Saturday, March 29, 2014

Kate and Crew 1: Rapid Expansion

1. Rapid Expansion (Dec 27, 2013)
          Mornings just weren't the same with a baby. Though, for Kate, that was just fine since mornings in her previous life were an abomination worthy of complete and total disregard. She tried to sleep through as much of them as she could in order to miss as much of their horribleness as possible. Now, she had to get up and function (yes, on a very basic neanderthal level, but still function) not just early, but several times through the morning. But oddly enough, it wasn't so bad...certainly not as bad as she had expected.
          That was because she had a trick. She told herself (and felt the truth of it deep in her bones) that she was really getting up several times through the night. That was all! It didn't matter if she was getting up at 7:30. If she was still going back to bad for her last sleep, it was still a night feeding. Lo and behold, the morning would come with a blaze of midday sunshine, and she could manage her hour-and-half or two hour morning quite well. 
          Ah, but those were the good days. 
          Unfortunately, the rest of the unenlightened world did not operate on this brilliant schedule, and when people talk about "meeting for breakfast", they (for some mysterious reason) assumed it would be before 11AM. They day before Kate and Mister left Colorado (where they were visiting for the first part of their Christmas vacation), they had such a breakfast date. Kate didn't even mind. She always delighted in seeing old college friends, and she remember how excited Andrew and Jamie had been when they had revealed their big news the year before. Now Teddy was 3 and a half months old, and their daughter was about a year and a half. And the parenting and family talk was flying thick over the Denny's breakfast skillets. 
          Teddy smiled and gurgled at the Miller's friends as he stood on Mister's knees. Danielle smiled shyly and pretended to drink coffee like her Mama. Kate watched Danielle and whispered to Mister, "Do you think Teddy needs a baby sister?" 
          After breakfast, Mister went with his parents, cousin, and a few of his siblings to see The Hobbit at the cinema. Kate didn't go. She loved The Hobbit by Tolkein and had very fond memories of her father reading it aloud to James and her as children. But she was completely uninterested in the movie. So, instead, she went to Walmart, bought a pregnancy test and went back to the house to take it. 
          She was pretty sure it wouldn't be positive. Why would it be? Though of course, by the same logic she could have thought "why wouldn't it be?" But she wasn't thinking that, and as she was sitting, waiting for the result, she saw, earlier than she expected, the "positive" line. She was probably imagining it. It's easy to see things if you're looking for them to be there, she thought to herself. But no, she was definitely not imagining it. That, right there, was a banner in one bold blue line, saying, "You're pregnant...again!"          
         Kate stared, wide-eyed. Right in that moment, there was no significance, no calculations. Just raw, life-changing information. Her hand trembled with adrenaline as she dialed Mister's number. 
         "Hi dear," she said, and then paused. "So...I think we are officially a family of four!" 
         "Really?! Hurray! Praise God! That's so exciting." 
         Kate reminded herself to breath, "Yeah. Pretty exciting..." Then she laughed, "I bet your dad will say the same thing as last year..."
         "What was that?" 
         "'You're kidding!'"
         Mister laughed. "I guess we'll find out! Are you feeling okay?"
         "A little shaky, but I'm fine. I'm going to sit down and drink a glass of water and just process for a bit." 
         "Good idea. Well, take care of yourself and I can't wait to see you later!" 
         As she sat and thought about it, Kate realized that she shouldn't have been so surprised. She had been very tired, and feeling sick--not like a cold, but pregnant sick. It was totally reasonable to think she might have been pregnant. But it had been easy enough to explain the signs away by blaming travel or her interrupted morni...err, nights
         That night around the dinner table, they told the Millers their news. Kate would have liked to have more time to process it on her own before sharing, but it was their last night, and she and Mister both valued being able to share big news in person. Just as he had a year and a few days before, Mister took Kate's hand and looked around the table. 
         "So Kate and I have some news," he said. "We're expecting again." 
         "You're kidding!" (That was Dad Miller.) "Wow!!! Is this going to be an annual announcement?" (That was Mom Miller.) 
         Kate burst out in nervous laughter, "Probably not...but you never know."