I hadn’t been feeling all that great for days. Weird stuff was happening. I couldn’t brush my teeth in the morning without gagging. My sense of smell was nuts. I mean, NUTS. I couldn’t figure out why I was so uncomfortable in my bras. To most women, these symptoms are pretty obvious, but to a young woman whose closest friends hadn’t started having kids yet, well… even I knew that I should maybe take a pregnancy test.
Stu and I went to Carrabba’s for dinner on the night we found out I was pregnant with Cari. The Bruschette Scotty Thompson was delicious for almost 15 minutes before I started feeling sick. I excused myself, leaving a concerned Stu at the table, and went to the bathroom where I threw up. I’ll go pretty far to make sure I never throw up–it is THE worst sensation in the world–so I knew something was up. But I didn’t tell Stu my suspicions right away; instead, I was quiet and thoughtful for the rest of the meal. We left Carrabba’s to drive up to Hudson Beach for a peak at the water. Sometime between Carrabba’s and Hudson Beach, I finally gathered the courage to tell Stu I thought I needed to take a pregnancy test. That changed the trajectory of the night significantly. Stu wasn’t impressed by my lack of urgency, especially considering my many, many symptoms. I remember telling him, “But we just got here,” at his insistence that we leave Hudson Beach for home, as if I was crushed to leave that place. I really think I was avoiding the inevitable, thinking that a confirmation could wait until I was one of those women on I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant.
Stu and I had only just gotten engaged on my birthday that July, and we certainly would have liked to be married before getting pregnant. Plus, there was the added complication that we were in the middle of classes for membership in a local church. Couples have babies out of wedlock all the time, but this pregnancy wasn’t at all what we had planned for ourselves.
Stu drove me to my apartment at about 70 miles per hour, stopping at a 24-hour CVS. I should add here that I didn’t step foot into that CVS again for years. Literally years. It was as if I was attempting to pay CVS back for being the bearer of such scary news. We bought a digital read test, convinced that we needed the clearest result possible, even though the digital read test took much longer, according to the box, for a result. It turns out that a digital read test doesn’t take that long after all. I had the result before I was finished washing my hands.
I was eight weeks pregnant, a doctor confirmed the following Monday. Cari was born in May of the following year.
It’s hard to believe now how much drama Stu and I had when we discovered we were pregnant with her. Now I can’t imagine my life without her. That seems cliche to type, too cliche to communicate the complexity of how motherhood has shaped my identity. I don’t even remember who I was before I had Cari. It’s as if I wasn’t fully ME until I became her mom. But I’m so blessed to help shape the person she’s becoming.