We are the most blessed family alive. We were made for our time, where some beautiful things take place that shatter the chains of prejudice. Our life is that of love, and we always live according to the heart. And because babies.
The Ladies have each been given a ring. We’re all artistic, and Edward wants for our rings to be the best he can give and customized to the pieces of his heart we each fill. Until he can afford the rings he dreams for us, we have ‘temporaries’. Bailey’s is a round amber set in gold, mine a pair of flowers and leaves framed with a vine in silver. Alice had felt compelled to buy it at a yard sale years before she set eyes on me, and it is the only ring I’ve ever tried on that fit my ring finger. We suspect that it was made as a toe ring. The soldered joint on Bailey’s failed one day, and we couldn’t afford to repair it due to pouring our incomes into rescuing the girls from Alice’s parents’ custody.
I have mentioned earlier in my blog that I believed for a time that I did not want kids. After meeting Edward, I came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t mind having (one or two of) Edward’s kids, waaaaay in the future. Our plans are not God’s plans, as Guinevere reminded me.
I watched over my body as though examining the facets of a gem for about two weeks after expecting my cycle to start, before deciding to make a bold announcement when Edward offered for me to sample a cocktail he’d invented. I called Alice from the couch to the bedroom. Bailey was already perched at the far corner of the bed texting, and Edward was waiting for a Star Wars game to load on his computer. I dropped the bomb: “Guys, I’m pregnant!”
Alice did the cliché and supportive gasp, exclaiming, “Oh my God!”, eyes filling with tears of joy. Edward’s jaw dropped and his eyebrows rearranged in his awkward state of shock, the computer blasted the Imperial March, and Bailey angrily shot up and stormed out of the room, slamming the bedroom door, and then the bathroom door a second later. Alice tried to compensate for Bailey’s reaction by running over to give me a hug, squealing at the thrill of having another baby. Ed went after Bailey to console her, assuring me that it wasn’t that he wasn’t thrilled, just that Bailey really wanted a baby and felt hurt that I was having one before her. That’s not what she had told me last week, I thought as I recalled a conversation I’d had with her in the car, where she shared her relief of not having a child yet. She has a tendency of telling me and Ed different things. What she had told Ed was that not having a ring or a baby made her feel like the ‘woman on the side’ people accused her (and me) of being.
To help Bailey with her raging emotions when Ed was out of town on the business trip, I wanted to make for her another ‘temporary’, but Edward beat me to it when he presented her with a ‘permanent’. “You had a baby first, so she gets a ring first,” he explained. I never saw it as a competition and didn’t need for him to explain himself to me, but he’s very considerate of making sure that no one feels left out. Knowing that Bailey was going through a hard time, I made sure that I let her know that I supported her. I started on a pair of baby booties in her favorite color, since the ring idea was useless now.
One evening we were unwinding for bed, playing ‘ketchup’, as we call it when we catch up on what’s going on with us. Bailey examined the back of her hand, looking over the orange heart-shaped facet gem set in gold. I knew it made her feel more valued to have it. “I’m glad you got a ring,”
“Thanks. Now I just need a baby and it’ll be even.”
Her words stung me, as I wondered if she felt like I was competition, and not her wife. “It’s not about being even,” I retorted, trying not to let the pain show in my tone. Edward made his move to cheer her up as she buried her face into the pillow. I whispered my forgiveness under my breath.
Whatever I was working on at the time (did it have something to do with reading up on blogs in WordPress?) didn’t matter once the bedroom door was thrown open. Bailey stood in the open doorway. “I’m pregnant,” she announced, triumphant. I don’t understand that strong desire to have a child, but I love her, and I did everything I thought I should to let her know that I was happy
for her with her.
There were many points during my pregnancy where the mood swings dipped into depression, and I was upset over feeling left out, controlled by restrictions placed on me by the pregnancy and the limits of my body, and progressively hating my physical condition more and more. Bailey once responded to my complaints, “If I were having a baby, I wouldn’t care about being fat.”
Now I think to myself, just you wait, Bailey. I’ll remind you.