Scene: The bedroom. Charlotte is lying on the bed, feeling sick and discouraged and looking like death warmed over. She's indulging in a little bit of whining before she will finally make herself get off the bed and get ready for the unendurable drudgery of her job (the same job which she usually quite enjoys). Eric is looking around nervously, trying to find something that will help her, but feeling pretty close to helpless.
Charlotte (crying): I didn't know it would be this way. I mean, everyone says that you feel terrible for the first couple of months of pregnancy, but I didn't know that I would handle it so poorly.
Eric (soothingly): No, no, you're handling it just fine. You're doing a great job.
Charlotte (knowing that he's lying, but grateful that he's making the effort): I just . . . well, I just didn't want it to be this way, you know? I wanted to be a cute pregnant girl, not an ugly, whining, gross pregnant girl, you know?
Eric (hopefully): Well, you still might be . . . right?
Charlotte says nothing, but the tears stream down the sides of her face. Later, when she has had time to put this in perspective, she will recount this conversation to several friends, laughing at the absurdity of it all.
* * *
STILL A MONTH OR TWO AGO
Scene: Well, these next two aren't really scenes. They are telephone conversations between Charlotte and her father, Robert Corry M.D. Both of these conversations take place in the morning, which tends to be the time that Charlotte has most of what we will (charitably) call her "minor meltdowns".
Dad (answering ringing telephone): Hello?
Charlotte (voice quavers): Dad?
Dad (worried, expecting to hear some really bad news, thinks to himself, "Oh, shoot."): Uh-huh?
Charlotte (voice still quavering, tears are starting to form in her eyes): I'm too OLD to be having a baby!
Dad (laughs with relief): You are NOT. You're doing fine! You just haven't ever been through this before and so you don't know what to expect. Really, you're doing fine, and you're going to be fine.
Charlotte (still quavering, but the tears are starting to recede): Really? You think so?
Dad: Absolutely. I'm sure of it.
Charlotte (feeling marginally better): Well, okay.
They talk a little bit more about this and that, and they eventually hang up.
Dad (answering the phone): Hello?
Charlotte (using that same old quavery voice, and speaking very quickly): Dad, what if I'm one of those women who are sick the whole nine months, and I don't start feeling better when I get into the second trimester?
Dad: I am POSITIVE that you won't be.
Charlotte (wanting to believe him, but not quite sure): How can you say that? How do you know?
Dad: Because your mother felt better after the first trimester, your sister felt better after the first trimester, your aunts felt better after the first trimester, and you're going to feel better too. I'm 99% sure of it.
Charlotte (noticing that in one sentence dad has gone from POSITIVE (100%) to only 99% sure, feeling a little alarmed at this): Really? I mean, you really think I'm going to start feeling better soon?
Charlotte: You're not just saying this right? Because I don't know what I'll do if it doesn't get better soon.
Dad: It will. You'll be okay. Trust me.
Charlotte (still quavery, but feeling a little bit better): Okay.
Again, they talk about a few other things, and then they hang up.
* * *
So, that pretty much sums up the last three months in Charlotte and Eric land. Aren't you glad we were keeping it a secret, and you didn't have to read about all the sad details day after day after day? (Cause, you KNOW that at least some of them would have ended up here, right?)
The good news is, my father was right. I'm apparently (thankfully) NOT one of those women who are sick the whole nine months. I'm on my fifth consecutive day of feeling like a normal human being (and coincidentally, I'm seven days into my second trimester of this little pregnancy), and all I can say is that in all my life, I've never appreciated my good health like I should have. Seriously. I should have been doing cartwheels down the street every day that I woke up feeling fairly good. Every evening that I could come home from work and feel like doing anything besides becoming unconscious for the rest of the evening should have been a reason for major celebration. I took it for granted, but no more! (At least, no more for awhile at least). Health is something to be celebrated! Feeling like a real person rather than a zombie is a miracle! Hooray! Haroo! Charlotte is among the living once again!
Oh--and as to how I wanted so badly to be "cute and pregnant"-- Today I've received compliments from three different people on how pretty I look. I guess that pregnancy glow might be coming through, huh? Or, it might be that I put on earrings and spent more that 10 minutes on my hair today for the first time since January.
Don't worry--I won't let it go to my head.