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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Mother (as in maternal parent) (04/24/08)

TITLE: Two Pink Lines
By Jan Ross
04/26/08


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Two pink lines and the journey begins …


First Trimester

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.

Then …


Second Trimester

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.

Then …


Third Trimester

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.

Then …


Labor and Delivery

Mommy feels crampy with gently rolling contractions at first; they begin to grow hard and intense.

It’s time.

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!

Uh-oh-somebody-do-something-I-can’t-go-on-will-this-ever-stop-it-hurts-

The car door opens; the nurse is there with the gurney.

Please-this-baby-is-coming-push-breathe-one-more-push-

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.

First separation.

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.

Mommy rests.

Baby nurses.

All is perfect.

Then … Baby turns two!


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This article has been read 779 times
Member Comments
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Sara Harricharan 05/02/08
I have to chuckle at this! I love the tone and voice of this piece, it pulled me into the story and I was happy to follow it all the way through to the end. The little ending made me smile, I liked how you showed the changes, etc. Very nicely done! ^_^
Betty Castleberry05/02/08
I loved the descriptions. At least I think I did. Some were so realistic they brought back my own childbirth memories.
This line made me chuckle:
"She prays every hour that God will move up her due date, swearing she’ll never do that again with her husband."
Thanks for this entertaining read.
Peter Stone05/03/08
So well written that it felt like reliving those two 9-month cycles preceeding the arrival of my two little ones. Your conclusion reminds me of my wife going through a difficult 19 hour labor, which seemed so bad I would have thought she would never do it again, but as soon as our daughter was placed in her arms, said, "I want another one..."
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/03/08
You've presented delightfully a familiar journey for mommies, and you conclude it perfectly.
Joanne Sher 05/04/08
Clever and fun - and realistic. That last line is PERFECT.
Folakemi Emem-Akpan05/05/08
I had a very lovely time reading this. It took me back to the time I was pregnant with my daughter.
I particularly cherish the last line AND BABY TURNS TWO.
My daughter turned two in February and all is not peaceful in our home anymore. I know psychologists call it THE TERRIBLE TWOS but my husband and I call it THE TERRIFIC TWOS.
Shirley McClay 05/05/08
Very creative way of writing this. I read every word not wanting to miss anything. Excellent. You should submit this to a pregnancy or new mother magazine.
Chely Roach05/05/08
A very entertaining piece, and the last line made me laugh out loud. LOL...2!
LauraLee Shaw05/05/08
How creative is this! What memories this brings back...could remember all to well. Now my little firstborn is my giant twelve-year-old. Well done!
Lynda Schultz 05/06/08
Personally, I think it's impossible for this to be any better than it is. Great work.