My next appointment is today. I haven’t felt the baby move yet, and I’m getting a little frustrated about it. I’m convinced that this child just doesn’t want to cooperate and it makes me wonder what life is going to be like with him or her. I just hope he or she is not as stubborn as I’m thinking it is. Of course, with Michael and I as parents…who knows?
The good news is that I’m starting to show. I noticed it only a few days ago when I couldn’t fit into my favorite worn pair of tight jeans anymore. Today I’m wearing the largest pair of pants I own and an untucked, button-down shirt until I get some maternity clothes. I met our next-door neighbor last week and she promised to dig out her maternity clothes from her closet so that I could borrow them. I find that getting to know our neighbors is a good thing and very domestic. I like it.
The phone rings and I answer somewhat cheerily to hear my mother on the other end. “What are you doing today?” she asks after our good morning pleasantries.
I tell her about my appointment and then ask why she wants to know. “I’ve got the day off,” she explains, “and I want to take you shopping. You know, for baby stuff.”
I smile and sigh at the same time Michael comes into the kitchen to drink his coffee and read the paper. He silently mouths, “Who is it?”
I answer his question with, “Well, I’d like to go, Mom, but I can’t cancel—“
“I’ll go with you,” she interrupts.
“To the doctor?” I look to Michael who automatically smiles at me and takes a sip of his coffee.
I hear her sigh, and I know the disbelief in my voice is not exactly something she wanted to hear. “Sydney. This is my first grandchild. Don’t be surprised that I want to be a part of its life. What time is your appointment?”
“Eleven. But Mom—“
“I’ll be there to pick you up at ten-thirty.” She hangs up before I can protest and I lean up against the counter in defeat.
Michael’s watching me curiously. “My mother just completely involved herself right in to my day.”
He continues to look at me over his paper from his seat at the kitchen table and laughs. “You should know by now that this baby is no longer just between you and me. In fact, my mother wants to take you shopping too—once she gets some time away from her flower shop.” Her flower shop was a venture she started after Michael was already independent from her, just to give herself something to do. She managed to get a good enough location that her business was thriving and she enjoyed it so much that she didn’t take a lot of time away from it.
“I’m sure Melissa will want to be a part of it too.” I say, talking about Weiss’ girlfriend of six months.
“And Angie,” Michael adds Will’s fiancé as well.
I’m laughing and shaking my head by the time my husband comes to stand in front of me. “How are we going to survive this pregnancy?”
He rubs my arms in support. “We’ll just enjoy every minute of it.”
“Easy for you to say. Don’t you want to trade places with me?”
“Not even a little bit. I’m actually glad I have to work.”
“Lucky dog.” His face is just an inch from mine, and I resist the urge to kiss him as we tease each other. My right hand runs around his back and slides down to his butt. “Wanna call in sick?” I ask playfully, raising one eyebrow.
He steps back, out of my reach. “Oh, no. You’re not getting out of going to your appointment. You’ll just have to deal with shopping too.”
I groan, knowing he’s picked up on my real reason for my sexual advances as he retrieves his coat from the back of his chair. “I’ve got to go. Have a good day,” he sings teasingly before he kisses me goodbye.
My mom shows up right on time and we’re soon off to my doctor’s office. The waiting room is typical—pale pink walls and light blue chairs with a few tables in between. Magazines grace the tops of the tables, varying from baby topics to sports, most likely for the bored husbands who come with their wives.
When I’m called back for the nurse to check my vital signs, she asks the normal questions I hear every four weeks. “Any swelling of the hands or feet?”
“Any nausea, vomiting, headaches, or dizziness?”
“Feeling the baby move yet?”
That’s the first time she’s asked me that, and my head drops to look at the floor. “No. Not yet. Is that normal?”
The nurse stops writing in my file to look at me. “Well, you’re only…” she looks back down at the papers for reference, “sixteen weeks. You should feel it soon. Don’t worry. Now, let’s check your weight.”
Twenty minutes later, after a brief visit with my doctor, who listens to the baby’s heartbeat and reassures me that everything is going along just fine, Mom and I are off to shop.
Shopping with my mother for baby stuff is something I never thought would happen in my lifetime. Especially when I recall that she was “dead” for twenty years, and considered an enemy after that. But now, as my mother and I compare stroller prices, I realize that this is the life I’ve always wanted.
We spend an hour in each of three baby product stores, and then two hours in the fourth, when we noticed it was a lot less expensive than the others. We decided—or rather, my mother decided—for me to register with the store, and we went around and picked out everything I’ll need.
“Do you think that Michael will like what theme I chose for the room?” I ask her apprehensively as we drive back to my house.
“Of course. It’s beautiful.”
“I know. It’s just that it’s our first baby, and I don’t want him to think I’m leaving him out of the decision making.”
She reaches over and rests her hand on mine reassuringly. “Men don’t usually care about these things as much as women do, believe me. He’ll be happy with whatever you choose.”
She drops me off at home without coming in, needing to get home to make dinner for my dad, and I take my bag of purchases into the house. I’d only bought two pillows so that I could show Michael what the bedding looks like, and also so that we could pick and match the paint colors for the walls in the room.
As I’m unlocking the front door, it opens suddenly, and Michael greets me with a smile. “How was your day?” he asks the question I’d come accustomed to asking him when he comes home at night.
I smile and step inside for a kiss. “Good. It was fun.” He takes the bag from my hand as I step out of my shoes and he closes the door. “What are you doing home already?”
“I finished my paperwork early so I came home.” He holds up the bag questioningly. “So, you went shopping all day and this is all you got?”
I laugh. “Well, I registered for everything else for the baby shower we’ll have in a few months.”
“Oh, okay. And here I thought I was going to have to help you with a lot of heavy packages.”
Suddenly, my sensitive nose detects the smell of food. “What’s that smell? Oh no, Michael, please tell me your not cooking something.” All I can think about is the disaster that was our first month anniversary when he attempted to deep fry shrimp and almost burned down the kitchen. His only cooking talent is grilling and that’s usually what he sticks to.
Michael leads me into the kitchen. “No,” he says pointedly. “I ordered Chinese. I thought you’d be too tired to cook.”
I sigh contentedly, “I am.”
After dinner, we go into the living room and sit on the couch so that I can show the pillows to Michael, and explain what the rest of the bedding and accessories look like. The main color is a navy blue, along with muted reds and browns, accented with teddy bears, letters, and numbers. “I love it,” he tells me.
“Yeah. It’s perfect for our son, but what happens if it turns out to be a girl?”
I look at him incredulously. “Are you kidding? If I was a baby, this is what I would pick for my own bedroom. She’ll love it.”
“Yes, he will.”
I know we’re just playing, but he’s got me curious. “You think it’s a boy?”
“Uh-hmm. Just a hunch.”
I run my hand down over my stomach, and smile. “Well, I’m holding out for a girl. With your eyes.”
His hand catches my cheek and he smiles at me. “And your lips,” he adds, running his thumb across them. He kisses me and starts a trail of kisses across my cheek to my chin.
“So, are you going to help with decorating the room?” I ask quietly. I don’t want to ruin the mood that we’re slowly slipping into.
“Uh-hmm,” he murmurs against my neck. “We’ll have everybody over and have a painting party on Saturday.”
I close my eyes, feeling his lips hot against my skin. “Sounds like a plan,” I whisper with difficulty, leaning back to lay on the couch, pulling him on top of me.
His hands make their way up under my shirt as his lips claim mine again, and he settles his body to fit mine perfectly. I can feel his erection through his pants, heating up my core that it’s pressed up against. I untuck his shirt and slide my hands up his bare back. I love the feel of his warm skin under my fingertips, and I giggle lightly when he adjusts his body against mine again, pressing on the mound that my stomach is becoming. “We won’t be able to do this much longer,” I tell him.
He pulls back to look at me cautiously. “Am I hurting you?”
“No,” I assure him, just as I feel a flutter of movement. “Oh my gosh! Did you feel that?”
“I think so! Wow, that’s the weirdest feeling! It’s like having butterflies in your stomach. I wish you could feel it.”
“Me, too.” He puts his hand on my stomach and pushes down slightly and freezes, trying to feel it. But after a few unsuccessful minutes, during which I’ve felt it move at least two more times, he gives up and his hand slides down between us to press on my clit through my clothes. He puts his face between my chin and shoulder, tickling my neck with his hot breath and light kisses.
I’m lost, floating on a cloud of desire and need, when he abruptly stops and stands up beside the couch. “Where are you going?” I ask him in a slight panic.
“I’m going,” he starts, scooping me up into his arms, “to make love to my wife.”
I don’t think I can smile any wider as he carries me to our room and lays me on the bed. He reaches for the button of my pants and pulls them down my legs and off, dropping them to the floor.
Once all of our clothes are shed, we start with our usual positions, but I find that it’s a little uncomfortable. Finally deciding that my body has definitely changed enough to require a new position, we try sitting up. Fortunately, it’s perfect for both of us, rubbing my clit exactly the way I like it, leading us both over the edge. Within a minute after our mutual orgasm, I feel the baby move again, and it makes me jump slightly.
“I think I felt it that time,” he says, his eyes serious and his body frozen, waiting intently.
“Really?” Again I feel the flutter.
He smiles at me. “It moved again, didn’t it?” I nod, sharing his excitement and he kisses me thoroughly. “I felt it. It’s amazing…”
“I know.” I run my fingers along the stubble on his cheek and hold his face close to mine. “We’re a family.”