it’s called balance.

“What did you and Paige talk about at your touch base?” I asked Brendan at lunch the following week.

“Nothing really. She just wanted to introduce herself and stuff like that. She seems cool. Had a ton of questions,” Brendan replied.

We were having salads and smoothies – we both needed a detox after eating like shit over the weekend. It’s called balance. I hadn’t seen Brendan in about a week and a half and hadn’t really heard from him on the normal emails we correspond on.

“Do you want to know what she’s done since being hired?” I didn’t wait a beat for him to say yes. “Literally nothing. She’s always running around like she’s busy and important, but never speaks in meetings or contributes at all. And she’s always in Mike’s office with him. It’s so weird. He even stays past 3:00pm working with her.”

Brendan laughed. “I’m sure she is just getting into the groove of things. Mike knows what he’s doing – he wouldn’t hire someone who isn’t valuable.”

I side eyed him. “Yeah, I’m sure.”

Brendan lifted his smoothie to drink, with his left hand and I noticed something.

“Wait. Where is your ring?”

He quickly hid his hand and shook his head slowly like he didn’t want to talk about it.

I leaned in close. “What’s going on? Is everything okay?”

Brendan was never seen without his ring prior to this and his reaction told me that something really was going on. I’m sure I should have seen it coming.

“We’re separated,” he revealed and then immediately tucked back into his salad.

I couldn’t believe it.

“What? Since when? What happened?” It was clear he didn’t really want to talk about it, but I needed more details and talking about it would make him feel better, wouldn’t it?

“It’s just a trial thing. Her dad’s idea. She’s staying with her parents right now.” I was shocked to realize that Brendan was getting choked up slightly talking about it. He rarely ever talks about his wife at all so it was surprising that he was getting so emotional. And this is completely awful and terrible (especially since he was so upset), but the only thing I could imagine is a single Brendan and having sex with him (not pregnant of course).

“Oh my gosh. I’m so sorry.” I grabbed his wrist and he didn’t push me away.

“It’s fine. We agreed on it and it’s temporary.”

I wanted way more details (like why the dad even suggested separating), but it was clear Brendan was uncomfortable so I dropped it. We grabbed lunch a few more times during the week and he started cheering up a little bit more and dropped subtle details like, “She had her dad text me so she could make sure I wasn’t home when she came to pick up some stuff.” I was thinking what did Brendan do that made his wife not even want to see him? Did he cheat on her? With who?

Carly visited that weekend. When she saw me she cried, as if I hadn’t been sending her pictures of my bump for months (“Is this normal?”). We mostly just sat around the apartment eating while Brady worked (he’s back to working 16 hour days which I’ve confronted him about. More about that later).

I told her the story of the Connecticut house and she said, “I mean, I’ve heard of people living in Connecticut and working in New York City. In fact, I know people who live in Philly who work in New York City.”

“That is completely absurd and I’m not doing that,” I said. I’ve pretty much made up my mind about not leaving the city even though we have no prospects here and Brady’s house has just been reduced.

“Have you thought of [Carly got a look in her eye that told me she was going to say something ridiculous] not going back to work and being a stay at home mom?”

I hadn’t. Because for the most part, I’m liking what I do. Mike lets me do what I want, I love working with Brendan and Kristina. But now that I was thinking about it – maybe it was something to consider. Without having family around, who is gonna watch the baby while I’m working? A random nanny?

Brady started working late again coming home between 8:00 and 9:00 each day. When he walked in at 10:00 one night, I lost it. I’d already cooked, eaten, put the leftovers away, had dessert and cleaned the entire kitchen.

“What’s happening at work that you need to be there this late?” I demanded when he walked in.

“There’s work to do. There’s always work to do. You know that,” he said dismissively.

“Yeah, but a normal person would call or text to let their pregnant girlfriend know they are going to be late,” I said very calmly.

Brady rolled his eyes and threw up his hands. “Reese, I don’t have time to check in with you all the time. If I wasn’t completely swamped, I wouldn’t be home late! God!”

“I get it – your job is so important and the whole hospital would collapse if you weren’t there, but I’m literally pregnant with your child and I think you should show me a little bit more respect.”

And instead of showing me respect, Brady started shouting at me.

“Reese, do you really think I want to be at work this late? Why is it so hard for you to understand? I can’t just do whatever I want and come and go as I please like you can. I have fucking work to do! And the last thing I need is you bombarding me as soon as I walk in the door. haven’t eaten or even put my stuff down and you start with this shit.”

Calmly, I said, “Don’t you ever speak to me like that.”

He walked off and I changed into silk PJs and got in bed. I handled his outburst like a tough bitch, but as soon as I got in bed I started crying like a baby. A little while later, after I was sleeping Brady finally came and got in bed. I glared and turned over.

“Hey,” he said, poking me. “Hey.”

“Please leave me alone. I am sleeping,” I said.

He wrapped his arms around my torso like he normally does, acting like all was well. “I’m sorry for yelling at you. I’ll be home earlier tomorrow and I have something special planned for us this weekend.”

I ignored him and waited until the next morning to let him know his actions were not acceptable. Usually I sleep in as late as I can, but I got my ass up at 5:00 with Brady. I caught him in the kitchen.

“You’re up early,” he said brightly as he prepared Tucker’s food.

“I couldn’t sleep because I kept having flashbacks of you screaming at me,” I said. It wasn’t entirely true, but I needed him to feel guilty.

His face fell. “I’m sorry about that. Work has been frustrating and I apologize for taking it out on you.”

Brady was sure to be home before 6 on both Thursday and Friday. And do you know what his “surprise” for the weekend was? To register for the baby shower. Apparently Kendra has been asking me to, but I didn’t fast enough so she told Brady to take me. It was kind of fun, I guess, but kind of tough because we don’t know where we will be living. What if the nursery is small and the RH crib I found doesn’t fit?

I also used this time to talk to Brady about my plan after we have the baby. I explained to him what Carly and I talked about.

He thought about it for a second and said, “You didn’t grow up wanting to be just a mom, right?”

I’m sure he was trying to be helpful and get me to think in a different way, but I was so offended. Just a mom? Excuse me? Who says that to a pregnant woman?

With Brady’s recent shortcomings, I haven’t felt guilty that Brendan stops by to bring me lunch almost daily. One day he even came by on his way to a site and he called me to come down and retrieve my food because he was double parked. He was sitting there waiting in his big blacked out Jeep Grand Cherokee and I just can’t believe he’d fight all the city traffic just to bring me food. He’s basically my personal UberEats driver.

And my new thing is to go through Brady’s pockets and wallet. He’s been coming home late and hasn’t been very nice so I figured something must be going. Or maybe I’m insecure. Or maybe I just feel guilty myself. Anyway, I found a business card in his wallet.

“Jennifer.”

“Consultant.”

After further investigation I found that she recently graduated from Harvard Business School. I’m sorry – what business does Brady have with a consultant? And she’s far younger than us. Since I’ve been approaching 30, I’ve been really insecure about age. I’ll update once I find out more.

My parents are coming next week to help me celebrate being old and pregnant and I am so, so excited to see them. Bye.

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he told his parents.

On Thursday, Brady worked late and I got home long before he did. Hunter was sitting on the couch watching tv like he’d been doing for the past two weeks which slightly annoyed me. I was behind on all my shows because Hunter had spent so much time in front of the tv. I had plans of making buffalo chicken wraps for dinner (I’ve been craving all things super spicy lately) and I headed into the kitchen to start. Hunter joined me a few minutes later. He grabbed a beer from the fridge and popped it open.

“So what’s the deal? You excited for this baby?” he said.

“Yeah,” I said back. “Why? Did Brady say he’s not excited?”

“No, no. Once he gets over being a pus…being a baby about it, he will be more excited.”

Even though Brady is a bit of a pus/baby about it, I felt defensive of him.

“He likes to be in control and he wasn’t in control of this situation. That’s all.”

Hunter took a huge swig if his beer. “When my wife got pregnant with our oldest, I thought my life was over.”

“Wow, thanks for the words of encouragement,” I said sarcastically.

“But it wasn’t. I couldn’t have asked for two better kids. My kids are awesome.”

“And your wife?”

“Yeah, she’s amazing with them. Super calm and sensible. We make a good team,” he said.

“And she doesn’t mind you being away for two weeks and literally doing whatever you want all the time?” I couldn’t help myself.

Hunter didn’t take a moment to think. “See here’s the thing, and you’ll learn this quickly: raising kids together will make or break you. Dom and I have our vices, but if we didn’t, things would have imploded years ago.”

“Really?” I paused. “Do you guys actually like each other?” I had a fleeting feeling of panic – Brady and I already bicker about the smallest things. If what Hunter says is true, we will never make it.

“Of course. We wouldn’t be married if we didn’t.” Hunter gave me what he probably thought was a really charming smile.

Next, I wanted to ask what Dom’s vices are (can you imagine? I have so many theories, but mostly think she participates in witchcraft/voodoo/devil worshiping), but Hunter said, “I want to run something by you. I haven’t told anyone about this, but you’re smart and I want your opinion.”

“Oh?”

“Every consumer good, service, idea right now is targeted toward millennials, right?”

“Right,” I agreed.

“No one is coming up with new concepts with old people. That’s a underserved market.”

I nodded.

“I’m creating a vehicle for old people to easily get around in. In SF you see people using bikes, skateboards, scooters, rollerblades – you name it – to get to and from the office. Traffic is a bitch. Old people can’t be biking down the street, can they? My invention will allow them to forgo traffic in a unique way like the young people on their bikes.”

“Oh…” I wasn’t sure I was following. “Like a wheelchair.”

He shook his head, making a face like what I said was ridiculous. “Nah. Cooler. It’ll be electric, easily accessible, comfortable, have pockets for all their medications and stuff…”

I laughed, thinking he was joking.

“No, I’m serious. In a few years there will be a lot of old people, especially in SF and no one has really honed in on that market yet.”

“But don’t all of the young tech people retire early and get replaced by younger people?” I pointed out.

Hunter considered this. “Nah, I don’t think that’ll be an issue. I really think this is a good concept. I have some guys creating a prototype for me. I’ll keep you posted.”

So obviously I’m on the edge of my seat wondering how that’s all going.

On Friday, we had an appointment with Dr. Sabrina bright and early for my anatomy scan. I felt indifferent about the baby’s gender, but I was pretty sure I was having a boy. Boys run in Brady’s family. And even though neither of us had a preference, I figured having a little son would make Brady happy. We’d call him some royal sounding name like Frederick (Freddie for short) and he’d play sports and grow up to be a pharmacist or a politician or something. I could see it all happening.

Dr. Sabrina let us know that we are having a girl. I didn’t realize how much I really believed my vision until she revealed that I’m pregnant with a girl. I felt like crying.

Brady looked stoic and said, “That’s awesome.”

Brady doesn’t use the word “awesome” very often so I wasn’t sure how he actually felt. After the appointment, I was starving so we stopped to get breakfast before heading to work.

As soon as we sat down, Brady started in. “I know you don’t want to move to Connecticut, but I thought we should go to an open house on Sunday. I don’t want you to write it off before actually seeing what it’s like.”

I groaned. “I can’t live in the suburbs, Brady. I honestly can’t.”

“I know you think that, but I’d like you to see it. Please.”

So I agreed to go to the open house. We talked about things we wanted to buy immediately (Brady shared an iPhone Note with me that’s he’s been updating with links) and things we can hold off on for now.

“I didn’t think I cared what we were having because I was convinced we were having a boy. But now I’m so excited. She will be best friends with Mia and Sloane.”

He nodded. “I know. I am excited.”

“Are you actually excited?” I said, not convinced. He wasn’t even smiling.

Brady looked back up at me. “I am. I’ll feel better once we have a few more things in place. And…I’ll tell my parents soon. They will be thrilled to find out we are having a girl.”

I laughed out loud at the thought of Brady’s parents being thrilled.

On Friday night, Brady and Hunter went out and I elected to stay home. Lola came over so we could stalk a girl who tagged Kellen in a picture on Instagram. She guzzled down a bottle of wine and we ate Flaming Hot Cheetos. I told her about Brady wanting to move to Connecticut and the open house. Her eyes got wide.

“You’re going to become a Stepford wife, oh my God.”

“I’m only going to appease him. There’s absolutely no way we are actually going to move there. I found a two bedroom on 43rd that I love. We will look at that next.”

Brady, Hunter and I got brunch on Saturday morning then went to a brewery and then walked several miles around the city. I haven’t taken public transportation since finding out I’m pregnant meaning I haven’t been walking as much. It felt nice to walk and see the city again.

When we got home from the walk, I was getting ready to take Tucker out, and I heard Hunter mention dinner plans and their parents’ names. I looked up.

“The parents invited us to dinner and I guess I should see them while I’m on this side of the US of A,” he explained.

Brady didn’t say anything and continued to the bedroom.

“You coming?” Hunter asked.

I gestured to my tummy and he nodded. It’s actually quite easy for me to conceal my belly, but apparently you can see it in my face so I didn’t want to risk it. Plus I just didn’t want to go.

With the boys gone, I turned on reruns of RHONY (I’m one of them now), ordered a grilled cheese on Seamless and reveled in the house alone. Just as I was screaming at Ramona for being a monster, I got a text from Brady.

“I told my parents.”

I screamed. He did what?

“What did you tell them?” I replied. “And what did they say?”

Brady didn’t text me back which drove me absolutely up the wall – I needed to know what was going on at that dinner! Then I started to think his parents had taken the news worse than we could have imagined and he was in danger. So I called him. A few times.

“Yes. Hi,” Brady finally answered. He was trying to talk softly.

“What’s going on? Are you okay? I’m dying here,” I said quickly.

“Mmhm. Are you okay?” he said back.

“Totally. So what did your parents say?” I needed to know.

“I’ll talk to you when I get home, okay? We won’t be too much longer here.”

Ugh, fine. So I had to wait another hour for them to get home to find out what happened.

Hunter whistled as I met them at the door. “You’re lucky you missed that.”

“Oh, how was dinner?” I asked casually.

Brady shook his head like he didn’t want to talk about it. I followed him into the bedroom. “At least it’s over, right? Now they know and it’s happening and we can’t change anything.”

“Yeah. Yeah, you’re right. That was not fun though.” He paused and kissed me. “We are going to go out for a few beers… Do you want to come?”

I expected him to stay home with his pregnant girlfriend – obviously I had no business being out at the bars with them. So I was annoyed, but it was Hunter’s last night in town so I guess it was fine.

They didn’t come home until 4am again – being loud and smelling of booze. Hunter was leaving the next morning so I woke up early to make breakfast/hangover cure that included bacon, egg bites, French toast and a spread of fresh fruit from the farmers market. The plan was to drop Hunter off at the airport and then head straight to the open house in Connecticut.

As we were driving, I heard Brady and Hunter talking in the front.

“Do you think they’ll ever speak to you again?” Hunter asked.

“Yeah, I don’t know,” Brady said.

“Were they like crazy mad?” I chimed in from the back.

“I don’t know if mad is even the right word,” Hunter said. He turned and looked at me. “What words did they use? Disappointed, disgusted, embarrassed… they said the same thing when I got married.”

Ouch. Hunter seemed to enjoy relaying the message – he was no longer the biggest disappointment of the two! Brady hasn’t talked to his parents since, which is fine – he doesn’t talk to them that often anyway. He’s always said how much he dislikes them, but it seems like he still wants them to have a relationship with us/the baby. Honestly though, with everything going on in this country, I’m not even sure I want that.

Anyway, the open house. The house was beautiful. It took us about an hour to get there and the exterior of the home was super colonial with big pillars at the porch. I discovered that it’s actually a townhouse with three floors, four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms. It was massive – 2,500 square feet and much more space than we really need. I was actually doing most of the talking: “What are the HOA fees?” “What year was it built?” “Who is the neighbor?” “Who staged the unit [because the furniture is fabulous]?” It’s right on the water and the New York State line.

Did I love it? No. It was nice, but honestly kind boring and I’d want to change all the paint and the countertops and all of the finishes in the bathrooms because they don’t match (and definitely aren’t my style). On our way home, Brady let me know that he’d already crunched some numbers and if we proceeded with the house, we’d be paying less than we do at our one bedroom place in the city by almost $3,000 a month.

“I think if we can save that much, we should,” Brady said.

And I’m sure he’s right, but is saving money worth being somewhere I don’t want to be? We would be so far from everything – all of the shops and restaurants I love, friends, the city. And the neighborhood isn’t even that cute – I was picturing manicured lawns, hedges, circle driveways with three car garages, but it wasn’t like that at all.

That’s all I have for now. I’m really stressed now because we’ve gone month to month on our lease and we really need to find somewhere soon. Brady hasn’t sold Connecticut to me and I haven’t found anything in the city (the place on 43rd was tiny).

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