For our seasonal fall meeting, we’d decided to do it on Halloween so we could have a bunch of Halloween – themed decorations and things to do. Next year, we’ll have a six-month old to celebrate with! Wow. My friends are going to freak out now that I’m showing. I still freak out sometimes when I see my little bump in the mirror. It’s just so exciting. I started to feel much better since passing the sixteen week mark, much to my relief. We’d been told that many women started feeling better after the second trimester (12-13 weeks) so I started to get worried after I was still dealing with morning sickness for days – that became weeks – after. I’d read some women have nausea through the whole pregnancy which sounds like actual hell. I’ve really started being able to enjoy the pregnancy and all the little moments now that I’m feeling mostly normal again.
Today’s also really exciting because it’s our 18-week ultrasound. It’s when they can typically tell the baby’s sex, but we’ve known we’re having a girl since I got pregnant and they can give us an estimated due date. They’ll also be able to see if we’re having multiples. I don’t think we’re having twins (or triplets) since we only implanted one embryo, so there isn’t a huge chance.
“Hey, you ready?” Dani asked.
I smiled, laying my hands on my bump. “Yeah.”
She knelt down, resting her hands on my small bump, whispering, “Hey, little girl. You ready for your mommies to go see you today?”
I smiled, putting my hands on top of hers. She was always so sweet talking to our baby. She’s going to be such a good mom. The whole drive all we talked about was the baby and what our plans were for when she was born. It’s going to be crazy. It’s really all I think about – our daughter. We didn’t end up waiting too long in the waiting room before we were called to the ultrasound room.
“Hello, ladies. How’s it been?”
“I’ve been feeling a lot better these last couple weeks, so good.”
“That’s great news. So, this might be cold,” she said, getting out the jelly for the ultrasound. The last times I’ve been here I didn’t even look pregnant yet and as she spread the jelly around my rounded belly I could just imagine our daughter all snuggled up in there. She waved the wand around the area and suddenly it sounded like the room had surround sound with how loud and fast our baby’s heartbeat was.
“Whoa,” I exclaimed, smiling at Dani.
“That’s her?” Dani asked.
“Yes, that’s your daughter’s heartbeat. It’s amazing, isn’t it?”
I nodded slowly, still in awe. That’s a little human growing in my body right now. It is amazing.
“Ok, let’s get her up on the screen, now shall we?” Dr. Lowery fiddled around in the drawer for the tv remote, clicking it on. And just like that, our little girl was on the screen, moving slightly. It was surreal. For as real as the pregnancy has been feeling lately, this was just on another level. It was almost like she was already here, with seeing her on the screen and hearing her heartbeat.
“Oh my gosh,” Dani gasped, squeezing my hand and looking from my tummy to the screen.
“That’s our daughter,” I whispered softly. She was much bigger than before and so detailed. I couldn’t tell what any of it was, besides the head – oh, and maybe that’s a hand…
“Yes, this is the head,” Dr. Lowery confirmed, showing us the area, “and these are her arms.” She continued to explain everything we were seeing, which I thought was really nice. At some point she looked over the scan herself while Dani and I waited.
“Ok, still no sign of any chromosomal disorders, just like your week 11 scan showed, and your due date is April 12th. Everything looks great, you two.”
“Will we get pictures of the ultrasound?”
“Yes. You’ll also get a video.”
“Thank you,” I smiled, squeezing Dani’s hand. Seeing our daughter – it’s the greatest thing in the world.
“Oh my gosh,” Zoe squealed, walking in a circle around me, “you’re showing!”
She was the first one to arrive and also the only other person out of the four of us to have been pregnant before.
I nodded, the biggest smile coming over my face as I caressed my little bump. “I know! It’s so exciting.”
“I remember when I first started showing. It took a while, actually. I didn’t start looking pregnant until around week 22.”
“Yeah! Like I was getting larger around the stomach area, and I felt pregnant, but you couldn’t 100% tell I was pregnant. But you… if you wear a fitted shirt, it’s pretty obvious.”
I smiled, looking down at my rounded stomach. “Yeah.”
It didn’t take long for Lyric and then Raini to show up. It’s pretty crazy we’re all still friends all these years later, but it’s amazing. These girls are almost like sisters to me, we’ve shared so many memories together. Practically all my memories of high school are with them. And many of my now-memories are with them too. They’ll be like aunts to our little girl.
“It’s not Halloween without pumpkin carving,” Raini argued, laughing.
“Yes! I swear my family did it every year, it’s what I remember about Halloween!”
“They let you as a kid carve your own pumpkin?”
“No, they helped me. Anyway, I figured we could work on these two pumpkins together.”
“Sounds fun, actually. Let’s have a contest!” Zoe grinned, holding up Raini’s hand as she announced her as her partner.
“She’s mine! Her many years of carving pumpkins will get us the win!” Zoe laughed as we set up the pumpkins.
“Oh yeah? Well, how hard can it be, anyone can carve out a pumpkin! Except you, Adelaide,” Lyric giggled.
I crossed my hands, looking straight at Lyric. “Why is that?”
Lyric simply gestured to my growing baby bump, saying, “You’re pregnant. I don’t want you to hurt yourself! And besides, your wife would never forgive me.”
I laughed. “Dani wouldn’t hurt anyone.” Except she did… she’s killed someone, in fact. But she was younger then. She wasn’t entirely sure what she was even doing, besides saving her family. And that’s what it was about, and what I choose to remember: she saved her family. That’s who she is. A protective, kind, and sweet woman. One who tells stories and – why am I even thinking about this again? Gosh. I’ve come to peace with it, I have for a while now. I guess having a baby makes you think about everything a lot more in depth.
“Adelaide, come on, you’re not mad, are you?” I blinked, shaking my head as I focused back in on the conversation.
“No, of course not. I guess that just means you have to do all the work,” I laughed, teasing her.
“Oh, you’ll definitely be helping,” Lyric giggled, nudging me.
“Doing what? Helping in a pumpkin carving contest is… well… carving.”
“Uh, draw the design. That’ll help.”
I rolled my eyes playfully, and went back inside to get some paper and ended up with a rough sketch of a pumpkin face.
It took longer than we expected to carve out the pumpkins and it was dark by the time we finished. It worked out, actually, since we were able to see them all lit up. We all looked at each pumpkin – and declared it a tie since both pumpkins turned out pretty good.
We ended up having some nice pasta Lexie had made earlier before she left for work and danced to the music for a little while.
It was a little much for my pregnant body, apparently, and I ended up having to take a little nap. I expected everyone to be gone when I came back down, but to my surprise, they were all still there, and Dani and them had all learned a little dance routine for me while I was sleeping. I thought it was pretty cute, honestly, and really sweet of Dani to think of doing it… and impressive that they all pulled it off.
We watched one of those spooky movies for the rest of the night. Raini really wasn’t that into it, and she spent a lot of the time covering her eyes.
“Oh gosh, I’m telling you, he’s popping out from that tree in three…two…one!” I laughed as Zoe and Raini gasped simultaneously.
“How’d you know that?” Zoe asked, quickly glancing from me back to the screen.
“It was so obvious,” I laughed. The amount of food and sweets we had that night was not sitting well with my stomach and I felt the morning sickness kicking in after plenty of weeks without. I really should’ve been more careful with how much I was eating, because now my stomach was rolling.
“You ok?” Raini whispered, “you look a little green.”
“Yeah,” I whispered back, laying my hand atop my bump, “just pregnancy…”
“That’s why I’m never having kids,” she replied, looking at me sympathetically and turned back to the movie. I laid back against the sofa cushion and hardly moved for a while, waiting for the nausea to go away, and thankfully, it did. Lexie came home in time to see the movie’s ending, and they all left not long after that.
It was a long day, and it was satisfying to sink into cool sheets at the end of the day, and just sleep. Sleep as well as I could, anyway. I’ve been having a hard time getting a lot of sleep lately, getting in a comfortable position is hard enough, and then sometimes I wake up all sweaty and hot, which doesn’t help matters. Pregnancy… it’s an amazing thing, but sometimes it’s so hard. Not tonight, though. Tonight, I fell asleep quickly and didn’t wake up until morning. Those are the best nights.
“Did you hear about the latest crazy theory?” Noemi asked, laughing.
Irena rolled her eyes, turning to Noe. “What now?”
Noemi always ended up knowing whatever the newest weird thing was, with how many people she talked to and how often she was on SimNews.
“Okay, so they think the world’s terrain and all is about to shift, and like flat stuff is about to become mountains,” she explained, snickering even at the thought.
“Yeah, they’re crazy,” Irena laughed, “what else is new?”
Noemi suddenly stood up and went over to a woman I’d never seen before and they started glaring at each other. I turned to Irena and she simply shrugged her shoulders. Eventually the woman left, but we both looked to Noe for an explanation.
“She’s my younger sister. 26 years old, just had twin girls with Jake -”
“Jake? As in our teenage intern Jake? He got your sister pregnant?” Irena burst out, staring at Noemi.
Noe rolled her eyes, replying, “Well, you cut me off. Jake’s older brother is the twins’ dad… and her fiancé.”
“Oh.” Irena sunk back into the sofa, obviously relieved our teenage intern hadn’t gotten Noemi’s sister pregnant. “And why do you hate her?”
Noemi rolled her eyes. “I don’t.”
“Are you sure?” Irena cocked her eyebrow, waiting for an answer.
“I don’t! She’s just getting on my nerves. I mean, she’s just not the maternal type and she wasn’t even sure if she wanted to continue the pregnancy early on. And now she just hired some nanny to watch over the babies so she doesn’t have to! It’s just annoying, but she’s an adult and can make her own choices.”
I nodded. I could never understand hiring a nanny or anyone like that to take care of your kids. I was really excited for every moment with my daughter, so it just didn’t make sense to me why someone would shun their children.
“Anyway, how are you doing, Adelaide? You’re really showing now!”
I smiled, resting my hand on my little bump. “Yeah, I am. It’s just amazing.”
I’d told Irena about the pregnancy at 12 weeks, a few weeks after telling Noemi. I was just more comfortable telling Noe first since I’ve known her longer but after getting into the second trimester I figured there was no reason to not tell Irena. They were both really excited for me. Noe was more excited than I expected for not wanting kids in her life yet, but Irena has a six-year-old son and she was more than happy to give me some tips.
But as much as I’m excited to become a mom, I love working, too, and I’m not yet sure how that’ll all balance out. I guess I’ll figure it out.
A/N: Sorry there were only pictures at the end!