The first thing I did after hearing about the attacks -- once I calmed down and finished saying a prayer for everyone involved -- was to call my IM on the phone, to make sure my IF was safe. I knew he worked *somewhere* in downtown NYC, but I had never been there and had no idea what was where. Manhattan? Wall Street? Were they all the same place?
Because they lived about an hour from the city, phone lines weren’t a problem at their house and I was able to get through without difficulty. My relief at hearing the phone ring quickly turned to fear when she answered the phone in a panicked voice, “Honey? Is that you???”
She wound up not hearing from him for hours because *he* had so much trouble getting a phone line that day, even on his cell. I found out later that he did indeed work in one of the other World Trade Center buildings, and was evacuated after the first plane hit. He was standing on the street and saw the second plane fly into the building. At that point, he started hoofing it out of the city and was finally able to get a ride home, hours later.
At the time, theirs was the only family I knew even indirectly affected by the bombings. Their son had a classmate who lost a father, and because he worked in the finance industry, my IF knew people who had been killed. Like most Americans, I was stunned at what had happened, intensely grateful that he was ok, and had a weird sense of guilt about being not only personally un-affected, but happy for our pregnancy situation, in spite of everything else. My IF was not harmed, although he was never able to go back to his office due to building damage. While NYC struggled to dig out of the rubble, both literally and emotionally, I felt embarrassed and awkward to be happy about the fact I was pregnant. It just didn’t seem right to be excited for an ultrasound for one tiny baby, when so many lives had been lost.
After a week had passed, this is what I wrote in my journal:
“Although it feels shallow not to mention the attacks on the Pentagon and WTC, considering it’s only been a week and so many thousands of lives have been altered, as well as the course of the future of our country … in ways we most likely haven’t even realized yet, you know what? I’m not going to. This is supposed to be a journal about a happy time in my life, and a happy event. Not a social commentary about stories and memories of a bleak time in America’s history. I’m sorry the events happened at all; I know this will affect all of us in many ways to come, but this journal is going to be about this marvelous pregnancy, and will allow us to reflect back later on exciting, happy times and events. And to quote Forrest Gump: 'that’s all I have to say about that.'"
And with that, I allowed myself to get excited again for the ultrasound scheduled the next morning.