Going too Far
Going too far
Laura stood by the open window of her bedroom, rubbing her massive belly, loose strands of her black hair yielding to the soft summer breeze. She instinctively tucked one strand behind her ear and thought about how long it had gotten.
She meant to dye the gray out too but somehow, she let it go too far, she thought. Then it had been too late and she could not. The chemicals are bad for the baby she read somewhere. Just the same, everyone liked her premature gray so she did not feel too bad.
She rubbed her belly in circular motions once again. It seems that lately her life had been influenced by her tendency to let things “go too far”, including this baby she was about to deliver.
It was all so surreal to her. She was actually going to have a baby!
She remembered how she fought against the very idea for so many years. She never wanted to be in this situation.
She thought about Tom, who she thought she would love forever. The one “that got away”. She smiled slightly, rubbing again.
No, that was not quite right. She had eventually let him go. She knew how much he wanted a family but she was determined.
She recalled the very last conversation they had on the subject.
“I don’t understand you,” he said. “I love you and want to marry you! It doesn’t matter to me. Besides, there have been a lot of changes in medicine and having Chromes Disease is not the worst thing in the world. Besides, not every carrier passes it on to his or her child. Male or Female! He insisted. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter because I would be fine if we didn’t have children. I want to marry you but I won’t ask you again.” He said pleadingly.
“I’m sorry Tom. I love you but I won’t marry you. I can’t take that chance. Not after experiencing the suffering that both my father and brother went through. I can’t risk passing that on to a child of mine. I know how important children are to you. You use to talk about it all the time. I can’t have your children.” She said looking down at her uneaten dinner.
“Maybe we should just be friends.” She suggested.
They ate the rest of their dinner in silence. She remembered and sighed.
She was lucky to have Paul. He was such a good man. He’s kind, gentle, and so supportive. With him, it did not matter if she had children. Perhaps that is why she allowed herself to fall in love with him.
She remembered the day they met. She was new to the area and got lost trying to find the town’s city hall so that she could register. Those first few errands when you move into a new place seem so overwhelming. She remembered that it was a chilly day in September and it got dark earlier than she expected. She had the address of the place but could not find the right street.
She rolled down the window at the stoplight and decided to ask the driver in the car next to her.
“Ah yes, City Hall.” The man had said. “You went a few blocks too far. It’s actually two blocks back and a right at the stop sign.
“Thank you” Laura said a bit embarrassed. “God how she hated to seem so vulnerable.”
Two days later, as she was coming out of her house and heading for the car, she heard a man say, “Well hello neighbor.”
Startled she turned and recognized the older gentlemen as the one that had given her directions to City Hall.
“Oh, hello.” She said sheepishly
“Did you ever find City Hall?” Paul asked with a smile.
“Um, yes. Thank you.” She said blushing a little. “Guess it’s a small world. We’re actually neighbors.”
“Yup, it certainly looks that way.” He agreed. “My name is Paul and yours?”
“Laura. Laura Kendall. Nice to meet you Mr., um, Paul.”
“The pleasure is mine. Any where I can help you get to today.” He said smiling.
“No, I’m fine.” She smiled. “It was nice meeting you.”
“If you ever need anything, don’t hesitate to come knocking.”
“Thank you, I won’t.” Laura said getting into her car.
He was always so sweet and considerate. She thought now.
She never thought she would end up marrying him. But he was safe. He was an older man with adult children after all. He had already gotten his chance and she didn’t feel that she had to give him any.
But here she was! Damn martinis! She could use one now, she thought, but that too is bad for the baby.
“Honey, are you ok?” Paul peeked in the bedroom door.
“Yes Paul. I’m fine.” She responded.
Paul walked over to her and put his arms around her ample waist.
“Are you nervous about tomorrow?” He asked knowingly.
“A little.” She said.
“Honey, the doctor says that the baby is healthy. You’ll be fine and the baby will be fine. I wish you were more excited about this.” He said.
“I am Paul. I guess I am just wondering what sex it is and if it will be okay.”
“Honey, I told you that no matter what, we will raise it together and love him…or her. Everything will be fine.” Paul assured her.
“Yes, I know. I’ll be out in a minute.” Laura said.
She went back to looking out the window, rubbing her stomach.
She never meant to keep anything from Paul. They were best friends and lovers and she vowed to always be truthful.
But when she found out she was pregnant, she didn’t tell him. After being 3 weeks late, she was shocked when she looked at the positive strip on the home pregnancy test.
Ninety-nine point five percent effective is what they say about the birth control pills she took. And they were always so careful to use a condom. Paul was great about it, knowing how she felt about assuring that she would never “get pregnant”.
Laura sighed. It only took one night without the condom to do it. She and Paul had a great time at that dinner party. At first, she was shy about loosening up around Paul’s business friends, but soon they were both having such a good time. Those martinis went down so nicely. Luckily, they were not very far from their house and chose to walk home. They were both so giddy. Laura thought, smiling.
She remembered how anxious they were to be home. She made them both a nightcap and ran up to bed. It wasn’t long until they were undressed and passionately kissing one another. It was a wonderful night.
We never thought much about a condom that night. We were just lost in the moment.
She remembered the gentle way in which Paul kissed her neck and moved down to her collarbone. She loved the way he made her feel.
She was so excited to have him that she never thought about what they were doing. She let him go too far and there's no return. She wanted him to make love to her right then.
The next morning she awoke feeling a bit fuzzy and thought about how much they had drank the night before. She remembered how wonderful Paul had made her feel. His lovemaking was especially passionate last night. She remembered thinking. She relished in the aftermath and never gave it another thought. The memory of the night made her smile.
She never told him about the pregnancy early on because she was determined to terminate it. “My God, what a scary option that was.” She thought.
She supposed that it was fine for some women. She was not one to judge. But the thought of abortion was overwhelming to her. Still, she thought that was the best alternative and planned to go ahead, never letting Paul know about the baby.
“I was afraid and so torn.” She thought.
She waited so long to go ahead with it and finally found that she was too far-gone to consider abortion. There was no option now but to go ahead with it and tell Paul.
He was so good about it. Although he has several children of his own he seemed genuinely excited to father my child, she thought. He has been very kind about supporting me through my concerns. The fact that I was a carrier of Chromes didn’t bother him in the least. In fact, he had reassured me that it didn’t matter to him if I had a boy or a girl.
“Paul has always said that no matter what, we will love and nurture our child.” She smiled nervously.
So, why was she so worried? She didn’t want to know the sex of the child for this very reason. She could not imagine going through nine months of knowing it was a boy and sure to inherit the gene that would make him sick.
“It’s a done deal now Laura.” She told herself.
The following morning Laura woke up nauseous. She knew the baby was fine but she on the other hand was a nervous wreck. The thought that she would be induced this afternoon was both exciting and frightening.
"There's no certainty that if the child is a boy that he would have the disease." The Doctor had assured. "An now-a-days those that suffer from Chromes live long healthy lives.
"Yes Doctor, I know. I suppose I'm just being silly." She whispered.
Feeling foolish, she jumped out of bed and decided to just get herself ready. "After all", she thought, "it will be what it will be and Paul and I will love our baby as we do each other."
That afternoon, they induced labor and it wasn't very long before the labor pains began. It was painful but all Laura could think of was that she had a human being inside her that she will meet soon.
"I can't believe this is actually happening," she thought with delight. "A baby! My baby."
Another surge of labor pangs begun and Laura begun to panic. "My God, what if..." And another went through. The doctor announced that she was ready and gently asked her to push.
Paul held her hand encouragingly. She looked at him while she pushed. "He never looked so happy." she thought.
A few minutes later, she heard the cry. She could not believe this was real. She thought she heard the doctor say it was a girl. "A girl?" She murmured.
"Yes Honey, we have a daughter!" Paul exclaimed "Our baby girl!"
The nurse handed the child to her swaddled in a pink blanket. "A girl." She said as she reached for her. She was beautiful! Laura's heart seemed to be melting as she held this perfect creature in her arms. "I will leave you three alone and will be back later to talk about your next few days and discharge. Congratulations!" the Doctor told them.
Sometime later, the nurse came in to take the baby into the nursery and informed Paul and Laura that the doctor would be in to see them.
"Well you two" the doctor started, "Jaime is nice and healthy. Her lungs seem strong, considering and everything else checks out" Laura squeezed Paul's hand and smiled.
"Excuse me Doctor. You said 'considering'?" Laura inquired.
"Well yes, I thought you knew," the doctor explained. "Jaime has Down-Syndrome".
"Will she be okay? Healthy?" Laura said alarmed.
"There is no reason why she wouldn't have a long and healthy life. She might have some developmental challenges but she will be just fine." the doctor said encouragingly.
Paul and Laura looked at one another. Paul waited for Laura's response, concerned.
"Doctor" Laura started "As long as she is healthy, nothing else matters. She is the most beautiful little girl I've ever seen and she's ours!"
"Yes" Paul agreed. "When can we take our baby girl home?"
By Evelyn Rivera - (c) Copyright September 2011