Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My first class without my daughter

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Tomorrow is the beginning of a new semester for me. I am an adjunct college professor at 2 area colleges, and will be teaching epidemiology and nutrition to formidable, undergraduate minds. This is my 3rd semester teaching college, and this one is much different than the previous two. Yes, the excitement is there, but (thankfully) a lot of the nerves of how I would be as a teacher aren't. There is also one more notable absence that I can't stop thinking about, however. Tomorrow is the first class I will teach without my daughter inside of me.

The first class I taught, August 29, 2012, was actually when I was 2 weeks pregnant (and even though I wasn't officially preggers at that point, we all know that the first day of pregnancy begins with the first day of your LMP). The last day of the spring semester, which I spent feverishly grading my class' online finals, was also 2 days before my due date (and 5 days before I actually gave birth to my little girl). This past year, I taught in East Harlem, and the commute from where I am to where I teach door-to-door is about 2 hours. Every step that I took, every song I listened to on the train ride, every thought that crossed my mind while passing by all the towns so beautifully placed along the Hudson river, my daughter was in my belly. She was the frequent subject of my thoughts, especially because I didn't find out her gender while I was pregnant.

The bigger I got, the more I enjoyed looking obviously pregnant. The more I enjoyed teaching thinking to myself, "Wow, I wonder if she is absorbing any of this!" and "I bet this will make her one smart cookie!" It was especially fun when I would feel her kick or move around when I was teaching - she never liked when I wasn't talking so she would get active if it was too quiet for her liking!! There was just something so special to me about experiencing the journey of being pregnant for the first time and teaching (almost) every single week while pregnant.  I got to foster a love for epidemiology in my students and watch them grow, and they got to see me grow as a professor and of course, quite literally as a pregnant person :).

But tomorrow, there will be no sweetheart in my womb. She will be at grandma and grandpa's house, having fun with them as well as her godmother/aunt (our blog co-writer, Sara). I am trying to just embrace my enthusiasm for teaching this class, as it will be the first time I am teaching at this particular college. While it may be hard to forget the emptiness of my womb, it is easy to recall how full my heart is with love for my little Valentina. That's an occupation that will never leave :).

~Tia


7 comments:

  1. I was also teaching whilst pregnant, and my son was most active in the morning because I think he could hear all the other kids ;)

    Thanks for linking up with theTuesday Baby Link-Up! :) Please come back on Tuesday to see if you were featured :)

    Christine
    www.africanbabiesdontcry.com

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  2. Being an adjunct is hard work! Kudos. And I just started to leave my 6 month old at day car so I can work on my PhD. Tough times!

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  3. I am sure things will get easier. It is hard to leave your kids while you work.

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  4. I am currently working on my teaching degree, and I do not know how I will get through the day without my babies :( best of luck to you

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  5. I took my son with me to class for the first two semesters, as a student, after he was born. I was working full-time and going to school part-time, it was difficult to juggle.

    My son loved hearing the professor's voice and would lie peacefully in his sling while the Professor was lecturing. I remember once, we were taking an exam in Psychology and the professor asked to hold him. It was an interesting moment! Another time, my son was a little fussy during an exam and I went out in the hallway to calm him (he wasn't hearing the Prof's voice!) I saw a friend who offered to keep him while I finished. When I returned to finish my exam the whole class (almost in unison) said, "Where's the baby?!"

    My son is 18-years old now and a very intelligent young man!

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  6. I taught adult ed when I was pregnant with my daughter. Fortunately, the semester ended a few days before she was born, so I had the summer 'off' and didn't have to deal with leaving her right away. Now, she's 20!

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  7. I understand what you mean, from the perspective of a student. I was pregnant and going to class, which felt so surreal. I also attended a class with my little one. He was pretty good through it/ After 9 months of pregnancy, being not pregnant is a weird feeling.

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