First Time For Everything: Having A Baby

It was like out of a dirty dream: I was lying on my back on a stainless steel table completely naked when the door opened. Owen Wilson walked in with a large white sexy toy looking thing, wearing a lab coat. He looked so hot I could barely stand it. As he walked near me he started to talk…

“Hi Kate, my name is Dr. D.”

Oh that’s right. No, I am not lucky enough to be having a sexual role-play encounter with Owen Wilson. I am pregnant and seeing my OB/GYN (who happens to look and talk just like the You, Me, and Dupree star) for the first time. A girl can dream though right? Especially when the reality is as unexpected and bizarre as any nighttime mind wanderings.

Dr. D explained to me why he was holding what appeared to be a massive sex toy; it was an internal ultrasound machine, which would allow him…me…to see the baby. As my lady parts (the parts…the position, that got me in this situation in the first place!) were being poked and prodded, I began to contemplate how the hell I got here. Just a few months before, I was engaged, with plans to move to New York City and attend law school in the Fall. I was ecstatic about the new journey I was about to embark on. A few weeks later, following my wonderful wedding in Bermuda, I was on my honeymoon and conveniently….or inconveniently, now that I thought about it…I missed my period. Being young and naïve, my husband and I were convinced that it was just from the stress of the wedding and all of the traveling.

When we returned from the honeymoon, I decided to take a pregnancy test, to put myself at ease. For starters, taking a home pregnancy test is much easier said than done. After peeing all over my hand, I finally got the stick in the stream. After five minutes, the test showed a PLUS sign. Did plus mean pregnant or not pregnant? I couldn’t remember and didn’t have the box anymore. I rushed to the computer and did a Google search – yup. Pregnant.

How this could possibly be? And what I would do about my future plans? Law school? New York? I decided it was probably a good idea to tell my husband at this point, who didn’t even know I took a test. Needless to say, Doug nearly collapsed. After a stunned moment of silence, he grabbed his keys and ran out the door. Luckily he was not running for an exotic island or the local nudie bar to drown his sorrows in endless shots of tequila – instead, he drove to a 24-Hour pharmacy and bought five more tests. He was in medical school himself, but even he wanted a third, fourth, fifth, and, yes, sixth opinion.

As I’m sure you can guess, all five were positive. I was to be a mother. I had a mini-nervous breakdown, sobbing, screaming, and even contemplating what is for me, the unthinkable — abortion. While the thought did pop into my head, it was never under consideration. But how could I be a mom either? I was not ready…I was going to be a child/family advocacy lawyer, spend some time enjoying my newly married life and then have children. I remember thinking to myself that there is no way I could be a mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a sister and a million other things, when I didn’t even really know who I was yet.

As my thoughts and emotions raced, my husband, Doug, stood quietly observing the chaos. After a while, he grabbed me and told me it would be ok, that we could do this and that we would do it together.

After that first somewhat interesting, scarring, and emotional doctor appointment, the rest of my pregnancy did not get any easier. I became very ill, spent some time in the hospital, and lost tons of weight (which normally would be amazing — but not this time). I already felt like a failure — I couldn’t even feed myself and my baby because I was vomiting so much — what was I going to do when she was born? On top of all these emotions, why was I married to an idiot who just couldn’t seem to get anything right anymore?

Obviously, these were not just my hormones raging, as everyone kept insisting on telling me, as if it would make me feel better. My annoyance with my husband grew more and more throughout the pregnancy. I was hooked up to IV’s, after losing 30 lbs, and hadn’t truly eaten in months. What did he do? He did what most men would do — he ate. And ate. And ate. Honestly, if I had the strength I would have shoved that fried chicken right up his…well, you get the point. After I had my daughter I did realize that my husband was going through a lot of the same fear and emotions that I was. I just couldn’t see it then — it felt like because I had to deal with the brunt of the physical stuff, that I was doing it all on my own. While I could not drink, smoke, eat or do anything that was normal for nine months, he drank and gained about 25 pounds while I was rapidly losing weight. So this was how life worked. Why did women have the hardest job?

I thought that way until the day I delivered my beautiful daughter. Don’t get me wrong, delivery is exactly what you’ve been told — long, hard and excruciating, but it is also truly the most amazing thing I have ever and will ever do in my life. Afterwards, I felt like I could conquer the world.

In the months that followed her birth, many emotions ran through me. I suffered from a long bout of postpartum depression and thought there was no way I would ever have more kids. With time I realized and appreciated my husband for the man he was while I was pregnant and the father he was after. I can admit now, to my dismay, that everyone was right. It was my hormones!

My daughter is now three-years-old and the most unique, hilarious and amazing human being I have ever encountered. I can say now, after some time, that I want to have more children, no matter what I have to go through to accomplish that (the fact that I could see “Owen” again isn’t so bad either). Many things have come clear to me over the past few years. The most important realization I have had is this unexpected gift of fate was just that…a gift.