Friday, October 1, 2010

The Story of One Reluctant Mother

A friend of mine just found out she is newly pregnant - after YEARS of trying.  This wonderful news & her story of seeing the positive pregnancy test for the first time took me back to the February morning in 2004 when I first learned that I was going to be a mother. 

I remember standing on "Poopy Hill," the name we used to refer to the tiny patch of grass outside of our warehouse apartment, waiting patiently (or not so patiently....) for my dog, Jersey to relieve herself.  It was cold and raining and I felt like, well, shit.  I was suddenly hit with a wave of dizziness.  The kind that rocks you back and you have to reach out to steady yourself.  It was at that moment that I knew that I was pregnant. 

We hadn't been trying.  Quite the opposite.  We were 12 months into a 16 month engagement, the culmination of which was a "BIG WHITE WEDDING" that promised to rival the nuptuals of Prince Charles & Princess Dianna, at least in our families. 

I had made the decision approximately one month earlier to stop using oral contraceptives so that I could "lose weight" for the wedding.  How is that for irony?

With this in mind we were extremely, EXTREMELY careful, save for one fateful morning.  A perfect storm of circumstances that convinced me that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. 

My husband's new job featured a "split-work week" giving him Wednesdays off.  On this particular Wednesday I had recieved the early morning phone call all teachers love to get, "We have a two-hour delay."  Since we were both home, and awake, well... anyway....let's get back to "Poopy Hill."
So there I am, rocked with the realization that I think I am pregnant.  Completely clueless as to what this might actually mean.  And terrified. 

I went about my morning, arriving to work on time but completely preoccupied.  It became necessary for me to confirm.  Immediately. 

I went to the Principal and told him that I was feeling ill.  I arranged lessons for the rest of my classes and drove straight to K-Mart, purchasing one pregnancy test, a Valentines Day card and a Butterfinger for my love. 

I went back to our apartment and headed to the bathroom.  I convinced myself that I was overreacting to the dizzy spell and felt sure that this was a "false alarm." I peed on the stick and placed it on the counter.  I finished my business and then stood to look at the test. 

OH MY GOD.  Is that two lines?  NO. I can't be two lines.  I can't be. Yes.  It is. OH MY GOD.

I called my sister.  Four years younger, 20 to my 24, a college sophomore, but in situations like this, she is my life-line.

She'll know what to do. 

"Take another test."
"I don't have another test."
"Who buys one pregnancy test?!?!?!"
"They are expensive."
"Go buy another and call me back."

I drive back to K-Mart.  Now I am freaking out.  I am FREAKING OUT. 

I buy three tests and race home.


OH MY GOD.  I'm Pregnant.  I am hysterical - I am shaking - I am terrified.  I call Frank, my husband.

"Wow...That's amazing - are you sure?  Wow! Are you crying?  Why are you crying?"

I sob, "...but the wedding, the dress, my parents, Fr. Snyder, Oh MY GOD, how can I tell Fr. Snyder???"

I call my sister.  She's on her way.  From Maryland to Pennsylvania skipping classes, missing work. 

I call my gynocologist's office and say meekly, "I think I am pregnant."  The receptionist placed me on hold and I waited to speak to a nurse, someone knowledgeable, someone who would know what to do. 

When the nurse finally answered she asked me flatly, "What was the date of your last menstral period?"
"I'm not sure."  Suprised that she would need to know this information.
"What makes you think you are pregnant?"
"I took a test. Three tests."  I started to cry
"I don't understand." She said in response to my tears,  "Is this baby unwanted?"

What a loaded question. 

In that second I realized that my life was going to go in a different direction.  One that I had not really anticipated. 

I replied softly, "Never unwanted.  Just unexpected."

And with that, I became a mom.

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