That December he and I came up to NJ to visit my parents on Christmas morning, shortly after my sister had just got engaged. They had the whole family together and now were planning a baby shower, two wedding showers and two weddings all within the same year. My parents were machines and took it all in stride and were proud of their growing family with babies and son-in-laws and everything about this time seemed to be on the upswing. Especially my waistline. At some point I don’t remember when, but we decided the smoke at the bar was no longer good for the baby and I and I quit my job to stay home. I stayed home during that pregnancy for almost five months and all I did was eat. My biggest adventure would be either going across the street to get peaches from the grocery store or going out to get the mail. That’s all I did. He worked two jobs to support both me and his son and I very rarely saw him. He did construction during the day and managed a restaurant kitchen at night. We were making $11,000 that year and still seemed to live comfortably. While home one day the phone rang, it was the mother of his son and she was mad, like really really mad. She was screaming and crying into the phone and at first I thought something terrible had happened, but then I realized she was ranting and raving about how I stole her man and he’s her son’s father and why is he with me and it went on and on for a long time, what felt like an eternity as I sat quietly and listened and started to cry. All I could muster in that moment was “I’m sorry, I had no idea and now I’m pregnant too.” And I hung up the phone. We never spoke again. It has been eighteen years since that first phone call and we have never actually had a conversation face to face, ever. I never told him about that phone call. Maybe there wasn’t a chance to or there was never the right time, but what would I have said? The mother of your son wants you back? Were you cheating on her with me? Am I the other woman? So I chose to say nothing. I got larger and he worked more and we spent very little time together. His clothes had that greasy kitchen smell that I couldn’t stand and I remember asking him to start to take them off before he came inside. He hated that, but he did it. He would get home around 3:00 am and make me a grilled cheese with tomato. I ate a grilled cheese and tomato every night for almost two months until I couldn’t eat another one and didn’t fit into anything. All these other pregnant woman had these cute clothes from maternity stores and I was wearing old shirts and what looked like clown costumes from Sears with giant wide mouth collars and things no one should be seen in. It was the first time in my life that I had ever even considered that possibility of having a weight issue. I was 116 lbs. the day I found out I was pregnant and over the course of nine short months I gained 50 lbs. Do you know what it’s like to go to the doctor’s when your body is being taken over by aliens and they tell you “Maybe you want to slow down? Maybe you should put the fork down?” I’m eating for two! The best thing about being pregnant was the size of my breasts. I know, they are just breasts, but the chance to see what you’d look like with an enhancement was incredible and I have dreamt about getting a breast enlargement ever since. The one thing that did not grow during my pregnancy was the relationship and closeness of gingham man and I. I did not have that person, putting their hands on my stomach, rubbing my back, looking at me with that smile that clearly says “I cannot believe you are carrying our child” That look that of wonder and amazement that makes being pregnant and creating a family worth it. I was very much alone during my pregnancy and that sometimes still makes me very sad. I wonder what it would be like to actually see someone happy to have me carrying their child. I wonder what it would be like to build that bond, that connectedness that happens, at least that happens in my made up scenario of the joy and happiness that connects two people through a most unusual process. I have thought about having more kids all my life….until my kids became teenagers. And that is why I have so many cats. Every time I wanted a baby I got a cat. And now I am the crazy cat lady…..I have only recently begun to think, that my time is running out, my eggs are drying up and the dream of being so in love with someone the thought of starting a family with them may not come to fore wishing. I say that not cause of the timing in my life, but the person that makes you think…anything is possible….never say never right?

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