A Good Start

The best way to start off any good pregnancy is with a vodka filled watermelon, a pack of cigarettes and a dangerous, late night bike ride home to a neighborhood frequented by gun toting drug dealers and mentally unstable homeless people.  This was July 4th 2010, one day before I popped two false positives and a one accurate negative on First Response pregnancy tests.  I would later replay this foot-loose-and-fancy-free day with a cringe as I rubbed my growing baby bump. 

Two weeks prior to this holiday, I had lived in a deep state of denial.  I was mildly worried about my boobs, which had literally grown from a C to a D overnight.  Greg, my then boyfriend, now fiance, insisted I take a pregnancy test.

"Don't worry," I said.  "This is probably just the new thing my boobs do when I'm about to get my period.  I know my period was going to be here any day now."

The next day, I said it was definitely coming the following day.  When the following day came and went with no period, I was certain it was coming tomorrow. This went on for twelve more days, until July 5th, the day after my last day of youthful freedom that I was far too old for anyway, whenI decided to take the test to prove to Greg that there was nothing about which to worry.  

I took the first test.  My pee spread across the little window and left a plus sign in its wake. 

"Hmmm..." I shouted to Greg from the bathroom of the Downtown Los Angeles loft we shared.  "It's positive, but it's so light that I don't think it's true. I'm taking the second one."

The second test was even lighter.  We were making some progress. By the third test, my urine had become so diluted that I popped negative. I went to bed that night feeling confident that the last First Response was the only one worth paying attention to.  Tests don't register negative if they're supposed to be positive, I reasoned.  The other plus signs one came about because I had peed on the stick too much.

The next day, my confidence diminished when my period still hadn't come.  I insisted Greg pick up a digital pregnancy test and bring it to the bakery I helped manage.  It was only a two block walk, but it took him over two hours to show up. By the time he arrived, I was shaking and practically ran to the bakery's bathroom.  I waited the whole two minutes to trust the results, despite the fact that the words "PREGNANT" popped up in bold print within a minute.

I walked out of the bathroom like a zombie, my face even paler than it usually was.  I grabbed Greg's arm, led him outside and, among the crackheads and thugs of Skid Row, told him the news.  We were going to have a baby.  We sat in silence and I chain smoked (I reasoned that I should be allowed that privalige for the first day-a decision I would later regret as I agonized over whether I had caused the baby permanent damage).  We shook our heads.

"This is so weird," I said to a trembling Greg.

He nodded his head and I walked back into the bakery.

It was then that I realized I had forgotten to throw away the pregnancy test.  By then, the news of my little seedling had already spread throughout the bakery and everyone looked at me suspiciously.  The baby was already becoming a part of my reality.

I thought back to a few months prior when Greg and I fostered a puppy.  It kept us up all night with its incessant need for food and attention.   I went to work the next day with sagging eyes and declared, "I am never going to have babies.  I am not cut out to be a mom."  Obviously, the universe had other plans.  I was going to be a mother.