May 23, 2005
Last week, as I recounted one mysterious gift that I thought would never come my way (think Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret), I failed to mention another.
Marriage. My husband Tom. As someone who dreamt of spending the rest of my life with a great love-- and wouldn't have dreamed of marrying someone who wasn't that-- I often wondered whether I'd ever meet The One.
I did. During this two-week-wait fell the second anniversary of Tom's and my engagement. We celebrated by returning to the scene of the crime: a rock overlooking a waterfall on a small mountain.
"I even brought a centerpiece," I told Tom, as we spread out our picnic. "See?" I lay between us the ring box with which he surprised me two years ago. Tom looked at me strangely, then picked up the box. He opened it and found a plastic baby inside.
He looked at me. I looked at him. We sat in silence for a moment. "You're pregnant!"
Yep, I'm pregnant. I'm pregnant.
Last Tuesday, several days before our picnic, I realized that it was the exact date of our engagement. While I'd been planning to wait several more days before taking a test, the day was too special not to give it a try. That pile of home pregnancy tests was calling my name from their corner in the bathroom closet. In a trance, with Tom still at work, I answered the call.
After taking the test, I wasn't sure if it was positive or not. Was that the hint of a line I saw, or was I simply trying to see one? I pulled out the magnifying glass but still couldn't tell.
The next morning, I waited anxiously for Tom to leave, then tested again with three sticks. Within two minutes, faint lines were visible on all three. By four minutes, there was no room for doubt. Don't ask me why I still took a fourth.
Reality Sets In
So there I was, shaking one minute, feeling oddly calm the next, and wondering whether or not I could keep the news a secret until our anniversary picnic! It was surreal. Could something so wonderful truly happen to me?
But it did! And I did keep the secret!
Since sharing the news withTom, it seems all the more real. Sitting on the rock together, we discussed who to tell, when to tell, my fear of miscarriage, and due dates.
Then Tom picked up the ring box again to look at the baby. When he did, the baby rolled out of the box off the side of our rock, landing on a rock just beneath us. A rooked vine saved it from a precipitous fall to the falls below. Laughter and panic gripped Tom and I both as we were so comically reminded of our new responsibility. Oh, and the symbolism was just too much for me not to rescue that plastic fetus. Tom held anchored my leg as I reached below to save it. Whew.
Later that night, Tom confess some of his fear. "Our lives are going to change forever," he said. "I mean, one of us will be with the baby all the time. Sometimes we'll be tired. It's not going to be easy."
Yet we realize the gift, the privilege, we've been allowed to experience. By bedtime, Tom was patting, kissing and talking to my belly.