First, the basic 411 for anyone who happens to be inquiring: the testicle-equipped fetus is alive and thriving, with a four-chamber heart that is pumping actively. Aliveness: that's all that I, my cautiously eager parents, and my even more cautiously eager husband can hope for. On the ultrasound screen today, which I peered at alongside my uber-smart-specialist-doctor-lady who essentially knows everything about everything, I saw his little fetal fists moving up and down as though he were doing the Mashed Potato or a frenzied ethnic dance. The doctor laughed, and I laughed too - hard enough to expel what my friend N calls a "pee pellet." Don't ask.
* * *
I walked home from my ultrasound appointment today in one of my belly-poppin' shirts. A young, fresh-faced guy waited beside me at the corner, and turned to ask how far along I was. Nearly six months, I told him in the normal, non-excited, matter-of-fact (even a little bit flippant about the whole thing?) voice that usually surfaces when I talk about such things. His eyes lit up and he extended his hand.
"I'm Taylor! My wife's six-months pregnant too! See her over there in the car across the street? Look, she's waving! Ours is a boy. What's yours?"
I glanced up and waved back, and then shook his hand. Ours was a boy too, I told him. This was their first pregnancy; I could tell by the sheen in his eyes and the number of white teeth showing in his youthful grin.
"WOW!" he said. "Both of us with boys!"
I know. Theoretically, yeah: it was a WOW! moment. We stood there a few seconds longer, shuffling our feet and talking small-talk, and it came up that they had just moved to Seattle. There was a distinct moment where I sensed him about to state the obvious: we should all hang out sometime. But I said something silly like "well, bye!" and turned to dash across the street before either of us could say it.
* * *
You know what I want? What I had for a fleeting moment on that street corner, my hand enclosed in that guy's warm palm with our breath showing in the chilly air, my eyes locking for a split second with his wife's in the car across the street?
I want that WOW!-feeling.
I've had it before, of course. You might have had it too: that first-time pregnancy high that overcomes you the minute that pink plus-sign shows up, like you've just inhaled happy-drugs off a smoking joint of joy. Give that pregnancy-high to someone like me, one of the most uber-social and extroverted people I know, and here's what I would normally do: ask this guy for his phone number, dammit, because dude - we should totally hang out, the four of us! Soon to be six of us! His wife and I could be friends! WOW! We should start scoping out baby-friendly bars together! Let's build a heady friendship, one in which we all deliver around the same date in March and send each other flowers. WOW!
But what prevails in the end is my own scrooge-like attitude: I can't relate to you, and you can't relate to me. Period. This makes for a very lonely pregnancy experience. I wonder sometimes if it's like this for all KuKd-prego gals: lonely. Things aren't as simple as they used to be.
I arrived home and found myself searching online for prego groups in Seattle, almost desperate to regain that sense of...what...belonging? That WOW! feeling that I had before, but that's now dried up? The "Urban Expecting Parent Group" that I started while pregnant with Zach is still there nearly three years later, burgeoning with so many hundreds of prego peeps that the site now says: "closed to new members." Fuck that noise! I could go back there, boasting about myself as the ORIGINAL FOUNDER, thank you very much, and they'd have to let me back in!
And even if they didn't, I could start a NEW group of my very own! BOO-YA!
But then I realized, just being with a bunch of first-time prego gals might not be the "tribe" for me, tribe-lover that I am. It might not actually bring back that first-time communal prego-high that I miss, and want. I'd probably taint their giddy atmosphere with my scrooge-like cynicism. In fact, I might hate it there altogether, being with those gals, pretending to be someone I'm not, hiding Zachary from them because there wouldn't be a place for him in the conversation. In the end, I decided maybe I'm looking up the wrong tree for my tribe.
Suddenly, I remembered the local "Pregnancy After Loss" support group that meets the last Tuesday of every month at Children's Hospital. That would be tomorrow - yipeee! Now if there were ever a tribe for me, it would be that, right there! Just imagine: a whole roomful of prego KuKd-gals who get it, who understand that weird, special variation of muted excitement that comes with pregnancy after a shitstorm of other pregnancies-gone-awry! That would be my WOW! moment - I just knew it!
But after a bit of quick research, I discovered the group no longer exists.
I could practically hear those horns of disappointment in my mind: wah-waaaahhhhh - like a stand-up comedian's joke had just flopped.
Ah well. It's not so bad. As I bumble through this one on my own, at least I know I've got my mother calling every day to check in, my husband keeping firm watch like a military guard, a blog to post on from time to time. And if I get REALLY desperate, I could always post an ad in the "Missed Connections" section of the newspaper, looking for that guy again and his six-month pregnant wife. I wonder if they'd remember me.