Author's Note: So, I am surrounded by people having babies. There are babies all over my facebook, babies coming in the next few months, babies on my TV shows. Babies, babies, everywhere! And I couldn't resist. I will be finishing Coping and Every Road, but I hope y'all enjoy this little (okay, not so little. This is gonna be another loooooong one) trip down pregnancy lane with Charlotte and Cooper.
She should've known. She should've known, what with the way she'd been weepin' over Cooper and shovelin' in Chunky Monkey that somethin' was up. This wasn't the way she'd dealt with heartache before, not that her marriage fallin' apart could be compared to a breakup with a man she'd only just realized she was in love with.
Somethin' was up.
She'd told herself the exhaustion was from slavin' away at two jobs, from the stress of opening a practice, and the stress of secret-keepin'. She'd told herself her boobs hurt because her period was comin', and it was worse this month just because. Some months are worse than others, right? That's just the way it goes. Part and parcel of the whole estrogen parade.
She'd told herself all of that until Cooper Freedman had told her she was pregnant. And she'd refused to believe it, until she was puking her guts up again, some more, three times the night before, and damnit if she was pregnant, wasn't it supposed to be called "morning sickness" for a reason?
Still, she'd been almost hopeful — irrationally, crazy-headed hopeful — that the pregnancy test she'd taken with Cooper would be positive. Not that she has time for a baby right now, because she doesn't. She doesn't have the time, or the desire, and to be honest she's not entirely sure she wouldn't make an absolutely horrible mother. But standin' there, with him, talkin' about baby names, and workin' things out… well, she has to admit she'd wanted it just a little for a minute there.
Maybe it was just the way he'd been lookin' at her like she wasn't awful. For once. But all that came crashing down good and hard with the clear, blue minus sign on the test. Not pregnant. No baby. And any ideas she'd had about reconciliation went flyin' out the window when she'd tried to make nice at the end of the day. He'd made it perfectly clear that he didn't want a damned thing to do with her unless she was pregnant. And she wasn't. But halfway through her commute home, the nausea came on in a wave again, and…
Call it disappointment, call it hope, call it stupid, useless love. Call it a mother's intuition (dear God, that's terrifyin'), but somethin' possessed her on the way home to stop at the drug store and pick up two more tests. Just coverin' her bases, of course. False positives do happen, right?
When the first test came up positive, she went lightheaded, her belly suddenly hot with nerves, fingers suddenly icy cold and shaky as she'd fumbled for the cup next to the bathroom sink. She'd filled it and guzzled it once, twice, a third time, then grabbed box number two and torn it open.
Now she's sittin' here, perched on the closed toilet seat and watchin' the hands tick on her watch until enough time has passed.
When she sees another menacing little plus sign staring back up at her, she presses her hands to her belly and mutters, "Shit."
Looks like she's pregnant after all.