Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Pregnancy Carol. Part the Finalth.

I woke the next morning, feeling just fine, and wondered whether what I’d experienced was simply an unusual dream. Hadn’t the Ghost of Past Me mentioned that a third ghost would visit? But she hadn’t come.

I didn’t mind; I had been given enough to think about. The images that the other two had shown me remained starkly vivid throughout the day. And while part of me still hoped to be pregnant, that desire was shrinking. There was no doubt about it.

With Brian at work and Bo sleeping next to the couch, I stood at the kitchen sink and took in the view from my window. The spring growth in the woods behind our house expressed itself in lime-green sprays of new leaves, backlit by the mid-morning sun. Birds sang in the distance, and I saw a few hop from branch to branch, but otherwise, the woods seemed perfectly still. Inside, the only movement was the steam from my coffee, rising in curls and wafting into the shadows of the kitchen. For once, instead of complaining about the lack of children’s voices, I savored the quiet.

A voice behind me spoke. “Maegan!”

Startled, I dropped my coffee mug into the sink and whirled around.

“Maegan?” I replied. The woman standing behind me had a child balanced on her hip, its face burrowed into her shoulder, snuggling tightly. And its mother looked exactly like me.

“Is that my baby?” I asked excitedly. I took a step toward the ghost, but she backed away. “You’re not allowed to see the face of your future children!” she admonished.

“But I saw the face of my baby girl last night.”

“That was the face of a baby girl you might have had. But this is your baby – my baby – your real and honest future child.”

“So the reason I could see that baby last night was because she won’t ever exist?” There was a pause before the woman slowly nodded. I leaned back against the counter. “I’m not pregnant right now, am I?”

“What do you think?”

I shrugged. “I don’t know. I guess I’ll find out soon enough. But what are you here to show me?”

“I’m not here to show you anything. I just came to tell you that waiting a couple more years – it’s going to be a good thing. For one thing, you should stop the stupid panic about having babies ‘when all your friends are having them.’ Your friends, they’ll have more babies, you’ll have women to be pregnant with. And your children won’t have a shortage of kids to play with. Secondly, every month that passes makes you more prepared to be a mother. Don’t waste this time. You need to learn, grow, travel, develop. God has a plan for you for the next few years.”

“What is it?” I asked eagerly.

“I can’t tell you that. I can’t show you anything about your future other than the fact that one day, you will have children. Trust me. But I can tell you the sweetest thing you’ll experience when you wait.”


“Let me ask you this: if you were pregnant now, it would sure be a one-up on Brian, wouldn’t it? It would be the fact that God answered your prayers and not his, that you knew better than he did, and that now he’s got to live with the pregnancy whether he likes it or not. So do you really want that dynamic in your home, with the resentment and bitterness that’ll come with it?”

“But Brian would get over his disappointment, wouldn’t he?”

She shrugged. “Probably. But you know you love him too much to be exhilarated about something he so fervently did not want. You think you would have bliss, but the reality is – you would feel guilty. And you’d feel like you single-handedly brought this on the two of you, with all your secret prayers and complaints to Brian about not having a baby. You know it’s true – it would be the pregnancy that you wanted. Just you.”

“I see.” I paused to collect my thoughts. “But won’t it be that way no matter when we get pregnant? I mean, he’s so against it right now that I can’t imagine him doing a complete one-eighty in only a couple of years.”

She laughed. “That’s stupid, Maegan. Of course he will be excited. And that is going to be the sweetest thing about waiting. When you see those two lines on the pregnancy test, and you walk out of the bathroom with a glow on your face, and he’s in bed, leaning back against the pillows, and you see his face light up too – let me tell you, that moment is going to be on your lifetime list of top memories. And when you begin it together – you waited together, you wanted it together, you’re excited about it together – trust me, it’s going to be better than you imagined. Just trust me.”

And she vanished. And then I realized what the three ghosts had been telling me. The future was coming soon enough. The children were on their way – it would only be a matter of time. But what I had now was and always would be the most precious thing on earth to me – a man who chose me, who loved me, who wanted the absolute best for us. And I suddenly realized: I wanted what he wanted. That was how it was supposed to be.


I wasn’t pregnant. But the spirits had done their work. No longer Scrooge, I waltzed around the room, laughing, poking my bewildered husband. “What day is it, my fine fellow?” I asked.

“Um, it’s Saturday,” he replied, raising his eyebrows.

“Saturday? Saturday! Of course it is! And I’m not pregnant! We can do anything we like. Of course we can! (What an intelligent man, a fine husband! Pleasure to talk to him!) Hallo, my fine fellow!”


“Come give me a hug. Give it to me quick, and I’ll give you the best years of my life.”

He didn’t know what was happening, but he wrapped his arms around me and he squeezed tightly. “I love you,” he said. His beard scratched against my ear and I smiled.

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