Once my secret was out, I was able to, er, enjoy pregnancy in all its glory. Which is just the nice way of saying the constant hunger, hot flashes, back pain, and Braxton-Hicks were fun. Of course, I didn’t complain much. For one, this little boy was a gift following my miscarriage and was sorely wanted. For another, I was too busy studying for my comprehensive exams to pay much attention to being pregnant.
Oh, yes, I had to take a series of 2 hour tests over 3 days while 7 months pregnant and battling forgetfulness in order to earn my Master’s Degree. My friends were my saving graces. If I hadn’t studied with them, hadn’t worked together with them to try to fathom what our professors were going to throw at us, hadn’t actively put material together, I would have failed.
Yes, I was pregnant, and due to give birth in a little over 2 months, but my baby was not the first thing on my mind. Passing those darn exams were.
During our breaks from studying, my friends would ask how I was doing and what I had done to prepare for the baby’s arrival. I honestly paid so little attention to my pregnancy at that point that I actually felt quite well, if a little tired and sometimes grasping at straws. I also had only a lamp for the baby. In my defense, I was quite preoccupied.
I’m not sure how I managed to get through those exams. All I remember was walking to my exam location one morning and seeing a little girl dressed for school wandering around the campus. I knew there was a small experimental school on campus and was concerned when she was so far away from it. Some of my classmates saw me turn away from the building from a window and asked why. I guess my mom instincts kicked in. I couldn’t let that little girl wander around by herself, especially since summer break had started (the elementary school was still in session), so I walked her over to her school.
After our last exam, my friends threw me a surprise shower. I don’t know how they found the time to do it, but my gratitude to them for it remains bottomless. Without their kindness, thoughtfulness, and generosity, I would have still had only the lamp when my son was born.
I don’t know how I managed to pass, but I did. I got the call about a week before I went into labor. The weeks between the end of exams and the call should have been spent getting ready for the baby. Instead, I was getting ready to move across the country. My husband was due to start a new job just a couple of weeks after my due date, so we were packing and I was fretting. We’d done the hospital tour and I wasn’t looking forward to maybe having to deliver somewhere else.
Then again, I didn’t actually do too much of the packing. Nope, I was resting, letting my mind drift, letting my feet rest, letting my cat enjoy what was left of my lap. She and my baby got in some good quality time. Meaning it was the one and only time she didn’t mind being kicked by a tiny human. They now keep a healthy distance from each other as he used to scream in her face when he was a toddler and he’s afraid of her claws.
For the first time during that pregnancy my body was at ease. School was over, my exams were in the past. I’d already arranged to take a year off because I thought we’d be moving back since my husband had only taken a year-long position. I literally had nothing but packing to do. You’d think I would have at least gotten him a bed.
Well, no I didn’t. I assumed I had time. See, it was early July and my son wasn’t due until mid-August. I had plenty of time. It was only because my mother-in-law visited and asked if we’d gotten a crib that I thought maybe I should.
That was just a few days before I unexpectedly went into labor. But that’s another story.