A couple of weeks after we returned from our beach vacation last summer, Kate expressed to me that she thought she was not pregnant (we had been trying for a couple of months). She was deeply saddened by this, even starting to worry about us having fertility problems. I did my best to calm her, telling her that on average it takes six months of trying after coming off the pill before the woman becomes pregnant.
Two more weeks passed. In the days before Kate’s family arrived (on August 30), Kate told me that something didn’t feel right. Hearing this from Kate, along with her smelling “horrible smells,” which I couldn’t get the faintest whiff of, I encouraged Kate to just take a pregnancy test to confirm that she wasn’t pregnant. This was on August 29th, the same day we received a box of pregnancy tests from my sister, who had officially decided her childbearing years were behind her.
On the 30th, I woke up around 6:15 in the morning. I noticed Kate wasn’t in bed, but that wasn’t unusual. I sleepily walked into the bathroom to pee and right as I started, I heard Kate’s loud footsteps. She was running toward me and yelling, “Wait! Wait!” When she got to me she shoved an empty and clean peanut butter jar straight into my stream of pee and yelled, “I need some of your pee!”
In Kate’s other had was one of the pregnancy tests from my sister. I was not quite with it yet that morning so I just thought she was seeing if they work properly, although with a level of excitement I did not expect. As my brain warmed up in those few seconds the obvious reason for her behavior came to me. She had already taken a test, it came back positive, and so she was testing the accuracy of these pregnancy tests due to their expiration 18 months ago.
My test came back negative (surprise!) and Kate explained to me that she had taken one before I woke up and it had been positive. She had her doubts though because she read only that morning about how expired tests were not be used and/or trusted. Nevertheless, we had one positive test. Kate even tested the tap water. Negative. Kate said she would try to get in for a test at work.
I spent the day doing some last minute errands and getting ready for our company to arrive, but I could not stop thinking about the possibility that Kate was pregnant. I thought about it all day until the afternoon when Kate got home and set a bag on the counter, telling me it was a card and book for Kendra (her sister) and her boyfriend. She then nervously walked straight out of the room, but added that I could look at the card and book. Flipping the book over first, I saw the title, something about the first year of fatherhood. In a daze, I looked at the card, not even reading the front, flipping it open, saw that Kate had already written in it and signed, “Kate and B.” In my current state, I still thought that it was a card for Kendra and Jake and that Kate had already signed it for us, Kate and Bryce. I didn’t even read what else she had written.
I ran to Kate, who stood at the doorway to our room and asked, “Really?”
“Yes,” Kate said through tears and a joyous smile. I hugged her close and lifted her off the ground.
Kate said something about reading the card and I told her I hadn’t. Oops. I ran over to the kitchen and read it. “Cute as a button” graced the cover. Had I bothered taking the split second to read the card, I would have known that it was a card for us. I truly felt sad about botching her efforts to tell me. The daddy book made it pretty clear though. The rest of the afternoon we basked in the news and finalized how we were going to share it with Kate’s family.
Toward the end of our family dinner that night, I stood up and signaled to everyone that I wanted to take a group picture. Once I had all of Kate’s family in the frame Kate commenced with a countdown, “One, two, three, we’re pregnant.” I had the camera take a burst of pictures, catching everyone’s reactions. The first picture didn’t record any remarkable changes in facial expression.
In the next picture, my father-in-law is looking at the ground. He doesn’t look disappointed, but it does look like the weight of the news, that in nine months he would become a grandparent, is hitting him pretty good. Next, my brother-in-law, and Kate’s sisters are all looking at Kate with huge smiles. Kate’s mom is looking at Kate, still, amazingly, holding her wine glass. And in the next photo, pandemonium.
I set the camera down and joined in. Kate was making her way over to her dad to hug him. He was as happy as anyone there, but still, his first question was, “How’d this happen?”
The rest of the evening is sort of a blur. I know we discussed what we knew about the pregnancy at that point. Four and a half weeks along. Due May 4th. The next nine months were pretty clearly laid out. We thought.