It was a day that began like any other. I woke up around 9, tidied up the house, then landed on the couch to read a bit before heading to work at the local health club. Jason and I had been married for five months and, outside of the recurring fights over which American Idol singer was best, had mostly avoided the first year marriage troubles.
The day passed by as usual until I got home around 7 and remembered I’d forgotten to take my pregnancy test that morning. We had no plans of having kids for 2-3 years, but I had been seeing little signs for the past few weeks and wanted to make sure nothing was going on.
“OH…MY…GOSH”, I blurted out loud. I was officially pregnant with my first kid…at 22 years old. Without thinking I walked zombie-style to the living room where Jason was watching ESPN. “Guess what?!” I sheepishly said…
The rest of that month was a blur. My entire life was flipped upside down. I know this was the plan eventually but, I wasn’t ready for a kid this soon. Heck, I had just graduated from college 7 months ago. I asked around for the best OBGYN clinic and chose the one most moms referred me to. The initial appointments were fairly uneventful.
We also began to do the usual tasks for first time parents: telling the families, scrapbooking the ultrasound photos, and deciding on a name. Choosing a name Jason and I both agreed on was Armageddon. It’s funny how you have disagreements over the smallest things. After months of tug-o-war we decided on Sydney Grace Pratt. I loved it, cool and sexy.
We were 7 months into the pregnancy and were eagerly awaiting Sydney’s arrival; it was so close I could taste it (along with the eggplant parmesan and pineapples). On the outside, the appointment began like any other: arrive on time, check in, sit for twenty minutes, then get called back to the VIP section. A week before I had felt flu like symptoms and had a scare, but I was assured by the on-call nurse that there were no worries since I was in the third trimester of the pregnancy.
I felt a slight sense of relief but became worried again a few days later, when I hadn’t felt Syd move. I read on Google, the supreme source of truth, that babies can sometimes be affected by mommy’s sickness. I felt sick to my stomach the second time I called then OBGYN, I wouldn’t take no for an answer this time – someone was going to see me.
After explaining my case they recommended I come in that afternoon. To say I was freaking out was the understatement of the year.
Here was the big moment…the nurse escorted us to patient room #2 and prepared the doppler. “Stay calm Tara…these things happen all the time”, I thought to myself. I wish I could say I was as calm as Jason, Mr. No-Emotion, but I couldn’t wait to hear that reassuring heart beat through the small speakers.
This was the moment of truth…
When I think of Pops I remember Mustangs, baseball cards, Singing Bee, and reruns of Maury; he was the dad I never had. When the news first broke that he had cancer I dropped what I was doing and frantically made the hour trip down Interstate 40. There was no way my granddad would be taken from me, he was full of life, even in his 60s.
We arrived at the hospital shortly after the surgery, and were gathered together by the doctor to hear the details. It’s funny how life seems to slam on the breaks at the most inconvenient times. We weren’t sure how much longer he had to live but knew the chemo treatments could maximize that time.
The drive back felt five hours long. I felt…helpless. I placed my head on the door, rested my hand on my growing tummy, and drifted off to sleep.