Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ch. 1

Chapter One

“Well Carol, looks like congratulations are in order. The tests came back positive, you're pregnant.” Dr. Shwinn smiled down at me in my lovely white gown, my butt crack cooling in the breeze.

“No, you see I had my tubes tied 9 years ago. I can't be pregnant. It's a mistake.” I was in total disbelief. I was done having kids. I'll be 40 in a few months. It just has to be a bad mistake.

“You are pregnant, I would guess from the internal exam about 12 weeks. I will schedule an ultrasound to get an exact date. I guess you are just one of the lucky .01 percent.” Says the young man who will never know the “joys” of pregnancy. I just sit there staring at him. This was never in my plans, and I like planning. I don't do surprises well. Oh hell, how am I going to tell my husband. He is just going to flip.

All the way home I spent rehearsing what I would say in my head. Over and over I imagines the look of shock on his face and every possible emotion from joy and excitement to anger. I cannot imagine what his response is going to be. And the kids, how are we going to tell them, it doesn't see fair to bring a new baby in at this stage. I could really use some chocolate.

My husband, Jerry, wasn't home when I got there so I decided, what the hey, might as well forget my diet since I'm going to be gaining anyways. My old recipe box lay waiting expectantly on the top shelf, covered in dust, looking more gray than cream. Inside lay all the decadent joys from my days of a quick metabolism: 7 lb brownies, chocolate meringues, and raspberry truffles. I finally had a good excuse to break out the box. My mouth started watering at the thought of melting chocolate morsels with gooey caramel swirls. I swear I could almost smell the scent of brownies baking.

My kitchen was the reason we bought this house. Long expanses of warm silestone, perfect for rolling cookies, or kneading bread. A double wall oven, commercial grade gas stove, even a butcher block island. It's a cooks dream. I know all those stainless steel appliances are all the rage but my lovely cream ones are so much more inviting. They go well with the butter color that I made Jerry paint on the walls. It is so warm, reminds me of fresh baked bread with melting butter.

On the top shelf, in the cabinet above the stove, lies my little cream box. Reaching it requires an Olympic feat of gymnastics, with bending and reaching. Dust flies as I pull it down and clutch it to my chest like a life-line. The absolute healing qualities of chocolate are not to be underestimated. I didn't have time to do much more than choose a recipe and make up a grocery list before the kids got home. So many choices, so little time.

I was rummaging through the box when my husband walks in. At 43 he still knocks my socks off, along with the rest of my clothes, which is what got us into this predicament in the first place. Tall, dark and handsome, those high cheek bones and broad forehead he inherited from some Native American ancestor just get better with age, his black hair is peppered with a few grays and his stomach is not as rock hard as when we first met. He's still hot to me. I guess the phrase love is blind might apply here, I still see the man I married when I look at him. He smiles revealing those dimples as soon as he sees me.

“Hey there sexy, you're home early.” I lay a smoocher on him.

“Just finished up a project, hey where are the kids? It's too quiet.” He wraps his arms around my waist and snuggles my backside up to him. His lips lay warm upon the back of my neck. I can feel his breath hot sending tingles down my spine.

“Jody is at soccer practice, Jesse is at some friends house and Jaimy is at Lisa's house, they should be gone until at least 7.” I wiggled my rump up against his crotch. Might as well get him into a good mood before I break the news.

“Mmmm, then we have the house to ourselves.” A kiss behind my ear. “I can think of a few ways to pass the time” A nibble on my ear lobe. “Maybe right here in the kitchen” He starts to unbutton my shirt. The rest I'm sure you can imagine but I won't share because it's none of your business. Lets just say we started out in the kitchen, then the hall, finally making it to the bedroom. You would think we were still honeymooning.

“I feel like jello.” I lay slated and exhausted upon the bed, the evening light casting stripes along my stomach and thighs. He mumbled a response. I gathered that this would be a good time to tell him the news.

“Hey honey, I've got some news. I'm pregnant.” And just like that he woke up, sat straight up in bed and his eyes about popped out of their sockets. If I hadn't been so nervous it would have been hilarious.

“You're joking right? That's not very funny, you had your tubes tied right after Jaimy was born.”

“I'm not joking, I went to the doctor today. I'm one of the lucky .01 percent.” I say with a satirical smile. I'm sure the sarcasm was thick enough to lick off the walls it just crowded the room. “I'm glad you are taking this so well.” I say as he jumps away from me like it's contagious.

“What are we going to do?” he asks like it's an option. I don't recall him carrying around a kicking squirming fetus before.

“We are going to have a baby. Just like the last one, you remember, pink bald, cries a lot, poops even more. One of those things.”

“Okay, I wasn't sure if you'd want to have it since you did have your tubes tied.” Now it was my turn to stare at him in disbelief, this man was my husband? I can't believe this is the same man who when we were first married and found out my friend had an abortion could barely say a word to her. I guess the show is on a different foot now. Almost makes me look at him differently.

“What are you talking about? Of course I'm having it, are you crazy or sick? I think we need to take you to a doctor?”

“I wouldn't want you to but you've never been apposed to the option. I just thought you didn't want to have anymore kids, that all.”

“At the time I didn't think we could afford anymore kids, I would have loved to have more. Now we can afford them and I wasn't planning it but I want this baby.” I was starting to get all teary eyed, those hormones must be kicking in. He lays down next to me and wraps his arms around me. He gently kisses my forehead like he does when the kids are crying. The tears just sort of flow, dripping down my nose onto his naked chest. Although I hadn't planned it I was starting to get attached to this baby, it was already a part of me. It was a miracle that I hadn't even prayed for. It was suddenly very important that Jerry be happy for the baby. I didn't want this baby coming into the world and having it's father resent it.

“Well I guess it's one more chance to even out the odds. Us guys are a little outnumbered. Of course if it's a girl then we'd really be outnumbered. Will we have to think of more J names or shall we break from tradition?” I could feel his smile against my forehead and I knew that everything would be alright.

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