I was scrolling through Instagram today—and yes, I did just name drop a social media term to prove that I’m cutting edge—and saw a girl who grew up with my son. She and Ashton were in nursery together, and her cute little fingers were always covered in warts. Not that that’s important...just kind of hard to forget.
Anyway, now she’s a beautiful, wartless grown woman, about to have her first baby, and she took a picture of her and her husband in the doctor’s office, as they waited to find out their baby’s gender. He was buoyant, but she looked, well, ghastly. Turns out this was because—her words—she was “covered in puke.”
Seems she was asked to drink a gallon of water before the ultrasound, and then proceeded to throw it all up on the ride over to the clinic. Which made me say a silent thankful prayer, that I belong to a different season.
Not that I didn’t love that season while I was in it...about as much as I now appreciate the sweltering heat of summer—but think about how excited we are about hot August nights when it’s February. Yeah, it’s a lot easier to love a season with fore or hind sight.
Thinking about it, I realize that back then, a lot of people lied to me. One thing they said was that pregnancy only lasts nine months. Lie. It’s ten. Which, in pregnancy years is, “Never, ever going to end!”
Another thing they said was that after the first three months, the morning sickness would pass and my world would resemble a Downy commercial. Lie. Because just the thought of laundry softener at that point was enough to start the gagging process, just like the scent of my toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, the sight of my living room couches, my new Avon lipstick, my husband’s entire aroma and my own spit.
I remember one lovely spring afternoon, we drove to pick up our new car at a friend’s house. On the ride there, I had lain back and closed my eyes, hoping the nausea would pass and my head would stop spinning.
A few minutes later, while squatting in the gravel behind the running car, retching so hard that my nose actually started to bleed, I considered that maybe this had been a bad idea. Not just the laying back in the car thing, but also that whole “Let’s have a baby” idea. It was just one big, fat, bad idea.
But I was not alone in this big, fat, bad idea. I had grabbed my husband and locked him in the seat restraint right alongside me. I remember one night, I started a fight with him. Just out of the blue, I went completely ape-pooh crazy.
At first, he valiantly tried to figure out what was wrong, so he could appease me. When that didn’t work, he began to argue his side, believing I’d eventually realize he was innocent.
But I would have none of it, and quickly escalated into near hysteria. Finally, in complete anguish, he cried, “Lis! I don’t know what to do! I really don’t know what to do. What do you want me to do? What can I do? Tell me! Tell me so I can fix this.”
The poor dear.
I stormed up the stairs, sobbing and renting my garment, shouting that he’d never understand, and blah, blah, blah, a bunch of other trite, emotionally overwrought phrases that made matters worse.
I locked myself in the bathroom for about an hour. There I went from weeping to whimpering to thinking to realizing to being absolutely humiliated that I had started the fight in the first place, on account of it was pretty clear to me then that I’d made the whole thing up.
So I opened the door, skipped down the stairs and, to his credit, found him still sitting there, unblinking, in the same spot I’d left him. He hadn’t even fled! That’s how I knew he was a keeper.
I gave him a sheepish grin and said, “Sorry, hon. I don’t know what that was, but I’m better now. Wanna go eat?”
And eat we did. I ordered three bags of french fries.
“I mean it! I want three bags of French fries!” ” the pregnant demon snarled.
We threw 2 and 2/3 away. But bless his heart for giving in to my unreasonable demand(s)...back then, and now...over and over and over again. And for taking my apology at face value every single time it is offered.
In the end, we ride this ride together, from one season to the next, looking back at our past lives with a soft focus lens. Beyond grateful that what seemed a big, fat, bad idea turned out four times over to be the best things we’ve ever done.
Which is why I continue to lie to the next generation about what they can expect when they’re expecting. It turns out I was once somebody’s big, fat, bad idea. And look how great this turned out!