After the Rain Came the Shower

About seven months ago I wrote this about one of my best friends who found out she was unexpectedly pregnant:
... It's okay to feel as if you are sleep-walking, sick to your stomach, speechless. There is nothing wrong with long silences and blank thoughts. There is nothing wrong with being afraid.

I got the phone call just after 6am and had been sleeping. I knew the second I saw her name on caller I.D. that she was pregnant. Just like I knew that Kendra was pregnant when the phone rang a year previous, on a similar Sunday morning, too early for phone calls from single girls.

I got in my car in my pajamas and went to pick Meredith up-- to talk her off the ledge that magically appears when two peed on sticks amount to four double lines.

Forget morning sickness and weight-gain and childbirth, the hardest part is right now. Today. Trying to understand the largeness of the situation, deciding that the truth is actual, trusting the double lines, saying aloud, "I'm pregnant." There is nothing more difficult than unknowingly crossing the line, becoming two people overnight, touching your body and coming to terms with the fact that inside, a face is forming and with it, a new world- a giant door that leads to everywhere, a wild jungle and OH MY GOD. Yes, everything is different, now.

"What am I going to do?" She asked and I shook my head. Because I didn't know what she was going to do but at least I knew how she felt. And I knew it wouldn't be long until the fear passed and became excitement, until she was pushing forward into the metamorphisis of pregnancy and motherhood. I glanced at my baby in the back seat. He smiled.

Pregnancy was the most amazing physical experience of my life. I cannot imagine never experiencing those forty weeks of creation, the changes and the swelling of self. I cannot imagine my body without it's stretched tattoos and belly flab. I cannot imagine my life without Archer.

She cried so I told her that everything would be okay because it is... it always is. No matter what the choice. Or the fucked-up-ness of it all. Or the feeling of being totally lost and overwhelmed with fear, staring adulthood in the face with eyelids pinned. This too shall pass... as they say, but the epilogue to that is that ...when it does, the heart will open.

When I first found out I was pregnant I couldn't say so aloud for several days. I choked on my words and swallowed air in their place. It wasn't until I had written the words down on paper 100 times that I could finally repeat them aloud. "I. AM. PREGNANT." Me, pregnant. I am going to have a baby. There is something alive in my body and one day it will have a name. Holy Shit! How is it possible?

I remembered then. I remember now. Like it was yesterday. Being in the car with Meredith, holding her hand. Being in the car on the phone with Kendra. Being in the car alone, on my way to Hal's apartment with a purse full of Clear Blue Easy sticks and hands that couldn't stop shaking.

I looked into your eyes today and I so remembered the feeling... I remember the six pregnancy tests in a row and me unbelieving. I remember shaking my head for a half an hour, huddled under the sink and how my bedroom looked, messy on the other side of the room. I remember the damn dog next door and how he wouldn't stop barking and how for once, I was grateful. The silence was too much to bear. I remember feeling like my life was over. The end...
...And I looked into your eyes, at your hair and thought, "you too will remember this moment. You will remember what you were wearing, faded work-out pants and sneakers. The banana clip in your hair. You will remember the smell of my car when I picked you up. You will remember the way the world suddenly looked different. A shade off. A new tint. You will remember it like yesterday. Like the turning-point in your life."

Over the weekend I attended Meredith's baby shower. And I don't think I have, in fourteen years seen her so happy. Beautiful and full of life and fearless-- counting down the days before her baby boy's arrival.

Life is beautiful. So is the wacked-out winding path that leads to growing up-- being able to help one another off ledges and supporting each other as women and mothers with bellies the size of pumpkins and so much love.

...You will look into the eyes of something that was a part of you, is a part of you. A gift. A surprise. A beginning. And once again you will be speechless. And then I can congratulate you again and in a whole new way, you won't know what to say.

Standing by to watch the fear melt away, as the cold and wet of rain becomes the joy and liveliness of baby showers.

Most definitely your life has changed directions and the compass is all out of wack. Most definitely I know that you will find your way.

Spring is here. And soon, so will Nolan be.



Mama's Moon | 1:35 PM

This is so beautiful. Your friends are lucky to have you. Your son is lucky to have you. I'm glad I stopped by to take a peek...

Agatha | 2:04 PM

love it.

Binky | 2:36 PM

Happy and BEAUTIFUL! Damn, you west coast girls sure know how to pull off the whole pregnancy thing.

I know you've talked about finding it hard to make friends with other women, but it seems from your writing that, when you do, you're pretty exceptional at being a girlfriend.

Kristi Harrison | 5:06 PM

I remember those unwanted pregnancies, too. Scary days.

But I'd almost go through it all again for a chance to wear that sexy maternity dress.

Fairly Odd Mother | 5:18 PM

I loved your original post but I think I love this one even more.

Anonymous | 6:36 PM

as always.... I love your posts. You are amazing. I am 27 and not ready to have a baby. But I love you and Archer. Your blogs make me want to be a mommy..... even though my mom gave me to my dad at birth.... and I am so scared because I think I would take after her... in having a baby. You make me want to be a good mommy.

S.T. | 7:17 PM

Just beautiful.

PunditMom | 7:23 PM

You words, as always, are so moving and poignant.

I wish I had had a friend like you when I was in the process of adopting R. ... someone who could help me understand the ambiguities of what I was feeling and how to navigate them, without others passing judgment.

Amie Adams | 9:01 PM

A wonderful, wonderful post.

Anonymous | 7:21 AM

This is just stunning. I think those fears, while magnified for women with unexpected pregnancies, are still fears most first time mamas-to-be feel. I remember after peeing on my own stick and seeing that very faint second pink line, my first thought after looking at my husband to see if he could see the line too was, "What the feck did we just do?"

You're a value to your friend. I'm glad she's happy and smiling now. And hott. Would that we could all look that awesome when 8 months pregnant.

Anonymous | 8:05 AM

That was greatly stated! I myself was preggo and single 3 years ago, and would of loved to read this when I was scared and fearing pregancy. You are a wonderful friend, and good luck to your preggo friend.


Anonymous | 8:55 AM

I am sensitive enough to see the beauty of this post--what a wonderful tribute to your friend and to pregnancy. Unfortunately, I was never one of those moms who relished in the joys of pregnancy. I envy those who can. But for me pregnancy was a fat, stretchmarky, scary, nauseating, vomitty journey into hell. The outcome, sure, is beautiful, but oh going through it was horrendous for me. My body detests being pregnant and my daughter, sick of the shit, came out 11.5 weeks early and I began preterm labor with my son at 23 weeks.

I do sincerely love seeing beautiful pregnant women and reading beautiful odes to pregnancy, but I was never a beautiful pregnant woman and I never loved being pregnant. There's a part of me that is a little resentful of my bad genes for not letting me experience that beauty.

Mom101 | 2:28 PM

What a lovely friend you are. Isn't it interesting to think that while your pregnancy changed your life, of course, that it also probably changed hers?

Anonymous | 3:25 PM

This is lovely, hon! And I have to echo what Mom101 said... even though it had to suck being the first one of your friends with a kid, think about how much of an inspiration you probably were to all of them.