Fast forward a couple of weeks from the infamous pee test. We him-haw around about telling people and ultimately decide that it’s way too early. There’s a long way to go before we can feel comfortable that everything is going as it should. A lot can happen. Bad things can happen. One problem. I’m meant to head to Ikea with my mom to pick out a new bed. Only, now that I’m carrying a potentially expensive package in my pouch, I want to put off the bed and save my money.
A quick backstory on my mom… She lives for home decor – shopping for home decor, DIY home decor, anything dealing with anything having to do with the following terms or phrases: Lowe’s, Hobby Lobby, shabby-chic, Better Homes and Gardens, Martha Stewart, 100 Flea Market Makeovers for under $100, etc., etc.
Why is this a problem? Well, it means I have to tell my mom I want to put off our shopping trip, and inevitably she will ask when we’re scheduling said trip (several times). Sure enough, one day on the phone:
“Chrissy, when are we going to Ikea to get your bed?”
There’s a pleading in her voice that only those addicted to HGTV would understand and recognize.
I pause. “Well…actually, I think I’m just going to hold off for now.”
I wait for the acceptance that I know won’t be there. Sure enough…
“Oh, you know. I think I just want to hold off right now. I’m not sure I want to spend the money.”
I wait for the inevitable follow-up interrogation.
“What do you mean? Why?”
“Well, I just want to save money right now that’s all.”
Here it comes…the erroneous inference I know she’ll make.
“Why, do you guys need money? Daddy and I can give you some money if you need it.”
She certainly knows how to read between the lines. Watching NCIS and reading every Janet Evonovich has taught her well.
Obviously, I don’t want her to think we’re having money issues. Obviously, she will not relent until the box of pressed laminate and tiny plastic pieces of Ikea bed are happily rumbling back home in the back of my dad’s pickup. There’s only one solution. I sigh.
“Well, actually, I just want to save money right now because…I’m pregnant.”
I blurt it in a tone that implies that I’m throwing up my hands in disgust. I have no idea why it comes out that way, but it does. There’s a weird pause, and just when I anticipate hearing a smile in her voice, I’m sort of crushed.
“Are you sure?” She asks in the same tone I had blurted seconds before.
“Well, yeah.” I say, a bit flabbergasted.
“Are you sick?”
I know she’s implying that if I’m not sick, then I’m not pregnant. She was hideously sick with all three of her kids, so obviously that’s my fate too. I cringe when I have to tell her.
“No. I feel fine. Just a little acid reflux.” I then proceed to tick off all of the other reasons I’m sure I’m pregnant (two tests, bigger boobies that kind of hurt – at this point I hadn’t been to the doctor yet.)
“Well, we can still go get your bed. Dad and I can go up on a weekday when it’s not so crowded…”
The rest sounds like a sermon by Charlie Brown’s teacher as my heart sinks and I try to put together what just happened. I had just made, what I felt, was the most exciting announcement of my life to the person I thought would be the most excited about it, only to have it glossed over for the prospect of a new, refreshed bedroom.
It wasn’t suppose to be like this.
We discuss the bed plans for a few more minutes and end the conversation. I feel cheated and hurt, but I know deep down she is excited. I know my mother well enough to know just what she’s thinking:
1) We’ve been waiting for ten years for this.
2) I thought it would never happen so.
3) I’m shocked.
4) It’s too early. Don’t get excited. Something bad could happen.
Ikea was there just how my mom needed it to be – as a defense mechanism.
She barely mentions my pregnancy when I see her in the following weeks. Only my dear, sweet father – God bless him – openly discusses it with us. Mom keeps her distance from the topic.
But, sure enough, a correlation develops later on…if I could chart this correlation on the ol’ X/Y axis, you’d see a line headed northeast with one axis labeled “Number of times Chris puked today,” the other labeled “Extent of Mom’s excitement.” Yep – she was just waiting for that confirmation that I was really pregnant. That it wasn’t just some disease that mimicked the symptoms. If I was sick, things were just as they should be.
I look back and wish I’d done it differently – that I’d have been bursting with excitement when I told her. But I didn’t. If you decide to romanticize your birth announcement, pump yourself up well in advance.