A few weeks ago I took a pregnancy test just as I started a new pack of pills. The lack of unpleasantness the week before suggested this might be a good idea. I kept this to myself. A few months back I’d shared my concern with Jay about a similar incident and I think it may have been a bit of a shock to him, so I figured I would keep things to myself until there was a reason to be concerned. Yeah, I am considerate that way. The test was negative. I’d made the right call. But after a few days, I began to feel like the unpleasantness was coming, just late. No cramps, per se, but other symptoms were bothering me – especially those symptoms having to do with breasts.
Fast forward ten days. I woke up one (recent) Saturday morning and got Ezra settled in with breakfast and rushed to the bathroom. I had some unpleasant dreams the night before, mostly dealing with an unexpected pregnancy in a world straight out of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (only the baby looked more like the Red Queen than a baby and was screaming incoherently instead of yelling “Off with her head!”). Those tests come in packs of 2 or 3, so I grabbed one and ran to the bathroom. All of you who have been pregnant know about the first morning urine stuff, so I figured this would settle it once and for all. And it did. The HCG test line was blatantly positive before the little control test line even began to show up. Question answered. I am pregnant.
Jay took it well. Especially since I woke him up on a Saturday morning about 2 hours before we were heading to Troy, Al for my Aunt Maug’s 80th birthday party and then down to Dothan to spend the night at my parents’ house. One thing you must understand, though, Jay and I are different in a lot of ways. Most of our differences are complimentary and that works in our favor. As you may have guessed, I talk through things. In fact, it could be said that I talk things into the ground. The phrase “beating a dead horse” was coined specifically for people like me. I analyze and obsess. I remember Jay telling my once when we first started dating again that I was going to analyze us to death. I took his point and shut up about it – finally. To say Jay doesn’t talk about things is somewhat of an understatement. In fact, my family and friends have commented more than once on his reserved and quiet nature. No doubt they are marveling at the fact that he can put up with me and my tendency to run my mouth, even when I know it is in my best interest to shut the hell up. (It is like some sad, comical sort of turrets syndrome. I can be thinking, “Stop talking NOW!” yet my mouth just keeps going and going and going. The more nervous I am, the more I talk – and the more idiotic I feel. As you can imagine, this really sucks during a job interview, but I have been able to turn it into charming, when I had to. I may be getting better. I can wring my hands silently and chew on my inner lip to keep from saying anything on occasion, but it is still very hard for me to do.) Anyway, Jay thanked me for telling him this just before we headed out to my parents’ for the weekend. And while I appreciated the facetiousness, I actually thought it would work out best this way. I would not be able to talk about the pregnancy at all the entire weekend, giving Jay plenty of time to process this information without having to listen to me talk or, even worse, being forced to ask me to stop talking about it, which would hurt my feelings. This way there was no danger of that. No way I was telling my mother over the weekend.
Here is a little aside about my family. They are conservative Church of Christ and are deeply devout. This is great for them, but it has been a source of tension in our relationship for years. Our religious views differ greatly and years ago we reached some sort of unspoken tenuous truce. My parents and I do not talk about religion in any shape, form or fashion. They have given up trying to get me to go to church (although I am sure it is still a major subject of their daily and nightly prayers) and, while I know they consider my lack of devotion to the beliefs they did their very best to instill in me from the age of 3 to 18 a personal failure for them both, I have given up trying to explain myself and my beliefs to them. I will usually attend church with them when I am in town, although I feel like an odd fish out of water, but I also know how I am viewed by the most strict of them, and it is a very unpleasant scrutiny, even though everyone is much more than nice to me.
Anyway, the above being explained, you can imagine that Jay and I living together is not something which makes my parents proud. Believe it or not though, I do respect my parents and their opinions so I don’t shove my living situation in their face. We have been living together since May of last year and my parents have known the entire time, but they do not approve by any stretch of the imagination. They also know that I am going to do what I do and keep any outright disapproval to themselves, although if asked I am sure they would be more than happy to inform me of my sin – book, chapter and verse. As further illustration, at my parents’ house, Jay sleeps on the pull out bed in the formal living room – about as far from my bedroom as you can get without actually sleeping outside in the yard. Granted, I am not sure even if we got married this would change because Jay is 6”3” and that pull out bed is the only queen size bed in my parents’ house, but you take my point. Oh, and Ezra sleeps with me in my old bedroom directly across the hall from my parents’ bedroom, so it is not like there would be any hanky-panky going on, anyway. However, my parents consider sleeping together to be a privilege reserved for marriage, regardless of whether you are just sleeping or not. Their house, their rules, which is fine with me and Jay. But, needless to say, if my living with Jay is problematic, my being pregnant and living with Jay is even more so. So, no, I was certainly not showing up at my mother’s sister’s 80th birthday and dropping that bomb. No way.
Come Monday, however, I did have to tell somebody. I thought it was mighty impressive that I was able to hold out that long. I called April on my way into work. Poor dear had been dealing with a nasty case of streph in her 4 year old and her husband had been out of town for work since January 3rd. I almost felt guilty calling her, but like told her, it was tradition that she be the first to know. In fact that is all I had to say and she knew what was up right away. If I am not mistaken, out of my previous pregnancies (2 of which went full term), she was the very first to know in at least 2 out of the 3. Even through her exhaustion of being alone dealing with 4 kids, one of whom was a sick little puppy at the time, she was sufficiently excited and happy for me, and I thank her for that from the bottom of my heart.
I also told a work friend who I trust. You know, we all have one of those. Someone who you know has your back and you have theirs, and you can trust will not spread juiciness through the office. Granted, where I work is an overwhelmingly a female work environment, which skews in my favor. When I started here there were at least 3 pregnant women in the departments I work with most closely and all of them were treated well and fairly, had the baby and came back with no issue. But, while we may have come a long way, baby, there are still concerns when pregnancy is at issue for women in the workplace, and even though I anticipate no problems with my job, there is always that fear in the back of any woman’s mind when it comes to this. So I am waiting a bit longer to tell my boss, but a girl has to have friends she can trust at work. Someone who knows that you may have to unexpectedly run to the bathroom to vomit due to (the incredibly misnamed) morning sickness, that kind of thing. Plus, as I said, I have to talk things through and get feedback, so I need someone to bounce stuff off of and sometimes it is best that is not Jay. Especially since one of my main pregnancy symptoms thus far has been my emotional fragility.
So Jay and I began to process this information in our own way. He quietly to himself and me by discussing the repercussions with my friend at work and gearing up mentally for what all is coming next. Jay has never even come close to something like this before, so he is in uncharted territory. I know what to expect and plan on taking my time and enjoying it. I mean, this may very well be my last pregnancy and pregnancy is almost equal parts personally enjoyable and fulfilling (literally – haha) and uncomfortable time stopping torture. It has been 3-4 years since I was pregnant with Ezra and the memories have not faded too much. A part of me loves this time when we share the same body without anyone else knowing, and another part does not. I recognize the little things. The sensitivity and emotional instability that I can normally control; the nice increase up top that, while it does look better than it feels, is always nice for those of us who have never been considered well endowed in that area; gagging while brushing my teeth every morning; choking down vitamins; vivid dreams that stick with you for days; the cravings, aversions and heightened sense of smell; knowing that soon you will get to that I-am-pregnant-but people-just-think-I’ve-gained-10-lbs weight and can’t fit comfortably into any clothes (all this on top of the weight I was complaining about in the last post); and that private time when you feel that first surge of love and protection for the little one just starting to grow. I am trying to use this time to discover some patience, which is something that I lack considerably. I am going to enjoy sharing my body with this baby for the short period of time I don’t feel possessed. I know that time is coming and I am not in any hurry for it to get here. Not this time. This time I am going to take it easy and let it be. Well, as much as I am capable of doing so. If nothing else, the next few months are gonna be interesting.
So, if you would like, you are welcome to follow along. I am not sure what this is really going to be about and it may go off on tangents and take turns in any number of directions. But one the thing I do know is this – It is going to be an adventure.