December 19, 2007 (4 weeks, 2 days):
We find out that I'm pregnant the day before our 9 1/2 wedding anniversary (we always celebrate nice fractions of anniversaries), with a estimated due date of August 25, 2008 (though, since these are notoriously inaccurate, and since babies will arrive whenever they feel like it, I'm trying not to advertise that date).
At this point, as part of the story about how I told Robert I was pregnant, I'd like to add that I find it mysterious that no one really talks about miscarriages; I'm not quite sure why, since they happen quite a lot. Fifty or sixty years ago no one would talk about cancer, either, and fifty or sixty years before that no one would even have mentioned a pregnancy itself either, so I can only hope that times change. In any case, in November we had a miscarriage very early, at only five weeks, but immediately before this baby. Philosophically, Robert--after the fact--called it "a rehearsal," which is certainly my glass-half-full husband speaking. If nothing else, the miscarriage gave us an interesting two-layered experience in the "How to Tell People" department:
The first time, I'd said to Robert, a propos of nothing, and deliberately trying to sound suave, elliptical, and Victorian, "So, my mother may come for a visit next summer."
He said, immediately understanding: "Really?" (And yes, he genuinely got it, even with no context or lead-in: not for nothing has this man sat through my exhuberant reading of a hundred or so Victorian novels, exhuberant watching of every film version I can get my hands on, and even more exhuberant monologues on them and their crazy ways.)
This time, I say to Robert, again a propos of nothing, but now giving up all hope of sounding suave, "Um, we're actually kind of right back where we were seven weeks ago."
He says, again immediately understanding: "Really?"
We'd tried telling a Warcraft friend just for the heck of practicing telling someone within the safety of relative online anonymity. Since Robert's character's name is Bigbert, and some of his online friends know me as Ms. Bigbert or Ms. Bert, I say to one of them in private chat, "We just found out we're going to have a baby Bert." That witty remark may stand as our most un-awkward "telling" of our news.
Back in November, we had gone out to Tremont 647 for a celebratory dinner the night we found out; this time we're a little more cautious, as though afraid to jinx ourselves (how can pregnancy bring out the superstitions in two such unsuperstitious people, I wondered?). But though we're a little scared about all the responsibility of pregnancy and parenthood, we're both very happy about this baby (the baby Bert indeed), and we really hope s/he sticks around.
Cross-Reference: Christmas in NY
December 30, 2007 (5 weeks, 6 days):
Robert's grandma Helena is having a bit of a down day (I think you get those occasionally at any age, much less at 95) and she's saying things like, "I'm not sure what the point in living is," and "I'm not sure why I bother taking my medicine." The two of us are alone with her, so spur-of-the-moment, we decide to tell her, asking her first if she can keep a secret for a little while.
"A good secret or a bad one?" she asks.
"Good," we reassure her.
"Then yes," she says.
When we tell her, she gets very, very happy, and the first thing she says--actually the first piece of parenting advice we receive in our new state as actual pre-parents--is, "Be careful, soon the child will be 30 years old and you won't be able to control his life!"
We don't particularly mind this giant leap into the future, as she immediately promises to take care of herself, to eat right and take her medicine, and stay well to see the baby--who will probably be born the same month she turns 96.
December 31, 2007 (6 weeks, 2 days):
At our New Year's Eve party, in whispers in the kitchen, I tell our good friend Liwen (who happens to be pregnant currently with her second child, due in March, and is on a special diet because of her extreme, debilitating morning sickness). Liwen is virtually the only pregnant woman I've ever actually known, and her two-year-old son Nathanael is leaping around the living room as we speak. She sends a very sweet note in the mail a few days later saying that she and Tyrone are keeping us in their prayers, and are hoping to welcome the newest Michaud at the end of the summer. If I were a scrapbooking mom, I suppose I would save that note--the first baby-related card we receive--but I'm more of the electronic saver (as you might be able to tell).
Continue: January 2008
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