Almost as soon as it started, I was filled with a sudden, sweaty-palmed recognition.
Ahh, shit, this. Yes, this is what it felt like before, and the time before too. How the hell does the insta-forgetting happen every time? Mother Nature is shrewd, cunning, stunningly effective.
We’d talked about it, a few months before. We’d even decided that I’d make an appointment to get my IUD removed. I had a few years before I hit forty, but only a few. Time was sparse, fleeting. Jude, with his grumpy old man tendencies, could probably benefit from the shock of a sibling, and I had an uncomfortable knawing around my gut that my family — as insane and robust and amazing as it was — might not be complete yet. But then, something big shifted and it became apparent that my career path might have to shift, and fast. I started nudging my linkedin networks, perusing the local hot companies, assessing possibilities.
“Now,” I said to Corey,” Is probably not the time.”
So almost as soon as a fifth family member became a possibility, it became impossible, and that was OK too. As it was, we had a grade schooler and a whippersnapper and not enough sleep. I wanted to write a book, anyway, I’d been threatening for goddamned years now. Corey’s business was about to rocketlaunch, and a baby wasn’t in the cards.
It was a combination of things: a sudden requirement to get up at 3am to let out an irritatingly miniscule pee. A swift, perplexing aversion to the smell of coffee and even the possibility of smelling any kind of red meat. And my chest. I was way too far past puberty to be developing a new cup size, and so I hunched in the bathroom at midnight with a covert package of First Response without telling Corey what I was doing.
The next morning the full gamut of symptoms rushed in as if they’d been bottled up, waiting to bubble out. The nausea came in rolling waves of sickness, the left side of my temple pounded constantly. I pulled on tights, a black button up blouse, a pencil skirt, willing away the taunting vomit. Twice, I threw up out the window, on to a black rain-slicked street, grateful for the cloak of 6:30 AM.
If there’s anything as stressful as death and divorce, it might be starting a dream career with the hottest tech company in the city while inadvertently pregnant and wretchedly ill.
I told my management team once the danger period was over, once I knew that indeed, this baby was on its way. They were shocked — understandably so — but extremely good about it all. They don’t know me well enough yet to know for sure that I won’t let a baby mangle my ability to achieve my business goals in any way, and in fact, that my underdog feelings are more likely to compel me. But I do intend to prove it, of course, and now that I’m comfortably cocooned in the second trimester, I can see I won’t have to do that while retching out the car window, which is excellent.
Baby number 3 means the development of a much earlier belly, and I’m shocked every time I look down at my stomach. Baby number 3, coming this summer. Who the hell would ever have thought, you know?