Thank God for Wedding Day

Ten Reasons I was in Hell for Two Weeks Prior to the Wedding

I had a really hard couple of weeks leading up until St. Patrick’s Day, which was also our wedding day. I will elucidate the reasons. (1) I began working over an hour’s drive away for a lady who, to put it bluntly, made me feel like I was having a nervous breakdown every time I was around her, such was her anxiety and need for control. Why did I start such a job at 18 weeks pregnant with twins, you ask? Well, because (2) I was broke as ever, freaking out about barely having enough money for my own half of the rent, let alone twins on their way in four months. In addition to that stressful job, I had (Reason 3) about five other odd jobs I had agreed to take on weeks ago when I couldn’t find any work at all. So (4) I was spending every second of every day in my car driving around to these jobs, which meant (5) I had no time for exercise or relaxation or taking care of myself. Thus (6) my body felt like it had been in a trash compactor and all the food I ate was what I packed in lunchboxes for myself through the day or what I bought cheaply from some crappy fast food place along the way. I was changing clothes in my car up to three times a day, depending on auditions or gigs I had. I was meditating in my car, crying in my car, aching in my car. On top of that, I have a writing job (not paying yet, but we have a company interested in funding us) that I actually do want to do. Besides spending time with my man, nesting, doing yoga, eating, and sleeping, this is the only thing I actually give a crap about, and (7) because of all this other shit, I was having to wait til the last possible minute to actually get my writing done, constantly feeling like a mess of a human who was letting my writing partners down. So with all of that, in addition to the (8) standard pregnancy symptoms of exhaustion, brain fog ,and hormonal anger/sadness, it’s not surprising that (9) Kai and I were not getting along. I was a total mess, and I wasn’t ever home, but when I was, he was also exhausted from working so much and just couldn’t be there for me like I needed. It was a lot of struggle. I called every therapist, friend, and family member I could for help. Oh and to put the icing on the cake, I had gotten a callback for a very prestigious national commercial a few days before the wedding. Guess when it was shooting? On our wedding day. So in addition to all the aforementioned stress,  (10) I was terrified I might get the job and have no choice, being so poor, but to take it, and have to reschedule our wedding.

 

…Then the Day Came to Save Us

Needless to say, as stressed and hormonal as I was, my expectations weren’t too high for our wedding day. I was glad to be marrying this wonderful man, the father of my children, but I was sure the day itself would be as stressful as every other day I’d been growing accustomed to lately. By the night before, there was no word from the commercial, so I had dodged that bullet. Our wedding would happen as planned. I had also informed Stressful Lady and all my other gigs that Friday I was not available for anything. Also, Kai and I worked out our arguments, understanding that both of us were going through a lot. The night before, I looked back on all my journals since I’d met him and made him a little book of all the entries where I had said I knew he was the one, or dreamed of marrying him. They dated back to four years ago, after we’d been dating only two months.

When the morning came, instead of waking up at 7, I I left my phone on silent and didn’t check any texts (and, yes, there were some asking “Ginger, can you be here at ___ time to do ___ thing for me?” NO.) I woke up beside the love of my life and the sun was shining in the windows. I made us pancakes and he made coffee, and we played acoustic love songs and enjoyed a lazy morning. His parents arrived as we were getting ready. In our finery, we got our things together and left for the courthouse. On the way I pulled some jasmine off one of the vines on 16th Street and fixed my hair in the car. Kai looked so handsome, and I felt as pretty as I ever have, as if my growing excitement was shining from within. I couldn’t believe how smoothly and stress-free this all was going.

We could only invite twenty people, and those were all family members or our oldest and closest L.A. friends–the ones we’ve shared the good and bad with over the years–and it began to dawn on us how special this getting married thing actually was. Where before, we knew our level of commitment, now, all these people we cared about were so excited for us. Now they knew, too. Even strangers on the street would clap and congratulate us as we passed. It felt like the whole world was rooting for our love, and nothing has ever felt more right.

I was so glad we didn’t have some overblown, shallow wedding with music and bridesmaids’ dresses and a party with a DJ. I really just wanted him, and he wanted me, and it just so happened that there were a few other people who cared to share these moments with us. We ate at a Santa Monica restaurant afterward, and then walked down to Ocean Avenue to our little surf hotel, where the nice guy working there had upgraded us to their largest suite because he was also rooting for our love. Our friends and family drank a little, and I got to have a glass of champagne, and we talked for a couple hours, then they left us to slow dance alone in our room, husband and wife.

In my journal three years ago, I had said that our wedding day would be one of the happiest days of my life. I have never experienced anything like it before, but I was right. Neither of us could stop smiling, and it still feels beautifully surreal to be a “real” family.

Live Reactions to an Unplanned Pregnancy

I’m 15-and-a-half weeks pregnant now, and we’ve sent out little twin announcements to family and friends, though we haven’t told the world at large yet. (I’m planning on doing that this week, after my next ultrasound.)

My belly popped out a little this week. It’s only noticeable if I wear something tight, but I’m showing just enough to merit the “is she or isn’t she” stares, especially from people I haven’t seen in a while. So I’ve been telling the news to all the gawkers, partly because I’m excited, partly because I hate pity-looks from those who think I’ve “let myself go.” This means I’ve told all different kinds of people by word-of-mouth. And I’ve received all different kinds of reactions.

Here are the types of reactions I welcome:
-“Congratulations! You’re going to be such a great mom!” (Aw. Thank you. I am reading all the books.)
-“Do you know if they’re fraternal or identical? Do you know the genders?” (Not yet, but they’re in two separate sacs with separate placentas. Hopefully we will know the genders soon.)
-“Those are going to be some gorgeous babies.” (My fiancé is breathtakingly handsome. Thank you.)
-“When did you find out? When are you due?” (We found out about the pregnancy in December, the twins in February. We’re due in August.)
-“Is your family excited?” (So excited. My parents are going to go from having zero grandchildren to three!)
-“I’ve always wanted twins. Or to be a twin.” (I’ve never thought about that, but it does sound pretty cool.)

Here are the types of comments that are pretty irritating: 
-“Congratulations. I think. You’re keeping them, right?” (Dude, if I wasn’t keeping them, why would I be announcing this to you?)
-*Blank stare* (Well, you suck.)
-“Did you get in-vitro?” (Nope. The whole pregnancy was unplanned. But thanks for your concern about my possible infertility.)
-“Don’t even think about lifting that! Put that down!” (I’m pregnant; I’m not an invalid for God’s sake! If this thing I’m lifting was too heavy for me, trust me: I wouldn’t be lifting it.)
-“Kai must be one potent guy.” (Yes, he is. But I drop two eggs and you don’t give me any credit for potency?)
-“I thought that’s why you might have gotten engaged.” (Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence. You’re right: Kai would definitely never marry me unless he was forced to at shotgun.)
-“Get ready to never sleep again!” (Get ready for my fist in your face!)
-“Well, get ready for your stomach to be sliced open.” (Actually, 56 percent of twin moms deliver both twins vaginally.)
-“You’re going to gain so much weight!” (Yeah, and I’m going to lose it when I’m burning 1,000 calories a day breastfeeding TWINS.)

Divine Timing – I’m Engaged

I have gone from the dregs of despair to feeling like I’ve won life’s lottery.

We drove up the coast to one of our favorite spots, Solstice Canyon. We were both free and Kai suggested we go for a hike.

The sky was sharp cerulean. All the hills were green from the past few months of rain, and the sun was bright. We found our path and began walking up the steep hills, where the still-damp dirt was washed through with crevasses we had to hop over. We talked, then just climbed.

I get winded a little easier since I’ve been carrying these little babies, but it felt good to breathe hard. Everything smelled like Eucalyptus and Rosemary. We stopped here and there to take in the view. Kai took selfies of us, which is usually more my job.

Near the top of the mountain we strayed from the path and followed a tiny trail through the brambles that led to the peak. The peak was a grassy meadow with a seascape on all sides. The ocean was a deep sapphire, dappled with light. We sat down in the grass and let the sun warm our faces.

We both meditate for 24 minutes every day, and sitting surrounded by nature, this seemed like the perfect place. He set his watch and we closed our eyes, and heard wind rustling, birds chirping, and the occasional small plane fly by. I fell into my own breath, and soon was roused by the beep.

I opened my eyes.

He was on one knee.

I looked at him, taking note of his amber-green eyes. He was really seeing me. And he was on one knee. The breeze blew.

He said, “Will you marry me?”

Tears came to my eyes. “Are you serious?” I think I said, and as he told me he was, I said, “yes!” And more tears came. I hugged him.

“I love you,” I said. “I have known you’re what I wanted since we met.”

“I love you too,” he said. “But you still haven’t answered my question.”

“Yes I did,” I said. “Yes! Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.”

He hugged me more. He told me he had asked my parents’ blessing over Christmas, and I thought of how, at Christmas, I had, in a hormonal fit, reamed him up one side and down the other for saying the wrong thing on the car ride to Kentucky. It had taken me days to forgive myself. I couldn’t believe he could love me past that enough to know he wanted to marry me.

He held out some ring-shaped blue plastic. “I wish I had the ring. I’ve picked one out, I just didn’t know what size you were, and I tried every way I could to figure it out. Can you try these on?”

I didn’t care, I told him, if I even got a ring. Yes, it would be nice to have that symbol to look at when I’m feeling low, but he was my prize. I couldn’t stop smiling as I tried them on. “I feel so precious, like a little doll right now,” I said.

“You are so precious.”

He told me that for months, he had been talking to his cousin and to one of his friends about proposing, telling them he’d probably do it within six months to a year. He said that one night after a discussion with them, he actually went online and started searching for rings.

The next day, he said, was the day we found out I was pregnant.

And like that, I have gone from a single gal who worries about dying alone, to a woman on the verge of having my ideal husband and two children at once. Divine timing is real, it turns out.

Miracle/Coincidence: How I Found Out

One sunny, clear day a couple of months ago, I was running errands, feeling energetic and cheerful.

I got a phone call from my little sister. (My sister is 29 and lives a couple thousand miles away from me, but we are very close.) She said she had something surprising to tell me. “How would you like…to be an aunt?” she said.

My eyes welled up at the stoplight. “Are you serious?” I asked. I was surprised because my sister was, at the time, training daily to get her black belt in Krav Maga. She hasn’t spent much time talking about a desire for children. Also, she’s in a relationship with a bloke she’s frequently been unsure about. Nonetheless, I felt a surge of happiness on her behalf when she confirmed it was true. “Are you happy about it?”

She told me she was. “You know what’s strange?” I said. “I am very attuned to my cycles and all that, and I’ve been waiting four days for my period.”

“Wouldn’t that be weird?” she said.

“Yeah. But it’s probably just stress or something.”

Inside the grocery store, I called my boyfriend and told him the news. He was also surprised, but seemed positive about it. I didn’t tell him that I myself was purchasing a two-pack of home pregnancy tests.

Back at home in our little one bedroom apartment, he was sitting at the desk doing some homework for a class he’s taking. I walked past him into the bathroom with the little box.

“Are you taking a pregnancy test?” He sounded shaky.

“Yeah. But don’t worry. It’s just to make sure.”

I peed on the little stick, whose tip reminded me of one of those invisible ink markers from elementary school. I put the cap on it and set it on the sink while I waited atop the closed toilet seat, watching it.

The first line appeared immediately. And in only a matter of seconds, a faint second line was starting to materialize. I thought it was my imagination. But a few seconds later, the second line was almost as dark as the first. I referred to the box as a guide. “Two lines = pregnant.”

My heart stopped. I didn’t know how to feel.

I walked outside the bathroom and set the positive test in front of my boyfriend at the computer. Then I began pacing. “Oh my God. What the heck? How?” I was bewildered. My sister had just told me about her pregnancy an hour ago, which was enough of a shock, and now this?

My boyfriend said, “Is this a joke?”

“No,” I said.

“How did it happen?”

“I don’t know!” I felt a spark of happiness but also a flood of terror. I didn’t want to appear too happy, in case he wasn’t happy. For some reason I worried he’d think that I planned this without him, since technically I’m the one who is supposed to be vigilant with charting my temperature and cervical fluid and making sure we use birth control accordingly. I flopped face down on the bed. Then I sat up again and looked at him.

His face looked disoriented for a second, but then a smile broke through. “Well,” he said, “I guess we’re doing this.”

I walked over and hugged him tightly. He hugged me back. Something in me felt like I should apologize, God knows why. I didn’t. I just looked at his gorgeous face and breathed it in, not knowing what to say. Then I got up and poured myself a glass of water.

“I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to finish this homework before I can really process this,” he said, turning back to his books.

I took a picture of the positive test and texted it to my sister with the message You’re never going to believe this.