The Thin Pink Line

With my period a day overdue, I plunged the magic wand into a jar of urine and held my breath. Two pink lines grew on the blotting paper. I was pregnant.

I didn't think about miscarriage or other mishaps. Such things happened to others, not good Irish Catholic breeding stock like me. I was pregnant, ergo I was having a baby.

The relief was proportionate to the despair that existed before I feel pregnant. Every cell of my body seemed to let go a collective sigh of relief. The long slow panic that had risen over years suddenly disappeared clear off my radar. And into the vacuum rose a mad, dancing joy.

Photo of Vanessa and MichaelThe only thing that was scary about being pregnant was telling Michael. He was still overseas so I had a few weeks to prepare for the moment. When it came, we were lying in bed the morning after he had returned, talking vaguely about life as I distractedly tried to recall my neatly rehearsed phrases. But there was, I realised, no easy way to break the news.

'Um, I have something to tell you and I'm not sure how you'll feel about it. Umm...I'm pregnant.'

There are hundreds of these scenes in cheesy black-and-white movies.

Scenes where our heroine, Doris Day or Elizabeth Taylor, tells her beloved they are expecting a baby. She has set a beautiful table and is immaculately groomed in her tight-waisted frock. She coyly lets him know there will soon be three in the family, and Jimmy Stewart or Cary Grant rises from the table in surprised joy, comically upending something as he rushes to her side and says, 'Are you sure?' And she says, 'Yes ', and he says, 'Well,this is wonderful news.' And they laugh and he immediately begins to fuss over her,wanting her to sit down and put her feet up or stop carrying
that platter, and it 's all an hilarious pantomime of elation. I had always longed for such a moment in my cheesy old soul.

Instead, Michael lay his head back on the pillow and grasped his hair, pulling it like he was scalping himself.

Photo of Vanessa confronted'Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!' was all he could say for a full five minutes. It was not joy. It was not Jimmy Stewart or Cary Grant.

For Michael, it was more a schlock horror movie.

'Oh my God! Oh my God! Are you sure? Oh my God,Vanessa!'

I had dropped the bomb first.

Love's Revolution

Commemorating Loss

Journal - October 2000


Soiled Blessings