I was just about to turn twenty one. I had the life in the palm of my hands. The world was my oyster, and I was the pearl. I felt like I had it all. I was young, the possibilities were limitless. I was in college, but most importantly, I was in love. His name was Scotty; this man who had my heart. His love both terrified and equally thrilled me. We loved with the wild abandon that young lovers do. There were times it was earth-shattering, this emotion that burst from places in my heart I had never known existed. He awakened in me both the happiest places and the darkest shadows. He challenged me to question my perspective, he willed me to think outside my boundaries, and he was a force to be reckoned with. That is one of the things I loved the most about him; his strength. At times it was infuriating, this man who had my heart but also brought out the best and worst of me, and then forced me to face it. Loving him was freeing in a way, I never imagined I would be free. For once in my life I didn’t overthink it, I simply felt.
It was a weekend and he was off at work. We were nearing our second anniversary as a couple, and many years of friendship. I decided to pass my time with my best friends, Jean and Jessi. They had been my friends for as long as I was capable of friendship….beginning at the age of 8 and still going strong! I began my drive to my familiar stomping grounds, down an old back road, the music was rolling from my speakers, I danced happily. Then it hit me…..the wave of nausea, this was the second time today. My mind was reeling, could I possibly be pregnant? I had never been pregnant, but for some reason the thought didn’t scare me. I shook my head, “I will stop and get a test, just to be sure.” Ten dollars later, I walked from the store, two tests in my hand, I slung them in the seat beside me, and resumed my trek to Jean’s. I almost forgot them upon my arrival, as we all caught up on one another’s life. Then I told them about my suspicions.
With a little convincing, I walked to my car and grabbed the tiny object that would tell me the fate of my future. I took the test as the two of them sat in the living room, waiting. I began washing my hands, looked at my phone and decided I would wait a few minutes. My eyes glimpsed the test….two lines, two VERY real lines! I couldn’t talk, I just ran out of the restroom holding this test for my friends to see. As they looked at it, then back at me, searching me for my reaction. Jean, always the realist, “It will be ok. You will be ok.” The craziest part of it was I was already ok, I was surprised that this sweet baby whose only proof of existence was those two pink lines, was the single most ok moment I had ever felt. The timing wasn’t ideal as we hadn’t married yet, but the certainty that I would always be with him chased away any fear I had. I am not sure what the rest of the conversation was, not sure I ever really vocalized anything, or if I just thought all the responses in my head….but I headed for home.
I opened the door, looking at the very tidy house we rented. I loved that place, relished in keeping it clean, orderly and filled with serenity. I could hear the shower running, smell the scent of his body wash…instinctively, I cleared the living room and walked into the place where he was. Only then, was I afraid….Scotty, already had two kids at a very young age, he wasn’t planning on more in the near future. What if he didn’t want this? And I stood frozen as realization that I would leave him for these two tiny pink lines. Somehow, I already loved these lines unconditionally, and as much as I loved Scotty, he couldn’t take that away from me. I am not sure how long I stood there, just willing my mouth to open, then snapping it shut. What i was about to say out loud would alter our lives forever. The shower had stopped and suddenly he was there beside me, talking about his day, then he looked at me concern flooding him. “I’m…I’m pregnant,” I whispered. The gold flecks in his green eyes flashed a thousand emotions, fear, terror, uncertainty, panic, but under all of those there was love. My heart began to beat again, I felt my chest rise and fall, I had forgotten to breathe as all this transpired in front of me. He never said a word, just closed the distance between us and wrapped me in his big, strong arms, assuring me that everything would be ok. I was at peace in his embrace, my inner dialogue went silent, and I was just me, the woman who was so in love with this man, and those two pink lines.
I snuggled up to Scotty, and a new untapped love flooded my heart. A piece of him was growing inside me, how strangely all-consuming that thought was. “It will be alright, baby, don’t worry.” He whispered into my ear, I wanted to tell him all I was feeling inside. I wanted to tell him I wasn’t worried, I wasn’t scared, I was completely content by his side, and more than alright with this tiny fleeting little life we had made, but the words couldn’t find their way to my lips. I thought about these two lines, how something so small could be so life altering…….and I listened to his reassuring words find their way to my ears, and then I listened to his breath come in and out the way it did when he drifted off to sleep. I think the words he was speaking to me was more for himself.
I stared at his face, even in his sleep, I could tell he was conflicted, he was scared, but he was there and he would always be there. I knew he feared this but not in the way a man fears being a father, he had not had a positive experience being a dad so early in life. I wanted to let him know, this time was different, this was me, this was us. “It will be ok, Scotty. This baby will love you. It will love you as much as me, and we will be together. There is no fear of this child being born into an already broken home. I’m here to stay, you don’t have to be afraid.” I whispered into the night, into the chest of my sleeping man. I could never say this to him when he was awake. He would never admit this fear that was harvested in his heart. He was never “afraid” of anything, he was fearless. This was different, he knew that but the past crept out the hiding place in his heart. I had never been so proud to be loved by this man. The man who would stare in the face of fear to save me from worry. He wouldn’t run, he wouldn’t hide, instead he would courageously stand by my side. I felt this new depth of love as I looked at him, how could I possibly love him more? It didn’t seem possible, but there in the darkness with the sound of his heart beating under my ear, I suddenly did love him more……he was the father of this child, he was a piece of me, he was the giver of this gift that I hadn’t even known I was ready for.
I dressed for class, and left early so I could have my tires replaced. It was a cold day, I left the top up on my convertible. I wished it were warm so I could let the breeze blow through my hair and clear my mind. It had been a week since I had found out. A week of me falling in love with this baby, and I caught Scotty staring at me in a new way when he looked at me. He looked inquisitive, intrigued even by the thought of our baby, he watched me closely, a little more protective. I liked this look on him, this tenderness on his face under his brave exterior. I tried not to worry him, so I hadn’t mentioned the strange cramping I had been feeling. I was scheduled for next week to see the doctor. Everyone told me it was normal to cramp, so I tried to push the worry aside. I wouldn’t think about the cramping, I wouldn’t let it steal a moment from my happiness. I sat outside the tire shop until they had finished with my car. I remember thinking I would be trading my beloved Sebring in for a more kid friendly vehicle, but I would enjoy it while I still could.
I slid behind the wheel, turned the music up, and tried to lose myself for a minute. I had been consumed with constant thoughts since finding out about my sweet two pink lines. Everything from the gender, what would he/she look like, how would I keep them safe, could I be the mom I wanted to be? Thousands of little thoughts, worries about a baby, who a week ago i hadn’t known existed…I smiled, touched my still flat tummy, willing myself to stop worrying…..just then a pain shot through me, almost crippling me! I whipped my car into the closest parking lot, which happened to be a pharmacy. I sat there for a few minutes as the pain ripped through my stomach and then fell away. I sat there trying to wait for the pains to stop coming, but every time they would subside they would resurface, racking my body with these pains. I had to get to the hospital. I didn’t call anyone, couldn’t vocalize my fears, because that would make this whole terrifying experience real. The emergency room was empty, the nurse got me to a room quickly, and i was thankful. I needed a moment to wrap my mind around this. She brought me in a cup and asked me to fill it with urine, so I found my way to the bathroom, I was operating on autopilot. I did as instructed and went to put the lid on the contents only to realize I was bleeding, I couldn’t breathe, my lungs wouldn’t work. The rest was a blur, the nurse came in, then the doctor, they were saying words but I couldn’t grasp them…..”threatened miscarriage” “levels were low” “you might lose this pregnancy” all the things that didn’t look good for me and my two pink lines. I managed to drive home, tears blurring the lines on the road, I had to lay down, the doctor said bedrest and I was going to fight to keep this baby. I had hope, sometimes these things happen and the pregnancy continued fine. But this voice in my head told me what my heart didn’t want to believe….it was too late, my two little pink lines wouldn’t ever be here, I would never hold, never kiss, never snuggle, but most painful i would never see this baby’s face. I knew this child would never be more than two pink lines, and that wrecked my heart in new ways.
I waited two days, hoping for improvement, but to no avail. I walked to my car and found the other test tucked under my seat. I had to know, I needed to know! I took the test, refusing to look at it for a full 4 minutes to be sure it had plenty of time to do it’s job. During that time, i prayed for the sight I wanted more than anything, two pretty pink lines…..but there was only one singular line staring back at me. The tears slid down my face, I screamed I threw the test in the trash and would then go grab it, willing it to change! It didn’t change, but I did. My two pink lines had evaporated like a dream does when you awake…two pink lines that had changed my entire world in a week, and now they were gone. I lay in the floor as the sobs escaped my lips, and I grieved for that baby, that baby that would only ever be two pink lines to the world, but it had been the world to me.