the smell of my desperation has become a stench

The making of an older sister

Yesterday morning we dragged Leta out of bed very early in order to make it to my doctor’s appointment on time. We had not mentioned a word about what’s been going on, mainly to be cautious, although she’s very observant and has asked me out loud in front of strangers why my boobs are so sore. And I tell her it’s because Daddy won’t stop looking at them. That is not a lie, I can feel him thinking about them, staring at them, wondering why all of a sudden they’ve doubled in size, and when I see him walking toward me my instinct is to hide. The weight of a cotton t-shirt can be paralyzing, so you can understand that I might want to avoid the gravitational pull of two eager eyeballs.

I thought that having her in the room during my appointment would be a great way to break it to her that come June life as she knows it is going to be over, and when the doctor found the wiggly baby in my abdomen Leta shouted, “WHERE DID YOU GET THAT BABY FROM?” I was lying on the table naked from the waist down having just been through a pelvic exam, and was not prepared at all to talk to my four-year-old daughter about her father’s penis. So I lied.

“Magical elves,” I said.

She seemed satisfied with that answer, enough to continue with her list of questions. “HOW YOU GONNA GET THAT BABY OUT?” she said with a concern that made it sound as if she remembered the exact moment her shoulders left my womb. I assured her that such a process was something she didn’t need to worry about and was promptly interrupted as Jon pointed to a poster on the wall and told her it would come out my bunky. Awesome. Can’t wait for my four-year-old’s nightmares about spiders to be replaced with ones of menacing vaginal openings.

My doctor left the room briefly so that I could get dressed, and as I pulled on my black sweats Leta announced that she was willing to be nice to my baby. I thought that was very generous of her, and feeling safe enough to press my luck I asked her if she would feel that way even if it was a boy. “It’s not a boy,” she said confidently. “It’s a little sister, and I’m going to share my toys with her.” I certainly hope that Jon’s semen got that memo.

Both Jon and I were almost giddy with relief as we walked out of the building toward the car, and several times we silently squeezed each other’s hands. He was carrying Leta on his left hip and asked her if she was excited as we were about Mama’s baby.

“Um…” she hesitated. “I’m excited about Christmas.”

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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