I stared in disbelief at the three pee-soaked sticks on the bathroom vanity....two thin lines, then just a plus sign, then finally, the nail-in-the-cradle....a new-fangled digital LCD display that arrogantly flashed "YES!" ....As in "Yes, you stupid bitch, the rabbit died...YOU ARE PREGNANT!"
I fumbled for the test instructions, reading and then re-reading again in Spanish...then French....hoping some shred of information regarding false positives was lost in translation. But I quickly realized, that "You're fucked," pretty much means "You're fucked," in any language.
And on many levels I was....or had been...very vigorously (but not memorably) sometime around the beginning of February. Now it was April and I was pregnant. But before the reality crept in, before I told anyone, before I let my mind begin to ponder what color would we have to repaint the guest room....I began to oddly rationalize my way out of this situation, because hadn't my husband once famously announced "We have three....you're not having anymore, at least with ME anyway."
Afterall, maybe the pregnancy tests that I had purchased at the local CVS were wrong. Maybe all of the pregnancy tests in the state of Connecticut were wrong. Or maybe, I shouldn't have purchased that one with the lines at the Dollar Store. Or maybe I have some syndrome in which your body only THINKS its pregnant. Or maybe this is just the final episode of LOST.
It wasn't any of those and I started to mentally live out my own variation of the movie "Knocked Up"....but my husband is much cuter than Seth Rogan (though probably just as hairy), and we ARE married...doesn't that count for something....AND.....no one in the house had a raging case of pink eye.
We should have known that somewhere between my husband's horniness, an astonishing disregard for any kind of birth control, my fertile Irish peasant genes, and my cast-iron uterus (which has known to go by the moniker "Ole Reliable") we were playing with fire. And so we sat dumbfounded in the Obstetrician's office when he confirmed what I already knew and then flatly stated, "I thought you said at your last visit, you were done?" I didn't know what to say, because honestly, a year ago, I thought I was. It was my husband who spoke first, visibly peeved by the comment, "Yeah, well, that's what Brett Favre kept saying, but he still signed with the Vikings."
As we walked out of the office, I had a sinking feeling that I'd hear that comment alot. That the question of "I thought you said you were done?" would be dogging me until November. And really, how DO you respond to that? "Well....it sure beats a 9 to 5." Or, "It was either a baby or a dog....and we know my husband's not allergic to babies."
Slowly, I began to test the waters with my news....by telling total and complete strangers. People that I knew had no connection with any friends or family members. Random people that I knew, a Russian Reflexologist, an Asian yoga teacher, my Israeli therapist, the mentally handicapped bagger at the grocery store....all who had no idea who my husband was and had very thick accents....So there was little chance of any of them running in to him with a chorus of congratulations and VERY little chance of him understanding them if he did. Thus mitigating the "What the hell, why did YOU tell HER" arguments from my husband.
But as June rolled around, and maternity jeans loomed in my near future, we anxiously waited for the Amnio results before we told our kids about sibling number 4. But when we did, one night at dinner at a local diner, after the 6 yr. old's short stack of choclate chip pancakes arrived, their reactions were not what I had expected. Crazy Man, the 6 yr. old, was at first excited, then turned very serious and asked, "So, where is it going to sleep?" My third grader, who up until this moment was the quintessential middle child, was very worried, and looked at my husband and said, "You're kidding. This is a joke, right?" But the 11 yr. old rejoiced to hear the baby was going to be a boy, and her Queen Bee status would remain intact. "Well, I feel bad for those two. You know, I'll get a lot of attention, because I'm a girl and the oldest....and the baby will get a lot of attention because he's the youngest....you guys are on your own." she said and pointed to her two brothers.....because yet again, in her middle school mind, good news, no matter whose it was, was always, in some way, about her.
To make matters worse, reactions didn't get any better when started to tell family members, each dumbfounded in their own way, all seemed to offer up different versions of "You've got to be joking!" or "Better you than me." However, the most unusual comment came from a neighbor who remarked, "Well, it's good to know that someone on the street is still having sex." I'm still trying to figure out if that last one was a backhanded compliment or just plain creepy.
Now it is August and only a few more months to go and we have finally reconciled ourselves to refer to "The Situation" as a pleasant surprise, and not a covert military op (i.e., shock and awe). But, I fear the little playful jabs will linger...at a BBQ this past weekend, a friend remarked, upon hearing of our recent trip to the West Coast, "Well, at least when the two of you are alone together between now and November, you can't possibly make #5."
Oh silly friend, where there's a will, there's a way.....and if not, there's always the fear of osmosis.