both!

30
Charlotte
Feb 20, 2013

I'm pathetically excited for you. Congratulations!

31
Cassidy
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations!! So happy for you. An exciting adventure, it will be. :)
Lovely story. I just love your writing.

32
Kelly
Feb 20, 2013

OMG! Congratulations!!!! Fab news! :)

33
Christine H.
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations!! Wishing you a healthy and easy pregnancy.

34
Nicole
Feb 20, 2013

I thought this was going to be about Connecticut (where I live) and Maine (where I'm from), but this announcement was WAY better. Congratulations!!

35
Arina
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! So happy for you!

36
Jenn
Feb 20, 2013

Such an awesome way to tell your story! Many congrats to you both.

37
Jenn
Feb 20, 2013

Such an awesome way to tell your story! Many congrats to you both.

38
Heather
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations!! I'm so happy for both of you and wishing you all the best.

39
Kate
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! Loooongtime reader here and thrilled to pieces for you and Sean. Been waiting a long time for this post!!

40
Bellie
Feb 20, 2013

AAAHHHHHHH!!!!!! I KNEW IT! I said a couple of posts ago when you were having glass after glass of lemon drink (my sister craved lemons all throughout her pregnancy) and you were feeling unwell overseas, it had to be! YAY!!!

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! So exciting xxx

41
Monica
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations!!! Like many here a long time reader and so very happy for you both as you take the next step in this love story of yours!

Baby makes 3!!!

42
Heather
Feb 20, 2013

This is the best thing I have ever read! Congratulations to you both!

43
Casey
Feb 20, 2013

Oh wow! Congratulations!!! As soon as I saw the title of this post I hoped, no, I KNEW!!!!!! I've been waiting for this post basically since the first day I started reading your blog. Amazing to start my day being giddily happy for two people I've never met, who don't know me, who live across the country from me. I live near Walden Pond, though, and went to college in Maine and have visited that LLBean store many a time after midnight, so this story is particularly coincidental in that way. VERY HAPPY for you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing your journey with us, your humble readers!!!

44
Rhea
Feb 20, 2013

So many congrats!!!

45
Holly
Feb 20, 2013

Best. Announcement. Ever. It was so BEAUTIFULLY written. Oh my gosh! My ovaries are literally leaping! Congratulations!

46
Chelsea
Feb 20, 2013

I started reading after someone linked to your beautiful engagement post and this was just as lovely and exciting. Congratulations!!

47
Amy
Feb 20, 2013

Aaaaaaah I had a feeling this was coming - every time you've posted something new for the last couple of months I expected you were going to make an announcement! CONGRATULATIONS! Fantastic writing, as ever.

48
Emily
Feb 20, 2013

Much love to you and Sean, Holly! I cried. I DID, I CRIED. This is the beginning of so much and I can't wait to hear about everything from your fresh, thoughtful perspective. CONGRATULATIONS!

49
SarahinBoston
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations, Holly and Sean! What an exciting year this will be. Looking forward to the baby room/decorating posts, too. :)

50
Sarahincola
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! And what a wonderfully well written way of memorializing the moment. I thought to myself as I started reading the post, "could this be the post where she tells us she is pregnant?" I have tears of happiness in my eyes for you (and I swear its not just hormones from my own pregnancy!)

51
Roberta
Feb 20, 2013

I think that's the most beautiful positive pee stick story I've ever read. You have such a lovely, lovely way of telling the most mundane details of a story. I am so thrilled for you and Sean. What a chase, what a dance, what an adventure parenthood is, and you will be great. Congratulations!

52
Danielle
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations!

53
mjb
Feb 20, 2013

Huge congratulations! It's the best adventure there is!

54
Shannon
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! I am so happy for you and your entire family! What a blessing!

55
Jashshea
Feb 20, 2013

It's really hard to read to the bottom when you're teary. Beautifully said as always. Congratulations to you and Sean!

56
Abby
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations!!! So excited for you - while I've only been on this ride called "parenthood" for just under a year, I can tell you that it's the best gift ever.

57
Samantha Jo Campen
Feb 20, 2013

Oh Holly. I'm TEARY for you guys! It's so so magical--all the congratulations in the world. Such a lucky baby. XO

58
Lawyerish
Feb 20, 2013

Ahhhh! Congratulations! What wonderful news. I just have had this *feeling* for a while that this was coming and I'm glad I was right! How absolutely thrilling. Your parents must be over the moon.

So we need more information now. How are you feeling? Will you be finding out what you're having? WILL YOU TELL US?

I am just so pleased and excited for the adventure that lies ahead. It's just the greatest.

59
Bailie
Feb 20, 2013

So exciting and now I am all teary eyed in my lunch!

60
Home Sweet Sarah
Feb 20, 2013

Oh, congratulations! Babies are the best!

61
Lisa
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! I'm so happy for you two. What a lucky baby!

62
Jillian
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! EEeeks!

63
Haley
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! The above commenter was right, this is worth a de-lurk.

64
Melissa
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations on your wonderful news! That brought tears of joy to my eyes. I hope you feel well and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy. All the best to you and your growing family!!

65
Lauren
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations to you and Sean! my sisters and i have been reading your blog for years and we all just texted each other this morning with excitement.

66
Megan
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! What a beautifully written post, too. Hooray!

67
Elissa
Feb 20, 2013

So happy for you! Hope that you are feeling well and can't wait to hear about this next adventure.

68
Ashley
Feb 20, 2013

Ahhhhhh! Congratulations, Holly!

69
Kari
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! I am thrilled for you!

70
Shelly
Feb 20, 2013

Wait a minute. LL Bean is open till midnight?

(Congrats!)

71
Alison Presley
Feb 20, 2013

I'm so ready to meet this baby! Congratulations. I'm quite sure you've made an impossibly cute one.

72
jen
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! What a lovely story!

73
Marisa
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! So exciting!

74
Anna Louisa
Feb 20, 2013

HOORAY!!! I've been wondering ;). All the best to you two (three!) wonderful people.

www.anna-bird.com

75
Diann
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! You and Sean will make wonderful parents.

(Now you've made me cry at work and I don't even know you!)

76
Kerri Anne
Feb 20, 2013

[This was so lovely.] Here's to parenthood-sized adventures! Congratulations!

77
Fiona
Feb 20, 2013

Ah, congratulations! This made me bawl my eyes out!

78
Linda
Feb 20, 2013

It's been said - Brilliant. Lovely. Congratulations. I'll add - all the best on your new adventures!

79
Cam
Feb 20, 2013

CONGRATULATIONS!

80
Stephanie s
Feb 20, 2013

Yes!!!' Congrats!

81
Angela
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations!!! I can't wait to hear all about it, and I really can't wait to see how you decorate the nursery. :-)

82
D
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations on this new journey, this new life ahead!

83
Sizzle
Feb 20, 2013

Incredibly happy for you both!

84
AC
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! This is so exciting! I can't wait to follow the journey. I am beyond thrilled for you guys. You will be amazing parents. I can imagine your parents are over the moon, Holly!

85
Maggie
Feb 20, 2013

Well. Not a dry eye this morning! So happy for you two, congratulations!!

86
Angela
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations Holly! (and Sean!) We're expecting our first in just a few short weeks and the way you describe that first moment captures perfectly the way I felt too when we found out. It's an amazing ride and I can't wait to hear your words through the rest of this journey.

87
S
Feb 20, 2013

Wow, SO beautiful. I don't even know what else to say except that was one of the most lovely ways I've heard a pregnancy announcement. Congratulations to you and Seam, you will both be AMAZING parents!

88
Sarah
Feb 20, 2013

Wow..that made me cry, in a happy way. Didn't know I could be so happy for "my blog friend" I've never actually talked to! But I turn to you for most travel and life advice (moisturizer creams, count as life advice), so really excited to now have future baby inspiration as well!

89
Mir
Feb 20, 2013

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH yayyyyyy! I have been anxiously awaiting this post. (Is that weird and creepy? I just mean I like to live vicariously through young'uns like yourself, and I figured eventually this would come around.) Congratulations to you both! :)

90
BKC
Feb 20, 2013

This was so beautiful. Congratulations, you guys!

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