When I first came out of the bathroom when I was pregnant with Tornado E, I kept my head bowed. I dragged my feet. I walked slowly into the family room, where The Husband watched TV, waiting for the news. He jumped up and hugged me.
The Husband: I’m sorry, sweetheart. We’ll try harder next time.
Me: We don’t have to. I’m pregnant.
I smiled at him. It took half a second to sink in.
The Husband: You’re pregnant! That’s great. (We hugged again. We kissed.) Call your mom.
I grabbed the phone and dialed.
My Dad: (sounding groggy) Hello?
Me: Dad? Is Mom there?
My Dad: No, she’s out with her friends.
Me: Really? She’s out on a Friday night. After you had surgery yesterday? How are you doing, Dad?
My Dad: I’m ok. These pain pills work wonders. Whacha need, Fae?
Me: Oh, nothing. It’s just that I’m pregnant.
My Dad: (pause) Is this a good thing?
My Dad: Well, then I’m happy for you.
Me: Thanks, Dad. Dad?
My Dad: Yes?
Me: Get some rest. You sound like you need it.
My Dad: Ok. I love you.
Me: I love you too. Goodnight.
My Dad: Good night.
I hung up the phone and turned to The Husband.
The Husband: There was a lot less screaming than I imagined.
Me: My mom is out with The Council of Women. She left my dad alone. He’s still out of it from surgery.
The Husband: Huh. Well, it’s still early. You want to go see a movie?
Me: No, I have to open tomorrow. Let’s just watch TV.
An hour later the phone rang.
My Mom: Your dad said you needed to tell me something.
Me: You left Dad alone after his surgery?
My Mom: It was Friend’s birthday! We’ve been planning this for months. Besides your father was just fine when left him. He said it was fine if I went.
Me: Fine, Mom. I’m just surprised.
My Mom: Is that what you wanted to tell me? To scold me for leaving your father helpless?
Me: No. I wanted to tell you I’m pregnant.
My Mom: You’re pregnant! I knew it! That’s wonderful, baby! Congratulations!
Me: You, too, Grandma.
My Mom: I’m going to be a Grandma!
Me: Yes. Mom? It’s late. I have to be at work at 6 tomorrow.
My Mom: Oh. Right. Well, call me tomorrow when you get off.
Me: Fine, Mom. I love you
My Mom: I love you. Good night, dear.
Me: Good night.
The phone rang just as I peeled out of my work clothes. Working for the benefits. Working for the benefits.
My Dad: Your mother told me I have to apologize.
Me: For what?
My Dad: For not being enthusiastic enough last night.
Me: Oh. Well, you did better than The Husband’s Dad. His first words were “Oh no.”
My Dad: (Laughter) I’m happy for you, baby. I really am. If you’re happy, than I am.
Me: Well, as soon as I stop feeling to nauseas, I’ll be happier.
My Dad: Then I’ll be happier then too.
Me: Thanks, Dad. Um, should I talk to Mom now so that you don’t get yelled out for hanging up before she talks to me?
My Dad: Yup.
That weekend I made The Husband promise not to tell anyone until we know for sure that we were pregnant. He ended up telling J and his girlfriend D, who happened to work for a great OB/GYN. She insisted I call on Monday to get an appointment, promising me that she would get me in.
Monday I called.
Front office: Hello? Dr’s office.
Me: Um, hi. I need to make an um appointment.
Front office: Oh? And what can I do for you?
Me: Uh, I think I’m uh pregnant.
Front Office: Ok. Well, why don’t you find out for sure and call us back for an appointment? Ok?
Me: Um, ok. Thank you.
Hmmm. That went less well than expected.
The phone rang.
D: Faemom. (sigh) You’re pregnant if you have a positive on a pregnancy test.
Me: Oh? They’re that accurate.
D: (sigh) Yes. I’m transferring you back to the Front Office. Tell them you got a positive on your pregnancy test. They’ll take care of it all.
And as for that promise. By the end of the week, everyone knew. EVERYONE. To this day, I’m sure The Husband put a billboard up on one of the major freeways in Orange County. The best part was the hurt and nagging that came from friends who heard it from their husbands. Thanks, The Husband.