My husband was laid off from his job and has been unable to find work since. A friend of his promised him work if he could make it to Utah. Not one who likes change, he slowly warmed up to the idea. The plan was for him to go get started and settled and I would follow later. Simple enough, right? When Syed left I felt like I had just lost my right leg.
Christmas went by and I tried to fill the house with Christmas cheer for the sake of the kids, but I was truly saddened. Syed is Muslim and I am Christian, but we celebrate everything in our household in a really big way. I was just running short of cheer and merriment.
By New Year's my daughter and I were on the next thing smoking there. The story I was telling myself was that if I am going to buy into this move, I need to see the town and what it has to offer considering this was a major detour from our plans to return to Africa immediately after I finish my thesis, take my boards, and the baby is born. But I already knew from my lonely nights and all the time it provided to think, that I could not emotionally make a major move at this time. I also could not be separated from my husband for the remainder of my pregnancy, him there and me here. Neither of those ideas interested me.
Turns out that his timing was off. No one was getting hired until after the holidays, so he just sat holed up in the house drinking extremely sweetened green tea and playing cards (popular West African men's past times).
Coming from a warm southern climate to the freezing cold was simply skin cracking. People always think that if you were born and raised in the cold--as I was--then you have some sort of special connection to it. I could not stand it then and feel the same way in the 10 years since I have been away.
Normally a good traveler, the entire trip troubled me. I felt completely out of my comfort zone. I began to have sharp lower central and left abdominal pain that would not go away accompanied by some spotting. After a couple of days with this pain, we went to the local urgent care. The doctor said that he was concerned that I was running a fever, spotting, and my identified pain was where my uterus is located. He referred us to the ER.
At the ER, they did a lot of blood work looking for possible miscarriage markers among other things. I had a vaginal exam. The Physician Assistant reassured me that the spotting could be nothing serious like perhaps blood that has accumulated behind the uterus or a cyst on my ovary. The good news was that my cervix was closed. They did a complete ultrasound. I say complete because it took an hour to complete, if not slightly more.
The ultrasound technician asked me if I wanted to know the sex of the baby if she could tell. So excited by the prospect and needing to hear something good, I gave in. "It looks like a boy, but I am not 100% sure," she said. The baby had its legs crossed. "The male genitalia looks like a turtle," she explained.
A boy! Wonderful! Exactly what I wanted. Especially considering the fight that will ensue if Syed insists on naming a girl after his recently deceased paternal aunt. No disrespect, but the name sounds absolutely awful. I do not even know how to spell it. Why name your child a name that you, yourself, cannot even spell? I suppose that it is something like: Mascura Amadou Lasini. We had already decided even before we left Africa that I would give the name for a girl and he would give the name for a boy. Now, since the aunt has died he wants to pay homage to her with our child. I refuse and it has nothing to do with not respecting his culture. An inter cultural marriage is a lot of work and I work hard at mine, but the foot comes down on the name. The child is part American and will likely participate in American society at some point in its lifetime. I need Syed to meet me half way on this.
The boy's name is already decided upon after Syed's father, Inagar. I must accept this one. However, the middle name will be: Garrin (scrambled the letters around and added an "r". I will call him Garrin. I just found out that Garrin apparently means "a castrated animal, especially a male horse." Um, I am not liking that at all. But I need a middle name that I like. Any suggestions?
I was discharged with a clean bill. No one could explain what had happened or why, but reassured me that baby was fine. "Follow up with your doctor once you get home," I was told.
That evening I asked Syed if we could please return home and attempt a move after the baby's birth. He agreed. It was understood that the both of us would have to do everything necessary to etch out a living until then.