Originally written on July 31, 2009
Jeremy was watching the slideshow.
I was watching Jeremy. only out of the corner of my eye though. I am tricksy like that.
finally the last photo came up.
Jeremy mumbled, “Oh, that’s a nice photo”. Apparently he had never seen a pee stick before. Which is a good thing because it’s not the kinda thing you want your husband to be familar with.
Then the question popped up. “Will you be my baby-daddy?” loomed on the screen. Billie Jean was playing softly in the background.
“ARE YOU PREGNANT?” – he full on turned to me. I tried to hold back the tears. I really tried.
I just nodded and somehow squeeked out, “Ah-huh…”
no – not seriously Jeremy. This was an elaborate stunt meant to make you cater to my every evil whim.
“Yeeup.” there was no holding back the tears now. Did I ever mention that I am a basket case? Because I am.
In one swift motion, my dear boyfriend was on his feet, arms in the air, fists balled up, face to the sky. Loudly he shouts,
“YEEESSS!!! MY STUFF WORKS!!!!”
Laughter poured out of me. I couldn’t help it. His joy…his proclamation…the look on his face. Laughter was free – intertwined with the tears that were running down my cheeks. It was exactly what I needed. What I wanted. What I thought would not happen. Somehow the mental picture of him crushed, bleeding, and hardly breathing under the weight of this announcement was evaporated. Gone. And somehow it gave me a chance to breath. but only momentarily. That moment I was able to pull in some life-giving oxygen. oh…that breath was sweet.
Jeremy scooped me up, held me, squeezed my torso like a two-year-old grips a bunny or a dog or a new fuzzy pet…just a little too tight for said fuzzies comfort. In seconds, I realized that I was shaking from the ordeal. Somehow I had turned from this young girl who contained a scary secret to a soon-to-be-mother-turned-fuzzy-creature who realized that there was no turning back. The secret was out. There was no way to retract it. Like a confession caught on tape. It’s amazing how a few seconds can completely change you. It was much like I imagine Britney felt when she realized that she actually married Kevin Federline.
Previously, I had been trying to hold this in. Stuggling with the truth of it. Slightly denying the reality of the situation. But mostly holding back this announcement. Attempting to not blurt it out like I would phrases such as ’I just farted’ or ‘I guess I’ll go to the grocery store’ or ‘Nothing ever fits’. I wanted it to be special for him. Something full of joy. And it was. But somehow this event suddenly altered me. This announcement signified the future change. And I do not deal well with change. Even little changes. Moves, deaths, relationships, every small change in my life is always greeted with an overwhelming sense of anxiety and worry. Fear is the constant companion of change in my life. And I don’t know how to fight it.
This was no different. As I sat on his lap, curled up in the fetal position, I knew that it would be a matter of seconds, moments, a blink of an eye for me to open those flood gates and tell him that I was scared poop-less. I needed him to reassure me. To tell me that everything was going to be alright. To whisper that he couldn’t wait to come to the appointments with me and to learn how to swaddle or wipe or breastfeed. That I wasn’t it this alone. It wasn’t so much that I was nervous about taking care of a baby. I had babysat. I had a good mom who taught me. I had helped my little sister when she had Cole. I was mostly nervous about the pregnancy.
Pregnancy. It was as foreign to me as pap smears are to boys. This was my body and I never had to share it with another human if I didn’t want to. Surely not for days, weeks or months on end. And now, curled up like an oversized cat on the lap of my husband I could only think about the parasitic dinobug that was growing inside of me.
I should have never watched Alien. It was never more clear than that moment.
And then the tears began. I basically unloaded on Jeremy. Vomiting the emotional rollercoaster. No restraint. Just every fear and worry and stress came pouring out my mouth. Poor guy just found out that he knocked up his wife and now two minutes later, she is puking her guts into his brain. How could he possibly react?! He was still in shock that he could actually procreate. Wasn’t it just moments earlier that he was celebrating Rocky-style in the living room? Didn’t he say that he was so excited and happy and that he felt so much closer to me now? Didn’t he assure me that everything would be fine? That I would be a great mom?
But somehow I was looking for specific words. Specific questions. I needed very distinct phrases to come out of his mouth. And I knew while the thoughts were formulating in my brain that I was being unfair. How could I expect him to say EXACTLY what I was thinking. I had been dwelling on this change for days. He had mere seconds to come up with a response. And that is when I realized that telling my sweet boyfriend about our dinobug wasn’t the big announcement. This big announcement was really a warning in disguise. An all-sirens-go warning that my sweet boyfriend was about to witness 9+ months of emotional meltdowns from his wife who just transitioned from denial to anger to remorse before his baby-blue eyes.
We went to bed in an awkward mood. Or maybe that was just me.
The next morning I got a phone call at work. It was his voice. He never calls while I am at work. I knew that it was a sweet gesture but in my heart I was still harboring those feelings of isolation. I felt alone. All alone. Like I would need to google pregnancy crap until my fingers bled, cracked and finally fell off. The rest of the day I thought about all the things that would be coming soon…a doctors appointment, telling family, friends, work, gaining mass amounts of weight, possible morning sickness, cravings, birthing training, decisions, stress, everything. And I would have to do it all fingerless. My body felt fifty pounds heavier.
When I got home, Jeremy ran out to meet me. His smile…that crazy addictive grin…and those bright blue eyes that only turned deeper blue against that navy ballcap, lit up our cluttered garage. He pulled me in for another fluffy animal squeeze. I could barely breathe. But then he did something that really took my breath away.
“I can’t wait Katie.” enter immediate tears. ”I will be there every single step of the way.” I opened my mouth just so that I could suck in an one more ounce of oxygen. ”I can’t wait to be at Lamaze class with you and at the doctor’s office and just everything.” His eyes were twinkling. Was he somehow reading my mind? It was like he knew exactly what I was struggling with…exactly what I was scared of…that exact moment, I lost 50 pounds. Fifty pounds gained and lost in 24 hours. And let me tell you, Jenny Craig would have been jealous. It was sweet beautiful relief.
“I am going to take such good care of you.” he whispered. what words. what beautiful needed words. And then in one brief moment, I realized that I was smiling. Smiling at the thought that we might actually be able to get through this. Smiling at the thought of a baby. Smiling at us.