Shannon at GrowingSlower
Jennifer at Every Breath I Take
Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama
Christine at African Babies Don't Cry
Melissa at Adventures of Captain Destructo
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 :).