It is with great excitement and a truckload of nausea that I’d like to share the wonderful news.
Our little family is growing.
Joel and I found out we were having another baby on Friday night four weeks ago. Every second day for a week, I took a pregnancy test. Every time, only one disappointing line showed up. Friday morning four weeks ago was one of those times. With a heart a little sunken, I put the test stick absent-mindedly down on the window sill of the bathroom after Ella had come in and distracted me with one of her latest dramas. The day passed as normal and after dinner, Ella and I went to take a bath. We sang row row row your boat, like we always do. We stuck foam letters all around the tub, like we always do. We made bubble mustaches, like we always do. I lifted Ella’s arm, said hey, what’s under here? and tickled her, like I always do. She squealed with laughter, like she always does. Then Joel came home and found us in the bath. We had a little chat about his day. He told me he’d invited some friends for dinner and they’d be over in an hour. Then, he glanced at the windowsill.
“What’s this?” he said, holding up the stick. The stick which suddenly like the miracle of Jesus had two little pink lines on it. “Whaaaaat?” I gasped. “HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?” Joel squinted at me with a look that, if I had to caption it, would go something along the lines of, Ah, can somebody tell me what is going on here? “There are two lines! I’m pregnant!” I said. “Although I wasn’t before! So I’m really confused!” More squinting eyes. More confused looks. “Oh my God, I have to go to the pharmacy RIGHT NOW. You stay here with Ella.” And with that, I leapt out of the water, threw on some clothes, googled late night chemists and was out the door in five minutes flat.
Please, please, please, I whispered over and over, waiting for the lines to appear. Please join our family. Please come. We are all here waiting to love you.
And then, there they were. The two lines I had been waiting months to see. The two lines which caused me to run to Joel and wrap my arms around his neck and whoop with joy. The two lines which were ours to love.
I haven’t yet passed the first trimester ‘safety period’ where you’re supposed to keep the news to yourself, so I was hesitant to make it public public knowledge, but I also think the great antidote to suffering (should something go wrong) is the love and care of others. If loss is on the cards for us, and I hope like hell it’s not, I would rather go through that heartache with the support of the community we’ve built, rather than in silence. So I’m sharin’ the news like a child giddy with Christmas morning euphoria and if I weren’t hunched over a bucket I would be whooping for joy.
Yesterday was the first day in weeks I felt human enough to be sitting upright and I’m thanking my ma for that. She slipped me some magical homeopathy drops and God knows what’s in them but it’s been the only thing making me better. If you are pregnant and sick, my friends, may I set you up with my mum. Seriously, she is like the pregnancy whisperer.
There have been so many awful-but-funny-when-you-look-back-on-it scenes from the past couple weeks. Like the time I woke up at 2am and vomited out the bedroom window. Or the time I sat on the bottom of the shower floor, Joel washing my hair because I was too exhausted to lift my own arms. Or the random orders I have placed with him because they are the only thing which could have helped my writhing-in-agony stomach. Blood Orange Fizzy Drink. Chocolate. (Keep that coming.) Meat Pie. White Bread No Butter. He’s been the epitome of a perfect husband, and before my eyes even open in the morning, he’s already in front of them asking what I need. Tea? Hot water bottle? Bread? Water? Tell me what you need Rach and I’ll go get it. Do you need your pillows lifted? An extra blanket?
Several times a day, every day, Ella will lift up my shirt, kiss my belly, put her thumb in her mouth and rest her head down on it for a good few minutes. Never, not once, did she do this before. It makes me sick, the pressure of her head resting there, but I let her do it because it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever witnessed. It’s the first glimpse I’ve gotten into how she will sister, and every time, as I lie there watching her, I think Holy shit, this is really happening.
The realization that my girl will be a big sister can make me cry, just sitting here writing about it. Watching her tenderness and the way she loves is the exact reason I let her lie on me for longer than I can stand. These two little souls whom exist because my body made them are already starting their own relationship, their own bond, their own love.
And it makes my heart swell madly.
Over the past couple weeks, my parents and in-laws have been incredibly helpful. Every day one of them has taken Ella off my hands so I can curl in a ball and cry, or vomit, or die, whichever comes first. Do you still want to have four kids? Joel asks, and I mumble, Definitely not. Don’t ever let me forget this. But of course I will, just like I did last time. Just like I did the second Ella was born and every moment that has passed since I have wanted another one. Such is the deluded, crazy nature of aching for littles to love on, after all.
And baby makes four.