The following essay was written by my mom. It’s all about how she found out she was expecting me. And those who know me well will find the story fits both me and my family quite well.
I had searched through every cupboard in the house. All I could find was a quart jar. It’s a good thing the purses were so large in the 70’s, or I would never have fit it inside. No matter. No one would see it, after all. I would go in, discreetly hand it directly to the nurse, and that would be that. I mean, who has little jars around anyways?
I pulled into the parking lot of my gynecologists office with anticipation. I just knew I was pregnant, but in a few minutes I would know for sure. It would be a reality. As I opened the door to the doctor’s office, I could hardly believe my eyes. It was wall-to-wall women – some holding babies, some with husbands, and some who definitely knew they were pregnant.
All of a sudden, the jar grew from a quart to a gallon. I was about to turn and leave, when the receptionist spied me.
“Can I help you?”
I walked up to the counter and tried to think of something to say, but all I could do was mumble, “Pregnancy test”.
“Oh yes, Mrs. Kinder, you called earlier. Did you bring a sample for us?” She was so enthusiastic, like I had chocolate for her in my purse.
“Ah…I uhh… I didn’t have a small jar,” I mumbled, as I drew “it” out of the belly of my purse. I have to hand it to her. She was very professional. She only raised one eyebrow, slightly, at my offering.
I’m not sure exactly how it happened, but then one can never be sure how embarrasing things happen. They just do. One minute I was furtively trying to slide the jar across the counter, the next it was on the floor, rolling away. I watched in horror as it wobbled its way directly under the chair of a man sitting next to his uncomfortably pregnant wife.
I suppose it could have been worse. The jar could have broken. If anyone had been oblivious to my reason for coming in, they weren’t any longer. I could feel every eye on me, and God wasn’t answering my prayer for the depths of the earth to swallow me.
You could have heard a pin drop. The man leaned over, picked it up, and handed it to me. “I believe this is yours,” he said. I took the jar, gave it to the receptionist, (who still had a frozen smile on her face) and, determined to hold my dignity, found the last seat left.
At first it was just a slight titter, then the room exploded with laughter. I joined in, unable to contain myself. There were no strangers in the room any longer. we all shared a common experience. Shortly, the nurse came out and I said, “Go ahead and announce it, everyone already knows why I’m here.”
Well, of course I was pregnant, and it turned out I would have a daughter to go with my then 9 month old son. This time, the room cheered for me, and I received several “Congratulations” and “Is this your first?” and so on.
That experience taught me to not take myself so seriously. The more I strive for dignity, the more I fail. I am simply not a dignified person.
My mother swears I somehow influenced this event and have been embarrasing her ever since. I told her it was just karma giving me a headstart for all the times she’d embarrass me later in life. I think we’re finally even…
Love you mom.