I'm outside early on this Saturday morning, armed with a trash can and pair of gloves. It's Operation Brightside's spring blitz. No one else on the block is out, but I go up and down both sides of the street, filling the trash can with litter and waterlogged copies of the free weekly newspaper. Our jovial middle-aged neighbor comes out and asks how I'm doing. She knows that we were trying IVF, so I tell her that it worked. She is so excited that she cries. She tried for 5 years to have her first child and 4 years for her second. She says I have made her day.
Not 20 minutes later, her husband drives by and sees me picking up trash. "You aren't supposed to start cleaning like crazy for a few months," he jokes. He knows. I beam.
The phone rings. G. says she's "just checking in -- no pressure." She shrieks loudly when I tell her. She shouts the news to her poolside neighbor. When I mention that the due date appears to be our wedding anniversary, she really freaks out. She says I should have "the most fucking awesome, rock-star baby shower." The idea has already occurred to me.
I'm on the phone with D., who has arranged to be home on Wednesday for the ultrasound. Call waiting beeps; his mom is on the other line. We haven't told his parents yet, but D. gives me the go-ahead. When I call his mom back, she tells me about some home repair disaster and the progress of her respiratory infection. "I guess you could use some good news, then," I say as a preface. She is delighted, in her shy way. She has been wondering. She hopes we do have twins. She says I would be a good twin mother, since I'm sister to twins. I agree.
The mail is here. Among the catalogs, I find a congratulatory card from my cousin, who has been TTC for at least 3 years. A baby carriage is on the front of the card. "We're so happy for you! We can't wait to have one of our own!" she has written beneath the printed message inside. I cry. I was never that kind and artless.
The sun is shining, and I've turned off the heat. The first magnolia blossom opened today. The hyacinths are at their most fragrant, and I bend to kiss them and quote Austen: "I have just learned to love a hyacinth." The branch on which the mockingbird sits is studded with white apricot blossoms. Sadie stretches in the green grass, and I get a few freckles by sitting outside with a book. Spring has come.