I'm pregnant again. I've got a bump, sure enough, but it's a small one. I figure I'm four months along. I keep reaching down to hold my belly because it feels fragile. I'm afraid that every movement and every surge of emotion is going to hurt what's in there.
My middle-school best friend Wendy S. and I are making our way through a run-down Goodwill, looking at the wares and talking about the baby. I get the sense that Wendy is wise when it comes to the ways of childbearing (this is probably true, since she has at least one kid in real life), even though she is the spitting image of how she looked in middle school — buoyant dirty blonde hair, flirty blue eyes, cushy lips and big teeth.
Suddenly there is a tumbly fluttery feeling in my gut, over to the right side, down low. I realize the baby has kicked (can babies kick at four months?), and I have a moment where I'm awestruck (it's alive!) and then worried (is everything OK in there?) and then freaked out (something inside me just moved without my permission). It slowly dawns on me that I don't want to have a baby. I'm not ready for the constant round-the-clock mommying or the enormous responsibility. I'm not ready to give birth, period. It's all moving too fast, and I don't remember making the decision to get pregnant anyway.
I'm back in a bedroom — it feels like my childhood bedroom remodeled, with a huge and impractically tall bed — and I get a phone call. It's Tamara. She asks what I'm doing this weekend.
"I'm going home, actually," I tell her with a tinge of remorse, eyeing my belly in the mirror. "I'm expecting again." (And then I realize that I've either had a baby or been pregnant before, or maybe my brain was referring to my last pregnancy dream.)
She's a bit incredulous, and asks me how that happened.
I start to think about it, and realize that I have no idea. Not only do I not know who the father is, but, once again (just like the last dream), I can't even remember the last time I had sex. "I just got off my period, too," I tell her in a final flourish of TMI. It occurs to me that I'm either psychosomatically pregnant or I'm carrying the lord's child. Which is worse, I don't know.
But I felt it kick.