I was forty-three when I had my son Eric.
I remember being so happy when I discovered I was pregnant that I ran home, jumped up on my bed to reach for a baby book that I had purchased earlier, and got smacked down immediately by the ceiling fan! I just hadn’t noticed that it was revolving! Slowly, but surely!
Before I passed out, I grabbed the powdered alum in the medicine cabinet and stopped the not-as-bad-as-it-looked bleeding from my forehead. I sat there on the bathroom floor, until my dizziness had subsided.
Not to be held down too long by annoying inconveniences such as almost having to go to the hospital nine whole months before I was actually due, I pulled my happy self up by the towel rack, and this time I carefully reached for the baby book, which I had purchased just at the thought that I may be pregnant.
My father was the first to notice. It’s incredible how that old man just knew things. He was starting to annoy me, actually, when he had the nerve to suggest one morning at breakfast that I needed to slow down my eating habits. As I was feverishly stuffing a blueberry muffin into my mouth, my father (who was not one to hold his peace) quietly stated, “Baby, you need to slow down, you’re gaining weight....Oh my God! You’re pregnant!” Now, this really was too much! I was just a little hungry, that’s all! And besides, I had been taking the dumb pill. I had only missed one time, but apparently, that’s all it took. I would inform my husband at work through his beeper if the results were positive. They were.
This was the first time for me and I felt that I was going to truly enjoy it. I did not waste any time. I had been a little nauseated a few days before, but now I felt fine. As a matter of fact, I felt like I could eat a horse, if by some strange chance it were to be offered to me. I did not really seem to have any real preference on food. All I knew is that I would get ravenously hungry at about eight or nine o’clock in the evening. I could not stuff the food into my mouth fast enough! I remember that vividly.
The baby, so it seemed, had truly taken over any sense of forbearance where food was concerned. I eventually added forty pounds to my small frame. But we won’t go there...it took me some time to get those last twenty pounds off my waist line!
I had looked into the Bible, as I do on all important occasions, and came to the verse where it said, “And this time next year, you shall bear a son ...” It just fell open to that page, honestly!
Everyone was giving me advice. Even strangers at the flea market had their opinions. “Oh yes, dear,” chided one middle aged lady. “You are going to have a girl. You see how you are carrying high?” I didn’t really see how high I was carrying because I had no comparison, but I politely agreed, just in case she was right.
The truth was that I really did not have a preference whether it was a girl or boy. At least, not consciously. However, I had taken it upon myself to purchase pink paint and lace curtains for the baby’s room. I had just finished decorating the baby’s room, when I had an appointment that afternoon with my doctor. She had told me to come back after another five weeks of growth so that they could be certain of the baby’s sex. Today was it! During the show and tell, the technician moved the screen for me to see and pointed to a tiny blip. “You see that little thingy?” she said excitedly (even more so than I had been!). I humored her. “Yes,” I said, though I really couldn’t see what she was talking about. “It’s a little boy! And he is very cute!” she remarked. Now I could make out some nice facial features. I knew what I had to do now, right away. On my way home, I purchased some baby blue paint and curtains with little cars and trains.
My son had come two weeks late. His eyes were open and he did not have one wrinkle on him. He was absolutely beautiful! I remember being fearful that someone would try to steal him, as this was happening at that time in the hospitals in Houston. Even though I had had a c-section, I forced myself to leave the hospital as soon as possible. I paid for that later with a minor infection, for which I had to return.
When my son was older, he’d ask, “Mommy, what time of the year was I born?” I would respond, “Baby, you were born when all the little animals and birds were born and the flowers bloomed everywhere, in the springtime!” Technically it was still winter, just one day before St. Patrick’s Day, but I was not going to quibble over that.