Pregnancies and Babies
Simon is at the hospital for the fourth time in six weeks. Doctors are running tests to see if this is an infection or the next ugly phase of this horrible disease. But sitting at this hospital facing death also holds many sweet memories. At least three, anyway. Our babies.
Simon will deny it, but I am convinced he loved me just a bit more during my three pregnancies even though I was a raving lunatic at times. Maybe it was the cankles, maybe it was the life growing inside, and maybe it was my lack of brain cells, causing him to save the day more than once after my poor judgement. He would also never admit his disappointment, but I know he had secretly hoped I would go into dramatic labor and he would need to rush me to the hospital. During each pregnancy, he mapped out alternate routes to the maternity ward and talked about back up plans in the event of unforeseen roadwork or nuclear meltdown. Poor guy, we ended up with one induced labor and two planned c-sections.
When I was five months pregnant with our first, we traveled to Bulgaria for a missions trip. He made sure I walked every hour on the plane to prevent DVT. In a little apartment in the capital of Sofia, I got my first (of many) stretch marks and we felt our son kick for the first time. During one cab ride , the driver lit a cigarette in the stuffy car. Simon implored, “Baby! Bebe! Baaay Beeee!” and pointed to my belly. The driver was mad to waste a freshly lit cancer-stick, but he obliged, seeing the anger and desperation in Simon’s eyes.
There was another time later on in the pregnancy where I had a hankering for hot chocolate. I poured cold water in my favorite insulated travel mug, added the powder, and pressed the two-minute button on the microwave. The cup began sparking and making horrible crackling sounds. I literally just watched it through the microwave door, eagerly anticipating sweet, chocolatey goodness. Simon came running over just in time before a fiery explosion. He knew fair well after that moment that all bets are off with “pregnancy brain”. He could no longer leave the crazy lady to make even simple decisions until after birth. On a side note, I gained at least 50 lbs during the first go around and Simon never complained once. He was really sweet and would sympathy-eat with me for most cravings.
Our son was two weeks late so I was induced. In our birth plan, which mostly didn’t pan out, I wanted Simon to be right by my head, softly encouraging me. But on that night, they were short a nurse. Simon had to hold one of my legs back for a front row seat. He got in on every action-packed detail of a natural, drug-free birth of a 10 lb, 2 oz. baby boy with a large head. Hard to believe we ever had more kids!
The second pregnancy, our first daughter, brought constant nausea. About three months in, I went to the fridge for a snack. Simon had made a Costco run and stocked up on all sorts of staples and treats. As the door swung open, all I could smell were bell peppers. He had bought a large bag for snacking. Prior to being knocked up, this wouldn’t have been an issue. But on that fateful day, the stench was overwhelming. I declared out loud, “Who the heck buys 50 pounds of bell pepper?!” Then I threw up in my mouth, then in the toilet, then I looked at him and threw up again. I am pretty sure I used curse words, including the one that rhymes with duck, as I lectured him on what is considerate to keep in the home to please and not please one’s olfactory senses. Yet he still stuck around. What a guy.
My OB begged me to have a c-section after the complications I had from our son. I resisted until just a few days before my due date. They ordered an ultrasound and our girl was going to be just as big. Not wanting to deliver another toddler via my traumatized lady parts, we agreed that would be the best scenario. Our daughter was born healthy and the same weight as our son, 10 lbs., 2 oz. I had gained half the weight that pregnancy yet we still had a ginormous kid. Must be the genes,
The third pregnancy was a blur, but I was definitely hormonal growing our second daughter and keeping a two and four year old alive while Simon worked insanely long hours on the train. He had just returned home from an eight day trip. It was his birthday. The phone rang and he got called out to leave for another eight day trip the next day. I begged him to call in sick. Being the ethical guy he is, he said no way. I ranted, “But your crazy pregnant wife is sick! Sick of you impregnating me and leaving for days on end!” I know. I’m a horrible person. He is trying to make an honest living and has Captain Wacky Von Estrogenpants is trying to get him fired. I still occasionally apologize for being a jackhole during those combined 27 months.
Our third kid was born via planned c-section since we had a pattern of creating monster babies. We were pros by that point so the docs practically let Simon deliver our second daughter. He cut the cord as they arranged my innards neatly on the sterile table. He and the docs were casually chatting about hunting as we heard the first cries. “How big?” I yelled. Simon replied, “She looks tiny.” Hmmm, must only be an eight pounder, I thought. I heard the medical staff call out “5.5” which I figured was in stones or some other European weight scale. They clarified, “FIVE POUNDS and FIVE OUNCES.” I blurted out, “Is she a midget?” Then I felt like I was disrespecting the integrity of little people worldwide so I continued, “But that’s okay if she’s a midget, I would love her just the same.” My doctor stopped everything and looked me in my loopy, drugged eyes, “Kristy, she is perfect. Just tiny. Sometimes this happens. She will be fine.” And she is perfect. Our observant, curious firecracker.
Simon did get a vasectomy shortly thereafter. Fair enough. He is a great dad and we have many. many pictures and memories of these early years.