After finding out I was pregnant, my brother opted to propose to his girlfriend. They’ve only been dating for around a decade so clearly he couldn’t have had this epiphany any sooner. God forbid the other Royer jump to any hasty conclusions. My brother and I are quite different. I’m more of a “take action now, think later” type of girl. I’m not saying this tactic is without consequences. Exhibit A: Full Blown Pregnancy. But at least I get things done! Regardless, between my shoot from the hip behavior and his “I’m sure we’ll figure this all out later” strategy, we basically ruined everything.
Brother did a valiant job of trying to include me in his wedding. He opted to shotgun the situation and planned the entire charade for April in the Dominican Republic. This would guarantee that I would be just pregnant enough to look terrible in a bridesmaid’s dress but not pregnant enough to not be able to go. It was the perfect plan.
My mother, Mimi, and her three sisters are what I like to call “crazy.” So when my mother called me and left the following voicemail, I deleted it immediately and moved on with my life.
Hey hun, it’s mom calling. I talked with your Aunt Nancy and she says there’s a CDC warning that’s just been released for pregnant women who are traveling out of the country. I wrote down all the info so that you can ask your doctor about it. Call me back.
Now I love my mother, but this is the same woman who called me three months before we were leaving for Europe to remind me to bring a sweater. I mean how does one even respond to something like that?
Hey mom! Got your message about how I’ll probably need a sweater three months from now so I went ahead, pulled out my suitcase, put one sweater in it and am just going to keep it there until we leave. Also, I wanted to let you know that I have the internet here in Los Angeles and am also pretty up to date on different layers of clothing but thanks for the tip! Oh, and thanks for identifying yourself as “mom” when you called. I wasn’t sure who it was.
Sadly, the voicemails did not stop. Aunt Nancy called next followed quickly by Aunt Naomi. These bitches were relentless. They were warning me against some purported virus that was sweeping third-world countries by way of mosquito. It seemed sensational and suburban so I kept brushing it off. I wouldn’t say my family is internationally friendly. I went to Thailand during a coup once and my mother still refers to it as my suicide mission. These women would not give up and eventually I was forced to Google their snoozy horror story. Unfortunately, it seemed that in this particular instance, the witchy trio weren’t being as reactionary as I had originally thought. I called my brother for a full debrief:
Me: Ya know how the women in our family are crazy?
Brother: Go on.
Me: They claim there’s a disease in Dominican Republic that’s specifically terrifying for pregnant women.
B: Doubt it.
Me: That’s what I said! But I Googled it. And it doesn’t look good.
B: What’s it called?
Me: The Zika virus.
B: Sounds made up.
Me: Agree. I just figured they were being weirdo Americans. But I looked it up. The symptoms read like a sci-fi novel. Basically if you get this thing while you’re pregnant, your baby will be born with a small head.
B: Who cares? Nobody likes a big head.
Me: Right, but the head is like literally miniature.
B: Like Beetlejuice?
Me: Exactly like Beetlejuice.
B: Oh my … Is that the only symptom?
Me: I think it starts with small head and ends with death.
Me: I know! It’s horrid. It’s called microcephaly.
B: But it’s in like rural parts of the Dominican, right?
Me: Well here’s the thing. I did a little research and this is what I just read in the New York Times, “On Tuesday, the Health Minister of the Dominican Republic reportedly advised women there not to have children.”
B: Is this a joke?
Me: It doesn’t seem like it.
B: Why do these things happen to you?
Me: WHAT DO YOU MEAN “THESE THINGS?” OH, NOW I’M RESPONSIBLE FOR AN ENTIRE CARIBBEAN EPIDEMIC?!
B: Alright just calm down. We’ll figure it out.
Well “we” did figure it out and apparently “we” all decided to go ahead and get married in Dominican Republic while Preggy McPreggerson stays back in California trying to find different objects to fashion into a noose. Obviously it’s not my brother’s fault that a crippling shrunken-head disease struck a region at the exact same time of his wedding and at the precise moment that I had been knocked up BUT IT IS SEEMING A LITTLE RIDICULOUS THAT THIS SHIT KEEPS HAPPENING TO ME! Hey, remember the time my whole spine fused together and then the drugs that I was given to fix it gave me Lupus? THIS SEEMS LIKE THAT!
The rest of the week is a blur. After I got off the phone with my brother, I was inconsolable. I don’t know a lot about modern medicine or foreign diseases but it was obvious that I would not be attending his wedding. I was super mature about it, in that I immediately turned to Husband and said, “HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?!” I then cried myself to sleep, woke up crying the next morning, went to work, cried at my desk, refused to speak to any of my family members and pouted for weeks.
This is going to sound harsh, but I don’t like my unborn child. I found out it was a girl recently and I can tell you that she is not for me. Basically she’s not even born yet and she’s already tearing my family apart. I mean… I hope when she gets here she apologizes because to me, it’s just seeming like we’re getting off on the wrong foot.
Everyone I know who has kids has told me that once that little bundle of joy gets here, I’ll immediately forget all the pain I suffered in creating her and I’ll just be so happy that I have a beautiful little girl. I’m guessing those people have never been on a Caribbean vacation before.
Creating life is a
sent from heaven lot like being a prisoner of war. You’re totally isolated from your friends and
family while forced to endure unspeakable psychological hardships. I guess the only difference is that if I make
it through this I don’t get a Purple Heart.
Instead, I’ll be rewarded with an entire person who’s forced into my
custody for eighteen years which in some ways makes me its captor. Ah… the circle of life.