It was an unreasonably hot Monday in May. I was sitting on the floor of my best friend Tricia’s bedroom with my arms wrapped around my folded knees. There in the CVS bag was a package of two tests that would relay perhaps, the most life-altering information I would ever receive. There were also two bags of the new pretzel M&M’s—just in case I needed immediate sugar for fear of collapsing.
I slowly made my way downstairs to her bathroom. It was alarming how fast the addition sign appeared in that tiny plastic window. It screamed ‘you, Makayla, are now plus-one’.
I couldn’t help it. I got in my car, grabbed the blue lighter off the passenger seat in my car and lit a cigarette. In times of stress and desperation I always went for my pack of filtered camels, though this time, they offered me no release. It would be the last time I inhaled the thick smoke, now appearing more toxic than I ever cared to recognize.
On the drive through the back-roads leaving Tricia’s house I thought of nothing. I didn’t cry. I didn’t smile. I just drove. Now that I think about it I probably shouldn’t have been driving. Drunk drivers and women that
find out they are pregnant should be lumped into the same category when it comes to driving.
I didn’t know who to go to first. My boyfriend or my parents. I realized that the lack of expression from my face would alarm either party. So, I called my mom, who was still at work and headed to my boyfriend’s. This was probably not the right move. By the time I got home my mom had a bottle of wine open with mascara running down her face. I can’t really explain the look on my father’s face. Just imagine a 5-foot-8-inch Portuguese man staring at his only daughter. He now knows that I had sex. Officially. It was scary.
The next week was a blur. Although I didn’t feel pregnant prior to the news from the 6-inch plastic pee-stick, all of the symptoms synonymous with pregnancy somehow took over my body.
Forget about eating the buffalo wings and linguini with white clam sauce my stomach was begging for. It was Saltines and water. The six cups of coffee I typically drank on any given day was cut to one. The headaches that resulted from this are equivalent to being hit by a train. Or at least an SUV.
And for a stretch of time, I probably could have been declared legally insane. Consider it emotional whiplash. At least according to my boyfriend, Ed, who received the brunt of my attacks. If he so much as ate without consulting with me I would send him the most violent series of explicit text messages that would ever come from my cell phone. So far at least.
Realizing that the only form of consolation for sparking one of my food-related meltdowns was large bag of assorted chocolate and/or ice cream, there were considerably less arguments as the first trimester transitioned into the second.
And with that transition came a change undesirable to any 20 year old. My clothes starting shrinking. In an attempt at avoiding any sort of hormonal breakdown, I cleansed my closet of anything that might not fit. This was to avoid finding out that the clothes actually didn’t fit. This worked. That is, until it my mom suggested purchasing a one-piece
Ugh. What did she just say? A one-piece. I hadn’t worn a one-piece since I was in fifth-grade, before the tankini existed. This was when a black Speedo seemed cool. Not cool at 20.
It took weeks to find a one-piece bathing suit suitable to wear at the beach. Nothing fit right. Everything was beyond hideous. It seemed impossible.
I found a tolerable Calvin Klein one-piece and I wore it once. I am not a one-piece person and I will not be forced to wear one just because I gained a measly 10, 12, or 15 pounds. For the remainder of my summer I
embraced my bikini. If only in the pool in my backyard.
As the weeks progressed so did the stack of what-to-expect-type books on my desk. And subscriptions to every baby magazine produced in the country, courtesy of my over-excited mother. These books read like Steven King novels. The words mucus plug, episiotomy and hemorrhoids are not pleasant. If I came across
any of the three in any combination, that piece of literature would be discarded immediately.
Another thing I immediately erased from my brain upon viewing: maternity clothes. But that’s for another week.
I couldn’t help the constant questioning of my mom-readiness. Can I really be a mother? I never planned on it. I had never changed a diaper. I steered clear of children at all costs. I never babysat in my entire life. Never worked at a summer camp. I have essentially avoided all interactions with people under the age of myself for two decades. But there I was, fingering the 18-week ultrasound of the tiny penis growing inside me, weighing the pros and cons of cloth versus disposable diapers.