Like a rat in a maze, I strongly believe that any trying time should be met with a reward at the end. (Cash, popsicles, vacations, laptops, degrees, wedge of cheese - all solid endings to gross journeys.) Basically, I only do hard things to get a treat at the end, pretty much. If you're ok with just slogging and slogging when it never gets better, you're officially better than me. Because, every day of the early first trimester where I sucked it up and couldn't even muster the energy to put on mascara, or not wear Nuv's sweatpants on the weekends, and my sense of smell was so acute I could have joined the Police dog force, and the norm became up 4 times a night to pee; when I essentially hid from civilization and didn't want to hear songs or watch tv or even look at gossip websites, all I thought was WHEN CAN I TELL MY MAMA AND MAKE HER CRY?
And all our friends? The world? I needed some goddamn credit and praise and tears and Congratulations! and presents. (See, already becoming a selfless parent!) The best part about being engaged years ago, because it certainly wasn't the To-Do List that multiplied every day like a monster that wouldn't die, was getting randomly congratulated by strangers on being a fiancee. "Thanks!" I'd say, amazed that I could take credit for literally just saying "yes" on a beach and then crying and then calling my Mama. For this new endeavour, all I did was get successfully squirted up into, but still I needed some credit. I needed praise for my ever increasing barf efficiency (Hup, two three four and down on the knees while the lid and seat come up, output, flush and mouthwash rinse in under 1 minute, then back to the couch.)
The popular (and sensible) rule states to not tell anybody until you're past the first trimester. Statistically, if something will go wrong, that's when it normally does, in those tenuous first few months. Practically, I knew this and understood this, but I have never bit my tongue so hard for so long and when you think about 90 long days where you are being slowly transformed into a modern day Wolfman, but can't clutch someone's arm and tell them why you're howling at the moon, or why there is acne on your arms (!!!); well, every single day that passes eats the big shit.
So, we folded. Nuv's birthday party fell the week before the 10 week ultrasound, and we knew it was irresponsible and silly, but we were going to have a large group of people we loved assembled together at Honjin, and, really, I would have had to wear masking tape over my mouth and stayed in the trunk of the car to not slam my hands down on the table and yell the news to everybody.
Before the dinner, we called the Moms and siblings and oh, the tears and validation. My body was filled with good good vibes instead of bile for the first time in months. It was like being high, and so amazing and exciting. Telling my Mama she was going to be a Gramma is pretty much the greatest conversation we've ever had. At the dinner, Nuv made a speech and told the group and the girls cried and the boys were terrified/happy for us and I drank two litres of water and made it through two avocado rolls and it was awesome. Mad props for me on all sides and I drank it up hard.
So, the next ultrasound was at St. Paul's and Nuv got to come into the room, and of course, it was a student technician who could not find my ovaries (How inept am I at human kinesiology? I then worried I had none.), so he called in the experienced pro who jammed the handheld mouse all along my stomach and then we saw this:
You little magic monkey weirdo! A teeny tiny fluttering heart, little legs kicking, hiccups! And my uterus - shaped like a heart! See, I'm not such a bad person after all. And right then, the rabbit pellet poops, the long dark hairs marching down from my bellybutton, the chest acne, the no sleep, the annihilated bladder, the streaked boobs, and every single second of every nausea-filled day, it all came down to this. You here, my sweet little bubs, you were my effing reward.