Bookend bumper crop.

The weekend immediately following the book incident, Oliver and I had plans to visit friends in Munich. This was going to conflict with our decision to tell no one about the pregnancy until more time had passed, because me not drinking heavily was going to be an obvious sign. I felt strange telling other people, because I still didn’t feel any different.

That Saturday night while I sipped water and my friend Andrea drank a Hendricks gin tonic with a slice of cucumber and, of all things, a grind of fresh pepper (see below), I told her about how non-pregnant-seeming my symptoms were and how surprised I was to find out that pregnancy can also be confused as PMS. She found that interesting too. Her period was very late – although rarely ever regular – and she was feeling exactly like that.

Enjoy that gin tonic, I told her, and maybe take a test on Monday.

On the day I started spotting, I got an excited text from Andrea. She was pregnant and soo happy that she wasn’t going to be the only one. I congratulated her but said nothing about me. Hanging up the phone, I thought how fun it would be to have someone else in the same boat, but couldn’t shake the feeling that I was already being thrown overboard. Her due date was a week ahead of mine.

I saw a potentially awkward conversation up ahead.

A few days before the book incident, I’d called my sister-in-law to congratulate her on her swift realization of her New Year’s resolution. After two boys, they were on their way hopefully to having a girl (which later turned out to be true). Just before we ended the call she asked, for the first time ever, what about us? When were we ever going to get on the baby train? I knew she’d waited a long time to ask that question. I also knew I was pregnant, but Oliver didn’t yet. So I lied, enjoying the teasing, by telling her we didn’t know. We weren’t doing anything to prevent it, I said, but maybe it just wasn’t in the cards for us.

I felt bad about that later, but of course I’d hoped to be calling again in a few weeks with better news that what we ended up sharing with them.



Click here to read more about the Hendrick’s Gin Tonic with fresh pepper. This new twist to a favorite cocktail soon swept our friends and family circle as the Next Best Thing. If you like gin tonic, try this version.


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