My friend’s voice poured through the phone “Sex begets sex, ya know?”.
But I know what else it begets. Babies.
Especially when you decide, in the moment, that you are in “safe zone”, not having felt the tiny little womb-egg travel down your body that month.
A rookie error.
But don’t be mistaken: nothing is by chance.
It’s one of the last evenings of September and I’m laying in bed, reading. Jason walks in, leans on the door jamb, and blurts out “I think we might be in ‘trouble'”. I look up from the pages of The Sun, confused, and ask what he means. “You know…’trouble’. You are ‘late'”. I give a “Pfffftt” kind of giggle and brush him off with “Ahhh, no, it’s coming any day”. I don’t keep track of these things. Apparently, he does. I didn’t feel the crampiness of ovulation that month (which is strange for me) and so assumed all was normal. He gives me a look and I tell him not to worry. The though of a baby isn’t even in my head.
A few days pass and he comments again. This time I give pause and try to recall my last period. “I know I was on my cycle at a birth but I can’t remember which one…”. I narrow down the dates and start to count. A few days late. “Well, honey, it’s not THAT late. Don’t worry”.
I think to myself of the few times we snuggled close in that King-sized bed, skin to skin, in between the 10 hour work days, the kiddy meltdowns, and the back to back births I attended, and I think “It only takes once…”.
I begin to wonder; curious; in limbo; terrified and thrilled at once.
From my journal:
Night of Sunday, 10/4: Slept in between Kaia and Indigo. Felt 2 waves of tinglyness, as if someones soul had entered my body. I feel as though I may astral travel.
Monday, 10/5: Going pee all day long.
Tuesday, 10/6: In a spontaneous call to action, my friend Shell brings pregnancy tests as I waited at home, holding my pee for over an hour. Like us females always do, she follows me to the bathroom and slides effortlessly onto the counter her knees dangling. In the middle of peeing, she reads the package and then curses. I’m peeing on an ovulation test.
Later that evening, I drag the kids to the grocery and purchase a two-pack of pregnancy tests. I take one: Negative. I take another: Negative. I draw my mouth to a half-smile/half-frown, the kind of expression you made when you just aren’t quite convinced. “Okaaay”, I whisper and nod slowly. And then again, a more confident “Okay!”. I toss them in a drawer to save. I fill Jason in on the news when he arrives home and he lets out a sigh of relief. I breathe out a wimpy-sigh and begin to understand that I’m wishing for a positive test more than I’d realized. Could that baby I’d really wanted for over a year be just a breath away? Jason senses my trepidation and says “I mean, it would be OK but the timing would be tough…”.
We human beings and our illusion of time.
Thursday, 10/8: Still no sign of my period. The girls spill a huge bag of dog food all over the floor in Kaia’s room. When I walk in, I gag and almost vomit. I don’t ever gag. I don’t think about that until later, that perhaps it’s because I’m pregnant. I don’t have much of an appetite. Early in the morning, I break down crying on the phone with Jason because I’d forgotten car seats for the girls at Jeanette’s house and I can’t go see my friend Janis. I never cry.
Friday, 10/9: I wake up and rush around to get the girls ready to take a birth tub to a client. I start to feel dizzy, and a bit woozy. I eat an egg quiche and a chocolate chip cookie. Later that afternoon, I take Kaia and Indigo to the grocery store and purchase more pregnancy tests. This has gone on too long and my period is now about 9 days late. I rushhome and fumble to open the packages. I take the test in our bathroom. Within 25 seconds, two lines appear. I watch, saying slowing “Hoooo leeee Cow! Holy COW!”. My cells seem to quake. I almost start to cry. The girls are hungry and tired so I immediately fix lunch. While slathering peanut butter between slices of bread, I almost cry thinking about the baby growing in my belly and that they will be big sisters. Wow. Wow. Wow.
I wait until Jason gets home to tell him and present him with a crude crayon drawing I sketched of our family: my belly swollen with a head-down baby nestled inside a rainbow colored womb. I scrawled the words “All You Need is Love” around the borders. The title said “Our Family”. He smiled and we hugged. He said he’d been thinking about it for weeks and had come to terms with the possibility. He then admits he knew THE MOMENT it happened but he never told me. “Underneath it all, we’re all really just animals. We KNOW”, he says, referring to the apparent pheromones I gave off to draw him towards me about 3 weeks prior. “Hey, I would have appreciated the heads up”, I laugh out. Men!
We each have a brief and obligatory “It’s gonna be just fine” conversation.
Yes, it is. More than fine.
I’m almost 5 weeks along.
Baby is expected in early June, sharing a birth month with her sister Indigo. Perhaps born around the new moon.
My first Gemini.
I already start envisioning the birth in our bedroom and who will be there to witness it and what it will feel and look and smell like the day I birth another being into my hands and become a Mother again.
A few days after my positive test, I go back to look at the first two tests I took. Lo and behold a second faint line appeared in both of them! How did I miss this?
I call MB and spill the beans. She is taking a walk alone in her neighborhood and literally drops her frothy latte to the ground when I tell her.
10/19: I’m feeling SO good. No nausea, just doggone tired. I’m feeling so good, in fact, that I’m gladly eating celery with peanut butter and carrots with hummus and forgoing sugar.
10/20: I attend the U2 concert in Phoenix with a few girlfriends. During the song “Beautiful Day” I write a little digital note on my phone that says “I’m pregnant, 8 weeks” and show it to them amidst the louder than loud amazing music. I bask in the awesomeness of the moment wrapped in one of my favorite songs from the mouth of one of my favorite singers.
10/23: So, I think I’m in denial over the morning sickness thing. It’s very mild, thankfully, and mostly just waves of queasiness throughout the day and night. The hardest symptom is the extreme exhaustion. My kids make more atrocious messes in the coming weeks that than they have in ages, thanks to my utter lack of energy to get off the couch.
10/29: After reading a kids book to Kaia about preparing for a birth (we haven’t told her about the baby, but I got this book at Goodwill in anticipation of it), she says “Mama, can we have another baby??”. I told her I’d ask Daddy.
This sweet baby wants to make itself known. I’ve had two former clients ask me straight out if I were pregnant and that they just had a “feeling”. Three other people, when I told them, confessed they had a strong suspicion. Today, a former client popped up via chat and said “Leigh are you pregnant? I had a dream that you were pregnant, happy, and then I saw you holding a baby girl.” The people who see me in person claim I have the “glow”. I wish they knew it was actually just the awesome, pricey make up my mama bought me.
Dearest little bean,
Yes, I am excited.
Yes, I’ve wanted you for a long, long time.
Yes, timing isn’t right. It never, ever is. And really, the point is that time in a continuum, so today is tomorrow is yesterday is today. And so, I live in this moment when I can. When we meet you, we won’t be able to believe that you didn’t exist in our arms before that time.
Yes, I do think about you multiple, multiple times daily.
You are teensy tiny and already making impacts on my body and bladder.
Your Daddy and I cannot imagine what it will be like for your sisters to welcome another sibling. I know it will be perfect.
Thank you for the gift of you; of your tiny beating heart. Thank you for entrusting my body to nourish you. Thank you for giving me the chance to be a mama again.
I love you already.
11/4: While the family gathered on the bed, I turn to Kaia and say “Guess what’s in my belly?”. She quips quickly “Food?!?”. I laugh and say “Yes, but something else…”. Her eyes and smile widen and she slowly proclaims with a high-pitched squeal “A BABY??!!”. She is so thrilled to hear the news that she immediately puts her ear to my belly and asks to hear the heartbeat. She hugs my belly and talks to the baby. My heart melted into a puddle of love in an instant. Indigo says “Baby, baby!”, but then moves on to reading her books and playing with Daddy.
Dear baby, I heard your heartbeat. You made me giddy. Love, Mama.
Eleven weeks on the dot. I am getting anxious to hear this baby’s heartbeat, for some reason needing definite confirmation of this sweet soul’s existences. I had tried a few times the prior with my own Doppler about a week go to no avail. Yesterday afternoon, I stretched out on the bed, alone, and got out my Doppler again. About 1 minute into it, I heard the familiar and sweet WHOOSH WHOOSH WHOOSH. A giddy smile washed over me and remained while I listened for a few minutes. “Thank you baby, thank you. I love you” is all I could say. When Jason got home, we listened together.
I just finished 6 births in two weeks. Somehow, the birth adrenaline keeps me pumped and going and I make it effortlessly through each beautiful birth. Every time I saw those babies, I couldn’t believe I was gonna have another one of my own to cuddle. I can’t wait.
11/25: Thanksgiving tomorrow. A baby in my belly. Gratitude abounds. I dreamed a few nights ago that I lost the baby, miscarried into a friend’s hands. This is my second miscarriage dream, both fraught with the theme of public bleeding and of wanting to birth my tiny baby alone. I do not have conscious fears of such tragedy but I suppose, as mamas, we always subconsciously wonder.
12/7: Kaia has taken to calling the baby “Jelly”. I think it kinda fits. I had about a month or so relapse with eating well so it’s time to start anew. Gained 5 lbs since the start of pregnancy. I snuggled in bed to read the girls some books at bed time and begin to feel the beginnings of fever coming on. I crashed out between the girls and woke a few hours later, shivering and freezing and sore. Jason put socks on my feet and brought me Emergen-E to drink. it was AWFUL. That morning, I was one big mess. It was horrible. My muscles wouldn’t release and my head pounded and my throat was sore. All I wanted was a hot bath. The hot water wouldn’t get more than lukewarm. I laid in the bath with Epsom salt for over an hour, adding warm water little by little as it heated up. I felt a bit better afterwards, but laid in bed trying to rest all day. At one point, I experienced about two minutes of cramping in my belly that caused me to moan and cry. For a few brief moments, I thought of the baby and got worried. In the midst of pain, all I could do was say “Love, love, love” over and over, my mantra begging the baby to stay with me. I rolled to my stomach and the pain went away.
12/10: Baby, baby, oh baby. Why the constant peeing? The painful feeling of a full bladder? This symptom of pregnant is one I could live without. I mean CONSTANT – four times at hour or more. Pants and skirts hurt my waistline as soon as my bladder fills. Oh, how I love you, baby, but the peeing is a major test on me. I don’t remember it being THIS bad with the others. And I’m tired, love. So tired. Drained. Please tell me the energy will come? Love you so much. We are in love with you already. All of us. Baby, your big sister Kaia really wants to see you be born. I’m totally cool with that. She even says she wants to help catch. And so, we practice during baths together, with a plastic baby doll. She is gentle and kind. How I love that girl. Personally, I just can’t wait to meet you, hold you, smell you. And eat some of Shell’s magical placenta chocolates that I’m gonna pay her to make from the life-source that grows and nourishes you this very moment
12/25: As we arrived at my Dad’s on Christmas afternoon, we prepared to share the news. To my surprise, my brother’s girlfriend announces her own pregnancy first. Astounded, I run to hug her and say “Awesome! Now we can share pregnancies together!” and rip off my grey wool poncho to reveal my little baby bump. The whole family is totally stunned. She is due three weeks before me.
1/1/10… 17 Weeks: Happy New Year, the year you will come Earth-side, dear baby. Baby, I’ve began to feel your first truly identifiable movements. This is your greatest gift to me during your time in my womb. I lay awake at night and in the mornings, hands on my belly, waiting, waiting, waiting. You always move when I least expect it. And you shy away from my Doppler, letting me hear just quick flashes of your perfect heartbeat. Bring on the pokes, prods, kicks, and twirls. Bring on the well-worn yoga pants, and Chlorophyll, and increased gas. My mystery baby, you fill my body and you fill my heart. As my blood and cells and womb expand, so does my unfettered spirit and consciousness. I am awake with possibility. My belly and breasts round out, preparing the home in which your sisters also thrived. Have they broken in the space quite well, written their initials or secret messages on the wall of my heart for you? Can there be anything more blissful and surreal than to be blessed with the ability to grow one’s very own flesh and blood child? Thank you, lovely little baby. You are exactly what I’d hoped for.
Three. A triad. A trinity. Spirit/Mind/Body. The subtle and pure existence between Seen and Unseen. A triangle. The three doshas: Vatha, Pitta and Kapha. Perfection.