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. 

91
Michelle
Feb 20, 2013

Lovely. Congratulations!

92
Megan @ Mama Bub
Feb 20, 2013

Well, this is the most beautiful announcement ever. Congratulations!!

93
Laney
Feb 20, 2013

Oh, Holly! Congratulations from a longtime reader! Even for two adventurers like yourself & Sean, I can safely say that this particular adventure will be tops.

94
Molly
Feb 20, 2013

delurking- congrats!

I craved lemons and lemonade when I had a girl, hamburgers when I had a boy (who knows).

isn't it funny how nobody can just do one test? whoever invented those things were brilliant. i probably did six. just for the thrill of seeing it. and the first, I must admit, was in the bathroom stall at a barnes and noble. oh well.

95
kari
Feb 20, 2013

haha. i'm crying and i don't even know you! congratulations :)

96
kari
Feb 20, 2013

haha. i'm crying and i don't even know you! congratulations :)

97
Lindsey
Feb 20, 2013

Yay! Congrats!! :)

98
Kate (Not Katy)
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations!

99
April G.
Feb 20, 2013

Wonderful, wonderful! Congratulations!

100
Leigh Webber
Feb 20, 2013

Wahoo! Congratulations!!!! I really had to pace myself reading your post, I was dying to scroll down to see if it was about what I though it was about.

I'm so excited for you and all the future blog posts we loyal readers get to enjoy!

:)

101
Alison
Feb 20, 2013

So beautiful and congratulations, you are in for a hell of a ride!

102
Jessica
Feb 20, 2013

PERFECT!!! Congratulations! I'm so excited for you - an internet stranger that I've never met.

103
Michelle
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations!!!

I know it is strange, but I feel like I have been waiting for this post for so long! Every time one of your posts pops up on my reader with a vague title, I think "oh...maybe". Which is utterly strange, I guess!

Being a parent is amazing--and you and Sean are going to be amazing at it!

I hope that you are feeling well!

104
Katie
Feb 20, 2013

Oh! Congrats!!!! My first baby turned 16 at about 3 this morning. It goes so quickly... but just gets better and better. Enjoy every minute of it!!

105
Sensibly sassy
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations a million times over!!!!

106
kristabella
Feb 20, 2013

I'm so excited for you two! CONGRATS!

107
Rhi
Feb 20, 2013

Oh my goodness. So exciting! It's an amazing journey!

108
Amy
Feb 20, 2013

Happiest tears for you. So beautifully written. I'm just thrilled for you both. So much love!

109
kate
Feb 20, 2013

WAHOOOO! Such brilliant news and what a beautifully authored post, Holly. Can't wait for this adventure to unfold.

110
Lauren
Feb 20, 2013

Yay! Yay! Yay! That is wonderful news. Being a mom is the best thing ever, and you and Sean will make amazing parents. And your parents will be amazing grandparents! Congratulations!!

111
slynnro
Feb 20, 2013

Congrats Holly!

112
slynnro
Feb 20, 2013

Congrats Holly!

113
Terri
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! ... sniff, I'm crying at work dammit. Your families must be over the moon!

114
Terri
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! ... sniff, I'm crying at work dammit. Your families must be over the moon!

115
Jenine
Feb 20, 2013

So many good thoughts! You big drama empress!

116
Kristen
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! Such exciting news!

117
Ashley
Feb 20, 2013

AHHHHHHH OMG CONGRATSSSSSS!!!

118
Ashley
Feb 20, 2013

AHHHHHHH OMG CONGRATSSSSSS!!!

119
Nichole
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! You'll be wonderful parents.

120
yours truly, melissa
Feb 20, 2013

Ah, congrats! I've been wondering when this post would come!

I'm 28 weeks this week, and it's been such a surreal experience! Looking forward to following along on your journey!

121
jen
Feb 20, 2013

I knew it! Congratulations to you and Sean! This is the best part about being in my 30's. I'm pregnant with our first (due in June) and so many of our friends (both real and virtual) are in the same stage. It's exciting to all be embarking on a big life change at the same time.
Can't wait to see how you decorate the nursery, it's going to be a stunner, I just know!

122
Julie
Feb 20, 2013

Oh, how wonderful!! I am so very happy for you two!

123
Lucy Fisher
Feb 20, 2013

Oh, Holly. Total stranger - but I've been waiting for this post for YEARS. I'm SO HAPPY for you and Sean, and absolutely cannot wait to read about this next adventure for you two. It's going to be amazing. Congratulations!

124
Blanche
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations!!! Buckle your seatbelts it's going to be one heck of a ride! :)

125
Michelle
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! So happy for both of you.

126
Elaine C.
Feb 20, 2013

Ohhhhh, I am so excited for you two! Congratulations and best wishes and good luck with everything and please be sure to post some sure-to-be-super-cute-because-everything-you-do-is-cute baby bump pictures!

127
Rebecca
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations and best wishes! So happy for y'all.

128

Oh my gosh, I am so happy for you both!!!! Congratulations!!!!!!

129
Amy
Feb 20, 2013

Such a beautiful style you have, Holly. Breathtaking. Congratulations to you and Sean.

130
Lindsay
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations & hooray!

131
valerie
Feb 20, 2013

congratulations! i'm a long time lurker and am so happy for you and Sean (even though it's a little weird, to be so happy for people you don't really know?). And even happier for me, because I'm also pregnant and am looking forward to all your posts about decorating your nursery and researching baby stuff. Can't wait to see what you pick out! :) Because the most important thing about babies is the accessories, right?

132
Janet
Feb 20, 2013

Wow! That is such exciting news! Beautiful story -- congratulations!

133
Tracy
Feb 20, 2013

I knew as soon as I read the title! I might have had a little something in my eye as I read this...Congrats. Can't wait to hear all about it. You will rock at being parents.

134
Christen
Feb 20, 2013

I have had a weird feeling this sort of announcement was coming soon! Something about your photos from your trip to the East Coast...you're glowing! Like, more than usual, you insanely photogenic pair! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

135
Procrastamom
Feb 20, 2013

I'm crying at work for a person I only know through one of the best collections of writing on the internet....someone I've been reading for years and years. So incredibly happy for you both. Congratulations!

136
elizabeth
Feb 20, 2013

delurking because I am so happy for you two.
been reading since before your wedding and think you are the cutest couple ever. baby is gonna be gorgeous!

137
Stacey
Feb 20, 2013

Wow! Congratulations!! So beautifully written.

138
Kym
Feb 20, 2013

Another long time lurker... I agree, this post deserves a comment... Congratulations!! Love your blog and am so excited for your new adventure!!

139
Linda
Feb 20, 2013

How exciting! I'm so happy for you. It will be a wonderful adventure and I can't wait to hear about it through your lens.

140
deva by definition
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations!!

141
Talina
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations!

142
laziza
Feb 20, 2013

This is really wonderful. Longtime reader here so happy for you two. :) Congratulations!

143
A Little Coffee
Feb 20, 2013

Wheeeeeee, what an adventure! I've been waiting for this post FOREVER and I'm so, so excited for you guys! Cannot wait to keep reading about the gorgeous baby you're bound to have. So much love and good wishes from a lurker in Vancouver!

144
Anna
Feb 20, 2013

So beautiful! Congratulations!

145
Sarah
Feb 20, 2013

CONGRATULATIONS!!! :):):) I can't wait to read all your new adventures with this tiny new little person. :):)

146
beyond
Feb 20, 2013

oh, congrats.
this will be such an awesome adventure for the two of you.

147
Bonnie Jean
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations!! So exciting. I will pray everything goes smoothly. And maybe now that I've "delurked", I'll post more often!

148
brandi
Feb 20, 2013

So lovely. Congratulations to you guys. Ours is a year old and is the scariest and most fun thing we've ever done. Happy day!

149
rachel
Feb 20, 2013

YAY YAY YAY!! Congrats to you and Sean!

150
Cobwebs
Feb 20, 2013

Another long-time lurker surfacing long enough to say congratulations! Parenthood is awesome (occasionally terrifying, but awesome).

151
girls gone child
Feb 20, 2013

I just read this post three times. It's so beautiful and I'm so incredibly happy for all three of you! Love from all of us!

152
Portia
Feb 20, 2013

OH congratulations!! What a beautiful story. One day, you should read it to your beautiful baby.
Like others, I'm looking forward to seeing how you decorate the baby's room!

153
Erin
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! What a beautiful announcement! I am on the edge of my seat for more details.

154
AnEmily
Feb 20, 2013

Oh boy, how wonderful! Enjoy the whole ride!

155
Megan @ Pink O'Clock
Feb 20, 2013

This is so wonderful. Congratulations, Holly and Sean!

156
kelly
Feb 20, 2013

i'm so thrilled for you both! i read this in my parked car and "take care" by beach house was on first, then "your hand in mine" by explosions in the sky, and if that wasn't a perfect soundtrack to this post i don't know what is.
i am a long-time reader, a mother of two, a san franciscan (i think you follow me on instagram, just to be less lurky and more personal on such a personal occasion), and i just want to say i think you'll be outstanding parents to this lucky little one. happy to provide city mama advice, if necessary (though it appears you have many friends w/ wee ones).
wishing you all the best; a happy, healthy, pregnancy. soak in all these moments right now. you're in for the most wonderful adventure of your life.

157
Ami
Feb 20, 2013

Fantastic news! Hope you're not feeling too droopy. Maybe you'll be one of the women who has a delightfully nausea-free pregnancy. That is my sincere wish for you. In any case, take it easy on yourself. You're growing a human!

158
Zak
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations, babies are the best!

159
Heather
Feb 20, 2013

SO happy for you both, and such a sweet post. Congratulations!!

160
chris
Feb 20, 2013

Goosebumps! Congratulations to the both of you from here in Maine!

161
Kristin
Feb 20, 2013

Congrats from another long-time reader/de-lurker! I am currently sitting at home awaiting the imminent arrival of my second, so I can tell you for sure that it will change your life forever in the BEST ways. So happy for you both, I wish you a happy and healthy pregnancy and delivery!

162
Kristiina
Feb 20, 2013

Beautiful announcement all around. (And after your unforgettable wedding, I cannot wait to see the baby shower!) Congratulations :)

163
Erin
Feb 20, 2013

I may or may not have teared up reading this. After years of reading your wonderful writing, I somehow feel like I know you, and I am just as happy for you as I would be for a friend. Congratulations!

164
Kristin H
Feb 20, 2013

Oh, congratulations! Everyone always says that everything changes, and it does, but it also doesn't. You're still you and Sean is still Sean, it's just that life is better. I'm so happy for you!

165
Kimberly
Feb 20, 2013

So many hearty congratulations to you both on this amazing news!

166
Usha
Feb 20, 2013

CONGRATULATIONS!

167
julia
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations!!!!!

168
Marcy
Feb 20, 2013

SOOOOOOOOO Happy for you..and your entire family.. must give my congratulations to your MUM.. wonder if she bought the 1960'ish Pram?
You will be wonderful parents !!!
All the best !!!

169
JennyA
Feb 20, 2013

Oh, my goodness -- that was lovely! Congratulations!

170
Patty
Feb 20, 2013

"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” Elizabeth Stone

This quote is so very true; and having a child is so very worth it!

Many Blessings from the mama of four hearts.

171
rachel
Feb 20, 2013

oddly enough, i haven't been reading any blogs for a while and yours popped into my head 5 minutes and i thought to myself, "i wonder if they're having a baby yet." and you are!!! so happy for you both! CONGRATS CONGRATS CONGRATS!!! :)

172
Abby
Feb 20, 2013

This brought tears to my eyes. You managed to really beautifully and accurately describe the feelings of a life moment that is so hard to put into words. I have been reading your blog for a couple of years, and I can't wait to follow the rest of your journey. Congratulations!

173
Katrina
Feb 20, 2013

How wonderful that this pregnancy has made so many people so very very happy. People from all over the world who haven't even met you. That is special - and you have that in common with Kate Middleton too. Congratulations Holly. Here is to an uneventful textbook pregnancy. Best wishes from NZ xx

174
Rae
Feb 20, 2013

Congratulations! I'll have you know that you had me grinning from ear to ear at 5.30 a.m.

I am just SO happy for you and Sean!

175
Kate
Feb 20, 2013

Wonderful news - congratulations!

176
Jamie
Feb 20, 2013

Huzzah! Congratulations!

And this post is going to be SO WONDERFUL for your little one to read someday!

That is so weird... Just as I clicked on your post in my Google Reader, loading it in a new tab so I could read your words I actually thought to myself, "Ugg I just want her to have babies already. I can only imagine the adorableness that will come from her nesting."

And wouldn't you know it, you are!

CONGRATS A MILLION TIMES OVER from one stranger to another.

178
Jes
Feb 20, 2013

Holly, thrilled for you both! Truly. :)

179
Ava
Feb 20, 2013

AHHH! Congratulations!!! That is so exciting! You two are going to be such fabulous parents!

180
Sara
Feb 20, 2013

YAY YAY YAY! Congratulations, Holly, Sean and baby!

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