Monday, February 06, 2006

I'm Pregnant

Author's Note: I'm going to start posting fragments of a story I'm writing, and if you start at this post, and then work toward the most recent, you should eventually get the whole story. When it's done, I'll post it all together as a big story. The story comes from a joke that never happened, and probably shouldn't have.
Alicia had been pregnant for almost two weeks, but had only just realized it after two or three mornings in a row of retching into the toilet. Well, to be honest, she was gagging herself to the point of throwing up. She was actually waking up sick to her stomach and thought she might as well get it over with. Alicia hadn't told her husband yet, and since his birthday was only a few days off, she decided to wait and surprise him.

This morning was no different than the others, and she had almost settled into a routine. It was 6:30 when the alarm first went off. Without opening her eyes, she rolled over; her arm snaked out from under the covers and her hand found the snooze button in the same place it had been every morning for years. She checked every minute or so to see how long she had left before the alarm went off again; each time, burying her head under the covers, avoiding the sun and the morning that would inevitably make her sick. As it was, something was twisting her stomach like someone wringing out a sponge. Her husband, Matt, shook her from his side of the bed, "Honey...Honey...You've gotta get up."


"Yes, you do," he said, a little more firmly. "You are going to be late."

She thought about it, albeit not deeply, and replied, "I'll take a short shower. I can stay for one more snooze."

Her husband shook her again and propped his head up on his elbow, "You and I both know that's not true. Especially this week--You've been taking a lot longer to get ready."

Alicia, sensing the direction the conversation was going, started to roll out of bed and let her knees hit the ground. "All right. All right. But if I have to get up, you should too. " And then she picked up the alarm clock from the desk and put it on the floor, several feet from the bed. On the way to the bathroom her stomach jumped and churned, as per the routine. She decided, again, as she walked to the bathroom, that women had definitely gotten the raw end of the deal when it came to reproduction. As her stomach gave a particularly hard lurch, she ran the last three steps, sank to her knees in front of the toilet, slammed the door, and turned on the fan. She flipped up the lid and seat, and stared at the water in the bowl.

Some people, when they feel sick, can stare at a toilet bowl, smell the lysol spray you use to clean up later, and vomit almost on command. Others, however, and Alicia was one of these, cannot; these have to wait for their stomachs to work up to vomiting. Alicia stared at the water wishing she could just throw up and feel better and move on with the day. After a minute or two and a few half-heaves she gave up waiting. She held her long, dark hair with her left hand and reached an index finger back as far in her mouth as it would go, and pressed up against her soft palettle. She coughed once; gagged once; gagged again, and then felt her stomach heave. Alicia caught the rim of the toilet with her hand and stedied herself while emptying the contents of her stomach.

After emptying her stomach, and when she was sure there was no more, she took a hot shower and let the water run over her back and especially her abdomen, which was still sore from so many days in a row of vomiting.

--stay tuned--

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