Sixteen years ago this day, I weighed approximately eighteen pounds more than a pregnant gorilla and I had all the personality of a pissed off possum.
My only redeeming quality was that my hair had never been blonder, more permed, or crispier and it was the size, shape, and weight of a 1972 console television.
Yep. Sixteen years ago on this day, I was merely seven days away from giving birth to my son, The Big Dog.
When I got pregnant with Dog, no one was more shocked than me. So shocked was I that ten years after having my daughter there I was - pregnant again, I could only announce my condition to his Father by uttering these beautiful and Hallmarky words:
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to."
At thirty years old, (bust out the abacus now - I'll wait), I was convinced no woman since Elizabeth in the Bible had ever been so old and pregnant. I didn't know what to do, so I did the only thing that seemed to make sense at the time.
It worked so well as a method of distracting me from my freakish situation that I decided not to stop doing it until I was about seven months pregnant. I threw up so often and so violently during the time I was carrying my son, that the doctor no longer even wanted to see me before being admitted to the hospital. I began to become invested in late night TV in search of a home IV kit that came complete with a complimentary subscription to the Phenergan of the Month Club.
The great news is that the Phenergan usually only worked for 9 seconds. The better news is that I eventually developed some sort of weird side effect wherein I had night terrors. I woke up one night to find a giant Anaconda coiled on top of the covers beneath which my husband slept. Imagine my surprise.
I did what any thinking woman would do when faced with a giant snake sleeping comfortably in her bed. I said a little prayer to Jesus during which I reminded him that I really counted for two lives as opposed to the one that was my Baby Daddy; I promised him to always speak fondly of the sacrifice Baby Daddy had made on our behalf; and I begged him to have the snake do his killing quickly and quietly as I knew hearing snake-chewing sounds would make me start throwing up again.
And then, with the graceful execution of a lumbering wildebeest running for its life, I threw back the covers, screamed to Earl (that's what I called my husband, not the snake) that I was sorry he had to die, and I ran like no other to the living room where upon my arrival, I climbed over the back of the sofa with such force, I flipped it over.
Because Earl was a selfish man and refused to go quietly into that good night, when he was awakened by my exit he ran after me, screaming as loudly as I was even though he had no idea what he was screaming about.
I was not happy to see him standing before me in his tiny, tightie-whities, blood vessels bulging and eyes popping out of his head. All I knew was that in my training and experience as a snake enthusiast, giant Anacondas are quite wily in that they will hide somewhere on your husband's person until you least expect it, at which point they will reach out and swallow you - especially if you are pregnant and smell like vomit and Final Net.
It took quite some time for Earl to convince me that there was no snake stuck to his back or hiding in our bed or pretending to be a scarf hanging in my closet. Truth be told, I'm still not convinced. For all I know, there is a snake who still tells that story at office parties and family gatherings.
So on May 24th, what I want my wonderful son to know above all else is that even though he wasn't planned for, and even though I had to fight a freakishly large imaginary snake to save him, and even though his Dad didn't love him enough to lie still and be eaten alive so that we might live; he is among the Top Two Things I Am Most Proud Of and and the Top Two Things For Which I Am Most Thankful.
I adore the kid. More than he'll ever even be able to understand.
Happy Birthday, D.
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