“He might.” I looked at each of them and said sternly, “I’ll tell him soon, but you have to let him make this choice.”
They both agreed and had huge smiles on their faces. I wish I could feel the same. We finished lunch, paid the bill and headed to my first appointment. The first part we sat in the office and spoke with the Doctor, an extremely nice younger lady named Dr. Lowdry.
“When was the first day of your last menstrual period Harper?”
“December twenty ninth.” I said confidently.
“And do you have an idea of when the baby may have been conceived.”
“I do, it was either January twelfth or thirteenth.”
The Doctor grabbed a plastic wheel and moved it around for a minute, “Okay well then your due date should be October fourth, so what do you say we have your first ultrasound? You’re practically eight weeks, we’ll be able to hear the heartbeat.”
Mom smiled and clapped her hands and Bree looked like she was doing math in her head. We followed her to another room and after changing and positioning myself on the table, the lights were turned off and the ultrasound started. At first all I saw was a gray screen with a dark circle in the middle, then she zoomed in and I saw what looked like a gummy bear on the screen. Mom’s breath caught and my eyes widened.
“That’s your baby!” Dr. Lowdry said smiling and pressing different buttons. “Let’s get some measurements here…yep! I’d say you are seven weeks and six days.”
Oh my word this is real. It’s real isn’t it? Yep it’s real. There’s a freaking gummy bear growing in me! I think the Doctor was pointing out the head and arms, but I couldn’t listen too much, I was beyond mesmerized by the screen.
The three of them laughed, I wonder how long they’d been trying to get my attention.
“Are you ready to hear the heartbeat?”
I looked over at Dr. Lowdry’s warm smile and nodded my head. She clicked a button and my entire world changed. We all held our breath as a whooshing noise filled the room. It wasn’t what I was expecting, it was really fast and didn’t sound like what I thought a heartbeat should sound like, but there was no mistaking that’s what it was. Bree grabbed my hand and Claire reached for some tissue to wipe her eyes. I couldn’t see the screen anymore and I realized I was crying, so I closed my eyes and listened to the most amazing sound in the world.
“I’m going to be a grandma!” Mom cried happily.
“Oh my God, I’m going to be a mom.”
Dr. Lowdry flipped on the lights and handed me the pictures of the ultrasound, “Now will dad be joining us for these? It’s usually best if the fathers are here for everything.”
I didn’t know what to say without sounding awkward, thankfully Claire spoke up, “Oh, my son will definitely be here next time.”
Man I hope she’s right.
Once the rest of the appointment was done and we picked up my prenatal vitamins, the three of us headed for a pedicure before going home and waiting for Robert to come back from work. Mom couldn’t wait until tonight, she had called him on the way to the appointment to let him know Chase was the dad, and apparently he was just as relieved. Crazy. When we sat down for dinner that night, he got misty eyed when we showed him the photos and joked with me about making him a grandpa so young. Everyone was smiling, including me, I just wish Chase could have been there too.
Don’t ask how I did it, but I managed to only see Chase six times over the next four weeks, and I still had avoided having the talk with him. Mom and Dad were worried that he was going to find out and bolt since my clothes were getting tighter now and Bree was just flat out pissed.
“Harper, he hasn’t been with another girl since August, and you’re still worried he’s going to leave you? You guys aren’t even dating and he’s committed to you!”
“I know, I know. But it’s not so easy to just be with him Bree. I can’t do that to Brandon yet.”
“Brandon already knows!” She reasoned.
“Yeah, but think of it this way. What if you got pregnant with someone other than Konrad. Even if you told him, would you be able to just start dating the other guy? Walking around the school on his arm, in front of Konrad?”
She didn’t answer.
“No, you wouldn’t. Because it would be cruel to Konrad and though you broke his heart you would still love him too.”
“You’re still in love with Brandon? Well then tell Chase it’s Brandon’s baby and get back with Brandon.”
“What? No! That’s sick. I could never do something like that to Brandon. That would be even worse than the conversation where I told him I was pregnant! It’s like HEY! Let me twist the knife I stabbed in your heart.”
“Okay true. But you have to give Chase a chance here, just tell him, but say you guys need to lie low in public.”
“I know I’m already hurting Chase by blowing him off, but are you hearing yourself? That’s bad too Bree. It would be like he was my dirty secret and I didn’t want anyone else to know. It already takes everything in me not to run into his arms when I see him to tell him everything, and you expect me to tell him I’m pregnant with his baby and that we need to still stay away from each other? It’s fine if I’m miserable, but I can’t do that to him too.”
“I didn’t think about it like that, but you have to figure out something.”
I sighed and fell onto the bed, “I know Bree. Trust me there’s nothing you can say that I haven’t already thought of. After that ultrasound, all I can think about is telling Chase. It’s like my whole perspective changed and I’m finally ready to take that chance with him. But I know I have to wait a little bit longer. I owe it to Brandon to give him some time to get over his hurt, and I owe it to Chase to be able to fully be in a relationship with him once he knows.”
She laid down next to me and grabbed my hand, “But when will it be enough time for that? When you have a beach ball under your shirt?”
“No. I couldn’t let Chase find out that way, that wouldn’t be fair to him either. And I know what you’re about to say, I’m starting to show a little, so it has to be soon.” I wasn’t showing much yet, it just looked like I ate a massive meal, but it was looking more like an awkward bump with each passing day, and soon people would start talking.
“It hurts me to see you guys apart, but I understand what you’re saying sweetie.”
We both sat up to see Mom standing in the doorway, I guess she’d heard most, if not all of the conversation.
“Since he’s my son, I obviously think about his happiness before Brandon’s, so naturally I only think about how this is hurting him. And while what you’re saying is extremely mature for your age, I’ll be happy when all this is behind you two and you can live your lives together.”
I hated that I was still hurting so many people. It was apparent Claire was hurting for Chase, he still wasn’t coming around much, I’d messed up more than I thought. “I’m sorry Mom. I promise I’m not trying to hurt him or any of you. I’m just trying to figure out the best way to fix all of this, so when we do start a relationship, it’s perfect.”
Bree squeezed my hand and Mom came to lay down on my other side. “I don’t think you’re trying to hurt people sweetie, we just only see one side of this.” Mom said with a sigh.
“I’m sorry for getting on you Harper, I just see how miserable you are without him, and I didn’t understand why you were putting both of you through this when it’s clear you guys want each other so badly. That wasn’t fair of me.”
“It’s fine Bree, you guys are still right, I need to tell him soon. This is just a lot harder than I thought it would be.”
We sat there in silence for a while until Mom glanced at her watch and stood up, “So I guess it’s safe to assume he won’t be at the appointment today!” She laughed and the tension slowly left the room. “Well that’s fine with me, I’m selfish and want to be there to see it.”
I sat up, “You aren’t going to come to the appointments when Chase does? I need you two there.” I looked between her and Bree.
“No sweetie, you may not understand it yet, but the first time he’s there, trust me when I say you’ll want it to just be the two of you.”
“Okay? Well I’m ready whenever you guys are.”
Bree jumped up and pulled me with her, “I’m ready! Let’s go see my niece or nephew!”
I laughed and looked at my stomach, “You hear that? We’re coming to see you Gummy Bear!”
Claire and Bree both laughed as we walked to the car. I was thrilled to see my baby again, but my heart hurt knowing Chase wouldn’t be there, that he didn’t even know about it. Next time, I promised myself, he’ll for sure be there next time.
We were silent throughout the appointment as we watched my gummy bear, who now actually looked like a baby, sleep in my stomach. The heartbeat was strong and once again I closed my eyes so the only thing I was aware of was that beautiful sound.
“Well, let’s make another appointment for four more weeks, you’ll be sixteen weeks then and if baby is cooperative we might be able to find out the sex of the baby.” Dr. Lowdry said as we walked out of the room.
“Really? I’m sorry I just didn’t realize we could find out that soon!” I definitely needed to tell Chase. If there was one appointment in particular I wanted him there for, it was to find out if we were having a boy or girl. I told Claire and Bree as much when we got in the car and they both sighed happily knowing within a month Chase and I would be together. I wanted to bring up the fact that we still didn’t know if he would want the baby or me after he found out, but they were so dang happy I couldn’t bring myself to sour the mood again. “I’d like to give him some time before the appointment, just in case he needs to think about things, but I never see him anymore unless we’re at school and I don’t want to do it there either. Do you think if he hasn’t come around on his own by my birthday, we could invite him to whatever we’re doing? I’ll tell him then.”
“I can call and tell him he has to come to family day this Sunday sweetie.”
“No Mom, I don’t want him to be forced to come over. I would prefer if he comes to see me on his own, but if he hasn’t by then, then we can invite him to dinner on something. I doubt he’d miss my birthday.”
“April fifth…two weeks? These are going to be the longest two weeks of our lives.” Bree groaned.
“Hey I just set a deadline for myself, I thought you would be a little happier than this.” I joked with her.
“I am, but whenever I see him now I’m going to be freaking out, knowing that he’s finding out soon.”
“Well we don’t see him much, so hopefully you won’t have many freak-outs.”
Okay so there weren’t many freak-outs, but there were three more than I was expecting there to be. Which meant there were a total of three. All at school. The first wasn’t a big deal, Bree and I were running to a class and we saw him walk out of the building. He reached out to brush my hand as we ran past, his face lit up with a gorgeous smile as Bree and I barely managed hellos before pushing open the door to the lecture we were late to. The next two were borderline dangerous, considering my current state.
“Damn Princess,” Drew laughed, “You trying to pack on a few pounds there?”
I froze when Chase smacked him across the back of the head on the way to his seat. I hadn’t been trying to eat for two, since I knew there really wasn’t a reason to yet, but I was so hungry all the freaking time. This was just the first time Chase had been around, and the first time anyone had said something besides Bree and her parents. My hand immediately went down to my stomach, thinking he’d somehow see the bump even though I was hidden behind the table, thankfully Bree snatched my hand and put it to my side before I could look awkward covering myself. Which, by the way, I was definitely doing more of, all my tight shirts were starting to show my now obvious bump, so everything I wore was loose or flowy around my hips. I wasn’t in maternity clothes yet, by any means, I was just being careful until Chase knew. Brandon’s eyes darted quickly to mine and with a hard sigh he got up from the table and left. I wanted to die.