Please welcome our newest celebrity blogger, Tatyana Ali!
Best known for playing Ashley Banks on the hit ’90s TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the actress and R&B singer, 37, also has multiple films, including Second Sight and Samaria, being released this year. Her latest EP, 2014’s Hello, is available on iTunes.
Ali is currently expecting her first child with fiancé Vaughn Rasberry, whom she met on eHarmony and became engaged to in March. The twosome will tie the knot in late summer.
When I am still, I feel my baby. When I close my eyes, I get dreamy glimpses. Vaughn and I cannot wait to find out who this precious person is. I am saturated with queries about personality, style and essence.
And I am amazed by the love I am swimming in. I did not know the depths of my own capacity to feel. This child inside me is elbowing and kicking and moving up against a perimeter that, up until this point, I had never ventured deep enough to know.
We have chosen to keep the sex of our child a surprise. The only person who knows is our doctor. Friends and family have so much to say about our choice, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. It is so much fun to have people guessing and betting when they are around us.
We’ve heard that a high belly means a boy and a wide belly means a girl, and just after that has been announced to the group someone else will chime in and give information that completely dispels that logic. “No,” they’ll say, their “grandmother always said that it was the other way around.”
I’ve heard that another fun way to guess is by the linea negra — the darkened line in the center of the belly that women get during pregnancy. We’ve been told that if it goes from the breasts all the way down to the pubic bone it is a boy, and if it only appears from the belly button to the pubic bone, then we’re having a baby girl.
For those closest to us, I believe our choice has made it difficult to buy all of those adorable baby clothes and toys we all love. I keep saying that there are beautiful gender-neutral baby clothes and colors like yellows and grays and turquoise, but it’s no use. Everyone close to us wants to know.
I think it’s because they want to dream with some measure of accuracy. But, dreaming clearly is like trying to catch a slippery silver fish in a fast moving river — it’s pretty impossible … unless you’re a bear.
With pregnancy has come a new reality. It happens when I focus on what’s happening inside of me. I slip into a dreamland when I am able to escape the hustle of the outside world and I am finally able to give attention to this baby inside of me. It is my favorite time of the day. I sit or lay, sometimes Vaughn lays his head on my belly and we dream. I revel in the uncertainty because I know that it means limitlessness. Besides being healthy, which we are so thankful for, we know nothing. For us that means that anything is possible!
Neither Vaughn nor I want to fool ourselves into thinking that we know who our little angel is. If we knew the sex, we might decide things about our baby’s future that we have no right to decide — that our little boy will love athletics like his father, or our little girl should be sent to dance school like I was when I was young. We may unwittingly predetermine a course for our child that is ridiculous or just plain wrong.
We want the full adventure and wonder of dreaming without knowing. Who will the baby look like or what will make him/her laugh? Will we have a silly, giggly baby or a more serious and thoughtful one? Will our child love music or be more fascinated by colors? Will he/she like sweets or savories? Maybe sour-tasting things will tickle him/her. Maybe she’s a rough and tumble athlete, maybe he’s a sensitive and prolific artist.
For us, the joy of parenting will be to discover who we have been given the privilege to care for, protect, nurture and guide. We’ll wait for our baby to show us who they are, starting on their birth day. Until then, we’re happy to live in the fertile soil of dreamland, where anything is possible.
— Tatyana Ali