I had “the feeling.” Rather than waiting and fretting, I headed to the Dollar General Store to buy the pregnancy test. I was a Pro, no need for a $15 test when the $1 one worked just as well. It would probably be negative anyway. Other than “the feeling,” I had no reason to suspect anything. It was too early.
I got the results in record time. It took 4 seconds for two lines to appear. Oh me. I dialed my husband’s work number, waited long enough for him to say hello and broke the news gently. “I’m pregnant.”
“Oooomph.” I had knocked the wind out of him. The rest of the conversation proceeded in cheesy sitcom fashion. Lots of “ooohs” and “ohs” and “ahs” and “okays” broken up by stunned silences. What was the big deal? It was only our 5th baby.
We broke the news to his mom. “What?!” followed by the most pitiful look I’d ever received. She recovered quickly. She apologized and gave me a hug, the kind you give someone who has suffered a trauma. It was appropriate.
Next on the list was my father-in-law. He was rendered speechless. It was the first miracle I’d ever witnessed.
Finally, I called my mom. She wasn’t shocked. She’d had a dream I was pregnant. I made her tell my dad. I always had trouble telling my dad I was pregnant. I know he knows how I got that way, and wouldn’t all dads prefer not to be reminded that their daughters are doing “that”?
I enjoyed the pregnancy, my last. Sure my nose swelled up and spanned almost ear to ear, but I could wear maternity jeans. Maternity jeans are the absolute best thing about being pregnant. I wore them for about a year and a half, until I discovered yoga pants. I didn’t get morning sickness. I ate whatever and whenever I wanted. I was living the dream, baby.
I scheduled my delivery. I planned on doing it without an epidural. Not because I wanted a beautiful, fulfilling birthing experience, but because I hated the idea of not being able to move my legs. I hated being heaved in and out of bed by an irate nurse. I panicked when I thought of being paralyzed from the waist down. Semi-natural was my choice. Bring on the Demoral.
I was doing really well until my coach said the worst thing she could possibly say. “You only have to do this for a couple of more hours.”
TWO HOURS of this horrendous, awful, terrible, gut-wrenching Pain? I started to whimper and called for the epidural.
It took several pricks in my spine to get it in and it only worked on one side, but I could feel my legs. Then, I passed out. Anesthesia, or any drugs for that matter, knock me out.
Then my blood pressure dropped, making me even more sleepy. I don’t remember much after that, except for overhearing the nurses talking to the family of a laboring woman. “…pressure too low…needs to improve…we may need to do a C-Section…” Poor girl, I thought, not realizing the poor girl was me. I found out later the nurse told my husband to keep nudging me and not to worry as long as I responded. Nice.
Time passed and I opened my eyes, suddenly wide awake. I saw my mother-in-law praying, and said, “I think I need to go to the bathroom.” The nurse checked me. Nature was calling, but not in the way I thought.
The delivery room sprang to life. Tools laid out, lights positioned, baby incubator wheeled in, and the big, fat, exhausted soon-to-be-not-pregnant lady in the stirrups. The doctor was set to receive and the play was in motion.
A few pushes later (I am an excellent pusher) and Anna Grace entered the world, re-dividing my heart from four parts into five.