Archive for January, 2012

The fan in your room was turned on even in the winter
While you tucked yourself into the down comforter
Pushing to your sides three pillows
That would mold to the shape of your body.

Then came a moment that you couldn’t tell.
And then your phone buzzed and startled you awake.


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I shiver again.
A breeze tickles my neck as
I come back to earth.

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In the woods in the fall as the sun is going down, when you wrap your scarf around your neck a little tighter and shove your hands in your pockets a little deeper.


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David Freese had just dropped another fly ball in Game 6 of the World Series and in a similarly disappointing fashion, my period was 8 days late.  Baseball is so fucking stupid, I thought as I updated my facebook status to this gem: “Pena ajena: Embarrassment you feel watching someone else’s humiliation. Sorry, Cardinals.”  The rest of St. Louis was feeling just about the same, too, as evidenced by the constant updates I saw comparing our boys to little league players or asking TLR for a tryout.  Because even the most athletically challenged could have caught that ball.  With his eyes closed.  Unfortunately, I would not have the same community solidarity on facebook if I announced my frustration with my reproductive organs.

A few weeks before any thoughts of the World Series or unplanned pregnancy set in, I was helping a friend prepare for a presentation.  For a humorous touch in a fairly serious speech, she wanted to tie in her very politically incorrect high school mascot – the Fighting Midget – but was nervous about the possibility that an actual midget would show up at the presentation.  If you know St. Louisans, you know they love to ask where you went to high school.  After we discussed the percentages associated with midget populations in the midwest and threw around a few pros and cons about the situation, she finally declared,  “Well, there will either be a midget, or there won’t!”  Important life advice for all of us to remember, I think.

So when I mentioned to my boyfriend during Game 6 that I was a bit worried about my late period, he responded with the always appropriate and very sensitive thought, “Well, there will either be a midget, or there won’t.”  But literally.  A tiny person.  In my uterus.

As I watched the game and checked for updates online, my Google search history was also beginning to include “signs of pregnancy,” “period symptoms but no period,” “can i test for pregnancy though the internet.”  Each time I squeezed my boobs (still hurting, good sign) or felt a twinge in my abdomen (it’s coming soon!), I was a bit reassured.  Until I read the list of early pregnancy signs, which are the same as PMS, and checked out the message boards.  Don’t do this.  Don’t look at the message boards.  They’re full of well-meaning 14-year-old girls telling other 14-year-old girls that they’re definitely pregnant if they’re in my situation.  Please, 14-year-old girls, stay off the message boards and leave space there for nice lady-doctors to reassure me that there isn’t a little midget swimming around in my belly.

Game Six, as you know, was an emotional roller coaster – the stress of it alone was probably enough to delay anyone’s period for a few weeks.  What I realized then was that I needed a Rally Squirrel for my uterus, a cute and fuzzy little guy who would leap into my life to encourage hope, to push for victory despite the odds, to remind my body never to give up that St. Louis spirit.  And if the Rally Squirrel, or just about any other rally rodent at that point, didn’t show up, I would also be content with a miracle.  ADavid-Freese-home-run-in-the-11th-inning kind of miracle.

The home team won the World Series in its own stadium, as you know, and I celebrated with the rest of them (OMGCanYouBelieveItSuckItRangers!!!!) but the next morning, I knew I had some errands to run.

1.  Pick up pregnancy test, World Series section of St. Louis Post Dispatch because parents live in DC and can’t get it there, some razors because the one I have is getting dull and nicking your legs.

2.  Sandwich the pregnancy test between  other items and hope that the cashier and the people behind you in line just won’t notice the product that indicates you might have had sex.  Silently freak out when pregnancy test doesn’t scan the first time and causes the machine to make that obnoxious error noise.  Why does it take so long for the cashier to type in her password?  And why does everyone in line have to give that disapproving look like my sex life is holding up their day?

3.  Go home and read the directions.  Weigh the pros and cons of holding the test strip under your urine stream versus peeing in a cup.  Choose the stream because you don’t have any plastic cups around, and you don’t want your favorite mug, the only clean cup around, to be a constant reminder of your fertility.

4.  Sit on the toilet, open the test, start to pee, chicken out.  Finish peeing.  Put the cap back on the test.  Throw it away.

5.  Now you know why they sell pregnancy tests in packs of 3.

6.  Drink lots of water from your favorite mug because you have to know. Now.

7.  Check your phone and see you have received more texts that express serious awesomeness about the Cardinals, St. Louis, the Rally Squirrel, the Hometown Kid, or how hungover most people in St. Louis are right now.  Think to yourself, “Maybe if I were pregnant with David Freese’s baby, I wouldn’t be so freaked out.”  Tell yourself that your wishful thinking is ridiculous because you have a boyfriend you love.  Consult Google again.  This time, “Does David Freese have a girlfriend?”

Step 8.  Imagine Skip Schumaker and Albert Pujols giving you a pep talk before you walk into the bathroom again.  Feel like a champion.  Wash your favorite mug and pee in it.  Put test strip in the mug of your urine.  Wait.

Step 9.  HUGE sigh of relief when the test exclaims NOT PREGNANT!!!  Take a picture for your scrapbook.  Celebrate your lack of midget AND a World Series win on the same day.  Thank your deity of choice and promise to name any future (planned) children either David, Albert, or Squirrel.

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I am a dreamer of strange dreams.  Of these I have no control.

I was having Christmas with relatives in a small house that felt like the country but looked like the city.  Our family and friends were in the other room watching tv together.  He and I were in the tiny kitchen washing dishes  and more than a few times, our arms or knees or elbows brushed against one another.  Eventually, we made eye contact when this happened instead of keeping them to ourselves, and we continued without worry.  I was drying a bowl in front of the sink when he grabbed me around the waist to pick me up and move me to the corner of the little kitchen so I wouldn’t be taking up so much space.  He sat down in the kitchen nook, but his arm around my waist lingered there, and mine on his shoulder.  We were laughing and talking about something and he finally said, “So are you just going to admit that you love me already?” and I said, “Would it be okay for me to do that?”  He said yes, so I laughed and smiled and nuzzled his head.  He continued to smile and laugh, and he told me that he loved me, too — why did I think he was so nervous about spending time with me and relating to me and making me happy?  I said, “You always make me so happy.”

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