The day I peed on the stick and saw the “+” sign in the little window, I was completely surprised. I mean, how could this be? I was only three months out of a second-trimester loss, and the hospital had told us that it would take at least six months. Besides which, we weren’t even trying at the time. I was on the Pill, and I knew for a fact that I hadn’t forgotten to take any. For a moment I wondered if I had peed on the stick right, but then I asked myself the obvious question: how many ways could there be to pee on a stick?
I went through about seventeen home pregnancy tests before I would believe it. With each one, the “+” got progressively darker and appeared progressively faster. There was none of the stuff that had happened the previous time, either – none of the cramping or bleeding or feeling sick all the time. Apart from intensely sore boobs and a faint feeling of nausea that never quite went away, I felt pretty normal. Oh, and I cried at the drop of a hat. Hormones were definitely on the move.
One thing was for sure: unplanned definitely did not mean unwanted. Gerard and I had both been crushed when we lost our first little bean. We had been filled with grief and anger and “what if” thoughts. We had pictured our daughter growing from babyhood to childhood, and we wept at the thought that she would not even get to see life outside the womb.
Now that we were expecting again, we were filled with two things: hope and fear.
For the entire pregnancy we lived in a state of excitement, but we never really allowed that excitement to come to full bloom. We knew what could happen.
One day, two weeks before my due date, I decided to clean the house. I vacuumed, scrubbed, did laundry, cleaned out cupboards. I cleaned WINDOWS, for God’s sake. When I was done, I went to the grocery store and bought enough food to see a small city through a famine. It was while I was at the grocery store that I started to feel some twinges in my abdomen. Several hours later, I lay awake as contractions mercilessly ripped through my body.
By six the following morning, the contractions were coming fast and furious, and we headed to the hospital. Five hours after that, I wept with relief as I lay spent on the delivery table, listening to the cries of my firstborn son.
I had become a mother.