I was in the same room as an acquaintance, a Woman of Comfort. One of those people you're sucked toward in times of stranger danger. She's a home base, a glass of wine, a lap for your head. We tend to exaggerate our friendliness toward each other. Act like we've met at least more than twice in passing.
She gets me up to speed on what's new with her then looks at me and says: "You look like you have a secret." I was wearing a puffy winter coat that hides what I call "My Pathetic Bump" and sure my face has blown up a bit, but she doesn't see me regularly enough to know what is a normal amount of puffiness.
"Hmm. Really? I wonder what ..." I said.
"Yep. You definitely look like you're keeping a secret," she said, nodded.
"Well, I'm pregnant?" I said.
She nodded. That was it.
A few minutes later I ran into Feisty who just happened to be carrying with her one of those belly bands that pregnant women wear during that in-between clothing period. It keeps unbuttoned jeans from drooping to reveal massive crack and also covers a midsection that might be busting loose from the bottom of T-shirts. Count this as one of those Products of the World I'd been oblivious to just three months ago.
So I guess there's a lot of psychic going on right now.
I can't watch my doctor's face when he works. I try to read his every crease and furrow and can whip myself into a frothy panic in just .3 seconds if he purses wrong. So I stared at the ceiling as he rooted around for a heartbeat.
"Powerful baby," he said.
Then he measured my speed bump and we sat down again.
"Well," he said. "I think it's a girl."
I put the words "Powerful baby" and "girl" together. "Powerful baby girl." I had to think of lawnmowers to keep myself from projectile crying, which is my new favorite hobby. I figured it was a boy or a girl. But a powerful baby girl. That's something else.
Of course, that's just his guess. An ultrasound tech thought he saw a little winkie at my 12 week appointment, but he didn't mention a specific power-level.
This gestation period is maddeningly long. I like my gratification immediate. It seems like eons ago that I sat on that toilet texting CHRISSIE! while I waited for the urinate-saturated stick to activate. I hadn't expected it to be positive. If I had expected it to be positive, I probably would have snuck in another cigarette while I was still ignorant. I was late, but I was newly off the pill and expected some menstrual hiccups. The previous month, for instance, I'd damn-near ruined a pair of leggings with a surprise gusher. This was all very unsettling, as we were staying in a fancy hotel full of white surfaces.
I think it's funny when people wonder if we were trying to get pregnant. Like, at age 37 and age 40, we hadn't yet figured out how to interrupt conception. I believe the technical term for our situation is that we "Were No Longer Trying to Not Get Pregnant."
Or, as The Great Archivist described it: Throwing rocks at a window and then being surprised when the window breaks.
I feel very uncomfortable around babies right now. As if each interaction is a mini tryout for the real deal. I like to stand a comfortable distance away from one, peek around a pole and study it. Recently I saw one, less than a week old, and I looked at its parents. Cute, fresh-faced, young. I was probably old enough to be their parents.
On the other hand, every time I lean into someone and say something about my Advanced Maternal Age (scientific descriptor), they reveal that they, too, fell into that category.
Also: Every time I talk to my mom she has a story of a new 39 year old who just had a baby.
Speaking of my mom: Something my brother told me is ringing in my head. Apparently my mom said something about "Teaching Christa how to be a mom." Curious about what that entails.
Maternity pants are really comfortable and I don't know why people don't just, like, wear them. They're like a hug.
It's Friday and I'm Pregnant is my new weekly series because some people find this kind of chatter boring, but in some pockets of the internet it's all the rage. I WANT TO BE EVERYTHING TO EVERYONE.