She slapped my exposed belly after feeling around on it for a moment and announced, “You don’t have cysts – you have a baby in there! I’d say about 9 weeks.” She looked at me expectantly.
While my husband and I had looked forward to having a baby and had tried for over a year, nothing had come of it. So when I started months ago with severe abdominal pains and spotting – I googled and came up with the idea of ovarian cysts. No where in my searching did it say “possibly pregnant.”
I was reeling and unprepared for this. Pregnant? Not cysts? There was something alive inside me…at this very moment? It was the size of a lima bean and she could FEEL that?? I stared back at her – expressionless. I was speechless and a bit skeptical.
Seeing my reaction, she back peddled a bit. “Well of course to confirm we would need you to take a pregnancy test.”
I got dressed. Took the test. Confirmed. Two pink lines. A stranger had pushed on my belly for 2 minutes and known I was pregnant. Seriously, how out of touch was I???
I remember the nurse giving me pamphlets and talking at me. She looked at me finally and said softly, “This is good news right?” I looked around the waiting room with it’s majority of swollen bellies and smiled at her. My shock did not need to give her a bad day.
As I got in the car and placed a hand on my belly, I was suddenly ultra protective and connected. The thought of driving 45 minutes home was almost unbearable. What if something happened?? And why in the world was I at a Dr. 45 minutes away from my home??
I called my husband, told him I had been to a Dr and that I had news; I needed to see him right way.
On the drive to J’s work, I don’t think I had ever been so cautious. Just ask J, cautious driving is not my usual stance! But now, my mind raced with car crashes and all kinds of crazy accidents. Blasted. One moment I was 1…now I was 2. I suddenly felt like I needed to be a grown up and be absolutely responsible. I felt like I needed to be anyone but me.
In trying times, my own mother had often spoke of how her grandmothers, both of whom now passed, had helped bring her comfort, protection and peace. I figured this was a trying time and if I ever needed special great grandma angels – this was the trip.
So rolling down the freeway, I prayed to them:
“Dear Great Grandma that was the Judges wife and Dear Great Grandma that gave my mom a cedar chest,
I’m sorry I don’t remember your names but I remember your love and kindness towards my mom. I am her last daughter. I know this might be a little unorthodox, but I need your help. I just found out I have a life inside me and I am alone and scared. Please protect me on this drive until I can get to someone who knows me and will help…”
Though I never saw them, I don’t have any doubt that both of them were in my backseat that day until the moment Jed came to be with me. It is something singular to be a mother, a women, and grow something in your belly, to create life where there was none. It’s so much bigger than one person, one mother, one family. It an experience of a complicated and sometimes unseen web of experiences, people and opportunity.
Looking back, I don’t understand my reactions that day, but I am grateful for my little lima bean and two of my Great Grandma’s. They were there with me on that trip while a scared but willing girl drove 45 minutes to tell her husband news that would change their lives forever.