How do you act out pregnancy test? I was standing across the counter from a puzzled pharmacy worker in Myanmar. I rounded my hand over my belly and rocked my arms like I was holding a baby. Lightbulb! The woman went behind the counter and brought out a prenatal vitamin. Almost… I rounded my belly again, and then put my hands up like I was asking a question and kept saying “I don’t know?” Belly round, hands up, belly round, hands up. Another lightbulb! She went behind the counter again and this time she brought back a pregnancy test. I bought two. $1/a piece. I put them into my deep pockets and went back to our hotel.
It was 3 in the afternoon. Everything I’d read online said to test first thing in the morning, but I took it anyways. Positive almost immediately. I was giddy. Somehow I knew it already, but the test made it real. I looked at the calendar, I did a lot of googling, and I found out our baby was the size of a sesame seed – 5 weeks along.
Colin was in the hotel courtyard reading. We were planning to find a perch on one of the many temples in Bagan and watch the sunset that night. I picked a few sesame seeds off of the candy we bought that afternoon and planned to tell Colin that evening. I could barely keep the news in, but at the same I knew this was going to throw Colin for a huge loop and I was a little nervous to tell him.
We hopped on our rented motorbike and revved onto the thin asphalt strip of road. The sun was creeping closer to the horizon while we searched for a good perch. My heart was excited to tell Colin. We climbed up the tiny steps just in time to watch the sun turn red. There was another group on the temple and It was hard to ignore them – 6 or so 22ish year olds traveling alone or in pairs swapping hook-up and drinking stories. Totally killing my baby reveal mood! We stayed past sunset and so did they. When we left it was almost too dark to navigate down the temple. The little sesame seed in my pocket and my belly would have to wait.
Back in our hotel room that night I told Colin we should play 20 questions and I’d go first. I was thinking of our baby and Colin was asking questions. I got a little too caught up in the competitive spirit of the game and by twelve questions Colin was stumped. “So it’s someone in this country, but you don’t know if it’s a man or a woman, and they are very young..Ariel, I have no idea.” “Colin,” I said, getting smiley. My heart starting to pump faster. “It’s our baby! I’m pregnant!” It took another minute for me to convince Colin that I was serious. He couldn’t believe it. His eyes were big. He was in shock. He rolled back onto his back and I could see a million thoughts racing. I also had a million thoughts bouncing around my brain, but I could not be more excited for this little human to come into our lives. That moment was classic Ariel and Colin – Ariel so excited for what’s next that she has no space to look backwards or mourn for what’s lost while Colin feels the full impact of what he is leaving behind and approaches change with trepidation.
From that day on two became three and that little sesame seed would make its presence known and felt from that day forward. Cue sickness the next day.