That Baby by Jillian Dodd: A Sneak Peek

The following is an unedited sneak peek of the upcoming That Baby.

 

Thursday

Baby, come see your Macdaddy.

 

We just closed on our dream house and are moving in!

Our first house together.

Where we will become a family.

It just makes me go awwwhhhh. I melt over and over again every time I see Phillip carrying another box. I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I’m really happy we went through couple’s counseling. Mr. D was right. I did need it. I needed to grow up and realize that life isn’t really all about me. I realized I care as much about making Phillip happy, as I do about myself.

Probably more.

Phillip carried me over the threshold, then we started unpacking. I got most of our clothes unpacked and organized in our amazing closets. Like it’s so cool. There is a special shelving unit just for my shoes! Phillip has his own, slightly smaller closet, so I don’t even have to share! Lori helped me line up all my shoes. They’re in color order by type. I used to have them crammed in my closet, all in their boxes. I know the name of every shoe I own. I keep walking into my closet because I love seeing them all out of their boxes, lined up neatly, and happy to see me.

After that was done, we started arranging our new furniture. Lori and I were playing around with his because until you get the major pieces of furniture in place, you can’t really do anything else.

We kept making Danny and Phillip move furniture, then we’d stand back, look at it, and Lori said something like, I think I might like the couch better on that side. Let’s flip it and see what we think. To which you could see Phillip and Danny groan, but they knew if they didn’t, pregnant Lori would be moving furniture herself. After her spotting scare, let’s just say the girl is getting waited on hand and foot, even though the doctor says everything’s fine.

Lori and Danny just headed home, since we have all the major furniture in place. I’m pulling the plastic off our gorgeous new sectional couch. I’m practically in tears over how amazing it looks in the fabric I chose.

You know men.

They prefer function over form, and women typically will give up comfort for fashion. I mean, look at the way we contort our feet into fabulous shoes!

Well, neither one of us had to compromise on this couch, It is both stylish and very cushy and comfy. And I ordered it in the most gorgeous soft, ultrasuede known to man. It’s like butter. Phillip is tired of moving and unpacking, and I was too, but the couch had the Red Bull affect on me.

I have new energy cuz I’m so excited!!

I’m ready to unpack all the bar glasses now!

So what is the very first thing Phillip decides to do on our couch?

Does he go over, lay down on it, look at me all sexily, and say, Baby, come see your Macdaddy, so we can properly break it in?

No.

Does he run his hands across the gorgeous, soft suede fabric and say, Wow, this is amazing?

No.

Does he comment on how cool it looks and what a statement it makes in the room?

No.

He flops on it with his shoes on, turns on the TV, and two seconds later, proceeds to fart on the new couch.

Yes, you heard me right.

He FARTED on MY new gorgeous suede sectional couch!

Seriously, who does that?

Who spends good money on something and then FARTS on it?

Who does that?

I’m like, “PHILLLLLIIPPPP!? What the hell? Why did you just do that?”

“It must have slipped out,” he tells me with a little giggle.

“Phillip Mackenzie, that is our brand new couch!”

He dismisses my horror and says, “Chill, it’s not going to hurt it.”

“Oh, so you’re saying that when people smoke in their house, the smoke smell doesn’t get into the fabric, and then even when they aren’t smoking, the house still smells like it?”

“Ohmigawd, it’s one stupid fart.”

“Well, it’s the couch’s first day here, and you’re already farting on it. If it has feelings, it will be terribly offended.”

“You’re being ridiculous.”

I change course because I can see I need to bring it down to terms he can understand. “Phillip, are you telling me if a skunk sprayed your car it wouldn’t hurt it?”

“Well, it wouldn’t hurt it, no, it would just smell horrible”.

“Exactly my point! The fabrics in your car are permeable. They hold in scents. Just like our new couch. One of the reasons you liked it is it reminded you of a sports car, remember?”

“Yeah.”

“So do you want people to come sit on our gorgeous new couch in our brand new house and have it smell like SKUNKS live here?”

“Jadyn, it didn’t even smell. It was just air.”

“No farting on the furniture, Phillip.”

He stares at me.

So I say, “I’m serious. I’m adding it to the vows.”

He rolls his eyes at me, but says, “Fine. I wont fart on the couch.”

“Good.” I turn around and start putting our wine glasses in the rack, when I hear him mumble to himself, In front of you.

Okay, so I get farts.

I understand that we all have to do it. That our bodies were designed to do this as a way to let air escape when it needs to.

And I lived with two boys. I get that boys fart. I get that boys think farts are always hilariously funny.

But I thought maybe this was something they just did in a group. Like when you fart alone, it’s not as funny to them. I seriously can not think of a time that Phillip has ever farted in front of me when we’ve been alone.

And he chooses this as the way to start off in our new house?

I’m stressed enough as it is trying to get our house looking all perfect.

And to make matters worse, Lori decided, today of all days, the baby in her teeny belly can hear us, and she’s been encouraging *snarling/bitching* us to watch our language.

True, I managed to come out of living with two boys without a farting habit, but when you hang out with people a lot, you all tend to talk the same. I think it’s kind of like picking up an accent if you move down south.

You can’t really help it.

So I happen to have a pretty colorful repertoire of cuss words in my vocabulary. The F word being the tip of the iceberg, really. I have to be very mindful of what I say at work, but around the boys I forget and talk like them. And Lori was my bff in college, I mean she seriously knows that I cuss. And even though she has always cussed like a sailor, as well, she’s now officially joined the F-bomb patrol.

She told me I can’t say the F-word in front of the baby.

And I’m about ready to buy her a fucking badge.

Oh, shit. See? It just comes out.

Oh, and to make it worse, I said shit.

Damn.

Oh my. See my point?

So I realize that my cussing comes out naturally, maybe Phillip’s fart did, in fact, slip out accidentally. But I can’t let him get away with it.

I dive bomb on top of him and say, “Macdaddy is a naughty boy.”

You would think after a hard day of moving furniture, he would be exhausted, but he gets a grin on his face, that naughty gleam in his eye, and says, “But, Princess, on the brand new couch?”

“Maybe the floor?”

He rolls both of us off the couch and onto the floor. I scream and laugh at the same time. He stops my laughing with his lips and then, well, I let him be a little naughtier.

Thank goodness, the F-bomb patrol is gone, cuz I’m pretty sure we would get arrested for this.

 

Friday. 

I let a tiny little f-bomb fly.

 

Lori and Danny are back over this morning to help us finish unpacking and get settled.

I’m pretty sure Lori must have secretly completed some special training last night because she’s off basic patrol and now on the swat team or the F-Bomb special forces.

I accidentally dropped the coffee table leg on my toe, when I was trying to roll a rug out under it. And well, it really hurt. And maybe when it hurt, I let a tiny little f-bomb fly.

Quietly.

And she is like, “Jade, really?”

And I was like, “Fine. I hurt my freaking toe.”

She smiled at me.

But later, when I hammer my finger, rather than a nail, into the wall, I may have said the F-word again.

Cuz ouchhhh, it hurt.

I am apparently not skilled at home improvement.

Lori scowls at me, covers her stomach with her hand, and says, “Seriously? Did we not just talk about this?”

“Lori, I just hammered my, uh, fricking finger into the wall, and it fricking hurt! Shouldn’t you be offering me some fricking sympathy?”

“Um,” she says. “I really don’t think fricking is appropriate either. I mean can you picture a three year old going to preschool and saying fricking?”

No. I can’t really picture that, so I come up with a better idea. “How ‘bout I hammered my effing finger into the wall?”

She scowls at me. “Do you really thing that’s better? Effing, are you kidding me? You can’t say that either. I can’t have him saying effing.”

So I do what any sane person with a hammered finger and a sore toe would do at this point, I get extremely frustrated, throw my hands up in the air, and say, “Well then, what the fuck am I supposed to say?”

She glares at me.

“What? You decided this all on your own, and I’m supposed to get used to it! I can’t change the way I talk overnight! I also find it very hard to believe you’ve stopped Danny from cussing. He’s the freaking king of the F-bomb!”

“Well, I’m working on that. See the rubber band around his wrist?” she says with a slightly maniacal grin.

I look over and see a skinny blue rubber band around Danny’s wrist, “Uh yeah?”

“Every time he cusses, we snap him, and it hurts.”

“Isn’t that like husband abuse?”

She laughs at me.

“Where’s your rubber band?”

“I don’t need it. I can control myself.” She digs a rubber band out of her pocket and hands it to me.

And I’m like, “No.”

And she’s like, “Yes.”

“This is bullshit. Sorry, but it is.” I’m gearing up for a big fight over this, but Danny’s standing behind her nodding his head at me. Begging me with his eyes to let her put the rubber band on my wrist.

And I’ll be damned if I do it.

 

Later he was like, “Jay, come help me figure out where you want this…..blah blah.”

I didn’t even hear what he said. He may have said blah blah, but when we were both upstairs he says, “Thank you for not arguing with her. After the whole bleeding thing, seriously, Jay, no stress for her, okay? I think she gets some wicked little pleasure out of snapping me with the band. Like I’m in the pregnant boat with her or something. She has had a time with it. Constantly sick and then the spotting that scared us to death. So just try.”

“Fine,” I say and hang my head in defeat.

He gets his Devil Danny grin. “Just try and cuss in your head. Call her every dirty name in the book if you have to, just do it all in your head.”

“Is that how you’re surviving this?”

“Well, that, and I’m being trained.”

“Danny, I’m sorry. I love her, but this is bullshit.”

He leans over and snaps the rubber band on my wrist, hard.

“Oww! That hurts!”

He grins at me and says, “Yeah, I know.”

“Then why did you do it?”

“Cuz you said bullshit.”

“Oh really, so did you.” I snap him back.

Pretty soon, Danny and I have our rubber bands off and are shooting them at each other. Having a rubber band war. I managed to nail his arm just as he was trying to duck behind the kitchen cabinets.

But then the fun nazi comes upstairs and says, “What the hell are you two doing?”

Both Danny and I stand straight up and just grin at her.

“Um, Lori, do you need a rubber band too?” I giggle.

“No,” she says, “I just need for you both to grow up.”

And then we all just laugh. This is sorta ridiculous.

She goes back downstairs. Danny gets that sneaky look again and pulls a little flask from his hoodie pocket.

“Oh, you’re bad,” I say.

“How do you think I’m surviving this?”

We do a shot together.

Lori is downstairs fluffing (whatever that means) my bookshelves. I think that means she is putting something on it, standing back and looking at it, then she will say, no needs more color and rearranges everything. I’m sure it will turn out beautifully, four years from now. Phillip ran to get us some pizza, since we have zero food in the house.

So instead of Danny helping me maneuver the mattress pad and sheets onto our new king size bed, we are back to our rubber band war.  Every time he hits me, he makes me do a shot, and I have gotten hit a couple times now. But he’s a good friend and has been drinking with me.

But no food and shots is not a good idea.

Phillip gets home, and I eat pizza. It tasted great, but I am feeling a bit nauseous.

Next thing I know, I am throwing it all up.

And I don’t feel very good. At first, I really thought it was the alcohol, but I also am feeling achy and feverish, so maybe I have a touch of the flu or something. Maybe it was the honeymoon. Like I have Montezuma’s revenge in reverse or something.

 

 

Saturday

And you’re puking?

 

Next morning, cereal and toast, and the same deal, I’m in the bathroom throwing up. I brush my teeth, glance over and see my birth control pills laying on the counter. I had just taken it before breakfast, and I think, crap, I probably just threw it up. Then I look closer at the pills, and I get two two things on my mind.

One. I should have gotten my period three days ago.

And Two. WTF?!!!?????

Where the hell is my period?

I should have gotten it days ago.

But I try not to freak because I did have that happen one other time and got my period just fine that very same day.

And I know Lori would chew my ass if she heard me thinking this because yes, I know there are lots of people out there who can’t get pregnant. I know they try and try everything and here I am thinking, What the fuck?!

Because I am not thrilled with this combination of lateness and puking. And of course, this is the exact moment that Phillip chooses to walk into the bathroom to check on me.

“Are you okay? I thought I heard you throwing up again.”

“Yeah, I’m not feeling so great.”

He sees the pill package in my hand and stands there frozen for a good thirty seconds.

I’m telling you, I could see the wheels in his boy brain turning.

And I don’t think I will like the question that I can see is forming in it.

“Oh my God, are you late? And you’re puking?”

“Just a couple days late, and that’s not that unusual.”

Actually, as we discussed before, it is a little unusual, but come on. I’m stressed. It’s happy stress, but it’s still major stress and life changes. It’s not that unusual that my body would freak out like my mind has been. I mean, they do work in tandem most of the time.

Phillip gets a big ole grin on his face, grabs me, and says, “It would be SO AWESOME if you’re pregnant. Do you think you could be pregnant!?”

“Phillip, no, it would not be. We’re not ready. We just got back from our honeymoon. What would your parents think?”

He laughs, “Princess, no one would be anything but thrilled, and you know it.”

Everyone but me.

“Your mom is traditional, Phillip. She would not like it if I was pregnant before we got married.” Although I do remember her telling me I should get pregnant, so Phillip would have to marry me before we got together. So he’s probably right, she would be thrilled.

“My parents got married in August, and Ashley was born in February. Do the math.”

So, I do.

I speak out loud, as I’m counting on my fingers. “September, October, November, December, January, February……Phillip! That’s only 6 months!!!”

He laughs.

“Your mom was pregnant when they got married!!????

“Ya think?”

“Phillip, do you think your mom was a slut? Did she like trap your dad into marrying her?”

“I don’t think so. They dated for over two years before they got married.”

I get another wave of nausea and feel like I’m going to puke again.

And I can’t decide what’s making me feel sick. The thought of being pregnant, the flu, or an actual pregnancy.

It’s got to be the flu.

So, um, excuse me, while I go puke again.

Phillip is a sweetie, of course, and tells me I should go lay back down and try to go back to sleep.

But HA! You really think I’m going to be able to sleep?

My body may be shaking and tired, but my mind is on freaking overdrive.

So let’s be rational and think about this.

I am on the pill.

I take it every day.

I never miss a day.

I take it the same exact time every single day just to be extra cautious.

But then I remember that I was on antibiotics for a sinus infection, and I very specifically told that boy we should be extra careful and use a condom.

What did he do?

He laughed at me and proceeded anyway.

And I stupidly went along with that.

I have that thing that my parents used to say young people have. That stupid thing in the back of their mind that says, It could never happen to me. Not just this once.

But uh, well, it wasn’t exactly just the once, was it?

We were not careful all month like we should’ve been.

Why did I listen to him?

Where was my will power?

I’m really, really not ready for a baby. Sure, I want to have kids. I really do, but they are still a someday in my mind.

Not the far off someday that they used to be, but in the foreseeable future someday.

I can’t wait to have kids with Phillip, but I want it to be the right time and now is just not the right time. We need to be married for a little while, get settled. I have so much on my plate right now. Phillip’s temporary office space is almost complete, I’m working on the plans for the new building, we need to get settled in our house, and those are just the things I can think of off the top of my head.

Truth be told, if I couldn’t drink, I may not be able to get through all of  this.

And, no.

No need to give me the whole alcoholic speech, it’s not like that.

But I admit, there have been days that the only thing that has gotten me through them is the thought of being able to come home and soak in a hot bubble bath with a glass wine and a chocolate bar.

I seriously can not be pregnant right now.

Please God, please don’t let me be pregnant, and please don’t hold it against me, like in a few years from now, when I want it to happen.

Finally, I exhaust my brain and it shuts up and goes to sleep.

 

I went to bed feeling shaky, and I wake up shakier. Not good.

I shuffle out into the kitchen and see Phillip unloading a grocery store’s worth of bags. Lori is organizing it all neatly in my pantry. Lori notices me first, over the bags piled on the island.

She has a sing-song, happy-birds-singing-in-the-park sound to her voice. “Jade, how are you feeling?”

She scurries around and gets me crackers and 7-up. I sit up at the bar wrapped up in my blankie. I’m still chilled and feel kinda feverish. The crackers taste super good and salty though, and the 7-up tastes incredible.

“So how is it?” she asks, pointing to my snack.

“They taste really good, thanks.”

“You know, saltines and 7-up are what I’ve lived on through my pregnancy. Normal people don’t really like saltines. Only pregnant women do.”

Shit. She thinks I just passed some litmus test for pregnant women.

“I lived on them during my first few months.” She’s talking to me like we are in some secret saltines club together.

And it hits me. The sing-song, happy-birds-flying voice. Her being so nice and cheery. “Phillip! You TOLD her?”

He grins at me, and holds up his hands. “I’m sorry. She wanted to know what was wrong with you, and I’m just so excited about what it could be, that I maybe let it slip that you might be a few days late.”

“I am NOT PREGNANT!”

And I am willing both them and the fertility gods to believe me.

Or wait, would it be the non-fertility gods I should pray to?

Is there such a thing?

“Do both of you hear me? Please stop this ridiculousness. You’re upsetting me.”

“See, Phillip,” Lori says, now that she is a first trimester expert. “I told you, mood swings.”

“This is NOT a mood swing. This is a I-have-the-flu-and-I-feel-like-crap-and-I-don’t-want-you-two-going-on-with-all-this-I-am-pregnant-bullshit mood.

“Rubber band,” she tells me.

I look down at the rubber band on my wrist, take it off,  fling it at her and Phillip, and say, “Fuck that.”

Yes, I know.

She’s my friend, and she’s being very helpful and organizing my pantry, but I DON’T FEEL GOOD!!

I can’t handle this harassment.

She gives me an evil stare down. I look back at her pathetically. She huffs and goes back to organizing my pantry.

That’s why we are friends. We both know when to back down.

Phillip takes pity on me. He picks me up in my blanket, carries me over to the couch, and snuggles up with me.

“Sorry,” he says quietly. “I just had to tell someone. I feel like I could burst.”

“Please tell me you haven’t told anyone else.”

“Um, I uh…”

“Phillip?!”

“So my my mom called this morning and asked how the move was going, and I told her you were sick yesterday and then again this morning. You know how she has baby on the brain, and she was like, Oh my gosh, is JJ pregnant? I told her no. I think it’s just the flu. But she sorta acted like she didn’t believe me.”

“Phillip, I think I have a fever. I don’t think that’s a pregnancy sign.”

Lori, who apparently been listening, butts in, “I had a slight fever and thought I was coming down with the flu when I found out.”

I shake my head at her. I’m pretty sure I could tell her that my toenail hurts and the trees branches outside moved in the wind, and she would tell me it’s a pregnancy symptom.

“Phillip, please pray that we’re not. We aren’t ready for this. We need to be a couple first, have some fun together. Babies are hard on marriages.”

“I don’t think I can do that. I can’t lie. I would be pretty damn excited if you were. I can’t wait to have an adorable daughter, who’s spunky just like you. With a cute curly ponytail and little freckles across her adorable nose, just like her mommy.” His finger grazes the freckles across my nose. “I’ll give her piggy back rides, teach her how to ride a bike, climb a tree, punch a boy that tries to kiss her. I can’t wait to start a family with you.”

Okay, so I don’t want a baby, but the way he talks about his future daughter is really adorable. And it must be contagious because it makes me think that maybe it wouldn’t be that bad.

But I am still on Team Not Pregnant.

Please, not yet.

“Just in case you want to find out for sure, we bought you a pregnancy test at the store,” Lori butts in again.

“I’m not taking that. I’ll get my period in a couple days. I’m just stressed, and I have the flu, and now people are stressing me out even more.”

As the day goes on, my nausea subsides some, but it may be because all I’ve eaten is crackers and water or 7-up.

I get nothing moving related done, though, I just let myself lay on the couch and be sick.

 

Sunday 

I hate you right now.

 

Get up. Feel a little better and am hungry, well starved, so I splurge on a muffin and chocolate milk.

Thirty minutes later, I’m puking it back up, and Phillip is looking at me all grinny.

“Phillip, you are not supposed to smile about someone else being sick. It’s annoying.”

“Princess, why don’t you just take the pregnancy test? Then if it says no, you will know it’s just the flu, and if it says yes, well, you can freak, and I can celebrate.”

“I hate you right now.” I cover my head up and hide under the blanket.

Of course, he can’t leave me alone, so he snuggles up next to me and starts talking thru the blanket.

“Tell me why you wouldn’t be excited about this? Wouldn’t it be kind of like a surprise gift?”

“No, it would not. Having a child is a big responsibility. It’s time consuming and takes lots of energy. I don’t have the time or the energy right now. Plus, I want to spend time with you. I want us to be a couple, before we become a family. Why can’t you get that?”

“Princess, sometimes things happen for a reason. If you are pregnant it’s because God thinks we’re ready for this.”

“Oh, no you don’t!” I whip the covers off my head and point at him. “Don’t you go blaming God for this. If there’s a reason this happened, it would be because I was stupid to believe you when you said, Don’t worry about the antibiotics. This would be God laughing at me for my stupidity.”

I throw the covers back over my head.

“Jadyn…..”

Oh. He’s mad at me.

“Don’t use that tone of voice with me. I’m sick.”

He uncovers me. Kisses my face, my neck, my forehead. Sweet adorable kisses that make me love him even more.

“All I’m saying is that if you are, I would be thrilled. I love you. I want to have a family with you, and I don’t care when it happens. If you want to wait, I mean if you aren’t already, then we’ll wait. I want you to be ready, but you have to admit, it would be fun to be pregnant the same time as Lori, to have our kids close together like you and I were. Just think, we can take naked pictures of them together to torture them with someday.”

I can’t help it. I laugh at that.

“See, whatever it is, you and I love each other. You will be an amazing mom, and I plan on being the best dad ever, but the reason I want a baby is just because I am so in love with you.” He kisses me on my lips.

And I am thinking this boy must really love me cuz I just puked and did not brush my teeth, and he just kissed me without cringing. So I still hope I’m not, but I guess if I was, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

He loves me.

What’s the funny saying in the movie, The Devil wears Prada? I’m just a stomach flu away from my goal weight.

So I figure, worst case, I lose  a few pounds.

 

 

Add That Baby to your Goodreads TBR List.

 

Due Date: June 15th, 2013