Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Man Plans, God Laughs

It has been what seems to be an eternity since I posted last. I know it is late to be posting a birth story almost 3 months later but I need to write it down before I completely forget. Its a long post, but it was a long story, so hopefully you can indulge me for a few....
Thursday, October 2nd, 11:00am: I head to my weekly doctor's appointment in a mood that is beyond dismal. I am 39 weeks and 6 days pregnant and although I was only dialated to a fingertip at my previous appointment I had committed to the fact that I would not make it to the next one. But after a week of inhaling spicy food, excercise, walking around the mall for hours (literally), and spending a horribly unfortunate evening with a bottle of castor oil (trust me you don't want to know) I am once again lying on the doctor's office table, once again staring up at the painting on the ceiling of women walking with parasols in the park, almost excited because I know that when she checks me this time that I have to be at least three centimeters dialated.
"You're maybe a fingertip." She says. I swear the women in the painting laugh at me.
Because I am almost 40 weeks they decide to schedule me for an induction on October 8th, a full five days after my due date the next day. In normal, non-pregnant time five days might not seem like a lifetime, but the idea of having to spend five more nights trying to sleep when even tossing and turning has become too uncomfortable has me in near hysterics by the time I get to my car. I decide that I will go home and hibernate for the next five days. I turn off my phone because I'm tired of the phone calls asking "if anything is happening" when it obviously is not.
11pm: I feel the first contraction and think nothing of it. I resign myself to the fact that I will likely be pregnant for the rest of my life. I imagine myself at age 80 in an old folks home, putting my teeth in so that I can go to the cafeteria for prune juice and applesauce, and having one of the nurses ask me"Girl, you haven't popped that baby out yet?"
1 am: I decide to lie down and try to sleep but the pains are getting worse and coming a little closer together. I start timing them- every ten minutes, nothing to rush to the hospital about. Still, I wake up my husband and let him know, but tell him that it is probably nothing.
3 am: Contractions are about seven minutes apart. I still think its nothing..but just in case I tell my husband that he should prepare not to go to work that day. Since Kya is asleep in her room I call my mother and let her know we may need to bring her over at some point, its probably nothing but just in case we have to go to the hospital to check.
6:00 am: I have managed to get some sleep between the contractions. Steve is returning home because he realized after arranging for someone to run his route for the day that he had his truck keys with him and had to take them to the office. Contractions are about five minutes apart and more intense. He holds my hands through each, and we breathe like we practiced in childbirth classes. I'm uncomfortable, but I feel like I have it under control. I tell him that we can drop Kya off at school, then head to the hospital. Steve's phone rings. The guy running his route tells him that his truck broke down after leaving the first stop.
7:30 am: We head across town to drop Kya off, stopping at the gas station first to buy sodas. Contractions are every 3 to 5 minutes apart and sitting in the car I become a little less comfortable. Steve is on the phone with the insurance company, or the truck rental place, or the guy running his route- somebody. When my contractions start he tells the person on the other end to hold on as we breathe, then goes back to his conversation. As we pull into the carpool line Kya is yelling from the back seat "Breathe Mommy!" The carpool line never seemed so long.
8:10 am: We arrive at the hospital. Judy, the volunteer doula that will help us with the birth meets us there. Once back in the triage room, a nurse hooks me up to a monitor that prints my contractions out in hills and valleys. When the doctor comes in to check me, I feel sad. This is when they tell me I'm not in labor and send me home, I think to myself.
"You're three centimeters and there's lots of fluid. Your membrane has ruptured (translation= water broke)
Its then that it hits me that the nothing I feel really is something. Steve steps out to call family members to let them know that I am in labor, but it will be a while before I deliver. The nurse asks me if I have a birth plan written out, which I do. I have a well researched, neatly typed birth plan that Judy suggested I write weeks earlier the first time we met, sitting at home on my desk.
"Its ok I have it in my head." Judy says.
Birth Plan: Other than the doctors, only Steve, Judy and I will be present in the room for labor and delivery.
Once I am admitted it seems like much of the day is a waiting game. We wait in the triage room for what seems like hours while they prepare my labor and delivery room. I specifically request the room with the jacuzzi tub which takes a little longer to prep. As we wait my discomfort turns into pain. My pain is manageable, and Steve and Judy are helping to make me as comfortable as possible, but by the afternoon I know I need my mommy.
Birth Plan: I will use the tub to help manage my pain.
During our initial visit, Judy let me know about the jacuzzi room and told me that I would need to request it because they wouldn't put you in there automatically. Around five centimeters my contractions start to feel like more than I can comfortably breathe through and I decide its time for the tub. The nurse comes in and starts to fill the tub, but because its so large it will take about 20 minutes. Just as I'm standing to head into the bathroom the nurses come in and quickly make me turn onto my side. The baby's heart is having some "decels" and they want me lying on my side to better monitor his heart rate. The tub right now is out of the question.

Birth Plan: I do not wish to receive any pain medication
By around 1pm I am dialated to 5 centimeters. Around 3pm I am checked and I am dialated to 5 centimeters. Around 5 pm after trying to breathe through the pain for what seems like hours on my side and having what remains of my water broken I am dialated to 5 cm. This is where the scene gets blurry. I am standing, holding on to Steve crying like a baby, angry that my room is full of people watching me holding on to Steve crying like a baby but knowing full well that I don't have the energy to do anything about it. The nurse comes in to fill up the jacuzzi tub once again but before I can make it into the tub I am howling with pain. I am screaming to Steve that I need the epidural and he is saying "no remember you don't want it". I don't know what happens next. Steve says I slapped him, my mother-in-law says I grabbed him by the collar and yelled at him. All I remember is lying back in the hospital bed while the epidural numbs everything below my belly button, wondering why I didn't get it 2 centimeters ago.
After a few minutes I tell them that I can still feel all of the contractions on my left side, so they stregnthen the epidural. By the time the doctor comes in to check and tells me to push I can't feel anything below my rib cage. The nurse is watching the hills and valleys on the contraction monitor, telling me to push with each hill. I am staring at Steve, doing what I think is pushing. At one point I remember yelling "I NEED A SODA!" and having someone fill my mouth with ice chips. After 45 minutes of pushing I feel like I'm never going to be able to push this baby out.
"Can't you just pull him out the rest of the way." I whisper.And then the doctor tells me to give one more good push and I feel my tummy deflate. At 9:49, on his due date, October 3rd and not a moment sooner, my little boy Logan enters the world. He is 7 pounds, 5 ounces and 21 inches long. He doesn't come when I want him, but he is right on time.
Birth Plan: Steven, Logan and I will spend time alone together after the birth before welcoming any visitors.
Once Logan is born and they place him, eyes staring and blurry on my chest, the whole hospital staff including the security guards, parking attendants, and cafeteria crew could have been present in the room and I wouldn't have felt like there was anyone on the planet other than him and me. As family members come to welcome our new addition, I hold him and look at his long skinny fingers and legs and think that he looks just like his daddy. Judy comes over to say goodbye, and I thank her for her help and support.
"It didn't go as planned," I say, "But he's here now."
"Well you know what they say: Man plans, God laughs." Judy says
"Man plans, God laughs, I'll have to remember that." says Steve.
"It rhymes a lot better in Yiddish," Judy says "But it means the same thing.
As I sit here on New Years Eve, typing a post that I planned to type three months ago, I think about the plans that I made for 2008, and where I thought that I would be right now. A year ago I planned to lose ten pounds, buy a house, and find a new job, and nowhere in those plans was I a mother of a three month old baby going into the New Year. This year as everyone I know makes their plans and resolutions for 2009, And along with so many others I am once again planning to lose that weight, buy that house, and get that new job, and I may just get around to doing all of those things, unless God has a lot more laughing to do.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

2 weeks notice (37 weeks and one day)

There have been I think six Rocky movies and I've never sat through an entire one but I've always loved the theme song. Something about it just seems so triumphant; watching him run up the steep and treacherous steps until he finally makes it to the top.

Now imagine that you are running up those steps but imagine that you are not Rocky Balboa/Sylvester Stallone, but that you are just you, in whatever shape you're in right now. With each step add a little weight until you've added 30 pounds to yourself. Swell up your feet so that they look like bread rolls. Somewhere around the middle of the steps throw in some constant heartburn and lower back pain. Slow Rocky's song down so that it takes nine months to play. Make sure its ninety degrees outside. Get three steps from the top and just stand there looking at the top, knowing its right there, but that you can't take get up there for at least another two weeks. This is called nine months pregnant, or what the doctor's like to call, full term.

What does full term/37 weeks mean exactly? It means that your baby would be absolutely fine if he came out right now but he won't. It means that every pain will make you hope that you are about to go into labor but you're not. It will mean that every time you leave work and say "see you tomorrow" you hope that in all actuality you will be recovering in the hospital but every tomorrow you are back at work again. Most babies are born between 37 and 42 weeks. So what this means is that my little boy could safely come tomorrow or I could be standing there looking at that top step for five more weeks, the thought of which is 100 percent unacceptable. So as of yesterday, I gave the boy his eviction notice. He is to be out within the next two weeks or else.

Starting yesterday I started the process of trying every safe method supposedly known to naturally induce labor. These inlude; capsules of evening primrose oil, red raspberry leaf tea, walking, spicy food, fresh pineapple, and lots of uh- happy time with my husband. I have no idea if any of these things actually work. Either I will be a mommy again sooner, or I will be one pill popping, tea-drinking, indigestion-having chick that gets good cardio work outs and has a smile on her face. If he doesn't move willingly within two weeks, I will be evicting him via that old time favorite- castor oil. Some people say that all castor oil does is give you the runs, but right now I'm willing to risk it. Right now that top step is calling me. I've spent nine long months holding this boy in my belly, now I'm ready to hold him in my arms.

Are you listening in there buddy? Time for you to pack up your placenta and leave....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Caution! Beware the Pregosaur! (34 weeks, 5 days)

Breaking News! A Pregosaurus Rex has been spotted on the loose in the Woodlawn area. Early reports say this Pregosaur, or P-Rex as they are also called, went on a rampage when an unknown male presented her with a double chocolate cake when she clearly requested a yellow cake with white frosting. Authorities believe that she may be scouring the land in search of food.

The P-Rex is characterized by its close resemblance to an elephant and disproportionately large belly. She may waddle while walking, have swollen fingers, and will likely be breathing like a 500 pound man even though she is walking slowly. The pregosaur is often delusional and may be wearing too small clothes that she has convinced herself are shrinking.

If you spot the Pregosaur, proceed with caution! The P-Rex is volatile and can appear calm but will attack at any given moment. If you encounter her, please refrain from rubbing her belly or using words like "huge" or "twins" as these things are known to incite violence. Try throwing a Krispy Kreme donut in the opposite direction to distract her and then make your get away. If all else fails, lie flat on the ground as the P-Rex cannot reach her toes. The best thing to do is contact authorities on sight. Do not underestimate the power of the P-Rex, as she has the ability to multiply!

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Darndest Things (32 weeks)

There is something about being pregnant that seems to prompt everyone around you to say the most ignorant things that come to their mind. It is amazing that with each passing week my belly seems to be a magic wand that turns a normal, intelligent person into an OB GYN with a degree in Dumb Assedry. Although I have come to realize that most people are well meaning, it doesn’t make the comments any less annoying. I would like to do a brief public service announcement and let everyone know that just because a woman is pregnant does not mean that it is time to turn off your sensitivity switch. If it was rude before, its still rude now- i.e. referring to a woman as huge. Below are some real comments that I’ve received that could get you stabbed, shot, killt (yes with a t), or hurt if you say them to a pregnant woman ( or at least get you a smart response from me)

“Wow are you sure you’re not having twins?”
You know I might need to check on that. I am only eight months pregnant. Maybe during the 20 doctor visits that I’ve had over the last 3o something weeks and in the five ultrasounds, the doctor somehow missed that second baby in there. I have gained some weight in my boobs though. Maybe he’s hiding in one of those.

“Wow are you sure you’re going to make it to October?”
You know although I have an October due date I am soooo over the whole October thing. Something about it is just so 1999. I think a Leo might go a little better with my nursery color scheme so I’m actually thinking of popping this little guy out sometime next week.

“Get your rest now because once that baby comes you won’t be able to get any sleep”
Thanks I’ll remind myself of that as I’m trying to sleep right now with a head in my ribcage. Nothing says sweet dreams like a pelvis full of feet.

“Are you sure you’re ready for this?”
Hmm,- now that you mention it-not so much. But I am only 8 months pregnant. I’ve got lots of time to rethink my decision.

“You can’t possibly be that hungry”
I don’t even have a smart comment for this one. The worst thing about this was that a man said it. As a man, “you can’t possibly” should never begin any sentence that is going to end with something related to pregnancy. I will also extend this to pms, menopause, and any other womanly situation that you will never, ever, ever be able to relate to. As a matter of fact, as a man, your only response to a pregnant woman should be “you look beautiful”. The next time you feel like you want to say something regarding your pregnant woman’s weight, food intake, swollen ankles etc., just turn to her and say “you look beautiful”. It will get you good things in life.

And the number one crazy comment….
“After you have the baby you should be strong and in shape from all that weight you’ve been carrying around.”
Huh? Whaaa? Did you just?...I don't even have anything to say. The only thing I can do is keep the identity of the person who said it safe to protect the guilty :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

My daughter, the vegetarian (24 weeks)

I remember the day that I started hating my hair. I was about 6 years old and my grandmother asked me what I thought about it: “Do you think your hair is regular or coarse?” she asked, brushing my hair to the side in the guest bedroom of her house.

At 6, my hair wasn’t something I ever gave much thought ( I do remember thinking that however my grandmother was styling my hair at that moment was really ugly) I didn’t know the meaning of coarse so I responded “Regular.”

“I think its coarse.” She said. Although I didn’t know what coarse meant, I could tell by her tone of voice that coarse=bad, or at least something worse than regular. From that moment I felt like my hair was “bad” for about the next 15 years. Once I realized that there was nothing wrong with my hair I told myself that I would try to avoid making those comments that would scar my child for life.

Fast forward to 2008. Kya is online in the living room, playing a game where she is catching pigs to slaughter them and chop them into sausages. After watching this for about 30 seconds I tell her to turn it off because it seems inappropriate. About 30 minutes later we are sitting at the dining room table, eating the pork chops that I had made for dinner. Just trying to make conversation, I say to Kya:

“As much as you love animals, I’m surprised you would play a game where you kill pigs.”

And the scarring begins.

Kya looks down sadly into her plate. Steve looks at me with his eyebrows raised and a face that asks “why would you say that?” I am bewildered. My daughter cries hysterically at SPCA commercials and includes animals in her prayers every night. I thought it fairly reasonable that I would be surprised at her murdering animals for fun.

“Well at least you were killing pigs and not cats and dogs or something.” I say, trying to make the situation better.

It doesn’t work. Kya starts crying. Steve tells me to shut up loudly under his breath.

“I don’t want to eat animals anymore. I’m going to be a vegetarian.” Kya says. I tell her that she needs to eat her food.
“But its pig!!” She says.
“Its not pig. Its hog.” I say. Trying to minimize the damage.
“Isn’t a hog still an animal.” She asks
“Yes,” I say,” but a hog is a bad animal. Hogs eat little animals. They kill cats.”
Kya looks horrified
“Hogs are bad. The more we eat them the better.” Steve says, finally on my side.

The rest of the dinner is filled with questions: “Do hogs kill dogs? Will it fight a tiger? Will it eat a squirrel?’ She eats what she now thinks is an evil hog but vows that starting the next day she will not eat any meat. I thought that it would be about a day long phase but surprisingly she has stuck to it for a few weeks. So now I wonder, 15 years from now will she remember this moment as the day her mother made her hate meat?

(Oh and I'm having a boy!!!)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Looking Big, Feeling Small

I would like to thank Bonefish Grill for making me feel like the fattest woman in the world.

Since we had never been, Steve and I decided to go the restaurant last Tuesday for dinner.
The hostess led us to the nearly empty dining area and the atmosphere felt surprisingly intimate for a chain restaurant. I’m so used to us hanging out in the bar or at home recently that I expected something a little closer to Red Lobster, but the low track lights and the decorative wall made it feel a little nicer. We both took our seats in the booth. The hostess handed us our menus and looked at me and said:

“Is this booth going to be ok or is it too tight for you?”

I went from feeling pretty good to feeling like the epitome of huge in 0.5 seconds. I’m approaching five months and have gained about ten pounds. Not a small amount of weight, but good enough for me at this point. And now I am being asked whether I can fit inside of a booth at a restaurant. 300 pound people go to restaurants every day and sit in booths. I know because I’ve seen them. Steve said she was just trying to be nice, which probably is true. But in my mind I still called her a skinny biatch and wished that she would eat a fat sandwich of death.

To tell the truth, it kind of hurt my feelings.

Later on I told Steve how I really didn’t feel sexy anymore. His Response:

“So what? You’re pregnant.”

A lot of times my husband knows just the right thing to say to make me feel my best on my worst day. This was not one of those times.

What he said: So what? You’re pregnant.
What I heard: So what, you’re really not a woman anymore anyway, just a carrier of sorts for the baby inside you. You are round, you can’t drink, ride a motorcycle, get in a hot tub or stay up past 9 pm. You struggle to get out of a chair, why would you even begin to think about being sexy?

He probably didn’t mean all of that, but that’s how I felt when he said it. Being able to bring a new life into this world is one of the most powerful things that a woman can do. So how come instead of feeling like Superwoman sometimes I feel like less of a woman than I did before? Do I equate womanliness with sexiness? Shouldn’t I feel honored that my hips, thighs, boobs, and belly now have something more important to do than be cute things to look at? And why is it that the larger I get, the more and more I feel invisible?

I’m sure I could spend hours trying to answer all of these questions and maybe I will in another post on another day. Right now I have naps to take and fat sandwiches of death to make (that’s right Bonefish hostess, if you’re reading this, watch out. I have one waiting for you…).

Monday, April 28, 2008

True Confessions! Scandalous! (17 weeks, 3 days)

So What If I Told You This:

I can’t stand one of my cats. I have seriously contemplated giving her away and pretending like she ran out the door. The only reason why I haven’t is that I know my husband wouldn’t believe me.

I think politics are boring and only kind of care whether Barack wins. I didn’t vote in the primary and felt bad and pretended like I did one time when the topic came up and I didn’t want to look bad in front of White people.

I had no “conscious” reason to have natural hair or wear locks. Its just what I felt like doing at the time and it was easier to maintain so I kept doing it.

I’m afraid to find out the sex of the baby because if they tell me it’s a girl I might cry (not happy tears)

Although I know that “living in sin” is wrong, I think that the year my husband and I lived together before we got married was the best thing we ever did.

I don’t understand ninety percent of the poetry that I read.

I don’t like neo soul music. Because I have natural hair people always want to tell me when India Arie/Alicia Keys/ Jill Scott are coming out with a new album and I feel like I should care but I don’t. Now when that Li’l Wayne album drops in June, I will be at Best Buy! ( or the bootleg man, whichever one I get to first)

Aaaah, that felt good. Just felt like one of those true confessions kind of days. Until Next

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Help, I feel great! (15 weeks, 6 days)

Disclaimer: If this blog doesn’t make any sense its because Steve is watching Deuce Bigelow as I’m writing this and the movie is too freaking stupid/hilarious for me to block it out completely.

I haven’t blogged in a while mostly because the last couple of weeks have been pretty uneventful. My morning sickness is gone, the dark circles under my eyes are slowly being replaced with that dewy pregnancy glow. I even had enough energy on Sunday to workout and vacuum my house all in the same day. The results of my most recent screening showed that I only had a one in 10,000 chance of giving birth to a baby with downs syndrome which is about as low as you can get. To top it all off, I’ve gained only about half the weight that I had at this point when I was pregnant with Kya. Things are going well and with the exception of feeling a little more tired than normal and some sinus issues, I feel pretty darn good.

And I can’t stand it.

Now by no means am I asking for the constant nausea and fatigue that seemed like it would never end a couple of weeks ago (Are you listening God?) But in some horribly sick and twisted way, feeling bad incessantly felt like my evidence that all was well inside. It sounds crazy, but feeling crappy to me just means that the baby, little parasite that it is, is sucking all of the life out of me and by doing so is ensuring his or her own success. Now that I’m feeling better, what evidence do I have that its doing ok in there?

It will probably be another couple of weeks before I feel it move consistently. Sometimes I talk to it or poke myself in the stomach to try to get it to “make contact”. “If you are ok in there kick twice”. It doesn’t work. No sickness, no movement, no signs. And then the anxiety starts. I know, those crazy hormones.

But then again I know that this is not the only time that I’ve felt stressed because everything was going well. I know I’m not the only person that has had a perfect day, or an uneventful week, or just a stress free time in my life that made me feel like uh-oh, things are a little too great, followed by “something is about to go horribly wrong.” It doesn’t really make any sense, but sometimes knowing that something is happening feels better than not knowing anything at all.

Yesterday we heard the heartbeat for the first time. The little beats, that sound like a sped up washing machine, gave me some temporary reassurance that all is well. For today, at least, I’m trying to enjoy where I am now and just accept that everything is ok. I’m trying to save the anxiety for a time when I really need it.

But I still can’t wait to feel those kicks……

Monday, March 17, 2008

Raisin Licorice Juice (11 weeks, 3 days)

So it took me about a week to get a little happy. A couple more days to get really happy and then another couple of hours to become absolutely obsessed. In those first few days I told myself that I would start a blog since this is an experience that I plan to never have again (although we see how well my plans turn out) and that I wanted to record everything.

Unfortunately weeks six through eleven of this pregnancy have been what I can only describe as pure hell. All of my effort these past few weeks has gone toward staying awake until 6pm and having the food I eat travel in the right direction through my digestive system, both of which have been pretty unsuccessful most of the time. So blogging has been pretty far down on my list, somewhere after trying not to have my mouth taste like rusty pennies all day and peeing every 37 minutes.

I don't know if its just that none of these things happened when I was pregnant with Kya, if its just been too long (8.5 years) to remember them happening, or if I was just so traumatized by the horror that I mentally blocked it all out- but this all feels new to me.

  • My theory is that the baby must need to take energy from my brain cells to build its own which is why I think I have totally and completely lost my mind. In the past few weeks I have: Cooked a frozen pizza with the cardboard still stuck on the bottom; put the fork/knife holder thing from the dishwasher in the refrigerator; poured shampoo into my loofah and washed my body with it; forgotten about a whole pan of cooked bbq chicken and left it in the oven for five days...I'm sure there have been more crazies but I don't have enough brain cells left to remember them all.

  • Food has become my worst enemy and my best friend. Foods/Drinks that I never thought I could hate turn my stomach at the thought of them. Water, soda, chocolate, any type of pastry, ice cream, chicken and many others fall into this category. I dry heave at the sight of Olive Garden commercials. When I am craving something though, it is a major emergency. I almost caused an accident the other day because I was driving home and had to make a bee-line at the mall to get an Auntie Anne's pretzel. The worst part is that I occasionally imagine fictional foods and fantasize about how good they would taste. Ice cream and pastries make me sick, but the sound of an ice cream filled apple danish gave me tingles the other day. I have also been overcome by an intense craving for Raisin-Licorice juice.

I know, there is no such thing. But shouldn't there be? What could quench my thirst and give me just the right balance of sweet and soothing like raisins and black licorice? Never mind the fact that it might be impossible to get juice from a raisin and I absolutely hate black licorice under any other circumstance- with all the inventions out there, it has to exist somewhere, right? Not even at Whole Foods?

Even without my juice, today was a good day. I felt so energetic this evening that I decided I would take a yoga class. I put on my yoga outfit, went to my mother's to pick up her yoga mat that she couldn't find, ended up looking through my mail at her house, decided I was too late for yoga so I would just go to the gym and walk on the treadmill, realized that i didn't have the headphones to my ipod in my purse so went home to find them, couldn't find them so ended up eating a porkchop with gravy and writing this blog. Putting on my yoga outfit has to count for something though right?

Until Next Time....

P.S. I love love love my husband. Imagine if you had to put up with this type of crazy every day!

Catching Up

Because I actually started writing stuff down long before I started "publishing" my thoughts I figured I would start this blog at the beginning by posting what I actually wrote about a month ago. 2/10 was when everything changed......

The Difference a Day Makes (Sunday 2/10)

12 pm
I feel like crap. And I mean crap. No descriptive metaphor. Earlier today I went running/jogging/walking, training for my first 5k, so I knew I would be tired, but not like this. I come home and decide to make mini-quiche from a recipe. I’m doing big things in the kitchen, quiche, bacon, toast and coffee. I call my husband to see if he is done at his grandmother’s and if he wants to have breakfast. He’s at the bar. At noon. On a Sunday. He says he won’t be there long

I'm upset. I eat my breakfast alone and put his in the microwave.

After I finish eating and read a book I take a nap. The wind, slamming against my doors and windows like someone trying to break in is scary while I’m awake, but somehow soothing in my sleep.

3:50 pm
When I wake up, there are no numbers on the clock. The house is quiet. I try to turn on the television and get an empty click.

No electricity.

I call him to let him know. Still at the bar. Doesn’t know what time he is coming home because he is playing pool.

“Are you drunk already?”
Yes. I don’t need to ask. I can hear it in his voice.

I’m pissed. Too pissed. Sitting on the couch, looking at, listening to nothing, I feel angrier than I should. My breasts hurt. My back hurts. I feel nauseous and light headed. PMS is a bitch.

But then I realize that PMS is not normally this bitchy. And then the panic begins.

I have this moment of panic probably every other month. I think I’m pregnant and have no reason to. I’ve been on the birth control ring for more than a year now. Leave it in for three weeks. Take it out for one. Put it back in and start over. Its not like having to take a pill every day, there’s not much room for error.

I know that I’m not pregnant so I go to the dollar store to buy the test. In my last moment of panic I found out from a friend that they sold dollar store tests. No use spending $7 on a test that I already know will be negative. Since they are only a dollar I buy two.

4:45 pm
Back at home. I still have no lights and its getting darker outside. Nice. I’ll have to pee in the tiny cup that comes with the test in the dark. Except the dollar store test doesn’t come with a cup, you have to provide your own. Luckily we have paper cups.

Four drops on the test. Two lines pop up… quickly. The test is wrong because it’s from the dollar store. I open the second test. 4 drops, two lines again.

Its not true. I wrap up the two little lies in a paper towel and put them under the sink. I call my mother to tell her I’m coming over for a little while because my electricity is out. As I’m putting on my coat, the lights come back on.

5:30 pm
I am waiting for Kya to get ready so that we can leave my mother’s house. I want to lie down. I don’t want another baby. I’m thinking about all of the things that were easy that will now be hard. I have a birthday party planned in a couple of weeks and now I can’t even have a drink. We’re going away for the weekend in March where everyone will be drinking…except me. Vegas in May? Who feels like running around the strip with a big belly? I’m trying to finish school. We were going to take trips and be married for three years, have a chance to enjoy each other, and now this. I had planned to be happy the next time. I had planned to plan it the next time. And I did. And my plan still went wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong.

6:30 pm
I’m tired of dealing with this by myself now. I call him. Still at the bar. By now he has put in almost an entire workday at the bar. I need him to come home. I ask him if I should plan for him to come home for dinner. His voice is frustrated. He’ll be home in an hour.

I hang up on him. I’ve had enough. I send him a text message.

Im so **bleeping** upset all u want 2 do is go 2 champs and get *bleep!** up obviously I need u to come the *bleep!* home!

He calls, asking me what is wrong. Asking me not to hang up on him. I hate him right now. He’s drunk, more than drunk, and I need someone strong, someone sober. He continues to ask me. I don’t want to tell him over the phone. If he cares he will come home. It shouldn’t matter why I need him. Only that I do. He yells, frustrated, then hangs up in my ear.

6:50 pm
I’m lying in bed on the verge of tears. Kya is downstairs watching something on the Disney Channel. I’m surprised to hear his key click in the door. He comes into the bedroom words slurring.
“Whats wrong with you.”
I hate him even more. I had imagined being excited, telling my husband over dinner or with some really cute, well crafted plan. But I am upset and he is standing, barely standing in front of me, drunk as ever.

“ I didn’t want to tell you like this but I’m pregnant.”

“Uh-uh.” He says. But he is smiling. His face is lighting up. Its true, I tell him. I go and get the little wrapped up tests from the cabinet and show them to him. He tells me he doesn’t know what he’s looking at. I tell him he needs to go get another test. Those came from the dollar store and could be wrong. “Go get a high-tech one” I say.

The one he comes back with has words. It flashes with an hourglasss like a computer screen while I wait. No double lines here. This one spells it out- pregnant, in bold letters.

I take it out and show it to him. “No mistaking this one” I say. Now he is hugging me, tackling me, all over me. Excited.

I’m happy and I’m miserable. I’m laughing hard and I’m crying like a baby. I’m hugging him back and pushing him away, loving him, hating him, blessed and cursed, excited for the future but wishing that the future was just a little bit further away.