Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Preggo


Well, dear reader, I am with child.  I am pregnant, preggo, knocked up, pg, have a bun in the oven, whatever you want to call it, I am expecting a baby.  Apparently I have reached the stage in my life where I have decided to make the ultimate commitment and have a child.  Considering that most mornings I can’t even commit to a hairstyle, this is a pretty big deal for me.  On the one hand, I appear to be in a place in my life where this seems to be a rational, adult decision: I’m married, I no longer live in a studio apartment on a questionable block in East Hollywood, and I’ve learned to save money instead of buying shoes.  On the other hand I don’t really feel “grown-up”, I tell jokes about sex for living, and I still haven’t gotten comfortable reacting to a positive pregnancy test with joy instead of horror. 

As I’m sure you can imagine, a woman with my checkered past has experienced her share of pregnancy scares.  Despite the fact that teen pregnancy seemed to rip through my high school faster than a bad case of head lice, it’s a miracle that I managed to make it to the age of 18 with an unmolested uterus.  However, I apparently felt it was my duty to make up for this fact when I moved to New York for college.  In my oh-so-impressive quest to sleep with every single sleazy and inappropriate man on the island of Manhattan (as well as several from the outer boroughs), I often found myself whiling away the hours at NYU health services sheepishly explaining my reckless lifestyle and how exactly I forgot to take my birth control pill yet again.

My first pregnancy scare happened just a month or two after moving to New York.  At the time I was “dating” a guy who was an older, somewhat successful talent manager, who had several bad habits that included not returning phone calls and a cocaine addiction.  While I didn’t find Mitch’s late-eighties hairdo and booze-bloated figure particularly attractive, I did get turned on by his Platinum Amex and his willingness to share his stash of blow.  Mitch and I went out for a few dinners followed by some extremely mediocre sex, after which Mitch did blow off of his nightstand.  Several weeks in to my “relationship” with Mitch, I realized that my period was six days late.  Ok, I admit it, I wasn’t the most responsible person when it came to remembering to take my birth control pill or enforcing the whole “no glove, no love thing.”  Yes, I am horrified by this now that I am older, somewhat more responsible, and trying to imagine how I’m going to explain my dangerous and embarrassing behavior to my offspring.  But at the time I was more horrified by the fact that I might be carrying the child of a coke fiend who’s last name I didn’t even know.  When I called Mitch to tell him my period was late, I tried to be calm and not turn into the screaming harpie I was on the brink of becoming.  I said, “Mitch, I just want you to know that my period is late and there’s a chance I might be pregnant.  I’m going to health services this afternoon to find out.”  I can still hear Mitch’s response in my head, all these years later.  “ I’m sure you’re sleeping with lots of other guys and just want pin this on me.  Don’t bother calling me if you are pregnant, because it’s not my problem.  In fact, don’t bother calling me ever again.”  In point of fact, I wasn’t actually sleeping with anyone else, but being accused of doing so made me feel dirtier than when I’d done it with Mitch in the alley behind his office. 

When I hung up the phone, I felt as though I was in an ABC after school special about what happens when you don’t practice safe sex.  Here I was, 18 years old, alone except for some friends I’d only known two months, and accused of being a dirty whore by the one person who was willing to sleep with me but not take responsibility for what could happen.  Mitch may have been living in the adult world but he sure as hell didn’t act like an adult.

When the nurse at health services told me that I wasn’t pregnant, I cried with relief, and later, as I danced home through Washington Square Park, I vowed that I would never again sleep with a guy like Mitch.  Of course, I tend to be a bit of a slow learner, so it took me many years, many horrible relationships, and one pregnancy scare that didn’t end so happily for me to finally get it right.  So I guess I’m as ready as I’ll ever be to have a child.  I just hope that if it’s a girl she has better taste in men than her Mother.  

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