It was July, 2016, and things were changing– My belly was getting flabbier, my energy levels were falling, I was irritable beyond belief, and moving in the morning seemed impossible. At the same time though, I had kept hiking, exercising, drinking, and carrying on as per usual.
Then one weekend, The Man was visiting his family up in Buffalo while I stayed behind, unable to get the weekend off from work. On the morning he was supposed to leave, I woke up, showered, and tried to get ready for breakfast. The Man became frustrated with me because he said I was moving exceptionally slow that day. Unable to move any faster, I broke down. I cried and agonized over the fact that my body simply could not move faster and I was just so tired.
We chalked it up to a late night and early rising, and moved on.
While he was making the drive up to western New York, I went to Duane Reade and picked up a few pregnancy tests. I brought them home and took them, not once pausing to think “what if it comes back positive?”
I did the other one.
Almost immediately I went into preparation mode: I called my insurance to see which general practitioner I could see as soon as possible, looked up prenatal care steps, bought prenatal vitamins. Then I called one of my fire wife friends. She talked me through the shock and initial fear of not being financially and mentally prepared for this next step.
I don’t know how I would have gotten through that first day without that phone conversation.
Then, the Man called.
It was in the seconds between the initial ring and my thumb hitting “accept” to answer the call that I had decided to not tell him. This was, in all likelihood, his final trip up to Buffalo without me, and perhaps even without his own family in-tow. Let him enjoy it. He spoke about meeting up with friends, fire pits, barbecues, and visiting with people’s kids.
Back in Queens, the rest of the weekend was spent talking to my belly, thinking about how I was going to handle this next step, and processing my own fear, love, excitement, and apprehension. By the time the weekend came to a close, I was comfortable in the prospect of having a child.
Three days after the test, The Man returned to our home, and I told him I had something for him. Suddenly in his possession were a pregnancy test, rattle socks, and a greeting card that read “Faith Over Fear” on the front.
Given that this was not a planned pregnancy, and that The Man and I are not married, nor were we even engaged at that moment, I figured this would not be met with tears of joy, smiles, and shouts of enthusiasm.
I told him that I would give him all the time he needed to process the news, and I was here for any questions and concerns he wanted to discuss. I anticipated anger, resentment, confusion, and worst of all silence for the first period of time. There were concerns and expressions of resentment, mainly caused by the fact that he did not feel he was ready for this step.
To my surprise, these emotions seemed to fade within an hour and were replaced by a paternal need to find shelter and financial resources. This was a most pleasant turn around for me, and for us as a team.
Finding out we were pregnant changed our lives forever, and by no means has it been a smooth course since that day back in July. Pregnancy is a rough roadway, pitted with doubt, concern, fear, being on different pages from your partner, and struggling to find common, supportive ground. It is not for the weak of bond or heart, and has the beautifully transformative power to bring you and your partner closer than any other facet of life. Everything else in your life as a couple pales in comparison the testing and re-purposing of a relationship that pregnancy can and will present.
And now, we have 10 weeks left in this journey until we meet our energetic, seemingly large baby boy!