This story starts with a bump. A little, tiny bump.
Just kidding, not that one. That's not very "little" these days, anyway.
The bump I'm talking about appeared in September... on my toe. I had noticed a small, swollen red spot-- a bug bite? A super-sexy ingrown toe hair?
(Sorry Sneaky Baby, reading this 12 years from now. This is not a very cute beginning to your tale.)
A week later, the little bump had amassed into a gnarly red & purple welt with something that looked disturbingly... "pop-able" on top.
I didn't really have time to go to the doctor: I was doing a hardcore "whole food" detox where I had to cook everything from scratch, I was lifeguarding at 5AM, teaching swim lessons in the afternoon, and cramming for the two "grown-up" interviews I had within a few days.
Meanwhile, the toe bump kept growing. It was starting to make me limp a little.
The first interview went incredibly well. Afterwards, I kept plugging away at making a printed art portfolio for my next (graphic designer) interview. Horrifyingly sooner than later, it was the night before this interview and I still felt miles from "ready."
I kept working on the portfolio until 1am. Just kidding, I kept working until 4am.
Just kidding, I stayed up ALL EFFING NIGHT without a wink of sleep, sucking down coffee, frantically tinkering and rearranging images. I mean, it's just not possible to make a printed booklet look good enough for a job where you will make printed booklets.
With only two hours before my interview and fingers tightly crossed, I sent my file to Kinko's. Then (in lieu of a nap of course) I crammed, crammed, crammed for any answers this guy could possibly throw at me.
Dressed in the snazzy outfit I'd had planned for a week (thanks to mi amiga Kelley), I went to put on my high-heeled "lady" shoes.
I just about YAKKED from the searing pain that shot through my toe when I tried to stand up. That sucker was pretty much rotting from the inside out at this point. (Not to mention I still had a healing broken toe on that foot as well.) But in my delirious state, there was no way I was changing shoes.
At this point I probably shouldn't have been driving, but I swung by Kinko's, picked up my rockin' portfolio, managed to avoid any car accidents, and ab. so. lute. ly. NAILED this interview. Like, to the point where we were discussing my starting date by the end of it. What the hell?! It's like I had a lucky charm or something (...wink.)
Back safely at home (again, Holy Lucky Charm Batman... don't ever drive on zero sleep) I took my shoes and tights off.
My entire left foot was puffed up like it had tried to make sweet love to a rattlesnake. I had to go to the hospital and get antibiotics before this got into the rest of my bloodstream.
The thought of "antibiotics" spurred the first moment of clarity I'd had in about a week, and things started clicking into place. Like, how I (almost) never get sick, yet the other night I couldn't finish cooking my favorite dinner because the smell was making me gag. And how I'd cried about three times in the past week. And how... eh, I wasn't very good at keeping track of this, but it was probably about time for the ol' uterus to do its thing again. And it hadn't.
I had a feeling that antibiotics wouldn't be okay if... gulp. Yeah. The p-word. I asked The Google and The Google confirmed: antibiotics and the p-word don't mix too well.
Luckily I had a peestick in the bathroom, and luckily I had some pee. I actually wasn't even nervous, because there was no way I was pregnant. That happens to grown-ups. That happens to people who have their shit together. That happens to people who have been trying and trying to get knocked up for months and then do handstands for an hour after hitting the sack. This test was just The Responsible Thing To Do, so I could confidently tell the doctor that, why, yes, I AM currently eligible for antibiotics even though I have been half-assing "natural" birth control for the past two years. Surely all my "symptoms" were easily explained by stress and lack of sleep.
See? Two lines. Totally... wait. Two lines. TWO LINES.
|whammo. Look what my pee can do.|
How... nurturing and maternal of me. (Fast forward to the present 33-weeks-pregnant where Sneaky Baby just gave me a guilt-inducing jab to the ribs).
It's like I had 50 brains with 50 sudden realizations all at once. "OHMYGOD. I'm not ready for this." "OHMYGOD. I get to see what Jason & I are like melded into one new little body." "OHMYGOD. It's in there right now." "OHMYGOD. Jason is going to die of happiness." "OHMYGOD. But I just accepted a full-time job PLUS a second part-time job." "OHMYGOD. My body is going to completely change --WAIT-- OHMYGOD. I get to finally have boobs."
But mostly: "OHMYGOD. Moms know everything and make everything better. I don't do that. That test has to be wrong somehow."
I felt like my heart was crushing between the amazement and protectiveness I felt for our little tiny offspring, and the paralyzing fear I felt that my life was changing forever and there was no going back.
I texted Jason (away at the gym) and told him I was taking The Gross Toe to the Emergency Room. He said he'd meet me there.