I remember learning for the first time that I was pregnant. My period was late and I was about to be late to work if I didn’t hurry up and pee on the stick. While I waited the agonizing minutes till the stick was ready I finished dressing and getting ready for work. Before I jetted out the door, I took a look at my pregnancy test.
Two lines. Two pink faint lines. I put the stick back in the wrapper and laid it on the foot locker in our bedroom with a note, “you’re going to be a dad.” And I left for work.
Once I got to work I sat in my car, thinking about the morning; I worked at a daycare and was about to go in and take care of other people’s children just like I did every day. But on that day, that day something was different.
I was going to be someone’s mom. I said it in my head. I’m going to be someone’s mom. Then I said it out loud, “I’m going to be someone’s mom.” Tears began to flood my eyes and I started weeping; I was going to be someone’s mom.
That felt like a miracle because it had only been two years before that my cardiologist had decided that it was time for my pacemaker to move from its location in my abdomen to the place it is now; above my heart on my left side. They did this because, “Someday you might want to have kids.” Yet, when I was little, doctors weren’t optimistic with my parents about me having children, let alone healthy children. Times had changed it seemed. I laughed at the idea of having kids of my own. At that time, I had no intention of having kids. Fast forward two years and there I was, with a tiny human growing inside me. It felt simply crazy.
I wish I could tell you what it was like to give birth or the events of my pregnancies but I must have a great memory for blocking out things like pain, epidurals, spinals and c-sections. What I do remember from my four pregnancies and labors is this:
- Hearing that my unborn baby may be born with significant abnormalities makes me an insomniac.
- Demerol makes me nauseous.
- Gestational Diabetes sucks.
- Having my daughter born in the posterior position (face or “sunny side” up) can be dangerous and hurts like crazy.
- I swear a lot in labor.
- While many women are choosing c-sections over natural delivery, I would have much rather given birth to Shorty and Peanut naturally over being cut open.
- When they lay the baby on my chest, I am forever connected to that little person - nothing else matters in the world.
Instead, I’d rather focus on the end result; I fooled them. I fooled them all. Not only did I have a healthy baby boy nine months after peeing on the stick for the first time, but I had three more healthy children. I marveled at their faces when they were handed to me and searched for my features, my hair, their dad’s features, his hair, and his eyes. I marveled at their toes and fingers and their noses.
With each and every child I was high risk. Monitored endlessly because of my heart and the babies monitored closely as well. Each pregnancy was interesting and different and each labor, so unlike the one before it. I hold the memories of watching my stomach swell close to my heart and wondering what the little person growing inside would be like and if they’d like me.
Today there are no more babies for me; Peanut was the last and I’m satisfied with that. We’re told that you forget the pain associated with labor and I think it’s true; I don’t remember much about how much it hurt or how long labor lasted, or even the stitches and healing after. I just remember seeing their faces and thinking, I am someone’s mom.
Tune in to the new unscripted series "One Born Every Minute." Premieres Tuesday, February 1 at 10 pm et/pt on Lifetime.