Six Months Pregnant
Six months pregnant I woke up and my stomach was flat. I pushed down on my belly and it gave in like pressing on a stuffed teddy bear. No abs, no baby, nothing inside.
I ran to the kitchen to get my doctor’s phone number and there stood my baby, making eggs and standing on a step stool. My baby was much bigger than I ever imagined, wearing the 8-10 month clothes some people had given me at my shower. It had a hat on, that I had picked out for taking it home from the hospital. And my baby was less gooey than other newborns I had seen before.
I called my boyfriend, whom I hadn’t spoken to in months. As the phone rang I thought about drinking red wine and eating raw fish.
“Hello,” he said in a voice lower than he normally uses. If my name had appeared on the phone he might have said my name.
“Hi Jeff. I think I had the baby.”
“Yeah it’s really big. I wonder when I had it.”
“Jules, what are you talking about? Are you ok?”
“Yeah, I feel great. And I can work out again. Do you want to get a drink sometime? I can get a babysitter to watch it.”
“Jules, let’s say you did have the baby – what is ‘it’? Is it a girl or a boy? Are you drunk now?”
“Oh, good question,” I said, prying myself off the couch. I peered into the kitchen trying to get just a quick glimpse. All my baby clothes were green and yellow so this was tricky. I had done so well keeping the gender a secret, reminding every nurse at the gynecologist’s office that I was waiting to find out. Every nurse asked, ‘Are you sure you don’t want to know?’ with a sing-song voice and dopey smile.
But as I was about to give up and return to the phone with no answer, my baby reached up for the paprika on the top shelf and its little hat fell off and revealed to me a pink bow holding up a tiny swatch of hair that was almost my color. I stared at her little nose and big eyes and chin that touched her chest and I wanted to hold her.
“Jeff, I have to go.”
I didn’t know if I should shake her tiny baby hand and introduce myself. I decided to walk into the kitchen like this was our normal routine.
“Good morning darling. Did you sleep well?” I said, faking a yawn. She giggled and spit up on herself which I think meant yes. The eggs were done and I helped her plate the meal along with fruit and coffee. Why was I so scared to have a baby? This one seemed really easy. She could wake up before me and make me eggs every morning. She could probably change her own diaper. If the eggs weren’t very good, I would teach her.
As she was getting off the step stool, I scooped her up and gave her a big good morning squeeze. I had never held a baby before, but I thought I was doing it right.
Valerie is a writer living in Boston. Currently she’s a student at the wonderful and amazing Grub St writing school. She also holds a BFA from Emerson College in Writing & Literature. Her work has been published in Bartleby Snopes. And she hates writing bios about herself.
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(Picture derived from art by Kenny Cole)