Wonder 2


Now I know why they call it morning sickness. I’m famished all the time, but it takes all my will power to eat. Nothing smells good.


Beryl and I have been talking names.

“What about Christopher? With a ‘ph’, of course,” she suggested.

“Ugh. Don’t say ‘ph.’ It reminds me of litmus paper.”


“Maybe a scientist’s name? Linnaeus!”

“No! We’re not naming the baby Linnaeus!” I snapped. I actually like the name. It’s just I get so irrationally irritated by everything little thing. Usually that comes right on the heels of the nausea.


“I’m sorry,” I said. “How about Copernicus for a boy? And Marie for Marie Curie for a girl? No, wait. Marie Curie died.”

“So did Copernicus,” said Beryl.


Every name seems futile. I know it’s just the hormones, because in five minutes, every name will seem great.


“I’d really like to name her Hildegard,” I said.

“After Hildegard of Bingen?” asked Beryl.


“Yes. But the name ‘Hildegard’ is kind of sharp-sounding. What about Bingen?”

“Or Bing! I like that! We could call her Bee for short!”

“Bee Cups!” I laughed.


Beryl chuckled. “It fits! B-cups is what we wear!”

“I think I’m C-cups now!” It’s true. I’m bursting out all over.


“Bee Cups! Copernicus Cups! Marie-Curie Cups! Linnaeus Cups!” Beryl rattled off the names into absurdity, and I concentrated on keeping my breakfast in my stomach.


We found out that morning that we got accepted into the program. I had my first prenatal check-up. Everything is looking fine. The nurse-practitioner said that sometimes older mothers feel the hormonal shifts more strongly, and that the morning sickness was nothing to worry about. Though it was uncomfortable, it didn’t do any harm to the baby or me, as long as I was able to get adequate nutrition.

“Eat as often as you can,” she advised. “Try not to get hungry. Hunger is one of the triggers.”

We stopped by an art gallery after we visited the clinic. Beryl said there was a show she wanted to catch, and they also had free workshops that she wanted to participate in.

It feels good to be out.


I met this really interesting artist, Ulrike, while looking at a painting. She lives near the gallery.


We somehow started talking about the pregnancy, and one thing leading to another, she found out that Paolo was the dad.

“What? Mon dieu! You poor dear!” But when I explained that I was happy to have him as the dad, and that I didn’t want to settle down with him, she relaxed.


“The free spirit!” she said. “Then all is well. Yes, I know Paolo well. The bread-winner, the Leave-it-to-Beaver. That is not the Paolo. But the father of the child of the free spirit? Yes! The Paolo can still play his little fun and games. All is well for the Paolo. And for you?”

She seemed to understand how I felt as we talked. “I feel the draw of creation, too,” she said.

She closed her eyes. “It is a little boy,” she said. “I am sure of it!”


“This will be a fine child!” she said.

I had to leave right then. It is also afternoon sickness, apparently.


I was glad I’d packed a toothbrush.


Beryl was worried.

“You need to keep some food down,” she said.

I tried to reassure her, but she insisted we head home as soon as she finished that painting.


While she cooked grilled cheese, which is the only thing that sounds good to me, I watered our little garden.

Something about being pregnant–it hooks me up with all this archetypal energy! I feel it’s something bigger than me moving through. I love that we’re doing this just me and Beryl. I think Ulrike got what I was after–it’s not just the free spirit aspect. It’s the embracing the whole earth goddess creative energy greater-than-me, more-powerful-than-any-individual, incredible creative force.

Now wonder it’s so powerful that I can’t even keep down half a sandwich.


But I try.


Beryl must have cooked magic into that sandwich for it felt great and settled my stomach.


“Berry!” I told her. “This is the best food I’ve ever had!”

“Let’s name the baby Gruyère!” she said. “Edam? Muenster!”

“Cheddar! Cheddar Cups!”

“Or we could settle for Jack.”


I’ve got a feeling I’ll know the baby’s name when I look in his eyes.


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