"She seems pretty happy in there," the doc says at the appointment.
They've given her a non-stress test and I've clicked a clicker every time she moves. I'm finally dilated, but I'd have to be nine times more dilated to get even the tiniest person through that crack in the boulder.
"She's not coming out until college, is she?" I ask him.
"Maybe third grade," he says.
Actually, he says, she could come tonight. But for everyone's sake, she's getting evicted on Tuesday whether she's ready or not. A plan is in place. Our girl has gone from probably a Cancer to maybe a Leo. I'm told this makes her Most Likely to Want to Appear on a Reality Show, a dominant gene I'm assuming I've already passed along.
Chuck and I were both a wreck on the way to the appointment. Last week I got the sense that if the headaches continued -- which they have, in spades -- they would induce. This would not prove to be true. We didn't know that so we made dumb jokes and then cackled too hard at them. Then we admitted we were making dumb jokes and cackling too hard. My palms turned bright red with white spots. He peed twice. We walked to OBGYN through a gauntlet of infants, each tinier than the last. All O-shaped mouths and splayed toes the size of ice cream sprinkles.
"I have an idea," I whispered to Chuck, repeating the sentence I said last August that started all of this. "Let's stop trying to NOT get pregnant."
I had the onset of a panic attack in the shower on Wednesday. Crying and hyperventilating and wondering why the hell we are doing this. We have a nice life. A house we can afford, regular travel to our favorite city, a CSA membership. We're happy, healthy and we have hobbies. The cloud burst lasted 45 seconds -- as therapeutic as they are, I can't commit to anything longer -- and I remembered that we wanted this. In better and more rational times, when my hormones were more easily lassoed, we had made this decision.
And besides: We already know we like her. That lava lamp thing she does to my belly is comedy gold. Her unwillingness to budge from her current cramped quarters suggest a resistance to change -- which we can both relate to. She can't be blamed for the headaches, she's just too powerful. A superhero, probably. Though I might use the headaches as justification for making her wear a rain slicker in public or buying her elementary school graduation dress from Sears. That's what I learned from my mom.
Chuck and I were sitting on the front porch when a young ginger exhaustedly pushed his 10-speed bike up the sidewalk.
"Gah. I'm so glad we're having a girl," I said, which is always what I say when I see nerdy boys.
The kid was holding a paper cup, then he wasn't holding a paper cup. I saw it on the ground next to an electrical box a few paces behind him.
"Oops. You dropped your cup," I said to the kid.
He turned around, picked it up and continued on his way.
"Thank you," he said. Which makes me think he was a nice kid who had simply gone astray for a second.
"You're welcome," I said.
Then I shook with silent laughter as he made his way to the end of the block.
"I wonder how long until he feels comfortable dropping it again," I said. "Or do you think he's scared straight?"
"I think he's scared straight," Chuck said.
Then the enormity of the situation was revealed:
"I just used my authoritative adult voice," I said. "For the first time."
This seems like good timing.