Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Mother (as in maternal parent) (04/24/08)
TITLE: Two Pink Lines
By Jan Ross
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Nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, tenderness, emotionally drained, yet full of anticipation.
Maybe she’s not really pregnant; maybe it’s the flu. Doubts flood Mommy’s mind, desperate for a visible sign.
Mommy looks at her tummy and tries to envision Baby inside. A tiny little person whose individual cells multiply again and again. Specific eye color, hair color, shape of the nose, freckle behind the ear. Every detail carefully follows the instructions prescribed by Baby’s own unique genetic code.
Twelve weeks pass with only slightly visible physical changes in Mommy’s body.
Baby has a beating heart, a brain with a nervous system, and is his own little person.
Mommy spends the next three months desperately trying to avoid those dreaded maternity clothes. It’s inescapable. Her body is changing, her belly is growing, her breasts are enlarging, and she glows. With morning sickness and nausea behind, she begins to enjoy pregnancy.
She feels the pokes and jabs from Baby’s little knees, elbows, and toes moving around inside.
Activity inside escalates; Mommy actually sees evidence of thumps and jabs as she watches with utter delight while her tummy jumps and giggles.
Mommy craves ice cream and pizza, peanut butter and refried beans, dill pickles and buttermilk—any unique combination of tastes that would nauseate any non-pregnant woman.
Baby is almost completely formed, nearly one and a half pounds and eleven inches long.
Mommy’s life is becoming uncomfortable. Maternity clothes are becoming snug. Impatience replaces excitement.
Mommy doesn’t walk but waddles instead. Her hips are getting wider, her back aches, she finds it increasingly harder to get out of bed to potty ten times a night. During the day, she prefers to lie on the couch or recliner and growl at anyone who comes near.
Ankles are swollen. Mommy knows this, not because she can’t see them, but because those who are brave enough to come near just stare in horror at them. She can’t sleep, or walk, and work is becoming nearly impossible. The easiest thing for Mommy to do is simply sit and moan, hoping someone will have mercy and bring another glass of lemonade.
She prays every hour that God will move up her due date, swearing she’ll never do that again with her husband. Mommy is emotional; she cries at everything, even the Hallmark movie she’s seen two dozen times in the past three weeks.
Mommy is convinced this pregnancy will never come to an end.
Baby is fully developed and ready to come, gaining weight and in position, pressing on Mommy’s bladder.
Mommy thinks her water broke only to realize she just lost bladder control. Baby suddenly takes over.
Mommy is convinced that Baby absolutely must come out.
Labor and Delivery
Mommy feels crampy with gently rolling contractions at first; they begin to grow hard and intense.
Mommy and Daddy are off to the hospital. It’s the longest ride of Mommy’s life. Daddy finds every bump and pothole in the road while Baby rests on Mommy’s bladder.
But, wait…this time it wasn’t Mommy’s fault. Her water broke. The upholstered seat is soaked. She’s embarrassed, anxious, and desperate for relief. She wonders if she’ll get to the hospital in time.
Breathe – Pant!
The pain is intense. The miracle of birth ensues.
The hospital is in sight.
Breathe – Pant!
Closer and closer, everything is foggy. Pain. Chills. Transition. The incredible urge to PUSH. Mommy knows she can’t—not yet!
The car door opens; the nurse is there with the gurney.
Baby cries. Fog begins to lift. Squirmy, wet, loud-mouthed wails, wiggling.
Cord still attached. Still part of Mommy. Belly-to-belly, rooting around hungry already.
Fingers, toes, little nose. Look at that hair! Tiny heartbeat.
Daddy cuts the cord.
Mommy’s heart skips a beat.
Baby cries at this strange phenomenon. No nerves or lifeblood left in the cord joining Mommy and Baby, but always that cry.
Gone are the discomforts, doubts, pains of pregnancy and childbirth.
It’s already forgotten.
Body aches but Mommy doesn’t feel it. It’s been replaced with an abundance of love for Baby and a sense of gratitude to the One who makes miracles happen.
Mommy has an overwhelming sense of renewed hope and commitment to the future.
All is perfect.
Then … Baby turns two!
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