Today is friends day (what? you didn’t know?) and it seems like the perfect day to share a short excerpt of a book I wrote with my friend, Jane O’Dowd, about pregnancy and friendship. We started writing the book to give a look at what it’s like to watch your friends experience the craziness of pregnancy with no knowledge or education on the wacky lingo, cravings or hormonal imbalances that comes along with it.
That was me five years ago. All of my closest friends seemed to be announcing nine-months of nausea — I mean, um, their glorious pregnancies. My pregnancies were not all that pleasant (can you tell?) but the kids are totally worth it.
“I’m here, I’m here!” I said fifteen minutes later, plopping down next to Kate in our usual corner booth at Rosario’s Italian Bistro.
“You’re forty-five minutes late,” Kate said with a sourdough roll in her mouth. “We ordered without you.” Kate and Savannah sat on opposite sides of the table with crumb-covered bread plates. The restaurant’s dark lighting wasn’t quite dark enough to hide their impatient expressions.
“Sorry! Theresa scheduled a meeting for five. And she’s so big, her watch doesn’t fit, so she held us hostage until after six.”
“Well… can you girls promise to make sure I’m on time for the next nine months?” said Vanna.
“What? Why? You always get everywhere at least ten minutes early,” Kate said. But then her head whipped up so fast she started choking.
“Are you okay?” I asked wiping bits of bread that flew from her mouth off the table.
“I think that’s a question for Vanna,” Kate said in between her strangled coughs. Her face had gone white, and then a slight shade of green in just ten seconds. Clearly I had missed something — and, as always, I was the last to figure it out. I looked from Kate to Vanna in frustrated confusion, waiting for one of them to tell me what was going on. Vanna simply smiled and placed her left hand on her perfectly flat stomach. If she wasn’t already married, I would have guessed she was flaunting an engagement ring. My head scanned up to her face and back to her drink which I had taken for a gin and tonic.
“Wait. What are you drinking?” I asked, still in denial, still calm.
“Club soda,” she said smiling. Time slowed to an excruciating pace as if it were waiting for me to catch up. I looked at her glass and saw each carbonation bubble pop at the surface, taunting me, like it knew the secret before I did. Stupid club soda. My heart pounded, but my brain refused to process any information. I tried to think of a rational explanation for her nonalcoholic choice… and the belly pat. Maybe Vanna was becoming a nun! Nuns don’t drink. And they don’t wear traditional clothes, so maybe she was patting her shirt not her belly! Yes, that’s it! But then — Vanna wasn’t Catholic.
Vanna… my best friend Vanna… might be pregnant.
“You think you’re pregnant?” I asked quietly, emphasizing the most important word: think. If she just thought she was pregnant, she could still be not pregnant, and everything could be fine. Totally normal and totally fine. I felt my mouth sag open as I looked at her stomach again for any hint of a baby — but noticed nothing. But wait — when do bumps appear? One month? Five months? I should know after surviving the majority of Theresa’s pregnancy.
“I know I’m pregnant. I took a test yesterday morning!” Each word of Vanna’s response came out slowly, instantly erasing all dreams of a premature pregnancy announcement. I couldn’t believe it. It was happening. Like. Right. Now. I heard a squeal escape my lips before I could stop myself. “You’re going to have a baby!!”
It’s all over.
The thought jumped into my head before I could stop it. I looked at Kate, who had gotten up to give Vanna a hug, and tried not to dwell on the thought that everything about our little trio was about to change. I was glad I had a minute to recover since I was simultaneously elated and terrified.
“Wow! A baby!” I said pulling myself out of the pit of pregnancy panic. Tears of joy sparkled in Vanna’s eyes. I had finally produced the reaction she wanted and she was ecstatic. While I was on a roll, I decided to continue: “I’m going to be an Auntie!” Of course, I wouldn’t be a biological aunt, but that’s what all pregnant women want to hear from their best friends, right? That they care enough about their offspring to assume the title of aunt?
Enjoy the rest of this e-book on your Kindle or electronic reading device! If you like it (and we hope you do) please leave a review on our Amazon page and tell your friends!