It is so funny how one's life can change in an instant.
Let me tell you my story.
On April 8th, I met with a friend for lunch. It was quite pleasant--good raw sushi, cold Sapporo beer. In The Neon was released in electronic format that morning, and the print edition would soon follow. Sitting in a nice Japanese bistro, chatting about life in general, how my new writing and work on my new graphic novel version of Black Dog and Rebel Rose was going. How my husband was doing getting ready for the state bar.
Less than an hour later, I would find myself in a bathroom stall, clutching a home pregnancy test. Two cobalt blue lines staring up at me, glaring, announcing in no uncertain terms, "I'm here, so get used to it."
Well, good thing that Sapporo had hit the spot so nicely--it would be the last beer for quite a while. Nine months, to be exact.
Funny thing is that I didn't take the pregnancy test for any specific reason--it simply "felt right", and since I had a home pregger test in my purse for "emergencies", I thought, why not? My boobs had been tender for a few days, and I just felt wonky. Within five minutes of unwrapping that test, I was sitting on a public toilet, shaking and crying, feeling this odd tumultuous blend of extreme joy and insane trepidation. I dragged my friend into the bathroom, and she confirmed what those two little blue lines so strongly evinced: I was pregnant, expecting the first child that this tattooed artsy fart had been dreaming of since she was 12 years old.
The weeks since have been a whirlwind. Family has been called, tears of joy and worry have been shed. My parents are practically jumping for joy at the prospect of this first grandchild--in his early 60s, I think my dad was starting to wonder if he'd ever be a grandpa! There have been some very worrisome times--I have been in the emergency room twice with unexplained bleeding, where I awoke in the wee hours with red blood pouring down my legs in a torrent. Every time, the sonogram has found that precious heartbeat, throbbing with a hardcore will on the murky black and grey screen, a sure sign that my unborn child is alive and well. Bedrest has been ordered from time to time, sometimes for up to 6 days at a time, leaving me sore, cranky, and bored.
The fear remains, and praying for a healthy outcome continues.
I now face that strange state that many creative women might find themselves in at some point, be it sooner or later: Artist/Mother. As I nurture a new life due to make its entrance in December, I continue to try and nurture my creativity: keeping a stack of drawing paper and my laptop by the bed, plugging away when the creative need strikes and the muse is allowed to break through the fog of morning sickness and exhaustion.
Humor has gotten us through a few of the rough spots: my husband, Aaron, and I have come up with a list of new nicknames with every sonogram. When I first discerned the blip that was our offspring on the first sonogram picture, I thought, "Oh, look, an alien shrimp." As the weeks have passed and our lil' bub has grown to look a wee bit more human, a slew of nicknames have cropped up like moss on river stones: Shrimp/Shrimpie Smith, Krill Smith, Escargot Smith (a personal favorite), Pulpo/Pulpito (octopus/little squid). My husband lovingly hogs each new sonogram image, trying to come up with yet another nickname for what the baby looks like at that point. I'm beginning to picture a baby book detailing "how your mommy and daddy continually refered to you as an edible".
Ultimately, I have begun to look at this little miracle sprouting in my belly as the greatest artwork that I have yet brought to life--as a fellow author told me, "the act of natural creation is worth a thousand published novels."
I couldn't agree more.