The first sign was a kind of nausea that felt something akin to a hole being drilled from my chest to the end of my stomach. Nothing tasted good, and it was obviously not heartburn. It was an inexplicable, yet undeniable feeling that was finally confirmed from the home pregnancy test shelf of the local Walgreens pharmacy. We were going to have a baby!
After the five minutes of sweaty anticipation was over, the great worry began to set in. We had just gotten married and were getting used to each other in the same space. It was the phase where we were trying to figure out which side of the bed belonged to whom. I was definitely not ready, my honeymoon was still in full swing. Actually, we were going through the aftermath of a hurricane and candlelight was more romantic than annoying. Love was in the tree that had fallen from the wind and in the hum of the generator, so what was this? I was terrified! In a great balancing way, my husband was in bliss. He was calm, reassuring and downright happy.
After mornings of throwing up and unbearable tiredness, doctor’s visits and weight loss, the first trimester was over. By this time, all family members knew that a niece, grand baby and cousin was on the way and a trip to the bathroom would often result in mother and mother-in-law banging down the door to ‘see if everything was OK’. Oh, the attention, the fanfare, the outpouring of love and affection for the one inside of me who seemed so determined to keep me from eating.
The second trimester went by with more time in doctors’ waiting rooms, more and more insurance forms and oh yes, bigger shoes. The shopping was on in full swing for ‘cute’ maternity clothes and baby gear. It was the best time of pregnancy, not too pregnant and cute enough for the maternity clothes.
The third trimester began with many promises. There were hours spent just playing with the toes that sometimes threatened to either kick through my ribs or create more stretch marks. There were long one-sided conversations as baby and I would take long evening walks. But in all this bliss and guilt-free eating, I beginning to get very annoyed at everyone and everything. The clothes were getting tight and worn, feet were getting too big for extended walks and I was just too uncomfortable to sleep. When would it end? I was getting anxious to see the face of my baby girl. After all she was now my confidant and I had invested many hours cultivating her brain with Mozart blaring from headphones stretched across my stomach — sometimes at my own annoyance but to my husband’s great joy.
One afternoon after standing in the glaring sun waiting for the valet to bring my car, I knew that this was going to be the day. There was no pain, no great sign, it was just a feeling. I knew somewhere deep in my being that it was time to see my baby girl. At 11 pm, stopwatch in hand and breathing exercise coaching, my husband finally called the doctor and we made it to the hospital. It took eleven hours, but my baby girl did make her way. I remember the first look into her eyes and will never forget that moment of joy. It was well worth the journey and we loved it so much, that we decided to do it again! They are exactly two years apart. I guess hurricanes have their advantages!