“It was faint,” Kristin said.
Faint? I thought. What the hell does that mean? How can it be faint? This isn’t horseshoes, you’re either pregnant or you’re not. Almost isn’t an option.
“I don’t know maybe I’m just imagining it, the line is barely there. It’s early I’ll have to test again when I get home.”
It was the first week of September and Kristin was out of town for work. She wouldn’t be back for a few days and I dreaded the anticipation. My thoughts raced as I tried to fall asleep, we’d been trying to get pregnant for a few months. The thought that it might finally be happening had me feeling a mix of anxiety and excitement as I drifted off.
The next few days were a blur. I tried not to get my hopes up and neither did Kristin, so we barely mentioned it when we talked on the phone. I anxiously awaited her arrival. To my surprise she didn’t mention it at all when she walked in the door.
As I carried her bags up to the bedroom, Kristin sped into the bathroom without saying a word. I was instantly suspicious. I flopped down on the bed, staring intently at the bathroom door, as if I stared hard enough I’d be able to see if she was taking a test or not. Seconds ticked by at a glacial pace. After what felt like hours she emerged. I scanned her face looking for any clue but found none.
“What?” she said unconvincingly.
“Well, did you take a test?!”
I’ll be honest. I’ve tried but I can’t remember exactly what she said next. I’m not sure if I just didn’t write this soon enough or if I was so overwhelmed with emotion the words weren’t important to my memory.
“Ahhhhh, yes!!!” I exclaimed as she held up the test.
I didn’t even look at it. I picked her up in a bear hug, pulling her on to the bed. I was overcome with joy, I felt like I had just won an Olympic gold medal!
I finally looked at the test and saw a faint, but undeniable, line. We were pregnant. My brain flooded with thoughts. Kristin had exhaustively read about pregnancy. She regularly transferred this knowledge to me over the past few months. My mind flashed back to her filling me in on miscarriage rates and how they steadily decrease from the day of conception. I tried to temper my excitement with some caution but it felt like trying to put out a large house fire with an eyedropper.
We were going to have a baby. Nine months suddenly felt like a much shorter period of time.
I stared at the test and wondered whether I should call Matt or wait for a more definite answer. What if I get his hopes up? Would I be ruining the surprise? I was on a work trip in Ohio for one more night so wasn’t sure if I could keep it all to myself for that long.
After a few minutes, I called Matt and told him there may be a line but it was hard to tell. “Oh okay.” Was all I can remember him saying. I wasn’t overly excited because I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I assumed he felt the same way. After talking about the test briefly, I told him I could take another after I got home tomorrow. We didn’t bring it up again for fear that we would jynx it.
After my plane landed in Minneapolis the next day around 5:00 p.m., I had a plan. I drove straight to Target to pick up more tests and a little surprise gift for Matt in case it all turned out how we hoped. I walked up and down the aisles in the baby section looking for something gender neutral but adorable for a newborn. I settled on a back of onesies with a “bear” theme – the first onesie said “baby bear.” I frantically drove home.
When I got home, Matt met me at the door. We had not said anything about the possibility of a baby since I called him the night before. We still said nothing. He helped me inside with my suitcase. I walked upstairs quickly, but calmly, to go confirm whether a little Baby Simonet was on the way.
After I took the test, I set it down and occupied myself with my phone for a few minutes in the bathroom. I had a lot of thoughts. Okay, if it’s positive, I can give Matt the onesie? Or do I give him the test? Do I bring it up right away?
When I looked over at the test after a few minutes, the line was unmistakable. I took a deep breath and opened the door to go downstairs and tell Matt. To my surprise, he was sitting on the bed. I had not heard him come upstairs, and part of me thought maybe he forgot about the whole conversation we had the night before.
“Well?” he said anticipatorily.
“Did you take a test?”
I didn’t quite have the words and knew I could not contain my excitement for another second. I walked back into the bathroom, grabbed the “baby bear” onesie, and handed it to Matt. I can’t remember exactly what he said, but I know we shared a big hug. Then Matt walked into the bathroom and looked at the test himself. I followed just to make sure I hadn’t made the whole thing up. Turns out the line was real!
The next few weeks were filled with a strange mix of feelings. May 15th emerged as our official due date. We joined an online group with around 2,000 other people that are due the same month as us. It seemed like every few days someone was posting about how they were “out” meaning they miscarried and were leaving the group. This tempered my excitement often, and I think Kristin’s just as much. Every day that passes you feel a little more excitement and a little less nervous.
Kristin and I had decided not to tell a soul until our chances of miscarrying went down. Keeping the secret is nearly impossible. At times it feels like it’s going to explode out of you. A week after we had found out Kristin spilled the beans while guzzling Root Beer’s (which apparently do not look like real beer) at my ten year high school reunion when a friend, who knew we were trying, called her out. She stumbled on her answer and the friend knew. We swore her to absolute secrecy, we were not ready for the world to know. After that we knew we had to up our game, we pulled out all the stops. I was filling beer cans with water, swapping drinks on the fly with Kristin to make it look like she was drinking the wine she ordered, and anything else we could think of to throw people off the trail.
About a month later we decided it was time to tell our parents. My mother seemed to have been suspicious for quite sometime, so I really felt the need to throw her off the trail. Both Phil and Sue helped us a ton moving into our new house in August, so we said we’d gotten them a gift and would come over that night to have a cocktail and give them the gift. Kristin and I went and picked up a baby blanket and two mugs that said, “recently promoted to grandma/grandpa”.
Once we got to their house I ran out to the garage to grab us some drinks. I opened a hard seltzer and dumped it out, filling the can with water. We gave them the blanket first, which they legitimately thought was a gift for helping us move. Upon opening the mugs they realized that we were in fact having a baby. They were elated. Some quick explaining was needed about the hard seltzer Kristin had finished a bit ago. We definitely fooled them and my suspicions proved to be correct about my mother, she had a card already filled out congratulating us, and had been carrying it around for months.
The next few months were filled with lots excitement, telling friends, even a trip to Hawaii, all while slowly watching Kristin’s bump grow. Things seemed to speed by until January, everyday since then seems to move a little slower.
We are now on the agonizing home stretch. Agonizing both in the sense of time and Kristin’s physical state. Once you get down to the final month, moving in any capacity becomes a chore. Additionally we seem to have what must be the most active kid ever in the womb, and while that’s thrilling for me to be able to feel the near constant kicks and punches, it’s not as thrilling for Kristin when it’s 3:00am. I think the anticipation growing about finally meeting our little kiddo is slowing down time. Everyday crawls by at this point. COVID-19 has made things a little more complicated but we’ve managed through it. Kristin has been working from home since early March. I just started a leave from my office so we can both quarantine leading up to the birth. If either of us become ill now, Kristin will likely have to labor and give birth alone. After which both of us would likely be separated from our new family member to prevent them from getting COVID-19.
Despite all that, it’s nearly impossible to suppress the overwhelming joy and excitement you feel leading up to a newborn babies arrival. Kristin will be 36 weeks this Friday, which basically means the kiddo could arrive any day. We even have the hospital bag already packed. Until then we’ll just be taking it day by day, hanging out at home, waiting for the little guy or girl to arrive.