… is written in shiny, multi-colored letters on a tiny balloon with a stick holding it up proudly, like an inflatable polymer, rainbow PRIDE flag.
I bought this balloon last minute so as to get cash back for a friends/family ticket to the final showing of “50 Shades of Gray: The Musical Parody” later in the evening of September 9, 2017. I had already purchased two pregnancy tests at the CVS Pharmacy next door.
Being only one day late for a period may be typical for many women, but not for me. Since age 9, I have been right on time, spot-on to the day/hour/minute of the expected expulsion. This day, however, felt different. There was a magical buzz of potential in the air. The fact that I was ONE DAY LATE meant so much more because last cycle, the Japanese flag of fertility spotted my undies one week EARLIER than expected. My body knew something was up.
Starting in July, 2017, my gay BFF (the Will to my Grace), Justin, and I did regular cycles of “At Home Insemination’s”. Meaning, he jizzed into a cup and I squirt it into me with a syringe, every 3-5 days, in order to get me pregnant. This nontraditional method was our key to becoming parents together. Many have asked, “why not just have sex?” to which we gently explain, “would you have sex with your brother/sister?” because that is the relationship dynamic between us. I am a lesbian. Justin is a gay man. Why go against nature?
One day late. Just one! But I knew deep inside, my body was changing. Although breast sensitivity is typical of an approaching Aunt Flow, mine were aching. That was different. Also, I didn’t crave my usual Party Size bag of Cheddar n Sour Cream Ruffles, which I always annihilate on the eve of my 6 day panty bloodbath. So many slight changes added up to mean SOMETHING, I was sure of it!
When I arrived at Justin’s parents’ house with the pregnancy tests, Justin laughed at my Welcome BABY balloon, but catered to my fanciful insistence that something was up. He acquiesced to taking a selfie in the driveway, so as not to alert any of his visiting family members what we were up to. I mean, this was our very FIRST pregnancy test. The likelihood of a positive outcome was “un” to the extreme, but we documented it with excitement. Even if it came out negative, this big ol’ lesbian had never had cause to pee on a stick to determine impending motherhood. That, in itself, was a big deal to me. A rite of passage from maidenhood to motherhood, despite the results. I was happy that I went against my urge to just get it over with in the CVS bathroom. “We’ve only been trying for two months,” my brain had scolded, “you’re making a big deal out of nothing.” But I knew it wasn’t nothing. I was hyperventilating in that public restroom for SOME reason, and my brain Yoda soothed me by saying, “With your BFF, you must take the test. Fun, it will be!” And so I heeded my inner Jedi.
With the total nonchalance of two trained actors, I hid the bag of pregnancy tests and we greeted Justin’s aunt, cousin and parents outside on the back patio as though our entire lives weren’t about to change forever. They were having a family BBQ. Just like always. Since Justin the inception of our friendship in 1998, I can’t even count the number of parties, holiday gatherings and birthday celebrations that have been held in that backyard. Justin made up some reason that he and I needed to go upstairs, and we bid the BBQers a “be right back”. The instructions were simple, but we devoured them like holy scripture. Pee on the stick, wait 3 minutes and a YES or NO would appear on the digital screen. Easy peezy, lemon squeezy, right? Brain Yoda had said this would be fun, and the nervous excitement was definitely intoxicating. I was also having a really good hair day, so catching my own eye contact in the mirror was a delight.
“Okay,” I stage-whispered, ready to close the bathroom door, “Here I go. See you in three minutes!”
“I’ll be waiting in here!” Justin screeched from his old room.
Years of drunken helicopter-hovering over many a-toilet in gay clubs honed my urinary aiming skills. I opened the pee stick and ready, aim, FIRED directly onto the spongy end, as instructed. Making sure it was plenty doused, I returned the cap and set the stick down next to the sink to wait out the longest three minutes I’ve ever known. I busied myself with unnecessary makeup adjustments and fiddled with my hair. Certain that only a few seconds had passed, I considered joining Justin in his childhood bedroom to wait out the rest of the time. At a glance, I hardly registered the digital YES in my peripheral. Locking eyes with my reflection, I suddenly experienced tunnel vision.
YES, blared up from the stick. “YES?” my wide eyes queried in my reflection’s disbelief.
“YES,” I whispered to myself, “Whaaaaat thhhhhe FUUUUUUCK???”
This moment was nothing but surreal. My first pregnancy test came back YES?! There must be a mistake. I must have peed on the wrong end. The box had boasted 95% accuracy, but I MUST be in the 5%. My thoughts were so loud at this point, I didn’t even hear Justin knocking at the door, but I needed my best friend to be in on this insanity post haste! I swung the door open, not expecting my expectant bestie to be standing right there. I jumped! He jumped!
“YES!” I spoke.
“Yes, it’s negative?” Justin asked.
“No… YES” was all I could manage to squeak out in reply. I wielded the stick in front of his eyes and watched the shock envelope his entire being as his eyes consumed the (it can’t be, but it IS) YES blaring on the screen. Quickly, Justin entered the bathroom and shut the door swiftly behind him.
“YES?” he repeated.
“I mean… YES!” I blurted, my slow head shake conveying so much more than that one word.
We were suspended in silence for a lifetime until these wizened, matriarchal words formed and escaped my lips,
“Let’s take a selfie”
Whether or not the test was faulty could be instantly proven by the fact that my frugal ass bought two for one tests, which included two sticks each. Many whispered words were exchanged in hurried, yet hushed tones as I insisted that I didn’t have to pee again, but we both needed me to pee again more than anyone has ever had to pee in their lives. Justin flew downstairs and grabbed a water bottle, which I chugged in a millisecond and we recorded the following video (aaaaand you’re about to see me urinate. You’re welcome):
(INSERT VIDEO FOOTAGE OF SECOND PREGNANCY TEST)
It worked. 100% of the pregnancy test sticks I’ve peed on said YES. This lesbian birthed the baby of a gay man which was conceived, sans tradition, surrounded by love.
Welcome BABY. No truer, more prophetic words were ever written upon a balloon. I kept the balloon in my bedroom for the next nine months as my body swelled with life. This balloon continues to be a decoration which hovers near me as a rock, nurse and cuddle with my sweet baby girl, Atlas.
“Welcome BABY” to a world that is ready for this new fashioned family.