I knew for sure two days ago, and suspected for longer. My boobs were unbelievably sore; I just wanted to walk around holding them all day, and I was cramping. It felt like I was about to get my period, but also different in some way. Some awareness; some weird message from my body to my brain and I knew. I just knew. I didn’t tell my husband though. For the purposes of this accounting, we’ll call him… B.
Although, I think I knew for weeks. There was this one night in the mountains, where I’m fairly sure this all began. (B. and I having silent standing afternoon sex with me bent over the fake brass railing at the foot of the bed, mouth open, not making a sound so that no one in our collective families could hear through the thin wood of the very old house.) It was intentional, I should say that. We spent the year before knowing it, and the summer talking to it, ready, as ready we could ever be. We called it, “ready to jump off a cliff.” So none of this unplanned exactly, except that I didn’t think I was going to get pregnant quite so instantaneously. I thought we’d have a few months of playing around, finally free from trying to avoid the meeting of sperm and egg, and then get down to business in October so as not to miss the combo of maternity leave and school summer vacation. But this one night in the mountains, after we’d had real, actual unprotected sex twice, I got up to pee and was sitting on the toilet in candle light and suddenly it occurred to me that I could have actually been made pregnant in those last two times and I panicked, starting praying to have at least one more period. Just one more.
So maybe I knew even then-that the spark had been struck, the ancient flash, that I had invited another human being into my body and they’d accepted and were taking up residence and preparing to spend the next nine months in me and then stay with me for the rest of my life.
Just one more period.
I apologize right now to the future person growing inside of me for writing this, but know that amidst it all there was a deep amazement and joy when I knew you were there. But if you come to exist; if you survive these next three months and are indeed meant to be the person I am meant to harbor and grow and raise, then you’ll have to know that with the joy I am also terrified. You may not know until this moment comes to you, if it ever does, how shaking it is on a cellular level. I am shooken up. This is the craziest most crazy insane thing that has ever happened to me. And this is just who you get to be your mother. (A mother! Somebody’s fucking mother?! Oh my god.)
Whenever I go into a new space, I look for and plot my escape route. Although I can usually handle the claustrophobia, to be in a space that I do not, or cannot, get out of can be a challenge for me. It is not a scenario I willingly put myself into. Except now of course. I’m the one doing it to myself, because I actually want this, but as I was walking home from the drugstore, pee test in a discrete paper bag in purse, it hit me hard: no escape. Ever. And yes, I thought the word abortion. I just thought it. Because it was the only exit. And I just wanted one more period. Not such a big thing. Just a moment more.
I haven’t told anyone but B. yet.
It was mid afternoon, and the sun was hot on the avenue, and I was looking at the clock, and now can’t remember what time it was, but I wasn’t ready to get home and know for certain, so I stepped into the bookstore. It was cool in there and dim, the wooden floor polished, the shelves a dark wood. I walked down one aisle and then there in front of me was a table covered with books, those gorgeous fabric covered hardbacks that publishers have started doing of classics. Lovely to touch, embossed details, the design excellent. I stood in front of them, handling them like rosary beads, and then I lifted a collection of Grimm’s fairy tales. And exhaled. Oh yes, we will read this. And then, I held The Secret Garden, and imagined me being able to give that to a future person, the world to slip into, the brick walled hide away, the private child world away from the adults, and it was enough, and I left and was home in minutes. And five minutes after that I stood behind B. as he sat at his computer.
The time that came after is private, even for a secret blog, but I will say this: I went to put away the groceries, because I didn’t know what else to do, and he came up with the portable speaker in his hand and Nas playing, Illmatic, “It’s time to start this kid’s education.”
We listened to our favorite music from our teenaged selves all afternoon. And discovered that “Action” is in fact a really good song to have sex too.
The disorientation only began to set in this evening. It’s becoming harder to understand with every passing minute. I’m going to bed.