Hāpai. Pregnant; to conceive.
Like I said, for Ben and I, expanding our ‘ohana has always been a matter of when rather than if. Soon after we met each other in college we both knew that kids were in each others’ futures [we just didn’t realize back then that we would be in each others’ future].
Ben and I are huge kids at heart, but that wasn’t the only reason I knew he’d end up with kids.
Shortly after we started dating during our sophomore year of college, Ben started interning with a special needs preschool. That’s when I noticed that children flock to the man. If there’s a kid nearby, he or she will somehow find Ben on their radar and proceed to use him as a jungle gym. Somehow Ben always has the patience and energy necessary for all kids – even, and especially when they’ve got special needs [eventually he would become Mr. Ben].
While Ben always had a way with kids 3 and up, I was always drawn to the babies. Ever since I can remember I’ve had an innate yearning to hold them, feed them, rock them. I began babysitting shortly after I my age got a second digit and haven’t stopped since.
After we got married back in October of 2009, we briefly discussed having kids but ultimately knew that we both wanted to get our higher education degrees fairly soon, so we agreed to wait. About half way through 2010, though, something inside me clicked. It was like my innate maternal clock started ticking and for the first time in my life I found myself filled with sadness when my period would come [which made no sense to me since we weren’t trying].
I told Ben what my gut was telling me [as well as the contradictory information my brain was giving me], and he simply said to pay close attention to my intuition [how amazing is this man?!]. Together we’d monitor and honor that all-knowing voice inside.
I tried to keep myself busy with work, being a fitness instructor, working out – spinning, running, yoga, weights – and then grad school. But still, every month my cycle would bring along with it a deep sadness and yearning for a family. Finally, around May of this year, I had a few really powerful talks with some of my really good friends with children [who have been eagerly awaiting our pregnancy for years now]. They all said the same things to me: (1) you’re never going to feel 100% prepared, (2) you two are going to be incredible parents, and (3) if there’s something inside you urging you to have children, listen, before you miss your opportunity.
While on a long hike together, I told Ben that my na‘au [connection to source; heart, gut, feelings] was telling me it was time to get hāpai. Ben responded with, “Well, who are we to go against that? I don’t have that same intense connection to Source, but I trust it.”
And so our journey began…
Since there is still so much to be said on the topic, Part II will be coming soon, where I’ll go into detail on what transpired between that hike and the positive pregnancy stick.
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