Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mother to Mother

I was amazed at how well Michael took the news and how genuinely excited and happy he seemed to be.  He wanted me to move back in with him immediately and couldn't wait to share the news with our family and friends.  I told him I wasn't quite ready to move back in, to just take it a little slowly at first, but I knew we were on our way to getting back together and restarting our life together.  I convinced him that it was best to wait a few weeks to share the news with everyone, until we'd figured out our relationship and allowed our parents to absorb the news. 

My mother was only 17 when she gave birth to me.  Growing up, I'd lived mostly with my grandmother until age 13.  My mom and I hadn't gotten along so well; I was an angsty teenager and she was raising 4 other children besides me.  I liked to play the role of "martyr" when my mom asked me to babysit the younger kids all the time.  My step-dad (whom had been in my life since I was a toddler, and the only dad I ever knew) was murdered when I was 17, and that's when my mother and I started to bond.  After I moved out of the house at age 18, though, our relationship had really strengthened and grown.  She had moved across the country a year later to live closer to my grandmother, and I think the distance made us closer.

"Am I hearing this correctly, Emma Jean?  Please tell me this is a goddamn prank," my mother's voice was wary with a touch of disappointment.  I think every person, regardless of age, reverts back to feeling like a child when their parents use their middle name as well.  That always means you're in trouble, right?

"Mom, I know it's a shock, but it was an even bigger shock for me.  You know I didn't plan on having kids until after I was married and closer to 30, but please, try and be happy for me.  Michael and I are working on things, we really are.  We were already starting to mend things even before I found out I'm pregnant, so don't go assuming that we're only getting back together because of my 'predicament'.  I really need your support, Mom," I exhaled loudly, making sure she could hear me sighing into the phone. 

"Well, Emma, I'm not ready to be a grandmother and I sure don't think you're ready to be a mother.  Have you thought about how much this is going to change your life?  How could you be so careless?  How could you make the same mistake that I did?"

"Thanks, Mom, I am SO glad that I'm a mistake," I rolled my eyes, despite the fact that she couldn't see me.

"Oh, damn it, you know I don't think you're a mistake, Emma.  You were just unexpected and I was so young.  I want you to have a better life than I did, I know you wanted more out of life..." she trailed off, probably thinking about the life she'd lived.  I knew my mother loved all of us, but I also knew she sometimes daydreamed about what life would have been like if she hadn't had so many kids.  No doubt, she was thinking back to how often I'd proclaimed as a teenager that I never wanted to be like her, I never wanted kids and I sure didn't want to be nothing but a housewife.

"You're right though, I'm not ready to be a mother and I did want a different life, but I can still have the life I want, it'll just be a little tougher now.  Anyway, Mom, I have to go.  Michael is picking me up to go have dinner with his parents and we're breaking the news to them tonight.  I wanted you to be the first to know.  Love you."

"Well, if you're happy, then I guess I'll have to be happy for you.  Tell Michael I said hello.  I love you, too," she sounded defeated, and I knew this was a lot of information for her to handle, but I also knew she'd soon warm up to the idea of being a grandmother. 

I put my phone back in my purse, and finished getting ready.  Michael had texted me earlier, telling me that I should dress up a little tonight because his parents were taking us to a nice steakhouse for dinner.

I decided on one of my favorite dresses.  It was a brilliant grassy green which really enhanced my complexion and made my brown eyes and dark hair really pop.  I paired it with a tiny black cardigan and black flats.  I left my hair loose and my makeup light, and waited for Michael to arrive.

I had no idea how much that night would change my life.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Breaking The News

A few days later, after wandering around in a daze and going through the motions of my daily life, the fog finally lifted.  I had just left my doctor's appointment which confirmed what I already knew but also confirmed what I suspected.  I was approximately 8 weeks pregnant, give or take, meaning Michael had to be the father.  I cried in relief as I sat in Kate's car in the parking lot.  At least I truly knew Michael and knew he was a good man.  I knew Michael would be an amazing father after seeing how he had interacted with his young niece over the years.  If the baby had belonged to Eric, I knew that I would have ended the pregnancy, as callous as that may sound.

Kate drove me home in silence, seeming to know that I wasn't really in the mood for conversation.  So far, Kate was the only one who knew I was pregnant.  Today would be the day I shared the news with those closest to me, now that I had seen the doctor and knew I was carrying a healthy fetus.  I texted Michael, telling him we needed to talk tonight and asking him to come pick me up.  He agreed, and I knew I had a few hours to spare, so I took the opportunity to nap.

I dressed casually, in a turqouise v-neck and my favorite pair of skinny jeans (you won't be skinny much longer, a voice piped up in the back of my head).  I examined myself in the mirror, looking for a sign of a growing baby, but saw no change.  My breasts might have looked a little fuller, but that could've been my imagination.

I jumped when I heard Michael knocking.  I made my way to the door and greeted him warmly, lingering in the hug he greeted me with.  He held me at arm's length and scanned my face.

"Something's wrong, Em.  What happened?  Are you okay?" the concern in his voice nearly broke my heart.

"Michael, I don't know how else to tell you this, but I'm pregnant with your baby," I barely choked out the words as I dissolved into tears.  Time stopped and Michael held me against him in my doorway as I cried.

Tears glistened in his blue eyes when I looked up to meet his gaze.

"Baby, that's great news!  Don't cry, it'll be okay.  We'll make this work..."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Coming Soon

Hi guys!  I'm working on a new post which should be up sometime tomorrow.  Be sure to check back and see how Emma is handling the changes life threw her direction.  And if you read but aren't a follower, please remember you can comment anonymously and let me know what you think of the blog (good OR bad, I welcome all comments!).

Talk to you all soon!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Deep Breaths

The results were unmistakable and I stood there slack jawed, feeling a wave of numbness wash over me.  I took a deep breath, held it for a moment, and let it out in a rush.  Countless thoughts were rushing through my mind as I stood there staring at the test in my hand.  Countless emotions washed over me and I thought back to the night I moved in with Kate.  That night, I had gone to sleep thinking of all of life's scenarios, opportunities, changes and possible paths awaiting me in the future, and none of those included standing in Kate's bathroom staring at a pregnancy test.  It was funny how life crept up on you and threw a hell of a curveball.  I stood there for another minute or two, thinking to myself and trying to figure out what emotion was most prevalent in me.

 I knew Kate was waiting on the other side of the door, just dying to know what the test said.  I opened the door and motioned her in, both of us crowding into the small bathroom.  Anticipation, fear and curiosity were written all over her face.  Kate had always made it clear that she never wanted children and had often joked about ending our friendship if I ever had kids.  Kate joked around a lot, but I always detected a bit of truth to her jokes, lurking just below the surface of the laughter.

"Well?  What's it say, Em?" she coaxed.  Her eyes darted back and forth quickly, scanning my face, trying to figure out the answer. The tension in the air was palpable and the room suddenly seemed far too small to breathe.

I smiled at Kate and shrugged.  I held up the test and thrust it towards her.

"It has pee on it, but you can read the results for yourself if you want," I joked.  It was a half-hearted effort, an act of encouragement and an attempt at nonchalance.

Kate shook her head, her eyes never leaving mine.

"No, just tell me what it says."

I swirled the words in my mouth before saying them out loud, tasting the way they felt and trying them on for size.

"It says I'm pregnant."

Monday, September 6, 2010

Emma's Dilemma

"That doesn't mean you're, ya know, knocked up," Kate fumbled to recover and save face.

"But what if it does?  I mean, yeah, I've had no other symptoms or signs which is why I wasn't even aware that I'm so late, but that doesn't mean I'm not knocked up.  And right now would literally be the worst possible time for me to be pregnant; I've slept with both Michael and Eric, and now I'm single, without a car and sleeping on a couch.  The last thing I need right now is a baby.  The gods can't be that cruel, right?" I attempted to crack a joke, but it didn't make either of us feel like laughing.  My revelation had sobered us both up quickly and I walked to the kitchen to pour out the rest of my vodka cranberry.

I stood there at the sink, watching the drink spiral down the drain and losing myself in my thoughts.  I was already weighing my options and I wasn't even sure if I was pregnant.  I nearly jumped out of my skin when I felt Kate's hand on my shoulder.

"It'll be okay, Emma.  I'll take you first thing in the morning to pick up a pregnancy test, if you want.  Hell, I'll even get up early and get it for you while you're still asleep!  Anything, you know I'm here for you," Kate pulled me into a hug.

I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes and running down my face, soaking into Kate's shoulder and still she stood there, holding me.  As I cried and Kate whispered soothing things, I realized something.  I had showed signs.  They weren't physical, but my emotional state had been out of control lately and that could be chalked up to pregnancy hormones.  My sex drive had been through the roof, which was also completely out of character for me.  What if I was pregnant when Michael and I were together, which threw off my mood and emotions and made me end our relationship?  In that moment, I didn't know what to think.

Finally, I pulled out of Kate's hug and sniffled, smiling at her through my tears. 

"Thanks, Kate.  I think I'll be okay.  But I'm exhausted now and want to go to sleep.  And I do want to go first thing tomorrow to buy a test.  That way, I won't drive myself crazy with 'what-ifs' and not knowing."

Kate nodded and said goodnight before heading to bed and closing her bedroom door.  I buried my face in my pillow, and quietly cried myself to sleep.

Early the next morning, I awoke to Kate standing over me with a bag in her hand.

"I couldn't sleep so I went without you," she blurted, thrusting the bag towards me.

I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, and warily took it from her.  I already knew what it was and sighed as I got up off the couch.  I hugged Kate briefly as I made my way to the bathroom.

I opened the pregnancy test and read the directions carefully.  It was a digital test so the results would be simple to read with no guess-work involved.  I sighed again and left the test sitting on the counter as instructed.  Three minutes slowly crept by as I waited to find out if my life was about to drastically change.

With shaking hands, I picked up the pregnancy test and read the crystal clear results.