Michela Walters’s Picture Choice: Two
Title: In Due Time
Fluttery kicks fill my belly with joy. Movement I never thought I’d ever feel.
After years of infertility treatments marred by miscarriages and disappointing blood tests, I am finally pregnant. It’s taken six long years. Years filled with friend’s well intentioned comments about relaxing and not stressing out over the process. Years filled with baby showers galore where I needed to slap a smile on my face and pretend to be happy, after all it was a joyous occasion. An occasion that only filled my thoughts with despair and dread. I even had to change dentists after he constantly talked about his happy family of six children and his wife’s miraculous ability to get pregnant at the drop of a hat.
“You’re glowing, you know.” my best friend Lily remarks, shaking me from my thoughts of sadder times in my life.
Turning away from the store window hocking fancy boutique baby items, I reply, “Thanks. Still doesn’t feel real sometimes.” My hand unconsciously rubs my burgeoning belly, as if to check and make sure it’s not all a dream.
“Except when you can’t tie your own shoes.” Lily grins, nodding towards my sneakers, one of which is undone. She bends down to tie them, as if I’m an invalid. Secretly I’m annoyed by the gesture, but I also know she has a point. I’m huge and without somewhere to sit, I’ll likely topple over like a broken weeble wobble.
I mutter a quick thanks, but am still unsure about walking into the overprice store. “I don’t know, Lil, can’t we just go to Target or something? I’m not sure I should register here, it’s all a bit -- too much--” I say, waving my hand in front of the window showcasing a tricked out stroller priced in the thousands.
“You think I’d let you buy this overpriced crap?” she exclaims, pointing a little further down the upscale strip mall. “I just wanted you to get a sense of how extreme some people get, I love Nine Months Later, it’s a small shop with a local owner who sells American made clothes, cloth diapers and the softest freaking blankets around.”
I sigh in relief, I know she’s trying to get me to be excited for this baby, but after two miscarriages in the first trimester and one in the second, I feel like I don’t have the right to be truly content and excited until my baby is alive, breathing and held close to my chest.
Lily brushes my arm, reaching down to clutch my hand. After being best friends for over fifteen years, she knows what I’ve been through and has let me cry on her shoulder more times than I can count. “You’ve had multiple scans and they are all looking good. The baby is growing normally, the amnio was normal.” She tugged on my hand, willing me to look at her. “You have ten weeks until your due date. Try to enjoy it.” She smiled her megawatt grin, knowing I couldn’t resist her overwhelming enthusiasm and optimism. “Try. For me? For Grant?”
I nod my head minutely, knowing she’s right. I can’t do anything more than be patient and hope for the best, even when that’s failed me so many times before. “I’ll try.” We continue walking towards the small shop in comfortable silence.
Once we enter, Lily leaves my side, telling me she’ll be right back. I wander around the cute store, fingering the lace edged receiving blankets and minky soft diaper covers. I’m admiring a particularly adorable onesie when Lily holds up a pretty pink and brown polka dot bag with the store’s name emblazoned upon it. “Here. Consider this your first baby gift of many.”
Opening up the package, I gasp. It’s a beautiful tan blanket with tiny giraffes embroidered on it. “How did you know?” I’ve been secretly thinking about a giraffe themed room for our baby, but other than painting the room a neutral soft taupe, I hadn’t said anything to anyone about my plans.
“Lets just say you wear your thoughts on your face and your emotions on your sleeve. When we walked through Babies R Us last week, I saw you pause briefly in front of the jungle themed bedding. You ran your finger across the giraffe on the bedspread. Call it a lucky guess.”
Hugging her tightly, I whisper my thanks in her ear. Her present acts almost like a switch and I can’t stop the jumble of words tumbling out of my mouth as I tell her all of my thoughts for decorations, strollers and disposable versus cloth diapers. By the end of the day, my cart is filled with necessities and a registry has been started.
“You know you should take Grant with you next time you shop. He wants to be excited too, but is just as afraid as you are,” Lily whispers, before she gets out of the car. “Let him in. You both have been through so much pain, why now celebrate the joy together too?”
She waves goodbye and I can’t help but smile and rub my gigantic belly. “You’re gonna be the most loved baby on the planet.”
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Michela Walters is a wife, mother and book enthusiast. She is currently attempting her hand at writing her first romantic fiction novella. You can read her other stories on her blog: michelawalters.wordpress.com