Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Times They Are A-Changing...


For the second time in my life, I was taking a pregnancy test. The first time was years ago, in a Starbucks bathroom, about a week after a one-night stand with an unfavorable with whom I was too drunk to use protection, something that I was obsessively careful with throughout my entire history of random and not-so-random sexual interactions. Children were never part of my plan. 

While waiting for the result of that test, I was already planning on who I could contact to get information on how to “handle” the situation should the test come up positive. I was thinking about whether or not I would tell my mom, my best friend, my doctor. Most likely, it was going to be something I would keep to myself, too ashamed to say the words out loud. Abortion as a method of birth control was never something I wanted to be a part of. 

Two minutes later, all thoughts vanished. The test came up negative. I walked out of the bathroom, bought my Grande Iced Vanilla Latte with Soy Milk and went about my business. 

This time, however, things were different. I was at home, in my own bathroom, with the house to myself. I knew I was late, but hadn’t given much thought to the fact that I might be pregnant given the fact that Johnny, my boyfriend for the last year and a half, had not had a strong history of using protection and had never had any kind of pregnancy scare with his exes. Also, it wasn’t like I was young anymore. I figured even if me and Johnny had wanted kids, we were probably at the point where we needed to try. I had only been off the pill for a few months and that was out of sheer laziness in scheduling my annual exam to get a re-up. Surely nothing could have happened in that short of time. Besides, as Johnny so guy-ishly put it: “We don’t even have sex that often.” (It’s like he LITERALLY can’t help himself.) 

But there it was. The plus sign. It didn’t even take the whole two minutes. The second I set it on the counter, it began to show up. I immediately started thinking about all the strange things that had happened in the last few weeks: my sore breasts (and more than one comment from others about their recent change in size), two random acts of sickness and a few terrible bouts of heartburn, something that I really don’t experience that often. 

Johnny came home from work a few hours later. When I told him, I was only a little nervous that he would react in a negative way. But he didn’t. He was shocked, sure. He had to sit down and try to control the shaking. It was actually pretty cute and endearing. Ultimately, he was happy. He had wanted to have a child early on in his adult life but after never coming close, I think he sort of gave up on the idea. To have it reintroduced so unexpectedly must have really sent his head spinning. 

I woke up the next day and called my doctor to schedule an appointment. Johnny went with me. 

I might always remember what Johnny looked like, holding my purse and my pile of clothes, complete with my hot pink bra on top, while I sat in my hospital gown on the table in the doctor’s office, waiting to be seen. His vulnerability was potent. We made small talk, chatted about funny parts of a movie we just watched, but inside, we knew shit was about to get real. 

Doc came in, confirmed what we already knew and a few minutes later, we were staring at our very first ultrasound. At only nine weeks, I was surprised that I could easily make out the form of a tiny human being. We were even able to watch the flickering of it’s little heart beating. It doesn’t get much more real than that. 


Paperwork, pre-natal vitamin suggestions, blood work and the scheduling of future appointments ensued. While all this was going on, my mind kept wandering. Is this really happening? Is Johnny okay? Can we pull this off? Do I have time for frozen yogurt on the way home? 

Strange how quickly our priorities change. Just a few months ago, I was sitting on my couch, smoking my cigarettes, probably contemplating my next craft beer selection and wondering if there was ever going to be anything interesting about life again. I guess that question was answered. 

So I traded in my cigs for lollipops, my beer for juice, water and decaf coffee and my lazy mornings for trips to the gym. I figure just because I’m scared shitless about all of this, there is no need to take my vices out on the little nugget. 

And there you go. Tina Verde. Having a baby. Hell just froze over. 

I guess it’s time to decorate.