On the Monday before last Thanksgiving, we were a family of three. I steamed some broccoli for dinner, and I’d been looking forward to eating it, but as I chewed the first bite I realized I was hardly going to be able to swallow it. This yummy veggie was inexplicably making me gag.
Inexplicable only because I was a little dense. The previous week I’d had what seemed like my period, but it had never amounted to more than a trickle. (Damn PCOS, I thought.) I’d been thinking I needed new bras, because boy did my boobs hurt (Ingrid must be nursing more, I thought.) And the previous weekend I’d commandeered a trip to a burger place where I wolfed down a record quantity of the best fries I'd ever tasted. (I guess I’m just hungry.)
Trying to sleep that night after the broccoli, I started to see it: Gag reflex. Sore boobs. Intense food needs. Weird bleeding. Ahaaa!
I rolled out of bed at 2:30 a.m. to rummage through the bathroom cabinet for a leftover HPT. I found it, but I waited until morning to pee on it.
I kind of knew what I’d see. And I did, clear as day: that line.
The morning was rushed. It was a work day for me, and the babysitter got here and I didn’t say anything to A yet. It’s the biggest secret I’ve ever had. I was so rocked by it I couldn’t bear to give it to anyone else yet, not even him.
The car was in the shop and the bus was late, so I walked home from work that evening. It’s a long walk: 45 minutes if you’re fast. I remember the cold of the day, how my thighs and hands were burning when I arrived home, how strange everything looked. I remember standing on our front steps before I pulled the door open. Looking in at the glowing little world of our home, watching A feeding Ingrid dinner, knowing I was about to crack it all wide open into something new by bringing my body and my big, big news inside.
A and I had always hoped to be able to have a second child. To have that child flicker into our lives without any effort at all on our part—even if it happened a year or so sooner than we would have ideally planned—was a gift as magnificent as it was unexpected.
Happy birthday-of-sorts, little lovely one. I’m so glad you’re here.