As the calendar would have it I’m 31 weeks into this journey – which is loosely translated into 7 1/2 months or so. WOW. I mean, WOW. I remember the smell of the hotel room we were staying in when I took the pregnancy test – on a weekend away with my family. A Christmas present given to all the men in the family – to ride a real racecar on the Michigan International Speedway in Jackson, Michigan.
This was Mothers Day weekend 2004. I remember starting the journey to Jackson driving our RAV4 with my sister, sister-in-law and one of my nieces as passengers. I casually mentioned to them that I thought I might be pregnant and how I wanted to take a test later that evening, if possible.
We spent the day at the tracks, getting rides, taking pictures and making memories. After winding down I tried to find a reason to go to the store and in that reason I tried to fit my sister. My mom was only too happy to come to a store – I can’t remember what she thought she needed, but I remember thinking how impossible it was going to be to sneak a pregnancy test by her.
So my sister and I came up with a plan – mind you she had just given birth 5 months prior. The story was to be that SHE was in need of the test, therefore buying it, because she’s so afraid of getting pregnant again, she needs to check EVERY month to be sure.
My mom was a bit horrified, but totally bought the story – and I’m trying not to laugh in the checkout line as she’s purchasing this test and lying to our mom … FOR ME, I wanted to pee my pants from the anticipation of the moment.
I made it back to the hotel without spilling the beans and confessing that it was infact my pregnancy test – and my sister and I rushed up to my room to take it.
I took the test – and we waited about a minute, the package says to wait 3, but we couldn’t … so we cheated and looked early – it was, to our understanding, a negative read. There weren’t two lines and the line that was present was very faint.
I was bummed and my sister and I talked for a bit and then she left and Aaron and me were left alone to think about it and talk some more. He was a bit relieved, not to have to go through shock and excitement in this particular weekend and I was on the verge of crying.
I headed back into the bathroom to clean up and throw everything away when I looked down and saw another line. There were two lines. The test was positive. THE TEST WAS POSITIVE! I started giggling and jumping up and down and tearing all at once and Aaron came rushing into the bathroom to see me hunched over this little stick I had just peed on minutes before – he grabbed it from me as I was telling him “I’M PREGNANT!, WE’RE PREGNANT!!!” and he said “oh gees” with this grin on his face and a sparkle in his eye.
We tried to calm down a bit before heading out to meet up with my family again, but I had already grabbed the test as proof and starting proclaiming our pregnancy in the halls of the hotel.
Our lives changed that night. We were united in a way we had never been before. We were going to be parents in less than a year. Now its only weeks away and I can still smell the hotel room. I feel like I’ve been anticipating this for my whole life – and now it’s just around the corner.
We’ve watched my stomach grow and move and we’ve monitored the growth and development of our baby – we’ve prepared a home for him or her and picked out names and outfits and begun our own traditions – we’ve talked about everything under the moon and even though we think we’re ready, there will be surprises, unending surprises and hurdles. But the happiness and the sheer joy we’re about to embark on is outweighing any doubt or apprehension on my part.
I even found my first stretch marks today, and as sad as this might be to some of you, I’m elated. My mom has always had stretch marks, and she’s always been very self-conscious about them because she thought they were ugly. To me, being the youngest and never being able to see my mom pregnant, I was so thankful she had a memory of me on her body, something I could trace and touch and feel.
I think stretch marks on the female body are the most beautiful pieces of history in woman’s life. How can you be embarrassed of proof that such a miracle happened inside of you? And how are our daughters going to think of them if we as women and mothers alike are so obsessed about the outward or the shocking or the unsightly – beauty, to me, is more than just what’s on the inside or outside. It’s what you do with what you have on the inside to make the outside glow.
I have stretch marks, people. And I can’t wait to tell this baby all about them. Only a few weeks to go – amazing.