“Oh my God – she’s pregnant!”
It has been less than 48-hours. I have the distinct feeling that whatever “sinking in” needs to happen has barely begun.
It was Friday. With a long week of work behind us, and the promise of a great dinner with friends looming, I could feel my muscles relaxing and my cares lifting. I popped the dog into the backseat of the car and left my wife, J, to get herself ready for an evening out. I strolled around the off-leash dog park, listening to a stimulating podcast, enjoying the wonderful July weather. It was hot and only a soft breeze. I stayed longer than normal, loath to get myself back into the car, into the city and its inherent hustle. But I needed a quick shower before we headed over to our friends’ place. They had promised us a gourmet dinner as a way of thanking us for giving them tickets to a Leonard Cohen concert.
I was feeling good. The dog was walked. I was relaxed.
Inside, I bounded up the stairs, calling out to J and pouring myself some water. Was she ready? I was asking.
She was, she replied, but, but she needed to show me something. She used her “something very wrong” voice.
Her “something is very wrong” voice is used for everything from “the house is on fire” to “there’s a bee in the bedroom.” Nevertheless, I was unnerved.
She ushered me into the bathroom to see pregnancy test number one sitting beside the sink. Two vertical pink lines = you’re pregnant. Equals OMGSP.
It only took me a moment to decipher this home pregnancy kit code and mumble, you’re pregnant! About halfway through saying “you’re pregnant” I decided I’d better start sounding a lot more upbeat. Indeed, hearing “you’re” coming out of my mouth I almost expected myself to start screaming like a horror film victim. I think I can be excused for this reaction. I’m not used to having thirteen thousand thoughts suddenly exploding in my head. According to some quantum theories that many more possible universes just collapsed into my one reality: you’re pregnant.
In any case, I was successful in my mid-sentence edit. There was a tender hug and kiss.
We had been trying (more-or-less) for eleven months.
“You’re pregnant,” I said again. Everything became that simple.
She had wanted to try the test to make sure she wasn’t pregnant because she wanted to drink wine that evening (our friends have excellent taste). She had been suspicious, I suppose, because menstruation had been slightly delayed. And there was odd sensitivity and crampiness.
Good thing she took the test.
But she wanted to make sure, to do another test. I helped as best I could, but we pooched it. Did she pee in the right spot? It didn’t look like it.
We were convinced we were idiots. The first test had shown a positive almost immediately. The second one took a minute or so.
We didn’t have much more time to consider our new reality. We were expected at our friends. I showered and changed. We grabbed the bottle of wine we had brought back from Napa as a gift for them (a V. Sattui Riesling, since they aren’t sold in Saskatchewan). And off to drug store to buy a ribbon for the bottle and our third home pregnancy test kit!
The night was amazing. Slow barbecued bison was the main dish. The wines were incredible. The night was fantastic: very warm and windless – rare in Saskatoon. We spent the evening in our friends’ backyard, a wonderfully cultivated place, underneath the gathering stars.
Undoubtedly we were less than perfect company. More than once my thoughts drifted back to those vertical pink lines.
In theory we were prepared, of course. We’ve had many conversations. Nevertheless, it really doesn’t hit home until the adjective “father” actually starts to apply to you. That’s something they might put on your tombstone. It is a word that overshadows so much else.
The final test was taken near midnight. A different test from a different manufacturer. It yielded a big blue plus sign.
Can I survive this?