Before my pregnancy, I had fantasized about what women with partners did. I imagined them asking for ice cream at midnight or back rubs at every whim. Would I long for a partner to hug and kiss me? Would I miss sharing the excitement with someone? Would I at least wish I had someone in the house to pick up the remote when it fell on the floor or to vacuum up the oatmeal when I knocked it over?
My therapist had said it best, “THIS is your life. It’s not about a life you thought you might have had, it’s about where you are now and making that what you want it to be.” It had been a very long time since REALLY I lived in the present. Most of my adult life had been spent trying to get to the place I thought I should be. But… I wasn’t there. I was HERE.
The reality was I was solo and actually, I loved being alone; I felt independent and actually NOT alone. I started to really feel with child. I ate for him and I took care of myself for him. I like being alone because I was able to sleep when I wanted, get up when I wanted, read or watch tv when I wanted. I didn’t have to chat with anyone or talk about stuff.
I remember one night, I gagged, brushing my teeth, threw up a little and then peed all over the floor. I did wish for someone to clean my pee/barf. Nice, right? I’d make such a good partner.
I cleaned up my own secretions. It was good practice for the baby. It was fine.
I did wonder, however, if I had a partner, would I have been demanding a lot from him? I’m sure it would have been very nice to rely on someone to help, but the truth was, I could do it all myself. That was a nice feeling too; being self-reliant. I felt strong and powerful and capable of taking care of my baby by myself.
I told my sister that I was pregnant after about a month. I needed one person close to me emotionally and physically, to know.
Dan knew, yes, but he was back east. I talked to Dan on the phone often to let him know that I felt like I had the stomach flu and that I was repulsed by meats and anything flavorful.
Everyone tells you how tired you get when you are pregnant, but I’d like to describe it as, you get so tired that if you don’t sleep you feel like you are going to die.
Every night after work, Nancy and Tim would ask if I’d like to go to a movie or go get dinner and I’d make up some excuse. It was so not like me to be anti social with 2 of my best friends.
I’d speed home, eat something bland and bready and jump in a bath, then bed. Early, relaxing nights.
One night, I agreed to go out with my dear friends because I just couldn’t say no. We went out for Chinese food and then a movie. I was in pain, I was so tired. It took everything in me not to sleep during the movie and then everything in me to stay awake when I drove home (windows open, music blaring.) I couldn’t wait to tell Tim and Nancy why I was such a tired mess.
When I hit the 3 month mark, I was relieved. The first trimester was done and my baby’s heartbeat was strong and yet, I didn’t want to tell people about the baby until I had taken the CVS test (the test for older ladies.) I needed my sister to drive me home from this test, because I needed to rest for 24 hours afterwards. I also needed to take the day off work. I think I told the people at work I was having a minor gynecological procedure – usually, people don’t ask too many details when you say that. If someone had asked for more details, I was going to say I was having a rejuvenation.
At the CVS, I got my first 3D photos.
My sister and I were able to watch the little fetus jump around in my spacious womb; he (though we didn’t know he was a he) was very active! We cried and laughed and watched my baby move. Now it all felt very real. I loved the little claymation figure bouncing in there. I LOVED it!
I went back to work after the 24 hour rest, filled with joy. My nausea was much better by now and my food repulsions had lessened.
Tim and I were in a meeting when pot fumes poured in through the air conditioning vent. I had my mask in my purse, in the other room. Before I could get it, I inhaled what I thought was the equivalent of 4 bong hits.
After the meeting, I broke down crying, quietly, so other colleagues wouldn’t hear.
“I can’t breathe this smoke, Tim,” I sobbed and whispered to him. “I need you to support me!” I sounded kind of crazy.
Tim was one of my best friends. He knew me well. He also knew I’d talked of maybe having a baby. “Are you pregnant?” he asked.
This was NOT the way I wanted to tell him. This was not the way I wanted to tell my very first friend.
“Yeeesssss,” I sobbed barely able to form the word. I guess the hormones were kicked in because I was convinced that this pot smoke was the most evil enemy and that this was the worst crisis ever.
Tim hugged me and was full of celebration and all I could do was cry and say, “But…. but…” and point to pot smoke in the air.
After I calmed down, we started to go over all of my weird behavior and make sense of it. We laughed remembering how I had freaked out when he sprayed Lysol and put my head on my desk every time he suggested we go to some delicious meat centric restaurant for lunch.
A few days later, I told Nancy. We were about to go out of town to shoot our pilot and I was about to be spending a week with her around the clock. Even though I didn’t have my CVS results back, I wanted her to know.
For the last six years or so, since I’d started thinking about asking Dan to father a child, Nancy would say to me, every now and then, “What’s happening with the baby?”
It would always send me into an emotional spin, because it was such a complex topic and because I had no answer for her.
“YOu know the question you love to ask me, Nance,” I said at dinner. “The big question that you ask and I always tell you nothing? Ask me again.”
For some reason, she knew exactly what I was talking about. “What’s happening with the baby?” she asked, her voice building up.
“I’m pregnant!” I told her.
Her reaction reflected all the years of waiting for the answer.